I find this very interesting. In October 2021 I reviewed The Couple at No 9 by Claire Douglas and I gave it four stars, though I said that should really have been three and a half. I also said the book was too long. And now I’ve read The Woman Who Lied, also by Claire Douglas, and I find the same problems. This is my review:
This is good. It isn’t wonderful – it squeaks into four stars from below rather than sliding from above – but still, it’s good. The protagonist is well drawn and believable, although some of those around her are a little one-dimensional. (I found Ottilie hard to believe, which is a pity because she plays a huge role in the denouement, and husband Elliott is a little far-fetched). Where the book scores is in its plotting: you read on despite occasional longueurs because you really do want to know how she’s going to unravel this very knotted yarn. The detective story within a detective story has become a popular motif and I can’t really say that Claire Douglas carries it off perfectly, but she makes a pretty good stab at it. But it goes on too long. Quite a bit too long. Four stars. Though only just.