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Lost Time
Winona Kent, author
In 1974, top UK band Figgis Green was riding high in the charts with their blend of traditional Celtic ballads mixed with catchy, folky pop. One of their biggest fans was sixteen-year old Pippa Gladstone, who mysteriously vanished while she was on holiday with her parents in Spain in March that same year. Now it's 2018, and founding member Mandy Green has reunited the Figs for their last-ever Lost Time Tour. Her partner, Tony Figgis, passed away in 1995, so his place has been taken by their son, professional jazz guitarist (and amateur sleuth) Jason Davey. As the band meets in a small village on the south coast of England for pre-tour rehearsals, Jason's approached by Duncan Stopher, a diehard Figs fan, who brings him a photo of the band performing at the Wiltshire Folk Festival. Standing in the foreground is Pippa Gladstone. The only problem is the Wiltshire Folk Festival was held in August 1974, five months after Pippa disappeared. Duncan offers Jason a substantial sum of money to try and find out what really happened to the young woman, whose mother had her declared officially dead in 1981. When Duncan is murdered, it becomes increasingly clear to Jason that his investigation into Pippa's disappearance is not welcome, especially after he follows a series of clues which lead him straight back to the girl's immediate family. But nothing can prepare Jason for the truth about Pippa, which he discovers just as Figgis Green is about to take to the stage on opening night—with or without him. Lost Time is the second novel in a new mystery series featuring jazz musican-turned-sleuth Jason Davey.
Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 8.75 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: Jason Figgis is a musician/private investigator who is enlisted to participate in the 50th Anniversary Tour of his parents' former 'folky pop group' Figgis Green. Little does he know that in between rehearsals and practice, he will be roped into to solving an over 40 year mystery of a teenager's disappearance--the ultimate test of his sleuthing skills--that will put his life in danger and lead him on a dangerous search for the truth. Kent offers a fantastic setup and delivers a highly engaging and memorable novel.

Prose: Kent's prose is descriptive, engaging, and keeps the reader intrigued.

Originality: PI stories are a dime a dozen--however, what sets this one apart is the unexpected side story of Jason and The Figs getting ready to tour--definitely the B story, though still well told and intrinsic to the rest of the narrative.

Character/Execution: Jason is a well-written, relatable, and fun character whose foray into sleuthing leads him down a dark path. His family's musical history--paired with the circumstances of a fan's disappearance--makes for a truly memorable mystery.

 

 

Date Submitted: April 01, 2021

Reviews
In Kent’s accomplished sequel to 2019’s Notes on a Missing G-String, musician and amateur investigator Jason Davey has joined a reunion tour of Figgis Green, a British folk band that his parents belonged to and had its heyday in the 1960s and ’70s. In Hampshire, Duncan Stopher, an enthusiastic fan of Figgis Green, approaches Davey, who has a reputation as a sleuth with a gift for resolving missing-person cases. Duncan claims to have a lead on a decades-old cold case—the disappearance of Pippa Gladstone, a 16-year-old who vanished in Spain in 1974 while on vacation with her family. Duncan has found a photo from a Figgis Green concert that shows Pippa in the crowd months after her family last saw her. Before Davey can do much digging, Duncan is stabbed to death, and he becomes the prime suspect. The plot twists are logical, and Kent nicely balances plot and character. More series entries would be welcome. (Self-published)

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