It is something between a cozy and a hard boiled detective novel. The murder isn't terribly clever, but also it doesn't matter because it is a background to the characters. And the characters are brilliant. The novel is told from the view of Amory Ames, a woman with an insatiable curiosity and desire to get to the bottom of things.
But I really loved this book for Amory and Milo. Amory is married to Milo (and they've been married for several years), and they are madly in love but wildly incompatible, and yet trying to figure things out. It's something that I see so rarely in fiction, and this was beautifully done.
Even better, this is the first book in a series, and the series only get's better. In the second book, Death Wears a Mask, the characters are quite brilliantly written (I occasionally confused characters in the first book, but never the second). And while Amory and Milo can be a bit trying at times, the secondary characters carry the book.
The third book (A Most Novel Revenge) is the best so far, as we see Amory and Milo's characters further develop. I appreciate that the author makes it a slow process for Amory and Milo to slowly find their way into a mature relationship.
While the books aren't perfect (Milo's jealousy is very tiring at times, as he has no grounds for it), they were such a wonderful read, and I'm waiting impatiently for the next. I picked the first up at a whim on the library (I've just begun to dip my toes into the mystery genre), and I'm so very glad that I did.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes Agatha Christie or that general style of murder mystery.