Mrs. Pargeter's Public Relations by Simon Brett
Description: It is her characteristic generosity rather than her love of animals that finds Mrs Pargeter supporting her friend, Jasmine Angold, at a charity reception for PhiliPussies, whose worthy aim is to rehabilitate stray cats from the Greek island of Atmos into caring English homes. But the evening is to have unexpected consequences. At the event, Mrs P is taken aback to meet a woman who claims to be the sister of her late husband, the much-missed Mr Pargeter.
This surprising encounter leads to unwelcome digging into past secrets, the discovery of a body in Epping Forest, an eventful trip to Greece - and unexpected danger for Mrs Pargeter. In the course of her investigations, she learns the true nature of charity and the dubious skills by which Public Relations can make evil look good.
Why I Picked This Book: I've seen Simon Brett's name around for awhile and wanted to give this series a try.
My Impression: It's always interesting to go into a book completely blind. I had read the blurb but I really knew nothing about the series or the character at all. This reminded me a bit of the Mrs. Pollifax series by Dorothy Gilman. Just by looking at her Mrs. Pargeter seems like a respectable wealthy widow but in reality she is the widow of a kind of crime boss who had many resources and connections - all of whom are more than happy to provide assistance to his widow.
The mystery itself was intriguing. Right from the start Mrs. Pargeter feels that something is more than a little bit fishy with the cat charity and it was easy to follow her reasoning. As well when the supposed sister of her late husband shows up and not only will none of his usually incredibly helpful associates shed light on just who this sister is but an important item goes missing I was quite curious to see how it all worked out. I had a few guesses as to what was going to happen. This doesn't read like a big reveal mystery but more like you're along for the ride getting the clues just as Mrs. Pargeter gets them.
The story itself had a somewhat old fashioned feel. Mrs. Pargeter is a perfectly proper reluctant society lady and Truffles and some of her other friends have a seriously vintage old school gangster with a heart of gold vibe. It wasn't the fastest paced mystery I've read but it was a very fun one. Mrs. Pargeter is a character I enjoyed getting to know and her world is one I'd like to revisit. This is a long running series and this is a later book. However, I had no problem jumping in right here. Enough was explained that I had no trouble understanding who was who and what was what but nothing was over explained or cumbersome.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely! My library has a number of books by this author and I'm looking forward to reading more.
Would I Recommend this Book?: If you enjoy a mystery and need a break from the thrillers but don't want to stray into cutesy this is a good choice.