Review: Acting Like a Killer by Patsy Collins

What are you supposed to do? You’re running a murder mystery weekend at your hotel and the actor playing the victim calls in sick… but there’s this rather good-looking man is standing at the end of your checking-in queue, begging for a room. Obvious, really. He can have a room if he’s prepared to be ‘dead’.

So begins ‘Acting Like a Killer’, featuring Amelia Watson, and guess what the good-looking man above’s surname is? Homes. And he’s an estate agent.

Set in Falmouth and on the south coast, this novel has a strong sense of place, characters visiting local landmarks, such as the Spinnaker Tower in Lee on Solent, which the author clearly knows well.

Patrick, who is about to be divorced, has two young daughters, and Amelia is initially anxious about how she would cope with children, especially as Amelia’s own relationship with her parents is difficult and distant. Moreover, the girls’ mother, Meghan, appears to figure in Patrick’s life, still and rather too much. One of the girls, Isla, suffers from repeated bladder infections and is clearly not well. In the afterword, Patsy thanks Kidney Care UK for their assistance with medical details.

So taken up she is with the good looking Patrick (Mr Homes) in Falmouth that her friend, Nicole, struggles to interest Amelia in the disappearance in Hampshire of Angus McKeller, philanthropist and supporters of charities. Amelia is an aficionado of crime (murder, especially)… but only when it stays on the page of the book. (Me too!) She pursues the McKeller case eventually, and with assiduity, putting herself and Patrick in danger. The last few chapters are terrifying… but no spoilers.

If you’ve read Patsy Collins before, this is very much in her style. It’s her first crime story, a romantic crime story, but in my opinion more romance than crime.

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