Murder on the Cliffs – Joanna Challis

Title: Murder on the Cliffs
Author: Joanna Challis
ISBN: 9780312367145
Pages: 304
Release Date: November 24, 2009
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

Murder on the Cliffs stars a young Daphne du Maurier, before her days as a famous author.  She is vacationing in Cornwall, visiting a friend of her mother, when she stumbles upon a body on a beach.  Daphne’s curiosity is piqued, even more so when she learns about the family the body is connected with, the Hartley family.  As Daphne becomes close to Lianne Hartley, she tries to uncover the truth behind the death.

Review:

Murder on the Cliffs is a wonderful gothic mystery.  Challis writes this book as a prelude to du Maurier’s hit novel Rebecca – the events in this book are supposed to be an inspiration for that one.  Challis does an excellent job in setting the scene and evoking the setting of Rebecca.  The atmosphere of Murder on the Cliffs is deliciously creepy and the historical details are well-written.

Daphne is a fresh, new heroine that readers will really root for.  She is portrayed as intelligent, resourceful, and very insightful, but never so much that it’s unbelievable for a woman of her time.  But she’s also just a girl in this book, vulnerable to emotion and flights of fancy.  She’s very well written and realistically balanced, making her a lot of fun to read about. 

The mystery in Murder on the Cliffs is incredibly well done.  A mystery that is well-crafted enough for Daphne du Maurier to star in would be very difficult to piece together, yet Joanna Challis does so expertly.  She really knows how to tantalize the reader with disparate pieces of information, yet she never makes the answer obvious or easy to figure out.  As a result, Daphne looks that much more intelligent for being able to put everything together.

Murder on the Cliffs was an amazing amount of fun to read and I can’t recommend it highly enough.  The main character is charming, the mystery is intriguing, and the setting is haunting and wonderfully creepy.  This would be a wonderful book to curl up with on a dark and stormy night, and is a must-read for anyone who loves Daphne du Maurier or Rebecca.

Comments

  1. I think I’d like this one. I have had Rebecca on my shelf for years and still haven’t read it. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  2. I think I’d like this one. I have had Rebecca on my shelf for years and still haven’t read it. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  3. I’m adding this to my “To buy” list. I loved Rebecca. Actually may have to do a quick reread soon!

  4. I’m adding this to my “To buy” list. I loved Rebecca. Actually may have to do a quick reread soon!

  5. Terrific review! You had me sold at the words “deliciously creepy” and I will now add this book to my list.

    Thanks!

  6. Terrific review! You had me sold at the words “deliciously creepy” and I will now add this book to my list.

    Thanks!

  7. Ooh, fun! Any book featuring Du Maurier as detective is definitely on my to-read list. Thanks for the review 🙂

  8. Ooh, fun! Any book featuring Du Maurier as detective is definitely on my to-read list. Thanks for the review 🙂

  9. Wonderful review, I think I will enjoy the book, it will be interesting to see a famous author through the eyes of another author..regardless of fiction!

  10. Wonderful review, I think I will enjoy the book, it will be interesting to see a famous author through the eyes of another author..regardless of fiction!

  11. I have only just discovered Daphne, but I loved Rebecca. This sounds like a great read – I’ll keep an eye out for it.

  12. I have only just discovered Daphne, but I loved Rebecca. This sounds like a great read – I’ll keep an eye out for it.

  13. This sounds wonderful, even though I’ve never read any of du Maurier’s work.

  14. This sounds wonderful, even though I’ve never read any of du Maurier’s work.

  15. I’ve never read du Maurier, but this sounds great! I like historical mystery (even if it’s only a LITTLE bit historical).

  16. I’ve never read du Maurier, but this sounds great! I like historical mystery (even if it’s only a LITTLE bit historical).

  17. Oh I am all over this one! I’ve seen a review or two already, and I added it to my list. I just read Rebecca for the first time this year, and it is on my all-time favorite books list.

  18. Oh I am all over this one! I’ve seen a review or two already, and I added it to my list. I just read Rebecca for the first time this year, and it is on my all-time favorite books list.

  19. I LOVE DuMaurier so a book with her as a character is right up my alley. The cover is beautiful and the story sounds like it will keep me turning the pages!

  20. I LOVE DuMaurier so a book with her as a character is right up my alley. The cover is beautiful and the story sounds like it will keep me turning the pages!

  21. looks so very good!

  22. looks so very good!

  23. I loved Rebecca and so this one is definitely going on the ‘must read’ list!

  24. I loved Rebecca and so this one is definitely going on the ‘must read’ list!

  25. Fantastic! I’m getting more and more into mysteries… sounds awesome.

  26. Fantastic! I’m getting more and more into mysteries… sounds awesome.

  27. Oh wow! I am a du Maurier fan and a mystery fan. This sounds like one to buy.

  28. Oh wow! I am a du Maurier fan and a mystery fan. This sounds like one to buy.

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