blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Networking for Writers – Lizzie Chantree*

Are you swamped with book marketing and looking for a way to find new sales? Learn simple and
effective networking techniques, to grow your readership and connect with other authors and book lovers, today!

Whether you are a new or experienced writer, self-published or traditionally published, this book
will show you how to grow your readership and author network, through some of the most powerful
of all marketing tools – word of mouth and recommendation.

This book will show you:
How networking can help you sell more books.
Why author branding is important.
How networking hours work.
Specific Facebook groups for writers
How to utilise social media to grow your readership.
How not to waste valuable writing time.
How to make our marketing more effective.

Throughout Networking for Writers, we will explore running or attending book signings, hosting seminars, finding a writing buddy or mentor, author networking groups, social media planning and so much more.

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International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000.

She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise.

She lives with her family on the coast in Essex.

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My thoughts:

This slim book is full of useful information for writers, both aspiring and established, on how to market yourself and your work. Chapters cover different social media platforms and how to get the most out of them as well as tips on using software and connecting with fellow writers and readers.

Lizzie Chantree self published her first few books and knows a lot about building your own readership through savvy use of existing tools and networks, and I’ve read some of her books having seen them mentioned on social media – so it does work!


*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Trobairitz The Storyteller – Celia Micklefield*

Trobairitz were female troubadours of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. They brought news and sang songs about love, tradition and the role of women in society.

Feisty truck driver, Weed, a twenty first century Trobairitz never gives personal details to other drivers. She avoids the intimacy of real friendship.

Instead, she entertains the truckers by telling the story of ex-courtesan, seventy-six year old Catherine Joubert and the mysterious hold she has over young mayor, Henri-Claude Noilly and his grandfather.

Weed’s themes are those of the original Trobairitz but these are the very subjects causing problems in her own life.

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After living in Languedoc for nine years I returned to Norfolk where I live surrounded by beautiful countryside and wildlife.

I’m ageing faster than I used to, but I’ve still got ambitions.
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My thoughts:

This was a really interesting book with a story within a story as Weed tells her fellow truckers the tale of a village that no one can find on a map and its inhabitants. Over several months she weaves them a tale in a truck stop cafe, tugging at their curiosity about the grand dame Catherine Joubert and the pompous mayor. We as readers also slowly learn Weed’s story, meet her family and spend time on the road together.

I felt a particular attachment to the book as Weed passes through Bezier in Southern France, where my younger sister was born and my neighbour is a real life female truck driver, though now retired. These little connections were a surprise and made me smile, as did both Weed’s own story and the one she told the other drivers.

A clever book about the power of stories and their tellers, perfect for travelling in your mind while staying safe on your sofa.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

The Stolen Child & The Innocent Girl – Alex Coombes*

Over two days I’m going to be reviewing four books by Alex Coombes – today it’s The Stolen Child and The Innocent Girl. Then on the 25th it will be The Missing Husband and The Silent Victims.

Meet DI Hanlon. A woman with a habit of breaking the rules and a fierce loyalty to the few people she respects.
Her boss, Corrigan. Looks like a street copper promoted above his ability. Underestimate him at your peril.
Enver Demirel. Known in the boxing ring as Iron Hand. Now soft and gone to seed. But he would do anything for Hanlon.

When the kidnap of a 12-year-old boy blows the case of some missing children wide apart, the finger is pointing at the heart of the Met.
Corrigan sends in the only cop in his team who is incorruptible enough to handle it – Hanlon.
And then he sends Demirel to spy on her…

Once you start the DI Hanlon series, you won’t be able to put it down. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Lisa Regan and Mark Dawson.

This book was previously published as Time To Die by Alex Howard.

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DCI Hanlon is going undercover.
Oxford Philosophy lecturer Dr Gideon Fuller is in the frame, but Hanlon is not convinced.
From the specialist brothels in Oxford and Soho, to the inner sanctum of a Russian people trafficker with a taste for hurting women, the trail leads Hanlon deeper and deeper into danger – until she herself becomes the killer’s next target…
Can Hanlon track down the killer before it’s too late?

A thrilling new case for DCI Hanlon. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Lisa Regan and Mark
Dawson.

This book was previously published as Cold Revenge by Alex Howard.

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Alex Coombs studied Arabic at Oxford and Edinburgh Universities and went on to work in adult education and then retrained to be a chef. He has written four well reviewed crime novels as Alex Howard.

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My thoughts:

The Stolen Child – any book that covers violence against children is going to be shocking, and this is. A group of vile men are having children kidnapped to order and their bodies are dumped for the police to find. DI Hanlon is tasked with looking into this and what she uncovers is horrific. But she’s hard as nails and determined to put a permanent stop to the ruthless criminals behind these appalling crimes. I was totally gripped and while Hanlon isn’t an easy character to like, her DS, Enver Demirel is. A British-Turk, he’s a former boxer with the heart of gold, he’s loyal, brave, and endeavors to follow where Hanlon leads.

The Innocent Girl – Hanlon and Demirel are drawn into the world of S&M after a young woman is found murdered in her bed. Another gripping and brutal thriller unfolds, this time with added Russian mafia, and a new character, Oxford detective Huss, who starts out disliking Hanlon but then finds a grudging respect for the maverick detective. And more than that for Enver.

Both books were totally gripping, excellently written and while dealing with some very dark subject matter, managed some levity and lightness of tone that made them a pleasure to read. The characters are well written and don’t feel like stereotypes, as can happen with police procedurals. Hanlon is a bit of a mystery, her inability to do as she’s told and the extreme violence she’s capable of speak to someone with issues beyond the usual and we get a hint of those in The Innocent Girl, when she almost learns more information about the parents she lost as a child. The relationship that develops between Enver and Huss serves as a counterpoint to Hanlon’s determined aloneness – even Corrigan, who knows her better than most, can’t get under her skin.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books

Blog Tour: Shame of it All – KT Grant

Shame of it All

Welcome to the blog tour for new Psychological Thriller, Shame of It All by K.T. Grant! Today I have an excerpt for you to read and a chance to win  1 of 3 digital copies of the book!

55850991._SY475_Shame of It All

Publication Date: December 6th, 2020

Genre: Psychological Thriller

*Trigger Warning : Violence/ Sexual Assault

Revenge is a dish best served cold. But for Mercy Pryce her revenge will scald one’s soul and leave behind a burnt-out husk if she has her way.

Mercy has returned to her hometown of Cartleigh, New York after twenty years. The lakeside community is the perfect location for Yakim Zeldovich, her Russian billionaire employer’s state of the art manufacturing facility. Acting as a consultant for Zeldovich, she’s on an undercover mission, not as an angel of mercy, but one of mischief, deceit and torture. Her ultimate goal is to ruin Cartleigh because of a horrible trauma she suffered in high school. The one responsible for her wrath is Colton Hahn, Cartleigh’s  beloved mayor, and the object of her retaliation. The town’s golden boy, who she once adored as an impressionable teenager, brutally raped her and left her for dead at seventeen.

Consumed by years of grief and growing rage, she has targeted Colton, who may also be responsible for the death of her best friend, Marina, his fiancé. She will avenge Marina and finally take down the monster who tried to ruin her life.

Her success may come at a horrible price. But it will all be worth it if she can take away everything Colton holds dear, including him surrendering his heart and soul to her in the process.

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Excerpt

The Grand Oaks was a well-known venue for sophisticated affairs. Valet parking was a given, which Ari didn’t complain about, although he acted a bit embarrassed by his eight-year-old sedan. I didn’t mind because the make and model didn’t prove the worth of the individual driving it. Most of those who drove luxury cars were trying to make up for something they lacked. Yakim had many cars at his disposal, but he always stuck to his Lincoln Navigator, since the car reminded him of his grandfather. His father had the same fondness for that type of car but mainly used chauffeurs to get around.

“You’re probably used to all this glitz and glamour,” Ari said as we walked up the short flight of stairs into the foyer.

“I’ve attended my share of swanky parties and balls but they can be exhausting. Unless you want to, we don’t have to stay until it ends. We could always have a nightcap at one of our houses.”

“We’ll see how the night goes.” He twined our fingers together as we moved toward the banquet hall. “The only type of event I’ve been to that compares to this was my sister’s wedding, and there were a hundred guests, give or take.”

I laughed and rubbed his arm, wishing if only for the next few hours, we were an actual couple. But I wasn’t here to engage in that fantasy for either one of us. I had to find my mark and entice him in more than just conversation.

Most of the men wore tuxedos like Ari’s. The women showed off their attributes with their dresses and hair, much like I had done. The room swelled with so many people, it made me wonder if it was a safety hazard even though the majority of the guests remained at the bars on each side or surrounded servers passing trays of food. A few occupied the small dance floor near the bandstand. Based on attendance, I would say the event was a success. Yakim would be pleased because not everything would be fake when he pulled out of the negotiations. I would be long gone when the deal collapsed and those in this room realizing they had been conned.

“Are your feet hurting? Want to sit down, and I’ll get us some drinks?” Aril led me to a table and pulled out a chair.

“That would be nice.” I accepted the seat and glanced around while he did, finding Karine and her husband nearby, along with Agnes. Not surprising, Colt was next to them. They had formed their own intimate circle near the corner of the bar. I leaned into Ari so I could stare at the group over his shoulder.

“Get me a cabernet.” I kissed his cheek and hugged him at the exact moment Colt turned his face toward me. He stiffened.

“You got it.” He kissed me back and walked to the bar where Colt stood. Ari stopped near two men who shook hands with him. Since he might spend some time talking, I decided to disappear for a few minutes. But before I did, I posed for Colt’s benefit. He moved in my direction, and I backed away and left the room.

I strolled down to the lower level where a sign on the wall pointed me in the direction of another set of restrooms. I glanced behind to see Colt stopped by some people. I kept moving because the only reason anyone would venture here was to use the toilets. He would eventually find me.

I entered the restroom consisting of a small sitting area that led to three stalls and a sink. The light automatically came on when I entered, but it could also be turned off manually. I sat on a love seat and waited all of three minutes before the door opened and Colt entered, shutting it behind him.

He blocked the door but didn’t lock it. I wasn’t worried because for him to attack me again would be monumentally stupid on his part. The camera in the hallway had recorded him entering after me. I could bring it up as an extra layer of protection but only if necessary. Plus, I would be taking control of this situation, not him.

“Nice dress. It suits you.” He leaned on the door with his hands in his coat pocket.

He was dressed in an almost-identical tuxedo to most of the men here. Other than his good looks, nothing would make him stand out in this crowd. But I would be nice and play along with the compliments.

“You look good in a tuxedo, but you already know it.” I stood, laying my clutch on the seat next to me.

“In my line of work, wearing a tux or a suit is a given.” His sad sort of smile didn’t move me in any way.

“Why did you follow me here?” The answer would be obvious, but I wanted to hear him say it.

“You wanted me to.”

The lack of accusation in his voice annoyed me. He was stating a fact, but his words had a huge underlying meaning because of our past. A man accusing a woman of wanting something from him was beyond insulting. Because it was Colt, I assumed it would be sexual in nature. What I would give freely, he would take.

“You assume I want many things from you. Have you thought I just want you to notice me and nothing else? You used to do the same in high school, before and during our hidden affair.” I used air quotes around the word affair and approached him.

“Did you ever tell Ari about us?” He took his hands out of his pocket and lowered his arms to his sides.

“Why would he care about something twenty years ago that doesn’t concern him?” I folded my arms behind back.

“He doesn’t know anything?” He shifted closer.

“What is the anything you’re worried I’ll tell him about?” I tapped my chin with a lacquered nail. “Perhaps the same anything you didn’t share with your dead fiancée?”

He grabbed me by the arms and spun around, shoving me into the door. He breathed heavily, and his grip tightened to the point he might leave marks.

“Have I triggered you without saying the actual words? What if I say them?” I wanted to snarl and hit him but remained impassive, as if he wasn’t manhandling me.

He closed his eyes and inhaled through his nose, ending with a short rattle. “I can’t do this with you. It’s…shit.”

I should be impressed I had such power to affect him in such a way he was torn up inside. If only I had the same power when we were teenagers. It was going to be easier than I thought. I relaxed into the door. “You want me.”

He opened his eyes and mouth but didn’t make a sound until he groaned and knelt in front of me and clutched my hips. He pressed his face in my stomach, making me spread my legs open so I wouldn’t join him on the floor.

If he expected me to rub his head and hold him while he was wracked with guilt, he would be horribly disappointed. Any sympathy would be a mockery. Any intimacy acted upon was a means to an end for me. This time, I would have all the power.

“You want me to forgive you for raping me?” Finally saying to him directly what he did to me should have been cathartic, but I wanted to be cruel. I tugged on his hair, making him stare up at me as vindication swept through my body. For the first time since Marina died, I felt so alive.

“I don’t know.” He fell back on his heels. “What I did was wrong but it was so long ago, so if you’re thinking of—”

“Hush.” I tapped his nose and stepped around him to sit on the love seat. “You can make it up to me, and no, I’m not going to blackmail you.” Yet. “What I want from you will be enjoyable for us both.”

I wanted to cackle, not that I had ever done anything like it, but the astonishment on Colt’s face was beyond comedic. He must think I was crazy since it was beyond comprehension his victim would proposition him for some type of sexual act after he violated her violently years ago.

If he had dropped to the floor in shock, I wouldn’t have been surprised. But he remained standing, just staring like one would do if they saw a car accident.

“What do you want from me?” His voice cracked, but the front of his pants tented with his penis.

“You owe me gratification because you took it away from me so long ago.” I hiked up my skirt to my thighs and then checked my watch. “You have less than eight minutes to make me come. I’ve been in here long enough, and Ari will start to worry.”

Either mentioning the time restraint or Ari’s name forced Colt to act. He took a huge step toward me, bent down, and braced his hands behind me. It was the closest we had been to each other since that night at the lake. Back then, I was terrified. Now, I was calm and collected because I held all the power. He couldn’t hurt me even if he wanted to because he was transfixed, under my spell.

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About the Author

KT Grant Bio Picture

KT Grant is a self-proclaimed eccentric redhead who not only loves to read a wide variety of romances, but also loves writing it. As a former book blogger and entertainment columnist with a bad coffee and Twitter addiction, she still doesn’t shy away from voicing her opinion. A proud native of New Jersey, KT is multi-published and writes Gay, Lesbian and Straight romance. KT has also been a top ten best-selling author at Amazon. KT loves to hear from readers. You can drop KT an email at ktgrnt@gmail.com.

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Shame of it All

Blog Tour Schedule

January 18th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

@BrendaJeanCombs (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/brendajeancombs/

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Dark Whimsical Art (Spotlight) https://www.darkwhimsicalart.com/blogs/news

January 19th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

January 20th

Book Dragons Not Worms (Review) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

@geauxgetlit (Review) https://www.instagram.com/geauxgetlit/

@the.b00kreader (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.b00kreader

January 21st

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://tsarinapress.com/blog/

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

January 22nd

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

The Faerie Review (Spotlight) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Books, Ramblings, and Tea (Review) https://booksramblingsandtea.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Island – C.L. Taylor*

Welcome to The Island.

Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re becoming a reality.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.

Who will make it off the island alive?

My thoughts:

We’ve all read the books where the main characters meet at an NCT class or similar and swear to be BFFs and then over the years it goes off the boil or is The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. Well these are the kids who wish their parents would stop with the group holidays.

Dragged off on yet another holiday, no longer fun like when they were kids, are 6 teenagers who don’t really have much in common anymore.

Sent to a private island for a survivalist style camp as a ‘treat’, things go badly sideways as their guide dies and they realise they don’t have the skills for this.

A stupid conversation about fear becomes a nightmare as everyone’s biggest phobia starts coming true. And with only the six of them there, someone is playing a nasty game…

Creepy, compelling and ultimately rather sad, this is a fascinating study in friendship and trauma.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: It Will Be Quick – Karl Drinkwater*

Read my reviews of Karl’s previous books; Lost Solace Chasing Solace Grubane

A single decision can save – or ruin – a life.
An opportunistic baby theft by a young woman in pain. Two strangers shipwrecked on a lifeless rock,
unable to speak the same language. An isolated cycling holiday descends into terror. One woman seeks the courage to destroy her life. A miracle unites a community, and teenagers take a stand against hypocrisy.

Karl Drinkwater presents characters to root for – and characters to dread – in sixteen tales of humanity, endurance, and spirit.

Buy a copy here or here

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in
English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.

Karl is an active member of the
British Science Fiction Association (BSFA), the Horror Writers Association (HWA), and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake.
Not necessarily in that order.

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My thoughts:

This was an interesting mix of short stories, some just over a page long, about people making decisions, good and bad, and consequences. My favourites were Fire in the Hole even though it was very sad and the miraculous The Potential which again was quite sad but was ultimately rather lovely. I think sometimes we need bittersweet and these stories definitely are that.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Blood Will Have Blood – Thomas H. Carry*

As an actor in New York City in the late ‘80s, Carry knew at some point he’d write about that unusual yet transformative experience which inspired the setting for Blood Will Have Blood. Carry explains he was intrigued by the idea of seemingly normal people who find themselves in abnormal contexts, where unanticipated aspects of themselves are revealed, often resulting in violent, dangerous, and subversively funny situations.

Struggling actor and inveterate pothead Scott Russo is tired of performing in terrible Off-Off Broadway productions, hopping from one soul-crushing job to the next. He contemplates throwing in the towel altogether on making it as an actor but the only thing that keeps him going is the humiliation of returning back home to Baltimore as a failure. That and his current theatrical gig: an idiotically bad production of Macbeth. Broke and jobless, Scott jumps at his friend’s offer to work for a pot delivery service, only to get caught in a web of dangerous Irish gangsters, a charismatic psychopath, ruthless prosecutors, and clueless actors. When his theatrical and criminal worlds collide in mayhem, murder, and betrayal, Scott finds himself morphing into a bumbling and blood-stained Macbeth, on stage and off. If he can just make it to opening night…

My thoughts:

This was a lot of fun, a blackly comic book about an actor who gets completely out of his depth with gangsters and lawyers in 80s New York. He has a go at playing both sides, but it seems there’s a lot more going on in the shadows even a ridiculous version of Macbeth can’t compete with the insanity Scott finds himself embroiled in.

Scott is the everyman caught up between psychopathic Irish gangsters and dodgy Ivy League types claiming to be the good guys. Also there’s some cats and a charming transwoman called Juanita. Like I said, lots of fun.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Forgotten Lives – Ray Britain*

A man is murdered with quiet efficiency on his doorstep. A strange emblem left behind suggests a gang killing but when more bodies are found with the same emblem, and one of them a cop, DCI Doug Stirling’s investigation takes a sinister turn.

But what linked the victims in life, and now in death?

When more deaths are uncovered, miles away and years apart, but all with the same emblem left behind, pressure mounts on Stirling. Is it the work of the same person? If so, why are they killing again, and why here? One thing is clear. The killer is highly skilled, ruthless, and always one step ahead of the investigation. Is someone feeding information to them?

Working in a crippling heatwave with too few investigators, too many questions and not enough answers, when wild media speculation of a vigilante at work sparks copycat attacks, demonstrations for justice and with politicians fearing riots, Stirling needs a result – fast!

Meanwhile, Stirling’s private life is falling apart, not helped when Lena Novak of the National Crime Agency is assigned to his team. But is she all that she seems? Things could not get worse. Stirling takes a call from a retired cop. Things just got worse!

As Stirling closes in on the killer he finds the killer’s trademark inside his home – he is being targeted.

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Ray Britain’s second novel ‘Forgotten Lives’ follows closely on from ‘The Last Thread’ (2017) with a new investigation for DCI Doug Stirling, the toughest of his career.

As a police Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) Ray led specialist investigations. He was also a Hostage & Crisis Intervention Negotiator – a voluntary role – responding to hostage situations, many firearms incidents and numerous suicide interventions, not all of which ended happily. His roles took him to the USA, India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, receiving Commendations in recognition for his work.

Ray’s real-world experience puts the reader at the heart of a complex, fast moving investigation with all of its uncertainties, stresses and frustrations, and of the dark, bitter sadness’s of people’s lives.

Ray also worked with the Serious Fraud Office and the Home Office, London, and with the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate.

When not writing, Ray might be found mountain hiking, following rugby, skiing, reading, sailing, or generally keeping fit.

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My thoughts:

This was a really gripping crime thriller, I genuinely had no idea who the murderer was, it was such a clever and complex case, spanning years and across the UK and France.

Every scrap of evidence Stirling and his team gathered eventually builds to a shocking, compelling and ultimately tragic case (and I don’t mean the victims, it’s hard to have a lot of sympathy for them).

Stirling almost gets distracted from the case by ice cold NCA agent Novak, but manages to see it through to it’s conclusion. Racing against time to unravel the mysterious ‘V’ behind the murders and the brooches left at each scene.

The author’s real life experience and knowledge add an air of authenticity to the proceedings and the neverending meetings and briefings Stirling has to undertake while trying to steer his team and occasionally get some sleep! This is what it’s really like on the front line.

Absolutely cracking read, the pace never lets up and as more bodies turn up, the web gets more tangled and complicated, brilliantly delivered.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Marlow Murder Club – Robert Thorogood*

To solve an impossible murder, you need an impossible hero…

Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy. She lives on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow, there’s no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink, and to keep herself busy she sets crosswords for The Times newspaper.

One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. The local police don’t believe her story, so she decides to investigate for herself, and is soon joined in her quest by Suzie, a salt-of-the-earth dog-walker, and Becks, the prim and proper wife of the local Vicar.

Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club.

When another body turns up, they realise they have a real-life serial killer on their hands. And the puzzle they set out to solve has become a trap from which they might never escape…

My thoughts:

This was tremendous fun, reminded me of Agatha Raisin, in that gentle crime story in a rural place way, and a little of Miss Marple (though any locked rooms in her house definitely contain bodies – I stand by my belief Marple is a serial killer!). I know it will also get compared to The Thursday Murder Club but beyond the similar titles and older female protagonist there’s no real similarities.

When the fabulous Judith Potts (I think I want to be her when I grow up) hears a gunshot at her neighbour’s house and finds a body, she decides to investigate.

What follows is funny, clever and once she’s untangled it, a rather audacious plot. I felt a little sorry for the police detective trying to handle Judith and her new pals, they have a lot of energy and Judith doesn’t seem to hear the word “no”.

Hope there’s going to be more if the author isn’t too busy with his day job writing Death in Paradise….

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Circles of Deceit – Paul CW Beatty*

Murder, conspiracy, radicalism, poverty, riot, violence, capitalism, technology: everything is up for
grabs in the early part of Victoria’s reign. Radical politicians, constitutional activists and trade unionists are being professionally assassinated.

When Josiah Ainscough of the Stockport Police thwarts an attempt on the life of the Chartist leader,
Feargus O’Connor, he receives public praise, but earns the enmity of the assassin, who vows to kill him.

‘Circles of Deceit’, the second of Paul CW Beatty’s Constable Josiah Ainscough’s historical murder
mysteries, gives a superb and electric picture of what it was to live in 1840s England. The novel is set in one of the most turbulent political periods in British history, 1842-1843, when liberties and constitutional change were at the top of the political agenda, pursued using methods fair or foul.

Amazon UK
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Paul CW Beatty is an unusual combination of a novelist and a research scientist. Having worked for
many years in medical research in the UK NHS and Universities, a few years ago he took an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University emerging with a distinction.

His latest novel, Children of Fire, is a Victorian murder mystery set in 1841 at the height of the industrial revolution. It won the Writing Magazine’s Best Novel Award in November 2017 and is published by The Book Guild Ltd.

Paul lives near Manchester in the northwest of England. Children of Fire is set against the hills of the
Peak District as well as the canals and other industrial infrastructure of the Cottonopolis know as the City of Manchester.

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My thoughts:

This was a really good, historical political thriller. I got really into it partly because I’d studied the period of history and found the Chartists really fascinating and ahead of their time, and partly because it’s so well written and compelling.

Set in the 1840s, some years after Peterloo, during a time of strikes and upheaval, when the working class Chartists were requesting decent wages, the vote and other eminently understandable things to a 21st Century reader, but the government and factory owners of the day often vehemently disagreed with these requests.

Constable Josiah Ainscough becomes involved with the movement, one he has sympathies for, after thwarting an assassin at a meeting. He then goes undercover and discovers a plot that goes all the way to the top.

He also falls in love and that makes it personal. Using his clever wits and nose for a conspiracy he keeps digging, hunting for the mysterious assassin and their master.

Highly enjoyable even if politics (of any period) leaves you cold, although I enjoyed that element too.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.