#LetSleepingMurderLie by Carmen Radtke @CarmenRadtke1 @zooloo2008 #BookReview #ZooloosBookTours

Title: Let Sleeping Murder Lie by Carmen Radtke

Date Published: 1st March 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

American Eve Holdsworth is living her quintessential English dream in a picturesque village in the countryside. Meeting an attractive stranger adds to the appeal.

But Ben Dryden is a pariah in Eve’s new neighbourhood, since his wife was murdered five years ago, and he was the only suspect.

Eve, who is absolutely sure someone as charming as Ben could never be a killer, is

determined to solve the case and clear Ben’s name, even if it’s against his will.

Soon enough Eve finds herself in deep waters, and with her life at stake, she can only pray that her romantic notions won’t be the end of her …

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08W2JCD68

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08W2JCD68

Review:

I want to thank Zoe at Zooloo Book Tours for inviting me on this tour and the author for providing me with a copy of Let Sleeping Murder Lie in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve read a couple of Carmen Radtke’s historical mysteries so I was eager to read a book of hers set in more modern times.

Eve moves to an English village living her dream but gets herself embroiled in a murder mystery concerning the handsome Ben Dryden who was accused of murdering his wife Donna five years earlier.

Let Sleeping Murder Lie is a cozy mystery with a good helping of romance, all set to the backdrop of your average country village. 

Eve is a great character who I really warmed to, even though some people might see her as introverted and not willing to take part in village clubs which personally I’d feel the same about. 

I felt sorry for Ben. Looking after his elderly father and running a large house would be tough enough without everyone thinking he murdered his wife.

Another great secondary character was Hayley who runs the local pub and becomes a sort of Watson to Eve’s Holmes, helping her pump the locals for information.

I feel the village atmosphere is really captured in this book, with petty rivalries, gossip and some outspoken characters.

I felt it was at times a little heavier on the romance than the mystery, but I enjoyed the will they/won’t they, between Ben and Eve.

Let Sleeping Murder Lie is a gentle read which will satisfy any cozy mystery lover out there.

About The Author:

Carmen Radtke has spent most of her life with ink on her fingers and a dangerously high 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.

When Carmen is not writing cozy mysteries, reading or dreaming of travel, she is busy acting as resident cat servant or tap-dancing (badly, but enthusiastic).

She is currently working on her next Jack and Frances mystery.

Follow her at:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarmenRadtke1

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

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

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/scribbler25/

Website: carmenradtke.com

Murder At Elm House (Kitty Underhay 6) by Helena Dixon @bookouture @NellDixon #BookReview #Booksontour

Title: Murder At Elm House (Kitty Underhay 6) by Helena Dixon

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 7th June 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description: 

Kitty Underhay feels the touch… of death.

1934. Accidental amateur sleuth Kitty Underhay is being escorted by ex-army captain Matthew Bryant on an errand of mercy, as she takes a basket of grapes to her nemesis Mrs Craven, who is recuperating from a recent operation. But their arrival at Elm House Nursing Home coincides with the mysterious death of Lady Wellings, a long-term resident.

The woman was known to be ill, so when the police turn a disinterested ear to Mrs Craven’s suspicion that Lady Wellings was poisoned, Kitty decides to look into the case herself. And when another invalid, the gentle Mrs Pearson, collapses fatally in the breakfast room, it seems her suspicions are well-founded. For an institution promising health and rejuvenation, there seems to be a very low survival rate amongst the guests!

When the nurse Eloise Hibbert hints at sinister goings on among the staff, Kitty arranges to meet her away from the home to uncover how deep the treachery lies. However, before she can make the rendezvous, Eloise meets an unfortunate end falling from the top of the building. Was she pushed by the hand of fate, or a cold-blooded killer?

Meanwhile, Matt has been following an entirely different trail of evidence, and what he finds out chills him to the bone. When Kitty fails to return from her unsuccessful meeting, it is clear she has stumbled onto a plot far more devious than they could have imagined, and into a trap laid by an unscrupulous killer…

An utterly sensational and addictive Golden Age murder mystery. Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss.

You can buy your copy here: https://geni.us/B08V1VY7TBsocial

Review:

I want to thank Bookouture for my copy of Murder at Elm House in exchange for an honest review.

Murder at Elm House is the sixth book in the Kitty Underhay mystery series, it can be read as a standalone but I would highly recommend reading at least the previous book Murder In The Bell Tower, as some of the storyline carries over.

Mrs Craven, a friend of Kitty’s grandmother, is recovering after a minor operation at Elm House. She calls in both Matthew and Kitty after she suspects that there’s something odd going on, resulting in the deaths of some of the patients. As they investigate, they become aware that there could be something bigger going on than just the death of patients.

If you don’t know this series, they’re set around the golden age of crime fiction in the 1930s and always give me classic crime vibes while remaining fresh and interesting to read.

I love sleuths Matthew and Kitty, they’re such a cute couple and compliment each other nicely. There was plenty of peril for both throughout the novel, with break-ins and attempts on their lives. Not to mention Kitty taking the leap to become a lady motorist, something that probably would have been frowned upon back in those days.

I usually have an inkling when it comes to cozy mysteries about the whodunnit quite early on but not with this novel, I can say I didn’t guess how it was going to end at all!

Murder at Elm House is a great addition to this series and I can’t wait to read more!

About The Author:

Nell Dixon was born and continues to live in the Black Country. Married to the same man 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

A Body In Seaview Grange (Kate Palmer 2) by Dee MacDonald @bookouture #BookReview

Hello lovelies! I can’t believe it’s the last day of April already!! Today I’m trying to catch up, as usual, with the second in the Kate Palmer cozy mystery series as I have the third book for a blog tour in May. First a little about the book:

Title: A Body In Seaview Grange (Kate Palmer 2) by Dee MacDonald

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 12th November 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

Practice nurse Kate Palmer is ready for some peace and quiet in her little Cornish village, but there’s soon to be a murder on her doorstep…

Kate’s retirement in Cornwall hasn’t quite gone as planned – Lavender Cottage is in need of substantial repairs and her sister Angie’s fondness for gin does rather stretch the purse-strings.

So when Kate is asked to do some nursing at the luxury retirement flats in Seaview Grange, she jumps at the chance. The old Victorian house has stunning views of the sea and the retirees are a peaceful bunch. That is, until Edina Martinelli, a glamorous ex-opera singer, is found poisoned in her home.

Edina’s death is ruled an overdose by Digoxin, the same medication she had been on for years. But Kate is sure the woman she met was not suicidal, and with the reputation of her practice on the line, she decides to do some digging. Luckily she’s got the newly retired Detective Inspector Woody Forrest to help her…

It’s not long before Kate discovers evidence of foul play, and there’s no shortage of suspects. Was it the besotted vicar? The ill-tempered stepson? Or perhaps Edina’s neighbour finally had enough of her constant warbling. It seems everyone had a motive, but who amongst them had the stomach for murder? And will they kill again?

If you love murder mysteries by Agatha Christie, Faith Martin or Joy Ellis, then this page-turning novel will have you reading late into the night!

Review:

I want to thank Bookouture for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second in the series and can easily be read as a standalone, but I would recommend reading the first A Body In The Village Hall, just to get a better understanding of the characters.

A Body At Seaview Grange is a traditional British cozy mystery, not much blood, gore or violence, an idyllic village setting and some interesting suspects along the way.

Semi retired nurse Kate is pulled into the mystery surrounding Edina Martinelli, ex-opera singer and full-time diva, who annoyed almost every single one of her neighbours at the Seaview Grange. The police think Edina took too much of her prescription medication, but the woman herself was convinced that someone was out to kill her. 

Kate is still on fine form, dogged and determined even though the police think Edina’s death may have been an accident. I really enjoyed the development of the character, along with the addition of a new police inspector for her to butt heads with. There’s also still a bit of romance with ex DI Woody Forrest, who reveals a few surprising facts about himself in this book.

As with the first novel I guessed the who quite early on, but the why wasn’t clear until the killer was revealed.

A Body At Seaview Grange is a light-hearted mystery which is a perfect escape for a few hours.

About The Author:

Aged 18, Dee arrived in London from Scotland and typed her way round the West End for a couple of years before joining BOAC (forerunner of British Airways) in Passenger Services for 2 years and then as a stewardess for 8 years.

She has worked in Market Research, Sales and at the Thames TV Studios when they had the franchise.

Dee has since relocated to Cornwall, where she spent 10 years running B&Bs, and only began writing when she was over 70!

Married twice, she has one son and two grandsons.  

You can find Dee on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dee.macdonald.18659

and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DMacDonaldAuth

#DeadInTheWater #StonebridgeMysteries @cmacwritescrime @RedDogTweets

Title: Dead In The Water by Chris McDonald

Publisher: Red Dog Press

Date Published: 27th March 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

The Stonebridge Regatta is looming. The town’s annual face-off against neighbouring Meadowfield is usually a weekend filled with sunshine, laughter and camaraderie. 

This year is different.

A week before the race, the body of Stonebridge team captain Matthew Henderson is found dead in the water. The police file his passing as a tragic accident however, his grieving widow disagrees and suspects foul play is involved. She enlists the help of Adam and Colin, the town’s amateur (self-proclaimed) private detectives to unearth the truth.

Did Matthew simply slip and fall into the water, or is there more to his death below the surface?

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon: mybook.to/DITW

The Red Dog Shop: https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/dead-in-the-water

Review:

I want to thank Red Dog Press for providing me with a copy of Dead In The Water in exchange for an honest review.

I’m so glad to be back with Adam and Colin for the second in the Stonebridge mysteries. If you haven’t read the first, The Curious Case of Daniel Costello, Dead In The Water can be read as a standalone, but I would personally recommend reading the first as it’s such a good novella!

If you don’t know this series, they are cozy mysteries set in the small Irish town of Stonebridge following two amateur sleuths and best friends Adam and Colin.

A grieving widow comes to Adam, convinced that her husband didn’t drown by accident. Adam is busy with his new gardening business but the lure of a mystery is too much for him to turn down, even roping poor put upon Colin to help.

As I said in my previous review, both Adam and Colin are very likeable sleuths and I enjoyed the fact Colin got a more central role in this book rather than just being a sidekick type character.

This story has a snappy pace and even though it’s only a short book, there’s still plenty of suspects, clues and red herrings to keep you guessing.

I felt the actual mystery wasn’t quite as funny as the first, but of course that’s just my opinion.

Dead in the water is a well-written whodunnit with likeable sleuths underpinned with some subtle humour. I’m looking forward to more Stonebridge mysteries in the future!

About the Author:

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime. A Wash of Black is his first attempt at writing a book. He came up with the initial idea whilst feeding his baby in the middle of the night, which may not be the best thing to admit, considering the content. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs. Whispers in the Dark is the second installment in the DI Erika Piper series, and Chris is currently working on his latest series, The Stonebridge Mysteries, published by Red Dog Press in 2021. 

A Brush With Death (Nosey Parker 2) by Fiona Leitch @rararesources @fkleitch #CozyMystery #BookReview

Title: A Brush With Death (Nosey Parker 2) by Fiona Leitch 

Date Published: 12th February 2021

Publisher: One More Chapter

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

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.

You can buy your copy here:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brush-Death-Nosey-Parker-Mystery-ebook/dp/B08CTX44K5

US – https://www.amazon.com/Brush-Death-Nosey-Parker-Mystery-ebook/dp/B08CTX44K5 

Review:

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. 

Social Media Links – 

https://www.facebook.com/fiona.leitch.1/

https://www.instagram.com/leitchfiona/

Murder On The Menu by Fiona Leitch @rararesources @fkleitch #BlogTour #BookReview #CozyMystery

Title: Murder On The Menu by Fiona Leitch 

Date Published: 15th January 2021

Publisher: One More Chapter

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

The first book in a NEW cosy mystery series!

Still spinning from the hustle and bustle of city life, Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is glad to be back in the Cornish village she calls home. Having quit the Met Police in search of something less dangerous, the change of pace means she can finally start her dream catering company and raise her daughter, Daisy, somewhere safer.

But there’s nothing like having your first job back at home to be catering an ex-boyfriend’s wedding to remind you of just how small your village is. And when the bride, Cheryl, vanishes Jodie is drawn into the investigation, realising that life in the countryside might not be as quaint as she remembers…

With a missing bride on their hands, there is murder and mayhem around every corner but surely saving the day will be a piece of cake for this not-so-amateur sleuth?

The first book in the Murder on the Menu 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.

You can buy your copy here: 

amzn.to/389aWWW  

http://mybook.to/murderonthemenureveal

Review:

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

I read and enjoyed Murder Ahoy! by Fiona Leitch last year, so I was intrigued to see what this new series had to offer.

Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker just moved back to her hometown of Penstowan in Cornwall with her twelve-year-old daughter Daisy after her disaster of a marriage broke down. She set up a new catering business and is quickly pulled into catering old friend Tony Penhaligon’s wedding. Tragedy strikes as his ex wife Mel turns up dead and his wife to be goes missing. She ends up butting heads with the handsome DCI Withers after Tony becomes the prime suspect. Jodie must use her nosey ways to crack the case.

Murder on the Menu is a cozy mystery packed with plenty of red herrings, memorable characters, and of course a good dose of humour.

I absolutely loved Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker. She’s a single mum, a former police officer, and has plenty of sarcastic wit to boot. There were some great secondary characters too, like Jodie’s mum and her daughter Daisy, but a special shout out goes to Germaine, the cute dog that Jodie ends up inheriting.

I also enjoyed the small town gossipy atmosphere that came across through the novel. Everybody seemed to have a nickname too, which was so much fun! 

There’s plenty of little twists and turns through the story that really kept me on my toes, and I really didn’t guess the entire mystery until the very end.

After reading Murder on the menu I can’t to read next in this series!

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. 

Social Media Links – 

https://www.facebook.com/fiona.leitch.1/

https://www.instagram.com/leitchfiona/

#BlogTour The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello by Chris McDonald @cmacwritescrime @RedDogTweets #TheCuriousDispatchOfDanielCostello

Title: The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello by Chris McDonald

Publisher: Red Dog Press

Date Published: 12th January 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

Wedding bells are chiming in the idyllic, coastal town of Stonebridge. For Sam and Emily, it should be the happiest day of their lives. But, on the morning of the ceremony, the best man is found dead. The police quickly write his death off as a tragic accident, but something doesn’t seem right to wedding guest and groomsman, Adam Whyte.

Armed with an encyclopedic, but ultimately ridiculous knowledge of television detective shows and an unwarranted confidence in his own abilities, Adam and his best friend (and willing Watson) Colin, set out to uncover what actually happened to Daniel Costello.

Amazon Link: mybook.to/Stonebridge 

Red Dog Press: https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/shop

Review:

I want to thank Meggy at Red Dog Press for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello in exchange for an honest review.

The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello is only just over a hundred pages but let its short length fool you, there’s plenty of mystery, mayhem and a good bit of humour packed into the story!

Best friends Adam and Colin are invited to the wedding of an old school friend but when the best man, Daniel Costello, turns up dead and the police don’t take it seriously. Adam decides they should look into it, pulling a reluctant Colin along for the ride.

Both Adam and Colin are likeable characters. Adam is a bit directionless, living at home with his mum. Colin works in a retirement home, enjoys following the rules. They make an unlikely pair of detectives, especially as Adam is exceptionally squeamish, but using their love of the TV show Sherlock they manage to ferret out clues.

I will say I felt the ending l was a bit rushed, but of course that was just my opinion.

The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello is a quick and fun read that I couldn’t get enough of! I will definitely be on the lookout for more adventures featuring Adam and Colin.

About The Author:

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime. A Wash of Black is his first attempt at writing a book. He came up with the initial idea whilst feeding his baby in the middle of the night, which may not be the best thing to admit, considering the content. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs. Whispers in the Dark is the second installment in the DI Erika Piper series, and Chris is currently working on his latest series, The Stonebridge Mysteries, to be published by Red Dog Press in 2021. 

#BookReview Murder On The Dance Floor (Kitty Underhay 4) by Helena Dixon #CozyMystery

Title: Murder On The Dance Floor (Kitty Underhay 4) by Helena Dixon

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 28th October 2020

Genre: Historical Cozy Mystery

Description:

Kitty Underhay’s dance card is full… of death.

November 1933. Amateur sleuth-cum-dutiful granddaughter Kitty Underhay stifles a sigh of boredom as she attends the annual Hotelier’s Association Dinner and Dance on behalf of her grandmother, the proprietress of the Dolphin Hotel. She hopes the company of ex-army captain Matthew Bryant will enliven the otherwise dull evening. That is, until bullish and overbearing local councillor Harold Everton drops dead into his bowl of consommé.

While the local police are still scrambling for their whistles, Kitty and Matt waste no time leaping into action. Soon they find themselves caught up a dangerous search to uncover who amongst the distinguished guests used cyanide for seasoning? 

When their digging throws light on a corruption scandal brewing in the local council involving Everton’s assistant Thomas King, they are sure they’ve cracked the case. But before he can be questioned further, King’s body is found in a smouldering car wreck. Meanwhile, the murderer has made a sinister plan to avoid detection or punishment, and it will lead Kitty and Matt into a dangerous dance with death… 

A fast, fun and utterly unputdownable Golden Age cozy murder mystery, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T E Kinsey and Lee Strauss. 

Review:

I missed this book back in October and as I know the next in the series is coming out soon, so I thought I’d better catch up!

Murder On The Dance Floor is a well written cozy mystery that just pulled me in from the very beginning.

This series is just so good, every book has a strong story line and that classic mystery feel. It’s just crying out for a TV adaptation!  

I would recommend starting at the beginning of this series rather than diving straight into this one as there is a secondary storyline, to do with Kitty’s missing mother, that runs over each of the books and is particularly important as you read this book. 

Kitty and Matthew are in fine form in this story, I’m glad they’re working together a bit more rather than Matthew trying to shield Kitty too much. Their relationship moves to the next stage through the novel, which I’m so happy for!

I felt that I forgot about the main mystery, a little distracted by Kitty’s breakthroughs when it came to her missing mother, but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment that much.

I’m so happy I don’t have to wait too long for the next in the series, Murder at the Belltower, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Kitty and Matthew.

About The Author:

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

Author Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.nelldixon.com

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

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/NellDixon

#BookReview 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!

#BookReview Witch Is When It All Began by Adele Abbott/ The Potion Commotion by Constance Barker #CozyMysteries

I found recently I had an absolute ton of these witchy mysteries on my kindle, because I download books and promptly forget what I’ve downloaded, and with Halloween coming up next month I thought I’m in the mood to read some of them. 

Title: Witch Is When It All Began (A witch P.I. Mystery 1) by Adele Abbott

Date Published: 24th August 2015

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

When the going gets tough…

Private investigator, Jill Gooder, has been hired to find a serial killer because, as usual, the police can’t buy a clue. Jill, the not so proud owner of a crazy, one-eyed cat, probably can’t expect too much help from her PA/Secretary, Mrs V, who spends all day knitting.

And just in case all of that wasn’t bad enough, Jill’s just about to discover she’s a witch.

…break out the custard creams.

Review:

So I love a cozy mystery and I love witches too, so what better than a book that combines both? 

Jill is single handedly running her adoptive father’s P.I. business, but business is slow so she takes on a client convinced his girlfriend was killed by a serial killer dubbed The Animal. If that wasn’t enough for her, she finds out she’s a witch. It’s all a bit much for her OCD tendencies, especially when she finds there are dark forces after her. Can she solve the case and get to grips with her new powers?

Witch Is When It All Began was a fun light hearted book, with some quirky characters with a dash of magic in there too.

I really enjoyed the magic system in this book. She pictures certain things rather than waving a wand or casting a spell, I don’t think I’ve come across this before so I always love to find a fresh approach.

My favourite characters were Mrs V, Jill’s knitting obsessed secretary, and her troublesome cat Winky, they really added some fun to the story with their rivalry.

My main issue was the two storylines, discovering she’s a witch and her serial killer investigation, didn’t quite gel together. I felt the discovering the witch part was a bit more interesting and overshadowed the investigation.

Will I carry on with this series? I think there’s a lot of potential for this series so I just might.

About The Author:

Adele Abbott’s world is full of mystery, magic and a whole lot of crazy. Come join in the fun.

Web site: http://www.AdeleAbbott.com

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

Title: The Potion Commotion (Happy Blendings Witch 1) by Constance Barker

Date Published: 13th September 2019

Genre: Cozy mystery

Description:

Goodsprings Georgia is home to a secret witch’s coven. Sam, earth witch, owns the local smoothie shop. She likes to put a little magic in her brew and she can cure most ailments with her smoothie potions. Her one employee, David aka Tank, has tattoos out the ying yang and a Harley in the parking lot. Regular customer Phineas and his pet rooster Chuckles enjoy lounging in the shop’s courtyard seating. Chuckles gets his own shot glass of magic brew. Lucky bird.

Tessa, fire witch, owns the hottest grill in town. Mara, wind witch, can hear the whispers of the town, which comes in handy when an investigation is needed.

Amelia Windemere was the coven’s water witch until her untimely demise. She wasn’t the most loved person in town….oh heck, she was the most despised. But how does a water witch drown? Are there witch hunters in town or something more evil? And why did the police force hire two new twin detectives just in time for a murder?

Find out in the first installment of the Happy Blending Witch Cozy Mystery Series

Review:

Earth witch Sam runs a smoothie shop in the small town of Goodsprings. Tragedy strikes when Amelia Windmere, the water witch from Sam’s coven is found dead. It’s being treated like an accident but Sam knows that a powerful witch like Amelia could never drown without foul play and takes it upon herself to investigate.

The Potion commotion was a quick little read with a cast of quirky characters and an intriguing mystery to solve.

It has the usual hallmarks of a cozy mystery, a small town, a determined amateur sleuth, an unlikeable murder victim and a limited pool of suspects. Of course this has the twist of having a witch as the amateur sleuth with a few supernatural occurrences along the way.

I’m always intrigued by the magic systems that each other puts in place for their witch characters, this time it was elements, earth, wind, water and fire.

I did wish there may have been another suspect or two as I kind of guessed the murderer quite early on. 

If you’re looking for a quick supernatural read and you just happen to love a cozy mystery too, I’d recommend this book.

About The Author:

Constance Barker lives in the Midwest with her husband and two Akitas where she can look out from her screened porch onto a wooded area brimming with activity. Since she was a young girl she read mysteries, often given to her by her grandmother. She loved figuring out who the culprit was and sometimes she was right and other times startled at who the author picked as the assailant. Now she enjoys writing mysteries herself. When she isn’t writing stories, she can be found in her favorite vacation spot, Las Vegas or shopping for bargains.