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‘Sinister Stranger At St. Bride’s’ by Debbie Young

Synopsis

For anyone who loved St Trinian’s – old or new – or loves a cozy mystery on a grand estate filled with rather ‘interesting’ characters.

When an American stranger turns up claiming to be the rightful owner of the school’s magnificent country estate it could spell trouble for everyone at St Bride’s . . .

No one can believe it when the headmistress, Hairnet, instantly accepts the stranger’s claim, not:

  • the put-upon Bursar, ousted from his cosy estate cottage by the stranger
  • the enigmatic Max Security, raring to engage in a spot of espionage
  • the sensible Judith Gosling, who knows more about Lord Bunting than she’s letting on
  • the irrepressible Gemma Lamb, determined to keep the school open

Only fickle maths teacher Oriana Bliss isn’t suspicious of the stranger, after all she can just marry him and secure St Bride’s future forever. That’s if inventive pranks by the girls – and the school cat – don’t drive him away first.

Who will nab the stranger first? Oriana with the parson’s noose? Gemma with sinister secrets? Or could this be the end of St Bride’s?

My Review

A few weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of reading and reviewing the first book in the ‘St. Bride’s’ series which is called ‘Dastardly Deeds At St. Brides’. I did enjoy reading it so when I was offered the chance to read the second book in the series, I knew that I couldn’t refuse and that I would be in for a treat. I was right on both counts. The wait is over because the second book in the ‘St. Bride’s’ series is called ‘Sinister Stranger At St. Bride’s’ and it was released on 11th October 2022. It’s another cracker of a read and then some. I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Sinister Stranger At St. Bride’s’ but more about that in a bit.

I was drawn into this story from the very first word on the very first page. From then on the book seemed to develop a hold over me and it was a hold that I wasn’t willing to break. It didn’t take me long to remember who was who. I have to say that i loved the characters are all rather bonkers and really quirky. To say that reading ‘Sinister Stranger At St. Bride’s’ became addictive is a bit of an understatement. I would pick the book up only intending to read a chapter or two but I would become so wrapped up in the story and in the lives of the characters that I would still be sat there reading several chapters and an hour or so later. The more I read, the more I wanted to read and the quicker the pages seemed to turn. I soon got to the end of ‘Sinister Stranger At St. Bride’s and I had to say a temporary farewell to the staff and pupils of St. Bride’s. I found ‘Sinister Stranger At St. Bride’s’ to be a gripping cosy mystery which certainly kept me guessing and kept me on the edge of my seat.

‘Sinister Stranger At St. Bride’s’ is superbly written but then I have come to expect nothing less from Debbie Young. Debbie has one of those easy going writing styles that is easy to get used to and easy to get along with. In fact reading one of Debbie’s books feels more like a chat between friends rather than reading a book. I hope that makes sense. For me, this isn’t a particularly fast paced mystery but that suits the story that Debbie is trying (and succeeding) to tell. The author certainly knows how to grab the reader’s attention and draw them into what proves to be one hell of a story with some truly memorable characters. I love the way in which Debbie makes the reader feel as though they are part of the story and at the heart of the action. This book made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. I thought that ‘Dastardly Deeds At St. Bride’s’ was good but ‘Sinister Stranger At St. Bride’s’ is even better. The ‘St. Bride’s’ series goes from strength to strength.

In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Sinister Stranger At St. Bride’s’ and I would definitely recommend this book to other readers. I will certainly be reading more of Debbie’s work in the future. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.

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