Bad Attitudes is a wickedly dark tale of Scottish council-housing and murder. This first of two novellas also boasts a missing person, a lethally nosy neighbour, an extra-marital affair, a rumoured fortune in a condemned council terrace, a lusty councillor and a new housing law for tinkers. Who but Agnes Owens could concoct such a delicious brew of dour hilarity and then follow it with an unforgettable party? '"I think a birthday party would be just the thing to cheer us up,'" screeches Jen's visiting Aunt Belle in the second novella, Jen's Party. The soon-to-be fifteen-year-old almost immediately regrets agreeing to this plan as her somewhat louche, possibly crazy, relentlessly bouncy and optimistic aunt revs into party mode, assuring her drab sister Maude, Jen's mother, that she'll take care of everything, which seems to involve flirting with the town's entire male population. Agnes Owens is a one-off. With a perfectly tuned ear for the droll and the deadly, she can spin a tale of domestic mayhem that is at once disarmingly tense and movingly human.