Darkness On The Fens by Joy Ellis @JoffeBooks #BookReview

Title: Darkness On The Fens by Joy Ellis

Date Published: 16th July 2019

Publisher: Joffe Books 

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

Do you love addictive detective mysteries? Then try this book by a multiple #1 best-selling author now. You won’t be able to put it down. It’s a totally enthralling read.

A SERIAL KILLER ON A POISONOUS MISSION PUSHES NIKKI AND HER TEAM TO BREAKING POINT

Revellers are flocking into Greenborough for the yearly Dark Greenborough Festival, a three-day event celebrating local folklore, superstition and the darker side of life.

What the public doesn’t know is that there has been a warning sent to the police, saying that Greenborough will be a very dangerous place this year. The anonymous letter ends with the Latin phrase, Mors certa, hora incerta: Death is certain, the hour uncertain.

DI Nikki Galena and her team soon discover this is no hoax, as people start dying from what appears to be alcoholic poisoning. Things rapidly escalate, and as the deaths get more horrific, Nikki realises they have a serial killer in their midst.

A NIGHTMARE HUNT FOR A KILLER DURING THEIR BUSIEST TIME OF THE YEAR.

Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the heart-stopping ending.

Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Robert Bryndza, Mel Sherratt, Angela Marsons, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.

Review:

Another book that’s been sitting gathering dust on my NetGalley shelf. I heard the next in the series is next month so I thought I had best read this one!

Before I go on I will point out this is the tenth in the series, but it can be read as a standalone without feeling like you’ve missed too much.

A serial poisoner nicknamed the Coachman is terrorising the streets of Greenborough during the annual Dark Greenborough festival, targeting unsuspecting revellers. Nikki Galena and her team are on the case but it’s proving a bit too much for her team. Will she manage to solve it before one of her team takes matters too far?  

Darkness on The Fen is a dark police procedural with a bit of a creepy edge to it.

The mystery was really intriguing and packed with tension, I had no idea who the culprit was until it was revealed. Plus I loved the addition of Eve Anderson, Nikki’s mum, and her band of ‘wrinklies’ getting in on the investigating, they gave it a little bit of light relief with their easy banter and humour. I really would love to see Eve get her own series!

Darkness On The Fens is a fantastic addition to this series and I’d highly recommend it if you love police procedurals.

About The Author:

Joy Ellis grew up in Kent but moved to London when she won an apprenticeship with thejoy ellis prestigious Mayfair flower shop, Constance Spry Ltd.

Many years later, having run her own florist shop in Weybridge, Ellis took part in a writer’s workshop in Greece and was encouraged by her tutor, Sue Townsend to begin writing seriously. She now lives in the Lincolnshire Fens with her partner Jacqueline and their Springer spaniels, Woody and Alfie.

#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

A Messy Affair Full Tour Banner

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

#BookSpotlight Death in Smoke (The Cape Mysteries #2) by Barbara Elle @barbaraelleauth @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #Thriller #Books #promo #Giveaway #excerpt

Congratulations to author, Barbara Elle, on the release of her exciting thriller, Death in Smoke! I have an exclusive excerpt, plus your chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift card but first a bit about the book:

Death in Smoke Cover

Title: Death in Smoke (The Cape Mysteries #2) by Barbara Elle

Publication Date: 5th December 2019

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

A bloodied body buried in a snowbank on a remote island off Cape Cod.

A cold case in Kansas.

What’s the connection between two unrelated murders over a thousand miles away and decades apart?

In Death In Smoke, the thrilling sequel to Death In Vermilion, artist Leila Goodfriend unravels the truth about two brutal killings.

From Cuttyhunk Island to a Native American casino in Kansas, Leila tracks a trail of blood and revenge, littered with smoke screens and stone relics of a faded past.

Once again, Leila has to trust her instincts, which puts her at odds with Detective John Grace—a relationship of attraction that, in the end, reveals a tragic secret from her own past.

Despite the detective’s warnings, Leila puts her life at risk, obsessed with proving her friend’s innocence, at least of murder.

Death In Smoke, the new psychological thriller from acclaimed author Barbara Elle, takes readers on an inner and physical journey across clashing cultures and time, challenging assumptions about what is truth—what remains a mystery.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/49906431-death-in-smoke

Available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Y7PT1B6

Excerpt: 

Her fingers bled as she dug, the blood spread like a stain, but she couldn’t know now whether it was her blood, or the blood seeping up from beneath the surface.

She knew what she’d find now. There was no urgency. Not anymore. Not with this spreading stain. She slowed down. She brushed aside the snow carefully, like an archaeologist at a dig; she had to see the eyes. The eyes would tell whether there was life, or death. It was silent, except for the pounding of blood in her ears.

The blood, coagulated into a fibrous mesh-like flesh, was more like a birth than a death. It was a woman. The crown of the skull had been split, maybe cracked along a fissure? The features were contorted. Had there been time to beg, no, no, don’t? Had there been time to scream? 

She brushed the bloody flecks away. Horrified. There was no question now. The eyes were open. The woman was dead. 

It was a queer, horrible irony that suddenly struck Leila: she had found another dead body. Iris. Now, there was this poor woman. This was supposed to be a walk in the woods.

Although the violence of death had distorted the features of its victim, there was something familiar in the angular chin, the cheekbones, and the mannish set of the jaw. It was a face she never expected to see again. 

Damn. It was Susie.

Giveaway: Win a $25 Amazon gift card:

Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0e7c6a8f129/?

About the Author:

In her stunning debut thriller, Death In Vermilion (The Cape Mysteries Book 1), barbaraelleacclaimed author Barbara Elle paints a clever and twisted picture of women and sisters, whose lives are entwined by a brutal murder in a Cape Cod town. Who can you trust?

Now, Death In Smoke (The Cape Mysteries Book 2) asks what’s the connection between a bloodied body buried in a snowbank on a remote island off the Cape and a cold case in Kansas? Can artist and amateur sleuth Leila Goodfriend solve this new mystery?

Barbara Elle fell in love with books and writing at a young age, honing her writing chops as a copywriter at major publishers and as a freelance journalist.

Growing up in Boston, but she became a New Yorker as an adult. Her writing draws on people and places she remembers, setting The Cape Mysteries on Cape Cod, a place of memories.

Barbara Elle continues collecting characters and plots, often traveling the world with her touring musician husband, the musical director for rock and roll icon Cyndi Lauper. In her travels, Barbara has explored Buddhist temples in Beijing, crypts in Vienna and Kabuki Theater in Tokyo.

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17931175.Barbara_Elle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/barbaraelleauth

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/barbaraelleauthor/

Blog Tour Schedule

January 6th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

January 7th

Jessica Belmont (Spotlight) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

January 8th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Shalini’s Books & Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

January 9th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Tranquil Dreams (Review) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

January 10th

Ally’s Reading Corner (Spotlight) http://allysreadingcorner.wordpress.com

The Genre Minx Book Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.thegenreminx.com/

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

Blog Tour Organised By:

R&R Book Tours

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Link: http://rrbooktours.com

#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 The Secret Child by Caroline Mitchell @Caroline_Writes

Title: The Secret Child (DI Amy Winter 2) by Caroline Mitchell

Date Published: 7th March 2019

Genre: Police Procedural 

Description:

DI Amy Winter knows evil. She’s lived through it.

Four-year-old Ellen is snatched by a stranger in the dead of night. Her devastated mother, Nicole, receives four identical phials and a threatening note in a familiar scrawl that chills her to the bone. But she always knew this would happen. She’s been expecting it for years . . .

According to the note, one of the phials is poisoned. Nicole is given a deadly challenge: if she drinks one, the sadistic kidnapper will notify the police of Ellen’s location. The sender claims to be Luka Volkov but Luka is supposed to be dead, killed long ago in a fire that haunts all those involved.

DI Amy Winter is still reeling from the discovery that she is the daughter of a serial killer, and her childhood trauma only makes her more determined to bring Ellen home. When another child is taken, Amy finds herself in a race against time. To rescue the children, must she seek help from the one person she wants to forget?

Review:

This is my last review of 2019 and the decade!

Four year old Ellen Curtis is kidnapped from her home in the middle of the night. Her mother Nicole receives a parcel with four vials. One contains poison, the others are harmless, to get her daughter back all she has to do is pick one.

DI Amy Winter gets assigned to the case but feel like she’s getting blocked at every turn. A second child goes missing and they’re still no closer to finding the elusive kidnapper when suddenly, she finds herself as front page news, her history and serial killer mother displayed for all to see. Can Amy put her feelings aside and find the kidnapper?

The Secret Child is a fast paced, tension packed mystery that once you pick it up, it’s hard to put down again. 

So this book is the second in the series, I would highly recommend that you read the first just so you don’t miss out on any of the story and it happens to be a really good book too.

I really enjoyed the cat and mouse game that the kidnapper plays with Amy and her team through the novel, it really kept me on my toes. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book that really keeps up the tension throughout like The Secret Child did.

I still love the character of Amy too. We get to see more of how the bombshell of being the daughter of serial killers affects her self esteem and how she’s trying to balance it within herself, really adding to the realism of the character.  

I have to be honest, I think it suffered slightly from second book syndrome, not quite living up to the first story wise. I also did sort of figure out how the ending would play out a little earlier than I would have liked but that didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the book.

The Secret Child is an addictive police procedural that left me eagerly awaiting the next in the series. 

About The Author:

New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post and International #1 Bestselling Author.caroline mitchell Shortlisted by the International Thriller Awards for best ebook 2017 and the Killer Nashville Best Police Procedural 2018. Over a million books sold.

Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, she has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time.

Caroline writes psychological and crime thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim reached No.1 in the Amazon charts in the UK, USA and Australia and was the winner of the Reader’s Favourite Awards in the psychological thriller category. It has been described as ‘brilliantly gripping and deliciously creepy’.

Set in Notting Hill, London, her new DI Amy Winter thriller series, Truth and Lies and The Secret Child are published by Thomas & Mercer.

You can follow Caroline on Twitter at @Caroline_Writes and http://www.Facebook.com/CMitchellAuthor or http://www.caroline-writes.com

Sign up to join her Reader’s club for access to news, updates and exclusive competitions and giveaways. http://eepurl.com/IxsTj