#Review By Lou of Black Hearts By Doug Johnston @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks #BlackHearts #TheSkelfs #BlogTour #skelfaholics @RandomTTours #TartanNoir

Black Hearts
By Doug Johnstone

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A welcome return of The Skelfs, a family who run a funeral parlour and are also Private Investigators in Edinburgh. I am on the blog tour today, thanks to Orenda Books and Random Things Tours for the invite and book. Find out more in the blurb and then onto my review below.


Death is just the beginning…

The Skelf women live in the shadow of death every day, running the family funeral directors and private investigator business in Edinburgh. But now their own grief interwines with that of their clients, as they are left reeling by shocking past events.

A fist-fight by an open grave leads Dorothy to investigate the possibility of a faked death, while a young woman’s obsession with Hannah threatens her relationship with Indy and puts them both in mortal danger. An elderly man claims he’s being abused by the ghost of his late wife, while ghosts of another kind come back to haunt Jenny from the grave … pushing her to breaking point.

As the Skelfs struggle with increasingly unnerving cases and chilling danger lurks close to home, it becomes clear that grief, in all its forms, can be deadly…


Beware of the single magpie on the cover…. “One for Sorrow” and all that. Grief can have consequences and people can behave oddly and “Black Hearts” becomes both literal and figurative. As grief takes hold, guilt also seeps in.
 Family is at the heart of this series of books and a love of music also creeps in.

The Skelfs are funeral directors, as a family, turned Private Investigators, so also deal with families in their many states of life on a day to day basis. Readers can follow this latest case as well as the backstory of the Skelfs themselves and delves deeper into their personalities and lives.

The lives of the Skelfs are in danger; Dorothy takes on a missing person’s case and little does she know what would come next…
Hannah has a disturbing problem to contend with – she is being stalked.
With so much at stake and so much to deal with, its a gripping read.

What occurs in Black Hearts is totally chilling, but with the dark humour that has been established in this series of books and always cuts through well in this Edinburgh based haunting mystery, as does the warmth that cosies it up, just a little, to show a little shed of light through the Black Hearts.

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