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|Lion Hudson Ltd|
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and the invitation to be part of the blog tour today
It’s 1924 and Poppy Denby is heading up to Northumberland to celebrate her father’s sixtieth birthday. She stops off in Newcastle en route to visit her Aunt Dot, who has temporarily relocated from London to renovate a house she’s inherited. One of Aunt Dot’s guests is the world-renowned artist, Agnes Robson, who is staging an exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery. Reluctantly, Poppy is roped in to help when the artist’s press liaison man falls ill. She soon discovers that the local press has dug up some dirt on Agnes relating to the tragic death of a young art teacher in Ashington Colliery, twenty-seven years earlier. As she tries to suppress the story, Poppy begins to suspect that the teacher might have been murdered and that the killer may still be on the loose…
What did I think about it..
Journalist, and amateur sleuth, Poppy Denby is staying with her Aunt Dot in Newcastle, and whilst there she meets with renowned artist, Agnes Robson, who is back in the North East, to celebrate her artistic success by showing some of her art collection in an exhibition at the prestigious Laing Art Gallery. When Agnes’s press assistant is taken ill, Poppy steps in to help out, with devastating consequences when secrets from Agnes’s past threaten to be exposed.
Poppy Denby is a likeable amateur crime investigator as she has the right amount of tenacity to get to grips with a situation and yet she is also a little bit ditzy which I rather liked as all sleuths should have some flaws. There’s no doubt, though, that Poppy also has sound common sense and even when the investigation goes off in an unexpected direction, Poppy is there to pull everything together.
The story flows well and the setting in 1924 gives something of a ‘flapper’ feel about it with the idea of fashionable young women enjoying themselves and yet, they're also making their mark in a typically male society. However, it's not all about froth and trips to the theatre and games of tennis, there’s also quite a dark element at play concerning something tragic which happened long ago in Agnes Robson's past which is explained well and gives an interesting dimension to the story.
This is the fifth book in this cosy crime series and even though I haven’t read any of the four books which had gone before, I was soon able to pick up some pointers about Poppy’s past and didn’t feel that I struggled too much in not knowing much about some of the characters. The Art Fiasco is a lively, cosy crime mystery which has interesting characters, and enough excitement, to keep you entertained from start to finish.
About the Author
Fiona Veitch Smith is the author of the Poppy Denby Investigates novels, Golden Age-style murder mysteries set in the 1920s, about a reporter sleuth who works for a London tabloid. The first book in the series, The Jazz Files, was shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger, while subsequent books have been shortlisted for the Foreword Review Mystery Novel of the Year and the People’s Book Prize. She is formerly a journalist, having worked on the arts and crime beats of a Cape Town newspaper, and lectured in journalism in the UK for over a decade. She is currently the Deputy Editor of the CWA’s Red Herrings Magazine. www.poppydenby.com.
Twitter @FionaVeitchSmit #TheArtFiasco