When you’re a cozy crime lover, the names of authors are fairly high on your list of things to remember, especially if you love their work.

It saves an enormous amount of time when you head to the bookstore if you can go straight to the crime fiction section, scan the alphabetical order, and pick up a copy of the latest novel in a series.

So it never ceases to amaze me just how many people have no clue who writes some of the biggest novels and TV series that we all know and love.

A case in point is Robert Thorogood. When a friend asked to borrow a couple of books, I suggested Thorogood and she had no idea who I was talking about, which is perfectly fine, she’s a busy person with little time to get into the nuances of various writer’s careers!

Of course, my first point of reference to her was that he created ‘Death in Paradise‘.

Ahhhh, the penny dropped. And yes, as she loved the show, she was happy to take The Marlow Murder Club off on her holidays to read at her leisure, poolside.

And while The Marlow Murder Club has been hugely successful, it did get me thinking about all of the other books that Robert Thorogood has written, some of which I may not even know about *gasp*.

So here goes…

Robert Thorogood – Death In Paradise

It all started with Death in Paradise – the TV series, not the books.

The epitome of cozy crime, Death in Paradise, is set on the fictional island of Saint Marie, and it all began in 2011 when Detective Richard Poole was sent to the Caribbean island from London to take up a new post.

Every week (generally eight in a season), a new inexplicable murder takes place, and approximately only four or five suspects could have done it.

By the end of the episode, our fish-out-of-water detective, along with his team, has solved the seemingly impossible and brought the murderer to justice.

It’s a nice, simple format. This is also why it is still one of the most viewed shows, not just in the UK but in over 200 territories around the world.

When Robert Thorogood originally came up with the concept for Death in Paradise, it was inspired by the death of cricketer Bob Woolmer who died in the Caribbean. A MET detective from London was subsequently sent out to investigate the death.

And hey presto, a new show idea was formed.

Except the road to success is not that simple, and with his untitled Detective show in hand, he pitched it everywhere he could. But no joy.

Then Tony Jordan got on board, sent it to the head of the BBC, who loved it and with the financial backing of French Televisions, who suggested changing the location to a French territory, Death in Paradise was a go.

The First Spin-Off Books

So with the TV series up and running and loved by millions, Robert Thorogood signed a three-book deal with MIRA / Harlequin, which became known as the Richard Poole Murder Mystery novels.

He then followed it up with a fourth and final installment.

  • A Meditation on Murder (2015)
  • The Killing of Polly Carter (2015)
  • Death Knocks Twice (2017)
  • Murder in the Caribbean (2018)

These were Robert Thorogood’s first four books, and all are based on Richard Poole (played by Ben Miller) in the TV series.

When that particular series of novels was wrapped up, Thorogood moved on to the The Marlow Murder Club.

The Marlow Murder Club Series

To date, there have been three Marlow Murder Club mysteries, the first of which was published in January 2021.

  • The Marlow Murder Club (2021)
  • Death Comes to Marlow (2022)
  • The Queen of Poisons (2024)

The first book, The Marlow Murder Club, introduces us to Judith Potts, a 77-year-old woman living a quiet life in the picturesque town of Marlow.

Judith enjoys her solitary existence and spends her time swimming in the Thames and setting crosswords for national newspapers.

One evening, while swimming in the river, Judith overhears a violent argument and then a gunshot. She reports the incident to the police, but they dismiss her claims.

Undeterred, Judith takes matters into her own hands and begins to investigate. She soon teams up with Suzie, a dog-walking local gossip, and Becks, a strait-laced vicar’s wife.

Together, this unlikely trio delves into the mystery, uncovering secrets and following clues that the police have overlooked.

Their amateur sleuthing leads to thrilling and unexpected discoveries, all while navigating the charming and sometimes eccentric community of Marlow.

And, of course, more importantly, they become the best of friends.

Death Comes to Marlow once again finds the three ladies in search of the truth, though this time, it begins with the upcoming wedding of Sir Peter Bailey, a wealthy and influential local figure.

On the eve of the wedding, Sir Peter is found dead in his study, crushed by a falling bookcase. Though the death is initially ruled as a tragic accident, Judith isn’t convinced.

She suspects foul play and can’t resist the lure of another puzzle to solve.

It’s another excellent book and one that also encompasses a locked-room mystery – another favourite among cozy crime fans!

And that brings us to The Queen of Poisons, the third in the series.

The Mayor of Marlow, Geoffrey Lushington, drops dead during a Town Council meeting. When traces of aconite are found in his coffee cup, the police realise he was murdered.

Having used the trio as consultants on previous cases, the police bring Judith, Becks, and Suzie in to help solve the mystery.

But this case could be their most difficult yet as nobody seems to know why anybody would want to kill the easygoing Mayor.

Again, it’s another cracker, and it also wraps up the SEVEN books that Robert Thorogood has written to date.

Thorogood TV Shows

Now that his name is out there thanks to Death in Paradise and millions more people recognise his murder mystery genius, Robert Thorogood has been busy on other TV productions.

If you love his style of writing you can check out Trackers (2019) as well as Beyond Paradise, a spin-off starring Kris Marshall as he reprises his role as DI Humphrey Goodman as he settles back into life in Devon.

A second spin-off, Return to Paradise is due to be released in 2024. This time the action is based in Australia and stars Anna Samson as DI Mackenzie Clarke.

And if all of that wasn’t enough, The Marlow Murder Club was also adapted for TV, with the story played out over two episodes that were released in 2024.

Conclusion

So there you have it, all seven of Robert Thorogood’s novels and all of the TV shows that he has created, written for, or adapted.

If you fancy following him on Instagram, his handle is @robertthorogoodwriter.

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