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December 3, 2020

Entertaining New Cozy Mystery from Katie Gayle

by Donna Huber


The Kensington Kidnap the first book in a new cozy mystery series from the writing team known as Katie Gayle. It features Epiphany "Pip" Bloom, a twenty-something trying to find her niche in life. It looks like she might have found it when she accidentally impersonates a private investigator.
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Kensignton Kidnap
November 2020; Bookouture; 978-1800191068
audio, ebook, print (228 pages); cozy mystery
I wasn't immediately taken with Pip as the book starts with her whining that Mummy has cut off her allowance. And it seemed like she felt entitled to her mother continuing to support her even though Pip is a twenty-something living in her own apartment. It's a real pet peeve of mine. Then she starts complaining about the reasons she hasn't been able to keep a job weren't her fault. Another pet peeve of mine. We don't know enough about some of the "accidents" that happened to know if the reasons she was fired were her fault or not. The avalanche probably wasn't, stealing a cat from the vet's office was. 

I did like the cat and she probably was justified in taking the cat, but she probably could have done something rather than grab and dash. It isn't evident that she tried talking to the vet to see if they could work something out. If she didn't, then her lack of problem-solving skills didn't really bode well for her PI imitation.

I started liking Pip more wants she started investigating the missing person case. She didn't whine so much and with the help of her roommate, sister, and new friends she started figuring out how to solve a problem, and maybe she figured out what she is good at.

I liked that the story was about a missing person. So many cozy mysteries (at least the ones I read) involve murder or at least death. It was a nice change for me. I figured out who the "bad guys" were but I didn't guess completely how they were all involved. 

I liked the secondary characters of Tim, her roommate, and Jimmy, the owner of a boxing gym whom she meets while investigating the case. I foresee a love triangle in future books. 

I'm on the fence about her sister Felicity. I liked how she was there for her sister and willing to help her out, but what I'm sure was supposed to be a quirky trait was just annoying. She mixes up words or gets idioms wrong. It was kind of funny the first few times but sometimes it felt more like she was ditzy and not in a quirky way. I'm hoping that these character traits were just emphasized in this book to establish the characters' personalities and will be much more in the background in future books. 

I'm also hoping that Charlotte continues to make appearances as she is a smart, quirky (in a fun way) character, but I think she was too connected to this case to randomly show up in future books. But it did seem that Pip hit it off with her and it does appear that Pip is lacking in female friendships so perhaps we will see Charlotte in the future. 

Overall, I enjoyed the book and definitely will try the next one to see if the characters continue to grow on me.

Buy The Kensington Kidnap at Amazon


Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.



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