Sunday, 5 July 2015

Book Review: THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALSEA BY ANTONIA HODGSON


My Thoughts on this 18th century murder mystery .......

THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALSEA
BY
ANTONIA HODGSON


Published:  28 Aug 2014 (Paperback)
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton


London, 1727 - and Tom Hawkins is in trouble.  The wayward son of a country parson, his taste for wine, women and cards has led him in irons to the notorious Marsahalsea debtors' prison.

The Marshalsea is a dark and dangerous place at the best of times.  But when an inmate is brutally murdered, the prison is soon gripped by fear and suspicion.  Worst of all, Tom is sharing a cell with the prime suspect ......

Now he must risk everything to uncover the truth - or be the next to die.


* Winner of the CWA Historical Dagger Award 2014 *



Here are my likes and dislikes about this novel

What I disliked

I read quite a long way into the book before I started to get really immersed in the story.  I didn't rush to pick it up and carry on reading. It took me at least a week to start enjoying it.  

There were so many characters introduced, especially when Tom arrived at the Marshalsea, that I struggled to remember them all or what they were doing there.

We headed towards the yard doors, sunlight glinting up ahead.  Deep grooves ran down towards the yard where the carriages had rattled through, bringing in food and drink.  And taking out the bodies.  The ancient stone floor had been worn smooth by centuries of debtors trudging wearily through the gate.  And now here I was to join them - just one in an endless line of wretched souls stretching on and on for ever, to the end of days.

What I liked

The descriptions of the prison were very detailed, I could imagine the awful conditions of the Common Side a raggle-taggle of ancient timber houses slumped, exhausted, against the far south wall ..... 300 souls crammed 30, 40, 50 to a cell all night, stifled and starving, forced to breathe in each other's filth.
The author has obviously does plenty of research into this terrible place.

I loved the curious assortment of prisoners such as Mrs Bradshaw at the coffeehouse who comes and goes as she pleases as long as she's back for lock-up, Trim the barber, and the evil Samuel Fleet who everyone is terrified of. 

What I really liked

The storyteller, Tom Hawkins.  A bright and likeable young man, enjoys a gamble and a drink or two, overall a good person who can't stand back and let thing happen, he has to act, no matter the consequences to himself. 

The story was compelling, once I'd got more involved, there were shocks and twists aplenty.  Very clever. Very enjoyable. A very impressive debut novel and one that I would highly recommend if you're looking for a dark, atmospheric historical mystery with just a touch of romance.

Lots of potential for future adventures for Thomas Hawkins, in fact I am thrilled to have the second book to read - The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins


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About the Author

Website:  AntoniaHodgson.com
Twitter:  @AntoniaHodgson

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Available to buy from AmazonUK - AmazonUS - BookDepository




Saturday, 20 June 2015

Book Review: UNRAVELLING OLIVER BY LIZ NUGENT


My Thoughts on this intelligent and unsettling thriller ....


UNRAVELLING OLIVER
BY
LIZ NUGENT


Published:  9 April 2015  (Paperback)
Publisher:  Penguin
Pages:  231  (Paperback)


Alice and Oliver Ryan seem blessed, both in their happy marriage and in their successful working partnership.  Their shared life is one of enviable privilege and ease.  Enviable until, one evening after supper, Oliver attacks Alice and beats her into a coma.

Afterwards, as everyone tries to make sense of his astonishing act of savagery, Oliver tells his story.  So do those whose paths he has crossed over five decades.

It turns out that there is more to Oliver than Alice ever saw.  But only he knows what he has done to get the life to which he felt entitled.  And even he is in for a shock when his past catches up with him.


Award-winning writer of radio and television drama Liz Nugent's debut novel is a clever and page-turning story of why someone would suddenly change their behaviour in one terrible moment.

After Oliver's violent attack on his wife Alice, his life is seen from a different person's perspective, all people who have met Oliver from his early years to today, all stunned by his savage act.  We learn that he's selfish, controlling, a womaniser, unfaithful, but also a handsome and charismatic charmer.

But it's Oliver's story that makes for the most chilling reading.

We slowly build up a picture of Oliver, from his lonely school days in Ireland and his bitter and strained relationship with his father, an eventful summer on a French vineyard, to his successful career as a children's writer....all of which lead to the ultimate long-kept secrets.

This was a book that I couldn't put down, the writing was assured and compelling, never a sentence wasted, a very clever and dark look at how people can deceive and manipulate, all skilfully told.  I loved it!

Thanks to Catherine Ryan Howard at Penguin for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Available to buy from Amazon UK  -  Amazon US  -  Book Depository


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About the Author

Liz Nugent has spent the last 20 years working in Irish film, theatre and television.  For the last decade, she has been an award-winning writer of radio and television drama and has written short stories for children and adults.

Follow her on twitter:  @lizzienugent
Website:  liznugent.ie

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Follow me on twitter: @Cazbah88
Pinterest:  CaroleColbert
Bloglovin:  CarolesBookCorner



Monday, 15 June 2015

Spotlight and Giveaway of BYE, BYE LOVE BY KJ LARSEN

Bye, Bye Love

by KJ Larsen

on Tour June 2015




Synopsis:

cover
Chicago’s Pants On Fire Detective Agency targets liars and cheats. But PI Cat DeLuca is once again up to her smokin’ skinny jeans in murder.
Cat is out running in a neighborhood park when she crashes over the faceless body of Bernie Love. Bernie was the finance guy to the scary Provenza family, with whom he grew up. And friend to Cat’s shady, Ferrari-wheeling-cop Uncle Joey. As she hauls out her phone, Cat is assaulted by someone with a Rolex, stun gun, and wheelbarrow. When the cops show up, the killer is gone. And so is the body.
Captain Bob, a stickler for habeas corpus, blows off Cat’s story. Stung by a chorus of snickers from the Ninth Precinct, home base for DeLuca men, Cat vows to make her case and goes after Rolex man. The murderer, desperate to silence the only person who can place him at the park, comes after Cat. She’s quickly on a collision course with the deadliest adversary she’s ever encountered—but she has the help of her beagle partner, her gun-happy assistant, an ex-spy (or two), and her outrageous, interfering Italian family. Meanwhile, her hot, FBI-boyfriend seems sidelined in Vegas.
In Bye, Bye, Love, K.J. Larsen delivers another nail-biting tale rife with unexpected plot twists, zany characters, fabulous food, and laugh-out-loud humor.


Book Details:


Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: Aprl 7, 2015
Number of Pages: 28
ISBN: 9781464203831
Series: Cat DeLuca Mystery #4 (Each is a Stand-Alone Novel)
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads



Read an excerpt:

Chapter One
I was staking out the LeGrande Hotel on Asher and sucking the creamy filling out of a cannoli. My fingers absently drummed out a beat on the steering wheel while I kept an eye on a brunette in the hotel parking lot. Her name is Cookie Allen. Cookie’s married to Jerry, a wiry man with a birdlike face and a wild nest of yellow hair. Jerry’s an inquisitive kind of guy. He wants to know why his wife reeks of Brut Cologne.
It’s not exactly rocket science. Cookie Allen has a lover. She left telltale signs and a big trail of cookie crumbs. A dumbass could figure it out. But not Jerry. He’s hired me to spell it out for him.
I’m a great speller.
My name is Cat DeLuca and I’m a Private Dick—though I prefer Jane. I don’t investigate for insurance companies or work for ambulance-chasers. I won’t find your high school sweetheart. But if you’re in Chicagoland and you suspect your partner is stepping out, call me. I kick ass at catching cheaters.
Last week Jerry showed up at my office, his brain in deep freeze. His wife’s betrayal was slapping him in the face, but he was swimming in denial. It happens in this business. You know your relationship is in the toilet but you’re not ready to go there. So your mind creates an alternative scenario as a coping mechanism. It’s a temporary state of insanity.
That’s where I come in.
“What do you think is happening with your wife, Jerry?”
His small, birdlike chin quivered. “What do you mean?”
“I dunno. The late nights, unexplained absences. A sudden disinterest in sex and all things you.”
“I think it’s the change. I hear it affects women that way.”
“Your wife is twenty-six years old.”
“So?”
“It’s not the change.”
Jerry scrunched his face, searching for an explanation other than the obvious. I stopped him before he could decide his wife had a part-time job moonlighting for Brut.
“The Brut Factory is in Texas,” I said.
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“Just sayin’.”
Jerry sighed and gnawed on beakish lips. “I don’t wanna make no trouble.”
“God, no.”
“So what will you do?”
“I’m gonna shadow her.”
His eyes flashed alarm. “If Cookie thinks I don’t trust her…”
“She won’t know I was there. It’s what I do”.
He dragged out a roll of antacids, popped a handful in his mouth, and chewed furiously.
“Here’s the plan. I’ll be in the hospital parking lot when your wife’s shift ends on Sunday. I’ll tail her—”
His eyes widened.
“Not to worry. I’m the queen of discretion. I’ll keep a diary of her movements. Make a note of anyone she has contact with.”
He nodded staring through me, his brain still on ice.
I wanted to shake him, but I put a hand on his arm and flashed an encouraging smile.
“I got this, Jerry. You’re going to be OK. I’m armed with spy-eye binoculars and my super, high-powered camera. I’ll snag some steamy 8 by 10 glossies and when I deliver them to you your brain will thaw.”
He nodded and then his head did a double take. “Huh?”
“Exactly.”
***
A horn blared from the street in front of the hotel. Cookie was too busy fidgeting with her hair to notice. She was primping for Brut Boy. I popped the newest Pink album into the CD player, stretched my legs, and waited.
Cookie Allen works as an X-ray tech at Mercy Hospital and I was waiting when her shift ended at 2:30. At 2:31 she bolted out the door and barreled to her car. She gave her face a five-minute touch up and perked up the girls before pulling the red Mazda Miata out of her parking spot. I was on her like sauce on spaghetti. She headed down Twenty-sixth and hit the Dan Ryan toward the west end, hell and gone from her house in Bridgeport. Her first stop was a dry cleaner’s on South Ashland. Cookie dropped off a small bag of clothes, then took a quick spin by Lovers Package. Next stop was Walgreen’s for a Snickers bar, some mints, and a copy of Soap Opera Digest. And like a cherry on top, a can of whipping cream. I didn’t have to be a top-notch detective to know one thing. Some Mama’s son was gonna get lucky tonight.
The G in the neon LeGrande Hotel sign sputtered, making it quiver almost hypnotically. I mentally slapped myself and opened my surveillance cooler. It was stocked with Tino’s pizza, sausages, and Mama’s Mediterranean chicken. As well as her unrivaled cannoli. It will drop you to your knees.
I tossed a sausage to the beagle in the backseat. Inga is my partner at the Pants on Fire Detective Agency. She has soulful brown eyes and an ever-joyful tail. She’s fiercely loyal and better company than most people I know.
I poured a cup of coffee and let the steam warm my face. I get what Jerry’s going through. My brief marriage to Johnnie Rizzo was a crash course in infidelity. It was like a knife to the gut. Johnnie was a serial cheater, scoring like an Olympic athlete.
But then, love can be brutal.
Sometimes you gotta get up, brush yourself off, and take your life back. You go out with your friends and exorcise your lying ex with shameless quantities of tequila and chocolate. You listen to the voice inside you that says you’ll create a better life than you ever imagined. Even if it’s the tequila talking.
A cool late autumn breeze blew off the lake. I hunched down in my silver Honda Accord and tugged my coat tighter around me. I didn’t want to fire up my engine and draw attention to myself. I figured this gig wouldn’t last long. The LeGrande is known for renting rooms by the hour. I doubt the sheets change as often as the guests.
Inga kissed my cheek and jumped into the passenger seat to negotiate for more sausages. A beat up blue construction van pulled into the hotel parking lot. Cookie lept from the car, feet dancing, before Brut Boy killed the engine. Her husband, Jerry, may look like a bird. But her lover was a big burly bear of a guy with dark curly hair exploding from his neckline. Cookie seemed to be exploring a wide spectrum of the animal kingdom.
They ran into each other’s arms and held tight for a long time. When they pulled back, they gazed deep in each other’s eyes and laughed.
I’ve been in this business a long time. And I’ve found people are driven to cheat for a variety of reasons: for the thrill, revenge, self-undoing, conquest, boredom, emptiness, or a sense of loss. Sometimes, it’s just for a lack of good sense. Some people cheat because they think they won’t get caught. Others just wanna get busted.
I’d probably never know how the affair between Cookie and her bear of a lover began. But I believed she was here today because they were in love. I aimed my camera, knowing I’d hate passing the pics on to Jerry. Cookie’s lover wore a wedding ring. I knew Cookie and Jerry didn’t have kids. It would be too much to hope her lover’s marriage would dissolve so cleanly.
She put an arm around his waist and they drifted my way. I buried my face in the latest O! Magazine. The lovers ambled past me and into the hotel, his hand resting on her bum.
I tossed another sausage into the backseat. “Back in a flash, Inga. This won’t take long.”
I grabbed my flower print handbag with the hidden camcorder and strode to the heavy oak and glass doors. I was locked, loaded, and ready for love.
Or at least ready to expose it on 8 by 10 color glossies. I paused a moment beneath the quivering neon G and taking a deep, heady breath of Brut, tromped into the hotel behind them.



Author Bio:

authorOne day three sisters, linked by a voracious love of mysteries, set off to write their own. Hunched over a mojito and bucket of steamer clams, the Pants On Fire Detective Agency was born. Julianne, Kristen and Kari Larsen, (horse trainer, minister and irreverent baker) deliver a sizzling read and easy smile. Liar Liar is the first book in the Cat DeLuca mysteries. The sisters live in the Pacific Northwest and Chicago area and are currently at work on Cat’s next, most fabulous adventure.

Catch Up:
author's website author's facebook


Tour Participants:






Don't Miss this Snazzy Giveaway:

Open to US only

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for KJ Larsen & Poisoned Pen Press. There will be one winner of 1 Box of Poisoned Pen Press books including Bye, Bye Love by KJ Larsen. The giveaway begins on June 1st, 2015 and runs through June 3rd, 2015
.a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 
 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


 

 

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Book Review: Robert B Parker's CHEAP SHOT BY ACE ATKINS


My Thoughts on this slick thriller .......


ROBERT B. PARKER'S CHEAP SHOT
The New Spenser Novel
BY
ACE ATKINS


The iconic, tough-but-tender Boston PI Spenser returns in an outstanding new addition to the New York Times best-selling series.

Kinjo Heywood is one of the New England Patriots' marquee players - a hard-nosed linebacker who's earned his reputation as one of the toughest guys in the league.  When off-field violence repeatedly lands Heywood in the news, his slick agent hires Spenser to find the men who he says have been harassing his client.

Heywood's troubles seem to be tied to a nightclub shooting from two years earlier.  But when Heywood's young son, Akira, is kidnapped, ransom demands are given, and a winding trail through Boston's underworld begins.  Spenser puts together his own all-star team of toughs.  



Wise-cracking Spenser returns in this edge of the seat thriller as he tries to find the kidnappers of the young son of a popular football player.

Kinjo Heywood, named after an Emperor of Japan was huge and made of muscle and is a loving family man underneath all his toughness.  He is desperate to get his son back and will do anything and pay anything to find him.

But when no ransom demands are forthcoming at first Spenser begins to think Kinjo is paranoid and is sure he's hiding something from his past.  But it's up to Spenser to find out what and whether he's telling him the truth.

I enjoyed this story, I like Spenser and his dry sense of humour, his relationship with his girlfriend shows his softer side. but he's definitely the kind of man you want on your side and no-one else's.  He doesn't care what anyone thinks of him and does it his way, with the help of his two sidekicks.

The story moved along at a brisk pace, with plenty of suspects, keeping my interest throughout, it didn't let up the suspense, it was an easy read overall.


Monday, 25 May 2015

SPOTLIGHT AND GIVEAWAY: TOO QUIET IN BROOKLYN BY SUSAN RUSSO ANDERSON


Too Quiet In Brooklyn (A Fina Fitzgibbons Brooklyn Mystery Book 1)
MYSTERY
Self Published
Print Length: 304 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00HFEY5PU
goodreads-badge-add-plus

A Murder, A Child Missing, & A Young Woman Determined To Find The Truth …
Something weird’s happening. It’s too quiet, at least for Brooklyn, so twenty-two-year-old Fina Fitzgibbons is not surprised when she stumbles upon a throttled woman in the heart of Brooklyn Heights and discovers that the dead woman’s four-year-old grandson is also missing. She begins a wild hunt for the strangler-kidnapper, Ralph. During the chase, she resists falling in love with her boyfriend, Denny, an NYPD patrol officer, steps on the toes of Detective First Grade Jane Templeton, and uncovers secrets about her own past. In the end, Ralph has a deadly surprise for Fina.
susanAbout This Author
Susan Russo Anderson is a writer, a mother, a member of Sisters in Crime, a graduate of Marquette University. She’s taught language arts and creative writing, worked for a publisher, an airline, an opera company. Like Faulkner’s Dilsey, she’s seen the best and the worst, the first and the last. Through it all, and to understand it somewhat, she writes. Too Quiet in Brooklyn, the first book in the Fina Fitzgibbons Brooklyn mystery series, published December 2013. The second book in the series, Missing Brandy, about a missing teen, published September 2014, and Whiskey’s Gone, about the abduction of a single mom, completes a trilogy. The working title of the fourth is Dead in Brooklyn.

Author Links:

Tour Participants
May 18 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Spotlight, Giveaway
May 19 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Giveaway
May 20 – View from the Birdhouse – Interview, Giveaway
May 21 – StoreyBook Reviews – Spotlight, Giveaway
May 22 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
May 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review, Giveaway 
May 24 – Brooke Blogs – Guest Post, Giveaway
May 25 – Carole’s Book Corner – Spotlight, Giveaway
May 26 – Omnimystery News – Interview
May 27 – Tea and A Book – Review, Giveaway

Giveaway
The author is kindly giving away a copy of Too Quiet in Brooklyn for Kindle
All you need to do is leave a comment below, together with your email address, and I will pick a winner on Sunday 31 May Midnight GMT
Open Worldwide
Good Luck!


Sunday, 24 May 2015

Book Review: THE SUN IN HER EYES BY PAIGE TOON


My Thoughts on this story of decisions and fate ......


THE SUN IN HER EYES
BY
PAIGE TOON


Published:  21 May 2015
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster


Amber was three when a car crash stole her mother's life.  She doesn't remember the accident, but a stranger at the scene has been unable to forget.  Now, almost thirty years later, she's trying to track Amber down.

Amber, meanwhile, is married to Ned and living on the other side of the world in London.  When her father has a stroke, she flies straight home to Australia to be with him.  Away from her husband, Amber finds comfort in her oldest friends, but her feelings for Ethan, the gorgeous, green-eyed man she once fell for, have never been platonic.

As Ethan and Amber grow closer, married life in London feels very far away.  Then Amber receives a letter that changes everything.

'Before your mother died, she asked me to tell you something .....'


Blinding sunshine
A bend in the road
What became of the little girl with the sun in her eyes?


Amber and Ethan were best friends in school in Australia until Amber went travelling, met her future husband Ned, and settled down in London.  Now she's come back home to visit her dad who's had a stroke and her old feelings for Ethan come back to her.

Amber's marriage is not all that rosy, she's jealous of Ned's female boss and sometimes feels that they're having an affair.  Could she find happiness with Ethan or is he really the same man she fell in love with all those years ago?
What were Amber's mother's last words and are they significant in Amber's life?

The writing flowed smoothly, told from Amber's perspective, I felt that I got to know her very well and could understand how her mind worked, how she was confused and didn't know real from fantasy at times.

The story is full of emotion, told beautifully and is sure to delight existing fans of Paige Toon and anyone looking for a new author who can tell a story with warmth and skill.

A very enjoyable read that I would recommend highly.


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Thanks to Dawn at Simon & Schuster for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk - Amazon.com - BookDepository.com


Sign up to 'The Hidden Paige' at www.paigetoon.com
Say hi on Twitter @PaigeToonAuthor








Sunday, 17 May 2015

Book Review: THE STAR OF ISTANBUL BY ROBERT OLEN BUTLER



My Thoughts on this First World War Spy Thriller .....


THE STAR OF ISTANBUL ( A Christopher Marlowe Cobb thriller)
BY
ROBERT OLEN BUTLER


Published:  14 May 2015
Publisher:  No Exit Press
Pages:  369  (Paperback)

Source:  Real Readers



It is 1915 and Germany has allied itself with the Ottoman empire, persuading the caliphs of Turkey to declare a jihad on the British empire. War correspondent Christopher Marlowe Cobb has been tasked to follow Brauer, a German intellectual and possible secret service agent suspected of holding information vital to the war effort.
As they travel on the Lusitania’s fateful voyage, Cobb becomes smitten with famed actress Selene Bourgani. Cobb soon realizes that this simple actress is anything but, as she harbours secrets that could add fuel to the already raging conflict. Surviving the night of the infamous German U-Boat attack, Cobb follows Selene and Brauer into the darkest alleyways of London and on to the powder keg that is Istanbul. He must use all the cunning he possesses to uncover Selene’s true motives, only to realize her hidden agenda could bring down some of the world’s most powerful leaders.


Having not read the first of the Christopher Marlowe Cobb thrillers, I wasn't sure what to expect from this spy story, but, though mention was made of his earlier adventure, I think that this is a book that can be read on its own, and I didn't feel that I'd missed too much of his back story. Having now enjoyed this, I may go back and read The Hot Country at some time.

Under his cover as a famous War Correspondent 'Kit' Cobb has been asked to follow a suspected agent of the German Secret Service on the ill-fated ship The Lusitania but becomes distracted by a beautiful actress.  He is shocked to discover that she is not what she seems to be.....who's side is she on?

Cobb is an interesting character, he misses nothing, he's smart about reading people, being a pretty good reporter, but is not so smart about women, a fact he readily admits as he becomes smitten with the enigmatic Selene Bourgani.

The writing is very detailed, which I really enjoyed reading, it moves along at a brisk pace, it's never boring, involving intriguing characters who are well-developed, clever twists, full of danger, this is a very good exciting espionage thriller.


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Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk


Author Robert Olen Butler can be found at his website:  robertolenbutler.com
On twitter:  #starofistanbul


Sunday, 10 May 2015

Book Review: CHERRINGHAM: MURDER BY MOONLIGHT BY MATTHEW COSTELLO & NEIL RICHARDS


My Thoughts on the third cosy mystery in the Cherringham series .......


CHERRINGHAM: MURDER BY MOONLIGHT
BY
MATTHEW COSTELLO & NEIL RICHARDS


Published:  13 Feb 2014
Publisher:  Bastei Entertainment


Just two weeks to go before the Cherringham Charity Christmas Concert. Choir rehearsals are in full swing. Then the worst thing happens: Kirsty Kimball, one of the singers, is found dead from a severe allergic reaction to one of the home-made rehearsal cakes. Jack is pulled in to help bolster the depleted choir - and soon he's convinced that Kirsty's death was no accident. Sarah agrees, and quickly the two of them are immersed in the jealousies, rivalries and passions of Cherringham's Rotary Club choir ...




Here we are again in the small town of Cherringham meeting up with Jack and Sarah, this time getting involved in the mysterious murder of gift shop owner Kirsty in the midst of preparations for the annual Christmas concert. Everyone at the choir knew of her allergy but who would want her dead, and now everyone of them was a suspect as Jack goes undercover and joins their number.

Between Sarah's flirty conversations with one of the suspects, Jack's no-nonsense approach with another, they begin to discover plenty of secrets among the choir members.

I really enjoy following how this unlikely partnership carry out their investigations, they are both so different but it all comes together nicely and neatly in the end.

The plots are not complicated, they're clever, and short, and the authors pack a whole lot of storyline into this series.

In this story, though, I didn't feel that I got to know Jack and Sarah any more than in the other two stories, the emphasis was on the other characters, which I enjoyed, but I hope that in the next mystery "Thick as Thieves" we learn a little more about them.

If you haven't read any of them I would recommend them highly, if you like your crimes cosy then check them out.  Here are my reviews in order:

Cherringham:  Murder on Thames

Cherringham:  Mystery at the Manor

Also check out this brilliant guest post that the authors recently gave to Carole's Book Corner.  It's a fascinating insight to the series beginnings.


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About the Authors

Co-authors Neil Richards and Matthew Costello are known for their script work on major computer games. The Cherringham crime series is their first fictional transatlantic collaboration. Matthew has written and designed dozens of bestselling games including the critically acclaimed The 7th Guest, Doom 3, Rage and Pirates of the Caribbean. He is also the author of a number of successful novels, including Vacation (2011) and Beneath Still Waters (1989), which was made into a movie. Neil has worked as a producer and writer in TV and film, creating scripts for BBC, Disney, and Channel 4, and earning numerous Bafta nominations along the way. He’s also written script and story for over 20 video games including The Da Vinci Code and Starship Titanic, co-written with Douglas Adams, and consults around the world on digital storytelling.


Friday, 24 April 2015

Book Review: THE VISITORS BY REBECCA MASCULL



My Thoughts on this beautiful, moving story .........

THE VISITORS
BY
REBECCA MASCULL


Paperback Published:  17 July 2014
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton



Imagine if you couldn't see ...
couldn't hear ...
couldn't speak ...

Then one day somebody took your hand and opened up the world to you.

Adeliza Golding is a deaf-blind girl, born in late Victorian England on her father's hop farm.  Unable to interact with her loving family, she exists in a world of darkness and confusion: her only communication is with the ghosts she speaks to in her head, who she has christened The Visitors.  One day she runs out into the fields and a young hop-picker, Lottie, grabs her hand and starts drawing shapes in it.  Finally Liza can communicate.

Her friendship with her teacher and with Lottie's beloved brother, Caleb, leads her from the hop gardens of Kent to the dusty veldt of South Africa and the Boer War, and ultimately to the truth about the Visitors.



Hop-pickers in Kent in the 1900's


This book is beautiful.  I adored this story of Adeliza and how she changed from this 'wild animal kept in a tame house' where the servants found her unsettling and didn't want to be alone with her.

Told by Liza herself, I really felt as if I knew what was going on in her mind, her frustrations, how she hurt herself and the people around her just so she could feel something and be taken out of her dull existence for just a little while.  The writing was incredibly descriptive.

Her life was totally transformed when she met Lottie who gave her life meaning, she gave her hope, a future and. most importantly of all, a wonderful friendship.  I felt very emotional when Liza first learns that shapes make words.

I was totally engrossed and had no idea of how the story would evolve, it was a surprise to be taken from hop-pickers to oyster beds, and then to the midst of the Boer War, but in a good way.

This was a very entertaining read, a unique and inspiring story, a ghost story, a coming of age story, all beautifully told with fantastic imagery.

This is one of my favourite books that I've read this year.



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About the Author:

Rebecca Mascull lives by the sea in the east of England with her partner Simon and their daughter Poppy.  She has previously worked in education and has a Masters in Writing.  The Visitors is her first novel.



Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Book Review: THE BURNING MAN BY CHRISTOPHER FOWLER


My Thoughts on the 12th novel in this popular series ......

THE BURNING MAN
BY
CHRISTOPHER FOWLER


Published:  26 March 2015
Publisher:  Doubleday


London is under siege. A banking scandal has filled the city with violent protests, and as the anger in the streets detonates, a young homeless man burns to death after being caught in the crossfire between rioters and the police.
But all is not as it seems; an opportunistic killer is using the chaos to exact revenge, but his intended victims are so mysteriously chosen that the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in to find a way of stopping him.
Using their network of eccentric contacts, elderly detectives Arthur Bryant and John May hunt down a murderer who adopts incendiary methods of execution. But they soon find their investigation taking an apocalyptic turn as the case comes to involve the history of mob rule, corruption, rebellion, punishment and the legend of Guy Fawkes.
At the same time, several members of the PCU team reach dramatic turning points in their lives - but the most personal tragedy is yet to come, for as the race to bring down a cunning killer reaches its climax, Arthur Bryant faces his own devastating day of reckoning.

The Burning Man is the 12th book in the wonderful Bryant and May series.  
Arthur Bryant and John May are both senior detectives in the Peculiar Crimes Unit, which performs a unique invisible service, to prevent public disorder......and to investigate peculiar and unusual crimes.
This time, morale is low in the unit, their budget's been cut and they've had some bad publicity from a disgruntled tabloid hack.  It's also pretty quiet until a banking scandal breaks and riots break out in the City, and people are being killed in mysterious and horrific ways. 
As usual, Bryant and May bring their own unique style of investigating to the crimes.  Bryant is quirky and 'insensitive to the etiquette of small talk, a mobile time capsule' and May is a bit of a ladies man. 
The plot moves along at a steady pace, the two detectives sparking off each other, sometimes quite funny, sometimes sad, and I really liked both of them and their different way of working.
Plenty of twists and turns all make this a very readable novel which I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend.

Special Thanks to Sophie at Transworld for sending me this book.

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