Book Review: Death at the Gates by Katie Gayle

Format: Paperback

Pages: 248 pages

Published: July 28, 2021

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Mystery & Thriller, Cozy Mystery

Synopsis:

Hurlingham House school is a high-achiever’s heaven, full of happy, hard-working pupils. There’s just the small matter of the dead body on the field… Sounds like a case for Epiphany Bloom!

When Epiphany Bloom’s best friend’s sister Claire is accused of trading exam papers for money, Epiphany agrees to see Ms Peters, the headteacher of Claire’s fiercely competitive school, to provide moral support. Claire has always been a model student and is loudly protesting her innocence: surely it’s all just a misunderstanding.

But when Ms Peters hears about Epiphany’s previous sleuthing exploits, she enlists her help to track down the true culprit!

Taking a job as a PE teacher, Epiphany soon realises she has plenty of suspects for the exam scam mastermind. The broke young teacher with a shady past? The father willing to buy his daughter anything – including grades? The school governor desperate to keep Hurlingham House at the top of the ranks?

Then Epiphany finds one of them dead at the school fair, and it becomes clear someone is taking the cut-throat culture of the school too literally – and when mysterious accidents start happening around her too, it seems the killer knows she’s onto them.

Can Epiphany solve the murder as well as clearing Claire’s name, before she becomes the next victim? This is one test she can’t afford to fail…


Get ready cozy mystery fans! You are in for another fast paced mystery with the illustrious and loveable Epiphany Bloom!

Epiphany Bloom enters the world of competitive academic school when her best friend’s sister Claire is accused of selling exam papers, Epiphany offers to go down to the school to plead Claire’s innocence and show that Claire is a model student and the idea that she would do something like this is preposterous. But as Epiphany is trying to convince (more like loudly protesting) the headmaster about Claire’s “not guilty” status, she finds herself being offered a job by the headmaster. If it’s not Claire, then it is Epiphany’s job to find the real culprit! She takes on this covert operation by taking on a job as a PE teacher at the school. Epiphany believes that this is a simple mystery that she can solve, albeit in a high pressure academic setting…that is until one of her “suspects” turn up dead at the school fair.

Adventure and turmoil seem to follow Epiphany wherever she goes but that doesn’t stop this from being another entertaining mystery of the Epiphany Bloom saga! I always anticipate reading the next book just as finished one and this latest installment is no different! Epiphany Bloom is hard character not to love and have a connection with as a reader. You might find her antics out there and blame her for putting herself in these dangerous situations, but like her literary counterparts, such as Miss Marple and Nancy Drew, Epiphany’s compassion, empathy and the deductive mind that makes her such a great detective.

If you haven’t read this series, then you are missing out! Fans of coy mysteries and authors like M.C. Beaton will definitely want to read this!


Author Bio:

Katie Gayle is the writing partnership of best-selling South African writers, Kate Sidley and Gail Schimmel. Kate and Gail have, between them, written over ten books of various genres, but with Katie Gayle, they both make their debut in the cozy mystery genre. Both Gail and Kate live in Johannesburg, with husbands, children, dogs and cats. Unlike their sleuth Epiphany Bloom, neither of them have ever stolen a cat from the vet. Follow them on Twitter.

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