Cosy Summer Mysteries Reviews: Mrs Thistlethwaite and the Magpie, by J.B. Hawker

Another cosy mystery featuring a loveable old lady with a wonderfully funny name: Mrs Tillie Thistlethwaite!

We get right into the criminal action here from the beginning: in the quiet town of Tillamook, teenage ballet dancer Honora is kidnapped one night after the dancing class by a mysterious stranger! Meanwhile, Tillamook’s inhabitants follow their usual routine: Tillie Thistlethwaite, 85, gives senior yoga lessons, her friend Slim Bottoms leads the Kazoo band. Tillie is well-known as the town’s agony aunt, too: when Olivette, who’s just moved into town with her husband, a retired pastor, asks her for advice about how to deal with his Alzheimer’s, she gives her the most wonderful tips; Tillie knows all too well about the illness: her husband had had it as well.

When the news about Honora’s disappearance spreads, though, and the police fear she might be the latest victim of the ‘Coastal Killer’, Tillie thinks she’s got a more important – and more dangerous – mission to carry out this time: from a tale of her friend Opal’s from her teaching days about a boy who used to steal things and leave wooden carvings of them behind instead, Tillie is certain she knows who the girl’s kidnapper is; and she and Slim set out to track the ‘magpie’ down and free Honora…

A wonderfully humane story with loveable characters who each have got their own personal backstory; as thrilling and suspenseful as any cosy mystery, but just a touch more sensitive. There are quite some gentle hints of religiousness, without overdoing it, though; it’s just a general kindness that prevails, a belief in the good in mankind. And Tillie is the best example of a kind old lady: she even tries to help a mentally disturbed kidnapper! A great read not only for mystery fans – this is actually one cosy mystery with a message.

Published by: Roberta Franklin

I’m an author of romantic fiction, born in Germany and living in Greece and London. I’ve worked as a journalist, as social hostess on a cruise ship, as an insurance agent, as a translator and teacher… I love books, movies, computer games, history – and I feel at home everywhere around the world!

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