Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Detective, New Books

Murder in the Cards Gina Cheyne 4*#Review @gina_cheyne @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #cosymystery #cosycrime

Death is the rule, survival the exception in 1960s Soho bridge circles.

When the SeeMs Agency detectives play bridge online in 2020, they don’t expect their opponent to die during the game and yet a post-mortem the next day proves Brian Deliverer was dead halfway through the night. Can a dead man play bridge?

Employed by Brian’s daughter Karen to investigate his death, the team are led back to a notorious 1920s murder and to a missing teenager from a Sussex village in the 1960s.

Should they tell his daughter the terrible truth behind her father’s death even if it costs her everything?

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I received a copy of this book from the author.

My Thoughts…

The second cosy crime mystery in the SeeMs detective series is full of twists and vibrant characters. The mystery delves into the past and finds some dark secrets. I like the originality of this story, the quirky characters and the clever plot twists.

Gina Cheyne

Gina has worked as a physiotherapist, a pilot, a freelance writer and a dog breeder.

As a child, Gina’s parents hated travelling and never went further than Jersey. As a result, she became travel-addicted and spent the year after university bumming around SE Asia, China and Australia, where she worked in racing stables in Pinjarra, south of Perth. After getting stuck in black sand in the Ute one time too many (and getting a tractor and trailer caught in a tree) she was relegated to horse-riding work only. After her horse bolted down the sand, straining a fetlock and falling in the sea, she was further relegated to swimming the horses only in the pool. It was with some relief the racehorse stables posted her off on the train into eastern Australia to work in a vineyard… after all what could go wrong there?

In the north of Thailand, she took a boat into the Golden Triangle and got shot at by bandits. Her group escaped into the undergrowth and hid in a hill tribe whisky still where they shared the ‘bathroom’ with a group of pigs. Getting a lift on a motorbike they hurried back to Chiang Rai, where life seemed calmer.

After nearly being downed in a fiesta in Ko Pha Ngan, and cursed by a witch in Malaysia, she decided to go to Singapore and then to China where she only had to battle with the language and regulations.

Since marrying the first time, she has lived and worked in many countries including Spain and the USA.

For a few years, Gina was a Wingwalking pilot, flying, amongst others, her 64-year-old mother standing on the wing to raise money for a cancer charity. She was also a helicopter instructor and examiner and took part in the World Helicopter Championships in Russia and the USA.

She became a writer because her first love was always telling a good yarn!

Under the name Georgina Hunter-Jones she has written illustrated children’s books such as The Twerple who had Too Many Brains, and Nola the Rhinoceros loves Mathematics.

She now lives in Sussex with her husband and dogs, one of who inspired the Biscuit and Pugwash Detective Series about naughty dogs who solve crimes.

Murder in the Cards is the second book in the SeeMS Detective Agency series.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Fire Killer Ross Greenwood 5* #Review #DIBarton @greenwoodross @BoldwoodBooks #CrimeFiction #PsychologicalThriller #detective #suspense #boldwoodbloggers @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #TheFireKiller

When DI Barton is asked to investigate a seemingly innocuous fire that kills, he believes it’s either children fooling around or a worrying racially motivated crime.

As he delves deeper into the case, he soon realises that there is a history of similar blazes spread out over many years, all within a close area. And after an idea is suggested by pathologist Mortis, Barton suspects he has the arsonist’s motives wrong. 

When a night worker comes forward with a tip, Barton narrows down the suspects. Yet all of them act suspiciously and he knows for sure that one or more of them are lying.

And when a huge house blaze shocks everyone, Barton fears the killer has lost all control.

Who is The Fire Killer? What will be next to burn?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

DI Barton is a likeable detective with a good balance of personal life and professional commitment. His family are excellent support characters who ground him and give him respite from his work life’s criminal and desperate situations. Called to a fire in a skip, which turns out to contain a body, the investigation that ensues encompasses a web of danger and deceit. Told from the investigation viewpoint with interspersed chapters from the Fire Killer, this is a mix of police procedural and psychological suspense.

The dynamic between the investigators is believable, and the plot has many suspects and twists that intensify as the story progresses. I like the plot’s complexity, the realistic investigation, and the suspense building to an impactful conclusion.

Ross Greenwood

Ross Greenwood is the bestselling author of ten crime thrillers. Before becoming a full-time writer he was most recently a prison officer and so worked every day with murderers, rapists and thieves for four years. He lives in Peterborough.

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Read my reviews of the first four books in the series:

The Snow Killer, The Soul Killer, The Ice Killer The Cold Killer

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Detective, New Books

Cold Grave Jenny O’Brien 5*Review @ScribblerJB @HQStories #CrimeFiction #DetectiveGabyDarin #ColdGrave #Detective #BlogTour #BookReview

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare…

Seventeen-year-old Bryony Lloyd’s father drops her off at a friend’s house to study – but when he returns to pick her up there’s no sign of her, and the woman who lives in the house swears she lives alone. Bryony has vanished into thin air, and her ‘friend’ doesn’t seem to exist.

DI Gaby Darin immediately sees similarities with another missing-persons case: seventeen-year-old Christy Taylor, who vanished without warning several months earlier. There’s nothing in the girls’ personal lives to suggest trouble at home – could someone have taken them both?

After a third case is linked, Gaby knows time is running out if she’s going to find Bryony and Christy alive. After going missing over a year ago, this girl’s just been found dead.

When a tragic accident means Gaby loses a vital member of her team, she distracts herself from her grief by throwing herself into finding the missing girls. Even if it means putting her whole career on the line…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Detective Gaby Darin and her motivated detectives try to find a missing teenager whilst looking for links with a past unsolved case. Gaby’s issues, coupled with a bereft of clues case, make it an emotionally challenging time for her. I enjoyed the detailed plot, which only allows Gaby and her team and thus the reader a few clues to solve the mystery. A cleverly crafted antagonist and the impactful plot twists make this an addictive read.

Cold Grave is an excellently paced police drama whose engaging detective team and twisty plot make this a compelling crime fiction.

Jenny O’Brien

Born in Dublin, Jenny O’Brien moved to Wales and then Guernsey, where she tries to find time to write in between working as a nurse and ferrying around 3 teenagers.
In her spare time,
she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier loaves of bread. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off. She’s also an all-year-round sea swimmer. Readers can find out more about Jenny and her books on her blog

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Books in series reading order, although each is stand-alone:-

Click on book title link to read my reviews.

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, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, New Books, Paranormal, Psychologist, Suspense

The Secret Voices M.J. White 4* #Review #CoraLael @wurdsmyth @HeraBooks @MJWhite13 @rararesources #CrimeFiction #Supernatural #Detective #TheSecretVoices #BlogTour #BookReview

They said they’d keep me safe.
They said, ‘It’s okay, Hannah. You know you can trust me.’
They lied.

When eight-year-old Hannah Perry goes missing in the small Suffolk village of St Just, the community is rocked. Heading up the investigation is Acting DS Rob Minshull, but he’s out of his depth in a case that seems to mirror the disappearance of a young boy, seven years ago. That search ended in
unimaginable tragedy…and Minshull is praying that history won’t be repeated.

But with an investigation full of dead ends, and a kidnapper taunting the police with sinister deliveries of Hannah’s belongings and cryptic notes, the young girl’s life hangs perilously in danger.

Until Dr Cora Lael enters the picture. A psychologist with a unique ability, Cora’s rare gift allows her to sense emotions attached to discarded objects. When she is shown the first of Hannah’s belongings, she hears the child’s piercing scream.

With few leads on the case, could Cora prove Hannah’s only hope? And as time runs out, can they find Hannah before history repeats itself…?

Don’t miss the crime thriller debut from the bestselling women’s fiction author, Miranda Dickinson.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

This book is a well-written police procedural with a supernatural twist that adds extra depth to the plot and introduces the complex character Cora Lael. When a young girl goes missing, the case has echoes of a previous abduction that ended badly. Rob Minshull, the acting senior investigating officer, wants to succeed but isn’t confident he will. The local community and media want a positive result and quickly blame the investigators when the case escalates.

The first in a series, this story introduces the main protagonists well, telling the story from Cora and Rob’s perspectives. The missing girl, Hannah, also has a viewpoint that shows what her life is like and how courageous she is. Hannah’s point of view invests the reader in the investigation and intensifies the suspense.

The plot is twisty and suspenseful, and Cora’s unusual gift and how it impacts her adds originality to the story. It’s a compelling read and a promising start to the series.

M.J. White (Miranda Dickinson)

MJ White is the crime pen name of the internationally bestselling author Miranda
Dickinson. To date, she has sold over one million books worldwide and has been translated into sixteen languages. Miranda has always been a huge fan of crime fiction and The Secret Voices marks the start of a new and exciting departure for her writing.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, New Books

Last Seen Alive Jane Bettany 5*#Review @JaneBettany @HQStories #CrimeFiction #LastSeenAlive #BlogTour #BookReview #DIIsabelBlood

When Anna Matheson fails to collect her son from the babysitter after a works party, the police are swiftly called. Anna is a stickler for time and a good mother – she would never abandon her baby. Her disappearance is totally out of character and DI Isabel Blood and her team soon suspect foul play.

CCTV footage shows Anna was last seen at precisely 11.11pm, as she collected her coat to leave the party. But the cameras outside the venue have failed to pick up her exit from the car park – how could she have vanished in plain sight?

Rumour has it that Anna was set to make big changes in the workplace, and Isabel can’t help but think someone wanted her out of the way.

Everyone at the party is a suspect, and all the clues point to murder… 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley.

My Thoughts…

Another riveting instalment of the DI Isabel Blood series with the disappearance of a young single mother after a works party; there is a locked room vibe to this story that has numerous suspects, a few unexpected twists and a detailed police investigation. Set in Derbyshire with an authentic setting and believable cast of characters, this is an immersive reading experience. The characters are relatable and flawed with secrets. I enjoyed working out the connections between characters and their pasts.

The investigation unfolds realistically, with false leads and partial stories before the final unexpected conclusion.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Romance, Suspense

Who’s Lying Now? Susan Lewis 5*#Review @susanlewisbooks @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam #Lies #Secrets #Love #Relationships #Forgiveness #FamilyDrama #Marriage #Friendship #detective #BookReview #WhosLyingNow @RandomTTours

You think you’re safe.

You think you know your neighbours.

But can you ever really know who’s telling the truth?

Jeannie Symonds is a force to be reckoned with – an eccentric, award-winning publisher, spending lockdown with her husband in a house near Kesterly-on-Sea. She seems to have it all: a high-flying career, a happy marriage, a niece she adores.

And then one day, she vanishes.

Cara Jakes is a new trainee investigator – young, intelligent and eager to prove herself. When she teams up with detective Andee Lawrence to look into the disappearance, she is determined to find out what has really happened to Jeannie. Cara begins to question the residents of this close-knit community, sure that someone has a secret to hide.

But how can she separate the truth from the lies?

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Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Fiction.

My Thoughts…

Who’s Lying Now? is compelling contemporary fiction set against the backdrop of lockdown in the UK. Told from varying viewpoints with timelines before and after Jeannie’s disappearance, this keeps you guessing with multiple suspects and a fast-paced, twisty plot.

The lockdown setting familiar to most is instantly relatable and immerses the reader in the story. The tangle of interrelationships surrounding the missing women intensifies the suspense and adds layers of deception to the plot, especially as many viewpoints are unreliable.

The balance of the detectives’ investigation and the elements of psychological suspense are intriguing and make this an absorbing read.

Susan Lewis

Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of over forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense and crime, including One Minute Later and Home Truths and My Lies, Your Lies. Susan’s novels have sold nearly three million copies in the UK alone. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s. Susan has previously worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. She’s lived in Hollywood and the South of France but now resides in Gloucestershire with her husband James, two stepsons and dog, Mimi.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Revenge Fiction, Crime, Detective, Family Drama, Mystery, New Books, Psychological Suspense

Find You Mary Burton 4*#Review @HQStories #MaryBurton #CrimeFiction #thriller #BlogTour #BookReview #psychsuspense #familydrama #revengefiction #suspense #detective #romanticsuspense #mystery #FindYou

The chase is on in this utterly suspenseful and unputdownable mystery from New York Times bestselling author Mary Burton.

After being on the run for the last nine months, Kristen Rodale has finally settled in a small town in Virginia, where she hopes her dangerous and deadly brother Benito can never find her.
 
But former FBI agent, Dane Cambia, has other ideas: after his sister died at the hands of Kristen’s brother, he wants to hunt Kristen down and use her as bait to get his final revenge on Benito.
 
Cambia manages to locate Kristen, setting his plan in motion. But playing into the killer’s hands is just the beginning of Kristen and Cambia’s new nightmare…

Previously published as Wise Moves

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

My Thoughts…

‘Find you ‘is an intense and well-paced romantic suspense that keeps the reader engaged, waiting for Elena/Kristen’s past to catch up with her. The opening scene is atmospheric and action-packed and immerses the reader in the main protagonist’s life. Trying to start a new life brings Elena, now Kristen, to a new small town with friendly people who seem willing to help a stranger. Dane is ex FBI out to avenge his sister’s death. He sees Elena as collateral damage in achieving his goal but meeting Kristen makes him reconsider.

The romance between Dane and Kristen is conflicted and gentle and is a counterpoint to the suspense and danger surrounding them. The tension intensifies as the story progresses, and the ending, whilst not unexpected, is impactful and romantic.

I like the believable characters and setting, the suspenseful plot and the gentle romance of this story.

Posted in Book Review, Crime, Detective, International Thriller, Mystery, New Books

The Costa Affair Lisa Fantino 4*#Review @AmalfiBlueBook @KellyALacey @lovebookstours #LoveBooksTours @igbooktours  #TheCostaAffair #TheDetectiveFlynnMysteries #BlogTour #BookReview #BookTour #Detective #suspense #mystery

Tremors rock the art world when a millionaire patron of the arts vanishes from his Riverdale mansion. The mysterious disappearance of Gianni Costa and millions in art is headline news, triggers an urgent investigation, imperils a multi-million-dollar auction, and threatens to destabilize a huge overseas pipeline of profit.

In “The Costa Affair,” Lisa Fantino’s long-awaited follow-up to her ‘Det. Maggie Flynn’ mystery series, Maggie is plunged into a world of unimaginable wealth where priceless art changes hands with the fall of a gavel.

Beneath the veneer of elegance though is a transatlantic criminal underworld where deals are brokered in blood, and art is used to evade taxes and launder drug money. Is Costa connected? Nosy NYPD detectives who get too close are in grave peril.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author, via NetGalley.

My Thoughts…

When a renowned art patron disappears, detective Maggie Flynn and her partner investigate the case. I liked that Maggie is an intelligent and intuitive investigator, and the dynamic between the two police detectives added authenticity and depth to the story.

A well-researched story whose glimpse of the art world is fascinating. The plot has a good pace and plenty of twists and makes an engaging and informative read.

Author Lisa Fantino is a veteran journalist turned attorney & bestselling author…with a burning passion for travel, salsa & dark chocolate!