Sunday 28 February 2021

#BlogTour #Audiobook Jailbird by Caro Savage

It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for the Audiobook - Jailbird by Caro Savage, narrated by Genevieve Swallow. 

About the Author

Caro Savage knows all about bestselling thrillers having worked as a Waterstones bookseller for 12 years in a previous life. Now taking up the challenge personally and turning to hard-hitting crime thriller writing. Sign up to Caro's newsletter here

Follow @CaroSavageStory on Twitter, on InstagramBuy Jailbird 

About the book 

Detective Constable Bailey Morgan has been out of the undercover game since her last job went horribly wrong, leaving her with scars inside and out. When her colleague Alice is found dead whilst working deep cover in a women’s prison, Bailey steps in to replace her.

Working alone, Bailey embarks on a dangerous journey through the murky underbelly of the prison and soon discovers that Alice’s death was part of a spate of brutal murders. Surrounded by prison officers, criminals and lowlifes, the slightest mistake could cost Bailey her life.

Illicit drug trafficking, prison gangs and corruption are just some of the things she’s up against… and behind it all lurks a sinister and terrifying secret that will truly test her survival instincts.

Heart-stopping and gripping. Perfect for the fans of hit TV shows such as Line of Duty, Orange is the New Black and Bad Girls.


Saying that Bailey's last undercover job didn't go exactly as planned is absolutely the biggest understatement of the century. Going back into deep cover again should be the last thing on her mind, and yet when her friend is killed on the job, she decides it's the only way to find out who killed her.

She is sent into prison as an inmate, without any lifeline I might add, to find and take down the network at the centre of the aforementioned murder. Once in there Bailey finds there are more questions than answers and that it is harder to stay alive inside prison than it is outside.

At times you can feel the way Bailey drifts from one side of the fence to the other. When you are used to living a completely fake life during a deep cover assignment it's easy to sink too deep into said cover. There are certainly moments when she waivers between crossing the line to keep her cover and revealing all to keep her sanity.

The author delivers a gritty urban crime story with a damaged main character. A character who is willing to do what it takes to bring the monsters, deviants and criminals of this world to their knees. An honest and perhaps worrying look into the world behind bars and the crime that lurks within prisons.

Although I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by Genevieve Swallow, I also read the digital version via KU. Both versions absolutely convinced me and I wouldn't hesitate to read or listen to another one by this author.

Buy Jailbird at Audible Uk or Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Boldwood Books pub date 15 October 2019. Buy at Amazon com. HiveWaterstones.

Listening Length - 13 hours and 6 minutes, Author - Caro Savage, Narrator - Genevieve Swallow, Whispersync for Voice - Ready, Release Date - 15 October 2019, Publisher - Boldwood Books, Program Type - Audiobook, Version - Unabridged, Language - English.

Saturday 27 February 2021

#BlogTour Death at Rainbow Cottage by Jo Allen


It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Death at Rainbow Cottage by Jo Allen.

About the Author

Jo Allen is the author of the successful DCI Satterthwaite series of detective novels set in and around the English Lake District, where she lives. After a career in economic consultancy she took up writing and was first published under the name Jennifer Young in genres of short stories, romance and romantic suspense. 

In 2017 she took the plunge and began writing the genre she most likes to read – crime. In common with all her favourite characters, she loves football (she's a season ticket holder with her beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers) and cats.

Follow @JoAllenAuthor on Twitteron Goodreads, on Instagram, on Facebook, Visit Death at Rainbow Cottage

About the book

At the end of the rainbow, a man lies dead. - The apparently motiveless murder of a man outside the home of controversial equalities activist Claud Blackwell and his neurotic wife, Natalie, is shocking enough for a peaceful local community. When it’s followed by another apparently random killing immediately outside Claud’s office, DCI Jude Satterthwaite has his work cut out. Is Claud the killer, or the intended victim?

To add to Jude’s problems, the arrival of a hostile new boss causes complications at work, and when a threatening note arrives at the police headquarters, he has real cause to fear for the safety of his friends and colleagues…A traditional British detective novel set in Cumbria.


It's fair to say that Natalie is shaken to the core when she finds a dying man on her daily run. She reacts impulsively, indeed instinct supersedes common sense and also the rule of law. It makes her obsessive and compulsive patterns a lot worse.

What appears to be a random incident is followed by another death, which implies there is something more nefarious going on and perhaps that Natalie doesn't know her husband as well as she thinks. Is the caring and protective façade just a ploy to keep the police at bay and his wife quiet?

Not sure if it was intentional or not, but the truth is fairly clear quite soon into the read. The emphasis is on the relationships between the investigating officers, both professional and private. How their interactions and connections with each other define the way they search for the truth. I found it quite fascinating how the author brought the predominant storyline between the main characters and then let that filter into the motive. It's hard to make the point without giving anything away. Needless to say it's an interesting twist.

Allen gives readers a set of characters worth following as they develop and grow in depth. A diverse set of characters. Simultaneously she also delivers the crime, the killer and motive and the two are melded together to create an intriguing read.

Buy Death at Rainbow Cottage at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com

Friday 26 February 2021

#BlogTour Dreaming Under an Island Skye by Lisa Hobman


It's my turn on the BlogTour Dreaming Under an Island Skye by Lisa Hobman.

About the Author

Lisa Hobman has written many brilliantly reviewed women’s fiction titles - the first of which was shortlisted by the RNA for their debut novel award. In 2012 Lisa relocated her family from Yorkshire to a village in Scotland and this beautiful  backdrop now inspires her uplifting and romantic stories. Sign up to Lisa Hobman's newsletter

About the book

Is there really such a thing as a second shot at true love? After three wonderful years of marriage, librarian Juliette Fairhurst’s heart is shattered when her husband, Laurie, is taken from her much too soon.

Devasted, Juliette decides to take a sabbatical and reconnect with her mother’s birthplace, the village of Glentorrin on the picturesque Isle of Skye.

Welcomed by most of the villagers, Juliette throws herself into an idyllic community life, taking on the role of temporary summer guardian at The Lifeboat House Museum; a role that offers her the perfect escape from the tragedy of her real life.

During her time on the island, Juliette clashes with brooding single dad and artist, Reid Mackinnon and is befriended by his son Evin and dog Chewie. It’s clear that divorced Reid is struggling and scarred by his own painful experiences.

Can these two lost souls find a lifeline to rescue each other? Or will their pasts scupper their second chance at real happiness?


The story begins with Juliette's dreams coming true only to be shattered soon after. In an effort to try and find some semblance of happiness or peace after a tragedy that has left her frozen in time, she decides to spend some time in her mother's birthplace, which is the beginning of a brave new Juliette.

The first encounter with Reid, a single father recovering from the kind of divorce that leaves devastation in its wake, is a bit like embracing a cactus. The two of them are reluctant to engage with each other in any way other than on different ends of a barge pole. It's frosty, despite the beautiful surroundings. 

Hobman draws upon the perfect imperfection of life and the way some paths are marred by tragedy whilst others live in blissful ignorance of the same. It's not unusual for two people stricken by mishaps, grief and trauma to happen upon and connect with each other. I think this storyline will resonate with readers because it has one foot grounded very firmly in reality.

It's a tale of pain and grief, but also one of courage and perseverance. A message about not giving up even when things seem impossibly dark - you just never know when another door will open up.

Buy Dreaming Under an Island Skye at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Boldwood Books pub date 23 Feb. 2021. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Waterstones.

Thursday 25 February 2021

#BlogTour Under the Light of the Italian Moon by Jennifer Anton

 It's my turn on the BlogTour Under the Light of the Italian Moon by Jennifer Anton.

About the Author

Jennifer Anton is an American/Italian dual citizen born in Joliet, Illinois now living between London and Lake Como, Italy. An advocate for women’s rights and equality, she hopes to rescue women's stories from history, starting with her Italian family.

In 2006, after the birth of her daughter, Jennifer suffered a life-threatening postpartum cardiomyopathy, and soon after, her Italian grandmother died. This tumultuous year began a 14-year journey to capture the stories of her female Italian ancestors and develop them into a historical/biographical fiction novel. In 2012, she moved with her family to Milan, Italy. Later, she moved to London where she has held leadership positions with companies including Revlon and Tory Burch.

Under the Light of the Italian Moon is her first novel, based on the lives of her Italian grandmother and great grandmothers during the rise of fascism and World War II.

Follow @boldwomanwrites on Twitteron Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit boldwomanwriting.comBuy Under the Light of the Italian Moon

About the book

Set in Fonzaso, Italy between two wars, Under the Light of the Italian Moon tells the story of Nina Argenta, the daughter of the town’s strong-willed midwife. Nina seeks to define her own destiny but when her brother emigrates to America, she promises her mother to never leave. When she falls for childhood friend, Pietro Pante, during his brief visit from America, she has to find a way to be with the man she loves.

Pietro and Nina begin a long-distance relationship that continues as Mussolini forces political tensions to rise and his fascists throw the country into chaos. When Hitler’s Nazis occupy and terrorise their town, Nina struggles to survive and her dreams of a life with Pietro are threatened by an enemy she must face alone…


Nina Argenta doesn't realise that she lives in the shadow of her impressive mother and actually has become the mother to the family her mother tends to abandon, even if it is to help others and their babies. Being the local midwife means having a lot of people rely on you day after day. It also means having to neglect your own loved ones at times.

Perhaps that is why one of Nina's brothers has decided to go forth and travel - to settle somewhere else in the world. even Adelasia realises that somehow it must mean she has failed him in some way. The fact her children have been raised to find their own independence doesn't occur to her. Even Nina eventually pushes forth from the ties that bind her to find her own path.

It's a captivating family saga and historical fiction, a story that the author connects viscerally with the moon. The surroundings, the emotions, the people and the trials they endure. They are all influenced by the ever watchful presence above them, which sometimes reminds us of its subconscious sway and at other times of its silent power. 

Anton does an excellent job of taking the reader back through the generations of strong women who defined her family and their paths. It is meticulously researched and ends on the perfect note of reverence and nostalgia.

Buy Under the Light of the Italian Moon at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.  Publisher: Amsterdam Publishers pub date March 8, 2021. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones.

Wednesday 24 February 2021

#BlogTour The Mind's Eye by Miles Hudson

 It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Mind's Eye by Miles Hudson.

About the Author

Notionally, I’m a school physics teacher. I’ve worked in a variety of schools in north-east England and started recently as the PGCE Physics tutor at Newcastle Uni. I also write a whole load of textbook materials for schools, my biggest titles being A Level Physics books for Edexcel exam board courses.

And I’m the inventor of the Best Fit Line Ruler. I ran a small business making and selling those but after ten years and 50,000 rulers, I’ve stopped making them.

I have a major passion for writing fiction. My future-set series of novels, starting with 2089, is about a gently post-apocalyptic, Orwellian future England. You could say ‘sci-fi’, but it’s not really lasers and spaceships; ‘dystopian’ catches the themes well.

I’ve also developed a great series of detective novels featuring the duo Penfold and DS Tony Milburn. Based in Durham City CID, DS Milburn and his civilian foil, the kiwi surfer, Penfold, solve cases that take in high stakes such as murder and big heists, but in a very cerebral way. Holmes and Watson for the 21st Century, if you will.

Follow @milesmhudson on Twitter, on Facebook, on Goodreads, Visit, Buy The Mind's Eye

About the book

Everything anyone sees and hears is recorded and available to view online. Our eyes and ears are remotely wiretapped. There can be no secrets. But… what if the surveillance system had been hacked, and you weren’t actually committing the crimes people saw you committing? Jack Smith and Vicky Truva are on the run, again.

In 2089, Jack was banished to an island in the Bristol Channel for blowing up the old GCHQ building to destroy the surveillance computers. 18 months later, those responsible for his conviction suffer arson, assault and explosion. Eye witnesses attribute these crimes to Jack. The surveillance system is fixed, but he appears to be evading it. That should be impossible.

With his friend, Vicky, Jack returns from exile to try to prove that he is not the criminal. A militia posse, including Vicky’s brother, pursue them across climate-changed Gloucestershire. The surveillance system functions erratically. Can Jack and Vicky outrun the posse long enough to work out what’s wrong with it? And find out who really committed the crimes? And can they catch them?


After being banished to an island for blowing up a building, is Jack the perfect patsy for someone looking to make trouble? Makes sense to pick a troublemaker, but is it just a ruse, a distraction technique or is there something more nefarious afoot?

How is Jack supposed to prove that he isn't committing crimes when he is being seen committing said crimes? When the surveillance system everyone trusts is giving clear information and yet Jack knows it isn't him. How do you prove it isn't you when the fail proof system says it is without a doubt - you.

It's a kind of dystopian deep state Big Brother techno thriller. A society immersed in technology, governed and influenced by it, watched by it. People who live in this dystopian future trust the technology implicitly - the question is whether they should?

This leads back to something our own era has sunken into, the deep fake and misinformation era. The way technology is used to drive false news, propaganda and misinformation. The way it is used to track and monitor. One can only imagine how it will evolve, but it isn't much of a stretch to imagine a future decimated by human fuelled climate change.

This is actually one of the more intriguing elements of the read, the way the author envisages the world if the predictions about climate change come true. How humanity learns to survive in an entirely different landscape and atmosphere with a high dependency on a reality created for us by AI and those at the tip of the technology iceberg. 

Buy The Mind's Eye at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Penfold Books pub date 1 Feb. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Tuesday 23 February 2021

#BlogTour #Audiobook The Evidence by K.L. Slater

 It's my turn on the BlogTour The Evidence by K.L. Slater, narrated by Clare Corbett, Rachel Atkins, Alexandra Afryea & David Holt

About the Author

Kim is the million-copy bestselling author of twelve psychological crime thrillers. THE APARTMENT, will be published in -April 2020 by Thomas and Mercer and is now available for pre-order.

Kim's titles are also published by Bookouture, Audible and are available in paperback by Sphere in the UK and Grand Central in the USA.

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected an impressive stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating in 2012, she gained literary agent representation and a book deal. As Kim says, ‘it was a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’ Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottinghamshire with her husband.

Follow @KimLSlater on Twitter, Visit

About the book

When a killer’s podcast reveals more than the truth....

Esme is a start-up success who runs her own successful media company and heads up a series of investigative podcasts. She also has a beautiful home, where she lives with her sister, Michelle, and her son, Zachary. Sure, there’s an ex-husband hanging around - Owen likes to pop round a bit too often - but everything is civilised and amicable. She has life all tied up.

But Esme knows that any successful podcaster is only as good as her last story, so she sets out on a new series of interviews to get to the truth behind Simone Fischer’s high-profile murder of her husband. Self-defence, crime of passion or coldly pre-meditated? She emerges after one jail visit to discover that her sister has been viciously attacked and is in a coma. And so begins the unravelling of Esme’s life. Where she thought there was trust and loyalty, she slowly discovers deceit and betrayal. No one is quite who they seem - not even her closest family.

As the podcast interviews plunge deeper into revealing the unnerving psychology of a murderer, Esme must try to keep her own sanity intact. The truth - about Simone and Esme’s own family - is there, if Esme can only find it. But will her investigations reveal more than she ever wanted to know?


Esme has her own media company and her thing is investigative podcasts. It's all the rage to dismantle the details of true crime and if possible to solve complex, cold cases and cases where doubt hovers like a helicopter.

Esme is looking for the buzz. The type of story that gives you media-cred and helps to build your reputation. She juicier the better, but it also means she might dig too deep and uncover something that puts herself and her family in danger.

The high profile murder committed by Simone Fischer seems to be the right story to draw the listeners, but things go pear shaped really quickly when violence comes calling after she starts investigating. It is the beginning of a downhill roll. Esme has no clue what's coming for her.

This reminded me of the brilliant Six Stories series by Wesolowski. The combination of modern media, a zest for true crime and the truth, and of course characters who run so close to the boundary of reality and fiction that it is hard to discern what is real or fiction.

When I listen to a well narrated book I often wonder whether the listening, and the very specific experience of multiple character narrators will give you the same experience if you are reading it. The audiobook gives this extra distinction and feel for the differences between the characters, especially when it comes to one of the female characters.

It's a gripping psychological thriller, which has an incredible cast of narrators who bring life and an air of authenticity to the story.

Buy The Evidence in Audible Uk, at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Audible Original | 11th February. Buy at Amazon com.

Listening Length - 9 hours and 1 minute, Author - K L Slater, Narrator - Clare Corbett, Rachel Atkins, Alexandra Afryea, David Holt, Release Date - 11 February 2021, Publisher -Audible Studios, Program Type - Audiobook, Version - Unabridged, Language - English.

#BlogTour Killing the Girl by Elizabeth Hill


It's my turn on the BlogTour Killing the Girl by Elizabeth Hill.

About the Author

Elizabeth published 'Killing The Girl' in April 2019, which has won the 'Chill With A Book' Premier Readers Award and Book Of The Month for October 2020. She is now busy working on her second novel, Killing The Shadowman.

We all love a great murder mystery and 'Killing The Girl explores the reasons why an ordinary woman kills. What pushes her to her limit of endurance and sanity? And could that woman be you?

Elizabeth is a member of The Alliance of Independent Authors, The Bristol Fiction Writers Group and Noir At The Bar, Bath. She was a speaker at the 2019 Bristol Festival of Literature. Elizabeth lives in Bristol, UK. Find out more on her website

Follow @wickedwriteruk on Twitter, on Amazon, on GoodreadsBuy Killing the Girl

About the book

For over forty years Carol Cage has been living as a recluse in her mansion, Oaktree House. Fear is her constant companion. She’s been keeping a secret – and it’s about to be unearthed.

When she receives a compulsory purchase order for her home, she knows that everyone is going to find out what she did to survive her darkest weeks in 1970. She writes her confession so that we can understand what happened because she wasn’t the only one living a lie. The events that turned her fairy-tale life into a living hell were not all they seemed.

She’s determined not to pay for the mistakes of others; if she has to suffer, then they will too. Carol Cage has a terrible secret … and she’s about to exact retribution on everyone who’d let her suffer.


When you spend nearly your entire life hiding a secret, albeit one that has brought you peace and hasn't really kept you up at night, the possibility of it being disclosed can make you feel a little perturbed. To be fair Carol's secret has brought her some level of peace, but the exposure would definitely bring life as she knows it to a sudden halt.

The reader is taken into her past where the events leading up to the secret she hides play out. Hiding the body of the bad boy love of her life in her backyard seems perfectly normal the way she describes it. Who doesn't plonk a body in the garden when you need to get rid of someone and make sure nobody finds them at the same time, right?

I was fascinated by the whole concept of Carol and the girl. The dialogue, the self-examination, the questioning and decision making. This idea of accountability and responsibility, the dual roles she inhabits as she takes the readers through her past all the way into the present. In a way Carol is being forced to confront the choices she made and the guilt she carries or the lack of guilt as it may be.

I loved the way the author approached this story - I do like a speculative and cognitive read, especially when it's combined with a bit of a dark thriller vibe. Simultaneously it's also an introspective and contemplative experience of one person and their inner meanderings. Their thoughts on what was, what is and how she resign herself to the truth or her version of the truth. I'm looking forward to reading more by Hill.

Buy Killing the Girl at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Independently published pub date 27 April 2019. Buy at Amazon com

Monday 22 February 2021

#BlogTour The Scarlet Dress by Louise Douglas

 It's my turn on the BlogTour The Scarlet Dress by Louise Douglas.

About the Author

Louise Douglas is the bestselling and brilliantly reviewed author of novels including The House By The Sea and Missing You - a RNA award winner. The Secrets Between Us was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. She lives in the West Country. Click here to join the Louise Douglas newsletter

Follow @louisedouglas3 on Twitteron Facebook, on Goodreads, on Instagram, BookBub, Buy The Scarlet Dress

About the book

Alice Lang was wearing her favourite scarlet dress when she disappeared twenty-five years ago, and her memory still casts a long shadow.

'The past was like water. Once the tide turned, you couldn't hold it back.'

In the long, hot summer of 1995, twenty-two-year-old Alice Lang rents a caravan on a holiday park on the outskirts of the lively holiday resort of Severn Sands. She befriends Marnie, a shy, damaged little girl whose father is the park's caretaker and whose mother died a few months earlier. Will, whose mother runs the bar, falls in love with Alice, and is unbearably jealous of anyone else she sees. Tensions rise until one evening Alice disappears from her caravan. She's never seen again, and only her scarlet dress is found washed up on the shore.

A quarter of a century later, the town is run down and nobody comes there anymore. Mr and Mrs deVillars, former owners of the holiday park, have passed the failing business onto their son Guy, who promptly sells the land for development. Builders clearing the land to create an expanse of executive homes uncover human bones. It has to be Alice.

Will and Marnie’s lives were entirely shaped by what happened that summer, and now Alice has been found, they must struggle to pin down their memories, to escape the secrets of the past, the lies they told and the unbearable guilt they're both carrying.

They need to find out what happened to Alice. Who killed her? And why?


Marnie remembers Alice. The beautiful young woman who showed her kindness and attention as a child. To a grieving girl it was an important connection she never forgot, but perhaps more so because Alice disappeared one day without a trace or a goodbye.

Now a quarter of a century later it looks as though Alice has finally returned to say her final goodbyes and in doing so makes ripples in the community - the kind of ripples that leave irreparable damage.

I did feel as if the vibe and voice of the story was consistent until the last chapter or so. It goes from a well-paced atmospheric mystery come domestic and psychological thriller to trying to fill in the gaps and explain the reasoning of the characters. It didn't gel with the rest of the book, which was a gripping read.

The author clearly has a talent for storytelling and writing characters with plenty of depth - I think it's just a case of trusting your gut and going full circle, as opposed to pulling up short.

I especially enjoyed the character of Marnie and her inability to express her emotions and words. The way she cocoons herself from the world, due to grief and neglect, and in doing so is grossly misunderstood  and overlooked as a person.

Based on this story I would definitely return for more. There is connection between word, place, person and narrative, which isn't a technical skill per se, but rather one of talent. Trust it.

Buy The Scarlet Dress at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Boldwood Books pub date 18 Feb. 2021. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Waterstones.

#SocialMediaBlast Death Awaits in Durham by Helen Cox


It's a pleasure to take part in the Social Media Blast for the fourth book in the Kitt Hartley series, Death Awaits in Durham by Helen Cox.

About the Author

Helen Cox is a Yorkshire-born novelist and poet. After completing her MA in creative writing at the University of York St. John. Helen wrote for a range of magazines and websites as well as for TV and radio news. Helen has edited her own independent film magazine and penned three non-fiction books. her first two novels were published by HarperCollins in2016. She currently hosts The Poetrygram podcast and works for City Lit. She lives in Sunderland.

Follow @Helenography on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit, Buy Death Awaits in Durham

About the book

When librarian and budding private investigator Kitt Hartley visits her ex-assistant Grace Edwards in Durham, she soon learns of an unsolved murder.

A year ago Jodie Perkins, a Mechanics student, disappeared after her student-radio broadcast was cut short with a deafening scream. the police suspect Jodie was murdered although her body was never found.

Keen to be on the front line of one of Kitt's investigations, Grace convinces Kitt to use her recent private investigator training to solve the mystery. Can Kitt and Grace uncover the truth?


This is the fourth book in the Kitt Hartley series, however all books can be read as standalone novels. The characters do evolve as the series progresses, especially in this book, which is why I would definitely recommend reading the other books.

This time Kitt is roped into the mysterious disappearance of a young woman, then again perhaps roped isn't the right word. She really needs to be convinced to use her powers of observation and deduction. Not even the mysterious tape of the young girl screaming with fear is enough to get her on board entirely. 

The solution was a wee bit of a rabbit drawn out of a top hat with feathers and a unicorn, perhaps too much packed into the last quarter instead of delivered equally bit by bit. Kitt and Grace seem to be at opposite sides of the sleuthing spectrum, or no spectrum at all, at the very beginning. The ending however implies that their paths are heading in a similar direction again.

Cox delivers an entertaining cosy mystery with great scenery, and if you happen to know the area, a very realistic vibe goes with the quirky and often obstinate characters. I would enjoy seeing a visual representation of the sleuths and seeing them solve mysteries in such great surroundings.

Buy Death Awaits in Durham at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Quercus Books, pub date 18 February 2021 - Paperback Original £8.99. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones.

Sunday 21 February 2021

#Review The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner


A book and author to watch out for in 2021. The Lost Apothecary is published 2 March 2021 by Legend Press.

About the book

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.


Caroline is on the run from her marriage and searching for some kind of anchor. It's a reevaluation of what her life has been up to this point, which has always been as the support system to her successful husband. There was no room for her own aspirations and dreams, perhaps it is time to start making choices with herself in mind. 

Whilst searching for some sign and link to the next steps she happens upon a connection to the past. To a story of strong women willing to risk their lives to help other women in a time and society where oppression and subjugation were the norm for all women.

In the past, in eighteenth-century London, Nella has taken her mother's gift of healing and her shop to establish something akin to an underground network to help women in dire need. She has evolved the healing into something quite extraordinary, but perhaps also into something morally and ethically questionable. Then again it depends on the perspective and the person doing the questioning, right?

I loved this story and am surprised it isn't getting more attention. The author is clearly a talented storyteller. The past and present are fused together with a sense of magical realism and also one of staunch sisterhood, which can be felt beyond the years and centuries. There is an engrossing balance between historical fiction and contemporary read. Definitely a book I will be recommending.

Buy The Lost Apothecary at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Legend Press pub date 2 Mar. 2021. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones.

Follow @sl_penner on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit

#BlogTour Safe and Sound by Philippa East

 It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Safe and Sound by Philippa East.

About the Author

Philippa East is a fiction writer with HQ/HarperCollins and she also works as a clinical psychologist.

Philippa grew up in Scotland before moving to Oxford and then London to complete her clinical psychology training. A few years ago, she left the NHS to set up her own part-time practice and dedicate more hours to writing. The result was her debut novel Little White Lies, which was longlisted for The Guardian's Not-The-Booker Prize and shortlisted for the CWA "New Blood" Award 2020.

Philippa's next book Safe and Sound is another twisty and compelling tale. For a fun preview, check out the video trailer on Philippa's Amazon Author page (best with sound on!). Released in February 2021, Safe and Sound is available to buy now.

Philippa now lives in the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside with her husband and cat. She loves reading (of course!) and long country walks, and she also performs in a local folk duo called The Miracle Cure. Alongside her writing, Philippa continues to work as a psychologist and therapist.

About the book

Home can be the most dangerous place…

In a small London bedsit, a radio is playing. A small dining table is set for three, and curled up on the sofa is a body…

Jenn is the one who discovers the woman, along with the bailiffs. All indications suggest that the tenant – Sarah Jones – was pretty, charismatic and full of life. So how is it possible that her body has lain undiscovered for ten whole months?


Jenn is the first to admit that she has struggled in the past and is scared she might slip into darker periods of her life again. It's important that she stay on track for herself and her young son. Unfortunately it looks as if she has let some of her work slide and in doing so has inadvertently put someone else at harm. 

The death of a young woman disrupts her fragile hold on her own mental stability, a woman she should have checked up on. Jenn becomes obsessed with finding out what happened and why.

There is a parallel between Jenn and her responsibility towards Sarah, and in turn the mental health services and their responsibility towards Jenn. It's the core of story, who does carry responsibility and accountability and to what degree. The human element means human error, which is the variable no one can ever predict accurately.

I thought I had it sussed  it within the first few chapters, but the author clearly plans for the deductive readers and gives this psychological thriller a bit more bite and mystery to keep them engaged. East gives an interesting insight into the world of mental health, both from the perspective of the person dealing with said issues and the support services surrounding them.

It's clear that the system and the services are lacking due to overworked staff and underfunding, which is how people fall in between the cracks of the system. On the other side you have a woman battling with the stigma of mental health and the fear someone could notice a decline. The need to appear healthy to the outside world creates a vicious cycle of guilt, shame and desperation - a cycle that is detrimental to all involved.

If this book is any indication of what this author can bring to the table then this just the first of many riveting reads.

Buy Safe and Sound at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ pub date 18 Feb. 2021. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones.

Saturday 20 February 2021

#BlogTour Daughter of the Sea by Sylvia Broady


It's my turn on the BlogTour Daughter of the Sea by Sylvia Broady.

About the Author

Sylvia Broady was born in Hull and has lived in the area all her life, although she loves to travel the world. It wasn’t until she started to frequent her local library after World War II that her relationship with literature truly began, and her memories of the war influence her writing as does her home town. She has had a varied career in childcare, the NHS and the EYC Library Services, but is now a full-time writer.

About the book

Jessica is grieving for her beloved father, trawler owner Jacob Kingdom, when a heated confrontation ends with her being cast out from the family home and the revelation of a shameful secret. She falls upon the kindness of strangers and meets a charismatic trawlerman, who is proud to walk out with Kingdom’s daughter.

But with her cold-hearted brother at the helm of the family business, there is discontent rising, and being Kingdom’s daughter begins to lose its charm. With Jessica desperate to prove herself worthy to the tight-knit community, does she have what it takes to weather the storm to come, or will her secret hold her back?


Jessica has only just discovered that she isn't who she think she is. The death of her father has left her vulnerable to the manipulations of her brother and step-mother. She escapes their clutches only to fall prey to her own naiveté and the rush of living like the non-privileged people around her. 

She inadvertently follows similar footsteps her mother did and finds herself without much choice and out of options, so technically not much better off than before. What begins as rose-tinted moments full of passion eventually becomes a well-known narrative when it comes to rushed marriages.

It's a wee bit fast-paced in a sense that it could do with more depth in all areas - characters, storyline and so on. Aside from that it's historical fiction with an inverted Catherine Cookson vibe. Wealthy girl inhabits blue collar world, as opposed to the working class girl finding her path in the world.

It also has a strong romance and coming of age feel to it as the main character is forced to adjust to her surroundings and the people in order to survive and maintain some semblance of happiness in her life.

Buy Daughter of the Sea at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Allison & Busby pub date 19 Mar. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones.

Friday 19 February 2021

#BlogTour The Good Wife by Eleanor Porter


It's my turn on the BlogTour The Good Wife by Eleanor Porter.

About the Author

Eleanor Porter has lectured at Universities in England and Hong Kong and her poetry and short fiction has been published in magazines. The Wheelwright’s Daughter was her first novel. Sign up to receive Eleanor's newsletter

About the book

Where will her loyalty lead her? Once accused of witchcraft Martha Spicer is now free from the shadow of the gallows and lives a safe and happy life with her husband, Jacob. But when Jacob heads north to accompany his master, he warns Martha to keep her healing gifts a secret, to keep herself safe, to be a good wife.

Martha loves Jacob but without him there to protect her, she soon comes under the suspicious eye of the wicked Steward Boult, who’s heard of her talent and forces her to attend to him. If she refuses, he promises to destroy the good life she has built for herself with Jacob.

Desperate and alone, Martha faces a terrible decision: stay and be beholden to Boult or journey north to find Jacob who is reported to have been killed.. The road ahead is filled with danger, but also the promise of a brighter future. And where her gifts once threatened to be her downfall, might they now be the very thing that sets Martha free...?

The brilliant follow-up to Eleanor Porter's first novel of love, betrayal, superstition and fear in Elizabethan England. A story of female courage, ingenuity and determination , this is perfect for fans of Tracy Chevalier.


Every day Martha Spicer lives her life as if walking on a balancing beam. In general people tend to believe where there is smoke there is also potentially a fire, so being acquitted of being a witch means she is free, but everyone still thinks she is one step away from another witch trial.

It also makes her vulnerable to people who want to manipulate and use her. One hint of accusation makes her compliant and constantly fearful. The fact she is without the protection from her absent husband puts her in even more peril.

The story is about Martha finding a path through the forest of suspicion and in doing so discovering how strong she really is.

The author combines the elements of paranoia, suspicion and betrayal within the historical context of the accusations, with the heartache and pain of a romantic endeavour. It is a story that never strays into either part of the storyline too much and instead maintains a steadfast balance between the two.

A little healing, which can be perceived as witchcraft, and the story of a woman growing in strength as she tries to break the cycle of oppression and fear she finds herself in.

Buy The Good Wife at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Boldwood Books pub date 16 Feb. 2021. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Waterstones.

Thursday 18 February 2021

#Blogtour The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin


It's an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin. It's a fantastic debut novel.

About the Author

Marianne Cronin was born in 1990. She studied English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Birmingham. She now spends most of her time writing, with her newly-adopted rescue cat sleeping under her desk. When she's not writing, Marianne can be found performing improv and stand up in the West Midlands, where she lives.

Her debut novel The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is to be published around the world and is being adapted into a feature film by Sony/Columbia Pictures. It has been sold in 25 territories to date.

About the book

Life is short - no one knows that better than 17 year-old Lenni Petterssen. On the Terminal ward, the nurses are offering their condolences already, but Lenni still has plenty of living to do. For a start, she has questions about her fate she needs answers to, and stories yet to uncover. 

When she meets 83-year-old Margot, a fellow patient in purple pyjamas offering new friendship and enviable artistic skills, Lenni's life begins to soar in ways she'd never imagined.

As their bond deepens, a world of stories opens up: of wartime love and loss, of misunderstanding and reconciliation, of courage, kindness and joy. Stories that have led them to their combined one hundred years, to the end of their days.


I love finding rare gems like this book. It's so simple in the set-up and yet driven by complex emotional turmoil. No need for loads of characters with backstories, the story is driven predominantly by Lenni and Margot at a perfect pace and conclusion. They are larger than life, which given the storyline, is both poignant and remarkably heartbreaking.

Lenni is a teenager confined to the rooms of her hospital ward and living with the thought of her limited life. Death is soon to be upon her, which other people tend to react to rather strangely. She herself is resigned to her fate, albeit reluctantly at times.

She makes an unlikely connection with another patient, Margot an octogenarian who likes to rummage in rubbish bins. The two are drawn to each other because they share this sense of being alone in a world full of people. Together they find something they both crave.

Part of the story is the way Lenni starts exploring the notion of faith and religion. Of the concept that some higher power could be out there listening or perhaps waiting to embrace her. It never overshadows the rest of the story, but is extremely important when it comes to the expectations after death.

One can only hope that someone will recognise the potential in a visual representation of this story, a story full of love, kindness, loneliness, fear and above all connection and support. It's those small connections and moments that keep us going when it feels like the sky is falling. A truly beautiful read.

Buy One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Transworld Digital; pub date 18 Feb. 2021. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones.

Wednesday 17 February 2021

#BlogTour Smoke Screen by Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger


It's my turn on the BlogTour Smoke Screen by Thomas Enger & Jørn Lier Horst, translated by Megan Turney

About the Author/s

Jørn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger are the internationally bestselling Norwegian authors of the William Wisting and Henning Juul series respectively. Jørn Lier Horst first rose to literary fame with his No. 1 internationally bestselling William Wisting series. A former investigator in the Norwegian police, Horst imbues all his works with an unparalleled realism and suspense.

Follow @LierHorst on Twitter, Visit jlhorst.comon Goodreadson Amazon, Buy Smoke Screen

Thomas Enger is the journalist-turned-author behind the internationally acclaimed and bestselling Henning Juul series. Enger ’s trademark has become a darkly gritty voice paired with key social messages and tight plotting. Besides writing fiction for both adults and young adults, Enger also works as a music composer. 

Follow @EngerThomas on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon

Death Deserved was Jørn Lier Horst & Thomas Enger ’s first co-written thriller. They are currently working on the third book in the Blix & Ramm series.

About the book

Oslo, New Year’s Eve. The annual firework celebration is rocked by an explosion and the city is put on terrorist alert. Police officer Alexander Blix and blogger Emma Ramm are on the scene, and when a severely injured survivor is pulled from the icy harbour, she is identified as the mother of two-year-old Patricia Semplass, who was kidnapped on her way home from kindergarten ten years earlier … and never found.

Blix and Ramm join forces to investigate the unsolved case, as public interest heightens, the terror threat is raised, and it becomes clear that Patricia’s disappearance is not all that it seems…

The second in the hard-boiled and furiously compelling Blix & Ramm series, created by Thomas Enger and Jørn Lier Horst, two of the biggest names in Nordic Noir. 


Emma Ramm just happens to be at the epi-centre of what turns out to be a tragedy and also the restart of a cold case. What she doesn't realise is that these events become a trifecta of events that change her life forever. They also subconsciously drive her need to help solve the cold case, even it it means putting herself in danger.

Alex Blix is more than perturbed by the fact the mother of a missing girl has become the victim of said tragedy - not due to the nature of the event, but more because her death serves as a reminder that there was never a solution to the decade old child abduction.

I think I've said this before about the Horst/Enger writing team, what makes them so good is that you can't tell that there are two distinctive voices, which they both have in their individual writing ventures. They meld their voices so effectively that as a reader you forget they are a duo, which is actually what you want in a collaboration.

In this second part of the Ramm and Blix series certain patterns in relationships are beginning to appear, so it will be interesting to see where that goes. It's a constantly evolving crime series with a nod of Nordic. 

Buy Smoke Screen at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publication Date: pub date 18 Feb 2021 | Orenda Books | Paperback Original | £8.99.  Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones.