Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Friendship, Giveaway, New Books, Romance, Travel

The Amsterdam Affair Kate Frost 5* #Review @katefrostauthor @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #Amsterdam #Travel #Friendship #Romance #TheAmsterdamAffair #MondayBlogs

A new start, a chance encounter, a Christmas to remember. Will Iris’s new year be happy ever after? 

When Iris Greene’s boyfriend surprises her with a romantic dinner at their favourite restaurant, she’s expecting a proposal, not a move to another country. 

But Amsterdam proves to be the change she never knew she needed, and a surprise encounter with a local actor leads Iris to new friends and the rediscovery of a long lost passion. While Iris thrives in a city filled with festivity, her boyfriend struggles, and her heart is torn in two. 

As snow falls and secrets are revealed, Iris must decide her future. Will she be brave enough to start over and take a chance on love? 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Iris finds her life upturned when her partner of several years accepts his dream job in Amsterdam. The lack of discussion before he accepts this role makes him seem selfish, unlike Iris, who wants to make him happy, even though she has doubts.

Amsterdam proves to be a journey of self-discovery for Iris, as she rediscovers her creativity and finds friends who appreciate her. The story is full of vivid descriptions from Iris’perspective that makes the story entertaining and informative for the reader.

Iris has to choose whether to follow her dreams. Invested in her happiness, you want her to decide wisely. The characters are believably flawed and relatable, the setting immerses you in Iris’ adventure, and the story is heartwarming and uplifting to read.

Kate Frost

Kate Frost is the author of best-selling romantic escape novels (The Baobab Beach Retreat, A Starlit Summer, The Greek Heart, The Love Island Bookshop and The Amsterdam Affair), character-driven women’s fiction (The Butterfly Storm series and Beneath the Apple Blossom), and Time Shifters, a time travel adventure trilogy for children. She has a MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, where she also taught lifewriting to creative writing undergraduates.

Kate lives in Bristol with her husband, young son, and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Frodo. As well as writing novels, she’s also the Director of Storytale Festival, a new city-wide children’s book festival that she co-founded in Bristol in 2019 with the ethos of making books accessible to all and encouraging children and teens to read, write and be creative. Kate feels incredibly lucky to spend her days writing and being immersed in books. Her first book with Boldwood will be published in March 2022.

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Giveaway to Win a paperback copy of The Amsterdam Affair along with a bag of mini Stroopwafels (Open to UK Only)

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*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the giveaway lilnk above.The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for the despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Medical Romance, New Books, Romance

A Winter Wish for the Cornish Midwife Jo Bartlett 4*#Review @J_B_Writer @BoldwoodBooks #BlogTour @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #Cornwall #Coastal #BookReview #relationships #secrets #loss #grief #SecondChances #Love #uplit #Dreams #AWinterWishfortheCornishMidwife

A secret love…

As winter descends on the coastal town of Port Agnes, midwife Toni Samuels’ mood is as dark as the winter clouds that roll in. Toni loves her job as a midwife, but her private life is falling apart. Because Toni is keeping a secret– a relationship with fellow male midwife Bobby that no one can ever know about.

A damaged hope…

Kind and gorgeous, Bobby is a huge hit at the midwifery centre, but he’s tired of keeping his feelings for Toni a secret – of always coming second best. He knows that Toni’s past is painful, but unless she can be open with her feelings for him, he’s prepared to walk away from their love.

Can love find a way?

Toni loves Bobby and wishes things could be different between them. But torn between her past and a future with him, everything seems hopeless. Until fate hands Toni one last chance…

Now Toni’s secret wish is in her hands…if only she can be brave enough to take a chance and make her dreams come true.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The third book in the Cornish Midwife series is full of angst, emotion and loss. It focuses on Toni and Bobby and the story behind their secret affair. The prologue sets the scene in a customary dramatic way and what follows is a story full of guilt, sacrifice and forgotten wishes.

This story is both frustrating and heartwarming, as the reader urges Toni to consider her happiness first and think of the future that is hers if she is brave enough to let go and move on. This story immerses the reader in Toni and Bobby’s lives and the contrast in them. It is less dramatic but more emotionally intense than the previous two stories.

Jo Bartlett is the bestselling author of nineteen women’s fiction titles. She fits her writing in between her two day jobs as an educational consultant and university lecturer and lives with her family and three dogs on the Kent coast. Boldwood is published the first title in The Cornish Midwife Series – part of a twelve-book deal – in April 2021. 

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, New Books, Romance

A MidwinterMatch Jane Lovering 4*#Review @janelovering @BoldwoodBooks #love #life #friendship #romance #rivals #secrets #self-belief @rararesources #boldwoodbloggers #AMidwinterMatch

Ruby Oldbridge needs to learn to take her own advice.

A brilliant counsellor at work in York, she is however floundering in her own life. Her romantic track record is woeful, her finances are in a pickle, and she’s back in a house-share after splitting up with her useless ex.

But one thing Ruby is brilliant at, is helping other people find a way through their problems, and she excels at the job she loves, doing just that.

Happy-go-lucky, Mr Positivity, Zac Drewe also loves his job – the trouble is, it’s the same as Ruby’s, and the management have decided to ‘rationalise’ their department. There’s only room for one of them.

As the snow and winter close in on York, Ruby and Zac have everything to lose, and Ruby starts to wonder if the happy face Zac shows the world, might be disguising a sadder secret.

Set against one another, they are unlikely friends. But perhaps, if they could take the time to understand each other, they might discover that rather than rivals, they could be the best thing that ever happened to one another…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is my first winter-themed book of the year and gives the reader so much more than a cosy winter read. Ruby and Zac are counsellors who find they both have to compete for the same job after a company merger. Told from Ruby’s viewpoint, we realise she is recovering from a bad break-up, being in debt and losing her home. Zac is outwardly positive and self-assured, but as the two are drawn into forced proximity, they begin to see the true person behind the facade and become friends.

The setting in a wintry York is wonderfully described and immerses the reader in this festive setting. The characters are flawed and relatable, all with stories to relate that add to the book’s authenticity. The story has a strong focus on mental health and its triggers which make it contemporary and relevant. There is a balance of humour and poignancy. The reader wants the characters to have what they deserve in life in this engaging story.

Jane Lovering is the bestselling and award-winning romantic comedy writer who won the RNA Novel of the Year Award in 2012 with Please Don’t Stop the Music. She lives in Yorkshire and has a cat and a bonkers terrier, as well as five children who have now left home. 

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Christmas Read, Festive Read, Friendship, Mystery, Romance, Romantic Comedy

A Kiss in the Snow, Little Duck Pond Café Rosie Green 5*#Review @Rosie_Green88 @rararesources #romcom #Winter #Festive #LittleDuckPondCafe

After a cruel twist of fate sends her hurtling into a black hole of despair, Carrie is absolutely dreading the festive season – especially with sister, Krystle, being even more demanding of her time and energy than usual. But then friend Maddy offers Carrie a lifeline: the chance to get away from it all in a holiday cottage in the gorgeous little village of Silverbells. Deciding that a few weeks of tranquillity – reading, baking and going for long walks in the countryside – might just restore her mood, Carrie is quick to take up the offer. But on arriving, it very soon becomes clear that this break is going to be anything but peaceful!

An unwelcome houseguest proves unsettling enough – especially one who whistles loudly first thing in the morning and is far too cheerful for his own good – but finding herself drawn into the spooky mystery of her missing neighbour means there really isn’t much time for personal reflection. And then love comes knocking, and Carrie is forced to decide exactly where her heart lies.
Will this festive season be the disaster Carrie predicted? Or will Santa be good to her and deliver her heart’s desire? One thing’s for sure – this will be a Christmas Carrie will never, ever forget…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Book 13 in, The Little Duck Pond Cafe series, is a lovely festive read. Set in Silverbells, it’s a standalone story featuring Carrie. New readers can enjoy this without reading others in the series, as its a complete story with a festive twist and even snow.

Carrie grasps the chance to stay in a friend’s cottage when she misreads a friend’s signals and ends up with a broken heart. The cottage is lovely, but next door is a little sinister surrounded in mystery, so maybe it’s a good thing she has an unexpected housemate?

The villagers in Silverbells are interesting characters with unique stories, and Carrie soon feels at home. Not everyone is likeable, but not everything is at it seems. Character-driven this story has a plot full of humour, mystery, poignancy and romance. The setting is festive, and the story is absorbing and detailed.

It’s a perfect mix of lighthearted and poignant, and the ending is suitably romantic.

Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.

Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’.

Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all – unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Rosie’s Little Duck Pond Cafe series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. Each book can be read as a stand-alone story.

Rosie revisits the Little Duck Pond Café with a beautiful story of love and friendship at Christmas time, entitled A Kiss in the Snow.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Festive Read, Romance, Travel

All About Us Tom Ellen 4*#Review @TomEllen7 @HQStories #TimeTravel #Romance #December #Winter #Festive #SecondChances #BlogTour #BookReview #AllAboutUs #MondayBlogs #MondayMotivation #Paperback

If you could turn back the clock, would you choose a different life?

Ben’s always loved the month of December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it’s missing its usual magic. And then his old friend Alice gets back in touch. Ben’s always thought of Alice as the one that got away, and he can’t help but wonder: what if he’d done things differently all those years ago?

He never imagines he might get to find out… but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter’s night, he’s astonished to wake up the next morning on 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.

Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?

Two loves. Two lives. One destiny…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The festive season crystallises memories good and bad for most people and Christmas 2020 proves to be a memorable one for Ben. At a low point in his life, he has a serendipitous meeting with a man who gives him a watch and food for thought. What follows, defies belief but at such a magical time of year, anything is possible, right?

Ben, his wife Daff, best friend Harv and Alice the what-if lover are all well-described, relatable characters in this engaging story. The festive twist comes from the December time frame and the contemporary interpretation of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol.

This story focuses on the turning points of Ben’s life when he makes life-changing decisions. Given the opportunity, should he change them? Revisiting the past forces Ben to see things differently, not everything is as he remembers it, and this is important for his future actions.

There’s a new adult romance, coming of age, loss, love and magical time travel in this reflective story.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Guest post, Romance

The Winter We Met Samantha Tonge #GuestPost @SamTongeWriter @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #festive #Family #Friends #Romance #Christmas #CareHomes #Party #Toys #BlogTour #publicationday #TheWinterWeMet

When charming, mysterious, Nik sits next to Jess on a plane home from a Christmas toy trade fair, she never could have imagined the impact he’d have on her life. As they touch down in London, Jess is hesitant to let Nik walk away, and before she knows it, she’s invited him to visit.

As the two take in the delights of the toy store where she works, Jess gets an upsetting phone call. Willow Court, her Grandmother’s care home, is to close before Christmas. With the help of Nik, and her best friend Oliver, Jess is determined to find the perfect new home for her Gran – and throw the best Christmas party Willow Court has ever seen! But time is running out and Oliver isn’t the only one who has suspicions about charismatic Nik’s intentions.

Will a chance encounter on an aeroplane bring love to Jess’s life or is this Christmas miracle too good to be true?

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Guest Post – Samantha Tonge – The Randomness of Life

Have you ever thought about the randomness of life? Sometimes, the way things happen by chance, scares me a little! It’s strange to think that if I’d got my first choice of university (bad interview – long story!) I’d never have met my husband, never have had my children. And when my two started their degrees I thought how strange it was that probably the closest group of friends they would develop for life was going to be determined by an administrator allotting them to a particular room in  a particular halls of residence.

Life is random and that’s why we shouldn’t beat ourselves up if things don’t always go to plan. In fact, the unexpected nature of our existence is, in my opinion, what makes it so exciting. I think back to my student days… I was never going to get married nor have kids, and I was focused on learning languages, translating, nothing to do with being an author. However for many different reasons, my life went down a different path – and who knows where I will be a decade or two from now.

That randomness is what I wanted to capture in The Winter We Met, by  lead character Jess sitting in the wrong seat on an aeroplane and by doing so meeting Nik,  a man who was going to change her life in ways she could never have expected.

Travelling is a great opportunity for chance encounters. I remember aupairing in the south of France when I was nineteen. One day I travelled on a bus to meet a friend. I sat next to a young Frenchman, an artist, and we chatted and laughed all the way. As we parted, both of us knowing we would never meet again, he reached into his bag and gave me a silver pocket watch to remember him by. I still have it today. And for several months afterwards he would send me a postcard with a watercolour he’d paint onto the front.

Then a couple of years later, I had a job in London and commuted every morning. I’d sit on the train reading a French magazine to improve my language skills. Often I’d catch the eye of a particular guy with lovely freckles and a great smile. Eventually we got talking – he’d assumed I was French. And that gave rising to another friendship forming and, under different circumstances, could have easily led to a romance.

Several of my books have been inspired by chance encounters. One Summer In Rome has a blind main character and he was inspired by an incredible woman I met and chatted to on a train, who couldn’t see – she travelled the country alone, with her job, training visually impaired people to use special technology.

Chance encounters, life’s randomness, it’s a wonderful thing because when things are going really badly, when you’re in one of life’s ruts, don’t ever forget that there is always the possibility that something totally unexpected will pull you out of it – and that could be just around the corner.

Samantha Tonge

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely. When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association romantic comedy award.

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Read my review of The Winter We Met here

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance

The Winter We Met Samantha Tonge 5*#Review @SamTongeWriter @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #festive #multigenerational #Family #Friends #Romance #Christmas #CareHome #Party #Toys #BlogTour #BookReview #publicationday #TheWinterWeMet

When charming, mysterious, Nik sits next to Jess on a plane home from a Christmas toy trade fair, she never could have imagined the impact he’d have on her life. As they touch down in London, Jess is hesitant to let Nik walk away, and before she knows it, she’s invited him to visit.

As the two take in the delights of the toy store where she works, Jess gets an upsetting phone call. Willow Court, her Grandmother’s care home, is to close before Christmas. With the help of Nik, and her best friend Oliver, Jess is determined to find the perfect new home for her Gran – and throw the best Christmas party Willow Court has ever seen! But time is running out and Oliver isn’t the only one who has suspicions about charismatic Nik’s intentions.

Will a chance encounter on an aeroplane bring love to Jess’s life or is this Christmas miracle too good to be true?

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

My Thoughts…

This author always manages to capture the spirit of Christmas in her festive stories. They are fun and often romantic, but they have a deeper, more serious message too.

This story focuses on toy shops and care homes and their residents. It’s about family, friends, having fun and gets across the message that you don’t stop dreaming, feeling and hoping just because you’re getting older and your body and mind are diminishing.

Jess meets Nik on a flight back from a toy fair, they get along and when they land he visits the toy shop where she works. Nik appears to be a kind man, willing to help others, and Jess starts to fall in love with him. Is everything as it appears or is she missing something important?

The characters all bring something to this story. Trying to help them as they lose their security brings Jess and her friends closer to the residents and workers and all have interesting stories to tell. The dynamics of the relationship between friends and family are believable.

The romance is gentle, and a little mysterious for Jess but the ending is realistic and satisfying.

Samantha Tonge

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely. When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association romantic comedy award.

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If you want to read Samantha Tonge’s Guest Post on The Randomness of Life. Click here

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Romance

The Last Day of Winter Shari Low 5*#Review @Aria_Fiction @sharilow #serendipity #romance #relationships #Winter #family #friends #BlogTour #BookReview #PublicationDay #GuestPost

#TheLastDayofWinter

One December wedding. One runaway bride. One winter’s day to bring everyone together again.

Today is the day Caro and Cammy are due to walk up the aisle. But Caro’s too caught up in the trauma of her past to contemplate their happy ever after.

Stacey’s decision to return from L.A. is fuelled by one thing – telling Cammy how she feels before it’s too late.

Wedding planner, Josie, needs to sort the whole mess out, but she’s just been dealt some devastating news. Can she get through the day without spilling her secret? On a chilly winter’s day, they have twenty-four hours to prove that love can lead the way to a brighter future…

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#AriaBlogTour

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

My Thoughts…

The last book in a memorable series is full of family and friends. Humour, lies and poignancy. Romance, secrets and serendipity. It all comes together beautifully.

Four lives change on one fateful day. The characters are complex and relatable. Like old friends you want them to work out their conflicts and get the best out of their lives.

Told from multi-points of view, you follow each character. The plot has many twists and turns. The reader is on an emotional rollercoaster throughout. The ending makes it all worthwhile, happy and hopeful.

A lovely winter escape, in a vibrant contemporary setting.

Guest Post – Shari Low – The Last Day of Winter

When I was a teenager, I used to think that by the time I was an adult, I’d have life all figured out. I’d know what I was doing. I’d be sorted. I’d exist in a bubble of confidence and be sure of my destiny. I might even be – shock – wise.

Now? My grey hairs are running riot. A new wrinkle pops up every morning. Several sections of my body are in a landslide situation.

And most of the time, I still have absolutely no idea what’s going on and what’s around the corner.

But the silver lining to this cloud of unpredictability?

I can share it with the characters in my books.

The Last Day In Winter follows four lives that are precariously balancing on shifting sands.  

It opens on the day Caro is supposed to marry Cammy, but she wakes up that morning with two things on her mind – a thumping hangover and a sinking realisation that she can’t go through with the wedding.

Meanwhile, two planes carrying a whole heap of turmoil touch down at Glasgow airport.

Arriving from Spain is Seb, who has just found out his ex-girlfriend had a child called Caro nine months later. Could he really have a daughter he knew nothing about?

And from LA, TV presenter Stacey has one thing on her mind – telling Cammy that he’s making a mistake marrying Caro.  

The one person who will always have Caro’s back is her friend and wedding planner, Josie. But Josie has just been dealt her own life-changing blow that morning so she has her own troubles to sort out.

Caro. Seb. Stacey. Josie. Over the course of the day, their lives will twist and turn, their fates will collide and we’ll see that just like real life, none of them has it all sussed. None of them knows what’s around the corner.

The only thing they know for sure is that everything will have changed by the time they go to sleep on The Last Day of Winter.

The Last Day Of Winter will be published by Aria on Oct 3rd.

Shari Low is the No1 best-selling author of over 20 novels, including One Day In Winter, A Life Without You, The Story Of Our Life, With Or Without You, Another Day In Winter and her latest release, This Is Me

And because she likes to over-share toe-curling moments and hapless disasters, she is also the shameless mother behind a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. 
Once upon a time she met a guy, got engaged after a week, and twenty-something years later she lives near Glasgow with her husband, a labradoodle, and two teenagers who think she’s fairly embarrassing except when they need a lift.

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Posted in Book Review, Festive Read

5* Review- The Winter Mystery – Faith Martin @JoffeBooks @FaithMartin_Nov

Jenny Starling is spending Christmas in a snowed-in country house cooking all the traditional food she loves. But the family she’s working for are not full of the seasonal spirit. In fact, they seem to hate each other. On Christmas Eve, someone is found dead on the kitchen table. And the head of the family is blaming Jenny! But with an incompetent detective called in, and seemingly no motive for the murder, Jenny will have to give the police a hand. She will stop at nothing to clear her name and find the real murderer.

THE SETTING A snowed-in farmhouse in rural Oxford. A big Cotswold-stone Georgian house with stables, outhouses, cobbled courtyard and resident sheepdog. Charming, but cold and uncomfortable in winter.

JENNY STARLING In her late twenties, Jenny Starling is an impressive woman. Physically, she stands at 6ft 1inch and has shoulder-length black hair and blue eyes. Curvaceous and sexy, she’s a modern single woman, living the lifestyle that suits her – that of a travelling cook. Her famous (and now very rich) father, is a ‘celebrity’ cook, divorced from Jenny’s mother. Jenny drives a disreputable cherry-red van and is happy travelling the country catering events and cooking great food. She is on a one-woman crusade to bring back ‘real’ food. And definitely doesn’t like having to divert her attention from achieving the perfect Dundee cake or creating a new sauce recipe by having to solve a murder. She finds crime very distracting, especially when there is chocolate to temper or pike to poach. Nevertheless, she is very good at reading people, and with a quick and agile brain, becomes very good at unmasking killers. And her always-undaunted sense of humour goes a long way in keeping her sane when all around her people are dropping like flies.

Amazon UK

 My Thoughts…

This aptly named mystery is the perfect book for a cold, Winter’s afternoon. Jenny Starling is a strong, likeable character with a talent for crime solving. The cast of characters in this particular mystery is not easy to empathise, but when the most likeable of them is murdered, Jenny is first on the scene and becomes involved in solving the crime.

This is an old-fashioned crime mystery with false clues, numerous suspects and a particularly nasty murder. The slow pacing fits the story and the reader, aside from reading an interesting story can try and work out #whodunnit.

An easy to read, but cleverly plotted mystery with complex, realistic characters, and a memorable amateur detective.

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

Posted in Book Review, Festive Read

Murder on a Winter Afternoon – Betty Rowlands – 4*Review @bookouture

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A snow-covered cottage is nestled in the hills, all ready for Christmas… but inside a body lies dead upon the floor.

Melissa Craig is enjoying her first winter in the Cotswolds, taking brisk walks through the snowy fields and basking in the winter sunshine. The only thing Melissa is plotting is her Christmas shopping.

But after the unexpected death of local writer Leonora Jewell, Melissa is asked to complete Leonora’s final book. However, on her first visit to the cottage, she finds a gruesome object overlooked by the police: a metal bar covered with dried blood.

Terrified, Melissa rushes to the nearest telephone box to call the police. But by the time they reach Leonora’s cottage, the murder weapon has mysteriously vanished.

With no murder weapon, the detective in charge of the case scoffs at Melissa’s suspicions. Furious and frustrated, Melissa focuses on finishing Leonora’s novel. But as she reads Leonora’s notes for the book, she starts to wonder… did Leonora accidentally plot out her own murder?

As Melissa does some investigating of her own, she uncovers some pretty suspicious local characters. But with the police unwilling to help, can Melissa solve this vicious crime alone? By hook, by crook, or by the book, Melissa must find the killers before they strike again…

Amazon UK

My Thoughts…

Winter always seems to enhance the attractiveness of murder mysteries, especially typically English ones like the Melissa Craig series. This is a particularly atmospheric story both in terms of snow and frost and the air of menace that follows the intrepid crime writer around as she becomes embroiled in another murder mystery.

This story sees the reappearance of Bruce, from earlier books in the series and he definitely brings out Mel’s impulsive personality traits. There is a lot going on in the background of this story, some of which seems superfluous to the plot. I worked out whodunnit, early on, this is possibly the author’s intention, as it shows up Mel’s fallibility, and increases the danger she faces.

Perfect for reading on a cold, stormy Winter’s day like today.

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