Friday, August 17, 2012


by Finley Martin
Acorn Press

Grab a comfy chair and get set to do some armchair travelling. We're off to PEI, the setting for The Reluctant Detective, Finley Martin's first mystery. Oh, and you'd better fasten a seatbelt, too because after a slow start, we're into a fast ride.

Anne Brown is a widow with a fourteen-year-old daughter who's just lost her job in Toronto and has no one to turn to. Or so she thinks. Enter her Uncle Bill Darby, a private eye in Charlottetown, PEI. He offers her a job as office manager and some desperately needed security. Fast forward four years and Darby dies, leaving everything to Anne. It doesn't take her long to realize she needs to keep the business going in order to keep her life afloat.

Enter her first two customers. One, a wealthy philanthropist who asks Anne to check out someone who seems too good to be true. Is this man merely after her money? The second client, a voice on the telephone, demands that Anne carry through on a contract he had with Darby. She's to pick up a valise and deliver it, as per instructions. Although hesitant -- and with good reason -- Anne agrees to complete the task, also for a good reason. There's a hefty fee in it for her. And that's where the action ramps up.

In quick order this small in stature, thirty-something, mild-mannered office manager morphs into a smart, savvy and daring private eye. I hope Anne Brown will be back. After all, strong female protagonists don't come around every day. And, the mystery was clever, too.

Finley has strong writing creds which include poetry, short stories, and two books. The writing skills are certainly evident and as I said, it's a great place to travel to.

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