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False Pretences
Cover of False Pretences
False Pretences
Abbott Agency Series, Book 4
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Bea Abbot runs a domestic agency that doesn't 'do' murder.
There's nothing sinister about Zander's request for Bea to accompany him on an errand to a grieving widow, but it's awkward because it was Zander who'd exposed the scam that his boss Denzil had been running on the Tudor Housing Trust...after which Denzil had, unexpectedly, died. His widow, 'Lady' Honoria, turns out to be a bullying racist who wants to sue the Trust for defamation of character, while the paperwork that could have proved her husband's guilt has gone missing.
Oliver, Bea's computer geek of an assistant, is delighted to delve into the mysteries left on Denzil's computer, while Bea is cajoled into silence by elderly Lord Murchison, whose family has run the charity for ever...and who faces ruin if the truth comes out. Zander and Oliver find themselves suspected of murder, while Bea thinks up a novel way to rescue her son's failing marriage. As the plot thickens, it emerges that although the first death may have appeared natural, those which follow definitely do not.
Bea Abbot runs a domestic agency that doesn't 'do' murder.
There's nothing sinister about Zander's request for Bea to accompany him on an errand to a grieving widow, but it's awkward because it was Zander who'd exposed the scam that his boss Denzil had been running on the Tudor Housing Trust...after which Denzil had, unexpectedly, died. His widow, 'Lady' Honoria, turns out to be a bullying racist who wants to sue the Trust for defamation of character, while the paperwork that could have proved her husband's guilt has gone missing.
Oliver, Bea's computer geek of an assistant, is delighted to delve into the mysteries left on Denzil's computer, while Bea is cajoled into silence by elderly Lord Murchison, whose family has run the charity for ever...and who faces ruin if the truth comes out. Zander and Oliver find themselves suspected of murder, while Bea thinks up a novel way to rescue her son's failing marriage. As the plot thickens, it emerges that although the first death may have appeared natural, those which follow definitely do not.
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  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 1, 2010
    In Heley's engaging fourth Abbot Agency mystery (after 2009's False Step
    ), Bea's young live-in female assistant, Maggie, asks the London detective to help her ex-boyfriend, Zander. Zander feels responsible for the fatal heart attack that felled Denzil, his boss at the charitable Tudor Trust, because it was he, Zander, who discovered Denzil was scamming the organization. Now Zander, who's of mixed race, has to return some personal items to Denzil's bigoted widow, Honoria. A rude, bullying woman, Honoria threatens to sue the trust for the defamation of her husband's character. Oliver, Bea's other young live-in assistant, does a little high-tech digging in quest of the truth, while Bea must try to placate elderly Lord Murchison, a member of the trust's board, who faces ruin if the truth comes out. Heley's cast of intriguing characters from every walk of life will please British cozy fans.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from March 1, 2010
    Bea Abbot ("False Step") agrees to accompany young friend Zander as he returns the possessions of a dead man to his widow. The errand of mercy turns ugly when the wife, revealing her racist nature, accuses Zander of theft and blames him for her husband's heart attack. Soon the Abbot Agency staff investigates a scan at the Housing Trust where Zander works, while Zander and Oliver, Bea's semiadopted son, find themselves suspects in two murders. VERDICT Heley has created a rich world around Bea Abbot, who has been affected by her husband's death in ways she never expected. Now surrounded by her extended family, she handles everything that life throws at her. The Abbot Agency rates an A++ for creativity and problem-solving ingenuity; this charming and sophisticated series will appeal to readers who enjoy contemporary cozies.

    Copyright 2010 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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False Pretences
False Pretences
Abbott Agency Series, Book 4
Veronica Heley
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