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on April 5, 2012
Bea Abbot has just returned from a much needed holiday to find things seemed to have changed. Her business, the Abbot Agency, is going from strength to strength but something seems to be wrong and she can't put her finger on what. Maggie, who shares the house with her, seems to be upset about something and her adopted son, Oliver doesn't seem to want to talk to her. To cap it all her friend, CJ, has landed her with the job of helping an acquaintance of his, composer Jeremy Waite, who is mixed up in a murder enquiry. Her son, Max, seems bent on convincing her she is too old to run a business and wants her to retire and sell him her large house at a knockdown price.

Fortunately Bea loves a challenge and she rolls up her sleeves and gets on with the job to prove to herself she is not too old to work. I really enjoyed this book and read it in an evening. I like Bea as a character and Maggie and Oliver are developing in their own ways and making a success of their lives. It was good to see a bit more of CJ who is always an enigmatic character.

I enjoy this author's writing style and her plots are always interesting because they are based in everyday life, though maybe we don't all come across people wanting to murder us! Guests still need to be fed, housework needs to be done and work needs to be accomplished. This is a cosy mystery with an edge to it and things don't always work out how people want them to.

If you like your crime novels without too much violence and with interesting characters and plots then give this series a try. The first book in the series is False Charity (Abbot Agency) but they can be read in any order. If you enjoy books by Hazel Holt and Rebecca Tope then you may enjoy Veronica Heley too.
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on June 20, 2012
Heley's book are great cozies. Older woman with goodness and morals, daughter / son who is over the top and has no morals and no goodness. Add friends and some normal every day situations and stir.

Wish all her books were on Kindle!!
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on December 12, 2014
I enjoyed the last Abbott Agency novel by Veronica Heley, False Money (An Abbot Agency Mystery), and the previous one, False Pretences (Abbot Agency Mysteries). I did, really! But Nos. 4 and 5 in the series just weren't as good as the first three. However, I'm glad to say that Heley returned to form with the sixth installment, "False Report."

At the novel's start, Bea Abbott's son, the self-important and bullying Member-of-Parliament Max Abbott, tries to persuade his mother that she's over the hill and should give up the Abbott Agency, a temporary staffing agency that sometimes investigates crimes. Mrs. Abbott begins to have her doubts as to whether she's outlived her usefulness.

Mrs. Abbott is almost persuaded when she realizes that the agency's new office manager, Ianthe, is running off all of Bea's longtime loyal staff and is engaged in other suspicious activities. Bea also looks into a false accusation of murder and of sexual impropriety against a tiny, absent-minded music teacher/composer. Readers will find both plot lines compelling. False Report's thrill ride will keep readers riveted, part of the reason the novel ranks as the best of the series -- which, considering how excellent the series is, is saying a lot!

Three cheers for the redoubtable Mrs. Abbott! And for her motley crew -- Oliver and Maggie! They're why this novel comes so highly recommended.
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