#BookReview Vanilla Bean Vengeance (Claire’s Candles 1) by Agatha Frost #Cozymystery

Title: Vanilla Bean Vengeance (Claire’s Candles 1) by Agatha Frost

Date Published: 28th February 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

 Claire Harris loves nothing more than crafting homemade candles. She has always dreamed of one day opening a quaint candle shop in her home village of Northash, but at thirty-five, she still can’t afford to take the risk. Stuck in a dead-end job at the local candle factory, and back living with her parents, Claire knows her life needs a shakeup.

The last place she expected change to come from was the factory itself, but when the owner is shockingly pushed to her death, Claire’s life is flipped upside down. She isn’t the only person in the village depending on the factory, so when the murder plunges the business’s future into uncertainty, Claire feels compelled to solve the crime.

With the help of her retired-detective father and closest friends, Claire uncovers a tangled web of conspiracies, cover-ups, secrets, and lies, but can she uncover the truth before her candle shop dream slips through her fingers forever?

Review:

Before I get into my review, I want to show the cover of Vanilla Bean Vengeance some love. I don’t usually go on about the covers, because you know you should judge a book by its cover and all that, but it’s so cute and fits the book perfectly.

So I read the first in Agatha Frost’s Peridale Cafe series a few months ago, so when I saw Vanilla Bean Vengeance, the first in the Claire’s candle series, I want to see what that’s all about. I’m always on the lookout for a new twist on the whole cozy mystery tropes, .i.e. Bakeries, witches, bookshops etc and I thought, I haven’t come across candles before, so I’ll admit I was intrigued on how the two would mesh. 

Vanilla Bean Vengeance has all the typical cozy ingredients, a village setting, a determined amateur sleuth with a hint of potential romance. 

My issue with Agatha Frost’s other series is I felt the characters were a little flat but I really liked Claire, she’s a character I really found myself rooting for. Plus a fab array of quirky back up characters, although Claire’s pushy mother who’s obsessed with her daughter getting married and having kids kind of got on my nerves.

The story kept me guessing to the end and I’ve already put the second in the series, Black Cherry Betrayal on my tbr list.

If you love a cozy mystery, I’d highly recommend this book!

About The Author:

Agatha Frost is a lover of all things cozy. She is a crime fiction fanatic and enjoys nothing more than sinking her teeth into a good murder mystery with a cup of peppermint and liquorice tea, and a cat curled up in her knee.

She lives in a quaint village in a sleepy corner of England, which provides more than ample inspiration for her bestselling Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series!

Sign up to Agatha’s newsletter to get ★FREE★ copies of new releases!

www.agathafrost.com

#BlogTour #Review Murder Ahoy! by Fiona Leitch @rararesources @fkleitch

Title: Murder Ahoy! by Fiona Leitch

Date Published: 15th June 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

Famous crime writer Bella Tyson is hired to co-host a Murder Mystery cruise, on a luxury liner sailing from Southampton to New York. She’s expecting an easy ride; fun and games, surrounded by amateur sleuths and fans of her books, all the while staying in a deluxe cabin and enjoying the spa and the amazing restaurants on board, culminating in a visit to one of her favourite cities in the world – the Big Apple.

She’s NOT expecting to be stuck on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic with her two least favourite people in the world, her hot but unfaithful bastard ex-husband Joel Quigley and fellow crime writer, bitch goddess and Twitter frenemy, Louise Meyers. And when real live dead bodies start turning up – as well as fake not-really-dead bodies – Bella’s dreams of being pampered on the high seas turn sour. 

Accused of a murder she would have liked to commit but didn’t, and helped (or hindered) by a gang of unlikely detectives, can Bella find out who the real murderer is before the ship reaches its destination and New York’s finest drag her off?

Purchase Links – mybook.to/Ahoy

Review:

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

Bella and her husband Will are invited on a murder mystery cruise and end up stuck in the middle of the Atlantic with her ex husband and her writing nemesis. To make matters worse the fake murder mysteries become real and Bella ends up the prime suspect.

So this is the second in the Bella Tyson series it can easily be read as a standalone, something I can attest to having not read the first. There’s no spoilers for the first book either and having enjoyed this one so much I will be getting myself a copy and reading that too!

Murder Ahoy is a cozy mystery with a little more edginess to it that your standard cozy with a small smattering of swearing and some saucy language which on more the one occasion had me giggling out loud.

There was a fantastic array of interesting characters from Bella’s self centred cheat of an ex-husband Joel to her new more mild mannered beau Will. And there of course there’s Bella herself, who is wonderfully sarcastic and self deprecating, even though she could be a little snarky at times. 

I have to be honest I had the killer pegged quite early on but the motive wasn’t clear until the end.

Murder Ahoy! is a light hearted and fun filled mystery that I enjoyed from beginning until end.

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’. After living in London 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. Her debut novel and first in the Bella Tyson series, ‘Dead in Venice’, was published by Audible as one of their Crime Grant finalists. Fiona is represented by Lina Langlee at the North Literary Agency.

Social Media Links – https://twitter.com/fkleitch www.fionaleitch.com https://www.pinterest.nz/fionakleitch/ 

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

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

Date Published: 16th July 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

Summer 1952. 

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

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

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

Can Charity find the murderer before anyone else dies?

Perfect for fans of Helena Dixon and T E Kinsey.

Purchase Links

UK –https://amzn.to/2LnXba7  

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

Review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About The Author: 

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

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

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

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

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

Murder At The Playhouse by Helena Dixon @NellDixon @bookouture #BooksOnTour #BookReview

Title: Murder At The Playhouse by Helena Dixon

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 30th June 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

The scene is set for murder… and Kitty Underhay’s partner has been cast as the killer.

Late Summer, 1933. After a quarrel with too-plucky-for-her-own-good amateur sleuth Kitty Underhay, dashing ex-army captain Matthew Bryant is nursing his wounds, and a tumbler of brandy, when there’s a heavy knock at the door and he finds himself arrested for murder. The body of aspiring actress Pearl Bright has been found, strangled with one of Matt’s own bootlaces, and the evidence seems to be stacked against him.

The local constabulary might have locked Matt up, but before they can throw away the key, Kitty hears the news and hies to his aid, determined to prove his innocence. And when her investigations lead her to the home of retired theatre impresario Stanley Davenport, and the local amateur dramatics society, Kitty uncovers a web of deceit that stretches far beyond the stage make-up. But Kitty’s digging is bringing her to the attention of the killer. Without her partner in crime-fighting, can Kitty expose them and clear Matt’s name? Or will it be curtains for them both?

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

You can by your copy here: https://geni.us/B085QNNFWHSocial

Review: 

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

I have really enjoyed the first two books of this series and so I was looking forward to  Murder At The Playhouse, especially when I saw the absolutely gorgeous cover!

Murder At The Playhouse is a historical cozy mystery set in the 1930’s with a likeable amateur sleuth and plenty of memorable characters. 

Poor Matthew is locked in a cell, accused of the murder of a young woman found dead on the golf course behind his house. He’s banned from looking into the case so it’s up to Kitty to find out more. 

I enjoyed the fact we got to know Matthew a little better in this story, he’s starting to open up after his traumas during the war. We even got to meet his parents which was interesting to say the least! I also love the slow burn romance going on between Matthew and Kitty, I’m rooting for them to get together.

I liked the attention to detail these novels have with nice historical facts and features that makes it stand out from other modern novels set around this time.

There’s also a nice sub-plot building with Kitty’s mother and I’m anxious to see how that pans out.

Murder At The Playhouse is a puzzling whodunnit and a must for fans of golden age mysteries! I can’t wait to read more of this series.

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 The Village Hall by Dee MacDonald @bookouture #Bookreview #BooksOnTour

Title: A Body in the Village Hall by Dee MacDonald 

Date Published: 29th June 2020

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description:

Kate Palmer is more than ready for the quiet life in Lower Tinworthy, Cornwall. But within weeks of her arrival, a woman is found dead in the village hall, stabbed to death with her own kitchen knife…

The victim is Fenella Barker-Jones: chairwoman of the Women’s Institute, doyenne of the amateur dramatic society, and reigning champion of the WI cake-baking contest. But whilst she may have been at the centre of village life, there were plenty who had reason to dislike her – as Kate is about to find out.

As a practice nurse and one of the first on the scene, Kate can’t help but get drawn into the investigation. Her patients are only too eager to tell her about the victim’s extra-curricular activities and, the more Kate hears about Fenella, the more the list of suspects grows: it seems half the village wanted her dead.

Kate’s sister Angie tells her to leave it alone, but Kate can’t resist piecing together the clues. Especially not if brings her closer to the handsome Detective Inspector ‘Woody’ Forrest, who is near to retiring himself and determined to crack his last case.

But when someone breaks into Kate’s home and leaves a warning note on her pillow, it becomes clear the murderer is prepared to do anything to keep their identity hidden… Will Kate and Woody work out who’s responsible, before she becomes the next victim?

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!

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon: https://bit.ly/2AXm3E6

Apple: https://apple.co/3dNidfo

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

Google: https://bit.ly/2yqcSu8

Review:

I want to thank Sarah at bookouture for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first in the Kate Palmer mystery series and the first book I’ve read by Dee MacDonald and I can safely say that it won’t be the last!

Nurse Kate Palmer moved from London to Cornwall with her sister hoping for a quiet life but a murder of Fenella Barker-Jones soon puts an end to that. Fenella has no shortage of enemies and amateur sleuth Kate gets pulled into the investigation.

A body in the village hall is a light hearted mystery with plenty of red herrings, intriguing character and a little romance thrown in there to boot.

This is such a fun fast paced book, I devoured it in two sittings, I didn’t want to put it down!

I love the character of Kate. Sometimes with an amateur detective, they come across as a little pushy or annoying but she comes across as caring and kind yet firm when she needs to be. Also how she puts up with her overdramatic alcoholic sister Angie is beyond me. 

I wasn’t entirely surprised by the ending but I do love to play detective myself and figure out the mystery before the amateur sleuth does.

A body in the village hall is a great start to this series and I can’t wait to read more!

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.  

#BlogTour The Tree Beasts by E.R. Fallon @MysteryCreator @BOTBSPublicity @darkstrokedark #BookReview

Title: The Tree Beasts by E.R. Fallon

Date Published: 11th June 2020

Publisher: Darkstroke Books

Genre: Mystery/Fairytale

Description:

“Bewitching darkness laces every chapter, every word. This is the kind of book we stay up all night to finish. It’s simply remarkable.” ~ Da Chen, New York Times best-selling author

Beautiful Blackthorn Island is a small community, but at its heart lies a big, ugly secret…

The island of Blackthorn is a seemingly normal place that hides an evil secret. Not only does the island have strange trees that appear like exotic, menacing beastsseveral of its youngest residents have mysteriously disappeared over the years. Some inhabitants think that the island’s trees even look like the missing children.

Paul Gold, one of identical twin boys, is the latest child to go missing. When his mother and sister believe they are seeing him again on the island years after his disappearance, they are determined to discover the truth behind what happened to him.

But there are those on the island who are just as determined to keep the secret

Review:

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

E.R. Fallon is an author that is new to me and I was intrigued by the synopsis so I thought I’d give the book a go.

We follow the Gold family after Paul, a sickly child who is also an identical twin, goes missing. Strange things start to happen to them, especially around their youngest daughter Katie. There is so much mystery surrounding Paul’s disappearance and nobody wants the family to find out the truth.

The Tree Beast is a mix of folklore and mystery, creating an almost fairytale like story. 

I enjoyed the creepy atmosphere of the island, with all the secrets, weird trees and unexplained happenings.

I can’t say too much more about the storyline in case of spoilers but if you like your mystery mixed with a little fantasy/supernatural, I’d say you’d definitely enjoy this.

It was a fairly quick read but I did wish it had been a little faster paced but of course that’s just my opinion. 

The Tree Beasts is an inventive and intriguing story that will capture your imagination.

About The Author:

Bestselling crime author E.R. Fallon knows well the gritty city streets of which she writes. She studied criminology and was mentored by a leading advocate for the family members of homicide victims. E.R. is currently writing a book about living with autism and also working on her next gangland book, The Trouble Legacy, with her writing partner, KJ. 

Twitter: @MysteryCreator

https://www.instagram.com/erfallonwriter

https://www.facebook.com/ER-Fallon-and-KJ-Fallon-109913467225364

#BlogTour #Promo The Smart Woman’s Guide To Murder by Victoria Dowd @JoffeBooks

Hello lovelies! Today I am shining a spotlight on Victoria Dowd novel The smart woman’s guide to murder as part of the blog tour:

Title: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Murder by Victoria Dowd

Publisher: Joffe Books 

Date Published: 6th May 2020

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

A GOLDEN AGE COUNTRY HOUSE MURDER MYSTERY BROUGHT BANG UP TO DATE

A faded country house in the middle of nowhere.

The guests are snowed in.

The murders begin.

Ursula Smart (not her real name) gate-crashes her mother’s book club at an isolated country house for a long weekend retreat. Joining them are Mother’s best friend, Mirabelle, Aunts Charlotte and Less, and Bridget with her dog Mr Bojangles. It doesn’t matter that they’ve read Gone Girl three times this year already. But someone has other ideas.

A body is found in the grounds.

Is a lone killer hunting them? Or has one of their own group embarked on a killing spree? 

What they need is a guide to survive.

Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Anthony Horowitz, Liane Moriarty, Faith Martin, Frances Lloyd and Stuart Turton.

Blog Tour Banner - Guide to Murder

About The Author:

After graduating from Cambridge, Victoria was a criminal law barrister on the London circuit for many years, where many of her cases were much stranger than fiction.Victoria Dowd author photo

Victoria is now an award winning writer, having won the Go Gothic Short Story Award for 2019. She has had short fiction published in places such as Aesthetica: A Review of Contemporary Artists and was chosen as the runner up in The New Writer’s writer of the year award. Her work was Highly Commended by The Writers’ Forum and long-listed for The Willesden Herald International Short Story Competition. She has had short stories published in the BTS Literary and Arts Annual, Dream Catcher arts journal and Gold Dust Literary Magazine.

Victoria lives with her husband and two children. She writes full time, splitting her time between London and Devon, where she can indulge her passion for all things Agatha Christie.

BOOKS BY VICTORIA DOWD

ONE TO WATCH: NEW 2020 AUTHOR – BOOK RELEASE COMING SOON!

FIND VICTORIA ON

Author Website:  https://victoriadowd.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaDowdAuthor/

Twitter:  @victoria_dowd  https://twitter.com/victoria_dowd?lang=en
Instagram: @dowdvictoria https://www.instagram.com/dowdvictoria/

#BlogTour #Review Marrow Jam by Susan A King @SusanKing63 @rararesources

MARROW JAM

Title: Marrow Jam by Susan A King

Date Published: 27th April 2020

Publisher: Lightning books 

Genre: Cosy Crime/Humour

Description:

As addictive & glorious as a scrumptious cream tea’ NICOLA MAY, author of The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay

MURDER, MYSTERY…AND MARROWS

Some people would describe Beattie Bramshaw as a pillar of the community. Many would applaud her numerous successes in the bakery competition at the annual village show. A small number might say, if pushed, that they find her a little on the bossy side. And one or two might just whisper the words ‘interfering’ and ‘busybody’ behind her back.

But no-one would have her down as a murderer.

So why is she being questioned in Dreighton police station after being found in the local allotments, at the dead of night, wielding a kitchen knife just yards away from where local lottery winner, Yvonne Richards, was found stabbed to death? And what does all of this have to do with Doug Sparrow’s prize marrows?

Marrow Jam is a comedy crime caper in the spirit of Agatha Raisin. It will have you chuckling all the way through many a cup of tea.

Marrow Jam Full Tour Banner

Review:

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

Marrow Jam is a light hearted comic mystery with plenty of memorable, if not slightly mad, characters. 

The story starts with Beattie being arrested trespassing on the local allotments. The police are convinced that they’ve got their woman after a body was discovered not far from where she was found. She takes them back through the events that lead to her arrest and tries to convince them of her innocence and find the killer in the process.

I loved the fact that the story was full of older characters and your typical granny types either.  Beattie is one of those characters that you’re not quite sure if you like her but she grows on you eventually. She’s very competitive, fastidious and doesn’t suffer fools but as the story unfolds you see why she is the way she is. I also had a soft spot for her best friend, poor put upon Phyllis, who just can’t say no to her friend. 

The story was also set in 1999 and I enjoyed some of the nineties references which took me back to my childhood. 

Overall I would say it felt more like a humorous story than a mystery but that’s just a minor thing.

Marrow Jam is a fun filled story that’s the perfect escape from these trying times.

About The Author:

Susan A King lives with her husband in a quiet suburb in Hampshire. Between them theyS A King 1 have four grown-up sons, all of whom have now flown the nest.

The inspiration for her first novel, Marrow Jam, came from her long experience and observation of competitors at the annual Romsey Show, where she regularly aspires to win Best in Show with her floral arrangements.

Marrow Jam, was shortlisted for the Write Here, Right Now novel competition, Bradford Literature Festival and is published by Eye/Lightning Books.

I Am Dust by Louise Beech @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #BookReview #IAmDust #DoYouBelieveInGhosts

Title: I Am Dust by Louise Beech

Date Published: 16th April 2020

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

When iconic musical Dust is revived twenty years after the leading actress was murdered in her dressing room, a series of eerie events haunts the new cast…

The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?

Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.

And Chloe has been watching…

I Am Dust BT Poster

Review:

I want to thank Anne Cater for inviting me on this tour and Orenda Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I read Call Me Star girl by Louise Beech last year and I enjoyed it so I jumped at the chance to read this, especially when I found out there was a ghost involved, I love me a ghost story! 

I’m very much having a hard time writing a review for I Am Dust. I really wish I was a little bit more articulate to express how emotionally captivating this book was.

I wonder if I can just say ‘wow you need to read this book, it’s fan-bloody-tastic!’

Okay fine, I’ll try to write a proper review.

I Am Dust contains two timelines, expertly woven together, the first from 2005 and the second from 2019. In one we follow a teenage Chloe, along with her friends Jess and Ryan who decide to play with a Ouija board. The second is fourteen years later and Chloe is working in the Dean Wilson theatre, when she finds out that they are going to revive the musical Dust after twenty years and the death of the lead actress Morgan Miller. An old face from Chloe’s past pops up, bringing back memories that she’d long forgotten…

I Am Dust is a fantastic spooky tale set to the backdrop of teen angst, unrequited love and magic.

What I loved about Louise Beech’s other book is her ability to create realistic yet troubled characters and really get you to care about them. Chloe was no different. I really felt for her and rooted for her throughout the story.

The atmosphere in the book was amazing, I think it helped that it was set in a theatre, adding to a bit of magic and mysticism to the whole thing. I love the theatre and don’t go often enough (I know I can’t go right now because of the whole global pandemic but you get what I mean). 

After the ending I’m still a little sad now and I think I may have the beginnings of a book hangover.

I Am Dust is an atmospheric and intriguing novel that will take you on a rollercoaster of emotions that you just don’t want to get off of.

About The Author:

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was aLouise Beech Author pic Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. Her second book, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both of her previous books Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost were widely reviewed, critically acclaimed and number-one bestsellers on Kindle. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was shortlisted for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.

#BookReview #MiniReviews Pancakes and Corpses/Mango Cake and Murder #cozymysteries

I don’t know about you but I need some light hearted reading right now, so I turned to my old favourite cosy mysteries. Both of these books were free at the time I brought them but Pancakes and Corpses has gone back up to 99p.

Title: Pancakes and Corpses (Peridale Cosy Cafe Mystery book 1) by Agatha Frost

Date Published: 22nd January 2017

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

Soon to be divorced Julia South never expected to be caught up in solving a murder, untilpancakes and corpses she discovered the body of her cafe’s most awkward customer. With a new smug Detective Inspector in town who underestimates her every move, Julia makes it her mission to discover the real murderer, before her village friends are dragged into the frame, and more bodies are discovered.

Book 1 in the Peridale Cafe Mystery series! A light, cozy mystery read with a cat loving and cafe owning female amateur sleuth, in a small village setting with quirky characters. No cliffhanger, swearing, gore or graphic scenes!

Review:

I’ve seen Agatha Frost’s books around Amazon for a while now with their cute food themed titles and fabulous covers but never quite got round to actually reading any but I needed a bit of light relief and thought why not? (Plus at the time it was free and I love me a bargain).

Our sleuth Julia moved back home to Peridale after the breakdown of her marriage and set up her life’s dream of owning her own bakery. Disaster strikes when an awkward customer is murdered and the lead suspect is one of her oldest friends. She can’t help investigating and puts herself in danger in the process.

Pancakes and Corpses is a light hearted cosy mystery which was a nice break from reality for a few hours.

It’s got everything you want in a cosy mystery. Delicious sounding food, gossipy village setting and a likeable but nosy amateur sleuth.

My only complaint was some of the more minor characters felt a little bit flat/generic but there is the potential to develop these as the series goes along. 

Overall a fun start to the series and one I may carry on with in the future.

*******

Title: Mango Cake and Murder (Mom and Christy’s Cozy Mysteries Book 1) by Christy Murphy

Date Published: 30th September 2016

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

mango cake and murderWhat do you get when you combine mango cake, murder, and Mom?

An unlikely recipe for a better life!

When Mom convinces Christy to ditch her “lousy” job and help with the catering business, their fledgling partnership suffers a few setbacks. One of them can’t cook, they’re short a catering van, and the guest of honor at their first party is murdered.That would be bad enough, but then, Christy’s cousin, Celia, becomes the prime suspect.

Solving a murder is no easy task, but when drunken death threats, a dashing detective, and terrifying taxidermy are added into the mix, the case becomes almost impossible to crack. Who knew a small town like Fletcher Canyon could be filled with so much craziness?

Will the disaster-prone duo find the real killer before Celia’s reputation is destroyed, or will Celia end up in prison for murder? Find out in this quick comedy cozy!

This novella is the first book in the Mom and Christy’s Cozy Mysteries series, and is a complete mystery that you can read in an hour or two. It does NOT contain strong language or graphic violence. But it does contain a cute cat!

Review:

Christy is newly divorced and living with her mother again. Her mother decides she wants to start a catering business and asks Christy to help. Their first job is catering a party for a crotchety old man who ends up getting murdered. Christy’s cousin falls under suspicion and Christy and her mom decide to investigate.

Until I read this story, I didn’t realise just how many amateur sleuths are a) in their mid to late thirties and b) newly divorced.

Mango cake and murder is a quick and fun read if you’ve got a spare couple of hours.

I have to say I’m still a little wary of when an author fictionalises themselves but it worked okay for this story. There is a bit of a Sherlock/Watson dynamic between Christy and her mother, her mother being the Sherlock in this situation.

I also like the fact that there was some more diversity than usual in this genre with Christy and her family being Filipino.

I think overall the story could have done with a little bit more editing,  it suffered from that thing where there was a little too much emphasis on the more trivial things and not quite enough description. 

Will I carry on with this series? I don’t know. I don’t think this story was quite strong enough to entice me to get the next in the series but if I see the next on offer I may be tempted into buying it.

What about you? What’s your go to read when you’re stressed?