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. 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 orders 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?
Oh wow! I don’t even know where to start with RWR McDonald‘s books The Nancys, which came out in 2020, and Nancy Business brand new out today. I’ve read both over the past week or so, and fellow readers how did you let me sit on these for soooooo long?! These books are just such a delight. Both cover some really quite heavy topics, but the heavy is so perfectly balanced with humour and joy that they both felt so uplifting to me.
I’m doing this all a bit back-to-front, because obviously The Nancys is first and I haven’t talked about that one yet, but do want to. The very brief background is that in the first book Tippy Chan and her Uncle Pike and his boyfriend Devon started a secret amateur detectives club called The Nancys (after Nancy Drew obvs). And now the gang is back together for today’s brand new book baby NANCY BUSINESS.
I have to start by telling you I didn’t read the blurb before I started the book, and I am a bit of an emotional book reader, and I do love these characters, so I did find myself completely shocked when there was an explosion just moments after I had been loving on the maps in the book (ok there might have been tears and i might have been out at a cafe). While I think the balance between heavy and light is so well done in this book it did feel a little bit darker than The Nancys, perhaps because in a way Tippy spends more time looking into herself and what’s happening close around her, while in the previous book she was a lot more outward focussed. Obviously from the blurb this one includes discussion of bombing and death, I think it is also worth readers noting that suicide is a key theme that is covered throughout the story.
I love the community vibe of these books – McDonald really nails the small town (New Zealand) vibe, which I think is one of the reasons that I found the bombing so shocking – and I enjoyed revisiting some characters from the first book, as well as meeting a few new ones too. I absolutely adore Tippy – she is such a great character to have at the centre of the book. I think the relationships between her and the other characters are so well done. I love that we are seeing her right on that precipice of learning so much more about the world – including the fact that adults don’t have all the answers. Uncle Pike and Devon are the same delightful, loving, loud, cam, and sometimes ‘inapprops’ characters we fell in love with in the first book.
Readers who have checked out The Nancys will already know this, but because I do sometimes review kids books here I think it is probably worth pointing out that despite the awesome 11 yr old protagonist, this is very much adult crime fiction. There’s a lot of adult language and themes, and a lot of the humour comes from things that are over Tippy’s head but the reader understands, which is really quite fun.
I really don’t like to be the reader who is asking the author for the next book before this one is even out, but I can’t wait to spend more time with the Nancys! If you haven’t checked these out yet, and are looking for something fun but murdery I do recommend them!
Big thanks to Allen & Unwin for having me along on the blog/bookstagram tour for Nancy Business! Check out the graphics below to see who else is joining in, either on their blogs/websites or on Instagram!
Nancy Business by RWR McDonald
Out now from Allen & Unwin
Source: I received a free copy from Allen & Unwin for review (thank you!). All views are my own.
Category: Adult humorous sweary crime fiction
Format: Paperback, 360 pages