FICTION

The Mystery of Mercy Close: A Walsh Sister Novel

Viking. Apr. 2013. 388p. ISBN 9780670025244. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101606049. F
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Keyes (The Brightest Star in the Sky) continues to write frothy, fun books from across the pond, this time tackling a mystery. Helen Walsh, a struggling private investigator living in Dublin, is battling severe depression, has been kicked out of her flat, and has no job. But she faces all this with a crackling dry wit and clever, sarcastic comments. When an old flame tracks her down to seek her help in finding a missing person, she's on the case. Ireland's biggest 1990s boy band, the Laddz, are having a reunion tour. But one unwilling member, Wayne (The Wacky One), has flown the coop. Helen must find out whether he skipped by choice or force. Can she stay sane enough to complete her task? Throw in Helen's hunky new boyfriend (complete with three kids and an ever-present ex-wife) and her nutty Mum and sisters (previously encountered in Angels and Anybody Out There??), and there are plenty of obstacles to avert.
VERDICT While Helen's voice, a mix of Stephanie Plum and Bridget Jones, is consistently amusing, the storyline is dragged down by the slow pacing. [See Prepub Alert, 10/15/12.]

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