In Strangeways to Oldham by Andrea Fraser, Lady Amanda Golightly tries to visit a friend in a nursing home, only to discover the friend deceased and two glasses, one with poison, next to the body. While bending over to sniff the liquid spilled on the floor, the matron comes in, so Lady Amanda claims to be offering her sincere prayers for the soul of her friend. Just then, she hears the voice of another, long-lost friend, Hugo Cholmondley-Crichton-Crump, who has been placed in this nursing home by an inept GP doctor who claimed there was no treatment for his arthritis, without ever doing any exams of his patient. So Lady Amanda packs him up and takes him home with her, freeing him from his bondage in this awful place. The third main character in the book is Lady Amanda’s staid butler, and he keeps a humorous running conversation with Lady Amanda about the pronunciation of his name and saves her from arrest for snooping once by pretending she is mentally deranged and he is her caregiver.
But Lady Amanda is determined to figure out who has killed her friend and sends another friend to go undercover in the nursing home, but even when they think they have the solution, how are they to convince the police?
This book is fun and creative. There are some inconsistencies about the timing, as sometimes Lady Amanda refers to growing up during World War II and other times not until much later, which would certainly not make her be the old lady she comes across as. But that is not significant to the plot. I find it unusual to find a book week written with only three main characters, but this book does make that work.
Patricia Gallimore reads the book and makes it enjoyable.
This is a strong start to a new series. The author has written a lot of books, though not many have been recorded on audio. I definitely intend to listen to the next book in the series should it get recorded. I give the book four stars.
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