#BlogBlitz : Found Drowned by BK Duncan @BKDuncanwriter @BloodhoundBook @sarahhardy681 #NetGalley #BookReview

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Today I have “Found Drowned” by BK Duncan.  This is the 3rd in the “May Keaps” series and I think this may be my favourite one to date.  Published by Bloodhound Books and available in eBook and paperback and available for purchase HERE my thanks to Sarah and Bloodhound Books for my spot on the blog blitz, also to BK Duncan and NetGalley for my copy of the book.

Synopsis:

Smuggling. Prostitution. Murder.

London. 1920 and coroner’s officer May Keaps is tasked with solving the mystery that surrounds the death of a young boy, found drowned in The Thames.

But was it murder or an accident? 

May knows that when children go missing, the reason is often linked to money but she is in danger of underestimating the corrupting influence of power . . .

On streets where poverty and exploitation walk hand-in-hand everyone has a price. And some are more valuable dead than alive. But who is pulling the strings?

May must journey into the dark underbelly of London to find the answers.

My Thoughts:

May Keaps works for Poplar Coroners Office and finds herself in a whole heap of trouble.  The body of a young boy turns up in the Thames in 1920’s London.  May is desperate to find out the identity of the boy, what she finds is far more than what she bargained for.

As I said this is my favourite May Keaps story to date, it is grittier, puts her in more danger and catches her off guard a little more.  May is a very dependant and strong character and she does have a more feminine side that makes an appearance on occasion.  In this story she finds herself in the dark and murky world of prostitution and from the synopsis you get a good idea of what sort of thing you are going to come across.  Duncan gives a very good description of various activities without getting too graphic, enough to give a picture without going for show.  She has created a very dark and wonderfully described sense of time and setting.  The setting of 1920’s London is based around the wharves, docks and back alleys, along with smuggling, poverty, workhouses and Poor Law.  She has included a lot of detail relevant for the time and that gives the story a real believable feel to it.

Familiar faces from previous books make a welcome return and we learn a little more about some of them and more about May and her family.  This is a book that could be read as a stand alone, but as with all series it is better to read earlier books to get a sense of the characters and their stories.  May for me seems to be getting a little more bolder as the series has continued and also a little more reckless. She is a wonderful character and I look forward to seeing what her future in fiction holds.

This is a book I would definitely recommend to readers of historical fiction, crime, mystery and murder.  It is a great read with really good atmospheric historical content and a great story line.

About the Author:

BK Duncan and Foul TradeBorn on a steam railway and brought up on the South Coast of England, such beginnings were destined to leave BK Duncan with a love of vintage transport, crashing seas, and Art Deco architecture.

Following a career encompassing developmental learning and management consultancy (specialising in personal and organisational change) she made the switch to full time writer, combining producing her own work with lecturing in creative writing in colleges and academies in Hertfordshire and Cambridge. Her summers are spent on two never-ending tasks – re-pointing the walls of her flint cottage and reclaiming the wilderness of her meadow garden. For relaxation she reads, goes to the theatre, and explores the local countryside but her two great passions are longbow archery and the Argentine Tango. Sadly, she is not nearly as accomplished at either as she’d like.

Her proudest moment was when she overcame her fear of deep water to go potholing in the Yorkshire Pennines.

BK Duncan also writes as Ruth Wade. Read her Amazon #1 best-seller A Fatal Rhythm on Kindle.

See what other Bloggers think by following the tour

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#BlogTour : Foul Trade by B.K Duncan : ( @BKDuncanwriter ) : @Bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy681 : #BookReview

BLOG TOUR (1)

I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for Foul Trade by BK Duncan.  Published by Bloodhound Books, this is available in many formats.  If you have not read the FREE prequel novella “The Last Post” here is the link to Amazon UK for it >>Link<< I will share my thoughts on The Last Post before Foul Trade.

The Last Post, by BK Duncan

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Synopsis:

It is April 1918. May Keaps is a twenty-year-old ambulance driver stationed at The Front. As if transporting hideously wounded soldiers, sleep deprivation and constant shell bombardment weren’t enough, she becomes unwittingly entangled in the untimely death of a young captain, Tobias Fairfax.

Newly-arrived in Northern France he was found with a discharged pistol by his side; rumours on the battlefield were that it wasn’t an accident and he had taken the coward’s way out, committing suicide.

Whatever the explanation, Tobias left a dangerous legacy that puts May in the line of fire. But she is not the only one with a reason to want to uncover the truth. And in a world where life can be extinguished in the blink of an eye, May might regret her search for answers…The Last Post is the haunting introduction to the May Keaps series.

Thoughts:

In this story we meet for the first time, May Keaps.  She is an ambulance driver on the front, transporting casualties of the war to hospital. For a novella, this book has a big presence.  BK has for me, captured the despair, fear, sombreness and fear of life in the war, with vivid descriptions.

As an introduction to this author and also the character of May Keaps, I cannot find fault.  It was a great read and did its job well, I look forward to the next story.  A full length one.

Foul Trade 

BK Duncan - Foul Trade_cover_high res.jpgSynopsis:

 Looking for a compelling new mystery which will have you hooked?

It is March 1920. May Keaps, the Poplar Coroner’s Officer, has never failed to provide a jury with sufficient evidence to arrive at a just verdict.

The poverty, drunken fights between visiting sailors, drug trafficking, and criminal gangs, haunting the shadows of the busiest docks in the world, mean that the Coroner sees more than its fair share of sudden and unnatural deaths.

May relishes the responsibility placed upon her but there are many who believe it’s an unsuitable job for a woman. Even May begins to wonder if that is the case when the discovery of a young man’s body, in a Limehouse alley, plunges her into an underworld of opium dens, gambling, turf wars, protection rackets and murder.

As her investigations draw her into danger, it becomes increasingly clear that whoever is responsible intends to avoid the hangman’s noose by arranging to have May laid out on one of her own mortuary slabs.

My thoughts:

So it is now march 1920, and again we are reunited with May Louise Keaps, ex ambulance driver and now officer for Poplar Coroners Court.  In this story May is the efficient and resourceful force behind the Coroner, she is the one who makes sure all the paperwork, subpoenas and warrants are dealt with, they are just the basics of her job.  She goes above and beyond the call of duty as she swaps the battlefields for the wharves of London, as she investigates a suspicious death.  She will discover a world of gangs, drugs and dens, gambling and illegal trade.

If you want a book that gives you a descriptive walk through of the London wharves and surrounding area, then this has got to be one you read.  BK has brought some vivid and detailed descriptions that make it feel very realistic with the sights, sounds and also the smells.  There has been obvious research into this period,  I found a great deal of observational content on living conditions, social housing, economics and family struggles, this added a real extra depth.  It was appropriate for the plot, now that I really did enjoy, it took me a couple of chapters to work out where the story was going.  This was all my fault as I did not read the synopsis, I just dived right in after reading The Last Post.  But as I started to pick up the threads of the story, I found it took me along the dark alleys into grim back rooms and among warehouses as the plot progressed.  Along the way there are quite a few characters to get to know, a mixed bunch of rogues, ruffians and gentlemen, you soon work out who is who, but I guarantee you will be wrong in your assumptions of some.

This is a great read that I would have no problem recommending to readers who like historical crime and mystery fiction.  It is well researched and well written.  A thoroughly enjoyable read.

About the Author:

BK Duncan and Foul Trade

Born on a steam railway and brought up on the South Coast of England, such beginnings were destined to leave BK Duncan with a love of vintage transport, crashing seas, and Art Deco architecture.

Following a career encompassing developmental learning and management consultancy (specialising in personal and organisational change) she made the switch to full time writer, combining producing her own work with lecturing in creative writing in colleges and academies in Hertfordshire and Cambridge. Her summers are spent on two never-ending tasks – re-pointing the walls of her flint cottage and reclaiming the wilderness of her meadow garden. For relaxation she reads, goes to the theatre, and explores the local countryside but her two great passions are longbow archery and the Argentine Tango. Sadly, she is not nearly as accomplished at either as she’d like.

Her proudest moment was when she overcame her fear of deep water to go potholing in the Yorkshire Pennines.

BK Duncan also writes as Ruth Wade. Read her Amazon #1 best-seller A Fatal Rhythm on Kindle.

Follow BK Duncan on her Website  or on Twitter

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, give a little share.  Better still, go and get both of these wonderful books.