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Nancy Parker's Chilling Conclusions
Written by Julia Lee
This third younger novel in the Nancy Parker mystery series is very much in the Agatha Christie mould as a group of disparate characters are trapped in a big country house, with a body in the library. All the usual Edwardian murder mystery characters are in place - the maid who is really a two-bit actress, the imperious matriarch who was once a gold-digger herself, the shifty lawyer, the pompous industrialist.
One slight variation on the traditional form is that rather than a solitary detective, or a detective with a side-kick, here, our central character Nancy Parker reunites with old friend, Quentin Ives. But, due to their differing positions - he is the son of guests and she is posing as a lady's maid - they don't so much work together as in parallel, contributing different insights towards solving the mystery.
The contrast between Nancy's journal entries and Quentin's third person narrative keeps the story moving along as Nancy discovers false identities and Quentin goes down secret passageways. Plenty of humour, quick pace and a plot that keeps you guessing until the end make this an engaging, accessible and fun read. Look out for the earlier titles, Diary of Detection and Spooky Speculations.