Traces of Red is the second book in The Reluctant Detective Series by Christine Campbell. Once again, the irrepressible Mirabelle helps her soulmate, DI Sam Burns, solve a complicated case but there is no need for you to have read Searching for Summer, the first book in the series, since the back story is gradually revealed during this novel.
Mirabelle has given up her work as a social worker and has turned her small Edinburgh flat into a Missing Person’s Bureau. Usually these are young women, so she is surprised when Kay, a quiet middle class woman, seeks help finding her missing husband. It is soon evident that all has not been right in this marriage and Kay is keen to help Mirabelle by organising her files and accompanying her on investigations.
Meanwhile DI Burns is interviewing a barman at a pub where a baby was found and he is trying to find the mother and her female companion. He enlists Mirabelle’s help when an injured young woman is found but she also helps Sam to deal with the loss of his much loved mother.
All the characters in Christine Campbell’s books are distinct and real. They seem to talk directly to the reader so that it matters what happens to them. The interwoven strands of this story reminded me of Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie books, as does the bittersweet ending to the novel. I highly recommend Traces of Red whether you like mystery, detective or contemporary stories.
You can read an interview with Christine Campbell here
7 thoughts on “Traces of Red by Christine Campbell”
I really enjoyed reading Traces of Red. The central mystery kept me guessing right through to the end. Mirabelle is an amazing character. In this book I absolutely loved the relationship between Mirabelle and Kay. Mirabelle, so bright and warm, Kay, so muted. But it’s far more than a meeting of opposites, there’s a developing bond and a complexity in their relationship that at times really touched me and at others made me smile.
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You are absolutely right Wendy. I can’t believe I haven’t come across Christine before.
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Fantastic review LIz, so glad you enjoyed both books.
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Thank you so much, Liz, for a lovely review. And thank you for the link back to the interview on Dyane Forde’s blog. It has been two years since that was posted and it was fun for me to read it again. The only thing that has changed is that I now have six books published, and am more in love with writing than ever.
Your review has given me the encouragement I needed to get the third book in the series, Rusty Gold, away to the publisher. Thank you.
I am so glad that I have discovered your writing. I shall certainly be reading more of your books.
I’m adding this one to myu tbr pile. I love Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie stories. I fell in love with Jackson Brodie to be honest – and when they televised the stories I was pleased Jason Isaacs fitted the part so well. Wish she would write some more.