FALSE ACCOUNT  by Veronica Heley


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Employment agency owner Bea Abbot (False Pride, 2018, etc.) struggles to help a client who doesn’t really know what she wants.

Marcia Tredgold’s request seems straightforward enough at first. She’d like the Abbot Domestic Agency to find replacements for several domestic workers who recently left the wealthy widow’s household. Since Bea has long lists of cooks, cleaners, and chauffeurs in need of good positions, she seems well enough positioned to help with Ms. Tredgold's staffing needs, although she does think it odd that her client found it necessary to dismiss a cook for nicking a valuable watch shortly after firing a cleaner for filching a diamond ring. Still odder is Ms. Tredgold’s insistence that what she really wants is to find out who killed her two cats. An evening spent with Kit Crossley, the fired cook, doesn’t do much to clarify what’s going on in the Tredgold household, although it does leave Bea and her ex-husband, Piers, in possession of a lovely fish pie. Nor does the horizon become any clearer when Bea gets a phone call from Piers telling her that Marcia’s left the family mansion and fled to an apartment she’d prepared for herself in the Docklands in case she found herself imperiled by her three predatory adult children. The script keeps getting zanier and zanier without giving Bea any surer sense of purpose. It’s not clear that she’ll ever figure out what’s up with the Tredgolds, although a suicide, incidents of domestic abuse, and an acid attack finally persuade her that whatever the real story is, it’s probably not good.

The What the Butler Saw of cozies, though not nearly so funny.

Pub Date: April 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-7278-8853-2
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Severn House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2019


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