... while Murder In Red... does explore new future avenues for Jessica, this tale is still very much grounded in the canon we know and love. Jon Land continues to gently expand the series in such a way that the changes feel both gradual and natural. From the recurring cast of beloved characters to the occasional reference to established history, this is very much a book that respects its origins, while also providing an uncanny continuation of Jessica’s narrative voice ... Honestly, it was like hearing Ms. Lansbury in my head the entire time I was reading this book, which is one of the highest compliments I could possibly pay a novel like this. Mr. Land’s ear for capturing the thoughts and speech patterns of our 60-something sleuth is impressive. Reading this novel was about as close as one can get to enjoying the series without actually turning on the television, and I can’t recommend it to fellow fans highly enough.
... this isn't your grandmother's Murder, She Wrote. Leave behind visions of an elderly Angela Lansbury having a cup of tea by the fireside. Land's Jessica Fletcher may bear senior citizenship as a personal trait, but she also has the grit that comes along with the toughest private detective ... quickly calls to mind the television series, which seemed to have a cliff-hanging plot twist before every commercial break ... has something not only for longtime, loyal fans of the series, but also for readers of Jon Land’s work. It bears none of the trademark grit or 'saving the world' mentality that is more than evident in his terrific Caitlin Strong series --- and that's not a bad thing. In fact, it allows him to show off his plotting skills to an entirely new set of readers. Jessica Fletcher is alive and well in Land's very capable hands, and I speak for all of us when I say that I look forward to my next literary visit to Cabot Cove.
The once welcoming small-town environment has become a large city and is no longer fun to read about. Having said that, however, the story itself is strong, the plot a good one that has the reader turning the pages with lightning speed ... It is comforting for fans of both the TV and the book series to rely upon the appearance of regular favorites ... As with all Murder, She Wrote stories, this one culminates in a satisfactory ending ... With the changes to Cabot Cove, and the twisted ending, it’s difficult to determine how any of the stories in this series will continue. With Cabot Cove’s growth, the entire sense of location is lost. Will Jessica and her group of cohorts move to another small community and start over? Probably not, but the sense of community is adrift, making future readings disappointing for true fans. That consideration notwithstanding, the story is a good one and a fast read.