HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Book Review: Susan Hepburn – Ghost of a Chance

Posted by HelenEdith on January 3, 2009

This book came from the “Crime” category in the library, and although it took about half the book before we had much in the way of obvious crime being committed, it was so entertainingly written that I have no complaints about that.

The main character in the book is Mike Brodie. Mike is actually a woman, Christened with the name Michal by parents who wanted a boy. Mike plays the saxophone. Well, actually, she plays the whole family of saxophones. She is in numerous bands and groups and has an agent called Paul Barnett who is always booking her up for slightly more than she really wants to do.

The book opens with Mike taking a short holiday visiting her friend Maggie at a minor stately home. She gets off to a bad start when the local re-enactment group think she’s an intruder and scare the life out of her. Then Paul shows up and talks her into stepping into a band making their television debut and in need of a sax player to replace their one, who has a broken arm. Paul “persuades” Mike despite the black eye she’s carrying from her run-in with the re-enactment group. Some holiday it’s turning into!

Mike has a ward Raffi, short for Raffaela. She’s a young adult and she pops up in the story quite a bit. In fact, she turns out to be quite important to the story. The owners of the minor stately home where Mike is staying are also important to the story, as is Jake, a powerful member of their staff. Some of the other staff are quite important to the story, too.

Thngs start unravelling when the elderly gentleman who has been writing a history of Berwick Grange and was on the trail of the priests’ holes within the building turns up dead in the village pond. It doesn’t seem immediately that this event is causing things to unravel, and Mike goes on about her life, and seems to be performing just about as often as if she weren’t on holiday. However, this does prove to be a turning point in the book, and things start getting really nasty.

A host of other characters are creeping around, including at least one who’s supposed to be dead but isn’t, and by the end of the book, we discover the significance of the priests’ holes and finally tie up all the loose ends.

The title of the book, by the way, is the name of a racehorse owned by the Grange’s owners. The racehorse plays quite a minor part in the story, but it’s a good title.

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