Review: Ticket Out by Michelle Diener

Posted September 18, 2023 by Stephanie in 4 Stars, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Review / 4 Comments

Title: Ticket Out
Author: Michelle Diener
Series: Traffic Warden Mysteries #1
Publication: September 5, 2023 by Daisy Crown Press
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Find it on: Amazon
Rating: 4/5★

It’s the summer of 1963 and Gabriella Farnsworth is a newly-minted London traffic warden. She’s used to temper tantrums, swearing, and threats, but finding a dead body is an entirely new low.

She isn’t interested in getting more involved than she already is in the investigation into the man she found’s death, but when, a few days later, she stumbles over a second body lying feet away from where she found the first, she can’t avoid it.

She knows the streets of her route, knows the people on them, but she is absolutely astonished when New Scotland Yard discovers the art gallery near where she found the bodies is a front for mixing up a new psychedelic drug.

Suddenly, the reason for the killings starts to make sense, but what neither she nor the New Scotland Yard detective assigned to the case understand is that the killer’s agenda is more complex than a drug turf war, and by the time Gabriella works it out, it just might be too late . . .


It’s the summer of 1963, London. Gabriella Farnsworth has moved from Melbourne to London with the hope to track down her missing father and is now working as a traffic warden. Giving out parking tickets isn’t the most thankful job but enjoys getting to know London. That is, until she starts finding dead bodies. Detective Sergeant James Archer from New Scotland Yard gets assigned to the case and instantly feels protective over Gabriella. But make no mistake, Gabriella knows her own mind and is equally protective about her neighbours, which makes her stand out even more. And before she knows it she has caught the attention of the killer.

Ticket Out was a great murder mystery with a slowburn romance and a whole lot of found family vibes, which I really enjoyed. I loved that it was set in the early 1960’s, and although I’m a 90’s kid, the descriptions really brought me to that era with the clothes, go-go dancing, LSD being a new and legal drug. It was the perfect era to set this story in.

The story is divided into chapters set in Gabriella’s point of view and chapters set in James’ point of view. If you know me even a little bit then you know I love dual POVs so this was perfect to me. I really liked both characters and how they slowly started getting feelings for each other. They had some really great chemistry together. The romance is more on the background but I do love a good slow burn and Michelle Diener is very good at them.

The murdery mystery itself was also very well-written. There were a lot of twists that I hadn’t seen coming and those only made me want to read the book faster. I loved that Gabriella was always the first to help other people, even if she didn’t know them very well, even if it brought more trouble to her. I know that I couldn’t be as courageous as she has been in this book because wow, she goes through some heavy things.

I already know that in 2024 the second book in the series is going to be released and I’m already very excited for it. I can’t wait to read more about Gabriella, James and all the secondary characters to see where the author is going to take their stories next. I’m sure it’s going to be equally as thrilling as Ticket Out!




About the author:

Michelle Diener is the bestselling, award-winning author of historical, fantasy and science fiction romance novels. Having worked in publishing and IT, she’s now very happy crafting new worlds for her readers to escape into. She lives in Australia with her husband and children.

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