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Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite
Gertrude, Gumshoe and the VardSale Villain by Robin Merrill is a romping mystery. Samantha Cooper has disappeared and, desperate to find her, her boyfriend hires a private eye, none other than Gertrude. With her first proper client, Gertrude is determined to solve the mystery, but is she really up to it? Elderly Gertrude dives right in and gets mixed up with all sorts of strange and quirky characters. Using VardSale, a popular selling site, Gertrude gets to work on tracking down the kidnapper, trying not to get herself kidnapped at the same time. Can she, with the help of her neighbor, find Samantha in time?
Gertrude, Gumshoe and the VardSale Villain by Robin Merrill is a hilarious mystery story. It's not a long tale, but Ms. Merrill has packed a lot in. There’s plenty of action in this story as the elderly Gertrude grabs her walker and the free bus pass for the elderly to track down a kidnapper, with plenty of hilarious happenings along the way. Not having read any of the previous Gertrude stories, I wasn’t familiar with the characters, but that didn’t matter because there was plenty of background and development in the characters to ensure I didn’t miss anything. The story flowed well, had a few twists in it, and plenty of humor; the descriptions allowed me to picture Gertrude and feel as though I was living the mystery with her. To me, this is an important factor in any book; the reader must be able to feel as though they are part of the story and I certainly did. This is perfect for fans of cozy mysteries who want a short, action-packed read.