Dolly Greene, professional Tarot reader and resident of Tinderbox Lane, finds herself disturbed by what appears to be a psychic vision, during a reading for the mysterious Nikki on a stiflingly hot summer’s day. The vision, of what appears to be Nikki’s face covered in bruises and blood, throws Dolly off balance and her usual patter is interrupted.
Following a bizarre phone call a few days later, the body of a woman is washed up by Chiswick Bridge. The body is battered and bruised, leading Dolly to suspect that Nikki has been dealt a very bad hand indeed. However, Dolly must ask herself how she can be sure and how far she’s willing to go to follow her intuition.
Although I would have described ‘The Prime of Ms Dolly Greene‘ as cosy crime initially, I have to admit that E.V. Harte doesn’t shy away from violence or bad language but that, for me, made the book more believable. It’s set in modern-day London and I think a modern crime novel must have an element of unsavouryness about it! However, the swearing and violence is tempered with lovely, lively characters who leap off the page and into your heart. Dolly, her daughter Pippa and Raff, the policeman are all extremely lovable in their own ways.
The characterisation in this novel is perfect; E.V. Harte manages to pitch each individual character at exactly the right level to evoke a certain emotion in the reader. Whether it’s the bumbling Professor West or the intimidating Ade, E.V. Harte has a real gift at creating convincing characters.
In addition to the crime element of this novel, there is a vein of humour and the potential for romance running through the story. I absolutely loved it. ‘The Prime of Ms Dolly Greene‘ is perfect for fans of M.C. Beaton’s ‘Agatha Raisin‘ novels.
‘The Prime of Ms Dolly Greene‘ is the first in a new series for Daisy Waugh, writing under the pseudonym E.V. Harte. I’m already dying for the next instalment (which is due out next year).