Review: Conjugal Rites by Paul Magrs (Headline Review)


I’m guilty of putting books I buy on the back burner, it really is a bad habit to get into as I keep missing out on reading books like this one earlier.

The good thing about reviewing though it that getting hassled by a publicist (actually that’s really not true) but getting informed that a new book is out is always a good motivator to catch up. So realising that Hell’s Belles was coming out and I’d let Something Borrowed and Conjugal Rites sit on the shelf too long I thought I’d better catch up.

Now it’s really really rare for me to start a book on a Friday and have it ready by the Monday, though strangely it happened with A Touch of Dead… but I couldn’t stop reading this one.

I have the feeling that Magrs doesn’t want to give Brenda and Effie an easy life nor does he seem to condone resetting events after a mystery is solved (I’ll have to ask him about that though).  

Events in this spooky mystery pick up from the very ominous ending of Something Borrowed.  We also get the return of Mr Dandy who this time is working on a late night call-in radio show, which has the residents of Whitby so captivated that they are listening all through the night.

This causes more than a bit of tension between Brenda and Effie, as things are being said that probably shouldn’t be shared, at least with everyone listening.

This though isn’t as much of a problem as what turns up and leads to Brenda, Effie and Robert seeing a completely different side to Whitby, one where it could almost be Christmas, what with all the snow constantly falling.
It’s not only Mr Dandy, quite a few more of the supporting cast make a welcome, and in some cases an unwelcome, return. This is what I meant by not resetting events. The consequences of their previous choice and actions are continued. And those threads are cleverly tugged and pulled about,  sometimes like heart strings, by Magrs.

There are a few oddities, one being the intentions of Mr Danby is overshadowed and feels unresolved by the end but I’m hoping that this is thread that’s put aside for further following but it’s overshadowed because of the more pressing events that make you see Brenda, Effie, and Robert all in new lights.

I can’t believe what happens in the end and I’m a bit mixed about. I really wanted it to go the other way. But then Magrs doesn’t give them an easy life even if it is a happy ending.

I highly recommend this series.

Other books reviewed in the Brenda & Effie Mystery series:

Never the Bride
Something Borrowed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *