Last Thursday I was absent from work due to illness and feeling rather sorry for myself. I was desperately in need of something to pull me out of the doldrums and put the spring back in my step. The Last Honeytrap did exactly that.
This is the first in a new series by debut author Louise Lee. Here she introduces her funny, flawed and fabulous heroine Florence Love, a private investigator who specialises in entrapment cases. Other readers have noted that Florence isn’t always likeable and she isn’t. But who is? Florence is witty, intelligent and – above all – recognisably human. I’d definitely like to be friends with her, though I would only ask for her honest opinions on my outfits or lifestyle choices if I was feeling especially robust!
In The Last Honeytrap, Florence is approached by Alice, who is about to go public with her romance with world famous jazz singer Scott ‘Scat’ Delaney’. Before taking this step, however, Alice wants to be sure that Scat is the man she thinks he is. She thus enlists Florence to help test Scat’s fidelity. Things quickly get complicated, though, when Florence finds herself breaking one of the cardinal rules of entrapment: never fall for the target!
Woven in with this main plot is Florence’s preoccupation with the apparent suicide of her mother Bambi 25 years previously. On top of everything, it seems like Florence might have a stalker. Could this be connected to her mother’s death? And why is her father so insistent that the matter be left well and truly alone?
The storylines in this novel are all compelling and the main plot has an interesting little twist at the end. My only niggle is that the structure is rather episodic and felt a bit confusing at times, particularly towards the end.
For me, the real draw here is the writing. Few novels make me laugh out loud but this one certainly did. Louise Lee is a fresh, funny and insightful new voice in fiction and she has created a wonderfully three-dimensional character in Florence. I am already in the queue for book two!