My grateful thanks to Emily Glenister at The Dome Press for inviting me to be part of the paperback launch blog tour for Puzzle Girl by Rachael Featherstone and for sending me a copy of the book in return for an honest review.
Puzzle Girl is available for purchase here.
Love is a riddle, waiting to be solved…
Clued-up career girl Cassy Brookes has life under control until one disastrous morning changes everything. When she finds herself stuck in a doctor’s surgery, a cryptic message left in a crossword magazine sends her on a search to find the mysterious puzzle-man behind it.
Cassy is soon torn between tracking down her elusive dream guy, and outwitting her nightmare workmate, the devious Martin. Facing a puzzling love-life, will she ever be able to fit the pieces together and discover the truth behind this enigmatic man?
My Review of Puzzle Girl
Cassy Brookes knows the best way to deal with life is to write lists and do puzzles.
I thoroughly enjoyed Puzzle Girl. It’s light, entertaining, amusing and romantic without being saccharine. Rachael Featherstone writes with flair and realism so that the events and characters in Puzzle Girl feel fresh and believable.
My goodness Cassy has the ability to entangle herself in troubles. I loved the way in which she was so fixated on an actual puzzle book and discovering the mystery puzzle-man that she entirely missed the real life puzzle pieces around her, causing her to neglect her friends and be duped by those about whom she should know better. I didn’t much like her at times and thought the way in which Rachael Featherstone developed her character so that I learnt to care about Cassy was very skilful. The first person approach made Cassy come alive on the page. By the end of Puzzle Girl I felt she had been elevated to a convincing Everywoman so that there is much to learn from her life; particularly that we shouldn’t always jump to conclusions about others.
I found the minor characters perfectly balanced so that there were enough of them to create interest without stealing Cassy’s limelight. I know a book has worked well when I have a physical response to characters and in this case I would have been more than happy to punch Seph – hard! Of all of Cassy’s acquaintances, it was Martin I found the most intriguing, but you need to read the book to see why.
The plot races along with Cassy lurching from one, frequently self-induced, crisis to another. All the way through I kept thinking ‘what a tangled web we weave’. I’d love to see Puzzle Girl as a feature film as many of the events, particularly those surrounding the walk-in health centre would lend themselves to a rom-com. I did guess many of the elements but actually this enhanced my enjoyment of the book because I was intrigued as to how Rachael Featherstone would resolve them. The different settings add extra layers of interest too and I loved the deftly handled themes of identity, friendship and relationships.
Puzzle Girl is hugely entertaining and fun to read. It is wonderful escapism, perfect for a cold winter’s afternoon or a relaxing holiday. I thought it was enormous fun and very satisfying to read. I’d really rather like a follow up novel with some of the same characters now please, perhaps developing Dan further!
About Rachael Featherstone
Rachael Featherstone was born and raised in Woodford. Her path to writing was a little unorthodox. After reading Mathematics at Oxford University, New College, Rachael went to work in research.
When Rachael’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012, Rachael decided to take a chance, quit her job, and fulfil a life time ambition to write a novel. She went back to university and completed a Masters in English Literature and had several short stories published.
Rachael now lives in Hampshire with her husband, Tim and daughter Elodie.
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