Friday 31 August 2018

Lucy V Hay

My first book by this author and what a great story it is. You can feel things falling out of control - it's excellent.

Do No Harm link

My review -

This is the kind of story you resent having to put down, even to eat. It begins with a newly married couple, an ex, a child/step child, a best friend, a mother/mother-in-law and then things start to happen. There’s a deep resentment here, but we don’t know who it’s from, or why, though we can makes some pretty decent guesses. I’ve been wrong before, but rarely so often. If you want a mystery that’ll have you turning pages and stealing time from other jobs, look no further. I really enjoyed this book.

Thursday 30 August 2018

Ambrose Parry

This is the first in a proposed series - so get in now!

My review -

This story is set in 19th Century Edinburgh in the infancy of anaesthesia. A young apprentice doctor and a knowledgeable housemaid who doesn’t know her place make unlikely allies on the surface, but this is going to be a formidable partnership.

It’s a slow burner in the sense that the first part of the book sets up characters and their relationships with one another. As this is the first of a proposed series, and the writing is enticing and the setting very atmospheric, this wasn’t a problem for me. I found this interesting both medically and historically and a jolly fine mystery too. A very good book indeed and I’ve already recommended it to several people.
Thanks to Netgalley for a review copy.
Please note, the Kindle price at the time of writing is over £6 but the paperback is not yet available. Experience tells me it will come down.

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Alan McDermott

A new set of characters (and echoes of the old) from Alan McDermott in this super roller-coaster of a thriller.

Run and Hide link

My review -

Eva, the feisty main protagonist in the story, is a former assassin for the CIA. She believes she has been killing the enemies of her country. When her brother is killed, she questions her whole basis of her previous life and finds things are not as she’d thought. This is a brilliant conspiracy theory novel. Taking a stand, she finds things get worse for her, and the ex-soldier who shares her task. She’s a resourceful woman and we go from thinking she’ll make it to fearing she’s doomed – and back. Bringing in an old lover of hers was a master stroke from author Alan McDermott. He has always written an exciting novel. Here, he’s surpassed himself. A brilliant read.

Tuesday 21 August 2018

M W Craven

First in a series and I'm now waiting for the next!

The Puppet Show link

My review -

My first M W Craven novel will not be my last. What a corking set of characters he creates. Washington Poe and his dog Edgar (took me 20% of the book to twig!), his data analyst Tilly Bradshaw and DI Stephanie Flynn work together on a set of mysterious deaths by fire. Tilly has social issues and is very literal which causes some wry humour as she gets to grips with her new role. Poe is the kind of man who won’t let go. The tension is palpable as he fears he is to be a victim. I enjoyed both the unravelling of the mystery and the great characters involved with it. The ending was utterly, wonderfully satisfying. I look forward to more books with these characters.

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