Review | A K Benedict | The Beauty of Murder

 

The Beauty of Murder

A K Benedict

Orion Books (pp 392)

You’ll have to bear with me because I’ve never reviewed a crime novel before and The Beauty of Murder by AK Benedict is quite a doozy to kick off with.

First of all, let’s look at the story: Stephen Killigan is a new Junior Fellow at Cambridge University. He stumbles upon a woman’s body in a churchyard, but when he reports it to the police, the body is nowhere to be found. He soon finds himself caught up in a game of cat and mouse with a manipulative killer that sees him learn to travel back to the Cambridge of the 1700s and desperately try to untangle a web of contemporary and ancient murders.

The main character, Stephen is an unusual kind of guy – not your typical university lecturer – Northern for a start! He’s got tattoos and likes to tinker and fix things. From the outset we are rooting for this ‘outsider’ to the rarefied air of Cambridge: He’s smart, he’s possessed of a warped sense of humour, keeps his friends close by him and clearly tries to do the right thing. Inititally I wondered why he was a Philosophy lecturer; would it make the whole book too high-brow? But when the time travel sets in, we really do need someone whom we can truly believe is mentally dextrous enough to able to cope with a changed reality, not throw themselves screaming from the top of a dreaming spire. Good call.

The tone of the book shifts as frequently as Killgan changes centuries, but not to its detriment. As a reader it kept me on my toes – a thrilling bit, a macabre bit, a really sad bit and POW! A really funny bit. All stitched together beautifully.

I totally buy into the fact that time travel is possible for Stephen and the rules of it as they unfold through the book (eg – you can’t change what happens by going back). The only time when the plot wobbled for me were the REASONS for the murders. Even now, I’m not entirely convinced I understand it, but, oddly it hasn’t detracted from my enjoyment of the book one whit. Maybe because the reasons for murder are often hidden from us and we are more interested in the catching of the killer, than the why of the killing?

There are paragraphs and sentences in this book that stopped me in my tracks and I wish I’d stuck little post-it notes to the sections so that I could find them again for this review. Here’s one, found at random:

‘I’ve been thinking of finding an artist,’ I say.

He looks at me and places his head to one side. His forehead contracts like bacon strips frying.

Ooooh – I love that last sentence because you know exactly what his forhead is doing AND, because the guy is a butcher, it’s even more appropriate. Love it!

Or this:

‘The University Library looms over the Cam like a silent-movie villain.  There’s also the whiff of a crematorium about the dark brick tower in the centre; as I walk up the steps I expect it to puff out the ashes of books and brains, laughing maniacally.’

For me, that’s delicious to read.

There is a glorious cast of vivid characters to support the story, my two favourites being a couple of the women in the book – the eccentric Iris (think of the poem When I am Old I will wear Purple, by Jenny Joseph) and the dedicated cop and devourer of biscuits, DI Jane Horne. Great pen portraits of characters that I wanted to know more about.

Despite still being a bit wobbly on the reasons for the murders, I found The Beauty of Murder very satisfying. I was, at one point, reading it at 3am, slightly out of my tree on cough medicine – but I couldn’t stop reading!

At the end of the book, all the queries that I had were answered very satisfactorily and the loose ends neatly tied up and squared away … and  A K  sets everything up for the next book. Oh yes, there are another six of these adventures in AK’s head!

I can’t wait for the next one!

What do you think of The Beauty of Murder? Who were your favourite characters? What were your favourite parts of the book? Looking forward to the next in the series?

Tell me everything …..

The Beauty of Murder by A K Benedict is available from Print Point and Rothesay Library.

Bute Museum’s Marvellous Artefacts

Bute Museum have risen to the challenge and managed to create 16 excellent images based on the titles of our Bute Noir 2017 authors!

  • Luca Veste
    Luca Veste

Sold Out Events!

Only 2 weeks to go and we have just SOLD OUT 2 MORE EVENTS!

‘The Men Behind the Mic’ on Saturday 5th August and ‘Femmes Fatales’ on Sunday 6th August are now fully booked.

You can still purchase tickets for the remaining events by calling 01700503389 or by popping into Print Point and Rothesay Library, only £4 each.

The Slice Girls!

The Slice Girls are making their first Bute Noir appearance this year and we can’t wait!

Alexandra Sokoloff was one of several highlights in 2016 and is returning alongside four of her friends to talk about women in crime, them as writers and also how crime novels treat women. Their event on Saturday at Bute Museum will appeal to everyone including teen girls.  It will be aspirational and will discuss how society treats women and how they can fight back!

The girls will also be appearing at individual events over the weekend and will even be treating those of you going to ‘A Question of Court’ Quiz at Bute Museum on Saturday night to a song or two thereafter, accompanied by Doug Johnstone on guitar and Luca Veste on guitar/vocals, this has not to be missed!

Those of you familiar with Bloody Scotland may have read about Luca and his Britney Spears performance last year…..

Tickets only £4 and available by calling 01700503389.

Louise Voss for Bute Noir line up change

We’re unfortunately having to make a change to the line-up for Bute Noir 2017. Sadly, Denzil Meyrick has been forced to pull out due to ill-health. We know how much he’d been looking forward to being part of the festival and everyone at Bute Noir wishes him a full and speedy recovery.

The good news is that we’ve added the fabulous Louise Voss to our line-up. Louise is the author of 12 novels, seven of them in a hugely successful collaboration with Mark Edwards plus five gripping psychological thrillers of her own.

Louise is a member of the sensational Slice Girls and will be joining their event in Bute Museum at 1.30 on Saturday August 5. She will also fill-in for Denzil, appearing with Lin Anderson in Rothesay Library at 7.30 the same day.

Denzil’s spot on Know Your Place in Bute Museum at 3.30 on Sunday August 6, will be taken by Luca Veste. He’ll talk about how he creates that vital sense of place in novels, alongside Doug Johnstone and Craig Robertson.

Luca Veste | Steve Cavanagh | Two Crime Writers and a Microphone

Did you know that Luca Veste and Steve Cavanagh, who are appearing at Bute Noir this year, are also known as Two Crime Writers and a Microphone?

Check out their podcast then come and see them at various events throughout our Crime Writing Festival including “The Men Behind The Mic” at Print Point on Saturday 5th August.   Tickets available by telephone on 01700503389, £4 each.

 

 

 

Bute Noir 2017 | Programme of Events

We are delighted to announce the line up for this year’s Bute Noir!
This year we have 16 AMAZING authors for you to meet:

 

Lin Anderson
AK Benedict
Steph Broadribb
Steve Cavanagh
Mason Cross
Myra Duffy
Alex Gray
SJI Holliday
Doug Johnstone
Denise Mina
Denzil Meyrick
Caro Ramsay
Craig Robertson
Alexandra Sokoloff
Antti Tuomainen
Luca Veste

click here to download our Bute Noir 2017 programme

To buy tickets, please email butenoir@hotmail.com

Christopher Brookmyre | Want You Gone | Rothesay Library

27 April 2017

7.30 – 9pm, Rothesay Library

In the week that he launches his latest novel “Want You Gone”, Chris Brookmyre will be making a welcome return to Rothesay in April for a (Pop Up) Bute Noir event at Rothesay Library! If you were lucky enough to see Chris during Bute Noir you will know how popular his events were and if you missed him then don’t miss out this time around. Tickets are £4 and available from Rothesay Library and Print Point. (Ali)

Find us over on Facebook.

 

SOLD OUT!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Interview With our Keynote

Do not miss this exclusive interview with our Keynote

Collaboratively administrate empowered markets via plug-and-play networks. Dynamically procrastinate B2C users after installed base benefits. Dramatically visualize customer directed convergence without revolutionary ROI.

Efficiently unleash cross-media information without cross-media value. Quickly maximize timely deliverables for real-time schemas. Dramatically maintain clicks-and-mortar solutions without functional solutions.

Completely synergize resource sucking relationships via premier niche markets. Professionally cultivate one-to-one customer service with robust ideas. Dynamically innovate resource-leveling customer service for state of the art customer service.

Objectively innovate empowered manufactured products whereas parallel platforms. Holisticly predominate extensible testing procedures for reliable supply chains. Dramatically engage top-line web services vis-a-vis cutting-edge deliverables.

Save the Date

We can finally announce our event! We can’t wait to see you there

Collaboratively administrate empowered markets via plug-and-play networks. Dynamically procrastinate B2C users after installed base benefits. Dramatically visualize customer directed convergence without revolutionary ROI.

Efficiently unleash cross-media information without cross-media value. Quickly maximize timely deliverables for real-time schemas. Dramatically maintain clicks-and-mortar solutions without functional solutions.

Completely synergize resource sucking relationships via premier niche markets. Professionally cultivate one-to-one customer service with robust ideas. Dynamically innovate resource-leveling customer service for state of the art customer service.

Objectively innovate empowered manufactured products whereas parallel platforms. Holisticly predominate extensible testing procedures for reliable supply chains. Dramatically engage top-line web services vis-a-vis cutting-edge deliverables.

Only 100 tickets Left!

Don’t miss the last tickets available they are going to go soon.

Collaboratively administrate empowered markets via plug-and-play networks. Dynamically procrastinate B2C users after installed base benefits. Dramatically visualize customer directed convergence without revolutionary ROI.

Efficiently unleash cross-media information without cross-media value. Quickly maximize timely deliverables for real-time schemas. Dramatically maintain clicks-and-mortar solutions without functional solutions.

Completely synergize resource sucking relationships via premier niche markets. Professionally cultivate one-to-one customer service with robust ideas. Dynamically innovate resource-leveling customer service for state of the art customer service.

Objectively innovate empowered manufactured products whereas parallel platforms. Holisticly predominate extensible testing procedures for reliable supply chains. Dramatically engage top-line web services vis-a-vis cutting-edge deliverables.

How To Find Our Venue

Here are the directions to find our great venue!

Collaboratively administrate empowered markets via plug-and-play networks. Dynamically procrastinate B2C users after installed base benefits. Dramatically visualize customer directed convergence without revolutionary ROI.

Efficiently unleash cross-media information without cross-media value. Quickly maximize timely deliverables for real-time schemas. Dramatically maintain clicks-and-mortar solutions without functional solutions.

Completely synergize resource sucking relationships via premier niche markets. Professionally cultivate one-to-one customer service with robust ideas. Dynamically innovate resource-leveling customer service for state of the art customer service.

Objectively innovate empowered manufactured products whereas parallel platforms. Holisticly predominate extensible testing procedures for reliable supply chains. Dramatically engage top-line web services vis-a-vis cutting-edge deliverables.

New Speakers Announced

We are delighted to announce great speakers to our event!

This is an international lineup!

Collaboratively administrate empowered markets via plug-and-play networks. Dynamically procrastinate B2C users after installed base benefits. Dramatically visualize customer directed convergence without revolutionary ROI.

Efficiently unleash cross-media information without cross-media value. Quickly maximize timely deliverables for real-time schemas. Dramatically maintain clicks-and-mortar solutions without functional solutions.

Completely synergize resource sucking relationships via premier niche markets. Professionally cultivate one-to-one customer service with robust ideas. Dynamically innovate resource-leveling customer service for state of the art customer service.

Objectively innovate empowered manufactured products whereas parallel platforms. Holisticly predominate extensible testing procedures for reliable supply chains. Dramatically engage top-line web services vis-a-vis cutting-edge deliverables.dd