Book review: Philly Barker Is On The Case by Joanne Tracey

Saturday, November 11, 2023 Permalink

Philly Barker Is On The Case by Joanne Tracey is the second in the series featuring antiques dealer (and ex-cop) Philly. We were introduced to her in Philly Barker Investigates, along with her ex-husband Stewart, her quirky friends and colleagues selling their wares at Chipwell Barn Antiques and almost-retired cop DI Robbie Dawkins with whom Philly’s established a friendship, but nothing more… at this stage anyway.

Book review: Philly Barker Is On The Case by Joanne TraceyPhilly Barker Is On The Case
by Joanne Tracey
Series: Philly Barker Mysteries #2
Published by Self-published
on 23/10/2023
Source: Purchased
Genres: Crime Fiction
ISBN: 064507358X
Pages: 232

When Chipwell antique dealer Philomena Barker is asked by Detective Inspector Robbie Dawkins to assist with identifying some stolen antiques, she's only too happy to help.

It's not long before Philly and Robbie identify a pattern – someone is breaking into the homes of elderly farmers in North Yorkshire and stealing their treasured antiques.

The investigation takes a deadly turn when their prime suspect is murdered, and Philly and Robbie will need all the help they can get if they're to solve this puzzle.

With Robbie due to retire this case will be his last; but with the murderer one step ahead can Philly solve the case before it's also her last?

Philly is incredibly likeable. Very realistic and someone I’d certainly befriend. I like that she’s comfortable in her own skin. Confident enough, but not overly so. Contented I guess I’d say, but not complacent.

And Tracey is doing a great job with Philly’s support cast. Here we spend some more time with her colleagues at the antiques barn and there’s already a familiarity after just two books. These characters and their relationships feel very very real. I also must confess though I’m insanely jealous of Philly’s life – randomly heading off to the pub often for dinner and the like. I mean, I live in a small town and certainly don’t feel the same sense of ‘place’ and comfort / belonging.

It’s pretty easy for Philly and Robbie to piece the mystery together here as their thieves have got a fairly obvious MO – first visiting older residents about selling any of their valuables, later returning to steal them. But we soon learn it’s a bit more complicated with several players wanting a piece of the action – ultimately resulting in a murder.

This is a wonderful cosy crime series and I am enjoying it a lot. I like Philly, her colleagues and Robbie. I’m keen to see where things head with talk of Robbie retiring but working part-time on cold cases.

I’d had a bit of a break from reading when I picked this up and it was exactly what I needed. I was recently in England for the first time, so very much appreciated the quaint villages and Yorkshire references and of course Tracey is a foodie and avid baker so the book has recipes in the back for some of the treats enjoyed by the characters. And she effortlessly shares details about valuables so does her research on everything from silverware to something called a firefly cage! This really was / is the perfect comfort-read.

Philly Barker Is On The Case by Joanne Tracey is now available.


Comments are closed.