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The Lost Girls of Penzance: A BRAND NEW totally gripping and unputdownable crime thriller (A Cornwall Murder Mystery)

by Sally Rigby

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The Lost Girls of Penzance is the first book in the Cornwall Mystery series by Sally Rigby who is also the author of the excellent Cavendish & Walker series of police thrillers

When human bones are discovered by a couple of kids in a field in Penzance, Detective Inspector Lauren Pengelly fears there is a murderer on the loose.

Later that day it’s reported that a little girl, Isla, has been kidnapped from her nursery and seemingly vanished. Are the two cases connected? And what’s the link to Detective Sargent Matt Price?

When another little girl is taken, again from her nursery in the middle of the day, it’s clear Lauren and her new partner Matt need to get to the truth as soon as possible before the hunt becomes a murder investigation.

Good characterisation for both of the very different lead characters, new boy Matt is more laid back and likable whereas Lauren is not wildly loved by her department and has control issues regarding the team.

An intriguing plot plus a selection of interesting supporting characters make this mystery good fun to read or listen to. The author throws plenty of red herrings into the mix whilst ably delivering a gripping story including the emotional turmoil associated with any case that includes young children.

In audio book format the narration is great and adds to the enjoyment of the book. The audio narrator, Claire Corbett, does an excellent job with the local accents.

This is an excellent start to the new series that I hope will maintain the quality as further titles are added. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for book 2

I’d recommend this title to anyone who enjoys mystery detective stories, police procedurals or if you have a particular fondness for UK regional settings. ( )
  KevinCannon1968 | Oct 1, 2023 |
The Lost Girls of Penzance by Sally Rigby is a highly recommended police procedural.

Detective Lauren Pengelly of the Penzance police was supposed to be on leave when she learns that a skull has been found and rushes to the scene. Detective Matt Price, second-in-command to Pengelly, is guarding the scene. This is his very first day and he has never met Pengelly so he doesn't allow her on the scene until the medical examiner vouches for her. There are other bones, obviously not recent, so the site must be seriously examined.

Then the station receives a call about a little girl disappearing from her nursery/preschool. The team rushes over to search for her and check out the staff and buildings security. Pengelly and Price quickly begin to investigate and seemingly have a suspect, but then another little girl disappears from a different nursery/preschool and it is clear that they need to reexamine the facts. The search for the missing girls is intense while the identification of the bones is also being investigated.

Since this is the start of a new series, any development of the characters is beginning with this first novel. The good news is that readers are provided with an excellent foundation for future development. The backgrounds and personalities of both Pengelly and Price are presented as realistic, believable characters with individual personalities and depth. Pengelly is not immediately a likeable character, she is stern and tough, but there are a few hints and a scene late in the novel that show a hidden side of her personality. Price has a heartbreaking backstory and he is immediately likeable.

The narrative moves quickly as both investigations are underway. The missing little girls is the more compelling of the two but both investigations are brought to a conclusion. The action and clues provided will hold your attention. This is a fast read. While there is a twist, The Lost Girls of Penzance excels in presenting a straightforward police procedural where the investigation logically leads to a conclusion.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Storm publishing via NetGalley.
http://www.shetreadssoftly.com/2023/09/the-lost-girls-of-penzance.html ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Sep 29, 2023 |
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