In this Grave Hour By Jacqueline Winspear

In this Grave Hour

Published by Allison & Busby on 14 March 2017.

I was sent this book by Ailsa at Allison & Busby and although it took me a while to get around to reading it, I’m very glad I did.

Maisie Dobbs is fast becoming one of my favourite characters and I have loved reading about her characters progression throughout the stories. The first Maisie Dobbs book was set in 1929 and have progressed throughout the years until the latest which starts in 1939 just as war is declared. I’ve not read all the Maisie Dobbs stories so I am glad that I have some to catch up with!

“Britain is at war.

Returned from a dangerous mission onto enemy soil and having encountered an old enemy and the Fuhrer himself along the way, Maisie Dobbs is fully aware of the gravity of the current situation and how her world is on the cusp of great change.

One of those changes can be seen in the floods of refugees that are arriving in Britain, desperate for sanctuary from the approaching storm of war. When Maisie stumbles on the deaths of refugees who may have been more than ordinary people, she is drawn into an investigation that requires all her insight and strength.”

I really enjoyed this book, for me it was slow burner. Not in a bad way but I was so taken in by the descriptive writing that I didn’t want to rush it. It was interesting to read about how people felt about the prospect of another war, having already survived the Great War and losing many members of their family. The idea of this happening again must have been utterly heartbreaking.

Maisie Dobbs is back in the thick of it and is asked to assist in the investigation of a supposed robbery gone wrong where a Belgian refugee is found murdered. When a further body is found, it is up to Maisie to use every ounce of her investigative skills along with her ever faithful assistant Billy.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have noticed that I am reading more of this type where technology isn’t as advanced as it is now. Sometimes that isn’t such a bad thing..

Highly recommended from me and I will be eagerly awaiting her next book in this wonderful series.

Thank you again to Ailsa at Allison & Busby for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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Cover Reveal: Fatal Masquerade by Vivian Conroy

Welcome to my blog which will be one of many to exclusively reveal the cover of the new Lady Alkmene Mystery written by Vivian Conroy.

Here is a little more information about the 4th book in the successful series featuring Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois….

“Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois are back in a gripping new adventure facing dangerous opponents at a masked ball in the countryside.

Masked danger…

Lady Alkmene Callender has always loved grand parties, but when she receives an invitation to a masked ball thrown by Franklin Hargrove – oil magnate, aviation enthusiast and father of her best friend, Denise – she’s never seen such luxury. The estate is lit up with Chinese lanterns in the gardens, boats operated by footmen float across the pond and the guest list features the distinguished, rich and powerful!

But below the glamour, evil is lurking. When a dead body is discovered, it forces Lady Alkmene to throw off her mask and attempt to find the true killer before Denise’s family are accused. If only her partner, Jake Dubois, weren’t hiding something from her…

This case might just be more dangerous than either of them could have imagined”

The book is published by HQ Digital on 4th October 2017 and is available to be pre-ordered on Amazon.

And…….HERE IT IS!! I can’t wait to read this!

On my August reading list..

I am trying to catch up with some of my never ending books and these are the ones I am looking forward to reading this month. I will hopefully read more but these are the ones that I am itching to read!

In the Still by Jacqueline Chadwick

Published by Fahrenheit Press (7 July 2017)

In The Still (Ali Dalglish Book 1) by [Chadwick, Jacqueline]

About the Book:

When Ali Dalglish immigrated to Canada she left behind her career as Britain’s most in-demand forensic pathologist & criminal psychologist.

Now, eight years later, Ali feels alone, and bored, and full of resentment. Suffocated and frustrated by her circumstances and in an increasingly love-starved marriage, Ali finds herself embroiled in a murder case that forces her to call upon her dormant investigative skills.

As she’s pulled deeper into the case of ‘The Alder Beach Girl’ and into the mind of a true psychopath, Ali is forced to confront her fears and to finally embrace her own history of mental illness.

In an increasingly febrile atmosphere Ali must fight hard to protect those she loves from the wrath of a determined and vicious predator and to ultimately allow the woman she once was to breathe again.

 

Safe by Ryan Gattis

Published by Picador (27 July 2017)

About the Book:

Set in LA against the backdrop of the 2008 financial crash, this is the story of Rudy Reyes (a.k.a. Glasses), a gangster-turned-double-agent who wants out of the high-stakes high-risk criminal life, and Ricky Mendoza, Junior (a.k.a. Ghost), a DEA safe-cracker with terminal cancer who’s got nothing to lose. When Ghost goes rogue and steals thousands of dollars from a safe that belongs to Rooster, an LA crime lord who happens to be Glasses’ boss, he endangers a deal Glasses had with a DEA official. As Ghost sets out to steal as much money as he can get his hands on – all with the plan to give it to those hit hardest by the crash – and Rooster gets ever closer to catching him, Glasses tries desperately to keep his plans on track.

Fast-paced and gritty, Safe is both a moving and human morality tale and an utterly immersive and heart-stoppingly suspenseful thriller.

 

The Silk Weaver’s Wife by Debbie Rix

Published by: Bookouture (19 July 2017)

The Silk Weaver's Wife: An utterly captivating and gripping story of passion, mystery and secrets by [Rix, Debbie]

About the Book:

The unforgettable stories of two women crossing centuries as past and present weave together in this beautifully moving summer read.

1704: Anastasia is desperate to escape her controlling and volatile father and plans to marry in secret. But instead of the life she has dreamed of, she finds herself trapped in Venice, the unwilling wife of a silk weaver.

Despite her circumstances, Anastasia is determined to change her fate…

2017: Millie wants more from her relationship and more from her life. So when her boss Max abruptly ends their affair, she takes the opportunity to write a feature in Italy.

Staying in a gorgeous villa, Millie unexpectedly falls in love with the owner, Lorenzo. Together they begin to unravel an incredible story, threaded through generations of silk weavers.

And Millie finds herself compelled to discover the identity of a mysterious woman in a portrait…

 

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Published by: Canongate Books (6 July 2017)

About the Book:

‘I am old. That is the first thing to tell you. The thing you are least likely to believe. If you saw me you would probably think I was about forty, but you would be very wrong.’

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life.

Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover – working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he’d never witnessed them first-hand. He can try to tame the past that is fast catching up with him. The only thing Tom must not do is fall in love.

How to Stop Time is a wild and bittersweet story about losing and finding yourself, about the certainty of change and about the lifetimes it can take to really learn how to live.

 

To Kill The President by Sam Bourne

Published by: HarperCollins (4 July 2017)

About the Book:

A blockbuster thriller from No.1 Sunday Times bestselling author Sam Bourne, in which Maggie Costello uncovers an assassination plot to kill the tyrannical new president.

The unthinkable has happened…

The United States has elected a volatile demagogue as president, backed by his ruthless chief strategist, Crawford ‘Mac’ McNamara.

When a war of words with the North Korean regime spirals out of control and the President comes perilously close to launching a nuclear attack, it’s clear someone has to act, or the world will be reduced to ashes.

Soon Maggie Costello, a seasoned Washington operator and stubbornly principled, discovers an inside plot to kill the President – and faces the ultimate moral dilemma. Should she save the President and leave the free world at the mercy of an increasingly crazed would-be tyrant – or commit treason against her Commander in Chief and risk plunging the country into a civil war..

 

All different in their own ways so I am looking forward to getting immersed in each of them!

 

The Worst Case Scenario Cookery Club by Chrissie Manby (Review)


What an absolute joy to read. I found that once I had started this book I couldn’t stop until I had finished!

The book stars with Alex setting up a cooking class for beginners and we are introduced to: Bella, a solicitor with a job that appears to be taking over her life. John, a lonely 70+ widower who is still desperately sad at losing his beloved wife and Liz, a 40 something dental hygienist suddenly single after her husband rudely leaves her for a much younger lifestyle blogger!

We get to know each character through the chapters and begin to learn why they signed up for the class along with learning about Alex and what has made him what to help the students in his class.

This is such a lovely story and I loved each of the characters and finding out about their backgrounds. I was really routing for each character to find the happiness they each deserved. One of my favourite characters was Ted. Not human but in the form of a quite mischievous dog owned by Liz. He also goes through a transformation and helps Liz see what she actually wants! His antics were so funny to read about, I actually read them out loud to my partner as I’m pretty sure we have been through them too!

A lovely book which brought a tear to my eye in places but I wouldn’t have it any other way..

This lovely book is published on 24th August 2017 and is currently available to pre-order from Amazon for £1.99. 

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. 

Freefall by Adam Hamdy (Review)

Freefall by Adam Hamdy. 

Published on 2 November 2017 

 

I was a big fan of Pendulum and thoroughly enjoyed the gripping storyline so I was happy to discover the next book had already been written!

 

Freefall carries on after the traumatic events from Pendulum and follows the characters of John Wallace, Christine Ash and Patrick Bailey as they try to come to terms with what happened to them. They are each battling their own inner demons and struggling to cope – they are in denial.

 

The tension in the book does not let up and there were more than a few times when I caught myself nibbling on my nails and holding my breath. Do not read this book if you have a nervous nature!

 

This is one of those books where you are desperate to read more, sneaking a couple of pages here and there, eager to read more but almost not wanting to know at the same time.

 

Adam Hamdy’s writing is so engaging you feel that you cannot look away. The tension is built up superbly and you feel that you are on this journey with them. It shows us that all our actions have consequences. No matter how big or small.

 

The author has succeeded in writing a second book as good as the first so I am eagerly awaiting other books!

 

Thank you to Netgalley who offered me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

My Name is Nobody by Matthew Richardson 


​I was lucky enough to receive an early review copy of this book and I couldn’t wait to start it! I love spy thrillers and after reading the back of this I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. 

Solomon Vine was a spy that never quite reached the dizzy heights of what people expected. After a routine interview goes wrong and a suspect is shot, Solomon is cut adrift and left out in the cold. 

That is until the Head of Division in Istanbul disappears and happens to be a close friend of Vine. He is offered an opportunity to claw his way back in… 

I enjoyed reading this and loved discovering some of the tricks that are used. The story moves at a fast pace which I loved as I like to have my head spinning when I’m enjoying a book! I found I couldn’t read fast enough and read at every opportunity. It reminded me of Charles Cummings (who I have recently discovered!) so I will definitely be looking out for other books by the author. 

Thank you Laura Nichol for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders 


I was having a little wander in my local Waterstones in York and I saw this book out of the corner of my eye. I was drawn to the bright yellow cover and the tagline ‘Laetitia Rodd mystery’ so I had read of the back and was sold on the storyline.  I seem to be reading books set during Victorian times a lot more now and this fitted the bill perfectly. 

I started reading this on the car journey home from holiday and was immediately drawn into this world hook, line and sinker! Laetitia Rodd is a young 52 year old the widow of an Archdeacon and the sister of a famed lawyer – Frederick Tyson. Although not quite impoverished as the book states when you compare her to other characters, she lives with her lovely landlady, Mrs Benson (who apparently once had John Keates rent a room from her!).  The friendship between the two ladies is lovely and I wish Mrs Benson was in the book more! They clearly value each other’s friendship and look after each other despite the 20+ age gap and it was a joy to read. Mrs Rodd has a reputation for also being quite an astute Private Investigator and although this is the first in what I hope a new series it is implied that she has been helping her brother, Frederick Tyson with his cases.

Mrs Rodd is assigned to Wishtide, the elegant home of the Calderstone family as a governess to investigate the inappropriate love interest of the eldest son Charles. During this time, it was inappropriate to marry anyone who was not the same social class and was considered a scandal. The family feel that Helen Orme who has stolen their son’s heart is not who she says she is and task Mrs Rodd with investigating further.

I really fell in love with this book and found it so interesting comparing how much times have clearly changed. Definitely for the better if you are a woman! Mrs Rodd is such a likeable character that I couldn’t help but be charmed by her and the relationship she has with her brother, who does treat her as an equal and with respect. The storyline quickly escalates and calls upon Mrs Rodd to use all of her investigative skills to save a man from the gallows.

I utterly loved this book and all its characters and cannot wait for the next instalment!

The Mayfly by James Hazel

The Mayfly

The Mayfly by James Hazel

Published on 15 June 2017

I did quite enjoy this book and found that it was well researched (in an area I didn’t really know much about if I’m being honest). This is the synopsis…

“It’s happening again.

A mutilated body discovered in the woods.
A murderous plan conceived in the past.
A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .

Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by influential entrepreneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. But Priest is no ordinary lawyer. Brilliant, yet flawed, this case will push him, and those closest to him, to the edge.

Priest traces the evidence back to the desperate last days of the Second World War. Buried in the ashes of the Holocaust is a secret so deadly its poison threatens to destroy the very heart of the establishment.
With more victims going missing, Priest realises that not everyone should be trusted. As he races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself..”

Although grim in places I think it added to the storyline! I liked Charlie Priest, what a character! Ex policeman turned lawyer, with a serial killer for a brother – what could go wrong here!? Lovely shy and geeky Georgie….

The story moved at a fantastic pace and switched from the present day to the 1940’s and the aftermath of the capture of a particular scary Nazi Doctor, I won’t say anymore!

Brilliant ending with a couple of red herrings thrown in to make your head spin. Great debut, and I’m hoping this will be part of a series. So many characters to explore – particularly William Priest, the incarcerated serial killer brother. …Now that is a book I would love to read!

Thank you Readers First for my review copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

 

Yesterday by Felicia Yap

Yesterday

Yesterday by Felicia Yap

Published on 10 August 2017

I really enjoyed this book – completely different with a superb and interesting storyline.

“How do you solve a murder when you can only remember yesterday?

There are two types of people in the world. Those who can only remember yesterday, and those who can also recall the day before.

You have just one lifeline to the past: your diary. Each night, you write down the things that matter. Each morning, your diary tells you where you were, who you loved and what you did.

Today, the police are at your door. They say that the body of your husband’s mistress has been found in the River Cam. They think your husband killed her two days ago.

Can you trust the police? Can you trust your husband? Can you trust yourself?”

Not a concept that I have ever read about and I think it was just so clever. It got me thinking about what it would be like to only remember a couple of days and only then based on what I written about it (I-diary is a must in this book!).

Would people want to remember bad things that had happened and prefer to be happy in the knowledge they needn’t have to remember it if they chose not to? The social classes are interesting too – this is obviously apparent in the world today. The Mono’s looked down on as the ‘inferior’ of the two with Duo’s living the more privileged lives.

Very interesting take on this and I can understand why this is touted as one of the books to look out for in 2017.

Thank you to Millie Seaward at Headline for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Body in the Ice by A J Mackenzie

The Body in the Ice

The Body in the Ice by A J MacKenzie

Published by Bonnier Zaffre

I was sent The Body in the Ice to review and the storyline enticed me into reading this straight away!

I hadn’t read the first book in the series (but I have since bought it!) but this didn’t seem to matter too much but it might be wise to start with this as characters from that book are mentioned and it will probably make it easier.

The story begins when a body is found frozen in water and the main challenge for the characters is trying to identify who this is. What were they doing? Why were they targeted? This was obviously a lot more challenging to find out in the 1700’s than today with the vast array of equipment readily available! It was really interesting reading about how crimes were solved in this day. Actual letters were sent! On horseback! It make you realise how completely spoilt we are in this modern age of cars, mobile phones, CSI and fingerprint analysis!

I loved the easy relationship and friendship that Reverend Hardcastle and Mrs Chaytor had (she’s a sort of Miss Marple character set in the 1700’s without the dotty appearance) and I adored reading about them. This is what made the story easy to read for me and I look forward to reading about their other adventures!

A nice, easy and enjoyable whodunit with characters that come to life on the pages.

Thank you for the review copy Readers First and Bonnier Zaffre in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.