■ REVIEW: Mystery of Mercy Close
Keyes’ chronicles continue

If you have read any of Marian Keyes’ earlier stories featuring the delightfully dysfunctional Walsh family, this will be the one you’ve been waiting for.

The Walsh family first popped up in Watermelon, back in 1995. That novel topped bestseller lists everywhere and gave the world a taste of the brilliant writing style of Keyes and of the beautifully chaotic Dublin resident, the Walsh family.

Four of the Walsh daughters have already featured in their own novels and now it is the turn of Helen, the youngest of the family and something of a law unto herself. She has been fired from every job she has ever had but now believes she has found her true calling: she has become a private investigator.

Helen has a philosophy in life, drawing on the concept of the “shovel list”, something she insists is more of a conceptual thing: “it’s a list of all the people and things I hate so much that I want to hit them in the face with a shovel”.

A woman after my own heart.

Helen has taken on the job of searching for boyband has-been Wayne Diffney and along the way crosses paths with her charming but rather dodgy ex.

It’s a good, chunky book to get your nose into over the summer holidays and as we have all come to expect from Keyes, it is packed with humour and clever writing and also plenty of intrigue so you get genuine surprises along with the genuine laughs.

The Mystery of Mercy Close, by Marian Keyes (Michael Joseph, RRP $38)

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