BOOK CLUB: Girl Detectives Just Wanna Have Fun

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[Total: 6 Average: 4.2]

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.

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Girl Detectives Just Wanna Have Fun

  1. This was a very nostalgic book which brought back many memories from the 1980’s. I quite liked the storyline of Birdie and her friends trying to find her missing uncle, but for some reason I did find it a bit tedious to read and the ending was a bit confusing – maybe I need to go back and read it again. I liked the way Birdie and her friends Pia and Stu played off each other, but I didn’t understand the part about Birdie and Herb and the Aboriginal storyline. I felt like it was really meant to mean something and go somewhere, but it really seemed like it was more of a filler and had no real point to the story. Maybe there will be a second book that will fill up on it more? Thank you Beauty and Lace for letting me read this book :0)

  2. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Shawline I was lucky enough to review “Girl Detectives Just Wanna Have Fun” by Philippa Kaye.

    Birdie Mealing is a teacher and musician and just living her life and dreams. She has a one night stand with Herb. After finding out her Uncle Larry, her father figure, has gone missing she then learns that her one night stand, Herb, is a detective on the case.

    Birdie can’t sit still and wait for the Police to find Uncle Larry, she has her own detective skills that she puts to the test to find him, with help from her best friends, Pia and Stu. They go through everything trying to work out who would take him and why.

    After receiving some cryptic messages, searching Uncle Larry’s houses and visiting old mate Vinny in jail, Birdie is doing all she can to find uncle Larry. She does know him better than most people do, especially the police.

    In the mix of all this, not wanting a boyfriend as this is not in her current life plan, she starts to spend a lot of time with Herb and feelings start to swirl. She talks over the case with Herb, he tries to tell her to stay out of it but she does not listen. Can she really trust Herb, is he really who she thinks he is.

    A catchy novel that keeps you wanting to read more to find the answers and see what happens in the end.

  3. ‘Girl Detectives just Wanna Have Fun’ by Philippa Kaye was a fun and quirky book that also touched on sensitive issues.
    When Birdies Uncle goes missing she vows to find him, with some help from her friends Pia and Stu, she sets out to solve the mystery and also rubs Detective Herb up the wrong way as she’s going.
    I found some bits of the book a bit hard to follow along with what was happening and the ending definitely didn’t really give many answers Im guessing/hoping there’s another book to follow that will give some more answers!
    An enjoyable read that was light hearted but serious at the same time, I definitely look forward to reading more of Philippas books!
    Thanks Shawline Publishing for the lovely packaged book and Beauty and Lace for the chance to read and review.

  4. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Shawline Publishing for my beautifully wrapped book!

    This was a fun read set in the 80’s bringing back a few “blasts from the past” like Ken Done tee shirts, Flex shampoo, the Gemini car and many more.
    Birdie’s father figure/uncle goes missing and Birdie can’t sit still waiting for the Police to find him so she enlists the help of her friends Stu and Pia and also her newest love interest, the sexy Policeman Herb. Lots of cryptic clues, a mother that seems to have a secret past involving an underworld criminal who they visit in jail and plenty of twists and turns. You never know who to trust in this book and it kept me guessing right throughout. A few moments of danger and excitement add to this great read.
    4 stars

  5. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read Girl Detectives Just Wanna Have Fun by Philippa Kaye.

    I absolutely loved this read!!

    Philippa makes you want to be part of Birdie’s circle of friends and help her find her Uncle that went missing.

    This is a well written mystery with awesome likeable characters that makes you want to go back to the 80’s and read Cleo with your girlfriends and talk about who you want to hook up with!

    Great mystery that made you want to keep turning those pages quickly to see what’s going to happen next!

    Highly recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  6. I enjoyed this book even though I didn’t think I would. Shows you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover!
    It was a great throw back to the 80s which brought back memories.
    The characters were fun and mostly likeable.

  7. At first I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy this book, as there was rather a huge character dump in the first chapters: Birdie Mealing and her band, her friends, her family, the extended family and other possibly dodgy characters, the police, and of course friends and loved ones of her missing Uncle Larry. So my head was in a whirl. However, once this had evened out the story picked up a bit of pace and (I was going to say sanity but I don’t think that word and this book match) – intensity (that’s better). Basically it was about Birdie’s missing Uncle Larry. Kidnapped? Dead?! Old threats and old murder cases and – well, don’t they always say follow the money to find the villains? – all tangled together in a far-from light story. And yet mixed in was Birdie’s flippancy/urgency to find her uncle, the very interesting and intense detective Herb, and Birdie’s truly amusing friends Pia and Stu that made this book terrific to read. I’m sure we’ll see more of them in future books? Hope so! The little snippets from Cleo Magazine between some chapters were very entertaining. As was the walk down memory lane, 1984.
    Thanks so much to Beauty & Lace Bookclub and Shawline Publishing Group for the review copy.

  8. Girl Detectives was not what I thought it would be according to the title, but it was everything as well. This was an easy read with a lead character in Birdie who was a dominating character and Herb the leading man. Some romance, some drama, a disappearance and much more.
    The other characters in the book also make for an enthralling read, Birdies friends, her mother, the tie in with the mob and her brothers give it a more down to earth feel.
    I thought the ending was a bit flat, not in tune with the rest of the book and thought that it may lead onto another, but at the moment it doesn’t appear to be that way.
    All in all I enjoyed the read.

  9. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Shawline Publishing Group for this fun detective novel.

    Although I struggled at first to keep up with who was who I got quite invested in Birdies quest to find her missing Uncle Larry.
    Along with her two friends Pia and Stu and the help of Detective Herb, Birdie went on quite an adventurous ride that had many twists in the road.
    There was romance, mystery, family drama but also fun times in the storyline.
    After getting into this book I really enjoyed it and wish to read more about Birdie’s adventures.

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