#BookReview The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine

Title: The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine

Publisher: Avon

Date Published: 29th October 2020

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

As the snow begins to fall, the body count begins to climb…

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey.

But when he opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half frozen in the snow.

As the blizzards descend, panic spreads through the remote Cumbrian village – there’s a killer amongst them, and with eleven more victims to go, anyone could be next….

Can James stop the killer before they strike again?

The first in a new series, Alex Pine has written a dark, atmospheric crime novel, set in a snowed-in Cumbrian village, for fans of Val McDermid, Ross Greenwood and LJ Ross.

Review:

I’ve seen some great reviews of The Christmas Killer and I saw it was available through my library, I really had to read it.

As I’ve said before in my reviews I don’t read a lot of Christmas themed books but having read some good short mystery/Christmas themed stories I really think I’ve been missing out!

James and his wife Annie moved back to Annie’s hometown after a threat forces them to move from London. They think the small village of Kirby Abbey is the perfect place to hide out, until threatening Christmas cards turn up and bodies start to drop…

The Christmas Killer is a police procedural which gripped me from the start and really had me turning those pages!

Both James and Annie were really likeable well drawn characters as were the rest of the supporting cast. My only issue with Annie is she was a little annoying at times.

I love the setting of the small village with the threat of a disastrous snow storm that could cut them off from the rest of the world and trap them with a killer. It reminded me of those old mysteries where you’re trapped in a manor house or such with a killer and everyone’s a suspect. 

I would say this novel verges more on the cozy side than the usually gritty hard hitting police procedural. I’m not complaining about this, I love a cozy, but as with some stories like this it takes a bit of time to get going.

The Christmas Killer is an enjoyable whodunnit and I’m very much looking forward to more from this author!

About The Author:

Alex Pine was born and raised on a council estate in South London and left school at sixteen. Before long, he embarked on a career in journalism, which took him all over the world – many of the stories he covered were crime-related. Among his favourite hobbies are hiking and water-based activities, so he and his family have spent lots of holidays in the Lake District. He now lives with his wife on a marina close to the New Forest on the South Coast – providing him with the best of both worlds!

#BlogTour The Guilty Man (Lennox & Wilde 1) by Helen H. Durrant @JoffeBooks @hhdurrant

Title: The Guilty Man (Lennox & Wilde 1) by Helen H. Durrant

Publisher. Joffe Books

Date Published: 29th October 2020

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

MEET DETECTIVE HARRY LENNOX AND JESS WILDE IN THIS BRILLIANT NEW CRIME SERIES.

A BRAND NEW MYSTERY FROM #1 BEST-SELLING AUTHOR HELEN H. DURRANT THAT WILL HAVE YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT FROM PAGE ONE. FAST-PACED AND FULL OF SURPRISES.

A little girl, presumed dead, turns up playing happily in the park. She is barefoot but otherwise unharmed. The child’s mother, who lives on a notorious local estate, doesn’t seem bothered that her daughter has returned alive.

Meanwhile, a man is tortured by a ruthless criminal. The victim’s severed hand is left on his wife’s doorstep.

Detective Harry Lennox and DI Jess Wilde investigate. How do the cases connect and who is using threats to drive people out of their homes?

Harry Lennox is battling his own demons, trying to bury a secret from his past with alcohol. He stays in a rundown campervan on a friend’s driveway. Jess wants to know why he’s living like this, but he refuses to tell her anything. What’s he hiding?

A MYSTERY FULL OF STUNNING TWISTS WHICH YOU WON’T WANT TO PUT DOWN. WILL HARRY’S PAST TEAR THE DETECTIVES APART?

Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Kimberley Chambers, Damien Boyd, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Gibney or Mark Billingham.

What readers are saying about HELEN H. DURRANT

“I couldn’t put it down.” Barbara

“This new series by Helen H. Durrant certainly has got off to a thrilling start.” Viv

“If you want a book to get your teeth into, this is the one. A massive 5*” Greta

“Another fast-paced murder mystery” Aileen

“The writing was top notch and the characters were very real.” Kat

THE DETECTIVES

DI HARRY LENNOX began his career in Glasgow, but due to a traumatic incident, transferred to West Yorkshire and then Ryebridge. He blames a local villain for what happened and is afraid that he’ll catch up with him. Harry is single, thirty-five and has a chaotic lifestyle. Currently living on a mate’s drive in a campervan. This is down to his girlfriend throwing him out.

DS JESS WILDE is thirty and still lives with her parents. She is unattached and keen to progress in her career. She gets on well with Harry. He doesn’t have much time for protocol, and this suits her. She is critical of how he lives. She is about to buy her first property locally.

ALSO BY HELEN H. DURRANT

RACHEL KING

Book 1: Next Victim

Book 2: Two Victims

Book 3: Wrong Victim

Book 4: Forgotten Victim

THE CALLADINE & BAYLISS MYSTERY SERIES

Book 1: DEAD WRONG

Book 2: DEAD SILENT

Book 3: DEAD LIST

Book 4: DEAD LOST

Book 5: DEAD & BURIED

Book 6: DEAD NASTY

Book 7: DEAD JEALOUS

Book 8: DEAD BAD

Book 9: DEAD GUILTY

Book 10: DEAD WICKED

THE DCI GRECO BOOKS

Book 1: DARK MURDER

Book 2: DARK HOUSES

Book 3: DARK TRADE

Book 4: DARK ANGEL

Review:

I want to thank Jill Burkinshaw for inviting me on this tour and Joffe Books for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve read several of Helen Durrant’s books now, so it intrigued me when I heard she was releasing a new series with new detectives.

A little girl who they thought was dead is found alive and well. A local dodgy businessman has gone missing, his severed hand turns up on his doorstep. Can detective’s Harry Lennox and Jess Wilde find out what is going on in their small town before someone else gets hurt?

The Guilty Man is a tense and intricately plotted police procedural that pulls you in with a steady pace and realistic characters.

Harry is a heavy drinker with a past which he’s keeping to himself. This annoys Jess a lot, and I mean a lot, and she’s determined to figure it out, which causes them to butt heads a fair few times through the story. I have to be honest I’m not too struck on these new detectives yet, but as this is the first in the series there’s plenty of room for them to grow. I will say that I’m very intrigued by the character of Harry and I’ll be interested to see him develop. 

The Guilty Man is a fairly quick and gripping read and a good start to this series. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for these detectives.

About The Author:

OVER 750,000 books sold of her Calladine & Bayliss and DI Greco Series

I’m one of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. I was born in Edinburgh to an English father and Scottish mother. My father was from the North West of England and this was where the family settled.

I know the area well, both the good and the bad, and so I set my books here. Sitting between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills, it offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein. I always planned to write crime novels — to create the characters in my books. Since my retirement from a busy teaching job in FE, this is what I’ve done — almost to exclusion of anything else!

I have a grown-up family and five grandchildren. They see me as something of an eccentric — always on my laptop writing away. Writing is something of a second career and, despite having a bus pass, keeps me busy, young and tuned in the world as it currently is.

Twitter @hhdurrant

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/helen.durrant.12

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calladine-Bayliss-Detective-Novels/614047648616619?ref=hl

Website  https://www.helenhdurrant.co.uk/

#BookReview The Next Widow by C.J. Lyons @Bookouture @cjlyonswriter #BooksOnTour

Title: The Next Widow by C.J. Lyons

Date Published: 28th July 2020

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

In the distance Leah heard sirens. She ignored them. Right now, her daughter needed her and Emily was just out of reach, curled up under the bed, her eyes closed, desperately shaking. Leah did the only thing any mother would do. She crawled through the blood to get to her daughter.

Dr Leah Wright returned to her childhood home in rural Pennsylvania with her husband to find peace and quiet, start afresh and raise her six-year-old daughter Emily. But when she gets home one dark winter night, clutching roses in her hand, she finds her daughter huddled under her bed and her husband’s blood all over the floor…

When Detective Luka Jericho is called to investigate, he’s shocked to learn that the killer left a witness behind – the victim’s young daughter. The scene is a painful reminder of his fiancé’s unsolved death, and he is desperate to find out what Emily saw that night. He knows that the killer could still be out there, waiting to strike again.

But growing up, Leah learned the hard way that the only person she could rely on was herself. And it’s not until she and Emily are attacked again that she realizes just how close the killer is. Can she trust Luka to keep her daughter safe?

Fans of Karin Slaughter, Kendra Elliot and Tess Gerritsen will devour this fast-paced and chilling new crime series from New York Times bestselling author CJ Lyons. You won’t be able to put this book down.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B087V762MFSocial

Apple: https://apple.co/2SFxNkr

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2y7XbIx

Google: https://bit.ly/2WhDqGe

Review:

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

Dr Leah Wright returns home one evening after a tough shift at the hospital to find her husband dead and her daughter Emily huddled under her bed. All evidence points to Leah but can she prove her innocence and keep her daughter safe?

The Next Widow is a real whirlwind of a novel! Fast paced, fraught and full of tension. There were also a few heartbreaking moments too, especially as Leah struggles to connect with her traumatised daughter in the aftermath of her husband’s death.

There was a nice back and forth in the POVs and we get to know the characters of Leah and Luka really well. They both have their own sets of personal problems, even before Leah’s husband is murdered, but both are tough and determined to push through their emotional scars.

I have to be honest I pegged the killer fairly early on, although the entire motive wasn’t clear until the end.

The Next Widow is a gripping and fast paced read, I’d recommend to any thriller lovers out there. I’m looking forward to seeing where this new series is headed.

About The Author:

As a pediatric ER doctor, New York Times and USA Today Bestseller CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart.

CJ has been called a “master within the genre” (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as “breathtakingly fast-paced” and “riveting” (Publishers Weekly) with “characters with beating hearts and three dimensions” (Newsday).

Learn more about CJ’s Thrillers with Heart at www.CJLyons.net

Author Social Media Links:

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/cjlyonswriter

#BlogTour #Review Death Remembered by K.E. Coburn @rararesources @KeCoburn #CozyMystery

Title: Death Remembered (A Sleuthing Club Mystery: Book 1) by K.E. Coburn

Date Published: 16th July 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

Summer 1952. 

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, but Charity Nicholls is bored of her quiet life in a tiny English village where nothing ever happens. Other than her nagging, marriage-obsessed mother, all she has to fill the time are her dreams of becoming a writer, and the Sleuthing Club – the mystery-reading book club she attends every week. 

But everything changes the day her father receives a poison pen letter. 

With the help of the Sleuthing Club, particularly handsome Henry Taylor, Charity is determined to find the culprit. But when people start dying and the police arrive, led by the infuriating Inspector James Lawrence, her little village becomes a hotbed of crime. 

Can Charity find the murderer before anyone else dies?

Perfect for fans of Helena Dixon and T E Kinsey.

Purchase Links

UK –https://amzn.to/2LnXba7  

US – https://www.amazon.com/Death-Remembered-Sleuthing-Club-Mystery-ebook/dp/B088FR2J99/

Review:

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

When Charity Nicholls’ vicar father receives a poison pen letter, accusing him of stealing, she thinks it’s her chance to get her teeth into a real mystery.  Unfortunately, her only experience of investigation is through reading mysteries. When the first murder comes along, she quickly finds out investigating crimes aren’t as simple as they seem in books… 

Death Remember is a gentle historical mystery, with plenty of red herrings, an idyllic setting and memorable characters. 

I loved the character of Charity. She’s clever, if a little stubborn, and wants more than anything to become a writer and move away from Harrington Without. Thing is she’s also a little naive, having been coddled most of her life by her parents, especially when it comes to a certain handsome Henry Taylor.

There’s also some great reference to classic mysteries, from the golden age of crime fiction, like Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Dorothy L Sayers and those are just the ones I can remember!

It does take a little longer than usual to get into the murder aspect, focusing on the poison pen letters, getting to know the characters and the village but this is the first in the series so I expected a bit of build up before getting into the nitty gritty of the case. 

Death Remembered is a great start to the series and I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author!

About The Author: 

K E Coburn lives by the seaside in Kent, England, and spends her time plotting murders and mayhem for her imaginary friends in the Sleuthing Club!

As well as having a master’s degree in history, she’s a huge fan of everything vintage, especially the 1950s, and loves researching this interesting period. Nothing makes her happier than looking at old photographs, drinking old-fashioned cocktails, and doing as little work as possible. 

Her debut novel Death Remembered: A Sleuthing Club Mystery (Book 1) will be published in July 2020.

If you fancy keeping up to date with her murderous plots you can find her on Twitter at @KeCoburn or at her website: www.kecoburn.com and on Facebook at: https://bit.ly/2SYgQSo 

or at her website: www.kecoburn.com and on Facebook at: https://bit.ly/2SYgQSo