#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. 


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.


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



#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.


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 Cruise By Catherine Cooper @catherinecooper @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #CrimeFiction #TheCruise #BlogTour #HolidayRead #ChristmasRead

The Cruise
By Catherine Cooper

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Today I am on the blog tour for Catherine Cooper’s latest mystery thriller – The Cruise, thanks to Random T. Tours and Harper Collins. Join a deadly glamorous trip of a lifetime and follow the passengers to discover the culprit. It’s a great murder mystery as we approach the festive season of Christmas and New Year. Discover the blurb and my review below.


A glamorous ship. A mysterious cast of passengers. And a New Year’s Eve party that goes horribly wrong…

During a New Year’s Eve party on a large cruise ship in the Caribbean, the ship’s dancer, Lola, disappears. The ship is searched and the coastguard is called, but there is no sign of her, either dead or alive.

Lola was popular on the ship but secretive about her background, and as the mystery around her deepens, everyone on board becomes a suspect. Who was she arguing with the night she vanished?

Why did she come aboard the cruise in the first place? What was she running from?


Immanis is is highly glamorous and very large cruise ship captained by Leo. It oozes glamour and the height of sophistication from the start. Just the amount of bars and restaurants are enough to make me gasp! It is a joy to read of such sumptuous surroundings. The cruise ship is so huge, on one hand you’d think it would be hard for someone to go completely missing, with people knowing traveller’s names, and yet on the other hand, so easy as people go about their new year holiday in the Caribbean and because there are so many and it’s so huge. Lola, one of the crew mysteriously goes missing. Superintendent Bailey and Bill are on the case to discover what happened to her, using all the technology they have at their disposal and by conducting the necessary interviews.
There’s also a lot of speculation surrounding her disappearance amongst the crew. It’s also interesting to read about things from the ship’s doctor’s point of view.

The mystery also takes readers to Inverness, a city in the north of Scotland. The book also whisks readers back to 2013, Catford in London. Then the timeline moves again to 2016, a very interesting year and when more of the story comes together, so it’s worth sticking with. It’s intriguing and it intensifies as the story goes on. Between the past and present, it all becomes rather twisty with an unexpected ending.

#Review By Lou of Wolf Pack By Will Dean @willdean @PointBlankCrime @RandomTTours #WolfPack #ScandiNoir #CrimeFiction #Thriller

Wolf Pack
By Will Dean

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I am delighted to be on the blog tour for such an immersive Scandi-Noir that is Wolf Pack, that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to solve the crime. Thanks to Random T. Tours and publisher Point Blank for inviting me to review and for the book. Discover the blurb and my whole review below…



When there’s a pack on the hunt, nobody’s safe…
After the traumatic events of the past year, Tuva is back as deputy editor reporting for the
Gavrik Posten, but her world will never be the same.
A closed community
Rose Farm is home to a group of survivalists, heavily armed and completely cut off from the
outside world.
A missing person
A young woman, Elsa Nyberg, goes missing within the perimeter of the farm compound.
Can Tuva talk her way inside the tight-knit group to find her?
A frantic search
As Tuva attempts to unmask the culprit, she gains unique access to the residents. But soon
she herself is in danger of the pack turning against her. Can she make her way back to safety
and expose the truth?
Will Dean’s most heart-pounding Tuva Moodyson thriller yet takes Tuva to her limits, both
professionally and in her personal life. Can she, and will she, make the right choice?


Open to the first page and a silent gasp was let out. This Scandi-Noir set in Gavrik and Visberg in Sweden already feels darkly immersive. The opening is in what seems scenic, but this beauty has a rawness that cuts any thoughts of even momentary serenity. It almost throws you straight into something bloody, like he’s already setting up the reader for something even deadlier and cruel.

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. The farm itself is shrouded in a dark atmosphere and mystery that is on the edge of your seat stuff. Tuva herself suggests it is like a commune. As for Elsa, people assume she has taken off as it isn’t the first time she has ran off and on the whole, don’t seem too concerned, except this time it is very different from before, even Chief Björn is subdued and the police are concerned as proceedings develop.

The tension within the book just keeps notching up a gear. It’s very hard to put down because Will Dean’s created a story that just makes you want to read with no stopping and it keeps you guessing as there are a few possibilities with there being suspicious characters around.

It isn’t often that I read Scandi-Noir, but when an opportunity to review Wolf Pack appeared I just knew I had to go for it. I am so pleased I did. This is one of the best Scandi-Noir authors I’ve read in a while. This book was fabulous from start to finish. It is a sharp page-turned.
Whether Scandi-Noir is your go to genre or you’ve never picked one up before, I wholly recommend Wolf Pack.


#Review By Lou of Black Hearts By Doug Johnston @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks #BlackHearts #TheSkelfs #BlogTour #skelfaholics @RandomTTours #TartanNoir

Black Hearts
By Doug Johnstone

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A welcome return of The Skelfs, a family who run a funeral parlour and are also Private Investigators in Edinburgh. I am on the blog tour today, thanks to Orenda Books and Random Things Tours for the invite and book. Find out more in the blurb and then onto my review below.


Death is just the beginning…

The Skelf women live in the shadow of death every day, running the family funeral directors and private investigator business in Edinburgh. But now their own grief interwines with that of their clients, as they are left reeling by shocking past events.

A fist-fight by an open grave leads Dorothy to investigate the possibility of a faked death, while a young woman’s obsession with Hannah threatens her relationship with Indy and puts them both in mortal danger. An elderly man claims he’s being abused by the ghost of his late wife, while ghosts of another kind come back to haunt Jenny from the grave … pushing her to breaking point.

As the Skelfs struggle with increasingly unnerving cases and chilling danger lurks close to home, it becomes clear that grief, in all its forms, can be deadly…


Beware of the single magpie on the cover…. “One for Sorrow” and all that. Grief can have consequences and people can behave oddly and “Black Hearts” becomes both literal and figurative. As grief takes hold, guilt also seeps in.
 Family is at the heart of this series of books and a love of music also creeps in.

The Skelfs are funeral directors, as a family, turned Private Investigators, so also deal with families in their many states of life on a day to day basis. Readers can follow this latest case as well as the backstory of the Skelfs themselves and delves deeper into their personalities and lives.

The lives of the Skelfs are in danger; Dorothy takes on a missing person’s case and little does she know what would come next…
Hannah has a disturbing problem to contend with – she is being stalked.
With so much at stake and so much to deal with, its a gripping read.

What occurs in Black Hearts is totally chilling, but with the dark humour that has been established in this series of books and always cuts through well in this Edinburgh based haunting mystery, as does the warmth that cosies it up, just a little, to show a little shed of light through the Black Hearts.

#BloodyScotland Write up of Fair Cops and Foul with James Oswald, Óskar Guõmundsson and Mari Hannah @SirBenfro @oskargudmunds @mariwriter #CrimeFiction #AllThatLives #TheCommandments #HerLastRequest

Fair Cops and Foul

The latest book in the Tony McLean series is All That Lives by James Oswald.
Check out Icelandic Scandi-noir with The Commandments by Óskar Guõmundsson.
Discover Her Last Request by Mari Hannah


It’s set in Leith and a body is discovered from 700 years ago, but another, which the police are even more interested in, is a body buried only 30 years ago, then similarities in burial emerge.

There’s also a new drug on the scene to interest Tony McLean.

This is about what can happen to people in power in small communities. Iceland he noted was small and a good place to have a story about abuse and a story within a story.

It’s about 2 women, 1 dead, the other alive; set on the Northumberland Coast. It explores the victim by the clues she left behind. There’s a note left that Kate Daniels thinks was written for her, even though anyone could have been chosen to go to the crime scene and be on the case. It bears the instruction to find Aaron…

Mari Hannah also talked about one of her books being turned into a tv programme – Murder Wall.

They talked a bit about their characters. James Oswald talked about having a good support cast in his books and how he wanted Inspector Tony McLean to have an interesting backstory, but also having him being both self-reliant and contented, but not wanting things too perfect in his life, which makes Maclean even deeper and more intriguing as a character.
It was fascinating to hear that James Oswald didn’t always write crime books with Tony McLean as his central character, he in fact used to write comics in all different genres.

Oskar on the other-hand talked about not initially connecting with his character initially, so changed it. It isn’t often, if at all, I’ve heard an author admit this so candidly. He talked of liking writing about characters that have fractured stories to tell, yet are strong. He also talked about the person behind the person, basically sounds like he really delves into them to see what is hidden behind the initial glance.

Mari Hannah likes to push her characters into corners to see how they can get out of them. She also seems to like to write about having a good team, since she had one around her when she was a probation officer. Interestingly she also talked about how there can be a comfort in writing/reading about tragedy because you know then, that there is a resolution to be found at the end.

All in all it was a great panel of authors who had interesting topics to talk about and gave great insights to their audience.