Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT RUSTY GOLD by Christine Campbell @campbama #Mystery

Today’s team review is from Liz, she blogs at https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

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Liz has been reading Rusty Gold by Christine Campbell

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Rusty Gold by Christine Campbell

Rusty Gold is Book 3 of the stories of Mirabelle, the Reluctant Detective. In Book 1 we had seen, Mirabelle’s daughter, Summer, choose to leave home without warning. We followed the search for her all over Edinburgh and Mirabelle’s determination to find her daughter despite her sorrow and fears. In the second book, Mirabelle has become the person, people in the area seek out, when they are searching for missing family members but in Rusty Gold, after four and a half years have passed, she has lost the confidence and wish to go on investigating for others. She sacks her volunteer assistant, Kay, and wallows in her loneliness.

But other people don’t give up on Mirabelle. Her larger than life determination and personality need to be revived and the turning point is when she hears that the dying mother of her long lost friend, Esme, needs her help. Esme and her young friend, are in great danger, travelling around the island of Skye in an old campervan, unaware that dangerous criminals are after them. Encouraged by the return of Detective Inspector Sam Burns into her life, Mirabelle asks Kay to accompany her and the two unlikely heroines try to save the day.

This book draws many threads from the earlier books together and we finally learn the full story of Summer’s conception and birth and how much Mirabelle loved her, despite her inability to be a good mother. But the last few chapters are a thrilling adventure among the beautiful countryside of Skye, where all the women in this character driven series come into their own. There is definitely a conclusion but there are also hints of further investigations for Mirabelle. It is difficult to think of any other books quite like these and they could ideally be turned into a TV series.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT SEARCHING FOR SUMMER by Christine Campbell @Campbama

Today’s team review is from Joanne, she blogs at http://joannegphillips.wordpress.com

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Joanne has been reading Searching For Summer by Christine Campbell

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My review: ‘Searching for Summer’ is a character-driven story that draws the reader deep into Mirabelle’s complicated life from the outset. This well-written mystery delves long and hard into the emotional anguish of a mother searching for her missing teenage daughter, and as such I found it a painful read at times. That said, it’s all not doom and gloom! Mirabelle is a fun-loving character, and the man in her life also makes for a compelling read.

 

The suspense is well handled, and I felt the pace was just about right throughout. While many readers may not agree with all of Mirabelle’s choices I felt the author went a long way to explain her background, and most parents would probably find themselves identifying with her at times. I note that this book straddles the Women’s Literature and Cozy Mystery categories, but I’m not sure how well it qualifies as a traditional cozy, to be honest. Maybe we need a new genre for books like this – cozy-lit. A highly recommended 4 stars.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT TRACES OF RED by Christine Campbell @Campbama #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Liz, she blogs at https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

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Liz had been reading Traces Of Red by Christine Campbell

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Traces of Red is the second book in The Reluctant Detective Series by Christine Campbell.  Once again, the irrepressible Mirabelle helps her soulmate, DI Sam Burns, solve a complicated case but there is no need for you to have read Searching for Summer, the first book in the series, since the back story is gradually revealed during this novel.

 

Mirabelle has given up her work as a social worker and has turned her small Edinburgh flat into a Missing Person’s Bureau.  Usually these are young women, so she is surprised when Kay, a quiet middle class woman, seeks help finding her missing husband.  It is soon evident that all has not been right in this marriage and Kay is keen to help Mirabelle by organising her files and accompanying her on investigations.

 

Meanwhile DI Burns is interviewing a barman at a pub where a baby was found and he is trying to find the mother and her female companion.  He enlists Mirabelle’s help when an injured young woman is found but she also helps Sam to deal with the loss of his much loved mother.

 

All the characters in Christine Campbell’s books are distinct and real.  They seem to talk directly to the reader so that it matters what happens to them.  The interwoven strands of this story reminded me of Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie books, as does the bittersweet ending to the novel.  I highly recommend Traces of Red whether you like mystery, detective or contemporary stories.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT SEARCHING FOR SUMMER by Christine Campbell @Campbama @FeedARead

Today’s team review comes from Liz, she blogs at https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Liz has been reading Searching For Summer by Christine Campbell

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Searching for Summer by Christine Campbell

 

Searching for Summer confounded all my preconceived ideas of what a book about a missing teenager would be like. Of course there is despair and self-blame, but Summer’s mother Mirabelle is such a large, intense personality that I was instantly involved with her search around the streets of Edinburgh, longing to find Summer and fully understanding Mirabelle’s obsession with discovering what had happened.

 

Interwoven with the search for Summer are Mirabelle’s memories of the way her Jamaican father had also disappeared when she was a small child, leaving behind his clothes and brand new shoes. Her dysfunctional mother had not provided Mirabelle with a role model so perhaps it is not surprising that she felt so inadequate as a mother to her capable daughter, Summer. But she has friends to help her, including Detective Inspector Sam Burns, with whom she has recently rekindled a relationship, and her supportive younger sister Yvonne.

 

As time goes by, hope of finding Summer fades and yet there are clues which she clings on to, even if they involve petty criminal Dermot, who pushes drugs and acts as a pimp. Mirabelle refuses to look after her own health but she begins to help others who have also lost children in the Edinburgh area. Will there be a happy ending? Will Mirabelle pick up her life again and give Sam a chance? One thing is certain, I shall be reading the continuing story in Traces of Read, the second book in The Reluctant Detective series.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT SEARCHING FOR SUMMER by Christine Campbell @Campbama #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review comes from Bev, she blog here http://baspicer.blogspot.fr/

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Bev has been reading Searching For Summer by Christine Campbell

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I have reviewed this book as one of  Rosie’s Book Review Team

‘Searching for Summer’ is a character-driven novel that draws the reader in to Mirabelle’s world.  She is an interesting, fun-loving woman with a big personality, however, when her daughter goes missing, she is tortured by questions about her worth as a mother and begins to lose her self-confidence.

The first part of the book is taken up with her emotional response to the loss of her daughter.  Then we see the super-human efforts that Mirabelle goes to in her search for Summer: sleeping rough, trailing ‘suspects’ and persuading Sam (a detective friend) not to give up, when there is little justification for pursuing the investigation (Summer is old enough to leave home).

The ending is not clichéd.  In fact this book is not in the least sentimental, which is refreshing.  If I’m honest, I found the first part a little repetitive, but I always wanted to find out what had happened to Summer.  In the end, though, I was more interested in Mirabelle and how she would come out of an experience that not only made her question her relationship with her daughter, but also the direction her own life was taking.

In the next book, we are told that Mirabelle will turn detective and open an agency to find missing people.  Her tenacity is not in doubt!  Perhaps she has found her true vocation…

An interesting read.  A well-written book.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com