|Taw River Press|
(Jan Christopher Mystery Series #1)
My thanks to the author for my copy of this book
Eighteen-year-old library assistant Jan Christopher’s life is to change on a rainy Friday evening in July 1971, when her legal guardian and uncle, DCI Toby Christopher, gives her a lift home after work. Driving the car, is her uncle’s new Detective Constable, Laurie Walker – and it is love at first sight for the young couple.
But romance is soon to take a back seat when a baby boy is taken from his pram, a naked man is scaring young ladies in nearby Epping Forest, and an elderly lady is found, brutally murdered...
Are the events related? How will they affect the staff and public of the local library where Jan works – and will a blossoming romance survive a police investigation into murder?
📖 My thoughts..
Jan Christopher's rather mundane job as a library assistant in Chingford is the stepping point for what will become the adventure of a lifetime for her when she gets inadvertently drawn into a complex crime investigation which involves a missing baby, the death of an elderly lady who was last seen cutting money saving coupons out of a newspaper in the library, and a naked man who is hellbent on scaring women in the woods. Add into the mix a burgeoning romantic relationship for Jan with a lovely young detective constable, and the settled home life she has with her aunt and uncle, and you have all the ingredients needed for a rollicking good, cosy crime mystery.
A Mirror Murder is set in the 1970s, a time which is wonderfully recreated by this author who always brings whichever period she is writing about to perfect life. Scattered like gemstones throughout are quirky references to the seventies, a time I remember with fond nostalgia, so it was a real trip down memory lane to be reminded of Jackie magazine, Rawhide on the television and Scholl sandals, along with the less PC form of policing when perpetrators could get off with a strong admonishment not to do it again.
Helen Hollick always writes with such conviction, whether it be writing her successful historical fiction set in Saxon England, or her wonderful Sea Voyage collection of historical adventures, there is never a moment when A Mirror Murder doesn't entertain on every level. I raced through the story in the space of an afternoon, laughing out loud in places and always totally immersed in a cleverly constructed crime mystery which I loved reading from start to finish.
As this is the first book in a proposed series of cosy crime novels, I am beyond excited to see where this talented author will take Jan Christopher to next. I can't wait 😄
About the Author
Helen and her family moved from north-east London in January 2013 after finding an eighteenth-century North Devon farmhouse through BBC TV’s popular Escape To The Country show.
First accepted for publication by William Heinemann in 1993 – a week after her fortieth birthday – Helen then became a USA Today Bestseller with her historical novel, The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK) with the sequel, Harold the King (US: I Am The Chosen King) being novels that explore the events that led to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Her Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy is a fifth-century version of the Arthurian legend, and she also writes a pirate-based nautical adventure/fantasy series, The Sea Witch Voyages.
Her non-fiction books are Pirates: Truth and Tales and Life of A Smuggler. She also runs Discovering Diamonds, a review blog for historical fiction. She is currently writing more Voyages for the Sea Witch series and the next in the Jan Christopher Mysteries series. She has other ideas for other tales – and would like the time to write them!