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Review of 'The Mystery Of The Lost Husbands' - Gina Cheyne

The Mystery of the Lost Husbands

Is murdering husbands an addiction or merely a bad habit?

This is the question facing Private Investigator Cat Harrington when rich builder, Tom Drayton, dies shortly after his wedding night. Suspicion falls on his widow, Anastasia Rodriguez, the survivor of three previous ‘lost’ husbands.

Two years later, Anastasia is engaged again, to Cat’s friend Angelo, an Italian snail collector.

Angelo’s sister, Gia, employs Cat and the SeeMs Detective Agency to discover if her brother’s financé is a killer.

The search for Anastasia’s lost husbands takes Cat and her team from Scotland to the South of Spain and on to Argentina.

They have just a few weeks before the wedding to discover if Anastasia is a murderer and save their friend from becoming victim number five.

For fans of Arsenic and Old Lace and The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency

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The author has clearly done her research for this book and I learned a lot about life on the oil rigs as the team investigate the death of husband number one. This attention to detail continues throughout the novel and drives the story as the three detectives try to unravel Anastasia's complicated life.

Structurally speaking, the split timelines were clearly marked, so it was easy to follow the separate strands of the story as the narrative flipped between the events of each time period. However, at times the flashbacks within the current storyline did confuse me a little and I had to read them a couple of times.

The plot is further complicated by the various relationships between the three detectives and their partners. None of them seem to be consistent in where they focus their romantic interests and not one of them has a straightforward relationship. This did make me wonder how effective they would be as detectives in the real world, as their complicated private lives must have an impact on their ability to focus on their cases. They also don't seem to like each other very much at times, which makes for an interesting dynamic. They are clearly friends, but irritate each other and it's unusual for this to be shown so clearly in a novel, even though it's reflective of real life.

The other thing I think is really important is that as this is part of a series, although the in-book plot is resolved, there are enough loose ends left in terms of personal relationships, for the series to continue and for the main characters to grow and develop together.

There's an awful lot going on in the narrative and nothing is quite as it seems, which keeps you reading and guessing as you go along!

Author Bio –

Gina has worked as a physiotherapist, a pilot, freelance writer and a dog breeder.

As a child, Gina's parents hated travelling and never went further than Jersey. As a result she became travel-addicted and spent the year after university bumming around SE Asia, China and Australia, where she worked in a racing stables in Pinjarra, South of Perth. After getting stuck in black sand in the Ute one time too many (and getting a tractor and trailer caught in a tree) she was relegated to horse-riding work only. After her horse bolted down the sand, straining a fetlock and falling in the sea, she was further relegated to swimming the horses only in the pool. It was with some relief the racehorse stables posted her off on the train into eastern Australia to work in a vineyard... after all what could go wrong there?

In the north of Thailand, she took a boat into the Golden Triangle and got shot at by bandits. Her group escaped into the undergrowth and hid in a hill tribe whisky still where they shared the 'bathroom' with a group of pigs. Getting a lift on a motorbike they hurried back to Chiang Rai, where life seemed calmer.

After nearly being downed in a fiesta in Ko Pha Ngan, and cursed by a witch in Malaysia, she decided to go to Singapore and then to China where she only had to battle with the language and regulations.

Since marrying the first time, she has lived and worked in many countries including Spain and the USA.

For a few years Gina was a Wingwalking pilot, flying, amongst others, her 64-year-old mother standing on the wing to raise money for a cancer charity. She was also a helicopter instructor and examiner and took part in the World Helicopter Championships in Russia and the USA.

She became a writer because her first love was always telling a good yarn!

Under the name Georgina Hunter-Jones she has written illustrated children's books such as The Twerple who had Too Many Brains, and Nola the Rhinoceros loves Mathematics.

She now lives in Sussex with her husband and dogs, one of who inspired the Biscuit and Pugwash Detective Series about naughty dogs who solve crimes.

The Mystery of the Lost Husbands is the first in the SeeMS Detective Agency series and Gina's first crime novel for adults.

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