Murder At The Jolly Jester by Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson is an interesting writer: part satirist, part humorist and overall great story-teller.

I've read both his earlier books:


by Ian Thompson

54th State 

by Ian Thompson

and found them to be unusual, engaging and very, very readable. 

But the book description for Ian Thompson's latest novel, Murder at The Jolly Jester, seemed to be taking the humour to a whole new level:

"Enjoy this laugh-out-loud dozy mystery as Ronald blunders from one crisis to the next."

Ronald is Ronald Rowntree the manager of the Jolly Jester Pub.
He lives and works at the Jolly Jester where one morning a corpse is found in the saloon bar......

Essentially the novel is a who-dunnit 

of the classic body in a room, how did it get there, who did the deed variety. Murder at the Jolly Jester also spins off into an exploration of village life which has all the overtones of big city crime and misdemeanours.

Sharply written with some hilarious one-liners, 

the zero-hours contract gag is my favourite, Murder at the Jolly Jester is Ronald's story throughout.
At first Ronald appears to be an unattractive, self-indulgent pub landlord but as the story develops so does Ronald's character. His journey of self-discovery and involvement in new relationships underpins the novel's complex plot. Ronald becomes more heroic and reveals unexpected strengths and traits.
Sharing village life with Ronald are a catalogue of characters who in many cases are also seen in a new light as the novel moves towards its unexpected finale.

In places the novel lives up to its laugh-out-loud billing but it's also dramatic, tense and quietly emotional. However, overall Murder at the Jolly Jester is funny and entertaining and I really enjoyed reading it.

Download details of Murder at the Jolly Jester can be found here: