#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 …

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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

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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

#BlogTour #Review The Slaying In Sydenham by Alice Castle @AliceMCastle @rararesources

The Slayings in Sydenham Cover

Title: The Slaying in Sydenham by Alice Castle

Publisher: Darkstroke Books

Publication Date: 10th December 2019

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

A dangerous move…

Single mum and super sleuth, Beth Haldane, has been set her most daunting task yet by handsome cop boyfriend Inspector Harry York. He wants her to find them a new home – outside Dulwich! Beth can hardly bear the idea, so when a young estate agent turns up dead, she diverts her energies to nailing the killer instead.

As it turns out, more or less everyone in Dulwich who has ever moved house may have a motive. But do some of the richest residents have an even stronger reason to murder the agent than others? What on earth is up with Dr Grover, head of prestigious private school, Wyatt’s? Does Beth’s uber-mummy nemesis, Belinda MacKenzie, have more reason than usual to be swaggering about the village? And who is sending Beth sinister text messages?

Join Beth for her seventh thrilling adventure amid the mean streets of south London, in The Slayings in Sydenham!

You can buy your copy here:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Slayings-Sydenham-London-Murder-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07ZJVR84P 

US – https://www.amazon.com/Slayings-Sydenham-London-Murder-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B07ZJVR84P

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Review:

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

So I’m back with Beth Haldane for the seventh in the London murder mystery series, I can’t quite believe there’s been that many! I would recommend having read a few of the previous books before getting stuck into this book, as there a few recurring storylines that you might miss out on.

Beth and Harry’s relationship is moving to the next level, as he moves into her house. Unable to cope with all of his boxes, Beth reluctantly agrees to look at houses outside her beloved Dulwich. 

She gets a nasty shock at a house in Sydenham when she finds the body of the estate agent. Unable to leave the mystery to her policeman boyfriend Harry York, she starts to investigate. Can Beth figure whodunnit before anyone else gets hurt?

It’s so nice to be back with this series, it’s like catching up with old friends.

Beth is still on top form, procrastinating from the really big issues in her life and concentrating on solving mysteries. I also enjoyed the little bit of tension that builds throughout the novel between Beth and Harry surrounding their moving in together, I felt it added a whole new layer to their relationship.

My only issue with the book was that I felt that the murders sort of got pushed to the side slightly in favour of the other story lines within the book.

The Slayings in Sydenham is a fast paced and fun cosy mystery with likeable characters that you can’t help going back to.

Giveaway – Win a signed copy of The Slayings in Sydenham  (Open to UK and US Only) 

*Terms and Conditions –US and UK 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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494324/?

About The Author: 

Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The DailyAlice-Castle-Author-Portrait-600x903 Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European hit and sold out in two weeks. 

Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim and also hit the number one spot. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, was published in August 2018, with Homicide in Herne Hill following in October 2018. Revenge on the Rye came out in December 2018. The Body in Belair Park will be published on 25th June 2019. Alice is currently working on the seventh London Murder Mystery adventure, The Slayings in Sydenham. Once again, it will feature Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.

Alice is also a mummy blogger and book reviewer via her website: https://www.alicecastleauthor.com 

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AliceMCastle

Links to buy books: http://www.MyBook.to/GirlintheGallery http://www.myBook.to/1DeathinDulwich,

 http://myBook.to/CiC

 http://myBook.to/homicideinhernehill 

http://myBook.to/revengeontherye

http://myBook.to/BodyinBelair

Death in Dulwich is now also out as an audiobook: https://www.audible.com/pd/B07N1VNMLT/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-140657&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_140657_rh_us

Alice lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children and two cats. 

#BlogTour #Review The Case Of The Missing Bride by Carmen Radtke @carmenradtke1 @Books_n_all

Hi lovelies, today I’m celebrating the re-publication of the fabulous novel The case of the missing bride and resharing my review but first a little about the book:

Title: The Case Of The Missing Bride by Carmen Radtke

Date Re-published: 1st December 2019

Genre: Historical Mystery

Description:

It was supposed to be the start of a happy, new life …

1862 – a group of young Australian women set sail for matrimony in Canada. Their presence is withheld from the male passengers and all but a select few members of the crew. But their worlds collide when one of the gentlemen stumbles over the women. 

When one of the intended brides goes missing, only Alyssa Chalmers, the one educated, wealthy woman in the group, is convinced the disappearance is no accident. She sets out to find out what happened. 

Has there been a murder? 

Alyssa is willing to move heaven and earth to find out the truth. She is about to discover that there is more to her voyage into the unknown than she bargained for …

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Review:

This book is set in the late nineteenth century when girls, especially orphaned, ones had little or no prospects in Australia. They’re only choice was to set sail to Canada in hopes of finding a husband.

Alyssa Chambers is not like the other girls. She was raised in relative luxury, until her father, a high ranking official, spoke out against the treatment of prisoners in Port Philips prison and then her mother died leaving her alone. Boarding the ship she hopes to get to Canada then back to England to find her long lost relatives.

She is put in charge of a small group of girls whom she grows fond of then one the girls, goes missing.

With the help of Dr Bryson and first mate Mr Kendrick she must find the killer before he strikes again.

I loved this Agatha Christie style mystery. There wasn’t a lot of action but it didn’t need it, the mystery kept me interested all the way through. The setting on the boat helped a lot, the author really got that feeling of isolation across and terror of being trapped in the middle of nowhere with a murderer.

Alyssa was a fantastic character too, with a tendency to speak her mind and defend herself, which was not a good trait in a woman back in those days.

There was also a little bit of a love triangle going between Alyssa, Dr Bryson and Mr Kendrick which I enjoyed immensely.

My only complaint was that it was quite a short book and I wanted to read more!

I’m very much looking forward to the next book in this series, Glittering Death out the beginning of 2020!

About The Author:

Carmen Radtke has spent most of her life with ink on her fingers and a dangerously highCarmen11 (1) 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