Martha Parker runs a small private detective agency in Glasgow with her two sisters, Helen and Geri. They specialise in catching cheating partners and those playing away from home.
The Parkers are hired by the reclusive wife of a wealthy banker she suspects is breaking their vows, but when he shows up murdered, it’s up to Martha, Helen and Geri to prove the wife’s innocence in their most dangerous case yet.
Don’t let the flowery soft cover of Banking On Murder fool you as the inner sanctum was anything but flowery, in fact it was a madcap tour around the streets of Glasgow in the company of the glorious Parker sisters.
Who were the sisters? They were Martha, Helen and Geri, who made up Parkers Investigations, they were diverse in character, each with their own individual strengths, yet when together they were a veritable force to be reckoned with.
Martha, the eldest was the practical, business like arm of the operation, the one who seemed to come up with all the ideas, the one they all depended on. Helen, the middle, the brains, the academic, the boring one, who like most academics wasn’t the most practical or streetwise. Geri, the youngest, a student, totally streetwise, seemingly hard as nails, out for a good time, who spoke before she thought, and acted like a bull in a china shop in what were potentially volatile situations.
I can’t say I had a favourite, they all had qualities I admired but it was when Whitelaw put them together that the fun began and fireworks exploded. Their investigation on behalf of Tracey Coulthard to out her cheating banker husband, Gordon, gave Whitelaw the perfect opportunity to showcase the Parker sisters in action and he didn’t disappoint.
From the start, his character Tracey Coulthard was over the top, feisty, and wonderfully unpredictable and you just knew the Parker sisters were in for a whole lot of trouble.
Whitelaw took us on a rollercoaster of an investigation that sent the Parker sisters in a myriad of directions as they followed leads that led them deeper and deeper into the depths of jealousy, and wealth. Their escapades were at times very funny, and two episodes in particular stood out and had me laughing out loud and sitting on the edge of my seat, as they teetered on a precipice that threatened to get them into more trouble than they were already.
Their relationship with Detective Pope was another of Whitelaw’s gems. She was stern, poker faced, a wheezing asthma sufferer who you felt could collapse at any moment as the Parker sisters pushed her to her limits and frustrated her. Pope, was the devil that sat on their shoulders, the killjoy that threatened to spoil all their fun, their prickly relationship an added bonus that I loved.
At times you felt the investigation was secondary, a tool by which Whitelaw could introduce us to the Parker’s, to show off their individual and collective talents. It didn’t stop him leaving little clues for us to pick up and mull over, for all those traits of a crime novel to shine through. The action, and escapades were all at break neck speed and Whitelaw didn’t give you chance to catch your breath before he hurtled the Parker’s into yet another close shave. The ending was thrillingly dramatic and everything you hoped for and wanted
Banking On Murder was a brilliantly thrilling breath of fresh air and I am eager to see what the Parker sisters get up to next.
I would like to thank Red Dog Press for a copy of Banking On Murder to read and review and to Meggy Roussel for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
J.D. Whitelaw is an author, journalist and broadcaster. After working on the frontline of Scottish politics, he moved into journalism. Subjects he has covered have varied from breaking news, the arts, culture and sport to fashion, music and even radioactive waste – with everything in between. He’s also a regular reviewer and talking head on shows for the BBC. Banking on Murder is the first of three Parker sister novels. They follow his hugely successful HellCorp series. His debut in 2015 was the critically acclaimed Morbid Relations.
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