Hi guys, and very happy Wednesday! Today I am very happy to invite you to my stop on Fiona Veitch Smith’s blog tour for her new release “The Kill Fee”, that is the second book in the Poppy Denby Investigates series – but it can easily be read as a standalone, no worries here. I love the times the book is set in so it was an extra bonus for me, and the story itself was fresh and original – just have a look at my review.
The Kill Fee by Fiona Veitch Smith
Publisher: Lion Fiction
Publishing Date: 16th September 2016
Series: Poppy Denby Investigates #2
Source: Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!
Number of pages: 320
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Mystery
Poppy Denby, Arts and Entertainment Editor at The Daily Globe, covers an exhibition of Russian Art, hosted by White Russian refugees, including members of the surviving exiled Romanov Royal family. There is an armed robbery, a guard is shot, and the largest Faberge Egg in the collection is stolen. The egg itself is valuable, but more so are the secrets it contains within – secrets that could threaten major political powers. Suspects are aplenty, including the former keeper of the Faberge Egg, a Russian Princess called Selena Romanova Yusopova. The interim Bolshevik Russian ambassador, Vasili Safin inserts himself into the investigation, as he believes the egg – and the other treasures – should all be restored to the Russian people. Poppy, her editor Rollo, press photographer Daniel, and the other staff of the Globe are delighted to be once again in the middle of a sensational story. But, soon the investigation takes a dark turn when another body is found and an employee of the newspaper becomes a suspect…The race is on to find both the key and the egg – can they be found before the killer strikes again?
I’ve wanted to read Fiona Veitch Smith’s book for a long time already, as I have heard brilliant things about “The Jazz Files”, her debut novel – I even have this book on my shelf, only haven’t found time to read it yet. So when the opportunity to be a part of a blog tour for her new release “The Kill Fee” came, I didn’t hesitate for long and with excitement started to read the book. It is set in 1920s, and I love to read books set in those times. Even though it is a continuation of Poppy Denby’s adventures, it can absolutely be read as a stand – alone novel, as it is a new case and new investigation.
Poppy could be a great character, it’s only I had a feeling that there is much to less of her for a main heroine. The story focused on so many things and Poppy entered the scenes from time to time and I just had a feeling that I don’t know her as well as I’d like to, that I don’t know much about her. However, one is sure, she was again an example of a heroine that was far ahead of her own times and she was determined that nothing will stop her when she set her mind on something.
Thank god, or thank the author, for the list of the characters at the beginning of the book, though I must admit it didn’t help me a lot. There were many characters in this story, MANY, some of them fictional, some of them not, and really, there were so many of them that each time a name was mentioned I needed to turn the pages back to the beginning to see who it is and why – but soon this turning the pages made me tired, to be honest, I want to know who is who and not be forced to all the time searching for a clue, but it’s probably my fault, not the book’s.
I liked the mystery in this story. There were some twists and turns on the way to discover who did what and the author tried to throw a curveball or two. I’d say that “The Kill Fee” is a good cosy mystery, though I personally have expected something more from this book and from such an acclaimed author. However, I of course appreciate the well – developed heroine and the historical background that was really interesting, as it is not only 1920’s London, but also times of the Russian Revolution, of the mystery of the tsar’s family. The book reminded me a lot of Frances Brody’s Kate Shackleton series but – sadly – there is Kate and then there is nothing for a long, long time and then, eventually, comes Poppy Denby. The story has just felt too flat to me, not so exciting and not so surprising. I liked a lot of things in this story but altogether I missed this “something” that makes read exceptional, and there were a lot of moments that I was skim – reading, as it dragged too much for my liking.
The author has made an effort to create the atmosphere of the times and to make the setting as realistic as possible, and it worked really well in this story. It was well – plotted, albeit a little on the dragging on side, even though there was a lot happening. I loved the mentions of the small things that made those times, such as music, the food, the gadgets – they are often mentioned, those little details, but they do not overwhelm or overshadow the plot, and Fiona Veitch Smith has truly brought the background to life. Yes, I am in two minds about this book – I enjoyed it but not as much as I thought I would. However, I’ll be looking onto reading “The Jazz Files” as soon as possible and looking forward to any new release by this author.
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