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False Charity (Abbott Agency, #1)
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False Charity (Abbott Agency #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  109 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
The start of a new mystery series from the creator of Ellie Quicke - Newly widowed Bea Abbott must decide what to do with her deceased husband's business, an exclusive organization handling domestic crises. Though Bea is tempted to sell up, she soon begins investigating an accounting irregularity within a catering firm.What Bea doesn't know but will soon discover is that s ...more
Hardcover, 219 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Severn House Publishers
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Ivonne Rovira
Nov 17, 2014 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
False Charity, the first in a series to feature feisty but generous English widow Bea Abbott, won’t appeal to everyone. It will be too religious for some, and a bit implausible for others. But I thoroughly enjoyed this British cozy, and I’m eager to get the second installment on Audible. I found Bea lovable, if a bit grumpy at times; however, that just served to humanize her. Bea doesn’t know all of the answers — indeed, she’s overwhelmed by the difficulty of her assignment — but she tries her b ...more
Aug 14, 2016 Lynn rated it really liked it
I enjoy Veronica Heley's series that features Ellie Quicke so I wanted to try the other series The Abbott Agency series that features Bea Abbott. How did it compare for me to the other series that I like so much. I liked it and enjoyed the book. The similarities are that both women are recent widows and live in London or London suburbs. The main difference is the personalities differences. Bea Abbott is more assertive and a business woman. She seems a little grumpy at times but really has a sort ...more
Aug 05, 2013 Kimbie rated it it was amazing
It was right on time. I couldn't put it down. It is a must read.
Dec 05, 2015 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing
This is the first book in the Abbot Agency series. Bea Abbot's husband, Hamilton has died and she is returning home from New Zealand without him and with the intention of winding up the Abbot domestic agency which they ran between them. But it seems others want her to continue with the agency and her old friend, Coral, wants her to look into a dubious charity which has failed to pay her for work she has done for them. Then there's Max, her son, who wants her to sell him her Kensington house at l ...more
Mary Ronan Drew
Mar 23, 2012 Mary Ronan Drew rated it really liked it
This first in a cozy series called the Abbot Agency Mysteries has a clever catch. Bea Abbot has just been widowed and when she returns to London from the round-the-world trip she and her husband were on when he died she faces more than just the misery of life without him. Their event planning/fix it company is in trouble, there is a friend of the woman who has been keeping it afloat living in the attic, and her son and his brittle wife are all but moved into her house and are making plans to sel ...more
Lizzie Hayes
Sep 01, 2012 Lizzie Hayes rated it really liked it
‘False Charity’ by Veronica Heley

Bea Abbott returns home to London from New Zealand after an absence of three years. She returns a widow, her beloved husband Hamilton having died during their round the world trip. She is 63 and the Abbott Agency founded by her husband, and passed to her son Max is now being wound up. For Max is now an MP and his wife, the anorexic Nicola is keen to only to get her husband up the ladder of social success.

So Bea expects to return to a quiet house, and a quiet life
12th May 2010
A nice easy read, quite a gentle story with a build up to quite an exciting end. Not exactly nail biting but likeable characters and not a bad plot.
Mar 30, 2016 Val rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
An excellent start to a new series starring Bea Abbot, a newly-widowed sixty-ish lady who must decide what to do with her late husbands investigative agency after his death. She must deal with her grown son and his rather annoying wife, two young people who have taken up residence in her building, her ex-husband, and various other friends and problems. It's a fast-paced, entertaining mystery.
Aug 25, 2008 Mascanlon rated it liked it
Recommends it for: cozy mystery lovers
This is the first in a new series by the author. Set in London, the newly widowed, sixty-something Bea Abbott must decide what to do with her late husband's Agency, an exclusive organization which handles all sorts of problems from house clearing, entertaining and other domestic crisis. The by word is discretion. An old friend arrives with a terrible problem and Bea has to step up to the plate and help her out. Along the way she meets some new companions, the bright teenager computer genius thro ...more
Feb 08, 2016 Jes rated it really liked it
I found myself really liking the side characters. I didn't feel the book was too religious, although it did surprise me when it took that turn. I would probably pick up another book in the series from my library, if I'm looking for a mild mystery again.
Oct 30, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it
I selected this book because I was looking for a new series to begin and I saw that there are many installments already written in this one. It was just what I was looking for: a British cozy mystery. It was the type where there is never any question about who the miscreants are, but the reader sees events unfolding from their perspective along with the protagonists' perspective. The characters who were introduced, who I presume will be the regulars in the series, were likeable and three-dimensi ...more
Apr 23, 2010 Lynda rated it liked it
This is a new series similar to the Ellie quicke books. At first I did not care for this series, expecting more of the Ellie Quicke type characters. But I grew to appreciate the characters in this series almost as much as those in the previous series. Bea Abbott, also recently widowed, is much more capable than Ellie Quicke and inherits The Abbott Agency. She is surrounded by quirky young people and a former husband who all become involved in solving unexpected murders. Bea is quite capable of r ...more
Aug 05, 2011 Derk rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well it was a pleasant read, but I can't say much else about it. The plot was weak, the ending ridiculous (toward the end of the book the main character, herself, wondered how her plan could possibly succeed; it shouldn't have). The minor characters were OK, but the main character was tiresome. According to the book jacket, the author has written about 50 books, and this one is the start of a new series so maybe that has something to do with my reaction. This is the first book by her I read (as ...more
Sep 20, 2010 Craig rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
First of the Abbott Agency series and this review is for all. These are somewhat better than the Ellie Quicke books - slightly more interesting and complex characters and plots in general. Still not happy about all the praying scattered throughout - if there's a Christian mystery sub-genre, these would fit. May not deserve 3 stars, 'cause I'm not sure I can actually say I "liked" them, but they do relative to the other series, and I did read all four that are out.
Nov 11, 2008 Terri rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Andrea, Marie, Marian
This is a mystery that is usually classified as a British cosy. I absolutely love the main character, who is an unflappable English woman who handles everything that comes her way with gracious manner. She manages to get things done and have things go her way without every resorting to indelicate behavior!
Caroline Ingvaldsen
Sep 08, 2011 Caroline Ingvaldsen rated it liked it
First in a series about the Abbott Agency, specializing in clearing up messes of all kinds, and Bea Abbott, proprietor, sixty something widow and den mother to a motley crew including a feisty ex-punk divorce, teen computer wiz and her own no-longer estranged ex-husband.
Jun 19, 2013 Carol rated it liked it
As it says on the cover it's in the style of a British cozy. I did enjoy the characters and how they changed over the course of the book. I will try another one and see if I like it a little better. Something was missing and I can't decide what it was. My kind of ending!
Mel Allred
Mar 19, 2009 Mel Allred rated it liked it
I rather, or should I say "rawther" enjoy this type of mystery, comedy. Light-hearted and intelligent but with a little age-derived wisdom, not the brashness of youth, and near insanity of Tami Hoag's heroes.
Sep 12, 2010 Jaclyn rated it did not like it
found a new author, or at least new to me. We'll see if I like her or not.

I don't. Couldn't even finish the book. No particular reason, just not intresting in the least.
Linda marked it as to-read
Sep 20, 2016
Kathleen Meacham
Kathleen Meacham marked it as to-read
Sep 13, 2016
Margie rated it liked it
Aug 23, 2016
Judie Hartley
Judie Hartley rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2016
Cyber rated it it was amazing
Aug 06, 2016
Michelle rated it it was amazing
Jul 25, 2016
Kristen marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2016
Gavin rated it liked it
Jun 24, 2016
AK rated it really liked it
Jun 23, 2016
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Veronica Heley has published more than fifty books, including crime fiction, historical, and children's titles. She is currently involved in the Ellie Quicke series of crime stories and a variety of other projects. A full-time writer, she has been married to a London probation officer since 1964, and has one musician daughter.

AKA Veronica Thorne

More about Veronica Heley...

Other Books in the Series

Abbott Agency (10 books)
  • False Picture (Abbot Agency, #2)
  • False Step (Abbot Agency, #3)
  • False Pretences (Abbot Agency, #4)
  • False Money (Abbot Agency, #5)
  • False Report (Abbott Agency, #6)
  • False Alarm (Abbott Agency, #7)
  • False Diamond: An Abbot Agency Mystery (#8)
  • False Impression: A Bea Abbot British Murder Mystery (Abbott Agency, #9)
  • False Wall

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