[usr 4]

Meet Edwina (Ted) Bristol, feisty private investigator who runs EBI (Edwina Bristol Investigations) and her trusty canine sidekick Miss Marple. A ROUTINE INFIDELITY by Elizabeth Coleman, set in Melbourne, is terrifically written – Ted groans that she looks like ‘a pixie in a pantsuit’, and thinks her sister in law Sandy’s blonde bun hairdo ‘sat on her head like a donut affixed with super glue – and is a gripping page turner.

The novel is of medium size and thickness and divided into forty three chapters and a prologue. The chapters have a character heading, and jumps between the various voices, and the novel builds in compelling intensity .There are three main threads interwoven throughout the book,  written to  include snappy dialogue and  plenty of red herrings. Secondary characters are finely nuanced and there are some wonderful descriptions of the weather and the land/cityscape.

The characters are finely nuanced and multi layered so readers feel that we know them intimately. Ted has very strained, fractured relationships with her family, apart from her sister Bob,  who has always been very close to Ted.

Ted and Bob have a complex ,compassionate, deeply supportive relationship. Ted is mostly extremely reserved and the storyline touches on Ted’s failure to allow people into her life, which stems from a traumatic event in her early years. Ted has been hiding a secret guilt for thirty years – when she confesses the truth, her father Cal’s reaction is uplifting .

Ted’s client mostly range from workers suffering from autocratic, overbearing bosses to intense disputes between neighbours, and stalking. Ted spends her days hunting down “cheating husbands and missing chihuahuas”, dreaming of something more exciting. Ted is relationship commitment phobic and prefers her independence, although she does have a ‘friend with benefits’ Joel.

She enjoys her Swordcraft LARPING on the weekends, which is where she knows Spike Tereiti, an eccentric, seemingly disorganised policeman, and their relationship develops .We  learn of  two major clients Ted has, Amber  and Chantal . She thinks Chantal’s job as a spiritual medium with her ‘premonitions/visions’ a load of hogwash – but are they?  When Chantal has unexpected premonitions that could possibly radically change Ted’s life she is forced to reconsider.

Chantal’s husband Andrew seems kind and thoughtful, still calls her ‘darling’ and organises flowers on Valentine’s Day, but expects her to believe his lies as to where he is every Thursday night – It turns out he is having Japanese cooking lessons but is cheating on her with the cooking teacher Eiko.

Another of Ted’s clients, Amber, who runs a thriving florist shop and has two children, contracts Ted to stealthily monitor her husband (also named Andrew) whom she suspects is having an affair with one of his work colleagues. Yes he is two -timing her, and Ted uncovers a major cyber fraud during the investigation – he is fudging accounts etc and siphoning millions from the company, with the help of his lover. The embezzlement case leads to murder and Ted’s life being in danger – can she solve her first murder case before it’s too late? .Miss Marple valiantly plays her part, but it is June O’Shea and Spike Tereiti, Ted’s possible new love interest, who arrive just in the nick of time.

Simultaneously ,Ted is attempting to identify who it was that catfished her cherished sister, Bob, who, at 49, still appears not to have met Mr Right. Bob becomes heavily emotionally involved in what she thinks is a deep online relationship with William, a soldier, but the truth of the scam and relationship is uncovered in disturbing, dangerous way. Will Ted and Miss Marple survive?

In A ROUTINE INFIDELITY we see how women, who hold to the ideal of true love where they are expected to dream about physics, attraction and a meeting of two minds leading to them living ‘happily ever after deal with a shattering change to their lives after betrayal and facing the realities of  Real Life’, juggling stress, relationships, work and relationships.

Tightly written, A ROUTINE INFIDELITY tensely drives towards an ending with several complications and the cycle continues. A possible series continuing. Ted and Miss Marple’s adventure is hinted at – I anxiously await it! Recommended.


Product Details


Bloomsbury | Pantera Press


30th January 2023





SBN: 9780645476798
ISBN-10: 064547679X
Audience: BAG
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 31st January 2023
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3  x 2.9
Weight (kg): 0.47