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Publisher's Summary

Heartbreaking tragedy or cold-blooded murder...?

An Italian stranger arrives in Tamarisk Bay and brings with him mystery and intrigue....

It's Easter 1970 in the seaside town of Tamarisk Bay. Amateur sleuth and professional librarian, Janie Juke, is settling into motherhood and some quality time with her family. When her Aunt Jessica is due back from Rome after nine years travelling around Europe, she arrives back in town with a new Italian friend, Luigi, and the whole family soon get embroiled in a tangle of mystery and suspicion, with death and passion at the heart of the story. 

As time runs out on Luigi as prime suspect for murder, Janie has to use all of her powers of deduction in the footsteps of her hero, Hercule Poirot, to uncover the facts. Why did Luigi come to Tamarisk Bay? What is the truth about his family? 

As Luigi's story unfolds, tragedy seems to haunt the past, present and unless Janie acts fast, possibly what is yet to come. 

If you love Agatha Christie style twists and turns, or are a fan of Call the Midwife, Endeavour, Inspector George Gently and all those great 60s characters, then you will love this Sussex Crime series.

©2018 Isabella Muir (P)2020 Isabella Muir

What listeners say about The Invisible Case: A Sussex Crime - Heartbreaking Tragedy or Coldblooded Murder...

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Profile Image for Debbie Rozier
  • Debbie Rozier
  • 09-02-2021

An Interesting Mystery

I loved the narration- nothing is more fun for this southern US gal than to listen to a British narrator.
I love the fact that our amateur sleuth, Janie Jukes’ hero is none other than Hercule Poirot. She references Poirot several times in the book which made for a great tribute to one of the OG investigators.
I enjoyed the story which was a mystery and also a family legacy story.
Finally, there are two previous books in this series and the other cases that Janie has been involved in are referenced so as a listener I appreciate the fact that you know that Janie has evolved as a person (like she recently has had a baby)and sleuth.
Thanks @rachelsrandomresources and @audible for the chance to listen and honestly give my opinions.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • PuzzlePaws Blog
  • 08-02-2021

Wonderful Cozy WhoDunIt!

The Invisible Case is a different sort of book, and as it's the first one I've read/listened too by this author, I wasn't quite sure to expect. I grew up reading Agatha Christie, what mystery fan didn't? While I'm not a fan of the shows mentioned in the blurb, I am a long-time fan of The Father Brown Mysteries and Murder, She Wrote; both of which have a similar "feel" to the style of mystery that The Invisible Case is.

If you read this book as a stand-alone, the lack of back history is confusing at first, but is handily explained midway through the story. Janie, her father, and her husband are a clearly tight and loving family unit, and Aunt Jessica, though gone these last 9 years fits back easily into their dynamic. Due to growing up with a disabled parent (Janie's father is blind), and the time-frame, Janie is an interesting mix of independent working woman, and soft mother to her newborn daughter. Her father and husband are both supportive of her library work and her detective hobby.

However, when the English businessman with ties to Luigi's father dies at the guesthouse they are both staying at, Luigi's words and actions don't quite add up. It's up to Janie and Co. to dig into Luigi's painful past to prevent a miscarriage of justice and to bring closure to a broken family.

The Invisible Case is a little different; in that the majority of the action and drama rests not on the protagonist of the series, Janie, but that of the accused, Luigi. Unfortunately for the reader, the introduction of Luigi and his majority of behaviors in the book make for a rather unlikable character. When his briefcase goes missing from their train car, he flies into a frothing rage, and continues to do so every time the case is mentioned. Moody and churlish, Luigi sets himself up easily to be seen as a villain. His relationship, or lack thereof with Aunt Jessica, is teased at by multiple characters throughout the story and Jessica's repeated assertion that they're "just friends" falls a bit flat. However, through a bit of poking, prodding, and a incredibly well written scene of motherly interrogation, we find that behind Luigi's awfulness is a sad and emotionally torn young man lashing out.

Isabella Muir writes scenes that are subtly deep and emotionally deft, managing to take what looks like a straightforward whodunit and showing it for a beautifully cultivated labyrinth. Her Audiobook Narrator, Bridget Eaton is inspired! Ms. Eaton has a great vocal range and manages to truly inject feeling into the characters' voices. Together, these ladies have created a wonderful cozy afternoon mystery!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jenna Rideout
  • 06-02-2021

Here for the Family Drama

I was granted complimentary audiobook access to The Invisible Case via Audiobookworm Promotions for my review stop on the blog tour for this title. Thank you to all involved! My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.

Story: 3 out of 5 stars
Performance: 4 out of 5 stars
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I'd like to start by saying that I was not aware this is not technically a stand-alone when I signed up for the tour, but I don't feel that I was at a disadvantage. This book can be read/listened to as a stand-alone. At no point did I feel like I was missing vital information. A lot of minor character information and world-building is filled in through dialogue with enough callback to their past that everything fills in.

What I liked: The British family characters and the Italian guest home owner are all very interesting and likeable characters (excuse me for avoiding all the names, there were a lot and I listened to the audiobook so I'm not sure on spelling.) I also enjoyed the family drama element between Luigi, his father, and his father's associate.

What I didn't like: Luigi. A whole lot of problems would have been solved if he would just be a little more forthcoming with totally innocent and mundane information and stop whining. Since Luigi was the primary suspect for everything happening in this book and I didn't care about him at all, and the murder victim was a random associate of Luigi's father who conveniently showed up just after Luigi arrived in England, I wasn't at all invested in "who dunnit."

The narration was good! Bridget Eaton is pleasant to listen to and I didn't have any trouble figuring out which character was speaking/thinking at any given time. I will comment that the default playback speed was particularly slow. 1.5x felt close to normal conversation speed and 2x barely felt sped up. If you listen slowly then this one is perfectly paced. If you listen quickly, this may be one of the ones you crank up faster than usual.

Overall this book was a relaxing story with a good mix of characters and I would definitely recommend it as a light read that'll keep you engaged. As for mystery genre readers specifically, I say give it a try, but like me you may find the murder is not the most compelling element of the plot.

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  • ALYSON R
  • 07-02-2021

Very enjoyable cosy mystery.

It is 1970 and Jessica Chandler is making her way back to her family in Tamarisk Bay after nine years travelling and working around Europe and she has a younger companion in tow. Luigi Di Naro will be staying with them in the town but just why is he so keen to visit the area? His panic on the train over the loss of his briefcase seemed over the top, and he was convinced it was stolen. Just what was in there that was so important? He also seems unduly interested in Philip, Jessica’s blind ex-policeman brother and Janie’s father, and his wartime exploits. They finally arrive in the Sussex town and are greeted by Philip, Janie, her husband Greg and new baby Michelle, but after the first night when Janie spies Luigi entering her father’s bedroom they feel uncomfortable and decide to move him to the Summer Guest house run by fellow Italian Rosetta. A dinner party is arranged there but two guests fail to show. One, an Englishman called Bertie Williams also staying at the guesthouse, is found dead in his bed. The other, Luigi, is nowhere to be found. Rosetta is very troubled and upset and the police are called. DS Frank Bright and young constable Roberts arrive from Tidehaven police station. What looks like a heart attack could well turn out to be a suspicious death and needs to be investigated. When PC Roberts is sent back to the guesthouse the next day and appears with a briefcase taken from Williams' room, a gasp goes up. It’s not looking good for Luigi! He had argued with the dead man who it turns out was a business associate of his father’s and Janie had spied blood on a shirt in his room. This is certainly not the homecoming Jessica had planned and everyone is starting to feel a bit uneasy about Luigi. When Luigi opens up to Janie about some of his tragic past, she is intrigued and just can’t help putting her “Poirot” hat on once again!!
Set in the late 60s and early 70s, this mystery series has a golden age feel but in a more modern way. The sleepy Sussex seaside town is a perfect setting for the sleuth, and her engaging family and friends all go to make this a very enjoyable cosy story. The audio version has a very nice and well-spoken English lady recounting the tale. Every word was clear as a bell and made for a highly enjoyable “listen”.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MeandtheMutts
  • 05-02-2021

A gentle traditional mystery

I felt this was a very traditional mystery. much in the style of Agatha Christie. Set across Italy and England via a train journey through picturesque countryside, the mystery begins when Luigi's briefcase is stolen. (He is accompanying Jessica back to visit her family in England) He is sure he saw the thief, but feels he's not being taken seriously.

In England, Jessica is staying with her brother but Luigi is in the way, and so books into a B&B run by a fellow Italian. When a new guest arrives at the B&B and is soon found dead in his room, Jessica's niece, Janie is curious ...more than curious really. As an amateur sleuth, she takes an interest in Luigi and the new guest, determined to find out more about the man who accompanied her aunt. The missing briefcase does play a role later in the story, as do other elements an characters connected to Luigi.
For me, the narration was hard to follow at times. It was very breathy and often too quiet (even at full volume) and I had to rewind often to hear what was said.
Overall, it's a gently-paced mystery, perfect for fans of cosy mysteries but with a different kind of sleuth.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Pinkerton
  • 11-01-2021

Another easy listen

This is the third in the series that I’ve read, and the second by this narrator, which I was delighted to discover. I’m rather hoping there will be a new boom in the series coming as I’m really enjoying Janie and her amateur sleuthing.

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