A Birdie Mealing Mystery
Girl Detectives Just Wanna Have Fun: A Birdie Mealing Mystery by Australian author Philippa Kaye has everything readers want in a sleuth-mystery novel. It even comes with a trip back to the eighties.
Sydney 1984, 23-year-old Birdie Mealing loves her job as a music teacher but wants more out of life, still living at home with her mum, stepdad, and little brothers, she dreams of travelling the world.
Settling down is the last thing on her mind. She just wants to have fun with her friends and the occasional fling.
When Birdie’s beloved uncle Larry goes missing, she has concerns for his safety and welfare, his whereabouts are unknown, and an investigation commences. Enter the attractive Detective Herb Lawson who Birdie happened to have one night stand with, she thought their paths would never cross again.
Birdie isn’t one for waiting around for answers and begins her own search with best friends Pia and Stu. Detective Lawson warns her not to get involved and to leave police work for the professionals.
Birdie may be an amateur at detective work, but she knows her uncle better than anyone else – or does she?
The pacing of this book is nothing short of impeccable as the author masterfully balances moments of high intensity and seeds of doubt are planted which twists the plot in unexpected directions, and introduces a plethora of intriguing suspects, ensuring that readers are kept guessing until the very end.
One of the features of this novel that I enjoyed immensely was the balance of hard-boiled detective plotting versus the cozy, character-led drama and the subtle blend of wit and dry humour that ties the whole thing together.
I enjoyed how the crime storyline brings out protagonist Birdie’s courage and compassion, she is a feisty bold character who does not take no for an answer. The element of family ties and how her uncle is a father figure in her life highlighted the worry, deep concern, and urgency for his safety. I think these details of family, and friendships, bring the other characters vividly to life and heighten the suspense.
The ensemble cast especially Birdie’s friends Pia and Stu, are well-crafted to display a wide variety of personality types and different skill sets. These contributed to their amateur investigating tactics, which got on Detective Lawson’s nerves.
I loved the evocative descriptions of the eighties, for me growing up in this era of great pop culture, with the best movies, music, TV shows, and toys of all time it is so nostalgic. The settings in the story were so realistic which bought back such great memories.
A Birdie Mealing Mystery is the start of something for Philippa Kaye, the reader will be wanting book two right away following Birdie and her adventures. I feel that anyone who enjoys a good mystery and being back in the eighties will enjoy this book.
The book cover is very bright and colourful with a Charlie’s Angels feel to it which I am sure will grab the reader’s attention.
Keep your seat belts on! I highly recommend.
Thank you, Beauty, and Lace, and Shawline Publishing for the opportunity to read and review.
A selection of our members are reading Girl Detectives Just Wanna Have Fun: A Birdie Mealing Mystery by Philippa Kaye. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
My love of books started at a very young age. My mum has always been a reader and encouraged me to read, buying me endless book from classic fairy tales advancing to the world of Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Kathryn Kenny, Carolyn Keene, Francine Pascal. In my adult years the list of authors is endless and every room in my house is filled with books.
One of my favourite novels is Narnia which has always has a special place in my heart. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1978 and when I was given this book to read it let me escape to another world where I felt like I was in the book with all the characters, it wasfun and exciting to escape from reality and eased the ups and downs of the disease at such a young age.
In books nothing is impossible and there is endless potential and hundreds of places to explore or being taken to places that are only made up from the authors’ great minds, the past and future to navigate, characters lives you step into taking you on an emotional rollercoaster ride or being scared out of your wits. I can experience things that I can’t in real life because they’re not possible or real. It challenges my perspective and mindset expanding my worldview.
I find joy, comfort and peace with books, many people may not get it, but I know bookworms like me truly understand. Reading makes my heart happy.