This was the first book I read from the author, I have just bought the next two books in the McQueen's Agency series. This is a very enjoyable read. Reynolds skilfully avoids giving too much irrelevant background information about the characters, but they are real and if you lived through the 1950's you would recognise them in any town or city. The same can be said for the location, you don't need to know Dundee inside out to follow the story or the plot. Set within a secretarial agency, Molly is not another female detective, just a young woman trying to set up and run a business supplying secretarial staff on a temporary basis.
The plot is well engineered and the story moves on without unnecessary distraction. The trials and tribulations occurring, seemingly at random, befalling Molly and her staff are connected, but how? Red Herrings are skilfully woven into the plot and exposed at the appropriate times, (one may have been disposed of prematurely as he could be of use in further novels in the series). I really hoped that the old man and his dog survived the harsh treatment they received (they did). Edna's concerns for her son's welfare (and her own) brings a human touch to the story as her fears are very real. No 'over-the-top' police involvement and a well developed background is given to previous crimes which bring the antique dealers to Dundee hoping for sanctuary they don't deserve! No ridiculous car chases and no unnecessary characters to pad out the story, just a tight, enjoyable and very readable novel.
My one criticism is the over dramatized events on the cabin cruiser, but it beats a 'shoot-out' so common to this type of novel. I look forward to meeting Molly and her staff at McQueen's Agency in books two and three.