The Case of the Clobbered Cad
By Debra E. Marvin
Nosy Parker Mysteries #2
Journey Fiction, 2017
Inspired by the famous Girl Detective, the members of the Olentangy Heights Girls’ Detective Society, affectionately known as the Nosy Parkers, spent their formative years studying criminology, codes, and capers. Unfortunately, opportunities to put their unique skills to work were thin on the ground in the post-war boom of their little corner of suburbia and they eventually grew up to pursue more sensible careers. Until…
Heather Munro’s youthful devotion to The Girl Detective led to a passion for digging around in history. Now pursuing her Master’s Degree in Celtic Studies, Heather must balance exploring Edinburgh with her determination to excel in her all–male classes at the University. Unfortunately, on her first night working in the Archives room, she discovers the dead body of a visiting professor, the same would-be lothario she’d hoped never to see again.
As clues come to light, it’s clear someone hopes to frame Heather for the murder. Besides her quirky landlady, whom can she trust? How can she clear her name? The police and the American Consul have plenty of suspects, but only two seem to have both motive and opportunity: Heather and the quiet Scottish historian she longs to trust.
I loved this well-crafted story so much – and what a great title! First of all, I’ve always been drawn to British books and movies, period or contemporary … and the theme of a young postgrad student pursuing her Masters in Edinburgh? Fantastic! (Note to Debra E. Marvin: You had me at the mention of Greyfriar’s Bobby, a wonderful legend and unforgettable Disney classic movie.) It was fun seeing Edinburgh through young Heather’s eyes.
Secondly, it was my love for that famous “girl detective” that helped me become an avid reader, and also gave me a love for mysteries. (While I read almost every Nancy Drew volume ever published, the Judy Bolton “girl detective” series was even better – but that’s a topic for another day.) I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything that speaks to the adult Nancy Drew/Judy Bolton lover like Marvin’s story. So creative and just plain fun!
Then there’s the strong characterization. Heather is such an appealing leading lady and she’s someone I could easily become friends with. I wasn’t sure about Tom at first, but quickly came to care about this Scottish historian that she meets on her first day. And then there’s the precious Mrs. Kintyre, Heather’s landlady and crime-solving partner. Her rationale for getting involved? “No one pays any attention to a graying woman with a thick waist. We’re invisible.”
The story is written from a biblical worldview, with it being obvious that faith is important to the characters. Heather carries the guilt of a brief indiscretion that follows her to Edinburgh, and I appreciated the reminder that, although decisions have consequences, we are each responsible for our own actions.
The Case of the Clobbered Cad is a delightful read and I’m eager to see more of Heather, Tom, and Mrs. Kintyre.
I was provided a free copy of this book through Great Escapes Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life, but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says.
She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. She is published with WhiteFire Publishing, Forget Me Not Romances, and contracted with Journey Fiction, and a judge for the Grace Awards for many years.
Debra works as a program assistant at Cornell University, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends.
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