Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Girl in the Gallery

GENRE:   cozy crime

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Dulwich…

It’s a perfect summer’s morning in the plush south London suburb, and thirty-something Beth Haldane has sneaked off to visit one of her favourite places, the world-famous Picture Gallery.

She’s enjoying a few moments’ respite from juggling her job at prestigious private school Wyatt’s and her role as single mum to little boy Ben, when she stumbles across a shocking new exhibit on display. Before she knows it, she’s in the thick of a fresh, and deeply chilling, investigation.

Who is The Girl in the Gallery? Join Beth in adventure #2 of the London Murder Mystery series as she tries to discover the truth about a secret eating away at the very heart of Dulwich.

 As she sped on to the last gallery, containing the current exhibition, Beth automatically stopped for a second opposite one of her favourite still lives – the red, white, and blue bouquet by Jan van Huysum. Eighteenth century flower painters were paid extra for insects, and she loved spotting all the wriggly wildlife. This time, it wasn’t a bug that caught her eye, though. It was something on the very edge of her peripheral vision. Something that jarred, didn’t make sense. Shouldn’t even be there. Something that, she realised with dread, was in the mausoleum antechamber. Something that meant, however much she did not want to, she had to turn back and look.

Beth’s heart started to thud. It was a flash of scarlet.

Wasn’t it Constable who’d added red to all his canvases as ‘the salt in the soup’? Well, Beth felt vehemently her life didn’t need even the tiniest jot more seasoning. She could no longer picture the shade crimson lake without shuddering from head to toe, after her ghastly first day at Wyatt’s School.

No, this time, if anything bad was happening, she was not going to stumble across it on her own. Resolutely shutting her eyes, she sidled back past the niche and then ran straight for the ticket desk. She’d get that girl on the desk to come with her, if she had to drag her all the way. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Alice Castle will be awarding $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. (see below)

I’m a word lover.  I like a book that makes me use the dictionary in my Kindle.  I like learning new words and realizing that some didn’t mean exactly what I thought they meant.  This is a book of words.  A fun, Nancy Drew-like mystery with lots of big words and a really tricky plot. Do not for a moment think I am saying this is a light bit of fluff because I mentioned Nancy Drew.  I think Alice Castle’s characters are a little like the cast of Nancy Drew characters all grown up.  I loved her description of characters and the fact that she wrote well enough to let us see those people in our minds. 
Beth, a widow and a single mom, works in an art museum and lives in a world very much like the rest of us. Managing children while working, worrying that our children are getting the proper education, and fighting to stay away from the ridiculous gossip that still goes on today. 
While I mentioned that I loved words, I am also a big lover of the rhythm of reading.  I think good books have a rhythm and a flow that keeps you reading as smoothly as possible, right to the end.  Somehow this delightful book with all of its words never broke my rhythm.  I loved it and read it in two or three days because I couldn’t put it down.  This is the second book in a series called “The London Murder Mysteries”.  Book 2 can easily stand alone as a good read but...we should make sure we read Book 1 and hope for Book 3.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Alice Castle was a UK  newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph before becoming a novelist. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, was a European best-seller which sold out in two weeks.

Alice is currently working on the sequel to Death in Dulwich and The Girl in the Gallery. The third instalment in the London Murder Mystery series, it will be published by Crooked Cat next year and is entitled The Calamity in Catford. Once again, it features Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.

Alice is also a top mummy blogger, writing DD’s Diary at www.dulwichdivorcee.com.

She lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children and two cats.
Alice Castle’s Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/alicecastleauthor/

Alice Castle is on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DDsDiary?lang=en

Links to buy Alice Castle’s books: myBook.to/GirlintheGallery  myBook.to/1DeathinDulwich, myBook.to/HotChocolate

The book will be on sale for $0.99.


  1. Hi Kathy, thanks for your lovely review! I'm a big Nancy Drew fan and I loved that The Girl in the Gallery reminded you of her. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book and yes, book 3, Calamity in Camberwell, will be out this summer. Thanks again and all the best, Alice

  2. I enjoyed every moment of it Alice. Anxious for Book 3

  3. Thanks, as you can see...I enjoyed the book.

  4. Thanks for the giveaway; I like the excerpt. :)

  5. Thank you for your honest review, it's much appreciated!

  6. Enjoyed reading your great review. Sorry I missed everyone on the day of the party. Looks like you all had fun. I missed a few days on line and busy playing catch-up now.

  7. Better late than never "lol" Glad you stopped by.


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