Series: Harbinder Kaur #2
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on March 2, 2021
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The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should not be suspicious. Detective Sergeant Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing out of the ordinary when Peggy’s caretaker, Natalka, begins to recount Peggy Smith’s passing.
But Natalka had a reason to be at the police station: while clearing out Peggy’s flat, she noticed an unusual number of crime novels, all dedicated to Peggy. And each psychological thriller included a mysterious postscript: PS: for PS. When a gunman breaks into the flat to steal a book and its author is found dead shortly thereafter—Detective Kaur begins to think that perhaps there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all.
And then things escalate: from an Aberdeen literary festival to the streets of Edinburgh, writers are being targeted. DS Kaur embarks on a road trip across Europe and reckons with how exactly authors can think up such realistic crimes . . .
When Peggy Smith, a 90-year-old woman, is found dead, no one believes foul play had a role in her death….that is no one but her Ukrainian carer, Natalka. Peggy was a murder consultant, thinking up unique ways for characters to die for popular authors, I do wish we had gotten to know Peggy a bit more, she sounded like an amazing character. Natalka teams up with Edwin, an 80-year-old former TV producer, and Benedict a former monk now coffee shop owner to investigate Peggy’s death. And she takes her story to the police, bringing Detective Harbinder Kaur into the group.
This is a character-driven mystery. Natalka, Edwin, and Benedict are fully developed and each truly likable, and they work together so well. The investigation and friendships change all their lives, in good ways. It’s an eccentric group of characters, and each has their own viewpoint and reasons for joining the inquiry. I love Harbinder and how she both befriends and accepts the trio’s help and is exasperated by their actions. Harbinder is unique. She’s intelligtent and hard-working. She is a gay Sikh, in her thirties, who lives with her parents. All those aspects come into play, both in how she views the world and how this particular mystery plays out.
The Postscript Murders is a book for mystery lovers. The plot revolves around books, authors, and the publishing industry. It’s also a neat mix between cozy and police procedural. The amateurs get to meet people and ask questions, but they don’t have a badge to make people talk to them. Harbinder has authority behind her when she interviews people, which is good and bad, but she can’t follow whims as easily.
It’s a smart book and the mystery itself was well done. There were just enough suspects and clues. There were also a few twists that I didn’t see coming. Even though it’s the second in the series, it can definitely be read as a stand alone. You might get more of a feel for Harbinder by reading the first, but I don’t think you’ll miss all that much.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: