• Title: After the Storm
  • Author: Isabella Muir
  • Narrator: Charles Johnston
  • Publisher: Isabella Muir on March 4, 2021
  • Genre: Cozy Mystery
  • Length: 6 Hours 57 Minutes
  • Formats Available: Paperback, Audio, & Digital
  • Rating: 4/5

Trigger Warnings: Mentions of Suicide, Domestic and Child Abuse

Many thanks to Isabella Muir and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with an audiobook copy of After the Storm with a request for an honest review.

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After the Storm Blurb

When a violent storm blasts England’s south coast, it’s up to retired Italian detective Giuseppe Bianchi to sift through the devastation and piece together the tragic events left behind in the storm’s wake.

Giuseppe Bianchi’s brief visit to Bexhill-on-Sea has become an extended stay. He is loath to return to his home in Rome because of the haunting images that made him leave in the first place. 

During his morning walks along the seafront with Beagle, Max, he meets Edward Swain, who becomes Giuseppe’s walking companion. They form a friendship of sorts and find they have a similar outlook on life.

But the devastating events of a single night lead Giuseppe to question the truth about Edward Swain. Teaming up with young journalist Christina Rossi – his cousin’s daughter – Giuseppe learns about the brutal reality lurking behind the day-to-day life of families in the local community. And as the story unravels Giuseppe is reminded how anger and revenge can lead to the most dreadful of crimes.

After the Storm is the second novel in the Giuseppe Bianchi mystery series – the much-awaited sequel to Crossing the Line.

Grab your copy today, and enjoy the intrigue of traditional English mystery, cleverly combined with a continental twist.

My Review

Isabella Muir does it again with After the Storm. I fell in love with her first novel in this series, and this one measures up well. Charles Johnston is back as the narrator. Once again, his soothing tone wrapped me in an embrace that was familiar and easy.

This volume starts with an intense storm that lasts for days. It ruined buildings and wreaked havoc with the coastline. Nothing was safe in the path of this storm, including Guiseppe’s friend Edward. Little Stevie saw the tragic event out of his bedroom window in time for Guiseppe to make it to the scene quickly. Unfortunately, not fast enough to save his friend.

The mystery is a twisting and turning circle of intrigue that made this book a fun listen. It is also a quick book, coming in at less than seven hours. I felt like it was over too fast, even though the ending was satisfying. I enjoyed the novel so much that I didn’t want it to end.

Along with Guiseppe, Christina, and the rest of the family, we get to meet new characters. We have a young typewriter salesman trying to save his family from an abusive stepfather. We also meet a young woman who is more than meets the eye. Flavia makes an appearance. She is Christina’s estranged sister and also Stevie’s biological mother. I’m still not sure whether I like her.

The setting of Bexhill-on-Sea is not as idyllic in this book. It felt a lot colder, and the icy grey skies left me feeling a bit down in the mouth. There wasn’t as much sunshine and fun sea adventures. I did miss that, but the darker setting in After the Storm made me feel Edward’s death more deeply.

Both of the stories in this series make for a fine afternoon of listening. It is a genre that I don’t engage in very much, so I’m always happy to partake. With that, I award After the Storm 4 out of 5 stars. If you are a fan of Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes, you will enjoy this series.

See my review for the first Giuseppe Bianchi mystery Crossing the Line

About the Author – Isabella Muir

Isabella is never happier than when she is immersing herself in the sights, sounds and experiences of the 1960s. Researching all aspects of family life back then formed the perfect launch pad for her works of fiction. Isabella rediscovered her love of writing fiction during two happy years working on and completing her MA in Professional Writing and since then she has gone on to publish six novels, three novellas and two short story collections.

Her latest novel, After the Storm, is the second novel in a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi who is escaping from tragedy in Rome, only to arrive in the quiet seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, to come face-to-face with it once more.

Her first Sussex Crime Mystery series features young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, we meet Janie, who looks after the mobile library. She is an avid lover of Agatha Christie stories – in particular Hercule Poirot. Janie uses all she has learned from the Queen of Crime to help solve crimes and mysteries. As well as three novels, there are three novellas in the series, which explore some of the back story to the Tamarisk Bay characters.

Isabella’s standalone novel, The Forgotten Children, deals with the emotive subject of the child migrants who were sent to Australia – again focusing on family life in the 1960s, when the child migrant policy was still in force.

Author’s Contact Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook

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