Hurlingham House school is a high-achiever’s heaven, full of happy, hard-working pupils. There’s just the small matter of the dead body on the field… Sounds like a case for Epiphany Bloom!
When Epiphany Bloom’s best friend’s sister Claire is accused of trading exam papers for money, Epiphany agrees to see Ms Peters, the headteacher of Claire’s fiercely competitive school, to provide moral support. Claire has always been a model student and is loudly protesting her innocence: surely it’s all just a misunderstanding.
But when Ms Peters hears about Epiphany’s previous sleuthing exploits, she enlists her help to track down the true culprit!
Taking a job as a PE teacher, Epiphany soon realises she has plenty of suspects for the exam scam mastermind. The broke young teacher with a shady past? The father willing to buy his daughter anything – including grades? The school governor desperate to keep Hurlingham House at the top of the ranks?
Then Epiphany finds one of them dead at the school fair, and it becomes clear someone is taking the cut-throat culture of the school too literally – and when mysterious accidents start happening around her too, it seems the killer knows she’s onto them.
Can Epiphany solve the murder as well as clearing Claire’s name, before she becomes the next victim? This is one test she can’t afford to fail…
What I Thought:
Epiphany Bloom fans are spoiled for choice, as two books featuring the accident-prone, almost-detective have been published this year.
In Death at the Gates, Epiphany – or Pip to her friends – is tasked with clearing the name of her dishy flatmate’s sister in an exam papers scam, which quickly turns to murder! Can Pip help Claire, before she gets herself into more life-threatening trouble?
I really enjoy crime books like this – the crime and mystery part is dead on and makes complete sense, but there are also elements of comedy, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Our heroine for instance. Pip is a great character and you could spend ages, I’m sure, reading about her mishaps in the world of work, all across the globe! She’s delightfully self-aware, but a bit hard on herself sometimes.
The supporting characters are also great – Mummy, the thorn in Pip’s side, and Pip’s sister Flis, who is inexplicably successful with her blog, despite her wide range of malapropisms and penchant for cooking soup that smells like wet carpets.
All three of the books so far have been a delight – bright and funny, but with dastardly goings-on, the further adventures of Pip are definitely on my must-read list!
Death at the Gates is published by Bookouture.
About the Author:
Katie Gayle is the writing partnership of best-selling South African writers, 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. Both Gail and Kate live in Johannesburg, with husbands, children, dogs and cats. Unlike their sleuth Epiphany Bloom, neither of them have ever stolen a cat from the vet.
Please note: I received this book via Netgalley for review. All opinions are, as ever, my own.