The announcement of a grand Treasure Hunt sets the Lodes Valley ladies’ hearts aflutter. The cash is only part of the appeal: a win could solve several romantic dilemmas. Pixie Guinness sees the quest as a route back to her wayward husband; Faith hopes to snare true love, Rory; and Liv — well, Liv just wants distraction from the boredom of country life. But it is unhappily married Trudy who finds the trail of clues leads her in quite a different direction: and one closer and closer to temptation. Is she chasing a rainbow or just chasing her own tail? As the hunt reaches its climax, the competitors find they are fighting for the highest prize of all — their own happy ending.
This is the fourth novel in the Oddlode Valley series; however it can easily be read as a stand-alone book, which is how I read it. Not being familiar with any of Ms Walker’s work, I dived straight in. Within a couple of pages I was chuckling away to myself at lines such as “they looked like two left-footed breakfast TV stars in the first round of Strictly Come Dancing”. The characters are easy to like and I rode the twists and turns alongside Trudy as she faced them herself. Though with five strong female characters you would think it would be easy to confuse them and their situations. However, this isn’t the case. Each is well-defined and easily identifiable by their tone of voice or emotional responses to difficult situations.
One thing you have to do before you finish reading this book, in fact, before you start, is visit Ms Walker’s website (www.fionawalker.com) as the interactive map of the village is a fantastic aid to mind- mapping the story. Also, it is a comprehensive resource for her other novels, some of which I will now be seeking out.
This isn’t a normal chick-lit or rom-com type book – there’s also quite a bit of action in it as well but the romance and comedy are still definitely there. The book is quite chunky and at first it took me a while to get into but as soon as the chemistry started I couldn’t put it down. The motto from this book is “Never give up the hunt”.
Reviewed by Sarah Keery