False Step – book 3

Third in the Abbot Agency series Veronica Heley
Bea Abbot’s domestic agency does not, repeat NOT, investigate murder…until she finds herself in the company of a dead man dressed and made up like a pantomime dame. It looks like suicide, but why don’t his red-spangled shoes fit?
Matthew Kent was an entertainer known to be a kindly and modest man in private, so why had he staged this grotesque charade in death? And why is his daughter so keen to hustle his mortal remains away without publicity? Then again, who exactly inherits his delightful Kensington house, and which of the women around him – two surviving wives and a daughter – really cared about him, rather than his money?
Bea’s own house is in chaos as builders remodel the agency offices, and to make matters worse, Max, her Member of Parliament son, moves in with her when his marriage looks like breaking down.
Struggling to run the agency from her bedroom, pounded by heavy metal from the basement, concerned about both her young assistants’ emotional problems, Bea tries to discover what the body on the bed was really like in life, why there is so much confusion about his death, and who is destined to die next.
The third Abbott Agency Mystery.

Reviews

“Clever clueing and a shocking solution place what would otherwise have been a routine cozy above the competition.” Kirkus Reviews, 15th Jan 2009.
“readers will be well rewarded with this wacky, fast-paced and even rather charming mystery.” Booklist, 15th Feb 2009
“In Heley’s charming third mystery to feature Bea Abbot (after 2008’s False Picture), the genteel London detective must deal with office renovations and investigate a mysterious death. A cleaning woman finds the body of her mild-mannered employer, Matthew Kent, in a red dress with a suicide note on his nightstand. When Kent’s daughter asks Bea to do an inventory of her father’s Kensington house, Bea uncovers evidence that suggests Kent was murdered. Later, to add to Bea’s problems, she receives a phone call from her son, a member of Parliament, who has had a disagreement with his wife and wants to live and work in her home. Leaving the running of her business in the hands of her capable staff, who include two likable teenage assistants, Bea sets out to discover the truth. Careful sleuthing leads to a surprising finale.” Publishers Weekly, 26th January 2009.
“Think Agatha Christie meets Mary Roberts Rinehart in modern London. For most collections”. Library Journal, 1st March 2009

Hardback, Severn House ISBN 978 0 7278 6708 7
Paperback, Severn House ISBN 978 1 84751 1010
Audiobook, Isis
Audio Download, Audible.com
Electronic Book
PUBLICATION DATE: December ’08

Reviews

Kirkus Reviews, 9th January 2009

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

Publishers Weekly, 26th January 2009

In Heley’s charming third mystery to feature Bea Abbot (after 2008’s False Picture), the genteel London detective must deal with office renovations and investigate a mysterious death. A cleaning woman finds the body of her mild-mannered employer, Matthew Kent, in a red dress with a suicide note on his nightstand. When Kent’s daughter asks Bea to do an inventory of her father’s Kensington house, Bea uncovers evidence that suggests Kent was murdered. Later, to add to Bea’s problems, she receives a phone call from her son, a member of Parliament, who has had a disagreement with his wife and wants to live and work in her home. Leaving the running of her business in the hands of her capable staff, who include two likable teenage assistants, Bea sets out to discover the truth. Careful sleuthing leads to a surprising finale.

Booklist, 15th Feb 2009

readers will be well rewarded with this wacky, fast-paced and even rather charming mystery.

Library Journal, 1st March 2009

… Heley, one of the most engaging British mystery writers today, strings Bea along until she springs some surprises on unsuspecting readers. Think Agatha Christie meets Mary Roberts Rinehart in modern London. For most collections.

Audiobook Sample

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Often available in hardback, paperback, large print, audio CD and audio download.

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