Search This Blog
Thursday, December 30, 2021
Friday, December 24, 2021
Published 29th October 2020 by Avon.
From the cover of the book:As the snow begins to fall, the body count begins to climb…
DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey.
But when he opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half frozen in the snow.
As the blizzards descend, panic spreads through the remote Cumbrian village – there’s a killer amongst them, and with eleven more victims to go, anyone could be next….
Can James stop the killer before they strike again?
The first in a new series, Alex Pine has written a dark, atmospheric crime novel, set in a snowed-in Cumbrian village, for fans of Val McDermid, Ross Greenwood and LJ Ross.
Thursday, December 23, 2021
Narrated by David Thorpe.
Released 14th February 2013 by Audible Studios. Originally published in 1929.
From the cover:When George Abbershaw is invited to Black Dudley Manor for the weekend, he has only one thing on his mind - proposing to Meggie Oliphant. Unfortunately for George, things don't quite go according to plan. A harmless game turns decidedly deadly and suspicions of murder take precedence over matrimony. Trapped in a remote country house with a murderer, George can see no way out. But Albert Campion can.
About the author: Margery Allingham was born in London in 1904. Her first novel was published when she was 17. In 1929 she published The Crime at Black Dudley and introduced the character who was to become the hallmark of her writing - Albert Campion.
The plot thickens when it appears that one of their number is a notorious crime boss, who is determined to get his hands on a mystery item that has gone missing, and he and his hired goons won't let anyone leave this remote country house until it is found.
The weekend visitors have become trapped here - one of them is certainly a murderer, and they are all under the threat of harm from a seriously dodgy gang of cut-throats who may or may not be behind the killing. George can see no way out, but eccentric fellow guest Albert Campion, who no one can remember inviting, might just have a plan...
I love Golden Age crime, but have never read Margery Allingham, so when this book, the first in the Albert Campion series, came up in an Audible sale I had to have a listen.
This has all the menacing, locked room murder-mystery elements I love, but it is rather quirky as it is pitched somewhere between a classic crime tale and a humourous P.G. Wodehouse-esque caper - with flashes of adventure tales like The 39 Steps. I think the most unusual thing about it is the fact that Albert Campion is actually a bit-part player for most of the story, although he is the key to solving the mystery.
I really enjoyed this tale, especially as it was narrated by one of my favourite voice actors David Thorpe, but I am not sure if I am quite sold on Campion himself yet, and suspect he might be something of an acquired taste. I have book two, Mystery Mile, lined up to listen to in the new year so time will tell!
Tuesday, December 21, 2021
Audio book narrated by Helen Naylor.
Released 25th November 2021 by Thread Books.
From the cover:"There was a time when I loved my mother. It’s shocking to imply that I stopped loving my mum because mothers always love their children and always do their best for them. Mothers are supposed to be good. But my mother wasn’t good."
Ten years ago, Helen Naylor discovered her mother, Elinor, had been faking debilitating illnesses for 30 years. After Elinor’s self-induced death, Helen found her diaries, which Elinor wrote daily for more than 50 years. The diaries reveal not only the inner workings of Elinor’s twisted mind and self-delusion, but also shocking revelations about Helen’s childhood.
Everything Helen knew about herself and her upbringing was founded on a lie. The unexplained accidents and days spent entirely on her own as a little girl, imagining herself climbing into the loft and disappearing into a different world, tell a story of neglect. As a teenager, her mother’s advice to Helen on her body and mental health speaks of dangerous manipulation.
With Elinor’s behaviour becoming increasingly destructive, and Helen now herself a mother, she was left with a stark choice: to collude with Elinor’s lies or be accused of abandoning her.
My Mother, Munchausen’s and Me is a heart-breaking, honest, and brave account of a daughter unravelling the truth about her mother and herself. It’s a story of a stolen childhood, mental illness, and the redemptive power of breaking a complex and toxic bond.
Published 9th December 2021 by Avon.
From the cover of the book:‘For my whole life I had been looking for home. But why would that be in a place that I’d left? Perhaps I had to keep moving forward in order to find it…’
Soon after upending her life to accompany her boyfriend Ryan to the Arctic, Maya realises it’s not all Northern Lights and husky sleigh rides. Instead, she’s facing sub-zero temperatures, 24-hour darkness, crippling anxiety – and a distant boyfriend as a result.
In her loneliest moment, Maya opens her late mother’s recipe book and cooks Indian food for the first time. Through this, her confidence unexpectedly grows – she makes friends, secures a job as a chef, and life in the Arctic no longer freezes her with fear.
But there’s a cost: the aromatic cuisine rekindles memories of her enigmatic mother and her childhood in Bangalore. Can Maya face the past and forge a future for herself in this new town? After all, there’s now high demand for a Curry Club in the Arctic, and just one person with the know-how to run it…
A tender and uplifting story about family, community, and finding where you truly belong – guaranteed to warm your heart despite the icy setting!
Thursday, December 16, 2021
Narrated by Eilidh Beaton.
From the cover:When Emma and Aidan decide to expand The Guesthouse at Lobster Bay by merging their two homes, Emma feels certain it's the project she needs to develop her flourishing retreat. Emma has three months to complete the project before her guests arrive for a sumptuous Christmas in Lobster Bay, but as soon as the work begins, Emma's dream of expansion begins to fall apart....
Unforeseen structural problems, the arrival of a long-term guest and an errant puppy who is determined to chew her way through every piece of pipe and furniture push Emma and Aidan to their limit. As Emma battles to keep her dream alive, will she pull off her dream of Christmas at Lobster Bay?
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Special edition published 14th October by Harper Collins.
From the cover of the book:It is Christmas Eve. The Lee family reunion is shattered by a deafening crash of furniture, followed by a scream…
Upstairs, the tyrannical Simeon Lee lies dead in a pool of blood, his throat slashed.
But when Hercule Poirot, who is staying in the village with a friend for Christmas, offers to assist, he finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion. It seems everyone had their own reason to hate the old man…
When a murder takes place during a family reunion, Hercule Poirot offers his assistance and finds an atmosphere not of mourning but of mutual suspicion. Originally published in 1939 and reissued for the AGATHA CHRISTIE COLLECTION.
Monday, December 13, 2021
Published 7th December 2021 by Amazon Orginals.
From the cover of the book:In this short-story prequel to the Bree Taggert series by #1 Amazon Charts and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh, a murder investigation yields parallels to the Philly detective’s own frightening past.
When a man is shot in the head, Bree Taggert and her new partner, veteran detective Dana Romano, respond to the call. They break the news to the victim’s ex-wife and learn the estranged couple’s five-year-old daughter was supposed to have been with him.
The medical examiner pulled out of the Ford’s interior. “No rigor yet. Livor mortis isn’t fixed yet either. Cold would slow decomp, but he’s relatively fresh. Died very early this morning.” He closed his eyes and his jowly face screwed up as he did the mental math. “Six to eight hours ago, roughly between midnight and two a.m.”
Which matched the times on the surveillance video. “Detective Romano?” Reilly called. “CSU is here.”
As soon as the ME removed the body, the crime scene unit would take over.
“Do we have a next of kin for the victim?” Romano asked.
Reilly nodded. “He’s married to Kelly Tyson.”
“Let’s go notify Mrs. Tyson.” Romano turned back toward their vehicle. Once behind the wheel, she rubbed her palms together, then pulled a pair of leather gloves from her pocket and tugged them on.
In the passenger seat, Bree blew on her freezing hands. Romano peeled away from the curb.
“Wasn’t a robbery.” Bree rolled the facts around in her head. “They left cash in Tyson’s wallet. Also, they didn’t take the car. Drug deal gone sour?”
“We have no idea what happened, other than a guy got shot.”
“You don’t like any of those theories?” Bree asked.
Romano shot her a direct look. “I like evidence, not theories.”
Detective Bree Taggert is one of your most popular characters. What is it about her that makes readers come back for more of her story?
Bree is strong and smart, but she’s also flawed and vulnerable. She begins the series as an excellent homicide detective but personally empty. A horrific childhood tragedy distanced Bree from her family and made her a loner. Her sister’s murder triggers the desire to change that. Bree takes on her sister’s case—and her sister’s kids. Bree sees her own childhood reflected in her niece and nephew and is determined not to let them grow up as damaged as she is. In order to do that, she needs to make herself vulnerable. In accepting responsibility for the children, she starts her own road to healing.
I believe readers want to root for her. They want to see her overcome her violent backstory. She often does what is right, not what is easy or comfortable. In each book, she not only solves a murder, she also makes a small step toward healing, with readers cheering her on.
You have published five books in this series so far, but in Her Second Death you write a prequel story. What made you want to show Bree on one of her first homicide cases?
I wanted to show the evolution of Bree’s professional life before she begins her personal journey. She is a complex character, and I’ve enjoyed exploring all aspects of her development.
In Her Second Death, Bree is assigned to investigate a violent crime. Tell readers a bit about the case and how she and her new partner Dana Romano work to find the killer.
Bree begins the story as a brand-new homicide detective. She and partner investigate the crime in the usual fashion, but Bree brings her own past to the table. She provides unique insight that helps her solve the case.
Bree finds a personal connection to this crime almost immediately. What effect does her own early family tragedy have on her handling a missing child case?
The case immediately strikes a familiar—and disturbing--cord in Bree. But she can’t allow her personal discomfort to interfere with the investigation. She’ll have to relive her past to solve the case.
What is next for Bree?
The next Bree Taggert novel, Dead Against Her, will be released in May. In it, Bree will need to face a more recent demon, the murder of a former deputy with whom she has a personal disagreement. When she took over the job of sheriff, Bree inherited some misogynist deputies from the previous, corrupt sheriff. In Dead Against Her, this conflict comes to an explosive and violent head.
Social Media Links:
Saturday, December 11, 2021
Published 11th December 2021 by Code Grey Publishing.
From the cover of the book:SOMEONE IS DYING.
Glamorous Cara De Rosa has it all: a successful and rapidly expanding chain of family-run Italian restaurants, friends aplenty, and an imminent marriage to a much younger man.
When she collapses during a family party, all signs point to a heart attack. But Cara knows better.
Someone wants Cara dead.
Granddaughter Sienna already knows what it’s like to want answers. This time she’s determined to get them.
Because at De Rosa’s, someone needs to pay.
She draws her inspiration from many facets of everyday life and especially how challenging events impact us all in different ways. The human mind and how different people react to each other and interact in society fascinate her. Asking, ‘How can that have possibly happened?’ she immerses myself in developing threads, plotting and letting her creative energy help her characters evolve.
Reading or writing, she loves nothing more than settling down with a good story. She enjoy most genres, and especially novels that are thought-provoking and beg the question - what would I have done in that situation?
She lives on the Essex / Hertfordshire border with her husband, two of her three sons and her cocker spaniel, Max.
Thursday, December 9, 2021
Published 2nd December 2021 by Moonflower Books.
From the cover of the book:
In the new Republic of Texas, guns are compulsory and nothing is forgiven...
Fourteen-year-old Bluebonnet Andrews is on the run across the Republic of Texas. An accident with a gun killed her best friend but everyone in the town of Blessing thinks it was murder. Even her father – the town’s drunken deputy – believes she did it. Now, she has no choice but to run. In Texas, murder is punishable by death.
There’s no one to help her. Her father is incapable and her mother left the state on the last flight to America before the secession. Blue doesn’t know where she is but she’s determined to track her down. First she has to get across the lawless Republic and over the wall that keeps everyone in.
On the road she meets Jet, a pregnant young woman of Latin American heritage. Jet is secretive about her past but she’s just as determined as Blue to get out of Texas before she’s caught and arrested. Together, the two form an unlikely kinship as they make their way past marauding motorcycle gangs, the ever watchful Texas Rangers, and armed strangers intent on abducting them – or worse. When Blue and Jet finally reach the wall, will they be able to cross the border, or will they be shot down in cold blood like the thousands who have gone before them?
Some things are worth dying for.
Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Published 16th January 2020 by Faber Books.
From the cover of the book:'I like this London life . . . the street-sauntering and square-haunting.' Virginia Woolf, diary, 1925
Mecklenburgh Square, on the radical fringes of interwar Bloomsbury, was home to activists, experimenters and revolutionaries; among them were the modernist poet H. D., detective novelist Dorothy L. Sayers, classicist Jane Harrison, economic historian Eileen Power, and writer and publisher Virginia Woolf. They each alighted there seeking a space where they could live, love and, above all, work independently.
Francesca Wade's spellbinding group biography explores how these trailblazing women pushed the boundaries of literature, scholarship, and social norms, forging careers that would have been impossible without these rooms of their own.
In this book, Francesca Wade gives an account of the lives of five women, who are all connected by virtue of living in and around London's Mecklenburgh Square on the fringes of Bloomsbury, during the interwar years. Bloomsbury, during this era, was home to many activists and revolutionary thinkers, and Wade chooses as her subjects modernist poet H. D., detective novelist Dorothy L. Sayers, classicist Jane Harrison, economic historian Eileen Power, and author and publisher Virginia Woolf.
I had previously only heard of the very famous Woolf and Sayers, so found it fascinating to learn about how each of each of these women fought to push the boundaries in each of their chosen professional fields and through their unconventional personal lives, forging the way for the women who came after them. Each of their stories is very much in the vein of Woolf's assertion that to explore their intellectual freedom a woman needs a room of their own, and Mecklenburgh Square is where they found the freedom to achieve their success.
Interestingly, Wade does not stop at recounting the intellectual pursuits of these women alone, but also examines how they struggled to reconcile all aspects of their lives with their need to work independently, including their romantic lives, how they supported themselves, and the stifling constraints of how others thought they should feel and act - all themes that are still very relatable for women today.
My favourite character here actually turned out to be the wonderful historian Jane Harrison, who I am keen to read more about, but all these women are fabulous trailblazers and deserve to be celebrated.
I cannot recommend this one highly enough!
Francesca Wade has written for publications including the London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, Financial Times, New Statesman and Prospect. She is editor of The White Review, and winner of the Biographers' Club Tony Lothian Prize. Square Haunting is her first book. She lives in London.
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Published 26th September 2021 by Headshot Books.
From the cover of the book:Detective John Dark’s daughter has been missing for two years. In his frantic and unfruitful search for her two years ago, Dark overreached, and was reprimanded and demoted.
Now suddenly back into the homicide department, Dark is put on a chilling case – a man who killed his wife in their locked house and then dressed the body up to resemble a deer, but claims to remember none of it. A few days later an impossibly similar case crops up connecting the suspects to a prep school and a thirty year old missing persons’ case.
Just as Dark is getting back into his old groove, a new lead in his daughter’s disappearance pops up and threatens to derail his career again.
Time is running out and John Dark needs to solve the case before more people are killed, and while there is still hope to find his daughter.
His favourite books include The Silence of the Lambs, Annihilation and We Have Always Lived in the Castle.
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Published 21st October 2021.
From the cover of the book:Is the enemy of your enemy really your friend?