#BookReview : Season of Blood by Jeri Westerson : @jeriwesterson @severnhouse @NetGalley

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A Medieval Mystery from Jeri Westerson, “Season of Blood” is available in hardback and eBook formats.  Published by Severn House Digital

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1256.0 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Digital; First World Publication edition (24 Dec. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B077NH7L86

Synopsis:

A missing Holy Relic. A mysterious and beautiful woman. Two murdered monks: Crispin Guest tackles his most intriguing investigation to date.

1390. Hailes Abbey, Gloucestershire, England. Two monks lie murdered, their Holy Blood relic stolen: a relic that is said to run liquid for the sinless and remain stubbornly dry for the sinner. Unwilling to become involved in a bitter dispute between a country monastery and Westminster Abbey, the disgraced former knight Crispin Guest attempts to return the relic to Hailes where it belongs, but somehow it keeps returning to his hands no matter what.

My Thoughts:

This is my first visit with this author and I read this book as a stand alone.  It is set in 1390 and we are introduced to Crispin Guest and his apprentice and side kick Jack Tucker.  They have been approached by a mysterious lady for their help in finding her niece. But along with that a monk dies on Crispin’s door step and in his possession is a religious Blood Relic artefact.

This is the 10th instalment in the Crispin Guest mystery series.  As this is the first I had read by this author, I was intrigued as to how well I would get on with an established series.  For me, I am pleased to say, it worked very well, there are hints and mentions of past stories but not enough to detract from this one.  This book has a very good “well researched” feel to it.  It is one of those books that feel right for the time it is set in and Jeri has some great description to back that feel up.  It is a well paced story that has some very unexpected twists, it is one of those books that you are never quite sure who is telling the truth, creating a good edginess to it.  The characters are quick to remember and identify as they are introduced gradually.

Overall this was a very enjoyable read, and I think a good introduction for me to this author, even though I have started at the wrong end of the series. I would recommend this to readers who like a good medieval murder, mystery read.  Some good twists, plots and characters.   It has been well researched and written.

My thanks to NetGalley and Severn House for my copy of this book.  My thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

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I’m Jeri Westerson and I write medieval mysteries with an enigmatic, flawed, sexy, and very different protagonist. His name is Crispin Guest and he’s an ex-knight turned private eye. You might want to think of him as a Medieval Sam Spade and these mysteries as Medieval Noir. That’s what makes these novels different. They’re full of hard-hitting action and characters with dirty little secrets. Then there’s the added twist dropped in the middle of murder: a relic with mystical powers. They always seem to stir things up, whether it’s something everyone wants to get their hands on or can’t wait to get rid of.

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#BlogTour : Divine Poison by AB Morgan @AliMorgan2304 : @Bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy681

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“Divine Poison” by AB Morgan is available in paperback and also eBook format.  Published by Bloodhound Books UK.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloodhound Books (21 Dec. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 191217586X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1912175864
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

Synopsis:

Are you looking for a stunning new crime mystery full of suspense? Then you’ll love AB Morgan’s unmissable Divine Poison.

For a community psychiatric nurse, Monica Morris has an unhealthy interest in poison, and when, on impulse, she buys an antique Ship’s Doctor’s Cabinet with a set of leather-bound journals she becomes fascinated by the content.

A few days later, she discovers the body of her patient, Jan Collins, and although police assume suicide by overdose, Monica is not convinced.

When more unexplained deaths involving poisoning occur, Monica realises they are linked and so does DS Adams who is investigating. But how are they connected? And why?

When it becomes obvious that she’s unwittingly stepped into a trap set for someone else, Monica’s career, her own sanity and her life are placed at risk. But where can she turn to for help?

My Thoughts:

When Monica return from holiday and checks on one of her patients Jan Collins, the last thing she expects is to discover Jan’s body.  Jan had previous mental health problems, but Monica did not expect Jan to commit suicide.  Things don’t feel right and Monica starts to look into events, it soon becomes obvious that she is not sure who she can trust.

The story in this book is quite relevant to things that have been in the news and AB Morgan has used this to create a story that has more of an old sleuthing style feel to it.  In someways this is how Monica and her band of friends seem to tackle their enquiries.  This is a very different read to her previous book “A Justifiable Madness”, this is slower paced and then builds up as it progresses.

The author has injected little bits of humour into this story by way of characters dialogue and I found this quite amusing.  It is a mix of a professional working woman who is not happy with the way the health system can fail those who have mental health problems, also a woman who uses her family to help work out a professional problem.

This is an interesting read that I devoured in two sittings.  I think it would appeal to readers who like a crime, mystery with a female lead character.  It has elements of mental health practices and also some of the down sides to community health care.  Again AB Morgan has used her own career experiences to add her own unique style to this story.

My thanks to Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound books for my eARC of this book.  My views are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

unnamed.pngAlison Morgan lives in North Bedfordshire, with her husband and slightly potty dog, their adult children have long since run away in embarrassment, determined to live normal lives (whatever normal is …)

Nurse turned writer, Alison has 30 years of experience in the NHS, mostly spent at the sharp end of mental health nursing where she specialised in psychosis, and pushed herself to achieve a Masters Degree in Advanced Practice. With burnout fast approaching, an unexpected illness challenge forced her to sit down for longer than five minutes. She set about writing a clinical guideline for nurses but became distracted by a story in her head which would not be denied.
Could she write a book? She had no idea. She could write academic assignments and a dissertation, so why not?

Her debut novel A Justifiable Madness, published by Bloodhound Books, is inspired by her life and career as a psychiatric nurse, and her fascination with the extremes of human behaviour. Her second novel Divine Poison is due for publication in January 2018, and her third novel, The Camera Lies also published by Bloodhound Books, will be available on Amazon in February 2018.

She may not be able to climb real mountains anymore but she isn’t afraid to stick two fingers up to convention. Growing older and not being as fit as she used to be is no excuse for being dull. Alison is now the proud owner of a full motorcycle licence! Broooooom. Bikes and books. Why not?

 

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it then please give it a share.  Better still, go and grab a copy of this book xx

 

 

#BookReview : Perfect Death by @Helen_Fields : @AvonBooksUK : @NetGalley

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“Perfect Death” by Helen Fields is available for pre-order from Amazon UK  and is due for publication on 25th January 2018.  Published by Avon Books UK.

Synopsis:

There’s no easy way to die…

Unknown to DI Luc Callanach and the newly promoted DCI Ava Turner, a serial killer has Edinburgh firmly in his grip. The killer is taking his victims in the coldest, most calculating way possible – engineering slow and painful deaths by poison, with his victims entirely unaware of the drugs flooding their bloodstream until it’s too late.

But how do you catch a killer who hides in the shadows? A killer whose pleasure comes from watching pain from afar? Faced with their most difficult case yet, Callanach and Turner soon realise they face a seemingly impossible task…

My Thoughts:

Helen has pulled off another brilliantly twisted and intricate plot as we are reunited with Callanach, Turner, Ailsa, Lively and Tripp.  Bringing some events from previous books into this story to give a little more information on the established characters.  The story is set in Edinburgh when the body of a young women is found in the area known as Arthur’s Seat, initially thought to have died from hypothermia.  But from experience of reading Helen’s previous books, it was never going to be as simple as hypothermia.  Other events take place and now as cases build up, the team of investigators are on a non-stop roller-coaster of crimes, reports, lab results and meetings.

This is an absolute cracker of a read, with several plots running at pace with a mingling in of back stories of the characters.  With all these going on Helen has not blurred or befuddled the plots, and at no point while reading was I confused.  Having read previous books, I was already acquainted with the main characters so only had to get to know the new ones.  While going through the story you are never aware of where the story will take you, and there are some very surprising twists.  This is a story that also has a psychological element to it that carries a serious message.

If you have not read Perfect Remains and Perfect Prey I would advise doing so. This book could be read as a stand alone, but you will get a better and more in depth feel for the characters.

This is a book I highly recommend to readers who love a fast paced, multi plot driven, police crime and thriller books. It has brilliant characters, well laid out and written.  Yep. I loved it 🙂

I would like to express my thanks to NetGalley, Avon Books UK and Helen Fields for my eARC of this book.  My views are my own and are unbiased.

Buy Perfect Remains at Amazon UK. Read my review HERE

Buy Perfect Prey  at Amazon UK. Read my review HERE

About the Author:

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A former barrister, Helen now writes a Scottish set crime series – D.I.Callanach and D.I. Ava Turner. Her debut novel Perfect Remains and the second in the series Perfect Prey are Amazon best sellers. Her next book ‘Perfect Death’ is due out on 25 January 2018. She currently commutes between Hampshire, Scotland and California, and lives with her husband and three children.

Follow the author on Twitter or her Website.

Book  Details:

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (25 Jan. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0008181616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0008181611

Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it give it a share. 

Or better still, go and buy this book xx

#BookReview : Flowers for the Dead by Barbara Copperthwaite @BCopperthwait

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“Flowers for the Dead” by Barbara Copperthwaite, was published September 2015.  It is available in paperback or eBook.  Purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

Synopsis:

ADAM WILL DO ANYTHING TO MAKE LAURA HAPPY. EVEN IF IT KILLS HER.

After a devastating car crash wipes out her family, Laura struggles to get her life together. Grieving, she becomes forgetful. She doesn’t remember how money got into her purse, or buying that pint of milk…

Adam is the perfect boyfriend. He cooks meals. He does the housework. He looks after Laura’s every need. He knows everything about her.

But Laura has never met Adam. And she knows nothing about him.

What turned him into a monster who stalks his victims? How did he become warped from a sensitive boy who adored the fairy tales his gran read to him? And what is he trying to say with the bouquets he sends?

This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page. Fans of Into The Darkest Corner, Behind Closed Doors, and Sometimes I Lie will be captivated.

My Thoughts:

Adam and Laura have both had events in their past that have left their mark.  Laura lost her family in a car accident, but Adam is there to help her clean, cook, get food leaves flowers he really is the perfect boyfriend.  One problem is that Laura does not know him, never met him, but Adam knows all about Laura and has seen her on many occasions.

Oh this is such a devilishly delicious read.  It is creepy and a little scary.  The story of flits back and forth for Adam, his growing up, the things he had to deal with from his childhood through to present day.  The thing is though, I actually like the character of Adam, Barbara has created a character that you want to sympathise with, you feel sorry for him in his childhood and teen years.  He is a lonely, sad, shy, who has no confidence or friends leaving him withdrawn, he finds solace in his imaginary worlds and also with his Grandmother.  There are other characters in this book, Police and family , but they have been used sparingly but add enough links to keep the flow of the story.  They add links between events and places and this for me helped the story span the years and the places.

The pacing of this story is great, it starts off running and then calms and then is off at full pelt as the finale and conclusion are met. By the end of the book, all questions are answered, well almost all…there are some things in people’s lives that will never be known completely.

The psychological thriller aspect of this book is great, Barbara has used the this story line really well to create a wonderful feeling of suspense and tension. From Adam’s perspective we are given a reason of sorts as to why he behaves as he does, for me he was a brilliant character.  Even now I still kind of like him, it does feel a little wrong to admit this, but it’s true.

This is a book that readers of psychological crime and thriller genres will love, it has a devilishly sinister and believable plot, well written with some great characters.

I was lucky to win a copy of this book as part of a giveaway Barbara had run before Christmas.  My thoughts on this book are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

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Barbara is the best-selling author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE, FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD, THE DARKEST LIES, and HER LAST SECRET.

Much of her success is thanks to her twenty-odd years’ experience as a national newspaper and magazine journalist. She’s interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. Thanks to people sharing their stories with her, she knows the emotional impact of violence and wrong-doing. That’s why her novels are dark, realistic and tackle not just the crime but its repercussions.

When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs.

To find out more about Barbara’s novels, go to Facebook or follow on Twitter. To find out more about Barbara go to Website

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My copy of this book came with “crime scene tape”, now call me daft but I loved this additional little extra that Barbara had added, as well as chololate and a signed personalised card 😀 😛

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it give a little share.  Better still go and get yourself a copy of this book xx

#BookReview : Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson @ragnarjo : @OrendaBooks

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“Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson is available in paperback, eBook and audio book.  It was published in 2015 by Orenda Books as part of the “Dark Iceland” series.  purchase from Amazon UK ~ Amazon US.

Synopsis:

Siglufjorour: an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors – accessible only via a small mountain tunnel. Ari Thor Arason: a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavik – with a past that he’s unable to leave behind. When a young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed, elderly writer falls to his death in the local theatre, Ari is dragged straight into the heart of a community where he can trust no one, and secrets and lies are a way of life. An avalanche and unremitting snowstorms close the mountain pass, and the 24-hour darkness threatens to push Ari over the edge, as curtains begin to twitch, and his investigation becomes increasingly complex, chilling and personal. Past plays tag with the present and the claustrophobic tension mounts, while Ari is thrust ever deeper into his own darkness – blinded by snow, and with a killer on the loose. Taut and terrifying, Snowblind is a startling debut from an extraordinary new talent, taking Nordic Noir to soaring new heights.

My Thoughts:

I have seen this authors books on various book bloggers sites, and thought it was about time I gave the Dark Iceland series a go.  I have had this book a couple months now and have finally got to read it.  So did I like it?

This is billed as a Nordic Noir, so I automatically expect certain things, and I admit to not being disappointed.  Ari Thor is the main protagonist and the reader is taken on his journey from Reykjavik and his police training to a new two year post in the old fishing village of Siglufjorour at the north of the island.  He leaves behind his girlfriend who is training to be a nurse. On arrival he finds that everyone knows of him, a village where most residents have been born and bred there.

Ari Thor’s story in the village begins in November 2008 through to the end of January 2009, though the Icelandic winter.  The descriptions Ragnar has given of the village, residents and setting were good, but for me I really liked the way he used Ari Thor’s character to  express how the dark, claustrophobia enveloped him.  From these descriptions I could imagine what he was describing, from the long dark winter months in a snow locked village, Ari Thor is used to a city setting and has not experienced the isolation like this before.

The plot of the story itself feels basic but at the same time has quite a complex layout.  As Ari Thor hunts for answers as well as getting to know the locals, he amasses his knowledge but the reader is not made aware of this until he starts putting the pieces together.  He then shares his thoughts more completely through conversations with others. Along the way there are a couple of red-herrings, these provided the reader with a chance to think up the wrong route.

There are quite a few characters, and given my complete lack of knowledge regarding Icelandic names, I found that I quickly got to know the characters and soon recognised them, though I did have a notebook to hand to make a note of them and their roles.  I took my time with this book, it was not a book I sat and read in one go, I do occasionally get books like this, it is almost like I need to read for a couple of hours and stop to digest.  I didn’t find the book too be fast paced, it had some wonderful narrative regarding the area and the people. I think this made it a slower read, but I think this is more a setting up book, but it did speed up a little towards the end. This is a really good setting up book for the series that follows and I am expecting the next ones to be easier to read as I have a prior knowledge  of cast and setting.

I would recommend this book for readers who like or are looking to read Nordic Noir, Crime, Mystery and Thriller genres.  The atmospheric feel of the book has been very well done, with a really good story that hits all the right notes.  After reading this first in the series, I have now ordered the next three, so this is my testament to how much I enjoyed this book, but I am also intrigued as to what comes next.

About the Author:

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Ragnar Jonasson is author of the award winning and international bestselling Dark Iceland series.

His debut Snowblind, first in the Dark Iceland series, went to number one in the Amazon Kindle charts shortly after publication. The book was also a no. 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller in Australia. Snowblind has been a paperback bestseller in France.

Nightblind won the Dead Good Reader Award 2016 for Most Captivating Crime in Translation.

Snowblind was called a “classically crafted whodunit” by THE NEW YORK TIMES, and it was selected by The Independent as one of the best crime novels of 2015 in the UK.

Rights to the Dark Iceland series have been sold to UK, USA, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Australia, Poland, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, Morocco, Portugal, Croatia, Armenia and Iceland.

Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he works as a writer and a lawyer. He also teaches copyright law at Reykjavik University and has previously worked on radio and television, including as a TV-news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.

He is also the co-founder of the Reykjavik international crime writing festival Iceland Noir.

From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic.

Ragnar has also had short stories published internationally, including in the distinguished Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in the US, the first stories by an Icelandic author in that magazine.

He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik.

Follow the Author on Website ~ Twitter

Many thanks for reading my post. Please give a share and go and get a copy of this great read.

#BlogTour : Blackmail, Sex and Lies by Kathryn McMaster @TrueCrimeNovels with @rararesources : #BookReview

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I am delighted to part of the blog tour of “Blackmail, Sex and Lies” by Kathryn McMaster.  I wish to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot. This book is  available as a paperback or an eBook.  *Today is the last day to grab this book at a reduced price *

Synopsis:

The young Scottish socialite, Madeleine Hamilton Smith was swept off her feet by Pierre Emile L’Angelier. She thought him handsome, charming, attentive. However, things soon soured between the pair.

However, once he had seduced her, he became controlling, manipulative. While she tried desperately to withdraw from the toxic and abusive relationship he started blackmailing her; threatening to expose her indiscretions to her family and her new fiancé which would have ruined her within her strict, Victorian era society.

She felt trapped, desperate even. Suddenly, the threats were silenced by his unexpected death.

Did Madeleine Smith murder Pierre Emile L’Angelier or did he commit suicide?

For 160 years, people have believed Madeleine Smith to have been guilty of murder. But was she? Could she have been innocent after all?

This Victorian murder mystery, based on a true story, takes place in Glasgow, Scotland, 1857.

My Thoughts:

Kathryn has used some of the 200 letter between socialite Madeleine Hamilton-Smith and Pierre Emile L’Angelier and created a fictionalised them for a riveting read.  It documents the relationship between Madeleine and Emile in 1850’s Scotland.  Madeleine is the naive daughter of strict architect James Hamilton.  Pierre, or Emile as he is referred to, is from French parents and not in the same social league as Madeleine, but he is desperate to climb the social ladder. The two begin a secretive relationship that is doomed from the start.

This is the sort of book that I really love to read, historical, Victorian and including documentation to provide a wonderful basis for a very addictive read.  A few of the letters have been included and provide a wonderful and personal insight into the lives of the two main protagonists.  It captures and reflects their own actions as well as those around them.  It shows a darker side to romance.  A side where the ends justify the means as far as Emile is concerned.  He does not want to be married to a penniless woman, he wants one that can support him.  The more I read of Emile, the more I disliked him, but also I found myself wanting to shake some sense into Madeleine, she really was a soppy doe eyed naive girl, but at the same time I did feel sorry for her.

It has scandal, vulnerability and calculated manipulation that ultimately leads to a death, but was it murder, suicide or a cover up ?  It is well written and engaged this reader from the outset.  I always like the inclusion of the differences between social class and the living conditions of the period I am reading, this book did that.  As well as having a great story line and a pace suitable for the style of book.

This is a book I would recommend to readers who like true crime, Victorian Historical Fiction, with references to Victorian Social and family Values.  A really good read.

About the Author:

 Blackmail - kathryn mcmasterKathryn McMaster is a writer, entrepreneur, wife, mother, and champion of good indie authors. She co-owns the book promotion company One Stop Fiction (www.onestopfiction.com), where readers can sign up to receive news of free and discounted 4 and 5 star reviewed books. She is also a bestselling author of historical murder mysteries set in the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Her debut novel, “Who Killed Little Johnny Gill?” was well received. All her novels are based on true stories, and she melds fact with fiction, writing in the creative nonfiction style. She lives on her 30 acre farm in the beautiful Casentino Valley, Italy for 6 months of the year, and during the other half of the year, on the small island of Gozo, Malta.

www.kathrynmcmaster.com

https://twitter.com/TrueCrimeNovels

https://www.facebook.com/kathrynmcmaster.author/

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 198 pages
  • Publisher: Drama Llama Press; 1st edition (14 Sept. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8894122859
  • ISBN-13: 978-8894122855
  • Purchase from  – Amazon UK – Amazon US

Many thanks for reading my post. If you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still, go and buy yourself a copy.

#BlogTour : Foul Trade by B.K Duncan : ( @BKDuncanwriter ) : @Bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy681 : #BookReview

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I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for Foul Trade by BK Duncan.  Published by Bloodhound Books, this is available in many formats.  If you have not read the FREE prequel novella “The Last Post” here is the link to Amazon UK for it >>Link<< I will share my thoughts on The Last Post before Foul Trade.

The Last Post, by BK Duncan

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Synopsis:

It is April 1918. May Keaps is a twenty-year-old ambulance driver stationed at The Front. As if transporting hideously wounded soldiers, sleep deprivation and constant shell bombardment weren’t enough, she becomes unwittingly entangled in the untimely death of a young captain, Tobias Fairfax.

Newly-arrived in Northern France he was found with a discharged pistol by his side; rumours on the battlefield were that it wasn’t an accident and he had taken the coward’s way out, committing suicide.

Whatever the explanation, Tobias left a dangerous legacy that puts May in the line of fire. But she is not the only one with a reason to want to uncover the truth. And in a world where life can be extinguished in the blink of an eye, May might regret her search for answers…The Last Post is the haunting introduction to the May Keaps series.

Thoughts:

In this story we meet for the first time, May Keaps.  She is an ambulance driver on the front, transporting casualties of the war to hospital. For a novella, this book has a big presence.  BK has for me, captured the despair, fear, sombreness and fear of life in the war, with vivid descriptions.

As an introduction to this author and also the character of May Keaps, I cannot find fault.  It was a great read and did its job well, I look forward to the next story.  A full length one.

Foul Trade 

BK Duncan - Foul Trade_cover_high res.jpgSynopsis:

 Looking for a compelling new mystery which will have you hooked?

It is March 1920. May Keaps, the Poplar Coroner’s Officer, has never failed to provide a jury with sufficient evidence to arrive at a just verdict.

The poverty, drunken fights between visiting sailors, drug trafficking, and criminal gangs, haunting the shadows of the busiest docks in the world, mean that the Coroner sees more than its fair share of sudden and unnatural deaths.

May relishes the responsibility placed upon her but there are many who believe it’s an unsuitable job for a woman. Even May begins to wonder if that is the case when the discovery of a young man’s body, in a Limehouse alley, plunges her into an underworld of opium dens, gambling, turf wars, protection rackets and murder.

As her investigations draw her into danger, it becomes increasingly clear that whoever is responsible intends to avoid the hangman’s noose by arranging to have May laid out on one of her own mortuary slabs.

My thoughts:

So it is now march 1920, and again we are reunited with May Louise Keaps, ex ambulance driver and now officer for Poplar Coroners Court.  In this story May is the efficient and resourceful force behind the Coroner, she is the one who makes sure all the paperwork, subpoenas and warrants are dealt with, they are just the basics of her job.  She goes above and beyond the call of duty as she swaps the battlefields for the wharves of London, as she investigates a suspicious death.  She will discover a world of gangs, drugs and dens, gambling and illegal trade.

If you want a book that gives you a descriptive walk through of the London wharves and surrounding area, then this has got to be one you read.  BK has brought some vivid and detailed descriptions that make it feel very realistic with the sights, sounds and also the smells.  There has been obvious research into this period,  I found a great deal of observational content on living conditions, social housing, economics and family struggles, this added a real extra depth.  It was appropriate for the plot, now that I really did enjoy, it took me a couple of chapters to work out where the story was going.  This was all my fault as I did not read the synopsis, I just dived right in after reading The Last Post.  But as I started to pick up the threads of the story, I found it took me along the dark alleys into grim back rooms and among warehouses as the plot progressed.  Along the way there are quite a few characters to get to know, a mixed bunch of rogues, ruffians and gentlemen, you soon work out who is who, but I guarantee you will be wrong in your assumptions of some.

This is a great read that I would have no problem recommending to readers who like historical crime and mystery fiction.  It is well researched and well written.  A thoroughly enjoyable read.

About the Author:

BK Duncan and Foul Trade

Born on a steam railway and brought up on the South Coast of England, such beginnings were destined to leave BK Duncan with a love of vintage transport, crashing seas, and Art Deco architecture.

Following a career encompassing developmental learning and management consultancy (specialising in personal and organisational change) she made the switch to full time writer, combining producing her own work with lecturing in creative writing in colleges and academies in Hertfordshire and Cambridge. Her summers are spent on two never-ending tasks – re-pointing the walls of her flint cottage and reclaiming the wilderness of her meadow garden. For relaxation she reads, goes to the theatre, and explores the local countryside but her two great passions are longbow archery and the Argentine Tango. Sadly, she is not nearly as accomplished at either as she’d like.

Her proudest moment was when she overcame her fear of deep water to go potholing in the Yorkshire Pennines.

BK Duncan also writes as Ruth Wade. Read her Amazon #1 best-seller A Fatal Rhythm on Kindle.

Follow BK Duncan on her Website  or on Twitter

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, give a little share.  Better still, go and get both of these wonderful books.

#BookReview :#AnatomyofaScandal by Sarah Vaughan : @SVaughanAuthor : @simonschusterUK : @NetGalley

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“Anatomy Of A Scandal” by Sarah Vaughan and has a planned release date of 11th January 2018 you can pre-order now.  Published by Simon & Schuster UK and available as Hardback, eBook and Audio.

Book Detail:

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (11 Jan. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471164993
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471164996
  • Purchase from 

Synopsis:

You want to believe your husband. She wants to destroy him.

“A strong choice for book clubs. Former political correspondent Vaughan makes an impressive debut with this savvy, propulsive courtroom drama.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Vaughan offers gripping insight into a political scandal’s hidden machinations and the tension between justice and privilege…Absorbing, polished.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Skillfully interweaving the story of the unfolding scandal, Vaughan gradually reveals just how shockingly high the stakes are…Sinewy…engrossing, twist-filled.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

My Thoughts:

This is a story that is told from the perspective of several characters and across different timelines.  The trial of a Junior minister James, for the rape of a colleague, but it is a tricky case as they had an affair that had recently ended.  We are introduced to Kate the Prosecuting Barrister, Sophie who is James’s wife, and a few others, but these are the main ones.

This is at times a hard read as there are sexual references made.  Also at times I thought a little slow and repetitive at times as the story progresses.  But that being said,  I really enjoyed the different story  lines, they have been well developed and intertwined around the various characters.  They give an insightful read showing how they have changed over the years, why their opinions, demeanour and outlook on life is what it is.  But like most people they have skeletons in their closets, and these are now about to see the light of day, and they are going to have repercussions.

I really liked the character of Kate, by far my favourite one.  She has a strong persona but underneath is vulnerable and emotional.  Sophie felt like a real sap, over the years she seems to have lost her identity, then there is James, what a slime-ball of a man.  Kate has a different background to the other two so I think this is why I liked her, a black sheep of sorts in the social ranks of Oxford University.

I would recommend this book to readers of Courtroom Drama, Women’s Fiction with elements of suspense.  I will add that there are sexual references that may offend some readers.

I wish to express my thanks to Simon & Schuster, Atria Books and NetGalley for my eARC of this book.  My thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

811hOItAuOL._SY200_Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to be a journalist. After training at the Press Assocation, she spent eleven years at the Guardian as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent. It wasn’t until her second child was born, that she finally did what she’d always wanted to do and started writing fiction. The Art of Baking Blind is the result, and will also be published in the US (St Martin’s Press) and in nine translations. She lives near Cambridge and is working on her second novel.

Follow Sarah on : Facebook  Twitter  Website

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give a share.  Better still go and buy the book xx

 

 

#BookTour : You’re Next by Michael Fowler : published by @caffeinenights : tour organised by @CarolineBookBit

You're Next - Michael Fowler - Book Cover

It is my pleasure to be part of the blog tour of “You’re Next ” by Michael Fowler, by

Caffeine Nights Publishing  on 9th November 2017 and is available in paperback.

 

Synopsis:

It is the opening day of Detective Sergeant Scarlett Macey’s biggest case of her life – ‘The Lycra Rapist’ is standing trial for a series of brutal rapes.

But things don’t go according to plan – the trial collapses – and James Green is freed.

Scarlett is determined his freedom will not last long and immediately begins planning his downfall.

Meanwhile James Green has his own plans for revenge, and driven by feelings of hatred begins to pick out those who brought about his downfall – priming them for the kill.

Scarlett has faced many villains in the past, but never one quite as terrifying as James Green…

My Thoughts:

D.S Scarlett Macey has been working on the case of “The Lycra Rapist” and it is now trial time, everything is all lined up ready for James Green to be locked up for his crimes.  Well that was the thought, but an unforeseen event leads to James being released.  Scarlett wants justice, and James wants revenge.

This story starts off running and does not let up, just as you start getting your head round one thing, it twists and something else is thrown in.  The plot has been very cleverly manipulated, twisted and convincingly developed.  It does not give an inch as far as guessing the plot goes. As I was reading I guessed at one thing and was so far off the mark. The good guys are really good, the bad guys are monsters!

Macey and her partner D.C Tarn Scarr are the two main detectives in this story, but add to that various other characters and you have a cast that is not massive, but just the right amount to add the variety and extra depth.  It is set in London and the descriptions the author gives are spot on.  One thing that really jumped out at me were the procedural details.  It was the little things and the comments that were added, it appeared to be written by someone who had a knowledge of policing.  After reading the book I checked out Michael’s bio, sure enough he was an ex-police officer, the added extras that he brought to the story from his own experiences really did show.

This is my first experience with this author, I can honestly say it will not be my last.  This is perfect for a reader who likes action packed, fast paced and a well written book with some good characters and deep well developed plots.  I found it to be an addictive page turner from start to finish, I read it in a day as I really could not put it down.  Perfect for Crime /Thriller / Mystery readers. I would highly recommend this book.

I would like to thank Caroline at Bits About Books for allowing me a spot on this tour.  Also many thanks to Michael Fowler and Caffeine Nights Publishing for my copy of this book.  My thoughts expressed are my own and are unbiased.

Author Bio:

Michael Fowler Author Image

Following retirement, after thirty-two years as a police officer, working mainly as a detective, Michael returned to the deadly business of murder, as a writer. His past work brought him very close to some nasty characters, including psychopaths, and gruesome cases, and he draws on that experience to craft his novels: There is nothing gentle about Michael’s stories.

His landmark novel Heart of the Demon, published in 2012, introduced Detective Sergeant Hunter Kerr. Michael has since written five novels and a novella featuring Kerr. He also released the first DS Scarlett Macey book in 2016. Michael is also the author of a stand-alone crime novella and a true crime thriller.

Michael has another side to his life – a passion for art, and has found considerable success as an artist, receiving numerous artistic accolades. Currently, his oil paintings can be found in the galleries of Spencer Coleman Fine Arts.

He is a member of the Crime Writers Association and International Thriller Writers.

Follow Michael on his Website.  To see all of Micheal’s books check out Caffeine Nights Publishing.

Book details:

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Caffeine Nights Publishing (9 Nov. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1910720895
  • ISBN-13: 978-1910720899

Order from :  Amazon UK  |  Amazon US

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it give it a share. Better still, go and buy this book xx

#BookReview : The Little Village Christmas by @SueMoorcroft : pub by @AvonBooksUK #FestiveReads

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“The Little Village Christmas” by Sue Moorcroft.  Published by Avon Books UK and is available in paperback, eBook and audio.  I do actually recommend buying the paperback book, it is sparkly, and shiny and has glitter that stays on the book and not on your face ! (Apologies, a very girly moment there, girly moments are a rarity for me !!)  I read this book on the recommendation of A Love of Books  Facebook Group for their monthly Book Night pick.

Book Details: 

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (2 Nov. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000826001X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0008260019
  • Amazon UK link

Synopsis:

Alexia Kennedy – interior decorator extraordinaire – has been tasked with giving the little village of Middledip the community café it’s always dreamed of.

After months of fundraising, the villagers can’t wait to see work get started – but disaster strikes when every last penny is stolen. With Middledip up in arms at how this could have happened, Alexia feels ready to admit defeat.

But help comes in an unlikely form when woodsman, Ben Hardaker and his rescue owl Barney, arrive on the scene. Another lost soul who’s hit rock bottom, Ben and Alexia make an unlikely partnership.

However, they soon realise that a little sprinkling of Christmas magic might just help to bring this village – and their lives – together again…

Settle down with a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine as you devour this irresistibly festive Christmas tale. The perfect read for fans of Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.

My Thoughts:

The village has come together with money to restore the old village pub but as a Community Cafe.  But after all the money is stolen along with almost all of the period features the chance of being able to transform the old pub looks lost.  But not so, there are some who are not willing to just give up, instead a stubborn determination takes over and they want the project to remain on track.  Ben is a newcomer to the village, but has a family connection to the village, he offers help to Alexia, the project manager, an old adversary has a change of heart and there are those who want to distance themselves from the negativity of the theft.

I really enjoyed this book, it is a light hearted and humorous at times read, with a warm cosy feel to it.  I found some of the local community references very believable, living in a village myself.  I found that I could mirror some of Sue’s characters with some of our own locals, though I would never say which ones.  This added that little bit extra special something for me, the believe-ability of the community was great.  Even though there is quite a limited cast for the village.  This is where we learn more of Alexia and her role in the village and what her dreams are.  Ben’s story is also included and also his connection to the village.

Even though this is a story with a Christmas element in it, it is not a mistletoe, baubles, fairy lights,  twinkly jumper wearing book.  It takes place on the run up to Christmas, but with all the busy-ness of the characters in this book, they don’t have the time to thinks about it too much.

This is a really enjoyable, cosy, snuggly on a sofa, big cushion hot chocolate read.  Get comfortable for this, I read it virtually in one sitting, if things like going to work hadn’t got in the way. I would have done.  I definitely recommend this to readers of feel good, warm, light-hearted, crime and mystery books, with a sprinkle of romance to top it off nicely.  I am going to admit to being aware of this author, but (whispers…) not reading any of her books, this is absolutely going to change. A great introduction to this authors works, in my opinion. Now off to order a couple more of her books 🙂

About the Author:

B14P3XHiAvS._SY200_Best-selling author Sue Moorcroft writes women’s contemporary fiction with sometimes unexpected themes. Her last book, The Christmas Promise, was published by Avon Books UK. It reached #1 in the UK Kindle chart and did well in mass market paperback both in the UK and in Germany (WinterZauberKüsse). Her new book, Just for the Holidays, is already a best-seller in several categories.

Sue has won the Best Romantic Read Award, been nominated for a RoNA and is a Katie Fforde Bursary winner. She also writes short stories, serials, articles, columns, courses and writing ‘how to’.

An army child, Sue was born in Germany then lived in Cyprus, Malta and the UK. She’s worked in a bank, as a bookkeeper (probably a mistake), as a copytaker for Motor Cycle News and for a typesetter, but is pleased to have wriggled out of all ‘proper jobs’.

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Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, give it a share.  Better still, go and buy this book.