Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Book Review - The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders

Published:  1 June 2017

Publisher:  Bloomsbury

My Thoughts:

The Secrets of Wishtide is the first in a new series to feature the impoverished widow of an Archdeacon who discreetly carries out private investigations.

Mrs. Laetitia Rodd is a kind and caring person, but with a steely determination to right the wrongs in her own inimitable way.

Her brother, a criminal barrister, asks her to look into the background of a certain young lady who is thought to be too unsuitable to be marrying into a wealthy family.

But when a murder is committed, the plot becomes more challenging to Laetitia and she is soon locking horns with the irascible Inspector Blackbeard who, I believe, has met his match!

This is a multi layered story, full of rich and interesting characters. which I absolutely loved.  Laetitia is a no-nonsense lady with a heart of gold who is not at all squeamish around corpses and blood.

This is a Victorian mystery to savour, with family secrets, betrayals and murder!

I received a copy of this novel from Bloomsbury books in exchange for an honest review.

First Paragraph:


It was a bright, windy October morning, and Mrs. Bentley and I were down in the basement kitchen making a rabbit pudding.  The rabbits were a gift from Mrs. Bentley's second son, whose daughter I had helped to place in a very respectable domestic situation with the Mayburys of Finchley, and when the doorknocker sounded I was up to my elbows in flour.

Available to buy from:

Amazon UK

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Cover Reveal for Christmas in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May

 Today, I am thrilled to be part of Nicola May's gorgeous Cover Reveal for her new book Christmas in Cockleberry Bay, thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources ... and here it is!

Christmas in Cockleberry Bay 


Meet old and new characters in the Bay for Christmas fun and frolics.

With both the Corner Shop and Cockleberry Café in safe hands, Rosa turns her attention to Ned’s Gift, the charity set up in memory of the great-grandfather whose legacy turned her life around.

Over at the Ship Hotel, Lucas has his work cut out with his devious new girlfriend and the mystery poisoning of an anonymous hotel inspector. Will the hotel still get its 3-star Seaside Rosette?

Will Mary find true love at last? Can Titch cope with the demands of the shop and being heavily pregnant. And can Rosa, with a baby of her own, pull off the Cockleberry Bay Charity Christmas Concert in time?

Christmas in Cockleberry Bay is a festive delight for fans of Rosa and her cheeky mini dachshund Hot, delivering a feast of unpredictable events and surprises.

Pre-order Links

Kindle – UK -

Kindle - .com -

Paperback  -

Publication Date – 4th December

Author Bio – 

Nicola May is a rom-com superstar. She is the author of eleven romantic comedies, all of which have appeared in the Kindle bestseller charts. Two of them won awards at the Festival of Romance, and another was named ebook of the week in The SunThe Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay became the best-selling Kindle book in the UK, across all genres, in January 2019, and was Amazon’s third-bestselling novel in that year. 

She lives near Ascot racecourse with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan.

Follow Nicola May

Website -

Facebook -

Twitter -

Instagram -

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Spotlight on The Merry Month of Murder by Nicola Slade

 Today, the Spotlight is on Nicola Slade's new novel 

The Merry Month of Murder

It was teatime on Tuesday and nobody had died yet .........

May 1918

In a world where the men are at war and the women keep the home fires burning, Christabel Fyttleton is faced with domestic crises involving lodgers, rationing, maypole dancers and Kaiser Bill (don't ask!) - as well as her most daunting challenge ever.

Not only that!  There's a sudden death - again - as though she hasn't enough to cope with already.

But is it murder, misadventure, or merely misfortune?

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK - -

Author Bio

Nicola Slade is an award-winning, best selling author of historical and contemporary mysteries and romantic fiction, all set in and around Winchester and Romsey in Hampshire - which is where she lives.  The House at Ladywell - a contemporary romantic novel with historical echoes - won the International Chatelaine Grand Prize for Romantic Fiction at the CIBA Awards in April 2019.

She is the author of the mid-Victorian Charlotte Richmond mysteries and the contemporary Harriet Quigley mysteries.  The Convalescent Corpse, published November 2018, an Amazon best-seller, the first in a new series, The Fyttleton Mysteries, set in 1918.

The Merry Month of Murder, the second book in the Fyttleton Mysteries - published 10th September 2020.

Social Media Links -

Twitter - @nicolasladeuk

Blog -

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano - Book Review & Blog Tour

Today, I am delighted to be part of Ann Napolitano's blog tour for her new book Dear Edward thanks to Penguin Books .... you'll find my review below

One summer morning, a flight takes off from New York to Los Angeles. There are 192 passengers aboard: among them a young woman taking a pregnancy test in the airplane toilet; a Wall Street millionaire flirting with the air hostess; an injured soldier returning from Afghanistan; and two beleaguered parents moving across the country with their adolescent sons, bickering over who gets the window seat. When the plane suddenly crashes in a field in Colorado, the younger of these boys, 12-year-old Edward Adler, is the sole survivor.
Dear Edward depicts Edward's life in the crash's aftermath as he struggles to make sense of the meaning of his survival, the strangeness of his sudden fame, and find his place in the world without his family. In his new home with his aunt and uncle, the only solace comes from his friendship with the girl next door, Shay. Together Edward and Shay make a startling discovery: hidden in his uncle's garage are sacks of letters from the relatives of the other passengers, addressed to Edward.
As Edward comes of age against the backdrop of sudden tragedy, he must confront some of life's most profound questions: how do we make the most of the time we are given? And what does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live?

Dear Edward is such a beautifully written story that really grabbed at my heart and didn't let go until the very end.  And even then I couldn't stop thinking about it, about the people in the crash, how would their lives have gone on, the young and the old, they all had hopes and dreams and it was all cruelly taken away from them.

But, this is not a depressing story, not at all, in fact it's the opposite.

Full of triumph, survival, hope, friendship, guilt, caring and surmounting the impossible with the possible.

Overall I thought this was a thought-provoking and moving story.

Friday, 7 February 2020

All the Rage by Cara Hunter - Book Review & Blog Tour

Today, I am delighted to be part of Cara Hunter's blog tour for her new book All the Rage thanks to Penguin Books .... you'll find my review below

The first girl came back.
The next might not be so lucky.

History doesn't repeat itself. Does it?

A distressed teenage girl is found on the outskirts of Oxford. The story she tells is terrifying: grabbed off the street, a plastic bag forced over her head, then driven somewhere remote and subjected to an assault.

DI Adam Fawley is doing the best he can to investigate, but the teenager refuses to press charges. All he can do is try to ignore the sickening feeling he's seen something like this before...

But when another girl goes missing, Fawley knows his time is running out.

Because if he ignores the past any longer, this girl may not be coming back.

I have read all the DI Fawley books and absolutely loved them all, and I loved this one too, but it's not quite on the same high level.  Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it but I think my expectations of Cara Hunter's books are so high that it's just impossible to keep reaching those heights every time.

There were twists and turns, engrossing characters, a good compelling story, the same police officers that feature in the other books, great writing, in fact everything I love about these stories.

It's a stand alone story, and if you haven't read any before, the characters back stories can easily be picked up.

I will still be eagerly waiting for the next storyline in the DI Adam Fawley series!

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Perfect Remains by Helen Fields ~ Audio Blog Tour

Today, I am delighted to be part of Helen Fields's blog tour for her new audio book Perfect Remains thanks to Avon Books .... you'll find my review below

On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.

In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness…

Detective Inspector Luc Callanach has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.

It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes … The real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.

Fans of Angela Marson, Mark Billingham and M. J. Aldridge will be gripped by this chilling journey into the mind of a troubled killer.

 Perfect Remains is the first in a new crime series and I would say that it's not for the faint hearted!

DI Luc Callanach, fresh from Interpol in France, is thrown headlong into this chilling and, frankly, quite gruesome thriller.  He is a man with a past which, as the story unfolds, reveals itself quite slowly.

There is more than one strand to this novel, which kept me guessing right to the end.

The narrator of this audio book coped very well with the different accents and I thought this all added to my enjoyment of the story.

Perfect Remains is well-written and cleverly plotted and, at times, quite exciting to listen to.  It is quite a dark read and sometimes I had to, literally, switch off the audio just to make sense of what I was hearing.

Overall, I enjoyed it and I will look out for more in this series, DI Luc Callanach is a likeable cop and I liked his friendship with his colleagues.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Dead in Dublin by Catie Murphy - Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway

Dead in Dublin (The Dublin Driver Mysteries) by Catie Murphy


About Dead in Dublin

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Publisher: Kensington (December 31, 2019) 
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496724186 
ISBN-13: 978-1496724182 
Digital ASIN: B07Q3NPNFB
In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty, murder occurs at the feet of sweet Molly Malone . . .
Ferrying tourists around Dublin for the Leprechaun Limo Service makes quite a change after years in the military. Still, Megan Malone is enjoying her life in Ireland. She likes the scenery, the easy pace, the quirky, quick-witted locals. Everything—except having one of her clients drop dead at the statue of fabled fishmonger, Molly Malone.
Most restaurant critics notch up their share of enemies. Elizabeth Darr, however, was a well-loved international star. She and her husband, Simon, had just had dinner when Elizabeth collapsed, and spoiled seafood is the first suspect. The restaurant’s owner, worried her business is doomed, begs Megan to look into it. Between her irate boss and a handsome Garda who’s both amused and annoyed by her persistence, Megan has her hands full even before she’s cajoled into taking care of two adorable Jack Russell puppies (which she is almost definitely not keeping). But if cockles and mussels aren’t to blame, can Megan find the real culprit . . .before another fishy death occurs?

Dead in Dublin is the first in a brand new cozy mystery series and the title gives us a clue as to where this series is set!

Molly Malone is an incredibly likeable character who loves her job as a limo driver and she loves getting to know her clients, she's a very friendly and out-going person, but she's also loyal and when one of her friends is getting the blame for someone's death, she is determined to do all she can to help them.

There were some clever twists and turns and I enjoyed the plot overall. 

I look forward to more adventures with Molly in the coming series.

About Catie Murphy

Catie Murphy, who has written numerous award-winning fantasy and Sci-fi books under the pseudonym C. E. Murphy, began writing around age six, when she submitted three poems to a school publication. The teacher producing the magazine selected (inevitably) the one she thought was by far the worst, but also told her—a six-year-old kid—to keep writing, which she has. She has also held the usual grab-bag of jobs often seen in an authorial biography, including public library volunteer (at ages 9 and 10; it’s clear she was doomed to a career involving books), archival assistant, cannery worker, and web designer. Writing books is better. She was born and raised in Alaska, and now lives with her family in her ancestral homeland of Ireland.

Author Link - Website 
Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo - Kensington 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

January 13 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW 
January 13 – The Power of Words – REVIEW 
January 14 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW 
January 14 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT 
January 15 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
January 15 – Carole's Book Corner – REVIEW 
January 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
January 16 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT 
January 17 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW 
January 17 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT 
January 17 – Christy's Cozy Corners – GUEST POST 
January 18 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 18 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT 
January 19 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
January 20 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW 
January 20 – Diane Reviews Books - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 21 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW 
January 21 – ebook addicts – REVIEW 
January 21 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW 
January 22 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 22 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW 
January 22 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW   


Monday, 9 December 2019

The Slayings in Sydenham by Alice Castle - Blog Tour, Book Review & Giveaway

Today, I am delighted to be part of Alice Castle's blog tour for her new book The Slayings in Sydenham thanks to Rachel's Random Resources Blog Tours .... you'll find my review below ...... and there's also a fabulous Giveaway!

A dangerous move…
Single mum and super sleuth, Beth Haldane, has been set her most daunting task yet by handsome cop boyfriend Inspector Harry York. He wants her to find them a new home – outside Dulwich! Beth can hardly bear the idea, so when a young estate agent turns up dead, she diverts her energies to nailing the killer instead.
As it turns out, more or less everyone in Dulwich who has ever moved house may have a motive. But do some of the richest residents have an even stronger reason to murder the agent than others? What on earth is up with Dr Grover, head of prestigious private school, Wyatt’s? Does Beth’s uber-mummy nemesis, Belinda MacKenzie, have more reason than usual to be swaggering about the village? And who is sending Beth sinister text messages?
Join Beth for her seventh thrilling adventure amid the mean streets of south London, in The Slayings in Sydenham!
Purchase Links 

I do enjoy these mysteries - author Alice Castle has such a languid and easy writing style that makes me feel as if I actually live in Dulwich, due to the so richly detailed view of this area of London.
Once again murder seems to follow Beth around as she is tasked by Harry to view a house in Sydenham when she suddenly discovers the estate agent's dead body in the kitchen!  Not one to ignore a slaying, and she feels a little bit guilty as he was in the house because of her, she feels the universe is telling her that it's her duty to solve the puzzle.
Beth is one of my favourite amateur sleuths, she is such an unlikely detective, she worries all the time, usually about her son Ben, always about her lack of money, and often about her relationship with Inspector Harry York, whose huge book library is threatening to take over Beth's cosy little house.
With the adorable Colin the labrador in tow, Beth's detective skills are put to the test yet again, and not just in trying to solve the slaying in Sydenham!
An enjoyable cosy mystery with richly drawn characters and an easy plot to follow.

Meet the Author
Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European hit and sold out in two weeks. 
Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim and also hit the number one spot. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, was published in August 2018, with Homicide in Herne Hill following in October 2018. Revenge on the Rye came out in December 2018. The Body in Belair Park will be published on 25th June 2019. Alice is currently working on the seventh London Murder Mystery adventure, The Slayings in Sydenham. Once again, it will feature Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.
Alice is also a mummy blogger and book reviewer via her website: 
Alice lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children and two cats.

Giveaway – Win a signed copy of The Slayings in Sydenham  (Open to UK and US Only) 
*Terms and Conditions –US and UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  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 I reserve 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 passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Entertaining Mr Pepys by Deborah Swift - Blog Tour & Spotlight

Today, I am delighted to be part of Deborah Swift's blog tour for her new book Entertaining Mr Pepys

London 1666 
Elizabeth 'Bird' Carpenter has a wonderful singing voice, and music is her chief passion. When her father persuades her to marry horse-dealer Christopher Knepp, she suspects she is marrying beneath her station, but nothing prepares her for the reality of life with Knepp. Her father has betrayed her trust, for Knepp cares only for his horses; he is a tyrant and a bully, and will allow Bird no life of her own.

When Knepp goes away, she grasps her chance and, encouraged by her maidservant Livvy, makes a secret visit to the theatre. Entranced by the music, the glitter and glamour of the surroundings, and the free and outspoken manner of the women on the stage, she falls in love with the theatre and is determined to forge a path of her own as an actress.

But life in the theatre was never going to be straightforward - for a jealous rival wants to spoil her plans, and worse, Knepp forbids it, and Bird must use all her wit and intelligence to change his mind.

Based on events depicted in the famous Diary of Samuel Pepys, this is a historical novel bringing London in the 17th Century to life. It includes the vibrant characters of the day including the diarist himself and actress Nell Gwynne, and features a dazzling and gripping finale during the Great Fire Of London.

Entertaining Mr Pepys is the third in Deborah Swift's atmospheric trilogy, bringing to life the women in Pepys' Diary.

Each novel features a different character and can be read as a stand-alone book.


Deborah lives in North Lancashire on the edge of the Lake District, a beautiful area made famous by the Romantic Poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge. In the past she used to work as a set and costume designer for theatre and TV, so she enjoys the research aspect of creating historical fiction, something she loved doing as a scenographer. Each book takes about six months of research before she is ready to begin writing. More details of her research and writing process can be found on her website. Deborah likes to write about extraordinary characters set against the background of real historical events.

Deborah’s Social Media links: 

Waterstones link


'Swift is a consummate historical novelist, basing her books on immaculate research and then filling the gaps between real events and real people with eloquent storytelling, atmospheric scene setting and imaginative plot lines' -- The Visitor

'a novel that transports readers with astonishing and engrossing detail' -- Readers Favorite 5*

'Pepys and his world spring to vibrant life...Gripping, revealing and stunningly imagined' -- Lancashire Evening Post


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