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==About the book:==
Rona Parish and her twin sister Lindsey have finally got used to their parents no longer being together. Their father Tom already has a lady friend and Avril their Mum is updating the old family home so that she can take in visitors for Bed and Breakfast. Rona work for a local magazine and has been working on a series of articles about successful, long running local businesses. With this in mind she approaches the Curzon family after Tom puts in a good word for her and the business this interest could attract for them.
There is a special reason to approach the family too, as they are entering their 150 year of business and to celebrate this senior members of the business are working on a very secret project to mark this amazing date. Rona quickly meets various members of the family and establishes a good relationship with them. But at the same time she discovers even this successful family have their own skeletons and presumably because of this important trade secret they are planning to launch their business has been the subject to attempted break-ins.
==My thoughts on this book:==
I am very pleased to say I really enjoyed reading this well thought out crime mystery. It was a real treat to read and because all the characters are so well designed and interesting it was a real pleasure to read. I think it was a record for me it took me less than a weekend to read from cover to cover and while I never thought of it as a classic gripping page turner, it was still highly enjoyable and very easy to read.
There are seven books in the Rona Parish series and this is the fifth in the series written in 2007. It was the third I had looked at in the series so I had a good idea what to expect especially as I had enjoyed the previous two I had read. And whereas a lot of crime thrillers just concentrate on the sleuth and maybe their partner this series focuses on her Mum and Dad, her sister and all of their lives. This I feel gives you a real understanding into their family life and all the characters personalities.
I knew as soon as I saw this book in the Charity shop that I had to have it, basically because of this positive previous experiences, plus I had been milling about in the shop for about half an hour and I felt I should purchase something. And while I did not think the cover or the title was particularly appealing it was the summary on the inside cover that sold it. While it was only two paragraphs long I thought it was good in terms of quality and detail and opened up several avenues that the story could take, that had me intrigued.
The main thrust of the story is the Curzon family and Rona's project to find out about them and the history of the business. So as the story developed I found the Curzon family tree that takes up a page before the first chapter starts invaluable. As I quite often get confused who is who in a mystery especially relationships such as who is married to who. This family tree really helped make sense of everything but in truth I did not find I needed to refer to it very often because of the author's very clear and straightforward writing style she basically explained who Rona was seeing and where they fitted into the family structure.
Usually I like a murder to happen very soon in a crime story so I can start to think about who did it and why, but in this story I didn't mind that it did not happen until two fifths of the way through the story. That was because reacquainting myself with Rona's family was interesting so see the latest developments in it plus because the Curzon family she was writing about where quite large it helped being gently introduced to them and their business.
I found the story to be well written and although it was a little slow to start with it was full of interesting happenings and especially relating to the Curzon family I was always wondering what was important and could be relevant in the coming chapters. Not only this I found Rona's family easy to like and relate to because they where dealing with their everyday lives and the challenges this throw at them.
When murder did finally happen I was shocked as it was someone I had not even considered and that always pleases a serial murder reader like myself to be surprised by a writer. It certainly was a different slant and from it the investigation by Rona and the Police was very enjoyable. The pace of the story increased and it made me ask lots of questions that earlier I had not considered.
With an exciting conclusion that was fast paced and full of excitement. Certainly in keeping with the rest of the novel I did not have the correct answer to the mystery, but the answers clearly when explained made sense. The only thing I felt the story could have done with was an epilogue as it would be good to know what happened to various members of the Curzon family a few weeks or months after the story finished.
I thought the story was rich in mystery as I never really knew what was going to happen and I was kept on tender hooks about who was going to be murdered for ages. The author was excellent at only giving the reader so much information about the various Curzon members thus making you wonder what little you did know was significant.
The series main character is Rona Parish and despite being a journalist she did not seem to be overly pushy or always trying to scratch around trying to dish the dirt on anyone. In fact she is a lady who is easy to like and understand because she is just the same as you and me and is not out to push her career at the expense of others. I find her very easy to admire and I like the way she gets on with everyone and treats them all with respect.
And while in this story the focus was the Curzon family, there is always plenty of dealings with Rona's own family. The author for me makes them all interesting and I think seeing their lives change adds real value as you really have two stories for the price of one. Plus she writes from all their view points so you can get a real understanding of how they are thinking and feeling about developments.
I would certainly recommend this series of crime thrillers as good well thought out crime thrillers. They are never too complex and the authors writing style is appealing because her descriptions of both characters and scenes are first class. I thought the length of the story was just right and with regular chapters to break the story up I found this a very easy book to read and enjoy.
For me this was a very good thriller. I think this series of books are excellent and so well thought out by an intelligent writer who writes about subjects that are interesting and characters that are believable and likeable. I will certainly be looking to broaden my knowledge of her work but I think next time I will try something from one of the author's other series of books.
Publisher: Severn House
Year first published: 2007
More about the author: www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/f/anthea-fraser
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my user name on both Ciao and Dooyoo.
CPTDANIELS January 2012.