Posted in Book Review, Friendship, New Books, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Book Lovers Emily Henry 5* #Review @VikingBooksUK @PenguinUKBooks #EmilyHenry #romcom #holiday #smalltownromance #beachread #BookReview #BookLovers #smalltown #WeAreBookLovers

The sizzling, sexy, sharp new enemies-to-lovers romcom by NYT bestseller, Emily Henry đź“šđź’•

Nora is a cut-throat literary agent at the top of her game. Her whole life is books.

Charlie is an editor with a gift for creating bestsellers. And he’s Nora’s work nemesis.

Nora has been through enough breakups to know she’s the woman men date before they find their happy-ever-after. That’s why Nora’s sister has persuaded her to swap her desk in the city for a month’s holiday in Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. It’s a small town straight out of a romance novel, but instead of meeting sexy lumberjacks, handsome doctors or cute bartenders, Nora keeps bumping into…Charlie.

She’s no heroine. He’s no hero. So can they take a page out of an entirely different book?

Amazon UK Waterstones

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

My Thoughts…

Book Lovers is a feel-good read, especially if you love books and vibrant characters that make you read just one more chapter. Nora is a successful literary agent who puts her sister’s needs first and always looks after her authors. Charlie is an enigma when they first meet, she is wrong-footed from their first encounter, but she can’t forget him.

I enjoyed the witty dialogue, the gentle romance full of emotion and the believable family dynamic. The story explores differing perceptions of events, relationships, parenting and love, and it resonates, but laughter and romance are never far away.

The ending is a perfect conclusion to this lovely escapist read.

Read my review of Beach Read

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 Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Literary Humour, Motivational, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Romance

Stepping Up Sarah Turner 5*#Review @TheUnmumsyMum @TransworldBooks #SteppingUp #LiteraryHumour #LiteraryFiction #FamilyDrama #sisters #romance #friendship #motivational #uplit #BookReview #parenting

Beth has never stuck at anything.

She’s quit more jobs and relationships than she can remember and she still sleeps in her childhood bedroom. It’s not that she hasn’t tried to grow up, it’s just that so far, the only commitment she’s held down is Friday drinks at the village pub.

Then, in the space of a morning, her world changes.

An unspeakable tragedy turns Beth’s life upside down, and she finds herself guardian to her teenage niece and toddler nephew, catapulted into an unfamiliar world of bedtime stories, parents’ evenings and cuddly elephants. Having never been responsible for anyone – or anything – it’s not long before she feels seriously out of her depth.

What if she’s simply not up to the job?

With a little help from her best friend Jory (purely platonic, of course …) and her lovely, lonely next-door neighbour, Albert, Beth is determined that this time she’s not giving up. It’s time to step up.

This is a story about digging deep for strength you never knew you had and finding magic in things that were there all along.

Amazon UK Waterstones

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

My Thoughts…

I like this book because of its engaging blend of heartbreaking sadness and heartwarming humour. Beth is relatably flawed and easy to empathise with, and I care what happens to her. Sensory imagery brings the characters and events to vibrant life. Beth’s viewpoint captures the emotional clarity of their daily lives in a poignant way that keeps you immersed in their story.

Posted in Book Review, Espionage - Spy - Thriller, Political Thriller, Thriller

In Harm’s Way Anthony Mosawi 4*#Review @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks #BookReview #Political #spy #thriller #supernatural #suspense #InHarmsWay

SHE CAN SEE WHAT’S COMING . . . BUT CAN SHE STOP IT?

YOU DON’T TRUST HER . . .

As the head of GCHQ, Robert Watermen is trained to seek out threats – before they become dangerous. He trusts data and numbers, not people. So when he meets Sara Eden, he doesn’t know what to think.

BUT YOU NEED HER . . .

She’s not an agent. But she knows things that not even his most powerful computer systems do. And she can predict events that no one else can see coming.

THE FUTURE DEPENDS ON HER . . .

When terror strikes the capital, Robert faces a choice. Trust his instincts? Or put the fate of countless lives in the hands of a stranger . . .

Amazon UK

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

A balance of political suspense, high octane intelligence thriller, and the supernatural draw the reader into a world of power, secrets and terror. My second encounter with Sara Eden finds her in the auspices of Robert Waterman, head of GCHQ and former protege of Salt. With contemporary terrorist themes, Sara has a personal agenda, but her unique psychic skills make her invaluable. The action is fast-paced and balanced with mystery and poignancy. The themes are not new, but Sara, Waterman and MI5 operative Ritz are complex characters with a believable dynamic, making this an addictive read.

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

A Fatal Crossing Tom Hindle 4*#Review @tomhindle3 @centurybooksuk @penguinukbooks #MurderMystery #AFatalCrossing #BookReview #historicalcrimefiction #1920s

November 1924. The Endeavour sets sail from Southampton carrying 2,000 passengers and crew on a week-long voyage to New York.

When an elderly gentleman is found dead at the foot of a staircase, ship’s officer Timothy Birch is ready to declare it a tragic accident. But James Temple, a strong-minded Scotland Yard inspector, is certain there is more to this misfortune than meets the eye.

Birch agrees to investigate, and the trail quickly leads to the theft of a priceless painting. Its very existence is known only to its owner . . . and the dead man.

With just days remaining until they reach New York, and even Temple’s purpose onboard the Endeavour proving increasingly suspicious, Birch’s search for the culprit is fraught with danger.

And all the while, the passengers continue to roam the ship with a killer in their midst. . .

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an atmospheric murder mystery set on a transatlantic voyage in 1924 with a complex plot and numerous suspects. Two detectives, Temple from Scotland Yard, travelling on the ship, and a ship’s officer Birch conscripted to help with the investigation reluctantly work together to solve the murder before the ship docks in New York.

There are many suspects and twists with complex and vibrant characters.

Immersive and rich in characterisation and historical detail, this is the perfect read for classic style mystery lovers.

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, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Family Drama, Friendship, New Books, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Couple at No. 9 Claire Douglas 5* #Review @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks @Dougieclaire #PsychologicalThriller #Crime #FamilyDrama #suspense #preorder

It was the house of their dreams. Until the bodies were found . . .

BODIES FOUND UNDER PATIO

When pregnant Saffron Cutler moves into 9 Skelton Place with boyfriend Tom and sets about renovations the last thing she expects is builders uncovering a body – two bodies, in fact.

POLICE INVESTIGATE

Forensics indicate the bodies have been buried at least thirty years. Nothing Saffy need worry herself over. Until the police launch a murder investigation and ask to speak to the cottage’s former owner – her grandmother, Rose.

OWNER QUESTIONED

Rose is in a care home and Alzheimer’s means her memory is increasingly confused. She can’t help the police but it is clear she remembers something.

A KILLER AT LARGE?

As Rose’s fragmented memories resurface, and the police dig ever deeper, Saffy fears she and the cottage are being watched.

What happened thirty years ago?

Why did no one miss the victims?

What part did her grandmother play?

And is Saffy now in danger?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Atmospheric, chilling and poignant, this psychological suspense is a page-turning read. It’s a family drama spanning three generations with timeslips back to the late 1970s and early 1980s, a time I lived through.

The main protagonists are flawed and relatable, making the menacing events and revelations resonate. The twists are impactful with some, easier to work out than others. The balance of pacing and the gradual revealing of the lies and secrets keeps the reader absorbed until the end.

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

The Thursday Murder Club Richard Osman 5*#Review @richardosman @VikingBooks @PenguinBooksUK #TheThursdayMurderClub #BookReview

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved killings.

But when a local property developer shows up dead, ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

The four friends, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a fun but insightful character-driven cosy mystery.

Wonderfully eccentric characters, all have illustrious pasts, investigative and observational skills and a desire for justice. The twisty mystery has numerous suspects and misinformation holding the readers’ interest. Whilst aspects of this story seem unlikely that doesn’t deter from the well-crafted plot and the authentic characterisation that defines it.

There’s recognisable English humour blended with emotion making makes the characters easy to empathise and relatable. The vivid sensory imagery makes the characters and setting come to life.

Posted in 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 . . .

Amazon UK Waterstones

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 Book Review, Romantic Comedy

Beach Read Emily Henry 5*#Review @EmilyHenryWrite @PenguinUKBooks #romcom #BeachRead #BookReview #SundayMorning #weekendreads #SundayMotivation

TWO WRITERS, ONE HOLIDAY. A ROMCOM WAITING TO HAPPEN…

January is a hopeless romantic who narrates her life like she’s the lead in a blockbuster movie.
Gus is a serious literary type who thinks true love is a fairy-tale.

But January and Gus have more in common than you’d think:

They’re both broke.
They’ve got crippling writer’s block.
And they need to write bestsellers before summer ends.

The result? A bet to swap genres and see who gets published first.
The risk? In telling each other’s stories, their worlds might be changed entirely…

Set over one sizzling summer, Beach Read is a witty love story that will make you laugh a lot, cry a little and fall head over heels.

Amazon UK Waterstones

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

My Thoughts…

What’s your definition of a perfect beach read? Addictive, emotional, humorous and romantic? This story is all of these things with an intelligent pacy plot and believable, relatable characters.

January and Gus are successful writers, they met at college but were not friends, now they are both experiencing difficulty writing their next book. January is grieving her father’s death and the revelations that followed. Gus carries emotional damage from his childhood. Their first encounter is humorous but bordering on disastrous, but things improve, and they make a bet to write in each other’s genre with life-changing results.

The story explores genre and prejudices about female writers. It’s also an emotional journey of self-discovery for our couple with angst, fun, romance and tears.

The perfect beach read.