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The Suspicions of Mr Whicher – The Murder at Road Hill House

Author – Kate Summerscale, is a British writer and journalist.  She has also written The Queen of Whale Cay, which was shortlisted for the 1997 Whitbread Award, and won the 1998 Somerset Maugham Award.  Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace came out in 2012 and the The Wicked Boy, which was shorted listed for the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award in 2017 and won the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime. The Murder at Road Hill House was also short listed for the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award.  It won the Galaxy Book of the Year in 2009, the BBC Four Samuel Johnson prize and the Baillie Gifford Prize.

Social Media Links –

Website – katesummerscale.com

Publisher – Bloomsbury Books

Pages – 372

The Blurb –

It was midnight on 30th June 1860 and all is quiet in the Kent family’s elegant house in Road, Wiltshire.  The next morning, however, they wake to find that their youngest son has been the victim of an unimaginably gruesome murder.  Even worse, the guilty party is surely one of their number – the house was bolted from the inside.

As Jack Whicher, the most-celebrated detective of his day, arrives at Road to track down the killer,the murder provokes national hysteria at the thought of what might be festering behind the closed doors of respectable middle-class homes – scheming servants, rebellious children, insanity, jealousy, loneliness and loathing.

This true story has all the hallmarks of a classic gripping murder mystery.  A body, a detective, a country house steeped in secrets and a whole family of suspects – it is the original Victorian whodunnit.

I got this book from my local Poundshop.

My thoughts – I loved this book.  I love true crime generally but this book is exceptional.  The amount of detail and research that has been done is amazing.

The book focuses on the murder in 1860 of Saville Kent the young son of the Kent family.  He was taken from a locked house and found murdered in an outside toilet.  The house, was full of his family and the servants.

In the 1860’s the class of detective was not yet recognised and the public were unfamiliar with them. This crime was deemed so abhorrent that a new detective Jack Whicher was charged with going to the scene of the crime to find the culprit.  The book explains the implementation of detectives, how and why they were needed and how they were received by the public. Their introduction also had an influence on popular culture of the time and authors started creating their own detectives.

Some of you may be aware of the TV series of the same name that was shown on ITV a few years ago. Reading this book has made me curious to see how they adapted it for television.

I found it such an interesting read and I highly recommend it.

Purchase Links –

Amazon – The Suspicions of Mr Whicher

 

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The Christmas Spirit

Author – Susan Buchanan lives in Scotland with her husband and their two children. She is the author of four novels: Return of the Christmas Spirit, The Christmas Spirit, The Dating Game, and Sign of the Times. She is currently working on books five and six: The Proposal and Just One Day.

Susan is also a proofreader, editor and translator, and when not working, writing, or caring for her two delightful cherubs, loves reading, the theatre, quiz shows and eating out – not necessarily in that order!

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Susan Buchanan
Social Media Links –

Facebook – www.facebook.com/susan.buchanan.author

Twitter – susan_buchanan

Blog – Sooz’s journal – www.susancbuchanan.blogspot.co.uk

Pages – 166

The Blurb –

Christmas is coming, but not everyone is looking forward to it.

Rebecca has just been dumped and the prospect of spending the holiday period with her parents is less than appealing.

Eighty- two year old Stanley lost his beloved wife, Edie, to cancer. How will he cope with his first Christmas without her?

Jacob’s university degree hasn’t helped him get a job, and it looks like he’ll still be signing on come New Year.

Workaholic Meredith would rather spend December 25th at home alone with a ready meal and a DVD box set. Can anything make her embrace the spirit of the season?

The enigmatic Natalie Hope takes over the reins at the Sugar and Spice bakery and café in an attempt to spread some festive cheer and restore Christmas spirit, but will she succeed?

Today is my spot on the Christmas Spirit blog tour, many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity.

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My thoughts – This is a great Christmas read, and shows how one person can change peoples life’s around them.  Natasha Hope turns up to run the bakery Sugar and Spice and single handedly changes the fortunes of the café and its patrons.

Natasha injects some Christmas spirit at the bakery and her hospitality and kindness bring a group of strangers together and this changes their life’s.

Jacob is desperately looking for a job, his sister is very successful, but even his degree can’t help his attempts.  Could a new job change his fortunes and his start his non existent love life.

Rebecca has just out of a long term relationship and finds the bakery to be a great place to pop into while house hunting with her friend.  Could a chance conversation help her find her dream home.

Stanley used to come to the bakery with his wife, unfortunately she’s  recently died and he is struggling to come to terms with life by himself.  He can go days without seeing any friends.  The bakery seems to be his only place for social interaction at the moment.

Finally Meredith is overworked and ill, what can the bakery do to change her outlook on life.

Linking all these together is Natalie, she loves Christmas fills the bakery with seasonal cakes.  Slowly and surely her influence changes people, her attention to detail and interest in her customers, runs off on others.

Natasha seems to be the incarnation of Christmas Spirit.

A quick paced book that reinforces the message of Christmas, the importance of family and friends.

Purchase Links –

http://amzn.to/1gcpTrc (UK) & http://amzn.to/KUArMU (US)

Prize Giveaway –

Win e-copies of Sign of the Times and The Dating Game (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494170/?

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As Sick As Our Secrets

Author – Diane Ezzard.

Manchester born Diane Ezzard writes emotionally charged psychological thrillers and mysteries about everyday people in seemingly ordinary circumstances until something goes badly wrong in their lives.

Before taking early retirement to concentrate on her writing, she worked as a HR manager, a counsellor, owned a cafe and managed a charity.

She now lives and writes in South East London close to her daughter and grandchildren.

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Diane Ezzard
You can check out my review of the prequel to this novel, I Know Your Every Move.

Social Media Links –

http://dezzardwriter.com/

https://www.facebook.com/dezzardwriter/

https://twitter.com/diane_ezzard

Pages – 284

The Blurb –

We all keep secrets, don’t we?

Sophie used to be fearful, with a troubled past.  Now, she’s a confident young woman helping others turn their lives around – or is she?

A nasty surprise awaits her after the funeral of a friend and she soon finds out that nothing is as it seems.

Caught up in the dark world of gangsters and villains in the heart of Manchester she attempts to find Cassie’s killer.  Following a trail of lies, she gets so wrapped up delving into the lives of others she doesn’t notice her own life falling apart, back into the grips of addiction.

Can romance blossom for Sophie after all the mistakes she has made in the past, or will her only comfort be drink?  Things never end up the way she intends.

Today is my stop on the blog tour for As Sick As Our Secrets, many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the chance to review.

I Know Your Every Move & As Sick As Our Secrets Full Tour Banner[2068]

My thoughts – This is the second book I have read by Diane Ezzard.  This book is the sequel to I Know Your Every Move, which introduced us to Sophie Brown. This second book can be read as a standalone, but I would recommend reading I Know Your Every Move first so you can understand the relationship between Sophie and Cassie.

This book starts with the aftermath of Cassie’s death, Sophie feels guilty for not doing more to save her friend and one time client from her abusive ex boyfriend.

However Charlie, the ex, contacts her to insist his innocence and tries to enlist her help to prove it.  As dubious as she is, he imparts some information to her, that gets her thinking that maybe, not everything is as she first thinks.

Her enquiries soon land her in trouble and instead of walking away, she finds herself being pulled deeper in to the murky world of sex workers and traffickers. This has a detrimental effect on her health and she finds herself battling her old demons.

Can she find out more about Cassie and can she trust Charlie? More to the point, can she trust her own decisions?

This is an interesting sequel to the first book that addresses many different health issues including mental health, domestic violence, violence and alcohol dependency.  This may act as triggers for some readers.

A good read and I am looking forward to reading the third in the series.

Purchase Links –

UK – http://amzn.to/2AtL4Ft

UShttp://amzn.to/2BTR1I2

This book counts towards my British Book Challenge

 

 

 

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I Know Your Every Move

Author – Manchester born Diane Ezzard writes emotionally charged psychological thrillers and mysteries about everyday people in seemingly ordinary circumstances until something goes badly wrong in their lives.

Before taking early retirement to concentrate on her writing, she worked as a HR manager, a counsellor, owned a café and managed a charity.

She now lives and writes in South East London close to her daughter and grandchildren.

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Diane Ezzard
Social Media Links –

http://dezzardwriter.com/

https://www.facebook.com/dezzardwriter/

https://twitter.com/diane_ezzard

Pages – 333

The Blurb –

A sinister phone call, an unknown visitor.  Sophie’s life is about to be turned upside down.

Sophie has worked hard to free herself from the clutches of addiction and turn her life around.  Practising as a counsellor, in a women’s centre in Manchester, she now helps other girls in trouble.  She forms a close relationship with Cassie, one of her clients and tries to help her escape the clutches of a violent boyfriend.

But is Sophie being followed?

How can she uncover the truth, when she can’t trust what is real?

The more she delves, the closer she gets to danger.

Can she revisit her own dark past before its too late?

Today is my stop on the I Know Your Every Move blog tour.  Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources

I Know Your Every Move & As Sick As Our Secrets Full Tour Banner[2068].jpg

My thoughts – It can be hard to convey emotion in a book, but the emotion in this book is extremely well written.  The fear and anxiety that Sophie feels is palpable, that shows that the author knows the subject matter well.

Sophie wants to escape her dysfunctional home life, her parents don’t get along and the atmosphere is toxic.  She does well for herself and gets a job and a place to live, unfortunately that is when she meets Jay.

As with most violent relationships, you never see it at the start and Sophie falls in to a relationship with Jay that has terrible consequences for her.  Especially when she tries to start her life over.

She keeps getting malicious phone calls, emails and notes?  Her anxiety is triggered and she is desperate to know who has it in for her……?

A thought provoking read, and I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the Sophie Brown series.

Purchase Links –

UK – http://amzn.to/2tyMlmU

US – http://amzn.to/2tdEdc5

This counts towards my British Book Challenge

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A Hollow Sky

Author – M.Sean  Coleman.  Born in the UK and raised in South Africa, M. Sean Coleman developed a love for reading and writing novels in his early teens, thanks to two incredibly passionate English teachers who infected him with their love of words and stories. Over the intervening years, he has written film and television drama, cross-platform series, an interactive children’s storybook and a graphic novel series.
He finally found his niche as a thriller writer when he was asked to write a novel as part of the cross-platform project, Netwars. His first book, The Code, was published six months later, with the sequel, Down Time, hot on its heels. There was no going back.
He is obsessed with crime, mystery and thriller stories, especially those with a fresh or surprising angle. He writes novels from his home in The Cotswolds, where he lives with his husband and their three red dogs.

His first book in the Alex Ripley series is The Cuckoo Wood.

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M. Sean Coleman
Social Media Links –

Facebook – www.facebook.com/mseancoleman.author

Twitter – www.twitter.com/mseancoleman

Publisher – Red Dog Press

Pages – 291

The Blurb –

A SUSPENSEFUL, ATMOSPHERIC THRILLER.

Jane Hewitt had been miraculously healed—cured of a terminal cancer that had been eating away at her body for months. After one meeting with an incredible young woman, Jane rose from her wheelchair and walked out, believing that her lifetime of devoted faith had been rewarded.

The next day, Jane died in her husband’s arms, devastated that her God had deserted her. Her husband, Ian, blames her hastened death on the faith healer she visited. But that faith healer is a teenage girl called Megan, who has been in a coma for five years, and has no say over how her gift is used.

When Ian is arrested after being accused of breaking in to Megan’s house and trying to tamper with her life support, he turns to the only person he knows can help clear his name, and stop this family deceiving any other victims—Dr Alex Ripley, the so called Miracle Detective.

Fascinated by Megan’s case, and needing a distraction, Ripley finds herself on Holy Island, off the coast of North Wales, caught up in an investigation that will prove more sinister and dangerous than she could have imagined. Ian is not the first person to complain about Megan and her supporters, but he seems to be the only one left alive. For now.

A Hollow Sky is the second Alex Ripley Mystery

Today is my stop on The Cuckoo Wood blog tour.  Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the chance to review.

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My thoughts – After reading The Cuckoo Wood I was eager to get back to Alex Ripley.  I really enjoy her as a character and this book didn’t fail to deliver.  The story continues straight after the conclusion of The Cuckoo Wood.  Recovering from her injuries, Ripley finds herself contacted by someone she briefly met through a television debate.

Ian Hewitt has just lost his wife to terminal cancer, a woman of faith, she believed that a miracle can save her.  So when she hears of a coma patient called Megan, who heals people she naturally wants to try it out for herself.  Ian is dubious but goes along with his wife’s wishes, so when his wife dies the very next day after visiting the teenage Megan, his anger boils over and he sets out to discredit Megan’s gift.

Ripley finds herself in a small Welsh town, trying to stop Ian Hewitt from getting into more trouble, even though she doesn’t know him well, she is fascinated by his story and by Megan.  What she finds is the town revolves around Megan, everyone in some small way benefits from her gift and they don’t take kindly to outsiders coming in and questioning the morality behind using a teenage girl to heal people.

I love M. Sean Coleman’s writing and the way he creates the small town atmosphere in his books.  His description of the cliffs and the history of the town is very evocative and I could envisage the burial chamber

‘She stood for a moment, touching the cold stone, feeling the history.  These ancient structures always reminded her how fleeting our time on earth was.  How much had come before and how much would follow.’

I really hope there will be another Alex Ripley book.

Purchase Links –

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hollow-Alex-Ripley-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B07H9DTFM8

US – https://www.amazon.com/Hollow-Alex-Ripley-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B07H9DTFM8

Direct from Red Dog Presshttps://www.reddogpress.co.uk/shop

Giveaway to win paperback copies of The Cuckoo Wood and A Hollow Sky, a cool tote bag with book quote from the publisher, a branded bookmark and some chocolates (Open INT)

A Hollow Sky Giveaway Prize[2057]

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494165/?

This book counts towards my British Book Challenge

 

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The Magic of Christmas

Author – Trisha Ashley

Trisha Ashley is an English author who has written over thirty novels and is a Sunday Times best selling author.  She lives in North Wales.

The Magic of Christmas was previously published as Sweet Nothings, which was been reworked has the addition of fabulous new material.

Social Media Links

Twitter – @trishaashley

Facebook –  www.facebook.com/TrishaAshleyBooks

Website – www.trishaashley.com

Publisher – Avon

Pages – 384

The Blurb –

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

In the pretty Lancashire village of Middlemoss, Lizzy is on the verge of leaving her cheating husband when tragedy strikes and she finds herself widowed.  Her Christmas Pudding Circle – a group of friends swapping seasonal recipes – offers her a welcome distraction, whilst a simmering rivalry with local cookery writer Nick erupts over who will win Best Mince Pie at the village show…

Meanwhile, the whole village is gearing up for the annual Boxing Day Mystery Play.  But who will play Adam to Lizzy’s Eve?  Could it be the handsome and charismatic soap actor Ritch, or will someone closer to home win her heart? Whatever happens, it promises to be a Christmas to remember!

I got this book from my ever growing to be read pile, which threatens to crush me every day.

My thoughts – I really enjoyed this book.  It is the first I have read by Trisha Ashley.  It is a great mix of friendships, friction and food.  The village of Middlemoss sounds a lovely place to live, a close knit place full of its own traditions.

Lizzy has been unhappily married to Tom for years, the spark that first connected has long since died and he spends more and more time away from home.  However Lizzie is content with her son Jasper and her extensive culinary concoctions, that made my mouth water when she described making them.

The book follows Lizzy from mid August through to Christmas, a time where her life changes forever and she finds herself finding out secrets, saying goodbye to loved ones and embarking on a new life.

Each chapter brings new culinary delights and I was very tempted to try out the recipes even though I’m a terrible cook. I loved how she would just whip up some chocolates, biscuits, candy floss or a pie.  Her house sounds divine with smells of all a country kitchen and makes me very envious.  The recipes link in well with the flow of the story and the book that Lizzy is writing throughout the book.

This is a perfect Christmas read, so grab a cup of tea and something sweet because this book will make you hungry.  Also if you are tempted by any of the recipes, they are included at the back of the book, so you can try them out for yourself.

I will definitely be reading more of Trisha Ashley’s books.

To buy the book click here

This book counts towards my British Book Challenge

 

 

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Tales from the Pays d’Oc

Author – Patricia Feinberg Stoner is a former journalist, advertising copywriter and publicist.  For four years she and her husband were accidental expatriates in the Languedoc, southern France.  During that time she wrote a series of magazine articles which eventually became her first book about the Languedoc: ‘at Home in the Pays d’Oc.’

Now back in the UK, she lives with her husband in the pretty West Sussex village of Rustingdon, where Michael Flanders encountered a gnu and the mobility scooter is king.

She spends much of her time writing short stories and comic verses.  Her first book, ‘Paw Prints in the Butter’, is a collection of comic poems for cat lovers, and is sold in aid of a local animal charity.  In 2017 she published her second book of comic verse: ‘The Little Book of Rude Limericks’.

In the autumn of 2018 Patricia returns to the locale of ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc’ with a new collection of stories: ‘Tales from the Pays d’Oc’.

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Patricia Feinberg Stoner
Social Media Links –

Patricia welcomes visitors to her Facebook page (Paw Prints in the Butter) and to her blog www.paw-prints-in-the-butter.com.

​You may occasionally find her on Twitter @perdisma.

Publisher- Fascom

Pages – 132

The Blurb –

Twenty-one tales of life, love and laughter in the land of sun and vines.

What is Matthieu doing up an olive tree?  Why won’t Joséphine ever eat pizza again?  Who went four by fourth? And who rescued two hapless Americans at Armageddon Falls?

Travel to the Languedoc, feel the scorch of the sun on your shoulders, smell the dust and the lavender and the ripening grapes and follow the adventures of the Saturday Club and the regulars at l’Estaminet.

In this collection of stories, Patricia Feinberg Stoner revisits the territory of her memoir, ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc’ with a whole host of new and familiar characters.

 Today is my stop on the Tales from the Pays d’Oc blog tour.  Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources

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My thoughts – As I’ve said previously I love short stories, and this book is no exception.  It is a wonderful collection of stories based in and around the French Pays d’Oc region.  The stories involve the members of what is known as The Saturday Club, a group of European people that all congregate in the local cafe, every Saturday.

The author describes the area well and I could visualise the village men meeting every day in the square whiling away the hours until dead on midday they were called for lunch.  All the stories are separate but all link together well, and include loss, misinformation, hungry dogs, and a bossy kitten.  It is a lovely collection of stories.  The book also includes the first chapter of her first book, and some poems related to the short stories.

Purchase Links –

UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Tales-Pays-dOc-laughter-vines-ebook/dp/B07JF8RV2N

US – https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Pays-dOc-laughter-vines-ebook/dp/B07JF8RV2N

These are most short stories I have reviewed A Little, Aloud ReviewThe Mistletoe Bride and other Haunting TalesTime Crawlers.

This book counts towards my British Book Challenge

 

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Murder Served Cold

Author – Paula Williams is living her dream. She has written all her life – her earliest efforts involved blackmailing her unfortunate younger brothers into appearing in her plays and pageants.  But it is only in recent years, when she turned her attention to writing short stories and serials for women’s magazines that she discovered to her surprise, that people with better judgement than her brothers actually liked what she wrote and were prepared to pay her for it.

Now, she writes every day in a lovely, book-lined study in her home in Somerset, where she lives with her husband and a handsome but not always obedient rescue Dalmatian called Duke.  She still writes for magazines but also now writes novels.  A member of both the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Crime Writers’ Association, her novels often feature a murder or two, and are always sprinkled with humour and spiced with a touch of romance.

She also writes a monthly column, Ideas Store, for the writers’ magazine, Writers’ Forum and has a blog at paulawilliamswriter.wordpress.com.  Her Facebook author page is https://www.facebook.com/paula.williams.author.  She tweets at https://twitter.com/PaulaWilliams44.

Not only that, but when she’s not writing, she’s either tutoring, leading writing workshops or giving talks on writing at writing festivals and conferences and to organised groups.  She’s appeared several times on local radio – in fact, she’ll talk about writing to anyone who’ll stand still long enough to listen.

But, as with the best of dreams, she worries that one day she’s going to wake up and find she still has to bully her brothers into reading ‘the play what she wrote’.

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Paula Williams
Publisher – Crooked Cat Books

Pages – 241

The Blurb –

A quiet English village where nothing ever happens.  Until…

After her boyfriend runs out on her with the contents of their joint bank account, Kat Latcham has no choice but to return to the tiny Somerset village of Much Winchmoor where she grew up.  A place, she reckons, that is not so much sleepy as comatose and she longs for something to happen to lessen the boredom of living with her parents.

But when she and her childhood friend, Will Manning, discover a body and Will’s father, John, is arrested for the murder, Kat suddenly realised that she should have heeded the saying “Be careful what you wish for.”

Much Winchmoor is a hotbed of gossip and everyone is convinced John Manning is guilty.  Only Kat and Will believe he’s innocent.  When there’s a second murder Kat is sure she knows the identity of the murderer – and set out to prove it.  But in doing so she almost becomes the murderer’s third victim.

Readers of Sue Grafton might enjoy the Much Winchmoor series of cosy murder mysteries spiked with humour an sprinkled with romance.

Today is my stop on the Murder Served Cold blog tour, many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity.

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My thoughts – I loved this book.  For the first in a series, the author has successfully managed to create a village with recognisable characters.

The story follows Katie, or Kat as she prefers to be known and her return to the village of Much Winchmoor, where she grew up.  She is furious at having to come back to live with her parents, and the fact that the whole village seems to know that her partner has left her.

Whilst catching up her best friend Will, they find the body of the local misery dead, in Will’s freezer.  Unfortunately for Will his father is considered the prime suspect, but Katie is having none of it.  To ease the boredom of being back in the village she decides to make sure that the true murdered is caught.  Even if this means putting her self in danger.

If you enjoy the Agatha Raisin series by M. C. Beaton, I think you will love this book.  I can imagine this being a very successful series of books.  Katie is a likable character and the village has lots of characters that can reappear in recurring books.

To purchase the book click here

This books counts towards my British Book Challenge

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The Fourth Victim

Author – John Mead.  Born in the mid-fifties in East London, on part of the largest council estate ever built.  I was the first pupil from my local secondary modern school to attend university.

I have travelled extensively during my life from America to Tibet.  I enjoy going to the theatre, reading and going to the pub.  It is, perhaps, no surprise that I am an avid ‘people watcher’ and love to find out about people, their lives, culture and history.

Many of the occurrences recounted and the characters found in my novels are based on real life incidents and people I have come across. Although I have allowed myself a wide degree of poetic licence in writing about the main characters, their motivations and the killings that are depicted.

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Social Media Links –

Amazon Author Profile: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07B8SQ2ZH

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnMeadAuthor

Goodreads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17891273.John_Mead

Publisher – The Book Guild

Pages – 244

The Blurb –

Whitechapel is being gentrified.  The many green spaces of the area, which typify London as a capital city, give the illusion of peace, tranquillity and clean air but are also places to find drug dealers, sexual encounters and murder.

Detective Sergeant Julie Lukala doesn’t dislike Inspector Matthew Merry but he has hardly set the world of the Murder Investigation Team East alight.  And, it looks as if the inspector is already putting the death of a young female jogger, found in the park with her head bashed in, down to a mugging gone wrong. The victim deserves more.  However, the inspector isn’t ruling anything out – the evidence will, eventually, lead him to an answer.

Today is my stop on The Fourth Victim blog tour many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity.

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My thoughts – This is an interesting police procedural, the research undertaken is obvious by the author is obvious as it feels very authentic.  How the chain of command with a police force works, the handling of the case and everything written is thorough.  The story follows the murders of three girls with no apparent link to each other.  Matthew Merry is bored with his job and this could be his last case in this role, but with the help of his DS he finds out that this might be the most complex and disturbing case he has ever worked on.

Expert help is enlisted by the police force to enable Merry and Lukala to catch this erratic and dangerous killer, but will they be a help or hindrance to them both?

An enjoyable read with unexpected twists.  The author also includes helplines at the end of the book for the issues raised within (I’m not going to say the exact issues, as I don’t want to give away the story)

Purchase Links –

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fourth-Victim-John-Mead/dp/1912575361/

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-fourth-victim/john-mead/9781912575367

This book counts towards my British Book Challenge

 

 

 

 

 

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Homicide in Herne Hill

Author – Alice Castle.  Before turning to crime, Alice Castle had a long career as a feature writer on national newspapers including the Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph.  Alice grew up in south London and, after a brief stint in Brussels (where her first novel, Hot Chocolate, is set) she is back where she belongs, dreaming up adventures for her heroine, amateur detective and single mum Beth Haldane.  Alice is married with two children, two stepchildren and two cats.  Find out more about her London Murder Mystery series on her website, www.alicecastleauthor.com

Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 by Crooked Cat books and was #1 in the Amazon Satire/Detective charts in the UK, US, Canada, France, Spain and Germany.  The Girl in the Gallery came out in December 2017 and the third in the series, Calamity in Camberwell, was published on 13th August 2018.  Revenge on the Rye will following 2019, with more books in the pipeline.

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Alice Castle
Social Media Links –

http://www.alicecastleauthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alicecastleauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DDsDiary?lang=en

Publisher – Crooked Cat Books

Pages – 225

The Blurb –

Beth Haldane, SE21’s premier – and only – single mum amateur sleuth, is really pleased to find a new friend at the school gates, in the shape of irrepressible bouncy Nina.  As well as a way with words, Nina has a puzzle she wants Beth to solve, centred on the solicitor’s office where Nina works in Herne Hill.

But as the mystery thickens, threatening to drag in not just Nina and her boss,but the yummy mummies of Dulwich, too,  Beth is about to find out just how far some people will go to keep up appearances.

Join Beth in this fourth instalment in the London Murder Mystery series for her toughest case yet.

Today is my stop on Homicide in Herne Hill blog tour, many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources

Homicide in Herne Hill Full Tour Banner[1639].jpg

My thoughts – I hadn’t read any of the other books in this series and although there are references to previous cases, this can certainly be read as a standalone.

I loved how Alice describes the hierarchy of playground mum’s, I am sure lots of women reading this book will sympathise with Beth’s feeling of not being in the yummy mummy cliché.  I did smile a lot as I read about this group of women who looked far too good to be true, took their children to school in their posh cars, dressed up to the nines and generally thought they were better than ‘normal’ parents.

Its by avoiding these parents that Beth meets Nina, who refreshingly doesn’t care about appearances and doesn’t care about fitting in with the in crowd.   Aware of Beth’s past, Nina has a proposition for her.  She is sure something is not right at the solicitors firm, where she is a receptionist, and just like that Beth finds herself embroiled in another mystery.

Filling in for Nina as a temp, Beth is determined to find out what the owner Peter Potter is hiding.  He is strangely very security conscious and she wonders how he can afford such a luxurious life when he has no customers.

Added to this mystery, lots of local dogs are being poisoned.  Who is harming animals and what does this have to do with Peter Potter?

I really enjoyed this book, Beth is a real, down to earth character.  Struggling to bring up her son by herself and in the throes of a new relationship with Harry.  Her doubts are very endearing, because she is so ‘normal’ she is a very believable character.  I will definitely be going back to the beginning of the series and getting to know her more.  As a mad cat lady myself, I adore Magpie and you can tell Alice Castle owns cats, as her descriptions of their mannerisms and looks are very realistic!

A great read.

Purchase Links –

myBook.to/homicideinhernehill

Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07GPGBSC6

This book counts towards my British Book Challenge