You never quite know what you will get when you buy a cheap ebook - it could be anything from a total turd to an unexpected gem. This is definitely in the gem category. It's probably best categorised as a murder mystery romance, where the mystery is of the bumbling amateur sleuth variety, and the romance is a gentle, realistic affair rather than chiselled cheekbones and lust on page 3 and steamy sex by the end of the second chapter.
The plot burbles along nicely, without too many credulity-stretching contrivances. It's a real page-turner, which just gets better and better as the pace hots up, and with a nicely believable ending. The author's writing style is perfect for the story, throwing out humour, intriguing developments and tension in all the right places. But it's the characters which really make it. They are all eccentric enough to be interesting, yet utterly believable in their behaviour and motives. And the author resists the temptation to tie up all their stories with neat little bows at the end. Highly recommended. Four stars. [First written August 2011]