Thursday 24 September 2015

A Date with Death by Joanne Phillips (Flora Lively Investigates #2) Book Review

A Date with Death by Joanne Phillips (Flora Lively Investigates #2)

Flora Lively is thrilled to land a job on a glamorous film set with her old friend Celeste. Marshall is less than happy, but then he always likes to have something to grumble about ... When a member of the Spanish film crew is brutally murdered and the priceless Infanta Tiara stolen, DI Jack Harding’s finger of suspicion falls on everyone at Hanley Manor – even Flora. Someone on the estate is a murderer, but who? When an arrest is made, Flora is forced to investigate the murder herself after learning that the chief suspect is someone far too close to home. Plunged deep into a puzzling mystery, with no idea who she can and cannot trust, Flora must keep one eye over her shoulder at all times. Because the murderer is about to strike again ... 

My Review: 
This is the second book of the Flora Lively Investigates series, I read the first book Murder at the Maples back in January.  This book does stand alone,  so it is not necessary to have read the first book in the series.

On with the review. Set at a tired country house called Henley Manor in rural Shropshire, with an addition of a Spanish film company using it as as their base and a film location. Flora and her removals company, including manager Marshall are there at the request of actress Celeste and longtime school friend of Flora's. 

The story follows the actors, crew and director, all of whom are eager to gain their share of the limelight. When one of them is murdered and a priceless tiara is stolen, it is not long before the police have a chief suspect - Marshall. Now it is time for Flora to step in to prove his innocents.

This mystery was easy to follow, but not to easy to predict, no one likes a predictable murder. Presented with multiple suspects, all with credible stories I could not predict or anticipate who the the murderer was. Flora's friend Celeste is a character that we all come across from time to time, you know the kind of person who absorbs your time and energy, usually at your expense. It is interesting to see through the story and with a little prompting from Marshall, Flora does eventually see her friend for what she really is, and that is not a friend in the truest sense.

I felt as though Flora had grown up in this book, still funny and quirky but less dipsy and silly. Flora and Marshall's relationship with each other develops subtly as the mystery unfolds.  It is refreshing to read a book that does not contain gratuitous violence or sex, even though this story is about a murder.  A very pleasant and enjoyable read, a mash up of a young Miss Marple and Midsummer Murders but set in my home county of Shropshire.  One to add to your reading list.

Now I just have to wait for book 3 in the series. 

The paperback version of this book is 210 pages. 

 I gave this book 4.5 stars out of 5, on Goodreads  it currently has an average of 4 stars.   Available for Kindle from Amazon


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