Fiction -Mystery-General

Ms. Scarlett In The Library With The Lead Piping: A Nikki Doyle Novel

Category:Fiction -Mystery-General

Author:Paula J Longhurst

  • Publisher: Ingram Spark in Association with Open Flame Press
  • Publication Date: April 19, 2022
  • Number of Pages: 274
  • ISBN-10: 0998925853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0998925851
Ms. Scarlett In The Library With The Lead Piping: A Nikki Doyle Novel by Paula Longhurst is a mesmerizing novel in the Nikki Doyle mystery series. In this installment, Nikki takes a sabbatical year with the hope that the countryside will assuage her struggles and give her some respite. The trouble is that she never hoped for love to be part of the plan, never imagined she could get involved in a case of blackmail, and eventually get into the orbit of Martha McGuiness, a cop hunting a local criminal. Nikki's life is shaken in ways she never could have imagined and her life and that of her loved ones quickly get on the line. Deft plotting, sparkling dialogues, and crisp prose are among the elements that lift the quality of this tale's entertainment. The author paints a fully drawn portrait of Storr Downs and develops a protagonist who catches the reader's interest right off the bat. There are wonderfully crafted scenes, even from the beginning, that give readers strong insights into the characters, including Hans Gamelin, the project manager, Brutus, the dirty great Irish wolf-hound, Doyle Senior, and many others. The author writes relationships that feel real, and I particularly loved the way that Nikki relates to her father, a relationship that moves the plot forward in surprising ways. For instance, as a site manager, Nikki encounters a rash of small thefts and vandalism and decides to counter them with a set of security cameras. She is surprised when the footage reveals her father wrecking James' fleet of diggers by supergluing the ignition keys into place and then snapping them off, one by one. He is sentenced to do many hours of community work. The family dynamics are expertly crafted, bringing the light the drama and complexity in relationships and creating a world that is real for readers. Paula Longhurst creates scenes that are focused, employs a first-person narrative voice that establishes clarity in POV, and builds characters that are memorable. This tale is brimming with humanity and realism.

Reviewed By: Cristina Prescott

Reviewed Date: August 9, 2022

Category: Fiction -Mystery-General

Thriller, Suspense & Mystery