A missing teenager, a mysterious cult and a case of mistaken identity – just another day’s work for Epiphany Bloom.
Epiphany ‘Pip’ Bloom is down on her luck. She can barely afford cat food, and just because Most has three legs doesn’t mean he eats any less. So she absolutely can’t afford to mess up her latest temp job. But when she walks through the door of the private investigation firm, her new boss mistakes her for a missing persons expert. He then charges her with finding Matty Price – the teenage son of two A-list celebrities – who has mysteriously disappeared from his home in Kensington.
It ought to be a disaster, but Pip reckons it’s actually an opportunity. She’s always been curious (nosy, her mother calls it) and has an uncanny knack for being at the wrong place at the right time (she doesn’t want to know what her mother thinks of that). After years of trying to find something she’s good at, has Pip managed to walk straight into the job she was born to do?
She owes it to herself and poor missing Matty to find out.
But searching for Matty takes Pip into the strange, intimidating world of the rich and famous. And it soon becomes clear that some of these people’s love for themselves doesn’t extend to their fellow humans.
As Pip investigates further, she realises the question isn’t whether Matty ran away – it’s whether Pip will find him alive and make it home safely herself…
What I Thought:
Oh what a year it’s been! I think we can all agree that 2020 can get in the bin, save for a few light spots – namely that so many cracking books have made their way into the world while we’ve all been locked down.
The Kensington Kidnap is the first in a new cosy crime series, by the writing partnership of Kate Sidley and Gail Schimmel. Kate and Gail have, between them, written over ten books of various genres, but with Katie Gayle, they both make their debut in the cozy mystery genre.
Epiphany Bloom (or Pip to her friends) is unemployed with rent to pay and with no sight of a job over the horizon. A series of mishaps and miscommunications (which is so on brand for Pip) leads to her impersonating an investigator and on the search for a missing celebrity teen.
Mortal peril lies in wait for Pip, but she has a three-legged cat who is relying on her to bring home the bacon!
I thought this book was tremendous fun! Pip very much put me in mind of Janet Evanovich’s erstwhile heroine, Stephanie Plum, in that she seems more than able to fail upwards. Despite a complete lack of experience in the job that she’s fallen into, she actually seems rather good at it.
Aside from this appealing main character, Pip has a willing army of helpers and I’d love to see more titles in the series featuring them more fully. The villains here are also very well done – they are incredibly modern in their outlook and methods and are not merely cartoon stereotypes of ‘wronguns’.
Don’t be misled here by the ‘cosy’ part of the genre – this book has a proper and thoroughly developed mystery plot. It is unfolded at a good pace and there are solid – warped but solid – reasons for the villains to act the way they have.
There’s some great but subtle commentary on a range of modern issues and I’d love to see this tone developed further in subsequent books.
It’s a very definite yes from me for Pip Bloom and her fledgling investigative career – I can’t wait to read more!
The Kensington Kidnap is published by Bookouture.
To find out more about Katie Gayle, you can connect with Kate and Gail on Twitter.
This post is part of a blog tour to celebrate the publication of The Kensington Kidnap – why not check out some of the other blog participating below?
Please note: I was sent a copy of this book via Netgalley for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.