Review & Giveaway: Nefarious Doings by Ilsa Evans

Title: Nefarious Doings {A Nell Forrest Mystery #1}

Author: Ilsa Evans

Published: Momentum: Pan Macmillan August 2013

Read a Sample

Status: Read from August 22 to 23, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

Though I don’t often have the time to read them anymore, I love cozy mysteries. It is really rare however for books of this genre to be published in Australia, there was a brief flurry released in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s by author’s such as Jennifer Rowe, Kerry Greenwood and Claire McNab but few since. So I am delighted that Ilsa Evans new cozy mystery series has been picked up by Momentum, and hope there will be more.

Nefarious Doings introduces Nell Forrest who lives in the small town of Majic, named rather prosaically for its eccentric Hungarian founder. Recently deserted by her husband of twenty five years, she shares her home rather peaceably with the youngest of her five daughter’s while writing a column for the local newspaper. And then one of her daughter’s arrives home with the news she has dropped out of university and her mother moves in after her own house was set alight, revealing the body of a man in the garage.

What follows is more murder, mystery and mayhem as Nell, anxious both to prove her mother innocent of killing her dropkick neighbour and get her mother back in her own home, begins to investigate the community of Majic, with the aid of her sister, Petra, her daughters and the occasional tip warning from the dashing Detective Sergeant Ashley Armistead. Nell imagines solving the mystery, and being rewarded by ‘unbridled sex’ with Armistead, but instead she gets too close to the hidden truths and risks becoming the next victim. The twists and turns of the plot are convincing with plenty of suspects muddying up the waters. The identity of the murderer is fairly predictable but the motivation less so.

The characters in Nefarious Doings are all believable, even given slight exaggeration. I adore Nell and her somewhat chaotic family. I love how ordinary they are with all the benign sibling rivalry and Nell’s motherly concern for, and frustration with, her daughters. It’s the details of the life they live – making dinner, going to work/school, that adds depth and authenticity to the story.

I feel I have to disclose that I regularly play Words With Friends with Ilsa – she usually wins, and last year I won a competition she ran to name a character for a cameo appearance in Nefarious Doings – look out for Grace June Rae (named for my grandmothers). However my friendship with Ilsa hasn’t affected my opinion about this book, it is an entertaining read – funny, engaging and well, cozy. I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book, Ill-Gotten Gains, due out September 1st.

Available To Purchase From

Momentum I AmazonUS I AmazonUK I iBookstore I Kobo


Thanks to Momentum

I have

2 e-editions to giveaway

of Nefarious Doings to give away.

Open worldwide


Entries Close September 8th, 2013

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jo @ Booklover Book Reviews
    Aug 26, 2013 @ 20:36:23

    Sounds great Shelleyrae. Like you I do love a cosy mystery but don’t find enough time for them in my reading calendar 😉



  2. Claire Louisa Holderness
    Aug 26, 2013 @ 21:39:15

    Sounds like a book I would really enjoy



  3. Patty
    Aug 26, 2013 @ 23:58:34

    It’s like my guilty pleasure…I love books like this one! It sounds delicious!



  4. yvonne473
    Aug 27, 2013 @ 04:59:47

    Great review. Sounds like a cozy I would love.



  5. vampedchik
    Aug 27, 2013 @ 06:54:33

    Sounds like a great read! 🙂



  6. dianneblacklock
    Aug 27, 2013 @ 10:33:16

    Loved this book, and your review is spot-on, Shelleyrae. Isn’t Nell just a fabulous character? I loved spending time with her, and like you, look forward to the next instalment. A very cozy read indeed!



  7. brendat59
    Aug 28, 2013 @ 20:09:41

    Great review Shelleyrae:) Sounds worth checking out!



  8. Ilsa Evans
    Aug 28, 2013 @ 21:03:20

    Thanks Shelleyrae (and Di!) – what a lovely review! I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy now. And can I say – weird as it sounds – that I loved meeting Nell too!



  9. Imelda Evans
    Aug 29, 2013 @ 11:53:08

    I can’t believe I tweeted this but forgot to comment and enter myself! I have rectified the latter, now will do the former. I’m THRILLED, Ilsa to see you back and to see an Australian publisher doing cosy mysteries. I hope they go BRILLIANTLY. Definitely on my TBR pile for after deadline. Cheers from the other I. Evans



  10. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? | book'd out
  11. Charlie
    Sep 16, 2013 @ 09:09:04

    Love the review, but love the disclosure even more. I hope she at least will let you win a couple of games in thanks!



  12. Trackback: Review & Giveaway: Ill-Gotten Gains by Ilsa Evans | book'd out
  13. Trackback: Review: Dastardly Deeds by Ilsa Evans | book'd out

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