Saturday, 18 August 2018

Julia Hardy

I know this author as Kelly Clayton, writer of some excellent crime fiction set on the island of Jersey. This is different - but just as great a read. A good writer can write anything!

Fortune's Hostage link

My review -

Romance isn’t my usual genre but this isn’t a ‘usual’ romance. I read this because the author is one of my favourites. Set in 1813, there’s murder, intrigue and a most feisty heroine in the shape of Eloise who has a fortune and fears she will never be loved for herself. The author has created the sort of tangled web which gives you the impression you’ve sorted it all out, but you haven’t! I enjoyed this one very much indeed.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Steve Robinson

The latest Jefferson Tayte mystery. They're always worth the wait!

Letters from the Dead link

My review -

In another genealogical puzzle, Jefferson Tayte journeys to a crumbling mansion in Scotland. The owner is keen to trace his great (times four) grandfather and suspects there’s illegitimacy in the line. There’s also the mystery of a disappearing ruby, as big as a fist, which was seen by some ancestors along the way. Tayte is concerned this may turn into a treasure hunt, and when members of the family are murdered, he fears he’s right.

Much of the story is featured in letters home from India in the early 1800s and the subcontinent back then is atmospherically depicted. The author highlights the poverty of some, contrasting it with the immense wealth of the maharajas and the British East India Company. These parts are especially exciting. The end of the Scottish adventure is a white-knuckle ride and, as always, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Steve Robinson carefully strands his stories together and they are a joy to unpick.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Bo Brennan

Third in a series but I think you could read it as a stand-alone.

The Wages of Sin link

My review -

I read and loved Bo Brennan’s earlier books and have only now caught up with the third. I’m happy to say it’s a cracker. DCI Colt and DC India Kane have a stormy relationship which is a backdrop to this story. It features female genital mutilation and child grooming and as such, it deals with some big issues. Kane and Colt don’t know who, even within their own organisation, they can trust. This is tense and exciting and I admit to being quite breathless with shock towards the end. If Bo Brennan can keep up this standard we are in for more brilliant stories in this series.

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Susan Handley

A great collection of short stories.

Crime Bites link

My review -

This collection of stories of varying lengths is arranged like a menu, with starters, more substantial ‘mains’ and desserts – short, sweet and to die for, as the section heading says. I enjoy short stories as they cut to the chase quickly and, when well done, can be satisfying. These are very well done. I keep thinking back to some of them, and there wasn’t one that disappointed. They take a slightly different slant on the world of crime. In some the ending is unexpected, in one or two I guessed but loved the way the story reached its conclusion. Altogether, a great little book.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Debbie McGowan

A novella with a lot to say and a humorous way of saying it.

The Great Village Bun Fight link

My review -

I’ve read a number of serious works by Debbie McGowan but here she lets her sense of humour off the leash. It’s witty and slapstick – a rare combination. The village of Banton has had a Henry Jones running its bakery for many generations until one goes to the wrong side of the law and is cut off. The shop closes. The real story here is about prejudice. Why can’t a Jones woman take over the bakery? Why won’t the other shop provide a wedding cake for the last of the Jones line when he marries his boyfriend? It culminates in an inter-village Cake-Off, hinted at in the title. The author narrates the tale in a knowing style and takes the reader into her confidence. It works extremely well and this novella is a short tale that packs a big punch.

It is also part of the Seasons of Love anthology

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Joel Hames

Another book featuring a favourite character! What's not to like?

No One Will Hear link

My review -

Sam Williams is a character I’m growing to like more with each book he features in. He has been bequeathed the task of compiling the life story of his ex-boss, the woman who sacked him and who has been murdered. He has to work with an old enemy, and the woman’s daughter. This seems to be a wild goose chase with obstructive police, smarmy bigwigs and a mentally fragile woman. He discovers there have been more murders and then Sam’s girlfriend starts to behave out of character. The story can stand alone, I think, but more will fall into place for the reader who has read Dead North first. There’s so much happening here and it’s all important to the plot. I love the intricacy of these stories. A Sam Williams story is always a guaranteed good read.

Stephen Booth

New to me but this series is long! I have some catching up to do.

Black Dog. Cooper and Fry Book 1

My review -

Stephen Booth writes a mean crime book! His two DCs, Cooper and Fry, each have a complicated background. When a young girl is murdered they soon discover that most of the people they meet in the course of their investigations have an equally complex life. It makes for a great puzzle. I absolutely love the ending.