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 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. 

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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 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

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

Blind Pool Vicki Goldie 4* #Review @vicki_goldie @VictorinaPress @RandomTTours #TheChartersMysteries #CrimeFiction #MurderMystery #FamilyDrama #HistoricalCrimeFiction #BlogTour #BookReview #Paperback #Mystery

This series follows amateur sleuths Major Alasdair Charters and the Honourable Melissa Charters as they inadvertently muddle their way through many investigations but always arrive at the truth. Alasdair was blinded in the First World War and uses his special skills
to gain ‘insight’ into the crimes. The Honourable Melissa, who likes to think she is a socialist, has a large family and set of friends who always seem to run into problems. The books are set both in England and abroad.

Having a husband who is blind, author Vicki Goldie likes to explore perceptions about this disability and push the boundaries.

In 1923 flushed with the success of their last sleuthing escapade Major Alasdair Charters, a blind WW1 veteran and former intelligence officer and his aristocrat wife The Honourable Melissa, accept an invitation to a country house party on Somerset Levels in Winter.

There they find a dysfunctional family all living in a huge old house on a hill. Overnight the storm brings with it the floodwaters and the house becomes surrounded and cut off from rescue just as a murderer begins to stalk the residents. An exciting murder mystery in the Golden Age tradition. Will our sleuths discover hidden secrets and unmask the murderer before anyone else is killed?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is such an atmospheric story full of historically authentic characters and period detail. The husband and wife amateur sleuth team is not a new concept, but as Alasdair cannot see at all, due to an incident during WW1, this gives the story a unique perspective. This is the second book in The Charters’Mysteries but reads perfectly as a standalone. There is sufficient backstory on the amateur sleuths to show why they make the perfect investigators.

Set at a house party in 1923 this is a Golden Age murder mystery which has a claustrophobic setting, lots of suspects and a murderer in their midst. This story is a sensory delight, as Alasdair perceives things often ignored by sighted people, and Melissa becomes his eyes. The plot is well-written and the investigation thorough and immersive. The reader feels part of the story, and this makes finding the antagonist both addictive and realistic. Believably crafted characters, many hard to like, all have secrets. The short chapters make this a fast-paced read, and allow easy to follow changes of character and scene.

Blind Pool is an engaging historical murder mystery with originally crafted amateur sleuths that make me want to read the first book in the series.

Vicki Goldie

Vicki lives in Poole Dorset with her blind physiotherapist husband. She has a lifelong fascination with the Art Deco period and with books of
the Golden Age of Crime. This led her to envision a series featuring a blind detective set in the 1920s.

Blind Pool is the second in the series.

She is a co-pioneer for a reading charity Read Easy Bournemouth and volunteers at The Russell Cotes
Museum in Bournemouth.

She is currently writing book three in the series Blind Haven set in Bournemouth

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

Killing The Story Joan Livingston 4*#Review @joanlivingston @darkstrokedark The Isabel Long Mystery Series @rararesources #cozymystery #murdermystery #coldcase #BookReview #BlogTour #KillingTheStory

An accidental death that was no accident…

For the record, Estelle Crane, the gutsy editor of The Observer newspaper, died after a hard fall on ice. But years later, her son discovers a cryptic note hinting her death might not have been an accident after all.

Was Estelle pursuing a big story that put her life in danger?

That’s what Isabel Long — along with her 93-year-old mother, Maria, her ‘Watson’ — agrees to investigate in Dillard, a town whose best days are in the past.

A former journalist, Isabel follows leads and interviews sources, new and familiar. She quickly finds a formidable threat in Police Chief James Hawthorne, who makes it clear Isabel is not welcome in his town — and who warns her against poking her nose into Estelle’s death.

Of course, that’s after Isabel has discovered the chief’s questionable policing and a troubled history with Estelle that goes way back.

Killing the story means dropping it because there aren’t enough facts to back it up. But Isabel won’t make that mistake. She’ll see this one through to the very end.

Can she uncover the plot that led to Estelle’s murder?

Killing the Story is the fourth in the popular Isabel Long Mystery Series. 

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

My Thoughts…

Even though this is the fourth book, in the Isabel Long Mystery series it’s the first I’ve read, and there’s sufficient backstory for this to read as a standalone. Isabel, a former journalist, specialises in solving cold cases, in the area of North Massachusetts where she lives. Her fourth case concerns a former Editor of a small-town paper.

The characters are quirky, and the small-town dynamic is believable. The plot has twists and false leads. The investigative team comprises Isabel and her mother, and these two give the story a unique perspective.

If you enjoy cosy and murder mystery this unusual, and original series should appeal to you.

Jaon Livingstone

Joan Livingston is the author of novels for adult and young readers. Killing the Story, published by Darkstroke Books, is the fourth in her Isabel Long Mystery Series, featuring a longtime journalist who becomes an amateur P.I. solving cold cases in rural New England.

She draws upon her own experience as a longtime journalist in Massachusetts and New Mexico to create Isabel Long, a sassy, savvy widow who uses the skills she acquired in the business to solve what appears to be impossible cases. She also relies on her deep knowledge of rural Western Massachusetts, where she lives, to create realistic characters and settings — from country bars (where Isabel works part-time) to a general store’s backroom where gossipy old men meet.

She credits her mother, Algerina — the inspiration for Maria, Isabel Long’s ‘Watson’ — for instilling in her a love of reading and the power of the written word.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Murder Mystery

Innocent Erin Kinsley 4*#Review @KinsleyErin @headlinepg @RandomTTours #CrimeFiction #MurderMystery #SmallTown #England #BlogTour #BookReview

The pretty market town of Sterndale is a close-knit community where everyone thinks they know everyone else. But at a lavish summer wedding a local celebrity is discovered slumped in the gardens, the victim of a violent assault that leads to a murder investigation.

As the police search for answers, suspicion and paranoia build – and the lives of the locals are turned upside down. Secrets that lurk beneath the pristine façade of Sterndale come to light as detectives close in on the truth…


A gripping and moving thriller with the emotional drama

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Murder in a small English town with numerous suspects a celebrity angle, and so many secrets drew me to this story, and it fulfils its potential. A senseless crime rocks the small town of Sterndale, but someone isn’t surprised. This is atmospheric murder mystery focuses on the characters revealing deep secrets hidden away from the public eye. Multi viewpoints inform the story and give the reader an omnipotent view of events, but not everyone is truthful.

The pacing is slow mirroring reality as the detectives sift through the suspects. The characters are relatable, and the plot hides its secrets well. The small town ethos facilitates the story’s immersive quality and makes the characters and events believable.

This is an engaging story for readers who enjoy a murder mystery set in a small town.

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

Eight Detectives Alex Pavesi 5*#Review @pavesi_alex @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks #CrimeFiction #MurderMystery #GoldenAge #BookReview #PublicationDay #EightDetectives #ThursdayThoughts

All murder mysteries follow a simple set of rules. Grant McAllister, an author of crime fiction and professor of mathematics, once sat down and worked them all out.

But that was thirty years ago. Now he’s living a life of seclusion on a quiet Mediterranean island – until Julia Hart, a sharp, ambitious editor, knocks on his door. His early work is being republished and together the two of them must revisit those old stories: an author, hiding from his past, and an editor, keen to understand it.

But as she reads, Julia is unsettled to realise that there are things in the stories that don’t make sense. Intricate clues that seem to reference a real murder, one that’s remained unsolved for thirty years.

If Julia wants answers, she must triumph in a battle of wits with a dangerously clever adversary. But she must tread carefully: she knows there’s a mystery, but she doesn’t yet realise there’s already been a murder . . .

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

My Thoughts…

Eight Detectives has stories within a story, a mathematical rather than emotional interpretation of murder mystery and an increasingly menacing atmosphere between the reclusive author and the inquiring editor. Rather like a treasure map, the short stories provide snippets of information for another as yet untold one.

Classically written, relatable murder mysteries engage the reader. The plot twists unexpectedly into a surprisingly contemporary murder mystery with psychological suspense. This is a book for the observant, are the protagonists reliable?

Eight Detectives is an absorbing and addictive read. It would make a great party game.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Excerpt, Murder Mystery

The Long Shadow on the Stage Nichole Heydenburg @TheWriteWords16 #Excerpt #CrimeFiction #MurderMystery #Detective @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #TheLongShadowOnTheStage

Jackson Birkman has the perfect life: the lead role on the popular detective show “Dispatching David,” millions of adoring fans, celebrity status, and a beautiful girlfriend. After five seasons, “Dispatching David” has just been cancelled. With the final episode quickly approaching, Jackson is worried about more than just his future acting career. His once massive fortune is dwindling and his girlfriend Clara is pressuring him to propose.

When Jackson unexpectedly dies on the set of the TV show during filming, everyone speculates whether it was suicide or murder. Why would Jackson commit suicide? If it was a setup, who would want Jackson to die? And most importantly, what was the motive of the murderer? As the investigation continues, Officer Wilson inches closer to the truth, uncovering Jackson’s secrets. She begins to think no one really knew Jackson at all, but is determined to solve the case, no matter the cost.

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Excerpt from The Long Shadow on the Stage Nichole Heydenburg

“Jackson, do you think you could help me with this box? I thought I could get it, but it’s heavier than I thought,” Clara said, exhaling loudly, her arms shaking while struggling to hold a particularly large box she was trying to carry into his apartment.

“Ah, sweetie! Why didn’t you wait for me?” Jackson ran over to her and grabbed the box from her arms. It wasn’t that heavy. He brought it into the apartment with Clara trailing after him emptyhanded. “How many do you have left?”

“A lot. Help me,” she pleaded, throwing herself onto his black leather couch and curling up her legs to lie down.

“Are you going to bring in anything else?” He asked, frustrated. He didn’t mind helping, but if she was going to lay around and not do anything, he at least wanted to know the truth and not have her pretend she was working hard.

“Yeah. Just give me a minute. I’m tired.” Clara yawned, pulling the blanket he always kept on the couch over her body and snuggling into the cool leather.

She didn’t look like she was budging an inch, so Jackson grumbled to himself and went back outside to her car, grabbing whatever he could carry to finish moving her stuff in as quickly as possible. He brought inside box after box after box. He stopped beside Clara’s car and leaned against it to rest his tired muscles. Jackson heard footsteps rapidly approaching and was about to turn around when suddenly everything went black.

Nichole Heydenburg earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English with an emphasis in writing and a minor in theatre from Adrian College in 2014. Her one-act play “The Hidden Story” won a playwriting contest and was performed at her alma mater in 2015. She also had several poems published in “The Oxcart” literary magazine. Nichole has been working full-time as the Content Manager for a start-up company for 3 years. When she isn’t writing, Nichole enjoys going on adventures with her husband, reading, playing board games, and the occasional mimosa. “The Long Shadow on the Stage” is her first novel. She currently resides near Asheville, NC with her husband, Zed.

To stay up to date on news about her second novel, as well as read writing and self-publishing tips, subscribe to her monthly newsletter on her website https://www.nicholeheydenburg.com/.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Murder Mystery, Noir, Travel

The Bellhop Only Stalks Once Cat Hickey 4*#Review @CatHickey4 @darkstrokedark @rararesources #CrimeFiction #noircrime #MurderMystery #BlogTour #Book Review #RachelsRandomResources

Lies, secrets, and a sinister plot hide in broad daylight at the heart of the Club Pacifica.

A beautiful tropical resort, exciting new friends, and a handsome guest liaison – it’s the perfect getaway for Chloe, a free-spirited Baltimore girl just getting to know herself. But the vacation of a lifetime quickly takes a dark turn when a young, overly flirty bellhop starts following her everywhere. It gets even worse when he disappears, and Chloe is the sole witness.

As bellhop after bellhop goes missing, she struggles to figure out what’s happening. When suspicion falls upon her, Chloe must not only try to rescue the kidnapped bellhops, but also to clear her name.

Complicating things further is the relationship she forms with Mateo, Club Pacifica’s guest liaison. Charming and easygoing, he is everything that her fiancé at home is not, and she finds herself fighting a growing attraction to him. But can he be trusted?

She soon discovers that she’s landed herself in a world of secrets, and, worse, that these are not just those of others, but also the secrets she keeps from herself.

Can she find her way through all the lies to finally discover the truth before it’s too late?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story has intrinsic dark humour with vivid characters and lots of action. The plot is imaginative with good use of sensory imagery. The pacing is frenetic at times, as the bellhops disappear without a trace. Chloe, investigates the mystery, but who can she trust?

Chloe is a likeable character on an emotional journey. Despite the abductions and accusations that define her holiday, it lets her step back from her life. Finally discovering she wants something different.

Fun, danger, mystery and romance are all found in this engaging and unusual story.

Cat Hickey has a Master’s degree in Biology, and teaches Anatomy and Physiology at a university in Baltimore, MD, USA. She writes light-hearted mysteries and thrillers that are based, partly, on her extensive travels around the world. She is also an avid yogi who teaches aerial yoga and practices aerial circus arts, and spends the rest of her time with her four rescue animals, which consist of three cats and a horse.

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

Murder Ahoy! Fiona Leitch 5*#Review @fkleitch #Cozymystery #murdermystery #cruiseship #humour #crimefiction #MurderAhoy @rararesources #ABellaTysonMystery #BlogTour #BookReview

Famous crime writer Bella Tyson is hired to co-host a Murder Mystery cruise, on a luxury liner sailing from Southampton to New York. She’s expecting an easy ride; fun and games, surrounded by amateur sleuths and fans of her books, all the while staying in a deluxe cabin and enjoying the spa and the amazing restaurants on board, culminating in a visit to one of her favourite cities in the world – the Big Apple.

She’s NOT expecting to be stuck on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic with her two least favourite people in the world, her hot but unfaithful bastard ex-husband Joel Quigley and fellow crime writer, bitch goddess and Twitter frenemy, Louise Meyers. And when real live dead bodies start turning up – as well as fake not-really-dead bodies – Bella’s dreams of being pampered on the high seas turn sour.

Accused of a murder she would have liked to commit but didn’t, and helped (or hindered) by a gang of unlikely detectives, can Bella find out who the real murderer is before the ship reaches its destination and New York’s finest drag her off?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

I always enjoy a good murder mystery, and this is one that captures my imagination. Bella Tyson is a successful crime writer hired to host a murder mystery event on a first-class cruise ship from England to New York. Things do not work out as envisaged, and she embroiled in a real murder mystery as the main suspect.

This story fits well into the cosy mystery genre with vibrant but believable characters, all of whom could be guilty of murder. There are clues along the way as Bella tries to identify the real murderer and clear her name before they reach New York.

Bella is a lovely character with a witty sense of humour that lightens the darkness of the plot and her current situation. Sensory imagery, engages the reader in the plot and setting, on a luxurious cruise ship. The ending ties everything up in a satisfying way.

I like the informal writing style in the first person letting the reader share Bella’s emotions and investigative thoughts. It allows the reader insight into the amateur sleuth’s mind, making it an immersive experience, and a great escapist read.

Fiona Leitch

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

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