The Charity Shop Detective Agency by Peter Boland

EXCERPT: Sarah Brown was in her hallway face down. Ted swore and rushed in, assuming she’d had a fall.

In a second he was by her side. ‘Sarah! Sarah! Can you hear me?’ Her lack of response led him to believe she must have hit her head and knocked herself out.

Ted flinched, panicked, not knowing what to do. He felt her neck for a pulse. He’d seen it a million times on the TV. That was what they did first, wasn’t it? Fumbling with two fingers, he sought out Sarah’s carotid artery.

All he found was cold skin. Then he noticed the damp, dark patch below one shoulder blade. In it’s centre, a deep narrow wound, wet with blood.

His breath caught in his throat. Hands shaking, he reached for his phone. As he fumbled to dial for an ambulance, something made him jump.

A small, dark object slid out of her left hand.

A domino, with a name scratched onto it.

ABOUT: THE CHARITY SHOP DETECTIVE AGENCY: A serial killer is stalking the elderly of Southbourne. The only clue left behind is a domino in the hand of each victim — with a name scratched on the back.

Eighty-six-year-old Sarah Brown is found dead in her hallway one morning by her delivery man. She was stabbed in the back.

Fiona, Sue and Daisy, volunteers at the local charity shop, Dogs Need Nice Homes, can’t believe their favourite customer is dead. The ladies vow to bring the killer to justice.

With plenty of tea and cake along the way, and despite squabbles with their rivals, the Cats Alliance across the street, the Charity Shop Detective Agency is born.

Fans of The Thursday Murder Club, Janice Hallett, Simon Brett, Ian Moore and Sarah Yarwood-Lovett will adore this exciting new voice in cozy crime.

THE DETECTIVE – Level-headed Fiona has found a quiet sanctuary volunteering at the local charity shop, Dogs Need Nice Homes. And she’s found firm friendship with the strong-willed Partial Sue (she’s ever so partial to a cup of tea) and the kindly — and surprisingly tech-savvy — Daisy. Together, these ladies, with Simon Le Bon, Fiona’s scruffy haired terrier cross, investigate murders as the utterly charming Charity Shop Detective Agency.

MY THOUGHTS: This is a light hearted murder mystery which, it seems, is going to become a series.

I enjoyed the storyline, although the writing was a little stilted at times. There doesn’t seem to be a clear motive for the murder, which is quickly followed by another, and another.

Fiona, Sue and Daisy have all kinds of theories, which they try to make what little evidence they have, fit. This gets them into a fair bit of trouble with the investigating officers, and they become dispirited and consider giving up their quest. But a new discovery soon has them back on the trail, reinvigorated. Wash, rinse, repeat.

I didn’t find the characters particularly realistic. While they stopped just short of being caricatures, they weren’t really relatable either. Just like this is almost, but not quite a ‘cute’ cosy,neither is it quite an intelligent one.

Even though the three main characters aren’t particularly relatable, they are likeable. Fiona is normally a logical sort of person, resolute and self assured, but the business of trying to find a murderer makes her quite indecisive, and she frequently feels out of her depth. Partial Sue, so named because partial is her favourite word, had been a talented accountant before retirement. She has more money than Fiona and Sue put together but is a master in the art of frugality. And hoarding . . . Daisy is just Daisy. Warm-hearted she is a surprising technology whiz.

I liked this, but didn’t love it and I’m unsure, if it does develop into a series, whether I will continue to read it.

I did enjoy author Peter Boland’s own story of his writing career in the acknowledgments.



I: #peterboland @joffebooks

T: @PeterBoland19 @JoffeBooks

#contemporaryfiction #cosymystery #murdermystery

THE AUTHOR: I have a confession to make. When I wrote this book, I was on the brink of giving up. You see, my writing career hadn’t exactly gone to plan. After fifteen years trying my hand at all sorts of genres, the rejections had stacked up.

‘Why am I bothering?’ was a question I was asking myself more and more often. I made a decision. I’d have one last crack with writing a cosy, and if that didn’t work then I’d call it a day. And here I am . . .

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Joffe Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Charity Shop Detective Agency by Peter Boland for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbler. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

6 thoughts on “The Charity Shop Detective Agency by Peter Boland”

  1. I read this book in December. I agree with you – the trio didn’t seem very realistic at times but overall they are okay. Partial Sue didn’t use ‘partial’ many times so I do wonder why she’s still called ‘Partial.’ 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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