#BookReview By Lou of Cooking the Books #ChristmasAnthology By #HobeckAuthors @HobeckBooks #Christmas #Shortstories with #Recipes #Charity #TrussellTrust

Cooking The Books
By Hobeck Authors

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Cooking is Criminal when it comes to Cooking The Books By various authors who are published by Hobeck Books have banded together to create short stories, covering every type of crime fiction, with their favourite recipes, all in one fun and twisty anthology this Christmas. Essentially a crime and cookbook all rolled into one.
ALL PROCEEDS GO TO THE TRUSSELL TRUST (find out more about this charity after my review)
Follow down to the blurb and my review below…

Thanks first to Hobeck Books for inviting me to review on this last day of the blog tour and for the book. 

Blurb

If an army marches on its stomach, what do crime fiction authors do? Here’s your answer, an exclusive collection of recipes from the Hobeck Books authors team served with a dash of brilliant flash fiction too…

If you love a dribble of ketchup or a drizzle of raspberry jus with your fiction, then this is the cookery book for you.


Discover the delights of mouth-watering Maltese rabbit pasta and luscious lamb in coffee. Or dare to sample chicken wings more deadly than a game of chilli roulette.

Then there’s the story of how a midnight cheese, cucumber and salad cream sandwich helped launch Hobeck itself.


This collection guarantees stomach rumbles and belly roils, and all proceeds help others through the Trussell Trust and their network of foodbanks across the UK.

Review

Put in a mixing bowl – Hobeck Authors and Publishers, a spoonful of each sub-category of crime fiction, throw in some recipes people can create real meals from, stir vigorously and bake at a high heat and what is produced is –
Cooking The Books, full of twist tales full of crime and mayhem and authors favourite recipes you can make at home or wherever you may be

There are introductions to each type of crime fiction before each twisty, entertaining
Each introduction is written in recipe form!

Then enter each twisty story, one by one and solve the crime!

Then get busy in the kitchen as at the end of every story is a real recipe you can make from home. The recipes are the authors favourites. I, myself have found a couple I’m definitely going to cook.

There is also an interesting and exquisite foreword by author – RC Brigstock that is sure to get readers in the mood for many types of crime this Christmas.

So, get  your killer kitchen utensils out and bind together with a great dollop of crime fiction to solve the crimes, and with the enticing recipes, you can have the added bonus of eating along the way.

Remember too, this publisher – Hobeck Books is giving back. They are donating All Proceeds to The Trussell Trust that helps those in need with food.

Links to The Trussell Trust   and     Hobeck Books

 

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#BookReview By Lou of The Confession By Maureen Myant @maureenmyant @HobeckBooks #CrimeFiction #Thriller #PoliceProcedural #PsychologicalThriller

The Confession
By Maureen Myant

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today, I’m reviewing the mind blowing, twisty crime fiction book – The Confession, thanks to Hobeck Books for inviting me to review. Discover the blurb and my review below…

 

A house on a quiet street on the southside of Glasgow. Neat, terraced homes with manicured lawns and pruned trees. Not the sort of place that reeks of decay or where dead bluebottles pile up on a windowsill.

When the police break in, there’s a surprise in store for them. They find Julie Campbell’s decaying body at her desk, her laptop open beside her. She’s a well-liked, respectable woman. On the laptop is a confession – to five murders. There’s one major problem though – only one of the victims she names is actually dead.

DI Mark Nicholson is persuaded by his boss DCI Alex Scrimgeour that the confession is a fantasy, and to drop the case, but Mark senses there’s more to it than meets the eye. As he delves further, the darkest of secrets are revealed, and everyone around him is dragged into a vortex of fear, danger and murder. No one is beyond suspicion as The Confession becomes a murderous reality.

Review

The Confession plays with the mind. Set in Glasgow, Scotland, one of its nicer parts, it is part police procedure, part psychological thriller in flavour. There’s a confession that has been made to murders. It’s there in black and white. It’s up to DI Mark Nicholson and DCI Alex Scrimgeour to investigate. This is when it gets twisty as the confession isn’t all it seems…
It is an intriguing concept to have a confession note, whereby its author confesses to more than 1 murder and yet the people are still walking, living and breathing and very much still alive on planet earth. The police, naturally want to let the confession note lie, except there is that pull to investigate further, especially for DI Nicholson even though profiles just don’t fit into the more usual way of things, which makes it even more mysterious.

As secrets worm their way out of the woodwork and the question as to whether the author of the confession note is a serial killer or not and who might be next, as the killings truly begin, makes this a highly captivating and intriguing book.

#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.

 

#BloodyScotland #Writeup and #Reviews By Lou of The Party’s Over Panel – @claremackint0sh @cbrookmyre @Lin_Anderson #Thrillers #TheLastParty #TheCliffHouse #ThePartyHouse

The Party’s Over

Each book on this panel had murderous books set at parties. The talk was fascinating on many different levels as the authors talked about some of their books content and their influences. It was all very entertaining too. Before I knew it, an hour was up and this part of the party was well and truly over. All books mentioned are available now.

Panel: Clare Mackintosh, Chris Brookmyre, Lin Anderson

There are links after my write up to reviews I wrote previously on books by Chris Brookmyre and Lin Anderson. There will be one on Clare MacIntosh’s book in the near future.

 

Clare Mackintosh is the author of 5 bestsellers.

The Last Party, she says is set at a New Year’s Day party, held in a luxury resort on the border between England and Wales. She talked of bridges being built and all is going well, until someone is murdered…

Clare MacIntosh talked about not mentioning Covid as she doesn’t ever refer to current affairs or fixes a time in her books because she wants her books to be timeless, but she does fix a place. What was interesting, however, was the angle she chose to allow to feed into her book, that was Covid related, and that was her fascination of how people were crossing borders into different parts of the UK. She also touched upon Air B n B homes popping up in Wales and the “incomers” and how, I’m a way she is an “incomer”, so talked about how anyone moving, tries to fit in and how important that is to blend into the community.

She was asked about her police background and whether it a blessing or a curse.  The blessing seems to be that it is useful for research, but the curse is knowing too much and remembering to fictionalise it. It was also fascinating hearing about how she fell into writing by accident in a way and how demanding working in the police was, especially the impact on her family life. 
 
 

Chris Brookmyre talked about it being set on a fictional luxury island, that he has put people on, who you perhaps wouldn’t normally put together and how they have secrets to hide. He also says it’s about friendship and forgiveness.

She’s rented a luxury getaway on its own private island. The helicopter won’t be back for seventy-two hours. They are alone. They think.

He talked about how he thought writers were influenced by lockdown parties going on for those not abiding by the rules (politics was mentioned, because I guess, how could they not, by all of the authors), and how they created their own parties on a written page and virtual parties.

Chris Brookmyre also talked about creating tension between groups of people and his writing style and influence in a way of knowing you’re at the end of a chapter is fascinating and may remain in my mind. It turns out the end of Eastenders, with those drums and the end of a chapter have something in common – they both want you to tune into more, so it sounds like those dramatic Eastenders drums at the end of each episode and thinking of this, can help when knowing if the tension or dramatic effect of a chapter is there, or whether it is finished or has more to be written.

He talked about the island he set his book on and wanting a sense of isolation and also to portray the different levels of friendship you have with different people. He also talked about how he was conscious of the links between this book and Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’ being made, but talked about how that was retribution and how his book is about having secrets and having to forgive.

It’s a stand alone psychological thriller, set in Blackrig in the Scottish Highlands and the outrage villagers have of a party house going to open.

Someone went missing 5 years ago and was never found, until now, creating all sorts of suspicion in the small village.


Lin Anderson talked about The Party House and how there is one bottom of a road she knows and how her friend had lots of highly entertaining stories to tell.

She talked about lockdown and the time where people were trying to flea to remote places to try and ‘escape’ Covid. It was interesting to hear what a sudden influx of people from all over felt like to locals, which features a bit.

The book is written with 2 view points, both with secrets and lies. She talked about small villages and how people talk and think they know everything about you (so true) and how this features.

Lin Anderson also divulged how her dad worked in the police force and ‘interrogated’ her in her childhood, much to the audience’s amusement, which then led onto some hilarious stories about real criminals being caught time and time again – one continually drew smiley faces after committing a crime, thinking this was clever, but of course was caught.

So, all in all, an enjoyable and entertaining talk is given by these 3 authors, so if you ever get an opportunity to watch them, I highly recommend you do so.

Now, I have mentioned how I have read and reviewed The Cliff House By Chris Brookmyre and The Party House by Lin Anderson, both of which are absorbing and enthralling thrillers, which I rated 5 stars. Here are links to those reviews and also a previous talk I saw with Chris Brookmyre.

The Cliff House Review      The Cliff House Talk              The Party House

 

The Party House By Lin Anderson @Lin_Anderson @panmacmillan #ThePartyHouse #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller #Author appearing at #BloodyScotland

The Party House
By Lin Anderson

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Party House is a gripping and atmospheric psychological thriller. It’s a party house you at be glad you’re only observing as it becomes increasingly twisty and tangled up and bound with secrets. It’s a page-turner! 

The Party House by Lin Anderson is a deeply atmospheric psychological thriller set in the Scottish Highlands, for fans of Lucy Foley, Ruth Ware and Sarah Pearses The Sanatorium.

Devastated by a recent pandemic brought in by outsiders, the villagers of Blackrig in the Scottish Highlands are outraged when they find that the nearby estate plans to reopen its luxury ‘party house’ to tourists.

As animosity sparks amongst the locals, part of the property is damaged and, in the ensuing chaos, the body of a young girl is found in the wreck. Seventeen-year-old Ailsa Cummings went missing five years ago, never to be seen again – until now.

The excavation of Ailsa’s remains ignites old suspicions cast on the men of this small community, including Greg, the estate’s gamekeeper. At the beginning of a burgeoning relationship with a new lover, Joanne, Greg is loath to discuss old wounds. Frightened by Greg’s reaction to the missing girl’s discovery, Joanne begins to doubt how well she knows this new man in her life. Then again, he’s not the only one with secrets in their volatile relationship . . .

Review

Lin Anderson has something new to offer, away from her Rhona MacLeod series – an absolutely cracking psychological thriller that gets under your skin.

The Party House takes readers to Blackrig in the Highlands of Scotland, into what seems like normal village life, as also depicted on a map, then into its heart and soul with the residents. What emerges is that readers are cleverly lured into a false sense of security in its familiar scenic cosyness.
Blackrig, when delved into deeper, is brimming with a dark atmosphere that is quietly sinister, which then, in turn, becomes an involving read.

Alisa disappeared 5 years ago, this is where the book begins. The chapters then go between Greg, head ghillie and Joanne and how the estate and traditions such as The Highland Games was affected by lockdown and about how to get events back up and running again after lockdown. There is disquiet amongst the locals about anything that meant tourists return and especially displeasure about the opening of The Party House. 

There are many aspects of the lockdown period that readers will relate to and then the book gets really twisty and dark, when a hot tub is smashed and there is a death at The Party House. So much intrigue is built up about the secrets that people are trying to keep hidden. It is then up to PC Harry McGowan and his team to solve the case and to discover the truth of what is really happening within Blackrig. Almost everyone is suspicious and hiding something and as it develops, it does, in part, become quite chilling.

The Party House may initially seem a romantic idyll, but as it quickly becomes an increasingly suspenseful and psychological thriller. It is a page-turner!