Book Review: Good News, Bad News

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Author: Maggie Groff
ISBN: 9781742611938
RRP: $27.99

Good News, Bad News is the second book in the Scout Davis series, following on from Mad Men, Bad Girls and the Guerilla Knitters Institute. I never quite got to the first book but after Good News, Bad News I think I may need to rectify that.

Scout is back in Byron Bay and trying to have a holiday when she is accosted by a local recluse who will not be put off or turned away. Hermione Longfellow is abrupt and strong-willed, difficult to like and totally set in her ways. She has heard that Scout is good at her job so it’s Scout that she wants.

Hermione wants a story followed but she doesn’t want to share all of her information, making Scout ever more curious. The further she digs into the case the more forks she finds. Scout is intuitive which helps her follow the story without too many wrong turns or wild goose chases.

Much as I have always liked to read a series in order I am slowly getting used to the idea that it won’t always be possible. Sometimes that has a greater impact on my enjoyment than others. Good News, Bad News kept me involved enough that I didn’t feel I had missed too much in the first book but I would have liked to know a little more about how things came to be, like the Guerilla Knitters Institute.

Groff combines quirky humour with an intriguing mystery set in the laidback coastal town of Byron Bay. Filled with surfers and those enjoying a more alternative lifestyle. There is Reiki and surfing and even a little tree hugging. The setting is described with quite a bohemian feel that had me itching to head to Byron for a break.

good news bad news

Scout is investigating a 30 year old crime on not a great deal of evidence but as the story comes together it seems that it could be much bigger than anyone expected. There are some very clever twists in this plot and they kept me intrigued and engaged start to finish.

The investigation is not all that Scout had going on, it’s no wonder she needed a holiday. Between worrying about her sister and juggling the two men in her life Scout’s time was pretty well accounted for, and that’s before factoring in the knitting.

Maggie Groff’s characters are unique and every one of them is quirky in some way which made them a lot of fun to read about. Scout has a cat named Chairman Meow who is one of the integral characters of the novel. Often there are authors who pour personality into the animal characters in their novel but in this case it seemed to me much more like it was Scout animating the Chairman. I know a lot of people who talk to their animals, I am one of them though I must say I’m much more a dog person. But Scout takes that one step further and I would swear she actually expects him to open his mouth and talk back to her.

Then there’s the Longfellow sisters, I don’t even know where to start on their eccentricities, so I won’t because that might just add some spoilers.

Good News, Bad News is a fabulous read by Maggie Groff that offers a little bit for everyone. There is some fantastic intrigue throughout the investigation and who doesn’t love a good mystery, there’s also the love story and some comic relief. Maggie Groff and her Scout Davis novels should definitely make it onto your radar.

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