Jude Deveraux Turns to a Life of Crime with ‘A Willing Murder’ [REVIEW]

Poinsietta tree
Two bodies are found beneath a beautiful old tree in Jude Deveraux’s A Willing Murder. (Photo courtesy Canva)

When a retired romance novelist, a handsome contractor, and a young realtor move into a sprawling old mansion together, things are destined to get interesting. But when the three of them stumble across the remains of two bodies under a fallen tree, they begin to unravel a decades old mystery that someone doesn’t want them to solve. Will they be able to find the killer before one of them becomes the next victim to bite the dust? Find out in Jude Deveraux’s first whodunnit, A Willing Murder.

Jude Deveraux's A WILLING MURDER
Mira Books

When you compare fictional romance novelist Sara Medlar to real life romance novelist Jude Deveraux (Meant to Be), it is obvious there is more than just a little autobiographical detail being sprinkled into this story.

First of all, both women have a faithful following as romance writers. Also, they both live in Florida, love photography, are skilled boxers, and drive Mini Coopers. So, Jude has plenty of fodder from her own life to draw on when writing this series.

Now I have no idea if Deveraux has a hunky contractor and a niece living with her, so this may be where fiction diverges from fact. Yet Jude has always had an excellent imagination, and she puts it to good use here.

As the three roommates begin to dig up old secrets and investigate the local town folk’s ties to the deceased, the sleuthing trio inches closer to the unimaginable truth. But uncovering a criminal’s motives is more difficult than it seems, especially when there are so many potential suspects on hand the story begins to rival anything Agatha Christie wrote.

A Willing Murder may seem like a departure for longtime Deveraux fans who devoured her historical novels for years. But all the stylistic elements that won her millions of readers are still here, particularly her authentic, engaging characters and her ear for rich dialogue and hilarious banter.

Also, Deveraux isn’t the first romance novelist to turn to a life of crime. Just think of Iris Johansen, Sandra Brown, Catherine Coulter, and others who have successfully transitioned into writing absorbing, bestselling suspense fiction. Jude, on the other hand, has moved more into cozy mystery territory with this series rather than romantic suspense, yet it works surprisingly well and is just as addictive.

A Willing Murder is captivating and utterly charming. Medlar, her niece Kate, and their dashing friend Jackson are three characters who steal our imaginations and run away with our hearts. This series is compulsively readable and totally addictive. I predict that once you read this first installment, you’ll want to have the sequel close at hand. Happy reading!

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Jude Deveraux is the author of 43 New York Times bestsellers, including Sweet Liar, the Nantucket series and A Knight in Shining Armor.

She was honored with an RT Book Reviews Pioneer Award in 2013 for her distinguished career. To date, there are more than 60 million copies of her books in print worldwide.

When she’s not writing, she loves to travel the world and photograph her adventures. When she’s back in the States, she lives in South Florida in a house filled with art from around the world.

To learn more, visit JudeDeveraux.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

By Jude Deveraux
336 pp. Mira Books. $26.99

Jude Deveraux
Jude Deveraux (Photo courtesy Deborah Feingold)

Purchase A Willing Murder direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Harlequin, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell’s, Target, or Walmart.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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