I have now read Frances Garrood's three novels: all on Kindle. Usually I would write separate reviews (usually being a rather loose term given that I haven't written any book reviews for several years) on Eagleton Book Notes but this is one post and it isn't a review. Why? Several reasons: I follow Frances's blog and feel that I know her (to the extent that I am more acquainted with her than with any other published novelist) and although quite different there is a commonality shared by the three books.
Any book that starts off "Nobody expected Ernest to die. Least of all Ernest." had to be worth some further exploration. So I explored and found a source of enjoyment, pathos and a whole gamut of emotions. One of the things that all three books have in common is that they are about ordinary (well, fairly ordinary) people doing what fairly ordinary people do. Another is that I can't help the feeling when I read some of the interpersonal relationships that the author is speaking with a great deal of personal experience. I know that there is a theme that recurs in all the books of which I have some experience and I don't see that anyone could just imagine the emotions that go with being in that situation. But then I'm not an author and I don't have a very vivid imagination.
Getting back to Dead Ernest this is not, in many ways, a comfortable book. Leastways I found parts of it very uncomfortable indeed. Unfortunately without giving far too much away I can't really say more.
I enjoyed the books. If you are a person who is very uncomfortable with emotional issues then you may, just may, be able to enjoy these on another level but you will miss out. I'd suggest you give them a try anyway. The order doesn't really matter.
I do know that Meike who blogs at From My Mental Library has written reviews of all three books. I wanted to write the opening to this post without re-reading her reviews but I shall now go and do that and I would also suggest that you read her posts at Dead Ernest, Basic Theology For Fallen Women and The Birds, Bees and Other Secrets.