#TheCWord Anthology #NHSTogether #SpellBoundsBooks #ZooloosBookTour @SpellBoundBks @zooloo2008 #BookReview

Title: The C Word anthology

Date Published: 7th January 2021

Publisher: Spellbound Books

Genre: Short story/Mystery/Thriller

Description:

100% of all royalties from The C Word will be donated to NHS Together Charities.

So, what do writers do during Lockdown? They create murder, mystery, death and destruction of course!

The C Word is a collection of short stories collated during the COVID-19 pandemic to raise money for NHS Charities Together. A plethora of wonderful stories created by a wide variety of writers, each with their own unique style. Some you will know already and some we’ve yet to introduce you to. However, we’re sure you’ll want to hear from each & every one of them again as we leave 2020 behind us.

With contributions from Steve Mosby , Sophie Hannah , Elly Griffiths , Sarah Hilary , Rob Scragg , Trevor Wood and many more

Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Word-some-lockdown-been-murder-ebook/dp/B08RRW8K6P/

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Word-some-lockdown-been-murder-ebook/dp/B08RRW8K6P

Review:

I want to thank Zoe at Zooloo’s book tour for inviting me on this blog tour to help spread the word about this fabulous book.

The C Word is a fantastic anthology which is a mix of crime, mystery, thriller with a couple of supernatural/dystopian themed short stories in there too. There’s also a mix of authors too, from household names to some I’ve never heard of to some who were previously unpublished.

I always love these types of collections, the fact I can dip in and out when I feel like and discover new authors at the same time. 

Another thing I love about an anthology like this is seeing what each other comes up with based on the same theme, it always amazes me how unique each story is.

The collection doesn’t pull any punches and highlights some serious issues that happened during lockdown in particular domestic violence.

The C Word is a dazzling collection of stories that will entertain, enthral and take you on an emotional journey too.

#BlogTour #BookReview Small Bones by Kerry Buchanan @DabblinginCrime @JoffeBooks

Title: Small Bones by Kerry Buchanan

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 3rd June 2021

Genre: Mystery

Description:

DON’T MISS THE MUST-READ CRIME THRILLER OF SUMMER 2021

AN ABSOLUTELY JAW-DROPPING CRIME THRILLER FEATURING DETECTIVES ASHA HARVEY & AARON BIRCH
 
If you can’t trust your father and you can’t trust the police, who can you trust?
 
Sue Hearn is planting a herb garden on the site of her grandfather’s old greenhouse. She’s spent the morning digging up all sorts of odds and ends already. But she doesn’t expect this grisly find.
 
Could it be the remains of her mother, Monica, who went missing thirty years ago?
 
Sue’s father, in hospital with dementia, insinuates that a police officer was involved in her mother’s disappearance. But can he be trusted?
 
So now Detectives Asha Harvey and Aaron Birch might be looking for a bent copper.
 
As they dig deeper into the past, Sue and Asha find secrets so dangerous it will put all their lives in danger.
 
Fans of BBC’s Line of Duty, Lynda La Plante, Tana French, Patricia Gibney, Brian McGilloway, Ann Cleeves, Caro Ramsay and Helen H. Durrant will devour this electrifying crime thriller by one of Northern Ireland’s newest talents.
 
MEET THE DETECTIVES
DETECTIVE ASHA HARVEY
Asha Harvey has always had a powerful sense of right and wrong. She has wanted to be a detective since she was a child, and while she can be a little too trusting, her open manner makes people want to confide in her. She is especially driven to succeed as a woman of colour in a largely white, male police force in Northern Ireland. Her family support her and are ridiculously proud of her, which adds to her internal pressure to succeed.
 
DETECTIVE AARON BIRCH
Boyish and gangly, Aaron Birch entered the police force as a detective through a graduate recruitment scheme. This makes him the butt of snide remarks by fellow officers, so he always feels he has something to prove. He also has a tendency to stretch the rules to suit himself, which can lead to him getting into trouble.
 
THE SETTING
A city of contrasts, Belfast is filled with beautiful old relics dating back to a golden age of shipbuilding and wealth, as well as the scars of more recent wounds. The city has an exciting sense of newness and potential, but it can’t quite shed those who lurk in the darker shadows born of its turbulent past.
 
WHAT EVERYONE IS SAYING ABOUT KERRY BUCHANAN:
 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Oh my this book . . . so fast paced, I enjoyed chapter after chapter. It will send your heart pounding, it’s full of massive twists . . . this book will shock you to the core right till the very end.” Booklover Bev
 
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Its not often a debut novel is as well written as this. I found myself utterly riveted from very early in the book, and when I wasn’t reading it, I was spending my time wishing I was . . . highly, highly, recommended.” Sean S.
 
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “If you love an intense, creepy, and suspenseful psychological thriller that you cannot put down once you’ve started it, this book will absolutely thrill you.” L. M. Darter
 
DETECTIVES HARVEY & BIRCH MYSTERIES
Book 1: KNIFE EDGE
Book 2: SMALL BONES

Review:

I want to thank Jill Burkinshaw for inviting me on this tour and Joffe books for providing me with a copy of Small Bones in exchange for an honest review.

Acting DI Asha Harvey, along with her partner Aaron Birch, are back to solve another mystery. This time when Sue Hearn finds the skeleton in her garden. As they dig further into the mystery, they find that Sue’s mother Monica went missing thirty years ago and was never heard of again. Are the two cases linked or is there something more going on?

This series is part psychological thriller, part police procedural with a whole heap of twists and turns along the way.

I enjoyed that we got to see a bit more of Asha and Aaron in this book than we did in the first, getting to know them a bit better. Asha is a kind and caring copper, trying to prove herself, which bumps up nicely next to the loyal and sweet Aaron. 

Sue was an interesting character, too. Looking after her dad, who had dementia, full time would be enough for anyone to cope with, but finding a body on top of all that? It amazed me to see she didn’t fall to pieces (I would have) and became integral to the case.

I would say that I found this story a little slower to start than the first in the series but of course that’s just my opinion. 

Also, it leaves a few unanswered questions, paving the way for the next in the series which I’m looking forward to.

Small Bones is a well written and action packed mystery that was both entertaining and intriguing in equal measure. 

About The Author:

Kerry Buchanan has had numerous short stories published internationally, including some prize-winners, but her heart lies with novel-writing. Her crime series is set in Belfast and in the rolling County Down hills she sees from her window as she writes. She is often invited to perform her work at literary events or to be a member of panels at conventions, and she loves to help new writers by facilitating writing groups and classes in her local community.

Although Kerry is disabled, her hobbies include sailing and attempting to outwit the slugs in her vegetable patch. Generally, the slugs win.

FOLLOW KERRY ON

AUTHOR WEBSITE
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#TheCrazySeason by Jim Ody @Jim_Ody_Author @QuestionPress @zooloo2008 #ZooloosBookTours #BookReview #QuestionMarkPress

Title: The Crazy Season by Jim Ody

Date Published: 4th May 2021

Publisher: Question Mark Press

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Joel Baxter is infamous for solving weird and bizarre cases that others avoid. So, when he receives an email from a teenage boy Tim saying his town is cursed, he cannot turn it down.

“…I will more than likely be dead when you read this. There is nothing I can do about it. It’s the curse, and we’ve hit The Crazy Season.” Every 20 years, there are a handful of unexplained teenage deaths and it’s started again.

With the help of his straight-talking friend Melody, they set out to get to the bottom of the alleged curse. Everybody in Black Rock has secrets and nobody wants to speak.

The closer they get to truth the more Joel and Melody realise that their involvement is far from coincidental.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Crazy-Season-Joel-Baxter-Book-ebook/dp/B08YXJG4RF

Amazon USA : https://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Season-Joel-Baxter-Book-ebook/dp/B08YXJG4RF

Review:

I want to thank Zoé at Zooloos Book Tours 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’ve read a couple of Jim Ody’s books now, but I have to say I think The Crazy Season is my favourite so far!

I saw the author posting about this a few weeks ago saying it was like a cross between the X-Files and Jonathan Creek and I can safely say that’s about right, a mix of the paranormal/weird along with an intriguing mystery.

The Crazy Season is the kind of novel that drags you in, and you just sit back and enjoy the rollercoaster ride.

The story follows Joel, complete with sidekick Melody as they investigate a string of teen suicides, twenty years apart in a small coastal town. When they dig a little deeper they find more and more lies, secrets and a whole heap of teen angst.

I loved the characters. Joel with his slightly awkward demeanor but he has a kind heart, who’s still grieving for the loss of his daughter and his wife in a coma. Then we have Melody, fierce and unapologetic, she brings Joel out of his shell. The two of them together were just a joy to read.

There was also a fantastic secondary cast of quirky characters that really added depth and a little dark humour to the story.

I felt the tension waned a little in the middle and I found my attention wandering a little, but the story pulled me back in with a nail biting ending.

The Crazy Season is a fantastic paranormal mystery, with a great cast of characters, that keeps you guessing until the end.

About The Author:

Jim writes dark psychological/thrillers, Horror and YA books that have endings you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written over a dozen novels and many more short-stories spanning many genres. 

Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd.  When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife, three beautiful children and two indignant cats in Swindon, Wiltshire UK.

Follow him at:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/JimOdyAuthor

Instagram: @jimodyauthor

Twitter: @Jim_Ody_Author

Amazon : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Ody/e/B019A6AMSY/

#BookReview The Sentence Is Death by Anthony Horowitz

Another book down from my 2018 NetGalley backlist, only another nine to go!

Title: The Sentence Is Death by Anthony Horowitz

Date Published: 1st November 2018

Publisher: Cornerstone Digital

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

“You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late…”

These, heard over the phone, were the last recorded words of successful celebrity-divorce lawyer. Richard Pryce, found bludgeoned to death in his bachelor pad with a bottle of wine – a 1982 Chateau Lafite worth £3,000, to be precise.

Odd, considering he didn’t drink. Why this bottle? And why those words? And why was a three-digit number painted on the wall by the killer? And, most importantly, which of the man’s many, many enemies did the deed?

Baffled, the police are forced to bring in Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, the author Anthony, who’s really getting rather good at this murder investigation business.

But as Hawthorne takes on the case with characteristic relish, it becomes clear that he, too, has secrets to hide. As our reluctant narrator becomes ever more embroiled in the case, he realises that these secrets must be exposed – even at the risk of death…

Review:

I received a copy of The Sentence Is Death from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

So I read the first in this series The Word Is Murder and was intrigued enough to get the second The Sentence Is Death over on NetGalley, but it’s taken me three years to actually get around to reading it (oops).

If you don’t know this series, the author, Anthony Horowitz himself, plays Watson to his fictional detective Daniel Hawthorne, chronicling their adventures as they try to solve murders. The murder in question for this novel is successful divorce lawyer Richard Pryce, who was bludgeoned to death with an expensive bottle of wine.

I remember when I read the first book I was a little confused about the author putting himself in the book, at the time I’d never really come across this but now I’ve seen it done a few times this sort of thing no longer bothers me.

On the surface the story is a bit like a cozy mystery, as the murder is more like a puzzle and there’s not too much violence, but there is a fair bit of swearing with a smattering of unlikeable characters to give it a more gritty feel.

There were parts of the novel I really enjoyed, like the glimpse into the life of a TV writer as it shows some parts of Anthony Horowitz working on his show Foyle’s War. Also, the introduction of copper DI Cara Grunshaw, who made Hawthorne seem not as bad in comparison and added an extra dimension to the story. 

Unfortunately, while the author tried to throw a few twists in there, I figured out whodunnit well before the end. I was also hoping that Hawthorne would change his ways a bit, I still found him unlikeable most of the time.

Overall, The Sentence Is Death is a solid mystery with a cast of very memorable, (not always in a good way), characters.

About the author:

Anthony Horowitz, OBE is ranked alongside Enid Blyton and Mark A. Cooper as “The most original and best spy-kids authors of the century.” (New York Times). Anthony has been writing since the age of eight, and professionally since the age of twenty. In addition to the highly successful Alex Rider books, he is also the writer and creator of award winning detective series Foyle’s War, and more recently event drama Collision, among his other television works he has written episodes for Poirot, Murder in Mind, Midsomer Murders and Murder Most Horrid. Anthony became patron to East Anglia Children’s Hospices in 2009.

On 19 January 2011, the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle announced that Horowitz was to be the writer of a new Sherlock Holmes novel, the first such effort to receive an official endorsement from them and to be entitled the House of Silk.

Stolen Daughters (Detective Amanda Steele 2) by Carolyn Arnold @bookouture #BookReview #PublicationDay #BooksOnTour

Happy publication day to Carolyn Arnold for the second in the Detective Amanda Steele series Stolen Daughters! I’m going to sharing my review today but first a bit about the book:

Title: Stolen Daughters (Detective Amanda Steele 2) by Carolyn Arnold

Date Published: 6th April 2021

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

The girl looked so peaceful, she could have been asleep. Except her eyes were open, blankly reflecting the flickering flames spreading towards her…

When firefighters discover the body of a teenage girl at an abandoned house, Detective Amanda Steele hurries to the scene. Dumfries, Virginia is a small town, yet no one seems to have any idea who the dead girl is until Amanda finds a dragonfly pin with the name Crystal engraved on it.

Working tirelessly, Amanda traces the pin to Crystal Foster, a thirteen-year-old who disappeared three years ago from her wealthy parents’ home. Breaking the news to the distraught parents won’t be easy, but the loss of her own daughter still haunts Amanda, and she knows this will bring them closure. But when Amanda goes to see the Fosters, they do not recognize the girl. She isn’t Crystal.

Before Amanda can react to this new development, she gets an urgent call. A fire has consumed another vacant house, and the remains of two more girls have been found. Who are these girls, and why are they being picked off? Amanda must stop this killer before the pattern continues, and the death toll climbs.

When Amanda receives a taunting note from the killer, she realizes that she holds the missing piece of this puzzle. The victims are connected to Amanda’s past, to a case she can never forget, and which almost claimed her life. As she follows the clues to their deadly conclusion, can she save more innocent lives… even if it risks her own?

An unputdownable, pulse-pounding mystery. Fans of Rachel Caine, Lisa Regan and Robert Dugoni will be gripped.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon: https://geni.us/B08WPSQM28social

Apple: http://ow.ly/eEQV50DDq10

Kobo: http://ow.ly/KR1V50DDpYb

Google: http://ow.ly/gEqy50DDq3Z

Review:

I want to thank Bookouture for providing me with a copy of Stolen Daughters in exchange for an honest review.

So this is my first Carolyn Arnold book but the second in the Amanda Steele series, but it’s easily read as a standalone. I would probably recommend going back to the first and starting there, just to get a bit more history of the characters.

The story opens with a young woman being found dead in an abandoned house after a fire was started deliberately. She’s got no ID and they do not know who the young girl is. Amanda Steele is assigned to the case with her partner Trent. Dealing with the aftermath of her last case, she has a higher up officer gunning for her badge. As the body count rises, the case takes a personal turn. Can Amanda deal with it all and solve the case?

Stolen Daughters is an American police procedural that leans more towards the procedural aspects with a bit of psychology thrown in there for good measure.

I usually read British police procedurals, but it made a nice change to read one set in a small town in America. I enjoyed seeing the differences and similarities between policing methods, although one thing they certainly have in common is all police officers seem to run on caffeine and junk food!

I do so love to get inside the mind of a killer, and it intrigued me to see little peeks into this killer’s twisted mind throughout the book.

I struggled a bit to warm up to Amanda at first. She’s a good cop but seems to rub a lot of people up the wrong way. She was also a bit standoffish, refusing to cross the boundaries between professional and perhaps friendship with her partner Trent. In future books I’d love to see a bit more of Trent, I feel there’s a lot of potential with his character.

I felt the pace was a little slow to start off with but it builds nicely to an action paced ending that leaves it open for the next in the series. 

Stolen Daughters is a realistic and gritty read with an ending that leaves you wanting more. 

About The Author:

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has several continuing fiction series and has nearly thirty published books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Her crime fiction series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining. This led to her adopting the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives near London, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two beagles.

Author Social Media Links:

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

#BookReview You Let Me In by Lucy Clark

Title: You Let Me In by Lucy Clark

Date Published: 18th August 2018

Publisher: HarperCollins

Genre:Psychological Thriller

Description:

Nothing has felt right since Elle rented out her house . . .

I’M IN YOUR HOUSE

There’s a new coldness. A shift in the atmosphere. The prickling feeling that someone is watching her every move from the shadows.

I’M IN YOUR HEAD

Maybe it’s all in Elle’s mind? She’s a writer – her imagination, after all, is her strength. And yet every threat seems personal. As if someone has discovered the secrets that keep her awake at night.

AND NOW I KNOW YOUR SECRET

As fear and paranoia close in, Elle’s own home becomes a prison. Someone is unlocking her past – and she’s given them the key…

Review:

Finally, I’ve managed to review the first of the books that have been gathering dust on my NetGalley shelf for the past three years. It’s only taken me until the end of March!

I’ve heard several bloggers saying good things about this novel, so I thought I’d bump it up on my list.

You Let Me In follows Elle is a writer struggling with writer’s block after the international success of her first book. She’s just arrived back from France after a writer’s retreat, having rented out her new house. Something’s not right. The person who rented her house seems to have been inside rooms, which Elle locked up. As her deadline approaches, there are minor incidents that seem innocuous and messages appear around the house. Is it all in her head or is something more going on? 

This is a dual narrative book, switching between current Elle and events that happened around the age of eighteen that transformed her life.

This is definitely a slow burner of a novel but the tension builds nicely, we see Elle’s mental health decline rapidly where she’s not even sure if things happening around her are real.

Elle is one of those characters I’m not entirely sure I like. A struggling writer, tortured by events in her past and the breakdown of her marriage, I had sympathy for her, but she seemed quite self-involved and a little selfish at times.

There were some good shocks and surprises along the way, but there are still parts of the book that are bothering me as I’m writing this review. I can’t really go into detail as it could be classed as spoilers, but the overall story didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

You Let Me In was a solid psychological thriller and definitely worth a read if you love the genre.

About The Author:

Lucy Clarke is the bestselling author of six psychological thrillers – THE SEA SISTERS, A SINGLE BREATH, THE BLUE/NO ESCAPE, LAST SEEN, YOU LET ME IN and THE CASTAWAYS. Her debut novel was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick, and her books have been sold in over 20 territories.

Lucy is a passionate traveller, beach hut dweller, and fresh air enthusiast. She’s married to a professional windsurfer and, together with their two young children, they spend their winters travelling and their summers at home on the south coast of England. Lucy writes from a beach hut, using the inspiration from the wild south coast to craft her stories.

Say hello:

Instagram @lucyclarke_author

Facebook: lucyclarkeauthor

Blood Stained by Rebecca Bradley @RebeccaJBradley @JoffeBooks #BlogTour #BookReview

Title: Blood Stained by Rebecca Bradley

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 25th March 2021

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

Can’t find her.

Can’t catch him.

Can’t trust anyone.

The first in a gripping new Sheffield-set crime series starring Detective Claudia Nunn.

Detective Claudia Nunn’s colleague DS Dominic Harrison has been leading the case against a dangerous serial killer, who hunts his victims using a dating app. But now his own wife has gone missing.

Then a large pool of blood is discovered in their garage. And Dominic is the prime suspect.

Is Dominic being framed by a serial killer or will Claudia expose an even uglier truth?

Can’t tell a soul how it ends.

Blood Stained is a dark, twisty and utterly compulsive page-turner that will be devoured by fans of Helen H. Durrant, Rachel Abbott, Angela Marsons and L.J. Ross.

READERS CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF REBECCA BRADLEY:

“Tense, tightly written and I couldn’t put it down until I was done. A definite 5 stars.” Angela Marsons, author of Twisted Lies

“Honestly one of the most gripping – and thoroughly disturbing – things I’ve read in a while. It’s like watching a mind slowly unravel. Highly recommended.” Cass Green, author of The Killer Inside

“A clever and emotional read from an author who deserves to be more well known.” Steph’s Book Blog

“Rebecca Bradley has the knack of drawing you into a book and then you find it hard to put down.” Graham R.

Terrifyingly authentic.” A Chapter in my Life

Slick, absolutely fascinating.” Damppebbles

Compelling, dark and absolutely a page-turner.” Crime Book Junkie

Review:

I want to thank Jill Burkinshaw for inviting me on this tour and Joffe Books for providing me with a copy of Blood Stained in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve previously read one of Rebecca Bradley’s DI Hannah Robbins series and enjoyed it so I was eager to see what this new series had to offer.

Claudia is tasked to investigate the disappearance of Ruth Harrison. The problem is their prime suspect is her husband Dominic, a police officer. He believes that it’s linked to a case he’s investigating, a serial killer called the Sheffield Strangler. The case is personal to Claudia as she knows both Ruth and Dominic, can she put her feelings aside and solve the case?  

Blood Stained is a police procedural that I felt was a lot heavier on the procedural aspect, focusing on evidence gathering and interviews, which I found fascinating. We go back and forth between Ruth missing and the current investigation and six months previously with the Sheffield Strangler case seeing both Claudia and Dominic in action.

I liked Claudia. She’s ambitious but also a rule follower, keen to solve the case even though this case was emotionally draining for her. There was some good sparring between her and Dominic through their interviews together and she’s not one to back down from a challenge.

I will say I figured out the who quite early on, even though there were a few good twists in there, but the why was what kept me turning those pages. Also, it is not the most action packed of stories but it had a steady pace throughout.

Blood stained is a gritty and realistic mystery which has left me wanting to see more of these characters.

About The Author:

Rebecca Bradley lives with her family in the UK, and two Cockapoos, Alfie and Lola, who keep her company while she writes. She drinks copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if she could, she would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis. Rebecca served fifteen years in the police service and finished as a detective constable on a specialist unit.

BOOKS BY REBECCA BRADLEY

BLOOD STAINED

FOLLOW REBECCA ON

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Miniskirts Are Murder (Porter & The Gliss 2) by Des Burkinshaw @rararesources @DesBurkinshaw #BookReview #BlogTour

I took a bit of time off due to a death in my family but now I’m back today with a review Miniskirts Are Murder by Des Burkinshaw but first a little about the book:

Title: Miniskirts Are Murder by Des Burkinshaw

Date Published: 7th March 2021

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Paranormal

Description:

Porter Norton, his friends and his sarcastic spirit guide, The Gliss, are on the trail of a young actress who went missing in Soho, London, in the Swinging Sixties. Still recovering from their last adventure in the battlefields of WW1, the gang are confronted by a transatlantic conspiracy.

You can buy your copy here:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Miniskirts-are-Murder-investigation-Investigations-ebook/dp/B08THXTBGB   

US – https://www.amazon.com/Miniskirts-are-Murder-investigation-Investigations-ebook/dp/B08THXTBGB 

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 Miniskirts Are Murder in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second in the Porter and The Gliss series, I read and enjoyed the first back in 2019 and I was very much looking forward to the sequel! I will say you should read the first Dead and Talking as some of the story carries over into this one.

Miniskirts are murder is the same mix of historical, paranormal and mystery as the first but this time instead of being set in the trenches of WW1 we’re taken to the Swinging Sixties, travelling to both LA and Germany to investigate the disappearance of a young actress named Rose.

There’s so much packed into this novel. Ghostly visions, gangsters, racism, women’s rights, spies, the Cold War and of course murder.

I was so glad that the gang of Porter, Feng, Namita, Karin and of course the Gliss were back together for this story, albeit with a lot more scars than the first book. We got to know each character a little better, each getting their own minor storyline weaved into the main story.

The sixties are a bit of a fascination to me. It seemed like such an interesting time, especially in Britain, and I feel it’s much romanticised by film and TV shows. This book really shines a light on the seedier side of the time, especially when it came to filmmaking. 

At the forefront of this novel is women’s rights and racism, which at times made it a little intense to read, I had to put the book down for a bit to get my emotions under control! 

Miniskirts are murder is an original and thought provoking read with plenty of mystery and mayhem along the way. I’m looking forward to the next adventure featuring Porter and The Gliss.

About The Author:  

Des, 52, is a former Times journalist/BBC TV producer. Miniskirts are Murder is the second in the Porter and The Gliss Investigations series, following Dead & Talking in 2019.
Des likes to live out as much of the stories as possible and spent 3 months in the US researching this novel. He runs a film school in London and has just been commissioned to write a limited season TV series intended for Netflix. He is also a keen musician and through work has jammed with people like Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson and Jeff Lynne. He is married with 1 daughter.

Social Media Links – 

www.desburkinshaw.com   twitter.com/DesBurkinshaw, facebook as Des Burkinshaw  

The Islanders by S.V. Leonard #TheIslanders @SVLeonard @CaneloCrime @canelo_co @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Title: The Islanders by S.V Leonard

Publisher: Canelo Crime

Date Published: 11th March 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

Her dream escape is about to become a nightmare…

Kimberley King has spent the last five years trying to outrun the reason she left the police force. Her life is a mess and she’s desperate for change. So when she is randomly selected for the new series of the hit show LoveWrecked, she can’t pass up the chance to win the £100,000 prize. All Kimberley needs to do is couple up with one of her fellow contestants, win the infamous LoveWrecked challenges, and she will have enough cash for a fresh start.

But the island isn’t the paradise she was promised and within hours, one of the contestants is dead. Then the announcement comes: one of the islanders is a murderer and Kimberley must find out who, live on television. For every hour it takes her, one more person will die.

The game is rigged, everyone is hiding secrets, and time is running out…

An addictive and unputdownable crime thriller, perfect for fans of Lucy Foley and T.M. Logan.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3qv8bVW  

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3tYe4gu 

Review:

I want to thank Emma at Damppebbles blog tours for inviting me on this tour and the publisher for providing me with a copy of The Islanders in exchange for an honest review.

Kim is desperate for money, barely keeping hold of her bar job, reliving guilt from her past and drinking too much. The answer, to her money problems at least, comes when she’s invited on the reality TV show LoveWrecked, but that’s when the nightmare really begins.

The Islanders is a fantastic debut novel that combines reality TV with a classic locked in scenario, think Love Island meets And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.

Each of the Islanders are not all that likeable, yet they feel authentic. Everyone of them is hiding a secret and you’re really not sure who you can trust, really amping up the tension as more bodies turn up.

What I enjoyed most about the story was I didn’t know who was going to die next or who the killer might be, I literally suspected every character at one time or another.

The story is told mostly from the point of view of Kim, with a few snippets from a website called Spyland.co.uk, social media and a mysterious blog called JustDeserts. It’s obvious from the start that Kim’s a troubled person, wallowing in the past and punishing herself. I think she was the perfect main character as I ended up really rooting for her to solve the mystery and get herself to safety.

Yes, the storyline wasn’t all that believable, but to me it gave me that feeling of escapism I’ve been craving lately.

The Islanders is a fast-paced read, packed with shocks and surprises, that kept me entertained from beginning to end. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author in the future!

About The Author:

S. V. Leonard grew up in the little coastal town of Formby, a suburb of Liverpool. She studied Classics at Oxford University and has been lucky enough to live in Australia, Poland, and Malaysia. She is now based in London. When not writing, she can be found breaking out of escape rooms; doing historical walking tours of London; or drinking wine.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SVLeonard 

Website: https://svleonard.wordpress.com/ 

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

The Devil’s Mark (DI Graves 3) by WD Jackson-Smart #TheDevilsMark @wdejackson @PantherPubs @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

Title: The Devil’s Mark by W.D. Jackson-Smart

Publisher: Panther Publishing

Date Published: 1st February 2021

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Bloody remains. Multiple victims. Ritual sacrifice?

When a blood-stained effigy of body parts is found in a central London park, D.I Daniel Graves must set about trying to discover what it could mean and find the person responsible. Symbols at the crime scene suggest the occult. Who would leave a murder victim in such a way, and why?

As Graves and partner DI Charlie Palmer begin to investigate the ritual and the act of human sacrifice, they enlist the help of Charlotte Gooding, a talented professor specialising in the subject. They hope to narrow down on a motive. Could the killer believe in the supernatural? Witchcraft even?

Then the next crime scene is found. More blood, more symbols, and out in the open. It seems the killer wants the world to pay attention, but why? How are they choosing their victims?

The pressure is on for Graves to put an end to the murders before more remains show up in brutal tableaus. One thing is for sure, this killer is out for blood and is not afraid to make it a very public display.

There’s just one problem. Grave’s past is still not behind him. Someone is eager to make sure he doesn’t forget, cannot move on. And they’re not playing games anymore. There may be an occult killer out there, but now there’s another out for blood, Daniel Grave’s blood.

You can buy your copy here:

Panther Publishing: http://bit.ly/2N14usm 

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/3cOmIZ8 

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3jtetCT 

Review:

I want to thank Emma at Damppebbles blog tours for inviting me on this tour and Panther Publishing for providing me with a copy of The Devil’s Mark in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed the first in this series, The Demons Beneath, so I thought I’d give this one a go. It is the third in the series and it can be read as a standalone, but I would recommend reading the other books in the series as some storyline runs over into this one.

The Devil’s Mark is a fast-paced ride of a book. The elements of horror and police procedural combined to make a really enthralling story.

DI Daniel Graves and DI Charlie Palmer made a good double act. Their banter and friendship is so fun to read, giving a bit of light relief in quite a dark tale. I also enjoyed the fact there were some love interests for both characters after what the author puts them through, they deserve some happiness!

I felt this book was a little heavier on the violence/graphic scenes than I remember from The Demons Beneath, but I didn’t mind that too much.

The Devil’s Mark is a thrilling and action packed read that really kept me hooked until the very end. A brilliant addition to the series!

About The Author:

WD Jackson-Smart, 35, is a London-based horror and crime fiction author who has been writing crime and horror fiction since 2011. His novel Red Light was self published on Amazon and charted in the top twenty best selling Suspense / Thriller Kindle books on release. 

His horror short story, What’s Yours Is Mine, was shortlisted for the Horror For Good anthology.

His first crime thriller Slasher, about a serial killer targeting slasher movie actresses in Hollywood, is out now, and he has launched a brand new crime series set in London and starring D.I. Graves. The Demons Beneath is the first in the series, and the sequel From Inside The House was published on July 1st 2019.

As well as his passion for horror and crime thrillers in all forms, WD Jackson-Smart also loves art and design, having studied Fine Art and Art History in Leeds and Toronto and working as a graphic designer for the majority of his career.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wdejackson

Website: https://www.wdjacksonauthor.co.uk/

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