#BookReview #MiniReviews Pancakes and Corpses/Mango Cake and Murder #cozymysteries

I don’t know about you but I need some light hearted reading right now, so I turned to my old favourite cosy mysteries. Both of these books were free at the time I brought them but Pancakes and Corpses has gone back up to 99p.

Title: Pancakes and Corpses (Peridale Cosy Cafe Mystery book 1) by Agatha Frost

Date Published: 22nd January 2017

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

Soon to be divorced Julia South never expected to be caught up in solving a murder, untilpancakes and corpses she discovered the body of her cafe’s most awkward customer. With a new smug Detective Inspector in town who underestimates her every move, Julia makes it her mission to discover the real murderer, before her village friends are dragged into the frame, and more bodies are discovered.

Book 1 in the Peridale Cafe Mystery series! A light, cozy mystery read with a cat loving and cafe owning female amateur sleuth, in a small village setting with quirky characters. No cliffhanger, swearing, gore or graphic scenes!

Review:

I’ve seen Agatha Frost’s books around Amazon for a while now with their cute food themed titles and fabulous covers but never quite got round to actually reading any but I needed a bit of light relief and thought why not? (Plus at the time it was free and I love me a bargain).

Our sleuth Julia moved back home to Peridale after the breakdown of her marriage and set up her life’s dream of owning her own bakery. Disaster strikes when an awkward customer is murdered and the lead suspect is one of her oldest friends. She can’t help investigating and puts herself in danger in the process.

Pancakes and Corpses is a light hearted cosy mystery which was a nice break from reality for a few hours.

It’s got everything you want in a cosy mystery. Delicious sounding food, gossipy village setting and a likeable but nosy amateur sleuth.

My only complaint was some of the more minor characters felt a little bit flat/generic but there is the potential to develop these as the series goes along. 

Overall a fun start to the series and one I may carry on with in the future.

*******

Title: Mango Cake and Murder (Mom and Christy’s Cozy Mysteries Book 1) by Christy Murphy

Date Published: 30th September 2016

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

mango cake and murderWhat do you get when you combine mango cake, murder, and Mom?

An unlikely recipe for a better life!

When Mom convinces Christy to ditch her “lousy” job and help with the catering business, their fledgling partnership suffers a few setbacks. One of them can’t cook, they’re short a catering van, and the guest of honor at their first party is murdered.That would be bad enough, but then, Christy’s cousin, Celia, becomes the prime suspect.

Solving a murder is no easy task, but when drunken death threats, a dashing detective, and terrifying taxidermy are added into the mix, the case becomes almost impossible to crack. Who knew a small town like Fletcher Canyon could be filled with so much craziness?

Will the disaster-prone duo find the real killer before Celia’s reputation is destroyed, or will Celia end up in prison for murder? Find out in this quick comedy cozy!

This novella is the first book in the Mom and Christy’s Cozy Mysteries series, and is a complete mystery that you can read in an hour or two. It does NOT contain strong language or graphic violence. But it does contain a cute cat!

Review:

Christy is newly divorced and living with her mother again. Her mother decides she wants to start a catering business and asks Christy to help. Their first job is catering a party for a crotchety old man who ends up getting murdered. Christy’s cousin falls under suspicion and Christy and her mom decide to investigate.

Until I read this story, I didn’t realise just how many amateur sleuths are a) in their mid to late thirties and b) newly divorced.

Mango cake and murder is a quick and fun read if you’ve got a spare couple of hours.

I have to say I’m still a little wary of when an author fictionalises themselves but it worked okay for this story. There is a bit of a Sherlock/Watson dynamic between Christy and her mother, her mother being the Sherlock in this situation.

I also like the fact that there was some more diversity than usual in this genre with Christy and her family being Filipino.

I think overall the story could have done with a little bit more editing,  it suffered from that thing where there was a little too much emphasis on the more trivial things and not quite enough description. 

Will I carry on with this series? I don’t know. I don’t think this story was quite strong enough to entice me to get the next in the series but if I see the next on offer I may be tempted into buying it.

What about you? What’s your go to read when you’re stressed?

#BooksOnTour #Review Murder At Enderley Hall by Helena Dixon @NellDixon @bookouture #cozymystery

Title: Murder At Enderley Hall by Helena Dixon

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 19th March 2020

Genre: Historical Cosy Mystery

Description:

An escape to the country… ends in death.

Summer 1933. Fresh from the discovery that she has family living nearby, Kitty Underhay has packed her carpet bag, commandeered a chambermaid and set off on a visit to stately Enderley Hall. She’s looking forward to getting to know her relatives, as well as the assembled group of house guests. But when elderly Nanny Thoms is found dead at the bottom of the stairs after papers of national importance are stolen, Kitty quickly learns that Muffy the dog’s muddy paws on her hemline are the least of her problems.

Calling on ex-army captain Matthew Bryant for assistance, Kitty begins to puzzle out the mystery. And when more shocking murders follow, the stakes are raised for the daring duo as never before. Which of the guests stand to gain from the theft of the documents? And which, as the week progresses, stand to lose their lives?

A charming cozy historical murder mystery that fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss won’t be able to put down!

Buy Links: https://geni.us/B0825Z6KBRSocial 

Murder at Enderly Hall - Blog Tour Poster

Review:

I want to thank Noelle Holten from Bookouture for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

This second ripping roaring adventure with Kitty Underhay but don’t worry if you haven’t read the first, this can easily be read as a standalone.

Kitty is invited to Enderley hall by her Aunt Hortense and cousin Lucy, it’s not long before she’s drawn into a case involving the theft of some important documents from her uncle’s study. If that wasn’t enough Nanny Thoms is found dead.

Suspicions grow and Kitty invites her friend Matthew Bryant to help. Will they stop the murderer before they strike again?

Murder At Enderley Hall is a well written and utterly thrilling historical mystery!

I liked the character of Kitty even more in this book. She’s still her stubborn self, no matter how much Matthew tries to get her to stay out of danger she won’t, with her thirst for adventure and determination to find the truth.

There’s plenty of red herrings glore, intrigue and a little bit of will they, won’t they between Matthew and Kitty. Honestly, there’s never a dull moment in Murder at Enderley Hall!

In these uncertain times, Murder at Enderley hall is a great escape from reality for a few hours.

I cannot recommend this series highly enough. I can’t wait to read more adventures featuring Kitty and Matthew!

About the Author:

Nell Dixon was born and continues to live in the Black Country. Married to the same manDSC_7063 copy for over thirty-five years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, a crazy cockapoo and a tank of tropical fish. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and housework. Her addictions of choice are coffee and reality TV. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 with her book Marrying Max, and winner of Love Story of the Year 2010 with her book, Animal Instincts. She also writes historical 1930’s set cozy crime as Helena Dixon.

Author Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.nelldixon.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/nell.dixon

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/NellDixon

#BookReview Mystery At Apple Tree Cottage by Clare Chase @ClareChase_ @bookouture #BooksOnTour

Title: Mystery At Apple Tree Cottage by Clare Chase

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 12th March 2020

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

Obituary writer and amateur sleuth Eve Mallow is enjoying life in sleepy Saxford St Peter – until a mysterious murder lands right at her door…

It’s spring in Saxford St Peter – time to get back in the garden, listen to the birds, and take gentle strolls in the woods. But for some, it’s the season for murder.

Eve Mallow is relishing the gentle pace of the village until a new arrival stirs everyone up. Ashton Foley is back: a teenage tearaway turned interior designer to the stars. He’s mad, bad and dangerous to know, but charming too – as Eve herself can testify – and every house in Saxford opens its doors to him.

So when he’s found murdered in the woods near his mother’s home, Apple Tree Cottage, there’s no shortage of suspects. A jealous husband? A spurned lover? Or has someone from his past life caught up with him?

The police soon hit on a simple solution, and arrest his mother’s partner Howard. Ashton always hated him, and he bears all the marks of a recent fight. But Ashton’s mother, miles away in New Zealand, is convinced he’s innocent, and enlists Eve’s help to prove it.

There’s just one problem. Eve saw Howard sniffing around Apple Tree Cottage on the morning of the murder, and she’s fairly sure he’s guilty, too…

An unputdownable page-turner, perfect for fans of Faith Martin, Agatha Christie and Betty Rowlands.

You can buy your copy here: https://geni.us/B082FG57RQSocial

Mystery at Apple Tree Cottage - Blog Tour

Review:

I want to thank Noelle Holten for inviting me on this tour and Bookouture for providing me with a copy Mystery At Apple Tree Cottage in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second in the Eve Mallow series but can be easily read as a standalone.

I’m back with obituary writer/amateur sleuth Eve Mallow and this time she has the tricky job of finding the killer of bad boy done good Ashton Foley, who seems to have no shortage of enemies!

Mystery At Apple Tree Cottage is a solid cosy mystery with an idyllic setting and nosy main character, that is a nod to classic mysteries.

What I love about this series is Clare Chase manages to set a vivid scene while still creating a puzzling mystery.

Eve is still her determined self, even though she is warned off, yet again, from investigating, she can’t help herself using her obituary writing as a cover to interview the suspects. I have enjoyed seeing Eve grow with confidence since the last book and can’t wait to see what is in store for her next.

I think this one improved on the last, not getting quite so bogged down in the details and a good steady pace.

Mystery At Apple Tree Cottage is a great cosy mystery with plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing.

About The Author: 

Clare Chase writes women sleuth mysteries. After graduating from London UniversityClare Chase landscape with a degree in English Literature, Clare moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She’s fascinated by the city’s contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of a Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies, with her husband and teenage children, presents a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.

You can find Clare’s website and blog at www.clarechase.com

Author Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClareChase_

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10204574.Clare_Chase

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClareChaseAuthor/

#BlogTour Hattie Goes To Hollywood by Caroline James @CarolineJames12 @rararesources

Hello lovelies! Today I have a review of the new novel from Caroline James plus a fab giveaway (see bottom of the post) but first a little about the book:

Hattie cover high res

Title: Hattie Goes To Hollywood by Caroline James

Date Published: 4th February 2020

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

A Cumbrian Village…
Three suicides…
A red-hot summer…

Join super-sleuth Hattie as tempers and temperatures rise in the Cumbrian village of Hollywood. With mischief and shenanigans aplenty, will Hattie discover the truth?

A funny and intriguing mystery – the first in a new series by Caroline James

When recently bereaved Hattie Mulberry inherits her aunt’s dilapidated cottage in the village of Hollywood in Cumbria, she envisages a quiet life. But retired hotelier Hattie is bored and when her neighbour asks her to investigate a suspicious suicide, Hattie’s career takes a new direction and H&H Investigations is born. During the hottest summer for years, Hattie discovers there have been three recent suicides in Hollywood and she determines to find out why. Temperatures rise as she throws herself into village life and, with mischief and shenanigans aplenty, Hattie has her work cut out. But will she establish the truth?

Purchase Links: 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hattie-Goes-Hollywood-Shenanigans-intrigue-ebook/dp/B083V16G5D/ 

US – https://www.amazon.com/Hattie-Goes-Hollywood-Shenanigans-intrigue-ebook/dp/B083V16G5D/

Hattie Goes To Hollywood Full Tour Banner

Review:

I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this blog tour and providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Hattie goes to Hollywood is the first in a new cosy mystery series and the first novel I’ve read by Caroline James.

Newly widowed Hattie Mulberry has inherited a house from her elderly aunt in Hollywood, Cumbria. Deciding she needs a new start, she moves in with plans to do it up but she’s soon distracted by her new neighbour and her husband’s supicious suicide. Can Hattie find out the truth? 

It has all the classic cosy mystery staples, a small village community, a dogged and determined main character and of course a puzzling mystery. But what made this one stand out was the host of quirky villagers and a few racy moments (racier than a normal cosy mystery anyway!). Plus there’s Drake who sounds so cute, it really makes me want a pet duck.

Hattie reminds me a little of Agatha Raisin, a little prickly, a little judgemental, little vain at times but she’s got a soft side and a big heart too.

I have to be honest it started off feeling a bit more like a women’s fiction story than a cosy mystery but I felt as soon as the story really got going this did change.

Hattie goes to Hollywood is an enjoyable cosy mystery that has a splash of humour and plenty of memorable characters. 

About The Author:

Best-selling author of women’s fiction, Caroline James has owned and run businessesHattie - Caroline and HGTH encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry, a subject that often features in her novels. She is based in the UK but has a great fondness for travel and escapes whenever she can. A public speaker, which includes talks and lectures on cruise ships world-wide, Caroline is also a consultant and food writer. She is a member of the Romantic Novelist’s Association, the Society of Women’s Writer’s & Journalists and the Society of Authors and writes articles and short stories, contributing to many publications. In her spare time, Caroline can be found trekking up a mountain or relaxing with her head in a book and hand in a box of chocolates.

Books by Caroline James:

Coffee Tea the Gypsy & Me

Coffee Tea the Chef & Me

Coffee Tea the Caribbean & Me

Jungle Rock

The Best Boomerville Hotel

Hattie Goes to Hollywood

Social Media Links – 

Website: www.carolinejamesauthor.co.uk

Twitter: @CarolineJames12

Facebook: Caroline James Author

Amazon Author Page

Giveaway to Win a cuddly Drake toy! (Open INT)

Be in with a chance to win Drake, Hattie’s faithful pet duck! Tall Drake & Handsome

 – A gorgeous soft toy who will be your friend for life.

Hattie Giveaway - WIN A DRAKE HGTH

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide 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 the dispatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494346/?

Mystery On Hidden Lane (Eve Mallow Mystery 1) by Clare Chase @bookouture @ClareChase_ #BookReview #BooksOnTour

Title: The Mystery On Hidden Lane (Eve Mallow Mystery 1) by Clare Chase

Date Published: 30th January

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

Seasoned obituary writer Eve Mallow has a new assignment: to tell the life story of famed musician Bernard Fitzpatrick. A chance to spend a few days in the sweet little village of Saxford St Peter, walking the country lanes with her beloved dachshund Gus and meeting new people sounds like a dream. But it turns out that Bernard’s life was much less interesting than his death. On the day she arrives, news breaks that the charismatic cellist was the victim of a grisly murder. Could this quaint English village be hiding a dark secret?

As Eve starts to interview Bernard’s friends and colleagues, she finds that he’d ruffled a few feathers. In fact, from the keepers of the Cross Keys Inn to his own staff at High House, there’s barely a person in town who doesn’t have some reason to hate him… is one of the friendly villagers a cold-blooded killer?

Eve hoped Saxford St Peter would be the perfect escape from her busy city life. But there is darkness even in the most sunlit of settings. And when a second body is found, Eve becomes certain that one of the people she’s met must be the murderer. She has never done any detective work before… but is there something in her notes that can crack the case?

An unputdownable page-turner, perfect for fans of Faith Martin, Agatha Christie and Betty Rowlands.

You can buy your copy here: https://geni.us/B07ZVYJ8WJSocial

Mystery on Hidden Lane - Blog Tour

Review:

I want to thank Bookouture for my copy of The Mystery On Hidden Lane in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Mystery On Hidden Lane is a gently paced cosy mystery, perfect to escape reality for a few hours. 

It has everything a classic cosy mystery should, a determined amateur sleuth, an idyllic setting and of course a puzzling mystery

Eve was a very likeable main character. Half English, half American, she has an exceptionally annoying ex husband and a very cute sounding dachshund called Gus. She works in a school but as a side venture she writes obituaries which makes her a little nosey as every good amateur sleuth should be.

The descriptions throughout the book are wonderfully done, I could almost picture myself in the village of Saxford St Peter, whether it be enjoying a cake at Viv’s tea shop or going down to the beach for a walk. The author also captures the gossipy nature of the village where it seems that everyone knows everyone.

As it is the first book in the series a lot of it was taken up by setting the scene, introducing the characters etc so the pace did slow a little at times.

The Mystery On Hidden Lane is a nice introduction to this series and I look forward to seeing what Eve’s next mystery will be!

About The Author:

Clare Chase writes women sleuth mysteries. After graduating from London University Clare Chase landscapewith a degree in English Literature, Clare moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She’s fascinated by the city’s contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of a Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies, with her husband and teenage children, presents a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.

You can find Clare’s website and blog at www.clarechase.com

Author Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClareChase_

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10204574.Clare_Chase

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClareChaseAuthor/

#BlogTour #Review A Messy Affair by Elizabeth Mundy @ElizabethEMundy @rararesources

AMessyAffair_BFINAL

Title: A Messy Affair by Elizabeth Mundy

Date Published: 2nd January 2020

Publisher: Constable

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

The only way is murder…

Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner working in London, is forced to brush up on her detective skills for a third time when her cousin Sarika is plunged into danger.

Sarika and her reality TV star boyfriend Terry both receive threatening notes.  When Terry stops calling, Lena assumes he’s lost interest. Until he turns up. Dead. Lena knows she must act fast to keep her cousin from the same fate. 

Scrubbing her way through the grubby world of reality television, online dating and betrayed lovers, Lena finds it harder than she thought to discern what’s real – and what’s just for the cameras. 

You can buy your copy here:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Messy-Affair-Lena-Szarka-Mysteries/dp/1472126394

US – https://www.amazon.com/Messy-Affair-Lena-Szarka-Mysteries/dp/1472126394

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Review:

This is the third in Lena Szarka series but it can be easily read as a standalone, something I can attest to as I haven’t read the first two. After reading a messy affair the other books in the series have been added to my wishlist.

Lena’s life in London is going from strength to strength, with her own cleaning business but she finds herself in the middle of another mystery after her cousin receives threatening letters as she’s dating a reality TV star Terry Tibbs.

Terry turns up dead but the police think it’s an accident but Lena isn’t convinced. It’s up to her to find out what really happened and stop her cousin from getting hurt.

A Messy Affair is an addictive and entertaining mystery from beginning to end! 

There were plenty of twists and turns, red herrings, even a little bit of romance, all the things I expect from a cosy mystery, but with it being set on the bustling streets of London it made it more gritty which I enjoyed.

I really liked the character of Lena. She’s strong, determined, a hard worker with a big heart who doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Her cousin Sarika, on the other hand, slightly got on my nerves but she’s quite a young character and hopefully she’ll grow as the novels go on.

There were also a few Hungarian words, food etc worked into the story which added that extra bit of authenticity to the characters. 

I just could get enough of A Messy Affair! I will definitely be picking up the other novels in this series when I can.

About The Author:

Elizabeth Mundy’s grandmother was a Hungarian immigrant to America who raised fiveE Mundy profile pic children on a chicken farm in Indiana. Elizabeth is a marketing director for an investment firm and lives in London with her messy husband and two young children. She writes the Lena Szarka Mysteries, featuring a Hungarian cleaner as detective. 
http://www.elizabethmundy.com

Social Media Links – 

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ElizabethEMundy

www.elizabethmundy.com

#BookReview Murder On The Rocks (Jordan Jenner 1) by J.S. Strange #CozyMystery

Title: Murder On The Rocks (Jordan Jenner 1) by JS Strange

Date Published: 1st March 2019

Publisher: Panther Publishing

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

‘An impressively complex story.’ – W.D. Jackson-Smart, author of the D.I. Graves Series.

‘I felt that I had been sucked into a well thought out Agatha Christie novel.’ – Danielle at The Reading Closet.

When PI Jordan Jenner returns to work following the death of his mother, his first case involves a murdered writer…

James Fairview has been killed. As a member of a prestigious writing group hosted by bestselling author Joseph Gordon in the heart of Cardiff, Jordan not only has to cope with solving the mystery, but also deal with press attention.

As Jordan investigates, he discovers his mother’s death may not have been so simple. And when another writer is murdered, Jordan realises the killer could strike again…

A murdered writer, a mysterious death, and a group with jealousy at its heart, this is Jenner’s toughest case yet.

A cosy murder mystery with a gay male detective, Murder on the Rocks is the first in the Jordan Jenner Mysteries series. If you’re a fan of classic whodunits you will love this!

A perfect read for those looking for Welsh crime fiction.

‘Strange was clearly channelling his inner Agatha Christie when writing this. Jordan holds himself like a modern-day Hercule Poirot.’ – Kelly at From Belgium With Book Love.

‘You simply cannot put this down.’ – Duncan Thompson, author of Within the Dark Places.

Review:

I’m always on the lookout for cosy mysteries that are unique, so when I saw this one was not only set in Wales (it’s where my grandad was from) and has a lead gay detective, well I knew I had to give it a go. I actually have the second book in this series (review coming in February) so I thought I’d go back to the beginning and start with the first book.

Jordan Jenner is still reeling from his estranged mother’s sudden death and thinks going back to his private investigation work will be a good distraction. He’s asked by the local police to investigate the death of a wannabe novelist at a writing group.

As he investigates, he finds his mother was a member of the group. Could there be more to her death than meets the eye?

Murder on the rocks is a gentle mystery with bags of intrigue and some unique characters.

I liked Jordan. He’s determined, smart,  a little grumpy at times with a tendency to push people away but it’s understandable when you hear about the strained relationship between him, his mother and brother.

I wish there had been a little more Welsh slang/words in the novel just to give it the writing a little bit more flair. Also I do feel that it could have been a little shorter as my attention started to waver a little.

Murder on the rocks is a solid cosy mystery, I’d recommend to anyone who loves this genre!

About The Author:

J.S. Strange is an author from Wales, United Kingdom. He writes crime, mystery andjs strange horror. His first novels, published in 2016 and 2017, were set in an apocalyptic London. His up-coming novel, titled Murder on the Rocks, is the first in a cozy crime mystery series, featuring a leading gay male detective.

Murder on the Rocks was written by Strange for many reasons. One of those reasons was a lack of representation within the crime genre, particularly with detectives and sleuths. Strange created Jordan Jenner, a private investigator, who lives and works in Cardiff. Murder on the Rocks was written with the intention of shining light on Cardiff, and bringing Cardiff, and furthermore, Wales, into the crime genre.

Strange’s previous works, such as ‘Winter Smith: London Burning’, also explored LGBT themes, and featured socialite Winter Smith escaping a zombie apocalypse. ‘London’s Burning’ became an Amazon best-seller in LGBT fiction.

When Strange doesn’t write, he works in television. He also presents a radio show all about the paranormal. He has an enthusiasm for Britney Spears and cats.

Jack can be reached on Twitter: @JackSamStrange

#BlogTour #Review Glittering Death by Carmen Radtke @carmenradtke1 #HappyPublicationDay

Hello lovelies! Before I share my review, I want to wish Carmen Radtke Happy Publication Day for her latest novel Glittering Death!

Title: Glittering Death by Carmen Radtke 

Date Published: 7th January 2020

Genre: Historical/Cosy Mystery

Description:

!862, A group of brides from Australia have arrived in British Columbia, and love is in the air – until their new-found happiness in the prospectors’ town “Run’s End” is shattered when the hotel-owner is murdered. To make matters worse, something is wrong with the stored gold at the hotel, and an epidemic makes it impossible for anyone to leave town.

The brides set all their hopes on their friend Alyssa Chalmers to find the murderer and restore peace in their new home. But the killer is cunning, and desperate …

BLOG TOUR BANNER - Glittering Death

Review:

I want to say a big thank you to Jill Burkinshaw for inviting me on this blog tour and Carmen Radtke for providing me with a copy of Glittering Death in exchange for an honest review.

I read the first in the Alyssa Chalmers series, The Case Of The Missing Bride, a while ago now so I was excited to hear that there was a second coming out!  Don’t worry if you’ve not read the first it can easily be read as a standalone.

Glittering Death is set in British Columbia against the backdrop of the gold rush in 1862, where every man that was able tried their hand at prospecting in the hopes of finding gold.

Alyssa and her friends arrive at Run’s End where they find themselves face to face with the suitors who’d paid for their voyage from Australia. But Alyssa has other plans, she wants to get back to England, a place she left as a child.

Her plans are scuppered when the hotel owner is murdered, followed by a smallpox epidemic means no one can go out of the small town. Tensions bubble in the town but it’s up to Alyssa to figure out who the murderer before it’s too late.

What a sweet historical mystery Glittering Death is! It has a gentle pace, with a subtle nod to classic mysteries and films while still feeling fresh and new.

I still think Alyssa is a fabulous main character. Independent, clever and never backs down from a challenge, even if that includes domestic chores which she’s not very good at!

I absolutely loved the historical setting of the story. I don’t know much about late 19th century Canada but I feel like after reading this book I know a lot more. The author’s research underpinned the story well without overwhelming you with knowledge or info dumps.

It did unfortunately take a while to get to the actual mystery and I may have guessed the identity of the killer quite early on but that didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the book.

Glittering Death is solid historical mystery, with plenty of red herrings and intriguing characters, perfect for anyone who loves a cosy mystery. I can’t wait to see where Alyssa’s story goes and read more of her adventures.

About The Author:

Carmen Radtke has spent most of her life with ink on her fingers and a dangerously highCarmen11 pile of books and newspapers by her side.

She has worked as a newspaper reporter on two continents and always dreamt of becoming a novelist and screenwriter.

When she found herself crouched under her dining table, typing away on a novel between two earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, she realised she was hooked for life.

“The Case of the Missing Bride” is a former Malice Domestic finalist, inspired by a true event. Its heroine Alyssa Chalmers will soon return in “Glittering Death”.

When Carmen is not writing, reading or dreaming of travel, she is busy acting as resident cat servant.

She’s currently working on her first contemporary crime novel.

Follow Carmen on Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/carmen-radtke

Or on Twitter: @carmenradtke1

Her website (very much a work in progress) is carmenradtke.com

#BookReview Beating Around The Bush (Agatha Raisin 30) by MC Beaton

Before I get to my review I want to say, you hadn’t heard, that M C Beaton died on the 31st December 2019 at the age of 83. I don’t know if this means this is the last we see of  Agatha Raisin or there will be more but I’m glad that I got to read this novel anyway.

Title: Agatha Raisin: Beating About The Bush (Agatha Raisin 30) by M.C. Beaton

Date Published: 24th October 2019

Publisher: Constable

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

When private detective Agatha Raisin comes across a severed leg in a roadside hedge, it looks like she is about to become involved in a particularly gruesome murder. Looks, however, can be deceiving, as Agatha discovers when she is employed to investigate a case of industrial espionage at a factory where nothing is quite what it seems.

The factory mystery soon turns to murder and a bad-tempered donkey turns Agatha into a national celebrity, before bringing her ridicule and shame. To add to her woes, Agatha finds herself grappling with growing feelings for her friend and occasional lover, Sir Charles Fraith. Then, as a possible solution to the factory murder unfolds, her own life is thrown into deadly peril. Will Agatha get her man at last? Or will the killer get her first?

Review:

Goodness me, I can’t believe this is the thirtieth Agatha Raisin mystery! I’ve read this series, on and off again for years and I was so excited to get approved for this one on NetGalley.

PI Agatha Raisin and her put upon assistant Toni have been asked to investigate some industrial espionage but finds something is definitely off at the factory…

Soon they find themselves investigating the murder of the factory employee Mrs Dinwiddy but the police are convinced it was the fault of a very bad tempered donkey Wizz Wazz. Can Agatha convince the police there’s more to the death than meets the eye and save poor Wizz Wazz?

As a person who’s dipped in and out for years with this series, I was able to jump straight in, without worrying about the fact that I haven’t read the previous one. I do also think you could dive into this one if you’ve never read any of the other books but I highly recommend you give them a go if you love cosy mysteries!

Beating About The Bush is quite a short novel, in fact I devoured it over a weekend which is usually quick for me!

I had forgotten just how bossy and argumentative Agatha was! I always feel sorry for anyone who gets in her way, especially her poor assistant Toni who usually bears the brunt of her bad moods. Saying that there’s something still inherently likeable about Agatha, I think it’s because a lot of her moodiness comes from her insecurities.

I will also give a shoutout to Wizz Wazz who provided a lot of comic relief throughout the novel.

Beating About The Bush is a fun filled, fast paced cosy and a nice addition to this fabulous series.

About The Author:

M C Beaton was born in Scotland. She worked for many years as a journalist on FleetMC Beaton Street.

As well as the bestselling Agatha Raisin series, she is the author of the acclaimed Hamish Macbeth mysteries.

She divides her time between the Cotswolds, where she lives in a village very much like Agatha’s beloved Carsely, and Paris.

#BookReview Murder At The Dolphin Hotel by Helena Dixon @NellDixon @bookouture #BooksOnTour

Title: Murder At The Dolphin Hotel by Helena Dixon

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 11th December 2019

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

A room with a view… to murder

June 1933. Independent young Kitty Underhay has been left in charge of her family’s hotel, The Dolphin, on the tranquil English coast. She’s expecting her days at the bustling resort to be filled with comfortable chatter with chambermaids as they polish the mahogany desk and glittering candelabras of the elegant foyer. Everything must be perfect for the arrival of a glamourous jazz singer from Chicago and a masked ball that will be the cultural highlight of the season.

But when several rooms are broken into and searched, including Kitty’s own, she quickly realises that something out of the ordinary is afoot at the hotel. Soon rumours are flying in the cozy town that someone is on the hunt for a stolen ruby. A ruby that Kitty’s mother may well have possessed when she herself went missing during the Great War. And when the break-ins are followed by a series of attacks and murders, including of the town’s former mayoress, it seems the perpetrator will stop at nothing to find it.

Aided by ex-army captain Matthew Bryant, the Dolphin’s new security officer, Kitty is determined to decipher this mystery and preserve not only the reputation of her hotel, but also the lives of her guests. Is there a cold-blooded killer under her own roof? And what connects the missing jewel to the mystery from Kitty’s own past?

A classic page-turning murder mystery! Fans of Agatha Christie, Elizabeth Edmondson and T.E. Kinsey will love this unputdownable whodunnit.

You can buy your copy here: https://geni.us/B07XLM3SM6Social

Murder-at-the-Dolphin-Hotel-Blog-Tour-Poster

Review:

I want to thank Noelle Holten at Bookouture for inviting me on this blog tour and providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I have to say I do love a historical novel set in the interwar years, the 1930’s have long held a fascination for me. I always gravitate towards this type of novel, especially when they’re in my favourite mystery/thriller genre!

Murder At The Dolphin Hotel is a cosy historical whodunnit which is a subtle nod to classic crime fiction while still seeming fresh and new. 

Our main characters, Kitty and Matthew were likeable and realistic. Matthew is a first world war veteran who is still suffering from the aftermath of the war and the loss of someone close to him. Kitty on the other hand has her own issues, her mother vanished when she was just a child and she’s never known her father. They come together nicely, with a hint of romance there but it’s not over done.

Now usually find with this type of novel, there’s one, maybe two murders but my goodness there was so much murder and mayhem (not graphic though so if that’s not your thing you don’t need to worry) which I found thoroughly enjoyable. 

I did feel the ending was a little drawn out, I felt I was kept waiting a little too long for the killer reveal but of course that’s just my opinion.

Murder At The Dolphin Hotel is a little gem of a cosy novel and I can’t wait to read more adventures featuring Kitty and Matthew!

About The Author:

Nell Dixon was born and continues to live in the Black Country. Married to the same manDSC_7063 copy for over thirty-five years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, a crazy cockapoo and a tank of tropical fish. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and housework. Her addictions of choice are coffee and reality TV. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 with her book Marrying Max, and winner of Love Story of the Year 2010 with her book, Animal Instincts. She also writes historical 1930’s set cozy crime as Helena Dixon.

Author Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.nelldixon.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/nell.dixon

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/NellDixon