A beauty queen is missing...
Sapphire Butterworth disappears in the middle of May Day celebrations in the quiet village of Fleckford. Mystery writer, Jock Skone is one of the last to see Sapphire and determined to use his detective skills to find her. But Jock quickly discovers that Sapphire’s friends do not know her as well as they thought they did. And Sapphire is not the first May Queen to go missing. Is there a deeper reason why Sapphire wanted the title so badly? Does she know more about the May Queen Killers than she’s been letting on?
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From the blurb of the book, the protagonist reminded me of Ariadne Oliver. Richard Castle came to my mind as well but being an Agatha Christie fan through and through, I just thought of Ariadne Oliver first.
Fleckford seems to be a quaint and quiet little village until Sapphire goes missing. It seems impossible for someone to simply disappear in the hubbub of May Day celebrations. And since our protagonist, Jock – a mystery writer, was one of the last people to see her, he decides to use his skill set to investigate the disappearance. He soon discovers that there was more to the missing girl than people knew and that this wasn’t the first disappearance either. The further Jock delves into this mystery, the more he learns about the town and its people. Not everything is as it had seemed at the beginning and there are secrets lurking at every corner. Will Jock be able to solve the mystery while avoiding suspicion himself?
The thing that stands out in this book is the plot. The author has put in a great deal of effort in setting it up with a good number of red herrings. The author made me pay attention to every bit of information with the way they were delivered. They all felt to be important bits, when clearly some were just crumbs to lead the readers astray. While this was a good thing as it kept us curious throughout, it also turned out to be bit disappointing since some of the information that we were looking to know more about turned out to be irrelevant and as such we did not get full closure. I like such conundrums as they make me think a little more than usual about whether it was well done or will only cause trouble for the book with the readers. The author certainly has an interesting style of storytelling. I was literally gobbling everything up and the pace at which the plot moves certainly helps quite a bit. While the major characters are all well fleshed out, I really wished for some more development for some of the other characters who seemed interesting. Jock as a protagonist is an interesting character. His character feels well balanced and while he is no Ariadne Oliver or Richard Castle, he is someone you would like to see/read more about.
To round up, this is a book with more pros than cons and certainly provided me with hours of suspense and entertainment. The author does show some promise and will henceforth be on my ‘watch out for’ list.
Review Copy received from the Author