Monday, 27 August 2018

Calamity in Camberwell by Alice Castle - Book Review


Genre:  Cozy Crime
Publication Date:  13 August 2018
Publisher:  Crooked Cat Books
Standalone Third Book in the London Murder Mystery Series

Beth Haldane, SE21’s answer to Miss Marple, worries she is losing a kindred spirit when her friend Jen, the only other single mum in the playground, suddenly remarries and moves to Camberwell. 

Soon Beth has to face much more pressing fears. Has something gone horribly wrong with Jen’s marriage? What is her new husband really up to? Why is her daughter leading Beth’s son astray? And where on earth is Jen anyway? 

As Beth's friends push her to start dating again, Beth turns to Metropolitan Police DI Harry York for help. But will they solve the mystery in time, or will it turn out that in south east London, not everyone gets to live happily ever after?

The third book in the London Murder Mystery Series once again sees our protagonist single mum Beth trying to juggle work with home life and, this time, trying to discover where her friend has disappeared to, even though no-one else seems to have missed her.

Beth's been a widow for eight years, her son is now ten, and her best friend Kate gently suggests to Beth that maybe she should consider using a dating app, but as Beth is the world's greatest prevaricator, this could take some time, especially when the lovely Detective Inspector Harry York arrives on the scene again to save Beth from getting into more trouble!

The character of Beth is incredibly well developed and I really felt that I understood her and how her mind worked as she set about her mission, determined to not leave any stone upturned in her quest.

This has a slightly different feel to the earlier books in that the crime hasn't been committed right at the start, in fact for a long time we're not sure if a crime has been committed.  It all becomes clear very gradually as the tension builds up so slowly and cleverly.

Even though this is the third in the series I think it could be read as a standalone.  If you enjoy a gentle mystery with characters you care about set in an affluent up market village in London, with just a hint of a romance, then this will appeal to you.  The plot is not so complex and there is some humour dotted about, which was just enough to bring a smile to my face.

I'm already looking forward to the next book Homicide in Herne Hill.

Meet the Author

Before turning to crime, Alice Castle had a long career as a feature writer on national newspapers including the Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Alice grew up in south London and, after a brief stint in Brussels (where her first novel, Hot Chocolate, is set) she is back where she belongs, dreaming up adventures for her heroine, amateur detective and single mum Beth Haldane. 
Alice is married with two children, two stepchildren and two cats. 
Find out more about her London Murder Mystery series on her website, 
Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 by Crooked Cat Books and was #1 in the Amazon Satire/Detective charts in the UK, US, Canada, France, Spain and Germany. 
The Girl in the Gallery came out in December 2017 and the third in the series, Calamity in Camberwell, was published on 13th August 2018. 
Homicide in Herne Hill will follow in autumn 2018, with more books in the pipeline. 
Follow Alice on Twitter as @DDsDiary

Links to buy books:

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