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Monday, July 13, 2020

Murder at the Playhouse by Helena Dixon

Captain Matt Bryant seems to be made the fall guy for the murder of a girl on the golf course. It was he who first made the detectives aware that he was the last person to have seen the murdered girl . The Davenports are the rich family of the area and seem to be able to make a lot of noise so it is upto Kitty Underhay who has worked with Matt before to make sure that he is not made the scapegoat for the Davenport's actions.

The Davenports seem to be a rum lot. Peter the son is typical of a high flyer - lots of money, no sense or purpose and then there is his "friend" Seb giving rise to lots of speculations as to his sexual identity, the daughter who is a frumpy girl but the brains in the family ignored by both father and mother, the mother the neuroitic dipsomaniac and the father only wanting to keep his reputation clean with an impending peerage in the reckoning.

Uncovering a trail which is complicated and involves blackmail, a second girl is killed and when an attempted murder of Kitty goes unsuccessful those who are sleuthing know that the killer is now becoming desperate.

Full of contrasting characters all which added depth and color to the story, the second in the Kitty and Matt series this was a page turner set in a slightly older vintage than the current thriller reads.

Sent by Bookouture for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley books.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Lies to Tell by Marion Todd

A complicated case going on with someone turning witness and under threat, an ethical hacker working with the Police in Scotland trying to find a leak and a corrupt policeman and a young student found murdered and his best friend missing.

Detective Clare has her hands full. The workload is heavy and all the cases are ongoing and have to be sorted out as quickly as possible.  The links between the murdered student and the witness turning against her husband came out almost three quarter of the way through the story so the strands were not pulled together till the end. Each story was distinct but the way they were brought together was very good reading and wonderful detective work.

The hacker was another piece of magic and the ending was totally unexpected and out of the blue. It was excellent writing.

I loved the various bits of the story - the touch of a romance was just that - a light touch but it did add a bit of lightness to an otherwise sober read.

Sent by Canelo via Netgalley for an unbiased review.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The West End Girls by Elaine Roberts

Girls from a remote village in England want desperately to see London. One of them has also aimed very high - the stage albeit an almost impossible task for a girl with no training other than a very good voice and good looks. No influence, no connections. In this escapade Annie is joined by her friend Rose and they link up with Joyce who is already in London and all of them want to seek their fortunes.

The girls are brave and forthright but they have huge odds stacked against them. They are naïve and trusting and this almost lands Annie especially in spectacular trouble. It is also the very beginning of WWI and although this is a new aspect to everyone's lives, it is something that is going to affect all of them immensely.

The story and setting is very good reading. How life was in the theatre at the time, the background and workings of it was imaginatively described. It was a bit too idyllic and the endings were too sweet to be true, although it does make for comfortable reading.

Set against the London and a rural background and the way the two areas run as well as the onset of WWI makes this an interesting read.

Sent by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Aria.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A Village Murder by Frances Evesham

Imogen has to return home for the funeral of her father. Dying in a car crash was not a surprise for Imogen as he was a rotten driver. Imogen is returning to her roots after a very long time because she is also trying to put behind her memories from thirty years past. A school girl incident which left one of their number dead, and which no one wishes to talk about at all.

Finding her estranged husband's body in the orangery during her father's funeral adds to Imogen's misery as she now finds several clues not adding up at all. Detectives in charge of the case seem to find Imogen as their chief suspect in the murder of her husband anyway but it is retired detective Adam who runs the local pub who sees a link between not just the death of her husband, but also her father and the death of the school boy thirty years ago.

How to link the three together in this village of eccentrics, cranks and those hell bent on revenge is the task before both Adam and Imogen.

Set in beautiful Somerset countryside the story is full of characters of a village where everyone knows everyone else's business. This adds to the atmosphere of the story. The mystery murder is just one component.

Sent by Boldwood Books via Netgalley for an unbiased review.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

The Double Dilemma by Lynn Shurr

After a spate of gruesome mystery murder books, this was a welcome change.

Rather frivolous but sometimes we need this kind of light hearted read. Twins insistent only on marrying another set of twins. Rather hard to find but their brother scouts around and does find an unlikely pair.

A fun read.

Sent by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Backlit PR

Friday, July 3, 2020

Interviewing The Dead by David Field (victorian mystery)

The year of 1892 and a spiritualist is whipping up a frenzy in London, saying that the spirits of a mass grave discovered where hundreds were buried in 1665 are going to rise up and create chaos, mayhem and revenge for their death two centuries before.

Before long, several citizens have actually seen these horrible sights and died as a result and now the hysteria is spreading.  Turning to a local cleric Matthew West seems logical for the parishioners but he himself is nonplussed and turns to a local doctor who may have a more clinical view on the happenings. Is this some phenomenon beyond their understanding or is a clever serial killer let loose on unsuspecting Londoners.

As usual more than the actual mystery, my interest lay in the description of London of 1892. This was spot on. Methods used were unorthodox but then we are talking of 1892 and it seems perfectly alright at the time!

The book was sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Sapere Books.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Old Girls' Network by Judy Leigh

Pauline and Barbara are sisters with widely different personalities. Pauline recently widowed is a bubbly person willing to look on the bright side of anyone and Barbara is a negative, gloomy pessimist always thinking that everyone is out to either cheat her, rob her or do something to her. It does not make for a good mix when Barbara comes to convalesce at Pauline's home

From the word go you realize that sparks are going to fly as Barbara is critical not just of Pauline's home to her friends and to Bisto the man Pauline accidentally runs over and who to all accounts looks like a tramp. The story goes on covering a whole series of events in  a rural village with all the usual characters from the lord of the manor to the publicans to the doctor and his wife, to the newcomers who seem a bit distant. Each one is a different type of person and the characters make up for an interesting whole.

Dealing with relationships, mellowing and relaxing as you get older, getting less judgemental are the lessons to be learnt from the older sisters in this story.

Sent by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Boldwood Books.