#Review By Lou of #CrimeFiction #book Blood Ties By Lin Le Versha @linleversha @HobeckBooks #PoliceProcedural #Thriller #BloodTies

Blood Ties

Lin Le Versha


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Published by Hobeck Books, I have a review as part of their blog tour for Blood Ties, thanks to them for also gifting the book in-exchange of an honest review.
A book full of mysterious family dynamics and a murder. This is an engaging Steph Grant Murder Mystery. Find out the blurb and my full review below.


Hector Percy appears to have it all. He shares his magnificent home, Glebe Hall, with his beloved wife Esme and son Jack, alongside their two closest friends and their daughter. But beneath the veneer of entitlement, Hector lives in fear of those who might snatch away his inheritance. Esme suspects he’s right; they’d created the perfect existence but now the arrangement is crumbling. If that happens their blissful life at Glebe Hall would be over.

Then tragedy strikes, forcing Hector and Esme to confront their future far sooner than they expected. One moment tearing the two families apart. Is this the end of their dreams?

Former detective Steph Grant finds herself embroiled in the family dynamics as she, along with partner and former boss, DI Hale, are pulled into the investigation. Delving into the history of the two families and the Hall, Steph and Hale unearth buried secrets – secrets that shake the very foundations of Glebe Hall, secrets that will change the future forever.


Let’s start off with the home – Glebe Hall. It is absolutely magnificent in all its splendour. What I’d give for even 1 day and night in such a place! Hector Percy, Esme and their son have it all. They do, however, also share with friends – Jon and Madeline and their daughter. It should be a nice arrangement that’s set up, but in a way it’s like a warning about sharing your home, especially one as grand as Glebe Hall. What may seem a good idea at the time, doesn’t necessarily mean that any agreement and arrangement lasts. Before long, what should be an exceedingly comfortable life becomes uncomfortable.

The family dynamics and how everything changes and crumbles and how lives can be changed forever is an engaging read and is written in a way that is compelling. The atmosphere changes in an instant and becomes toxic, meaning that not everyone even wants to stay under the same roof, no matter the grandeur of it all.

Steph Grant and Hale are on the case of a murder and what she finds in her investigation is the darkest secrets, making the case even more twisted than first suspected as the families have things they’d rather not have surface into any domain outside the walls of Glebe Hall…

The future is uncertain, but what is certain is that this is a book not be missed!


#Review By Lou of The Last Party By Clare Mackintosh #Book 1 of #DCFfionSeries #CrimeFiction

The Last Party
By Clare Mackintosh 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Last Party introduces DC Ffion Morgan in a new series for bestselling author – Clare Mackintosh. How does a party become murderous? I have also included a link to a write up to her Bloody Scotland appearance where she talked about The Last Party. Find this after the blurb and my review What you won’t find is the answer to that question, unless you read the book…



On New Year’s Eve, Rhys Lloyd has a house full of guests.
His lakeside holiday homes are a success, and he’s generously invited the village to drink champagne with their wealthy new neighbours. This will be the party to end all parties.

But not everyone is there to celebrate. By midnight, Rhys will be floating dead in the freezing waters of the lake.

On New Year’s Day, DC Ffion Morgan has a village full of suspects.
The tiny community is her home, so the suspects are her neighbours, friends and family – and Ffion has her own secrets to protect.

With a lie uncovered at every turn, soon the question isn’t who wanted Rhys dead . . . but who finally killed him.

In a village with this many secrets, a murder is just the beginning.


The Last Party is the First DC Morgan Mystery in a new series by Clare Mackintosh. 

Rhys is found dead. New Year’s Eve/Day is a great premise to have a murder mystery. People come together who you wouldn’t necessarily have together at any other time and they party. As the champagne flows, someone wants Rhys dead, the question is whom and why. It’s twisty as the story builds the picture as to what the motive was to murder him and how everyone becomes a suspect.

The village atmosphere is well-written, which becomes increasingly intriguing as the secrets start to emerge. There are also issues of the day presented within the book, such as the rise of Air B n B’s and shifts in communities weaves into this book, set in Wales.

It is reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s books and the Miss Marple book – The Moving Finger comes to mind, since 1 person dies and not several like the thriller- And Then There Were None, but the party atmosphere makes this come to mind and Murder on The Orient Express as everyone is a suspect.

Link to Bloody Scotland Panel Talk: The Last Party Talk

Q&A #Interview By Lou with #author of #TheNewlywed – Anna Willett @AnnaWillett9 #HenryRoiPR #ColdCaseMysteries #CrimeFiction #Mystery #QandA

Recently I had the opportunity of hosting a Q&A session with author – Anna Willett, which I conducted, thanks to Anna Willett and Roi PR.
Welcome to my blog Anna and thank you very much for taking part in a Q&A session.

Anna has successfully had 16 published books. Her latest is The Newlywed, which sees Detective Inspector Veronika Pope tackle a cold case and finds there’s a vanishing bride and there’s more to the town that meets the eye. You can find out the blurb below, before seeing what Anna Willett has to say about her book and her writing, about her background and how she winds down and what she is working on next.


Detectives dig deep to discover what happened to a lost bride

After travelling to the breezy seaside town of Seabreak with her new husband to meet his twin brother, Jane Wilson vanishes without a trace.

There is never any sign of her again, and despite blame initially being cast on the husband, with no evidence of a crime, nothing is done.

Years later, Detective Inspector Veronika Pope and her team at the Special Crime Squad reinvestigate the disappearance.

What really drove Jane to return to the town? And what made sure she would never leave?

Detective Pope is convinced the town and its windy dunes hold the secrets, but she is faced with the grim determination of others to keep them buried forever…

THE NEWLYWED is Anna Willett’s latest suspenseful mystery. It can be read on its own, or alongside two other books featuring Detective Veronika Pope, THE WOMAN BEHIND HER and THE FAMILY MAN.

Without further ado, onto the Q&A.

Who or what inspired you to write suspense/thriller novels and did you do anything different prior to becoming a writer?  

I’ve always written but didn’t take what I was doing seriously until ten years ago. At the time I was teaching. I still teach part-time.  


2.     The Newlywed is your 16th book. How does it feel, knowing you’ve managed to write 16 books and where do you get your ideas from to keep each book fresh?  

The ideas come easily; it’s deciding which ones to turn into a novel that can be tricky. For The Newlywed and The Family Man, book two in the Cold Case Mysteries, I drew inspiration from a couple of infamous Western Australian true crime cases. I take a small part of the crime itself and then everything else is pure fiction.  

I try to keep crimes themselves fresh by drawing on true crime, delving into what’s going on in the world. And also immersing the reader in the setting. Characters, old and new, must be interesting. Recurring characters need to grow and reveal new snippets of their backstory and personality traits. They have to be as real as possible. Dialogue must be authentic. A story grows stale when the same old characters have the same old reaction.  



3.      The Newlywed is a cold case, what interested you most in choosing going down this avenue of police work?  

I’ve always been fascinated by true crime, solved and unsolved, as well as crime fiction. I enjoy watching true crime documentaries and reading about infamous crimes. I’m interested in the methods used to solve or at least attempt to solve cases. I find myself theorising about certain aspects of the case. It’s a genre that intrigues me in a way that became the impetus to write about cold cases.  



4.     Your detective is Veronika Pope in the Special Crime Squad tasked with re-investigating the disappearance of Jane, how did you research this particular type of team and the re-opening of cases?  

I have a close friend who was a detective in the West Australian Police force. He is a marvellous source of information. When I’m writing a colds case story, I turn to him form procedural information and also how investigators would react in certain situations.  

I also do a good deal of online research. I try to make the stories as authentic as possible.  


5.     How did you feel getting into the mindset of a seaside town and your characters who harbour age old secrets they want to keep buried? Do you, for example, fully immerse yourself with them?  

The town, Seabreak is a fictional place based on several small communities south of Perth. Before writing The Newlywed, I visited these towns, spent days taking photos and immersing myself in the lifestyle. I’ve visited almost all the setting I’ve used in the sixteen books. It helps me to get a feel for a place. It makes it easier to write about the views, the weather the flora and fauna.  

I also live within hearing distance of the ocean, so that helped.  


6.         How do you unwind?  

For me, reading makes me a better writer as well as being a fantastic way to relax. I’m also a huge film buff so I love watching movies. I enjoy walking our GSD girl, Karma. Living with a dog is a fantastic way to destress and unwind. There’s nothing like having a wet tennis ball dumped in your lap to remind you to stop and take a break. And I love going out for lunch, trying new cafes and restaurants.  


7.         Are you reading and/or writing anything just now?  

I’m reading Watching You by Michael Robotham. He’s one of my favourite authors.  

I’m working on a new cold case, again inspired by a infamous unsolved West Australian case. This story takes place in the Goldfields, a huge, rugged landscape dotted with small remote communities. An area where so many people have vanished or perished.  

It’s a place that can be beautiful but also eerie and I’m excited to be writing about the region. My daughter has spent quite a bit of time in the area, so she’s been a great help with the research.  

#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.


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 .


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.

#HappyNewYear #2023. Here are a number of #Fiction and #NonFiction Books in many genres I highly #Recommend from #2022 #BookRecommendations #BookReviews #BookWrap

I have reviewed many books in 2022 and what a privilege it has been too. Here are some that I highly recommend out of the many books I have reviewed in 2022. I also have included links to my full no spoiler reviews where you’ll also find the blurbs. The mix of crime fiction, contemporary fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, memoirs are in no particular order. Please also feel free to explore my blog for other great book reviews, author interviews and talks and theatre reviews.

The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures By Holly Hepburn – An antique shop, antiques, a mysterious puzzle box, a trip to Egypt, a mention of the Canarvon Family (think the real Downton Abbey), all wrapped up in a wonderful book full of splendid characters.
Holly Hepburn has a new book coming this year that I will also be reviewing.

Check out the blurb and my review in the link: The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures

Suicide Thursday By Will Carver explores this and the darker corners of society. It’s a compulsive read with intriguing characters – Mike, Jackie and Eli. Will Eli leave a hated job and get past writing chapter 1 of a novel? What is written in texts? Find out the answers to these and more in Suicide Thursday.

Link to blurb and review –Suicide Thursday

All About Evie By Matson Taylor is a humorous second book to the much talked about The Miseducation of Evie Epworth that was a Radio 2 book club pick. There’s much humour mixed with poignancy and sadness. Find out what happens at a sound check at Broadcasting House, her friend, Caroline and life’s mishaps and incidents. It’s highly engaging. Find the blurb and review in the link: All About Evie

Yes, I Killed Her By Harry Fisher s full of chilling suspense. The question isn’t who, but it is how. How did a murderer commit such a calculated crime. Is it as perfect as he thinks? Here is a link to the blurb and full review. Remember, I’m not going to disclose the answers to those questions. That’s for you to discover yourselves: Yes, I Killed Her

Verity Vanishes By A.B. Morgan is book 3 of The Quirk Files. The books can be read as part of the series or as standalone as the cases each complete by the end of the book. The Quirks are quirky private investigators.

There are secrets to uncover, including who was Verity, why has she vanished and why is a tv station so interested in this particular case? It’s intriguing with wit. See blurb and review in the link –Verity Vanishes

Touching, haunting and a darn good unputdownable read. It takes place between Glasgow and H.M. Polmont Prison in Central Scotland. It’s gripping getting to know about what revelations unfold in Ginger and Wendy’s personalities and what happens to them. It’s a book of obsession and friendship and more in this contemporary fictional book… Find out more in the link to the blurb and my full review: Ginger And Me

The Homes By J.B. Mylet is set in an orphanage village in Scotland. Follow the lives of Lesley, Jonesy and Eadie, all from their points of views. How safe is The Homes? Murder strikes and everything changes in this fast-paced, immersive page-turner. It’s fiction based on a true story. Find out more in the link: The Homes

Remember Me by Charity Norman is gripping and addictive as the layers build up to discover what has happened to Leah, who has disappeared.

The book also follows Felix, who has Alzheimer’s. It’s authentically and sensitively written. Discover the blurb and the rest of my thoughts in the link: Remember Me

Should I Tell You By Jill Mansell is enthralling in both setting and the relationships between all the characters. Meet Lachlan, a chef in high demand and Peggy, a formidable, yet fun woman who puts up a credible argument as to why he should follow her to Cornwall to cook his amazing food. Also meet Amber, Lachlan, Rafaelle and Vee as you step into idyllic scenery. Is all well though? What would you make of the mysterious letter? Find out more in my link about this beautiful, compelling book that perfectly captures the lives of its characters, who are concealing truths. Should I Tell You

White Christmas on Winter Street has all the festive feel-good vibes you can want. Unearth the treasures in Corner House in Middledip. It’s a rather moving book as Heather returns to discover new friends and old. Find out more in the link: White Christmas on Winter Street

The Little Wartime Library By Kate Thompson is about a courageous librarian who took Bethnal Green Library underground during World War 2. It is fascinating and is fiction based on fact. Lots of research was done, including asking librarians, including me, many questions that then formed the basis of the central character. The Little Wartime Library

The Locked Away Life by Drew Davies is about 2 people who are seemingly poles apart. 1 is becoming practically a recluse and increasingly elderly, the other, much younger in need of a job, which is how they meet. Little do they know they need each other more than they thought they would. It’s a heartwarming story. Find out more in the link: The Locked AwayLife

Love Untold by Ruth Jones is uplifting, emotional and endearing, It crosses the generations from a teenager right up to a 90 year old. It’s well observed in all the complexities of life and interactions.
Discover more such as the blurb and my review in the link. Love Untold

The Cliff House by Chris Brookmyre puts readers on an island. There’s a hen party set on a Scottish island. In some ways it’s a bit like And Then There We’re None by Agatha Christie, but there are also many differences.

There are frictions amongst the guests and things take a sinister turn. It’s a well-observed book in the way relationships are between the characters and what happens when people are on a remote island. Everyone has a secret and no one is safe. Find out more in the blurb and the rest of my thoughts in the review: The Cliff House

Cat Lady By Dawn O’Porter is very humorous but also very poignant and thought provoking. Within the book, wrapped in the cuteness of a cat, there is a great human story too and both together makes this quite different and compelling. There are 5 parts to Cat Lady – Mother, Career Woman, Animal, Wife, Cat Lady. Follow Mia and Tristan through the ups and downs of life. Mia is especially more than you would perhaps assume she is… Here is the link to the blurb and full review: Cat Lady

Thrown is a debut novel by Sara Cox. It’s heartwarming and uplifting at a pottery class. It’s about community pulling together and friendships forming. There are elements that may well tug at your heartstrings. Here is the link to the blurb and review: Thrown

The Cruise by Catherine Cooper takes place on the most luxurious cruise-liner. The type that would be a holiday of a lifetime. Something mysterious happens and it is compelling to travel around to try to fit together all the pieces to discover how they all fit together and some truths. Here is the link to the blurb and full review. The Cruise

Keeping A Christmas Promise By Jo Thomas is about 4 friends who have known each other for 25 years. Tragedy happens to one of them, meaning it is up to 3 of them to keep their bucketlist promise- to see the northern lights at Christmas. With themes of friendship, mortality and strength to carry on in the face of adversity and community, it’s an entertaining, heartwarming book. Here is the link to the blurb and full review. Keeping A Christmas Promise

The Echoes of Love By Jenny Ashcroft transports readers to the 1930’s to the 1940’s and then to 1970’s. It takes readers into the depths of love and war and how it reverberates years later. The book is set between Portsmouth in the UK and Crete. It is a story of war and love. A story unfolding at the BBC Broadcasting House. It is fascinating, poignant and beautifully written. Here is the link to my original review and the blurb. The Echoes of Love

Cooking the Book by various authors published by Hobeck Books also raised money for the Trussell Trust. It’s various short stories, each taking on a different sub-genres of crime fiction. Each also has a recipe you can create by each author. Here is the link to all the details Cooking The Books

The Language of Food is fiction based on fact. It takes reader into the life of a little known woman, by many, called Eliza Acton. She changed the course of cookery forever and when today’s cooks come across her, they are inspired by her story and style and have been influenced greatly by her. Annabel Abbs now opens up her life in this very interesting book. Here is the link to discover more: The Language of Food

Create Your Own Indoor Green by Joe Swift who is also an expert gardener on Gardeners World and various other programmes. The book is an easy step by step guide to indoor plants. It quite literally has everything you need to know, whether you’re getting started or already have indoor plants as there’s always more knowledge to be gained. There are handy hints and tips as well as growing and caring for them. I actually bought this for a friend after reviewing it and she is delighted. Find out the blurb and review in the link: Joe’s Create Your Own Indoor Green

Women Like Us By Amanda Prowse, is a memoir where she sheds light and insight into her life, which many women will be able to relate to or understand, perhaps more than they may first expect. It’s a highly interesting read.
Women Like Us

One Night on The Island introduces readers to Cleo. She works for the magazine – Women Today and has an unusual assignment to do. Directed by her boss, Ali, the assignment is to marry herself (or self-coupling or sologamy) on a remote island. She has a few reservations to say the least. It’s an entertaining story with lots of heart and warmth. One Night On the Island

Mothers and Daughters By Erica James is a compelling story of family life and revelations. Families can be more complex than what they may first appear to be in this sweeping family drama. Mothers and Daughters

Marion Crawford, a bright, ambitious young teacher, is ready to make her mark on the world. Until a twist of fate changes the course of her life forever…
This mixes fact and fiction with Marion and the UK Royal Family in a fascinating way, about a woman not everyone knows much about. The Good Servant

Wolf Pack By Will Dean is a Scandi-Noir.

Tuva Moodyson has a case on her hands to solve with Thord and Chief Björn.
Elsa Nyberg is reported as being missing and chillingly, Rose Farm has quite the history of deadly things happening there, involving a family. It’s a gripping page-turner. Here is the link to the full review and blurb. Wolf Pack

The Empire By Michael Ball is exquisitely theatrical, after all, that is his background. It takes readers back in time to the glitz and glamour of 1922, where you’ll meet Jack Tredwell and a whole host of other cast. There are secrets and the future of the theatre itself is in jeopardy. It’s a page turner! Here’s my link to the blurb and rest of the review The Empire

#Reviews of #CrimeFiction , #ContemporaryFiction and #Adventure #Fantasy #ChildrensBooks #PictureBooks where proceeds go to #charities. @HobeckBooks #D20Authors @TinyTreeBooks @FledglingPress #Christmas #ReadingCommunity

I have reviewed a number of books where publishers/authors have donated proceeds to various charities. Some, a percentage, others the entire lot. I’ve decided to compile a list with links to the original reviews, extracts, which also have blurbs within them, where you can find out more info.

There are both adult and a children’s book.

Discover twisty crime fiction, recipes, communities, adventures, mythical creatures, sensory experiences through reading.

Charities highlighted are The Trussell Trust, Streetreads (homelessness), Marine Conservation Society. Feel free to take a look at these very different books… some may surprise you.

Cooking The Books is published by Hobeck Books who specialise in crime books. This book is part story, part cookbook. It comprises of excellent, twisty short stories of every genre of crime and a favourite recipe from most authors published by this Indy publisher.

 All proceeds go to The Trussell Trust.

Link  to my review – Cooking The Books

UnLocked is by a group of authors who call themselves D20. You can find out who they are in my link to the full blog post, which this time includes an extract of 2 stories from the collection. They are atmospheric stories about ordinary people doing ordinary, but very necessary jobs.

All profits go to The Trussell Trust

Link to more info and extracts UnLocked

The Dark Side of Christmas is by various authors published by Hobeck Books.
Expect the unexpected in these tightly twisted stories. Expect the unexpected and open if you dare!

Blurb (no link this time)
From ghostly skatings on thin ice, echoes of peppermint creams and the joys of being a secret Santa, to rebellious turkeys, deserted offices, spiteful colleagues and yuletide loneliness – these stories touch on strength of spirit, with the odd splash of blood and gore.

All royalties from the sale of this book go to Streetreads, a charitable initiative that encourages reading and creativity amongst the homeless in Scotland.

Leo And The Lightning Dragons By Gill White is a sensory story full of bravery, friendship and dragons. It is perfect for children in SEN and any child universally aged between 4-6 year olds.
It is based on a real child – Leo, whom at the time of publishing was battling a rare form of epilepsy. It s a hopeful, optimistic story for children.
Proceeds go to CHAS – Children’s Hospices Across Scotland.
I originally reviewed in 2019, see link below. I have an update on Leo
The publisher – Fledgling Press has now informed me and would like me to inform you all that ‘Sadly, Leo has lost his fight in the Spring of 2022 but we continue to support the fantastic work that CHAS does with families’.

My review link: Leo And The Lightning Dragons

Setsuko and the Song of the Sea By Fiona Barker about marine life and the jewels of the sea. She befriends a whale. Will Setsuko become a real life mermaid?
A book for 5 plus to enjoy.

10% of the net profits from each book will be donated to the Marine Conservation Society

My review link: Setsuko and the Song of the Sea