NB This post first appeared on the Blog Tour for ‘After the Storm’, via Rachel at Rachel’s Rare Resources.
My Review (4 stars out of 5)
Giuseppe Bianchi’s intended short stay with relatives in Bexhill-on-Sea, turns into an extended holiday due to his reluctance to return home and the memories that haunt him there. While walking the family dog, he meets Edward who lives nearby. Finding they have similar interests, they become friends. However, a violent storm results in the destruction of Edward’s garden shed, but it is only when Giuseppe goes round to check on his pal that he finds Edward’s body. Together with his cousin’s daughter Christina, Giuseppe begins to untangle the truth behind Edward’s life.
Written in the style of an English murder mystery (in the Agatha Christie/Josephine Tey vein) this is the second book in the Giuseppe Bianchi mystery series and the first I’ve read by this author. The story centres very much around the family and their interactions with each other, while the author creates an attractive picture of the early nineteen-sixties and life in the café where they all live. Although the characters are realistic and the setting evocative of the period, I found the story a little slow, taking too long to get going.
Having said that, the writing is at times quite lovely, making it an easy book to read.
Isabella is never happier than when she is immersing herself in the sights, sounds and experiences of the 1960s. Researching all aspects of family life back then formed the perfect launch pad for her works of fiction. Isabella rediscovered her love of writing fiction during two happy years working on and completing her MA in Professional Writing and since then she has gone on to publish six novels, three novellas and two short story collections.
Her latest novel, After the Storm, is the second novel in a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi who is escaping from tragedy in Rome, only to arrive in the quiet seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, to come face-to-face with it once more.
Her first Sussex Crime Mystery series features young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, we meet Janie, who looks after the mobile library. She is an avid lover of Agatha Christie stories – in particular Hercule Poirot. Janie uses all she has learned from the Queen of Crime to help solve crimes and mysteries. As well as three novels, there are three novellas in the series, which explore some of the back story to the Tamarisk Bay characters.
Isabella’s standalone novel, The Forgotten Children, deals with the emotive subject of the child migrants who were sent to Australia – again focusing on family life in the 1960s, when the child migrant policy was still in force.
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