#BlogTour #Review An Oriental Murder by Jane Bastin @JaneJanebastin @crookedcatbooks @rararesources

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Title: An Oriental Murder by Jane Bastin

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Date Published: 12th July 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

The Pera Palas hotel in Istanbul, Turkey plays host to the Agatha Christie Writers’ Congress when real life imitates fiction. The bodies of the Prime Minister and his occasional mistress are found dead in one of the hotel’s locked rooms surrounded by bodyguards. Seemingly, no one could get in or out, and yet…

Inspector Sinan Kaya is convinced that foreign agents are culpable, and that the murders are linked to the recent spate of killings of Turkish government officials.

Within this complicated, crime riddled city, Sinan Kaya’s moral compass never falters. Not concerned with threats of dismissal from the force, he cuts his own path through the investigation, determined to uncover the truth.

An Oriental Murder is a tale of espionage and murder set against the backdrop of beautiful Istanbul, the ancient city where east and west meet.

Purchase Link https://www.amazon.co.uk/Oriental-Murder-Jane-Bastin-ebook/dp/B07CKZW2WD/

Review:

The Agatha Christie Writers convention is in full swing at The Pera Palas Hotel in Istanbul when the Prime Minister and his mistress are found dead without anyone entering or exiting the room.

A tired and overworked Inspector Sinan Kaya is called to the scene and is immediately confronted by a group of amateur detectives wanting to solve the case. Only this might not be the only murder. A string of Turkish officials have been found mutilated and dumped down alleyways in the sketchier parts of the city. Can Sinan stop this killer before they strike again.

This is a fast paced, action packed mystery with plenty of intriguing characters set against the exotic backdrop of Istanbul.

The city of Istanbul was almost a character in its own right. So full of contradictions! You have the strict Muslim, tradition aspects rubbing up against the more liberal western ideas.

Inspector Sinan is quite an intense character. He’s in his thirties, unmarried (much to the disappointment of his mother) surrounded by a police station that seems to be crumbling to bits and a senior officer Haris intent on making his job harder. The only thing he really seems to enjoy is his food. The book is packed to the brim of delicious sounding food and made me feel quite hungry while I was reading it.

I did feel that there was a few plot holes and the romance aspect of the story seemed a forced. We hear that someone called Ani was part of his life and it doesn’t really explain who she was and what happened to her but that Bea, his love interest in the book, reminds him of her. Then again, Bea herself is not all that likeable, looking for husband number six.

I would recommend this to mystery lovers who like a well researched and vivid setting with an interesting cast of characters.

Rating: 3/5

Check out the other fantastic bloggers on the tour here:

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Author Bio –

Jane is a storyteller, writer, traveller and educator. Having lived and worked for over thirty years in Turkey, Jane has amassed a breadth of experiences that have led to the writing of the SinanIMG_0113 Kaya series of novels. Of course all characters and events are fictitious!

Fluent in both English and Turkish, Jane writes in both languages and has had a range of articles published in Turkish periodicals and magazines alongside British newspapers.

Jane now divides her time between rainy Devon and sunny Turkey,

Social Media Links – https://twitter.com/JaneJanebastin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jane.bastin.9887

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#BlogTour #Review w/ #Giveaway The Girl In The Gallery by Alice Castle @rararesources @DDsDiary

The Girl in the Gallery Cover

Title: The Girl In The Gallery by Alice Castle

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Date Published: 19th December 2017

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Dulwich…

It’s a perfect summer’s morning in the plush south London suburb, and thirty-something Beth Haldane has sneaked off to visit one of her favourite places, the world-famous Picture Gallery.

She’s enjoying a few moments’ respite from juggling her job at prestigious private school Wyatt’s and her role as single mum to little boy Ben, when she stumbles across a shocking new exhibit on display. Before she knows it, she’s in the thick of a fresh, and deeply chilling, investigation.

Who is The Girl in the Gallery? Join Beth in adventure #2 of the London Murder Mystery series as she tries to discover the truth about a secret eating away at the very heart of Dulwich.

Purchase Link – http://www.MyBook.to/GirlintheGallery

Review:

This is the second in London Murder Mystery series and as with most series it works well as a stand alone. If you want to start at the very beginning of the series you can read my review of Death In Dulwich, here.

So we’re back with Beth, who seems to have a knack for finding trouble! This time she finds a girl barely alive, laid out in mausoleum within the museum Picture Gallery. No girl has been reported missing and it’s a race against time to find out who she is.

You know it’s rare that I find a sequel that’s better than the first but that’s the case with Girl In The Gallery. There’s plenty of twists and turns with a very surprising ending.

This book also deals with the issues of today’s teenage girls with all the social media and trying to look like they have the perfect life. Also there is sensitive subjects of anorexia and self harm showing how these mental illnesses are often misunderstood or marginalised as not being ‘that serious’.

I like the fact we get to know DI York and Beth’s friend Katie making them seem a little more rounded than in first book and not just there for Beth to bounce her ideas off.

I did feel that the middle got a little bogged down with slightly outlandish theories and lots of dialogue which is why I didn’t give this book the whole five stars but as usual that could just be me being fussy.

I’m not going to say too much more in case of spoilers but I would highly recommend this to fans of MC Beaton or Agatha Christie.

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Rating: 4.5/5

About The Author:

Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, wasauthor pic a European hit and sold out in two weeks.

Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, Canada, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, will be published this summer, with Homicide in Herne Hill due to follow in early 2019. Alice is currently working on the fifth London Murder Mystery adventure. Once again, it will feature Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.

Alice is also a mummy blogger and book reviewer via her website: https://www.alicecastleauthor.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DDsDiary?lang=en

Giveaway – Win signed copies of Death in Dulwich and The Girl in the Gallery (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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#BlogTour #Review w/ #Giveaway Death In Dulwich by Alice Castle @DDsDiary @rararesources

Death in Dulwich Cover

Title: Death In Dulwich by Alice Castle

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Date Published: 6th September 2017

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

Thirty-something single mum Beth Haldane is forced to become Dulwich’s answer to Miss Marple when she stumbles over a murder victim on her first day at work. 

To clear her name, Beth is plunged into a cozy mystery that’s a contemporary twist on Golden Age crime classics. But can she pull it off? She already has a bouncy young son, haughty cat, a fringe with a mind of its own and lots of bills to pay, as she struggles to keep up with the yummy mummies of SE21.
Join Beth in #1 of the London Murder Mystery series, as she discovers the nastiest secrets can lurk in the nicest places.

Purchase Link MyBook.to/1DeathinDulwich

Review:

This is a book I’ve been wanting to read for a while and I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this blog tour and providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Beth Haldane is a single mum, just about scraping by after the death of her husband trying to provide for her nine year old son Ben. She lives in the affluent Dulwich Village, surrounded by yummy mummies with far too much time on their hands. When she’s offered an archivist assistant job at Wyatt’s, a much sort after boys school in the area, she jumps at the chance. Unfortunately for her on the first day she finds her boss, Dr Jenkins dead.

Feeling that she’s the only suspect, she embarks on finding the real culprit, much to the annoyance of dishy DI Harry York.

This book puts the cosy into cosy mystery! It’s a good old fashioned style whodunnit, with plenty of suspects, red herrings and mystery. It really reminded me of the Agatha Raisin series by MC Beaton which I absolutely love.

I was quite surprised that Dulwich Village is actually a real place in South London. I honestly thought before I started reading it that it was entirely out of the writer’s imagination but now I want to go and visit it although I don’t think I’d want to live there, not with all those yummy mummies hanging around!

I really liked Beth. She’s hard working, a little stubborn with an OCD streak and has a tendency for bouts of low self esteem. I think any mum, single or not, would understand the constant struggle of trying to do your best for your child or children that Beth goes through on a day to day basis. The way she butts head with DI York, who seems a little cold and formal, was a nice touch and I look forward to their relationship growing.

I did feel that Beth’s friend Katie seemed a little too perfect, even though she’s meant to be the so called ‘normal’ one like Beth and she was just there as a bit of a plot device to move the story on but of course that’s just my opinion!

A fantastic start to the series that I would recommend this book to those who love a good cosy mystery.

The second book, Girl In The Gallery, is up for my next review on Tuesday so keep your eyes peeled for my thoughts.

Rating: 4/5

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About The Author:

Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European hit and sold out in two weeks.author pic

Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, Canada, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, will be published this summer, with Homicide in Herne Hill due to follow in early 2019.  Alice is currently working on the fifth London Murder Mystery adventure. Once again, it will feature Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.

Alice is also a mummy blogger and book reviewer via her website: https://www.alicecastleauthor.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DDsDiary?lang=en


Giveaway – Win signed copies of Death in Dulwich and The Girl in the Gallery (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


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#BlogTour #Review #Hellcorp by Jonathan Whitelaw @urbanebooks @JDWhitelaw13 #LoveBooksGroupTours

Title: Hellcorp by Jonathan Whitelaw

Publisher: Urbane Publications

Date Published: 5th July 2018

Genre: Thriller | Supernatural | Humour

Description:

A writer to watch.”
Gareth L. Powell, winner of the BSFA award for best novel

Sometimes even the Devil deserves a break!

Life is hard for The Devil and he desperately wants to take a holiday. Growing weary from playing the cosmic bad guy, he resolves to set up a company that will do his job for him so the sins of the world will tick over while he takes a vacation. God tells him he can have his vacation just as soon as he solves an ancient crime.

But nothing is ever easy and before long he is up to his pitchfork in solving murders, desperate to crack the case so he can finally take the holiday he so badly needs…

This is a perfectly-pitched darkly comic crime novel that is ideal for fans of Christopher Fowler and Ben Aaranovitch.

You Can Buy A Copy Here:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2vROT5v
Amazon US:
https://amzn.to/2Knh7bF
Foyles:
http://bit.ly/2r6cklS
Waterstones:
http://bit.ly/2vWLvWU

hellcorp

Review:

I want to thank Kelly at Love Books Group for inviting me on this tour and Urbane Publications for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Devil is drowning in paperwork with a constant headache and he just wants a break.

So he goes to see the Pope, God’s supposed eyes and ears, telling him he wants Hell to become a legit business, a place for arts and culture. Of course when God hears about that he has other plans and proves He can be just as tricky as the Devil.

Thrust into a human body, with the help of Dr Jill Gideon he must uncover the murderer of Anton Baggio but it’s not going to be easy, especially when Hell wants to drag him back again.

I have to say this has to be one of the quirkiest and funniest detective books I’ve ever read! The Devil playing detective is definitely an original concept or at least I’ve never read anything like this book.

I know this sounds a bit wrong but I think I’d like to meet The Devil, if he’s the way he’s portrayed in this book mind. He’s sarcastic, unintentionally funny although he does have the habit of getting himself and those around him into trouble. He also has a bit of a thing for his receptionist Alice, a larger lady (he likes a big bum) who’s in Hell for killing her husband.

Then we have Doctor Jill Gideon who is incredibly likeable. She’s tough but vulnerable at the same time and there were times that I just wanted to give her a hug! I loved the way she and the Devil bounce off each other, trying to show him that humans are just the animals he thinks they are, occasionally he listens to her.

I do wish though there had been a little bit more creepiness, just because he is the devil and all but that’s just me being a bit fussy.

Hellcorp is a very cleverly written book, with plenty of humour, perfect if you’re looking for something a bit different.

Rating: 4/5

About The Author:

Jonathan Whitelaw is an author, journalist and broadcaster. After working on the frontline of Jonathan Whitelaw Author ImageScottish politics, he moved into journalism. Subjects he has covered have varied from breaking news, the arts, culture and sport to fashion, music and even radioactive waste – with everything in between. He’s also a regular reviewer and talking head on shows for the BBC and STV. ‘HellCorp’ is his second novel following his debut, ‘Morbid Relations’.

Social Media links:

Website: https://urbanepublications.com/authors/jonathan-whitelaw/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/JDWhitelaw13
FB Author Page:
https://www.facebook.com/JonathanWhitelawAuthor/

#BlogTour #Review Remember by Shervin Jamali @ShervinJamali @CarolineBookBit

Title: Remember by Shervin Jamali

Date Published: 1st July 2018

Genre: Romance, Novella

Description:

As Daniel watches the life ebb from her body, he wishes they’d had more time and knew each other when they were young. His wife surprises him by insisting that they did.
And then she’s gone.

Daniel knows this can’t be true. Can it? They only met later in life, so why would Grace’s departing words hint at a shared youth? Haunted by this notion, Daniel journeys into the past to discover the truth.

Remember’ is a unique love story with a dark twist. Find out how it really began…

Remember’ is dedicated to the brilliant Scottish author Brendan Gisby and his late wife, Alison. Here’s what Brendan Gisby says: “Well, you bugger, ‘Remember’ made me cry. The one word I’ll use to describe it is: Magnificent!”

Remember Updated Blog Tour Poster

Review:

I want to thank Caroline at Bitsaboutbooks for inviting me and this blog tour and providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Daniel and Grace met late in life, which makes it all the more sad when Grace is diagnosed with an incurable cancer. On her deathbed Daniel wishes that they’d met when they were younger to which his wife claims that they did.

On a downward spiral, drinking again after so many years being sober, Daniel can’t stop thinking about Grace’s dying words. Had they met before and had he just blocked it out? Why can’t he remember? A chance meeting with a hypnotherapist takes Daniel on a journey he never expected.

So as many of you know romance is not a genre I usually read, because frankly I’m British and emotions make me uncomfortable, but this ended up being a really fascinating read.

While Remember is only short, it packs a hell of an emotional punch! But it’s not your usual hearts and flowers kind of story either, it’s a little dark in places, especially Daniel’s early childhood and his decent into alcoholism.

I will applaud Shervin Jamali for giving a realistic portrayal of the uphill battle of addicts trying to stay sober in a non-judgemental way.

Certain aspects of the story were a little unbelievable but the author wrote them in such a way that it made them seem believable.

I’m not going to say too much more because I feel this is the kind of book you have to experience for yourself and see what emotions it brings up within you.

Rating: 3/5

About The Author:

Shervin Jamali has been writing for as long as he can remember as he had so many storiesShervin Jamali Author Image “locked away” but it wasn’t until he completed the first draft of ‘The Devil’s Lieutenant’ (2016) that he decided to turn his writings into books. His books are the perfect outlet for his daytime job as an IT consultant and he looks forward to the day he will be a full-time writer.

After having lived in sunny Florida, Shervin Jamali now resides in Knoxville, Tennessee. In his spare time, Shervin likes to put together jigsaw puzzles whilst contemplating plots for his next book.

Social Media Links:

FB Author Page https://www.facebook.com/shervinjamaliauthor/
Twitter https://twitter.com/ShervinJamali
Amazon Author Page
http://author.to/ShervinJamali

Other books by Shervin Jamali:

The Devil’s Lieutenant: http://getbook.at/DevilsLieutenant
Escape from Hell http://getbook.at/EscapefromHell

#BookReview Dead In The Water by Simon Bower @simonbowerbooks

Title: Dead In The Water by Simon Bower

Publisher: Middle Farm Press

Date Published: 9th May 2018

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Description:

THE HOT NEW INTERNATIONAL CRIME THRILLER THAT YOU CAN’T PUT DOWN!

Was it murder, suicide or an accident? Who will be next to die?

Six international friends all appear to be successful, albeit to different levels. A human rights’ lawyer, an IT geek, a businessman, a waitress, a phone guy and a physiotherapist. None of them are known to the police.

One of them must know what happened that fateful night on the catamaran.

Agent Georges Fournier is assigned the case in the French resort town near Antibes. He’s short on time, with a growing health problem and a District Attorney who just wants the case closed as accidental. But he’s not letting go.


Chrissie is a single mother and respected flight attendant in New York. When she finds out who her father is, she’s ecstatic and wants to meet him.

But within a week she’d wish she’d never known.

Review:

I have to say this book turned out to be not quite what I expected. From the synopsis, I thought ‘Oh, yes this going to be the usual murder mystery,’ but there was kidnapping, blackmail with plenty of twists and turns and a little bit steamy to boot.

The prologue to the book starts off with an unidentified woman just on the edge of consciousness about to drown. Then it travels back five months and we meet the rest of the cast. Charlie, a bit of a chancer always bemoaning his luck. Ana, a seductress and Charlie’s girlfriend. Scott, Charlie’s brother, trapped in a loveless marriage, a bit jealous of his younger brother. Len and Mia Hubbard, Charlie and Scott’s aunt and uncle, Len is a bit of a dodgy business man and Mia is a human rights lawyer. Chrissie, a flight attendant, who wants to find her father. And lastly Agent Fournier, a policeman used to dealing with small crimes but he’s determined to prove his worth. I didn’t find most of the characters are overly likeable but I thought they were very realistically portrayed.

I think this is the most I’ve travelled within one book! There’s New York, Los Angeles, Switzerland, London, France, Holland, Monaco…few I just thought of all the air miles these characters must have clocked up!

Unfortunately, I found the time line bounced around quite a bit and I felt there may have been a plot hole or two. Also a bit confusing at times as the cast was large and with each one having their own chapters it was hard to keep track of.

I’d recommend this for fans of fast paced, character driven thrillers.

About The Author:

Berkshire born Simon Bower has spent his adult life global living. In 2018, his debut fiction work Dead in the Water was published in paperback and eBook by Middle Farm Press. 36222877_10156287174578828_4215712758408151040_o

He picked up many of the stimuli for Dead in the Water from his periods living in France, Holland and North America. An unfulfilled love of sailing inspired the fateful catamaran scenes on the Côte d’Azur, although in real life that was set on Australia’s East Coast, and no-one died. Time in the Philippines helped develop the Boracay chapters while the Oxford and London venues are his bread and butter.

Simon’s a keen home chef and adores a slow cooked red curry – hot from the outset with a surprising kick in the tail. He despises being served up literary ready meals – warmed up quickly and predictably bland throughout…

Simon currently lives in France, near the Swiss border, where his young family, the mountains, acrylic paint and sharpened skis keep him in regular mischief. His influences and favourite authors include: Iain Banks, William Boyd, Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, John Grisham, Terry Hayes, Peter James, Dean Koontz, Peter May and Stieg Larsson.

Simon loves hearing from readers, through Amazon and Goodreads reviews, and @simonbowerbooks on Facebook and Twitter.

#BlogTour #Review Smith by Stewart Giles @stewartgiles @Books_n_all

Title: Smith (DS Jason Smith #1) by Stewart Giles

Date Published: 16th November 2014

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Description:

‘The sleepy historical city of York is about to wake up’. 

It is Christmas Day in York. A woman is found dead in her bed. A suicide note is found on her chest. It reads ‘I am so sorry Martin’. Hours later the police are called to a house a few miles away. A mother and her daughter have been brutally attacked; the mother is dead and the daughter is barely alive. The father is found shaking uncontrollably in the corner of the room. He is covered in blood but he is unharmed. His name is Martin Willow.
Detective Sergeant Jason Smith is put in charge of the investigation. After reaching dead end after dead end, Smith starts to put the pieces together and figures out that Martin Willow is innocent and the killer is still out there.

The little girl who was attacked on Christmas Day wakes from her coma and gives Smith a clue about the attacker; a piece of a song she heard directly before the attack. Smith then finds himself in a race against time to find this maniac before he kills again.

BLOG TOUR banner - Smith

Review:

DS Jason Smith has drawn the short straw and is on call on Christmas Day. He’s called to the apparent suicide of a young student by the name of Lauren Cowley. On the same day the police are called to the Willow house where a mother and her daughter have been brutally attacked but there’s not a scratch on the father. It transpires that Lauren was the Willow’s babysitter, who’d called in sick the previous night. Could the two cases be connected? To complicate matters a face from his past reappears claiming that the sister he lost ten years previously is not in fact dead. Can Smith crack the case and find his sister?

So this is the second in the Smith series that I’ve read, the first being a collection of short stories, Phobia, you can read my review here.

I really enjoyed this first full length Jason Smith novel! It’s one of those mysteries that you can really get stuck into! Like with Phobia the chapters are short and snappy with an incredibly fast pace but Stewart Giles still managed to weave an intricate narrative balancing almost three separate storylines and timelines.

For those of you who don’t know DS Jason Smith, he’s an Aussie who’s lived in the beautiful city of York for ten years after his sister was supposedly attacked by a shark, which gave him a fear of the water. He not opposed to bending the rules and doesn’t suffer fools gladly, especially lazy police work and usually butts head with fellow officers especially one of his team DS Thompson. He also has a bit of a will they, won’t they relationship with DC Erica Whitton.

There is a bit of dipping in between time lines (there’s 2008, 1998 and 2005) and in places it was more of a whydunnit than whodunnit but I really enjoyed it and found it utterly engrossing.

I’d recommend this book for those who like a fast paced and easy read with an emphasis on entertainment.

Rating: 4/5

Stewart Giles – Author Bio:

After reading English & Drama at three different English Universities and graduating from none of them, I set off travelling and finally ended up in South Africa, where I still live. I enjoy theStewart Giles Author Photo serene life running a boat shop on the banks of the Vaal Dam. I came up with the DS Jason Smith idea after my wife dropped a rather large speaker on my head. Whether it was intentional still remains a mystery. Smith, the first in the series was finished in September 2013 and was closely followed by Boomerang and Ladybird. Occam’s Razor, Harlequin and Phobia (a series of short stories detailing Smith’s early life) were all completed in one hazy 365 days and Selene was done and dusted a few months later.Links:

Website: www.stewartgiles.com

Twitter: @stewartgiles

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