I was so pleased to receive an copy of Expiry Date, the latest Ant And Bea mystery from Rachel Ward which is published today. I really enjoyed both the previous books featuring the duo. You can read my reviews by clicking the titles: The Cost of Living and Dead Stock. You might notice a bit of a theme with the titles and that’s because Ant and Bea aren’t in the police, but both work in a CostSave supermarket.
This book sees our amateur sleuths trying to find out what has happened to one of Bea’s favourite customers who seems to have disappeared. She is concerned that foul play in involved. When a body is uncovered during some building works, she fears the worst. However, this body has been buried for around 15 years so can’t be the missing customer. Much to Bea’s horror, it seems the finger of blame is pointing at her much loved late father. And so this is a second strand of the story as Bea is determined to clear her father’s name and discover who the real murderer is. Meanwhile, Ant is having even more problems than usual at home. I do so admire him for his efforts to make life better for himself, assisted and encouraged by Bea and her mum.
I thoroughly enjoyed Ant and Bea’s third outing. It was intriguing and funny and perfectly paced. I love the dynamic between the two with Bea always so determined to get to the bottom of things and Ant always looking out for her. The supermarket setting works well with all the staff and customers providing plenty of gentle action. There were some poignant moments in the book too, centring around both Bea and Ant’s dads. It is fair to say that they are very different men and have had different impacts on their children’s upbringings.
Expiry Date is a very entertaining mystery. As well as the investigations, relationships and challenging issues are explored in this book. Oh and there’s a choir too with a most surprising star singer! I was very happy with the ending which has left me very keen to know what is going to happen next! I hope the author has further adventures planned for Ant and Bea.
My thanks to Sandstone Press for sending me an early copy of this book. Expiry Date is published today in paperback and ebook formats. You will find buying links for various retailers on the Sandstone website here: Expiry Date
From the back of the book
Bea’s favourite customer, Julie, hasn’t been seen for weeks. Her abusive husband, Dave, claims she’s left him but Bea can’t shake the feeling something worse has happened. When a body is found, it seems to confirm her fears – until it comes out that the corpse is fifteen years old. Where is Julie? Who is the dead girl? And what was her connection to Bea’s late father? Ant and Bea are back with their most personal case yet.
About the author
Rachel Ward is a best-selling writer for young adults. Her first book, Numbers, was published in 2009 and shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. An avid reader of detective fiction, The Cost of Living was her first book for adults. Rachel lives in Bath with her husband, and has two grown-up children.