Blog Tour: St Bride’s Series – Sinister Stranger at St Bride’s – Debbie Young

*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author, Boldwood Books and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

Blurb: When an American stranger turns up claiming to be the rightful owner of the school’s magnificent country estate it could spell trouble for everyone at St Bride’s . . .

No one can believe it when the headmistress, Hairnet, instantly accepts the stranger’s claim, not:

  • the put-upon Bursar, ousted from his cosy estate cottage by the stranger
  • the enigmatic Max Security, raring to engage in a spot of espionage
  • the sensible Judith Gosling, who knows more about Lord Bunting than she’s letting on
  • the irrepressible Gemma Lamb, determined to keep the school open

Only fickle maths teacher Oriana Bliss isn’t suspicious of the stranger, after all she can just marry him and secure St Bride’s future forever. That’s if inventive pranks by the girls – and the school cat – don’t drive him away first.

Who will nab the stranger first? Oriana with the parson’s noose? Gemma with sinister secrets? Or could this be the end of St Bride’s?

This is the second in the Gemma Lamb cosy mystery series – St Trinian’s crossed with Enid Blyton, crossed with a very gentle, non-murder mystery story.

In this instalment, we get less violence with the mystery, as it revolves around a matter of inheritance, and whether the new arrival is a genuine descendant or a brazen con man.

All the familiar staff of St Bride’s are back, being their usual eccentric and mysterious selves and unwittingly muddying the waters of anything Gemma attempts to investigate.

We get a lot more of the British school atmosphere this time around too, as the timeline of the story spans St Bride’s Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas rituals and we see them celebrated in traditional, cosy style – a perfect dose of festive cheer for this current holiday season!

Yet again, while not the more traditional kind of mystery here, this is another quick, easy and highly enjoyable read, with quirky memorable characters and a very gentle, very British plot.

I’m really looking forward to the next one, as there are still some staff secrets left unexposed, despite Gemma’s best efforts. Plus, I want to see if her slow-burn flirtation with romance might spark to a regular flame…!

‘Miss Lamb, Miss Lamb, there’s a ghost outside outside the front door!’
At St Bride’s School for Girls, I never quite knew what to expect when I opened the staffroom door to deal with a girl’s enquiry, but Imogen’s announcement before the first lesson of the day was unprecedented.

– Debbie Young, Sinister Stranger at St Bride’s

Author Bio –

Debbie Young is the much-loved author of the Sophie Sayers and St Brides cosy crime mysteries. She lives in a Cotswold village where she runs the local literary festival, and has worked at Westonbirt School, both of which provide inspiration for her writing. She is bringing both her series to Boldwood in a 13-book contract. They will be publishing several new titles in each series and republishing the backlist, starting in September 2022.

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PURCHASE LINK: Sinister Stranger at St Bride’s ON AMAZON

Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below for details) for more great content and reviews, including visiting me back here on 25th November to find out my thoughts on book 3 in the series!


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