Death At Paradise Palms by Steph Broadribb

Today it’s over to Mandie who is sharing her thoughts on Death At Paradise Palms, book two in the Retired Detectives club by Steph Broadribb. With thanks to publisher Thomas & Mercer for the copy via Netgalley. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Netgalley
Release Date: 11 October 2022
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

About the Book

It looks like an open-and-shut case—until one of the Retired Detectives disappears…

When movie producer Cody Ziegler goes missing from The Homestead’s Millionaires’ Row, his wife, retired actress Olivia, immediately claims there’s foul play afoot. A million-dollar ransom demand soon follows, with clear instructions not to involve the cops. In desperation she enlists the help of Moira, Rick, Philip and Lizzie, aka the Retired Detectives Club.

Racing against the clock, the four retirees set to work. Sure, Cody had enemies—there’s a disgruntled employee, a jilted film-maker and a hundred other people who know how much he’s worth. But when it emerges that Cody’s apparently perfect marriage isn’t what it seems, even Olivia isn’t above suspicion.

When Cody’s car turns up in a nearby lake with a shocking surprise inside, the case becomes even more complicated. But with Philip and Lizzie’s marriage on the rocks, and threatening notes sending Moira into a spin, the Retired Detectives Club risks falling apart before getting any closer to the truth.

Can Moira and the gang find Cody before it’s too late? Or will this case see them lose in more ways than one?

Mandie’s Thoughts

Death at Paradise Palms is the second book in the Retired Detective Series. This time we see Rick, Moira, Lizzie and Philip investigate the disappearance of Cody Zeigler, husband of retired actress Olivia Hamilton Ziegler and resident of Millionaires Row at the Homestead retirement village. With the local police not taking things seriously, Olivia believes that the Retired Detectives are her only hope of finding out what has happened to her husband.

Olivia is clearly not telling them the whole story and they all but have to drag the truth from her which makes Rick think that she may be behind it yet the others don’t seem quite as convinced. As they dig into Cody’s work life they find that although his staff seem to love him there are one or two people who do not have quite such a high opinion of him and may have a motive for his kidnapping. I could understand Rick not trusting Olivia as she did not always make things easy for the team and he could not understand why she insisted on being in on every conversation they had, almost as if she was trying to make sure that she was never suspected and her relationship with Cody was not exactly conventional giving her the possibility of a motive.

This team are definitely growing on me. As much as they work well together you can see that also at times they can rub each other up the wrong way making them just that little bit more human and believable. I love the way the chapters are divided up between all of the main characters giving different perspectives on events and how they feel the investigation is going based on what they are doing. Their personal lives are definitely impacting on this case as Moira is being harassed by an unknown person with threatening texts she is convinced link back to her life in the UK and Lizzie and Philip are still struggling with their marriage after events in book 1. As much as Moira manages to stay professional, Philip and Lizzie have gone the other way to the point they can hardly be in the same room as each other and ultimately leads Philip to make decisions that could prove disastrous. 

This may be classed as cosy crime, but the investigations keep up a pace that belies the setting of a retirement village and the image of older people heading to the sunshine state to relax in later life. I am looking forward to the next in the series to see what they will get mixed up in and if Moira will truly trust Rick with her past or find out why she was being threatened.

About the Author

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. A prolific reader, she adored crime fiction from the moment she first read Sherlock Holmes as a child. She’s worked in the UK and the US, has an MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) and trained as a bounty hunter in California.

Her other novels include the first book in the Retired Detectives Club—Death in the Sunshine—which was a bestseller in the UK, USA, Australia and Canada, along with the Lori Anderson bounty hunter series and the Starke/Bell psychological police procedural books (writing as Stephanie Marland). Her books have been shortlisted for the eDunnit eBook of the year award, the ITW Best First Novel award, the Dead Good Reader Awards for Fearless Female Character and Most Exceptional Debut, and long listed for the Guardian ‘Not The Booker’ Prize.

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