Bad Attitudes is a wickedly dark tale of Scottish council-housing and murder. This first of two novellas also boasts a missing person, a lethally nosy neighbor, an extra-marital affair, a rumored fortune in a condemned council terrace, a lusty councillor, and a new housing law for tinkers. Who but Agnes Owens could concoct such a delicious brew of dour hilarity and then follow it with an unforgettable party? '"I think a birthday party would be just the thing to cheer us up,'" screeches Jen's visiting Aunt Belle in the second novella, Jen's Party. The soon-to-be fifteen-year-old almost immediately regrets agreeing to this plan as her somewhat louche, possibly crazy, relentlessly bouncy and optimistic aunt revs into party mode, assuring her drab sister Maude, Jen's mother, that she'll take care of everything. With a perfectly tuned ear for the droll and the deadly, she can spin a tale of domestic mayhem that is at once disarmingly tense and movingly human.
'A mini-masterpiece - a delicious, wicked, beautifully observed little black comedy about council house residents that also manages to be a murder mystery and a memorable tale' Independent on Sunday 'An everyday tale of tinkers, teenage runaways, sexually incontinent councillors and lonely old women written in a sinewy, dialogue-driven style' The Times 'Agnes Owens has an appealingly wicked eye for familial love on the dole ... reminiscent of Muriel Spark and Shena Mackay' Sunday Herald 'Agnes Owens is part of a Golden Age in Scottish literature' Guardian