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Saturday, November 9, 2019

Her Last Whisper (Detective Katie Scott No. 2) by Jennifer Chase



Katie has just been assigned a new assignment. Taking over cold cases is something she looks forward to and in a day she is assigned one which is unusual. Just six months old and already consigned to being a cold case because the "victim is not co operative".

Taking it from there trying to find out what and why Amanda is so terrified is not easy and when she fails and her body is found, Katie is more than determined to find out parallel links to other cases in the county and bring justice to the victims.

When another girl goes missing and then another Katie knows she has her work cut out for her because the suspect is someone who is in plain sight, and none of the detectives seem to be able to see it.

Twisty in the nicest possible way, not very complicated where your head turns in trying to connect the dots, this was a good mystery thriller read.

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

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Bed, Breakfast & Beyond by Jo Ann S. Dawson




After a steady diet of mystery murders this was a good change of pace! There are many of us who feel that running a B&B is idyllic. This story gives us the inside information on how idyllic it is!

It was always JoAnn and to a lesser extent her husband Ted's ambition to own a place of their own. Running a horse(y) type of business offering services to trainers and owners is quite a different kettle of fish to running a B&B but when they found an acreage and a house which would offer them both there was little hesitation in taking it on.

A massive reconstruction and salvage operation on the house to make it habitable, running the horse business as well saw them at their full potential. The stories on a day to day basis are matter of fact, tongue in the cheek humour as well as a lot of love and affection for their livelihood and the business they run.

Anecdotes of guests (both good and strange!) are all part of the human interest of the story. Very down to earth and hilarious at the same time this was excellent reading.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of BookBaby.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Death at Sycamore House by Betty Rowlands



In Betty Rowlands fashion this is a good one. We have a very genteel elders care facility with a rather tense Mr and Mrs Seaton in charge. We have a block of flats equally high falutin with very nice tenants. When one of them is found murdered and dumped in the bins,  Sukey and the team backing her up are called in for the investigations.

Nothing is what it seems in murder and the links are slowly being put together but it is a puzzling sequence. The one suspect who seems to be the only one around has iron clad reasoning as to why he is not the murderer and though everyone assumes it is him, Sukey is always in doubt though he is an unlikeable character who has got under everyone's skin. Everyone would like him to be the culprit and then the case is closed.

When a second accidental death occurs, also someone linked to our victims and suspects and when a third victim seemingly random is also linked to the case, it is thrown wide open.

I never got it till the very end and then only because it was so very obvious!

Superb detection work very well written.

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

The Christmas Card Crime & Other Stories by Martin Edwards (Must read)




A mix of the very best of classic mystery murders, this was a wonderful set of stories set during the heart of winter. Freezing conditions, some harsh, some not so but all with winter as its backdrop and snow and winter played a great role in some of the murders.

From the Christmas Card one with two halves of a card held to solve a murder, to the jewellery heist which was discovered only through the shoe shine man who recognised a pair of shoes, from a party where a murder is expected and takes place right in front of a detective's very own eyes the stories from a collection of both well known and lesser known writers this was such a good collection to get one into the holiday mood despite the mayhem and scheming that went into murders!

Classic Crime stories never fail to make me very happy and this collection was no exception.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Poisoned Pen Press.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Bella Toscana by Nanette Littlestone

Bella Toscana


I am a sucker for covers and this one just drew me in. The other attraction was the setting and background. Chocolate, baking, and to top it all Tuscany. Could one ask for more. You then add in doses of romance a bit of time travel and you have a lovely story.

Toscana is the owner of a shop selling brownies. Not just brownies. These seem to be artisanal brownies. With an Italian heritage and going to Tuscany after decades she decides to try her hand at the export business of bringing brownies to Italy - a country that does not know what brownies are.
Her task is straightforward. Attend a Chocolate Festival, do her best to sell her product to three leading chocolatiers, visit her uncle and aunt and cousins and then return to Jackson her husband who at the last minute cannot join her on the trip.

What she didnt account for was meeting Flynn, a Professor of History in Rome, being instantly attracted to him and to top it all, having visions and dreams of a very disturbing nature - being part of ancient Rome involving Vestals, Roman soldiers, a very torrid love affair all set in ancient Rome.

The visions and going back in time are very matter of fact but the falling in love part was anything but!      Descriptive of both Tuscany, the chocolate and baking fields which formed the main part of the story and then returning to America to Toscana's life before Flynn was well told.

Whether it is rebirth or a soul's eternal travels this is a good way of handling some people's experience of a previous life.  Trying to make an explanation of this is not easy but this book handled it very well.


Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of BooksGoSocial.




Friday, November 1, 2019

The Patient by Steena Holmes



The Patient


Danielle is a reserved woman. She is a therapist and seems on edge. She is worried that out of her three clients, one of them is a serial killer.

Cheshire a rural area has been plagued with murders. Parents are killed but the children in those homes are left untouched. Though we were told several times in the story that these parents were abusive ones, the police (according to what we read) never cottoned on to the fact that this was the common thread connecting the murders. We have detectives on the story and one of them is a good friend of Danielle's but this is never mentioned.

At the end of course it becomes obvious as to why so many salient facts that should have been noticed were not.  Like most reviewers I knew very early on that the plot revolved around Danielle herself but I could not figure out how.

My first read of this author. This is a genre I like though I did find this particular story a bit too convoluted.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Lake Union Publishing.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Dressmaker's Gift by Fiona Valpy



Stories set in two time lines makes for very good reading. This more so, since one was set in WWII time frame and in Paris (and Brittany). Both good settings. Then we have the present day setting of Paris and again it was a fashion house.

Couture, espionage, love stories, faith and trust in huge measures and friendship of a deep enduring kind between women which lived on even after they were gone. The elements of the story woven together give you a story that is emotional, educative (I am still learning about the extent to which women went in the field of espionage in a very matter of fact way) and intriguing.

Mireille, Claire and Vivienne are the three seamstresses from 1940 Paris and Harriet is the modern one who is trying to find out details of her mother's and grandmother's life. Mainly to get an inkling and a feeling of belonging to someone because she feels isolated and lost from her present family of father, step mother and siblings. In unraveling the story of her grandmother she also gives us an unparalleled story of love and friendship.

Beautifully written,  charming settings, gruesome war time stories all combine to give us a wonderful read.

Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Amazon Publishing UK.