Title: A Wicked Design
Author: Brian Kavanagh
Opening lines: “…"Darling. I’m afraid it’s bad news. I can’t think of any other way to tell you. He’s dead"…”
A WICKED DESIGN is the fifth novel in the series that centres on Australian amateur sleuth Belinda Lawrence. This book sees Belinda temporarily leaving her home and antiques business in England and flying to her family home in Melbourne, Australia. What was going to be a quick trip back to tell ex-boyfriend Brad personally that she is going to marry Mark turns into a murder investigation – Brad’s. Brad, an architect of some renown, had been found dead in a local river, with his hands tied behind his back, and stones on his body to weigh him down – not an accidental death. Mark was working on a special project for Melbourne’s Parliament House, and it would appear he had found a treasure of political importance, a treasure that people were prepared to kill for in order to get their hands on it. Ably assisted by her friend and business partner Hazel Whitby Belinda decides to look into the death. Trouble is there are quite a few suspects including Belinda’s fiancé Mark.
I enjoy Brian Kavanagh’s books – each one is well-written with believable plots, historical facts, suspense and humour. In fact Brian’s talent is being able to skilfully weave true history, legend and fiction into one story. In A WICKED DESIGN the elements of the English Civil War between the Roundheads and Cavaliers has been brought to Australia. Trouble is how does it connect to Brad’s murder? And will being a suspect affect the relationship between Belinda and Mark? And will the wonderfully uninhibited Hazel ever settle down – and do we want her too? More murders occur before all is eventually revealed in an unexpectedly hot finale in a beautiful setting.
Rating: B – Great. I really enjoyed reading it and it is a book I will be recommending to all my friends who like this genre.
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