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EDIT August 26th 2021: The following first appeared as part of my “Reading Log” series of posts, in which I gave a brief recap of my thoughts about the books I read each month. I have since changed the focus of this website to be on TV shows in particular, so while I deleted all my old “Reading Log” posts so that they would not clutter up the website, I decided to separate out and maintain those sections of the posts that pertained to books related to mystery TV shows. The following is one such brief review of a book related to a TV series.
Manuscript for Murder is a continuation of the Murder, She Wrote spin-off novel series. It is the first book to be authored entirely by Jon Land following the death of the original series author, Donald Bain.
I had only read one of these books previously, Gin & Daggers, which was the first book in the series. I hadn’t been too hooked by it [and wasn’t planning on continuing with reading through the series any time soon], but I received a free digital copy of Manuscript for Murder from the author so I thought I’d give it another try.
It was an OK continuation of the story of Jessica Fletcher, and featured other characters from the series such as Mort Metzger, Seth Hazlitt, private investigator Harry McGraw, and NYPD’s Artie Gelber. But I’ve heard from a lot of readers who are fans of the series that they weren’t very happy with this one, and I must say I agree with them.
The story centers around an unpublished manuscript that supposedly holds the secret reason for multiple people in Jessica’s life getting murdered. The book includes long excerpts/passages from this manuscript, which unfortunately just makes it seem like the author didn’t have enough material for one book so he decided to combine two books in one.
Perhaps the author is just experiencing some growing pains in taking over a new series. I received a copy of the next book in the series which I plan on reading this month, so we’ll see if there is improvement.