Congratulations to Kate Sidley and Gail Schimmel on the publication of The Kensington Kidnap – first in a series of cosy mysteries featuring Epiphany (Pip) Bloom!
So off she goes to a job interview at a detective agency, but by mistake (because this is the type of thing that always happens to Pip), it’s assumed that she is the new ‘specialist’ detective who’s joining the agency to solve their latest case, which just happens to be Top Secret! The teenage son of two American A-Listers has disappeared from his Kensington home and it’s now Pip’s task to find him and return him safely! Well she’s not one to shy away from a challenge as readers will discover through the hilarious mentions throughout the book of Pip’s previous jobs and the possible reasons as to why she may have lost them: all quite easily explained and so obviously not her fault. As she often reminds herself when reminiscing about those lost opportunities: “It could have happened to anyone!” True, but it does always seem to happen to Pip!
Pip is down on her luck. She can’t seem to hold down a job, mishaps and misfortune seem to follow her wherever she goes, the amount of rent she owes her landlord is starting to accumulate and her dearest mother has informed her that no more hand-outs will be forthcoming and that she needs to grow up and fend for herself!
But this time she’s determined to see things through and she wants to make sure that she succeeds! She knows everyone thinks she’s a hopeless ditz and she wants to prove them wrong for once. So she enlists the help of her sister Felicity (Flis), who’s making a name for herself as a mommy blogger with an angle towards green, healthy environmental things. Impossibly, Flis seems more flakey than Pip!! I found myself literally laughing out loud at her complete air-headedness and she’s clueless when it comes to using well known, everyday expressions and cliches. She’s a laugh-a-minute without meaning to be. And yet for some reason, everyone sees her as the more ‘together’ of the two sisters! I’ll leave you to decide, but I’m definitely #TeamPip on this one.
Pip leads readers on a bit of a riotous journey on her way to finding her missing teen! She’s a lot more street-savvy than she lets on, and that in itself shows her street-smarts! I absolutely adored this clumsy, awkward completely likeable main character, and as this is the first in a series, we can look forward to more bumbling adventures with her!
The author, Katie Gayle, is actually two South African authors: Kate Sidley and Gail Schimmel. They make a fabulous writing team, obviously playing off each other’s strengths to bring out Pip’s quirkiness and the ridiculous situations she finds herself in … displayed even more so as she tries to extricate herself from each of them! It all makes for a story that is utterly delightful and it’s perfect 5-star holiday reading.
Thank you to Bookouture for inviting me to tour with them, once again. It’s always great fun! Take a look at what other bloggers think of The Kensington Kidnap …
Katie Gayle is the writing partnership of best-selling South African writers, Kate Sidley and Gail Schimmel. Kate and Gail have, between them, written over ten books of various genres, but with Katie Gayle, they both make their debut in the cozy mystery genre. Both Gail and Kate live in Johannesburg, with husbands, children, dogs and cats. Unlike their sleuth Epiphany Bloom, neither of them has ever stolen a cat from the vet.