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False Money (An Abbot Agency Mystery) Hardcover – March 1, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
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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
Top Customer Reviews
What is disturbing in otherwise very enjoyable books is the fact that Ms. Heley persists in saddling both of her heroines in crime (Bea and Ellie Quicke) with abusive, truly hateful, and sadistic children who blackmail these women through grandsons. I don't understand why both women, who are otherwise intelligent and capable, willingly accept such treatment at the hands of adult children who appear to be the devil's spawn. If that's not bad enough, both seem to spend a great deal of time apologizing to said children for not being readily enough available to be abused by them.
In False Money, Bea's MP son and incompetent daughter-in-law call her up to demand that she come over to clean and cook for them at all hours, as the new baby is creating havoc in their self-involved lives. Bea always gives in, and dutifully acts as their unpaid servant although she is not allowed to touch her grandson or make suggestions about his care since they claim (very nastily) that she doesn't know what she's doing and only causes them trouble. After they verbally abuse and use Bea, they literally slam the door in her face when she leaves. Yet, she feels guilty if she is too busy to run to them as soon as they call. Bea rationalizes their treatment for the sake of her grandson, who is not at all thriving due to parental stupidity but really, enough is enough of this martyr routine.Read more ›
For suddenly, the novel veers off into an entirely unforeseen direction. Readers will realize who the murderer is long before even the perspicacious Bea Abbott, owner of the Abbott Agency, a domestic staffing agency; like the writers of the Colombo TV series of yore, Heley always divulges the perpetrator(s) early, and the fun consists of following the Abbott Agency's steps in solving the crime. Once again, in "False Money," readers will love seeing how Bea and her motley crew unearth the killer and find justice for the murdered Tomi.
In a separate storyline, Bea's selfish son and daughter-in-law, new parents of baby "Pippin," are so determined to follow the latest baby-raising fad that the poor infant fails to thrive; as usual, Nicole and Max, self-important and self-absorbed, give poor Bea a terrible time. Bea definitely has more patience than I! I would have given the whining, superficial Nicole a good telling-off long before now and then rounded on the conceited Max!
While "False Money" isn't the very best in the series -- that would have to be ...Read more ›