Dastardly Deeds At St Brides by Debbie Young is a highly entertaining contemporary cosy mystery that amused me from the start. It is the first book in the Gemma Lamb series.
All the action is set at St Brides, a girls boarding school. No men are officially allowed, so all the staff are called ‘Miss’ in order to satisfy the parents. Even the male cat has to be referred to as a she!
I loved the cat, McPhee, who liked a cosy seat or to drape himself round the Head’s shoulders! I kept picturing the cat in Harry Potter who goes everywhere with his master!
The school functioned as a family, looking out for each other and with shared experiences.
A hint of menace rumbled along in the background after the opening scenes showed what was to come.
This would make a fabulous early evening cosy mystery television series. I think it could be the next big thing, following on from the likes of Midsomer Murders.
Debbie Young has certainly whetted my appetite for more. I am moving onto book two now.
I received a free copy from Rachel’s Random Resources for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.
Dastardly Deeds at St Brides
When Gemma Lamb takes a job at a quirky English girls’ boarding school, she believes she’s found the perfect escape route from her controlling boyfriend – until she discovers the rest of the staff are hiding sinister secrets:
- Hairnet, the eccentric headmistress who doesn’t hold with academic qualifications
- Oriana Bliss, Head of Maths and master of disguise
- Joscelyn Spryke, the suspiciously rugged Head of PE
- Geography teacher Mavis Brook, surreptitiously selling off the library books
- creepy night watchman Max Security, with his network of hidden tunnels
Even McPhee, the school cat, is leading a double life.
Tucked away in the school’s beautiful private estate in the Cotswolds, can Gemma stay safe and build a new independent future, or will past secrets catch up with her and the rest of the staff?
With a little help from her new friends, including some wise pupils, she’s going to give it her best shot…
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3A3l13R
Sinister Stranger at St Brides
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?
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Wicked Whispers at St Brides
Gemma Lamb is ready for an uneventful term at St Bride’s, she’s had enough of dastardly deeds and sinister strangers.
However, she’s barely back at school before:
- Unlucky in love Oriana is sneaking around at odd hours
- Handsome Joe is keeping secrets
- Militant Mavis feels a scandal is brewing
It’s all a bit much, but when a stranger appears Gemma thinks she’s had enough. But this stranger isn’t so sinister, instead he looks rather too familiar. If Gemma can’t get him away from the school the whispers and scandal his presence could unleash may just close St Bride’s doors for good.
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3Surw7g
Author Bio –
Debbie Young is the much-loved author of the Sophie Sayers and St Brides cosy crime mysteries. She lives in a Cotswold village where she runs the local literary festival, and has worked at Westonbirt School, both of which provide inspiration for her writing. She is bringing both her series to Boldwood in a 13-book contract. They will be publishing several new titles in each series and republishing the backlist, starting in September 2022.
Social Media Links –
Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/DebbieYoungNews
Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/debbie-young