Tuesday 22 March 2016

Review ~ Hester and Harriet by Hilary Spiers

Allen & Unwin

3 March 2016

One good deed. Two gutsy widowed sisters. Seven days of mystery, mayhem and mortal danger…

There is something delightfully quirky about Hester and Harriet which makes you instantly fall for their charms, and almost before the first chapter is finished, this delightful duo of eccentric ladies make you smile at their wit and wry sense of humour. 

They seem to attract an odd assortment of waifs and strays that without Hester and Harriet's intervention would flounder. There's Finbar, the vagrant, who troubles them only for the occasional foodie treat, Ben, their rapscallion nephew, who underneath his teenage bravado has a heart of gold and rather a soft spot for his eccentric great-aunts. However, it is Daria and baby Milo, who they rescue from a freezing bus stop on Christmas Day who form the real focus of the story and Daria’s complex and convoluted reason for wishing to remain hidden makes for interesting reading.

I felt comfortable with the idea of the story from the beginning. I enjoyed Hester and Harriet’s interference in the lives of those around them, and the author has done a really fine job of making these two highly individual sisters appear 'eccentrically' normal. I liked their disregard for convention, their utter belief in everything they did, and the warmth and beauty of their genuine care for others. There is so much to enjoy, there are genuinely funny moments which make you laugh out loud and some really poignant episodes which tug away at the heartstrings. But throughout this adventure, Hester and Harriet's utter belief in the righteousness of their actions brings both humour and pathos to a delightful story.

I would hope that we haven’t seen the last of Hester and Harriet as I think that their unlikely adventures could form the basis of a very enjoyable series. If you like cosy crime,  this delightful duo will greatly appeal.

Best Read with….A bowl of fat olives, a platter of assorted cheeses and a large glass of rich, red Burgundy …

Hilary Spiers has had a varied career – including law, speech therapy, teaching, youth work and the NHS. She has also been involved with the theatre as an actor, director and playwright, and her dramatic work has been performed in a number of theatres including Hampstead Theatre and Riverside Studios. Hilary has won several national short story competitions and had work broadcast on the radio. She lives in Stamford, Lincolnshire.

My thanks to Diana at Ruth Killick Publicity for my review copy of Hester and Harriet 

Hester and Harriet is available to buy online and from all good bookshops.



  1. Thanks for that, Josie, I spotted this one on a list of "you'd like this" stuff a month ago, and it's on my pile for April to read. I'll move it to the top of the pile now!

    1. I think Hester and Harriet is something you will enjoy as much as I did, Susan !

  2. I gather there is more planned for H and H which is great news. Lovely review, thank you

    1. Your'e welcome Lovely to see you. Yes, I believe that we will meet up again with this quirky duo in further exploits !!

  3. I must read this as Hilary signed it for me recently and your review tells me I'd like it!

    1. How lovely to have a signed copy , Linda. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I did !!


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