By Pamela Hart
HQ Fiction: 2022
TV researcher Poppy McGowan has never sought the spotlight and is none too happy to be photographed with rock god Nathan Castle. When the photo pops up on celebrity gossip sites, it sparks a media feeding frenzy, forcing Poppy to go to ground, don a wig, and pull some nifty moves to escape a tailing car. On top of that, she cops abuse from Nathan’s outraged fans.
None of this would have happened if Poppy hadn’t found Nathan’s mother Daisy, one-time glamour girl and elderly best friend of her Aunty Mary, bleeding and unconscious in her bathroom. The police dismiss the case as an accident, but Poppy is sure there are questions to be answered. Who attacked Daisy, and why? Will she come out of her coma? What secrets are her gathering family hiding? What happens to Daisy’s money if she dies?
When a murder occurs outside Daisy’s flat, the police step in at last. Unfortunately, they finger Poppy’s boyfriend, Tol, for the crime – after all, he had bad blood with the victim. As Daisy’s money-hungry family circle amid hints of poisoning, bribery and blackmail, Poppy must find a way to clear Tol’s name and ensure Daisy’s safety.
Reviewer: Sara Hood
To say this is a light, charming entertainer of a book sounds dismissive, but it’s not at all. This was a joy to read for its very lightness and charm. And it is indeed entertaining. Set in contemporary Sydney, it’s the second of the Poppy McGowan mysteries and yes her gorgeous boyfriend is still on the scene. If you’re looking for a story you can get just sink into and that leaves you with a lovely ‘aaaaah’ at the end, then this is for you. It would be a great beach read or ‘curl upon the sofa for the afternoon’ book. Pamela is well known for her historical fiction, Regency romances and children’s books, has written more than 40 published works and won a slew of awards. She also lectures in creative writing. That experience and confidence comes through in this book and it’s a joy to read something where the characters make sense, the plot rolls along logically, Sydney feels like the Sydney I know and the writing flows so smoothly. I’d also say, as someone who’s worked in the music industry for a couple of decades, Pamela totally nails the life of the rock star. A most enjoyable read and I look forward to the third Poppy adventure.