Posted in Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Murder Mystery

The Manor House Murder Faith Martin 5*#Review @FaithMartin_Nov @JoffeBooks #MurderMystery #CozyMystery #MonicaNoble #BookReview

THE WEEKEND TURN MURDEROUS Monica Noble and her husband Graham, the local vicar, are invited to participate in a high-flying church conference being held at a swanky manor-house hotel in their village. At the Saturday night dinner, the ambitious female cleric Celia Gordon tragically dies, seemingly of a peanut allergy. But when Chief Superintendent Jason Dury arrives on the scene he quickly discovers that it’s a case of murder. And Monica’s husband is the prime suspect. Other suspects include an eminent bishop, an archdeacon viciously opposed to female clergy, and his wife, the curator of a local museum, who is definitely up to something. But if Monica is to find out who killed Celia, and free her husband from suspicion, she must grapple with a very ruthless — and increasingly desperate — killer, putting herself and those around her in mortal danger. This is the third of a series of enjoyable murder mysteries with great characters and baffling crimes which will keep you gripped till the final page.

MONICA NOBLE was widowed young, leaving her to raise her feisty daughter on her own. That is until she met and fell in love with Graham Noble, a country vicar (pastor), who enticed her to leave her high-flying job in advertising in the city and move to the Cotswold countryside. There she found bucolic life very pleasant indeed — until murder started to rear its ugly head. And she discovered, to everyone’s surprise, that she had a flair for solving the most unholy of crimes.

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I received a copy of this book from Joffe Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Another chapter in Monica Noble’s amateur detective investigations. This one is a little different to the previous two; It takes time to set the scene, with a long prologue, it soon draws in a cast of characters attending a conference for clerics at a manor- house hotel close to Graham Noble’s parish.

There is much back-biting among the clerics, many of whom are ambitious, female clerics also feature and these are the subject of some male derision because of the status they have achieved. This story deals with the ongoing battle of women in the church, and echos the battles of women everywhere to further their careers. The victim appears to be the subject of many people’s dislike, and her previous relationship with Graham Noble, bring him and Monica right into the centre of this murder mystery.

Monica and detective Jason’s relationship is an interesting dimension to this story, and it seems they may be on opposite sides for the first time since they met. Sub-plots give unlikely individuals possible motives for murder, besides, those who have a more obvious motive.

The story picks up pace in the final half and ends fittingly for this type of murder mystery. An enjoyable way to spend a Winter’s afternoon.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Humour, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Christmas Kisses on Hollywell Hill Jackie Ladbury 4* #Review @JackieLadbury @rararesources #RomCom #Festive #BlogTour @rararesources #Chef #Actress #Romance #Humour

#ChristmasKissesOnHollywellHill

Christmas is coming and actress Kirsty Castille seems doomed to play the front part of Nag, the Christmas pantomime horse when a surprise audition lands her the lead role as Maria in the Sound of Music.


Even better she bonds with a handsome chef over a piece of squid at her local supermarket, although sadly romance is the last thing on Jake Levy’s mind.


He has a Christmas deadline, an ex-wife to mourn and lots of emotional baggage to drag around. He certainly doesn’t have time for romance and even if he did he wouldn’t fall for someone like Kirsty who craves the limelight: been there, done that.


A misunderstanding leads Jake to offer Kirsty a job in his new restaurant and she takes it purely to convince him that she’s the girl of his dreams.


Her charm offensive begins to work but while he’s cooking up a storm she’s secretly sparkling under the spotlight – until her cover is busted.


The fallout is catastrophic, but as they say in Luvvie Land, the show must go on, even if Kirsty is terrified that she’s taken her last curtain call and ruined her chance for love.


Read on and immerse yourself in this delightful winter romance as the snow starts to fall and Christmas day becomes a magical reality.

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#ChristmasKissesOnHollywellHill

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

If you are looking for some genuine humour in your festive reading, this book is the one. Kirsty is quirky, desperate to be a successful actress, an ideal romantic comedy heroine. Jake, is a successful chef, but his love life is a mess, and he’s never going to get entangled with someone seeking fame again. Even though the attraction is evident for both of them, it seems ill-fated.

The characters are realistic, the author is an astute observer of people and situations. The constant and increasing misunderstandings are humourous, and often a little poignant. The writing style is full of visual imagery and it flows through the reader’s mind like watching a film. This is an essential quality for a romantic comedy, and one this novel delivers on.

The festive element is more a setting rather than intrinsic to the story, but it is an enjoyable read with a lovely happy ending.

#JackieLadbury

Jackie Ladbury writes heartwarming contemporary and historical women’s fiction that is always guaranteed a happy ever after. From spending many years as an air-stewardess and seeing that it really is love that makes the world go around, she determined to put the same sparkle and emotion into her stories. Her life is no longer as exotic (or chaotic) as it was in those heady days of flying as she now lives a quiet life in Hertfordshire with her family and two cats, spending her days making up stories and finding excuses not to go to the gym.


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