Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Murder Fortissimo
A Harriet Quigley Mystery Book II
Nicola Slade

Robert Hale
release 31 January 2011/ ISBN 9780709091820
Mystery / Contemporary / England
Amazon US || UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Recently retired headmistress Harriet Quigley needs a place to recuperate following an operation and chooses Firstone Grange. This is a home for short stay older people who need a place for some rest and relaxation, perhaps while families or caretakers get a break. It all seems very pleasant and ordinary, but one guest is determined to upset things. Elderly wheelchair-bound Frenchwoman Christiane Marchant looks like everybody’s idea of a sweet old lady, but is anything but. Things are surely going to come to a head, and they do in a surprising way. Cue Harriet and her clergymen cousin Sam Hathaway to investigate.

This author has previously penned two excellent Victorian whodunits Murder Most Welcome and Death is the Cure (also reviewed on this site), and although I hope she will be returning to this series, here is something different. Modern social satire rubs shoulders with a traditional mystery and delivers some surprises, somewhat in the way of Caroline Graham or Lis Howell. Characters can appear at times to be stock, but this is all part of the satire and makes for an enjoyable tale. Parts of the dénouement are powerful enough to shock, and it is a testament to the author’s skill that this book manages to run the gamut from being amusing to moments of horror. If this is the first in a new series I will be wanting to read more.

Reviewer's Note: Charlotte Richmond Series



Reviewed 2011
© 2011