Title: Nefarious Doings
Author: Ilsa Evans
Blurb: Welcome to the sleepy town of Majic, where neighbourhood watch is a killer. For Nell Forrest, life in the little town of Majic is not going smoothly. One of her five daughters has just swapped university for fruit-picking, another is about to hit puberty, while a third keeps leaving aggrieved messages on the answering machine. On top of all this, her mother is infuriating and it’s only been a matter of months since Nell lost her husband of twenty-five years. It’s no surprise, then, that she is even struggling to write her weekly column. But the floodgates of inspiration are about to swing open, almost knocking her out in the process. Murder and mayhem, arson and adultery, dungeons, death threats and disappearances are just around the corner. Despite Nell’s abysmal aptitude for investigative work, she manages to shine the light on the local Richard III Society and that’s when things really start to heat up. Throw in some suspicious widows, nosy neighbours, a canine witness, plus a detective who is getting a little closer than he should, and it’s clear that nefarious doings are well and truly afoot.
My Thoughts: NEFARIOUS DOINGS is the first book in Ilsa Evans’ new Nell Forrest Mystery series and it is a damn good start too. I really enjoyed it, especially with a glass of Australian Shiraz at my side. It is easy to read with very likable and believable characters. Nell’s interaction with her daughters and mother are spot on; I could almost imagine they were my daughters and Ilsa had been listening underneath our windows as the conversations were so similar! The mystery is fascinating – for what possible reason could her mother’s house be burned down and the dead body of a neighbour discovered in her garage? In a quiet country community, where normally you can’t even sneeze without everyone discussing if you have the plague, nobody hears or sees anything. Or did they? A second neighbour is found a few days later so everyone becomes a suspect ,even Nell’s mother. So of course Nell is honour bound to prove her mother’s innocence. I had to really laugh when Nell went sleuthing and her sister, daughters and dog all came along in the car! Majic comes over as a typical Australian country town and is named for a Mr Majic who founded it and not because anyone has any magical powers. There is suspense, danger, a touch of romance and enough wine mentions to keep this little wine-lover happy. I hugely enjoyed NEFARIOUS DOINGS and have the next book in the series, Ill-Gotten Gains, on pre-order for its release next month. I am more than ready to pour a wine and settle down to learn more about Nell and her activities.
Rating: B – Great. I really enjoyed reading it.
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Nefarious Doings by Ilsa Evansis book # 30 for AWW2013