This book is the second in the Emily Castles series of cosy mysteries set in a London neighbourhood. Emily is an unlucky kind of girl whose patchy employment history gives her time to help out neighbour Victoria at her drama school. It's time for the Showstoppers Showcase but Victoria has been receiving poison pen letters and is concerned about what the author has planned for her. Emily again teams up with another neighbour to establish whether Victoria's ex, a dashing Hollywood actor, is really the culprit and to try and avoid disaster.
This short story (equivalent to around 75 printed pages) catches up with some of the characters from the first book, Three Sisters, but introduces more colourful individuals for the reader to enjoy. We are launched straight into the mystery of who is menacing Victoria and it soon becomes obvious that there is more than one candidate for the role of villain. The action moves at quite a pace and I romped through the book in no time.
I would like to have found out more about Emily's past, as the first book set up some mysteries about her background, but had to be happy with more of an update on the present regarding the appealing heroine. Although Helen Smith's style is quite literary this was an easy, enjoyable read and despite the malevolent hand at work there were moments of humour that made me chuckle.
Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 3*