Title: Beyond the Veil Anthology (Edited by Mark Morris).
Publisher: Flame Tree Press
Date Published: 19th October 2021
Genre: Horror/Short Story
Beyond the Veil is the second volume in an annual, non-themed horror series of entirely original stories, showcasing the very best short fiction that the genre has to offer, and edited by Mark Morris. This new anthology contains 20 original horror stories, 16 of which have been commissioned from some of the top names in the genre, and 4 of which have been selected from the 100s of stories sent to Flame Tree during a 2-week open submissions window.
I want to thank Anne Cater for inviting me on this tour and Flame Tree Press for providing me with a copy of Beyond The Veil in exchange for an honest review.
Last year I read and enjoyed the previous short story collection from Flame Tree Press, After Sundown, last year, so I was eager to see what was on offer this year.
Beyond The Veil is a collection of short horror stories with something for every type of horror fan, from classic monster tales to mind bending sci-fi to gruesome body horror.
I will just put a trigger warning here before I go any further. This novel contains themes of grief, suicide, child abuse, and the death of an animal.
In all honesty, most of the authors were unknown to me, so it was nice to find some new authors to add to my must read list.
Like most types of collections, I found it a good mix of styles. Of course, there were some stories I enjoyed more than others.
My standouts were:
God Bag. The story that followed a man and his dying mum who was in the last grips of dementia. She carried around a strange little God bag containing prayers that started off innocently enough until he started digging. It was both heartbreaking and creepy at the same time.
For All The Dead. A historical story about a young woman who lived in a small fishing village, where life and death were controlled by the sea. There was almost a fairytale-like quality to this one that I found magical.
The Girl In The Pool. A thief breaks into a house planning to rob the place, instead finds a young girl dead in the pool. This was a gripping tale of monsters and morality.
A Mystery for Julie Chu. A young woman has a knack for finding strange artifacts, but when she picks up an old radio from a car boot sale, she gets more than she bargained for. I loved the mix of mystery and spookiness of this one.
The care and feeding of household gods. This is a story about a stay at home dad who makes household gods to help him get everything done. This one took me by surprise, starting off innocent enough, then got more and more sinister. I still can’t stop thinking about this one!
I would highly recommend Beyond The Veil if you’re looking for a variety of short, sharp and shocking stories.
About The Editor:
Mark Morris has written and edited almost forty novels, novellas, short story collections and anthologies. His recent work includes the official movie tie-in novelizations of The Great Wall and (co-written with Christopher Golden) The Predator, the Obsidian Heart trilogy (The Wolves of London, The Society of Blood and The Wraiths of War), the anthologies New Fears (winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Anthology) and New Fears 2 and many more.
Shirley Steadman, a 70 year old living in a small town in the North East of England, loves her volunteer work at the local hospital radio. She likes giving back to the community, and even more so, she likes getting out of the house. Haunted by the presence of her son, a reluctant Royal Navy officer who was lost at sea, and still in the shadow of her long dead abusive husband, she doesn’t like being alone much.
One day, at the radio station, she is playing around with the equipment and finds a frequency that was never there before. It is a pirate radio station, and as she listens as the presenter starts reading the news. But there is one problem – the news being reported is tomorrows. Shirley first thinks it is a mere misunderstanding – a wrong date. But she watches as everything reported comes true. At first, Shirley is in awe of the station, and happily tunes in to hear the news.
But then the presenter starts reporting murders – murders that happen just the way they were reported.
And Shirley is the only one who can stop them.
I want to thank Tracy Fenton for inviting me on this tour and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve not read any books by this author before but when I saw it was about a radio station that reports about murders before they happen I was like, yes, I need to read that!
The story centres around Shirley who, while volunteering at the local hospital radio station, comes across Mallet AM, a pirate radio station that reports tomorrow’s news. At first, the incidents that are reported were simple accidents, but it slowly becomes more sinister and reports a murder. Shirley can’t leave it alone and sets out to stop the murder from happening.
I love an older main character, especially in a mystery, and I thought Shirley was wonderfully done. She’s headstrong, determined, and won’t let even her frail health stop her from getting to the bottom of the mystery. She also carries pain and guilt around from her past, making her you root for her even more.
I also loved the hospital radio setting, as it gave me a bit of nostalgia for the days when I used to listen to the radio myself.
There were some good shocks and surprises along the way, but for me, the story was a little slow burn. That’s not a bad thing, but I was just expecting some more chills and thrills.
Half Past Tomorrow is a solid thriller with memorable characters and an original and intriguing storyline.
About The Author:
Chris McGeorge studied MA Creative Writing (Crime/Thriller) at City University London where he wrote his first novel as his thesis. His interests are broad – spanning film, books, theatre and video games. He is a member of the Northern Crime Syndicate, a supergroup of writers from Northern England. He lives in County Durham with his partner and many, many animals.
Hello lovelies! Today I have an exclusive extract from The Transparency of Time by Leonardo Padura as part of the Random Things blog tour but first a little about the book:
Title: The Transparency of Time by Leonardo Padura
Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press
Date Published: 10th June 2021
Genre: Crime Fiction
Mario Conde is facing down his sixtieth birthday. What does he have to show for his decades on the planet? A failing body, a slower mind, and a decrepit country, in which both the ideals and failures of the Cuban Revolution are being swept away in favour of a new and newly cosmopolitan worship of money.
Rescue comes in the form of a new case: an old Marxist turned flamboyant practitioner of Santería appears on the scene to engage Conde to track down a stolen statue of the Virgen de Regla—a black Madonna. This sets Conde on a quest that spans twenty-first century Havana as well as the distant past, as he delves as far back as the Crusades in an attempt to uncover the true provenance of the statue.
Through vignettes from the life of a Catalan peasant named Antoni Barral, who appears throughout history in different guises—as a shepherd during the Spanish Civil War, as vassal to a feudal lord—we trace the Madonna to present-day Cuba. With Barral serving as Conde’s alter ego, unstuck in time, and Conde serving as the author’s, we are treated to a panorama of history, and reminded of the impossibility of ever remaining on its sidelines, no matter how obscure we may think our places in the action.
Equal parts The Name of the Rose and The Maltese Falcon, The Transparency of Time cements Leonardo Padura’s position as the preeminent literary crime writer of our time.
SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
The emphatic first light of dawn in the tropics filtered through the window, projecting dramatically against the wall where the calendar hung, with its perfect grid of twelve squares divided into four rows. The spaces had originally been colored in distinctive tones ranging from spring’s youthful green to winter’s deep gray, a scheme that only a very imaginative designer could associate with something as contrived as the four seasons on a Caribbean island. With the passing months, fly droppings had decorated the board’s motifs with erratic ellipses. Several stains and its ever-fading colors testified to the paper’s constant use and the blinding light that beat down on it every day. A variety of capricious shapes were doodled all over the thing—around the edges, even over some of the numbers, hinting at past reminders that were perhaps later forgotten and never acted upon. Signs of the passage of time and proof of a mind suffering sclerosis.
The year at the top of the calendar had received special attention and was covered with a variety of cryptic signs. Those numbers specifically tasked with representing the ninth day of October were surrounded by further perplexing sigils, which had been scratched in (more in rage than approval) with a pen just a bit lighter than the original black printer’s ink. And alongside several exclamation points, the digits that—as the doodler only now noticed—resonated with magical, numerological power, the power of perfect recurrence: 9- 9-9.
Ever since that slow, grim, slippery year had begun, Mario Conde maintained a tormented relationship with the dates at hand. Throughout his life and despite his historically good memory and general obsessiveness, he’d paid little attention to the effect of time’s speed and its implications for his own life and the lives of those around him. Regrettably and all too often, he forgot ages and birthdays, wedding anniversaries, the dates of trivial or major events—from the celebratory to those that evoked grief or commemorated simpler moments—that were or would be important to other people. But the alarming evidence persisted that, among those 365 days squared off by the grid of that cheap calendar, a day lay waiting to pounce that was as yet inconceivable, but threateningly definite and real. The proximity of the day Mario Conde would turn sixty years old caused in him a persistent shock exacerbated by the approach of those notable numbers: 9-9-9. It even sounded indecent (sixty . . . sixty . . . something that lets out air and explodes, sssixttttty . . . ), and this milestone presented itself as the incontestable confirmation of what his physical (creaky knees, waist, and shoulders; a fatty liver; an ever-lazier penis) and spiritual (dreams, projects, diminished or completely abandoned desires) selves had already been feeling for some time: the obscene arrival of old age . . .
Was he really an Old Man? In order to confirm it, as he stood before the blurry landscape of the calendar that hung from a pair of nails on his bedroom wall, Conde responded to this question with new ones: Wasn’t his grandfather Rufino an Old Man when, at the age of sixty, he took Conde around the city and surrounding areas to cockfighting rings and taught him the ins and outs of noble combat? Didn’t they start calling Hemingway “Old Man” a few years before his suicide at sixty-one? What about Trotsky? Wasn’t he, at sixty, known as the Old Man when Ramón Mercader split his head in two with a Stalinist and proletarian blow from an ice ax? For starters, Conde knew his limits and understood (owing to well-founded or spurious reasons) that he was a far cry from being his pragmatic grandfather, or Hemingway, or Trotsky, or any other famous old codger. As such, he felt that he had reason enough to avoid so much as aspiring to the category of Old Man, capital letters and all, even as he careened toward that painful number, round and decadent . . . No, he was, at best, going to become an old fart. The term was more apt in his case—in the category of possible decrepitude as classified with academic zeal by serious geriatric science and the empirical wisdom of an everyman’s street-smart philosophy.
About The Author:
Leonardo Padura was born in 1955 in Havana and lives in Cuba. He has just released THE MAN WHO LOVED DOGS, his masterpiece about the assassination of Trotsky. Padura has published a number of short-story collections and literary essays but international fame came with the Havana Quartet, all featuring Inspector Mario Conde.
Like many others of his generation, Padura had faced the question of leaving Cuba, particularly in the late 80s and early 90s, when living conditions deteriorated sharply as Russian aid evaporated. He chose to stay. And to write beautiful ironic novels in which Soviet-style socialism is condemned by implication through scenes of Havana life where even the police are savagely policed.
The crime novels feed on the noises and smells of Havana, on the ability of its inhabitants to keep joking, to make love and music, to drink rum, and to survive through petty crime such as running clandestine bars and restaurants.
Joel Baxter is infamous for solving weird and bizarre cases that others avoid. So, when he receives an email from a teenage boy Tim saying his town is cursed, he cannot turn it down.
“…I will more than likely be dead when you read this. There is nothing I can do about it. It’s the curse, and we’ve hit The Crazy Season.” Every 20 years, there are a handful of unexplained teenage deaths and it’s started again.
With the help of his straight-talking friend Melody, they set out to get to the bottom of the alleged curse. Everybody in Black Rock has secrets and nobody wants to speak.
The closer they get to truth the more Joel and Melody realise that their involvement is far from coincidental.
I want to thank Zoé at Zooloos Book Tours for inviting me on this tour and the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve read a couple of Jim Ody’s books now, but I have to say I think The Crazy Season is my favourite so far!
I saw the author posting about this a few weeks ago saying it was like a cross between the X-Files and Jonathan Creek and I can safely say that’s about right, a mix of the paranormal/weird along with an intriguing mystery.
The Crazy Season is the kind of novel that drags you in, and you just sit back and enjoy the rollercoaster ride.
The story follows Joel, complete with sidekick Melody as they investigate a string of teen suicides, twenty years apart in a small coastal town. When they dig a little deeper they find more and more lies, secrets and a whole heap of teen angst.
I loved the characters. Joel with his slightly awkward demeanor but he has a kind heart, who’s still grieving for the loss of his daughter and his wife in a coma. Then we have Melody, fierce and unapologetic, she brings Joel out of his shell. The two of them together were just a joy to read.
There was also a fantastic secondary cast of quirky characters that really added depth and a little dark humour to the story.
I felt the tension waned a little in the middle and I found my attention wandering a little, but the story pulled me back in with a nail biting ending.
The Crazy Season is a fantastic paranormal mystery, with a great cast of characters, that keeps you guessing until the end.
About The Author:
Jim writes dark psychological/thrillers, Horror and YA books that have endings you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written over a dozen novels and many more short-stories spanning many genres.
Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd. When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife, three beautiful children and two indignant cats in Swindon, Wiltshire UK.
From bestselling YA rom-com queen Becky Albertalli (author of Love, Simon) comes a new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life and theatre. [PRINCIPAL CAST LIST] Kate Garfield Anderson Walker
Best friends, and contrary to popular belief, not co-dependent. Examples:
Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient. Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment. Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.
But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script.
Enter Stage Left: Matt Olsson
He is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.
Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship…
I want to thank The Write Reads Tours for inviting me on this blog tour and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve heard such good things about Becky Albertalli books but this is actually the first I’ve read but it certainly won’t be the last!
Kate in waiting was a combination of humour, teen angst and a good dollop of the awws!
Now I’m probably not the age range that this book is aimed at, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying every minute of it!
The story follows sixteen-year-old Kate and her best friend Anderson, who share everything, even crushes. It’s all fun until their summer crush Matt turns up at their school and they both fall for him hard. Their friendship comes into question all to the backdrop of their annual musical.
What I loved about this book was how real the characters felt, their conversations, their friendships and even the language they used. Anderson and Kate’s friendship was the kind that you want, that they know you so well it’s like they can read your mind.
Reading this made me feel so nostalgic, it reminded me so much of films and TV from my own teenage years (except with a hell of a lot more inclusivity!). I also loved the theatre theme, even though I probably only got about fifty percent of the references.
I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Kate and Anderson’s other friends, Brandie and Raina. I would definitely be up for reading a future book featuring those two!
Kate In Waiting is a charming read of love and friendship that honestly had me smiling throughout.
About The Author:
Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.
Hello lovelies! Today I have a fantastic Q&A with Rae Shaw, aka Rachel Walkley, as part of the blog tour organised by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources but first a little about the book:
Title: A Chance Encounter by Rae Shaw
Date Published: 24th March 2021
Julianna Baptiste, a feisty bodyguard, finds her new job tedious, that is until her boss, the evasive Jackson Haynes, spikes her curiosity. Who is behind the vicious threats to his beautiful wife and why is he interested in two estranged siblings?
Mark works for Haynes’s vast company. He’s hiding from ruthless money launderers.
His teenage sister Ellen has an online friend whom she has never met. Ellen guards a terrible secret.
For eight years their duplicitous father has languished in prison, claiming he is innocent of murder. The evidence against him is overwhelming, so why does Mark persist with an appeal?
Keen to prove her potential as an investigator, Julianna forces Mark to confront his mistakes. The consequences will put all their lives in danger.
Julianna has quit a good job as a government agent to work as a chauffeur and bodyguard. She’s lost her way but not her curiosity. So when she suspects her boss’s wife is having an affair, she can’t stop herself from spying. What starts out as a personal mission ends up being a far greater threat to her life.
Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
The idea for a bodyguard who doesn’t play by the rules was the catalyst and from there, Julianna developed into a kind of PI who sometimes takes investigations too far.
If you could describe your book in one sentence what would it be?
Murder takes seconds, revenge takes years.
What is a typical writing day like for you?
I used to write full-time. These days I grab a few hours when I can at the weekend.
If you could recommend just one book to read what would it be and why?
The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett. They have everything you could want in a story.
Who are your favourite authors?
I have reliable favourites – Isabel Allende and Robert Goddard are both brilliant storytellers. I have a fondness for procedural police novels and especially American writer Ed McBain. Although he passed away some years ago, I read his books over a span of thirty years, from when I was eleven until his last book in the late 1990s.
Is writing your only job? If not, what is your other job?
I work as an information scientist and I spend my weekdays analysing scientific texts rather than writing.
Tell me something interesting about yourself (that’s not in your author bio!)
I’m a biologist.
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on the third book of the Julianna Baptiste series, the second is written and ready to be published. I’m also editing another book which will be published in a different genre using my real name – Rachel Walkley.
About The Author –
Rae Shaw is a pen name for the author Rachel Walkley.
Rachel is based in the North West of England. She read her first grown-up detective novel at the age of eleven, which proved to be a catalyst for filling many shelves with crime books, which still occupy her home and grow in number whenever she visits a book shop.
As well as crime, Rachel likes to unplug from the real world and writes mysteries that have a touch of magic woven into family secrets.
Two strangers, a child, and a split second choice that will change everything . . .
Ellen was just trying to help a stranger. That was how it started: giving a few minutes respite to a flustered young mother sitting opposite her on the train. A few minutes holding her baby while the mother makes an urgent call. The weight of the child in her arms making Ellen’s heart ache for what she can never have.
Five minutes pass.
The train pulls into a station and Ellen is stunned to see the mother hurrying away down the platform, without looking back. Leaving her baby behind. Ellen is about to raise the alarm when she discovers a note in the baby’s bag, three desperate lines scrawled hastily on a piece of paper:
Please protect Mia
Don’t trust the police
Don’t trust anyone
Why would a mother abandon her child to a stranger? Ellen is about to discover that the baby in her arms might hold the key to an unspeakable crime. And doing the right thing might just cost her everything . . .
I want to thank Tracy Fenton for inviting me on this tour and Zaffre books for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
This is my third T.M.Logan book and having enjoyed those novels I was very excited to see what this one had to offer.
Trust Me may be just over four hundred pages long, but with its quick pace and short chapters it didn’t feel that long at all.
The story follows Ellen, a woman in her forties who’s just received the diagnosis that she won’t be able to have children. On the train home she’s asked to look after baby Mia while her mum makes an urgent call. Time passes, but her mum doesn’t come back. Looking for clues to the woman’s disappearance it leads Ellen down a dangerous path but she knows one thing, she must protect Mia at all costs.
Ellen was an excellent character with hidden depths. At first you think she’s just an average person who I felt more than a bit sorry for, but it turns out she’s a bit of a badass. Her determination and stubbornness to let things go really drew me on through the novel.
There’s a good deal of intrigue and tension running through the story, and you’re really not sure who to trust. Unfortunately, the author tried so hard to deceive that I felt it made the real bad guy a bit obvious.
Trust Me is a quick and addictive read, perfect to lose yourself in for a few hours.
About The Author:
Tim’s thrillers have sold more than one million copies in the UK and are published in 19 countries around the world including the USA, South Korea, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Poland, Hungary, Serbia, Greece, Romania and the Netherlands.
His brand new novel TRUST ME has been described as ‘Everything you want from a thriller, and more…’ TRUST ME is out now in hardback, e-book and audiobook.
His debut thriller LIES was one of Amazon’s biggest selling e-books of 2017 and was followed by 29 SECONDS in 2018. THE HOLIDAY was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick for summer 2019 and spent ten weeks in the Sunday Times paperback top ten.
THE CATCH is about a father who becomes convinced his daughter is about to marry a man with terrible secrets.
Tim was born in Berkshire and studied in London and Cardiff before becoming a national newspaper journalist. He lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children, and writes in a cabin at the bottom of his garden.
For exclusive writing and new releases from TM Logan, sign up to the Readers’ Club: www.bit.ly/TMLogan.
I took a bit of time off due to a death in my family but now I’m back today with a review Miniskirts Are Murder by Des Burkinshaw but first a little about the book:
Title: Miniskirts Are Murder by Des Burkinshaw
Date Published: 7th March 2021
Porter Norton, his friends and his sarcastic spirit guide, The Gliss, are on the trail of a young actress who went missing in Soho, London, in the Swinging Sixties. Still recovering from their last adventure in the battlefields of WW1, the gang are confronted by a transatlantic conspiracy.
I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and the author for providing me with a copy of Miniskirts Are Murder in exchange for an honest review.
This is the second in the Porter and The Gliss series, I read and enjoyed the first back in 2019 and I was very much looking forward to the sequel! I will say you should read the first Dead and Talking as some of the story carries over into this one.
Miniskirts are murder is the same mix of historical, paranormal and mystery as the first but this time instead of being set in the trenches of WW1 we’re taken to the Swinging Sixties, travelling to both LA and Germany to investigate the disappearance of a young actress named Rose.
There’s so much packed into this novel. Ghostly visions, gangsters, racism, women’s rights, spies, the Cold War and of course murder.
I was so glad that the gang of Porter, Feng, Namita, Karin and of course the Gliss were back together for this story, albeit with a lot more scars than the first book. We got to know each character a little better, each getting their own minor storyline weaved into the main story.
The sixties are a bit of a fascination to me. It seemed like such an interesting time, especially in Britain, and I feel it’s much romanticised by film and TV shows. This book really shines a light on the seedier side of the time, especially when it came to filmmaking.
At the forefront of this novel is women’s rights and racism, which at times made it a little intense to read, I had to put the book down for a bit to get my emotions under control!
Miniskirts are murder is an original and thought provoking read with plenty of mystery and mayhem along the way. I’m looking forward to the next adventure featuring Porter and The Gliss.
About The Author:
Des, 52, is a former Times journalist/BBC TV producer. Miniskirts are Murder is the second in the Porter and The Gliss Investigations series, following Dead & Talking in 2019. Des likes to live out as much of the stories as possible and spent 3 months in the US researching this novel. He runs a film school in London and has just been commissioned to write a limited season TV series intended for Netflix. He is also a keen musician and through work has jammed with people like Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson and Jeff Lynne. He is married with 1 daughter.
London lawyer Rachel Watson has wound up in an Indian ashram with hippy heartthrob lover, Seb.
A high-achiever, Rachel has always lived life according to her Life List, ticking off goals along the way. But now that she’s in India, Rachel is going with the flow, or at least trying to…
Rachel’s visa is running out and it’s time to decide whether her relationship with Seb is a holiday romance or built to last.
The pair embark on a trip to Nepal for an Everest base camp trek, but will their relationship survive this gruelling expedition or is it time to part ways?
Flying Duo is the second romantic comedy in the ‘Flying’ series, following on from bestseller, Flying Solo, which was described by the Daily Express newspaper as ‘a must read that will appeal to fans of Sophie Kinsella, Beth O’Leary and Mhari McFarlane’ ★★★★★
I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of Flying Duo in exchange for an honest review.
I read the first in the series Flying Solo at the end of last year to prepare for Flying Duo but I needn’t have worried it works well as a standalone but as always to get the most out of the characters I recommend reading the first novel.
Rachel Watson has become somewhat infamous in India after suing the Guru Hridaya, the owner of the ashram she met dishy Canadian Seb, for tax evasion. Her work visa is rapidly expiring and does not know what the future is for her and Seb. He suggests a trip to Nepal to climb Mount Everest. What could go wrong?
Flying Duo came along at just the right time. I needed something light-hearted reading along with the added bonus of being set in a different country from my own, which made me feel like I was escaping from my house for a while (seriously sick of staring at the same walls right now).
What I liked about this story which I thought was missing from the first is that we get to know Seb a bit better and even meet his dad! I also enjoyed Rachel’s progression as a character, letting go of her life list and trying (still failing a little) to live in the moment.
The ending to the story was the perfect wrap up to Rachel and Seb’s story and gave me all the awws.
Flying Duo gave me all the fuzzy feelings and escapism I needed in a romcom novel.
About The Author:
Zoe May is an author of romantic comedies. Zoe has dreamt of being a novelist since she was a teenager. She worked in journalism and copywriting in London before writing her debut novel, Perfect Match. Having experienced the London dating scene first hand, Zoe couldn’t resist writing a novel about dating since it seems to supply endless amounts of weird and wonderful material!
Perfect Match was one of Apple’s top-selling books of 2018. It was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award, with judges describing it as ‘a laugh out loud look at love and self-discovery – fresh and very funny’.
As well as writing, Zoe enjoys walking her dog, painting and, of course, reading! She adores animals and if she’s not taking a photo of a vegan meal, she’s probably tweeting about the dairy industry. She is half Greek and half Irish and can make a mean baklava. Zoe has a thing for horror films, India, swimming, hip hop and Radiohead. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of handbags having spent several years working in fashion copywriting and could probably win Mastermind if this was her specialist subject!
Title: A Brush With Death (Nosey Parker 2) by Fiona Leitch
Date Published: 12th February 2021
Publisher: One More Chapter
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is back!
When a body turned up at her last catering gig it certainly put people off the hor d’oeuvres. So with a reputation to salvage, Jodie’s determined that her next job for the village’s festival will go without a hitch.
But when chaos breaks out, Jodie Parker somehow always finds herself in the picture.
The body of a writer from the festival is discovered at the bottom of a cliff, and the prime suspect is the guest of honour, the esteemed painter Duncan Stovall. With her background in the Met police, Jodie has got solving cases down to a fine art and she knows things are rarely as they seem.
Can she find the killer before the village faces another brush with death?
The second book in the Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker cosy mystery series. Can be read as a standalone. A humorous cosy mystery with a British female sleuth in a small village. Includes one of Jodie’s Tried and Tested Recipes! Written in British English. Mild profanity and peril.
I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I’m so glad to be back with the second in the Nosey Parker cozy mystery series! Don’t worry if you haven’t read the first, it can easily read as a standalone.
While she’s catering the opening party of Pentowan gala, Jodie comes to the attention of artist Duncan Stovall. Unfortunately, there are a few problems standing in their way, a) he’s married and b) he gets accused of the murder of author Robert Holmes. Using her nosey ways she digs into the murder, much to the annoyance of the handsome DCI Withers, to find the culprit.
Like with the first book, Murder on the menu, A brush with death is a fantastic mystery with a great cast of characters, picturesque setting and plenty of fun along the way.
The second book features some great characters from the first, like DCI Nathan Withers and of course my favourite Germaine the dog. I really enjoy the banter between Jodie and Nathan, it made me laugh out loud throughout the novel. I love seeing their relationship grow and I wonder if there’s going to be a bit of romance on the cards for these two in future novels!
I would say I didn’t feel the mystery wasn’t quite as strong as the first, but still very enjoyable to read.
A Brush With Death is a charming and fun packed mystery that I couldn’t get enough of. I’m very much looking forward to the next book!
About The Author:
Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. Her debut novel ‘Dead in Venice’ was published by Audible in 2018 as one of their Crime Grant finalists. After living in London, Hastings and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters.