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Murder is a Tricky Business

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A television actress is missing, and DCI Isaac Cook, the Senior Investigation Officer of the Murder Investigation Team at Challis Street Police Station in London, is searching for her. Why has he been taken away from more important crimes to search for the woman? It’s not the first time she’s gone missing, and why does everyone assume she’s been murdered? There’s a secre A television actress is missing, and DCI Isaac Cook, the Senior Investigation Officer of the Murder Investigation Team at Challis Street Police Station in London, is searching for her. Why has he been taken away from more important crimes to search for the woman? It’s not the first time she’s gone missing, and why does everyone assume she’s been murdered? There’s a secret, that much is certain, but who knows? The missing woman? The executive producer, his eavesdropping assistant? Or the actor who portrayed her fictional brother on the Soap Opera?


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A television actress is missing, and DCI Isaac Cook, the Senior Investigation Officer of the Murder Investigation Team at Challis Street Police Station in London, is searching for her. Why has he been taken away from more important crimes to search for the woman? It’s not the first time she’s gone missing, and why does everyone assume she’s been murdered? There’s a secre A television actress is missing, and DCI Isaac Cook, the Senior Investigation Officer of the Murder Investigation Team at Challis Street Police Station in London, is searching for her. Why has he been taken away from more important crimes to search for the woman? It’s not the first time she’s gone missing, and why does everyone assume she’s been murdered? There’s a secret, that much is certain, but who knows? The missing woman? The executive producer, his eavesdropping assistant? Or the actor who portrayed her fictional brother on the Soap Opera?

30 review for Murder is a Tricky Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Sooooo ..... after being locked out of my Kindle app I've decided to have a bit of a clean up in my various "Books Read" lists. First cabs off the rank are my DNF pile. If I DNF'd it and have absolutely NO intention of reading it again, I'm changing my rating to 1 🌟 and deleting it off my Kindle. Life is too short at my age for crappy books!! Original Review: I received a copy of this novel for free from the author via a giveaway. I have voluntarily chosen to review the book, and the gifting in n Sooooo ..... after being locked out of my Kindle app I've decided to have a bit of a clean up in my various "Books Read" lists. First cabs off the rank are my DNF pile. If I DNF'd it and have absolutely NO intention of reading it again, I'm changing my rating to 1 🌟 and deleting it off my Kindle. Life is too short at my age for crappy books!! Original Review: I received a copy of this novel for free from the author via a giveaway. I have voluntarily chosen to review the book, and the gifting in no way determines my review/rating, which reflects my honest opinion. According to previous reviews on Goodreads, this novel is either loved or loathed. Unfortunately I have fallen into the "didn't like" category, so this book was a DNF for me at 18%. The novel was well written but for some reason I just didn't "click" with the author's writing style and to be honest I found little to like with the two main characters, DCI Cook and DI Ahmed. It's hard to enjoy a story when you just don't feel invested in the characters. ** As an aside, I was quite peeved by the author's relentless hounding by email for a review in exchange for the free book. In fact the only information I received for being on the author's reading list was a constant bombardment of spam for the author's other books and a "gentle reminder" to provide a review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anne Hill

    Not enjoyable The book is disjointed, at times the storyline makes zero sense. The ending could have come 50 pages earlier on, as the last 50 pages were nonsense.

  3. 4 out of 5

    John Bastin

    I haven’t read this author before, I decided to go ahead and take a look. It’s not bad, it’s just not much. The story is interesting, but the writing didn’t seem to really bring out its nuances in a way that made them interesting. The writing just seemed kinda loose and aimless as the tale progressed. At the end f the book, I just really didn’t much care about the outcome.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ted Tayler

    " A refreshing change" This murder mystery is a departure from the subject matter of the author's other works that I've read and reviewed. The writing is still of a high standard. The detective on the case, Isaac Cook, moves things along at a steady pace and the resolution is satisfying. I loved the attention to detail, and several of the supporting characters had 'something about them' to lift them above the stereotypical. All in all, I found this to be an enjoyable read. " A refreshing change" This murder mystery is a departure from the subject matter of the author's other works that I've read and reviewed. The writing is still of a high standard. The detective on the case, Isaac Cook, moves things along at a steady pace and the resolution is satisfying. I loved the attention to detail, and several of the supporting characters had 'something about them' to lift them above the stereotypical. All in all, I found this to be an enjoyable read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tony Parsons

    London, England. DCI Isaac Cook (Challis St. PD Murder Investigation Team), DI Mohammad Farhan Ahmed (Challis St. PD Murder Investigation Team), & Detective Superintendent Richard Goddard were discussing similarities of a TV sitcom & real-life murders. On the soap opera series Billy Blythe (aka Charles Sutherland actor) was clubbed to death in a playground by 3 youths. Marjorie Frobisher (actress, Richard’s ex-lover, aka Edith Blythe, Billy’s elder sister, church organist, former school headmistr London, England. DCI Isaac Cook (Challis St. PD Murder Investigation Team), DI Mohammad Farhan Ahmed (Challis St. PD Murder Investigation Team), & Detective Superintendent Richard Goddard were discussing similarities of a TV sitcom & real-life murders. On the soap opera series Billy Blythe (aka Charles Sutherland actor) was clubbed to death in a playground by 3 youths. Marjorie Frobisher (actress, Richard’s ex-lover, aka Edith Blythe, Billy’s elder sister, church organist, former school headmistress), was murdered & Ted Entwhistle (butcher) disappeared. DCI Cook went to interview Jessica “Jess” O’Neill (35+, series producer). DI Ahmed (Muslim) went to interview Robert Avers (Marjorie’s husband). Next on DI Ahmed list; Barbara Reid (Rosemary’s PA, conservative Muslim) & Rosemary Fairweather (55+, Marjorie’s agent). Detective Superintendent Goddard went to interview Angus MacTavish (Scottish, Prime Ministerial Cabinet). Michael Wrightson (brother-in-law, Solicitor, Wrightson, Loftus & Evans) was present when DI Ahmed was interrogating Jess (Richard’s lover). Savoy Hotel (Malvern, Worcestershire). Constable Wendy Gladstone was helping out with the so-called murder investigation also. Her next interview was with Christy Marigold Nichols (freelance writer). Richard Williams, was present along with Quinton Scott (Queen’s Counsel, Scott, Scott & Fairlight) for the integration with DCI Cook & DI Ahmed. 14 Crane Grove. DI Larry Hill (Islington PD) called DI Ahmed, & DCI Cook, Sally Jenkins (escort, Richard’s lover) had been murdered. Press conference. Charles Sutherland was officially confirmed as being poisoned to death. Will the murder mysteries get solved & someone brought to justice? What about Canary Wharf? Warning: This book contains extremely graphic adult content, violence, or expletive language &/or uncensored sexually explicit material which is only suitable for mature readers. It may be offensive or have potential adverse psychological effects on the reader. I did not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers & authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review, only an honest one. All thoughts & opinions are entirely my own. A very awesome book cover, & great font/writing style. A very well written who-dunnit murder mystery book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great murder mystery movie, or better yet a mini TV series. A very easy rating of 5 stars. Thank you for the Instafreebie; Author; PDF book Tony Parsons (Washburn)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Charles Ray

    Why is the senior detective of the murder squad being assigned to the case of a missing soap opera actress, especially when she has a history of occasionally ‘disappearing?’ DCI Isaac Cook and his partner, DI Farhan Ahmed, are intrigued. Someone high up in the government has an interest in the case, but they have no need to know—or, so they’re told, but the assumption is that she’s been murdered. “Murder is a tricky business,” Cook tells his partner, “When you have no body, no suspects, and no m Why is the senior detective of the murder squad being assigned to the case of a missing soap opera actress, especially when she has a history of occasionally ‘disappearing?’ DCI Isaac Cook and his partner, DI Farhan Ahmed, are intrigued. Someone high up in the government has an interest in the case, but they have no need to know—or, so they’re told, but the assumption is that she’s been murdered. “Murder is a tricky business,” Cook tells his partner, “When you have no body, no suspects, and no motive.” When more bodies start turning up, though, it gets even trickier. Murder is a Tricky Business by Phillip Strang follows Cook and Ahmed as they doggedly pursue clues, to one dead end after another. All the while, powerful people are pulling strings to keep them in the dark, and becoming dangerous when they start getting close to the truth. The missing actress has a secret, a secret that threatens someone powerful, and people are dying to keep that secret hidden. The action moves rapidly in some chapters, but when the author digresses to give back story on a character, primarily Cook and Ahmed, it slows down almost to the point of distraction. While some of these distractions offer tantalizing clues to the mystery, others simply tell us about the things the character fears, having little of nothing to do with the murders they must solve. The book would have been just as interesting without them, or if they’d been shortened considerably. I must confess that I skipped a lot of these flashbacks, skimming until the author came back to the present and the case at hand. I enjoyed the story, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if there’d been fewer Cook/Ahmed flashbacks. I received an advance reader copy of this book. It is a five-star concept, but I can only give it three and a half for execution.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Donadee's Corner

    Phillip Strang - DCI Cook Thriller Series Bk 1 - Murder Is A Tricky Business - Reviewed - 4/7/19 Murder, film stars, sex, and much more leads to lots of mystery! There’s a secret, that much is certain, but who knows? The missing actress? The executive producer, his eavesdropping assistant? Or the actor who portrayed her fictional brother on the Soap Opera? DCI Isaac Cook of the Murder Investigation Team at Challis Street Police Station in London is searching for the missing woman. Why has he been Phillip Strang - DCI Cook Thriller Series Bk 1 - Murder Is A Tricky Business - Reviewed - 4/7/19 Murder, film stars, sex, and much more leads to lots of mystery! There’s a secret, that much is certain, but who knows? The missing actress? The executive producer, his eavesdropping assistant? Or the actor who portrayed her fictional brother on the Soap Opera? DCI Isaac Cook of the Murder Investigation Team at Challis Street Police Station in London is searching for the missing woman. Why has he been taken away from more important crimes to search for the woman? It’s not the first time she’s gone missing, and why does everyone assume she’s been murdered? What did I like? This is one of my favorite genres and I have read all of the books now in this series. I love the lead character of DCI Cook. A very strong and viral man that knows how to treat life and women. What will you like? Well written and strong characters. Storylines that are developed and grow with every page. Details and descriptions that keep you in the middle of the action. Twists and turns that will lead to whiplash as you quickly turn the pages. Wonderful start to this series and believe me this is just the beginning to more great reads. I borrowed this from Kindle Unlimited.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    I've read his later books which were better. I love a detailed crime book. It makes you feel part of the investigation. This is the first book of the DCI Cook series. This book however, to me ,had too many details where it felt dragged down. It could have done with a better editor. The story centers around a soap actress's disappearance and a secret she holds. Someone high in the government wants her found. With no body and no clues Cook goes about trying to find her. Soon the few who knew her s I've read his later books which were better. I love a detailed crime book. It makes you feel part of the investigation. This is the first book of the DCI Cook series. This book however, to me ,had too many details where it felt dragged down. It could have done with a better editor. The story centers around a soap actress's disappearance and a secret she holds. Someone high in the government wants her found. With no body and no clues Cook goes about trying to find her. Soon the few who knew her secret start turning up dead. It was a good book. I just wish the shocking secret and end could have been expanded on more. The whole book you are left wondering what her secret is and why it's putting her life in danger. Then BAM! It's all revealed in the last page! I would have been curious to see how the "secret" actually effected those directly involved in it. Overall I would recommend this book. I think I've found my new favorite author. I like his writing style and for a first book it was really good

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary

    Murder is a Tricky Business - a review by Rosemary Kenny Detective Inspector Farhan Ahmed and his boss, Detective Chief Inspector Isaac Cook are called in to investigate a murder that seems to be the copy-cat one of a killing done on a popular daytime soap opera in this fast-paced murder mystery by Phillip Strang. Who is Marjorie Fontaine's soap character? What has happened to her soap 'brother' in real life? How does he feel about this - and who does he blame? Where is Detective Superintendant Go Murder is a Tricky Business - a review by Rosemary Kenny Detective Inspector Farhan Ahmed and his boss, Detective Chief Inspector Isaac Cook are called in to investigate a murder that seems to be the copy-cat one of a killing done on a popular daytime soap opera in this fast-paced murder mystery by Phillip Strang. Who is Marjorie Fontaine's soap character? What has happened to her soap 'brother' in real life? How does he feel about this - and who does he blame? Where is Detective Superintendant Goddard based? What does Farhan discuss with him? How does Ms Fontaine's husband react to her disappearance? Who is the father of Marjorie Fontaine's illegitimate son? What is Richard Williams' involvement in the case? As the suspect count rises as fast as the number of people who had cause to dislike or even hate Ms Fontaine, can Farhan and Isaac solve the mystery of whether she's alive or dead and if the downfall of the (Election year) Government is imminent - or if it's all just a publicity stunt that's got out of control - you'll have to buy a copy to find out!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Silk

    "Crime Case Turns Into A Hornets Nest" In this first book of the series, Isaac Cook is the Senior Investigation Officer of the Murder Investigation Team in London. He's been busy on other more important cases but he's now been assigned to find a missing television soap opera actress. He's not too excited, but there are secrets which involve the producer, the assistant, and the actor who portrays her brother on the show. There are also some rumors floating around implying Marjorie Frobisher may ha "Crime Case Turns Into A Hornets Nest" In this first book of the series, Isaac Cook is the Senior Investigation Officer of the Murder Investigation Team in London. He's been busy on other more important cases but he's now been assigned to find a missing television soap opera actress. He's not too excited, but there are secrets which involve the producer, the assistant, and the actor who portrays her brother on the show. There are also some rumors floating around implying Marjorie Frobisher may have been murdered. Isaac and his partner, Investigator Farhan Ahmed have a hard task ahead of them. An intriguing story which I really enjoyed. I'll be reading the rest of the books in the series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    This was a decent book but not the best one I have read. An actress who is a regular on one of Britian's most loved soap operas has disappeared. The police aren't sure if she is dead or alive but they begin to search for her. Then the bodies begin to pile up and DCI Isaac Cook and his partner, DI Farhan Ahmed get the job of finding the culprit. It seems that the woman, Marjorie Frobisher, has secrets that may create havoc in the parliamentary government and some people hope she is dead. This was This was a decent book but not the best one I have read. An actress who is a regular on one of Britian's most loved soap operas has disappeared. The police aren't sure if she is dead or alive but they begin to search for her. Then the bodies begin to pile up and DCI Isaac Cook and his partner, DI Farhan Ahmed get the job of finding the culprit. It seems that the woman, Marjorie Frobisher, has secrets that may create havoc in the parliamentary government and some people hope she is dead. This was an OK book but I didn't care for the way the author kept harping on the "you don't need to know" way of hiding facts. The ending was rather less than exciting. The characters were well written but the detectives don't need to sleep with every woman they meet do they?

  12. 4 out of 5

    DAVID

    Absolutely appalling - when you read the phrase "PIN number" you should stop reading: it is a PIN- Personal Identification Number- get it- not a PIN number. When authors are so careless you should take the hint. Fortunately, the book was set in mainly in London so perhaps the women there are a bit more liberated and fall into bed with the dusky charms of the two main detectives who considering their respective ranks seem to have very little in the way of support staff. The plot is plain stupid a Absolutely appalling - when you read the phrase "PIN number" you should stop reading: it is a PIN- Personal Identification Number- get it- not a PIN number. When authors are so careless you should take the hint. Fortunately, the book was set in mainly in London so perhaps the women there are a bit more liberated and fall into bed with the dusky charms of the two main detectives who considering their respective ranks seem to have very little in the way of support staff. The plot is plain stupid and at least towards the end of the book the author must have realized it was garbage and rounded the whole load of cobblers off in a totally unsatisfactory manner. Even in lockdown you can find something better to do with your time.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ann Cheetham

    Sex, expenses and careers in the police force Sex hungry policemen on the look out for pretty witnesses for one night stands. A police constable who likes to extract the max from the police credit card and a career minded boss. An unlikely quartet. But I enjoyed the read and will move on to the next in the series to follow Isaac and his DI on the quest for the sexiest woman they can find !!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Margo James

    I really like the DCI Cook series, but I started with a much later book. This one was very hard to get into, and was slow to get my attention, but because I had read other books in this series I stuck with it because I knew DCI Cook would come through in the end. Not a very satisfying story. Truthfully, if this would have been the first book I read, it would also have been my last. So glad the books get better. Try again before you give up.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kerry Smith

    A very enjoyable read. Follow DCI Cook and his partner as they sort through the increasingly convoluted evidence of a missing person case and a couple of murders that seem somehow connected...even if only tangentially. With good characterisation and pace this story is well worth being on your to read soon pile. I am certainly interested in any following stories.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    I enjoyed this book a lot! It kept me entertained the entire time I was reading it! I enjoyed the main characters personalities. I loved the twists and turns of the story. The plot was a good one. I was glad to have read it and would recommend it to those who love a great thriller mystery novel! I read it in one sitting!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    This was one of those books where I found myself thinking, “It feels like I’ve been reading forever. I must be close to the end.” only to find I wasn’t even a third of the way through. This book just never really went any where. And then the ending just drove that point home. I won’t be reading the others in this series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Complicated take of a slap actress who goes missing, to the delight of several people including her husband and children. There's a secret that only a few know and they're being killed or threatened to be killed to keep it. Someone high up in the government is involved. This book had a lot of twists. Try and keep up! I give it 3 1/2 stars. Complicated take of a slap actress who goes missing, to the delight of several people including her husband and children. There's a secret that only a few know and they're being killed or threatened to be killed to keep it. Someone high up in the government is involved. This book had a lot of twists. Try and keep up! I give it 3 1/2 stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Liza

    I just found it a bit much that the two lead cops spent so much time fantasising about the female suspects (and/or sleeping with them) while being aware that they shouldn't get involved with suspects. "I hope you haven't slept with her as well." It got in the way of the murder investigation. The career politics was lower volume and so didn't impinge as much. I just found it a bit much that the two lead cops spent so much time fantasising about the female suspects (and/or sleeping with them) while being aware that they shouldn't get involved with suspects. "I hope you haven't slept with her as well." It got in the way of the murder investigation. The career politics was lower volume and so didn't impinge as much.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Roger

    My first read from author Phillip Strang. Well-written with well-developed characters and a mystery that continually develops throughout the length of the book. A very good read I look forward Strang’s next book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mary Ashley

    Somehow I missed reading the first book in the DCI Isaac Cook Thriller Series. I have read 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th books and enjoyed reading them all. While I liked this story, I thought it dragged on a bit to long for me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Little Red Readinghood

    I'm a cozy mystery kind of gal but this police procedure grabbed me and would not let go. Yes I was even sucked in to buying collection book with even more stories. After I promised myself I would buy no more books. I'm a cozy mystery kind of gal but this police procedure grabbed me and would not let go. Yes I was even sucked in to buying collection book with even more stories. After I promised myself I would buy no more books.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jill Bristow

    Couldn’t take to it Read about a third, but was not really enjoying it, so skipped to end to see if I wanted to read the rest to see how we got there. Not this time. I may try book 2 and see if that’s better.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gill Appleyard

    Awful book. I only finished it as I hate leaving something half read. The two main police characters weren’t particularly likeable either. I won’t be reading anymore. It just didn’t go anywhere and seemed to take ages to read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Interesting multiethnic characters in a twisty unpredictable plot. A little wordy in some places, but basically a good read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    I liked the characters. Didn't take long to read at all...Didn't expect the ending. I liked the characters. Didn't take long to read at all...Didn't expect the ending.

  27. 5 out of 5

    phyllis beede

    Excellent read Very well written. Characters believable as was the situation and the outcome. Anyone enjoying police procedurally will enjoy this bok

  28. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I found this book hard to follow in the beginning but it got better as it went along. I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

  29. 5 out of 5

    David

    I have a couple more in this series so I hope they are up to the same standard, only thing I would comment on is the proclivity of the main character to bedding all the ladies.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gwen S

    good easy read

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