It’s a mostly normal Friday evening in the Rusty Bore Takeaway. Cass Tuplin’s cleaning down the grill when her glamorous sister Helen walks in, all bones in an Italian-weave suit and the kind of state that calls for the full comfort: double bacon cheeseburger with extra chips.
It’s man trouble as usual. But this time it turns out the trouble is less emotional and more fatal. Helen’s boyfriend has been pushed off the rooftop terrace of his Fitzroy apartment, and Helen’s trying not to become a person of interest. She’s also trying to retrieve something rare and valuable from Ben’s place – which is where Cass comes in.
Cass doesn’t do investigations anymore, of course, being unlicensed. And she’s not particularly keen on breaking into a crime scene, even if it’s not strictly breaking when you’ve got a key.
On the other hand, Helen is her only sister. And she has been getting Cass into trouble for more than forty years. Why stop now? But this time Helen’s little problem will drop Cass into deeper trouble than ever before.
This is Melbourne-based author Sue Williams’ fourth novel featuring unlicensed investigator, amateur sleuth Cass Tuplin. The previous three are Murder with the Lot, Dead Men Don’t Order Flake and Live and Let Fry, the titles of which pay homage to Cass’ day job working at a regional Victorian takeaway shop.
This novel really epitomises what is so popular about the cosy mystery genre; equal parts intriguing and gripping, with a solid dose of humour added to the mix. While Cass is busy trying to piece together the mystery, she’s also trying to figure out her dating life, balance her day job and stay on the right side of the law! The settings in Victoria are delightfully local and recognisable, from Bendigo to the suburbs of Melbourne. It’s just the kind of mystery I enjoy when I don’t have the stomach for disturbing or gory details.
While I recommend you start series from the beginning, Death at the Belvedere can absolutely be read as a standalone. This is a delightful cosy crime read that will appeal to fans of The Thursday Murder Club, Digging Up Dirt and Everybody in My Family Has Killed Someone.