Ten years ago, the disappearance of firearms police officer Jonah Colley’s young son almost destroyed him.
A GRUESOME DISCOVERY
A plea for help from an old friend leads Jonah to Slaughter Quay, and the discovery of four bodies. Brutally attacked and left for dead, he is the only survivor.
A SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH
Under suspicion himself, he uncovers a network of secrets and lies about the people he thought he knew – forcing him to question what really happened all those years ago…
I want to thank Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers for inviting me on this blog tour and Orion for my copy of The Lost.
So I’m going to admit this is the first Simon Beckett book I’ve read, but after finishing The Lost, it certainly won’t be my last!
Out of the blue, Jonah Colley gets a call from his old friend Gavin, who needs his help and wants to meet right away. When he gets to the warehouse, he’s attacked and left for dead. When several bodies turn up, he becomes the number one suspect. Unable to leave it alone, he digs into the case. Could Gavin have discovered what happened to Jonah’s son, Theo, who disappeared ten years earlier?
The Lost is one of those books that pulls you into the action from the very beginning, hitting with all sorts of twists and turns along the way.
My heart really went out to Jonah. He’s still tortured by the loss of his four-year-old son Theo, followed by his marriage breaking down. It makes him a little reckless and driven by his emotions, but it makes you root for him even more.
I can’t say too much more in case of spoilers, but I didn’t see the ending coming at all and it was both satisfying and shocking.
If you’re looking for a thrilling, tension packed novel I’d highly recommend you pick up The Lost!
About The Author:
After an MA in English, Simon Beckett spent several years as a property repairer before a stint teaching in Spain. Back in the UK, he played percussion in several bands. He has been a freelance journalist since 1992, writing for The Times, The Independent on Sunday Review, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer and other major British publications. In 2002, as part of an article on the National Forensic Academy, he visited the Body Farm in Tennessee. This last commission was the inspiration behind the internationally bestselling The Chemistry of Death, which was shortlisted for the CWA’s Duncan Lawrie Dagger and has been translated into 21 languages. Simon Beckett is married and lives in Sheffield. The author of six novels, his second David Hunter thriller, Written in Bone, is published as a Bantam paperback in April 2008.
Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are successful New Zealand crime writers, happily married and topping bestseller lists worldwide.
They have been on the promotional circuit for years, joking that no one knows how to get away with crime like they do. After all, they write about it for a living.
So when their challenging seven-year-old son Zach disappears, the police and the public naturally wonder if they have finally decided to prove what they have been saying all this time… Are they trying to show how they can commit the perfect crime?
Multi-award winning bestseller Paul Cleave returns with an electrifying and chilling thriller about family, public outrage and what a person might be capable of under pressure, that will keep you guessing until the final page…
I want to thank Anne Cater for inviting me on this tour and Orenda Books for providing me with a copy of The Quiet People in exchange for an honest review.
This is my first Paul Cleave novel and I can safely say this won’t be my last. I’m still trying to pick my jaw up from the floor after reading The Quiet People!
The story is told from two perspectives. The first is Cameron, a best-selling crime author, who, along with his wife, finds their son Zach missing. Zach is a bit of a problem child, but you see how much Cameron loves him and all the range of emotions that he goes through after he goes missing and he becomes more and more unpredictable.
The second perspective is DI Rebecca Kent, a solid and experienced copper tasked with finding out the truth, no matter the consequences.
Goodness, you’re really thrown through a loop during this novel, both emotionally and with all the shocks and surprises the author chucks at you along the way. Honestly, there’s never a dull moment.
The story is also packed with tension. You’re not sure who to trust or whether it’s going to end badly for the characters or not.
I can’t say too much more in case I give away any spoilers, but I can safely say that The Quiet People is up there as one of my top reads of this year.
The Quiet People is a twisty read that will keep you on your toes throughout, not knowing what will happen next.
About The Author:
Paul is an award-winning author who divides his time between his home city of Christchurch, New Zealand, where most of his novels are set, and Europe.
He has won the New Zealand Ngaio Marsh Award three times, the Saint-Maur book festival’s crime novel of the year award in France, and has been shortlisted for the Edgar and the Barry in the US and the Ned Kelly in Australia.
His books have been translated into over twenty languages. He’s thrown his frisbee in over forty countries, plays tennis badly, golf even worse, and has two cats – which is often two too many.
Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulCleave, and his website: paulcleave.com
Congratulations to author Cathy McCrumb! This week marks the release of Recorder, the first book in her Sci-Fi series, Children of the Consortium. Read on for more info and a chance to win a signed hardcover of the book!
Title: Recorder by Cathy McCrumb
Publication Date: 9th November 2021
Genre: Science Fiction/ Speculative Fiction
Children of the Consortium
When a research station goes dark and a rescue mission goes wrong, a young woman with no name, no family, no friends loses everything that defines her…
Donated to the Consortium before birth, the Recorder’s sole purpose is to maintain and verify the records. A neural implant and drone ensure compliance, punishing any display of bias.
Suddenly cut off from the technology controlling her, she tastes freedom and what it means to be human. But if the Consortium discovers her feelings, everyone she knows will be in danger.
With no name, no resources, and only an infinitesimal possibility of escape, the Recorder’s time is running out.
I did not have a name—none of us did—but once when I was young, I had a friend.
Early in my tenth year I slipped away from the other girls of my cohort. Their approved games did not interest me, and since I had fulfilled my physical activity requirements, I took refuge at my favorite place near the artificial brook.
Light sparkled on water rippling over smooth brown stones. Either the brook’s engineers or its gentle flow had sculpted rounded banks in the loam, and lavender and thyme grew between orange lilies. The self-pollinating plants bobbed and dipped in the breeze created by the giant fans in the lofty, domed ceiling. It was a close approximation of a real brook, from what I had read.
Cathy graduated from Biola University with a degree in literature and a love for stories. She and her husband, whom she met while writing letters to soldiers, have five children and currently live within the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. While writing is one of her favorite things, she also enjoys reading, long hikes, long naps, gluten-free brownies, raspberries, and crocheting while watching science fiction movies with friends and family.
Title: Forgotten Heroes of Comedy: An encyclopaedia of the comedy underdog by Robert Ross
Date Published: 28th October 2021
Do you remember growing up in the 1970s? Dick Emery was the most famous comedian on British television. His shows would attract millions of viewers. Now, those shows are never repeated. What about Larry Semon? How about little Jimmy Clitheroe?
In this long overdue and affectionate salute, celebrated comedy historian Robert Ross pays tribute to some of the finest, funniest and most fascinating names in comedy – from both sides of the Atlantic.
With an introductory piece by Monty Python pioneer Terry Jones, this book will enthral and enlighten the most die-hard of comedy admirers.
Delving into the careers of the beguiling Avril Angers, the forgotten Stooge Shemp Howard,
Hollywood golden girl Thelma Todd, Italian film-maker Mario Zampi and many more between — Ross honours these legends of humour who, for a variety of reasons, didn’t quite reach the heady heights of stardom – or, once they did, they couldn’t cope with the pressures.
Whether it is a favourite from the distant smoke-and ale-stained world of the Music Hall like the great George Robey, or the downbeat poetry of Hovis Presley, who dropped disenchanted bombs on the late 1990s the Forgotten Heroes of Comedy will finally elevate them to the Hall of Fame where they belong. Forgotten, no longer.
I want to thank Anne Cater for inviting me on this blog tour and Unbound for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I’m a big comedy lover, so when I read the description for Forgotten Heroes of comedy, it really appealed to me.
At over six hundred pages, Forgotten Heroes of comedy is packed with interesting and well-researched facts on comedians of the past, looking over the highs and lows of their careers.
As a mid-eighties baby, a lot of the names in this book were a bit before my time, but I was surprised to find I actually recognised a few faces even if I didn’t know their names before I read this book.
I loved that in the centre were replicas of old pictures and posters which were an absolute delight to look at.
I felt that this is not the kind of book you can just sit down and read from cover to cover. There is such a lot of information you might, like me, get a bit overloaded. It is perfect, however, to dip in and out whenever you fancy.
Forgotten Heroes of Comedy is a fun frolic through the past, which was both entertaining and informative.
I also think, with Christmas coming up soon, Forgotten Heroes of Comedy is the perfect stocking filler for any comedy lovers out there.
About the Author:
Robert Ross is the leading authority on the history of British comedy.
His sixteen books include The Monty Python Encyclopedia, The Carry On Story, Sid James – Cockney Rebel, The Complete Terry-Thomas and official BBC celebrations of Fawlty Towers, Last of the Summer Wine and Steptoe and Son.
His latest book is a critically-acclaimed biography of Marty Feldman. He is a frequent guest on radio and his many television credits include interviews for What’s A Carry On?, Top Ten: Comedy Records, Will the Real Basil Fawlty Please Stand Up?, What the Pythons Did Next, Richard & Judy and BBC News. He lives in Buckinghamshire. http://www.robertross.co.uk
Inspired by the author’s overnight stay in a historical haunted house, The Restoration is a thrilling tale of intrigue, murder, and family secrets that refuse to stay buried.
It was the perfect opportunity…or so she thought. When Terri Foxworth is hired to spend a year restoring a crumbling manor house, she believes she’s hit the jackpot. She moves in with her young daughter and high hopes for the project’s success. As the restoration begins to go terribly wrong, she realizes dark forces won’t let her leave the house until its horrible secrets are revealed.
This job could very well be the death of her.
I want to thank Anne Cater for inviting me on this tour and Flame Tree Press for providing me with a copy of The Restoration in exchange for an honest review.
I’m a sucker for a haunted house story, so when I read the synopsis for The Restoration, I knew I had to give it a read.
The Restoration is a mix of mystery and ghostly goings on which created an additive read. I devoured this book in two sittings which I haven’t done in ages!
Terri is desperate for money, so she takes on the restoration of the old Miss Vandermere’s childhood home, Glenvale. She moves in with her daughter Dallas, but things don’t seem right and the hauntings begin. The ghost refuses to leave them alone and, along with another unwanted guest, Terri finds herself pulled into the mystery surrounding Glenvale.
I felt for Terri. Trying her best to provide for her daughter in the tough business of restoring houses, also while keeping her ex from getting full custody of her daughter.
I enjoyed the fact it showed a realistic parent/child relationship, the ups and downs. One minute they hate you, the next you’re firm friends and all the other nuanced stuff that goes on in between.
The tension builds nicely, culminating in an explosive ending, which while it didn’t entirely surprise me, was extremely satisfying.
I wished there had been more of a buildup at the beginning of the story. I felt the ghost showed itself a little too soon for my liking.
The Restoration is a quick spooky read that I’d recommend to any mystery lover out there who likes a ghostly twist to their stories.
This may be my first J.H. Moncrieff book, but I will certainly be on the lookout for more of her books in the future.
About The Author:
J.H .Moncrieff’s City of Ghosts won the 2018 Kindle Book Review Award for best Horror/Suspense.
Reviewers have described her work as early Gillian Flynn with a little Ray Bradbury and Stephen King thrown in for good measure. She won Harlequin’s search for “the next Gillian Flynn” in 2016. Her first published novella, The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave, was featured in Samhain’s Childhood Fears collection and stayed on its horror bestsellers list for over a year.
When not writing, she loves exploring the world’s most haunted places, advocating for animal rights, and summoning her inner ninja in muay thai class. To get free ebooks and a new spooky story every week, go to http://bit.ly/MoncrieffLibrary.
Title: Beyond the Veil Anthology (Edited by Mark Morris).
Publisher: Flame Tree Press
Date Published: 19th October 2021
Genre: Horror/Short Story
Beyond the Veil is the second volume in an annual, non-themed horror series of entirely original stories, showcasing the very best short fiction that the genre has to offer, and edited by Mark Morris. This new anthology contains 20 original horror stories, 16 of which have been commissioned from some of the top names in the genre, and 4 of which have been selected from the 100s of stories sent to Flame Tree during a 2-week open submissions window.
I want to thank Anne Cater for inviting me on this tour and Flame Tree Press for providing me with a copy of Beyond The Veil in exchange for an honest review.
Last year I read and enjoyed the previous short story collection from Flame Tree Press, After Sundown, last year, so I was eager to see what was on offer this year.
Beyond The Veil is a collection of short horror stories with something for every type of horror fan, from classic monster tales to mind bending sci-fi to gruesome body horror.
I will just put a trigger warning here before I go any further. This novel contains themes of grief, suicide, child abuse, and the death of an animal.
In all honesty, most of the authors were unknown to me, so it was nice to find some new authors to add to my must read list.
Like most types of collections, I found it a good mix of styles. Of course, there were some stories I enjoyed more than others.
My standouts were:
God Bag. The story that followed a man and his dying mum who was in the last grips of dementia. She carried around a strange little God bag containing prayers that started off innocently enough until he started digging. It was both heartbreaking and creepy at the same time.
For All The Dead. A historical story about a young woman who lived in a small fishing village, where life and death were controlled by the sea. There was almost a fairytale-like quality to this one that I found magical.
The Girl In The Pool. A thief breaks into a house planning to rob the place, instead finds a young girl dead in the pool. This was a gripping tale of monsters and morality.
A Mystery for Julie Chu. A young woman has a knack for finding strange artifacts, but when she picks up an old radio from a car boot sale, she gets more than she bargained for. I loved the mix of mystery and spookiness of this one.
The care and feeding of household gods. This is a story about a stay at home dad who makes household gods to help him get everything done. This one took me by surprise, starting off innocent enough, then got more and more sinister. I still can’t stop thinking about this one!
I would highly recommend Beyond The Veil if you’re looking for a variety of short, sharp and shocking stories.
About The Editor:
Mark Morris has written and edited almost forty novels, novellas, short story collections and anthologies. His recent work includes the official movie tie-in novelizations of The Great Wall and (co-written with Christopher Golden) The Predator, the Obsidian Heart trilogy (The Wolves of London, The Society of Blood and The Wraiths of War), the anthologies New Fears (winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Anthology) and New Fears 2 and many more.
Hello lovelies and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Shadow Stained by Rachel Hobbs, organised by Write Reads Tours.
Title: Shadow Stained (Stones of Power book 1)
Date Published: 14th April 2020
Genre: Dark Fantasy
For her, it’s her late grandma’s legacy. For him, the mother of all black arts spoils, granting one demon the power of a God. Immortality.
When occult-magnet Ruby falls victim to Demon Lord Drayvex’s viperous allure, she loses a sentient dark relic to his light fingers and appetite for power. Like calls to like. But when Drayvex himself loses the relic to a traitor to the throne, Ruby coerces him – the tyrant king with a soft spot for humanity – into helping her save her pokey old world village from becoming a ground zero of mass demonic carnage.
Both invested in reclaiming the relic, the one thing Ruby and Drayvex agree on is that it’s in the wrong hands. Co-existing in a precarious arrangement between predator and prey, to save the planet they both love for different reasons, they must become a formidable double-team in the face of an apocalyptic takeover. Now, the fate of both human and demon alike rests with a killer that walks between worlds, and a woman with a curse in her bloodline.
Rachel Hobbs lives in soggy South West Wales, where she hibernates with her bearded dragon and her husband. By day she is a dental nurse at a small local practice. By night, she writes.
Her debut novel SHADOW-STAINED is the first in a dark fantasy series for adults, inspired by her dark and peculiar experiences with narcolepsy and parasomnia. She’s since subjugated her demons, and writes under the tenuous guise that they work for her.
Fuelled by an unhealthy amount of coffee, she writes about hard-boiled monsters with soft centres and things that go bump in the night.
Title: The Silent Witness (Detective Amanda Steele 3) by Carolyn Arnold
Date Published: 24th September 2021
Genre: Police Procedural
It’s 4 a.m. when her mom shakes her awake. “Get up baby, we’re going to play hide and seek.” The little girl presses back into the dark space, holding her breath as she hears the shots ring out. She knows she’s next…
When the bodies of a local family are discovered on a quiet street in the small town of Dumfries, Virginia, Detective Amanda Steele takes charge of the case. Brett and Angela Parker were shot three times each, leaving no hope of survival, and their tidy suburban home has been ransacked. But there is no sign of their beloved six-year-old, Zoe.
Zoe is the same age as Amanda’s daughter was when she died, and Amanda can’t bear the thought of another little girl in danger. She’s organizing a search for the child, when she notices something strange about the ottoman at the foot of the Parkers’ bed. She opens it to find Zoe, mute and traumatized, but alive.
With Zoe completely uncommunicative, Amanda must find another way to untangle what destroyed this seemingly perfect family. It’s clear that the killer is searching for something the Parkers had, and until she has this monster behind bars, Amanda fears that he may return for Zoe. When she learns that Brett Parker cut short the family’s recent lakeside vacation, she wonders why. What happened at that lake house, and did it ultimately get them killed?
Amanda heads out to Lake Chesdin on the feeling it might be key to the case, and when she finds a cell phone in the murky waters next to the Parker cabin, she knows she’s made a breakthrough. But then terrible news reaches her from Dumfries; Zoe has been taken from her school playground.
Someone wants to silence the Parker family for good, can Amanda catch them before the little girl she’s desperate to protect pays the price?
A completely gripping and addictive crime thriller that will keep fans of Rachel Caine, Lisa Regan and Robert Dugoni entertained into the early hours.
I want to thank Bookouture for providing me with a copy of The Silent Witness in exchange for an honest review.
This is the third in the Detective Amanda Steele series which can be read as a standalone, but I’d recommend reading at least the previous book in the series as there are some secondary storylines that run over into this one.
Amanda is called to the scene of a double homicide. A husband and wife have been murdered and their six-year-old daughter Zoe is missing. Searching the house, she finds the little girl traumatised and unable to speak, having witnessed her parents’ deaths. The case is a baffling one, neither of Zoe’s parents seem to have an enemy in the world. It soon becomes apparent that Zoe’s life is in danger and it’s up to Amanda and her partner Trent to solve the case.
The silent witness was packed full of tension, twists and turns, plus a few shocking revelations for the characters. Honestly, the more books I read in this series, the more enjoyable it gets!
This is a really tough case for Amanda, having to take care of Zoe while also trying to deal with unresolved issues of when her own daughter died. I’ll be honest in the previous book I didn’t warm to Amanda that much but after finishing this one, I feel I got to know her better and saw a different side to her.
I got a little impatient as the story neared its end. I felt it was a little dragged out, but of course that’s just my opinion.
The Silent Witness is a well-written police procedural that was both entertaining and packed an emotional punch too.
About The Author:
Carolyn Arnold was born in a small Canadian town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower. As an international bestselling and award-winning author, she has several continuing fiction series, including her popular Detective Madison Knight series. She offers readers nearly three dozen published books in genres ranging from crime thrillers and hard-boiled mysteries to cozy mysteries and action adventures. She currently lives north of London, Ontario, with her husband and two beagles.
To Be Enlightened is a cosmic love story that follows Professor of Philosophy Abe Levy as he grapples with what it means to love both his wife, Sarah, and the ocean of silence within. It is also an intellectual exploration of the most intimate of subjects: our consciousness.
Abe Levy’s long tenure as a philosophy professor has motivated thousands of students to ponder age-old questions in light of New Age ideas. Though Abe is passionate about his teaching, he is obsessed with a powerful childhood dream of heaven. To return to that heaven, he must reach enlightenment in his lifetime. Day after day, Abe settles into deep meditation, reaching the very cusp of his goal but unable to cross the threshold. Desperately, he commits to doing whatever it takes, even if it means abandoning his wife for a more ascetic life-a decision that sets off a cascade of consequences for Abe, Sarah, and those he loves the most.
Vedic wisdom holds that during the forty-eight minutes prior to sunrise, which is called the Brahma Muhurta, a wave of purity and balance sweeps through the world, gently waking it up, along with the birds and other animals. I sip my coffee, enjoying the silence and morning calm. About fifteen minutes before sunrise, the birds start singing praises, enlivening and infusing the atmosphere with optimism for the approaching day. The transition rarely fails to uplift me.
A high-pitched fluttering followed by a distinctive buzzing draws my attention. I look up to see a large, shiny purple hummingbird hovering about a foot above the center of the table, looking at me as if wanting to speak. It flits its beak up, down, and sideways, and—zip! It’s gone. I don’t remember ever seeing a hummingbird so close. I sit for a moment. I know that hummingbird! I’ve seen her many times before in my dream. But she was always a bee.
I do asanas and pranayama and then walk toward our bedroom for my morning meditation. The hummingbird gets me thinking about omens. If there really are omens, does it mean that God communicates with us only at specific, special times? Or is it that at certain times we become still enough to precipitate an omen? Maybe there are always omens and we aren’t aware enough to appreciate them? I bet it’s even more complex than that. I adjust my pillows for meditation. In a half lotus, my eyes close.
Mantra, mantra, maaaantra, mmmannntraaaa, maaa…mantra emerges from shimmering pool, drop of water in reverse. Mantra, mantra, mmmmaa…the place on surface of pool where mantra will emerge begins to move, vibrate…I am observing and hearing the mantra’s emergence from my consciousness. It is separate from the real Me, the observer…The school’s administrative board has asked me to head the search committee for a new chief of campus security. I don’t know anything about security. I’m not going…I observe that thought, and this thought, arise in the same way the Mantra emerges.So interesting…Mantra, mantra, mantraaaaa, maaaantra…surface of pool, no ripples, no thoughts, no feelings coming from body or mind, endless…one side, silent awareness; other side, activity. Mantra, maantraa, mmmmm…mantra barely tickles my expansive surface…Bliss surges through body, mind. Bliss is caused by awareness of subtle disturbance at junction between…Mantra, mantra, mantraaaaa, mmmmmmaaaaaaa…flowing outward, all directions; I am a boundless, luminous mirror between my self and my Self… Mmmaaaa…mmmm…maaaaa…I am the surface of the ocean, impossibly still, deafeningly silent…needing to let go…ready to let go…fearing loss…Mmmmmmmm…decision made, must go forward, will go forward…surrendering all I thought I was for what I am…individuality dissolves: raindrop, ocean…
I am—the vast, unbounded ocean of consciousness. I am—unmoving wholeness. I was never that body or that mind. I have been observing Abe Levy since the moment he was born, and much, much longer than that. I am—at peace. I am—now awake. I was sleeping before. I can see the sun and the planets clearly. They are so dear to have nurtured Mother Earth, allowing her to birth humanity. I notice distantly that my body is glowing. Time is immaterial and has lost its grip on me…
* * *
Back in my body, I look over at my bedside alarm clock. More than an hour has gone by. I lie down to rest and a deep sleep envelops my body and mind, though I am awake, aware, and witnessing.
I get up and put on my robe. Something is very, very different. It’s as if I am still meditating even though my body and I are active in the world. I am in two places at the same time—the unbounded ocean of consciousness and the bounded world of activity and senses. I have never, ever, felt so good and so focused. I walk to the kitchen, but I don’t seem to be moving.
It happened. The thought comes that I should be jumping with joy, but I’m past that. A more pressing, evolving issue appears to be whether my body can contain my joy. I close my eyes and watch as thin, sparkling beams of Bliss increasingly poke their way through the shell that is my old body, shining out from my new one in a myriad of luminous, waving threads of various lengths and hues. The brightest and most numerous ones are congregated around my solar plexus and the top of my head. The weirdest part of all is that I’m not surprised or concerned by this in the least.
I make oatmeal with whole milk, dried cherries, roasted almond slivers, cinnamon, cardamom, and a hint of nutmeg. I notice something is gone. I am not, in general, an anxious or fearful man, but I now realize I had significant anxiety and fear all my life. I know this because, for the first time, I am completely without those constant companions. Along with my anxieties and fears, my worries about leaving Sarah to go to Fairfield have evaporated. I don’t have to go anywhere now. I am where I have always wanted to be. I’m Here. The weight of responsibility that I had shouldered in guiding Sarah around her triggers has lifted. I think that I can now lovingly support her without feeling bogged down or burdened.
I shower, shave, dress for class, and it all seems to happen automatically, as if I’m uninvolved in the process. I was somewhat intellectually prepared for this, but even after over fifty years of meditation, I’m not prepared experientially. This will take some getting used to.
Walking to my office, the world is delicious. The singing birds are part of me, thrilling me thoroughly from the inside with our perfect twittering. My heart sings with them. My body hums with a hymn as my feet beat the rhythm into the sidewalk.
Alan J. Steinberg, MD is board-certified in Internal Medicine and practices with the Cedars-Sinai Medical Group in Beverly Hills, California. He also serves as one of the attending physicians for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers. He grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) in 1975. Earning his undergraduate philosophy degree at Pomona and Pitzer Colleges in Claremont, California, he went on to attend the University of Nevada School of Medicine, receiving an MD degree in 1984. His first book was a non-fiction consumer’s guide, The Insider’s Guide to HMOs (Plume/Penguin), which garnered favorable reviews in the Los Angeles Times and other publications as well as appearances on The Today Show, 20/20 and C-Span. The book helped sway the direction that healthcare was heading in the late 1990s. His debut novel, To Be Enlightened(Adelaide Books, 2021), is a work of visionary fiction, inspired by some of his own experiences as a lifelong practitioner of TM. Dr. Steinberg lives with his wife of over thirty-five years in Los Angeles, California. They are the proud parents of three young adults.
Title: Murder in the Village (Belinda Penshurst 1) by Lisa Cutts
Date Published: 21st August 2021
Genre: Cozy mystery
Meet Belinda Penshurst. Castle owner, dog lover… crime solver?
Belinda Penshurst loves her home village Little Challham, with its shady lanes, two pubs and weekly market, and she’s determined to keep it peaceful. She may live in Challham Castle but she knows almost everything that goes on under her nose. So when irritable pub landlord Tipper is found dead in his cellar, she’s perfectly placed to investigate.
Retired detective Harry Powell moved to Little Challham for a quiet life. He didn’t expect to be dragged into a murder investigation. But the police don’t seem half as enthusiastic as Belinda about the case, and there are strange things happening in the village. Particularly the number of dogs that have disappeared lately…
Is there a dognapper snaffling schnauzers and luring away Labradors? Is Belinda barking mad to be worried that her brother Marcus was arguing with Tipper on the day he died? Belinda and Harry track down the suspects: the rival landlord, the outraged barmaid, the mysterious man in the black car following dogwalkers around. But are the dogged detectives running out of time to sniff out the killer, before he starts hounding them?
A charming cozy mystery full of laughs and eccentric characters. Fans of M.C. Beaton, H.Y. Hanna and Emily Organ will love the first novel in the Belinda Penshurst series!
I want to thank Bookouture for providing me with a copy of Murder in the Village in exchange for an honest review.
I’m a bit of a sucker for a cozy mystery, so I jumped at the chance to read Murder in the village.
I know Lisa Cutts has written other books before this one but this is actually the first I’ve read of hers, but it certainly won’t be the last!
Two cases run side by side in this novel. First off, the dog owners of Little Challam are being targeted by mysterious dognappers. The second mystery involves the murder of pub landlord Tipper, a man with no shortage of enemies, but who would want to kill him? Belinda joins forces with retired detective Harry Powell to solve both cases.
Murder in the village has all the ingredients of a good cozy mystery, an idyllic sounding setting, a cast of interesting characters and a couple of determined amateur sleuths intent on getting to the bottom of the case.
Belinda and Harry made a fun pair together. Belinda is fairly bossy and stubborn, not afraid to say what she thinks, while Harry is a little more reserved and thoughtful. I enjoyed the back and forth between Belinda and Harry. I feel there’s some good potential between the pair and look forward to seeing what they get up to next.
At times, I found Belinda a tad annoying, but she grew on me as the story went along.
Both mysteries kept me guessing with plenty of suspects and red herrings along the way.
Murder in the village is a solid cozy mystery and a must for fans of this genre!
About The Author:
Lisa Cutts is a full-time detective constable investigating murders for a living. When off duty she writes a fictitious version of her day job. She lives and works within the county of Kent with her husband and Labrador.
She is the author of the DC Nina Foster books, Never Forget and Remember, Remember. Never Forgot was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award 2013 and the winner of the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award 2014 for Best Thriller. She has also written four books in the East Rise Incident Room series, Mercy Killing, Buried Secrets, Lost Lives and Don’t Trust Him. All four centre around DI Harry Powell and his Major Crime Team battling to solve the latest murders within the county. Currently she is writing the Little Challham mysteries, cosy mysteries set in a fictional village in Kent.
She writes a monthly column, Behind the Tape, for Writing Magazine answering police procedural questions from other writers. In early 2016, she was honoured to become the Patron of Rochester Literature Festival and help establish Murderous Medway, an annual crime fiction festival packed full of amazing author panels. As well as being on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book, Lisa has twice appeared on This Morning to chat about TV crime dramas Broadchurch and Line of Duty.