Death in Heels by Kitty Murphy

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Death in Heels by Kitty Murphy

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Holly Lewtas
Reviewed by Holly Lewtas
Summary: A murder mystery providing a perfect mix of intrigue, humour and drag queens, without distracting from the sinister plot.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: January 2023
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
ISBN: 978-1542037235

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Set against the backdrop of Dublin's drag scene, Death in Heels tells the story of Fi McKinnery and her best friend, Robyn, who is about to debut as drag queen Mae B. What is meant to be a night of excitement soon takes a downward turn when fellow drag queen, Eve, takes to the stage to mock Mae B. As if the night could not get any worse, when Fi heads home she discovers Eve dead in a gutter. Fi is adamant that Eve was murdered, yet the drag community, and the Guards, accept it as an accident. Fi takes it upon herself to solve the mystery as she fears for her friends, but instead ruins relationships as she delves deeper.

Kitty Murphy's debut stands out from the crowd with its focus on the Dublin drag community. The book hits the mark in its portrayal of drag queens, adding comedy to make it an enjoyable read, without discrediting the drag community. With nicknames such as my little straight girl and Hagatha Christie, it was hard not to laugh out loud.

One of Murphy's strengths is her beautiful descriptions of Dublin and the characters – both their personalities and wardrobes (which I became very jealous of!). Each of the drag queens featured in the story has their own quirks and style, with Murphy ensuring they each had an individual voice. Murphy has clearly mastered the skill of writing to the point where you forget you are reading as you become so immersed in the plot.

Despite the comedic undertones, Murphy picks up on serious themes, such as the importance of finding family, whether chosen family or related by blood. The book subtly hints at the difficulties and biases faced by the LGBT community and women in general in today's society, whilst ensuring the light tone remains strong. It also provides an insight into topics such as the use of pronouns within the drag community, educating unfamiliar readers.

Unfortunately, I had to knock off a star in my review because of the ending which I found underwhelming and lacking plausibility. The entire book builds up to the reveal of the murderer, yet it seemed rushed and ill thought out. Within the space of a few pages, you discover who the murderer is, their motive and then the story is quickly wrapped up. Considering how thoroughly I enjoyed this novel, Murphy did it a disservice through its ending.

Whether you are a fan of drag queens or not, I would recommend giving this book a try as it is an easy and exciting read. Forgetting the disappointing ending, Murphy is a skilled writer who knows how to captivate her audience. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for the next book in this Dublin drag mystery series, and hope Murphy will continue to refine her craft.

For another light-hearted murder mystery with comedy interwoven throughout, I would recommend [Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M C Beaton]].

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Buy Death in Heels by Kitty Murphy at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Death in Heels by Kitty Murphy at


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