**** 4 Stars
Dead Gorgeous, is the second book in the D.I. Costello series by Elizabeth Flynn. I loved this cover, it sets up the book perfectly and gives readers an insight to what might be inside. I was also really pleased to be invited to be a part of Elizabeth Flynn's blog tour because I do love a crime series.
As the in-house model for the Ivano King Fashion House and girlfriend of Ian King, the man behind the label, Kirsty Manners believes she is well on her way to stardom. But Kirsty is found dead in her flat one Sunday afternoon and D.I. Angela Costello is called to the scene.
At first enquiries centre on the local gym where Kirsty, her dangerous ex-boyfriend Darren Carpenter and her jealous flatmate Sandra Hodges worked out. But things are more complicated. Ian King is considered to have lost his edge. Why then is he so buoyant about his latest collection for London Fashion Week? What about his new girlfriend, Eleanor Chandler, who openly admits to having a reason to wish Kirsty dead?
Behind the gleaming smiles and flawless make-up of the glamourous fashion world, Angela’s enquiries uncover theft, drug-addiction, prostitution and imprisonment - and suddenly her own life could be in danger…
Angela Costello, recently promoted to D.I. is once again called upon to solve a murder. This time the victim is the unknown, Kirsty Manners who is found dead in her flat. Kirsty Manners is an assistant working for Ivano King, a well known fashion house, up there with the likes of Gucci, Prada & Valentino. She is also the one time girlfriend of Ian King, the man behind the Ivano King name. Although Mr King will have you believe that his relationship with Kirsty was merely a dalliance. Kirsty was an attractive young woman, in the prime of her life with high aspirations for her future. So who would want her dead? Who did Kirsty get on the wrong side of? Did she stumble across something that she shouldn't?
Elizabeth Flynn presents us with numerous suspects all with plausible motives. We have Ian King's newest girlfriend and Kirsty's work colleague, Eleanor, then there is Kirsty's jealous flatmate who has her eye on Kirsty's on & off again boyfriend Darren.
Darren is totally besotted by Kirsty & has developed some stalker like tendencies when it comes to her. He has a tough guy image and spends a lot of time at the gym but would he really harm the woman he claims to love. Kirsty does appear to be stringing Darren along, she is the kind of woman who seems to need a man in her life until someone better comes along. The even better man is someone who can help elevate Kirsty to better things. She sees much bigger things on horizon.
There is another story running along side Kirsty's murder investigation. Angie's local priest, Father Martin is worried about a young woman who begs for his help. He bumps into this vulnerable and frightened Eastern European woman when she runs into his church fleeing from a man she is clearly scared of. Father Martin, takes his worries to Angie & her husband Patrick. The stories begin to overlap and lead D.I Costello & her team into a world of drugs and prostitution.
I read a lot of crime novels and must admit I do prefer my crime gritty & set in the United States however every now & then I prefer something a little lighter but still a crime novel. Dead Gorgeous definitely gave me that something lighter. I feel Elizabeth Flynn's D.I Costello series is settling in very nicely between the cosy mysteries I don't admit to reading and the darker crime novels that keep me awake.
I am beginning to really like Angie as a character. She has a real warmth about her, she clearly has a good relationship with her team and I am loving the bond that is forming between her and young detective, Gary. It was great to see a little more of her personal life in this book and get to meet her step-daughter, Maddie who is moving in with Angie & her husband. Playing step-mum to Maddie allows us to see Angie in a slightly different light.
I can see real progress in Flynn's writing style, her characters are beginning to develop, her plot has far more pace and the tension builds well as the book comes to a close. What I loved most about this book is that were are given so many suspects that I just couldn't decide who had murdered Kirsty. That for me is the mark of a good crime novel & I feel as this series grows were are going to see really great things from Elizabeth Flynn.
Dead Gorgeous is out now & available to buy from Amazon
About The Author
Elizabeth Flynn is a Londoner of Anglo-Irish parentage. She has a background in the theatre both as an actress and in stage management, and has experience in broadcasting. She has more recently worked as a hospital bereavement officer and managed a mortuary so she ‘knows the drill’ and has used some of this experience in her writing. This is her second novel and the second in the series: A Mystery for D.I. Costello. The first book in the series is Game Set and Murder.