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Posts Tagged ‘Anthea Fraser’

Retribution: Severn House Publishers (A Rona Parish Mystery)

Rona Parish is finishing her series on single mothers for the magazine Chiltern Life with an article on Nicole Summers who writes a cookery column for the magazine. But when she visits the enigmatic writer she makes a disturbing discovery.  Out of the blue she is asked to take on a biography of a famous journalist who was also an international sportsman.  The research has been started by a writer who has recently been killed in a car crash.

It soon becomes clear that neither commission is going to be without its associated mysteries and it seems as though someone doesn’t want her to finish the biography and will stop at nothing to prevent her finishing the book.  Rona must also deal with news which will upset her life in ways she could not possibly imagine.

I enjoyed this low key mystery.  I like Rona and her sister Lindsey and I enjoy reading about their lives.  The interlocking mysteries in this book are well plotted and I didn’t work out what was going until almost the end of the book.  While this book is part of an ongoing series it can be read as a standalone novel and the series can be read in any order.

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Justice Postponed: A Rona Parish mystery

Rona Parish is researching a series of articles about people who have had exciting lives or who have been involved in an historic occasion.  Attending a fashion show at the invitation of her friend Magda who owns several boutiques in the area, she meets the designer Ross Mackenzie and he asks her to write a profile of him for the magazine Chiltern Life.

Her research leads to her being asked to try and find out what really happened in an accident in which a friend of her father’s was severely injured and someone died.  Reluctantly, Rona agrees to see what she can find out.  She could not possibly have envisaged where her tentative enquiries will lead.

This is a well written novel with believable characters and a well plotted storyline with a tense ending.  I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to anyone who likes their crime stories without too much on the page violence and an interesting background.  It is the latest book in the series at the time of writing (2015).

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Question of Identity (A Rona Parish Mystery Book 8)

Rona’s twin sister Lindsey asks her to try and find out what she can about an old school photograph in which someone has been completely inked over so that you can’t see who they are.  Rona is reluctant to get involved but her biography of the artist Elspeth Wilding is not going well and she needs a distraction so against her better judgement she starts to look into it.

It takes her mind off the biography and before long she finds herself genuinely intrigued. Going to see a stage hypnotist also takes her mind off her work and leads to problems for her friend Magda.  Meanwhile Rona’s family seem to be gradually adjusting to their changing situations but Rona still worries about Lindsey’s on/off love life.

I thought this was one of the best books in this excellent mystery series.  I liked the characters and I thought the hypnotist sub-plot was very well done.  I liked the way all the threads of the story gradually fitted together.  I was surprised by the reasons behind the photograph and I thought that was a neat and unusual solution.  I can thoroughly recommend this well written mystery series which can be read as standalone novels or as part of a series.

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Unfinished Portrait (A Rona Parish Mystery Book 7)

Rona Parish has been persuaded by her publisher to undertake a biography of missing artist Elspeth Wilding. She disappeared about eighteen months ago with apparently no warning to her family or friends and hasn’t been heard of since.  Rona fears that the commission may result in her getting involved in a criminal investigation again as has happened before but she knows she needs to get back to writing biographies.

Rona’s family seem to be settling down though she still worries about her twin sister who still seems to have an off/on relationship with her latest admirer.  Gradually as Rona gets more involved with her research and meets more people who knew Elspeth she finds her enthusiasm for the project increasing.

I enjoyed this well plotted mystery which didn’t work out at all how I thought it would.  I think the characters were well drawn and the story seems to flow.  I think the author has created a believable background for Rona and I can almost see her surroundings and the town in which she lives when I am reading.  Overall this is an enjoyable and entertaining series though each book could be read as a standalone novel.

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Next Door to Murder (A Rona Parish Mystery Book 6)

The house next door to Rona Parish has been let to a variety of tenants for several years while its owners are in Hong Kong.  New tenants have just moved in but Rona has found they are not very friendly but at least they seem quiet.  She had thought it was just an elderly couple living there until she realises that there is a young woman there as well.  Rona’s work is going well and she is currently researching an article about a local furniture company.

When the young woman from next door approaches Rona and asks her to find out who she is because she has lost her memory, Rona is intrigued but wary.  She really doesn’t want to be dragged into any more mysteries which lead to murder.

Rona’s nearest and dearest warn her against getting involved but in the end curiosity gets the better of her and she starts to investigate. No one could have predicted the results of her investigations as the frightening ending to the story shows.  I enjoyed reading this well written mystery novel as I like Rona herself and her husband Max.

All of the books in this series so far – I have three more to read – are well written with interesting characters.  They can be read as standalone novels or as part of a series.  If you like your crime novels with interesting backgrounds and not too much on the page violence then you might enjoy this series.

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Rogue in Porcelain (A Rona Parish Mystery Book 5)

Rona Parish is writing a series of articles about local family firms and her latest subject is the Curzon china company which has been in existence for almost one hundred and fifty years.  Rona likes to highlight the human element in her articles and is pleased to hear that there are family stories of a scandal and she hopes to hear more about it.

Unfortunately the old scandal may still have repercussions in the present and Rona’s investigations could just turn over a few stones which might have been better left where they were.  In her private life she has made a new friend and her parents seem to be settling down in the new status quo though Rona is still worried about twin sister Lindsey and her inability to attract men who make her happy.

This is an entertaining and well written mystery and I enjoyed reading it.  I like Rona as a character and I think her unconventional lifestyle makes a change from the usual marital situation.  I am enjoying this series and the books can be read as a standalone novels as well as part of a series.

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A Family Concern (A Rona Parish Mystery)

Rona Parish is writing a series of articles on long established local family firms when she is asked to try and find the cause of Freya’s nightmares which are waking her up every night and making her ill through lack of sleep.  Rona doesn’t feel qualified to do this but agrees to try and find out what might have happened in the past and whether Freya could have witnessed something as a child which upset her and which she now can’t remember.

Rona herself has family problems which are concerning her and she is worried about twin sister Lindsey and her complicated love life and about her separated parents.  Naturally her investigations into Freya’s nightmares stir up old hurts and it seems as though Rona once again managed to disturb a hornet’s nest.

This book is the fourth in this well written and interesting series of mysteries.  I liked the background to the story and I thought the plot was well constructed.  The clues are there but I didn’t spot the solution.  I am enjoying this entertaining series – though I don’t think it is quite as good as the author’s DCI Webb series. If you prefer your detectives to be amateurs then you may prefer Rona Parish

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