Best Practice by Penny Parkes

I was lucky enough to receive a free copy of Best Practice by Penny Parkes in exchange for an honest review. This is a book I’d have been buying on publication day if not as I totally love this series – it’s the third book in the Larkford series following Out of Practice and Practice Makes Perfect (along with the ebook short story Swept Away).

Here’s the blurb:

Dr Alice Walker has become accomplished at presenting a façade to the world – to anyone watching, she is the epitome of style, composure and professionalism. But perhaps it was to be expected that the cracks might begin to show at some point. Thankfully Grace is on hand to offer both friendship and support when it’s needed most.
Meanwhile, Dr Holly Graham has her hands full both professionally and personally. Planning a wedding with Taffy Jones is challenging enough, even before some surprising news changes everything. At least beloved Larkford resident, Elsie, still has a few tricks left up her sleeve!
Dr Dan Carter, on the other hand, has decided to throw himself into his career – the best antidote he’s found to unrequited love. When tragedy strikes in the heart of Larkford, Dan makes it his mission to help the community.

I mentioned above that I love these books – I actually think it’s my favourite series at the moment.  Before I read the first one I really thought it wasn’t going to be for me but I was proved wrong and three more installments later I’m left hoping there are many more!

Best Practice doesn’t disappoint. It has a brilliant feeling and moments that make me laugh.  But it also has it’s gritty heart in mouth moments  and others that just make you go “aww”. I really can’t say too much about this book or recommend it highly enough But you shouldn’t read this book if you haven’t read the others, go read those first. I don’t think you necessarily have to read them first as I think there’s enough set up that Best Practice could stand alone. You’d just be missing a couple of amazing books and probably wouldn’t enjoy this one as much.

I love seeing the characters grow and change and develop as real people. It’s just brilliantly done.  A few weeks ago I was at the Books and The City Spring Blogger Evening where Penny Parkes talked about Best Practice and how real the characters have become to her.  She shared a story about seeing a house for sale and thinking “Elsie’s house is for sale?!” and another about how her phone is full of pictures of info from the Drs surgery (and actually I was waiting at my Drs shortly after reading this and wondering whether the receptionists who get a bad stick were actually anything like the ones in the book and just how true to life it is)

Something else I loved was the fact that it was set rurally and had a brilliant community feel to it. I can’t think of another book I’ve read in the last year or so that does that so well.  I think this has a wide ranging appeal and is just brilliant.  Best Practice is definitely going to be in the running for my book of the year.

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