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

At Death’s Door: The Shires Mysteries Anna Legat  5*#Review @LegatWriter @AccentPress #CrimeFiction #Wiltshire  #AtDeathsDoor  #TheShiresMysteries #BookReview #BlogTour @rararesources #cozymystery #cosycrime #family #drama #MondayBlogs

When Maggie Kaye and Sam Dee join the Bishops Well archaeological dig, they are as surprised as everyone else to unearth a body that was buried there less than fifty years ago. It can’t possibly be the remains of an ancient Celt.

Maggie, with her usual flair – and psychic intuition – is convinced that there is more to this discovery than meets the eye. And some Bishops residents seem to know a lot more about the case than they are willing to let on.

But nobody is as shocked as Maggie when a face from the past – a face she thought she’d never see again – appears in the village, and long-hidden secrets begin to surface.

With danger at her door, and Sam by her side, can Maggie uncover the truth before it’s too late?

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

My Thoughts…

The Shire Mysteries blend cosy crime with family drama. Maggie sees the dead, an invaluable gift in her role as amateur sleuth and often enlivens her neighbour Sam’s life with ghostly sightings and provoking thoughts.

An archaeological dig unearths an unexpected find that revisits the past. Tragedy in Maggie’s personal life leads to an unexpected visitor.

Believable characters, a well-written mystery and touches of humour make this a lovely escapist read.

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 Audiobook Review, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Murder Mystery, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Suspense, Thriller

Hide Nell Pattison 4*#Review #Narrator David Thorpe, Sherry Baines , Alex Wingfield, Nick Biadon, Clare-Louise English, Billy Ashcroft, Beth Eyre @Writer_Nell @AvonBooksUK #HarperCollinsUKAudio #Hide #Suspense #Thriller #Mystery #Audiobook #Review

Seven friends. One killer. You can run, but you can’t hide…

The winter hike is meant to bring their nature group together.
Emily, the sister who never lets her hearing loss hold her back.
Lauren, the sister who always feels a step behind.
Morna, who doesn’t get on with Lauren.
Ben, whose feelings for Emily border on obsession.
Dan, the quiet newcomer to the group.
Kai, who isn’t just on the hike to enjoy the wildlife.
And Alec, the one who knows all their secrets.

As the sun sets, a gunshot rings out on the nature reserve.
One of the seven is dead. And one of their number killed them…

Amazon Audible Amazon UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from Harper Collins UK Audio (Avon ) via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This a character driven, claustrophobic, complex thriller set on a remote nature reserve in Winter. There are seven main characters who meet as a nature group. They appear diverse and unconnected except for the group but as the story progresses their connections emerge.

The characters are hard to empathise with and all have secrets from each other. The suspense is cleverly created using the characters’ interactions, the setting and the weather. It takes a while to get into the story but once each character speaks and the tension between them grows, it’s addictive listening.

The actors portraying the characters bring the story to life and this book works well in an audio format.

Posted in Blog Tour, Crime, Murder Mystery, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller

Remember My Name Sam Blake 5*#Review @samblakebooks @CorvusBooks @RandomTTours #BlogTour #RememberMyName #BookReview #BookBlogger

If she’d turned off her phone, instead of listening in, perhaps no one would have died…
When Cressida Howard catches her entrepreneur husband playing away from home, she hires security expert Brioni O’Brien to get the evidence she needs for a speedy and financially rewarding divorce.
But what Brioni uncovers goes beyond simple infidelity. Because Laurence Howard is also in bed with some very dangerous people. Bribery and blackmail are the least of his worries as someone comes after the women in his life – someone who is out to destroy Laurence and his empire, whatever the cost.
And Cressida and her teenage daughter could soon be collateral damage, if she and Brioni don’t act fast.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Corvus Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Immersive from the first chapter this fast-paced mix of murder mystery and psychological suspense is addictive reading. Cressidia hears something she shouldn’t and it leads to series of events that threaten everything she loves.

Set the story has believable, vibrant characters and a twisty plot. Deceit,depravity and dubious business dealings are at the core of this suspenseful story. The multilayered story draws its sub-plots together in a readable way and the impactful ending ensures the story delivers everything it promises.

The perfect read if you like your thrillers packed with adrenaline-fuelled action, edge of your seat suspense and vengeance.

Sam Blake
Posted in Book Review, Christmas Read, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Festive Read, Friendship, Murder Mystery, New Books, Romance

A Cornish Christmas Murder Fiona Leitch 4*#Review @fkleitch @0neMoreChapter_ #Cosymystery #murdermystery #Cornwall #humour #crimefiction #festive #ACornishChristmasMurder #ANoseyParkerCosyMystery #BookReview

It’s three days before Christmas, and detective-turned-chef Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is drafted in to cater a charity event run by a notorious millionaire at a 13th-century abbey on Bodmin Moor.

Things get more complicated when a snowstorm descends, stranding them all, and the next morning they find one of the guests has been gruesomely murdered in their bed…

Secrets mull like wine on the stove in every corner – can Jodie solve the crime before the killer strikes again?

A Cornish Christmas Murder is a must-read mystery full of heart and humour.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a festive, cosy mystery set in Cornwall. There are familiar characters and a classical locked room murder mystery. Jodie Parker is an ex-detective, who always finds, herself faced with solving murders. Ably assisted by her friend Debbie, young daughter Daisy, she tries to solve the gory murder that takes place, in a country house, just before Christmas.

This is a slow build mystery with intricate character building. It didn’t draw me in as quickly as the previous books. The murder mystery is well-plotted, and the characters are relatable, and there are pertinent touches of humour and poignancy.

This story is just the book to curl up with on a cosy winter’s afternoon.

Read my review of Murder on the Menu (Book1)

Read my review of A Brush with Death (Book2)

Read my review of A Sprinkle of Sabotage (Book3)

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

Murder At The Abbey Frances Evesham 5* #Review @FrancesEvesham @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #BlogTour #boldwoodbloggers #BookReview #MurderMystery #ExhamOnSea #MurderAtTheAbbey #Somerset

The Brand NEW instalment in the bestselling Exham-on-Sea series.

An unsolved murder echoes down the corridors of Cleeve Abbey for years.

The Exham-on-Sea’s History Society’s annual summer picnic comes to an abrupt end when human bones are discovered in Washford River, beside historic Cleeve Abbey.

Thrilled to find evidence of a possible centuries-old murder mystery, the members of the society organise a ghost-hunting night in the ruins of Cleeve Abbey, despite amateur sleuth Libby Forest’s reservations.

Libby is a woman of many talents, a baker, chocolatier, even a reluctant sleuth, but she’s no fan of the supernatural. and her doubts are justified when a friend is attacked under cover of darkness at the ghost-hunt.

Distressed and angry, Libby sets out with her new husband Max and their two dogs Bear and Shipley to uncover the connection between the murder of a sixteenth-century monk and a present-day attack in picturesque Somerset.

With friends and neighbours as suspects, Libby and Max close in on the culprit only to find that others are still in danger.

There’s no time to lose as the sins of the past threaten lives in the community.

Murder at the Abbey is the eighth in a series of Exham-on-Sea Murder Mysteries from the small English seaside town full of quirky characters, sea air, and gossip.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an atmospheric and engaging murder mystery with historical and local details that add authenticity. Libby and Max, a familiar amateur sleuth duo for followers of the series, investigate a historical murder that seems to have present-day relevance.

The characters are vibrant and exhibit traits commonly found in rural villages. The ruined Abbey setting gives the story a ghostly element that proves to be significant. There are lots of suspects. There is the added complication of familiarity as most are acquaintances or friends of Libby and Max.

This is an entertaining read with believable characters, a sinister ethos and a vividly portrayed setting.

Frances Evesham is the author of the hugely successful Exham-on-Sea mysteries set in her home county of Somerset. Boldwood has republished the complete series. Frances has also started a new cosy crime series set in rural Herefordshire, the first of which was published in June 2020.

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

A Fatal Night Faith Martin 5* #Review @HQStories @FaithMartin_Nov #hisfic #CrimeFiction #Mystery #Retro #Oxford #1960s #BookReview #bookbloggers #BlogTour #RyderandLoveday #AFatalNIght

New Year’s Eve, 1962

As a snowstorm rages outside, Oxford high society gathers to ring in the new year at the city’s most exclusive party. This is a soiree no one will forget… not least because a guest is found dead in his car the next morning.

It seems the young man tragically froze to death overnight after crashing into a snowdrift – but when WPC Trudy Loveday and coroner Clement Ryder are called in to investigate, they discover a tangled web of secrets that plainly points to murder.

With everyone telling different stories about that fateful night, only one thing is clear: several people had reason to want the victim dead.

And if Trudy and Clement don’t find the cracks in each lie, the killer will get away with the perfect crime…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This series has an excellent sense of place and time, with a vibrant 1960s Oxford setting. A suspicious death after a glamorous New Years Eve party looks like a tragic accident, but when Trudy and Clement investigate, murder seems likely. This investigation in this story is complete, so it reads well as a standalone. However, to grasp the nuances of Ryder and Loveday’s partnership, I recommend reading all books in the series.

Misogyny still prevails amongst Loveday’s colleagues, but her obvious detective skills win her support from some. Deduction and observation skills were paramount in an era without forensics and technology.

The sensory imagery used and vivid descriptions reflect 1962s extreme winter weather and are central to the story. This is an engaging classic style murder mystery with relatable characters and a believably written cast of suspects.

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Domestic Suspense, Family Drama, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Suspense, Travel

The Chateau Catherine Cooper 4*#Review @catherinecooper @HarperFiction @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam #TheChateau #France #CrimeFiction #domestic #noir #psychological #suspense #MurderMystery #Relationships #Secrets #BookReview

They thought it was perfect. They were wrong…

A glamorous chateau

Aura and Nick don’t talk about what happened in England. They’ve bought a chateau in France to make a fresh start, and their kids need them to stay together – whatever it costs.

A couple on the brink

The expat community is welcoming, but when a neighbour is murdered at a lavish party, Aura and Nick don’t know who to trust.

A secret that is bound to come out…

Someone knows exactly why they really came to the chateau. And someone is going to give them what they deserve.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Set in a glamorous region of France renowned for its Chateaux, this is a twisty and menacing fusion of murder mystery and psychological suspense. Aura and Nick are living the French dream but can their relationship survive their past? The ex-pat community are welcoming, but not everyone wishes them well. The book begins with a party that ends tragically. The reader is taken back to the time preceding the party and Aura and Nick’s first few weeks. The main protagonists’ Aura and Nick, both give their viewpoints at different times. Neither are easy to like, and both are unreliable.

The chateau is a work in progress with a menacing ethos that the children pick up on. Pertinent additional points of view are injected into the story to add intrigue. Well-plotted twists and timely reveals are balanced with misdirections, multiple suspects and unreliable narrators, making the ending climactic.

Catherine Cooper

Catherine Cooper is a journalist specialising in travel, hotels, and skiing who writes regularly for the Telegraph and the Guardian among others. She lives near the Pyrenees in the South of France with her husband and two teenage children, and is a keen skier.

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

A Lesson in Murder Verity Bright 4* #Review A Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery Book @BrightVerity @bookouture #Historical #1920s #cozymystery #MurderMystery #ALadyEleanorSwiftMystery #BookReview

When Lady Swift is invited to her old school, she walks through familiar classrooms, finds her favourite books in the library… and surely that’s not a body? Time for a lesson in murder!

Autumn, 1921. Lady Eleanor Swift is invited to her old school, St Mary’s, as a guest speaker. Her favourite teacher, Mrs Wadsworth, has asked that Eleanor talk about her intrepid travels around the globe – travelling the Silk Road by bicycle, crossing the Himalayas and even befriending the Maharaja of India. But in the circumstances, perhaps it would have been a good idea to talk about her career as a daring detective…

Because no sooner has Eleanor brushed up on her times tables then she is greeted by terrible news: Mrs Wadsworth has been murdered. Eleanor is utterly devastated but she owes it to her dearest teacher to find out who killed her and why. So, alongside Gladstone the bulldog, it’s best paw forward to track down a villain.

But when the art teacher is also found dead, Eleanor is sure someone is trying to do away with the people who taught her everything. As Eleanor delves into possible motives, she discovers a clue in the most unlikely place: her mother’s old school diary. Does the route to the murderer lie within a secret passageway her mother uncovered? Can Eleanor nail the culprit in time or is the killer coming for her next?

A totally gripping and glamorous 1920s cozy! 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Lady Eleanor Swift’s latest murder investigation takes place in her old boarding school. The suspects are numerous, and Ellie and Clifford pose as school staff to find the murderer. The school setting is atmospheric and evokes classic murder mysteries. The engaging characters and twisty mystery plot make this another addictive read.

Posted in Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, 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, 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.