First Line: Harold Rose had been a porter at Warwick College for over forty years and he loved his work.
It takes a while, but new widow Felicity "Fizzy" Paradise has to get out of Oxford and away from her well-meaning friends. Her lawyer husband was recently killed in a hit-and-run, and she just can't get over the feeling that it wasn't an accident-- even though no one else agrees. Going down to Cornwall should allow her to clear her head so she can let go of her old life and begin her new one.
At first, the sea air and sunshine of St. Ives work, but a chance encounter in a local pub leads Fizzy on a dangerous trail of crime with ties to an Oxford college and a famous Cornish garden. This isn't exactly what she meant by getting away and clearing her head!
Letting Go's gorgeous setting in Cornwall, England is almost worth the price of admission all on its own, but there's a lot more to recommend the book than that. Debby Fowler has created an intricate little mystery that harkens back to some of the darker aspects of Cornish history, and while Felicity is in Oxford, mentions of Woodstock Road and Jericho reminded me of Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse and put me in the perfect frame of mind to "help" her solve the crime.
"Fizzy" is an interesting main character who's sometimes strong and forthright and at others insecure and more than a little bit scared. Thankfully she has a strong secondary cast to support her-- from best friend Gilla to B&B owner Annie, to Detective Inspector Penrose, to a couple of locals in St. Ives, Martin and Billy.
There's a bit of "femjep" (female stupidly putting herself in danger), but I did find it to be... acceptable. The same goes for the tiny bit of the paranormal, which was also within my tolerance limits. Between the setting, the mystery, and the characters, I found Letting Go to be a very enjoyable read, and I look forward to continuing with the series.
Letting Go by Debby Fowler
Truran Books © 2006
Paperback, 275 pages
Cozy Mystery, #1 Felicity Paradise mystery
Source: Paperback Swap