Today’s team review is from Elanor.
Elanor has been reading Dead Letters by Sheila Lowe
This is the 8th book in a series about hand-writing analyst Claudia Rose, the various crimes she helps investigate and the escapades she gets caught up in on the way. I haven’t read any other books in the series, but Dead Letters works as a standalone novel. Lowe makes reference to characters and events from previous books, but I never felt that I missed out on important context.
Dead Letters is a romp that takes Claudia across the Middle East and Europe in pursuit of her niece, always one step behind her, unravelling details of the terrorist cell who have apparently taken her. It builds to a dramatic “will they get there in time” finish – no spoilers here! It’s a quick and engaging read with lots of short chapters.
Claudia is like a snarky, modern-day Miss Marple, frequently acting outside the law and stubbornly getting herself into awkward and dangerous situations as she goes after the truth. She gets several opportunities throughout the chase to use her specialist expertise in handwriting and move the investigation forward.
Lowe works in some interesting history about the countries and sites the novel visits, and particularly about Egypt and archaeology in the first part of the story, before the action ramps up. She takes you on a journey through several cultures, and if some of the characters’ accents and idioms are a little exaggerated at times, each location has a sense of place that feels well-observed.
I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fun cosy crime with just the right amount of grit and danger! 4 stars.
A heart-pounding hunt begins when Claudia Rose’s young niece goes missing with an archaeologist whose shady past spills into the present. The frantic search takes Claudia to Egypt, Gibraltar, and the UK, where her skills as a forensic handwriting expert of international renown are needed to help foil a deadly terrorist plot—if only she can find Monica before she becomes a casualty.