Love, Honour, and O'Brien (Google eBook)
She stared into the speckled mirror, wondering how she had come to this. How could she, Holly Love, apple of her parents’ eye, competent manipulator of invoices in Gorgon Office Supplies, have ended up alone and starving in a dead man’s flat? How indeed? Most reluctant heroines would throw in the towel at this point. But Holly Love is made of sterner stuff. She’s sworn to track down the cheating swine who ripped her life apart, and make him pay. But as she tries to keep her head in the face of a bizarre mystery, a gloomy old house, a hearse-driving Elvis impersonator and a gang of vengeful thugs – not to mention a garrulous and possibly possessed parrot – Holly is forced to come to terms with a great truth. However bad things seem, they can always get worse.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
With Love, Honour and O'Brien, Jennifer Rowe begins a new cozy mystery series featuring accidental private investigator, Holly Love. It has been about fifteen years since Jennifer Rowe last released a mystery novel. The Verity Birdwood series is a six book series, the Tessa Vance series had only two but sparked an Australian television series. Between then and now Rowe has concentrated on publishing as Emily Rodda - responsible for several popular children's fantasy series. Set in the Blue Mountains (in New South Wales, Australia) Love, Honour and O'Brien is an engaging introduction to Holly Love who just days before her wedding to the charming Andrew McNish, packs up her life to join him only to discover that he has disappeared taking her life savings with him. Hurt, homeless and desperate, Holly hires private investigator O'Brien to find him. When she doesn't hear from him in a few days she goes to confront the PI only to discover him dead, but with a clue as to Andrew's whereabouts in his pocket. The plot of Love, Honour and O'Brien unfolds through a series of unlikely but amusing coincidences. Despite Holly's plans she becomes involved in the machinations of an eccentric old woman who claims Andrew is her half brother, a victim of some of Andrew's more unsavoury colleagues, the subject of death threats and takes a case tailing the suspected cheating wife of the local pest controller. It's a fun caper as Holly stumbles from crisis to crisis, fed sandwiches by the the elderly phone sex worker and the eerily prescient psychic who live in the deceased detectives block of flats. I thought the start a little slow but was soon charmed by the quirky cast who create endless complications for Holly with well meant advice or self serving untruths. Love, Honour and O'Brien is a lively start to a delightful new series that is well written and entertaining. I'm looking forward to seeing how Holly handles her next case
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
I do like a bit of a romp novel, and LOVE HONOUR AND O'BRIEN is nothing if not a bit of a romp. Which surprised me a bit - because the blurb sounded just a little dauntingly like it might be too chick-lit for me. But Jennifer Rowe's return to mystery writing has hugely exciting, so exciting I picked up this book as soon as it arrived. Set in the Blue Mountains (Rowe's home territory it seems), LOVE HONOUR AND O'BRIEN is, you'd have to hope, the first outing of accidental Private Detective Holly Love. I say accidental as she starts out as an office worker who chucked her long-term (boring, cardigan wearing, pea squashing) boyfriend and almost instantly agrees to marry Financial Advisor and stunner Andrew McNish. Which plan went rapidly to pieces on the night that she gave up everything in Sydney, and drove to the Mountains to prepare for the wedding. Only to find Andrew, and all her money gone. Not a terribly surprising story up until here I hear you mutter... we've been here before. What's really good about LOVE HONOUR etc is that it does cover some well worn territory - but it does it with it's own sense of style and humour. Holly is a great character - her man disappearing (along with everything in his house being repossessed around her) does not mean she packs up and runs home to mother - she hires a Private Detective. The Private Detective dropping dead does slow her down a bit - but moving into his flat, taking up his mobile phone and getting on with his job and looking after his parrot - actually works. Even the idea of a lunatic household / heirs of an undertaking millionaire - weirdly kind of work. Okay so there's not a lot that's new here - and Holly's one of those accidental Private Detectives that is more catalyst than resolver, but the sense of humour is wonderful, the pace is tremendous, the cast of supporting characters really vivid and the whole thing just well ... works. Definitely a book more for fans of the lighter side of mystery fiction, and one in which readers will have to accept that there are things in Holly's life that may just need a future instalment. Rowe has once again proven herself to be a particularly dab hand at developing strong female characters, and building a plot and story around them that's engaging, hugely entertaining and quite clever.