Mark Bailey Simon Brett

Review: Mrs Pargeter’s Public Relations by Simon Brett (2016)

Mrs Pargeter’s Public Relations by Simon Brett (2016)

Mrs Pargeter's Public Relations by Simon Brett (2016)
Mrs Pargeter’s Public Relations by Simon Brett (2016)

This is the 8th of the Mrs Melita Pargeter novels by Simon Brett and is published just 2 years after the last one (MRS PARGETER’S PRINCIPLE).


Mrs Pargeters generosity gets the better of her when she accompanies her friend, Jasmine Angold, to a charity reception for PhiliPussies – a charity that seeks to rehabilitate stray cats from the Greek island of Atmos into caring English homes. There is a shock for Mrs Pargeter when she meets a woman who claims to be the sister of her late husband. This meeting leads to some unwelcome digging into past secrets, a body being found in Epping Fores and an eventful trip to Greece.


The two main parts of the enjoyment of a Mrs Pargeter book are still here – the light comedy and the characters. The associates of the late Mr Pargeter (and now their children) are realistic up to a point but they have a light comic twist whilst Mrs Melita Pargeter herself is a force of nature who has huge loyalty to her late husband’s memory although she might just be suspecting more now that not everything he did was entirely within the letter of the law.

I was less convinced about the plot this time (the device that can beat all electronic and mechanical locks was more than a bit hard to believe in) and the violence level is higher than has been usual for this series. I still like it but not as much as I did its predecessors.

I would like to thank Netgalley and Severn House Publishers for a review copy.

Elly Griffiths Mark Bailey

Review: Elly Griffiths – The Chalk Pit (2016)

Elly Griffiths – The Chalk Pit (2016)

Elly Griffiths – The Chalk Pit (2016)
Elly Griffiths – The Chalk Pit (2016)

Quercus, Hardcover, 384 pages

Expected publication: 23rd February 2017

ISBN13: 978-1784296599

The Chalk Pit is the 9th in the Ruth Galloway Mystery series by Elly Griffiths.

In the underground tunnels beneath Norwich boiled human bones have been found by Dr Ruth Galloway. The finding that they are relatively recent and not a medieval curiosity means DCI Nelson has a murder enquiry on his hands.

DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper with the only lead being the rumour that she’s gone ‘underground’. This might just be a figure of speech, but the discovery of the bones and the rumours that the network of old chalk-mining tunnels under Norwich is home to a vast community of rough sleepers give cause for concern.

As the weather gets hotter, tensions rise. Another woman goes missing and the police are under pressure to find her. The dark secrets of “The Underground” seems to be the key – can Ruth and Nelson uncover its secrets before it claims another victim.


I am a big fan of the Ruth Galloway novels but I do feel that they are best enjoyed in sequence but you can probably pick up most of the background needed to enjoy the novel as you go along.

As usual there is the excellent characterisation that one expects in Elly Griffiths’ books that gives you believable albeit flawed but ultimately likeable ongoing main protagonists (Ruth Galloway, Harry Nelson & Judy especially in this one although Kate is coming to the fore). There is also the usual sufficiently twisty plot to keep you engaged whilst giving yiu a chance to solve the mystery before the protagonists do and there is a well-researched backdrop to hang the story on.

As I have stated about previous Ruth Galloway mysteries- if you do have a liking for modern cozies with perhaps a little hint of grit then I would strongly recommend this to you.


Thanks to Quercus and Netgalley for the review copy.