"My daughter's not just run away - she's dead!' When Mary Corbet walks into private investigator Jennie Redhead's rundown Oxford office one pleasant spring day in 1974, she is a desperate woman. Although she's convinced her daughter has been murdered, she can get neither the police nor her husband to agree with her.
Jennie is not convinced either, but more out of compassion than conviction agrees to take the case. The only clue she has to go on is a fragment of an obscure 17th century poem she finds in Linda's bedroom: Or will you, like a cold and errant coward/Abandon all and make a shivering turn. But from that one clue Jennie's investigations will lead her beyond the city's dreaming spires to Oxford's darker underbelly, in which lurks a hidden world of privilege, violence and excess.~Goodreads Blurb
Set in 1970s Oxford, there is a new generation growing up and getting into trouble. Sally Spencer’s newest series is lead by a female PI named Jennie Redhead(oh and spoilers, she has red hair.) There is lots of little character bits which make this an entertaining and interesting read. With the warring class distinctions in Oxford, with the students acting as the upperclass to the lower town folks, there is bound to be some struggle between them. Spencer has managed to not only portray these two classes with some skill, she also has added some historical information about the colleges and the cultural elements of the late 60s early 70s.
While I am not often too keen on characters with whimsical names, as it can sometimes show a laziness on the writer's part, I was able to look past that quite easily in this case. Author Sally Spencer has put in the work and brought forth a series that has left me waiting for the next one. It isn’t an all out blood and guts mystery and yet I wouldn’t go so far as to lump it into the cozy genre of mysteries. I would say this is a good book to sit back and enjoy with a glass of wine and a nice blanket. The mystery was well written and the female characters were rarely lumped into cliche stereotypes.
*This eBook was provided by NetGalley and Severn House in exchange for honest feedback*
A pseudonym used by Alan Rustage. Sally Spencer is a pen name, first adopted when the author (actually called Alan Rustage) was writing sagas and it was almost obligatory that a woman's name appeared on the cover (other authors like Emma Blair and Mary Jane Staples are also men).
Before becoming a full-time writer, he was a teacher. In 1978-79 he was working in Iran and witnessed the fall of the Shah (see the Blog for what it was like to live through a revolution). He got used to having rifles - and, one occasion, a rocket launcher - pointed at him by both soldiers and revolutionaries, but he was never entirely comfortable with it.
Freelance Editor & Reviewer