Thursday 18 January 2024


Book review: The Queen of Poisons (The Marlow Murder Club #3) by Robert Thorogood

It's only January and I've already read one of the best books of the year! The Queen of Poisons – the third instalment in Robert Thorogood's Marlow Murder Club series – was one of my most anticipated novels for 2024 and it didn't disappoint. Main characters Judith, Suzie, and Becks feel like old friends at this stage and I was so delighted to reunite with them for another riotous murder investigation. 

About The Queen of Poisons

Suzie attends a town council planning meeting to checks out how they run things before submitting a plan of her own. Just before the meeting can get on its way, however, Marlow's Mayor Geoffrey Lushington takes a single sip of his coffee and dies on the spot.

She immediately calls her friends Judith and Becks and they put their investigative hats back on to uncover the culprit. But they first have to figure out who would possibly want to murder Geoffrey as the man was loved by everyone in Marlow. 

As they dig into the pasts of each of the council members present when the Mayor died, they uncover one secret after another – giving all of them a motive to kill Geoffrey...

My review

As we're now three books in, there is no more need for introductions and explanations, instead we dive straight back into the world of this fictionalised Marlow and its eclectic cast of characters. Author Robert Thorogood has given us another intriguing murder mystery (which, this time around, I wasn't able to figure out until the very end – the red herrings were excellent), but let's be honest, we're all just here for our dynamic trio; Suzie, Judith, and Becks. 

The first two books in The Marlow Murder Club were more from the point of view of the oldest member, Judith, but this time around dog walker Suzie takes centre stage. I loved getting more inside of her brain and her crazy ideas. Point in case: she's planning to build a pod hotel in her back garden that's only as high as her fence! 

That isn't to say that we don't get plenty of Judith in this book as well, our favourite wild swimmer is back with a crossword-setting vengeance and a new male admirer. And vicar's wife Becks has a gruelling challenge of her own to overcome in this instalment: her mother-in-law.  

So the trio have their hands full already before they get a front row seat (quite literally in Suzie's case) to yet another murder in their village. While local police woman Tanika – now a detective inspector – grumbles about teaming up with the infamous trio again, she also knows they have been invaluable in the past so she reluctantly lets them to their thing. 

And that's when the investigative fun really starts for the reader. Because while The Marlow Murder Club is technically a crime series, it is so funny! I adore the three main characters and how they take liberties with the limited power given to them by the local police to stick their noses in where they don't below. Their antics are an absolute hoot and I can't get enough of them. 

With The Queen of Poisons, Robert Thorogood has really found his stride with this series. I already thoroughly enjoyed the first two books but I really loved this third one. The murder mystery was just a little more intricate and clever – and the antics from our main trio even more ridiculous. I have no idea where he can possibly take their stories next, but I already know it will be both mad and brilliant. 

The Queen of Poisons by Robert Thorogood is published by HQ today and you can now buy your copy from your favourite local book shop!

Disclaimer: This book was gifted to me, but this has not impacted this honest review.

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