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, 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: Parallel Lines – R.J. Mitchell*

The second and third reviews of the DS Thoroughgood thrillers will be reviewed on 26th January and 2nd February so stay tuned.

PARALLEL LINES is the story of a deadly rivalry on both sides of the law. With criminal rival and would be underworld kingpin Declan Meehan on the verge of controlling Glasgow’s lucrative illegal drug trade, Detective Sergeant Angus Thoroughgood vows to bring him down. An edgy and fast-paced crime thriller set in the seedy criminal underworld of Glasgow, Scotland, Parallel Lines is the first book in the long-running Thoroughgood series. With Meechan bludgeoning his competition into submission, seizing the city piece by piece, his conflict with Thoroughgood gets all too personal when Celine Lynott, the woman who broke Angus’ heart ten-years earlier, falls for his nemesis.

Parallel Lines sees author RJ Mitchell drawing from his 12 years of experience as a Glasgow police officer to drag readers into the city’s sleazy underbelly to encounter the violent and lawless stories that can be found there.

An edgy and fast-paced crime thriller set in the seedy criminal underworld of Glasgow, Scotland, Parallel Lines is the first book in the long-running Thoroughgood series. With Meechan bludgeoning his competition into submission, seizing the city piece by piece, his conflict with Thoroughgood gets all too personal when Celine Lynott, the woman who broke Angus’ heart ten-years earlier, falls for his nemesis.

Parallel Lines sees author RJ Mitchell drawing from his 12 years of experience as a Glasgow police officer to drag readers into the city’s sleazy underbelly to encounter the violent and lawless stories that can be found there.

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Matthew James Publishing

Robert James Mitchell was brought up in Stirling. Mitchell was initially detailed beat duties out of the former Blackhill Police Office and then Baird Street Police Office in the former ‘D’ Division, or the North, as it was known to all the men who served in the division.

In January, 2007, while recovering from an appendicitis, Mitchell decided to write the first draft of ‘Parallel Lines: The Glasgow Supremacy‘, drawing heavily on his own experiences and featuring the characters of Detective Sergeant Gus Thoroughgood and DC Kenny Hardie.

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My thoughts:

This was a good old fashioned police procedural featuring a determined detective and some very dangerous gangsters on the mean streets of Glasgow.

Thoroughly enjoyable and full of dirty deeds as DS Thoroughgood pursues crime lord Declan Meechan as a series of killings take place, cementing Meechan as the kingpin.

*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 Darkness Within – Graeme Hampton*

You can run… but death will always find you

A man is discovered on a leafy North London street, fighting for life after a brutal beating. DI Matthew Denning and his team are quickly called in to to track down the monster responsible.

Except the victim is hiding secrets of his own. His name shows that he was reported missing two decades ago – but it’s clear that the missing person is not the same man lying broken in a hospital bed.

A visit to a squalid East London flat unearths a victim with his throat slit, his body left to decompose. A sad end to any life – but when it is identified as former DCI Frank Buckfield, star of the Met police, the case takes on a new significance.

Two seemingly unrelated cases – but as Denning, along with DS Molly Fisher, investigates further, they uncover links between the two victims that lead back to a ring of silence cloaking the blackest of crimes.

But as Denning and Fisher try to track down a killer with revenge on their mind, they find themselves pitted against a psychopath who will kill to keep their secrets hidden. Can they uncover the truth, before they end up the latest victims?

The latest in the gripping London crime series featuring DI Matthew Denning and DS Molly Fisher, The Darkness Within is a must-read if you like Angela Marsons, L.J. Ross or Joy Ellis.

Graeme Hampton was born in Paisley, and grew up in Stirling. After leaving school, he trained as a stage manager and worked in London for a number of years. He returned to Scotland in his late twenties to study for a BA in English Literature at Stirling University. His first novel, Know No Evil – featuring Met detectives DI Matt
Denning and DS Molly Fisher – was published in 2019 by Hera Books. This was followed by Blood Family in January 2020. The Darkness Within is the third novel in the series.
Graeme lives in Hastings, East Sussex.

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My thoughts:

This was an enjoyable and twisty read, revolving around several seemingly unconnected crimes that have their roots in some terrible past events, life ruining ones.

When the body of a former police officer is found with his throat slit in a scummy flat, then an assault on a man reported missing twenty years previously occurs, somewhere deep in DI Denning’s mind the possibility of a connection lies. But it requires a lot of digging.

With plenty of red herrings, dodgy coppers, withdrawn statements, unreliable witnesses and smarmy politicians to go through in search of the truth, the MIT team have a lot to handle, not helped by a suspension or two along the way.

*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: Silent Graves – Sally Rigby*

Check out my review of Ritual Demise

Nothing remains buried forever…

When the bodies of two teenage girls are discovered on a building site, DCI Whitney Walker knows she’s on the hunt for a killer. The problem is the murders happened forty years ago and this is her first case with the new team. What makes it even tougher is that with budgetary restrictions in place, she only has two weeks to solve it.

Once again, she enlists the help of forensic psychologist Dr Georgina Cavendish, but as she digs deeper into the past, she uncovers hidden truths that hurtle through the decades and into the present.

Silent Graves is the ninth book in the acclaimed Cavendish & Walker series. Perfect for fans of L J Ross, J M Dalgleish and Rachel Abbott.

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Sally Rigby was born in Northampton, in the UK. She has always had the travel bug, and after living in both Manchester and London, eventually moved overseas. From 2001 she has lived with her family in New Zealand (apart from five years in Australia), which she considers to be the most beautiful place in the world.

After writing young adult fiction for many years, under a pen name, Sally decided to move into crime fiction. Her Cavendish & Walker series brings together two headstrong, and

From 2001 she has lived with her family in New Zealand (apart from five years in Australia), which she considers to be the most beautiful place in the world.

After writing young adult fiction for many years, under a pen name, Sally decided to move into crime fiction. Her Cavendish & Walker series brings together two headstrong, and very different, women – DCI Whitney Walker, and forensic psychologist Dr Georgina Cavendish.

Sally has a background in education, and has always loved crime fiction books, films and TV programmes. She has a particular fascination with the psychology of serial killers.

Check out her website for a FREE prequel story….. www.sallyrigby.com

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My thoughts:I am a massive fan of the Cavendish and Walker series and was thrilled that there was another one due out, I devoured the previous books in a matter of days since discovering them, they’re so good. Well written, compelling and with great characters, especially in Whitney and George.

In this newest installment two sets of human remains have been found during the initial digging for a new housing estate on farmland, they’ve been there a long time and so Whitney and the team open a cold case, one that wasn’t handled very well forty years ago, the missing teenage girls dismissed as runaways, leaving their families in limbo.

What unravels is a tale of tragedy and teenage drug taking, police misconduct and families left without their children for far too long.

Although the biggest jaw drop is the brilliant closing lines, which I won’t spoil but it’s fair to say Whitney’s private life is about to require some adjustments!

*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: The Big Tilt – Dan Flanigan

TheBigTilt

Welcome to the blog tour for The Big Tilt, follow-up novel to gritty, noir detective story Mink Eyes by Dan Flanigan! Read on for more details and a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

The Big Tilt Front CoverThe Big Tilt (Peter O’Keefe Book #2) *Can be read as a standalone 

Genre: Thriller/ Noir/ Crime Fiction

Publication Date: October 27th, 2020

Publisher : Arjuna Books

The war in Vietnam didn’t kill Peter O’Keefe. Neither did his run-in with ruthless crime boss “Mr. Canada” in the Arizona desert. But chasing after justice in his own hometown just might.

A year after the private detective uncovered a criminal ring disguised as a mink farm in the Ozarks, O’Keefe is back home and back in trouble. A high school crush of O’Keefe’s turns up dead, but the details don’t add up. His pal, Mike Harrigan, has put his trust in the wrong people and now stands accused of crimes that could put him in the slammer. And O’Keefe? The mafia has put a price on his head.

In their search for the truth, O’Keefe and his team will have to venture into the criminal underworld of their city, each step forward bringing them closer to the edge. As trouble begins creeping closer to home, O’Keefe must decide if he’s willing to pay the cost of justice — before someone else makes the decision for him.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Dan Flanigan is a novelist, poet, and playwright, as well as a practicing lawyer. In his series of Peter O’Keefe private eye novels, Flanigan intends to tell us the story of our times from the 1980s to the present day. Book 1 of the series, Mink Eyes, is set in 1986 and explores the “greed is good” dynamic and the cultural tensions and gender complexities of that era. It is a modern hero’s quest in mystery-detective form. His newest novel and the second book in the Peter O’Keefe Series, The Big Tilt, is set one year later, 1987, with the nation is in the midst of the S&L crisis, which is threatening the financial underpinnings of the national economy. Meanwhile, in his private life O’Keefe is gulping water trying to keep his head above the waves and living out the old proverb “no good deed goes unpunished.” In addition to developing a screenplay version of Mink Eyes, he has published a book of verse and prose poetry, Tenebrae: A Memoir Of Love And Death, and Dewdrops, a collection of his shorter fiction. He has also written the full-length plays–Secrets (based on the life of Eleanor Marx) and Moondog’s Progress (based on the life of Alan Freed).

Over the years Dan has committed his time and energy to projects and organizations he is passionate about. He and his wife Candy established Sierra Tucson, a leading international addiction treatment center in Tucson, Arizona. Dan also serves on the Board of Directors of Childhood USA, a national nonprofit organization working to end child sexual abuse and exploitation.

He divides his time among Kansas City, New York City, and Los Angeles.

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For a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card, click the link below to enter the giveaway!

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TheBigTilt

Blog Tour Schedule

December 14th

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

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

@bookishkelly2020 (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/BookishKelly2020/

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

December 15th

The Scary Review (Spotlight) https://thescaryreviews.com

The Cozy Pages (Spotlight) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/

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

December 16th

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

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

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

December 17th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

@the_eclectic_review (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/the_eclectic_review/

I’m into Books (Spotlight) https://www.imintobooks.com/

@bookishkelly2020 (Review) https://www.instagram.com/BookishKelly2020/

December 18th

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

Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

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

Blog Tour Organized By: 

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blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Winterkill – Ragnar Jónasson*

Easter weekend is approaching, and snow is gently falling in Siglufjörður, the northernmost town in Iceland, as crowds of tourists arrive to visit the majestic ski slopes.

Ari Thór Arason is now a police inspector, but he’s separated from his girlfriend, who lives in Sweden with their three-year-old son.

A family reunion is planned for the holiday, but a violent blizzard is threatening and there is an unsettling chill in the air. Three days before Easter, a nineteen-year-old local girl falls to her death from the balcony of a house on the main street.

A perplexing entry in her diary suggests that this may not be an accident, and when an old man in a local nursing home writes ‘She was murdered’ again and again on the wall of his room, there is every suggestion that something more sinister lies at the heart of her death…

As the extreme weather closes in, cutting the power and access to Siglufjörður, Ari Thór must piece together the puzzle to reveal a horrible truth … one that will leave no one unscathed.

Chilling, claustrophobic and disturbing, Winterkill marks the startling conclusion to the million-copy bestselling Dark Iceland series and cements Ragnar Jónasson as one of the most exciting authors in crime fiction.

Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, and currently works as a lawyer, while teacher copyright law at the Reykjavík University Law School.

In the past, he’s worked in TV and radio, including as a news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar translated fourteen Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic, and has had several short stories published in German, English and Icelandic literary magazines.

Ragnar set up the first overseas chapter of the CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) in Reykjavík, and is co-founder of the International crime-writing festival Iceland Noir.

Ragnar’s debut thriller, Snowblind became an almost instant bestseller when it was published in June 2015n with Nightblind (winner of the Dead Good Reads Most Captivating Crime in Translation Award) and then Blackout, Rupture and Whiteout following soon after.

To date, Ragnar Jónasson has written five novels in the Dark Iceland series, which has been optioned for TV by On the Corner.

He lives in Reykjavík with his wife and two daughters.

My thoughts:

This was really good, the snow closing in on a small town, an unexplained death, a teenage girl with secrets and a detective who just wants to spend time with his son.

Ari Thór is called out late at night to an apparent suicide of a young woman, it doesn’t appear suspicious, although the building she jumped from wasn’t her home. But he starts to investigate, while there might not be a crime, something caused her to leap to her death, and he wants to get an answer for her devastated mother.

His ex-partner and young son have just arrived to spend the Easter weekend with him, but he needs to solve the case. This struggle is what caused their break-up and he doesn’t want to risk alienating them further.

A blizzard sets in, trapping the locals in their small town and causing Ari Thór to struggle to get to the truth, when the power goes out. But he pieces the clues together to unravel a tragedy and find someone who is guilty, even if they didn’t kill anyone.

Gripping, claustrophobic, creepy (some of the characters were a bit sinister, like the father and son hiding out on an island), and clever.


*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: Christmas Cookie Cozies – Anthology of Mystery Stories*

2020 is going to be the coziest holiday season yet with cozy mysteries from Ava Mallory, Summer Prescott, Jenna St. James, Laina Turner, Gretchen Allen, Laina Turner, Joanna Campbell Slan, S. C. Merritt, Minnie Crockwell, Mona Marple, Rachael Stapleton and Loraine Hudson – along with their favorite holiday cookie recipe!

🎅Gretchen Allen – Lost Claus☃️

Charlotte Moss is one tough cookie, but her new job as Mrs. Claus isn’t what she expected. When Santa goes missing and a body is found, the most wonderful time of the year looks bleak.

🎅Joanna Campbell Slan – How the Cookie Crumbles☃️
Cara Mia Delgatto never met her maternal grandmother. But Nonie Josephina reaches out from the grave with a message for Cara: I left behind a treasure! Can Cara Mia find it before Santa comes to town?

🎅S.C. Merritt – Caramelized Casualty☃️
With the annual holiday unveiling of a giant gingerbread village quickly approaching, Kate Kennedy’s stress level is sky high. When one of the event’s diva celebrity chefs turns up dead, Kate decides she has no choice but to team up with the town’s newest detective if she’s going to pull off the big event. Can she expose the killer in time to save the event?

🎅Minnie Crockwell – Death By Cookie☃️
Widow Sallie Chilcoat decides to get into the holiday spirit by baking up a batch of cookies for her lakeside condominium neighbors only to have one of them turn up dead – with the remains of her cookies! Did Sallie kill her neighbor with her vegan cookies?

🎅Ava Mallory – Christmas Cookie Catastrophe☃️
When Consuelo “Cookie” Alvarez inherits a bakery from her aunt Birdie, she doesn’t expect to take her late aunt’s place in the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off. Now she has two weeks to perfect the super-secret recipe, but there are major obstacles in her way: she can’t bake, the recipe is missing, and her competitors are a who’s who of shady characters.

🎅Summer Prescott – Hang Out The Stalkings☃️
Someone is stealing Nancy’s cookies…will they steal her holiday spirit too?

🎅Jenna St. James – Christmas Cookie Caper☃️
When Ivy O’Brien learns her mother has been injured at the annual Couples Christmas Cookie Contest, she runs to the rescue. Looks like she needs to fill in for her mother and hunky policeman Anthony Romano has to help bake the cookie and question the suspects. Between dough-making disasters, nips of peppermint Schnapps, and rolling pin thefts, the pair slowly whittle down their suspect list.

🎅Mona Marple – The Santa Run Is Murderous Fun☃️
Emily Monk’s run out of excuses not to take part in the annual Santa run, but the festivities are threatened when the long-running Santa Run champ is found dead the day before the race.
With a killer to be caught, and a Christmas dinner to be bought, Emily needs to think fast if she’s going to solve this case before Santa comes.

🎅Rachael Stapleton – Christmas, Corpses & the Gingerdead Flip-Flop☃️
When house flippers Jack Young and Juniper Palmer purchase a colorful Queen Anne home, Juniper assumes the exterior gingerbread trim will be the most outlandish thing to see. That is until a prominent wine merchant dressed as Santa is murdered, and Jack’s mother is caught on the naughty list.

🎅Loraine Hudson – Holly, Jolly Misdeeds☃️
First, it’s a thieving Santa. Next, it’s a prowler that threatens Jenny’s peace. It all seems to revolve around a box of cookies. Why? And what’s next?

🎅Laina Turner – Cookies and Crime☃️
What is supposed to be a joy-filled awards ceremony for the Romero Boy Scouts turns out to be anything but when Jean Sartor, Scout co-leader, drops dead on stage.
Trixie lands herself on the suspect list since she baked Christmas cookies for the ceremony. She knows she didn’t poison Jean, but who did?

US Amazon

UK Amazon

My thoughts:

This were all fun short Christmas themed crime capers, mostly murders with a few thefts and the odd burglary thrown in.

Each story ends with a recipe for festive biscuits (cookies if you’re American), some of which feature in the stories!

A great collection for the season and everything resolved just in time to celebrate.

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