#Review Vera Kelly Is Not A Mystery by Rosalie Knecht @rosalieknecht @verve_books @holliemcdevitt @OldCastleBooks #CrimeFiction #BlogTour #BookReview #FemaleSpyBook

Vera Kelly Is Not A Mystery
By Rosalie Knecht

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This series is getting better. It started with Who Is Vera Kelly? Now she is back with Vera Kelly Is Not A Mystery. It is a fun, easy-going spy story, asy to get into and stay with and soak up that film noir atmosphere it creates some of within its entertaining plot.

Thanks to Hollie McDevitt for inviting me to review Vera Kelly Is Not A Mystery and for sending me a copy of the book.

Vera Kelly is not a mystery

Blurb

Recently out-of-the-spy-game heroine Vera Kelly finds herself travelling from Brooklyn to a sprawling
countryside estate in the Caribbean in her first case as a private investigator. When ex-CIA agent Vera Kelly loses her job and her girlfriend in a single day, she reluctantly goes into business as a private detective. Heartbroken and cash-strapped, she takes a case that dredges up dark
memories and attracts dangerous characters from across the Cold War landscape.
Before it’s over, she’ll chase a lost child through foster care and follow a trail of Dominican exiles to the
Caribbean. Forever looking over her shoulder, she nearly misses what’s right in front of her: her own desire for home, connection, and a new romance at the local bar.
In this exciting second instalment of the ‘splendid genre-pushing’ (People) Vera Kelly series, Rosalie Knecht
challenges and deepens the Vera we love: a woman of sparkling wit, deep moral fibre, and martini-dry humour who knows how to follow a case even as she struggles to follow her heart.

Review

Vera Kelly Is Not A Mystery is the second in this P.I. series. It’s a bad day when you lose your job in the CIA and girlfriend in a single day, but this is what happened to Vera and so she joined a Private Investigator business. Vera Kelly is essentially a female detective series that has a bit of that 1960’s film noir feel to it, which is all encompassing and can almost be breathed in as if that were possible. There are some of the uphill struggles to be recognised as a strong contender in detective work and yet she gives as good as she gets to prove herself and to get the job done in, sometimes a lively manner.

There is a child who was taken away by the state welfare system because of the death of his gran and this propmts a search to find out what happened to him. From Brooklyn to Dominican Republic and back to New York, she must travel if she is to resolve the case. Amongst this is also the personal life of Vera that creeps in and it isn’t always plain-sailing and she does at times show her softer side as her unfortunate failed love-life affects her here and there.

Pages glide by when reading this series as it is so succinct and is mysterious enough to want to know what happened to the 14 year old boy. The writing is also atmospheric and the details add to this and feel right for this genre. The humour carries it a long too, even though it is as dry as it gets. It’s a gem of a read that can be “got into” very quickly and I read it in one sitting.

The book is all set up and ready to go for Book Clubs. It has a few insightful questions that groups can discuss and debate to do with the book, the era it is set in and more…

Vera Kelly is not a Mystery - BLOG TOUR POSTER

#Review by Lou of -The Summer Job by Lizzie Dent @lizziedent @EllieeHud @VikingBooksUK #Fiction #ContemporaryFiction #BookReview

The Summer Job
By Lizzie Dent
Rated: 5 Stars *****

The Summer Job by Lizzie Dent is a joy for anyone’s spring/summer book collection. It’s moving, funny, great scenery and food. It’s such good entertainment and fun which is so uplifting. It’s a great plot for a relaxed weekend or evening. It’s one to watch out for this spring!
Thank you so much to  Ellie Hudson at Viking Books for gifting me a copy of this joyous book and for inviting me to this very exciting blog tour.
Find out more in my blurb and the full review. Check out the unique cover too, which is also fun…

The Summer Job

Blurb

Have you ever imagined running away from your life?

Well Birdy Finch didn’t just imagine it. She did it. Which might’ve been an error. And the life she’s run into? Her best friend, Heather’s.

The only problem is, she hasn’t told Heather. Actually there are a few other problems…

Can Birdy carry off a summer at a luxury Scottish hotel pretending to be her best friend (who incidentally is a world-class wine expert)?

And can she stop herself from falling for the first man she’s ever actually liked (but who thinks she’s someone else)

The Summer Job is a fresh, fun, feel-good romcom for fans of The Flatshare, Bridget Jones and Bridesmaids.

WANT TO ESCAPE REAL LIFE FOR A WHILE? RUN AWAY WITH BIRDY FINCH, A MESSY HEROINE WITH A HEART OF GOLD. THE SUMMER JOB IS THE HOTTEST DEBUT TO LOSE YOURSELF IN THIS YEAR.

The Summer Job Blog tour 1

Review

The Summer JobThe Summer Job is such a glorious book. I was thoroughly entertained and the food and wine all sounds absolutely, mouthwateringly delicious, set in Scotland amongst the pretty scenery, especially around the loch. It is such fun and really lifts the spirit. 
Birdy Finch is such a unique character, who isn’t perfect and she hasn’t worked out all of life yet, but she has heart, which makes her so brilliant to read about. The premise of running away from your life is written in such a way that you can’t help but want to join her. The humour in this book is devine and provides a great time for escapism as Birdie Finch, in her early 30’s escapes London to a lovely hotel in Scotland and ends up pretending to be a sommelier, with funny consequences as she pretends to be Heather, her best friend, who is the expert in this area, but wanted to spend time travelling with her boyfriend. It’s a great plot to easily slip into for a relaxed weekend or evening.

Lizzie Dent has produced a character who is so readable and feels authentic in such a delightful, feel-good rom-com. The sort that would be great, translated onto screen as well.
She has insecurities and feelings of being self-conscious that come flooding in here and there and that makes her seem so real and so many people will be able to relate on some level, but also has spirit in character and humour in the situations she finds herself in.
She is a bit like a contemporary of Bridget Jones in some ways and is very engaging and a great debut!
Lizzie Dent is an exciting author to watch!

The Summer Job Blog tour 1

The Summer Job Blog tour 2

#BookReview by Lou – The Lost Hours @susanlewisbooks @fictionpubteam @LizDawsonPR @HarperCollinsUK #TheLostHours #Thriller

The Lost Hours
By Susan Lewis

Rating: 5 out of 5.

 

Immersive and page-turning, The Lost Hours, with its fabulous cover is such a page-turner and quite unputdownable as a family goes through such a hard ordeal. It is a brilliant plot in the way it is written, that grips all the way through…

I thank Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me onto the blog tour and for her and Elizabeth Dawson for gifting me a book.

Follow down for the blurb and my review and to find out a bit more about the author.

The Lost Hours Graphic 2

Blurb

A perfect marriage…

Golden couple Annie and David Crayce have it all. A loving marriage, three beautiful children and a thriving family business. Life couldn’t be better. Until the unthinkable happens…

A perfect crime?

A piece of damning DNA evidence has arisen, placing David as the prime suspect of a murder committed twenty-years ago. Annie is sure her David is innocent. But if he isn’t guilty, then either his father or brother must be.

As the police investigate the cold case, so does Annie. Trawling through her old diaries, she begins desperately looking for answers. But it all comes down to a few lost hours she can’t solve.

And Annie begins to doubt the one person she thought she knew best… Her husband.

The Lost Hours Cover

Review

Lots of us I am sure have blown a dandilion clock to “tell the time” or play a game that shows the “hours pass-by” and watched each fragment, artistically blow away in the wind. The cover is evocative in the way it shows time passing by.

Annie and David Crayce have 3 children, a thriving business, a loving marriage. It is the absolute perfect life. In 1999, however, the book begins with a short-sharp jolt from this knowledge, with a body being found and a thought of Karen Lomax being missing, DCI Underwood was the investigating officer and Timbo Jaks was a suspect, but nothing more and the case remained unsolved.
Fast-forwarding to 2019 and DCI Gould and DS. Natalie Rundle is on the case as she starts out her new posting in Dean Valley Force in the CID Department in Kesterly, when readers really get to know more about what happened and things really get interesting with familial DNA…

There are secrets abound and all isn’t all it seems in this supposedly almost perfect family. The family are faced with so much turmoil when the investigation is re-opened.  As time moves on, there are doubts and aspertions cast upon the family. Things hot up and suspense heightens with the familial DNA discovery. The “perfect” family face not just the nightmare of the disappearance of Karen, but then face the scruitny into their lives, especially that of David’s, including his mental health and how he can be, since leaving the army, and harks back occassionally in his nightmarish flashbacks to what happened during his time of service.

It’s an involving, provocative book that has plenty of suspense and keeps you suspicious about who committed the crime all those years ago…

About the Author

Author Susan Lewis at her Bagington home. Friday 5th of December 2014
Author Susan Lewis at her Bagington home

Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of over forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense and crime, including One Minute Later, My Lies, Your Lies and Forgive Me. Susan’s novels have sold nearly three million copies in the UK alone. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s.

Susan has previously worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. She’s lived in Hollywood and the South of France, but now resides in Gloucestershire with husband James, two stepsons and dogs.

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#BookReview by Lou of You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes @CarolineKepnes @jessbarratt88 @simonschusterUK #YouLoveMe #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller #EasterReading

You Love Me
By Caroline Kepnes

Rating: 5 out of 5.

You Love Me is the third in the series that began with “You”, which many may be familiar with in book or Netflix form or both. It’s an incredibly spine-chilling, intense psychological thriller series and this latest book is just as amazing! Just remember to breath as it sucks you into the twisted world of Joe Goldberg… Find out more in the blurb and my review. Hello You is available now!

Thanks to Jess Barratt at Simon Schuster for gifting me a copy of Hello You.

You Love Me

Blurb

The highly anticipated new thriller in Caroline Kepnes’s hit You series, now a blockbuster Netflix show . . .

Joe Goldberg is back. And he’s going to start a family – even if it kills him.

Joe Goldberg is done with cities, done with the muck and the posers, done with Love. Now, he’s saying hello to nature, to simple pleasures on a cosy island in the Pacific Northwest. For the first time in a long time, he can just breathe.

He gets a job at the local library – he does know a thing or two about books – and that’s where he meets her: Mary Kay DiMarco. Librarian. Joe won’t meddle, he will not obsess. He’ll win her the old fashioned way . . . by providing a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand. Over time, they’ll both heal their wounds and begin their happily ever after in this sleepy town.

The trouble is . . . Mary Kay already has a life. She’s a mother. She’s a friend. She’s . . . busy.

True love can only triumph if both people are willing to make room for the real thing. Joe cleared his decks. He’s ready. And hopefully, with his encouragement and undying support, Mary Kay will do the right thing and make room for him.

You Love Me

Review

High suspense, You Love Me is the third in the “You” series. Joe Goldberg is back!!! Librarians beware, he is lusting after one and wants real love and a family… Many people will be familiar with either the books or the Netflix series or both and this book does not disappoint! It still has intensity and Joe Goldberg still gives me the creeps and yet, still, I cannot take my eyes off the pages. No wonder he reels all these women in, with his odd charm, that both Guinivere Beck and Peach Salinger saw in him, who get a mention in this third installment. This time he has his sights set on Mary Kay, the librarian he works for, as he is on a quest to figure out some sort of “normal” lovelife and do things in a more normal manner than before…
There is however a whole mix of tension and egotism, paranoia and jealousy that still clutches to Joe as tries to frame himself as now being a good guy as old traits become apparent and pierce through.

I absolutely love the cleverness in style of writing. The way that simple small word – “You”, is written, is spine-chillingly evocative. “You” is completely full-on loaded with intensity as it punctuates the sentences stronger than any other word. Those familiar with the series won’t be disappointed how this continues within this book.

There are twists and turns that made me clutch the book a little tighter, in amongst the cleverly placed music and author references.

The book, in its plot and characters are multi-layered and complex in their actions and behaviours, especially Joe and it makes him to continuously be intriguing, even though he is not the type of guy who anyone would want to meet, but he is a type of dark, sinister, pretty dangerous guy who exists and who embodies many aspects that are within some guys, either singularly or multiple.

Mary Kay’s friends also get involved and it gets even twistier, as if that were possible, but Caroline Kepnes is a master at her craft, within her style of writing for a psychological thriller, such as this series.

Buy Links

Waterstones

Amazon

WH Smith

 

#Review by Lou Backstories by Simon Van Der Velde @SimonVdVwriter #ShortStories #Backstories #Charities #BookReview

Backstories
By
Simon Van Der Velde

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Backstories take readers into compelling shortstories in the most original for yet! Guess the narrator in each story, it will be someone you may know. It is a book of backstories of famous and sometimes infamous, people’s lives, before they became so well-known, in fictional form.
This quirky book also has something extra…. Check this out… This book is dedicated to the victims of violent crime, the struggle against discrimination in all its forms and making the world a better place for our children. That is why 30% of all profits will be shared between Stop Hate UK, The North East Autism Society and Friends of the Earth.

The book is available in paperback, e-book and audible forms…. See links below and find out more as you see the very eye-catching cover, the blurb, the full review and then the links.

 

Backstories

Blurb

These are people you know, but not as you know them. Peel back the mask and see.

CAN YOU FIND THE FAMOUS PERSON HIDDEN IN EVERY STORY?

Dreamers, singers, heroes and killers, they can dazzle with their beauty or their talent or their unmitigated evil, yet inside themselves, they are as frail and desperate as the rest of us. But can you see them? Can you unravel the truth?

“Whatever happened to, all of the heroes?” The Stranglers 1977

I was twelve years old when I first heard this song and although there was something in the feral tone that grabbed me, I didn’t really understand it. I do now. I get the angst and the loss and the emptiness, which is why, in Backstories, I aim to answer the question.

I’m not interested in simplistic tabloid truths. They clung on too long, drank too much, lost their looks and their charm and generally reminded us that we’re all getting older. That’s not what I want from my heroes.

What I want is to find the spark, to dig down into their pain, their passions and their imperfections, and show you our heroes as they truly are.

So join me on my quest. Let’s bypass the obvious, the tedious,and the dull. Brave the deeper, darker paths where the treasures can be found, and together we’ll uncover the fears and doubts that made our heroes what they were and perhaps catch a glimpse of ourselves along the way.

Whatever happened to all of the heroes?

They turned out to be human beings, in all their diverse glory.

Backstories

Review

Backstories is waxing lyrical with an intimate look through portals into snapshots of people’s lives is what Backstories brings readers. It is short stories told in the most original, unusual form. Each story is almost like a game within a plot as readers have to decipher for themselves just who the narrator of each one is.

Each story is an intimate painting of life, of familiar scenes, of people you may know the likes of as the events and people, are real and are well-known, although pretty well fictionalised, but within in each story are good elements of truth.

The characters will have readers delving into the deepest, darkest corners of society and peels back people’s lives from any glitz and glam there may well be, to show souls that are raw, which can be read with real interest as even the most sensitive of subjects are touched upon.

These are fascinating stories that are an impressively compelling read. Backstories certainly brings something new to writing and style.

Links

      Amazon – Backstories        Audible
Goodreads-Backstories
BookBub-Backstories
http://www.simonvandervelde.com/

 

 

#BookReview by Lou of Murder on Morrison – A Rose McLaren Mystery by Liza Miles

Murder on Morrison
A Rose McLaren Mystery
By Liza Miles

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The simplicity of delicious, freshly baked goods in a bakery in Edinburgh meets murder and complex people in Murder on Morrison.

Thanks to the author, Liza Miles for inviting me to review her book and for a copy to read.

Follow down to find out more in the blurb and review and about the author and discover links to her Amazon and Website as you go along.

Blurb

The historic town of Edinburgh appears to be the perfect location for Rose McLaren to set up shop, creating delectable muffins and biscuits. 

But three years later, a death that seemed like an accident brings Rose face to face with a darker and more sinister side of the city. 

Despite several formidable warnings to stay out of things, finding a dead man on her bed is the final straw and Rose reconnects with an old ally from the other side of the fence. 

In her debut as a sleuth, Rose learns that murder, close friends and past enemies all have a role to play in the mystery which she is determined to unravel and solve. 

Review

Set on a colder and more driech day than normal in October in Edinburgh, Rose and Trixie are at work in the bakery (owned by Rose), that is full of delicious cakes and muffins. It is far from any ordinary day as the lightness of the aromas of baked goods float around, they’re pinched by an undercurrent of darkness as a murder occurs. It’s almost cosy murder with a sprinkling of personality and life experience complexities and a good dollop of intrigue.

Rose, former RAF has a fierceness and perfectionist attitude about her that isn’t as sweet as the cakes that are baked and sold, but in a sense, wants her apprentice, Trixie, to do well so she can give her a glowing reference. Amongst some of her more abrasive nature, there is heart as she gives Rob some time to talk to her about the deceased, but then it gets intriguing as he could be a suspect. There is also intrigue in the deeper mystery as to why the Detective Inspector Chatterton has seen Muffins on Morrison be flagged up on investigations in almost quick succession, it triggers the curiosity.

The book leads readers to real locations, such as Morrison Street and Princes Street, including the M&S that is on Princes Street, where there are some truthful anecdotes that most women will be able to relate to. The case then resumes as to how people are perhaps being murdered and the suspects and trying to piece together motive as cakes and mystery mingle together in its mostly chilled out vibe, until almost half-way through it changes course into a twist and all seems not just more mysterious, but a bit more intense before reaching a satisfying conclusion.

https://www.amazon.com/author/lizamiles

About The Author

Liza is the author of Love Bites, Murder on Morrison and My Life’s not Funny, a YA Fiction to be released on May 1st 2021 by Mad Cat Publishing. Liza also contributed poems and prose to the 2020 lock down Anthology ‘Stir Crazy’, published by Whitewater Publishing and The Book Whisperers. She is a member of the Federation of Writers (Scotland) and the Scottish Writers’ Centre.

As a non fiction writer Liza previously published “Insider Stories” for Lion (UK) and “Mummy had an Owie” for Bookerline Publishing, (Canada.)

Liza began her professional life in advertising and documentary film making.

In 1994 Liza studied expressive arts therapy at IATE in London and established The Arts Counselling Trust.

In 2017 Liza settled in Scotland to concentrate on writing fiction. She has two daughters and two cats.

https://lizamileswriter.com