Blog Tour: First Degree Murder – M. J. Weatherall

*I received a free DRC of this book with thanks to the author, Blossom Spring Publishing and Zoé of Zooloo’s Book Tours.  The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

Blurb: From the author of Silent Is The Crown!

Matty Darcy is a Criminology and Psychology student in the quaint university village of Ambleside. She has survived the normal dramas of student life such as shared living, assignments, heartbreak and friendships. But this year takes the drama to a whole new level when her fellow students start mysteriously dying.

Matty takes it upon herself to catch the killer with the help of local Police Officer, and heartthrob, P.C Nicholas Wilde and her ex-boyfriend Dean. It is a race against the clock to work out who’s killing students, and why.

Matty soon finds out more than she has bargained for… enough to make her the next target!

Fans of the old Point Horror/Mystery series of books will recognise the style of this mystery story, set amid a slightly older target audience of hard-partying, drinking, smoking uni students.

The main character, Mattie, is a psychology student and we get the whole story in her first person narrative viewpoint – a large part coming from diary entries she is writing to try to make sense of the events in her life, from multiple potential romances to a similar number of suspicious accidents and apparent self-harm incidents in her vicinity.

This direct perspective is great for allowing the reader to feel close to Mattie and understand her thoughts and feelings, but it does slightly lessen some of the tension around the events that are happening. It’s hard to feel as anxious about the danger she is in when you already know she survived to tell the tale!

That said, there is plenty of action to keep you on the edge of your seat and with plenty of suspects to choose from too, the story kept me guessing all the way up to the dramatic reveal at the end. I think I suspected everyone at one point, including Mattie herself, even though she was the one telling us the story! (What, you’ve never heard of Roger Ackroyd? Unreliable narrators? Sociopaths?!) And I think I was as intrigued by whether she would end up with bad-boy ex Dean, clean-cut climber Tommy, or handsome but unprofessional PC Nick, as by whether one of them might turn out to be the campus killer.

In short, this is an entertaining teen/YA murder mystery (with a touch of romantic intrigue on the side), which will appeal to fans of Diane Hoh, Richie Tankersley Cusick, R. L. Stine and similar.

“What made you so late, anyway?” she asked, as if she forgot the reason she was annoyed.

“It’s Sarah. Code black,” I whispered, not able to say the word ‘dead’, instead using a system we came up with for hiding TV show spoilers from the boys.

“Oh,” Lily whispered. It wasn’t what she was expecting to hear. It wasn’t what any of us expected to hear that morning.

– M.J. Weatherall, First Degree Murder

Purchase Link: First Degree Murder on Amazon

About the author

M. J. Weatherall is one of those people who loves writing but always struggles to write about herself. She always feel like she’s bragging (which in and of itself sounds like a brag according to her).

She is a young author from Sheffield who moved to the Lake District to get her BSc (Hons) degree in Outdoor Adventure and Environment. More recently she has qualified as a primary school teacher and is now fulfilling her calling as an educator.

M. J. loves climbing, kayaking and spending all her spare time in nature. A lifelong bookworm, she takes pride in growing her book knowledge (an asset to any pub quiz team to be sure!). She likes to think that she’s a fun person to be around…at the very least, her cat seems to think so.

Website link:


Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below for details) for more great content and reviews!


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