If, like me, you just want to get on with the story, then there's a tangled web of relationships and past dark secrets to sort out in tracking down a series of murders that are accompanied by jigsaw puzzle pieces as clues. The murderer has devised these hints for the crossword-setting main character, Edie. The murder mystery itself is satisfying, and Benedict manages the build of clues and red herrings well. But I did have two problems.
The lesser one is that Benedict's writing style can be a little uneven. There are some over-baked similes (think 'tree branches reached for them like the bony hands of hair-ruffling aunts'), while things can get a little clunky - for example the opening page of chapter 10 where we get five paragraphs in a row that start with either 'Sean' or 'Liam' making it distinctly 'tell' rather than 'show'. The bigger one is Edie.
We've had something of a flood of late, thanks in part to the success of Richard Osman's books, of murder mysteries where the detectives are infuriating but somehow loveable older characters. Stretching the imagination more than a little, these amateur sleuths manage to get to the solution before or with the police. Edie also sets out to find the culprit - but there is nothing loveable about this octogenarian - she is awful. What's more, at least the Thursday Murder Club work with the police, even if they sometimes hold things back a while. Here Edie's great nephew/stepson is a police inspector, yet she withholds vital evidence, resulting in dire outcomes that would have any real person locked away.
Edie seems based on the idea that if you are a 'character' you can get away with anything - but she was so unlikable it partially spoiled the book for me - I'm sure you can draw a parallel with Scrooge, but I don't like Christmas Carol much either. Plenty of good stuff going on here, but it's not a book I can wholeheartedly recommend.
One weird addendum - the Amazon.com page for this book describes totally different characters, which is, to say the least, odd.