Hapless amateur sleuth Pip Bloom is called upon to go undercover at a private school to investigate exam cheats. But the situation deteriorates when a death occurs at the school fair which is discovered to be murder. Pip finds herself in danger as well…
Death at the Gates is the third book to feature the escapades of Pip (I have previously reviewed The Kensington Kidnap and The Museum Murder)
Pip’s character continues to be delightfully madcap. She bumbles through life despite her best attempts at sensible behaviour. In this book she helps her flatmate Tim’s sister who has been accused of cheating in an exam. She takes on the role of PE teacher despite having no experience and knowing nothing about sport!
This book falls firmly into the category of cosy murder mystery. The tone of the whole book is light hearted and warm in spite of the danger faced by Pip as she investigates. The murder does not occur until halfway through the book and is not described in graphic detail. I guessed the murderer quite early on but this did not spoil my enjoyment at all.
Threads from the previous books continue to feature heavily. The throwaway hints about tumultuous disasters from Pip’s past. The potential romantic interest of Pip with Jimmy and Tim. The llama business of Pip’s mother. The hilarious misquotes of Flis (seriously how does she manage to write a blog?!)
Death at the Gates is a light hearted cosy mystery. It is easy to enjoy the book without reading the previous books in the series but I would recommend reading them all!