Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: Ill-Gotten Gains (Nell Forrest Mystery #2) by Ilsa Evans

Ill-Gotten Gains (Nell Forest Mystery #2)
There are secrets in the sleepy town of Majic, where the past trips over the present ... and then looks the other way.

The country town of Majic is about to celebrate a milestone. It's been 150 years since the founding father, Petar Majic, rode into the bush after a liquid lunch, vowing to build a house at whatever spot he reached by sunset. However, what happened next isn't quite what town legend would have you believe.

A minor act of cemetery vandalism lands local columnist and amateur detective Nell Forrest right in the path of historical inevitability. An apparent murder-suicide leads to the unveiling of a century-old scandal and a trail left by a trio of long-dead women.

Nell's investigations are hampered both by the arrival of the handsome district detective and by her family – whose dramas almost eclipse that of the town itself. With directionless daughters, unplanned pregnancies, a spot or two of adultery and an ex-husband who wants her house, Nell barely has time for the case, let alone the energy to keep her wits about her at the same time.

And Nell will need her wits about her as the mystery of Majic begins casting its shadow into the present day, putting Nell and her family in grave danger. In the end, Nell must decide whether it is a tale of epic fortitude, or treachery and ill-gotten gains, before the past catches up with her.
Publisher: Momentum
Publication Date: September 1, 2013
Kat's Review
I chose this book because it looked as though it had the right atmosphere for an October read. I don't read too many unlikely-detective-type books, but this one was funny with a great protagonist, and I found myself laughing at Nell's insights and personal commentary along the way. Nell Forrest is a middle aged woman grappling with some big life changes. Her husband left her and their five children for another woman, Nell's daughters are dealing with the trials of entering adulthood, and Nell is struggling with putting her life back together and moving on.

Her down-to-earth personality that's infused with self-deprecating humour and keen insights are what makes this character so enjoyable to read. When she stumbles onto the mystery of Majic's founders, you just know it's going to be a funny ride. The case itself is an interesting one, and it's clear that Nell is in danger, but she's smart and resourceful and sets her sights on figuring it out. 
There's a great supporting cast of characters here, and the setting makes for the perfect location for a murder mystery.
Kat's Rating: A Good Read
This is fun, but not so frivolous that you don't care about the mystery. The writing can be heavy on metaphors at times, but it suits the character so much that it just added to the story. This is the kind of story where you just sit back and enjoy the ride.
 I received a complimentary copy of this title from NetGalley & the publisher in return for an honest review.

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