Book Review: The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello by Chris McDonald

January 23rd, 2021 by Jane Turner

This review of The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello by Chris McDonald comes courtesy of a BlogTour organised by Red Dog Press. The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello was published on 12 Jan 2021 by Red Dog Press.


Blurb:Cover Art for The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello

Wedding bells are chiming in the idyllic, coastal town of Stonebridge. For Sam and Emily, it should be the happiest day of their lives. But on the morning of the ceremony, the best man is found dead. The police quickly write his death off as a tragic accident, but something doesn’t seem right to wedding guest and groomsman, Adam Whyte.

Armed with an encyclopaedic, but ultimately ridiculous knowledge of television detective shows and an unwarranted confidence in his own abilities, Adam and his best friend (and willing Watson) Colin, set out to uncover what actually happened to Daniel Costello.


My thoughts:

A quick and fun mystery novella!

This one has all the hallmarks of a ‘death in a great house’ mystery in short form; secrets, death, lots of suspects, amateur sleuths (or ‘sloofs’) and, just for fun, there’s a wee comedic element too.

Adam feels he’s the odd-man-out at the wedding of his school friend. He dropped out of uni and has dead end jobs, wants to be a copper but can’t handle blood – he’s feeling like a bit of a deadbeat when he arrives at the great house venue for the wedding. Adam is the everyman. His friend Colin, big-hearted fellow amateur sloof, willingly jumps in to help investigate the death of the Best Man, Daniel Costello.

But, in typical sloof fashion, not all is as it seems…

There’s definitely comedy here – I was giggling at Adam – and also giggling at the inventive chapter titles! Mr McDonald writes with a comedic lilt, and his main characters are definitely Clouseau-esque. 

The mystery itself is engaging – what exactly DID happen to Mr Costello in his private room in an isolated country house estate?

The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello is a fun read. I noticed a couple of incorrect words (Sam instead of Ross, Daniel throwing his arms in the arm), but these are easily looked past when the read is so smooth.

I recommend this one, for sure – and I’m going to check out Mr McDonald’s back catalogue. This is Book 1 of The Stonebridge Mysteries – so maybe more novellas like this coming down the track?

The perfect read for a lazy Sunday afternoon.


Rating: 3.5


About the Author:Athor Pic: Chris McDonald

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime. A Wash of Black was his first attempt at writing a book. He came up with the initial idea whilst feeding his baby in the middle of the night, which may not be the best thing to admit, considering the content. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs. Whispers in the Dark is the second installment in the DI Erika Piper series, and Chris is currently working on his latest series, The Stonebridge Mysteries, to be published by Red Dog Press in 2021.




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