Title: The Girl in the Gallery
Author: Alice Castle
Genre: cozy crime
Blurb: Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Dulwich…
It’s a perfect summer’s morning in the plush south London suburb, and thirty-something Beth Haldane has sneaked off to visit one of her favorite places, the world-famous Picture Gallery.
She’s enjoying a few moments’ respite from juggling her job at prestigious private school Wyatt’s and her role as single mum to little boy Ben, when she stumbles across a shocking new exhibit on display. Before she knows it, she’s in the thick of a fresh, and deeply chilling, investigation.
Who is The Girl in the Gallery? Join Beth in adventure #2 of the London Murder Mystery series as she tries to discover the truth about a secret eating away at the very heart of Dulwich.
As she sped on to the last gallery, containing the current exhibition, Beth automatically stopped for a second opposite one of her favorite still lives – the red, white, and blue bouquet by Jan van Huysum. Eighteenth century flower painters were paid extra for insects, and she loved spotting all the wriggly wildlife. This time, it wasn’t a bug that caught her eye, though. It was something on the very edge of her peripheral vision. Something that jarred, didn’t make sense. Shouldn’t even be there. Shouldn’t even be there. Something that, she realized with dread, was in the mausoleum antechamber. Something that meant, however much she did not want to, she had to turn back and look.
Beth’s heart started to thud. It was a flash of scarlet.
Wasn’t it Constable who’d added red to all his canvases as ‘the salt in the soup’? Well, Beth felt vehemently her life didn’t need even the tiniest jot more seasoning. She could no longer picture the shade crimson lake without shuddering from head to toe, after her ghastly first day at Wyatt’s School.
No, this time, if anything bad was happening, she was not going to stumble across it on her own. Resolutely shutting her eyes, she sidled back past the niche and then ran straight for the ticket desk. She’d get that girl on the desk to come with her, if she had to drag her all the way.
Review by Amber: I am giving this book 4.5 stars. It’s a quick and interesting crime novel that keeps us guessing who committed the crime. Something is going on at the Girl’s College and it’s up to Beth and the Inspector, Henry to figure it out.
Beth loves to go to the picture gallery but what she doesn’t expect or want is to find a young woman barely clinging to life. At first, they were trying to figure out if the victim was trying to commit suicide or if she was deliberately given drugs without her knowledge. Then another victim comes around and both Beth and the Investigator know it’s something more serious.
The novel brought me back to my high school years and how hard it was to try to fit in, how to become your own person. I adore the little romance that is going on between the investigator and Beth. Both feel it but neither one will bring it up Beth because she believes it would be a disgrace to her dead husband and Henry because of the job he does. I love how the upper-class moms are characterized, it is pictured like any of the shows that show how the rich live.
This book keeps you guessing on who is the killer. Several leads are found and none turn out. It’s up to Beth to figure it out, and hope she doesn’t get into more trouble.
The only thing that I didn’t like was how it ended. There were several loose ends that were brought up that didn’t get explained.
So, if you are in the mood for a lighthearted novel I would highly recommend this one
Award and RaffleCopter: Alice Castle will be awarding $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Rafflecopter link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f254
Author Bio and Links: Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph before becoming a novelist. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, was a European best-seller which sold out in two weeks.
Alice is currently working on the sequel to Death in Dulwich and The Girl in the Gallery. The third instalment in the London Murder Mystery series, it will be published by Crooked Cat next year and is titled The Calamity in Catford. Once again, it features Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.
Alice is also a top mummy blogger, writing DD’s Diary at www.dulwichdivorcee.com.
She lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children and two cats.
Alice Castle’s Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/alicecastleauthor/
Alice Castle is on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DDsDiary?lang=en
Links to buy Alice Castle’s books: myBook.to/GirlintheGallery myBook.to/1DeathinDulwich, myBook.to/HotChocolate
The book will be on sale for $0.99.