The Summer Escape (Isles of Scilly #3) by Hannah Ellis @BooksEllis @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #family #friendship #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Summer Escape by Hannah Ellis. This is the 3rd book in her Isles of Scilly series and each book is a fabulous story to read. They can be read as standalone, but they do work much better when read in order.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Single-mother Beth desperately needs a break.


Grieving the loss of her mother, she sets off to the Isles of Scilly with her five-year-old daughter, Ellie.
Their holiday cottage is utterly charming, but it’s meeting Trystan – the owner of the cottage – that makes Beth’s stay so perfect.
When their holiday fling starts to feel like something more, she knows she’s in trouble. Her life is in Plymouth, while he lives in London. Besides, Trystan has already admitted he’s not ready for a family.


Is he prepared to take a leap of faith for Beth and Ellie? And with the odds stacked against them, can they find a way to make their relationship last beyond the lazy days of summer?

Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

Oh, it was so nice to go back to the Isles of Scilly for the 3rd book in the series. The previous books have focused on one of the Island families, this time it is the turn of Trystan. He lives and works in London but does come back to the Isles when he can. This time when he returns he can’t stay in his usual cottage.

In the cottage are Beth and her daughter Ellie. They had been on holiday for a week and the weather had been awful, quite typical for my neck of the woods. They are convinced that they should stay on for a few days more as the weather has now brightened up. The cottage belongs to Trystan and his mum rents it out for him, so he is just going to have to stay with her for a few days.

This is another gorgeous story from this author. Each time I come to this series I am hooked. The close family on the island is great to come back to and the banter they have with each other is great. Trystan has recently split from his partner of 10 years. Beth doesn’t have an obvious partner, but she does have a daughter.

Bringing two people together is a nice idea, but there are other circumstances that also need to be considered especially when there is a child involved, I have to say I liked how the author approached this and how there were some awkward situations. Nothing, however, should be taken for granted, as Beth is a single Mum she is very protective of her daughter and after all, they are only on holiday!

This is a wonderful and tentative story that works its way along at its own pace, not too rushed and at times with some amusing outcomes. It was a chance to learn more about the family and especially Trystan and I am delighted to see who the author has her sights set on for the next story!!!

This is one for those who like a holiday romance, contemporary fiction, family and friendships and a really wonderful heartwarming story. I would definitely recommend this one, and also the previous ones in the series.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

– Hannah Ellis spent many years working in childcare before deciding she’d like to write books. When she’s not busy writing she likes to read, drink tea and eat chocolate. She also enjoys yoga and jogging.


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In the Shadows of Castles by G.K. Holloway @SilverWoodBooks #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review of In the Shadows of Castles by G.K. Holloway. I had the pleasure of reading the first book in this series in 2017, the book was 1066: What Fates Impose and it was a fabulous story so I was absolutely delighted when Glyn got in touch to see if I wanted to read the next one.

1066: What Fates Impose

Here is the link to my review for 1066: What Fates Impose

In the Shadows of Castles

It’s the 1060s, and William of Normandy is establishing a new and brutal regime in England, but there are those who would defy him. As Norman soldiers spread like a plague across the land, resistance builds, but will it be enough to topple William and restore the rightful king to his throne? The English have the courage to fight, but the Normans, already victorious at Hastings, now build castles seeking to secure their tenuous foothold in these lands.

And what of the people caught up in these catastrophic events? Dispossessed but not defeated, their lives ripped apart, the English struggle for freedom from tyranny; amongst them, caught up in the turmoil, are a soldier, a thane and two sisters. As events unfold, their destinies become intertwined, bringing drastic changes that alter their lives forever.

Firmly embedded in the history of the Conquest, ‘In the Shadows of Castles’ is ultimately a story of love, hope and survival in a time of war. 

PURCHASE LINK – AMAZON UK

MY REVIEW

This book continues on from 1066: What Fates Impose. I read and adored that book so I was absolutely thrilled to the author had continued the story. With William on the throne, the Normans are brutally and savagely destroying all the English that they come across. Rebels and uprisings are quickly quashed by Williams’s army and the countryside is left like scorched earth. Any food is taken, livestock destroyed, houses burned and people murdered no matter their age.

Having a Frenchman wearing an English crown doesn’t sit well with many. There are obviously some who have lands, estates and money that want to retain their possessions and so they do show some support. William doesn’t only have to deal with the English, he also has to stop the grumbling from within his own ranks, as his people want to go back home to their families.

With the rebels of England, and with the support of the Welsh, Scots and Danes there is bloodshed around most of England. Nowhere is safe, churches do not provide a safe sanctuary anymore as they are destroyed as quickly as they come across. Villages, towns and cities are filled with bloodshed and William is gradually building castles and fortifications where he can to maintain his hold.

With the first book, I adored how the author brought his obvious knowledge of this period of English history to life. I am delighted to see that this still runs true with his latest book. Being able to read a fictionalised story really does bring the past to life, it makes it easier to absorb and remember. No list of dates and people who lived and died, but instead a proper action-packed read from start to finish.

Having a fictionalised account gives the reader a chance to get to know a character, but it does come down to the research and this is where the author really does know his subject. There will be obvious things that may be added or altered, but for me as a general reader, it means I can immerse myself directly into the story.

And what a story this one is!

With England at the start of a new era under the reign of William, the Battle of Hastings is still fresh in the memory. There was a successor named but he was obviously not crowned as William was instead. The country is in turmoil, it is under siege and communication is slow or misunderstood, sometimes deliberately. The author uses four main characters to give a more personal look at lifestyles and what could have happened. Two friends and two sisters are drawn together as they battle their way out of skirmishes, and are hunted, are followed and lied to. There are obviously more characters than this, but while there is a lot the author keeps the action flowing wonderfully as it goes from one group to another, crisis crossing the county.

The whole feel of the book has a wonderful pace to it. It is an action-adventure story, one also of life, death, loyalty and of the future. It is a brilliant read from start to finish and it is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

G. K. Holloway did several jobs after leaving school before taking A Levels at his local college and later a degree in History and Politics at Coventry University. Once he had graduated, he spent the next twenty years working in education in and around Bristol. After reading a biography about Harold Godwinson, he studied the late Anglo-Saxon era in detail and discovered a time of papal plots, court intrigues, family feuds, loyalties, betrayals, assassinations and a few battles. When he had enough material to weave together fact and fiction, he produced his award-winning novel, ‘1066: What Fates Impose’, the first in a series about the Norman Conquest. G. K. Holloway lives in Bristol with his wife and two children.

Find G.K. Holloway on his Amazon Author Page or Goodreads Author Page

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The Imposter by Leona Deakin @LeonaDeakin1 @RandomTTours #crime #mystery #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Imposter by Leona Deakin. This is the 4th book in the series and if you are a fan of riveting psychological thrillers then this should be on your TBR list.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy from the publisher.

Dr Bloom is faced with her most challenging case yet as she races to catch a highly unpredictable
murderer in London. He doesn’t just want your identity. He wants your life…


No one sees him coming.


A stock-market trader is pushed from a high-rise balcony and falls to his death on the street below. The only clue the police can find is a box of matches.

No one survives for long.


The decomposing body of a member of the Saudi Royal Family is discovered in a car. Evidence suggests the killer took the man’s life, then stole his identity, wore his clothes and lived in his hotel room – before vanishing into thin air like smoke.

Nothing but matchsticks are left behind.


Dr Bloom realizes the only thing linking these murders is a trail of burnt matches and broken lives. Time is running out – and if she isn’t careful, she might be the next to burn …

MY REVIEW

This is a series that I do think you need to have at least read the first book, as I have, to understand the relationship between three of the characters. The three are Dr Augusta Bloom, Marcus Jamieson and Seraphine. These three have a special link, it is one that I really enjoyed reading in the first book, and I can see the author has developed this even more. There are mentions of previous cases that I assume are part of the two books I have not read. I do think this book works without reading the previous ones.

A murder has occurred, and Bloom is called in for her expertise in psychology and profiling. Bloom looks at scenes in a slightly different way and she is able to spot some similarities between this and another murder. Once she finds a link in one, she looks for further clues, unfortunately, it is not as easy as that and there is something that doesn’t quite match up. This throws the case into confusion, and some think that Bloom has alternative reasons for being on the case. She works with Marcus and together they try and get their heads around what is going on. Then we have Seraphine, nothing is straightforward if she is involved, but what role she actually plays and how she schemes are something that she specialises in.

This is a brilliant book for lovers of psychological thrillers and crime stories. Having the viewpoint of a psychologist trying to help connect the clues is great. It gives one side to any analysis the other side is that of the psychopath. You just have to know who the psychopath is, or in this case, which of the psychopaths are involved in what crime?

This is a riveting cat-and-mouse story with many different twists and also more than one storyline. This could make it confusing to follow, but the author has kept control and leads the reader through the clues, the links and to the conclusion.

I really enjoy the tense and suspense-fuelled feel of this book. Even though I missed a couple of the books I immediately remembered the main three characters and how much I enjoyed the first story.
The author delves into some really interesting psychological conditions, and what an interesting this concept made to the story.

This is a well-paced book, it does feel fast-paced but not massively so. There are times when the author stops to give her cast a chance to stop and think. It is during these moments that I discovered more about the case and also where the leads were potentially taking the team.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and I am annoyed with myself for missing books 2 and 3, but I am glad I have read the 4th. This is a tense and chilling story, it is one that had me hooked from the first few pages. Ideal for those who adore thrillers, crimes, procedural style and psychological stories. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leona Deakin draws inspiration for her writing from her own experiences having started her career as a psychologist with the West Yorkshire Police and her successful work in psychology since. Leona was part of a team responsible for designing methods of selection for recruiting and promoting officers from PC to Chief Superintendent. Her role was to create realistic policing scenarios – from personnel issues to large scale incidents (plane crash, terrorist bomb etc) – that could be used to test leadership skills. To do this she spent a great deal of time interviewing and observing officers at various ranks and reviewing cases. This gave Leona an insight into the police culture that helps her to write authentic character interactions in her novels.
Leona is now an occupational psychologist and lives with her family in Leeds. She has written four novels in the acclaimed Dr Augusta Bloom series: Gone, Lost, Hunt and The Imposter.

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour

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A Gathering of Gargoyles My Misha Herwin @MishaHerwin #mystery #youngreaders #adventure #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for A Gathering of Gargoyles by Misha Herwin. This is the 5th book in The Adventures of Letty Parker series. It is aimed towards around 8 to12-year-olds, but I adore this series and would have loved to have been able to read when I was a lot younger than I am now! A brilliant way of introducing a younger audience to the mystery genre, full action and daring deeds.

I would like to send a big thank you to Misha for my advanced copy of the book, my review is my own and unbiased. I would also like to wish her a very wonderful Publication Day for 11th November2022 xx

The city’s air has turned foul; fights break out among the closest of friends; rats attack in broad daylight, and the very bricks and stones of the city are crumbling to dust. When the gargoyles and dragons – guardians of the rooftops – begin tumbling to the ground and shattering into pieces, the Night Creatures turn to Letty Parker and Associates to discover its cause. The only problem is that neither Letty, nor her friends, have the slightest idea where to start.

Is a cure to be found in magic or will science save the day? And do Newton and Copernica Clifford, newly arrived in Belvedere Terrace, hold the key to it all?

MY REVIEW

This is the 5th book in the series and yes you should read them in order as you get to understand who the characters are and also what they are. There are humans, but then there are slightly non-human, Bear, vicious rats, and hungry eels that haven’t been seen around the Bristol area for a while now. When the author then decides to write a story around dragons and gargoyles I am already loving it.

Letty is a young girl who with her friends, Jeb, Mango and Hepzibah solve mysteries in the port city of Bristol. This is their day job, and it is the gargoyles and dragons that need Letty’s help. There is a smell to the city, the air is not as clear and clear as it used to be and even the witches are fearful that the magic is starting to disappear. The one change is that there is a new business, their aim is to bring gas lights to the city. Progress may be one thing, but there is something more sinister here than people realise.

Every time I join up again with Letty and the gang I am thrilled to follow in this Victorian and Gothic-style mystery that the author conjures up. Yes, it is aimed at a younger reader than I am, but I really don’t care as I thoroughly enjoy reading about their escapades and adventures, and it would have been a perfect read for me when I was younger.

The author does such a brilliant job with the characters, they are cheeky, at times boisterous and stubborn and also loyal and strong-willed. As a group they are close and they all have their own specialities. This latest case is one that has them investigating the crumbling gargoyles and also the disappearance of a man.

This is full of mystery and red herrings that kept the story moving and evolving. This book is aimed at 8 to 12 year old and there is some cheekiness and terms that would appeal. The author does actually have a message behind it and this is how chemicals can pollute the atmosphere and alter the surrounding environment. It is done in such a way that it blends nicely into the story. Even though this is a story set in a Victorian-style era it also draws in a modern problem that many younger people will be aware of.

This is a brilliant book and I adored it. Yet again I think I have just read my favourite Letty Parker book and this is one that I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Misha Herwin is a writer of books for adults and children.
They vary from time-slip to contemporary women’s fiction, family saga and children’s fantasy adventures.
All her books are set in Bristol, whether real, imaginary or remembered from her childhood.

Follow Misha on – Twitter Website Amazon Author PageGoodreads Author Page

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The Botanist by M.W. Craven #crime, #thriller #psychological #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Botanist by M.W. Craven. This is the 5th book in the Washington Poe series and as with all the other books, I adored this one.

Any regulars to my Blog may be aware that I am prone to read books in a series out of order. It is sometimes because it’s a book that I have seen on NetGalley and requested or it has caught my eye as part of a Blog Tour.

The Washington Poe series I have followed from the start and each book has been read in order. Yep, I am very proud of myself 🙂

‘I swear I’m one bad mood away from calling it black magic and going home . . .’

Detective Sergeant Washington Poe can count on one hand the number of friends he has. And he’d still have his thumb left. There’s the insanely brilliant, guilelessly innocent civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw of course. He’s known his beleaguered boss, Detective Inspector Stephanie Flynn for years as he has his nearest neighbour, full-time shepherd/part-time dog sitter, Victoria.

And then there’s Estelle Doyle. It’s true the caustic pathologist has never walked down the sunny side of the street but this time has she gone too far? Shot twice in the head, her father’s murder appears to be an open and shut case. Estelle has firearms discharge residue on her hands, and, in a house surrounded by fresh snow, hers are the only footprints going in. Since her arrest, she’s only said three words: ‘Tell Washington Poe.’

Meanwhile, a poisoner the press has dubbed the Botanist is sending high-profile celebrities poems and pressed flowers. The killer seems to be able to walk through walls and, despite the advance notice he gives his victims, and regardless of the security measures the police take, he seems to be able to kill with impunity.

For a man who hates locked room mysteries, this is going to be the longest week of Washington Poe’s life . . . 

MY REVIEW

This is yet another fantastic book in the Washington Poe series, to be honest though, I wouldn’t expect anything less. These books can be read as standalones, but to get a real sense of the working relationship between Poe, Tilly, Doyle and Flynn you really need to have started this from the beginning. And, also because they are great books.

This starts from an odd place and is very far from Cumbria. The author gives a quick prologue before returning back to what is the start of the case. In fact, there are not one but two cases in this story. One involves the arrest of Estelle Doyle, the teams go to a pathologist as she has just been arrested for murdering her father. Then there is the case, well it is more than one case, of people being poisoned.

With Poe trying to be in two places at one time, something is going to have to give. Wanting to be there for his friend and colleague Doyle is great but also too personal and it doesn’t look good when he is seen visiting Doyle in prison when someone who he is supposed to be protecting dies. Realising he has to prioritise his focus he again looks at the poisoning cases.

The dynamics between Poe and Tilly have become legendary in this series, if you have read them from the beginning then you will know what I mean. But there are also the dynamics of Flynn and Doyle that are also part of this great crime-busting outfit. Flynn is responsible for keeping things within the law and getting requests signed off, Tilly is the tech genius, Doyle is the Pathologist and Poe is usually the one they are all keeping an eye on to make sure he does wander too far off course. Together they all bring something special. Over the course of the books, this team have become a family and they will fight for each other.

Having two cases, one looking like a locked-room mystery and the other one that is leaving them playing catch up with the killer always ahead of them. Even with their combined expertise, this would be tough, but without having input from Doyle, things are even tougher.

The poisoner is clever, plans well, thinks out the scenarios and is not compulsive. It seems he has thought of everything. He is being talked about and tweeted about and people are noticing him.

The author really has done an amazing job with this story. Again it is complex and compulsive reading. There are mentions of tech, biology and other specialist stuff but it isn’t too over the top. Thank goodness things have to be basic for Poe to understand or else there would be a few confused readers as well!

With time being a crucial part of this story, the pacing is fast and the author conveys this through his characters so well. He shows their frustrations and occasionally odd outburst. Even in the midst of this tense and highly charged investigation, there are some amazing one-liners, these are perfect for defusing stress and tension, and are usually courtesy of Tilly.

If you have not read any of the books in this series then you really are missing out on some wonderful top-rate crime thrillers. The series just gets better and better with so many twists and unexpected events. I never read the synopsis for a Washington Poe book I just buy it.

Ideal for those who love twisted, complex and totally addictive thrillers and one I would absolutely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .

M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can usually be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.

You can find out more on his Goodreads Author Page.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Night Watch by Neil Lancaster @HQDigitalUK #crime #thriller #netgalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review of The Night Watch by Neil Lancaster. This is 3rd book in the DS Max Craigie series, and true to dorm this is the first one I have read. It is a belter of a book and I have now bought the previous two on kindle. I don’t think there is any need to tell you how much I enjoyed this one 🙂

This is not however the first time I have read a book by this author. I have read the first two books in his Tom Novak series, and this reminds me I must read the third one 😁

My huge thanks to HQ Digital for granting my request to read this title via NetGalley.

He’ll hunt you.
The case is linked to several mysterious deaths, including the murder of the lawyer’s last client – Scotland’s most notorious criminal… who had just walked free. DS Max Craigie knows this can only mean one thing: they have a vigilante serial killer on their hands.

He’ll leave you to die.
But this time the killer isn’t on the run; he’s on the investigation team. And the rules are different when the murderer is this close to home.

He knows their weaknesses, knows how to stay hidden, and he thinks he’s above the law…

MY REVIEW

This is the 3rd book in the DS Max Craigie series but the first one I have read. This book worked well as a stand-alone and I was able to keep up to speed with all the characters. The author does mention what I am assuming are brief background events.

The case is an interesting one as it is an investigation within an investigation. While this does sound complicated the author has made it really easy to follow. It does though cause a bit of a headache for me as I try to review this and still make some sort of sense!

The death of a lawyer and then the death of a man having recently been given a “not proven” verdict are just the tip of the iceberg and the body count doesn’t stop. The nature of the deaths is a little unusual as there appears nothing unusual about them. Yeah, I know!

So begins the investigation, this is also the start of another investigation by Max and his team. An undercover detective is brought in and with a small team, Max starts to piece things together. When they discover that the killer could possibly be on the main investigating team things get difficult. There are not many clues or signs of evidence as they are aware of forensic evidence.

This is such an amazing story and one that had me hooked. It has great pacing and even though there are several investigators that are essentially working on different teams I was able to follow along. The overall feel of this story is tense and there is a palpable sense of danger that lurks in the background. Max and his team have to tread quietly and keep things close to their chest for fear of their suspicions leaking out.

After reading this 3rd book I am definitely going to go back and read the previous two. This is a great intro for me to this series and yes part of me wishes I had read them in order.

Fabulous crime and thriller read that I do think police procedural readers would really enjoy. Great characters, complex plots and quite a few false leads and red herrings to keep you on your toes. It is a book I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Neil was born in Liverpool in the 1960s. He recently left the Metropolitan Police where he served for over twenty-five years, predominantly as a detective, leading and conducting investigations into some of the most serious criminals across the UK and beyond.

Neil acted as a surveillance and covert policing specialist, using all types of techniques to arrest and prosecute drug dealers, human traffickers, fraudsters, and murderers. During his career, he successfully prosecuted several wealthy and corrupt members of the legal profession who were involved in organised immigration crime. These prosecutions led to jail sentences, multi-million-pound asset confiscations and disbarments.

Since retiring from the Metropolitan Police, Neil has relocated to the Scottish Highlands with his wife and son, where he mixes freelance investigations with writing.

Here is his Goodreads Author Page.

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February’s Son by Alan Parks #crime #historicalfiction #policeprocedural #bookreivew

I am delighted to share my review today for February’s Son by Alan Parks. This is the second book in the Harry McCoy series and it now means I am up to date with this series. There are five books published so far and I am eagerly awaiting the next one.

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Bodies are piling up with grisly messages carved into their chests. Rival gangs are competing for control of Glasgow’s underworld and it seems that Cooper, McCoy’s oldest gangster friend, is tangled up in it all.

Detective Harry McCoy’s first day back at work couldn’t have gone worse.

New drugs have arrived in Glasgow, and they’ve brought a different kind of violence to the broken city. The law of the street is changing and now demons from McCoy’s past are coming back to haunt him. But vengeance always carries a price, and it could cost McCoy more than he ever imagined.

The waters of Glasgow’s corruption are creeping higher, as the wealthy and dangerous play for power. And the city’s killer continues his dark mission.

Can McCoy keep his head up for long enough to solve the case?

Bruised and battered from the events of Bloody January, McCoy returns for a breathless ride through the ruthless world of 1970s Glasgow. 

MY REVIEW

After reading the first book a while ago I was really looking forward to seeing how things progressed. I should mention that I have read the books that follow this one, the author is currently up to book 5 in the series.

Detective Harry McCoy is a copper with dubious friends. Having recently been injured he is back to work as a new brutal case rears its head. This isn’t a pleasant one as the body has a word carved into the chest. As the team is getting their heads around this murder another body turns up.

This is set in the tough 1970s Glasgow area. Gangs, drugs and prostitution are rife, life is tough and for some, it is going to get tougher. The fact that Harry has dubious friends can at times work to his advantage. At others though these friends test the patience of Harry’s boss. Wattie finds himself in the midst of things as well.

This is one tough one to read at times as there is a lot of violence in it. If you are a fan of hard-boiled crime then you are going to want to read this one. This is a tough area, people do not hold back and if you find yourself on the wrong side then you had better know how to disappear or find yourself in a fight for your life. The book, the language and the storyline are, well colourful to say the least. It is all in context and having anything softer would not work.

The cases and the evidence does start to stack up and another storyline is introduced, this one though is one that McCoy is going to try to sort out with his old friend Stevie. The author does like to give these two a battering.

As I have read the next few books I am aware of things that are going to happen, but coming back to the start of the series is great as I get to find out more about the main recurring characters. McCoy seems to court trouble at every turn and it is Wattie, his colleague who is starting to keep an eye on McCoy a little more. While he is naive he does what is best.

If you like tough, gang-related, crime fiction then this is a book you are going to enjoy. This one also has a great psychological edge to it and this makes it very twisted and dark. Pasts are brought up, egos are bruised, names are made and things are changing. Fabulous 2nd instalment and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alan Parks has worked in the music industry for over twenty years. His debut novel Bloody January was one of the top crime debuts of 2018 and was shortlisted for the prestigious international crime prize the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He lives and works in Glasgow.

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A Winter Warmer at the Little Cornish Kitchen by Jane Linfoot @janelinfoot @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #romance #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for A Winter Warmer at the Little Cornish Kitchen by Jane Linfoot. This is the 3rd book in the series and they can be read as stand-alone.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-cp[y of this fabulous book.

St Aidan: a cosy Cornish village where friendships are made for life and it’s always cocktail hour somewhere…
A clean slate in the world’s cosiest cottage by the sea…
When Gwen Starkey and her best friend, Ella Simpson, arrive in St Aidan to take on a cottage renovation, it’s the fresh start they both so desperately need. But when their new adventure begins with them unintentionally breaking into their neighbour, Ollie Lancaster’s cottage – thinking it’s their new home – and Gwen accidentally flashing the gorgeous Ollie before they flee, the life-long friends realise that life in Cornwall is going to be anything but quiet!
They also quickly discover that they’re in over their heads and it’s going to take a village to turn their cottage’s narrow walls into the luxurious hideaway of their dreams. St Aidan is full of colourful characters just waiting to welcome them, if only Gwen and Ella can find the courage to start leaving the past behind them…
Purchase Links – e-book paperback

MY REVIEW

What another gorgeous read from this series. It was great to be back in St Aiden. The previous books gave a wonderful welcome and this one does the same.

The small village of St Aiden is by the sea, the community is helpful and supportive. Just what Ella and her friend Gwen need when they decide to take on a cottage that needs renovating. After submitting a slightly exaggerated proposal they are accepted into this small and surprising little nook.

They are not the only ones who need a little St Aiden TLC, their neighbour Ollie is also a newcomer. Between them, they work through various stages of grief and loss. A the same time recovering some of what they have lost.

The main focus is on Gwen as she gradually comes out of her shell and starts to mingle. Offering help when needed she discovers what it is she used to love to do. The author tentatively tests the waters with this character as she dangles tantalising food-orientated challenges in front of her. Never happier than when looking after other people Gwen starts to help herself without realising it.

Ollie is an abrupt and in-your-face but cheeky sort of way. Instead of immersing himself in the community, he finds his solace in disappearing for days at a time to deal with his grief.

The author has not disappointed at all with this story. It is a chance to catch up with the goings on in St Aiden and catch up with Clemmie, the Mermaids and the singles club. Having new characters come into the village is great as it shows the best of what a community can offer.

I really enjoyed the way she tentatively coaxed the main characters out and gave them the opportunities they had. I did at times want to shake them and tell them to open their eyes and see the bigger picture, but actually, the slower route the author took was a much better one. It felt more natural and it made for a wonderful will they/ won’t they scenario.

The gorgeous storyline, wonderful characters and another excellent instalment in this series. It is a book I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I write fun, flirty fiction, with feisty heroines, and lots of heart. Writing is fab, because I get to wear pretty shoes instead of wellies. I live in a cottage up the steepest hill in Derbyshire, where my family and pets are kind enough to ignore the chaos. Happily, we’re in walking distance of a supermarket. I love hearts, flowers, happy endings, all things vintage, most things French. When I’m not on Facebook, and can’t find an excuse for shopping, I’ll be out with my two Old English sheepdogs or in the garden. On days when I want to be really scared, I ride a tandem.

Social Media Links – Instagram Facebook Author PageTwitter Pinterest

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Everybody Pays by H. Max Hiller @HMaxHiller1 #crime #policeprocedural #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Everybody Pays by H. Max Hiller. I adore this author’s Cadillac Holland series and this latest one is the 6th and is my latest favourite. This is a series that I do think is better to read in order as you do get the background on the various regular characters.

Detective Cadillac Holland finds himself performing a dangerous dance, staying a step behind a mobster’s missing diaries and a step ahead of the criminal factions who want them.

Marion ‘Sunset’ Puglisi’s diaries go missing on the eve of the mobster’s release from prison and place Detective Holland in the middle of a brewing gang war between the remnants of New Orleans’ Italian mobsters and outside criminal factions, which includes the nearby Dixie Mafia and an ambitious Russian gangster.
Everyone is prepared to pay whatever it costs to possess the diaries, and even Detective Holland finds the price higher than he expects.

MY REVIEW

This is the 6th book in the Detective Cadillac Holland series and I have read and loved each one. This series just goes from strength to strength and this time around the author has really upped the stakes for Cadillac, Tulip, Katie and Tony.

This is a series that I would definitely recommend reading in order as it sets out the relationships between the four I have mentioned above.

When Sunset is released on parole there is something fishy about it. The rumour is that Sunset has diaries that go back several decades. These diaries could end the careers of politicians, police, and lawyers and also end their lives as well as the lives of some local mob guys as well. This book is set deeply in the world of mobsters, gangsters, criminals and pretty much the worst of the worst. Not happy just having one mobster, the author brings in several along with their lawyers and various agencies such as local police, and the FBI. Now with this mix you know there is going to be at least one or two that are going to let the chance of gaining more power, respect and money got to their heads. It seems to me that pretty much everyone has something that they need to keep secret and so the race is on to find the diaries and discover how they can be used.

Oh my goodness the author really has upped the stakes on this story. There are so many different threads with this book, I did lose myself a couple of times, but found myself back on track as I kept reading. The twists in the story just keep coming and I think the author has done an amazing job of keeping them separate until they are needed to join up[, and when they do… well it comes with a Wow!

Having Cadillac and Tony with their pasts, and then bringing them back into play again was a good move. It adds a little more detail and jogs the memory as to who Tony was and what he is capable of. Luckily having two supportive women with Tulip and Katie, the men do have the expert advice to work their way through any legal problems, they also try to keep the men on the right track. Not always successfully.

This is such a tense story and one that really kept me hooked. It does go into the pasts of some characters and others are brought to the front. As I read this I knew I was never going to see how it was going to end. As there are a few players in this book, they need their own endings. Once again the author brought them successfully and convincingly to where they needed to be.

I do think this series gets better. I do love the inclusion of food, this is one of the author’s passions and it is great to see one of his interests getting a mention.

This is a complex story and case for Cadillac, and it really stretches him on a professional and personal level. It also involves his family as well as his friends and for some, it may actually be a step too far for them. The title is very apt for this book as Everybody does pay in one form or another.

Cracking story and if you like crime thrillers then this is a series you really do need on your radar. Set in New Orleans and full of references to food, districts and streets that tantalise the tastebuds as well as building a vivid image of the area. The author’s knowledge of the area really does shine through, he has his characters running back alleys and shortcuts in their quest for the truth. This is a brilliant series and this latest book is amazing. It is one I would absolutely recommend. Expect to see this on my Top Reads of the Year list!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Image and info are taken from Authors Amazon Page.

H. Max Hiller’s restaurant hospitality career began with a cooking job on Bourbon Street at the age of seventeen. His resume now includes many of New Orleans’ iconic dining and music destinations. Max uses a lifetime of characters and anecdotes to add depth to his Detective Cooter Holland series. He now divides his time writing between his home overlooking the Mississippi River and working as a chef aboard a boat travelling America’s inland waterways.

Social Media Links – Twitter Facebook Amazon Author Page

Indies United Publishing House Author Page

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Thief by Owen Mullen @owenmullen6 @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #ganglandfiction #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Thief by Owen Mullen. This is the 4th book in The Glass Family series and it is a series I am loving.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book via NetGalley from the publisher Boldwood Books.

It takes a thief to catch a thief…
Charley Glass arrived in her family’s lives like the hurricane she’d escaped. But she hadn’t run far enough: the ruthless Giordano family are on her tail and want two things – her life, and the return of the property she stole from them. No matter how many bodies stack up.
After years of longing, Charley finally has the family she’s always wanted, but now she’s going to have to tell them the real reason she came looking them. There is only one way she’s going to stay alive, and that is to employ the muscle of the notorious Glass Family.
The head of the family, Luke, has become embroiled in a dangerous political plot and isn’t sure they’re strong enough to take on one of New Orleans’ biggest crime gangs. But he’d put his life on the line to protect the empire they’ve built – even if they’ll have to take on an enemy hurting enough to cross an ocean for revenge.
Page-turning, gritty, and utterly compelling, Thief is Owen Mullen’s best book yet. Perfect for fans of Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers, and Mandasue Heller.
Purchase Link – HERE

MY REVIEW

This is the 4th book in the Glass Family series and I would suggest reading these in order as you get more of a sense of who is who. There are several main characters, Luke, Nina, Charley, George and Felix and some from previous books. This story, however, brings a whole new family to the pages and they are not a friendly family.

Charley is a relative newcomer to the series, she is a Glass but one that has just made herself known. She has the Glass determination and stubborn streak and knows how to survive. To be honest, if she didn’t have this then Luke would have seen her as a threat and therefore she wouldn’t be around to have a story of her own.

She has proven her worth and does a great job of running the LBC, a club with a hefty subscription fee. This is where the rich and famous hang out, where the politicians and Heads of businesses and corporations get to mix business and pleasure in various forms.

Luke has been approached for a favour, not something he is unused to, but this one is political. He hasn’t really had to deal with this but the way he is approached is not respectful. It is abrupt and screams of entitlement and expectation. Trying to work out the unknown players and the real money men is something that Luke is good at. It may take time but get there he will.

With this going on Charley’s past suddenly makes an entrance. There is a short piece about this at the beginning of this story, it gives the basics and then jumps to the present day. No one knows the full s
story of Charley’s past, but they are aware she has not been completely translucent.

With a new family on the scene from the US, Luke’s backyard starts to become overcrowded. The Giordano Family want Charley, they don’t care who they have to go through to get her. They, however, do not understand how the Glass Family and others work.

This is my new favourite book in this series, I said it about the previous one, I think! I adore the Glass family and it is a chance to get to know more about Charley. While she does have a more prominent position in this book, it doesn’t mean she is the only focus. I think this is what I like about this series, the author features and focuses, but he doesn’t limit this book to one aspect. Each of the three siblings have their own sub-stories, and each one demands attention. Thank goodness the author manages to wrangle and twist all of the threads together to create such an amazing fast-paced tale.

The Glass family are not exactly legit, there are some legit aspects, some illegal aspects and quite a bit of grey in between. They are a gang family, they have their position in London, their own areas and while things run smoothly all is fine. So bringing in another family was a brilliant move and it showed how someone from a different culture brings their own ideas as to how things work. But at street level, things are different and grassroots are where you learn your lessons and your trade.

Flitting between individual stories of Luke, Nina and Charley was great to see them as individuals and what they have been going through. They are strong but they are also vulnerable. This is a book that is addictive and at times brutal, it is also devious and twisted and at times just very in your face. Brilliant crime thriller in the back streets and clubs of London. A book I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Owen Mullen is a highly regarded crime author who splits his time between Scotland and the island of Crete. In his earlier life, he lived in London and worked as a musician and session singer. He has now written 11 books and his first gangland thriller for Boldwood.

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