Blind Date by Frances Fyfield



I have not read any other work by Frances Fyfield, however I did watch and enjoy the TV series of the Helen West Casebook, which was based on her Helen West books.  I picked up this book because it was a selection for this month for the Kindle English Mystery Club on Goodreads.

I liked a lot about this book, the characters of Elisabeth Kennedy and Joe, were interesting in themselves and as a relationship.   The villain(s) twisted relationship revealed over time was intriguing and well done.  I found the setting, Elisabeth’s church tower apartment well done (and it is an important part of the story). The psychology of Elisabeth, the relationship between her and her mother, sister, and nephew is well done.

The mystery has more of psychological thriller feel to it than any other sub genre of mystery. The pacing was well suited to this type of mystery.

The issue I had with this book was with  character development.  I didn’t really get  a sense of Joe’s back story and I had trouble keeping his friends straight because they were not well defined enough.  I didn’t even understand entirely the idealization of Elisabeth’s sister, unless that was just some post-mortem “don’t speak ill of the dead” kind of thing but it seemed like an ongoing aspect of their relationship.  Even Joe realized that the story of Emma was too good to be true.  On the plus side, by eliminating some back story and character development, the pacing is accelerated.  This is fast moving and a quick read.

Overall, I did enjoy this and would read another book by Frances Fyfield.

Just What Kind of Mother Are You? by Paula Daly


This book was a Goodreads recommendation.  It is very Gone Girl-esque.  The characters are well drawn and the interactions between the not posh, not perfect Lisa Kallisto and the other mother, Kate, and her family, are well crafted.  The dynamic between Lisa and Joe and the other, much more well off, members of their community was particularly well done.  Lisa is a character that I could definitely relate to and I could  imagine the horror of having someone else’s child disappear on your watch.

Two things made the resolution very obvious to me, the fact that it was recommended for fans of Gone Girl and a revelation made about one of the characters a little over the half way mark.  Even with that I still found it a compelling page turner, I really wanted to get to the ending and see how it all turned out.

My main issue with the book is that the ending is only solved by “accident”, neither the police nor the protagonist really solve it.  It is more like the reveal is “stumbled upon” by Lisa.  There are also some strange side storylines that don’t really add to the main plot and don’t seem to serve a purpose.  Overall, there is enough good here that I would read more by this author.