This time I’d like to introduce you to Christine Campell’s The Reluctant Detective series. The first installment, Searching for Summer, came out earlier this year. The sequel, Traces of Red, was released last month.
Description (from Amazon):
Mirabelle’s daughter, Summer, disappears one Friday night, and Mirabelle would dearly love to rewind that day and live it differently. Instead, she is left not knowing if Summer is alive or dead, went of her own accord or was taken against her will.
Casting all other concerns aside – food, sleep, work, relationships – in her desperate need to find the answers, she takes to the streets of Edinburgh in search of Summer.
Searching along wynds snaking behind old buildings, through ancient doors and tiny spiral stairways, showing Summer’s photograph to everyone she meets in shops, museums and nightclubs, Mirabelle becomes a reluctant detective, gathering clues, trying to make sense of them in order to find her missing daughter.
Searching for Summer is a well written story focusing on the emotional anguish of a mother who has no idea what has become of her daughter. Mirabelle is a very well developed character, and although you might not agree with the decisions she has made in her life, you can’t help but identify with her feelings on some level. After all, with 20:20 hindsight, most parents would probably choose to do things differently. Her family and friends are loyal and supportive, even when Mirabelle does her best to drive them away.
The backdrop for the story is Edinburgh, and the author describes its beauty with obvious love. At the same time, through Mirabelle’s eyes, the reader also learns about the seamier sides of life in the city, as she wanders the city searching for Summer, interviewing the homeless and the poor. In places, the author included short bits of dialogue in something of a Scottish dialect. While lending authenticity to the prose, for a non-Scot, these passages were not as smooth a read.
Although Mirabelle does become a reluctant detective of sorts, this is not a traditional detective or mystery – it focuses more on characters, with only low key elements of suspense/action. All in all, an enjoyable read.
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hopes that I would post an honest review. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.
For more about this book:
Check out the Searching for Summer book trailer:
Searching for Summer (The Reluctant Detective Book 1) and Traces of Red (The Reluctant Detective Book 2) are available from Amazon in electronic and print formats.
About the author
Christine Campbell was born in post-war London but has lived most of her life in Scotland. She now lives near Edinburgh with her husband and within an hour’s car journey from each of her five married children and ten grandchildren. She began writing novels more than thirty years ago but did not seek publication until 2008 when she published ‘Family Matters’. Christine writes contemporary novels about people who could just as easily be your neighbours or friends…or even you. When she writes about life, you can be sure she knows what she’s talking about…having lived plenty herself.
Connect with Christine at:
Other books by Christine Campbell: