An invitation to her estranged, wealthy father’s surprise 75th birthday party in New York sees Amelia and her husband, Jack, set off across the pond to meet a whole new world of family politics.
Amelia, now a successful businesswoman, feels guilty about never liking her father’s women, so does her upmost to give his new socialite partner, Evelyn, the benefit of the doubt. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could just all get along? But there’s something very dark, determined and dangerous about her…
When Amelia’s father, Roger, becomes ill, Jack grows suspicious that there is more to it. Amelia understands why, but no one else will believe them. They travel back to America to piece together the puzzle, but when Roger goes missing, the couple are driven to their wits’ end. It takes a DEA officer and a secret assassin to bring them answers, but the ruthless truth is something no one expected…
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is compelling domestic noir suspense with multi-faceted characters. An intense and intriguing plot ends with a dramatic twist, expected in this genre of suspense.
Amelia and Jack’s are a loving couple, easy to empathise. Told mainly from their viewpoints, the story occasionally includes Evelyn is Roger’s lover,’s viewpoint. She is a sinister figure, but not everything is straightforward. Is Amelia and Jack’s view of events reliable?
The domestic setting’s ordinariness contrasts perfectly with the simmering tension, and the reader is on edge wondering what will happen next. The author uses sensory imagery effectively making this an immersive reading experience, and at times claustrophobic.
After thirty years in corporate life in London, half of which was running a successful events company, I decided to take a chance to write the novel that was ‘in me’ since I was a child. Gilding the Lily is the result of this and is a domestic noir story which I hope will keep you on the edge of your chair/sofa/bed/train/plane-seat….
The pretty market town of Sterndale is a close-knit community where everyone thinks they know everyone else. But at a lavish summer wedding a local celebrity is discovered slumped in the gardens, the victim of a violent assault that leads to a murder investigation. As the police search for answers, suspicion and paranoia build – and the lives of the locals are turned upside down. Secrets that lurk beneath the pristine façade of Sterndale come to light as detectives close in on the truth… A gripping and moving thriller with the emotional drama
I received a copy of this book from Headline Publishing Group via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Murder in a small English town with numerous suspects a celebrity angle, and so many secrets drew me to this story, and it fulfils its potential. A senseless crime rocks the small town of Sterndale, but someone isn’t surprised. This is atmospheric murder mystery focuses on the characters revealing deep secrets hidden away from the public eye. Multi viewpoints inform the story and give the reader an omnipotent view of events, but not everyone is truthful.
The pacing is slow mirroring reality as the detectives sift through the suspects. The characters are relatable, and the plot hides its secrets well. The small town ethos facilitates the story’s immersive quality and makes the characters and events believable.
This is an engaging story for readers who enjoy a murder mystery set in a small town.
Boring. Going nowhere. That was Tarah’s life in the UK, before she moved to Fuerteventura to start a new adventure. But things came unstuck quicker than she’d planned. A dead guest on the holiday complex she manages threatens to pull apart her hoped-for dream life.
If she wants to keep her job and save the reputation of the business, she’s got to find out what happened to Patrick. Did he die of natural causes – or was he murdered?
Tarah’s pet guinea pig, Mr Bob, has a knack for sniffing out trouble and he suspects foul play. The mission is on: Who Killed Patrick?
With the assistance of Mr Bob and Diego, a local plumber, Tarah turns amateur sleuth to find out the truth.
Can Tarah and Mr Bob find the murderer before it’s too late? Will they be able to save the business and protect their blissful new life?
I received copy of this book from the author in return for a honest review.
An engaging amateur sleuth, lovely holiday setting and a cute but intelligent sidekick make this a great cosy mystery. It’s quirky, especially the investigation team but with a well-thought mystery.
There’s a good dynamic with her friends in Fuerteventura, especially Diego the local plumber and fellow sleuth. I always enjoyed the ‘Cat Who Mysteries’, and the uncanny sense Koko and Yum Yum had for crime detection. Mr Bob has similar intuitiveness, and this promises to be an intriguing series.
Most people know crazy cat ladies are a ‘thing’, but I’m a proud crazy guinea pig lady! I love fun in the sun and plenty of cocktails. My happy place is flip flops. I write stories to keep me company – my characters ensure I’m never lonely and always smiling (when I’m not tearing my hair out!)
When Evie Kilgaren takes over the running of the back office at Skinner and Son’s haulage yard, she has no idea she is walking into a hive of blackmail, secrets and lies. Her fellow co-worker and childhood nemesis, Susie Blackthorn, is outraged at being demoted and is hell-bent on securing the affections of local heartthrob Danny Harris. Grace Harris, a singer on the prestigious D’Angelo transatlantic ocean liners, is returning home engaged to be married. But Grace is harbouring her own shocking secrets and something valuable her fiancé very desperately wants back.
As we return to the lives and loves of those who live and work in the Mersey Docklands, not everything is as it seems and love and luck are rarely on the same side.
I received a copy of this book from Boldwood Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
The second book in the Reckoner’s Row series is another gripping family saga focusing on the women and their lives in 1950s Liverpool. The story has moved on. Evie has an office job with prospects at the haulage yard where she discovers inconsistencies that need solving. Susie resents Evie and is determined to make trouble. Grace has a more glamorous life as a cruise ship singer, but life is about to get complicated.
The characters are believable and draw you into their story. The plot has a touch of mystery, romance and many poignant moments. There is a good sense of place and time, and the historical details bring the story to life.
This is an enthralling saga, which involves the reader in the characters’ lives and makes what happens matter to the reader.
Extract from The Mersey Girls – Sheila Riley
Another performance ended with a standing ovation and the thunderous applause rang in her ears as, straightening her spine, Grace stood taller, flicked back her abundance of chestnut curls, and dipped a curtsey before leaving the stage. She would take a walk round the deck before turning in for an early night, but first she must feel the balmy breeze waft through her hair, let her thoughts wander…
Grace gave a small gasp of surprise. She hadn’t seen the figure sitting alone at a nearby table. She felt her heart flip when she recognised Bruce D’Angelo, the son and heir of the man who owned the shipping line, was speaking to her.
‘It’s such a wonderful night I thought I’d take in the sights.’ Grace smiled, professionally friendly, like an air hostess, or an assistant in a high-class store.
‘Such a wonderful night for a beautiful lady,’ he said, rising from the chair.
‘I bet you say that to all the girls, you smooth talker,’ she replied, noticing he stood with the aid of a barley-twist walking stick in one hand, and held out his other hand towards her.
‘Bruce D’Angelo,’ he said, as if needing to introduce himself, and Grace realised she was staring when he explained, ‘war wound, shrapnel hit my leg and broke my thigh bone in three places, the doc said I was lucky to walk again.’
‘So, you’re quite determined, then?’ The words slipped effortlessly from her lips and his smile was somewhat apologetic. ‘Why are you sitting here, alone, with just a book for company? Everyone else is having a good time.’
‘I might ask you the same thing,’ Bruce said, as the smile in his voice matched the twinkle in his chocolate-brown eyes. ‘I’m just a guy who likes reading more than partying. What’s your excuse?’
‘I’m just a girl who likes her own company sometimes.’ Realising she may have overstepped the mark, she said, ‘Sorry, my mouth opens without engaging my brain. Sometimes, even I don’t know what’s going to come out of it.’
His laugh was an easy-going rumble that made her glad he hadn’t taken offence.
‘You were terrific tonight, as always.’ His accent was Ivy League with a touch of Southern charm and Grace began to relax. ‘I was here, listening.’ His friendliness gave Grace the confidence to jest.
‘Don’t tell me you’re stuck out here ’cause you’ve got no mates?’ she said in the broad Liverpool dialect that she had trained herself to lose over the years and was amused when his brow furrowed.
‘I have not got the faintest idea what you just said.’ Bruce laughed, and Grace laughed too. ‘Champagne?’ he asked, nodding to summon a waiter, and pulled out a chair for her to join him. The crew would be eager to know what it was like drinking the finest, most expensive champagne with Bruce D’Angelo.
Sheila Riley wrote four #1 bestselling novels under the pseudonym Annie Groves and is now writing a new saga trilogy under her own name. She has set it around the River Mersey and its docklands near to where she spent her early years. She still lives in Liverpool.