The Matinée Murders – Book Review

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Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Why did my life sometimes feel like I was playing the part in a perfect murder mystery?”

I always wanted to be a detective growing up. In fact, I still do! I love reading mysteries and watching documentaries about solved and unsolved mysteries, and this book definitely satisfied that craving! I’m so pleased to be a part of this blog tour and to share my views on The Matinée Murders by Jeannette de Beauvoir!

It’s time for the Provincetown International Film Festival, and wedding planner Sydney Riley has scored a coup: her inn is hosting the wedding of the year. Movie star Brett Falcone is to marry screenwriter Justin Braden, and even Sydney’s eternally critical mother is excited. The town is overflowing with filmmakers, film reviewers, film buffs, and it’s all the inn can do to keep up with the influx of glamorous celebrities and host their star-studded events.
 
But when Sydney opens a forbidden door in the mysterious Whaler’s Wharf, she discovers the body of a producer—and a legion of unanswered questions. Who strangled the innocuous Caroline Cooper? What dark force followed Brett and Justin from LA? Why is her boss Mike tense and double-checking every room at the inn? And is Mirela really leaving P’town forever? Sydney and her boyfriend Ali need to find the answers fast before another victim takes a final bow.

The beginning

Straight away, I really appreciated just how diverse this book was. We meet characters of different ethnicities and openly gay characters, and it was portrayed in such a normal and positive light which was so refreshing. It’s something that isn’t included so openly in books I’ve read before, so this immediately gave the book extra points from me! We learn of a solid relationship between two important characters in the book, Sydney and her boss, Mike, who seemed to have a lot of back and forth banter. Even though they tease each other at times, you can tell their relationship is strong and that they’d do anything to help each other out. I enjoyed learning about their professions and how they carried out their work, and I was particularly looking forward to hearing more about the Provincetown International Film Festival, where world renowned film star, Brett Falcone would be making an appearance.

The author’s attention to detail was brilliant – we’re soon introduced to Whaler’s Wharf and its interesting history, as well as a handful of other characters who would soon be significant to the story. We learn of Sydney’s loving relationship with Ali, and at this point in the book, everything was going to plan. The wedding of top actor, Brett, was being organised by Sydney herself, and it was interesting to learn about the preparation stage and the lead up to the big day. I had a feeling that all this nice, happy news in the story would be short lived however, and, in true mystery fashion, I could sense that Sydney and Ali’s trip to Whaler’s Wharf would give them more than they bargained for. The opening to the book was strong and really enjoyable, and it was easy to get involved in the hustle and bustle of festival preparations. A great start to the story!

Sydney soon finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time after such an awful, unexpected discovery in an unlikely place. I hoped, with things looking a little suspicious, that people wouldn’t jump to conclusions and blame her for this incident! I liked how the author had built up a friendly, positive atmosphere in the beginning of the book, but then brings in the discovery that turns things upside down quickly. An unexpected event for the characters of the book and something which will certainly change the course of events over the next few days! I thought Sydney’s character was so well put together and I also liked Brett too – would the events of one certain evening change Sydney’s professional and personal relationships with some important people? Would people believe she had nothing to do with this?

“I don’t care who you are, life is a struggle. It’s how you perceive those struggles. It’s what you do with those struggles. That’s what says who you are.”

The author has done a really impressive job when portraying Sydney and Mike’s friendship. Their bond is strong and even with Mike’s ex-husband making an appearance, Sydney is there for him though everything life throws their way, which I found particularly heartwarming. I loved the side stories in the book, and even though there are still a ton of unanswered questions about about the bathroom murder, I felt these side stories really complemented the main story, and there was always something going on. Even though the book primarily focuses on a murder, it felt unusually light to start with, which I actually enjoyed! I found this murder mystery so different from others – it was very enjoyable so far, and I was curious to see how the author would approach the mystery solving elements!

The middle

Sydney has a lot on her plate – arguing with her partner, her best friend leaving town and the questions surrounding that deceased woman in the bathroom, not to mention the stresses of her day job! She finds herself thinking more about what happened that night and who held the key to the solving of this mystery. The story takes a dark turn and we get some wonderful end-of-chapter cliff hangers that made things so much more exciting! I was worried that things weren’t happening quickly enough and that we wouldn’t hear about the murder as much as I’d like, but the book very quickly redeemed itself. With yet more murder and whole new mystery, as well as some new information about the bathroom murder, I was looking forward to seeing where the middle of the book would take us!

I loved the discussions between characters as they tried to solve the mystery of murder number two. With so many possibilities and allegations thrown around left, right and centre, it was difficult at this point to pin the blame on one single person. It was at this point in the book where I really kept an eye out for any unusual behaviour between characters, but the author definitely wasn’t giving anything away so early on! The book was only getting more and more exciting and it seemed as though we were seeing a new side to this author the more we got into the story. Dialogue in the book was so well done and I could almost imagine myself sitting among the group as they tried to get to the bottom of this mystery! Could the characters find the information they needed before murder number three?

Sydney plays detective (and a rather good one, too) as she tries to get to the bottom of murder number two, without brushing murder number one under the carpet. She tries to find the link between the two victims, and this even got me going through each character one by one and seeing who seemed the most guilty! I loved how the snowball got bigger as more details and characters are unveiled, and I enjoyed how Sydney and Ali worked together to try and get to the bottom of the mystery. There was a nice sprinkling of humour in the book to maintain that lightness which was a nice addition, and it doesn’t throw the reader off course. I loved the different tones and it made the story much more memorable for me. With one specific person acting out of character in the story, I was confident I had the right culprit in mind. But just how realistic was this accusation? Usually when I get these feelings, I’m nearly always wrong, but I was interested to know whether my predictions would turn out to be correct this time!

“For someone who was getting a reputation as the go-to person for murders in Provincetown, I knew woefully little about solving them.”

Whaler’s Wharf played a big part in this mystery. Why did this one place connect the two murders? As well as trying to fathom out just why this place was significant, I found the book to be quite thought-provoking at this point. We read more about family issues, friendship, and we begin to feel the loss certain characters have gone through. I was really drawn to Justin’s character at this point, and we learn more about his past and family, which made me feel sorry for him in a way. The author has really encouraged the reader to put some thought into a lot of characters, maybe to get us thinking about what’s important in life, why we should forgive and get along with one another and why we shouldn’t take the people we love for granted. I’ll have to stop, I can feel a tear coming to my eye! The ending for the book was looming and I couldn’t wait to find out who the person behind these murders was – I had a feeling we’d be in for a surprise.

The end

We get further details about what could have happened on the nights of the murders and I loved how much detail the author has gone into. We hear of so many possibilities which made me completely rethink my strategy! It’s funny – I actually love to be proved wrong in a mystery book and I love the feeling of new information that could potentially change the whole outcome of a story. The author has perfected this in a way that so many readers will appreciate, and this made me so excited for the big reveal more than ever! Sydney has been an absolutely wonderful character throughout the whole book and I really admire her determination to find out what happened in these incidents. Would she find the culprit? The longer it took to find the person responsible, the more worried I became for another murder!

There was one certain part of the book which really pulled at those heart strings. A character who has been largely affected by one of the murders speaks out in front of the crowd, and speaks directly from the heart. The author couldn’t have done a better job here, and I was close to being a complete sobbing mess! The words from this character were so heartfelt and powerful, and it made me want to get to the bottom of this mystery more than ever, but his words affected much more than just my own emotions. Excitement was mounting and Sydney steps up once again to play detective and hero. With both myself and Sydney hoping and praying that one particular character was the killer, it was crucial that we found out more information and evidence that could prove something. I was desperate for answers!

As things begin to heat up even more, I had a feeling Sydney was really onto something. There were so many questions in my mind as more characters are pulled into the mix and I liked how the characters drew their conclusions. The ending few chapters were quickly approaching and I was well aware we hadn’t got to the bottom of these murders yet! It got me thinking about how the author would end the book and whether we’d even get the answers we need in this book. The author has continued to keep the readers guessing all the way through, drawing up conclusions and getting to know each character well to make their own theories on what happened. I was curious to see just how the author had chosen to end the book, and whether much would be left to our imaginations.

“Who hates you so much they’d set you up for murder?”

The ending of the book gave me quite the shock! Sydney finds herself in a bit of a predicament, and I really didn’t know how she’d get out of this one. There were so many different ways for the story to go at this point at I couldn’t settle on one! The author has got the perfect balance of dark horror and emotion, and I really liked how the final chapter played out. The book well and truly proved my theory wrong which I did love, and provided a great, powerful ending that the reader can continue to mull over for weeks! I must also mention the author’s acknowledgements in the book (which I never do) just because they brought everything to life even more! A great story and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more by this author!

Overall thoughts

As murder mysteries go, this one was an absolute delight! Can I use that word for a story about murder?! I’ve really enjoyed following Sydney’s journey as she plays detective and hero in this addictive story. Each and every character had such a quirky personality and I loved the mystery solving elements from start to end. This book is #6 in the Provincetown series, but can be read as a standalone. I’ll definitely be checking out the other books in the series after this!

A huge thanks to the author, Jeannette de Beauvoir, and Emma at Damp Pebbles for a copy of the book to review and for my place on the blog tour! You can purchase your own copy of The Matinée Murders on Amazon, available on Kindle and paperback. Make sure you’re following the author over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates!

Want your own book review?

If you enjoyed reading this review and would like one for your own book, get in touch! Find all the details on my book reviews page.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. damppebbles says:

    Thanks so much ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Em says:

      You’re welcome! 😊❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    2. So fantastic, Em! Thank you so much for reading (and liking!) the book!

      Like

  2. So fantastic, Em! Thank you so much for reading (and liking!) the book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Em says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed my review, Jeannette! Looking forward to reading more from you 😊

      Like

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