Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Murder, She Wrote: Murder on Parade

I met the late, great author Donald Bain at ThrillerFest, and I had the pleasure of interviewing him in 2013. He was a kind and gifted man, and when Donald Bain passed away in 2017 I was devastated. Thankfully, his amazing Murder, She Wrote novels live on. Around the time of the 4th of July this year, I decided to read Murder on Parade because it too takes place during the 4th of July. Is it any good? Read on for my thoughts.

Here’s the official synopsis for Murder on Parade:

Every Fourth of July, the town of Cabot Cove hosts an elaborate celebration?and no one is more enthusiastic than the town’s newest resident, corporate mogul Joseph Lennon. He’s desperate to give the town an unwanted 21st century makeover, including financing a fireworks extravaganza to rival New York City’s. But when Lennon’s lifeless body is found floating in the water outside his office, Jessica Fletcher has no choice but to investigate her fellow Cabot Cove citizens to find out if one of them is capable of murder…

These books are largely cozy mysteries, meaning there isn’t a lot of violence, no sex, and the world’s greatest amateur sleuth is at the helm: Jessica Fletcher. If you’ve watched and enjoyed the Murder, She Wrote TV show, then that’s exactly what you should expect from these novels. Each one reads like a long episode of the show, making them feel like comfort food for the soul.

Murder on Parade is a slow burn. It takes a while for business to pick up, but I didn’t mind in the least because I absolutely love Cabot Cove, the fictional town where Jessica lives, and the characters that inhabit it. I truly enjoy their banter and the small-town atmosphere.

The plot itself is an interesting one, and I wasn’t sure who was responsible for the crime at any point. Of course, I had certain suspicions, but I’m almost never able to correctly guess who the guilty party is before they are revealed. That’s a testament to Donald Bain’s smart writing. He does a wonderful job of staying true to the source material, while simultaneously expanding on it in a creative manner. Murder on Parade is a lovely mystery that anyone can read, and I strongly encourage you to do so.

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