A Vicky Hill Exclusive
Berkley, Mar 2008, $6.99
After her parents fled the country because her father was a notorious jewel thief, Vicky Hill moves to the quiet town of Gipping-on-Plym where she lands a job as a reporter for the Gipping Gazette. She wants to cover the crime beat, but her adversary Annabel takes the plum assignments while leaving the newbie covering funerals. She intercepts an informer with a scrap for Annabel who tells her that he found three chickens in the town dump where he works drained of its blood and minus their legs.
Not knowing what to make of his story, Vicky covers the funeral of Sir Hugh Trewallyn when a handsome man crashes the somber ceremony and kisses the widow. Vicky also sees her landlady Mrs. Paultry sneaking around the mausoleum. She get the autopsy report, which states that Hugh was poisoned and chicken legs were found in his mouth. Vicky believes the bloodless chicken and the death of Trewallyn are linked so she investigates, but stumbles across secrets that some people will kill to keep them concealed.
This is an intriguing journalist investigative mystery because the heroine has such a vivid imagination that is not always anchored in just the facts. Vicky is an innocent sweet person whose naivety has her believe people are innately good in spite of her parents proving otherwise when they deserted her. She trusts everyone even her rival; their relationship is hilarious as Annabel goes to the sublime level of Ted Baxter (of the Mary Tyler Moore show) to keep her name on the front page and Vicky’s on the obit column. Fans will enjoy Hannah Dennison’s front page whodunit.