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Murder, She Wrote: The Murder of Twelve cover art

Murder, She Wrote: The Murder of Twelve

By: Jessica Fletcher, Jon Land
Narrated by: Laural Merlington
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Summary

Still staying at the Hill House hotel while her beloved home is being rebuilt, Jessica Fletcher finds herself sharing the space for a weekend with a dozen members of a wedding party who have gathered there for a rehearsal dinner. The families of the bride and groom can't stand each other but have agreed to put aside years of long-simmering tension to celebrate the nuptials.

Unfortunately, weather forecasters underestimated the severity of a storm that turns into a historic blizzard that dumps nearly five feet of snow on Cabot Cove, leaving everyone stranded.

But the hotel guests have bigger things to worry about than bad weather conditions and potential cold feet, because a murderer has shown up uninvited - one who has vowed to take them down one by one....

©2020 Jon Land (P)2020 Dreamscape Media, LLC

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Mediocre story made worse by a poor narrator

This story has many shortcomings, not least of which is that Jessica and Mort Metzger must be in their mid-to-late 90s by now. Or are we supposed to believe that iPhone-using Jessica is somehow caught in a timewarp? (and why did the author specifically mention she has an iPhone and not a generic smartphone?)

That aside, the story has holes so big you can see them from space. I can't reveal what they are without giving the twist away, but the whole thing is just utterly ridiculous.

The writer too often uses the plot device of Jessica realising something but not revealing it to the reader. It's ok if it happens once or twice, but when you're constantly confronted with this, it becomes irritating. The characters are also annoying, and there are too many of them (the female twins are especially annoying). But to fit in with the "murder of twelve" and it's loose connection with the numbers on a clock, we need them all. In addition to them, the character of Harry McGraw and his constant references to Jessica not paying her bill is particularly irksome.

It's made all the worse by the narrator. She reads Jessica with absolutely no humour. If you were watching this on TV you'd see the wry smile behind the comment. If you were reading the book, you'd be imagining Jessica's eyes crinkling at the sides when she speaks. But this narrator reads it all in a flat monotone. In fact, it's almost as if she's seeing these words for the first time as she's reading them. So either there's no understanding of the character of Jessica Fletcher or there was no preparation before recording the book. Either way, she is very, very poor.

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