#Review By Lou of Marple By #AgathaChristie; #NaomiAlderman; #LeighBardugo; #AlyssaCole; @lucyfoleytweets; @ellygriffiths; #NatalieHaynes ; @JeanKwok; @valmcdermid; #KarenM.McManus; #DredaSayMitchell; @katemosse; @RuthWareWriter #Marple @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam @HarperCollinsUK

Marple
By Agatha Christie; Naomi Alderman;
Leigh Bardugo; Alyssa Cole; Lucy Foley;
Elly Griffiths; Natalie Haynes; Jean Kwok; Val McDermid; Karen M. McManus; Dreda Say Mitchell; Kate Mosse; Ruth Ware

 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I have been given the wonderful opportunity to read and review Marple, thanks to Harper Fiction/Harper Collins. I myself have read all of the Miss Marple (and Poirot) books and watched many on tv in their many incarnations too.


Blurb


A brand new collection of short stories featuring the Queen of Crime’s legendary detective Jane Marple, penned by twelve remarkable bestselling and acclaimed authors.

This collection of twelve original short stories, all featuring Jane Marple, will introduce the character to a whole new generation. Each author reimagines Agatha Christie’s Marple through their own unique perspective while staying true to the hallmarks of a traditional mystery.
· Naomi Alderman
· Leigh Bardugo
· Alyssa Cole
· Lucy Foley
· Elly Griffiths
· Natalie Haynes
· Jean Kwok
· Val McDermid
· Karen M. McManus
· Dreda Say Mitchell
· Kate Mosse
· Ruth Ware

Miss Marple was first introduced to readers in a story Christie wrote for The Royal Magazine in 1927 and made her first appearance in a full-length novel in 1930’s The Murder at the Vicarage. It has been 45 years since Agatha Christie’s last Marple novel, Sleeping Murder, was published posthumously in 1976, and this collection of ingenious new stories by twelve Christie devotees will be a timely reminder why Jane Marple remains the most famous fictional female detective of all time.

Review

Miss Marple, at first glance, just some old nosy, but endearing woman in St. Mary’s Meed. In reality, she is a warm, astute woman who isn’t anything to do with the police as such, but gets involved in solving all sorts of crimes and delivering her findings to the often unamused police who put up with her; after all, she is always right and knows how to track down the clues and gets the results.

Agatha Christie created around 25 stories surrounding her character – Miss Marple, all complete within themselves and can often be seen within collections or as solo books. They have also been created into tv dramas by at least 5 different actors playing her at various times. She is the ultimate “Queen of Crime!” A title that was bestowed upon her some time ago and is still true today. She has become the benchmark for cosy crime and the author, many of her contemporaries have also clearly studied, admired and been inspired by. The authors involved have all created their own novels and characters within their own right before this book emerged.

Each author, even though they have their original ideas, seems to have respect for Agatha Christie and Miss Marple. This nicely comes through when reading each story. I was excited to receive this book, but also had an air of trepidation as anyone might when other people write with such a well-known character, but that quickly fell away. Each author has their own spin on things, but each has got the essence of Agatha Christie’s writing down rather well. They have captured the personality of Miss Marple and her quirks and created contemporary, twisty crimes to solve. They’ve managed to retain that immersive quality of trying to guess whodunnit that each Christie story has.

It is a good book for people who either have a love of Miss Marple or to introduce and inspire people to read this and then delve into the original stories.

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#Review by Lou of The Cruise By Catherine Cooper @catherinecooper @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #CrimeFiction #TheCruise #BlogTour #HolidayRead #ChristmasRead

The Cruise
By Catherine Cooper

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Today I am on the blog tour for Catherine Cooper’s latest mystery thriller – The Cruise, thanks to Random T. Tours and Harper Collins. Join a deadly glamorous trip of a lifetime and follow the passengers to discover the culprit. It’s a great murder mystery as we approach the festive season of Christmas and New Year. Discover the blurb and my review below.

Blurb

A glamorous ship. A mysterious cast of passengers. And a New Year’s Eve party that goes horribly wrong…

During a New Year’s Eve party on a large cruise ship in the Caribbean, the ship’s dancer, Lola, disappears. The ship is searched and the coastguard is called, but there is no sign of her, either dead or alive.

Lola was popular on the ship but secretive about her background, and as the mystery around her deepens, everyone on board becomes a suspect. Who was she arguing with the night she vanished?

Why did she come aboard the cruise in the first place? What was she running from?

Review

Immanis is is highly glamorous and very large cruise ship captained by Leo. It oozes glamour and the height of sophistication from the start. Just the amount of bars and restaurants are enough to make me gasp! It is a joy to read of such sumptuous surroundings. The cruise ship is so huge, on one hand you’d think it would be hard for someone to go completely missing, with people knowing traveller’s names, and yet on the other hand, so easy as people go about their new year holiday in the Caribbean and because there are so many and it’s so huge. Lola, one of the crew mysteriously goes missing. Superintendent Bailey and Bill are on the case to discover what happened to her, using all the technology they have at their disposal and by conducting the necessary interviews.
There’s also a lot of speculation surrounding her disappearance amongst the crew. It’s also interesting to read about things from the ship’s doctor’s point of view.

The mystery also takes readers to Inverness, a city in the north of Scotland. The book also whisks readers back to 2013, Catford in London. Then the timeline moves again to 2016, a very interesting year and when more of the story comes together, so it’s worth sticking with. It’s intriguing and it intensifies as the story goes on. Between the past and present, it all becomes rather twisty with an unexpected ending.

#Review By Lou of The Unfamily By Linda Huber @LindaHuber19 @HobeckBooks #Thriller #DomesticNoir #PsychologicalThriller

The Un-Family
By Linda Huber

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Today I have a review of the Un-Family, a twisty psychological thriller by Linda Huber, thanks to Hobeck Books for inviting me to review.

For better, for worse

Wildlife vet Holly’s life seems blissful: husband Dylan is the man of her dreams, she has a rewarding career and a lovely home. And yet, a tiny niggle is growing daily. Dylan is becoming increasingly remote – but why? Holly is determined to mend the fissure in their relationship. But a shocking discovery changes everything…  

Family ties

Then there’s Dylan’s family: his wayward twin Seth and their widowed mother Elaine, who is rather fond of a glass or two of sherry. Nothing in Elaine’s life is easy, bringing up teenage granddaughter Megan while the family grieves the loss of Megan’s mother.

Family lies

A tragic event rocks the foundations of the family, and Holly’s life starts to unravel. Dylan drifts ever further away. Megan is left uncertain and alone, while Seth falls deeper into himself.

The bonds that once bound the family together are breaking. Can they ever be repaired?

Review

The Un-Family is a psychological thriller with an incredibly dysfunctional family at its heart. It’s a slow burner but it’s intriguing and a page-turner of secrets and lies, but the beginning and ending are explosive! The characters are deeply complex and authentic in feel and is an oddly compelling read. The themes include love, addiction and obsession.

This is how to watch one family implode. On the face of it, the family could be like any happy family. Holly is very happy with being a vet and her career is progressing well. Dylan is just the man she’d always desired. All on that, on the surface sounds like a perfect romance. Scrub that! This is dark, complex and twisty and there’s more than just a touch of toxicity in the air.

An event occurs that rocks the family and everything starts to fall apart in quite chilling and spectacular fashion as the family start to break apart. Instead of any of them coming together, they drift further apart and volatility emerges. Along with a volatile situation, the tension builds and has you gripping on to see how it could all end.

#BookReviews By Lou of The Patient and The Politician By Tim Sullivan @TimJRSullivan @HoZ_Books #ThePatient #ThePolitician #Thrillers #BlogTour

The Patient
The Politician

By Tim Sullivan

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Today, at a time of day a bit later than normal due to personal circumstance, I am on the blog tour to review both The Patient and The Politician. Some dark humour going on here as I find myself being an actual patient, although very different from that of the book, thankfully, and the fractured bones I have will heal. Sense of humour is still intact, so I see the unintended black humour and irony in being laid up and reviewing a thriller called The Patient first. Really first of all I thank the publisher – Head of Zeus and Tim Sullivan for contacting me to request I reviewed the books and what a pleasure it was. I have reviewed them both together. First discover the blurbs and then my reviews.

No fingerprints. No weapon. No witnesses. Can DS Cross prove it was murder?

THE DETECTIVE

DS George Cross doesn’t rely on guesswork and he has no time for false assumptions. He is a detective who goes off the evidence in front of him, not ‘hunches’ or ‘gut feelings’. He does not know what these are.

THE CLOSED CASE

When a young woman is found dead, the Bristol Crime Unit is quick to rule it a suicide as the woman had a long history of drug abuse. But her mother is convinced it was murder, saying that her daughter had been clean for years and had been making strides in a new therapy programme.

THE ANSWER

As an outsider himself, DS Cross is drawn to cases involving the voiceless and dispossessed and, here, the evidence states that this woman was murdered – Cross just has to prove it. But under pressure from his boss to shut down the case, and with numerous potential suspects, time is rapidly running out to get the answers that this grieving family deserve.

Perfect for fans of M.W. Craven, Peter James and Joy Ellis, The Patient is part of the DS George Cross thriller series, which can be read in any order.

A ransacked room. A dead politician. A burglary gone wrong – or a staged murder?

THE DETECTIVE

DS George Cross loves puzzles – he’s good at them – and he immediately spots one when he begins investigating the death of former mayor Peggy Frampton. It looks like a burglary that went horribly wrong to most but George can see what others can’t – that this was murder.

THE PUZZLE

After her political career ended, Peggy became a controversial blogger whose forthright opinions attracted a battalion of online trolls. And then there’s her family: an unfaithful husband and a gambling-addicted son. With yet more enemies in her past, the potential suspects are unending.

THE SUSPECTS

Cross must unpick the never-ending list of seedy connections to find her killer – but the sheer number of suspects is clouding his usually impeccable logic. He’s a relentlessly methodical detective, but no case can last forever. And politics can be a dangerous game – especially for people who don’t know the rules . . .

Perfect for fans of M.W. Craven, Peter James and Joy Ellis, The Politician is part of the DS George Cross thriller series, which can be read in any order.

Reviews


DS George Cross is on the case in both The Patient and The Politician, which can be read as stand alone and in any order.

The Patient is the first book I read. skills are not his fortè. It soon becomes apparent that D.S. Cross is on the autistic spectrum and is quite high functioning. It makes for some interesting and different interactions around the office as banter is not his thing but he gets fairly fixated on crime solving.
He works for the Major Crime Unit (MCU) in Bristol. The death of Sandra’s daughter looks like suicide or an accident, but Sandra believes it was murder. DI Campbell, meanwhile isn’t happy about Cross re-opening the Felicity Wilson case. This in itself poses questions as to why and causes some tensions between those two and Carson, that then increases the compelling nature to continue to read on. There is the themes of suicide and assisted suicide, which is interesting and also the fact that it was assumed the victim had indeed committed suicide, but D.S. Cross and her mother, especially the mother, are adamant to look again to uncover the murderous truth.

The Politician is Tim Sullivan’s latest book is also compelling and rather intriguing. There is the death of former local politician and ex-mayor Peggy Frampton that is the next case for DS George Cross to solve. In retirement she had some strong opinions about construction companies that resulted in her being trolled (shows the state of society and truly highlights the issue surrounding how people choose to (mis)behave). What a life Peggy lived, so much in the limelight, but all was not rosy. She had her enemies, which are uncovered as the police dig deep into the corners of her life, even her husband was unfaithful to her.

In both books, the further the surface is removed, the darker the under-layers become!

Both books have their red herrings to successfully throw readers off the scent a bit and to cast doubt in their minds when trying to figure out who the perpetrators are. The lack of obvious evidence in both books adds intrigue as all the signs initially point to a suicide (The Patient), a burglary gone wrong (The Politician), which even though, given the nature of the type of crime books they are, adds exceptionally well to the thriller as it is more pieces of the puzzle, of people’s lives the police (and reader), needs to piece together and the more taut it becomes, the deeper the investigations are dug into.

Tim Sullivan writes intriguing plots and complex characters with thought provoking themes in a way that makes them compelling. The endings could possibly be stronger, but these are books worth investing time in what fast becomes engaging storytelling in both The Patient and The Politician. These are the 3rd and 4th in the series. I have not read the first two, but that doesn’t detract from the 2 I have read as I felt I got a good grasp of the recurring characters and the mysteries are complete by the end of the books.

 

#BookReview by Lou of Murder Most Royal By S.J. Bennett @sophiabennett @ZaffreBooks #CosyCrime #CosyMurderMystery @CompulsiveReaders #BlogTour

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Murder Most Royal

By S.J Bennett 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I am on a blog tour today for Murder Most Royal, thanks to Compulsive Readers. Discover the blurb and review below for this cosy mystery.

Blurb

December 2016 – A severed hand is found washed up on a beach next to the Queen’s estate at Sandringham.

Elizabeth has become quite accustomed to solving even the most complex of murders. And though she quickly identifies the 70-year-old victim, Edward St Cyr, from his signet ring, the search for his killer is not so straightforward.

St Cyr led an unconventional, often controversial life, making many enemies along the way in the quiet, rural world of North Norfolk, where everyone knows each other’s business.

But when a second man is found dead, and a prominent local woman is nearly killed in a hit-and-run, the mystery takes an even darker turn.

With the Christmas break coming to an end, the Queen and her trusted assistant Rozie must race to discover how the pieces of the puzzle fit together. Or the next victim may be found even closer to home.

Agatha Christie meets The Crown in MURDER MOST ROYAL, the much-anticipated third book in the ‘Her Majesty The Queen Investigates’ mystery series by SJ Bennett – for fans of The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, Agatha Christie and M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin.

Review

Cosy crime readers will enjoy this different take on characters. You’ll see the royals as you’ve never seen them before, nor Sandringham, which is where this book in the series is predominantly set. It’s perhaps a somewhat poignant read knowing Her Majesty the Queen is no longer with us, but still, it’s quirky having her as an investigator. I suspect she may have been a good investigator as it was said that she took interest in people. She has an assistant, Rozie and they’re quite the duo to get to the bottom of a crime and unearth truths.

It is a bit of a different read due to the characters, but it is a cosy read, which brings entertainment along the way.

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50 Books To Read If You’re An Armchair Detective By Eric Karl Anderson @lonesomereader @MurdochBooksUK @RandomTTours #BlogTour #50BooksToRead

50 Books To Read If You’re…
An Armchair Detective
By Eric Karl Anderson

*****

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If you’re that armchair detective who likes to solve puzzles, then this is the perfect book for you, where you’ll find 50 book recommendations of the detective sub-genre of crime fiction. It is perfect for yourself or as a present for your partner-in-crime. They set me up good and proper with free gifts of a notepad and small pencil, detective glasses and magnifying glass to solve the cases. Thanks to Random T Tours for the invite and Murdoch Books UK for the surprise gifts and book. Investigate more in pics, blurb and review below…

 

A book lover’s guide to the 50 most iconic and interesting ‘cosy crime’ novels.

By Eric Karl Anderson

50 Books to Read If You’re an Armchair Detective is the perfect gift for book-loving friends.

Part of a new series of gift books celebrating books and reading, 50

Books to Read If You’re an Armchair Detective is packed full of

inspiration for fans of cosy crime to discover lesser-known books and revisit forgotten classics.

Whether you’re a Richard Osman fan or a Sherlock Holmes devotee, bibliophile and book blogger Eric Karl Anderson will introduce you to some new and unexpected novels. The book includes an interactive element with space for star ratings, lists of favourite reads, thoughts and dates for beginning and finishing books.

Encompassing a range of authors and books, from classic to contemporary, 50 Books to Read If You’re an Armchair Detective offers the lucky reader plenty of scope to discover the best cosy crime books across the globe.

Review

This is perfect for armchair detectives and would even make a perfect gift for someone or a treat for yourself. This book has a bit about contemporary titles and their authors, such as The Thursday Murder Club By Richard Osman, In The Woods By Tana French, The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis, The Windsor Knot By S.J Bennett to Classic Crime such as Moonshine By Wilkie Collins, The Mysterious Affair At Styles By Agatha Christie and perhaps lesser known titles to discover such as from the mid 1900s such as The Clock Strikes Twelve by Patricia Wentworth, Why Shoot A Butler By Georgette Heyer. This is only a small selection of what you can find in this beautiful compact book that is full of useful and interesting information. Readers can also keep themselves organised at the back of the book as there are pages to write thoughts and lists on. It is a real gem of a book for avid and new readers alike.