Elizabeth Flynn

Game, Set and Murder

"...a delightful mystery, perfect for a summer’s day with a punnet of strawberries to hand."


It is the first day of Wimbledon fortnight and the famous tennis tournament is buzzing with anticipation. However, on Court 19 events take a dark turn when the body of Petar Belic, champion-turned-coach is found dead, his body splayed out across the lawn tennis court. So begins the first case for newly promoted, DI Angela Costello, an avid tennis fan herself.

Belic adorned Costello's bedroom wall during the height of his tennis career and she is particularly shocked and saddened by his sudden demise. There is no obvious sign as to the cause of death until the post-mortem highlights a small anomaly. Soon, Belic's death is confirmed as murder – but who would want to kill the man everyone seemed to love and respect? It appears there was one person who didn't feel quite the same way as everyone else.

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For those of you tennis fans who are already pining for the green lawns of Wimbledon, this book is a nifty way to get a small tennis fix. The tournament is wrapped around a murder investigation and Flynn is obviously an avid tennis fan and you can feel the love she has for the sport. The crime is played out on the eve of the Wimbledon tournament and I warn you now that you will have to suspend belief here. Flynn has her professional tennis players eating meals late in the evening and still out and about at 1am, when we all know that such focused athletes would have been in bed hours before to be fresh for the first day of a Grand Slam tournament. However, that is my only small niggle. I wouldn't call this book a 'cosy', although like the cream that covers those Wimbledon strawberries, Flynn's book is light and fluffy. Angela Costello is a charming detective and despite a few wobbles of confidence, is quite a sane and sorted police officer. There is a nod to Christie as Flynn, like a butterfly, flits from suspect to suspect, scattering suspicion throughout. Each character – the jealous girlfriend, the dodgy business partner, the arrogant tennis player are your usual fare in suspects and not explored in-depth, but that would seem out of place. The mystery is the central point of the book, here. The one element that rings true is the Wimbledon tennis tournament where Flynn excels at bringing to life the hot days, the smell of grass and how the fervent love of tennis brings together a whole nation to enjoy this sport that is steeped in tradition. This is a delightful mystery, perfect for a summer's day with a punnet of strawberries to hand.

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