How do you solve your own murder when you’re already dead?
Purgatory (noun): 1. Where the dead are sent to atone. 2. A place of suffering or torment. 3. A youth hostel where the occupants play Scrabble and the mattresses are paper thin.
When Dave wakes up in his own personal purgatory (St Ives Youth Hostel circa 1992), he’s shocked to discover he’s dead. And worse – he was murdered. Heaven doesn’t know who did it so with the help of two rogue angels, Dave must uncover the truth. As divine forces from both sides start to play the game, can Dave get out of this alive? Or at the very least, with his soul intact?
Rebecca Rogers grew up in Birmingham on a diet of Blackadder and Monty Python. For a long time, she thought Michael Palin was her uncle (he’s not). Now a civil servant by day and writer by night, she’s a proud mum to two grown-up boys and lives in the glorious south west of England. The Purgatory Poisoning is her first novel and won the Comedy Women in Print Unpublished Prize 2021.
My thoughts: there’s definitely some Monty Python, Good Omens, first season of Miracle Workers, Hitchhiker’s Guide stuff going on here. And I am here for it.
Dave is dead, and stuck in Purgatory (God’s Waiting Room) while he atones, except he can’t remember what he did that was so terrible Heaven and Hell are waiting on him. Or how he died. But a couple of angels – Gobe and Arial – are on hand to help him out. Except they only know he was murdered, they don’t know whodunnit.
So Dave has to go back in time, not tell anyone what’s going on and find out. Oh, and his mum was a sort of Satanist, and there’s some other stuff no one bothered to tell him when he’s was alive. But they’ll figure it out.
There’s a very British strain of humour here, that plus a sort of Agatha Christie vibe in reverse – Dave’s the victim after all. And the angels are a bit shambolic. It’s a farce and great fun. More Gobe and Arial investigating crimes please. And God is a woman called Hannah. Just so you know.