#Review By Lou of Cut and Shut By Jonathan Peace #JonathanPeace @HobeckBooks #CrimeFiction #PoliceProcedural #Thriller #BlogTour

Cut and Shut
By Jonathan Peace

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Cut and Shut is book 3 of the Louise Miller Crime Series, but can also be read as a standalone. It’s been a great and gritty series so far. Discover the blurb and review below. Thanks to Hobeck Books for inviting me onto the blog tour in exchange of an honest review.

Blurb

June, 1989

Tensions are high – tempers short 
Following a stupid, drunken car theft, the tragic deaths of three local lads uncovers a powder keg of racial intolerance and bigotry.

A vicious attack
When two Muslim brothers are violently attacked, WDC Louise Miller sees her hometown with jaded eyes, shocked that so many of her colleagues are reluctant to get involved or help in any way those they once called neighbours.

A terrible truth
As she investigates, Louise, accompanied by WDC Hines and psychologist Karla Hayes, discovers links between the car theft and the assault but worse; the racial tensions that now threaten to tear the community apart, have masked an even darker crime – one that has gone long undiscovered, but will have devastating consequences.

Review

Set in Yorkshire, WDC Louise Miller is a strong character as she stands up for justice whoever the victims and readily. The crime is another deep one to contend with, this time 2 Muslim brothers are violently attacked. The series is set in the 1980’s and Close and Shut is another gritty, twisty book. As the investigation gets underway for a car theft leaving people dead, racial tensions, bigotry and secrets are exposed. It gets darker, still, as there are links between the local garage, a pub landlord and a sinister political party. The book is set in the 1980’s and Jonathan Peace takes readers into the darker side of the decade and certain parts that linger, such as bigotry and racism in certain quarters. 

In the mix, there’s also something more to be revealed about Miller, Hines and Hayes in their personal lives like relationship issues. I like this in police procedurals as it gives characters rounded lives and Jonathan Peace writes it as well as the investigation itself.

It’s a fast-paced read that can be read as part of a series and standalone. It was a book that says this series is certainly well-underway into further growth and feels established and memorable already. 

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#Review By Lou of Murders At The Montgomery Hall Hotel By Gina Kirkham @GinaJeeJay @Bloodhoundbook @LoveBooksGroup #BlogTour

Murders At The Montgomery Hall Hotel
By Gina Kirkham

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A cosy mystery with quirks and entertainment where a murder mystery game has more than anyone bargained for. Thanks to Love Books Group for the invitation and book, in return for an honest review, which you can find below, as well as the blurb.

Blurb

A sleuthing librarian and her friends spend a weekend at a generations-old estate where they discover murder runs in the family . . .

Prunella Pearce, Bree, and the other ladies of the Winterbottom Women’s Institute are planning to visit Montgomery Hall Hotel for the murder-mystery weekend—just as the historic venue’s past comes back to haunt it.

The hotel is now in the incapable hands of Tarragon Montgomery, with its faltering finances overseen by elderly matriarch Cecily.

Meanwhile, the local actress hired to play Psychic Selma for the weekend has been replaced by an impostor. But who is she, and what is her agenda?

Pru and Bree have some experience solving mysteries, but as Montgomery Hall is engulfed by a storm and the bodies start piling up, they may need a little assistance from Pru’s delectable detective, Andy Barnes, in order to crack the case .

Review

The idea of a sleuthing librarian appealed a lot. Librarians, after all, see and know lots, and I should know, having worked and now volunteer lead in a library. There are plenty of secrets for the sleuthing librarian, Prunella (Pru) to uncover at Montgomery Hall, with best friend Bree in tow, A place, it seems, not only perfect to hold a Murder Mystery Game Weekend, but also for a murder to happen for real. It certainly turns the WI activity into something very different from what they were expecting. There is also much humour, that is well written. It’s a mix of dark humour and innuendo humour. You just see the characters having fun.
The mystery itself is interesting as secrets spill out as drinks flow, which makes things in the building that is in desperate need of repair.

Overall, it’s an entertaining read to easily settle down to and, even though this is book 2 in the series, it can also be read, just as well as a standalone.

#Review By Lou of Promise Me By Jill Mansell @JillMansell @Emily_JP @headlinepg @HeadlineFiction #ContemporaryFiction #readingcommunity #booktwt

Promise Me
By Jill Mansell

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Promise Me by Jill Mansell is delightful and so engaging it is hard to put down as it pulled you immediately into the village of Foxwell. I was delighted to win this book in a competition ran by Headline Books. I entered having enjoyed previous books by Jill Mansell, long before I even began my blog. Find out what I thought of this one below and also discover the blurb below.

Blurb

One minute Lou is happily employed, with a perfect flat. The next, her home and job have gone. Suddenly she has to start over.

The last thing Lou wants is to move to a tiny Cotswolds village. She certainly doesn’t intend to work for curmudgeonly eighty-year-old Edgar Allsopp. But Edgar is about to make her the kind of promise nobody could ignore. In return, she secretly vows to help him fall in love with life again.

Foxwell is also home to Remy, whose charm and charisma are proving hard to ignore. But Lou hasn’t recovered from the last time she fell for a charmer. She needs a distraction – and luckily one’s about to turn up.

Secrets never stay hidden for long in Foxwell, nor are promises always kept. And no one could guess what lies ahead…

Review

With a main character called Lou, how could I possibly resist? That and Jill Mansell’s sublime writing, this is a book to slink back in a chair and take time to enjoy what is an engaging story.

Jill Mansell is one of the masters of having a main character and then also writing all sorts of characters, just as strongly, round about them, to create a whole community of all different ages in a charming setting and she’s done it again in Promise Me. She will also make you feel many emotions and has a knack of having you care one way or another about each character and be entranced by the words on the page, that suddenly sail by, as does time and before you know it, you’ve reached the end, and what a great ending it is.

There is a map of Foxwell and it looks ready to jump right in and begin a new life there, which is what Lou does. She feels she needs to move onwards with her life and for her, that means moving to a small, seemingly idyllic village in the Cotswolds. It totally has small village vibes, when you look beyond the perfect setting. It consists of people knowing each other and there being secrets that never are that for long and people breaking promises. Edgar is different and he makes a promise of a lifetime for her and vows to keep to it.

Edgar, an octogenarian curmudgeon is perfectly written, I’m sure everyone has or will come across a curmudgeon at some point. Lou ends up, unplanned, working for him and he seems a guy whose curmudgeoness is in every ounce of his body, heart and soul and is evident in absolutely everything, but then he has had some disappointments in his life. The pairing between him and Lou is great! Readers will see how she opens up his world too, which is heartwarming.

 There are also subplots pulled in as you get to know other people if Foxwell, such as Jess, who has an uncle who owns the antique shop and a dog called Captain Oates. There’s Sammy who’s perhaps going to be a music sensation and more… There’s also a single guy in town. Could there be someone perfect for Lou?
You get to see all the different relationships develop as well as the various buildings within the village and the food in the restaurant sounds delicious!

This is  a book I terrific book, which highly recommend. It’s a Must Read for a heartwarming story with life about it.

#BookReview of Wahala By Nikki May @NikkiOMay @TransworldBooks #ContemporaryFiction #LiteraryFiction #Wahala

Wahala
By Nikki May

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Wahala means Trouble. It’s been said that it will be a major BBC TV series. With so many themes, you can see there’s a lot to work with. The cover is striking, the blurb is eye-catching and my review will reveal the rest of my opinions below. Thanks first to TransworldBooks for the book to review.

Blurb

Ronke, Simi, Boo are three mixed-race friends living in London.

They have the gift of two cultures, Nigerian and English.

Not all of them choose to see it that way.

Everyday racism has never held them back, but now in their thirties, they question their future. Ronke wants a husband (he must be Nigerian); Boo enjoys (correction: endures) stay-at-home motherhood; while Simi, full of fashion career dreams, rolls her eyes as her boss refers to her urban vibe yet again.

When Isobel, a lethally glamorous friend from their past arrives in town, she is determined to fix their futures for them.

Cracks in their friendship begin to appear, and it is soon obvious Isobel is not sorting but wrecking. When she is driven to a terrible act, the women are forced to reckon with a crime in their past that may just have repeated itself.

Review

Wahala is an African word. Most commonly used in Nigeria. In this context, it means trouble! There’s plenty of troubles within this book for the characters to navigate and issues outside and within themselves to handle. Will they handle them in a good way or not and what will the outcome be is the question for the friends.

The world is always interesting and wherever you go, whatever your background is, food and friendship is universal. Wahala has both of those in abundance. Wahala is set in London but you’ll learn a bit about Nigeria, including Nigerian food, including recipes.

Meet friends, Ronke, Boo, Simi and Isobel. Their lives, lavish with the lovely things life has to offer, in some respect,  and readers can follow them as they chase their dreams. Ronke has a desire to have a husband and decided he must be Nigerian. Boo endures motherhood, Simi desires to have a fashion career.

There is humour and also some waspish anger. It’s sharply written and is fast-paced and you’ll reach the end before you know it because suddenly, it is easy to be immersed in each of the characters lives. When Isobel is one the scene, things are shaken up in the other women’s lives, who have known each other for years and there’s some provocation that develops and cracks appear. It’s interesting to see how the dimension changes within this friendship group.

It’s a book that isn’t just one thing. It has very sad tensions that develop too, coupled with the joy of food and socialising. It is a very multilayered  book of all sorts of relationship troubles, identity troubles, race troubles, past troubles. So Wahala does what it says on the cover, so don’t expect a cosy friendship book where everything is uncomplicated, here lots in their lives become so, but there is entertainment to be had. It has a certain balance that becomes captivating, with a surprising and good way to end Wahala.

#BookReview By Lou of Earthman By David Munro #DavidMunro #Earthman #HistoricalFiction #1960s #SciFi #RomanticFiction

Earthman
By David Munro

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Earthman By David Munro is a cross between science fiction and historical fiction with a touch of romance. Set in the 1960s, it is an intriguing book of adventure and perilous times. Discover the blurb and my review below. Thanks first to David Munro for asking me to review. He’s written several books, including Georgina, a historical fiction book. Earth man is published today- Monday 16th January 2023.

Synopsis

EARTHMAN is set in 1962 and a time when the Cold War was at its height. in October of that year, America and Russia were about to unleash a nuclear holocaust on the planet and civilisation held its breath.
The story begins in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands. A stranger with an American accent appears from nowhere and interest amongst locals heighten. He is befriended by a young woman who takes a shine to him. She has graduated from university and seeks adventure. Being stifled in a rural highland village is suffocating her. When she learns about the stranger’s identity and a mission he has to complete, Emily accompanies Jack Brewster on an adventure. It is the opportunity she has been waiting for.
The story has a mysterious slant and a sub-plot which involve an alien race. The avoidance of a nuclear war between the super-powers in the story is a strong possibility.

Review

As Russia unleashes its Might now, it unleashed its strength in 1962, the year of The Cold War and not even remote Scottish villages up in the Highlands were immune for the worry of what might happen next…
This is where the book is historical fiction as it recounts that very real threat on the world. 

Jack, the main protagonist, is where some of the science fiction lies. He has other problems of his own, trying to get his story of being abducted by aliens believed. He just knows that the President of the USA needs to be alerted to the danger the world is in. But then historical fiction, sci-fi and romantic fiction all collide and merge and meld together.

The book begins in Plockton, a village in the Highlands of Scotland. It seems all idyllic with the loch as part of its scenery and the local chit-chat as people go about their daily lives. Not all is quite well as there’s been a theft in the village. Emily lives in Plockton and is bored of small village life and feels it closing in, near to the point of suffocation. She wants to live more and add more to her life experiences. She and others are ready to leave because they’re not going to get what they seek in the Scottish Highlands. She is in need of adventure and that is provided, when she meets Jack Brewster, who has the wildest story ever to be told. The difference in culture is also stark as they learn about each other. At first he lies to her and she can see right through him, which makes her even more curious about him. She does find out more about Jack and the mission he knows he needs to embark on. It’s all too enticing for Emily. It is of course her ticket out of her current predicament. Within here lies adventure and a touch of romance.

The book is has a fast-paced narrative that carries that sense of immediacy and tension as the plot builds within the political situation and a space race. It is a bit surreal in parts, but worth sticking with as this is far from full-on Sci-fi. It is an intriguing book with a human who has great insight and some strange experiences. He has a device that can see into the future, securing his insights , the question is, will he be believed and complete his mission? 

 

#BookReview By Lou of Escape to Darling Cove By Holly Hepburn @HollyH_Hepburn @BookMinxSJV @simonschusterUK #EscapeToDarlingCove this #winter it is a #Heartwarming #SeasideRetreat #ContemporaryFiction #romfic #BlogTour

Escape To Darling Cove
By Holly Hepburn

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Picturesque settings and a lovely writing style is, in part of what you get with Escape to Darling Cove. Thanks to Sara Jade Virtue aka BookMinx at Simon and Schuster, I have a review as part of the blog tour. Paddle down to discover the blurb and review as well as a glimpse of a cover that looks good to step into.

 

Eve has always lived on Ennisfarne, an idyllic island just off the coast of Northumberland and only accessible when tides are low. There she runs a bar overlooking Darling Cove, a heavenly horseshoe-shaped beach named after her seafaring ancestors, whose links to the Farne Islands stretch back centuries.Logan is a famous photographer desperate to evade the limelight after a difficult break-up. Renting a cottage from Eve, he chooses Ennisfarne in the hope of anonymity but is immediately spellbound by its natural beauty.The pair don’t get off to the best start, butting heads over Eve’s adorable but boisterous Chocolate Labrador. But when Logan’s true identity is revealed, Eve realises her new tenant isn’t quite the man she thought he was. Is it too late to start again or will Logan’s island escape be over almost before it’s begun?
The brand new novel from Holly Hepburn, author of Coming Home to Brightwater Bay, will whisk you away to a sublime seaside retreat you’ll never want to leave. 

Picture it now, stepping into a sandy cove at Ennisfarne, Northumberland with atmospheric views that even inspired the artist, Turner to pull out his paints and easel to recreate the scenes on canvas. Holly Hepburn has pulled out her writing instruments so you can paint the scenes in your imagination. It is like a painting in words. This is of course, not a book about that great landscape artist – Turner, he just happens to get a mention; rather it is about fictional characters Logan and Eve and their lives in this part of Northumberland.

Love and breaking up is never easy. Logan has gone to Ennisfarne because he’s just split from a one time love and to escape whatever the press may have to say about it. He’s a famous photographer. Breaking up is complicated when the lady who was in his life still appears to have feelings and there’s a lot to work out. Hepburn puts a great slant on this side of life and one that’s quite different as it isn’t one of all animosity in the beginning and how everything changes in an instant as his ex girlfriend, Suki suddenly has other ideas… Being famous in the public-eye, being in love and breaking up isn’t easy once everyone gets wind of it.

Eve Darling works in a bar and doesn’t initially have warm thoughts towards Logan Silk, although she sees him as good looking, she also notes he’s arrogant with what she would term as old-style attitudes. There is actually a great humour to be found in certain situations and her thoughts that hold quick-witted quips. How will it all end in what is a well written ending?

With its scenery that is a feast for the eyes, a plot and characters that makes compulsive reading, Escape To Darling Cove is another wonderful book from Holly Hepburn that will stay in your heart and mind. It’s a must read for fans of contemporary fiction.