Book Review: Old Girls Behaving Badly by Kate Galley



After her husband of forty-three years leaves seventy-one-year-old Georgina “Gina” Knight to “find himself,” she is forced to rethink her plans for the future. With her adult children well settled in their own lives and the family home about to be sold, Gina not only needs to find a place to live but also a means to supplement her income after splitting the proceeds from the impending sale. When she sees an advertisement for a Companion to an elderly lady for a well-paying week-long assignment that would require her to accompany the family to Norfolk for a family wedding, she is quick to apply for the position.

Eighty-nine-year-old Dorothy “Dot” Reed isn’t too keen on having a Companion following her around, but when she meets Gina, whom she instantly likes and shares common interests, she has a change of heart. Unbeknownst to Gina at the time, Dorothy has a hidden agenda – a quest to find the culprit responsible for the theft of a piece of art from her home. She believes that the thief will be a part of her grandson’s wedding being held in the sprawling estate of a family friend (whom Dorothy despises) who also happens to be the bride’s uncle.

The narrative follows Gina and Dorothy as they attempt to locate the stolen painting (along with Dorothy’s thirteen-year-old granddaughter Juliet who convinces them to let her join in their efforts) without making it too obvious – not as easy a task as they had anticipated, with the full schedule of festivities that have been planned and the watchful eyes of their host not to mention having to navigate the rising tensions between members of the wedding party, quite a few of whom have their own secrets to protect.

I thoroughly enjoyed Old Girls Behaving Badly by Kate Galley. Heartwarming and humorous with cozy mystery vibes, this was an entertaining read. I loved the descriptions of the lavish estate and Leonard’s home. Both protagonists are interesting characters and I loved their dynamic. I particularly liked Gina’s trajectory and how she emerges from her shell as the narrative progresses. The narrative, shared from the perspectives of Gina and Dorothy, flows well and the characters are well thought out (even the unlikable ones). There is a rather large cast of characters to follow, but this in no way detracts from the overall reading experience. The novel touches upon sensitive issues such as aging, loneliness and grief with compassion. I liked how the author chose to end the story and if I’m not mistaken, the ending indicates that we may get more stories featuring Dot and Gina in the future. If you also enjoy stories that feature mature protagonists who are smart, quick- witted and can hold their own in any situation, you won’t be disappointed.

This was my first Kate Galley novel and I look forward to exploring more of her work.

Many thanks to Boldwood Books for the digital review copy via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.