Posted in Book Review

The Dawn Chorus – Cressida McLaughlin – #1 The House of Birds and Butterflies – 5* Review

Abby Field is living the dream. As events coordinator at the Meadowsweet nature reserve on the idyllic Suffolk coast, every day is an adventure with the birds and the butterflies, and she couldn’t feel more at home. When another local nature reserve is chosen as the hot location for a new television series, however, Meadowsweet looks set for seasonal hibernation – unless Abby can whip up a creative plan to keep the visitors flocking.

With the help of the Meadowgreen villagers, and her cute rescue huskie, Raffle, can Abby rescue the nature reserve from oblivion? Or will she be distracted by the arrival of a brooding – and annoyingly handsome – new neighbour…

Amazon UK 

Amazon

My Thoughts…

I love the title of this new series from Cressida McLaughlin. The cover epitomises the book’s ethos perfectly. Set against the background of a nature reserve on the Suffolk coast, ‘The Dawn Chorus’ the first book in the series, introduces the mysterious house, abandoned in heartbreak on the edge of the reserve and a cast of delightfully quirky characters whose love of nature brings them together.

Abby loves her job, which brings her into direct contact with the public and the inhabitants of the reserve on a daily basis. She is fascinated by the faded glory of the large house, belonging to the reserve’s owner Penelope. No longer lived it possesses a mysterious, tragic quality that Abby longs to explore. Abby guards her heart fiercely. Let down by her father and drawn to toxic relationships she prefers to share life with Raffle her husky.

The arrival of Jack disrupts her uneventful life, and I can’t wait to read book 2, ‘The Lovebirds’ to see what happens next.

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

Advertisements
Posted in Book Review

Ottercombe Bay- #4 – Shaken and Stirred – 5* Review – Bella Osborne

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

A lovely end to a charming serial.

Devon makes a colourful coastal setting for this romantic tale with a hint of mystery and lots of humorous moments. Daisy returns to her childhood home, Ottercombe bay to fulfil her great uncle’s legacy.  She develops a successful business but can she be lucky in love too? Daisy and Max’s tumultuous relationship makes this unlikely at times.

This final part of the series solves the mystery surrounding her mother’s death but is the truth worse than not knowing? The ending ties up all the loose ends and leaves you with a warm hug.

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

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review

The Death Chamber – Lesley Thomson – 4* Review

Queen’s Jubilee, 1977: Cassie Baker sees her boyfriend kissing another girl at the village disco. Upset, she heads home alone and is never seen again.

Millennium Eve, 1999: DCI Paul Mercer finds Cassie’s remains in a field. Now he must prove the man who led him there is guilty.

When Mercer’s daughter asks Stella Darnell for help solving the murder, Stella sees echoes of herself. Another detective’s daughter.

With her sidekick sleuth, Jack, Stella moves to Winchcombe, where DCI Mercer and his prime suspect have been playing cat and mouse for the past eighteen years.

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

Even though this is the sixth in the detective daughter series, you can read as a standalone.

The story begins with the circumstances surrounding the first murder in 1977. After the disappearance of another girl in 1999, the body of the first victim is found. Stella and Jack are offered the case by another detective’s daughter whose father wants them to prove that the murderer is still at large. Other members of the team are not sure if they should take the case, but someone closer to home is keeping secrets that will need to be solved too.

The characters’ stories are sketched out in the first part of the story, so even if you are new to the series, like me you get a feel for who they are. Quirky is the word that sums up both Jack and Stella, both are good people but are damaged by life and find it difficult to relate to others outside their immediate team. There is a good team dynamic both in the ‘Clean Slate’, cleaning company and the detective agency. Everyone has a role and it more of a family than a business.

The crime-solving takes place in the last two-thirds of the story. It is a detailed and lengthy book but is well-paced. The factual details seamlessly merge with clues, misinformation and the characters’ internal and external conflicts. I liked the dynamic between Stella and Jack, they are vividly described and come across as believable.

The plot is intricate with numerous twists, even when you think you’ve solved it something alters to move the goal posts, and you discover you’re only partly correct. Atmospheric and suspenseful twists make ordinary events and settings menacing and chilling.

The ending leaves no loose ends and manages to retain its surprises.

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

Posted in Book Review

Ottercombe Bay#3 – Raising the Bar – Bella Osborne – 5* Review

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

Part three of Ottercombe Bay – Raising the Bar sees Daisy finally opening her multi-purpose business in the old Railway building left to her by her Great-Uncle Reg. Daisy is joined by some quirky characters who she manages to employ on a part-time basis, now all she needs are the customers.

Romance is also in the air, but it’s not without its complications. Bug, the pug, provides a constant stream of amusement even though he did leave Daisy marooned at the end of part two. Daisy’s problems aren’t over yet, she has uninvited guests, things go missing, and the circumstances around her mother’s death remain mysterious.

This episode ends with a cliffhanger, so I’m looking forward to the fourth and final part of this humorous, yet poignant series.

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

Posted in Book Review

Ottercombe Bay – 5* Review Bella Osborne – Gin and Trouble #2


Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

With a title like ‘Gin and Trouble’, you get an inkling that everything isn’t going to go smoothly for the folks in Ottercombe bay. This is my first taste of Ottercombe bay, and obviously, it’s better to have read the first book, but there’s enough backstory to make it readable as a standalone and still enjoy it. Not reading the next instalment is not an option as this ends on a cliffhanger and you have to know what happens next.

Daisy last connection with her mother has been stolen, and she is sad. Her mother’s untimely death is shrouded in mystery, which may become more evident as the series progresses. Her unexpected and unwelcome inheritance is the subject of this book, and it’s an idea from Max her nemesis that leads to her renovating the old railway buildings with Max her unlikely but a willing helper. There is definitely, a romance in the making here. More mystery revolves around the return of Max’s father, and there is angst and guilt as Max comes to terms with this.

I loved the characters in this book, realistic and quirky, and the problems associated with renovation and opening a new venture add interest to this lovely story, can’t wait for the next one.

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

Posted in Book Review

The Wife #4 M. L. Roberts ‘Til Death Us Do Part’ 5* Review

36118348

Michael and Ellie are that couple.

The ones who have it all.

Success, charm, trust…but no relationship is perfect, and the events of the past cast a shadow over their charmed life together.

When lecturer Michael starts to mentor a new student, Ellie fears that history is repeating itself. As paranoia takes its ugly hold, it’s clear some things just can’t be forgotten…or forgiven.

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

Paranoia or intuition, which is it that makes Ellie believe her husband is lying to her? The final part of this enthralling, psychological thriller, keeps its secrets almost to the end. When you think you know everything there is another breathtaking revelation that leaves you with a chill down your spine.

Ellie’s mental health continues to deteriorate, her marriage to Michael reaches the breaking point, but Liam is more than willing to take his place. Is this what she wants? Ellie’s not sure about anything, but her need for the truth. The outcome of the terrible night that destroyed her is played out, and we find out why she can’t put it out of her mind. While this is not a surprise, it does give you further pieces towards solving the psychological puzzle.

The story continues with its twisty plot. Will Ellie learn the truth or is it all in her mind, the fall out from her night of terror. The final instalment reveals all and is a nail-biting end to an original, gripping serial.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Find my review of the other three books in the series by clicking on the links:

To Have And To Hold

For Better Or Worse

In Sickness Or In Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review

The Wife- In Sickness and In Health #3 M.L. Roberts- 5* Review

36118347

Michael and Ellie are that couple.

The ones who have it all.

Success, charm, trust…but no relationship is perfect, and the events of the past cast a shadow over their charmed life together.

When lecturer Michael starts to mentor a new student, Ellie fears that history is repeating itself. As paranoia takes its ugly hold, it’s clear some things just can’t be forgotten…or forgiven.

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Thoughts…

The psychological tension is ramped up in this penultimate episode of the serial. Book 2 – ‘In Sickness and In Health’, ends with a life-changing event for Ellie, although not entirely surprising from the reader’s point of view. Is Michael the true villain of this? Or is it all in Ellie’s troubled mind? Maybe Liam isn’t the selfless, knight in shining armour Ellie believes him to be?

Ellie thinks she is in control but is she? There are so many questions in this third book, which has a dark, sinister ethos. Ellie is in danger but is she her own enemy or is there someone else controlling her life for their own ends.

There is a shocking ending to book 3, but I’m not convinced everything is as it appears to be. Can’t wait for the finale of this gripping, emotional serial.

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