Saturday 27 April 2024

Death in the Crypt - Fliss Chester

 The Honourable Cressida Fawcett is expecting the cathedral crypt to be full of dry old bones. But when she finds a body murdered just moments before, she’ll need divine inspiration to solve her most mysterious case yet…

Winchester, 1925. When heiress and amateur sleuth Cressida Fawcett is invited to her aunt’s mansion on Cloister Close, she is looking forward to a quiet stay in the historic town. The views of the cathedral are heavenly – and her aunt’s maid, Nancy, makes devilishly good ginger biscuits! But it seems Cressy and her pug Ruby won’t be allowed to rest in peace… On a tour of the crypt, they are shocked to stumble across the body of Anthony, the gentle, devoted verger. And a wild-eyed Nancy is standing over him, bloodied candlestick in hand…

Since Nancy was caught red-handed and the only other suspect is the Silent Friar, the legendary local ghost, Detective Andrews
of Scotland Yard thinks the case is closed. But Nancy swears she would never have killed Anthony; they were in love. And while Cressy may not believe in ghosts, she does believe Nancy. So, whose soul is full of murder most foul? And will they strike again?

As she digs through parishioner gossip, Cressy discovers that for a man of the cloth, the verger had a surprising number of enemies. Was a local antiques dealer driven to murder over an illegal trade in holy relics? Would the head bellringer kill to achieve his musical ambitions? Or is the saintly Dean, whose black-cloaked figure resembles the Silent Friar and whose wife recently drowned, hiding a deadly sin?

The cathedral conceals many secrets, and it seems Cressy will need a miracle to uncover the truth. But then Cressy finds a hidden passageway to the crypt. Is this how the murderer escaped? The sceptical police lack faith in her theories, but can she catch the killer and save Nancy from the hangman’s noose? Or 
will she be too late to prevent another funeral march?

A totally gripping and deliciously witty historical murder mystery with a gasp-out-loud reveal, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss.

Author Bio:

Fliss Chester lives in Surrey with her husband and writes historical cozy crime. When she is not killing people off in her 1940s whodunnits, she helps her husband, who is a wine merchant, run their business. Never far from a decent glass of something, Fliss also loves cooking (and writing up her favourite recipes on her blog), enjoying the beautiful Surrey and West Sussex countryside and having a good natter.

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My Review

I love the Cressida Fawcett Mystery books. The only problem with them is, that I can't help but read them quickly and then feel sad that I've finished! This time, Cressida is visiting her aunt, in Winchester. It isn't long before she has again stumbled onto a mystery and her good friends Dotty and Alf have joined her there.
I loved following Cressida as she tried to find out who was behind the murder and why. I'm also a big fan of the will they won't they relationship that simmers along in the background between her and Alfred. (Surely, they must move a bit closer soon?!)
I didn't manage to fully solve this one, although I had a few ideas that proved to be right, but I didn't manage to solve it all. Either way, it doesn't matter as this was such an enjoyable and gripping read. I can't wait for the next one to come out!
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.

Thursday 18 April 2024

The Tryst List - Kaylene Winter

The Tryst List
Kaylene Winter
Publication date: April 11th 2024
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

When a man, haunted by secrets, reunites with the only woman who’s ever ignited his soul, he’ll do anything to prove he’s more than his mistakes.

From the moment I laid eyes on her in Vegas, I knew tattoo artist Jordan Deveraux was my destiny.

Our chemistry was too fiery to ignore, one night of passion could never be enough.

Walking away was agony.

Easily, the biggest regret of my life.

Years later, I’m successful and rich but still crave my siren of the sea.

Her game of pretend doesn’t mask the heat still smoldering between us.

Little does she know, I have the roadmap to turn her fantasies into reality.

Stranded in my boat, the waves aren’t the only things rocking.

Her ability to resist me sinks faster than a lead anchor.

Here’s the catch—my past isn’t as spotless as the buildings I design.

And my secrets threaten to pull us under.

Can we navigate these turbulent waters to find a future?

Or, will my mistake capsize everything?

The Tryst List is a sizzling, standalone, billionaire, enemies to lovers, forced proximity tale of second chances, where the ink of passion and the scars of the past collide.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Author Bio:

When she was only 15, Kaylene Winter wrote her first rocker romance novel starring a fictionalized version of herself, her friends and their gorgeous rocker boyfriends. After living her own rockstar life as a band manager, music promoter and mover and shaker in Seattle during the early 1990’s, Kaylene became a digital media legal strategist helping bring movies, television and music online. Throughout her busy career, Kaylene lost herself in romance novels across all genres inspiring her to realize her life-long dream to be a published author. She lives in Seattle with her amazing husband and dog. She loves to travel, throw lavish dinner parties and support charitable causes supporting arts and animals.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / TikTok

My Review

These stand-alone books, that link into the world of Less than Zero are such a lot of fun. This latest book features Jase's sister Jordan, a really cool tattoo artist. I loved Jordan's character, so strong, but when she meets Peter she can't help but find all of that questioned.
I loved the way that they were with one another when Jordan was trying to pretend that she didn't remember Peter and Peter was desperate for her to remember him. The tension there was fantastic. As a couple they worked really well. My only slight hesitation in this one, is that despite the HEA that this couple gets, I wasn't convinced that long term he'd really be able to change the way he acted sometimes (trying hard not give anything away there).
It was a good enjoyable read and at times a really quite spicy romance.These stand-alone books, that link into the world of Less than Zero are such a lot of fun. This latest book features Jase's sister Jordan, a really cool tattoo artist. I loved Jordan's character, so strong, but when she meets Peter she can't help but find all of that questioned.
I loved the way that they were with one another when Jordan was trying to pretend that she didn't remember Peter and Peter was desperate for her to remember him. The tension there was fantastic. As a couple they worked really well. My only slight hesitation in this one, is that despite the HEA that this couple gets, I wasn't convinced that long term he'd really be able to change the way he acted sometimes (trying hard not give anything away there).
It was a good enjoyable read and at times a really quite spicy romance.

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Thursday 11 April 2024

A Body at the Dance Hall

 922. Amateur sleuth Mabel Canning is surrounded by the bright lights of London as she chaperones a young American woman to a dance. But when someone is murdered, a deadly tango begins…

Meet plucky woman-about-town Mabel Canning, leader of the London Ladies’ Murder Club and trusted assistant to gentlewomen. When she is tasked with accompanying Roxy, a fun-loving heiress, on a glamorous night out, Mabel can’t wait to sip champagne and practice the foxtrot. But just as Roxy sashays out of sight, a mysterious man warns Mabel that the feisty young redhead is in danger. And someone is dead before the music stops...

Roxy was the last person to see the victim alive, and she stumbles into Mabel’s arms with her daffodil-yellow dress splashed with blood. Determined to protect her ward, Mabel gathers her dashing beau 
Winstone and her pals from the murder club. Together they trace the weapon back to the ballroom, but when its twin goes missing, it is clear time is running out to prevent another murder on the dance floor…

The police conclude the killer is in Roxy’s family, but Mabel finds herself spinning between a motley troupe of suspects. Mr Bryars, the anxious ballroom manager, is constantly tripping over himself to hide his secrets. But would he kill to protect his reputation? And young Ned Kettle may have looked dashing while waltzing around with Roxy, but he was once a notorious thief. Is the sticky-fingered rogue also a dab hand at murder?

Just as Mabel and her murder club friends quickstep closer to the truth, Roxy is kidnapped, and Mabel comes cheek to cheek with the killer. Can she save poor Roxy and herself? Or has she 
danced her last dance?

A delightfully witty and utterly addictive whodunnit absolutely bursting with 1920s sparkle, from USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate. Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Richard Osman, Verity Bright and T.E. Kinsey.

My Review

I do enjoy historical murder mysteries and so I was looking forward to A Body at the Dance Hall. I hadn't, sadly, read the first two books in the series yet, but that doesn't really matter. Mabel Canning is an independent woman. She has a small flat in London and works for the Useful Ladies agency, she turns her hand to any task that a Useful Lady is needed for. Sometimes, that turns out to be detecting a murderer.
I enjoyed this mystery. I did manage to spot most of the 'twists' before they occurred, including having solved who was behind it quite early on. That didn't matter though, it still made for a very enjoyable read and let me pretend that I was incredibly intelligent, having been able to solve it all!
I'd be quite keen to read more in this series. Mabel and her friends are really interesting. With this having been the first book in the series that I'd read, I got a bit confused about who Park and Winstone were. For a good portion of time, I thought that they were two different people, the way that the names were used interchangeably. I'm not sure why this was done, seeing as they are one and the same man. Minor irritation though.
This was a great and entertaining read and I'd be very keen to read more from this series.

Red Kingdom - Rachel L. Demeter

 Little Red Riding Hood reimagined with a dark and realistic twist. 

Princess Blanchette’s world shatters when the Black Wolf tears apart her castle and everything she holds dear. All she clings to is the vow she made to her grandmother on her deathbed.

Hailed as the people’s champion, Sir Rowan Dietrich liberates the capital in a quest for vengeance. He takes Winslowe Castle with an army at his back and his wolf, Smoke, at his side. 

United by a shared cause and powerful attraction, Rowan and Blanchette embark on a journey of self-discovery and redemption—a path filled with loss, transformation, and ultimately, the healing power of love. 

Can Norland’s resplendent princess, with her captivating beauty and spirit, tame the fabled Black Wolf?

Inspired by the fairy tale Little Red Riding HoodRed Kingdom is a passionate, slow-burn historical romance about the enduring quest for love and the longing for a world at harmony.

Red Kingdom is a standalone installment in a series of reimagined classic fairy tales. Due to adult content and themes, it is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

My Review

Some fairy tale's lend themselves to a romance retelling really easily, which is the reason that they are the ones that you see done most often. I was intrigued to see how a Red Riding Hood retelling would work. I have to say I enjoyed it. In many ways, this is a reimagining, or perhaps it takes inspiration from the fairy tale, rather than a retelling. The good and evil that stalk these pages isn't quite so clear cut or obvious as you might remember from the original story. But then, things are never as obvious as they first appear.
Blanchette, a princess rarely seen without her Red Riding Hood finds her world turn upside down at the hands of the Black Wolf. He tears her family apart, almost literally, but she can't help but be drawn to him.
I love a good enemies-to-lovers romance and this was certainly that. It was a slow burn though, which is always painful and delightful all at the same time. Every time I thought they were finally going to take the jump, they didn't and I found myself getting more frustrated and invested in the story.
This was a great read. 
I haven't read the first retelling in this series, but I'm definitely planning on checking it out after enjoying this one so much.


I live in Sunny California with my dashing husband, who inspires my romance novels every day!

Writing has always been an integral part of my identity. Before I physically learned how to write, I'd narrate stories to my mom and she'd record them for me.

I graduated from Chapman’s film school, where I often received the feedback on my scripts, “Your stories and characters are great, but this reads like a novel!” That’s when I realized my true calling.

In my free time, I frequent reptile expos, lift double my body’s weight, and indulge in dinosaur trivia.

I'm passionate about writing stories that explore what it means to be human and to be loved. My books focus on hope, courage, and redemption in the face of adversity.


Red Kingdom Links

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Goodreads Page

Author Links



Thursday 4 April 2024

The Nowhere Girls - Dana Perry

My kid sister was murdered fifteen years ago. Now the killer has struck again. And this time, I’m going to take my revenge…

On the anniversary of her sister’s death, FBI agent 
Nikki Cassidy takes a call that has her heart pounding in her chest, the image of her beautiful sister Caitlin etched in her mind.

Another girl has been taken.

Days later, the lifeless body of twelve-year-old 
Natalie Jarvis is found in a remote patch of woodland, a crown of roses delicately placed on her head. Just like Caitlin.

The killer is back.

Nikki rushes to her small hometown of Groveton, Ohio. She will do anything to stop another young girl dying, but she soon realises that nothing is what it seems—everyone in her hometown is keeping a secret. And when a note is discovered near Natalie’s body addressed to Nikki, it’s clear what the murderer really wants: her…

She’s caught killers before, but this time it’s personal. And Nikki will risk everything—even her own life—to get justice for every victim. It’s time to stop this twisted killer, once and for all…

If you love reading Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Kendra Elliot, you won’t be able to put down this gripping new series. Full of heart-racing twists and turns, you’ll be hooked!

Author Bio:

I am a New York City author who writes mystery thrillers under the pen name of Dana Perry - and also as R.G. Belsky. My new thriller for Bookouture is The Nowhere Girls, the first in a series featuring Detective Nikki Cassidy. Book 2, Last One to Die and Book 3, The Lost Ones, will also be published on April 2nd.
Contact me at
Facebook: @danaperryauthor

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Book Description Book 2: 

Ten days ago, straight-A student Jessica Stanley ran away from home. Now her lifeless body lies pale and still in an empty parking lot, her unblinking brown eyes staring up to the night sky…

FBI agent 
Nikki Cassidy’s heart pounds as she takes in the short, dark hair and delicate features of fourteen-year-old schoolgirl Jessica Stanley. It’s another unsolved murder in Groveton, Ohio, just like her sister, Caitlin, fifteen years before. Her family beg her to keep her distance, but Nikki knows she can’t walk away.

What if her sister’s killer is back?

Talking to Jessica’s heartbroken family, Nikki learns that she wasn’t happy at home. Just days ago, she packed a few belongings into her school backpack and left, never to be seen alive again.

Determined to give Jessica’s family the answers she never found for herself, Nikki works around the clock, trawling hours of CCTV footage from the scene. And just when she thinks she’s close to uncovering the truth, a chilling email arrives that confirms her deepest fear. 
There are more victims, Nikki. Can you ever stop me?

This killer is playing a dangerous game, and he has Nikki in his sights now—one wrong move and she could be his next victim. She’s determined to unmask the monster who has tortured her hometown for decades. 
But what if the killer is someone close to her? What if it’s someone she loves?

Fans of Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Kendra Elliot will absolutely love this gripping new series from Dana Perry. Prepare to stay up all night!

Book Description Book 3:

As dawn breaks over a small gas station on the outskirts of Groveton, Ohio, the body of a teenage girl lies totally still. Long blonde hair covers her face, and a length of frayed rope hangs loosely around her neck. It’s only a matter of time before someone finds her, just like her killer intended…

When FBI agent 
Nikki Cassidy receives a call from Groveton’s Chief of Police, her heart pounds. A young girl just knocked on the door of Nikki’s old family home, claiming to be Nikki’s kid sister, Caitlin. But Caitlin was murdered fifteen years ago. Who is the girl and what does she want?

Nikki thinks the impersonator could finally lead her to her sister’s twisted killer. But her hope is shattered when the girl’s lifeless body is found strangled at a local service stop. If the girl knew about Caitlin, could she have known the identity of the killer? 
Was she murdered before she could unmask them?

Going against her boss’s orders to stay away, Nikki traces the girl’s last known steps to her best friend, 
Shirley. Nikki learns that the girl was last seen meeting with a stranger at the mall. Could it have been her killer?

Closer than ever to uncovering the truth, Nikki can’t give up now. But when Shirley’s body is found at another service station, a length of rope wound around her neck, her heart shatters. Another young life has been lost. Nikki vows that this will be the last.

When an intruder breaks into her old home, Nikki knows it’s the killer sending her a sign. As she walks into the familiar old house in the dead of night, will she finally get justice and catch her sister’s killer, or did she just walk into a deadly trap?

If you enjoy Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Kendra Elliot, you will absolutely love this gripping and totally unputdownable crime thriller.

My Review

The Nowhere Girls is the first book in the Nikki Cassidy series. I haven't read any books by this author before, so this was a completely new one for me.
Nikki Cassidy is an FBI agent with a sad past. Her sister was abducted and murdered when the girls were both teenagers. It's something which (as you would expect) has had a huge impact on Nikki's life and the course it has taken still.
This is quite a quick read and I found myself getting through it quickly. There were a few things that I wasn't completely convinced about and I did guess quite a few of the twists before they happened. This is the first book in the series though, so I'm hopeful that future books will build on the characters and add a bit of depth to the stories.
I enjoyed this read and I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.


Saturday 16 March 2024

Fiona's Fury - Roxy Blue

Fiona’s Fury
Roxy Blue
Publication date: March 12th 2024
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense

This chilling but hysterically sardonic thrill-ride is hard to put down. Smart, sexy, and deeply revelatory, it will send you on an enthralling emotional journey you won’t forget.

Fiona Turner, CEO of Fiona’s Flowers floral shop, hasn’t the time nor inclination to bother with men until she finally meets the face on the other end of the phone. Having remained friends, she never suspected her ex-husband, Quade, would morph into a terrifying, controlling, law-bending monster. When Fiona exhibits the first signs of wanting to move on in life, he threatens to take everything from her. A long weekend at a conference answers all of Fiona’s questions about floral supplier, Bo Thompson, except how she can possibly have him. She’ll never know what she’s missing unless she risks everything for love.

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Author Bio:

Raised in the South and transplanted to a midwestern New Age community, Roxy Blue writes about the types of down-to-earth characters that dispel the notion of romance being rubbish. After thirteen years as an exotic dancer, she developed a rare autoimmune arthritis that gave her an excuse to settle down and focus more on writing, although she still hoopdances and hikes on the good days. Roxy lives in Asheville, NC with the kind of hunk she likes to read about, and their two ridiculous cats.

Website / Goodreads / Instagram / Facebook

My Review

Fiona's Fury is one of those books that has you simultaneously wanting to scream at the heroine for being so foolish and desperate to know what's going to happen next. Fiona is described as being a strong and capable woman. She is far from that. Since separating from her husband (nine years ago?) she has let him be a big part of things, never fearing that when she finally moves on, he might not be so keen. When she meets and begins to fall for farmer and flower grower Bo, her ex turns psycho.
While I don't hate the idea of remaining friends with an ex in a book like this and sometimes even people we've known for a long time don't show their true colours, when they do, I like my heroines to listen. Time and time again Fiona went back for more. I was almost shouting at her, for goodness sake woman, show some self-preservation!
This isn't a bad read, as I say I was keen to know what was going to happen next. I liked Bo and Fiona together, her foolishness was frustrating though. I also couldn't decide how old the characters were supposed to be. At times they seemed to be almost childlike and then at others almost retirement age.
I think that this was a good debut novel and worth a read, even if you do find yourself despairing at Fiona like I did.

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Thursday 14 March 2024

A Country Wedding Murder - Katie Gayle

The joyous crowd applauds as the happy couple strides down the aisle. This Cotswolds country wedding has everything – friends and family, beautiful flowers and… murder?

Julia Bird’s ex-husband Peter and his lovely partner Christopher decide to get married in Berrywick, Julia is delighted – after all, who doesn't love a country wedding? Little does Julia know that normally calm and collected Christopher will turn into a full-on Groomzilla – and that by the end of the night, someone will end up dead.

The morning after the big day, the jolly nuptial mood turns grim when Julia discovers the lifeless body of the caterer, 
Desmond. Someone locked him in the cold truck and the poor man froze to death. Now looking for a murderer, all eyes are on Christopher who, mid-tantrum, had publicly threatened to kill him. Convinced that Christopher is innocent, Julia vows to find the real culprit.

Julia soon discovers Desmond had a long list of enemies as she races against the clock to clear Christopher’s name. Could his death be the work of the respected wedding planner who was heard exchanging choice words with the victim? Or perhaps it was his wife – ‘til death do them part – who didn’t shed a single tear at his funeral?

But just when Julia thinks she’s cracked the case, her prime suspect is found dead with a knife in their back. 
Can Julia find the murderer before they strike again?

An utterly gripping, charming cosy mystery set in the English countryside. Fans of M.C. Beaton, Faith Martin and Betty Rowlands will love the Julia Bird Mysteries.

Book Review

I do enjoy these Julia Bird mysteries. There's always a danger that the stories will get too predictable and boring by book five. That's far from the case here. Yes, they are of a type and you might just be able to work out what's going to happen and 'whodunnit' but it doesn't matter, because these are well-written and entertaining books. I love going back and seeing what Julia, Sean, Jake and her other friends are getting up to.
This time we get to meet Julia's daughter Jess. Although she has been overseas in Hong Kong for quite some time and no doubt intends to return, I suspect we might see some more of her in the not-too-distant future.
Having said that it is possible to work out 'whodunnit' I have to admit that this time I didn't. I'd managed to put some parts of the puzzle together, but I followed too many red herrings and ended up completely on the wrong track. I did finally figure it out in the last little bit, but it was very close to the end and just as Julia was realising the same thing, so I don't think that I can really claim that one.
This was a really enjoyable read and I'm looking forward to my next visit to see Julia and her friends.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.

Author Bio:

Katie Gayle is the writing partnership of best-selling South African writers, Kate Sidley and Gail Schimmel. Kate and Gail have, between them, written over ten books of various genres, but with Katie Gayle, they both make their debut in the cozy mystery genre. Both Gail and Kate live in Johannesburg, with husbands, children, dogs and cats. 

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