A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #OrendaBooks #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours and Orenda Books for my spot on the Blog Tour and my e-copy of this terrrific book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

After an unexpected death, three generations of women take over the family funeral-home and PI businesses in the first book of a brilliant, page-turning and darkly funny new series


The Skelfs are a well-known Edinburgh family, proprietors of a long-established funeral-home business, and private investigators. When patriarch Jim dies, it’s left to his wife Dorothy, daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah to take charge of both businesses, kicking off an unexpected series of events.

Dorothy discovers mysterious payments to another women, suggesting that Jim wasn’t the husband she thought he was. Hannah’s best friend Mel has vanished from university, and the simple adultery case that Jenny takes on leads to something stranger and far darker than any of them could have imagined.

As the women struggle to come to terms with their grief, and the demands of the business threaten to overwhelm them, secrets from the past emerge, which change everything… It’s a compelling and tense thriller and a darkly funny, warm portrait of a family in turmoil.

The really like the simplicity of this cover and as I again look at it after reading the book it is also so appropriate. The synopsis does a great job of setting the basics up for this story. This is the first in a new series by Doug Johnstone and I have to say I cannot wait to see what these feisty Sklef women get up to in further books.

This is a story that is about coming to terms with the death of a loved one who left one or two skeletons lurking behind him. Jim’s death leaves not only a big hole in the lives of his family, it also leaves a hole in the two businesses. One is a funeral directors the other is a private Investigation business.

Taking over two businesses throws up a few surprises, in fact surprise is something that each of the three Skelf women, in this story, have got to deal with. Some hit closer to home than others. In some respects this book is like reading interconnected stories, that have an individual feel at times but also are linked.

The individual stories gradually make themselves known and after a slower start I suddenly found myself finding my feet. There were a few characters to get my head around, but gradually I did and I was able to see the story rather than trying to remember who was who.

Dealing with grief at the same time as discovering secrets and trying to keep business running is a tall order. This is something the Skelf ‘s seem to take in their stride. These are strong women, who do have moments of doubt but continue on.

This is a really good read that has more than a few surprises tucked in the pages, very cleverly worked and quite a lot of facts scattered throughout that added some wonderful reading extras.

If you are a reader who likes crime and mystery reads then this will be right up your street, I am really looking forward to what happens next and what the author can weave into his next book. A Dark Matter gets a definitely recommended from me.

Doug Johnstone is the author of ten novels, most recently Breakers (2018), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also playermanager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.

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No Mercy by Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk #mystery #BookReview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for Robert Crouch’s latest book No Mercy. I am a big fan of Robert’s Kent Fisher series and he is an author who is on my “will automatically read” list. So when I saw an email asking me if I wanted to read book #5 in the series it was an automatic “Yes please” without reading any of the blurb.

So without further ado, let me show you what No Mercy is all about…

COULD YOU KILL IF JUSTICE FAILED YOU?

Highways Inspector, Derek Forster, couldn’t go on after the death of his wife. Even though he had a secret lover, he took his own life. Or did he?

Samson Capote, the restaurateur from hell, brutally attacked and left to die in a deep freezer. Did he antagonise too many people? Was he sharing Forster’s secret lover?

Millionaire entrepreneur, Clive Chesterton, falls from his yacht and drowns in Sovereign Harbour. Why did he have Forster’s missing journals in his cabin?

When Kent Fisher becomes a murder suspect, he realises he could be the next victim of a killer who shows no mercy.

Can Kent connect the deaths and solve the mystery before the killer gets to him? 

I am a big fan of this series and I adore the character of Kent Fisher an Environmental Health Officer who runs and animal sanctuary and solves the odd murder.

This is the latest in the Kent Fisher series and while you can read it as a stand-alone, why would you even want to, just read the series from the beginning.

So this book sees Kent right in the thick of things as usual, he is quite used to being in this position as he does seem to attack trouble. This time however he has things coming at him from all sides. It starts with his ex-girlfriend rocking up on his doorstep, then an alleged suicide starts the ball rolling. As the story pans out things gather momentum and a bigger picture is gradually seen.

This book could just as easily be called the Trials of Kent Fisher, except it wouldn’t fit with the “No” titles of the previous books. There are problems at work and on the home front and I felt really sorry for Kent having to deal with so much. But as one lead leads to another things gradually start coming to light until quite a dramatic final few pages when things are pieced together fully.

The author has once again done a cracking job with Kent Fisher, there are many different things going on in the story and not once did I feel confused. The pacing is spot on for me and suited the story so well. I do admit to being invested in this character and I am chuckling as I write this, because there were times when my blood boiled as I read parts of the story where Kent was being given a rough time by some of the powers that be! This is credit to the author for making this reader care about what happens to this fictional character.

I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Kent and the other characters, there are some old favourites as well as a few new ones that are pertinent to this story. The whole book was a pleasure to read and I sat and read it over one lazy evening.

If you like a good mystery series that has a wonderful classic ‘whodunit’ style as leads are followed and deductions are made, and if you haven’t yet come across Robert Crouch’s Kent Fisher series then do go and look it up, it is a fabulous series that I have loved from the very start. No Mercy is a cracking read and I would Definitely Recommend it.

Robert Crouch writes the kind of books he loves to read. Books ranging from the classic whodunit by authors like Agatha Christie, the feisty private eye novels of Sue Grafton, thrillers by Dick Francis, and the modern crime fiction of Peter James and LJ Ross.

He created Kent Fisher as an ordinary person, drawn into solving murders. He’s an underdog battling superior forces and minds, seeking justice and fair play in a cruel world. These are the values and motivations that underpinned Robert’s long career as an environmental health officer.

He now writes full time from his home in East Sussex. When not writing, he’s often find walking on the South Downs with his West Highland white terrier, Harvey, taking photographs and researching the settings for future Kent Fisher mysteries.

Follow Robert on – Website Twitter Facebook

Check out the series on Amazon UK

Million Eyes by C.R. Berry @CRBerry1 @rararesources #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Million Eyes by C.R. Berry. This is a book that has its toes dipped in a few genres and so in a way it makes it a book that may intrigue many readers… it certainly intrigued Me!

Let me show you what it is all about…

How do you fight an enemy who has a million eyes?

What if we’re living in an alternate timeline? What if the car crash that killed Princess Diana, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, and the shooting of King William II weren’t supposed to happen?

Ex-history teacher Gregory Ferro finds evidence that a cabal of time travellers is responsible for several key events in our history. These events all seem to hinge on a dry textbook published in 1995, referenced in a history book written in 1977 and mentioned in a letter to Edward III in 1348.

Ferro teams up with down-on-her-luck graduate Jennifer Larson to get to the truth and discover the relevance of a book that seems to defy the arrow of time. But the time travellers are watching closely. Soon the duo are targeted by assassins willing to rewrite history to bury them.

Million Eyes is a fast-paced conspiracy thriller about power, corruption and destiny.

Purchase LinksElsewhen PressAmazon UKAmazon US

I have to say that I do like a good conspiracy every now and again in my reading, Million Eyes has more than one conspiracy, in fact it has several that have been wonderfully woven back and forth in this historical /time travel fiction book.

Now where to start, Million Eyes, well I could tell you what Million Eyes is but I won’t, you will have to read the story to discover the details. There are several other things I could tell you, but… yep you guessed it… I’m not going tell you about them either lol!

So what I will tell you is that Ferro, a history teacher, has stumbled across something that could, if released to the public, turn what we know about our history on its head. He is obsessed with what he has found and wants to know more. Jennifer Larson has been following his blog and is intrigued, together they start to piece little snippets and leads together until they discover that there are obscure accounts that have been documented over the years that indicate that people from the future have been interfering, they have left evidence!

This has been very well written and as I have discovered from trying to write my review about this book, keeping a timeline that makes sense and doesn’t get muddled and confusing is a very difficult thing to do, but the author has pulled it off brilliantly so that it flows wonderfully.

The author has used parts of history and then spun them into a great setting for the story line that see’s the reader transported across centuries as a witness to the what unfolds. Given the fact that this is a story that does flit back and forth it is very easy to follow and know where in history you are. This attention to setting and timeline details is great.

I was enjoying this book a lot and liked the mystery and conspiracy elements to this story, then towards the 60% stage of the book little bombshells started to be dropped. I suddenly knew what Million Eyes and other things in the story were. This is the stage where I felt the story quicken its pace, or was that me suddenly desperate to know more and so began to read faster?

There are a few characters in this story and they are easy to keep up with, the settings are good and the timelines are clear. The story line is full of twists and turns that you don’t really get the full effect of until a lot later in the book and then you get the eureka moment without realising one was due! I do hope that makes sense …

This is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed, it is a mix of genres so if you like history, fiction, mystery, time travel or conspiracy theories in your reading then I really do recommend giving this book a read. It is the first in a planned trilogy and has been left with hints of a cliff hanger, but also nicely wrapped up to a point.

C.R. Berry caught the writing bug at the tender age of four and has never recovered. His earliest stories were filled with witches, monsters, evil headteachers, Disney characters and the occasional Dalek. He realised pretty quickly that his favourite characters were usually the villains. He wonders if that’s what led him to become a criminal lawyer. It’s certainly why he’s taken to writing conspiracy thrillers, where the baddies are numerous and everywhere.

After a few years getting a more rounded view of human nature’s darker side, he quit lawyering and turned to writing full-time. He now works as a freelance copywriter and novelist and blogs about conspiracy theories, time travel and otherworldly weirdness.

He was shortlisted in the 2018 Grindstone Literary International Novel Competition and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Storgy, Dark Tales, Theme of Absence and Suspense Magazine. He was also shortlisted in the Aeon Award Contest, highly commended by Writers’ Forum, and won second prize in the inaugural To Hull and Back Humorous Short Story Competition.

He grew up in Farnborough, Hampshire, a town he says has as much character as a broccoli. He’s since moved to the “much more interesting and charming” Haslemere in Surrey.

Social Media Links – TwitterFacebookWordPressGregory Ferro’s Blog Million Eyes

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Black Summer (Washington Poe Series #2) by M.W. Craven#Bookreview

I am so delighted to share my thoughts on Black Summer by M.W. Craven. This is #2 in the Washington Poe series. I adored the first book The Puppet Show, and had the second on pre-order for so long, so it will come as no surprise that I also have the 3rd book The Curator on pre-order and it is going to be an agonising wait until it is released on June 4th!

So with out further ado, let me show you what Black Summer is all about…

After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming . . .

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

When I started to read the first few sentences of Black Summer I thought to myself how nice they were… a few sentences later I thought Wow, that was a brutal intro! Within the matter of one page the author took me from sweet and charming to brutal yes in one single page. This is an author who knows exactly how to capture this reader from the very first page, and he held me in his literary grip right to the very last page. This was a one-sitting read!

I adored the characters of Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw when I was introduced to them in The Puppet Show and picking up Black Summer was like meeting up with friends. As much as I like Poe and his tenacity, I have to say that the social awkward Tilly is a readers dream. The author uses this character to inject perfect little comments that are occasionally not mentioned at the best moments, they inject a quick sense of humour.

The case that Poe finds himself in is one of an old crime. It calls into question the investigation and also Poe’s professionalism. Poe is a character who is hard-headed, uses his gut instincts and is confident. The possibility that he has messed up does cause a brief wobble in his armour and it is good to see him reach out and ask for help. Enter Tilly, the techno-genius, maths genius and profiler. What she lacks in people skills she more than makes up for in knowledge.

The case of a murdered girl turning up alive is a great basis for a story. But what comes after is where this author really does work some very devious and complex literary magic. He has created a story that is mesmerising and completely addictive. All the way through the story I discovered random facts that are connected with the investigation. These are woven into the story in such a way that they are part of the story.

The author uses the scenery of Cumbria to wonderful effect, his descriptions of the area are vivid and show an obvious knowledge, once again little facts are included adding another dimension to the story. For me, the characters of Poe & Tilly show a dynamic that has been developed since the last book, it feels like a natural progression. The story-line though is just Wow!

If you like crime thrillers, then if you have not already got this book on your shelf, then you really should. It is a fabulous 2nd in the series read that is just brilliant and I Absolutely Recommend it.

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

The Tear Collector by Shawn Burgess @ShawnBinJax @BOTBSPublicity #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Tear Collector by Shawn Burgess. This is a fabulous book for those that like spine-tingling reads. My huge thanks to Sarah at BOTBSPubicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this terrific book.

Now, lt me show you what it is all about…

The misdeeds of our ancestors are debts passed from generation to generation. They lurk, hidden in the shadows, waiting for the right time to be collected. For the residents of Harper Pass—their debt is due.

* * *

MISSING PERSON:
Have you seen Margo Combs?
Contact Detective Holt (918) 555-0155
You may choose to remain anonymous.

* * *

When a young autistic girl goes missing from a small Appalachian community, the residents of Harper Pass descend into chaos. Brooks Raker and his friends stumble across the police investigation, and as they dig deeper into the mysterious events, the boys realize the fate of their missing classmate pales in comparison with the evil lurking in the shadows of the quiet little town.

With four boys who believe something sinister is at work, and an ambitious reporter breathing down his neck, Detective Holt of the Harper Pass Police Department must confront his doubts and follow the evidence. A chain of disappearances and suspicious deaths, leads Holt to the doorstep of the mysterious and reclusive Professor Wadlow who may know exactly what has come to collect in Harper Pass.

Can the detective and the boys work together to unravel the dark secrets of Harper Pass before those secrets devour them all?

It has been a while since I picked up a horror story to read and The Tear Collector was such a great read. It has a wonderful supernatural air to it and it has been wonderfully mixed in with a crime thriller vibe. The book reminded me of a blend of Stephen King’s book, It and the film Stand by Me.

The story is of a community that is in the midst of some supernatural phenomenon that only a small group are becoming aware of. What this phenomenon actually is, is slowly revealed further in the book. A group of boys start to put things together and gradually start to work things out and they discover that they are not alone in realising something is wrong, but the adults seem to be unaware of events and come up with more rational ideas and theories.

It is when the boys start to experience strange dreams and discuss within their group that links are made, it adds a great coming of age feel to the story as friendships are brought closer and they stick by their motto of never leaving one of their group behind.

The community that the story is set in has the feel of a town holding on, by this I mean that people work hard and often have more than one job. But when a girl goes missing they pull together, on the flip side however, it is a community that is full of gossip and when suspicion.

The author has done such a fabulous job of creating a story that has a spine-tingling and ominous presence as I read it. There was a definite feeling of something malevolent looming and I really enjoyed the journey to get to the root cause of the mystery.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it was such an atmospheric and sinister feel to it, a well written story that had me hooked from those very first paragraphs right through till the end. A mystery with a good horror feel that I would definitely recommend.

Shawn Burgess has a BA in English from the University of Florida, and he focused on literature for his postgraduate studies at the University of North Florida. His travels have taken him to most parts of the country, where he often drew inspiration for his stories through meeting interesting people and experiencing unique places. Beware! If you find yourself behaving curiously within the crosshairs of his vision you might end up on one of his pages. In his spare time, Shawn enjoys travelling, attending concerts, reading, and playing golf. He typically makes year-round preparations for Halloween by building props and elaborate sets. Shawn claims Jacksonville, Florida as his home, but he has lived all over the southeastern United States. Many of his stories are set in those towns he once called home, or in fictional places inspired by them. He says, “I enjoy building upon the natural mysteries surrounding those areas I’ve personally experienced.” The Tear Collector is Shawn’s debut novel, but he’s currently working on a YA Fantasy novel, as well as The Tear Collector’s sequel. He is active on social media, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Facebook: shawnburgessauthor

Twitter: ShawnBinJax

Instagram: ShawnBinJax

Goodreads Author Page: Shawn Burgess

Website: http://www.shawnburgessauthor.com

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#TopReads – Books that I have loved this year (2019) by genre – (Part 1) Crime, Thriller, Mystery & Fiction Books #MeAndMyBooks

Now I know we still have another week to go before the actual end of the year, but I always do my Top Reads list before Christmas so I can maybe tempt anyone with a final Christmas present purchase, or for those who are lucky – to help you spend your Christmas book vouchers 😁I am listing my favourite reads by genre and the books are all the books I have chosen are ones I have read this year.

I have read 220 books at the time of writing this post so that means the books I have loved this year is vast. Because I have read for as long as I can remember, it means I have got very good at knowing the sort of books I like and think I will enjoy. This doesn’t mean I only stick with what I know, I do experiment and try new genres and styles.

Many books cross genres, I am going to list them by the genre that works for me 😁

Crime, Thriller, Mystery

Fiction

Come back tomorrow (Dec 22nd) to see my favourite book in Romance, Rom-Com & Historical fiction.

On the 23rd December I will be sharing my Top Reads in Fantasy, Distopia, Young Readers and Non-Fiction.

With all these amazing books I wonder which ones will make My Top 10 on Christmas Eve. I have picked 10 books that are special for many reasons. Then I do have one, yes One! Book that will take the Top Spot of – “My #1 Read of the Year!” Okay, I just made that up 🙂

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

In Plain Sight by Adam Croft @adamcroft #Bookreview

I am so delighted to share my thoughts on In Plain Sight by Adam Croft. I have several books by this author and have not read one yet! This has now changed and I am kicking myself for allowing this series to slip down my kindle reading list. My huge thanks to Lucy Croft for getting in touch and providing an e-copy of Adam’s latest book in the Knight & Culverhouse series.

Let me show you what it is all about…

A trail of death. A web of corruption. The ultimate betrayal.

A series of armed robberies on local petrol stations leaves Mildenheath CID chasing their tails. But things are about to get a whole lot worse.

When an elderly woman is killed during an armed raid on her jewellery shop, Knight and Culverhouse realise one of their own is involved — a police officer.

With the future of Mildenheath CID at stake and the lives of their loved ones under threat, time is running out — fast.

As they begin to investigate the web of corruption, they discover just how deep it runs — and how close to home. But are they prepared for the truth?

When I read the synopsis for this latest in the Knight & Culverhouse series I knew I wanted to read it. To be fair the synopsis for all the books in this series have been good, which is why I have bought several of them. In Plain Sight however, is the first I have read from the series and it is book #9! So I can honestly say that yes it does work well as a stand alone, and if like me you can’t seem to read in order, it is also a great way of sparking a definite interest to read the series from the beginning.

So, the synopsis does give the basic details for the story line of this book and it has a gritty feel to it, this is definitely continued into and throughout the story. As the case weaves it’s way through the streets of Mildenheath, I was introduced to various characters. There are those in the CID team, the odd local criminal as well as a few business owners and employees. Along with these, there are also those closest to Knight and Culnerhouse themselves.

The story deals with the police work and investigation dealing with the robberies of three petrol stations and also the death of a business owner. But it also combines the family and outside work lives of the two lead detectives. These personal stories add a good human interest aspect as it deals with things that go on at home, that do cause additional tension that does have a slight overflow into the work life.

There are various things I really enjoyed about the story. The crimes are realistic and well laid out with details and plots that are logical but not straight-forward. The personal stories have really interested me as even though I could easily follow them, there is obviously more that has previously happened that make me want to read the earlier books to catch up. This is especially the case with Culverhouse and his daughter Emily, and also with Knight and her new relationship.

I also liked how the author uses the recent PCC (Police and Crime Comissioner) aspect within his stroy. The use of an overseer with political leanings adds for really good reading and explosive interactions between the Commissioner and Culverhouse.

AS this is a well established series, the dynamics between the various member of the CID team is obvious. The author uses well developed characters and uses them to to good effect. Culverhouse is an old school copper who occassionally strays into the greyer aspects of policing and Knight is the one who tries to rein him in and steer him in the right direction with her voice of reason, not always succesfully either!

This was a fabulous read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a gritty, relevant police procedural with wonderful characters and a great story lines. An ideal read for crime fans and one I would definitely recommend.

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

The Poker Game Mystery by Peter Bartram @PeterFBartram @annecater #Bookreview

I am so delighted to share my thoughts on The Poker Game Mystery by Peter Bartram. I have read a few books by this author before and I have always enjoyed them. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this brilliant book.

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

Poker is a game for the dead lucky…

Crime reporter Colin Crampton discovers nightclub bouncer Steve Telford murdered. Colin can’t understand why five cards of a poker hand are laid out next to the body.As Colin investigates, he becomes entangled with three former special forces soldiers from the Second World War. All have motives to kill Telford. But Colin’s probe is derailed when a shock change at the Evening Chronicle puts the paper’s – and Colin’s – future in peril.The tension ratchets higher when the life of a young girl is on the line. Colin is forced to go head-to-head in a poker game with sinister newspaper owner Quentin Pell to save her.There are laughs alongside the action as Colin and his feisty girlfriend Shirley shuffle the cards and play the most dangerous game of all – with their own lives at stake.

Purchase LinkAmazon UK

Right from the off I am going to say that I am a big fan of this author’s main protagonist Colin Crampton and his side kick Shirley. Together they are brilliant and the author manages to create a very humorous dynamic between the two.

Colin is the Investigating reported for The Chronicle, a Brighton newspaper. Colin is in the front for getting the scoop when a body is discovered. The more Colin digs for more information the more he discovers. His girlfriend, Aussie model, Shirley is a brilliant wing man woman and, together they find themselves in the thick of things.

The thing I really like about these books is how even though there is a serious nature to the crimes that Colin investigates, the author injects a very dry old style sense of humour. This humour is very appropriate for the mid 1960’s setting of the book. There are many witty one liners that are the sort of jokes that make you roll your eyes at there cheesiness, but at the same time have you smirking.

As the crime is investigated it deepens, it takes various routes before the finale is finally reached. There are various leads that the dogged reporter has to follow, and let’s just say some of them are a little shady. But for Colin, the ends justifies the means and it could be a life changer for a young girl.

The author uses his experience as a journalist into his story so well. There are little things that have found there way naturally into the story that I found so interesting. Mentions of printing, paper and war time newspapers make an appearance. There were things that I was completely unaware of, but the experience and knowledge the author brings really does show.

This is a cosy mystery that I loved. I have read several of these books in the past and really enjoyed this old style sleuthing of the story. The stories are wonderfully worked out and have a good pace to them. There are some characters that make regular appearances and I have some definite favourites. Each book can be read as a stand-alone because each case Colin works on is followed from start to finish.

I think this series works really well as they are not entirely serious and because they have a reporter as the investigator it gives them a credible edge. It is also a really good way of getting a glimpse into the way newspapers and reporting was done in the 60’s.

This is a fabulous series with an inventive reporter who is prepared to take a risk. Who, along with his girlfriend, find themselves in the midst of danger and of bodies on a regular basis. How poor Shirley puts up with Colin I will never know, but I am so glad she does as they are fabulous.

If you are after a well written cosy mystery that will leave you with a grin on your face from the humour, that has a serious crime to be solved and is really well written then pick up the latest edition of one of Peter’s books. The Poker Game Mystery was brilliant and I highly recommend it.

Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime mystery series. His novels are fast-paced and humorous – the action is matched by the laughs. The books feature a host of colourful characters as befits stories set in Brighton, one of Britain’s most trend-setting towns.

You can download Murder in Capital Letters, a free book in the series, for your Kindle from www.colincrampton.com.

Peter began his career as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper before editing newspapers and magazines in London, England and, finally, becoming freelance. He has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700-feet down a coal mine and a courtier’s chambers at Buckingham Palace. Peter is a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.

Follow Peter on Facebook or Twitter

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The Reunion by Guillaume Musso #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Reunion by Guillaume Musso. I read this book a month or so ago and though it was about time I shared my review. I seem to have a few book reviews laying in the drafts section of my blog awaiting release!

Let me show you what The Reunion is all about…

WELCOME TO A SCHOOL REUNION YOU WON’T FORGET

FRENCH RIVIERA, WINTER 1992
On a freezing night, as her high school campus is engulfed by a snowstorm, 19-year-old Vinca Rockwell runs away with Alexis, her philosophy teacher.

No one will ever see them again.

FRENCH RIVIERA, SPRING 2017
Formerly inseparable, Thomas, Maxime and Fanny – Vinca’s best friends – have not spoken in twenty-five years. But when they receive an invitation to their school reunion, they know they must go back one final time.

Because there is a body buried in that school…

…and they’re the ones who put it there.

This is the first time I have read a book by this author. The premise of a school reunion has been turned into a dark and intriguing read. I have never been to a reunion and, while I do get the idea of catching up with old friends, it is not something I would enjoy. Yes, they would be old friends but also they would also be strangers to me.

The main character is Thomas, he is an author who is attending the reunion and while there he meets his own small group that he was friendly with at school. This group all have a secret and it is not the same secret. Gradually as the story unfolds the true depth of the past in unravelled. SOmethings that had been alluded to or guessed are finally unveiled in their true light. There are several things that have happened and, while they are connected they are also separate.

This book moves along at a good pace and flits between different times. I did find it initially confusing as the first couple of chapters where quite quick so I didn’t have time to find my feet with the story. Then the chapters gradually lengthen and I felt more interested in the story. I can’t say I liked any of the characters, they all seem to have a secret and this led to a general feeling of distrust towards them.

The book has a dark and devious feel to it, I would say it is a thriller as such due to the present day things going on. There are lies, secrets and an air of suspense though at times I did find it confusing and found that occasionally my attention was drifting from the story.

As I mentioned this is the first time I have read a book by this author and even though it did not fully have me enthralled and at times I got a bit confused, though I did enjoy it and I would definitely buy another book by this author.

The Reunion is a book that would suit readers who like a dark and twisted thriller story. I would recommend it.

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

Dark Deception by Amanda James @amandajames61 @Bloodhoundbook #Bookreview


I am absolutely delighted to share my thoughts on Dark Deception by Amanda James. Regulars to my blog will know that I am a big fan of Mandy’s books and they just get better and better.

Let me show you what here latest book is all about…

Who can you trust when the past won’t let you go?

Kerensa and Leo are a happily married young couple who live in Cornwall. Leo works part-time in London as an investment advisor to wealthy businessman, Paul Donaldson. The couple hope to start a family soon and life couldn’t be better.  

But Leo has been stealing from Paul and Paul isn’t the sort of man you steal from.  

When Leo realises that Paul knows what he’s done, he has no choice but to resort to drastic measures.  

Meanwhile, after discovering she is pregnant, Kerensa can’t wait for her husband to return home so she can share her news. But she soon discovers he’s gone missing.  

After receiving a threatening phone call from Paul, Kerensa realises how much trouble her family are in.  

Just how far is Paul prepared to go to get revenge? And will Kerensa ever be happy or safe again? 

Amanda James is also the bestselling author of novels including Another Mother and The Cornish Retribution. Dark Deception is a twisty and suspenseful psychological thriller which will appeal to fans of authors like C.L. Taylor, Claire McGowan and Louise Jensen. 

Well, Mandy James! What a devious lady you are! This is a very deceptive book with a very devious story line. You completely reeled me in with this tale and it was such an addictive read!

The synopsis does a great job of letting you know the basics of this story. The author then weaves a fabulous tale of deception, intrigue and mystery. What starts as a basic story about a married couple gradually turns into something far deeper, each chapter seems to add more intrigue and the suspense is slowly and surely ramped up.

I did have a couple of theories as I was reading, I will admit one of those theories turned out to be right. But the journey to whittle my theories down to the right one was fabulous. Even when I proven right there was more to come, more twists and turns than one of our Cornish lanes!

This author lives in Cornwall and to me this is very obvious in the reading of the setting descriptions. The little inlets, bays, cliffs and beaches all have cameo roles. I know the various places mentioned, and for me this adds the extras that I like in books that have a setting in the county I live.

As I mentioned this is a story of intrigue, deception and suspense. These elements give a fabulous psychological thriller feel. As the past is slowly pieced together the threads get more riveting as the depth of deception is realised.

This is such a brilliant read and I think the author has definitely created a fabulous psychological thriller. The story lines are wonderfully interwoven with the characters involved. Even when I thought I had a handle on the story the author deftly sidestepped me and had me avidly turning pages to discover what was going to happen next.

As I have mentioned, I have read a few books by Mandy, and this is my favourite one to date. It has an edgier feel to it and I feel the author has stepped up her writing. I have always really enjoyed her writing style, but this one just has that extra something to it.

A fabulous book and Amanda James is an author that I will automatically read. When I saw this book being offered as an advanced reader copy I requested it without even looking at the synopsis, for me this author is that good! Dark Deception is, as its title suggests, dark and deceptive, and it is a book I would Highly Recommend.

P.S… if you follow Mandy on Facebook you will know of the long awaited blooming of her Agapanthus,poor Aggie was a little shy at all the attention and it did seem to take forever. Why, I hear you ask, am I mentioning flowers? Well, I chuckled when I saw mention of an agapanthus in Dark Deception! A glimpse into an authors daily life! 🙂

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