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Murder By Natural Causes

"This original debut is a twisted tale where you cheer on the anti-heroine and learn about spying, poisons and the game of bridge along the way. "

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

In Murder by Natural Causes by Helen Erichsen, Cilla is an assassin who specialises in “dry jobs”— murders that are interpreted as death by natural causes. She has a very particular set of skills that make for a lucrative, albeit murderous, life. She also may or may not be a psychopath. The only problem is she wants to get out of the business, and that’s a tricky conundrum to solve since she works for gangster Vladimir Haugr. 

But Cilla has a plan, starting with burying plastic-wrapped bundles of cash in her London garden. Don’t underestimate Cilla’s ability to think on her feet—she is the product of a Soviet espionage and murder school called Academy 43, where she learned the tricks of the trade. Cilla is only 22, but she’s an old hand at murder, having committed her first killing at 14 years old.

This zippy thriller has echoes of Killing Eve, if Villanelle also played bridge on the side. Cilla’s flashbacks to her childhood and education at Academy 43 bring real depth to her character—you root for her to succeed, even if she is a contract killer. The novel was also educational—I now know the difference between a “dry job” and a “wet job” (lots of blood), along with the shelf life of many poisons. This was a very clever, and at times funny, thriller, which I raced through until the end. 

Maureen Stapleton

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Primary Genre Thriller and Suspense
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