Brighton Belle (A Mirabelle Bevan Mystery) by Sara Sheridan

Brighton Belle

Sara Sheridan is a UK author and journalist, reporting for the BBC and blogging for the Guardian and the London Review of Books.  Her Mirabelle Bevan Mysteries have a loyal following “across the pond” and should garner a growing fan base here in the US if Brighton Belle tells me anything.

Described by the Sunday Herald as “one part Nancy Drew, two parts Jessica Fletcher, Mirabelle has a dogged tenacity to rival Poirot.”  They had me at Nancy Drew!  Set in the 1950s in the beautiful beach town of Brighton, Mirabelle is moving on with her post-war life.  No longer in Intelligence, her married lover dead, she works at a debt collections agency for Big Ben McGuigan.  While Big Ben is supposedly home with a bad cold, Mirabelle takes a little initiative and follows up on a new loan for Romana Laszlo, a Hungarian refugee, only to find herself stepping into a more complicated case, with murder, intrigue, danger…all the makings of a juicy mystery.

A visit to Sara Sheridan’s homepage, and I discover the Mirabelle Bevan mysteries began as a short story Sheridan was writing for her father’s birthday.  The six books written so far are part of an 11 book series, taking place between 1951-1961.  Good news:  they are to be made into a television series.  (Mirabelle reminds me a little of Miss Fischer, but has her own different personality and style.)  Sheridan researched this post World War II era and the roles women played to provide us with authentic details and characterizations.  She also writes historical fiction and contemporary fiction, and her offerings in those genres look equally delicious.  Brighton Belle was not hard to find with our wonderful Inter Library Loan system, but Sheridan’s other books are a little trickier to get my hands on.   I never give up when a potential good read is at stake!

Brighton Belle was a pleasure read, satisfying this reader from start to finish.  For those readers who also enjoy Susan Elia MacNeal, Jacqueline Winspear, Rhys Bowen, give Sara Sheridan’s Mirabelle Bevan a try.