Darkness On The Fens by Joy Ellis @JoffeBooks #BookReview

Title: Darkness On The Fens by Joy Ellis

Date Published: 16th July 2019

Publisher: Joffe Books 

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review:

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

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

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

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

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

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

About The Author:

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

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

#BlogTour #Review A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @annecater #ADarkMatter #Edinburgh #TheSkelfs

Title: A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone

Date Published: 23rd January 2020

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

After an unexpected death, three generations of women take over the family funeral-home and PI businesses in the first book of a brilliant, page-turning and darkly funny new series.

The Skelfs are a well-known Edinburgh family, proprietors of a long-established funeral-home business, and private investigators. When patriarch Jim dies, it ’s left to his wife Dorothy, daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah to take charge of both businesses, kicking off an unexpected series of events.

Dorothy discovers mysterious payments to another women, suggesting that Jim wasn’t the husband she thought he was.

Hannah’s best friend Mel has vanished from university, and the simple adultery case that Jenny takes on leads to something stranger and far darker than any of them could have imagined.

As the women struggle to come to terms with their grief, and the demands of the business threaten to overwhelm them, secrets from the past emerge, which change everything… It’s a compelling and tense thriller and a darkly funny, warm portrait of a family in turmoil.

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Review:

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

Wow, A Dark Matter was a complex, dark and utterly fantastic!

There is so much crammed into the just over three hundred pages of this novel, it’s difficult to know where to start, there’s just never a dull moment!

Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write; funeral directing private investigators are what crime fiction has been missing. Genuinely I don’t think I’ve come across this concept before, especially as all the main characters are all women, and I’ve read a lot of crime fiction over the years.

There are several mysteries run side by side through the novel, each one of them intriguing in their own right. After her husband Jim’s death, Dorothy finds that he’s been sending money every month to a mystery woman. An elderly man thinks his carer is stealing from him so he wants cameras set up to spy on her. Jenny gets involved in an adultery case that seems to be more complicated than she first thought. Jenny’s roommate Mel goes missing but it doesn’t get taken seriously by the police so she decides to investigate herself. 

The family dynamic really makes a dark matter. We follow three generations of the Skelf family, seventy year old Dorothy, forty five year old Jenny and Hannah who is in her twenties. Each one of these characters, at times are not all that likeable but they felt really and flawed.

A Dark Matter is an original, dark and gripping read, I can’t wait to see if there’s a second book. 

About The Author:

Doug Johnstone is the author of ten novels, most recently Breakers (2018),

which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. 

He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years.

Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also player manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. 

He lives in Edinburgh.

#BlogTour #Review Are You Watching by Vincent Ralph @VincentRalph1 @PenguinUKBooks @annecater #AreYouWatchingMagpieMan

Title: Are You Watching by Vincent Ralph

Date Published: 19th December 2019

Publisher: Penguin

Genre: YA Mystery

Description:

Ten years ago, Jess’s mother was murdered by the Magpie Man.

She was the first of his victims but not the last.

Now Jess is the star of a YouTube reality series and she’s using it to catch the killer once and for all.

The whole world is watching her every move.

And so is the Magpie Man.

Are You Watching BT Poster

Review:

When Jess was seven her mum was killed by a killer dubbed The Magpie Man. Ten years later he still hasn’t been caught, killing every nine months. She’s determined for justice, so she joins a YouTube reality series that will follow her around one day every week.

She wants to provoke a reaction, get him out of the shadows but is she ready to face him? 

What a fantastic debut Are You Watching is! 

I absolutely devoured Are You Watching. It combines two of my favourite genres, mystery and young adult, to make an absolutely sensational story. There’s the sort of young adult contemporary aspect where we have a damaged character who goes on an emotional journey of self discovery, then we have the mystery which was both intriguing and nail biting to satisfy a crime addict like myself.   

I warmed to Jess from the start. Yes, she was a little selfish and reckless but losing her mum at a young age in such a violent way is bound to have a bad effect on someone. I also appreciated that the author showed the ripple effect of how a crime can affect someone, especially if they’ve had no sort of justice. 

A nice surprise for me was I had no idea who the Magpie Man was until it was revealed which is a hard thing to do to an avid crime reader like myself!

Are You Watching is utterly compelling and addictive, I just couldn’t get enough! I can’t wait to read more from this author.

About The Author:

Vincent Ralph has been writing in one form or another since his teens and always Vincent Ralph Author picdreamed of being a novelist. He owes his love of books to his mother, who encouraged his imagination from an early age and made sure there were new stories to read.

Vincent has lived in London, Cornwall and Chester but he now lives in his home county of Kent with his wife, son and two cats.

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

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

Death in Smoke Cover

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

Publication Date: 5th December 2019

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

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

A cold case in Kansas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Damn. It was Susie.

Giveaway: Win a $25 Amazon gift card:

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

About the Author:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/barbaraelleauth

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

Blog Tour Schedule

January 6th

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

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

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

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

January 7th

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

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

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

January 8th

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

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

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

January 9th

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

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

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

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

January 10th

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

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

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

Blog Tour Organised By:

R&R Book Tours

R&RButto200x200

Link: http://rrbooktours.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.

Top Reads of 2019! #HappyNewYear

Hello everyone and Happy New Year! I thought I’d share my top reads of 2019 with you today. It was pretty tough, there was some fantastic books released last year but I’ve been cruel and cut it down to these next books. In no particular order:

He knows Your Secrets/He Is Watching You (DS Maddie Ives) by Charlie Gallagher

You can read my review for He knows your secrets here

You can read my review for He is watching you here

All His Pretty Girls by Charly Cox

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You can read my review here.

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver

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You can read my review here.

Blood Song by Jo Gustawsson

Blood Song Final Jacket

You can read my review here.

The Escape Room by Meg Goldin

cover escape room

You can read my review here.

The July Girls by Phoebe Locke

The July Girls Cover

You can read my review here.

A Whisker In The Dark/A Twist In The Tail by Leighann Dobbs

You can read my review of A whisker in the dark here.

You can read my review A twist in the tail here.

Injections of Insanity (DI Paolo Sterling 3) by Lorraine Mace

Injections of Insanity Cover

You can read my review here.

Dead Guilty (Calladine and Bayliss 9) by Helen H Durrant

DEAD GUILTY publish

You can read my review here.

This Little Piggy (DI Rosalind Kray 2) by Rob Ashman

this little piggy

You can read my review here.

Stalker (Joona Linna 5) by Lars Kepler

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You can read my review here.

There’s Something About A Cowboy by Rich Amooi

there's something about a cowboy ebook

You can read my review here.

Truth And Lies by Caroline Mitchell 

truth and lies

You can read my review here.

Thank you for reading! Hope you all have a great New Year! 

#BlogTour #BookReview Demons by Stewart Giles @stewartgiles @Books_n_all

Title: Demons (Smith 11) by Stewart Giles

Publisher: STILL Books

Date Published: 25th December 2019

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

From #1 best-selling author: Stewart Giles comes a new addition to the popular Detective Jason Smith series.

‘Forgive me father, for I have sinned.’

Someone is killing people in York. All of the victims share a secret that the murderer is somehow aware of and all of them receive an identical message after they are killed.
‘God has forgiven you your sins, but He could not rid you of your demons. So I have taken them for you.’

Detective Sergeant Jason Smith heads up the most draining investigation he’s ever come across. Coming face to face with demons of his own, will this be the case that finally sends Smith over the edge?

THE SETTING
At the confluence of the River Ouse and Foss, York is the traditional county town of the historic county of Yorkshire. York Minster and a variety of cultural and sporting activities make it a popular tourist destination.

THE DETECTIVE
DS Jason Smith is an Australian who was sent to York to live with his Grandmother when his sister disappeared from a beach. He has suffered many losses in his short life and is now a dedicated detective. He is a bit of a loose cannon he has his own way of doing things that doesn’t always mean following orders and procedures. However, he does get results.

Amazon universal link – http://mybook.to/SGDemons

Goodreads link – goodreads.com/book/show/49126179-demons

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Review:

I want to thank Jill Burkinshaw at Books n All promotions for inviting me on this tour and Stewart Giles for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

So this is number eleven in the Smith series and his most complicated case yet!

Smith is meant to be having a relaxing time off with his daughter and wife but that is interrupted when a body turns up. The man has been stabbed with an unusual knife and a body part removed, along with a creepy message: ‘God has forgiven you your sins, but He could not rid you of your demons. So I have taken them for you.’    

More bodies turn up killed in a similar fashion but things in his personal life send him off the rails. Can Smith pull it together and solve the case?

Demons is fast paced thrill ride of a novel that doesn’t let up from that very first page.

Smith is his own worst enemy but since he’s been married I thought he’d settled down a bit but oh no, he was back to his old tricks again in this book. I swear if he would have been in front of me, I would have given him a good smack! Although, slight spoiler here, he does get a punch from a very surprising person which was very entertaining.

I liked the religious aspects running through the book, I’m not remotely religious myself so I find books like this interesting because I feel like I learn something new.

Truthfully, I had the culprit pegged quite early on but Stewart Giles still managed to throw a few twists and turns in there to keep things interesting.

Overall Demons was a quick read and a great addition to this action packed series!

About The Author:

After reading English at 3 Universities and graduating from none of them, I set off SG Author photo (4)travelling around the world with my wife, Ann, finally settling in South Africa, where we still live. 

In 2014 Ann dropped a rather large speaker on my head and I came up with the idea for a detective series. DS Jason Smith was born. Smith, the first in the series was finished a few months later. 

3 years and 8 DS Smith books later, Joffe Books wondered if I would be interested in working with them. As a self-published author, I agreed. However, we decided on a new series – the DC Harriet Taylor Cornwall series.

The Beekeeper was published and soon hit the number one spot in Australia. The second in the series, The Perfect Murder did just as well. 

I continued to self-publish the Smith series and Unworthy hit the shelves in 2018 with amazing results.  I therefore made the decision to self-publish The Backpacker which is book 3 in the Detective Harriet Taylor series which was published in July 2018.

After The Backpacker I had an idea for a totally new start to a series – a collaboration between the Smith and Harriet thrillers and The Enigma was born. It brings together the broody, enigmatic Jason Smith and the more level-headed Harriet Taylor. 

Miranda is something totally different. A stand-alone psychological thriller, it is a real departure from anything else I’ve written before. 

Website: www.stewartgiles.com

Twitter: @stewartgiles

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stewart.giles.33