Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books, Noir

The Binding Room Nadine Matheson 5*#Review @NadineMatheson @HQStories #CrimeFiction #noir #Detective #InspectorAnjelicaHenley #BlogTour #BookReview #TheBindingRoom

In this room, no one can hear you scream…

The Serial Crimes Unit is called in to investigate when a local pastor is found stabbed to death. As DI Henley assesses the crime scene, she discovers a hidden door that conceals a room set up for torture – and bound to the bed in the middle of the room is the body of a man.

When another body is found, also tied down, Henley realises there’s someone out there torturing innocent people and leaving them for dead. But why?

There’s nothing that connects the victims. They didn’t know each other. Their paths never crossed. But someone has targeted them, and it’s up to Henley and the SCU to stop them before they find another binding room…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Another case for Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley and her team from the Serial Crime unit based in London draws them and readers into the dark world of disturbing religious rituals. Character-driven with authentic character backstories, development and flaws. It creates a credible ethos that gives credence to the horrific crimes. Disturbing at times, it relies on character reactions and short detailed descriptions to convey the crimes effectively. This urban thriller explores contemporary mental health issues, racism and political manipulation with insight and sensitivity through the balanced and believable characters.

I like the medley of personal and professional in the detectives’ lives and the dynamic within the team. The plot is impactful and relevant and builds to a satisfying conclusion.

Read my review of The Jigsaw Man

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Family Drama, Murder Mystery, New Books

A Harvest Murder Frances Evesham 5*#Review @BoldwoodBooks @FrancesEvesham #AHamHillMurderMystery @rararesources #cozymystery #murdermystery #revenge #BoldwoodBloggers #BlogTour #love #family #AHarvestMurder #BookReview #Somerset

One unexplained disappearance is strange, but two are sinister.

In Lower Hembrow, an idyllic village nestled beneath Ham Hill in Somerset, the villagers are preparing to enjoy the autumn traditions of the rural English countryside until Joe Trevillion, acurmudgeonly local farmer and the father of six children vanishes.

When Adam Hennessy, the ex-detective proprietor of The Plough, the village’s popular Inn, investigates, he finds ominous undercurrents beneath apparently harmless rumour and gossip.

Meanwhile, a vicious campaign of vindictiveness forces Adam and his three amateur sleuth friendsto dig deep into the secret lives of their neighbours to expose the source of a cruel vendetta and prevent another death.

As they uncover the disturbing truth, the friends learn they must also lay their own past lives to rest before they can hope to make their dreams for the future come true.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

It takes a few chapters to get back into the Ham Hill Village vibe, but once you do, this is an entertaining cosy crime novel with a vibrant village setting, great characters and a twisty plot. Adam, the retired police detective .and Steph’s relationship is working well, but Imogen feels her tentative love affair with Dan, the artist, is floundering. Dan is the story’s focus, and the reader learns about his past life. The village’s community spirit draws the amateur sleuths’ attention to a missing farmer, and the story soon escalates into something sinister.

I like the dynamic between the amateur sleuths and how they support each other, the village location and the twisty plot that builds into a suspenseful story.

Frances Evesham

Frances Evesham is the bestselling author of the hugely successful Exham-on-Sea murder mysteries set in her home county of Somerset, and the Ham-Hill cosy crime series set in South Somerset.

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Read my reviews of The Ham Hill Murder Mysteries

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, Friendship, Historical Crime Fiction, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books

A Fatal End Faith Martin 5* #Review @HQStories @FaithMartin_Nov #hisfic #CrimeFiction #Mystery #Retro #Oxford #1963 #1960s #BookReview #bookbloggers #RyderandLoveday #AFatalEnd

Oxford, 1963
In a backstreet club, people dance the night away to their favourite band. But behind the scenes, there is trouble afoot. An argument is brewing between bandmembers, two possessive girlfriends have plans for their partners, the club manager is creaming off profits – and a tragic accident leaves the lead singer dead.

But was it an accident at all? Coroner Clement Ryder is suspicious, and WPC Trudy Loveday knows there’s only one thing for it. She’s going undercover, deep into the seedy underbelly of Oxford nightlife.

Meanwhile, Clement’s own secret is becoming increasingly difficult to keep hidden, and discovering the singer’s murderer might not be the only shock in store for Trudy…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

There is a sense of finality about this eighth book in the Ryder and Loveday series. Clement Ryder’s Parkinson’s disease is progressing, meaning retiring from his role as the coroner is inevitable. However, WPC Trudy Loveday still doesn’t know, and he hopes they can have the last case together before she does. A suspicious accident at a notorious nightclub raises Clement’s suspicions and manages to convince the local police that further investigation is merited.

The dynamic between Trudy and Clement remains strong and is one of the best things about this series. Vincent, Clement’s son, is also featured, adding an extra frisson to the story, especially for Trudy. The case is complex, and the cast of believably flawed suspects keep the reader guessing. The vibrantly portrayed sense of place and time adds authenticity, and the ending is dramatic and satisfying.

Posted in Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books

Death at the Dinner Party Emma Davies 5*#Review An Adam and Eve Mystery @EmDaviesAuthor @bookouture #DeathattheDinnerParty #AdamandEve #MurderMystery #cosymystery #cozymystery #Shropshire #BookReview

Francesca Eve, caterer extraordinaire, has come to Claremont House to work for the cream of society. A full breakfast spread? Simple. A glorious picnic lunch? Easy as pie. But a dead body for dinner was definitely not on the menu…

No sooner has Francesca Eve turned up for a jam-packed weekend of gourmet catering at a posh country house than she realises how challenging this event is set to be. Not only are the hosts wealthy – and demanding – beyond her wildest dreams, but each of the guests is more difficult than the last. But she never expected the host to turn up dead…

Suspicion falls on everyone in the house – could there be a murderer in their midst? Is the incredibly glamorous, and now extremely rich, widow really as upset as she’s making out? What secret is the housekeeper hiding? Whose money troubles are now forgotten? As the only person without a motive, Fran’s intimate knowledge of the house party puts her in the prime position to help the police.

As rumours swirl and guests’ pasts come to light, someone else is found dead. But when the police arrest their chief suspect, Fran becomes convinced they have the wrong person – the evidence is almost too neat to be true. So she decides to strike out alone, in the country house where the killer is still staying… Someone has killed twice to keep their secret safe. Will Fran be able to unmask them, or will this weekend turn out to be her deadliest job ever?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

A country house weekend of wining and dining is the setting for this cosy mystery. Francesca Eve is engaged as the party’s caterer, providing fine dining meals and accompaniments. The cooking is well within her capabilities, but her client is ultra demanding, and the guests are even more so. With the end in sight, the housekeeper finds a body and Francesa and her young friend Adam help solve the crime.

Adam and Eve have an unlikely friendship, but their individuality and shared curiosity make them perfect amateur sleuths. A traditionally styled country house murder mystery with some twenty-first-century technological investigative techniques; the cast of suspects is well written, and the plot has unexpected twists and false leads.

Like all cosy crime, the protagonists, setting and style have to appeal to the reader, and I find this one an entertaining read.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Suspense

Good Neighbours Mary Grand 5*#Review @authormaryg @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #psychological #suspense #friendship #neighbours #relationships #secrets #mystery #MurderMystery #GoodNeighbours #BlogTour #BookReview #IsleofWight #MondayBlogs

It was meant to be a safe place to start again… 

In need of an escape from her failing marriage, Nia agrees to house-sit her aunt’s cottage on the Isle of Wight. She feels sure the cosy close in a quaint harbour town will be a safe place to hide and figure out what to do next. 

But things are not all as they seem in the close, and the neighbours who welcome her with open arms, are keeping secrets. When Nia finds the body of one of her new friends lying on the beach, she feels sickeningly sure that the killer is dangerously near to home.

Who killed her friend and why did she have to die? And if Nia discovers the answers she’s looking for, is she next on their hit list? Good neighbours may become good friends, but they can also make deadly enemies…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

The sense of menace is evident at this novel’s inception and intensifies with each event in this psychological suspense set on the Isle of Wight. The Close residents initially appear friendly and open, but they all have secrets. Nia is housesitting for a favourite aunt seeking an escape from a controlling marriage. She feels safe in the nice close where she lives, but when someone dies, the accusations start, and the sense of danger is tangible.

It is soon apparent that Nia is initially an unreliable narrator. She is likeable, and her character develops realistically and satisfyingly, becoming more self-aware and sure of herself. Nia realises she has value and can see the truth, something that is necessary for her to move on and solve the murder of her new friend Ruby. Immersive and claustrophobic, this is addictive reading.

I like the vividly described island setting, the detailed characterisation and clever plotting that hides as much as it reveals until the satisfying conclusion.

Mary Grand

Mary Grand is the author of six novels and writes gripping, page-turning suspense, with a dark and often murderous underside. She grew up in Wales, was for many years a teacher of deaf children and now lives on the Isle of Wight where her new novel, Good Neighbours is set

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Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Friendship, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books, Romance

Mystery at Lovelace Manor (An Eve Mallow Mystery Book 8) Clare Chase 5* #Review @ClareChase_ @bookouture #CozyMystery #MurderMystery #Suffolk #Mystery #Village #Coastal #BookReview #secrets #family #lies #betrayal #EveMallowMystery #MysteryatLovelaceManor

Lovelace Manor has a famous past… but when a historian becomes history at its annual open day, amateur sleuth Eve Mallow is on the case!

Everyone in Saxford St Peter flocks to Lovelace Sunday, the festival celebrating the romantic history of the beautiful Lovelace Manor. This year will be even more exciting, as famous TV historian Cammie Harington is planning a spectacular stunt with a hot-air balloon for her new show.

Eve Mallow jumps at the chance to volunteer – it’s a great people-watching opportunity. But she soon realises there is no love lost between Cammie and the family who own the manor… so why did Cammie agree to come?

When Cammie’s hot-air balloon tumbles from the sky, Eve feels sure this is no accident. Alongside dachshund Gus, she sets to work investigating the mystery, piecing together all the odd things she’s seen and heard.

Could the killer be discreet Diana, lady of the manor, who fell out with Cammie years ago? Or Diana’s dashing brother Sebastian, whose dark secret Cammie knew? Why was the loyal gardener following Cammie around? And had Cammie uncovered something explosive about the manor’s past, as she claimed?

When someone breaks into Cammie’s cottage and a priceless Lovelace heirloom goes missing, Eve is sure she’s on the right track… but can she solve the case, before the killer brings her crashing down?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Mystery at Lovelace Manor sees Eve helping out at a local manor house’s annual festival. The manor has a romantic past, but the current owner, newly widowed Diana, struggles with the upkeep, and her stepbrother is of little help. When Cammie, a celebrity historian, meets with an untimely accident, Eve’s investigation is increasingly dangerous and twisted.

There are many motives and suspects in this cosy mystery. It immerses the reader in the story through amateur sleuth Eve’s methodical investigations. The characters are believably flawed, and they all have credible motives for the murders. The ending is exciting and menacing.

I enjoyed the characters and clever plotting in this engaging and entertaining cosy mystery.

Read my reviews of previous books in the series.

Mystery on Hidden Lane (Book1) – Read my review

Mystery at Apple Cottage(Book2) – Read my review

Mystery at the Old Mill (Book4)Read my review

Mystery at the Abbey Hotel (Book 5) – Read my review

Mystery at the Church (Book 6) – Read my review

Mystery at Magpie Lodge (Book 7)- Read my review

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Friendship, Murder Mystery, New Books, Suspense

Cause of Death: The Shire Mysteries Anna Legat  5*#Review @LegatWriter @AccentPress #CrimeFiction #Wiltshire  #CauseofDeath #TheShiresMysteries #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #cozymystery #cosycrime #family #drama

All is not well in the village. The local meadows have been the pride of Bishops Well for hundreds of years, but now they are facing the sharp blades of developers. The landowner is a rich and reclusive author who is happy to see them destroyed, but the villagers – including Sam Dee and Maggie Kaye – are fighting back.

Until that is, someone decides to silence one of their number permanently.

As Maggie and Sam soon discover, there is more than a quick buck to be made in the developers’ plans. There are age-old secrets and personal vendettas that could have deadly repercussions in Bishops Well today.

With Sam’s legal expertise and Maggie’s… well, Maggie-ness, they delve into the past, determined to unearth the truth. And, as sparks begin to fly, could there finally be something more between this sleuthing duo?

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Maggie and Sam have a new murder to investigate amidst the furore caused by a proposed development on disputed common land. Community is at the heart of this cosy mystery. The story begins with painting a white horse on a hill that overlooks the village to aid in the campaign against a proposed housing development. For those new to The Shires, this interlude introduces the main characters and allows the reader to absorb the group dynamic and hierarchy.

Psychic Maggie and ex QC Sam have diverse skills and connections that make them effective amateur detectives. Sam keeps Maggie grounded, and she gives him the emotional support he needs. A good balance of investigation and personal developments for the two protagonists makes this an engaging story.

Multilayered and suspenseful the mystery keeps the reader guessing. The connections between past and present are clever. I enjoy reading this is a lovely English cosy mystery complete with dramatic crimes, quirky characters and an idyllic rural setting.

Anna Legat

Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. Murder isn’t the only thing on her mind. She dabbles in a wide variety of genres, ranging from dark humorous comedy through magic realism to dystopian. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.

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Read my review of Death Comes to Bishops Well

Read my review of At Death’s Door: The Shires Mysteries

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, Friendship, Murder Mystery, New Books, Noir

The Cook Ajay Chowdhury 5*#Review #DetectiveKamilRahman @ajaychow @vintagebooks @HarvillSecker #BookReview #TheCook #CrimeFiction #Detective #murdermystery #Kolkata #London #Lahore

Kamil Rahman is a cook in a Brick Lane restaurant. But he used to be a detective back in Kolkata.

And somehow trouble still knows how to find him.

When a young woman Kamil knows is murdered the police are convinced her boyfriend is the culprit. Kamil isn’t so sure and feels he has no choice but to start his own investigation. Meanwhile, his friend and restaurant manager, Anjoli, is troubled by a rise in the number of homeless deaths in their local area.

Initially, the cases seem unrelated, but as the duo dig deeper, they discover connections that stretch from London to Lahore.

Together they take on the indifference of the authorities to the homeless and the casual racism that pervades the investigation of killings of Muslims – all while trying to stop a supremely intelligent murderer who always seems to be several steps ahead of them.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Kamil settled in his life in Brick Lane, East London; now, he is a cook in the restaurant that his friend Anjoli manages. It’s the second in the series but readable as a standalone. The book begins with a young woman realising that the man she married is controlling, she works out a way to escape to London to train as a Nurse, and it’s here that Naila meets Kamil. The amateur sleuths investigate a murder of a colleague of Naila’s and the deaths of homeless men in the vicinity.

I like the dynamic between Kamil and Anjoli and how he accepts his new life. The well-plotted murder mystery has surprising twists, and the story explores darker contemporary and cultural issues through the characters and plot. The humour and believable relationships make this memorable.

Read my review of The Waiter

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Detective, Friendship, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books

The Hiding Place Simon Lelic 4*#Review @Simon_Lelic @VikingBooksUK @PenguinUKBooks #CrimeFiction #detective #game #murdermystery #bookreview #TheHidingPlace

FOUR FRIENDS. ONE MURDER. A GAME THEY CAN’T ESCAPE

‘It was only a game.’

Until a boy went missing.

‘No one was meant to get hurt.’

But a body has been found.

‘Just some innocent fun.’

Except one of them is a killer.

Ready or not, here I come.

It’s time to play hide and seek again.

DI Fleet is up against some of the most powerful people in the country as he attempts to discover the truth about what happened on the day of the game…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Chilling and claustrophobic detective fiction unfolds following an anonymous tip-off that leads to discovering a boy’s remains within the grounds of the school he attended over twenty years ago. DI Fleet and DS Collins investigate the cold case, increasingly hampered by powerful forces as the number of suspects grows.

The sense of place is vivid, and the school and what it stands for are integral to the story. Complex characters, often unlikeable and evil, populate this murder mystery. I like the twisty plot, the atmospheric setting and the relentless investigators determined to find the truth despite the considerable obstacles.

An absorbing, addictive read immerses the reader in the setting and the story.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Historical Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books

Miss Aldridge Regrets Louise Hare 4*#Review @LouRHare @HQStories #murdermystery #histfic #BookReview #BlogTour #London #socialhistory #political #AtlanticCrossing #NewYork #1930s #1936 #crimefiction #historicalcrimefiction #MissAldridgeRegrets

London, 1936

Lena Aldridge is wondering if life has passed her by. The dazzling theatre career she hoped for hasn’t worked out. Instead, she’s stuck singing in a sticky-floored basement club in Soho and her married lover has just left her. She has nothing to look forward to until a stranger offers her the chance of a lifetime: a starring role on Broadway and a first-class ticket on the Queen Mary bound for New York. 
 
After a murder at the club, the timing couldn’t be better and Lena jumps at the chance to escape England. Until death follows her onto the ship and she realises that her greatest performance has already begun.

Because someone is making manoeuvres behind the scenes, and there’s only one thing on their mind…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Set in the classic age of murder mystery, the Atlantic crossing aboard a luxury liner provides the setting for a locked room mystery. The murder mystery is only one aspect of this multilayered novel that explores the social history of the time evocatively, mainly centring on class, politics, and race.

Lena’s career has not developed despite her obvious talent and tenacity. London in 1936 is rife with prejudice and extreme politics making Lena’s position precarious. An offer of a role in New York comes at the right time. Possibly implicated in a murder leaving town seems the best option for Lena. Life on the luxury liner is not what she imagined as beneath the glamour, danger, deceit, and depravity simmer, waiting to destroy her.

I like how the social-historical issues explored give this story a literary fiction feel. Interwoven with the well-written classical murder mystery, it has depth and originality that resonates.

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