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==Synopsis of the book:==
Kate Kinsella is a private investigator who is approached to undertake an investigation. Her client is Victoria Decker-White who wants her to investigate the recent death of her husband Rupert. He died having eaten a peanut at a party which he was allergic too (the peanut not the party) and Victoria is convinced it was murder despite the lack of interest from the local Police force. Kate agrees to take on this challenge as she has no other commitments she cannot drop.
However she is in for surprise as her Landlord and close friend Hubert (an undertaker), advises her he has met an American lady and they plan to marry. And despite having a boyfriend herself she finds herself jealous of this new lady entering Hubert's life and ruining their happy domestic situation. Despite the fact her boyfriend wants to marry her she still feels confused and upset by her Landlord's new relationship.
Victoria has arranges for her to go under cover at the Private Hospital Fair Acres they both worked at. With Rupert being a highly successful and popular surgeon who his wife believes did not have an enemy in the world. As Kate was once upon a time a Nurse and although her registration has lapsed she is going to be employed as a carer, a live in position about 200 miles away from her normal home. So she packs her bags and prepares for whatever this investigation will throw at her.
==My thoughts on this book:==
Christine Green is an established British author having written 17 novels. Of these 10 are part of the Kate Kinsella series of mysteries. This is the ninth of these and it was written in 2005. It is not my first experience of this series and I must admit I have enjoyed all these books so far but I think this has been the best. That could be because I have grown used to the authors style of writing and the characters that appear in each story or I think more likely I thought the idea behind the story was excellent.
I really like the unusual background behind the stories. That Kate lives as a lodger with Hubert, that their behave like a married couple and now their domesticity is going to change because of Hubert finding an American lady on the internet who wants to come and live with him and work in his undertaking business. Herbert and Kate's relationship at times is closer than that of Kate's own with her boyfriend Dave.
Admittedly it has been a while since I read one of these mysteries but as soon as I saw the book at the Car Boot sale for just 50p I knew I had to purchase it and I did so without even reading the summary on the inside cover. I did this later once I had returned home and I found it to be very intriguing. It was three paragraphs long and I thought it set the scene really well and although it didn't sound amazing I looked forward to an interesting investigation.
When I started the story I felt immediately involved because no sooner had it started but Kate was approached to investigate Rupert's death. It sounded interesting especially when it meant Kate leaving her comfort zone and living in the Private Hospital, where she did not have a clue what would be awaiting her. I thought this concept was excellent and the establishment and its medical staff I was soon to find out where full of mystery.
I found the story really easy to read with lots of unexpected developments in Kate's progress. As a result I found the pace was fast and I really looked forward to each chapter. There was so much suspense within the story and I enjoyed the way Kate tried to blend into her new role while trying without being too obvious to find out what happened at the party he died at. While also trying to find the gossip at the place and the characters personalities.
The story certainly went in some unexpected directions and all this time I did not have the answers to the mystery especially as there where other accidents that had happened that did not seem connected. I really like a mystery that tests and makes the reader think and this one certainly did it for me. Although I must admit the solution to it was disappointing on two different counts.
Firstly, it was all too rushed at the end. There was a lot crammed into the last twenty pages and while I admit it it was exciting, I would have much preferred a longer conclusion that led the reader to the answer. As I felt it was stumbled into and by doing this the author did not make the most of the opportunity and complete a fascinating story.
My second disappointment with the conclusion was I thought the answer while good in the sense of being unexpected was too unlikely and thin. As in most classic thrillers anyone to seems could have been the guilty party, but Kate did not seem at any time to be reducing the suspects rather increasing them. So when the answer was revealed it was quite disappointing and to my mind anyway it all seemed unlikely or doubtful. I will say no more than that as I do not want to ruin it for potential readers.
Kate Kinsella is the lead character in this series and as such I find her a very likeable and down to earth Private Investigator. Unlike many within this field Kate seems to make mistakes and that I find endears me to her as she will admit her shortcomings and not be afraid to seek helps from those around her. I really like her strange relationship with Hubert and as unlikely as it seems it is somehow believable because of excellent writing and wonderful interaction between them. I feel in Kate she is a lady that it is easy to like and relate to and as a result I always want her to come through the investigation, something I can't say with some sleuths.
She is well supported not only by Hubert and her boyfriend Dave, but other characters that will only appear in this specific story. These characters I found well described and there was plenty of mystery cast by the author on each one of these. In hindsight I think the author could easily have doubled the size of the story as I always got the impression she had far more she could have shared with the reader on them, which because of their interesting personalities would have been good.
My hardback copy of this exhilarating story had just 188 pages. I think it was a little shorter than it should have been mainly because of the short and quite rushed conclusion to the story. I thought the story was really well written with regular paragraphs that split the story up well. Although I would have liked an epilogue just to know what happened afterwards to the various Medical staff in the story.
The only quite annoying thing I noticed when I researched this book that it is only available in Hardback version with the cheapest from for a new copy on Amazon being a tenner. So I recommend if you can't find it as a paperback get it second hand from a Charity shop or like me a Car Boot Sale.
Overall I thought this was a very good piece of crime fiction. One that I really found it a pleasure to read and despite finding the conclusion a little disappointing it did not detract too much from a well thought out and enjoyable story. As far as I am concerned it was a fifty pence well spent as I so enjoyed Kate's uncover experience in this unusual establishment.
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
@CPTDANIELS February 2012.