Posted in Book Review, Crime, Murder Mystery, Mystery

The Jigsaw Man Nadine Matheson 4*#Review @NadineMatheson @HQStories #CrimeFiction #Detective #BlogTour #BookReview #TheJigsawMan #MondayBlogs

There’s a serial killer on the loose. When bodies start washing up along the banks of the River Thames, DI Henley fears it is the work of Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer. But it can’t be him; Olivier is already behind bars, and Henley was the one who put him there.  

The race is on before more bodies are found. She’d hoped she’d never have to see his face again, but Henley knows Olivier might be the best chance they have at stopping the copycat killer. But when Olivier learns of the new murders, helping Henley is the last thing on his mind… 

 Will it take a killer to catch the killer? Now all bets are off, and the race is on to catch the killer before the body count rises. But who will get there first – Henley, or the Jigsaw Killer? 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a compelling crime novel with a driven detective, and a menacing, unpredictable serial killer. The violent crimes are impactful, but there is more to this story. This is the first book featuring DI Henley, but she’s a woman with a violent past. Being assigned to this crime brings back shattering memories and puts her in the auspices of her nemesis, a convicted serial killer.

There is an enticing balance of action and introspection, which makes this addictive reading. The shock of violent crime and the methodical nature of police investigations are well portrayed. Detailed backstories slow the pace but are essential to understand the main characters’ motivations.

The detectives are likeable and relatable, the plot twisty and the crimes definitely noir.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Crime, Murder Mystery

Preserved Fiona Sherlock 4*#Review @fionasherlock #publicationday #BlogBlitz #BookReview #Preserved # CrimeFiction #MurderMystery @rararesources #IrishCrimeFiction

She’s stuck in the past, the killer wants to immortalise his future. When a local farmer announces on social media that he has discovered a bog body in Ardee, the world’s historians are keen to explore the secrets of the life and grisly death of the victim. Antique journalist January Quail is fighting to keep her newspaper job and uncovers far more than she bargained for.

The victim is actually a recent murder, and January uses her nose for the truth to investigate the County Louth town. From shopkeeper to the publican, everyone is a suspect, but when the Gardai can’t find the killer, can January?

Once she sets down the liqueur glass, January gains the confidence of the lead garda investigator. Within days, the case unravels into a much more dangerous situation with a killer on the loose.

Despite the risk, January is electrified that this newest discovery has come at the perfect time to inject some colour into her flailing career. January relinquishes her old ways to fight for survival, abandoning her antiques column and vintage corsets to solve a cryptic crime that has the experts puzzled. This woman who longs to lives in the past must now fight for her life in the present.

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

My Thoughts…

This book immerses the reader in the Irish setting with well-drawn characters, dialogue an engrossing story. January is a journalist unwilling to modernise, when a body or two appear in a local she uses her investigative skills to discover the truth.

This murder mystery has elements of cosy crime, the quirky amateur detective, lots of suspects who keep their secrets and gruesome deaths. Atmospheric it draws the reader into this unique world where a dangerous killer lurks.

Preserved is a classic Irish murder mystery with a memorable sleuth and dastardly crimes.

Fiona SherlockImage Credit – John Shortt Photography

Fiona Sherlock is a crime writer from Bective, in Ireland. Her murder mystery games are played across the world.  She also writes poetry and prose but cannot stay away from a good murder.  After spending a decade in Dublin working in public relations and journalism, she moved to the country for mid-day fires and elderflower champagne.

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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.

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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.

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

To the Dark Chris Nickson 4*#Review A Simon Westow Mystery @ChrisNickson2 @SevernHouse #TotheDark #historical #crimefiction #mystery @RandomTTours

Winter is about to take a chilling twist…

Thief-taker Simon Westow is drawn into a deadly puzzle when the melting snow reveals a dark secret in this gripping historical mystery, perfect for fans of Anne Perry and Charles Finch.

Leeds, 1822. The city is in the grip of winter, but the chill deepens for thief-taker Simon Westow and his young assistant, Jane, when the body of Laurence Poole, a petty local thief, emerges from the melting snow by the river at Flay Cross Mill.

A coded notebook found in Laurence’s room mentions Charlie Harker, the most notorious fence in Leeds who’s now running for his life, and the mysterious words: To the dark. What was Laurence hiding that caused his death? Simon’s hunt for the truth pits him against some dangerous, powerful enemies who’ll happily kill him in a heartbeat – if they can.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This historical crime mystery is atmospheric, menacing and realistic. It brings the crime-filled streets of nineteenth-century Leeds vividly to life. The third book in the series it provides adequate character backstory and relationship dynamics to make it readable as a standalone. The characters are shady even the protagonists have pasts and secrets. The story has many twists.

Seamlessly woven historical details immerse the reader in the place and time of this enjoyable story.

Chris Nickson

Chris Nickson has published 28 novels, all historical crime, most of them set in Leeds, whose people and history are his passion. The Richard Nottingham series began things, taking place in the 1730s, followed by the Tom Harper novels, which begin in 1890 and have now moved to the 20th century. Between them, Lottie Armstrong, Urban Raven and Dan Markham cover Leeds from the 1920s to the 1950s.

The three books featuring thief-taker Simon Westow explore a changing Leeds, growing rapidly in the 1820s as industry – the factories and mills and belching chimneys – comes to dominate the town. The Hocus Girl, the second in the series, received starred reviews from Kirkus, which called it a “tour de force,” and Publishers Weekly, which declared “historical mysteries don’t get much better than this.’

Chris grew up in Leeds, but lived in the US for many years, making his living as a music journalist. He still reviews occasional releases, but his focus these days is fiction.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Murder Mystery, Romance

Deadly Whispers in Lower Dimblebrook 5* #Review @juliebeewriter @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #CozyMystery #MurderMystery #VillageLife #Detective #Friendship #DeadlyWhispersinLowerDimblebrook

When Isabelle Darby moves to the delightfully cosy village of Lower Dimblebrook, she’s searching for peace and quiet as well as a chance to escape from heartbreak. After making friends with Fiona Lambourne, another newcomer to the village, Issie is left reeling when tragedy strikes and Fiona is murdered, the second wife Anthony Lambourne has lost in unfortunate circumstances. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the local gossips insist that Fiona had been embroiled in an affair before her death, something which Issie knows not to be the case. Determined to clear her friend’s reputation and solve the mystery of the rumours, Issie takes on both the gossips and the handsome but stern DI Wainwright, making both friends and enemies along the way!

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

My Thoughts…

Issie is a character that you quickly like. A kind woman who is still recovering from a betrayal. The loss of a close friend is not something she can easily cope with, and the range of emotions she experiences are authentic and relatable.

There are lots of villagey characters, a multi-layered plot and a taciturn and sexy detective. He and Issie frequently clash over the murder investigation. Madeline Issie’s landlord and neighbour is an enigmatic character who disperses advice humour and alcohol in a china teapot throughout the story.

The plot keeps its secrets well and has lots of false leads. The ending is climatic and revealing in lots of ways and worthy of such an engaging tale.

Julie Butterfield

Julie Butterfield belongs to the rather large group of ‘always wanted to write’ authors who finally found the time to sit down and put pen to paper – or rather fingers to keyboard.
She wrote her first book purely for pleasure and was very surprised to discover that so many people enjoyed the story and wanted more, so she decided to carry on writing.
It has to be pointed out that her first novel, ‘Did I Mention I Won The Lottery’ is a complete work of fiction and she did not, in fact, receive millions in her bank account and forget to mention it to her husband – even though he still asks her every day if she has anything to tell him!

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

The Marlow Murder Club Robert Thorogood 5*#Review @robthor @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #MurderMystery #Detective #Women #TheMarlowMurderClub #cosycrime

To solve an impossible murder, you need an impossible hero…

Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy. She lives on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow, there’s no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink, and to keep herself busy she sets crosswords for The Times newspaper. 

One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. The local police don’t believe her story, so she decides to investigate for herself, and is soon joined in her quest by Suzie, a salt-of-the-earth dog-walker, and Becks, the prim and proper wife of the local Vicar.

Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club.

When another body turns up, they realise they have a real-life serial killer on their hands. And the puzzle they set out to solve has become a trap from which they might never escape…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story grabs your immediate attention. Judith is a remarkable woman. Eccentric, independent and intelligent she is the perfect advert for the older person, and it’s no surprise when she witnesses a murder she wants to find out who committed it and why?

There is a good balance of amateur sleuth and professional policing in this tale, and the reader can imagine how it will develop as the series progresses. The other constituents of the Marlow club are equally enigmatic, although more contemporary than Judith. This story sees a believable team dynamic evolve between unlikely allies and shows positive character development in all of the women. There are insights into these women’s lives which are relatable and immerse the reader in the story.

The multilayered plot keeps the reader engaged. It is solvable, which is important in these type of mysteries, rather like the crosswords Judith writes clues for.

This is an enjoyable read, humorous, poignant and satirical with memorable characters. I look forward to more books in this series.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Murder Mystery, Psychological Thriller, Romance, Suspense

The Wife Who Knew Too Much Michele Campbell 5* #Review @MCampbellBooks @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #TheWifeWhoKnewTooMuch #CrimeFiction #PsychologicalThriller #DomesticSuspense #Detective

A decadent summer thriller about marriages tainted by ambition, wealth, and desire.

He said it was forever. HE LIED.

She’s in too deep….

Meet the first Mrs Ford. Beautiful. Accomplished. Wealthy beyond imagination. Married to a much younger man. And now… dead.

Meet the second Mrs Ford. Waitress. Small-town girl. Married to a man she never forgot, from an affair ten years before. And now, she’s wealthy beyond imagination.

But who is Connor Ford? Two wives loved him, and knew him as only wives can…

Who is the victim? Who is the villain? And who will be next to die?

Set amongst the glittering mansions of the Hamptons, The Wife Who Knew Too Much is a decadent thriller about the lives of those who will do anything for love and money

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This domestic suspense story explores the human consequences of love, money and power. It embroils the reader in an intricately built world of abuse, deceit and lust with believable characters and insidious suspense.

Told from two perspectives; journal entries from Nina, the first Mrs Ford and Tabitha, the second Mrs Ford’s past and present points of view. The story draws the reader into two parallel worlds of the rich and poor and explores what someone will do for power and wealth. Tabitha and Nina are both unreliable protagonists, but they both engender the reader’s empathy. Connor is weak and driven by the need for money and not as easy to like. The cast of secondary characters all add to the story and provide its plot twists.

The fast-paced plot builds a world of betrayal and division. It blends introspection and criminal investigation to deliver an absorbing story. I guessed part of the outcome, but that adds to the enjoyment, and the poignant conclusion is both realistic and satisfying.

Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Crime, Festive Read, Murder Mystery

#TheChristmasKiller Alex Pine 4*#Review @JPCarterAuthor @AvonBooksUK #ChristmasRead #Festive #CrimeFiction #DIJamesWalker

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey.

But when he opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half-frozen in the snow.

As the blizzards descend, panic spreads through the remote Cumbrian village – there’s a killer amongst them, and with eleven more victims to go, anyone could be next….

Can James stop the killer before they strike again?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts

I initially read a sampler of this book in the Summer and only read the full version this month.

This is a police procedural with a festive setting. James, a detective inspector in the Met moves to Cumbria when the threat of vengeance from a gangland boss looms. The village in Cumbria, the childhood home of his wife Annie has its share of deceit, hate and secrets but is someone willing to kill?

James is a likeable protagonist, straightforward and dedicated. Annie’s past in the village is chequered. Has her moving back started something dreadful?

There are no murders, only menace and threats in the early part of the book. Suspense builds and the reader realises that this is going to be a Christmas the villagers’ don’t forget.

The murders are suspenseful but not overly graphic. The police investigation is realistic and the conflict and crossover of personal and professional for Detective, James relatable.

Whilst I worked out the murderer, this added to the reading experience making the story authentic and immersive. There is little character development for the investigation team, but hopefully more will be revealed as th series progresses?

This is a good holiday read for crime fiction readers.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Murder Mystery, Paranormal

When the Time is Right by Kim Cano 5*#Review @KimCano2 @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #BookTour #BlogTour #BookReview #MurderMystery #Psychic #Animals #WhentheTimeisRight

 

A bond so strong that the gate to Rainbow Bridge can’t hold it back.

As veterinarian Michelle Catalano helps other people’s ailing animals earn their angel wings, she tries not to think about the empty cat perch in her own home. Or the empty side of her bed, grown cold since her boyfriend left town.

Then a pet psychic’s uncannily accurate reading leaves Michelle with more questions than the answers she thought were set in stone. And warnings so dark, she wishes she still had her cat at her side to cuddle the fear away.

When a brutal murder devastates Michelle and her family, the detective working the case is her only anchor. And soon, she’s turning to Bruce for the comfort that could heal her broken heart.

But there are too many unanswered questions about the killer, causing Michelle to secretly investigate on her own. Will Michelle’s search for answers spell her doom, or deliver help from the animal afterlife above?

A note from the author 

I want to let you know that animals die in this book. Some people have problems with that, so I just wanted to mention it upfront. The main character is a hospice veterinarian, and although readers go with her to work on and off, it’s not the main focus of the novel. I was inspired to write a book about a hospice veterinarian after my husband and I had a veterinarian come to our home to put our elderly cat with cancer to sleep. (He is the cat on the book cover). After the veterinarian left, we grieved, and I kept thinking about her, wondering how she could be strong enough to do what she does for a living. I felt that she was the kind of hero I hadn’t read about, and a story started to form in my mind, and I wrote When the Time Is Right. 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an unusual story for those who like stories where animal characters feature and enjoy a murder mystery. There are elements of the paranormal in this story, and it’s an emotional read.

Michelle has a job that takes its toll emotionally and demands an empathetic nature towards animals and their humans. Grieving the loss of her cat companion, and her human boyfriend, she approaches a medium for a psychic reading. The results are disturbing, and when a tragic event occurs, she needs the support of her cat, if only in spirit.

This is a well-thought murder mystery with a psychic twist. It explores the emotions surrounding the sudden loss of a loved one, and that love can transcend death. The plot flows well, the characters are relatable, and the paranormal elements give depth to the plot.

Kim Cano

Kim Cano is the author of five women’s fiction novels: A Widow Redefined, On the Inside, Eighty and Out, His Secret Life, and When the Time Is Right. Readers say her books are about strong women who struggle but survive, hard-won second chances, family life, and friendship.

Kim has also written a short story collection called For Animal Lovers. 10% of the sale price of that book is donated to the ASPCA® to help homeless pets.

Visit Kim’s website to receive a free copy of The Rescue: www.kimcano.com