I really enjoyed The Tea Ladies and I love the idea that tea ladies know their firms inside out, being privy to secrets behind all doors and on all floors. There is added interest in that the novel is set in Sydney in 1965, in Surry Hills rag trade district, just at the moment that Jean Shrimpton tears up the rule book by wearing a mini-dress to the stuffy Melbourne Cup. How will the traditional dress firms respond?
There is quite a bit going on here, with the missing lady, the murder, the fire, the lying husband, the circus, the night club owner, the dodgy account books, the fashion revolution and the Russians. But Hazel herself is hiding another secret that took me by surprise -- and I pride myself on being able to spot this particular issue from a mile away. It certainly helps to explain why someone as smart and savvy as Hazel has ended up as a tea lady (not that there's anything wrong with that). The Tea Ladies is a lot of fun, and I wonder if Amanda Hampson is brewing up a sequel? (See what I did there...)