Synopsis (from back page)
Imagine shopping for a living, homing in on size-zero haute couture and shopping the shopgirls. Welcome to the world of the Mystery Shopper.
New mum Emily wants revenge on the stick-thin assistants who laugh at her post-baby tummy and post-baby budget. But frumpiness has its advantages when you’re wielding a secret camera. Store manager Sandie has a lifelong love of retail. Then she’s fitted up by an ambitious assistant and secret shopping is the only way to keep her passion alive. And glamorous widow Grazia can’t leave behind the high life, despite her chronically low bank balance. The more she’s buying and spying – the less time she has to mourn her husband.
They’re Charlie’s Shopping Angels, controlled by a mysterious figure who sends them assignments from heaven – and the occasional one from hell…
Even though I’m not much of a shopper myself, in fact I hate it, the title of this book (along with the cover but more on that later) had me intrigued and after spotting it in my local library decided to give it a go…
Now having read it all I can say is that this is without a doubt a really enjoyable read that had me gripped right from the word go.
The story is actually told from the perspective of all three of the main characters, which although potentially could have been a bit of a disaster actually works extremely well. All three of them are strong, determined women who all have one thing in common – loneliness – but when fate brings them together it’s not long before friendship blossoms and it’s this friendship which is the main theme of this book…along with shopping of course.
While on the subject of shopping, the whole Charlie’s Angel set-up was a really novel way of doing it and made mystery shopping sound so much fun, even for someone like me who hates shopping with a passion. The whole idea of secretly filming nasty shop assistants with the potential of getting them fired will no doubt appeal to a lot of women, particularly those that have a bad experience with one in the past – secret shopping may be the way to get your revenge girls!
As previously mentioned the cover of this book was one of the reasons I picked it up and even though I know we should never judge a book by it’s cover, it is ultimately quite often the cover that first attracts us to a book and the cover of this one is very eye-catching to say the least. In fact it’s probably one of the best covers I’ve seen in a long time. The dust jacket is actually a bag while the cover itself is bright and colourful with a design that just screams ‘read me’ so full marks to the designer!
This is a really quick and easy read and although this is only my second Kate Harrison book, it is definitely my favourite so far.
Reviewed by Karen.
See the cover, and buy from amazon.co.uk