The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone #TheSkelfs @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone. This is the 3rd book in the series and features the Skelf Family.

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 Orenda Books.

The discovery of a human foot in an Edinburgh park, the inexplicable circumstances of a dying woman, and the missing daughter of Jenny’s violent ex-husband present the Skelf women with their most challenging – and deadly – cases yet…

Keeping on top of the family funeral directors’ and private-investigation businesses is no easy task for the Skelf women, and when matriarch Dorothy discovers a human foot while walking the dog, a perplexing case presents itself … with potentially deadly results.

Daughter Jenny and grand-daughter Hannah have their hands full too: The mysterious circumstances of a dying woman lead them into an unexpected family drama, Hannah’s new astrophysicist colleague claims he’s receiving messages from outer space, and the Skelf’s teenaged lodger has yet another devastating experience.

Nothing is clear as the women are immersed ever deeper in their most challenging cases yet. But when the daughter of Jenny’s violent and fugitive ex-husband goes missing without trace and a wild animal is spotted roaming Edinburgh’s parks, real danger presents itself, and all three Skelfs are in peril.

My Review…

From reading the two previous books in this series I knew I was going to be in for a roller coaster ride. I did not, however, expect it to be such an amazing ride!

This is the third book in The Sklef’s series, set in Edinburgh. The Skelf’s are a family of different generations of women and boys are an amazing group. Headed by Dorothy, the family-run not only funeral directors but also have a Private Investigation business.

Dorothy is an amazing matriarch and her daughter, Jenny and granddaughter Hannah are doing a great job. With the family dog finding a foot, an abusive ex on the run and a very strange message the women have their work cut out. As if having all these dynamic women under one roof is not enough, Dorothy also takes in waifs, those who have troubles that just need a safe place and a roof over their heads. Oh, did I mention the big cat that is on the loose around the city?

This is a breakneck speed of a read, one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. I do like the way the author alternates his chapters between the three Sklef women, it kept this reader up to speed with all that was going on, and boy was there a lot. Credit to the author for keeping all these sub-plots in check and not allowing me to get confused. As the women are very unique it is very easy to keep up with who is who and their individual roles don’t their own cases as well as when they all come together.

This story does have a tense atmosphere to it, there is the threat of the big cat lurking, the abusive ex who is making life more than hell for some and then of course there is the body part. The author has so skillfully woven all the dramatic and dynamic plots together brilliantly and it makes for a very intense and thrilling read.

This is a fabulous series and I do think it is just getting better and better. There is more tension and it does have a gloriously dark edge to it. This is a series that I would say you do need to read from the beginning as there are mentions of previous storylines.

This is definitely a tense, fast-paced, dark and gritty glimpse into the world of the Sklef women, they are a fabulous family and this latest book is an amazing read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Doug Johnstone is a writer, musician and journalist based in Edinburgh. His fourth novel, Hit & Run, is published by Faber and Faber on March 15th 2012. His previous novel, Smokeheads, was published in March 2011, also by Faber. before that he published two novels with Penguin, Tombstoning (2006) and The Ossians (2008), which received praise from the likes of Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin and Christopher Brookmyre. Doug is currently writer in residence at the University of Strathclyde. He’s had short stories appear in various publications, and since 1999 he has worked as a freelance arts journalist, primarily covering music and literature. He grew up in Arbroath and lives in Portobello, Edinburgh with his wife and two children. He loves drinking malt whisky and playing football, not necessarily at the same time.

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The Mersey Angels by Sheila Riley @1sheilariley @rararesources @bookandtonic # boldwoodbloggers @BoldwoodBooks #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Mersey Angels by Sheila Riley. This is the second book in the series, and it can be read as a stand-alone. I did adore the first book – The Mersey Mistress (my review HERE)

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

1916 LIVERPOOL
Following the death of her father, Ruby Swift, and husband Archie finally move back into Ashland Hall.
As the Great War rages, fathers and sons take the King’s Shilling and head off to fight the unknown enemy, not knowing what horrors lie ahead.
With Ned Kincaid in the Navy, Archie signs up to the volunteer constabulary and nurses Anna Cassidy and Ellie Harrington enlist to do their bit for King and Country.
Soon the true casualties of war are being brought home in droves, Ruby converts Ashland Hall into an auxiliary hospital for wounded servicemen.
It’s not long before the true cost of war is brought closer to home and Anna and Ellie enlist in the British Military Nursing Corp and soon find themselves in the battlefields of France in search of the truth.
But they soon discover more than they bargained for…

Purchase Link – AMAZON

My Review…

This is the second book in the Liverpool Saga series and carries on from The Mersey Mistress. This book can be read as a stand-alone, but I do think that it works better if read in order.

As the synopsis describes, Ruby has moved into Ashland Hall. WWI is taking its toll and the casualties are mounting, Ruby decides that she will give over the hall to help the injured servicemen as beds and hospitals are in short supply. As the injured are brought in thoughts of loved ones away in Europe is always on the minds of those who are home in Briain. Everyone, well almost everyone is wanting to do their part.

Set in 1916, the author uses her knowledge of the Liverpool area, to give the reader a chance to glimpse the lives of those who lived and worked both in Liverpool and further afield. This is a story that has its hardships and also its secrets. Even though the war is going on people still have to carry on with their everyday lives. For some that means working longer, doing jobs they would never have been considered for and putting themselves in the midst of some of the worst events in history.

The story does focus on key people, I found myself quite caught up in their various stories. Wondering along with the characters if a loved one would return, if they would be injured and if a telegram would bring the worst news. Following the characters as they struggled with loss, love but with a hope that things would be ok.

This is a story that falls into the saga and historical fiction genres. It is an addictive read and one that brought attitudes, social etiquette, some politics into the lives of the characters. It is a book and a series I am really enjoying and The Mersey Angels is one I would happily recommend.

About the Author…

Sheila Riley wrote four #1 bestselling novels under the pseudonym Annie Groves and is now writing a new saga trilogy for Boldwood under her own name. She has set it around the River Mersey and its docklands near to where she spent her early years. She still lives in Liverpool. Her new trilogy began with The Mersey Orphan in September 2019.

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Cornish Gold at Summer’s End by Laura Briggs @PaperDollWrites @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #Giveaway (open INT) #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Cornish Gold at Summer’s End by Laura Briggs. This was such a lovely book to sit and read and I adored it.

My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot today for the Publication Day of the book and for arranging my e-copy via NetGalley.

Rumors of a ghostly presence haunt Julianne’s Cornish autumn in the series’ charming fourth installment.

What began as a bit of teenage mischief in the village quickly became stories of spooky lights and ghost sightings in the wood. Being sensible, Julianne is more worried about whether she can finish her kids’ costumes in time for the annual Halloween contest—and whether husband Matt and his eager assistants will be selected for the exclusive Brookshire Garden Design Competition. So when everyone in town begins flocking to the local ‘ghost walk’ tours Julianne assures her wide-eyed children it’s just a case of imagination run wild…until she experiences her own brush with the supernatural, that is.

Real or imagined, Julianne can’t shrug off what she saw, or even bring herself to confide in sympathetic Matt for advice. Best friend Kitty is on hand to help, despite her usual family battles, including that of her cousins’ shady new scheme to profit from the town’s ghost mania. But even Julianne’s friends can’t fully understand her need to find a solution this time, one that leads her on a quirky quest from local lore, to meetings with the village’s ragtag paranormal club, and even a creepy abandoned cottage hiding secrets in the woods.

Join Julianne for suspense, surprises, and (of course) heartfelt moments as book four in the series brings an autumn like no other to sleepy Ceffylgwyn.

My Review…

This is the fourth book in the Return to Cornwall series, but it is the first one I have read. This does work well as a stand-alone, there is a sense of community and friendships that I think may have developed over previous books. This is certainly something that comes across.

Juli, or Julianne, is up to her armpits trying to get her children’s Halloween costumes finished as well as running a wedding business. Matt, her husband is trying to get his garden design finished and submitted for a competition that will give him and his students a huge boost. With their lives already full Juli is also dragged into the ghostly sightings in the village.

She is sceptical, as are some other residents. Must be the youngsters causing trouble, or someone having a prank. Others do think there are ghosts or some sort of paranormal activity. Who is right?

This was a really lovely story to sit and read over a couple of days. It is a mix of contemporary fiction and a sort of cosy mystery all wrapped up in a small and friendly sounding community. A place where people know your business before you do!

I really liked the characters the author created, a busy working mum and dad, older as well as younger characters and they all muddle along and help each other out. I do think this is a series that I would enjoy if I had started from the beginning rather than book 4!.

The ghostly goings-on are curious, some see this as being a good thing and the community seems to draw closer. I think this is a certain amount of trepidation as well as wanting to get to the bottom of the strange glowing orbs, flickering lights and strange shapes. The community definitely gets caught up in these happenings.

This was a story that also had quite an emotional twist to it. One I did see coming, the other, I definitely didn’t. This is a story that was easy to get on board with, the characters soon became memorable and the storyline had a nice mysterious edge to it. Not one to keep you awake at night quivering under the blankets, but one that worked well within the context of the story.

A book that I thoroughly enjoyed and one I would happily recommend.

Purchase Link – HERE

About the Author…

Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.

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Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke. This is the latest in the Harpers Emporium series and I am loving it so much.

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 wonderful book from the publisher, Boldwood Books via NetGalley.

Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls

LONDON 1917

As the Americans enter the War, there is renewed energy in the war effort.  

With husbands and sons fighting for freedom, the women of Harpers are left to tackle the day-to-day affairs at home and work.

With Ben Harper away, Sally fears she is being followed by a mysterious woman. Who is she and what does she want?

Maggie Gibbs collapses seriously ill in the frontline hospitals and is brought back to England close to death. Can she be saved and what does the future hold for her and her broken heart? 

Marion Jackson’s father is on the run from the Police already wanted for murder. She fears he will return to threaten his family once more.
And Beth Burrows is pregnant with her second child, worried and anxious for her husband Jack, who has been many months at sea.

As Christmas 1917 approaches what will the future hold for Harpers, its girls and their men at War?

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

Set in 1917, the First World War is claiming lives, the results are being felt at home. Family and friends worry constantly about those who are serving, those who have been injured, and those that have not been in contact. Shortages are being felt as some things are becoming more difficult to source for the Harpers Store. Inferior quality products are emerging as materials are being used for the war.

Life still has to go on, work still needs doing, homes need to be looked after, mouths have to be fed and it is when times are difficult and fraught that you rely on people around you. Harpers is the linchpin of the story, it is where many of the characters have met over the course of the story. With each book that is released more characters are brought in.

The main four Harpers Girls are Maggie, Marion, Sally, and Beth. They have come on from their early days at Harper’s. This is the point where I do mention that these books can be read as stand-alone stories, but I do think they are better read in order as the character’s lives are developed more and more with each book.

This one, as the title suggests is set during a point where people are obviously wishing for a return to normality, wondering when it will be over and that loved ones can return home. Life is hard for those left behind, and I like how the author describes how lucky her characters feel to be in situations that they are. They either work or have a family or have someone in their lives that helps them, whether it is a family, partner, or friend.

This is a story that does have sad moments and ones that are fraught with despair. It is not only people who are in the midst of the fighting that falls ill. Things carry on at home as they normally would regardless of what is happening in the world, they add stress and worry. The author brings the feeling of hope and also of despair so well into her stories. She has a wonderful way of giving her characters various events to deal with. These may be worrying or add a sense of dread or intrigue, but they also have a way of making her characters stronger.

This is a story for those readers who like historical fiction, sagas, family drama, and stories with a sense of belonging and of friendship. A book and series that combines the individual tales of the characters and gives an overall sense of hope but with several twists to keep the reader on their toes. A book and series I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire. Rosie’s brand new saga series, Welcome to Harpers Emporium began in December 2019.

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Insider by Owen Mullen @OwenMullen6 @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks #ganglandcrime #boldwoodbloggers #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Insider by Owen Mullen. This is the second book in the Family series and it is a corker. I have read several book by this author and I am loving this latest series. You can read my full review of the first book Family HERE.

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 From the publisher via NetGalley.

Someone’s playing both sides and now they have a score to settle…

When the family business is crime, you can never be sure who to trust. And when three of their businesses are hit in one night, the notorious Glass family close ranks. Either someone is sending them a message or a war is coming… 

With trouble coming from all sides, the heads of the Glass family have more than enough to deal with, but all bets are off when a stranger from the past enters the game, causing division and mistrust.

Crooked cops, rival gangs and old enemies are bad enough, but when the trouble comes from the inside, loyalties are tested, with deadly consequences.

Page-turning, gripping, gritty, Insider is perfect for fans of Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers and Mandasue Heller.

Purchase Link – HERE

My Review…

I loved the first book in this series and this second book Insider continues the story of the Glass family. This is where I do recommend reading the first book, not only because there are details that help the relationships in the second book. And also because it is a brilliant read.

Danny Glass is gone, Luke Glass is now running the family business and Nina Glass is running her real estate business. Things seem to be going well until there are two robberies and a third on the LBC club. The club is the centre of the business, it is Luke’s baby and he feels this as an attack on him and his family. Good job that there is a security guard there who knows his business.

The author once again hit the reader with an amazing high impact crime thriller read. The Glass family are not, well, they’re not quite legitimate, actually, they are a lot not legitimate! But there is something quite likeable about them. I think it is the way the author portrays the importance of family. They never had the best childhood but they did what they did and it is the reason they are where they are today.

The author introduces some new characters, this keeps the storyline fresh and gives more for the reader to think about. Being a series that revolves around a crime family you know that there is going to be a large amount of mistrust. Adding new characters is enough to keep the reader kind of on the fence as they try to work out why the new characters are there.

This is a fabulous read and one that I adored from the very bringing to the end. Many twists and second-guessing moments, there are red-herrings as the author toys with the reader. The questions that start to build are eventually answered, the doubts are put to rest but there is something lingering on the horizon for the family and it has left me so eager to see what happens next.

This is one for readers who like gritty, gangland crime thrillers read. It is addictive, fast-paced and an absolute hard hitter. An excellent second book in this series and one 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 seven books and his first gangland thriller for Boldwood, Family was published in January 2021.

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The Lady in the Veil by Alllie Cresswell @Alliescribbler #TheLadyInTheVeil #historicalfiction #bookreview

i am delighted to share my review today for The Lady in the Veil by Allie Creswell. I have read a few, but not all of this authors books and I adore her writing. So when I got a message to ask if I would like to read her latest book I was immediately on board.

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What secrets hide beneath the veil? When her mother departs for a tour of the continent, Georgina is sent from the rural backwaters to stay with her cousin, George Talbot, in London. The 1835 season is at its height, but Georgina is determined to attend neither balls nor plays, and to eschew Society. She hides her face beneath an impenetrable veil. Her extraordinary appearance only sets off gossip and speculation as to her identity. Who is the mysterious lady beneath the veil?

The Lady in the Veil follows on from The House in the Hollow, but stands just as well alone.

Purchase Links – Amazon – UK or US

My Review…

I have not read all of this authors books, probably half of them but I am aware that she writes mesmerising stories in a classic style. This can be read as a stand-alone, the previous book Tall Chimneys was an amazing read, there is a prequel, The House in the Hollow, I have not read that one.

From the synopsis, I was aware of the mysterious veiled lady, Georgina and that she was sent to live with relatives in London. Why she kept herself veiled is something the author holds back until later in the story. Doing this the author keep the mystery and intrigue that surrounds Georgina.

Georgina has spent her life living simply, eschewing society. Preferring her life in the country and the pleasures she finds there. Being brought into a bustling metropolis like London is very far from what she knows. Her arrival at the Talbot house isn’t promising. Lady Jane Talbot takes a negative view.

The author gradually works her characters into the story, she introduces various members of society and she does it to great effect. Her portrayal of Lady Jane is fabulous, she is a character who epitomises the prejudice of ladies of the time. She really knows how to make her opinion and feeling felt.

There are several characters, each one has a place and a purpose within the story. A story that is about opinions, marriages, being seen, scandal and being one of the in-crowd in the upper echelons of the elite. The authors writing harks back to the classics such as Austen, and if you have read any of the Highbury books then you know how well she does this.

This is such a wonderful story that is just so lovely to sit and read. I do love the style of this authors writing. It feels right, the mannerisms, attitudes, phrases, marriages or rather contracts, how the wealthy parade around the town to be seen, take tea, have preambles in the park and the like. It really is a pleasure to read.

Another fabulous story from such a wonderful writer. While I do say that this has the feel of a classic style, don’t think that is over worded. It isn’t, it is a very accessible one. There are some fabulous descriptions, wonderful characters and some serious storylines. It is just a gorgeous read that fans of historical fiction and romance will adore. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Allie Cresswell

I have been writing stories since I could hold a pencil and by the time I was in Junior School I was writing copiously and sometimes almost legibly.

It was at this time that I had the difference between fiction and lies forcefully impressed upon me, after penning a long and entirely spurious account of my grandfather’s death and funeral…..

The teacher had permitted it as being good therapy for bereavement whereas in fact it was only a good excuse to get out of learning my multiplication tables (something I have never achieved).

Clearly I was forgiven. For for my next birthday I asked for a stack of writing paper and my parents obliged, it being more easily obtained and wrapped than a pony.

A BA in English and Drama at Birmingham University was followed by an MA in English at Queen Mary College but marriage and motherhood put my writing career on hold for some years until 1992 when I began work on Game Show.

In the meantime I worked as a production manager for an educational publishing company, an educational resources copywriter, a bookkeeper for a small printing firm, and was the landlady of a country pub in Yorkshire, a small guest house in Cheshire and the proprietor of a group of boutique holiday cottages in Cumbria.

I am currently teaching literature in the community alongside full time writing.

I have two grown-up children, Tom and Abby, and am married to Tim.

I live in Cheshire.

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A Cut for a Cut (Detective Kate Young #2) by Carol Wyer #ACutForACut #DetectiveKateYoung @carolewyer @AmazonPub @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #PublicationDay #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers to be opening the Blog Tour today and to share my review for A Cut for a Cut by Carol Wyer. This is the second book in the Detective Kate Young series. I read and loved the first book, An Eye for an Eye (full review HERE)and this second is also totally brilliant.

My thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this fabulous book via NetGalley.

I also want to take the opportunity to wish Carol a very Happy Publication Day xx

DI Kate Young can’t trust anybody. Not even herself.

In the bleak countryside around Blithfield Reservoir, a serial murderer and rapist is leaving a trail of bloodshed. His savage calling card: the word ‘MINE’ carved into each of his victims.

DI Kate Young struggles to get the case moving—even when one of the team’s own investigators is found dead in a dumpster. But Kate is battling her own demons. Obsessed with exposing Superintendent John Dickson and convinced there’s a conspiracy running deep in the force, she no longer knows who to trust. Kate’s crusade has already cost her dearly. What will she lose next?

When her stepsister spills a long-buried secret, Kate realises she’s found the missing link—now she must prove it before the killer strikes again. With enemies closing in on all sides, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to bring them down. But time is running out, and Kate’s past has pushed her to the very edge. Can she stop herself from falling?

Purchase Links – Amazon – UK or US

My Review…

Having read and loved the first book in this series, An Eye For An Eye I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the second Detective Kate Young book. And Wow! what a story!

The author does fill in details about Kate and her life from the first book, but in all honesty, I would recommend reading the first book to get a proper idea of what Kate has been and is currently dealing with.

It is often the case that the lead detectives in fiction do have some trouble or scarring from their pasts. With Kate, however, this is something that she is not over dealing with, she is constantly reminded of her loss. I am not going to delve into this too much, but what the author did with this thread at the end of the book left me with goosebumps and also worried about Kate! Such a subtle sentence!

The case itself is brutal. A woman found dead with the word MINE carved into her skin is only the start of the investigation. Having only a small team at her disposal keeps Kate on the back foot to a certain extent. Lacking the resources but still having the pressure from those above doesn’t help her but her tenacity is something that keeps her going.

As the case intensifies the intrigue is built upon. Occasional italicised chapters add a very tense edge giving a more brutal, chilling psychological side to the story.

There is so much I want to say about the case, Kate’s personal life and the story in general. It is a brilliantly woven story and I am only just touching the edge of what happens. Fear of leaving spoilers and ruining it for those who have not yet read this is keeping this review vague.

With a personal story, a family reunion, pressure from the hierarchy it is a wonder Kate holds everything together. Is she holding it together or is she just hanging on? This is where the author has worked some magic, keeping Kate juggling so many things.

This is a brilliantly worked second book in the series and one that had me gripped. It is brutal, chilling, carefully worked and just amazing reading. One for those who like a gritty, crime, thriller and one I would very definitely recommend.

About the Author…

USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer writes feel-good comedies and gripping crime fiction.

A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in LITTLE GIRL LOST and demonstrated that stand-up comedian Carol had found her true niche.

To date, her crime novels have sold over 750,000 copies and been translated for various overseas markets.

Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’, featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post.

She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband Mr Grumpy… who is very, very grumpy.

When she is not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.

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Yours Cheerfully by A.J Pearce #histfic #NetGalley @panmacmillan #publicationday #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce. This is the second book in The Emmy Lake Chronicles. I loved the first book Dear Mrs Bird and this second book is just as good.

My thanks to the publisher Pan Macmillan for my advanced e-copy that I requested via NetGalley. This book is also #3 in the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

From the author of the “jaunty, heartbreaking winner” (People) and international bestseller Dear Mrs. Bird, a new charming and uplifting novel set in London during World War II about a plucky aspiring journalist.

London, November 1941. Following the departure of the formidable Henrietta Bird from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles (now stationed back in the UK) is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, is bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It.

When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to be asked to step up and help. But when she and Bunty meet a young woman who shows them the very real challenges that women war workers face, Emmy must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty and standing by her friends.

Every bit as funny, heartwarming, and touching as Dear Mrs. BirdYours Cheerfully is a celebration of friendship—a testament to the strength of women and the importance of lifting each other up, even in the most challenging times. 

My Review…

I have been waiting for a follow on to Dear Mrs Bird and Yours Cheerfully is a fabulous 2nd book in The Emmy Lake Chronicles.

Emmy Lake wanted to be a war journalist, she did get a job but not quite the one she imagined. It was for an Agony Aunt Column in a magazine called the Woman’s Friend. Set during WWII Emmy is making her way in the magazine world. this magazine is a small friendly publication that is full of tips on clothing, making the best of what you have, gardening, cookery and of course advice.

The Ministry call on magazines to help recruit more women to work in a bid to help out the war effort. A chance meeting with Anne a mother of two gives her an insight into women working in the factories. the women are determined in doing their bit, but they feel they are being treated as men would be and that fact hey they have children and homes to look after is not being taken into account. This sets Emmy on something of a mission as the factory women become friends, she still has to be careful about what she writes due to censorship.

I loved how the author has continued the story of Emmy and also her good friend Bunty. There is enough information given to get an idea of the first book, but I would recommend reading it as it was such an excellent one.

Once again the author includes a letter from readers who seek advice during a worrying time. For young girls working for the first time, for mothers who have children to care for alone, she touches on how widows are treated and the conditions that women who are effectively single parents during wartime deal with in life.

The author has brought the style of the magazine, which was seen as one of the little publications for older readers into the forefront. Giving Emmy a larger role so that she is able to really get to grips with the working woman life. There is politics, there is a certain amount of elitism and snobbery and there is the old boy’s brigade that comes into play. But during all this, the author does remember that Emmy has a life outside of the magazine. One that involves her boyfriend Charlie.

Once again the author has created such an addictive read. She deals with issues of the day in such a way as it makes the reader care about the issues. Some of the things I was not aware of and it has been an enlightening read as well as an emotional one. It does have its moments of sadness but also many moments of hope. A gorgeous story and one for those who like historical fiction during WWII. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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In Cold Blood by Adam Croft @adamcroft #crime #mystery #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for the 3rd book in the Rutland Crime series. In Cold Blood by Adam Croft was published yesterday. I have read and reviewed several books by this author and I have always thoroughly enjoyed them.

Many thanks to Joanne Croft for sending me an advanced copy of this latest book in the series. My thoughts are my own.

Book three in a stunning new crime series from 2m+ international bestseller Adam Croft.

A body is found under Welland Viaduct on a bitterly cold winter morning. But this will be a murder investigation like no other.

As DI Caroline Hills and DS Dexter Antoine begin to unravel the dark secrets in the victim’s life, they find themselves sucked into a web of lies and betrayal.

Rutland Police need to find the killer before it’s too late. But with Caroline’s health failing and their main witness suspiciously missing, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Dark histories, mysterious gifts and hidden secrets abound. But will they discover the truth before anyone else is killed in cold blood?

My Review…

This is the third book in the Rutland Crime series, Rutland is a small county bordering Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire. The author uses this small county to great effect in this series.

A body is found frozen under a viaduct, Di Caroline Hills and her team are now trying to work out why he was murdered, Given the small size of the county, I do like how the author keeps his cast small. A handful of police and also potential witnesses or suspects keeps this 236-page police procedural crime story compact and to the point.

The murder of a local businessman is one hat doe shave the team working hard trying to make links. While there is a gut instinct about the people they question they find it difficult to get to the truth. Misleading information and false leads seem to be the order of play. Things are not straight forward and there are a couple of red herrings to catch the reader and of course some twists.

I do like how the author has given more into the personal life of Caroline, she has health issues that she is overcoming and this does make things tense at home. Even though she s dealing with her own problems she still manages to keep an eye out for her team. Long hours and hard work are a given in the job and the author does manage to get a lot into this story.

It is crime read that does have a good amount of mystery to it as well as a personal side to the team. It is another wonderful read in the series and one for those who like a quicker paced and snappy police procedural read. It is one I would recommend.

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No Going Back by Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for one of my favourite authors. No Going Back by Robert Crouch is the latest in the Kent Fisher Mystery Series.

I would like to thank the author for my e-copy of his book and for a spot on his blog Tour.

No Going Back (Kent Fisher Mysteries #7)

When journalist Harry Lawson is pulled from a private swimming pool, his drowning looks like a tragic accident, but for one small detail – he knew someone was going to kill him.

The three text messages he fired off to an old flame the night before confirm he’s a troubled man. But former friend and sleuth, Kent Fisher, believes the messages hint at something deeper and more sinister – an investigation that cost Harry his life.

When a second reporter dies, it’s clear there’s a killer with unfinished business. As Kent inches towards a breakthrough he clashes with close friend Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman. She instructs him to stop investigating, knowing full well he won’t.

For Kent there’s no going back. He has to finish what he started, even though he risks losing a friend, and maybe his own life.

In the seventh murder mystery of the series, Kent Fisher digs deep to complete an investigation that’s far removed from the one he started. 

My Review…

Oh my goodness, this series is just getting better and better and I think this is my favourite one to date. Things in this series have happened and it does help to have read the previous books. I think this is more important for this particular one as there are various things that occur that have ties to previous stories. There is of course a new case for Kent to work on. Has he bitten off more than he or Columbo can chew though!

Kent is questioning his actions after events in his last book, leaving his team, losing people close to him and yet he still seems to walk into impossible situations. The restructuring of the agency means that Kent has a little more time to spend at his animal sanctuary, which he does plan on doing. Well, until the death of an old acquaintance gets his sleuthing senses tingling. Mysterious texts, limited truths, curious coincidences and a whole load of questions that Kent is struggling to find all the answers to.

This has to be one of Kent’s toughest cases as far as how deep and involved it is. Even though he plays his feelings close to his chest, there is a gap between Niamh and also from the loss of Mike. He is not the only one who is missing them! Once again Kent and his love life have made an appearance, he is a man who doesn’t know what he wants. I’m not sure he ever has. He definitely cannot see what is in front of his eyes!

As I said, this is a deeply problematic case for Kent, it involves several people but even he isn’t aware of all the players. This very much kept me on my toes and I loved the intriguing and mysterious nature of this story. It is a story of many parts, many clues, some misdirection and things that I didn’t see coming. I did think I had got it sussed, well I did guess a very small part but nowhere near close to the major parts.

In the previous books, Kent has worked his sleuthing side-line around his day job as an Environmental Health Officer. As the role has been scaled back then so has that part of life. It is a natural progression that still sees some mentions and so keeps the uniqueness of the series. It will be interesting what Kent, or should I say, the author has in mind for the next step in the series.

The ending is also quite different to what I am used to, a cliffhanger and something that is may get very personal for Kent. I am so curious to see what comes next for Kent. There are a few options that I can see and I imagine the author will once again surprise with his vision for the future of Kent. Another wonderful instalment and one that had me hooked. I thoroughly enjoyed this more in-depth sleuthing mystery and I would definitely recommend it to those who like their mysteries less gruesome and enjoy a whodunnit style murder mystery.

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

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