Title: Ill-Gotten Gains
Author: Ilsa Evans
Blurb: The country town of Majic is about to celebrate a milestone. It’s been 150 years since the founding father, Petar Majic, rode into the bush after a liquid lunch, vowing to build a house at whatever spot he reached by sunset. However, what happened next isn’t quite what town legend would have you believe. A murder-suicide leads to the unveiling of a century-old scandal and a trail left by a trio of long-dead women. Nell’s investigations are hampered both by the arrival of the handsome district detective and by her family whose dramas almost eclipse that of the town itself. Nell will need her wits about her as the mystery of Majic begins casting its shadow into the present day, putting Nell and her family in grave danger. In the end, Nell must decide whether it is a tale of epic fortitude, or treachery and ill-gotten gains, before the past catches up with her.
My Thoughts: ILL-GOTTEN GAINS is the sequel to Nefarious Doings that I read, and loved, last month. I love Nell, I can so relate to her on many, many levels. For me, she is a character that is so believable that I felt I could knock on the door and have a cuppa and gossip with no problems. Various aspects of Nell’s daughters are each based on one of my daughters I am sure. Or are all teens like this? Maybe a bit of both! When Nell and her daughter make an important discovery about the town’s founding father she tells the head of the historical society, that night he rings her in a state of excitement wanting to see Nell in person to tell her his great discovery. The next morning Nell finds him dead in his office – with the door locked from the inside. Shortly after there is an attempt on Nell’s life so things become serious for her. Trouble is her life is a bit complicated right now, daughters doing their own thing; various surprise pregnancies; an ex who is insisting she sells the family home and then the gorgeous Detective Sergeant Ashley Armistead turns up to investigate the murder, Nell is not sure what to tackle first.
ILL-GOTTEN GAINS is very well written with a good mystery that has you suspecting everyone at one stage or another. The book is full of believable but quirky characters complete with a ‘normal’ family that the story is built around. As with the first book, each chapter starts with a funny response to one of Nell’s column articles which adds to the overall humour of the book. Readers will laugh as they get drawn into the tale as they try alongside Nell to discover just who the murderer is. All is revealed in a heart stopping finale when Majic’s 150th birthday celebrations swing into action and the town is choc a bloc with people. I do hope there is book three not too far away as I would love to spend more time in Majic.
Rating: B – Great. I really enjoyed reading it.
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Ill-Gotten Gains by Ilsa Evans is book # 33 for AWW2013