The Angel’s Mark by S.W. Perry #partofaseries #historicalfiction #crime #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Angel’s Mark by S.W. Perry. I have had this book for a while and I am so glad I have finally got to reading it. This is the first book in the Nicholas Shelby series and I am looking forward to reading the rest.

LONDON, 1590. Queen Elizabeth I’s control over her kingdom is wavering. Amidst a tumultuous backdrop of Spanish plotters, Catholic heretics and foreign wars threatening the country’s fragile stability, the body of a small boy is found in the City of London, with strange marks that no one can explain.

When idealistic physician Nicholas Shelby finds another body displaying the same marks only days later, he becomes convinced that a killer is at work, preying on the weak and destitute of London.

Determined to find out who is behind these terrible murders, Nicholas is joined in his investigations by Bianca, a mysterious tavern keeper. As more bodies are discovered, the pair find themselves caught in the middle of a sinister plot. With the killer still at large, and Bianca in terrible danger, Nicholas’s choice seems impossible – to save Bianca, or save himself…

MY REVIEW

Set in Elizabethan England in 1590, the author creates a world around a physician. Dr Nicholas Shelby is a young doctor and one that doesn’t always believe in the old ways. New research is coming forward but this is a time when heretics, herbalists and witchcraft are not accepted. A licence is required to carry out basic medicine unless you are lucky enough to be one of the learned gentlemen.

Shelby suffers a dramatic event in his life, which leads him astray and towards the banks of the Thames. Here he discovers something unnatural at work when the body of a child is discovered with a dubious symbol cut into the leg. With the help of local tavern owner Bianca, they discover that London’s secrets are much deeper and more far-reaching than they ever imagined.

I do love good historical fiction that is full of murder and mayhem and this one is just the book to tick those boxes. The author doesn’t just focus on the characters and the story but also brings in relevant and very interesting medical procedures, thoughts, practices and observations of the time. This extra detail is wonderfully woven into the story and adds something special.

England does have a Queen in the form of Elizabeth I, but the country is still settling after Henry VIII and his dissolution of the Roman Catholic Church. It was Elizabeth that restored Catholicism with the Pope as its head, but she also established the Church of England with herself as the head. At this time religion is something that you are expected to take part in and if you do not attend the right Church it can hamper your future career. Shelby discovers that religion isn’t the only way your career can be ruined. Medicine had its own rules, regulations and thoughts and to rock that particular boat is to court trouble.

As well as Shelby’s story, there is another mysterious one. It is a troubled and hurt soul that the author uses in this instance, these passages are italicised and they tell of hardship and loss.

This is brilliantly researched and I loved the way the author brings in politics, religion, medicine and opinions of the time into the story. This is well-researched and the author obviously likes this era of history as he makes it exciting and so atmospheric. The different practices involved in medical practice are great, apothecary, witchcraft, herbalists, astrologers, divination and all manner of other tools used.

I really liked this and it is full of intrigue, suspicion, suspense, corruption and of course murder and mystery. Fabulous start to a series that I will definitely be keeping on with.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

S. W. Perry was a journalist and broadcaster before retraining as an airline pilot. He lives in Worcestershire, England with his wife.

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City of Vengeance by D.V Bishop @davidbishop #CesareAldo #historicalfiction #mystery #bookreview

am delighted to share my review today for City of Vengeance by D.V. Bishop. I have to give a massive shout out to the wonderful Eva @noveldeelights and David for my copy of this book. This is ideal for those who adore mystery novels set in the past, I adored this book and cannot wait to read the next one – The Darkest Sin.

“A first-class historical thriller . . . Bishop’s spirited and richly detailed story is a tour-de-force” —DAVID BALDACCI

City of Vengeance is an explosive debut historical thriller by D. V. Bishop, set in Renaissance Florence.

Florence. Winter, 1536. A prominent Jewish moneylender is murdered in his home, a death with wide implications in a city powered by immense wealth.

Cesare Aldo, a former soldier and now an officer of the Renaissance city’s most-feared criminal court is given four days to solve the murder: catch the killer before the feast of Epiphany—or suffer the consequences.

During his investigations, Aldo uncovers a plot to overthrow the volatile ruler of Florence, Alessandro de’ Medici. If the Duke falls, it will endanger the whole city. But a rival officer of the court is determined to expose details about Aldo’s private life that could lead to his ruin. Can Aldo stop the conspiracy before anyone else dies, or will his own secrets destroy him first? 

MY REVIEW


This is the first book in the Cesare Aldo series. Set in Florence in 1536 there are several names I am aware of from history. Such as the Medici family, I do think many of us historical fiction readers or those with an interest in European history are quite aware of this name.

Cesare Aldo is essentially a policeman, he works for the Otton who are responsible for gathering the information together before it goes forward for charges and sentences to be sorted.

Florence, and to be fair the rest of Europe is not the safest place to be. An age of power struggles, murders, spying and conspiracy. The time is one where those who are in power have to watch their backs and also where the wranglings and politics of those lower down the scale come into play. Very much a chess game, yet a brutal, bloody and dangerous one.

Cesare Aldo finds himself in the midst of an investigation, and while he makes slow progress he is aware of other things going on that could make life very difficult for him. A murder has ramifications for many and this is great for a reader as it is a way of immersing them further into the story and also the atmosphere of the story.

When I started reading this book I did have a bit of a struggle with remembering who was who. This is something I found got easier the more I read, I think it was more me coming across names I didn’t recognise. I did think there were some similarities at the beginning but I soon got to grips with the names within a few chapters.

The story is one that isn’t just about a murder, it is much more mysterious than that and the author does a fabulous job of twisting various subplots. It is also a great way of bringing in things that are not acceptable at the time and also social etiquette. Religion and politics seem to work hand in hand but neither want to tread on toes. Aldo walks a fine line and at times this line becomes very indistinct!

This is a very addictive murder mystery, it is a slower-paced story but one that suits the era it is set in. It has been well researched and there is an author’s note at the end as regards the facts that were used. I really enjoyed meeting Aldo and look forward to reading more of him. He isn’t a character who is particularly likeable, but he is very thorough, has loyalties and does tend to keep himself to himself. But there is a sort of aura of wisdom and respectability about him that I really liked. As I said I am looking forward to getting to know more about him.

This is one for those who like historical crime, murder, and mystery novels. This one is fabulously atmospheric, twisted, devious and there are several surprising turns. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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

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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Hydra by Matt Wesolowski #murdermystery #crimethriller #Hydra #SixStories #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Hydra by Matt Wesolowski. I have all of this authors Six Stories Series of books and I thought it was about time to catch up with them. I listened to the first book in the series and it worked brilliantly as an Audio, so how would I get on with reading Hydra, the second book?

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A family massacre
A deluded murderess
Five witnesses
Six stories
Which one is true?

One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north west of England, 21-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the Macleod Massacre.

Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation.

King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a diminished as her legal team made out.

As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden ‘games’, online trolls, and the mysterious black-eyed kids, whose presence seems to extend far beyond the delusions of a murderess…

Dark, chilling and gripping, Hydra is both a classic murder mystery and an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller, that shines light in places you may never, ever want to see again.

My Review…

I am stunned, in shock and have been left reeling after just finishing Hydra, the second book in the Six Stories series.

You know when you get towards the end of a story and suddenly there is that moment when the penny drops and things just suddenly fall into place? Well, this author didn’t just let a penny drop, he dropped the whole of the Royal Mint!!!! Talk about a brilliant ending or what?

Let me backtrack a moment… this is the second book in a series that is a podcast transcript format of a fictional true crime that is told via six voices of those who have some connection to the crime that was committed.

The crime is of the murder of a mum, stepdad and daughter. The perpetrator has been caught and is in a psychiatric facility, she is the elder daughter of the family.

The author weaves so a deliciously deep and addictive story about a young girl who has not had the best upbringing. As she enters her teens, she rebels. The story gradually goes into more detail about the rebellion and also attempts to identify the causes through the accounts of others. The podcast is run by Scott King, he interviews and hosts his podcast to allow people to make up their own minds rather than give people the answers.

I loved the format of these books, yes it is a podcast, but it is like you are reading a simplified transcript version. This makes it so much easier for reading and to allow the full story to flow. I listened to the first book and was intrigued as to how I would get on with it as an actual book, I have to say it works brilliantly.

The author sy=tarts with what appears to be a straightforward crime, I say straight-forward because the case has been to court and the murderer has been given a sentence. What the author now does is to start adding doubt, this comes through the witness accounts. While for the most part, they do come across as being good accounts, there is something that each one appears to hold back. This leads to doubt, mistrust and more questions than answers at some points.

The ending, however, well, wow! I am so glad I had my kindle on the table otherwise it would have gone into orbit! Sat there reading away, I was, then suddenly both arms were flung up in the air, imagine a one-woman Mexican wave… yeah that was me! I do believe a few unmentionable words may have been uttered!

This is a totally brilliant and addictive read and I cannot believe it has taken me this long to pick up this book. I do actually have all of the books in the series they just seem to have trickled down the reading pile. This is a book for those who love crime, mystery and thriller reads and that also have quite a strong psychological vibe to them. There is so much more to the story than I have divulged here and it is one I would absolutely recommend.

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Children of Fire by @cw_beatty @rararesources #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Children of Fire by Paul CW Beatty as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for my spot on the Tour and for organising my e-copy of this book.

Lets see what it is all about…

Can Josiah solve the puzzle before more people die, or is he out of his depth?

In 1841, at the height of the industrial revolution in the North West of England, Josiah Ainscough returns from his travels and surprises everyone by joining the Stockport Police Force, rather than following his adopted father’s footsteps into the Methodist ministry.

While Josiah was abroad, five men died in an explosion at the Furness Vale Powder Mill. Was this an accident or did the Children of Fire, a local religious community, have a hand in it. As Josiah struggles to find his vocation, his investigation into the Children of Fire begins. But his enquiries are derailed by the horrific crucifixion of the community’s leader.

Now Josiah must race against time to solve the puzzle of the violence loose in the Furness Vale before more people die. This is complicated by his affections for Rachael, a leading member of the Children of Fire, and the vivacious Aideen Hayes, a visitor from Ireland.

Can Josiah put together the pieces of the puzzle, or is he out of his depth? Children of Fire won the Writing Magazine’s Best Novel Prize for 2017

Purchase Links – Amazon UKUS

This is a historical fiction and crime novel that is set in the North West of England in 1841. Josiah is a constable who is asked to go to see a local religious group called the Children of Fire to see if they had anything to do with a recent explosion at the powder mill.

I will say that this book took me a few chapters to get into, there were several characters I had to get my head around and for some reason this took me a while. Gradually I started to become familiar with the names and their roles in the story and things started to fall into place and became easier to follow. There is quite a few things going on in the book as I followed Josiah into his investigation, met the Children of Fire members and also the local families.

I gradually started to find my interest in the book increasing, and I like the slower pace, it seemed to suit the slower pace of life for the setting. Being a hist/fic novel I like to come across things relevant to the time a book is set. This took me into some interesting facts about the powder mills and gunpowder. There were some really interesting facts that were given as part of Josiah’s investigation. The author had worked these facts and other issues into the story very well.

As I said this is a slower paced book, but there was a good amount of intrigue Josiah’s case continued, it often seemed that as he was starting to make headway something else would crop up only to add more mystery. As I passed the half way point of the story I noticed a slight shift in the pace and then things were starting to link up and took me to quite a dramatic conclusion.

This was a book that I enjoyed and is full of interesting history relevant to the time. If you like a slower paced historical fiction that has an intriguing crime element then give this one a try. It is one I would recommend.

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

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

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

Social Media Links – Twitter

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Hudson’s Kill by Paddy Hirsch #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Hudson’s Kill by paddy Hirsch. I recieved a hardback copy of this book via Readers First. This is a historical fiction set in New York in 1803, so let me show you what it is all about…

‘A wild horse-and-carriage ride through early 19th century New York… Meticulously researched, the novel brings the city to life in lurid sensory detail.’ Noel O’Reilly, author of Wrecker

New York, 1803. The expanding city is rife with tension, and violence simmers on every street as black and Irish gangs fight for control. When a young girl is found brutally murdered, Marshal Justy Flanagan must find the killer before a mob takes the law into their own hands.

Kerry O’Toole, Justy’s friend and ally, decides to pursue her own inquiries into the girl’s murder. When they each find their way into a shadowy community on the fringes of the city, Justy and Kerry encounter a treacherous web of political conspiracy and criminal enterprise. As events dangerously escalate, they must fight to save not only the city, but also themselves…

This is a murder mystery read that also has a lot of conspiracy and tension mixed in as well. It is New York in 1803 and Kerry O’Toole finds the body of a young girl a back alley. Justy Flanagan is called in to investigate the identity of the girl and also the killer. Together Justy and Kerry kind of work together, I say kind of because they both want to find the same answers!

This is a book that has a lot going on in it. What I thought was going to be a murder mystery read, which it was by the way, also had gangs, conspiracy, rivalry and, tension. All these components added to the mixing pot that made up New York at the time. People from different, countries with various backgrounds, religious beliefs and traditions all arrived in the area. They all bring their own language and ways of speaking, and this is where I began to notice the research aspect of the book. The speech was very evident from the off as I cam across words that I recognised as being Welsh, Scottish and Irish.

The speech adds to the diversity of the setting and the people who inhabit it. The descriptions of bars, brothels, alleyways and the like bring home the fact that this is not an affluent area. The author has used the tensions to their advantage and played on it, escalating feelings between rivals. In someways this overwhelmed the investigation, but it was also part of the investigation, if you know what I mean. I just felt that the murder had been sidelined a little bit, but, at the same time I know that

This is a good read and even though there were a couple of things I struggled with, I did enjoy it. I thought it was quite a complex story and maybe this is what caught me out as I wasn’t expecting that when I started.

Earlier I mentioned about speech and I was incredibly glad to see a glossary at the end of the book, while there are some terms that I could work out, there were some that had me scratching my head. I love the inclusion of the old languages and phrases.

This is the 2nd book in the series, and as is my usual form I have not read the first one yet! So, I can say that this owrks well as a stand alone but, I would suggest reading in order as there are things mentioned that I assume are from the first book. There is also a dynamic between Just and Kerry that I am curious to know more about. So I will be reading the first book at some point to squash my curiosity.

Hudson’s Kill is an addictive if complex read and I really enjoyed it and would recommend it.

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

No More Lies by Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk @CarolineBookBit #review

After taking last week off work and away from social media to go and visit my parents, I am delighted to bring you one of my favourite authors and his latest book in the Kent Fisher Series. No More Lies by Robert Crouch is the 4th in this fabulous mystery series and I am so delighted to be sharing my review with you all as part of the Blog Tour with Caroline at Bits About Books.

Kent Fisher gets more than he bargained for when Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman enlists his help with a ten year old murder. She’s on a mission and needs a big case to put her career back on track. 

And they don’t come much bigger than Miles Birchill, Downland’s wealthiest and most divisive resident. 

Not for the first time, Kent has doubts about the case, forcing him to make choices. But who do you trust when everyone has something to hide? 

Caught in the middle, he has no alternative but to solve the murder, unaware that his every move is being watched. 

The Kent Fisher novels offer a fresh and contemporary reworking of the classic whodunit and murder mysteries of authors like Agatha Christie. 

It is so nice to be reunited with Kent Fisher, this is a character that I love to catch up with and see how he is getting on. He is an Environmental Health Officer, he runs an animal sanctuary and solves murders that he seems to find himself in the midst of. In No More Lies, he finds the crime comes to him rather than finding the crime. The deliverer of this crime comes in the form of DI Ashley Goodman…

I have a soft spot for Kent and when this new character arrives, well I had my reservations about this woman! As a character she is interesting and very career driven, she is also impetuous and impulsive as she tries to solve a cold case. She believes that Kent can help her in this and in doing so it will get her career back on track. Kent, you see, has certain connections that are useful.

This book has a different feel to it that the others in the series, it has the same basic elements and includes some well-loved characters such as Columbo, Niamh, Francie and his work colleagues. The emphasis is more on the cold case and Ashley’s investigations. There are running storylines that still continue, if you have not read them I don’t think they will squash any enjoyment of the reading, but as always it is better to read them all!

So, as I mentioned earlier, the main focus is with the cold case. I really liked this emphasis, but I also do like the other characters that are part of Kent’s life. They were still in the story but took more of a back seat this time.

The case being re-opened sets a chain of events off that could cause many problems for people. This, in turn, means that there is an air of mistrust to the story as characters are basically watching their own backs, the sense that people have things to hide is a definite with this story.

I am a big fan of this author and I love reading about Kent Fisher and, I have loved every book in the series. This has that classic ‘whodunnit’ feel but in a modern setting. Kent is the deducer, the sleuth, and the mystery solver. I really like that Kent is not a copper or detective, his EHO career adds just a something special to the reads and gives such a great twist to this murder mystery series.

No More Lies by Robert Crouch is a book that I would definitely recommend!

Inspired by Miss Marple, Inspector Morse and Columbo, Robert Crouch wanted to write entertaining crime fiction the whole family could enjoy.

At their heart is Kent Fisher, an environmental health officer with more baggage than an airport carousel. Passionate about the environment, justice and fair play, he’s soon embroiled in murder.

Drawing on his experiences as an environmental health officer, Robert has created a new kind of detective who brings a unique and fresh twist to the traditional murder mystery. With complex plots, topical issues and a liberal dash of irreverent humour, the Kent Fisher mysteries offer an alternative to the standard police procedural.

Robert now writes full time and lives on the South Coast of England with his wife and their West Highland White Terrier, Harvey, who appears in the novels as Kent’s sidekick, Columbo.

To discover more, visit Robert on –

WebsiteTwitterFacebookAmazonGoodreads

See what fellow readers think by following the Blog Tour

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The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel. This is the first book in the Frey & McGray Mystery series. If you like Gothic fiction then you really need to check out this series, this first book was brilliant!

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

1888: a violinist is brutally murdered in his Edinburgh home. Fearing a national panic over a copycat Jack the Ripper, Scotland Yard send Inspector Ian Frey. Frey reports to Detective “Nine-Nails” McGray, local legend and exact opposite of the foppish English Inspector. McGray’s tragic past has driven him to superstition, but even Frey must admit that this case seems beyond belief…

There was no way in or out of the locked music studio. And there are black magic symbols on the floor. The dead man’s maid swears there were three musicians playing before the murder. And the suspects all talk of a cursed violin once played by the Devil himself.


Inspector Frey has always been a man of reason—but the longer this investigation goes on, the more his grasp on reason seems to be slipping…

Every now and again I really like to read a good gothic novel. I came across this one on Amazon and decided to give it a go as it seemed to have an old investigative style of murder mystery to it and a touch of superstition. It caught my eye and I am so glad it did as it is a fabulously gothic thrillery read!

Enter Frey and Gray, they are just two wonderful and very different characters, very chalk and cheese. The setting is 1888, Edinburgh and Inspector Frey is sent from London to assist Detective “Nine Nails” McGray in the mysterious and bloody death of a violinist.

Frey is very much a no nonsense type of guy, strictly about the facts. A sharp dresser and follower of proper etiquette. Now then, Mcgray, you could not get much further in the opposite direction than him. He is the master of all knowledge when it comes to the occult and superstition. He definitely follows his own style when it comes to his fashion sense. On meeting for the first time, these two clash! The exasperation from the both of them shows, though more so from McGray, as it would not be fitting for Frey to give such a show of distaste, but believe me he does have his moments. The dynamics between the two are so good and kept me entertained at the various asides. The seriousness of their work does however allow them to find a sort of compromise, or should I say they start to form a somewhat professional respect as the story continues.

Over the course of the story I got to know more about the individual characters and their own stories. Frey and McGray have very intriguing backgrounds that gradually emerged. As this is the first in the series I thought there was a good foundation laid for building further n their characters and filling in more about them.

The timing of this book is at the time Jack the Ripper is at large, so why would a London send one of it’s investigators to Scotland when the death of Mary Kelly has just occured? Having the mention of such an infamous villain at the beginning of this story helps to add to the tone that is to be set as the story continues. A story of murder and malevolent intent.

Their case for the violinist is one that is also bloody and macabre. It gets them scratching their heads at this closed room murder. Who did it? Why was it done? And more importantly…how was it done? The intrigue through the questioning and deducing kept me on my toes as the two made their way through their investigations.

If you are looking for a wonderfully vivid and atmospheric gothic thriller then you really should cast your eye at this author. There are more books in this series and I am so looking forward to getting to see what Frey & McGray get involved in next and also hopefully learning more about what makes them tick.

This book gets a Highly Recommended from me!

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

The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah @HarperCollinsUK #NetGalley #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah. My thanks to the publisher Harper Collins for accepting my request to review this book.

Let’s see what it is all about…

The world’s most beloved detective, Hercule Poirot – the legendary star of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and most recently The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket—returns in a stylish, diabolically clever mystery set in 1930’s London.

Returning home after lunch one day, Hercule Poirot finds an angry woman waiting outside his front door. She demands to know why Poirot has sent her a letter accusing her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met.

Poirot has also never heard of a Barnabas Pandy, and has accused nobody of murder. Shaken, he goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him — a man who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy…

Poirot wonders how many more letters of this sort have been sent in his name. Who sent them, and why? More importantly, who is Barnabas Pandy, is he dead, and, if so, was he murdered? And can Poirot find out the answers without putting more lives in danger?

Hercule Poirot is accused by four different people of writing letters that accuse them of murder. The problem is that Poirot did not send the letters, he has no idea how sent them, but he does think that something more sinister and dangerous could be afoot…

I have not read the previous two books in this series and to be honest this one reads very well as a stand-alone. I think this mirrors the way Christie herself wrote, each of her books could be picked up and read in any order.

So did this mysterious tale feel right? Actually yes it did, there was a lot of misdirection, clues that only came clear at the end, a series of possible characters who could have dunnit and who had the motive and of course there is a body.

I enjoyed the slower pace of this mystery novel and felt that the author did a really good job of creating a story with the infamous Poirot. Various mannerisms, quirks, and phrases felt right.

The plot is one that I was happy to sit back and watch (so to speak) as it worked its way through to the grand unveiling of the guilty party and the reasons why.

I have read all of Agatha Christie’s books, though it was several years ago now, and I found there were some good similarities between Sophie Hannah’s Poirot and the original. It was an enjoyable read and ones that I think would appeal to fans of cosy mystery and also of Christie fans as well.

Sophie Hannah
Photo taken from the authors Goodreads Page.

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensitive in 2011 and 2012. In 2004, Sophie won first prize in the Daphne Du Maurier Festival Short Story Competition for her suspense story The Octopus Nest, which is now published in her first collection of short stories, The Fantastic Book of Everybody’s Secrets. 

Sophie has also published five collections of poetry. Her fifth, Pessimism for Beginners, was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. From 1997 to 1999 she was Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, and between 1999 and 2001 she was a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. She is forty-one and lives with her husband and children in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College. She is currently working on a new challenge for the little grey cells of Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famous detective.

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No Time To Cry by James Oswald @SirBenfro @annecater #RandomThingsTours #BookReview

No Time to Cry Cover.jpg

I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my review of No Time To Cry by James Oswald as part of the blog tour with Anne at Random Things Tours. My huge thanks to Anne for the invite, the Author and Wildfire Publishing for my copy.

Synopsis:

Undercover cops are always dangerous, but DC Constance Fairchild never expected things to go this wrong.
Returning to their base of operations, an anonymous office in a shabby neighbourhood, she finds the bloodied body of her boss, and friend, DI Pete Copperthwaite. He’s been executed – a single shot to the head.

In the aftermath, it seems someone in the Met is determined to make sure that blame for the wrecked operation falls squarely on Con’s shoulders. She is cut loose and cast out, angry and alone with her grief… right until the moment someone also tries to put a bullet through her head.

There’s no place to hide, and no time to cry.

PRAISE FOR JAMES

“The new Ian Rankin” Daily Record
“Oswald’s writing is a class above” Express

“Crime fiction’s next big thing” Sunday Telegraph

Purchase No Time to Cry at Amazon UK

My Thoughts:

Con is an undercover Detective Constable and is called in by her boss at their safe house/ rendezvous. She arrives to find him dead. Not a simple death but tortured and then executed. It soon becomes obvious she is being blamed.

Oh my god, what a book! This has been an amazing read from start to finish and has stomped its way into my Top 10 Best Crime, Thriller reads of this year.

The main character is Constance, or as she prefers Con and she is a brilliant character. As I got to know her better I discovered that there is a lot more to her than first meets the eye. Yes, she is tenacious, feisty and is never going to be backed into a corner without coming out again fighting, she has a work ethic that means she is like a dog with a bone in regards to discovering the truth. Con is going to have a huge fight on her hands and several times I wondered how this would pan out.

The plot is so dark and does include a subject that may not appeal to all readers, for me it was enough to get a picture of the facts without being overly graphic with the details. Throughout the story, there was that ever-present feeling that absolutely no-one could be trusted, a way to build up the suspense and have the nerves tingling.

The story is set mainly in London but does take in other locations and the characters that associated with them. As for the other characters, I think you will pretty quickly work out for yourselves the ones you like or don’t.

The other locations give a chance for Con to catch the briefest of breathers with family and friends and even here I had them on the “do I trust them?” list. It left me pondering throughout as to how she would ever get through her own private investigations.#This is an absolute belter of a read with its dark and dangerous twisted paths. A story that had me at its very opening lines as that was where the suspense and intrigue started.

This for me is an absolute must-read for anyone who likes suspense-filled, female-led, crime and thriller books. The start of a new series, and I am really excited about this series and seriously look forward to more. This is a book that gets and absolutely highly recommended from me.

About the Author:

James Oswald.jpg

JAMES OSWALD is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries. The first two of these, NATURAL CAUSES and THE BOOK OF SOULS were both shortlisted for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award. NO TIME TO CRY is the first book in James’s new Constance Fairchild series.
James farms Highland cows and Romney sheep by day, writes disturbing fiction by night.

Follow James on Twitter or visit his Website

See what other Book Blogger think by following the Blog Tour

No Time To Cry Blog Tour Poster

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