New to the private investigator game, Edie Fox is delighted when a handsome American client with disconcertingly dazzling teeth asks her to find his missing cousin, Isabella. Especially when he leaves her a bundle of cash to get started. However, the case quickly gets complicated, and so does her life when a one- night stand from her Oxford university days gets in touch and asks if her 26- year-old daughter, Maeve, is also his child.
Juggling a chaotic home, a brimming wine glass, a daughter besotted with her new-found daddy, and a rekindled old flame, Edie must try to focus on the job. But with unreliable witnesses, a less than trustworthy client, and an assistant with her mind on other things, Edie will be up against it and risks losing all. THE MISSING AMERICAN is the first book in a series of hilarious cozy mysteries by bestselling author Julie Highmore.
Look out for the next book in the series, THE RUNAWAY HUSBAND, coming soon!
My thanks to The Book Folks for the tour invitation and for providing the ecopy to review. The Missing American is published in various formats (11 April 2023) and is also available on Kindle Unlimited.
Edie Fox’s newly established investigation agency is given a boost by a new client. American Mike Smith wants her to investigate the disappearance in the UK of his cousin Isabella and apparently has deep pockets as he hands over wads of cash for her retainer. After the more mundane cases that have come her way, Edie throws herself into the investigation but she can have no idea how complicated the situation will become.
Set in Oxford, The Missing American is the start of a new series. Edie’s life is rather chaotic, she lives with her rather lazy daughter Maeve and young grandson Alfie and has to suffer Maeve’s boyfriend Hector scrounging off the pair of them. Totally disorganised and desperate for her business to provide some much needed funds, she comes across as rather an unlikely PI.
This is a cozy mystery with an engaging protagonist at its heart and some supporting characters that I was never quite sure about. Without giving any spoilers as to plot, it’s an intriguing mystery with plenty of surprises, for both Edie and the reader. Edie’s past catches up with her and the fallout is rather dramatic. At times it feels that Edie is rather out of her depth both personally and professionally but she is an intelligent woman with guts and spirit, even if some of her decisions were a little unwise.
Well paced with plenty of intrigue, deception and drama, The Missing American is an entertaining read and one which I enjoyed. The marketing blurb calls it ‘absolutely hilarious’, being honest, I didn’t find it so although it was a fun read made so by Edie’s often amusing observations and the situations she finds herself in.
The Runaway Husband is the next book in the series and one that I will look out for.
It’s the first day of the blog tour and you can follow the other stops below.
The daughter of an RAF officer, Julie moved around a lot as a child, which meant many moves and many goodbyes, and fourteen schools to turn up to as a shy new girl. But eventually settled in Oxford in her twenties and, after having three children, studied first at Westminster College, then Oxford Brookes University, where she gained a first class degree in English. As part of the course, she studied creative writing with Philip Pullman, who encouraged her to continue with her writing after graduation. This she did, and her published work includes nine rom-com novels, and more recently, a crime fiction series for The Book Folks.
The first in the series – features the somewhat flawed, Oxford-based private investigator, Edie Fox; a single mother and very young grandmother who inadvertently gets her precious family caught up in her first big case. Although her recent novels have ventured into some dark places, Julie manages to inject humour into the stories without diminishing the seriousness of the situations Edie finds herself in.
Oxford is a city Julie knows well, but she has chosen to leave the beautiful and atmospheric colleges and cloisters to other authors, and her protagonist is based in the more edgy and diverse east of the city, full of small Victorian houses, students, cafes, delis and retired lecturers.
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