First-time author Kaye C. Hill writes like a pro! I couldn't put the book down and finished it in a day. Lexy Lomax, the tough, bright protagonist who comes from a background of Travelers and environmental protest movements, is on the run from her unprincipled, egotistical former TV star husband who has employed very questionable means to maintain his expensive lifestyle. She's spent the last of her small inheritance on a beater car and a falling-down log cabin on a cliff in Clopwolde-on-Sea on the Suffolk coast, where she retreats with her aggressive Chihuahua Kinky, a legacy from her deceased mother-in-law.
Mistaken for the previous owner of the cabin, an elderly private investigator, and driven by the need to make enough money to feed herself and the dog, Lexy immediately falls into a series of adventures as she looks into the murder of an unpleasant woman who had alienated nearly every resident in the town, a proliferation of poison pen letters and the kidnapping of a prized cat. Along the way, she's beset by a bevy of birdwatchers, a pack of Chihuahaus, the local thespian group and a persistent Detective Inspector.
The book is happily populated with a whole range of well-developed, colorful characters and their pets and I enjoyed meeting all of them. The plot is filled with twists and turns, red herrings and one very dead flounder. The only part of the mystery I was able to solve readily was the breed of the kidnapped cat. I've now started the sequel, The Fall Girl, and hope there will be many books to come in the series!
The writer's style makes her characters and setting very easy to visualize, and I can imagine that this would make a delightful TV series for the BBC.