Kirsty Manners is trying to make it as a model. As the in-house model for the Ivano King fashion house and girlfriend of Ian King, the man behind the label, she believes she is well on her way. But Kirsty is found dead in her flat one Sunday afternoon and D. I. Angela Costello is called to the scene.
First enquiries center on the local gym where Kirsty, her dangerous ex-boyfriend, Darren Carpenter, and her jealous flatmate, Sandra Hodges, worked out. But things are more complicated. Ian King is considered to have lost his edge. Why then is he so buoyant about his latest collection for London Fashion Week? What about his new girlfriend, Eleanor Chandler, who openly admits to having a reason to wish Kirsty dead?
Behind the gleaming smiles and flawless makeup of the glamorous fashion world, Angela’s enquiries uncover theft, drug-addiction, prostitution, and imprisonment—and suddenly her own life could be in danger.
Elizabeth Flynn is a Londoner of Anglo-Irish parentage. An ex-actress, she currently works in a hospital. However she has always written and has a particular interest in crime fiction. For several years she has also been a keen tennis fan and is very happy that her first novel is a murder mystery set in the tennis world, located at the famous tennis tournament, Wimbledon.
Dead Gorgeous by Elizabeth Flynn is a twisting, British, police procedural that keeps the reader guessing and turning the pages. Set amidst the glitz and glamor of the fashion business in London, it is filled with not so likable characters, both victim and suspects, except for D.I. Angela Costello. Angie is a smart and savvy detective and is determined to get her man.
The very British setting and style of Dead Gorgeous will appeal to those who like a British accent with their mystery. The clues are disclosed a bit at a time and keep the reader guessing along with the investigative team. The good guys — those in the police, Angie’s family and the family priest — are very likable. I really enjoyed the banter between them and their keen sense of right and wrong. The bad guys, and there are plenty, though not all are murderers, exhibit greed, jealousy, larceny and brutality. There is some adult subject matter (prostitution and human trafficking) but no graphic details. There is also a bit of profanity — this is a British publication. And while this is technically Christian fiction, there is very little evidence of it. A priest is a minor, yet crucial, character, and Angie Costello and her family are said to be believers.
I had a little trouble with the writing style. Transitions of scene within chapters are a bit abrupt. I found I had to go back and get my bearings. And there is some British idioms that I had to get used to. But it was English! I was able to easily make the translations ;)!
So if you are looking for a bit of Britain in your mystery selection, then I would suggest trying Dead Gorgeous. It is book 2 in the series, but is easily read as a standalone.
Recommended (with some profanity).
(Thanks to Kregel and Lion Hudson for my review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)
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