Book Review: “Game, Set and Murder” by Elizabeth Flynn

Hi, ya’ll! Here’s my latest review for a murder mystery/suspense novel. Bear with me, cause it’s long 🙂

Game, Set and Murder

Game, Set and Murder, Elizabeth Flynn’s debut novel, is an intriguing mystery set against the backdrop of the famous Wimbledon tennis tournament at the All England Club in London, England. It follows the story of Detective Inspector (D. I.) Angela Costello as she investigates the death of Petar Belic, a veteran tennis pro and coach to the promising tennis star Stewart Bickerstaff.

Having conquered the tennis realm in his prime, as well as the courts at Wimbledon, Petar Belic is now a much-loved, familiar face in the Club at Wimbledon. His unexpected death, on the very field at Wimbledon where he achieved a victory several years ago, is a mystery. Angela is assigned his case and the investigation proceeds immediately, coinciding with the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

Angela has a daunting task ahead of her. Many people close to Petar Belic (pronounced Be-leech) could have had the motive and opportunity to kill him. Possible suspects include the tennis star he was coaching, his friend and business partner, his current girlfriend, his wife, other tennis rivals, and a few other close friends or acquaintances. She and her team must begin piecing together the events that led up to Petar’s death as well as questioning anyone associated with him – before the trail turns cold.

Angela Costello’s character has been recently promoted to the Detective Inspector position. While investigating this case, she must contend with adapting to the position and breaking in her new team of Detective Constables and Sergeants. She applies a unique approach to the investigation, incorporating logic and reasoning with her own personal observations. These methods allow her to make swift progress and uncover hidden details surrounding Petar’s death.

Each time a suspect or witness is interviewed, more information is revealed and puzzling facts are disclosed. This adds a new layer to the increasingly-complicated mystery surrounding Petar’s death. The author effectively offers gradual insight to the various characters by noting their body language, facial expressions, mood, and attitudes. These revelations build suspense and cause the reader to become increasingly suspicious of certain characters through the course of the book.

The novel is told from Angela’s perspective, with the exception of the prologue. Short narratives of her thoughts are spread throughout the story, helping to convey her thought process and reasoning. This perspective affords understanding of her new responsibilities as a Detective Inspector, as well as a glimpse into her personal life and pleasant marriage. There are just a few mentions of anything spiritual or of God, and it is suggested that Angela’s character attends church. I personally prefer more reference to a personal relationship with Jesus. Or even a clear spiritual struggle of one or more characters. But, that’s just my preference!

The British elements of the novel are refreshing and quaint. Small quips and phrases used in the novel add charm to the story and setting. Also, there is a fitting amount of tennis coverage in the novel (but it’s not overpowering). A few games are observed, and the commentary on one tournament is excitedly given. However, if you’re not familiar with the game of tennis,  you won’t feel overwhelmed by the presence of sport.

Overall, Game, Set and Murder is a brisk, captivating read. It explores the many facets of human nature as well as the consequences of sin, forgiveness, mercy, and reconciliation.  Elizabeth Flynn’s debut novel is a promising introduction to D. I. Angela Costello’s character.

Do you enjoy murder mystery novels? If so, I would love to hear your recommendations!

Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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