Persephone Cole and the Halloween Curse by Heather Haven

COLE

Persephone Cole and the Halloween Curse by Heather Haven
A Persephone Cole Mystery
Publisher: Books We Love Ltd.
Genre: Historical, Holiday, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (127 pgs)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

In 1942, no one heard of a female PI, not even in New York City. But meet Persephone (Percy) Cole, newly inaugurated private investigator, with a penchant for Marlene Dietrich suits, pistachio nuts and fedora hats.

Halloween finds her backstage during the previews of the latest Broadway production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth where there’s double, double, toil and trouble. When an actor falls from the overhead catwalk and breaks his neck, Percy is hired to save the show. But casting a spell over the grand old Royal Theatre are more people with secrets than you can shake a witch’s broom at. Putting aside deadly daggers, threatening letters, and falling set pieces, the cast of characters include a company of devious actors, a double-dealing producer, a duplicitous director, a deceitful star, and dead bodies aplenty, enough to fill a witch’s cauldron.

Armed with her noodle and a WWI German Mauser pistol, this working mother is not sure which is worse, being foisted into acting the role of Witch Number Two, her son’s jack-o’-lantern being snitched, or someone trying to kill her. It has not been a good day.

Percy and her family just might be as nutty as the pistachios she craves!

Percy is certainly not the stereotypical mother of the 1940s. She’s a tough woman with an attitude big enough to match her 5’11” frame. She possesses a sharp mind and an even sharper tongue. I love the way she handles people, men in particular, who doubt her abilities as a detective. Though she can be brash at times, Percy also knows how to turn on the charm when she needs to. I can just as easily picture her buttering up a potential witness with free food or roughing up a hostile one.

What I like most about Percy is that she is completely unapologetic about who she is. She knows she’s a good detective and simply goes about her business the best way she can and doesn’t let anyone stand in her way. She lets insulting comments about her height and weight roll right off her back. Even though Percy projects a tough attitude, she has a soft spot for her family, especially her young son. The moments she spent with him really softened her character and served to make her even more likable.

As much as I love Percy, she is the only truly rounded character in the book. I would really like to get to know some of the eclectic members of her family a bit more, especially Percy’s parents. Any couple who would name their three children Adjudication, Persephone, and Serendipity has to be worth getting to know better. Perhaps I’ll have that opportunity in future installments of the series?

The mystery Percy works on in this tale is intriguing. The list of suspects is very long. So many of them seem to be hiding something that it is very hard to sort out who was hiding what. Percy has great instincts and a knack for getting people to reveal their secrets, even if she has to fudge the truth a little. While it is very entertaining to watch Percy stare her suspects down, I don’t think it is entirely realistic that her suspects would always fall for her bluffs. Some failures mixed in with the successes would have made this mystery more believable.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Persephone Cole and the Halloween Curse. Percy is a great character, and I found myself smiling and laughing at her antics throughout the story. Anyone looking for a fun, fast read should certainly give this book a try. I know I’ll be on the lookout for more about Percy and her adventures.

 

Comments

  1. You’ve piqued my interest with this review, Poinsettia! It sounds like a great story.

  2. Poinsettia, thank you for taking the time to review the first in the Persephone Cole Mystery Series. Percy is definitely a no-sh** lady who is ahead of her time and i’m glad that came through. You will, indeed, get to know the rest of the family as we go thru the various holidays of the year. It’s a very fair review and I thank you for it. You make me proud.

Speak Your Mind

*