In every person’s story, there is something to hide…
From award-winning author Sulari Gentill comes a mischievous, twisty crime novel in the vein of Only Murders in the Building and White Lotus.
Four strangers in the Reading Room at Boston Public Library are introduced by a scream. Caught up in the subsequent murder investigation, each one finds themselves revealing more than they intended about their pasts as they race to solve the murder before one of them gets hurt. Whilst their stories unfold, so does another. Dear Hannah… As correspondence between the author and an avid fan becomes interwoven with the core tale, the boundaries between what is fiction and what is real life begin to blur, highlighting the lengths people will go to keep their secrets.
Through these entwined narratives, Gentill delves into the complicated nature of friendships, the lives we show versus the lives we lead and the ways in which art can imitate life. Or perhaps it’s the other way around?
A sharply thrilling literary adventure, The Woman in the Library is contemporary crime with a clever twist.
I want to thank Ultimo Press for my copy of the woman in the library. All opinions are my own.
The Woman in the library is a unique mystery in its setup as it’s a book within a book. Crime author Hannah Tigone is writing her latest mystery about a group of strangers, Freddie, Cain, Whit and Marigold, who become bonded together after hearing a scream in a library where a woman is later found dead. In between the chapters, we see feedback from her beta reader Leo, who offers her feedback but isn’t as benign as he initially seems.
I was expecting just a good old-fashioned mystery, but it turned out to have a lot more layers to the story than just that. It was part mystery, part love story with a bit of true crime style storytelling mixed in there, too.
The Woman in the library is very much a character driven story. Each character felt well rounded and believable, with their own flaws and foibles. The main part of the story is told from Winifred, aka Freddie’s point of view. Freddie is an Australian, living in America after receiving a writing scholarship. Her world gets turned upside after hearing the woman scream, leading her to start her own investigation.
I wished there was a little more amateur sleuthing involved with the mystery aspect of it. I felt a lot of the book was just concentrating on the characters, making the mystery a bit more slow paced than I would have liked.
If you love a character driven story, then I would highly recommend The Woman In The Library to you.
About The Author:
After setting out to study astrophysics, graduating in law and then abandoning her legal career to write books, Sulari now grows French black truffles on her farm in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains of NSW. Sulari is the author of The Rowland Sinclair Mysteries, historical crime fiction novels (ten in total) set in the 1930s.
Sulari’s work has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Best First Book), the Davitt Award, the Ned Kelly Award and the ABIA. She won the Davitt Award for the A Decline in Prophets, and the Ned Kelly Award for her most recent standalone novel, Crossing the Lines.
Title: Death Among The Diamonds (A Cressida Fawcett Mystery 1) by Fliss Chester
Date Published: 21st September 2022
Genre: Historical Mystery
Everyone in 1920s London knows the Honourable Cressida Fawcett: fiercely independent (though never apart from her little pug Ruby), lover of martinis and interior designer extraordinaire. She’s solved many crimes of fashion… so how about murder?
Cressida Fawcett is heading to the English countryside for a weekend of cocktails and partying at her friend’s glamorous mansion, the location of a recent diamond heist. But just hours after her arrival, Cressida is woken by an almighty scream. Rushing to the landing, she looks down into the great hall to find a trembling maid standing next to the body of Harry, the friendly young chandelier cleaner.
Everyone believes Harry’s death was an accident. But as Cressida examines the opulent hall and the beautiful grounds, she thinks something darker is afoot. Why clean a chandelier in the early hours of the morning? And who overheard Harry boasting about coming into unexpected wealth? A small piece of torn silk found near the body has Cressida looking at the guests’ elegant clothes with fresh eyes…
The short-tempered Detective insists that she keeps her curious nose out of the investigation, but it’s Cressida who realises the stolen diamonds were hidden in the sparkling chandelier. Convinced there is a connection between the theft and the murder, the case takes a sinister turn when a guest is killed in his sleep after a brandy-fuelled night of cards. With everyone unable to leave, can Cressida’s sharp eye for detail catch the killer before another life is taken?
An absolutely gripping and utterly charming 1920s murder mystery packed with wit, glamour and intrigue. The perfect whodunnit for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Downton Abbey!
You can buy your copy here (including the audiobook):
I want to thank Bookouture for providing me with an ARC copy of Death Among Diamonds. All opinions are my own.
This is the first in the Cressida Fawcett historical mysteries set back in the 1920s. I always love a mystery set around the interwar era, so I was excited to see what this book had to offer.
Cressida is a thoroughly modern woman, for the times. She doesn’t want to be tied down to a husband, much to her mother’s annoyance, and would rather spend her time out socialising or zipping around in her car.
When she’s invited by her best friend Dotty, invites her to her family’s mansion to meet her fiance, she finds herself mixed up in a murder investigation. With her nosy nature and determination, she wants to get to the bottom of it, even the protests from her friend and the detective in charge.
What a fun first outing Death Among The Diamonds was! There was plenty of murder, mayhem, and peril for Cressida along the way.
I loved Cressida as a character. Bold, headstrong, with an eye for interior design and snooping out clues. It was so entertaining to watch her get herself in and out of scrapes.
I felt that it could have done with being a little shorter. It dragged a little for me in the middle, but of course that’s just my opinion.
An enjoyable start to the series. I wonder what predicament Cressida will get herself into next!
About The Author:
Fliss Chester lives in Surrey with her husband and writes historical cozy crime. When she is not killing people off in her 1940s whodunnits, she helps her husband, who is a wine merchant, run their business. Never far from a decent glass of something, Fliss also loves cooking (and writing up her favourite recipes on her blog), enjoying the beautiful Surrey and West Sussex countryside and having a good natter.
Hello lovelies! Today I have something a bit different for you. A new podcast: Case Files: Short Crime Fiction Stories. I don’t know about you but I’ve been listening to podcasts more and more over the last couple of years and I’m a massive crime fiction fan, so I’m very excited about this. Here’s a little more about the podcast:
Crime fiction author Rachel Amphlett has created a plot twist for mystery fans – a short story podcast.
If you love audio drama or true crime podcasts, then Case Files: Short Crime Fiction Stories is just for you. With each episode of the series less than an hour, you can grab a crime fiction fix over lunch, while walking the dog, or in the gym. Season one will see a new story released each week from September 26 to October 31 and a second season is in production.
Rachel said: “True crime podcasts are popular, you’ve got scripted audio drama like radio plays, and you’ve got some people who take their audiobooks and serialise them. But as far as I can find, there are no crime fiction or murder mystery publishers regularly sharing new stories by their authors on podcasts.
“This got me thinking about whether I could reach a new demographic of readers through a different worldwide audience and nurture them into readers of my audiobooks, my ebooks, or my print books. It’s providing a connection between a podcast audience and an audiobook audience.”
Inspired by reading books as a child, her aim is ‘to write gripping stories that you won’t want to put down’.
She said: “The first tales I fell in love with were written by Stephen King, Richard Matheson, Rod Serling and Roald Dahl.
“They wrote short stories where the good guys didn’t always win, where I found myself smiling at what the bad guys sometimes got away with. I’d often feel a shiver of anticipation as the page turned and the author posed the question “What if?” For example, what if a contract killer needed to see a chiropractor on a regular basis? And what if you discovered that your husband was a serial killer? What would you do?”
Case Files: Short Crime Fiction Stories is available on all major podcast apps, including Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts. For episode updates go to www.shortcrimestories.com or you can subscribe here:
Rachel has written more than 30 crime novels and short stories featuring spies, detectives, vigilantes, and assassins. The USA Today bestselling author has created two detective series, Detective Kay Hunter and Detective Mark Turpin as well as thrillers featuring Dan Taylor and Eva Delacourt.
Welcome to the book tour for Crescent Moon Crossing by Sandy Wright. Read on for more!
Title: Crescent Moon Crossing
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2022
Staff Sgt. Jace Merrick’s two short-term goals: Join the Army Intelligence Unit, and kill his wife.
When his bleeding-heart spouse, Abby, begins volunteering at Hope House, a group that leaves supplies in the Arizona desert for illegals crossing the border, he hatches a plan to make her murder look like a coyote smuggling gone wrong. But before he can carry out his plan, Abby is murdered—and he’s the prime suspect.
Rumor Vargas is first on the witness list of Deputy Sheriff Cooper “Coop” Jones who’s investigating her friend’s murder. Rumor finds his methodical mind attractive and she’s curious about his battle-weary eyes. But when he turns that inquiring mind on her big brother as a prime suspect, Rumor has a reason besides attraction to keep Coop close.
The Sheriff suspects Alberto Vargas has Cartel ties, and this certainly looks like the Sinoloan gang’s work. On the other hand, Abby’s husband—and his lover–have their own motives for murder.
The further Coop digs into the case, the less the facts add up for any of his known suspects. Someone has a grudge against Jace Merrick. A life and death grudge. And it’s time for pay back.
Staff Sergeant Jace Merrick was still enjoying the limp-limbed afterglow of his third orgasm when his lover flipped back the covers and stood up. “Hey, where do you think you’re going?” He stretched like a contented cat and scratched the line of blonde hair running from his chest to navel, remembering his lover’s lips following that path an hour earlier.
“Rise and shine soldier.” First Lieutenant Kendra Clark’s bare feet slapped the cheap linoleum in the motel bathroom. “We report at oh-eight-hundred tomorrow. Lots of loose ends to tie up before then.”
Jace rolled onto his back and listened to the clank and whoosh of the shower. One more day until he began training for his new assignment, and the seventeen-week base restriction that came with it. Although he would miss the daily sex, this transfer to Fort Huachuca was the culmination of a dream he’d been working toward for years. Military Intelligence. Pretty damned good for a guy who’d lost his ROTC scholarship and come up the hard way, straight leg infantry, 11-Bravo.
He left the bed and stepped into the steamy shower behind Kendra, slipping his arms around her bare waist.
She glanced over one sleek shoulder. “Miss me already?”
“What can I say?” He lathered her arms, working his way down to run a soapy finger in slow circles around one nipple, pleased to feel it harden at his touch. He’d always trusted his instincts, and those instincts told him she’d wait for him. After all, she’d followed him from fort to fort for the last two years, finagling matching assignments. She’d wait seventeen weeks. Absence makes the cock grow harder, said member twitched in reply.
“Move it, mister.” Kendra stepped out of the shower and dried off with brisk efficiency. “Quit daydreaming.”
Just one last thing, Jace thought as he stepped out of the shower. “One little detail to handle,” he told his reflection, wiping the steam from the motel mirror.
After he completed training, he’d change his marital status. Then he’d finally be free of his do-gooder, bleeding-heart wife. How, he wasn’t sure yet. The tricky part was getting rid of Abby while keeping her recent inheritance.
Kendra stood in front of Jace so he could fasten her bra. “What are you thinking about so intently?”
“I’m thinking about Abby,” he replied, finishing the clasps. “I’m thinking it’s convenient that the Army doesn’t pay for a family transfer until my next deployment.”
Kendra frowned. “Yes. But we have to deal with her eventually. I hate sneaking around.”
He leaned over to scoop his shirt from the floor and kiss the dimpled spot just above her lacy panties. “Be patient. I’m working on a plan to be rid of her. Permanently.”
* * *
Outside the motel, a silver Honda Accord sat in the shade of an overgrown mesquite tree, the front window rolled up despite the stifling Arizona heat.
The man in the driver’s seat removed his baseball cap and rubbed his sweaty head with a bandanna. He hated this monochrome desert landscape and its searing heat. It reminded him of Iraq. Made him feel exposed and twitchy. The glare brought back his blinding headaches, and the nightmares too. The ones that jerked him awake in a cold sweat, reaching for his rifle.
But he had a job to do.
When Jace came out, the man put down his black coffee and raised binoculars to his eyes. He watched Jace unlock his metallic blue Mustang. The son-of-a-gun was whistling as he slid behind the wheel. That smug face, seemingly right in front of him, thanks to the magnified lens, made his breath catch and stomach acid bubble up and burn his throat. He squeezed the binoculars until his fingers ached. Breathing hard, he imagined his hands around Jace’s neck, squeezing, squeezing, until that cocky smile disappeared, replaced by terror.
He wasn’t worried about being seen. Chances were Jace wouldn’t remember him, especially dressed as a civilian in a dark ball cap and a Black Sabbath logo t-shirt.
His old squad leader hadn’t changed a bit. Still slim, buff and full of himself. Still the lady’s man.
He shut his eyes as his nostrils filled with the old-penny scent of blood. The car, the heat, the sleazy motel faded away. Instead, he imagined his wife on the operating table, her belly clamped open, blood filling the cavity faster than the nurses could suction it out. He could just make out the tiny body of Baby Emily, still attached inside, while the surgeon worked frantically to get the baby out and save mother. As he watched, the still form disappeared, the face submerged in blood.
“No. No. No.” He trembled as terror seared his guts and the flashback engulfed him. His arms, of their own volition, reached out to touch his wife, to help lift his baby daughter’s head above the blood, to clean out her nose and throat and force her to breathe. Please, Emmy. Breathe.
The rumbling of Jace’s turbo-charged Mustang brought the stranger back to the motel. He unclamped his cramped hands from the steering wheel and gingerly massaged his chest. Just my luck to have a heart attack in this dusty, shit hole parking lot. His face was wet with tears. They ran down his chin to soak the neck of his tee shirt.
I should have been there. I could have kept her healthier. Stronger. At least I could have held her hand at…at the end.
Anger scorched away his tears, as he thought about Jace Merrick, the self-involved asshole who made him miss his wife’s delivery. She lost her life. He lost his career. And Jace? Nothing. A night in the stockade for starting a bar fight. That’s all.
Soon after Barb and Em’s death, he’d suffered a psychotic breakdown during a night patrol. He was convinced people were trying to kill him.
“Of course they are, you jackass,” Jace told him. “We’re in the middle of a war zone.” He slapped him on the helmet and sent him back out on patrol the next night.
But who wants a marksman with the shakes? He looked down at his trembling hands in disgust.
His CO had no choice but to remove him from active duty. He recommended a medical discharge. “His sense of reality is fragile in the extreme,” the officer said in his report. “For his own sake, and for the safety of his squad mates, he needs rest and psychiatric care.”
Sandy Wright resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, a rescued Australian Shepherd named Teak, and a black panther cat born during a full eclipse and named Shadow Moon.
She fell in love with the southwest desert, including its Native American influences, when she relocated from the Midwest.
CRESCENT MOON CROSSING, released August 2022, features a murder that could be ripped from today’s tension-laden border conflict headlines.
Staff Sergeant Jace Merrick has two short-term goals–join the Army Intelligence unit, and kill his wife. He hatches a scheme to make her death look like a Mexican cartel smuggling operation gone wrong. But before he can carry out his plan, she is shot, and he becomes the prime murder suspect.
SONG OF THE ANCIENTS, the first novel in the Ancient Magic paranormal suspense series, introduces readers to witchcraft and shamanism, seen through the eyes of an ordinary woman.
Readers interested in witchcraft—or just a dark, spooky tale—will enjoy this paranormal suspense, written by a real-life Wiccan High Priestess.
Hello lovelies! Today I am one of the blogger closing out the tour with a review of Flora Flowerdew and the Mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds by Amanda McCabe, plus the bonus of a giveaway too! See bottom of the post for details.
Title: Flora Flowerdew and the Mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds by Amanda McCabe
Date Published: 16th August 2022
Genre: Historical Mystery
Flora Flowerdew has a secret. The former Florrie Gubbins, music hall dancer, is now Madame Flowerdew, one of London’s most renowned spirit mediums. But it’s actually her beloved Pomeranian dog, Chou-Chou, who can see the ghosts.
One of her most lucrative seances, for the wealthy Petrie family whose daughter is about to marry a handsome young duke, goes chaotically awry. The duke’s late, and very irate, grandfather demands Flora and his grandson Benedict find the long-missing family diamonds—even the search becomes littered with mayhem and murder! Can Flora discover the jewels before she loses her career, her sanity—and her heart?
Sparks fly as Flora, Benedict, and Chou-Chou pursue the truth of the diamonds’ disappearance in this lighthearted, cozy historical mystery set in foggy, gas-lit London
I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this blog tour and providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions are my own.
During a seance for the wealthy Petrie family, Flora has an unexpected visitor as the ghost of the Duke of Everton shows up. He says that his grandson cannot marry unless he finds the diamonds stolen from him years ago. The current duke of Everton asks Flora to help him look into it, but how are they meant to solve a theft that happened so many years ago?
Flora Flowerdew and the Mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds is the first in the Flora Flowerdew mysteries set in Victorian England. It’s a mix of cozy mystery, romance with a few supernatural goings on to boot.
This was such an enjoyable, fast-paced read! The mystery really kept me guessing throughout.
Flora was a great character. I loved her backstory and how she’d gone from being a chorus girl to a psychic, earning herself an excellent reputation and a comfortable life. There was also Flora’s Pomeranian Chou-chou, who added a bit of cuteness to the story.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Benedict aka the Duke. He didn’t feel quite as strong a character as Flora was, but if he does appear in future novels, then hopefully we’ll get to know him a bit better.
If you’re looking for a light-hearted historical mystery with a dash of romance, then I’d recommend Flora Flowerdew and the Mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds.
About The Author:
Amanda McCabe wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)
She’s never since used algebra, but her books (set in a variety of time periods–Regency, Victorian, Tudor, Renaissance, and 1920s) have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion. She lives in New Mexico with her lovely husband, along with far too many books and a spoiled rescue dog.
When not writing or reading, she loves yoga, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook. She also writes as Amanda Allen…
Giveaway to Win an e-copy of Flora Flowerdew and the Mystery of the Duke’s Diamonds & a Victorian necklace (Open to US Only)
*Terms and Conditions –US entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
Title: Catch Her Death (Madison Harper 5) by Wendy Dranfield
Date Published: 9th September 2022
Genre: Police Procedural
“Mommy, wake-up,” he cries, pulling at her beautiful blonde hair. She’s silent, and her skin is deathly white. Tears roll down his cheeks as he realizes something is very wrong…
As snow falls on the small town of Lost Creek, Colorado, a three-year-old boy is found playing quietly in his car seat, his mother, cold as ice, slumped against the steering wheel in front. Tearing herself away from reconnecting with her special agent father who abandoned her for his career, Detective Madison Harper is haunted by the fear in the boy’s sky-blue eyes, and vows to find justice for this innocent child, left motherless just days before Christmas.
Madison works around the clock on her only clue: a perfect circle of clean glass found on the car’s rear window. But she’s stopped in her tracks the moment another mother is found dead outside a church during Midnight Mass, her young boy left sucking his thumb on the frozen ground beside her. It can’t be a coincidence.
The need to spare the children might hint to the suspect being a woman, but the deeper Madison digs, the closer she gets to a serial killer her own father spent a lifetime chasing. Has the killer followed her father here? Could Madison, single mother to a son herself, be next?
As a blizzard closes in, wreaking havoc on the investigation, Madison hits the same dead ends her father did all those years ago. But when her closest friend goes missing, Madison must dive into the mind of this twisted soul and risk it all to stop another heart-shattering tragedy. But will she make it in time?
An absolutely gripping read that will get your pulse pounding! Perfect for fans of Lisa Regan, Melinda Leigh and Kendra Elliot.
I want to thank Bookouture for providing me with an ARC copy of Catch Her Death. All opinions are my own.
I’m already a huge fan of this series, having read all five books now, and I think it continues to go from strength to strength. I honestly think Catch Her Death is my favourite in the series so far!
Just before Christmas, a little boy is found unharmed in the back of a car, his mum dead in the front. Madison is tasked with investigating during one of the worst snowstorms they’ve had in a long time in the small town of Lost Creek. More bodies turn up, similar to the first, which could mean she has a serial killer on her hands.
This book was absolutely packed with tension that once I picked it up, I just couldn’t put it down. I had to know what happened next!
The relationship between Madison and her PI friend Nate gets more and more complicated with each book. Will they get it together? Won’t they? I’m very much looking forward to seeing what Wendy Dranfield has in store next for the pair.
The ending was just… wow. I’m still a bit emotional about it, to be honest!
Catch Her Death is a hard-hitting police procedural that pulls you in from that very first chapter and doesn’t let up for a second throughout. I’m already eagerly awaiting the next book!
About The Author:
Wendy is the bestselling author of the Detective Madison Harper crime series.
She is a former coroner’s assistant turned crime writer who writes a mixture of standalone thrillers, crime series and short stories. Some of her books have been shortlisted for various writing competitions and awards, including the Mslexia novel writing competition and the International Thriller Writer Awards.
My first published novel took me five YEARS to write. The second took months. Now? I draft each of my novels in about a week.
We live in a fast-paced world, and not everyone has the time to spend months or even years working on a novel. This book is a comprehensive guide over how I get a book from concept to fully-edited in the course of about a week. (It can take less or more depending on the length of the novel or my time constraints).
This process can work for any genre of fiction, as I have used it for every novel I’ve written after the first.
Kate Hall is a bestselling author who is known for her quick success and high earnings in the Paranormal Romance genre. In this guide, she shows how you, too, can write books fast to potentially increase your publishing income.
I’ve seen this book around and I want to see how someone could outline and write a book in just a week.
The guide starts off with information about self publishing, in particular the book a month rule that some indie authors put out. I honestly don’t know how Kate Hall or anyone else manages to keep the pace up. It must be exhausting!
Anyway, next up is how the author outlines and how she manages to get so many words in such a short time. Lastly, there’s some editing and layout tips.
It’s a fairly short book and after I’d finished, I decided to try it out.
Did I write a book in a week? No.
Did I come close? Also, no. But I managed to get almost double of my usual weekly word count, which was fantastic.
My favourite thing about the book was the simple outline, which I found a lot less confusing than the one in Save The Cat writes a novel.
I’ll be honest, there is no way I’m going to write a book in a week. I realised while I was trying this method out, I just don’t have the concentration it takes to sit a bang out that many words. However, I got some helpful tips from this book that I’ll be using in the future.
If you are a beginner writer and looking for straightforward, no nonsense writing advice, then I would recommend this book to you.
We’re celebrating the release of Boston Teran’s revisionist western novel, Crippled Jack. Read on for more info and a sneak peek!
Title: Crippled Jack
Publication Date: September 5th, 2022
Genre: Revisionist Western/ Historical Fiction
CRIPPLED JACK is a revisionist western set against a landmark era in American folklore. Those were the years of poverty, homelessness and hatred between the classes.
In that time when bloodthirsty violence ruled the day a boy was bound and gagged and left to die in the desert. He was not yet nine and suffered what they called the palsy. There was a note pinned to his chest – It’s up to God now.
But the boy did not die. Fate and history merged in his will to live. He was found by a horseman who was at war with the profiteers of the day, the Czars of business, the masters of corporate avarice. He was known as – The Coffin Maker.
He became the star on the boy’s horizon. The boy would grow to become an expert marksman known as Crippled Jack. He will come of age during the labor wars that were consuming the West. His friends will be enemies of the state. He will come to love a woman who has escaped the orphan trains and is a reporter covering the bloodshed sweeping the nation.
Together they will usher in a new America. An America that has every intention of turning the country upside down, so that it may stand right side up.
CRIPPLED JACK transforms the classic American western into a scathing and violent protest novel. A war for social justice, for equality, and for hope – a war we’re still fighting today.
What tortures await the lives of men? What degree of exile from goodness makes up their souls?
The boy was near about eight, maybe nine years old. His hands and feet had been bound up with heavy rope. His mouth lashed tight with cot- ton strips so he could not cry out.
He was lying just off the Chihuahua Trail where it fed south from San Antonio toward Helena. He had been placed on the most degraded soil, by the remains of a rotted wagon and the sanded-down bones of an ox. A page from the Bible had been torn loose and pinned to his ragged and filthy shirt. And in a fine handwriting was written this:
— It’s up to God now —
For days the boy survived on his muffled cries and desperation to stay alive as he caterpillared along, his arms tied behind his back, a thing to behold, crawling inch by inch over rock and gray brown and scrub brush that scored the flesh. Threading down through gullies, his skin blistered, courtesy of the hideous Texas sun. He used his jaw and shoulders and the bottom of his bare bound feet to edge toward a road that grew farther and farther out of reach, until there was no more of him to struggle with.
He lay there alone, awaiting death, in all that unmerciful emptiness with one thought—Why did God hate me so much?
For a generation now, the internationally award-winning author Boston Teran has been writing about America and the moral territory of its soul. Many of his novels are translated into foreign languages, and he has been named alongside great American writers, including Hemingway and Larry McMurtry, filmmakers John Ford and Sam Peckinpah, as well as renowned painters and artists for his far reaching vision of time, place and humanity.
His cult novel, GOD IS A BULLET, was adapted to film in 2021 by Nick Cassavetes, and has been compared to such seminal works as Joan Didion’s THE WHITE ALBUM and John Ford’s THE SEARCHERS. NEVER COUNT OUT THE DEAD has been called a modern equivalent of Macbeth. THE CREED OF VIOLENCE is currently in film development with Universal Studios. His DEFIANT AMERICANS SERIES have been praised for confronting an America mired in hatred and human corruption, injustice, racism and inequality, and his characters’ quest for moral order and redemption.
The author has won countless awards, including The American Fiction Award for “Adventure: Historical,” the GRAND PRIX CALIBRE 38, the Stephen Crane Literary Award for “First Fiction,” the Fiction Lovers Association of Japan Award for “Best Novel,” the Benjamin Franklin Award in the LGBTQ+ category, and the John Creasey Award for “Best Novel” by the British Crime Writers Association.
Title: Death Down The Aisle (A Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery 11) by Verity Bright
Date Published: 31st August 2022
Genre: Cozy Mystery
The society wedding of the decade has everything: the blushing bride, beautiful flowers… and the groom arrested before he can walk down the aisle? Thank goodness Lady Swift is on the guest list!
Lady Eleanor Swift isn’t normally one for grand social occasions, but who can resist a wedding? Especially when it’s her old friend, Constance Grainger, marrying the most eligible bachelor in town, Lord Peregrine Davencourt. Eleanor is taking Gladstone the bulldog as her plus one, with a smart new bowtie to match her bridesmaid’s dress.
But the big day is ruined when the groom is arrested for murder before he makes it to the altar. In a baffling twist, it turns out he was already engaged to the lovely Daisy Balforth, who has been found dead at the local inn with Lord Davencourt kneeling over her. The gossip pages will have a field day!
The distraught bride-to-be asks Eleanor to clear her fiancé’s name, as she’s certain he wouldn’t hurt a fly. With help from handsome Detective Seldon, Eleanor examines the evidence. But she’s barely had time to write down her suspect list before Constance’s father is set upon by a bearded stranger on the golf course. Clearly there is more to this story than Eleanor first thought, but can she catch the real killer before the wedding turns into her wake?
A delightfully gripping historical cozy whodunnit full of intrigue and wit. Fans of T E Kinsey, Agatha Christie and Lee Strauss will be totally charmed.
I received a copy of Death Down The Aisle from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Death Down The Aisle is the eleventh in the Lady Eleanor Swift cozy mystery series. While there is a bit of a romance storyline that runs across the books, each mystery is self-contained so you could read without worrying too much about missing anything.
Lady Swift is to be a bridesmaid at her friend Constance’s wedding, but her husband to be, Lord Davencourt, is arrested for the murder of the woman he was once engaged to. Constance is convinced he has been wrongly accused and asks Eleanor to investigate, which she can’t say no to!
Death Down The Aisle is a well written historical cozy, full of intriguing characters and plenty of twists and peril for Eleanor to handle.
I have previously read the first in the series, A Very English Murder, and I found Eleanor a little bossy and abrasive, but it was nice to see that she mellowed a little. Don’t get me wrong, she was still her doggedly determined self, willing to do almost anything to get to the bottom of the case, much to the chagrin of her butler Clifford and dashing Detective Sheldon.
I also enjoy the back and forth between Eleanor and Clifford. It’s not your typical servant/mistress dynamic and they play off each other nicely, adding a bit of humour to the story.
Death Down the Aisle is a brilliant whodunnit that kept me engaged from beginning to end. A must if you love historical cozy mysteries!
About The Author:
Verity Bright is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing partnership that has spanned a quarter of a century. Starting out writing high-end travel articles and books, they published everything from self-improvement to humour, before embarking on their first historical mystery. They are the authors of the fabulous Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series, set in the 1920s.
Title: Rosie Shadow (Black Tongue 1) by Louise Worthington
Date Published: 1st March 2021
A child with a morbid gift. A demon father. An ancient prison where Clare makes a horrible mistake.
Destruction follows Rosie, and now Clare wonders if there is more to Lennie’s death than she sees. On the surface, everything appears normal, but there’s a creepy underworld thriving in Ward D of the Medieval prison and down its ancient steps to the dungeon where a demon feeds on the dead. Worryingly, his store is almost empty.
Who decorates the branches of the ancient yew tree where Clare’s boyfriend crashed his car? Will Clare listen to the murmurs within the prison walls in time to rescue her best friend from the clutches of evil? And why is someone else hanging around Ward D?
Rosie Shadow is a dark and twisty Gothic horror, perfect for fans of Gemma Amor, Laurel Hightower and Ania Ahlborn
I was provided with a copy of Rosie Shadow as part of the blog tour. All opinions are my own.
Rosie Shadow is told from multiple points of view. However, the main focus was on the characters of Elly and Clare. Elly is struggling to cope with her daughter. Social services think it’s just a case of single motherhood being too much for her, but there’s something very off about Rosie. Clare’s boyfriend dies in a car crash. She’s convinced it was no accident and her life rapidly falls apart. She leans on her boss, Archie, who is a bit of a mystery, but he’s hiding a dark secret.
Rosie absolutely made my skin crawl! Imagine carrying what you think is a perfectly normal baby, and it ends up basically sucking the life out of you. A metaphor for how motherhood feels sometimes if there ever was one!
The description was wonderfully vivid, if a little stomach churning at times. There was also this menacing atmosphere throughout that gave me a genuine sense of dread for the characters.
I’ll be honest, the pacing felt a little slow at certain times in the book and I felt it was a little drawn out as I got nearer to the end, but of course, that’s just my opinion.
Rosie Shadow is a creepy horror, with plenty of dark and disturbing scenes to make you shudder.
About The Author:
Louise writes about the complexity and the darker side of the human heart in the genres of horror and psychological thrillers. She is the author of six novels. Many of her novels explore motherhood, mental health disorders, revenge and family. Her tales are imbued with strong emotional themes and atmospheric settings. She has a degree in literature and a postgraduate diploma in psychology. Louise lives on a farm in Shropshire, in the UK.
Her latest novel is Doctor Glass, and her poetry and shorts are brought together in the collection Stained Glass Lives. Rosie Shadow is book one in the Black Tongue Series. Louise is currently writing a psychological horror. Watch this space!