Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Sun, Sea & Strawberry Shortcake, Little Duck Pond Café Rosie Green 5*#Review @Rosie_Green88 @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #romcom #cosymystery #LittleDuckPondCafe #SunSeaandStrawberryShortcake

It was meant to be a gloriously romantic getaway in Wales for Ruby and Hudson. That was the plan, anyway. But then friends start inviting themselves along, lured by the idea of unwinding in a chocolate-box pretty cottage, wandering the lanes and the coastline, soaking up the sun and the stunningly beautiful Italian-inspired architecture. With Ellie, Jaz, Fen and Madison popping up around every corner, plus another sinister mystery to solve, will the lovebirds ever find time to indulge their desire for sun, sea and . . . strawberry shortcake?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author.

My Thoughts…

I’ve read all the stories featuring Ruby and Hudson, so I was looking forward to reading this and loved it. Aside from Ruby and Hudson, a few little Duck Pond Cafe regulars are also featured, and Jaz’s storyline is particularly poignant. Ruby finds herself embroiled in a mystery, and the suspense ramps up to an impactful conclusion. This book makes the perfect Summer read with old favourites, new characters, and a mystery to solve.

Rosie’s series of novellas is centred around life in a country village cafe. Look out for ‘Clara’s Secret Garden’ out in August 2022.

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

A Death at Silversmith Bay Emma Jameson 4*#Review @bookouture @msemmajameson #MurderMystery #JemimaJagoMystery #Mystery #IslesofScilly #BookReview #Cornwall #ADeathatSilversmithBay #cosymystery

Librarian Jemima Jago can’t resist a whodunnit, but finding a body in a bookshop is a plot twist she could never have expected…

Jem Jago is back at work with her antique books, and spending her weekends exploring her new home—the windswept Isles of Scilly—in her little sailboat, Bellatrix. She’s really starting to settle into island life. Unfortunately, murder in the Scillies is not as rare as some of her manuscripts…

On a trip out to picturesque Penzance with best friend Micki, the pair stumble across an intriguing mystery, not of the fictional kind. In Tatteredly’s second-hand bookstore, they discover the body of beautiful Gina Marrak, Micki’s former sister-in-law.

Jem can’t bear to see Micki so distraught, and with the hapless Detective Conrad in charge of the inquiry, she must do some sleuthing of her own to find out the truth. As she convinces Gina’s so-called friends to talk, Jem learns she wasn’t actually well-liked in her little corner of Penzance. Did the jilted lover, the pretentious pub landlord or the rowdy real estate agent bump off poor Gina?

Poking around the scene of the crime, Jem finds an unusual book that leads her down an unlikely path. But can Jem get to the bottom of the mystery before the terrible tale comes to an end for her too?

A fun, cozy page-turner filled with mystery and intrigue, from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Emma Jameson.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Jemima Jago’s life is often complex and none more so than when she returns to Penzance. Not just juggling her career and home life, she has an unexpected houseguest and makes a gruesome discovery. Jemima is the quirky amateur sleuth that defines the cosy mystery genre. She has family drama, mysteries to unravel, and romantic entanglements and still manages to solve the crime ahead of the police.

If you are a fan of Cornish life, fun sleuthing and a host of unique characters, this cosy mystery is worth a read.

Read my review of A Death at Seascape House

Read my review of A Death at Candlewick Castle

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Mystery, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Snow Falls Over Sunnybrook, Little Duck Pond Café Rosie Green 5*#Review @Rosie_Green88 @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #romcom #Festive #cosymystery #LittleDuckPondCafe #ThursdayThoughts #SnowFallsOverSunnybrook

The chance to spend a night ghost-hunting alone with Hudson Holmes at Brambleberry Manor seems like a dream come true for Ruby Watkiss. Maybe, she thinks, this is their chance to get closer? But when mysterious goings-on start happening which have nothing to do with the spirit world, the pair are catapulted off on another sleuthing adventure. And as the snow starts to fall and emotions are rising at the Little Duck Pond Cafe, Ruby is faced with a double challenge. Can she be braver than she’s ever been, in order to rescue something very close to her heart? And can she convince Hudson that Christmas really can be the most wonderful time of the year?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The third cosy mystery featuring Ruby and Hudson starts at Halloween and leads to the intrepid pair of amateur sleuths spending the night in a supposed haunted room. Ruby is hoping for romance, but Hudson seems intent on avoiding the passion simmering between them. A mystery van leads to a real-life investigation that puts Ruby in danger and has the reader on tenterhooks.

There are appearances from other familiar characters in the Little Duck Pond Cafe to please regular readers as Ruby and Hudson’s potential romance experiences conflict and misunderstandings. The reader is absorbed in both cosy mystery and romantic comedy elements with a delightful festive ending.

Another perfect slice of life at the Little Duck Pond Cafe.

Rosie’s series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘The Wedding Cake Wish’, is out now. Look out for more Little Duck Pond Café tales in 2022, including ‘Chocolate Cake for Breakfast’ and ‘Christmas in June’.

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

The Man Who Died Twice Richard Osman 5*#Review @richardosman @VikingBooks @PenguinBooksUK TheThursdayMurderClub #BookReview #TheManWhoDiedTwice #MurderMystery #cozymystery #friendship

It’s the following Thursday.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?

But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can The Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The second book in this cleverly crafted series is an engaging read. The club members vow to seek justice for Ibrahim after a brutal assault and are pitted against organised crime when someone from Elizabeth’s past returns.

The main characters are distinctive and easy to like. The well-paced plot has humour and poignancy with a positive view of ageing, which is refreshing and uplifting. The downside of getting older is explored but not seen as defining the characters.

An engaging mystery with entertaining characters makes this story well worth reading.

Read my review of The Thursday Murder Club

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

Murder in the Village Lisa Cutts 4* Review #BrendaPenshurstMystery @LisaCuttsAuthor @bookouture #MurderMystery #cosymystery #Village #England #BookReview #MurderintheVillage

Nothing ever happens in Little Challham… until the local pub owner is drowned in his own ale. Belinda Penshurst, owner of Challham Castle, is on the case!

Belinda Penshurst loves her home village Little Challham, with its shady lanes, two pubs and weekly market, and she’s determined to keep it peaceful. She may live in Challham Castle but she knows almost everything that goes on under her nose. So when irritable pub landlord Tipper is found dead in his cellar, she’s perfectly placed to investigate.

Retired detective Harry Powell moved to Little Challham for a quiet life. He didn’t expect to be dragged into a murder investigation. But the police don’t seem half as enthusiastic as Belinda about the case, and there are strange things happening in the village. Particularly the number of dogs that have disappeared lately…

Is there a dognapper snaffling schnauzers and luring away Labradors? Is Belinda barking mad to be worried that her brother Marcus was arguing with Tipper on the day he died? Belinda and Harry track down the suspects: the rival landlord, the outraged barmaid, the mysterious man in the black car following dogwalkers around. But are the dogged detectives running out of time to sniff out the killer, before he starts hounding them?

A charming cozy mystery full of laughs and eccentric characters. 

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

My Thoughts…

Belinda Penshurst lives in the castle that overlooks the village. An active participant in village life, she uses her finances and influence to rejuvenate local businesses. Naturally, she is perturbed when the landlord of the pub she’s invested in is murdered. Harry is an ex-detective, working as a dog food delivery driver who uncovers a dog knapping plot. The two join forces to investigate. There is an intriguing dynamic between Belinda and Harry. Their dialogue is humorous, and they are both vibrant characters with pasts and secrets. The mystery is well-written, with multiple suspects and twists.

The intricate world-building is relatable. The characters and setting are easy to imagine, and an immersive writing style draws the reader into the village world. It’s an easy and entertaining read.

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

A Death at Candlewick Castle Emma Jameson 4*#Review @bookouture @msemmajameson #MurderMystery #JemimaJagoMystery #Mystery #IslesofScilly #BookReview #ADeathatCandlewickCastle #cosymystery

Off the coast of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly are a balmy haven with never-ending beaches and aqua-blue sea. But unbeknown to the happy tourists and cheerful locals, someone is about to commit a terrible crime…

Librarian Jemima Jago’s summer is off to a delightful start. By day she works on cataloguing the oldest library in Cornwall, and by night she can be found catching up over tea and chocolate biscuits with her old friend Pauley Gwynn.

When the body of Hermie Castleberry is found on the beach at Candlewick Castle, Jem’s perfect summer is turned upside down. Jem doesn’t want to get involved, but when somebody close to her is arrested for murder, she springs into action to clear their name.

Jem soon discovers that Hermie had already ruffled a few feathers in St Morwenna and she’s worried that the police seem to have overlooked other suspects. Could Jimmy the scorned salesman or Seth the shifty scout leader have killed Hermie? As she hunts down more leads, she butts heads with the handsome Sergeant Hackman. If their relationship is purely professional, why does Jem blush every time she catches his eye?

The discovery of another victim, this time in the island’s picturesque harbor, leaves Jem reeling. Can she catch the culprit before the sun sets on summer in St Morwenna?

A charming cozy mystery from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Emma Jameson.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Although this book’s setting is English, the writing style is reminiscent of American cozy mysteries with an eclectic collection of characters and an enigmatic main protagonist in Jemima. This time a body is discovered on a small island in the Isles of Scilly that is the setting for Candlewick castle.

The characters are unique and have a good friendship dynamic that allows them to be successful amateur sleuths. The romantic tension between Jemima and Hack, the police detective, intensifies, which she struggles to understand. Their fledgling investigative relationship flourishes, as Jemima’s knack of seeing things from a different perspective, proves invaluable to Hack’s inquiry.

This is another engagingly quirky book in a series that is well worth reading.

Read my review of A Death at Seascape House

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

Death Comes to Bishop Well: The Shires Mysteries Anna Legat 5*#Review @LegatWriter @AccentPress # #CrimeFiction #Wiltshire #DeathComestoBishopWell #TheShiresMysteries #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources

When Sam Dee moves to the beautiful Wiltshire village of Bishops Well, he expects a quiet life of country walks and pub lunches. OK, so his new neighbour, Maggie Kaye, is a little peculiar, but she’s very nice – and his old pal Richard Ruta lives just down the road.

But when Richard throws one of his famous parties, things take a sinister turn. Sam, Maggie and the rest of the guests are dumbfounded when Richard falls down dead. A horrible tragedy – or a cunningly planned murder?

With a village full of suspects – and plenty of dark secrets – just who exactly would want to bump off their host? Is there a connection to another mysterious death, nearly twenty years before?

Armed with her local knowledge, Maggie – with Sam’s reluctant but indispensable help – is soon on the case. But when the body count starts to rise, will sleepy Bishops Well ever be the same again?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This book, the first in The Shires Mysteries’series is a fusion of cosy and murder mystery with a twenty-first-century twist. Set in a small Wiltshire town, the inhabitants are ordinary but beneath the respectable exterior are the secrets that lead to murder.

Sam, a retired barrister, relocates to the town to escape the memories of his dead wife, which haunt him. Maggie is his neighbour with an unusual talent for seeing the dead. The unlikely couple, drawn together as amateur sleuths when one of the town’s celebrities dies in suspicious circumstances.

Intricate world-building slows the novel’s pace, but it’s essential to create a believable setting for this type of story. Excellent characterisation, so vital for this genre, draws the reader into the story. The suspects are numerous and the motives plentiful, and it’s fun to work out the perpetrator and motive. Authentically flawed characters, many with less than politically correct views, make this relatable. The older protagonists will appeal to many cosy mystery fans, but the story has a contemporary edge that widens its reader appeal.

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

A Deadly Coincidence Keth Finney 3*#Review @lume_books @ukcozymystery #cozymystery #Norfolk #WW2 @lovebookstours @lovebooksgroup #BookTour #BookReview #Ad #Gifted #ADeadlyCoincidence #ALiptonStFaithMystery

A deadly secret in the heart of a quiet country village.

In sleepy Lipton St Faith, the locals are getting used to their new rationing books and blackout curtains. The Second World War has brought much change to the small Norfolk village, as well as Lieutenant Eddie Elsner, on a mission all the way from America. But when the local postman is found dead, suddenly the war feels much closer to home…

The police are quick to declare it an unfortunate accident, but young, spirited Anna Grix is less convinced. After striking up a fast friendship with the newly arrived American, she teams up with Eddie to dig into this apparent accident. Full of unexpected twists and turns.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Set in Norfolk during WW2, this is a cosy style mystery. The well-described setting and pertinent historical details set the scene for the two amateur sleuths independent, vicar’s daughter Anna and American Lieutenant Eddie Elsner, to solve the death of the local postman.

The story’s quick pacing engages the reader, and there is an interesting array of characters. The mystery has the necessary twists and a surprising ending. The dynamic between the two main protagonists is amusing but a little overdone. The dialogue reflects the historical period, but like some of the characters is a little stereotypical.

Overall this is a lighthearted cosy mystery in an atmospheric setting with a partnership that could develop into something special.

Posted in Book Review, Cozy Mystery, New Books

The Murders at Foxglove Close Rose Temple 4*#Review @Hodder_Studio @HodderBooks A Neighbourhood Watch Mystery @HodderPublicity #cosymystery #rural #Sussex #MurdersatFoxgloveClose

The sleepy village of Little Cote was meant to be a quieter pace of life for ex-Met PC Jemima Cotton. But she soon discovers, here a petty rivalry can erupt into full-blown murder . . .

Police Officer Jemima Cotton expected Little Cote to be a quieter pace of life. But, unlike London, everyone knows everyone, and beyond the cake sales and coffee mornings, tea parties and village fetes, the neighbours aren’t all the best of friends . . .

When Jemima is unpacking her mugs and teabags in her new home on Foxglove Close, she’s called to attend her first murder investigation. She’s excited, until she discovers it’s only a few doors down from her. And she hasn’t even met her new neighbours yet! As she steps out of her house in full uniform, Jemima can feel the eyes on the back of her neck, and she can see the curtains and blinds twitching.

But the crucial question is why did the lonely gentleman at the end of the road get murdered, eating dinner alone at his garden table, tucking into a new bottle of Chablis? As she digs deeper into the murder, Jemima discovers that here in Little Cote, underneath the surface, tensions bubble away . . . and the smallest vendetta can erupt into full blown murder.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Hodder and Stoughton -Hodder Studio via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

An enjoyable cosy mystery set in a Sussex village with a rural police officer as the main protagonist. This is not a traditional police procedural, although the authenticity of the procedures is evident. This is a study of human nature, village dynamics tinged with humour, mystery and romance.

PC Cotton is an engaging protagonist and a resourceful sleuth. The rural police team are convincingly portrayed. The vibrantly created villagers provide Jemima Cotton with many suspects and constant interference in her personal life.

The plot is well thought-out and, this promises to be an entertaining cosy mystery series with noteworthy originality.

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

Blooming Murder Simon Whaley 4*#Review @simonwhaley @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #cozymystery #cosymystery #WelshBorders #BloomingMurder #TheMarquessofMortifordeMysteries

MURDER IS BLOSSOMING IN THE WELSH BORDERS.

Aldermaston’s having a bad day. A falling hanging-basket has killed the town’s mayor, and a second narrowly missed him. His wife wants him to build her new greenhouse in three days, and some nutter is sending him death threats.

This isn’t the quiet life he expected as the new Marquess of Mortiforde.

It’s the annual Borders in Blossom competition, and Mortiforde is battling with Portley Ridge in the final. But this is no parochial flower competition. The mayor’s mishap looks like murder, and there’s another body in the river. Someone desperately wants Portley Ridge to win for the fifteenth successive year.

So when a mysterious group of guerrilla gardeners suddenly carpet bomb Mortiforde with a series of stunning floral delights one night, a chain reaction of floral retaliation ensues.

Can Aldermaston survive long enough to uncover who is trying to kill him, and why? And can he get his wife’s greenhouse built in time?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

With its distinctive characters and quirky humour, this cosy mystery is absorbing and addictive.

The amateur detective is likeable with a kind and intelligent personality that shines through. Exuberant characters remain credible, and the plot is full of suspects and twists that keep the reader guessing. It’s a quintessential English cosy mystery despite being set on the Welsh borders and will appeal to anyone who enjoys a laugh whilst trying to work out whodunnit?

I look forward to reading more in this original series.

Simon Whaley

Simon Whaley is an author, writer and photographer who lives in the hilly bit of Shropshire. Blooming Murder is the first in his Marquess of Mortiforde Mysteries, set in the idyllic Welsh Borders – a place many people struggle to locate on a map (including by some of those who live here). He’s written several non-fiction books, many of which contain his humorous take on the world, including the bestselling One Hundred Ways For A Dog To Train Its Human and two editions in the hugely popular Bluffer’s Guide series (The Bluffer’s Guide to Dogs and The Bluffer’s Guide to Hiking). His short stories have appeared in ‘Take A Break, Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special, The Weekly News and The People’s Friend. Meanwhile, his magazine articles have delighted readers in a variety of publications including BBC Countryfile, The People’s Friend, Coast, The Simple Things and Country Walking.

Simon lives in Shropshire (which just happens to be a Welsh Border county) and, when he gets stuck with his writing, he tramps the Shropshire hills looking for inspiration and something to photograph. Some of his photographs appear on the national and regional BBC weather broadcasts under his BBC WeatherWatcher nickname of Snapper Simon. (For those of you who don’t know, they get a lot of weather in Shropshire.)

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