(A Gemma Lamb Cosy Mystery)
Gemma Lamb is thirty years old, she’s just split up with her long-term boyfriend Steven and has taken a job as a teacher at St Bride’s School for Girls – mainly because she’s now homeless and the job comes with accommodation. Set in a beautiful former stately home, it’s an idyllic setting and she is told all the staff and pupils are female, so Gemma feels it should be a good place to live and work.
We meet a variety of staff members at the private boarding school and many of the hundred pupils. I like the “not quite swearing” the girls do, that’s very clever. There are lots of funny bits and I loved the character of the P.E. teacher as well.
I also adored the Headmistress Miss Harnett, who has a fabulous black cat and is more concerned about appointing members of staff who show warmth and kindness, rather than considering their academic qualifications. I loved her attitude to the parents who expected special treatment, like wanting their daughter to be a prefect or Head Girl.
I adored the Malory Towers books as a child and hoped this series would be similar. While Malory Towers was wonderfully old-fashioned, the St Bride’s series is set in the present day along with all the trappings of modern life, like social media and e-books. However, it does have a charm and quirkiness of its own. The girls are certainly not of the St Trinian’s ilk, they seem very well-behaved and maybe the odd mischievous girl would have been a fun addition, but I did enjoy it.
This is the first of three books set at St Bride’s and I look forward to reading the other two. I enjoyed the setting, the characters and I would like to see what happens next.
Dastardly Deeds at St Brides
When Gemma Lamb takes a job at a quirky English girls’ boarding school, she believes she’s found the perfect escape route from her controlling boyfriend – until she discovers the rest of the staff are hiding sinister secrets:
- Hairnet, the eccentric headmistress who doesn’t hold with academic qualifications
- Oriana Bliss, Head of Maths and master of disguise
- Joscelyn Spryke, the suspiciously rugged Head of PE
- Geography teacher Mavis Brook, surreptitiously selling off the library books
- creepy night watchman Max Security, with his network of hidden tunnels
Even McPhee, the school cat, is leading a double life.
Tucked away in the school’s beautiful private estate in the Cotswolds, can Gemma stay safe and build a new independent future, or will past secrets catch up with her and the rest of the staff?
With a little help from her new friends, including some wise pupils, she’s going to give it her best shot…
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Sinister Stranger at St Brides
When an American stranger turns up claiming to be the rightful owner of the school’s magnificent country estate it could spell trouble for everyone at St Bride’s . . .
No one can believe it when the headmistress, Hairnet, instantly accepts the stranger’s claim, not:
- the put-upon Bursar, ousted from his cosy estate cottage by the stranger
- the enigmatic Max Security, raring to engage in a spot of espionage
- the sensible Judith Gosling, who knows more about Lord Bunting than she’s letting on
- the irrepressible Gemma Lamb, determined to keep the school open
Only fickle maths teacher Oriana Bliss isn’t suspicious of the stranger, after all she can just marry him and secure St Bride’s future forever. That’s if inventive pranks by the girls – and the school cat – don’t drive him away first.
Who will nab the stranger first? Oriana with the parson’s noose? Gemma with sinister secrets? Or could this be the end of St Bride’s?
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Wicked Whispers at St Brides
Gemma Lamb is ready for an uneventful term at St Bride’s, she’s had enough of dastardly deeds and sinister strangers.
However, she’s barely back at school before:
- Unlucky in love Oriana is sneaking around at odd hours
- Handsome Joe is keeping secrets
- Militant Mavis feels a scandal is brewing
It’s all a bit much, but when a stranger appears Gemma thinks she’s had enough. But this stranger isn’t so sinister, instead he looks rather too familiar. If Gemma can’t get him away from the school the whispers and scandal his presence could unleash may just close St Bride’s doors for good.
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Author Bio –
Debbie Young is the much-loved author of the Sophie Sayers and St Brides cosy crime mysteries. She lives in a Cotswold village where she runs the local literary festival, and has worked at Westonbirt School, both of which provide inspiration for her writing. She is bringing both her series to Boldwood in a 13-book contract. They will be publishing several new titles in each series and republishing the backlist, starting in September 2022.
Social Media Links –
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Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/debbie-young
One thought on “Dastardly Deeds at St Bride’s by Debbie Young”
Great review, sounds like something I’d enjoy reading!
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