#Review By Lou of Murder At The Summer Fete By Victoria Walters @Vicky_Walters @HeraBooks #CrimeFiction #CosyMystery #SummerRead #Mystery

Murder At The Summer Fete
By Victoria Walters

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Victoria Walters has branched out from romantic fiction in this book and lept into cosy murder with Murder At The Summer Fete. A book for fans of Richard Osman, S.J. Bennett and The Marlow Murder Club and Agatha Raisin. Find out more below in the blurb and my review below. Thanks first to Hera Books for a review copy.

Murder At The Summer Fete

Blurb

A fete worse than death…

After finding the killer of Lucy Roth six months ago, life has settled back to normal for bookshop owner, Nancy Hunter, and her grandmother, Jane. The annual Dedley End village fete is just around the corner, and Nancy is delighted when bestselling author, Thomas Green, agrees to launch his first new novel in ten years there.

But then a series of sinister events lead Nancy to realise someone is trying to sabotage their fete, so she, along with Jane and their journalist friend Jonathan, must turn detective to discover who isn’t at all thrilled about the return of Thomas Green.

When a body is discovered at the summer fete, the death scene mirroring that in Thomas’ latest bestseller, they realise that there’s another killer in Dedley End, but can they outsmart someone who appears to have pulled off the perfect crime?

The clues are right under Nancy and Jane’s noses, if only they can find them. Because the answers to life’s questions can always be found in a book…!

A twisty, unputdownable cozy mystery that fans of Richard Osman, S.J. Bennett and The Marlow Murder Club will love.

Review

A touch of murder in the summer makes this great for a crime fiction book for the summer. Beneath the lightness of summer and the climax of the summer fete in the Cotswolds, just around the corner, it lulls you into that fun summer carefree vibe. Not all is well though and a cosy murder ensues, with humour, nothing too gruesome, but sabotage and murder follows in this Dedley End mystery. It’s second in this series but reads perfectly well as a standalone too.

The bookshop owner and bookish events will pull readers in further and then the mystery itself as the death seems sinisterly famliar, which adds a twist to the plot, which has amateur detectives and a DCI in the form of DCI Brown who also has to join the dots to find the murderer.

It is overall an entertaining read with life mimicing art.

#BookReview By Lou of Local Gone Missing By Fiona Barton @figbarton @penguinrandom #CrimeFiction #Thriller

Local Gone Missing
By Fiona Barton

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Everyone's a suspect when a local goes missing

I am on the penultimate day of the blog tour today for Local Gone Missing By Fiona Barton. A small town with intriguing secrets enveloped within, until the seal breaks…
Thanks to Random T. Tours and Penguin Random House for the invitation to review.
Local Gone Missing (HB)

Blurb

THE TENSE AND COMPELLING NEW NOVEL FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE WIDOW AND THE CHILD.

Everyone watches their neighbours.

Elise King moves into the sleepy seaside town of Ebbing. Illness has thrown her career as a successful detective into doubt, but no matter how hard she tries to relax and recuperate, she knows that something isn’t right.

Everyone lies about their friends.

Tensions are running high beneath the surface of this idyllic community: the weekenders in their fancy clothes, renovating old bungalows into luxury homes, and the locals resentful of the changes. A town divided, with the threat of violence only a heartbeat away.

Everyone knows a secret.

This peaceful world is shattered when two teenagers end up in hospital and a local man vanishes without trace. Elise starts digging for answers, but the community closes ranks, and the truth begins to slip through her fingers. Because in a small town like this, the locals are good at keeping secrets…

Everyone’s a suspect when a local goes missing.

Review

Fiona Barton takes readers to a quiet town, which is so sleepy and unassuming, except there are secrets that have been buried for quite some time and rifts and divisions that bubble up to the surface, and the simmering of tempers can no longer be contained and boil over, especially when a local goes missing. The whole town is shaken up and things get very dark as tensions become more to the fore and life in the town is about to become more twisted; which makes for a compelling and tense read.
The case leaves DI Elise King with a meaty case to handle, now that she has returned to work after cancer treatment and she is an interesting character to get to know, as are the rest of the residents as more gets revealed.

The story itself, is set in 2019 and introduces the town well, and fools you into thinking it’s cosy, so there are elements of cosy murder within it, and then bam… it becomes gritty as certain events happen and revelations start to emerge; so what readers get are two atmospheres and tones, which makes it interesting as it mixes things up. There are many strands that have a resolution in the end, so it is worth sticking with it.

About the Author

Fiona Barton Author PicFiona Barton’s debut, The Widow, was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and has been published in 36 countries and optioned for television. Her second novel, The Child, was a Sunday Times bestseller. Born in Cambridge, Fiona currently lives in Sussex and south-west France.

Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards.

While working as a journalist, Fiona reported on many high-profile criminal cases and she developed a fascination with watching those involved, their body language and verbal tics. Fiona interviewed people at the heart of these crimes, from the guilty to their families, as well as those on the periphery, and found it was those just outside the spotlight who interested her most
Twitter @figbarton

Local Gone Missing BT Poster

#BookReview By Lou of Kiss Of Death By Adam Croft @adamcroft #CrimeFiction #RutlandSeries

Kiss of Death
By Adam Croft

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Kiss of Death is absorbingly intriguing in this fourth book in The Rutland series, that can be read as a stand-alone or part of the series. Take a look further down at the blurb and my review as well as a little about the author.
Thanks firstly to Adam and Joanne Croft for asking me to review and for a copy of the book.

About the Author

Adam CroftAdam Croft is one of the world’s biggest-selling authors of crime fiction and gripping psychological thrillers.

His books are known for their quick pace, thrilling plots and believable characters, and have sold in more than 120 countries around the world.

His books have topped the Amazon storewide chart seven times, and in February 2017 Amazon’s overall Author Rankings placed Adam as the most widely read author in the world, with J.K. Rowling in second place.

In March 2018, Adam was conferred as an Honorary Doctor of Arts, the highest academic qualification in the UK, by the University of Bedfordshire in recognition of his achievements.

Adam presents the regular crime fiction podcast PARTNERS IN CRIME with fellow bestselling crime writer Robert Daws.

Kiss of Death cover

Blurb

An elderly woman collapses and dies during a Sunday morning church service in Oakham. But things aren’t quite as innocent as they seem.

Within hours, there’s a second unexplained death in Rutland. Then a third. But the victims appear to be completely unconnected.

With the body count rising by the day, DI Caroline Hills and DS Dexter Antoine need to uncover the link before more innocent people die.

Only one thing is certain: a killer walks the streets of Rutland. But no-one knows who the next victim will be, when they will be killed – or why.

Review

Don’t be fooled! The book starts off so peacefully and captures a sense of a relaxed holiday type vibe and it gives further insight into DI Caroline Hills, her family and life. It’s rather a sedate atmosphere. with some welcome mild humour that is created in the beginning, until it changes with a rather odd death. It is so mysterious, this death is, in Oakham, that it grips and does so further as another two deaths occur in Rutland, but look seemingly unconnected. This brings Caroline right back into the office to get stuck into the investigation. The cause of deaths is different and may not be what readers will immediately expect.

At the beginning of the book is a map of Rutland, as there has been in previous books in this series and Adam Croft expertly ensures the reader can picture the lay of the land as he weaves his story of criminal activity.

This is a series I highly recommend. It can be read alone as the crime threads are all tied up within one book. There is also the thread of Caroline’s family that runs through, but there is some detail that ensures readers, if they start with this book, gets a taste of what went on before.

#Review By Lou of Dirty Little Secret By Jonathan Peace @JPwritescrime @HobeckBooks #CrimeFiction #Thriller #LouiseMillerSeries #Debut #readingcommunity

Dirty Little Secret
By Jonathan Peace

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Dirty Little Secret is gritty, entertaining and packs a twisty punch. It’s a great police procedural debut novel.
Find out more in the blurb and my review below. Thanks to the publisher – Hobeck Books for inviting me to review and for gifting me to book.

Dirty Little Secret cover

Blurb

March 1987
Ossett, West Yorkshire
A town of flower shows, Maypole parades and Sunday football games. Behind all the closed doors and drawn curtains live hidden truths and shameful lies.

A body is found
WDC Louise Miller’s first case as detective in her hometown is hampered by the sexism and misogyny of small-town policing. Her four years on the force in Manchester have prepared her for this. Along with ally WPC Elizabeth Hines, the pair work the case together.

What truths lie hidden?
As their inquiries deepen, the towns secrets reveal even darker truths that could lead to the identity of the killer. But when a second girl goes missing, Louise realises that some secrets should stay hidden.

Review

Be prepared to be transported to the 1980’s, an era captured well by Peace, with its telephone boxes (one which a body is found) and terminology. This is Jonathan Peace’s debut novel and also his main character’s first job in her new location in West Yorkshire – WDC Louise Miller. She had perviously been working in Manchester, so the transfer is quite a change of scene for her.
The year is 1987 and the opening date is Friday the 13th, adding a bit of a chill to the spine and even more so with some gruesome murders.


WDC Miller works with WPC Hines, the only other female on this West Yorkshire force. They get a bit of flack from the male officers, but they’re strong women and it’s nothing that they can’t handle. WDC Miller is compassionate, hardworking (since she has to give 110% at the very least) and is full of tenacity. She’s a great character to follow for a series of books.


There is a lot of authenticity to the writing, which immediately draws you in with its style. It’s a bit like Life on Mars like in characterisations which makes it quite entertaining and there are several twists in its grittiness. There are also references to real-life past cases, which adds to the atmosphere and interest in this fast-moving plot where all sorts of secrets begin to unravel, some of which were hidden for quite some time…

I recommend this book and there are more to come from Jonathan Peace.

 

 

#Review By Lou of The Syrian Heart By Les Rowley #TheSyrianHeart #Blogger #Bookblog #BookTwt

The Syrian Heart
By Les Rowley

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Syrian Heart is a book that I came across one day on social media. I had a gut feeling it was going to be a fascinating read, and I wasn’t wrong, when I made a comment about it. Les Rowley kindly then sent me a review e-copy after asking if I would like to review it, which of course I accepted. Discover more in the blurb and my review of this thought-provoking and revealing book.

Blurb

The Syrian Heart cover

Wealthy philanthropist needs a heart transplant but with his rare blood type, he knows the wait will be long. When his search finds a match there is one problem – the donor is a migrant from Syria and she’s still alive. AA Roxan must dupe the NHS into bringing the heart to the UK and use his family and friends to commit the biggest sin in order to save a more worthy life. Is his life worth more than that of a poor migrant woman? Can money gloss over the ethics of the NHS? AA Roxan is not a man to be stopped and his villainous past pushing everyone to the edge of illegality and death. The is set in London.

 

Review

James Roxan is a rich philanthropist, whilst Dr. Catherine Morgan is his chief medical officer, who readers meet in a chauffeur-driven car on the way to NHS hospital – St. Thomas in London for an event, a bit of a tour and to persuade them to take on a new Organ Care System (OCS). Readers also get to know Dr. Hain.

The book takes readers into the world of rare blood types, hospitals, foundations, philanthropy. It’s all interesting and written in a compelling way. It all sounds good at the beginning, but then the atmosphere of the book changes, becoming frostier between Dr. Hain and James. The book also notches up in becoming even more compelling, and more truth about James Roxan and his heart health is revealed too, which makes James even more determined to do whatever it takes for a transplant, no matter what the cost and no matter what lengths of travelling for a blood match there needs to be, and to entice people onto a programme, studying rare blood, but with an expectation money can buy anything… Bit by bit, crimes and questionable ethics are revealed. It’s affecting and emotional at times. This is a good thing that the heart isn’t stone cold.

The book questions, challenges and the deeper you get in, the more compelling it becomes in its originality and depth. It is perhaps not the fastest paced book, but it most certainly grips from the start and grips even more, with a strong desire to know what happens next as it twists and turns in unexpected ways.

 

#Review By Lou of May God Forgive By Alan Parks @AlanJParks @cannongatebooks #HarryMcCoy @RandomTTours #BlogTour #TartanNoir #MayGodForgive #CrimeFiction #Thriller

May God Forgive
By Alan Parks

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

May God Forgive Graphic 1

I am thrilled that today is my turn on the blog tour. May God Forgive is a page-turner gritty Tartan Noir. This is the 5th Harry McCoy series by Alan Parks, who is cleverly including each month in the title. They work as stand-alone or as part of a series. All books in the series are critically acclaimed. You can find more titles at the end of my review. 
Thanks to Random T. Tours and publisher – Cannongate for inviting me to review. Discover more below about the author, the blurb and my full review.

About the Author

Alan Parks Author PicALAN PARKS captures the dark beating heart of 70s Glasgow in his highly acclaimed Harry McCoy series.
Parks has spent most of his working life dealing with the production of images for Musical Artists, as Creative Director at London Records in the mid 1990’s then at Warner Music. From cover artwork to videos to photo sessions, he created ground-breaking, impactful campaigns for a wide range of artists including All Saints, New Order, The Streets, Gnarls Barclay and Cee Lo Green. He was also Managing Director of 679 Recordings, a joint venture with Warner Music. For the past few years he has worked as an independent visual and marketing consultant.
Alan was born in Scotland and attended The University of Glasgow where he was awarded a M.A. in Moral Philosophy. He still lives and works in the city as well as spending time in London.

F May God Forgive Cover

Blurb

Glasgow is a city in mourning. An arson attack on a Royston hairdresser’s has left five women and children dead, and a community reeling. People, more used to turning a blind eye to criminality, erupt now with rage.

When three youths are charged with the crime, an angry mob gathers outside the courthouse, the prisoners are snatched from a police van and disappear. Days later the body of one is found with a note attached to his mutilated body – ‘One down, two to go’.

Detective Harry McCoy comes from these streets; his feral childhood battling to survive on them still haunts him years on. But it also gives him an insight into the soul of Royston and the people who control it. Time is ticking, and Harry must confront his own past and figures that haunt him still to prevent another body being found on its mean streets.

May God Forgive Graphic 2

Review

Alan Parks books have a month of the year in the title in this series and now he has reached the month of May. Set in Glasgow, 1974, a city that is very troubled and as hard as can be, especially in that decade, Detective Harry McCoy has another case to solve as this thriller gets off to an action-packed start and to add to the tension, time is ticking fast and there’s not much of it left to crack the case.

Dolly’s Salon had been attacked by arson in an already hardened part of the city, where any heart that was in it before a motorway was built, had practically diminished and there was little left. Instantly the atmosphere and depiction of Royston, Glasgow in the 70’s can be grasped.

Detective Harry McCoy needs to help DS. Doug Watson (Wattie) make progress on a case, concerning a 15 year old, dressed for a night out and discovered dead, but isn’t easily yielding much evidence as to what happened… He is also working on the quiet for to get answers about the arson at the salon. It’s a full on first day back at work from being off on the sick.

There’s gangland underworld, drugs, violence and arson, but also a detective who is prepared to do everything he can to protect the city’s citizens in this compelling series.

May God Forgive is intensely gritty and a fascinating work in fiction, closely relating to fact, that is engaging and depicts Glasgow at a very particular time.

Further books in this series can be found below…

May God Forgive Graphic 3

Alan Parks Praise