The following account of Mrs. Quigley's kidnapping is from my notes and

my memory, both of which are slightly worse for wear.

 

 

 
 

 

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REVIEWS: Mrs. Quigley's Kidnapping

Amazon Reviews

So you think you're good at solving mysteries? This book will put you to the test.
Author Jean Sheldon has her private investigator, Mattie Draper, tell her own story in first person in this page-turning whodunit. What is really fascinating is that you, the reader, are privy to what's going in this rookie detective's head as she meets each suspect, finds the clues, searches for the motives and pieces together the puzzle that eventually leads to solving the case. All the while, Ms. Draper knows she is in a race against time to prevent the devious kidnapper from killing poor Mrs. Quigley. Mystery lovers will find themselves thinking through all the various aspects of the case right along with Mattie. Will you figure it all out before she does?

 

 

A Great New Crime Story

Readers, who enjoy Agatha Christie mysteries, will undoubtedly find this gripping crime story a refreshing addition to their collection of 'who dunnit' thrillers, expertly written by one of our new American crime writers, and one to definitely watch out for. Set in August, 1968, the year Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy was assassinated, and the ongoing war in Viet Nam adding a lethal mix of bad times in the US, was the beginning of a new era of kidnappings, another option to boost a substantial income for a new wave of criminals. This story opens with the sudden, unexplained disappearance of Mrs Diana Quigley, whilst out riding her horse, Vagabond. Enter Matilda Constance Draper, otherwise known as Mattie, the female Private Investigator who rises to the challenge in solving the mystery of the kidnap. Having opted out of her previous employment as a 'seriously boring secretary' no longer finding 'Dear Sir' or 'Madam' letters a good reason to get up in the mornings for another unexciting day in the office, she is persuaded by her very close friend, Frankie Ficaro (also a PI) to opt out as secretary, and opt in as PI., to try her hand in the investigating side of the business. This turns out to be a pretty tough assignment to kick-start her new carreer as a female sleuth. Villains fall off the pages like rotten apples from a tree, and Mattie has to sort the good from the bad, leaving no stone unturned, and suspecting everyone (even Diana Quigley's horse, Vagabond comes under close scrutiny). Many unexplained accidents happen along they way. There are more twists and turns than a twirling dervish on an ice rink, and our intrepid PI, Mattie, suffers more punches and knock-outs than a gruelling round with Mohamed Ali! I can guarantee the suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat, and try as you might, I suspect you will be completely knocked off your perch at the final conclusion to this gripping story. The challenge is to find out if the victim of the crime is actually still alive, or even who the kidnapper turns out to be! One wish I have, is that a certain sheriff be given 'Community Service' for his part in the proceedings. Read and enjoy! Louisa Middleton-Blake

What a Delightful Book!
This is the first book I've read in a while where I couldn't wait for my nighttime Kindle reading. The prose was fresh and crisp, and went along at the perfect pace. There was some description in the book when appropriate, but no long paragraphs of adjectives to make you say "geez, get on with the story already" like one must so often do even when reading some bestsellers. The book certainly isn't a comedy, but the author has a clever, intelligent writing style and every so often Mattie would say something that would make me laugh out loud—which I love to do when reading. The plot was well constructed and though I had my suspicions, you won't know whodunit till the end. One thing that really annoys me about so many books is I can't keep the characters straight, and/or I just can't visualize them. This author, at least for me, was able to write in such a way that very early on in the book I knew who the main characters were, how they were related to each other, and I could actually see each one in my mind - something else I really like and appreciate in a work of fiction. I hate having to go back in the book to figure out who somebody is. Other than Mattie getting knocked around quite a bit, and a few editing errors in the latter part of the book, it was close to perfection and a very satisfying read. I do think the author should start a series for Mattie, also, because I'd like to hear more of her adventures and laugh at Sebastian's true-to-life antics. A lot of fun for under 5 bucks. Kudos to Ms. Sheldon. Kerrabella

Well done mystery set in the 1960's
A really well written mystery set in the 1960's when women PI's certainly were not part of the picture--which makes it even more difficult for Mattie to get jobs. But when a wealthy husband asks her to investigate his wife's kidnapping, Mattie dives in. Yes, she gets encouragement and suggestions from her friend, Frankie, another PI,, but Mattie has the dogged determination to make it work as she goes through the suspects.

I got a real sense of how frustrating it must be for a PI, especially a woman, to work outside of the police and get no help at all. Then too, the wealthy relatives and friends aren't exactly gracious to her. But as Mattie digs deeper, she soon uncovers the seamy side of the these well-to-do people she sees that no amount of money that can change the fact that one of them is a killer. Rebecca Dahlke

Quirky, entertaining read
This book is a very entertaining read. The story appears to take place primarily in the late 1960s. Jean Sheldon has done an excellent job of keeping the time period consistent. I love the many references to that time in conversations and in Mattie Draper's thoughts. I enjoyed reminiscing as I read, especially about the early computers. Our heroine is a former secretary who got tired of typing "Dear Sir or Madam", making coffee, and doing paperwork. She is ready for something more exciting. Mattie's good friend and sometimes date Frankie Ficaro, a PI, suggests she rent the office next to his and become a private investigator. Mattie tells her story in the first person and I think this was a perfect match for her sense of humour, her flow of thoughts as she goes along and the reader getting a sneak peak at the many characters she meets. Mattie endears many and the rest, well, it's a toss-up. They are either irritated, or despise her, especially the Sheriff. For her first case, she is hired by Dave Quigley to solve the kidnapping of his wife, Diana and bring her home alive. Mattie is a little less than confident that she can do the investigation, but Frankie builds her confidence up and promises to help when he can.

This was a quirky, funny story, lots of lightness yet a terrible crime. There is seemingly no end to the suspect list, and it just keeps growing. Mattie's thoughts and comments are reminiscent of some old detective novels and movies. Not the tough guy ones, but the novels lightened with humourous remarks and thoughts complementing the plot. She gathers information from helpful secretaries, household staff and their contacts among the rich and famous the Quigley's hobnob with. But sleuthing is not all talking to suspects and her own group of listeners, not in the least. At various times she is getting too close to something or someone, but she's not sure what. She is separately arrested, warned off, hog-tied, beaten and drugged, but who is doing what, why and for whom? No matter what, feisty and fun, she keeps on going. She truly believes, along with others, that if she doesn't find Diana before the ransom is paid, Diana will be killed. This is a cozy mystery despite the serious crime, with many contestants for the kidnapper and/or for the murderer. There are lots of false leads and red herrings. Although there is a final wrap-up, I would enjoy reading more cases featuring Mattie and Frankie. I really enjoyed this book. Betty Gelean

Another Jean Sheldon mystery
I've been a fan of Jean Sheldon's mystery novels ever since I read A Woman in The Wing. While I have to admit that Mrs. Quigley's Kidnapping did not grip me as powerfully, it is a good read for anyone who enjoys whodunits. Novice PI Mattie Draper begins her career with a case complicated enough to send seasoned detectives running. Diana Quigley, beautiful and popular, has a keen eye for art as evidenced in her acquisitions to the local museum where she serves on the board. She's also a keen horseback rider and when she fails to return from a habitual morning ride, things aren't looking good. When the police seem unable to figure out what happened, Dave Quigley, her husband, hires Mattie to do some sleuthing.

Sheldon again presents her protagonist with a full slate of suspects. There's the sheriff everyone will love to hate, the weasely museum curator who does more than his share of conniving, and a bellicose brother-in-law, just to name a few. Clues come Mattie's way though she doesn't seem to have too much regard for the "chain of evidence" probably because of the afore-mentioned sheriff. There are a few more likeable characters that sweeten our lady PI's initiation into the seamy side of life. There's a hunky gardener-stable boy, a motherly housekeeper, a keen-eyed secretary in the troubled furniture factory run by the Quigleys, and a more experienced investigator who not only helps Mattie, but adds romantic interest. And did I mention, Sebastian, the 14-pound feline, who demands a ritual can-opener dance at meal times? Read and enjoy. Alice Lynn

 

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