Having been an avid fan of the first book I could wait to read Next Level. I was no disappointed, the booking is a thrilling read. Clarry and Flan are becoming fast favourites. Being a West London native the settings and characters fit perfectly with the local area . Thank you Angela Dyson for these fabulous characters - I only hope someone transforms these books into a tv show .
This is the second novel to feature Clarry Pennhaligan working as a private detective; as it was the first book I had fead from Angela Dyson I had read so I can definitely say it works as a standalone novel. A contemporary view of London life and in particular the varied experiences of some women, with some dangerous moments, perilous situations and a dash of romance, Clarry gets to grips with her case as she investigates a young woman’s secrets. It also has large doses of humour and realism as Clarry realises and relates to the reader that she is hardly a glamorous detective, and her clothes choices are sometimes a little haphazard. I really enjoyed this fast paced, exciting and genuinely funny book, and was pleased to have the opportunity to read and review it.
Clarry is capable of getting herself into some complicated situations as she accepts the seemingly straightforward job of checking on the friendships of a difficult daughter, as the narrative switches from situation comedy moments to gentle thriller with pursuit across the more interesting parts of London. To add to the challenge her worthy assistant is a seventy year old friend whose lovelife is far more exciting than Clarry’s own, which is fortunate as Fran can call on the expertise of a variety of gentlemen who offer computer skills and driving a memorable vehicle on a search for the truth of some interesting people.
The pace rarely lets up as Clarry tries to navigate the etiquette of escaping an anniversary party, deals with drunken rugby players, climbs ever higher in a mysterious building and investigates a group of unusual women. Some comic set pieces includes an outing in a hearse and a visit to a new age shop for notelets and information. As financial irregularities come to light, Clarry looks further into a group with interesting motivations, and finds out more family secrets. The tone turns a little darker as a midnight meeting exposes a threat which will become very real. Lots of interesting characters flit across the story as Clarry tries to follow the convoluted mystery that surrounds Vanessa.
This is a well written and well paced novel which maintains interest throughout and includes so much. Clarry as the main character is an essentially interesting person as she navigates part time work and being an amateur detective, without any great trauma in her past life and a positive collection of friends. This essentially a light hearted read with genuinely funny dialogue, which handles the dark side of the investigation well. I liked the range of characters as older women are seen as capable, funny and attractive, while the main character is seen as having insecurities and doubts as she pursues the truth. An elderly couple who help with the detecting are realistically depicted, as is the landscape of a small bit of London which the author obviously knows well. For me this book achieves a good balance of humour, mild peril, gracious living and positive female characters who take the lead in a very readable novel. I shall definitely look out for more books by this author, and I recommend it as an unusual contemporary detective novel.
The Love Detective Next Level is the first book I have read by Angela Dyson. Clarry Pennhaligan is a waitress/sometimes amateur detective – depending on the state of her finances. When a friend of a friend’s mother needs help finding out just why her daughter is being so secretive Clarry soon finds herself on a new case. What starts off as a simple matter of attending a few ‘women’s’ group meetings escalates into something more sinister and Clarry soon discovers some secrets are worth killing for. This time has she bitten off more than she can chew?
When I started reading this book I was expecting a cosy, easy read, something along the lines of a young Miss Marple and ended up pleasantly surprised by a gripping mystery full of twists and turns and fantastic detail in the narrative that grabbed my attention from the start. The character of Clarry is well rounded and seems older than her years but then she’d do something without thinking it through and her impulsiveness would shine through. I loved the supporting cast of characters as well especially Flan and her relationship with Clarry. Their friendship is so beautiful to read and very believable despite the 50 year age gap and if this series is ever to made into a TV show Honor Blackman would be perfect in the role. She is who I pictured in my mind every time I read a scene involving Flan. Hopefully if this series continues we’ll see Clarry’s relationship with Ed develop further. He might just be what she needs to keep her feet on the ground and out of trouble. My one complaint about this book is an unanswered question that technically isn’t part of the plot. Who’s body was it in the basement?
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series
Clarry Pennhaligan is a waitress, she’s also an amateur sleuth.
One of her colleagues, has a friend who needs help….and she will pay! So obviously Clarry takes the job.
Vanessa’s well to do mother, wants Clarry to snoop on a group of women, she feels are the ‘wrong’ people for her daughter to associate with…..it might damage the 21 year olds marriage prospects!!!!
So, Clarry finds a way to befriend Vanessa, and gets invited to a secret meeting …Blessed Be! A group of witches, raising money for a wellness centre …but is there something more sinister going on?
This just fizzes along, it’s beautifully light, descriptive writing really gives a sense of the events, while also dealing with the darker side of the story.
I love Clarry and her sense of humour. She feels like a real person, with her inner thoughts, her healthy body image and appetite to match. Another great character is Flan, Clarry’s friend, a 70 year old woman who exudes glamour, fun and sheer enjoyment of life. I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series….
Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.
Clarry Pennhaligan, a waitress who moonlighted as an amateur detective, got her second case. A paying one, at that!! Vanessa's mother wanted to know more about the group of women that her daughter was mixed up with, a cult, with their secret meetings. And Clarry was the woman for the job, befriend Vanessa and infiltrate the group. Easy-peasy! Ya think?
My first book by author Angela Dulyson, though second in the series, but made no difference to me. This was a new case with a new crush too. Clarry was fantastic, sure and confident in some ways, insecure and bumbling in others. What was supposed to be a routine case became a frolicking one with twists and turns. The book which appeared to be a cosy chick-lit became quite a suspenseful one down the pages.
My interest was zoomed in as Clarry went investigating. I loved her and her sidekick and friend, Flan, a septuagenerian with a joie de vivre I was envious of. Their interactions were the highlight of this story, I kept grinning all through. Ed the love interest was cute. I especially liked that Clarry was a size 14 and quite comfortable in her skin. Her inner monologues had me shaking my head in wonder. Oh Clarry Clarry!!
Overall, I would say this made a fun breakfast read on a bright Sunday morning.
From the first page I was gripped, at last a decent chick lit where the heroine is relatable. The writing is superb; it just flows. I love discovering new authors and am so glad I've found Angela Dyson. The writing isn't "cheesy", it's realistic. I loved the opening scene with the recruitment consultant, it rang a lot of bells! 5 stars for this fab author
Many thanks to Netgalley for supplying me with a copy for an honest and unbiased review.
I really enjoyed the first book in the Love Detective series but this is even better! It is certainly a page turner and made a long airport wait and flight pass by in a flash. Angela Dyson expertly builds tension whilst developing the character of Clarry and skilfully manages to inject humour alongside the unfolding drama. What is so good, is that the characters of Clarry and Flan are genuinely likeable and I do hope we will hear more of Ed... I have been to one of the author’s book reading evenings and heartily recommend it if she comes to a bookshop near you. She is very entertaining and she and her sister make the novel come alive. I note that a third novel “In Deep” is coming soon - I can’t wait!
I bought the ebook on pre-release and whisteled through it in no time, could not put it down. I really love the characters, particularly the relationship between Clarry the protagonist (whose in her 20's) and Flan (in her 70's!) There are so many laugh out loud moments that really resonated with me. I love that Angela's work isn't all lighthearted, Clarry does face some serious obstacles and the tension at points is utterly gripping.
My only wish is I hadn't read it so fast that I now have a while to wait until the next one!
Just finished this 2nd book in the Love Detective series and I recommend it as highly as the 1st. Clarry, Flan, and the Abbe clan already feel like old friends, making me laugh loads. The storyline is gripping, original and scarily plausible, tackling quite deep issues in a thoroughly readable way. Ms Dyson's prose flows so well, it's a total pleasure to read. One of those reading experiences so enjoyable you don't want it to end...roll on Book 3!
What a fun book! I picked up this gem on a whim after meeting the author at the local bookstore; she was doing a signing. It’s a super fast, lighthearted, and thoroughly entertaining read. I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions. I really enjoyed getting to know our heroine, Clarry, and found her to be clever and quick-whitted. This book read like an episode of Veronica Mars and left me wanting more. Bravo Angela!