David Booker and Jo Cash are back! David is now the owner of the Dymchurch bookshop in Romney Marsh and that comes in handy when Jo’s client wants to pay her in books!
A Booker & Cash Story #2
Whilst David firmly stays put in Romney Marsh and plans to settle down, Jo is struggling to start her career as a private detective. The Dymchurch bookshop was formerly run by David’s aunt and uncle but they were murdered. David has huge plans: a children’s playground outside, inside comfy chairs, a place to browse through books, sit and enjoy a coffee and cakes. For the first time in his life, David feels happy, despite the tragic circumstances which led to his ownership of the bookshop. The well-to-do Rebecca hires Jo to find out who is blackmailing her husband but before Jo can do anything, the husband commits suicide. Or does he? Either way, end of story you would say. Not for Rebecca, because now she wants to know how and why her husband became a victim of blackmail …
David Booker and Jo Cash now both live above the bookshop although not together. They share the odd meal and help each other when needed. Because of what transpired in Bad Sons, the first book of the series, Jo has left the Police Force and is trying to make a living as a private detective. Perhaps as a result of having been in mortal danger together, their friendship is strong and the Romney Marsh locals are well aware of it. Even the rich Rebecca knows about their ‘arrangement’ when she hires Jo to find out who is blackmailing her husband. Rebecca wants to pay Jo with the proceeds of old books, to be sold through David! A lovely well-kept mansion called Silverhurst, a gorgeous library and books to die for (pardon the expression) – what secrets could possibly be hidden? While browsing through Silverhurst’s library, David is almost attacked by the fierce looking Sigmund, Rebecca’s brother, who also lives there.
To find Nigel’s blackmailer, Jo has to do some digging. Did his wife, Rebecca. fail to mention that he was fired from the London investment company recently or was she ignorant of that fact believing he went to work every day rather than just keeping out of the way and using his time who knew how? Did Nigel commit fraud, did he embezzle money from the firm? If so, why were no charges brought against him? The questions pile up but Nigel will not be answering any of them as, apparently, he has committed suicide. If you think this is the end of the investigation, you are wrong. Now Rebecca is determined to find out what dark secrets of the past her husband was hiding from her that would make him a target for blackmail. Things get complicated when Jo and David dive into the world of Art when somehow the history of Romney Marsh becomes part of the story and a confrontation with Sigmund goes terribly wrong …
I really looked forward to reconnecting with David Booker and Jo Cash as well as returning to the unique seaside area that is Romney Marsh. Even if part of the book is situated in London, this feels like an engaging cosy mystery to me and I love it. A well-written, enjoyable novel with great interaction between the two protagonists. Because this is a first-person narrative (as is the first book in the Booker & Cash Series) we perceive everything through the eyes of David Booker and that gives an extra dimension which works extremely well. If you are looking for a gritty thriller this is most definitely not your book. But if like me, you enjoy a story written with a bit of humorous sarcasm about a male protagonist who grumbles about every ‘order’ Jo gives him but nevertheless is quite willing to follow her lead to find out what will happen next, this is your perfect detective novel. Love David and Jo, love Romney Marsh (I have to visit it myself, one day!) and I happily look forward to the next book in the series!
The Booker & Cash Stories currently consist of three instalments. The other books in the series are:
#1 Bad Sons (my review)
#3 Poor Hands (my review)
Each book can perfectly be read as a stand-alone although I would advise to read them in order as I always prefer to have some background on the characters.
About the Author
Oliver Tidy is a British crime writer and publisher, born and bred on Romney Marsh, Kent. After a “fairly aimless foray into adulthood and a number of unfulfilling jobs” he decided to become a teacher and, after having spent a few years in the classroom, he became an English teacher (as a foreign language) abroad. This is when he started his writing career. Now Oliver Tidy is living in Romney Marsh again, being a full-time writer The Booker & Cash Series, starting with this first instalment and with the next waiting around the corner, is published by Bloodhound Books. Oliver Tidy is also the author of the Romney & Marsh Files books (currently consisting of 7 instalments) and the Acer Sansom novels, consisting of 4 books) as well as a collection of short stories ‘The Crime Writer and other stories: Ten Tall Tales’.
|Publisher||Bloodhound Books (12 June 2017)|