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Brighton Belle (Mirabelle Bevan Mystery #1)

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  595 Ratings  ·  156 Reviews
"Great fun. The world needs Mirabelle's feistiness, intelligence, and charm." --James Runcie, author of the Grantchester mysteries

In post-World War II England, former Secret Service operative Mirabelle Bevan becomes embroiled in a new kind of intrigue…

1951: In the popular seaside town of Brighton, it's time for Mirabelle Bevan to move beyond her tumultuous wartime years an
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 29th 2016 by Kensington (first published March 20th 2012)
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Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
5 Words: Murder, mystery, feminism, investigation, British.

Yes, I did pick this book up based purely on the cover. Because that cover is stunning.

That was a relatively fun yet cosy mystery. I liked that Mirabelle pushed herself, tested the boundaries of society. She seemed like a very brave and intelligent (if slightly bored) young woman. I liked her tenacity in her investigations, how she honed her second-hand skills.

But I found this book a little too easy to put down, which meant it took a lon
Debbie Krenzer
Mar 01, 2016 Debbie Krenzer rated it it was amazing
I am SO glad I requested this one and SO glad there was nothing or no one to bother me while reading it. There was a lot going on in this book, by that I mean characters and plots. Yet, it was so GOOD!! The list of suspects was so long, there is absolutely no way anyone could have figured out what was going on in this book. I had to read some things a couple of times because there were new characters and I thought I had missed something, which I had. Especially at the end with the lady on the ...more
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I picked up Sara Sheridan's Brighton Belle expecting a historical whodunit, but found instead a light mystery set in the post WWII Britain. Now I have nothing against light fiction, I read a lot of it, but having expected something weightier I found the reality somewhat underwhelming.

This may seem like small potatoes to some readers, but the time period had little if any real impact on the narrative and that bothered me. I
You would think that after decades of reading, and decades of disappointments, I would have learned that – sometimes – there really is truth to that old saw about a book by its cover. But sometimes you can judge a book! And look at this one! It's gorgeous!


So the story goes that Mirabelle worked in the offices for the secret service during WWII, though she never went into the field, and now that the war is over she has a job working with a debt collector.A client comes in one day looking
It's a nice idea this book..intelligent woman kicking her heels in a deb collection agency gets embroiled in murder and the like. Belle's past is left almost blank, possibly to tease interest in the character for future novels, but at this stage all characters are left very thin. The plot gallops, but not in an enticing or interesting way, it is in fact so simple, and often pedestrian that you get the sense the author is just splashing possible ideas quickly down on each page, so as not to ...more
Promising Maisie Dobbs readalike! So "promising," in fact, that I'd be feeling a bit ripped off by Mirabelle were I Maisie. Let's review...both series plots seem to contain:

Young female character. Postwar. Did something heroic and unconventional during the war. Kinda traumatized by it. Had slightly unacceptable love affair during said war. Ended tragically. Now back in England. Trying to do something totally different. Solves mysteries. Past creeps back. Has diversity sidekick.

About that divers
Mar 13, 2016 Barbara rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this fast read featuring strong female characters. Mirabelle Bevan works as the secretary for a debt collection agency. It's a pretty ho-hum job after working behind the scenes at Whitehall (British spy headquarters) during WWII, but she put all that behind her after the sudden death of her lover, Jack. When her boss Bob turns up dead, Mirabelle finds herself caught up in a murder mystery and there's plenty more bodies besides Bob's. Along the way she enlists the help of Vesta, ...more
Mar 08, 2016 Heidi added it
Shelves: dnf
This was a book I set down around 20%. I wasn't connecting with the characters or the story. I picked this up hoping for a nice period read, but there was little regarding the post war era. I was also put off by the heroine pining over her dead boyfriend, with whom she had an illicit affair. I kept thinking I was reading the second book in a series as so many events from the past were eluded to, but no, this is the first in the series. Needless to say, this was just not a book that worked for ...more
Morana Mazor
Nov 26, 2014 Morana Mazor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baš jedan dobar, lagani krimić koji se odvija u poslijeratnoj Engleskoj... Zanimljiva radnja..Privukla me naslovnica, pa onda opis da se radi o krimiću tipa Agathe Christie (mada, likova je sve zajedno koliko kod Agathe ima samo posluge u jednom romanu, ali ok..ima tu neku "britansku karizmu")... Mala knjigica, lagano se čita, baš bi vam je preporučila, ako negdje putujete.. Knjiga za vlak, avion, bus, tram... (shvatili ste.. ;) )
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
Mirabelle Bevan, about whom this book revolves, is a remarkable woman, inspiring even. During the war she worked for the Secret Service; not in the field, as she frequently points out, but in a desk job. But she read all the manuals.

Now in post-World War II England, Mirabelle Bevan is having a bit of a hard time adjusting to peace. After all, in the war, no-one was just ordinary, and now life is nothing but ordinary.

She has taken a job working in the office of a debt collector in Brighton follow
Lynn Calvin
I don't do plot summaries - I figure you can get those elsewhere.

Interesting premise, some interesting characters, fair plot. I liked the 1950s Brighton setting, and the research seemed ok and often interesting. I'd have given it a 4 for those, but dear heavens, the writer hasn't met a head she doesn't hop from or to - in the middle of scenes yet. This is basic writing skill we are talking about. If you are doing multiple POV, for any particular scene you pick one character's POV and stick with
Holly McIntyre
Apr 01, 2016 Holly McIntyre rated it it was ok
Truth in reviewing: I received a free copy of this book through

The premise seemed good -- former worker in British intelligence in WWII now broken-hearted and working for a debt-collector in Brighton. I was hoping for something Bletchley Circle-ish but instead got Nancy Drew with an English accent. (Although that might not be fair to Nancy Drew.) I suppose the tone was supposed to convey "madcap" adventure as Mirabelle and assorted colleagues stumbled from one crime to another; I f
Rachel- Goodbye Borders
May 01, 2016 Rachel- Goodbye Borders rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2016
This was interesting. Mirabella was part of Britain's secret service (or equivalent) during the war. She was competent and enjoyed her job (desk job, not in the field as she mentions). She also fell in love and lost that love. Now the war is over and she is adjusting to something else.
Some British slang/terms I wish I had pen and paper to write down to look up (library book and I didn't want to dog-ear the pages). Looked back to see if I could find them, but no. Oh well.
I liked Mirabella's inte
A young woman post-WWII is working for a debt recovery agent, and gets involved in a murder mystery. Mirabelle was involved in espionage during the War and uses her skills to help solve the mystery.

Wonderful cast of characters and a lively plot keep the pages turning. I would definitely look for another in this series.
Zoe Garnett
Jul 18, 2015 Zoe Garnett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Light read, easy to devour and suggested by another bookworm. Will definitely check out her other novels
Linda Collings
Jul 04, 2016 Linda Collings rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Engaging hooked me in from page one.
June Seghni
Feb 12, 2013 June Seghni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved this and hope it's the start of a series. Jolly good story..
**Won on Goodreads Giveaway**

"In post-World War II England, former Secret Service operative Mirabelle Bevan becomes embroiled in a new kind of intrigue..."

The book takes place in postwar England, in 1951. Mirabelle Bevan, a woman that once was a Secret Service operative, now works a dull job at a debt collection agency. Her curiosity is sparked when she learns of a disappearance, and then soon murder of a pregnant foreigner, and she winds up following leads and chasing after the truth of what re
Nov 25, 2016 Serafina rated it it was amazing
This book was just what the "blurb" said... a fun book and a wonderful peek into 1950's coastal England! The characters were really well done, and I can't wait to join them again for the second in this new series! The book had an interesting mix of gritty, underworld violence and espionage that seemed just right for the period and time, yet a good dose of humor and developing friendships to keep it from "going dark"! I loved that the main character, Mirabelle, was a very strong, intelligent ...more
Susan Page
Nov 23, 2016 Susan Page rated it liked it
This is a very easy and enjoyable read. The story is interesting, with a good twist at the end. I don't think the author had a good knowledge of Brighton though, some of the walking that Mirabelle and Vesta did could not have been completed in the timescales allowed without sheer exhaustion setting in. For someone who has always had a desk job Mirabelle takes to breaking and entering with ease! This was a book chosen for discussion by the book group I belong to, and as we are all of an age to ...more
Oct 23, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it
The character development was strong. I would have to read a couple more to decide if this was a favorite. Which means the series (hopefully) should continue.
Oct 19, 2016 Bonnie rated it liked it
I liked the style of this book, as well as the setting of early 1950's England, which included quite a bit about WWII and it's aftermath in Europe. Luckily there are more in the series.
Mary Rankin
Oct 17, 2016 Mary Rankin rated it liked it
Very enjoyable--loved the two main woman characters. Looking forward to the next in the series.
Oct 06, 2016 Danielle rated it liked it
3.5 stars -- This book caught my eye because it is set in 1950s Brighton, England, and ever since I studied abroad at the University of Sussex in college, anything relating to Brighton or the Sussex region has continued to interest me. This was a short mystery and my favorite parts about it were the characters of Mirabelle and Vera, plus the period details about life in Brighton. I look forward to reading more in this series and seeing what other mysteries and adventures Mirabelle and Vera find!
Pages and Perfume
Jun 13, 2013 Pages and Perfume rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
From: Pages and Perfume
Follow: @PagesPerfume

After seeing the eye-catching cover and reading the engaging blurb of ‘Brighton Belle’ I thought that I had found a great novel. For somebody who wouldn’t class themselves as a big fan of historical fiction, the book seemed to me to be an exciting and fast-paced take on the genre. Set in post-war Brighton in 1951, with a strong female lead and an element of detection and mystery, the book promised so much but delivered so little.

The protagonist of th
Brighton Belle di Sara Sheridan è un romanzo mystery storico.
La storia è ambientata nel 1951, in Inghilterra, e la protagonista è Mirabelle Bevan, ex membro dei servizi segreti che ora lavora come segretaria in un'agenzia di recupero crediti, la McGuigan & McGuigan.

Bert Jennings si rivolge all’agenzia per il recupero di un debito di un rifugiato ungherese, per la precisione una donna, Romana Laszlo, in stato di gravidanza. In assenza del titolare, Mirabelle inizia a lavorare al caso e presto
Jan 12, 2016 Tripfiction rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels-set-in-uk
Mystery set in Brighton (“So good that I’ve already bought the next two in the Mirabelle Bevan Mystery Series”)

1951 sees Mirabelle Bevan retired from her wartime job with the Secret Service and living a rather lonely and limited life in Brighton. Following the death of her lover and hopes of a cosy domestic life, she has left London with all its memories and taken a job well beneath her capabilities in a Brighton debt collection agency. Life seems to have little to offer her, apart from frequent
Linda Baker
Brighton Belle is a promising beginning in a new series by Sara Sheridan set in the seaside resort of Brighton in 1951. Mirabelle Bevan had a very exciting War working in British Intelligence. Even though she was not a field agent, Mirabelle picked up a lot of investigative knowledge. She also fell in love with her boss, Jack. After the war, she moves to Jack's hometown of Brighton and dreams of future domestic bliss. When Jack dies of a heart attack she is set adrift and grieving intensely for ...more
Jennifer Ritter
Mar 19, 2016 Jennifer Ritter rated it really liked it

Brighton Belle, by Sara Sheridan, follows former White Hall intelligence operative Mirabelle Bevan as she adjusts to post WWII living in Brighton, England. Her days of analyzing information for the war effort are behind her, her lover is dead, and Mirabelle has been going through the motions as clerk/office manager for a debt recovery company. That is until one spring afternoon in 1952 when she sends her boss, Big Ben McGuigan home sick with a head cold.

Later that day strange events begin to unf
Jun 06, 2013 Lise rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lise by: Goodreads
Shelves: cosy-crime, bookshelf
I bought this book for two reasons; a. It's historical crime fiction set in Sussex, so catering to my tastes nearly perfectly, and b. Goodreads itself recommends it.


As many other reviewers have stated, the characters fall flat and fail to really develop or come to life throughout the story. There would've been so much brilliant material to work with, it's a shame really. On the cover the main character, Mirabelle Bevan is characterized as "unfailingly stylish, undeniably smart". The
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Born in Edinburgh. I'm a complete swot - love books always have! Currently obsessed with Georgian and Victorian explorers, about whom I write and with 1950s Britain for my Mirabelle Bevan murder mystery series set in London and Brighton.
More about Sara Sheridan...

Other Books in the Series

Mirabelle Bevan Mystery (6 books)
  • London Calling (Mirabelle Bevan Mystery #2)
  • England Expects (Mirabelle Bevan Mystery #3)
  • British Bulldog (Mirabelle Bevan Mystery, #4)
  • Operation Goodwood (Mirabelle Bevan Mystery #5)
  • Russian Roulette (Mirabelle Bevan Mystery #6)

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