If you like suspenseful mysteries with a feisty female sleuth, a historical setting of yesteryear, and lots of intrigue along with a murder, pick up a copy of The Body in Bounty Bay: A Katie Porter Mystery by K.T. McGivens. This is the thirteenth book in the series and promises a suspenseful and baffling murder mystery. Katie Porter (a reporter at the Fairfield Gazette) and her handsome fiancé Jim Fielding join their friends, a married couple, Robert and Ruth Reed, for a vacation in the charming little town of Bounty. But as with most quaint towns of that nature, there is a dark side that reveals itself in a murder. Mystery seems to dog Katie’s heels, but then she is so very good at solving them that it appears to be quite natural. There is a large cast, but the author handles them adeptly, so the threads never get tangled. Each person has their part to play in this gripping murder mystery and there is a delicious sense of racing against time before the killer strikes again.
I am usually good at spotting the murderer in movies and books, but this one stumped me. I was truly shocked at the final reveal, after a few people could have been pegged for the murderer and one had even been arrested. The plot is intricate without being convoluted as it twists and turns and is detailed with being bogged down in minutiae. K.T. cleverly weaves a lot of back stories into the plot so naturally in the dialogue and the choices the characters make. Red herrings abound and this is a fun aspect.
This is set in an era (post-war) when there were no laptops, mobile phones, apps, and the like. I liked this attention to detail and discovering how crimes were solved and reporters did their jobs in what to many people are ‘the olden days.’ To me it is very much that people used (in Hercule Poirot’s words) their ‘little grey cells’ more than they do today. Katie’s skills include observation and deduction. It's not all about death and gory theories though. I enjoyed the inclusion of social issues and how the kind-hearted Land Girls reach out, despite potential threats, to those less fortunate. Their reward is utterly delightful, and I also did not see that one coming as well! The social mores of the era are observed so don’t scratch your head and wonder why Katie and Jim are not sharing a hotel room.
In the interests of full disclosure, I was ecstatic to have a character based on myself. I won’t spoil it for readers but, yes, I am in there and I am both flattered and honoured to have been granted this privilege. K.T. McGivens has an eye for character quirks and although this was a tad scary, no knowing what she would pick up from my Twitter timeline, I was very happy. Yes, I would jump into a river to save a dog in the middle of the night! Although this is book thirteen in the series, you won’t be lost. I had not read any previous books and found enough detail to fill me in on Katie and her background. So, if you are in the mood for a clever murder mystery set in an era when things moved at a more leisurely pace, and you fancy your own deductive powers alongside Katie Porter’s, The Body in Bounty Bay is the book for you! Like me, you may decide to start at the very beginning of the series and solve mysteries with this intrepid and intelligent sleuth!
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