*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: Gemma Lamb is ready for an uneventful term at St Bride’s, she’s had enough of dastardly deeds and sinister strangers.
However, she’s barely back at school before:
- Unlucky in love Oriana is sneaking around at odd hours
- Handsome Joe is keeping secrets
- Militant Mavis feels a scandal is brewing
It’s all a bit much, but when a stranger appears Gemma thinks she’s had enough. But this stranger isn’t so sinister, instead he looks rather too familiar. If Gemma can’t get him away from the school the whispers and scandal his presence could unleash may just close St Bride’s doors for good.
This third book in the Gemma Lamb cosy mystery series finally answers some of the bigger questions Gemma had about the staff at St Bride’s and uncovers some of their oldest secrets.
What I really like about these books is that while each has a mystery to solve, the author doesn’t fall into the ‘Midsomer Murders’ trap of introducing a small community and then murdering them one-by-one in story after story, which would get especially silly here with such a small pool of very distinct suspects/victims to draw from! Instead, the focus is on gentler mysteries – a missing student and some suspicious staff absences here – and we can really get to know the staff as the series progresses. And they really are brought to life, from Gemma and Joe, to Oriana, Hairnet and Max Security (my favourite, other than McPhee the cat, of course!).
I have to admit that Miss Harnett’s behaviour baffled me a bit in this story. I love her character, with her warmth for the girls and staff under her care, and her placid all-knowing demeanour, but felt a lot of worry and drama would have been avoided if she had simply told her staff a little of what was going on. It seemed a bit unusually irresponsible of her… until it becomes clear that she has a history of bafflingly bad decisions!
I really hope that this isn’t the last book in this series, as they are such lovely, cosy reads, with a little bit of gentle mystery, a little bit of clean romance, some memorable characters and an air of nostalgic Britishness. They are fantastic for a quick, easy read on a cold evening and made me remember my old Enid Blyton obsession fondly, and I could definitely read many more tales of St Bride’s.
A rustling sound distracted me from my thoughts as Nicolette extracted the centre pages of the local paper and, holding them aloft, found herself peering at Mavis through a neatly scissored rectangular hole in the business section.– Debbie Young, Wicked Whispers at St Bride’s
‘You’d make a terrible spy, Nicolette,’ remarked Mavis. ‘Honestly, you’d think Hairnet would have better things to do with her time than censoring the local paper.’
Curious, she heaved herself up from her chair to go peer, frowning, over Nicolette’s shoulder at the mysterious hole.
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.
Social Media Links –
Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/DebbieYoungNews
Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/debbie-young
PURCHASE LINK: Wicked Whispers 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!