Helen Cox is a Yorkshire-born novelist and poet.. After completing her MA in creative writing at the University of York St. John Helen wrote for a range of magazines and websites as well as for TV and radio news. Helen has edited her own independent film magazine and penned three non-fiction books. She currently hosts The Poetrygram podcast and works for City Lit, London.
About the book
Meet Kitt Hartley: librarian, trilby-wearer, Lady Grey tea-drinker, talker of no nonsense… detective?
It’s a perfectly normal day for Kitt Hartley at her job at the University of the Vale of York library, until Detective Inspector Halloran arrives at her desk to tell hr that her best friend, Evie Bowes, is under suspicion of murder. Evie’s ex-boyfried Owen has been found dead – with a fountain pen stabbed through his heart – and all the evidence points to her.
Kitt knows there is no way Evie could murder anyone – let alone Owen, who she adored. Horrified that the police could have got it so wrong, Kitt decides there’s only one thing to do:: she’s going to investigate Owen’s murder herself. She’s read hundreds of mystery novels – how hard can it be?
With the help of her assistant Grace, and the occasional hindrance o the library’s eccentric regulars, Kitt summons up all her investigative powers ( absorbed over years of reading everything from Agatha Christie to Ian Rankin) and gets to work.
She soon discovers that down the quaint streets and snickelways of York lie darker doings than she’d ever dreamed, but she needs to watch her step: the murderer is watching her. And they haven’t finished killing yet…
Kitt is emboldened by her friends, her fictional companions. She becomes the feisty detective searching for the truth and seeking the real murderer regardless of how much trouble she may get herself into.
How dare anyone accuse her friend Evie of murder? Evie’s ex-boyfriend has plenty of enemies to choose from. There are probably quite a few who wanted to see him dead. The list of suspects, and let’s be honest the list is kinda pushing it a bit when it comes to some of them, isn’t exactly short.
It reminded me of the kind of murder mysteries you can watch on the Hallmark channel, a bit like the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries. A combination of humour, awkward and stumbling sleuthing, a plot that draws the reader in and plays with them a little, and a main character who just can’t help herself and stays in trouble the majority of the time.
It’s a cosy murder mystery with an audacious main character. Kitt isn’t bothered with boundaries or rules, and certainly not by any dangerous situations which may arise. This is what makes her such a bold fighter when it comes to fighting to clear her friends name.
Cox writes with enthusiasm, especially when it comes to Kitt, and despite all the murders it is the kind of read cosy crime lovers will enjoy. With a beautiful setting and quirky set of companions to accompany her I am sure Kitt will be back again soon with another mystery.