Celebrating Authors and Actors By Lou – Today the #Article is on @RobertDaws #CelebratingAuthorsSeries #CrimeFiction @HobeckBooks #PartnersInCrime #Podcast #Theatre #TalkWriteUp #BookReviews

Celebrating Authors and Actors
Robert Daws
By Louise (Lou)

Today I have chosen Robert Daws as part of my series of celebrating authors and actors works, as part of the lead up to my blog turning 5 years old in September 2023. Follow down and discover the article and short reviews, as well as links to full reviews where you will also find the blurb for books, a radio play, a podcast and more…

Robert Daws is notable for both acting and being an author. A very talented, kind and generous man to those (including me), who meet him. He is notable for starring on tv for such sitcoms and dramas like Outside Edge, Roger, Roger, The Royal, Midsummer Murders, Sicknote, New Tricks, Death In Paradise, Agatha Raisin, Sister Boniface Mysteries and more… and films such as Swimming With Men. He is also an accomplished stage actor with a great stage presence in the likes of Ten Times Table, Wodehouse in Wonderland and more… He has also done radio plays, most notably with Duncan Preston (Surgical Spirit, Dinner Ladies and more…), such as crime drama – Truman and Riley.

In books, he shows a passion for Gibraltar, where his crime fiction is set. I feel you get to know Gibraltar very well through his main detectives- Broderick and Sullivan. The books are darker and twistier than you might expect.  There are 3 so far – The Rock, Poisoned Rock, Killing Rock. There is also a novella Echo Rock.
He has also attended book festivals and gives a marvellous talk. You will find a link to a write up of a talk he gave with his friend and fellow actor – Hugh Fraser – notable for playing Captain Hastings  Poirot and more and also writing crime thrillers with his protagonist – Rina Walker. 
When not acting, he is also one half of the podcast – Partners In Crime  with Adam Croft.
I’ve had the great pleasure of reviewing books by Robert Daws and writing an introduction blog post when he was the first author to have his books re-published by Hobeck Books and are the popular books that helped launch this Indy publisher; then subsequently to have decided to review
the podcast and more… You will find links to these below as well as a festival talk write up. I’ve started with the books and finished with the talk.
There is something about his works, whether in the written or spoken word that makes them memorable.
Now, without further ado, onto the no spoiler reviews and please do click the links that will give you blurbs and a bit more information in reviews/blog posts I have previously published over these past few years.

The Rock is the first of the Sullivan and Broderick Murder Mysteries. The writing in all of the books is captivating and by the second and third book, Robert Daws has truly nailed it, hitting the 5 stars, with the first being 4 stars. The Rock is excellent for setting the scene and is where you first meet the team – Calbot, Sullivan and Broderick and Sullivan, Chief Superintendent C.S. Harriet Massetti and PC Bryant. You find out why Sullivan is on secondment in Gibraltar and discover a murder on a yacht.

Poisoned Rock contains murder, offshore accounts, secrets and jeopardy. There is also the glamour of a film crew, but there are twists and turns as there is more than meets the eye with even the mere creation of the film. There are more to the characters than first presumed as the intrigue builds and bit by bit all is revealed.

I have a link here that encompasses both of these books. The Rock and Poisoned hRock

Killing Rock is darker and twistier, possibly the best yet in its clever construction. It covers themes such as second chances and against the odds when much is stacked against you.
This time readers also travel to Spain. There is a mysterious letter, ghosts from the past to confront and a twisty murder mystery to solve.

Here is the link to the full review: Killing Rock

is a link to an overview of when Robert Daws was the first author to join Hobeck Books.

Echo Rock is a stand-alone novella with Sullivan and Broderick. It’s a rather compelling ghostly crime fiction story that takes place in a tunnel that runs through Gibraltar.

Find out more and full review in this link: Echo Rock

To culminate this section, before moving onto other works, below is a link to an article I created when Robert Daws was the first author to join indie publisher – Hobeck Books. Many more authors have followed suit and joined.
Exciting Crime Fiction Article

Trueman & Riley is a crime drama play in short episodes, originally on BBC radio and now on Audible, where I discovered it and listened to during lockdown. It was written by Brian B. Thompson, whom many would know, of a certain youngish age, from creating tv series Byker Grove (teen drama set around a youth club with gritty storylines and known for launching the careers of the likes of Ant and Dec).
Trueman and Riley are 2 police detectives played by Robert Daws and Duncan Preston. There is much humour in their working relationship as well as some humour within some of the crimes, but also has a sharp edge as important issues are dealt with, bringing the series into some grittiness. It’s really worth listening to, with each episode bringing a different crime, complete in itself (note, you only need to download this compelling series once to have all the episodes. I’ve a few links that contain quick no spoiler reviews the episodes

Trueman & Riley Episodes 1 – 5 Trueman & Riley Episodes 6 – 10

Trueman and Riley – Episodes 11-14

Robert Daws is currently on a UK tour with Wodehouse in Wonderland, (5 stars) a one man play taking in P.G. Wodehouse, famous for his creation of Jeeves and Wooster, shown in books, theatre, tv.

Wodehouse in Wonderland is based on the life and works of P.G. Wodehouse. In amongst the entertainment, this tells a fascinating story, all performed by Robert Daws. It is humorous with a few serious moments. It is well-layered and is fascinating.
The construction of the script is excellent like this and the delivery is top notch and of the highest calibre. I’ve seen a few one man shows before and Robert Daws is up there with the best of them. It’s a real skill to be able to go solo and hold an audience in the palm of your hand and keep their attention focused on you. Robert Daws pulls it off with aplomb as he takes your through recognisable works of P.G. Wodehouse, such as Blandings and more, as well as his day to day life. He walks you through by bursts of song with dulcet tones (he has a fabulous singing voice) and spoken word.

I, however, not long before lockdown and there were stirrings of the pandemic no one knew much about and everywhere was open, there was another humorous play, called Ten Times Table. If anyone has ever sat on a board or wants an inkling of it, this, if it tours again, is the play for you. It is about a committee in a village who are trying to set up an event about the Pendleton Witches. The different personalities really come through of the sorts of people you may find on a Committee or Board. There are humorous discussions and wranglings as they try and reach, what is supposed to be a common goal. Find the link here TenTimes Table

When not filming or on stage, Robert Daws is a Partner In Crime with author Adam Croft (successful author of every crime genre you can get). It takes the premise of them talking all things crime from the latest books to tv dramas in this genre, all in a convivial manner, that’s just easy to relax into. There’s also often some humour and a warmth to be had between these two friends, as well as a warmth and care, projected onto their listening audience.
Note that when Robert Daws is away, there’s often a stand-in, such as Adrian Hobart from Hobeck Books – home of crime or Adam Croft has occasionally hosted it himself, so you don’t need to worry about it being irregular days and times. Find out more details in this link: Partners In Crime

When I first started my blog and it was only a few days old, with 2 pieces of writing about Bloody Scotland in it, I boldly travelled down to Morecambe for the Morecambe and Vice Crime Festival. Hugh Fraser and I had arranged to meet up and what a wonderful and amazing time that was, that’s still special to me today as was that meeting and further ones with Robert Daws.

At this time, it was the first time I had ever communicated with Robert Daws. I’d arrived the day before as it was quite a distance and decided to make myself useful and try writing up the festival, whilst I bided my time to meet up with Hugh Fraser as arranged (I had a lot to thank him for and that’s another story).
So, one of the talks I wrote up was one between Hugh Fraser and Robert Daws. It was an entertaining talk as well as very insightful about writing, their characters and certain things they agreed upon. You can find the entire write-up here.
Showcasing Robert Daws and Hugh Fraser Article


#Review By Lou of Moment of Truth By Adam Croft @adamcroft #TheRutlandCrimeSeries #CrimeFiction

Moment of Truth
By Adam Croft

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Moment of Truth is the latest book in The Rutland Crime Series. What you get is a compelling mystery and intriguing characters, including an opportunity to delve further into the recurring main characters and a trip to Rutland and abroad. Unearth the Blurb and full review below…  Thanks to Adam Croft and his team for sending me an e-book to review.


A man is found dead in the judge’s chair inside the Great Hall of Oakham Castle, beaten to death with a ceremonial horseshoe.

As Rutland Police investigate, they discover the victim was a charitable, public-spirited man who only ever wanted to help others. So who wanted to kill him so brutally? And why?

DI Caroline Hills and DS Dexter Antoine are left disoriented and dejected. But the discovery of a shadowy and mysterious figure leads them onto a trail of deep corruption — one that will take them far from Rutland. And it seems their victim wasn’t quite the man he made himself out to be.

Is anyone ever truly innocent?


DI Caroline Hills and DS Dexter Antoine find themselves on another case. Having read previous books in the series, this one is a bit faster-paced and just as enthralling.
There are 2 basic maps, one of Rutland and another of Oakham for readers to get their bearings. Felicia Cooke is the person who sparks off the case as she finds a dead body Oakham Castle, a quite unassuming castle to look at, but with quite an unusual history of horseshoes attached to it. People are in shock by the murder and the ensuing investigation begins in earnestly and swiftly.
As DS Dexter investigates the crime scene, DI Caroline begins talking to the bereaved family, which, initially causes more mystery. The victim has led an interesting and full life and doesn’t seem to be an obvious target to murder at all. That’s just it though, there is much more to this case than meets they eye. Much more to the victim’s life than the surface reveals. There are also revelations about people’s strange movements around the castle. The case has many unexpected turns and even leads them abroad.

This time, more is also explored about Dexter and his personality and how he is keen to work out something personal to him, a darkness of sorts, deep inside and some options he’s considering movin forwards.
The threads that weave the characters together throughout this series are as compelling and interesting to read as the mysteries themselves. In saying that, because the mysteries are complete within themselves, they do work well as standalone books as well.

#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


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.


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.

#Bookreview by Lou – In Cold Blood by Adam Croft @adamcroft #TheRutlandCrimeSeries #CrimeFiction

In Cold Blood
By Adam Croft

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Intrigue, emotion and a murder is all expertly played out within the lovely scenery of Rutland. Find out more in the blurb and my review of this atmospheric gripping book. Thanks to Joanne Croft and Adam Croft for gifting me the book for review.

In Cold Blood


Book three in a stunning new crime series from 2m+ international bestseller Adam Croft.

A body is found under Welland Viaduct on a bitterly cold winter morning. But this will be a murder investigation like no other.

As DI Caroline Hills and DS Dexter Antoine begin to unravel the dark secrets in the victim’s life, they find themselves sucked into a web of lies and betrayal.

Rutland Police need to find the killer before it’s too late. But with Caroline’s health failing and their main witness suspiciously missing, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Dark histories, mysterious gifts and hidden secrets abound. But will they discover the truth before anyone else is killed in cold blood?

‘Incredible’ — BBC News           ‘A sensation’ — The Guardian


In Cold BloodIt is a joy to return to Rutland in the latest in the series – In Cold Blood. If you’re reading this on a hot summer’s day, then this book is sure to cool you down as it is set in the freezing, frosty days of winter. 

The writing is concise and yet has human interest, emotion, beautiful scenery, humour and of course murder… This continues to be a gripping and enticing series that grows ever stronger and ever intriguing on many levels.

Sean Taylor and wife Ciara are out on a walk with their daughters Millie and Mia at Seaton Meadows. It is idyllic with a viaduct, that has caused more arguments and debates over what to call a particular stretch over it than a viaduct probably should, in a display of classic, witty human nature. Not all is well as their daughters discover a body and Caroline Hills is back on the case and the continuation of her cancer treatment ensues. The writing of this is raw and real and people who have been through or going through chemotherapy will be able to relate to the side-effects and those, like me, who have seen it, will be able to also relate to what it can do to a woman too. There’s a real sense of love and support from her family, which is lovely to see and gives a ring of calm when reading about this part of her life. This doesn’t make the book heavy at all, it is a bit of realism to a life situation that is wrapped into the work of the police as they solve the murder. There is also some light-hearted humour within the story, which is terrifically written and keeps everything being bleak.

Amie Tanner is an intriguing character, suspect and a bit unnerving; who works for a design company and keeps you guessing and keeps you reading to find out more about the business. As the case into the murder continues, there’s some smart phrasing and questioning from Caroline as she digs deeper to reach the truth and question Monique more about an affair and finances. 

Soon a whole case starts to build as does the intrigue in the series that just continues to draw you into each atmospheric crime at Rutland. Not quite at the murder count as Midsomer Murders, which is just as well. as Rutland is the smallest county in England, but if you like Midsomer Murders, you’ll most likely enjoy this series too. There’s some lightness weaved into tension in the scenic landscape, where there is a nice nod to Gardener’s World and the officer’s also have some life outside work too and of course everthing you’d expect in a police procedural crime fiction book, where not all is as what it seems and it isn’t all as serene as you may presume, when a body turns up.

There’s emotion, intrigue that creates a certain involvement for readers.


Snakes and Ladders (Knight And Culverhouse series) by Adam Croft @adamcroft #BookReview by Lou #CrimeFiction #KnightCulverhouse

Snakes and Ladders
By Adam Croft
Rated: 5 stars *****

It is always a pleasure to find in my inbox, an invitation to review a book by Adam Croft, and that anticipation to see if it is as good as the last. This one certainly is. It is a great read with atmosphere and points for readers to ponder over at the side of it. Snakes and Ladders is, more than just a board game, it is now the hotly aniticipated title of book 10 in the Knight & Culverhouse series, but definitely can be read as stand alone or as part of the series.
Read further to discover more about this sinister book and my review.
Thanks to Joanne and Adam Croft for inviting me to review.

Snakes and Ladders


A body lies amongst the undergrowth in Mildenheath Woods. His hands are bound behind his back, and he’s been killed execution-style.

But the victim isn’t a gangland kingpin: he’s a well-liked young man, never in any trouble, who had his whole life ahead of him.

But as Jack Culverhouse and Wendy Knight begin to dig deeper into what happened, a shocking new truth comes to light. Was the victim quite as innocent as he seemed?

Snakes and Ladders


Maisie Daniels makes a great point about social media to begin with, which is pertinent and catches the attention fast!
In a wonderful, texturised opening chapter sets the story well. Culverhouse and Knight are then onto a case of a discovered body and all becomes rather mysterious as personalities don’t really fit into a neat box of what happened.
The book is rather vivid and is great for the senses to bring readers into the woods.

There are drugs and a murder and Jack Culverhouse has rather a lot to contend with including in his increasingly tangled personal life and working out how to best ensure Emily is okay.
Interestingly, there  is an insight into how experienced he is in policing and the way it is done is brought into the body of the story which is illuminating into what knowledge he has to be able to cast predictions on what briefs may say and how to enter different situations with a clear decision on what technique to use.
There are complications within dynamics and suspicions and it is intriguing to see who is actually trustworthy.

There are some rather blunt and yet, well considered and entirely valid comments on social media that are made within Snakes and Ladders, which I am pretty sure readers will see as giving food for thought. There is also almost a celebration in a way of pubs, in a way that makes them sound interesting places and have so much purpose as Jack Culverhouse has a few reasons for popping into one.
There are eloquent turns of phrases that are used, which adds to the gravity of certain situations and their enormity, especially near the end.

About the Author

Adam CroftWith more than half a million books sold to date, Adam Croft is one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, and one of the biggest selling authors of the past year.

Following his 2015 worldwide bestseller Her Last Tomorrow, his psychological thrillers were bought by Thomas & Mercer, an imprint of Amazon Publishing. Prior to the Amazon deal, Her Last Tomorrow sold more than 150,000 copies across all platforms and became one of the bestselling books of the year, reaching the top 10 in the overall Amazon Kindle chart and peaking at number 12 in the combined paperback fiction and non-fiction chart.

His Knight & Culverhouse crime thriller series has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide, with his Kempston Hardwick mystery books being adapted as audio plays starring some of the biggest names in British TV.

In 2016, the Knight & Culverhouse Box Set reached number 1 in Canada, knocking J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child off the top spot only weeks after Her Last Tomorrow was also number 1 in Canada.

During the summer of 2016, two of Adam’s books hit the USA Today bestseller list only weeks apart, making them two of the most-purchased books in the United States over the summer.

Before writing full time, Adam had previously worked as an internet marketing consultant, delivery driver and professional actor.

Adam has been featured on BBC Radio, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The Bookseller and a number of other news and media outlets.

My Top Book Choices of 2020 by Lou #2020Reads #AdultFiction #CrimeFiction #Fiction #Thrillers #RomanticFiction #ContemporaryFiction #Uplit

My Top Book Choices of 2020
Various Authors

I have read and reviewed a huge amount of very good books. It has taken a lot of time and consideration to whittle them down to create the Top Book Choices List. All those that did not make this particular list, were incredibly close. I have added links so you can easily see what the books are about. The books are in no particular order. Look out for my top Adult Non-Fiction List and my top Children’s Fiction List, both are in separate posts.

Top Adult Fiction Books

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman Click Here for More Info

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor Click Here for More Info

Killing Rock by Robert Daws Click Here for More Info

Daughters of Cornwall by Fern Britton Click Here for More Info

What Lies Beneath by Adam Croft Click Here for More Info

Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris Click Here for More Info

Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver Click Here for More Info

Us Three by Ruth Jones Click Here for More Info

Perfume Paradiso by Janey Jones Click Here for More Info

The Things I Want To Say but Can’t by Carla Christian Click Here for More Info

The House of Correction by Nicci French Click Here for More Info

Tell  Me How It Ends by Isabelle Grey Click Here for More Info

The Colours by Juliet Bates Click Here for More Info

Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce Click Here for More Info

Letters From the Past by Erica James Click Here for More Info

One Step Behind by Lauren North Click Here for More Info

The Unravelling by Liz Treacher Click Here for More Info

Christmas With the Bobby Girls by Johanna Bell Click Here for More Info

The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman Click Here for More Info

The Strange Book of Jacob Boyce by Tom Gillespie Click Here for More Info

Butterflies by D.E. McCluskey Click Here for More Info

Contacts by Mark Watson Click Here for More Info

The Life We Almost Had by Amelia Henley Click Here for More Info

The Guest List by Lucy Foley Click Here for More Info

Summer on A Sunny Island by Sue Moorcroft Click Here for More Info

The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths Click Here for More Info

The Garden of Forgotten Wishes by Trisha Ashley Click Here for More Info

Lion Heart by Ben Kane Click Here for More Info

Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb Click Here for More Info

With Or Without You by Drew Davies Click Here for More Info