Many years ago, my Mum was a member of a writing group in a small city outside Birmingham. One day, an author came to talk to her group, and signed books after the talk. That author was Judith Cutler. I have to be honest I’d not heard of her (she’s from and sets her novels in Birmingham) but after Googling her, I found she’s actually published A LOT of books.
The two that my mum got ‘Dying to write’ and ‘Dying on Principle’ are from a ‘Dying to…’ series. Originally this put me off reading them because they’re not the first ones in the series. I like to read books in series order, but was so attracted by the title of this one ‘Dying to Write’ that I had to dive in. And I’m pretty please I did.
You totally didn’t have to have read the first book to be able to read this one, although I do think it would probably be an advantage – there were lots of references to previous things, but not that detracted from the story.
Sophie Rivers is attending a writing course when a fellow student is found dead. Although glamorous Nyree hadn’t done a lot to endear herself to Sophie, nevertheless she didn’t deserve to meet such a squalid end.
A course tutor then goes missing and it is clear that one of Sophie’s fellow students is responsible…
I did really enjoy this – Sophie’s voice is great, and although she’s not always 100% nice, I did warm to her. As the book went on, I thought I knew who the murderer was, and was a little disappointed about who I thought it was, but then, I was quite delighted when it turned out I was wrong.
The only thing I didn’t like about it was the ending. I felt it was left to quickly that there should have been more explanation for what happened. Having said that though, I’m eager to read the other book I’ve got ‘Dying on Principle’ and am definitely going to get hold of the first one in the series ‘Dying in Principle’. It’s also quite nice to read about Birmingham, which I know quite well as I grew up near there, it’s not often you read about it in novels.