As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Aria, 10 January 2019. ISBN: 978-1-78954185-4 (PB)
Charlie Stafford is a trouble-magnet; a problem in most walks of life,
but it can come in useful when you're an ambitious detective constable. In the
first few pages of Mummy's Favourite, she has already started her day by
chasing a fare-dodger on the London Underground before she even arrives at
The crime at the heart of
this first-in-series police procedural is a particularly horrible one. A mother
and one of her two children have disappeared; we learn from the abductor's
point of view that they are buried in woodland in a deserted part of London;
the child is dead, his throat cut, and the mother is slowly starving to death,
watched by the highly disturbed killer.
For Charlie and her
colleagues in the Community Support Unit of CID, it starts out as missing
persons' enquiry, and focuses on the woman's violent husband. Charlie herself
falls victim to his savage temper, but a conviction proves hard to achieve.
Which, of course, makes this feisty young woman all the more determined to get
to the bottom of the case, even before there's a second abduction in which her
assailant couldn't possibly be involved.
Sarah Flint has a sound
background in the Metropolitan Police, so it comes as no surprise that the
police procedure in this richly detailed novel rings all too true. I especially
enjoyed the account of an episode of Crimewatch, in which Charlie's boss
DI Hunter takes centre stage and Charlie herself is taking calls from potential
The same meticulous approach
is applied to the characters.Even the
bad guys have redeeming features, and I felt I was starting to get to know
Charlie's colleagues, especially motherly Bet and harassed Naz, and of course
Charlie herself. But perhaps my favourite is a peripheral character called Ben
Jacobs, a war veteran suffering from PTSD. He has a soft spot for Charlie, and
she for him, and despite his drink problem and sad past there could even be
romance in the air in future. Charlie too has a sad past, which has helped to
shape her into the spirited and enterprising person she is.
The background too is well
drawn. Flint knows her London, even its less familiar corners; and there are
various houses and flats which suit their occupants very well. And that Crimewatch
studio came alive too.
DC Charlie Stafford is a
promising newcomer to the police procedural canon. I look forward to seeing
where Sarah Flint takes her next.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Sarah Flint is the author
of the best-selling 'DC Charlotte Stafford' series, her first novel Mummy’s Favourite having reached the top
ten on Amazon UK, Australia and Canada. Her books are now available throughout
Europe. Sarah has been based in South London all her life and served 35 years in the
Metropolitan Police, working in pro-active roles dealing with serious violent
crime and the victims and perpetrators of such violence. She retired 18 months
ago and now writes full time. Her books are based in the area in which she
worked and have been described as ‘gritty and authentic.’ She was inspired to write at the age of 43 by
her older sister and she has never looked back. Now living with her partner in
Berkshire, she has three grown-up daughters but regularly returns to her old
stomping ground to refresh her memories and get inspiration for new stories.
Lynne Patrick has been a
writer ever since she could pick up a pen, and has enjoyed success with short
stories, reviews and feature journalism, but never, alas, with a novel. She
crossed to the dark side to become a publisher for a few years and is proud to
have launched several careers which are now burgeoning. She lives on the edge
of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with books, about half of them crime