Posted in Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Friendship, Murder Mystery, Romance

A Brush with Death Fiona Leitch 5*#Review @fkleitch @0neMoreChapter_ #Cosymystery #murdermystery #Cornwall #humour #crimefiction #ABrushwithDeath #ANoseyParkerCosyMystery #BookReview

Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is back!

When a body turned up at her last catering gig it certainly put people off the hor d’oeuvres. So with a reputation to salvage, Jodie’s determined that her next job for the village’s festival will go without a hitch.

But when chaos breaks out, Jodie Parker somehow always finds herself in the picture.

The body of a writer from the festival is discovered at the bottom of a cliff, and the prime suspect is the guest of honour, the esteemed painter Duncan Stovall. With her background in the Met police, Jodie has got solving cases down to a fine art and she knows things are rarely as they seem.

Can she find the killer before the village faces another brush with death?

​The second book in the Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker cosy mystery series. Can be read as a standalone. A humorous cosy mystery with a British female sleuth in a small village. Includes one of Jodie’s Tried and Tested Recipes! Written in British English. Mild profanity and peril.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Romance is definitely on the menu in book two of the Nosey Parker Mysteries. Jodie determined to make a success of her new catering business secures a civic function but not unexpectedly, things don’t go to plan. It’s lust at first sight with Duncan, a local artist, but unfortunately, he’s married and a suspect in the village’s latest death. Her relationship with Tony, her childhood friend, is strong, but her new friendship with DCI Withers is tortuous though, they do move closer to a professional understanding.

Humour underscores the cosy mystery plot with memorable contributions from Jodie’s mum and our catering detective’s internal monologues. However, it’s the romantic relationships woven into the plot that dominates this story. The mystery is more straightforward than in the first book but still entertaining, and the character development and dynamics keep the reader invested in the story.

Read my review of Murder on the Menu (Book1)

Fiona Leitch

Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. After living in London and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters. Her debut novel and first in the Bella Tyson series, ‘Dead in Venice’, was published by Audible as one of their Crime Grant finalists. Fiona is represented by Lina Langlee at the North Literary Agency.

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Posted in Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Friendship, Murder Mystery, Romance

Murder on the Menu Fiona Leitch 5*#Review @fkleitch @0neMoreChapter_ #Cosymystery #murdermystery #Cornwall #humour #crimefiction #MurderontheMenu #ANoseyParker CosyMystery #BookReview

Still spinning from the hustle and bustle of city life, Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is glad to be back in the Cornish village she calls home. Having quit the Met Police in search of something less dangerous, the change of pace means she can finally start her dream catering company and raise her daughter, Daisy, somewhere safer.

But there’s nothing like having your first job back at home to be catering an ex-boyfriend’s wedding to remind you of just how small your village is. And when the bride, Cheryl, vanishes Jodie is drawn into the investigation, realising that life in the countryside might not be as quaint as she remembers…

With a missing bride on their hands, there is murder and mayhem around every corner but surely saving the day will be a piece of cake for this not-so-amateur sleuth?

The first book in the Murder on the Menu cosy mystery series. Can be read as a standalone. A humorous cosy mystery with a British female sleuth in a small village. Includes one of Jodie’s Tried and Tested Recipes! Written in British English. Mild profanity and peril.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This book engages the reader from the first page with its cosy mystery world and humour.

Jodie is an ex Metropolitan police officer returning to Cornwall to start a new life in the place she grew up. After retraining as a caterer, she is looking for her first client. She unexpectedly finds them when she is sofa shopping. The wedding doesn’t turn out as expected with murder on the menu and a missing key participant.

Jodie, nicknamed Nosey Parker, is likeable. Her intuition, and investigative skills, make her the obvious person to clear her friend’s name. DCI Withers unsettles Jodie on many levels, and he resents her interference in his case. Their reluctant attraction is a lovely part of this story.

The mystery is credible with good twists and an array of suspects. The visual writing brings the characters, mystery and setting to life and draws the reader effortlessly into the story.

This is an addictive escapist read, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Fiona Leitch

Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. After living in London and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters. Her debut novel and first in the Bella Tyson series, ‘Dead in Venice’, was published by Audible as one of their Crime Grant finalists. Fiona is represented by Lina Langlee at the North Literary Agency.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Murder Mystery

Crossing the Line Isabella Muir #Audiobook 4* #Review @SussexMysteries A Giuseppe Bianchi Mystery #HistoricalFiction #Histfic #Crime @rararesources Narrator CharlesJohnston #SussexCrimes #1960s #CrossingtheLine

Tragic accident or cold-blooded murder?

Retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi, travels to England to escape one tragic death, when he comes face-to-face with another. When the body of a teenager is found on a Sussex beach, Giuseppe is drawn to the case – a case with no witnesses, and a case about which no one is prepared to talk.

National news reports of a missing 12-year-old in Manchester spark fear across the nation. The phrase “stranger-danger” filters into public consciousness. Local reporter, Christina Rossi, already has concerns about her local community. Families are not as close-knit as they first appear.

As the sea mist drifts in and darkness descends, can Giuseppe and Christina discover the truth and prevent another tragedy?

Crossing the Line is the perfect listen for everyone who loves Agatha Christie style twists and turns, with a Mediterranean flavor. Imagine the charismatic Italian police series, Montalbano, combined with those TV favorites set in the 1960s – Endeavour, George Gently, and Call the Midwife. 

Audible UK

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

My Thoughts…

This audiobook is the first in the Guiseppe Bianchi mystery’s featuring an Italian ex-detective on a semi-permanent retirement in mid-1960s England. Set in Sussex like the author’s previous mystery series, this atmospheric story rich in period details unfolds at a gentle pace in keeping with 1960s England.

Guiseppe has regrets and secrets. They don’t affect his investigation skills which he puts to good use solving a particularly poignant case. The investigation is poignant and with a culture of silence and misinformation.

The narrator is easy to listen to and professional. This story works well in audiobook format and has a conclusion with a satisfying twist.

Isabella Muir

Isabella is never happier than when she is immersing herself in the sights, sounds and experiences of the 1960s. Researching all aspects of family life back then formed the perfect launch pad for her works of fiction. Isabella rediscovered her love of writing fiction during two happy years working on and completing her MA in Professional Writing and since then she has gone on to publish six novels, three novellas and two short story collections.

Her latest novel, Crossing the Line, is the first of a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi who is escaping from tragedy in Rome, only to arrive in the quiet seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, to come face-to-face with it once more.

Her first Sussex Crime Mystery series features young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, we meet Janie, who looks after the mobile library. She is an avid lover of Agatha Christie stories – in particular Hercule Poirot. Janie uses all she has learned from the Queen of Crime to help solve crimes and mysteries. As well as three novels, there are three novellas in the series, which explore some of the back story to the Tamarisk Bay characters.

Isabella’s standalone novel, The Forgotten Children, deals with the emotive subject of the child migrants who were sent to Australia – again focusing on family life in the 1960s, when the child migrant policy was still in force.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books

Acts of Kindness Heather Barnett 4*#Review @WritesHeather @SerpentineBooks @rararesources #cozymystery #humour #village #mystery #BlogTour #BookReview #ActsofKindness

Dream Job. Fresh Start. Big Mistake.

When Bella Black arrives in a sleepy Wiltshire village, it seems like the perfect place for a new start: a lovely home, exciting job and an attractive colleague or two to take her mind off her recent divorce.

When people start disappearing, she realises she holds the key to a mystery bigger than she could have ever imagined.

Who is really pulling the strings at the secretive OAK Institute?

Can anyone be trusted?

Will Bella make the right choices before its too late?

Amazon UK Bookshop.org Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Acts of Kindness has vibrant characters and an engaging cosy style of mystery. The chance of a dream job is just what Bella needs, but things are more complex than she thought. Bella undertakes some amateur sleuthing with amusing and sometimes dangerous outcomes.

Eccentric characters and mysterious goings-on make this an amusing escapist read.

Heather Barnett

Heather Barnett gained a degree in English and French from the University of Leeds and has written ever since: from copywriting to stand-up comedy and sketches. She is now focusing on writing novels. Heather’s influences span Jane Austen and Douglas Adams at one end of the alphabet through to PG Wodehouse at the other.

Heather’s debut novel, Acts of Kindness, is an uplifting, light-hearted mystery. It was inspired by witnessing commuters helping a woman who’d fallen down the stairs at Paddington station; intermingled with wondering what was behind some grand stone gateposts that she used to drive past in Wiltshire.

Her second novel, Lord Seeks Wife, is a romantic comedy and will be published summer 2021.

Aside from writing, Heather’s interests are classic literature, cats and comedy.

Heather is head of marketing at an agency near Oxford and lives by the river Kennet in Berkshire.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, Fantasy, Parenting and Famlies

My Brother/Sister is a Monster Natalie Reeves Billing 5*#Review @BillingReeves #Illustrator Lisa Williams @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #kidlit #ChildrensBooks #Siblings #MonstrousMe #WorldBookDay2021 #MyBrotherisaMonster #MySisterisaMonster

The Monstrous Me collection are split perspective books looking at situations from other points of view, helping children develop a sense of balance, roundedness and wellbeing. Readers can literally and figuratively, turn the story on its head, and look at the very same situations from different angles. In this book, ‘My Brother is a Monster/My Sister is a Monster’ two siblings are convinced the other is a monster. But, are they really? When we look at the story from the other side, we see a very different story.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is the third book in the entertaining and educational Monstrous Me series. It explores how brothers and sisters see each other. It’s easy to read and understand. Bright, humorous illustrations make it appealing to young children too. The book explores everyday events where siblings may not understand each other, encouraging understanding of others behaviour and points of view. The final pages end with a positive message.

My Brother is a Monster. one book, two stories with humorous text and vivid and vibrant illustrations.

Natalie Reeves Billing


Natalie Reeves Billing is a Liverpool lass with a dark sense of humour, which often spills onto the page. She loves to write spooky, fantastical stories for young audiences, and dabbles in poetry, contemporary fiction.
Natalie spent most of her early career in the music industry as a performer and professional songwriter. This lead, almost inevitably, to storytelling.


Natalie is an Arvon Foundation friend and is a student of the Golden Egg Academy. She is mentored under the Lloyds Bank SSE program, with her Bubs Literacy project. She is published in several anthologies with her poetry and flash fiction, including the Writing on the Wall, Read Now, Write Now, and is involved in several collaborations with fellow writers across poetry, song, and scriptwriting.
This is the third book in her Monstrous Me collection.

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Posted in Book Review, Childrens Books, Magic

One Night in Beartown Nick Jones Illustrator Si Clark 5*#Review @nickjonesauthor @rararesources #kidlit #PictureBook #childrensbooks #BlogTour #BookReview #OneNightinBeartown

From the award-winning duo that brought you Sarah’s Shadow comes another magical adventure…

When bear-mad schoolgirl Sandy Lane has her beloved teddy bear Berisford confiscated at school, she dreads the thought of going a whole night without his cuddles.

Little does she know that a bear-rilliant night awaits her, involving Berisford, a bear statue and many other wonderful friends!

Full Media Website Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

One Night in Beartown, set in Congleton, locally known as Beartown, is a lovely story aimed at young children. It explores bullying, being apart from someone you love and the life’s magic that’s always there if you look hard enough.

The illustrations are bright and engaging and illuminate the text in a way that appeals. The story is an easy read, perfect for reading to younger children or for older children to read by themselves. There is a magical feel to the story and a lovely twist at the end.

Nick Jones

I’m Nick Jones, an award-winning author originally from Bristol but now living in Congleton, Cheshire. I write books for kids and I’ve also written several joke books for adults. My first book, Gagged and Bound – A Book of Puns, One-liners and Dad Jokes, was a best-seller under Puns and Wordplay on Amazon UK, and two sequels soon followed. You can download a FREE collection of my jokes here.

In December 2017, I tried something different: a children’s picture book about a girl who loses her shadow. Illustrated by the super-talented Si Clark, Sarah’s Shadow has proved popular with kids and parents alike. In 2018 it won Best Children’s Picture Book in the 2018 Book Awards on international book review site Readers’ Favorite. My claim to fame is that the same award was previously won by none other than Jim Carrey, the Hollywood actor-cum-children’s author! Sarah’s Shadow also won Runner-Up in the Book Excellence Awards and received a Purple Dragonfly Book Award as one of the best picture ebooks for children aged 6+.

In 2020 I ran a Kickstarter campaign during lockdown to fund my next book, One Night in Beartown. It was inspired by the Bearmania event that took place in 2011. Thanks to amazing support from businesses and individuals in Congleton and beyond, I raised £4,000 to illustrate and print the book. It was published on 1 December and you can buy it on my online shop, on my publisher’s website or as an ebook on Amazon. For updates, please follow me on social media or subscribe to my newsletter!

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Posted in Book Review, Folk Tales, Non-Fiction

Botanical Curses and Poisons Fez Inkwright 5*#Review The Shadow Lives of Plants @rosdottir @liminal_11 @RandomTTours #nonfiction #illustrated #textbook #BookReview #BlogTour

Discover the fascinating folklore, lurid histories, and malignant properties of toxic plants.

Poisonings are among the most memorable deaths in
history, from the Roman Empire to the Medieval era and
beyond. Concealed and deliberate, it’s a crime that must
be planned in advance. And yet there is a fine line between
healing and poisoning – Paracelsus argued that only the
dosage matters!

In Botanical Curses and Poisons, illustrator, author,
and folklorist Fez Inkwright returns to archives to uncover
the fascinating folklore, lurid histories, and untold stories
behind deadly plants, witching herbs and fungi.
Filled with beautiful illustrations, this treasury of
folklore is packed with insight, lore, and the revealed mysteries of everyday flora!

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Folklore, history, mythology, medicine and witches all have a part to play in this story of Botanical Curses and Poisons. There are lovely illustrations to illuminate the text and a fascinating A to Z of plants.

This is an intriguing, well researched, vibrant book about the secrets of everyday plants.

Fez Inkwright

Fez Inkwright is an illustrator, author and folklorist.
Her greatest passions are botany, nature, primitive
religions, and folklore, which flavour most of her work.
For the past eight years she has produced work for
children’s books, hand-drawn maps and tattoo design
and now spends her time indulging in conservation
work and writing. She lives in Bristol with two cats and
several hundred bees.

Posted in Cover Reveal, Fantasy, Paranormal

Dreamer Loretta Kendall #CoverReveal @LorettaKAuthor @CayellePub @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #Dreamer

Luna suffers from an undiagnosed illness causing hallucinations and blackouts that have plagued her for years. The root of her bazaar illness comes to light when she meets her pro-wrestling hero, Gunner Cain, and his wrestling faction friends, The Tribe. Luna discovers her romantic connection to Gunner isn’t just a fangirl crush, he is her eternal soulmate.

Gunner wants Luna to become his Alpha dreamer mate, for as part of a prophecy written in the Lycan Oracle, Luna must choose to bond to the Alpha of the Tribe, or all will be stuck in wolf form, forgetting their humanity forever. Luna learns the steps they must take to complete the bonding ritual could also end a centuries-old curse, saving lone wolves abandoned by their packs and plagued with the dreaded Lycan fever. Gunner’s connection to Luna is more than prophecy fulfilled; it is hope for Lycan kind in this steamy shifter tale of prophecy and romance. 

Loretta Kendall is a professional image consultant, writer, and author of the new novel Dreamer. She started her life with a daydream and a story in her mind. As long as Loretta can remember, she was a storyteller sharing stories with her friends from her overactive imagination. After twenty-two years as a talent manager, professional makeup artist, and photographer for the entertainment industry, she revisited her love for storytelling.

Loretta is a hopeless romantic and lives for a good happy ever after. Her husband must agree because they have had twenty-four years of wedded bliss. When she isn’t reading or writing steamy stories, she’s probably singing, watching pro wrestling while yelling at the TV, or spending time with nature.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Murder Mystery

The Invisible Case Isabella Muir #Audiobook 4* #Review @SussexMysteries #HistoricalFiction #Histfic #Crime @rararesources Narrator Bridget Eaton #SussexCrimeSeries #1970 #TheInvisibleCase

Heartbreaking tragedy or cold-blooded murder…?

An Italian stranger arrives in Tamarisk Bay and brings with him mystery and intrigue….

It’s Easter 1970 in the seaside town of Tamarisk Bay. Amateur sleuth and professional librarian, Janie Juke, is settling into motherhood and some quality time with her family. When her Aunt Jessica is due back from Rome after nine years travelling around Europe, she arrives back in town with a new Italian friend, Luigi, and the whole family soon get embroiled in a tangle of mystery and suspicion, with death and passion at the heart of the story.

As time runs out on Luigi as prime suspect for murder, Janie has to use all of her powers of deduction in the footsteps of her hero, Hercule Poirot, to uncover the facts. Why did Luigi come to Tamarisk Bay? What is the truth about his family?

As Luigi’s story unfolds, tragedy seems to haunt the past, present and unless Janie acts fast, possibly what is yet to come.

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This is an easy listening audiobook set in 1970 mainly in a Sussex town. It is reminiscent of radio plays of the same period and is well suited to this media. The narrator is clear and professional. Her character voices bring them to life believably.

The story is the third of the Janie Juke mysteries but my first. Well described main protagonists, gentle pacing and a recognisable seventies ethos make this an interesting listen. The mystery keeps its secrets to the end. Recognisable emotion underpins the story.

Isabella Muir

Isabella is never happier than when she is immersing herself in the sights, sounds and experiences of the 1960s. Researching all aspects of family life back then formed the perfect launch pad for her works of fiction. Isabella rediscovered her love of writing fiction during two happy years working on and completing her MA in Professional Writing and since then has gone to publish five novels, two novellas and a short story collection.

The Invisible Case is the third book in her Sussex Crime Mystery series, featuring young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, we meet Janie, who looks after the mobile library. She is an avid lover of Agatha Christie stories – in particular Hercule Poirot – using all she has learned from the Queen of Crime to help solve crimes and mysteries. All three novels are now available as audiobooks.

As well as three novels, there are three novellas in the series, which explore some of the back story to the Tamarisk Bay characters.

Her latest novel, Crossing the Line, is the first of a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi who arrives in the quiet seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, to find a dead body on the beach and so the story begins…

Isabella’s standalone novel, The Forgotten Children, deals with the emotive subject of the child migrants who were sent to Australia – again focusing on family life in the 1960s, when the child migrant policy was still in force.

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Posted in Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Friendship, Murder Mystery

The Thursday Murder Club Richard Osman 5*#Review @richardosman @VikingBooks @PenguinBooksUK #TheThursdayMurderClub #BookReview

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved killings.

But when a local property developer shows up dead, ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

The four friends, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Penguin Books UK-Viking via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a fun but insightful character-driven cosy mystery.

Wonderfully eccentric characters, all have illustrious pasts, investigative and observational skills and a desire for justice. The twisty mystery has numerous suspects and misinformation holding the readers’ interest. Whilst aspects of this story seem unlikely that doesn’t deter from the well-crafted plot and the authentic characterisation that defines it.

There’s recognisable English humour blended with emotion making makes the characters easy to empathise and relatable. The vivid sensory imagery makes the characters and setting come to life.