Hello lovelies! Today I’m going to be re-sharing my reviews of The perfect murder and the backpacker (sadly I have not gotten around to reading the beekeeper yet) as part of the launch of Totterdown, the first three books of the detective Harriet Taylor series but first a little about the collection:
Title: TROTTERDOWN (the first three Detective Harriet Taylor thrillers) by Stewart Giles
Date Published: 18th April 2019
Genre: Police Procedural
Do you like gripping thrillers that are a little different? Meet Detective Harriet Taylor in this gripping series set in Cornwall From #1 best-selling author: Stewart Giles.
Three gripping thrillers in one, great value, box set.
BOOK ONE: THE BEEKEEPER
Alice Green is a beekeeper in the small Cornish village of Polgarrow. She lives with her pet jackdaw in a beautiful cottage not far from the sea. One evening, Alice finds something strange under the hollyhock bush in her garden. The gruesome discovery will change everyone’s lives. And then Alice’s best friend Milly disappears…
BOOK TWO: THE PERFECT MURDER
Two cats are found mutilated in the same town. Detective Harriet Taylor is reluctant to investigate, but then one of their owners is killed a bizarre way that same day. Harriet and the team step in. The dead woman has four words written on her neck — four very ambiguous words. Then another body turns up with the same words written on it. Harriet fears the worst — a serial killer is on the loose in the small Cornish town of Trotterdown.
BOOK THREE: THE BACKPACKER
A girl’s body is found hidden in a remote spot of a Cornish Farm. The same farm that a young girl ran towards to escape her pursuer many years before. Who would kill a young backpacker who hurt nobody? Is there a link between this and a mystery from many years ago?
If you like Police Procedurals, then this is a series you won’t want to miss.
Trotterdown and the surrounding villages is a fictional village in Cornwall. It is typical of Cornish villages with remote farms and sleepy Cornish stone cottages. However, the area is steeped in history and the residents of the quaint cottages have their share of myths and secrets making it the ideal setting for this series.
DC Harriet Taylor had only been married for 2 years when her philandering husband was killed in a car crash. It is common knowledge around the station that the woman who died next to him was his latest lover. Harriet transferred to Trotterdown to escape the gossip and sympathetic looks. She is now finding her way around Cornwall and getting to know the other members of the team.
The Perfect Murder; My review:
The quiet village of Trotterdown in Cornwall may have a serial killer on the loose…
The book opens with DC Harriet Taylor and her colleagues complaining that it’s too quiet but they should be careful what they wish for! Two cats are mutilated which they don’t take seriously until one of the owners is found murdered later the very same day. Another death follows then another, all linked by the four strange words written on their neck.
This book is part of a series, and the first I’ve read by this author, but can be read as a stand alone.
I would recommend if you have the first, The Beekeeper, on your reading list, you should read that first as this novel contains some minor spoilers.
What I liked about this book was it didn’t take itself too seriously with a nice smattering of black humour. It was fast paced and easy to read. I did find a few of the killings a little far fetched but they seemed to be well researched and could possibly happen in real life.
The Backpacker; My review:
Harriet Taylor is spending some much need rest time sailing with her new boyfriend pathologist Dr Jon Finch when a call comes in they’ve found a body of a young woman up at Landell’s farm. It turns out to be Frenchwoman Lauren Moreau, an avid hiker out to walk the coast to coast trail nearby. While investigating they unearth a second body which has been there for much longer.
With her hands full and short staffed Harriet can’t get the second body out of her mind. Are the two deaths linked and who is the mystery dead man?
So this is third in the DC Harriet Taylor series and the second I’ve read, but it can be read as a stand alone. Personally I would probably recommend starting at the beginning with The Beekeeper just to get a better understanding of the characters and setting.
Sometimes I love diving back into a series with familiar characters that I am already familiar with and enjoy. The book isn’t that long but there’s plenty packed into it! With the fast pace I absolutely flew through it, I could not stop turning those pages!
Harriet is still as determined for justice as usual, although she is suffering from insomnia and headaches but that won’t stop her cracking the case! I adored the fact that she has found a new relationship with Jon Finch after the one with her husband ended so badly.
I also want to note there is quite a few sailing terms in the book but there’s a handy glossary of terms at the front, now if someone asked me what a jib sheet was, I now know what the heck they’re talking about!
There’s two storylines, one from 1996 and one from the present that are weaved together well. I did really enjoy the two narratives, each one as interesting as the other but I think they needed signposting a little better. What I mean to say is 1996 chapters were labelled but the present was not making it a little jarring when it changed eras.
Also I felt the ending was a little rushed compared to Stewart Giles other books but it is well worth a read.
I would recommend this for fans of police procedurals with a strong female lead.
About The Author:
After reading English at 3 Universities and graduating from none of them, I set off travelling around the world with my wife, Ann, finally settling in South Africa, where we still live. After Ann dropped a rather large speaker on my head I came up with the idea for a detective series. DS Jason Smith was born. Smith, the first in the series was finished a few months later.
Three years and 8 DS Smith books later, Joffe Books wondered if I would be interested in working with them. As a self-published author, I agreed. However, we decided on a new series – the DC Harriet Taylor Cornwall series. The Beekeeper hit the shelves and hit the number one spot in Australia. The second in the series, The Perfect Murder did just as well. The third in the series, The Backpacker I have self-published and there are plenty more to come.
Unworthy, the ninth Smith instalment was followed by a totally new start to a series – a collaboration between the Smith and Harriet thrillers. Entitled The Enigma, it brings together the broody, enigmatic Jason Smith and the more level-headed Harriet Taylor.
Miranda is something totally different. A stand-alone psychological thriller, it is a real departure from anything else I’ve written before. A new Smith/Harriet book is in the pipeline as is the 10th Smith instalment.
You can join the Stewart Giles reader club by completing this form https://mailchi.mp/a64f6de4c541/sgreadersclub