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Thursday 15 March 2012

‘Blackmail for Beginners’ by Eileen Robertson

Published by Robert Hale.
ISBN: 978-0-7090-9381-7

Laura Windle is a retired teacher, now taking an active part in village life. A supporter of good causes she fund-raises for the children’s hospital.  When she is advised that the expected funds fall short of the amount required to fund a young boy’s life-saving treatment, she decides that she must take action.

A little investigation establishes that the money pledged by three of the town’s better-off citizens has not been honoured.  So Laura decides that she must persuade the recalcitrant three that they should honour their promises.  Having spent her working life keeping an eagle eye on the children in her care, nothing gets past Laura who now has an abundance of information at her disposal to coerce her reluctant contributors.

We follow the lives of the three unwilling contributors, as a visit from Laura Windle drops like a bomb on their already complicated lives.  Each of them has problems and now additionally they have Laura Windle.

This is a wonderful story of village life and questionable ethics, as in the interests of saving a young life Laura Windle turns to blackmail. Whilst wriggling on the hook, the three victims attempt to evade Laura’s justice, but her main problem comes from an unexpected source which brings startling consequences.

A delightful tale. I look forward eagerly to the next.
Lizzie Hayes

Eileen Robertson worked for many years as a lecturer in German and creative writing at Highbury College, Cosham, and later at Portsmouth University. However, her career had to change from that of a lecturer to that of a carer when her husband William suffered a stroke. She lives in Gosport. Her debut novel Miss McGuire is Missing was also published by Robert Hale. She is currently working on her third stand-alone crime novel, which will be out in the spring of 2013.

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