#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 A Messy Affair by Elizabeth Mundy @ElizabethEMundy @rararesources

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Title: A Messy Affair by Elizabeth Mundy

Date Published: 2nd January 2020

Publisher: Constable

Genre: Cosy Mystery

Description:

The only way is murder…

Lena Szarka, a Hungarian cleaner working in London, is forced to brush up on her detective skills for a third time when her cousin Sarika is plunged into danger.

Sarika and her reality TV star boyfriend Terry both receive threatening notes.  When Terry stops calling, Lena assumes he’s lost interest. Until he turns up. Dead. Lena knows she must act fast to keep her cousin from the same fate. 

Scrubbing her way through the grubby world of reality television, online dating and betrayed lovers, Lena finds it harder than she thought to discern what’s real – and what’s just for the cameras. 

You can buy your copy here:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Messy-Affair-Lena-Szarka-Mysteries/dp/1472126394

US – https://www.amazon.com/Messy-Affair-Lena-Szarka-Mysteries/dp/1472126394

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Review:

This is the third in Lena Szarka series but it can be easily read as a standalone, something I can attest to as I haven’t read the first two. After reading a messy affair the other books in the series have been added to my wishlist.

Lena’s life in London is going from strength to strength, with her own cleaning business but she finds herself in the middle of another mystery after her cousin receives threatening letters as she’s dating a reality TV star Terry Tibbs.

Terry turns up dead but the police think it’s an accident but Lena isn’t convinced. It’s up to her to find out what really happened and stop her cousin from getting hurt.

A Messy Affair is an addictive and entertaining mystery from beginning to end! 

There were plenty of twists and turns, red herrings, even a little bit of romance, all the things I expect from a cosy mystery, but with it being set on the bustling streets of London it made it more gritty which I enjoyed.

I really liked the character of Lena. She’s strong, determined, a hard worker with a big heart who doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Her cousin Sarika, on the other hand, slightly got on my nerves but she’s quite a young character and hopefully she’ll grow as the novels go on.

There were also a few Hungarian words, food etc worked into the story which added that extra bit of authenticity to the characters. 

I just could get enough of A Messy Affair! I will definitely be picking up the other novels in this series when I can.

About The Author:

Elizabeth Mundy’s grandmother was a Hungarian immigrant to America who raised fiveE Mundy profile pic children on a chicken farm in Indiana. Elizabeth is a marketing director for an investment firm and lives in London with her messy husband and two young children. She writes the Lena Szarka Mysteries, featuring a Hungarian cleaner as detective. 
http://www.elizabethmundy.com

Social Media Links – 

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ElizabethEMundy

www.elizabethmundy.com

#BlogTour #Review Glittering Death by Carmen Radtke @carmenradtke1 #HappyPublicationDay

Hello lovelies! Before I share my review, I want to wish Carmen Radtke Happy Publication Day for her latest novel Glittering Death!

Title: Glittering Death by Carmen Radtke 

Date Published: 7th January 2020

Genre: Historical/Cosy Mystery

Description:

!862, A group of brides from Australia have arrived in British Columbia, and love is in the air – until their new-found happiness in the prospectors’ town “Run’s End” is shattered when the hotel-owner is murdered. To make matters worse, something is wrong with the stored gold at the hotel, and an epidemic makes it impossible for anyone to leave town.

The brides set all their hopes on their friend Alyssa Chalmers to find the murderer and restore peace in their new home. But the killer is cunning, and desperate …

BLOG TOUR BANNER - Glittering Death

Review:

I want to say a big thank you to Jill Burkinshaw for inviting me on this blog tour and Carmen Radtke for providing me with a copy of Glittering Death in exchange for an honest review.

I read the first in the Alyssa Chalmers series, The Case Of The Missing Bride, a while ago now so I was excited to hear that there was a second coming out!  Don’t worry if you’ve not read the first it can easily be read as a standalone.

Glittering Death is set in British Columbia against the backdrop of the gold rush in 1862, where every man that was able tried their hand at prospecting in the hopes of finding gold.

Alyssa and her friends arrive at Run’s End where they find themselves face to face with the suitors who’d paid for their voyage from Australia. But Alyssa has other plans, she wants to get back to England, a place she left as a child.

Her plans are scuppered when the hotel owner is murdered, followed by a smallpox epidemic means no one can go out of the small town. Tensions bubble in the town but it’s up to Alyssa to figure out who the murderer before it’s too late.

What a sweet historical mystery Glittering Death is! It has a gentle pace, with a subtle nod to classic mysteries and films while still feeling fresh and new.

I still think Alyssa is a fabulous main character. Independent, clever and never backs down from a challenge, even if that includes domestic chores which she’s not very good at!

I absolutely loved the historical setting of the story. I don’t know much about late 19th century Canada but I feel like after reading this book I know a lot more. The author’s research underpinned the story well without overwhelming you with knowledge or info dumps.

It did unfortunately take a while to get to the actual mystery and I may have guessed the identity of the killer quite early on but that didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of the book.

Glittering Death is solid historical mystery, with plenty of red herrings and intriguing characters, perfect for anyone who loves a cosy mystery. I can’t wait to see where Alyssa’s story goes and read more of her adventures.

About The Author:

Carmen Radtke has spent most of her life with ink on her fingers and a dangerously highCarmen11 pile of books and newspapers by her side.

She has worked as a newspaper reporter on two continents and always dreamt of becoming a novelist and screenwriter.

When she found herself crouched under her dining table, typing away on a novel between two earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand, she realised she was hooked for life.

“The Case of the Missing Bride” is a former Malice Domestic finalist, inspired by a true event. Its heroine Alyssa Chalmers will soon return in “Glittering Death”.

When Carmen is not writing, reading or dreaming of travel, she is busy acting as resident cat servant.

She’s currently working on her first contemporary crime novel.

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

Or on Twitter: @carmenradtke1

Her website (very much a work in progress) is carmenradtke.com

#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

#PublicationDay #BookReview The Six by Luca Veste @LucaVeste @simonschusterUK @simonschusterPR

Title: The Six by Luca Veste

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK

Date Published: 26th December 2019

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

The brilliant new novel from the author of the highly acclaimed The Bone Keeper.

Six friends trapped by one dark secret.

It was supposed to be our last weekend away as friends, before marriage and respectability beckoned. But what happened that Saturday changed everything.

In the middle of the night, someone died. The six of us promised each other we would not tell anyone about the body we buried. But now the pact has been broken. And the killing has started again …

Who knows what we did? And what price will we pay?

Praise for Luca Veste’s novels:

‘Properly Stephen King-style creepy’ Ian Rankin

‘Perfectly terrifying’ Amanda Jennings

‘A dark and brilliant thriller from a writer who just gets better and better’ Mark Billingham

‘An entertainingly nasty piece of work’ Christopher Brookmyre

Review:

I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for my copy of this fab book.

So I’m ashamed to say that this is my first Luca Veste novel. Next year I am definitely going to be picking up some more of his books!

Six friends go to a 90’s music festival as a last hurrah to their youth but something goes wrong and somebody dies. They make a pact to never speak of it again but a year later, the killings start again… 

This is a well written psychological thriller, with good twists and turns and oodles of suspense. At times it was quite scary too!

The story told from Matt’s first person perspective, which gets you really up close and personal with the events through the novel, it almost feels like you’re there with him yourself. There was also a nice mix of characters, not all that likeable, but entertaining all the same.

I enjoyed the little bits of local Liverpool lingo and humour scattered throughout and the smattering of 90’s music references too. 

The Six is a tense and addictive psychological thriller that I just couldn’t get enough of.

About The Author:

Luca Veste is a writer of Italian and Liverpudlian heritage, married with two youngluca veste daughters, and one of nine children. He studied psychology and criminology at university in Liverpool. He is the author of the Murphy and Rossi series, which includes DEAD GONE, THE DYING PLACE, BLOODSTREAM, and THEN SHE WAS GONE.

Part psychological thriller, part police procedural, his books follow the detective pairing of DI David Murphy and DS Laura Rossi. The novels are set in Liverpool, bringing the city to life in a dark and terrifying manner…with just a splash of Scouse humour.

#BlogTour #Review The Truth About Murder by Chris Collett @JoffeBooks @crime_crow

Title: The Truth About Murder by Chris Collett

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 19th December 2019

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

ATTACK, KIDNAP, MURDER

Stefan Greaves emerges from a coma. He was brutally mugged while investigating a whistleblower complaint at a local hospital. She had feared mortality rates of children on her ward born with terminal illnesses and disabilities were on the rise. Now the whistleblower has disappeared.

PC Mick Fraser is sent in to interview Greaves. His partner, PC Denny Sutton, has just been murdered. 

Then the whistleblower is discovered murdered and Fraser learns that Sutton had been stealing evidence to cover up crimes against those considered to be a drain on society: homeless and disadvantaged people and the mentally ill. 

HOW ARE THESE CRIMES LINKED?

A fiendishly complex puzzle emerges. Can these two detectives learn to trust each other enough to put the pieces together?
 
Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Kimberley Chambers, Damien Boyd, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Gibney or Mark Billingham.
 
What readers are saying about Chris Collett

“I couldn’t put it down.” Barbara
 
“Definitely one of the best British crime novels I have read, with a great plot that twist and turns.” Terje

“A brilliantly well thought out mystery with plenty of red herrings.” Jacqueline

“A strong pace and multidimensional characters keep this British procedural moving briskly.” Library Journal

“Cleverly plotted, with an unexpected shock ending, plenty of suspense, and a likably genuine cast of characters, this is a strong new entry in an increasingly popular police-procedural series.” Booklist

“Collett is a wonderful writer, subtle, clever, strong on atmosphere and character.” Yorkshire Post

ALSO BY CHRIS COLLETT

DI MARINER SERIES
Book 1: Deadly Lies
Book 2: Innocent Lies
Book 3: Killer Lies
Book 4: Baby Lies
Book 5: Married Lies
Book 6: Buried Lies
Book 7: Missing Lies

THE FIRST THREE MARINER MYSTERIES ARE AVAILABLE IN A GREAT VALUE BOX SET: DETECTIVE TOM MARINER BOOKS 1-3

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Review:

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

So I love Christ Collett’s DI Mariner series so when I saw that she was releasing a standalone crime thriller I was intrigued.

Stefan Greaves is approached by Rita Todd about infant death at the hospital she works at. Later on, Stefan is mugged and Rita disappears. 

PC Mick Fraser is assigned to Stefan’s case but without much evidence to go on, the investigation stalls.

Rita’s body turns up and it’s assumed as suicide but Rita’s daughter isn’t convinced. With the help of Mick, Stefan must get to the bottom of a terrifying conspiracy and find out what really happened.

The Truth About Murder is a twisty and complex tale which I found quite unsettling at times, although I do think this would make a fantastic TV series!

The story follows two perspectives, Stefan Greaves, a paralegal who suffers from cerebral palsy and PC Mick Fraser, a Scottish policeman who’s just moved to Charnford. 

They are both really strong characters but Stefan just edged ahead for me. Also Stefan having a disability (although we don’t find out the true extent of this until later in the novel) really added that extra dimension to the story showing some of the difficulties he faces. I also liked Stefan’s emo personal assistant Plum, she’s full of attitude but has a kind heart.

The underlying theme in this story is quite harrowing especially regarding disability and how it is treated. And there are certain parts of the story, in our current political climate, I thought to myself, I could actually see this happening, which were truly terrifying.

I did have an issue with the layout, Stefan’s perspective was written in normal writing but Mick’s was written in italics. I know this was done so you could tell the difference between the two first person perspectives but going from one to the other made my eyes go a little funny!

The Truth About Murder is realistic police procedural which will equally enthrall and chill you to your core.  

I know this is currently a standalone novel but I would love to see some more from these characters.

About The Author:

I was born and grew up in a Norfolk seaside town, almost as far east as it’s possible to goChris Collett author photo jpg in England without falling into the North Sea. There I worked variously in a boarding house (now defunct) a local bakery (closed down) and a crisp factory (razed to the ground). I graduated in Liverpool, then for twenty-five years taught children and young people with learning disabilities, including autism, before going into higher education as a senior lecturer.

Mindful of its reputation, I moved somewhat reluctantly to Birmingham, where I met my husband, in 1981. But just a few years later DI Tom Mariner was created to police its mean streets, and these days I relish the vibrancy and rich social history of the city. After eight outings for Mariner, I still feel as if I’ve barely scratched the surface.

Recently retired from lecturing and I’m currently luxuriating in the time I now have to continue the Mariner series, alongside published short stories and academic works. In my spare time, among other things, I’m a manuscript assessor for the Crime Writers Association.

Website: http://www.chriscollettcrime.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chris.collett.5477

Twitter:  @crime_crow

#BookReview Why She Ran by Geraldine Hogan @gerhogan @bookouture #BooksOnTour

Title: Why She Ran by Geraldine Hogan

Date Published: 19th December 2019

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

‘Rachel. They must have made a mistake. A mother would know?’ She let her words pour into the emptiness of the kitchen. She began to shiver. ‘I can’t feel anything,’ she said softly and rocked back and forth, as if she was a huge child, seeking solace in the simple gesture.

When young, pretty nurse Rachel McDermott is found murdered in the harsh lights of the hospital kitchen where she works, her mother can’t accept the news, and the small Irish town of Corbally reels in disbelief. Rushing to the scene, Detective Iris Locke vows to find the sick killer, whatever it takes.

The last person to see Rachel alive was her close friend, sixteen-year-old Eleanor Marshall, a troubled teenager, estranged from her family. Eleanor was spotted fleeing the kitchen where Rachel’s body was found and becomes the main suspect. Iris has a search party combing the endless woods near the Comeragh mountains where they believe she is hiding. But Iris is consumed with worry for the vulnerable girl and can’t shake a prickly disquiet that Eleanor shouldn’t be a suspect.

Eleanor’s sister agrees but a day later, when she is found dead in the area Eleanor is hiding, things don’t look good for the runaway teen. Iris can’t see Eleanor, who still sleeps with her childhood teddy bear, as someone who would kill her little sister and her best friend, but all the evidence seems to point that way.

Sleep-deprived and desperate to find the truth, Iris takes a closer look into Rachel’s background and discovers that she was keeping strange, shadowy company the night before she died. Convinced that Eleanor is in terrible danger, Iris sets out to find her, in the icy-cold woods, alone. But what if somebody else makes their way through the darkness and reaches Iris and Eleanor first?

This gripping mystery thriller is perfect for fans of Carol Wyer, Robert Dugoni and LJ Ross.  

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon:  https://amzn.to/2YFZYBm

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

Google Play: https://bit.ly/38wcw2B

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2t7kC1r

Blog Tour - Why She Ran

Review:

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

It’s funny in my last review I was saying that I hadn’t really read any police procedurals set in Ireland but now I’ve read two in a row! Funny how that happens.

So this is actually the second in the Iris Locke series, having not read the first I would probably recommend you start there as Iris’ backstory carries over. Although if, like me, you’re too impatient to do that the story works well as a standalone but I still feel like I could go back and read the previous book without worrying too much about spoilers. 

Iris and her partner DS Slattery are called out to Curlew Hall, a place for troubled youngsters, where a young woman Rachel McDermott has been found brutally murdered and her young charge Eleanor has disappeared.

Could this vulnerable young woman be capable of murder? If not why did she run?

Why She Ran is a well written, intense and realistic police procedural.

The story was told from several points of view, mostly Iris and Slattery who I really warmed to. They are both damaged in their own ways but work well together as a team. I also like the way the author managed to weave in the character’s back story seamlessly along with the main story line. 

The pace was steady, maybe a little slow at times, but it really built up the tension until I couldn’t stop turning those pages desperate to know what happens to the characters.

Why She Ran is a solid police procedural with compelling characters that really draws you in and doesn’t let you go. 

About The Author:

Geraldine Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honors Degree in English Literature81pcATwVdDL._US230_ and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree in Training and Management from University College, Galway. She is an Irish award-winning and bestselling author of four contemporary fiction novels under the pen name Faith Hogan.

HER SISTER’S BONES is her first crime novel, her second WHY SHE RAN is due out in December 2019.

She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very busy Labrador named Penny. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!

You can find out more about Geraldine here:

http://www.Facebook/GeraldineHoganAuthor.com

Twitter @gerhogan

https://www.instagram.com/faithhoganauthor/?hl=en