FALSE STEP by Veronica Heley


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Something doesn’t sit right with Bea Abbott (False Charity, 2007, etc.) when her employee finds a client dead, an apparent suicide.

Maybe it was the dress, with its red satin bodice and frilled petticoat, spread lovingly over the corpse. Maybe it was the red spangled shoes. Whatever it was, it led Florrie Green to call her boss, Bea Abbott, as soon as she found Matthew Kent dead in bed in the house that the Abbott Agency had sent the Green Girls Cleaning Company to tidy. Not that the clothes weren’t Matthew’s; all his publicity stills showed the female impersonator meticulously costumed in ultra-feminine style. But why would the jovial performer kill himself? His two ex-wives, schoolteacher Gail and singer Goldie, don’t seem to care apart from their intent to loot Matthew’s two-story Victorian of knickknacks. And his stepdaughter Damaris Frasier has her eye on the lovely home itself. So all three are gobsmacked to learn that Matthew left his house to Lily, the daughter of his accompanist Bert Cunningham. Determined to fight, Damaris hires the Abbott Agency to inventory the property. The more she handles his belongings, the more unconvinced Bea is that Matthew’s death was a suicide. Despite the twin distractions of builders in her office and an errant son on her doorstep, kicked out of his marital home by a jealous wife, Bea discovers a conspiracy that almost defies description.

Clever clueing and a shocking solution place what would otherwise have been a routine cozy above the competition.

Pub Date: March 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7278-6708-7
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Severn House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2009


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