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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

‘Exposé!’ by Hannah Dennison

Published by Robinson,
20 September 2012.
ISBN: 978-1-78033-063-1

Investigative reporter Vicky Hill’s dream of the gorgeous Lieutenant Robin Berry is abruptly shattered by her the ringing of her mobile phone.  An anonymous voice tells her that she should get to St Peter’s where a funeral is taking place.  As the Reverend Whittle is away on holiday instructions had been left that any bodies were to be kept in the
Gipping morgue until his return.  Knowing that in the one hundred and forty-odd years of being in existence, the Gipping Gazette had never once missed sending a reporter to the church to record the funeral, Vicky is soon astride her red Yamaha heading for Gipping church. Sure enough there is a hearse parked outside. But not the Gipping-on-Plym’s
funeral directors – Dust to Dust With Dignity, but a garish American Cadillac bearing the slogan Go-Go Gothic – Our Passengers Go All the Way. Convinced something is a foot, Vicky is amazed to see parked behind the hearse, the car of Douglas Fleming, Managing Director of Gipping-on-Plym Power Services. 

Even more amazing is that this early morning’s unheralded funeral is for his wife, local celebrity Scarlett Fleming. And Scarlett would have wanted a funeral that everyone would remember. The whole thing looks to Vicky extremely suspicious.

Hardly has Vicky decided that there is definitely more here than meets the eye, than she is accosted by Eunice Pratt, screaming ‘Dougie is mine at last!’ A bitter woman in her sixties with a nasty temper, Eunice is not one of Vicky’s favourite people.  She is however, Lieutenant Robin Berry’s adored aunt.

As Vicky heads into the office to write up the story she is informed that hedge-jumping having ended on 30th April, from 1st May until end of August it's snail-racing season, and that will be the lead story.

But our Vicky is tenacious and is determined to uncover the secret behind this hasty burial.  As she investigates she discovers that Douglas is on somewhat shaky financial ground, and that surprisingly Eunice is not the only one after him.  In the midst of her investigations, prompted by her love for Robin she agrees to something she later regrets.

Soon Vicky realises that she is chasing a killer, and could have an exposé scoop, if she can stay alive long enough. Of course she could confide in that rather nice DS Colin Probes, except that he is a policeman, and family history forbids fraternising with the law. And anyway she is in love with Robin. But could her affections be misplaced?

A truly wonderful romp, as Vicky grapples with a mysterious death, intrigue, and snail-racing season. Not to be missed.
Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes.

Hannah Dennison One constant, however, was that I always sought after adventure. It was one of the reasons why I enlisted in Her Majesty's Royal Navy, only to discover that women sailors (known then as "wrens") never went to sea.  I hoped the local newspaper might offer some excitement-at the very least, the odd murder or two. So spent two years tucked away in beautiful Devon writing obituaries.  This was followed by a wonderful job in an antique, a spell as a secretary to a Formula One World Champion, a hostess in a nightclub, and then nearly a decade as a flight attendant for both commercial airlines and private jet charters. Eventually, I landed an agent and a three-book deal for Vicky Hill-and the rest, as they say, is history. One thing I've learned through it all is that "overnight success" actually takes about ten to fifteen years of consistent hard work. There are no short cuts to achieving your dreams.

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