Indeed Fizz says at one point, "Shut me in the same room as that guy for twelve hours and I'd be at his throat with a serrated breadknife". Buchanan for his part has "never been one of her biggest fans". They come together as sleuths mainly through Fizz and her nose for a crime. She looks on Buchanan as an ally to be called upon as she thinks fit: "God created people like Buchanan specifically as fodder for people like Fizz". But he is a reluctant partner, though he is very concerned for her safety.
Fizz carries all before her: "so innocent, so baby-faced, so
trusting and so heart-wrenchingly vulnerable". When she cannons into
a punter, "a glowering man in a Barbour jacket", at a race meeting,
she gives him a sunny smile and receives "instant absolution".
These two characters, Fizz and Buchanan, dominate the book, but mention
must be made of the gay hotel chef, Johnnyboy, whose comments are often
very funny: "She's been up and down all day like a whore's drawers"
Joyce Helms writes well and has a lively turn of phrase: "cute as
an Andrex puppy" and "built like a piece of earth-moving equipment".
I also liked: "She went down for a count of nine". This is her
third Fizz and Buchanan mystery. I look forward to her next.
A law student, Fizz works in a hotel at night to make the student grant run to luxuries like food. She is also a super sleuth, who at the first hint of mystery is off and running like a greyhound out of a trap.
Thus when an elderly German tourist is found dead in her hotel, natural
causes is what springs to most minds but not Fizz.
The post Mortem may have shown nothing compatible with foul play but
that's mere science and hardly stands up in the face of unerring instinct
as possessed by Fizz.
She drags her boss at the lawyers' office into her investigations
very much against his better judgement and they find themselves heading
from Edinburgh to Arran via the Moorfoot Hills to unravel the mystery.
The pace is slick and Holms writes with a good deal of verve and wit.
If there is any criticism it's that she tends to be a bit verbose.
She's rather like a child who's been told by her English teacher that
adjectives make a sentence more colourful, so she sprinkles them around
like salt just to show her command of the language.
That aside, I took to Fizz and her bubbly approach to life and I'm
looking forward to the next murder she uncovers in genteel Auld Reekie.