Nancy Business

R.W.R. McDonald

Nancy Business
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Nancy Business

R.W.R. McDonald

Somebody out there knew the truth.
‘The Nancys have a new client,’ I announced. ‘And they need us to start ASAP.’
‘Wow,’ Devon said. ‘Word of mouth really does work.’
Uncle Pike frowned and leaned forward. ‘Who?’
I glanced behind him at the straggle of guests in the kitchen. I lowered my voice, ‘Nancy business. Mum can’t know.’

It’s been four months since Tippy, Uncle Pike and Devon were together for Christmas. Now back for the first anniversary of Tippy’s father’s death, the Nancys are reformed when Riverstone is rocked by an early morning explosion that kills three people and destroys the town hall.

A new case is born and the Nancys re-form. Is the accused bomber really guilty? Is there a second bomber? And if so, does that mean a threat to destroy Riverstone Bridge is real? And is asparagus a colour? Once again, it is up to the Nancys to go against the flow and ignore police advice to get to the truth.

It’s great to be back in Nancy business again, but this time it’s all different. Uncle Pike and Devon can’t agree on anything and Tippy is learning hard truths about the world and the people she loves the most. Can the Nancys stay together to do their best work and save the town? Or will the killer strike again? When everyone is right, does that make you wrong? And can Tippy ever trust anyone again?

The gripping, heartwarming and hilarious sequel to R.W.R. McDonald’s smash hit The Nancys, winner of the 2020 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel.

Review

Four months after 12-year-old Tippy Chan, her uncle Pike and his boyfriend Devon started The Nancys – an investigative team that solved the brutal murder of Tippy’s teacher – a new case blows up, quite literally, right nearby. Riverstone, Tippy’s New Zealand home town, is rocked by an explosion near the Airbnb home Pike and Devon have rented on their trip from Sydney, and three people are killed. The police are set on who the bomber is, but Tippy isn’t so sure, and enlists the help of her fellow Nancys to figure out what’s really going on. Because who better to solve the case of a horrifying murder than a 12-year-old girl, a hairdresser and a fashion designer?

Just like R.W.R McDonald’s first book, this is an absolute riot. The entire town is populated by characters who make the adjective ‘colourful’ seem like a violent understatement, and while everyone’s got secrets, there’s also no shortage of confessions, shady gossip, underhanded exchanges of information, torrid affairs and extremely short shorts.

Throughout all this, there is layer upon layer of love, affection and the heartbreak of growing up while dealing with loss and grief. Tippy is a hero you adore, stumbling through life with equal amounts of smarts and confusion about what the hell all the grown-ups are talking about. Let’s face it, if that’s not something we can all still relate to, I don’t know what is.


Fiona Hardy is our monthly crime fiction columnist, and also the bestselling author of the acclaimed How To Make a Movie in 12 Days, and How To Write the Soundtrack To Your Life.

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