Looking After Number One by Kay Carswell


Anna Boyd is jobless, again, but thanks to her best friend Suzanne she lands the position of house sitter for a wealthy but mysterious couple; the Carltons.
Charles Carlton has taken a lifetime to build up his empire. He and his wife now live in luxury and own the opulent ‘Number One’, a beautiful house where nothing is quite what it seems.
But why have they chosen Anna, who bears a remarkable resemblance to their errant daughter, Marianne, to look after their precious possessions?
On Anna’s journey to find the truth she meets the lovable and bumbling Mabel, the irascible Huw and gorgeous Harry.
While Anna is trying to solve her problems Suzanne has some of her own.
Will Anna find the life she wants to lead, with the man of her dreams or will this house sitting job be her last?


This book intrigued me from the synopsis, sounding slightly sinister and very mysterious, but with a hint of light-hearted fun with all the new people Anna meets in her new job.
I wouldn’t say the mystery and suspense isn’t prominent until a fair way through the book. There are certainly strange happenings and coincidence, all giving you clues that something’s amiss, but it is interwoven with a storyline that is fun (especially when Anna retells her interview for another house sitting job) and at times takes a more serious tone with Anna’s best friend, Suzanne’s story. The writing flows easily keeping your interest, the characterisation is fantastic.
Anna being our lead obviously we get to know her the best. She is a house sitter as her main source of income, which is quite unusual, and she is a little bit sick of the instability, but she doesn’t seem to know what she wants to do. Luckily in the nick of time she scores a job at a posh house not too far away. She is quite a shy person but one people seem to gravitate towards and get on with. Hence during her stay she meets quite the crew.
Mabel is lovable but a bit hapless in the kitchen, and provided a lot of the funny moments, especially with her bumbling vocabulary and discovery of computers! Huw is outgoing to say the least, absolutely charming and a great deal of fun. Harry, the handsome gardener is as perfect as you’d want in a male lead.
Overall this is a charming book that also delivers in the suspense later on as the mystery gets even more mysterious.
Published by: Mirador Publishing
For full disclosure, I know the author in real life, however my opinions are honest and my own.
View Book on Goodreads
Order on: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository

Death Of An Avid Reader by Frances Brody


A lady with a secret 
Kate Shackleton’s sterling reputation for courageous sleuthing attracts the attention of the venerable Lady Coulton. Hidden in her past is a daughter, born out of wedlock and given up to a different family. Now, Lady Coulton is determined to find her and puts Kate on the case. 
A mysterious killing in the library’s basement
But as Kate delves deeper into Lady Coulton’s past, she soon finds herself thrust into a scandal much closer to home. When the body of the respected Horatio Potter is found in the Leeds Library basement, the quiet literary community is suddenly turned upside down with suspicions, accusations and – much to Kate’s surprise – the appearance of a particularly intelligent Capuchin monkey!
The most puzzling case in Kate’s sleuthing history yet
Convinced an innocent man has been blamed, Kate sets out to discover the truth. Who would want Dr Potter dead? Does Lady Coulton’s missing daughter hold a vital clue? As the stories start to emerge in the seemingly quiet Leeds Library, Kate is learning fast that in this case, she can’t judge a book by its cover…