From Publishers Weekly
At the start of Heley's uninspired fifth Abbot Agency mystery (after 2010's False Pretences), 19-year-old Chris, a friend of Bea Abbot's adopted son, Oliver, surprises Bea with a bouquet of flowers at her London office. Chris uses his charm to persuade a reluctant Bea to track down Tomi, a young woman who came to the U.K. from Nigeria with her doctor parents when she was two. The stunning Tomi, who acted in a short film Chris made the year before, is now missing. Meanwhile, Claire, a short-term day nanny, contemplates murder. Unfortunately, passages from Claire's perspective often identify the name of her next intended victim and the means she plans to employ, undercutting the suspense. The motive behind the killings will strike many as a letdown, though series fans will enjoy visiting with old friends. (Apr.)
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Domestic agency owner Bea Abbott (False Pretences, 2010, etc.) goes to bat for one of her unofficial offspring while her real son and daughter-in-law do their best to keep her from her grandson. Between visiting his home district and fretting over his overwrought wife Nicole, MP Max Abbot has little time to care for his colicky new son Pippin. Max's mother Bea is sure that all Pippin needs is a change in formula, but even the mildest correction to Nicole's parenting is met with hysteria. It's no wonder Bea prefers her makeshift brood: hyperkinetic Maggie, who fearlessly bosses around contractors on behalf of the Abbot Agency; brainy Oliver, whose success at Cambridge helps counterbalance a legacy of rejection by his parents; and charming Chris, flush with the success of his first film venture. Bea knows that Chris is an operator, but she can't ignore his pleas to help find his Nigerian friend Tomilola, ostensibly because she's disappeared with his library books. As attempts to find Tomi dead-end, Chris grows genuinely alarmed. After Tomi's body turns up in a field off Fulmer Lane, her sometime boyfriend Harry and Harry's friends Jamie and Hermia help Chris and Bea retrace the beautiful Nigerian's last days. Meanwhile, Max and Nicole bar Bea from their home, hiring a nanny to care for Pippin. But as her pursuit of Tomi's killer intensifies, Bea starts to fear that their choice of caregivers may put her beloved grandson in danger. Fans will be treated to the usual family complications as they wait for the inevitable shoe to drop. --Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2011
Bea Abbot, who runs a domestic problem-solving agency, is asked to help find Tomi, the star of a short film who had befriended some of Bea's young friends. They all swear that the missing woman would never cause anyone anguish by just disappearing. At the same time, Bea must deal with her ¬daughter-in-law, who treats her like a maid and refuses to allow Bea to touch her own infant grandson.
VERDICT As in this title's predecessors (False Pretences; False Step), Bea reveals her personal strength as she nourishes the friends she has reluctantly adopted as her own surrogate family and cleverly unwraps the motives behind several deaths. For fans of sophisticated contemporary cozies. --Starred Library Journal Review, March 4, 2011