To Love and Be Loved by Amanda Prowse @mrsamandaprowse @KellyALacey @lovebookstours @igbooktours #blogtour #review

Young and desperately in love, Merrin had the whole world ahead of her. But just as her new life was about to start, the ground beneath her feet was cruelly swept away. Devastated by the humiliation, she ran far away from the beloved fishing village she had always called home to lick her wounds and escape her gossiping friends and neighbours.

It hasn’t been easy, but six years later Merrin has forged a new life for herself far from the sea, burying the impulsive girl she once was. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to return to the village she swore she’d never set foot in again.

Reluctantly back in the arms of her community, Merrin begins to realise what she’s been missing out on all these years. As she begins to remember the person she used to be, she is forced to make choices about her future, and to question the past. What does she want from her life? Who is important to her? Who is to blame for everything that went wrong? And can she forgive them, let old wounds heal and finally be her true self again?

With huge thanks to Kelly for arranging this blog tour and to Amanda Browse for providing a stunning signed copy to review, which I have very grateful for.

This book is set in the Cornish village of Port Charles, with the story jumping straight into the wedding of Merrin, things seem to start off on a blossoming future, describing beautifully the buzz and fun that happens while you are getting ready for your big day. However, things do not turn out as expected with the initial twist to this engaging story, being thrown completely off the initial thoughts. As things progress Merrin escapes the disaster and humiliation and attempts to rebuild her life in Thornbury in Bristol.

Time passes on as she grows and gains life experiences, only to have a family tragedy that rocks her, this then needs her to question her younger life and what she truly wants. As she returns home her next steps are ones to adore and treasure, as she tries to understand what is most wanted in her heart or mind.

I loved the family relationships and the banter between them, it brings the characters themselves and the story to life, and this is thread through the whole of the story.

With the descriptions of the perfect little Cornish village, the every producing gossiping locals – described perfectly, you can’t go wrong. Bringing this story to life with characters you not only understand but feel you might know them.

This is the type of book you could easily read again and again! Beautifully written a must buy!

Amazon link to purchase.

The Trust by M H Eccleston @MarkEccleston1 @AriesFiction #blogtour #cosycrime #TheTrust

Ever so wholesome.

Ever so deadly…

When a local man is found murdered in an English Trust stately home, the community is shaken to its core. None more so than newcomer Astrid Swift, who finds the body.

When she moved from London to the sleepy Dorset village and got a job at the house as an art restorer, she thought she was heading for a quieter life. Far from it. Because it turns out that rather than being the genteel organisation it seems on the surface, the Trust is a hotbed of politics and intrigue. As Astrid’s new friend Kath from the village says: ‘It’s like the mafia, but with scones.’ As the suspicious deaths mount up and the threat draws closer, Astrid must use every gadget in her restorer’s toolkit to solve the mystery, save her reputation – and maybe even her life. Thrilling, funny and unputdownable, The Trustis perfect for fans of Richard Osman, Robert Thorogood and Clare Chase.

My review

With many thanks to Andrew from Head of Zeus for providing a NetGalley digital copy to review.

I have always been a fan of cosy crime stories and this one did not let me down.

Astrid Kisner is a fascinating main character, she starts off with the most wonderful life, a job she loves as a conservator and a husband that she adores, along with the most upmarket apartment, that anyone could want. However, all of a sudden some news comes to light, that turns her world upside down! With the character that she is, I believe she dealt with it with the most determination and courage to just take it all on board so quickly. She is a snob and has the most hilarious way of expressing this, with her distaste for different things, that she soon realises that are not that bad after all.

As her new journey takes her onto a different adventure she starts a new job, while also attending to her Uncle Henry’s Will, but unfortunately it takes her to finding a dead body! From then on things take various avenues creating dangerous situations, her asking more questions about who she is and what she really wants.

Throughout the story there is so much depth to the characters and the surroundings, the sound of the boats and the beautiful arts, along with the eccentric characters that we can all relate to. One of my other favourite characters is Kath, she has such a simple look on life and nothing seems to bother her, this is someone that regardless of the unusual introduction, Astrid comes to appreciate her qualities.

The clues and adventure that Uncle Henry has left for Astrid, gives this story a bit of a twist, so not only just looking into a murder there are other clues and excitement involved.

The storyline is gripping and very enjoyable, this will be one to look out for in the future!

About the author

M.H. Eccleston has had a fairly meandering career – starting out as a radio presenter for the BBC, then staying at the Beeb as a journalist and producer for six years. After that, it’s a bit of a blur –he spent a couple of decades, at least, freelancing as a foreign correspondent, TV presenter, voice-over artist and film critic. For the last few years he’s been a full-time screenwriter and now novelist, with some wildlife gardening in the summer to keep himself sane and pay the bills.

Order here from Amazon

Follow M.H. Eccleston Twitter: @MarkEccleston1

Follow AriesTwitter: @AriesFiction

Facebook: Aries Fiction

Website: http://www.headofzeus.com

A Simple Wish by Rosie Goodwin @RosieGoodwin @zaffrebooks #ASimpleWish #blogtour #review

The perfect Christmas gift from Britain’s best-loved saga author.

1885.

Ruby Carter works hard in her parents’ bakery. Whilst life isn’t easy, she’s happy enough – her gentle mother protects young Ruby from her cruel father and loves her unconditionally. So, when her mother falls seriously ill, Ruby is heartbroken. Then, from her deathbed, her mother reveals that Ruby was adopted.

Stricken by grief and alone with the violent man she called her father, Ruby feels she has no choice but to flee. At just fifteen, homeless and alone she is relieved when a kindly stranger named Mrs Bamber takes pity on poor Ruby and welcomes her into her home.

But soon, Ruby learns Mrs Bamber is not as generous as she first seemed – she forces Ruby into a life of crime as a jewel thief in Birmingham’s jewellery quarter. With nothing to her name and nowhere to go Ruby has no choice but to go along with it, despite the guilt and shame she feels. But Ruby is determined that she will atone for what she’s done, and be reunited with her birth parents.

Ruby’s only wish is to find her family.

My review

With thanks to Eleanor at Zaffe Books for providing a beautiful hardback copy of, A Simple Wish.

This was one thoroughly enjoyable read, from the very start you are thrown into the vivid environment and lively, adaptable characters. The storyline keeps you gripped which I found unusual, as I’m so used to murder mystery stories providing this, however I felt it kept me wanting to know more, what was going to happen next, where was this story going to take me.

At every stage I really felt a connection with the characters especially Ruby, who is strong and determined. She is relentless to find the answers she seeks, regardless of how emotional and heartbreaking it was.

The surroundings are so clear, that you feel you are also one of the characters within the story.

From start to finish this story was a beautiful and emotional read, this would make an ideal Christmas read (any time of the year to be honest!).

Purchase it here at Amazon.

The Way of the Tortoise: Why You Have to Take the Slow Lane to Get Ahead by Matt Little @MattLittleSandC @OMaraBook @lovebooksgroup @lovebookstours #AD #Gifted

Drawing on more than a decade’s experience working with former tennis World Number One Sir Andy Murray, The Way of the Tortoise introduces you to the benefits of the slow lane and reveals why it’s the only true path to a high-performance mindset.

Taking inspiration from Aesop’s well-known fable of the Hare and the Tortoise, internationally renowned trainer Matt Little recognizes that there is no fast path to success. By focusing on immediate results, we can gloss over process in the race to get ahead, skipping over the lessons and experiences that we all need to build solid foundations for our future achievements. Matt shows that taking the slow lane can not only help you reach your goals more effectively, it can make your successes more sustainable by increasing your motivation, energy and resilience. Packed full of examples from the highly adaptable worlds of sport and business, as well as Matt’s own remarkable career, The Way of the Tortoise reveals, through practical exercises and techniques, the essential strategies we can all use to achieve extraordinary results.

My review

With thanks to Kelly at Love Books Group for my hardback copy to review.

This book as a whole provides you with the knowledge and understanding to build on your confidence, to use this to increase your resilience, to take on challenges and be confident in what you do, while doing it at a steady pace.

This book is written with the background history of where the knowledge has come from, this allowed me to appreciate where the help was developed and how it was used to become successful. I especially liked the evaluation stages – helping you see where you could improve.

I also enjoyed reading about the evidence of strategies and techniques to use, the way it is written would be suitable for anyone wanting to get something out of their lives and careers. The idea of the tortoise and the hare – the classic story, was a very good way to make this process easier to understand and relate to.

If you are looking for a self help book with sound support and easy to understand strategies this is one for you.

You can purchase it here from Amazon.

Author Bio
Matt Little has been working as a strength and conditioning coach in elite-level tennis for over fifteen years and has been an integral part of Sir Andy Murray’s team for twelve years, including during 2016 when Murray won Olympic gold, Wimbledon and became World Number One. He is an internationally recognized leader in his industry and in demand as a public speaker on a vast range of subjects, including youth development, and strength and conditioning. 

Jack in a Box by Angela C Nurse @_AngelaC1975 @lovebookstours

Who do you trust when everyone has a secret?

When single mother Rowan joins her Uncle Jack’s detective agency she doesn’t expect his murder to be her first case. To find out who is responsible for his death she will need to solve another mystery, the disappearance of Jack’s best friend 30 years earlier.

Someone doesn’t want Rowan digging up the past and they’re prepared to go to any lengths to keep their secrets hidden. Can she stand up to the danger, protect her daughter and bring a murderer to justice?

My review

With huge thanks to Love Books Tours for inviting me to join this blog tour and providing a paperback copy to review.

This story is gripping from the very beginning and keeps you enticed to find out more, as the story develops. The character I adored most was Rowan, she has been welcomed into her uncles home with her daughter, it had become her home and safe haven, however with things turning for the worst, her uncle is killed and she needs to use her detective skills to find out who and why.

The journey that she takes to find out more about her uncles background and past, has many dangerous turns, asking more questions and creating more mystery – which I thoroughly enjoyed!

Rowan has had her own family problems and it is clear to see why in the story. She needs to work out who she can trust to support her, to solve this mystery. Rowan’s dedication to her detective job and her sometimes ‘gun ho’ attitude gets the results she wants, regardless of the consequences.

The book as a whole with its believable characters and plot were a joy to devour. I appreciated the writers quality and depth in the storyline, so I definitely feel that I can see many more Rowan McFarlane mysteries being born.

This is definitely one to look out for.

Author Bio
Born in the Kingdom of Fife, Angela spent her teenage years in Penzance before returning to Scotland. She has had a varied career from Nursery Nurse to Bank Manager before becoming a full-time writer. Her Rowan McFarlane Mysteries are set in the fictional town of Cuddieford, which lies somewhere between Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy. Angela now lives with her husband in Fife, looking out on the River Forth where she can easily see her favourite bridge. When she is not writing she can be found walking the coast or touring the countryside in her campervan.

Hellcorp by Jonathan Whitelaw @JDWhitelaw13 @RedDogTweets #coverreveal #TheDevil #mustread #hilarious

Publication date: 20 July 2021

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.

I absolutely love this book, the Devil is one to love, with his confidence and talking before thinking attitude. Here is my review from the original blog tour, I can’t tell you how great this book is, it is one I would happily read again! I would also recommend reading the second one too – The Man in the Dark.

I love this new revived cover, it definitely depicts how the devil is and an inkling on what the story is about.

Purchase it here from Red Dog Press.

About the Author

J.D. Whitelaw is an author, journalist and broadcaster. After working on the frontline of Scottish 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. Banking on Murder is the first of three Parker sister novels. His hugely successful HellCorp series is being reedited by Red Dog Press, with the first title to be released in July 2021. His debut in 2015 was the critically acclaimed Morbid Relations.

Murder by the Bottle by Ed Whitfield @edwhitfield @reddoorbooks #review #blogtour #murder #MurderByTheBottle

Homicidal Thoughts? Don’t bottle them up – buy the year’s most exciting psychological thriller. A killer read you’ll never forget.

Keir Rothwell is an angry young man. 

Spurned by his lover and mentor and ejected from his art school, he is lost – but determined this will not be the end of his artistic endeavours. 

A new job in a local wine shop gives Keir a creative outlet – a chance to turn shop floor drudgery into an original work of art. But his wine critiques mock the shop’s clientele and tension builds on both sides of the counter. 

When his new project is threatened, conflict becomes murder and long buried secrets threaten to destroy the artist. But Keir Rothwell will not be undone.

My review

With huge thanks to Lizzie from Red Door Books for sending a paperback copy, to review for this blog tour.

From the very front cover I knew this was one very exciting and chilling book to enjoy!

The first part of the book you get to know all about Keir Rothwell, an artist with a twist, he is passionate, arrogant and does things his way, however his love for being an artist is more than just a passion!

I absolutely loved Kier’s attitude towards others and the way he opens his mouth before thinking, which I personally don’t think he would care regardless. His character is a lively one, with everyone he comes into contact with remembering him, whether you wished to or not. He’s a character that you love to hate!

As the story develops bringing you into Keir’s life, ambitions and emotions, I did wonder where the book was going to take me, as he gets kicked out of the Art school and begins a new job in a wine shop, I thought I was loosing the plot of the story, wondering where murder was going to happen. However, it throws you into the deep end where Kier finally loses it and becomes the crazed character, I became to love!

There is a huge turn of circumstances from Kier becoming well known in the wine shop, with customers either enjoying his talents and others loathing what he does.

With a murder and assault taking place very close together, are they linked and can the detective peel away the clues to resolve this murder, which he feels could become too close to home.

The relationship he has with his cat, was in itself quite amusing and I wonder if the cat knew the conversations Kier has with it, the fact that the cat was fed well, I don’t think it would matter.

I really enjoyed the ending where it is seen from a different point of view, a journalist reveals more about Kier and how he sees himself as untouchable, with no downfalls.

The author has created a masterpiece here, a very chilling and dark story, a must read!

True Crime Story by Joseph Knox @josephknox__ @RandomTTours #blogtour #review #crime

In the early hours of Saturday, December 17, 2011, Zoe Nolan, a 19-year-old Manchester University student, walked out of a party taking place in the shared accommodation where she had been living for three months. 

She was never seen again.

TRUE CRIME STORY charts a breathless and bewildering eight-year investigation into the seemingly unexplainable disappearance of Zoe Nolan, examining the complicity of her friends and family, as well as that of its failing author, who’s just clamouring to know more. But who can tell what is fact and what is fiction?

My review

With thanks to Anne from Random Things Tours for allowing me to join this intriguing tour and providing a paperback copy to review.

With a disappearance of a student, this chilling story of investigation and truths produce a story of its very own. Zoe Nolan is presumed dead, however there are more twists to this story that makes you think, there is more to this disappearance than first thought.

There are various characters that are interviewed to find out more about Zoe and her life, bringing this whodunnit type of story to life. One of the characters is the author himself – Joseph Knox, so this brought a new depth to the story that I really liked.

The story is throughly engrossed in the characters themselves, talking about the last 10 years of their stories, that have become distorted from when Zoe went missing. They all have something to say and have an impact on the story as you read it.

The ending I really enjoyed, not all stories end up as simple as you would believe and this one is one of those, you are pulled into a different reality, which creates questions of your own. I love this type of read which makes you question not just what happened but the characters themselves.

I thoroughly enjoyed this, definitely a recommended read!

Purchase it here:

Amazon

Waterstones

About the Author

JOSEPH KNOX was born and raised in and around Stoke and Manchester, where he worked in bars and bookshops before moving to London. He runs, writes and reads compulsively. His debut novel Sirens was a bestseller and has been translated into eighteen languages. THE SMILING MAN and THE SLEEPWALKERare the second and third books in his bestselling and highly praised Aidan Waits series.

No Going Back by Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk #blogtour #review #murdermystery #KentFisherMysteries

When journalist Harry Lawson is pulled from a private swimming pool, his drowning looks like a tragic accident, but for one small detail – he knew someone was going to kill him.

The three text messages he fired off to an old flame the night before confirm he’s a troubled man. But former friend and sleuth, Kent Fisher, believes the messages hint at something deeper and more sinister – an investigation that cost Harry his life.

When a second reporter dies, it’s clear there’s a killer with unfinished business. As Kent inches towards a breakthrough he clashes with close friend Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman. She instructs him to stop investigating, knowing full well he won’t.

For Kent there’s no going back. He has to finish what he started, even though he risks losing a friend, and maybe his own life.

In the seventh murder mystery of the series, Kent Fisher digs deep to complete an investigation that’s far removed from the one he started.

My review

With huge thanks to Robert Crouch for inviting me to review another Kent Fisher mystery, what a fantastic opportunity to delve into Kent’s world of investigation, banter and mystery! I have adored each one I have reviewed and this one has certainly not let me down!

Once again the investigation has its own twists, turns and clues that give Kent the determination, to step on toes to get what he needs to get answers.

He gets a warning from a close friend DI Ashley Goodman to keep away from investigating further, this shows to be the deepest and most dangerous investigation Kent has ever done, I do wonder as the death of a close friend in the last book, whether these stories will become darker?

With the murder of his old journalist friend Harry Lawson, he feels once again that this could become more personal and does what he always does by delving into the lives of others, sometimes at the risk of his own. As you read on you start to question what you know about the characters you have met before in the previous books, can they be trusted?

There are also a few links to his previous book, with answers to questions that were left to investigate another time, which I quite liked.

Even with these links to previous characters and answers to questions being finalised, I do believe any one of these books in the Kent Mysteries, can be read as a standalone.

With all of this happening keeping you engrossed and guessing clues, you also get to visit Kent’s love life with is on/off relationship with Gemma, Kent’s love life has its own intriguing elements, as he is definitely a ladies man, but doesn’t quite get it right.

As always I love reading about his Westie Columbo, I have adored having him as an integral character in these stories at every stage. He’s a true to life character!

Once again I would absolutely recommend reading this book, with various parts to this story coming together at the end, keeping you guessing at every stage, the creation of this whodunit mystery is another marvel!

Buy it from here:

Amazon

About the Author

Robert looked for inspiration in the Agatha Christie classics he loved and enjoyed. Why not create a modern day sleuth to solve the most baffling and complex murder mysteries in the time honoured tradition of the classic whodunit?

Maybe readers would enjoy someone they could relate to, someone a little different from the usual world weary police detectives with more traumas than a casualty unit. 

Using his lifelong love of murder mysteries and his experience as an environmental health officer, the author created an amateur sleuth with more baggage than an airport carousel. Contemporary themes and a cast of engaging characters, seasoned with a little romance and irreverent humour, offer readers an entertaining alternative to dark, gritty and often violent crime fiction.

Robert writes full time from his home on the South Coast, where he lives with his wife and their Westie, Harvey.

Robert Crouch website

The Distant Dead by Lesley Thompson #TheDistantDead @HoZ_Books @lesleyjmthompson #blogtour #review

A woman lies dead in a bombed-out house. A tragic casualty of the Blitz? Or something more sinister? Sixty years later, the detective’s daughter unearths the truth… From the number 1 bestselling author of The Detective’s Daughter.

LONDON, 1940

Several neighbours heard the scream of the woman in the bombed-out house. One told the detective she thought the lady had seen a mouse. Another said it wasn’t his business what went on behind closed doors. None of them imagined that a trusting young woman was being strangled by her lover.

TEWKESBURY, 2020

Beneath the vast stone arches of Tewkesbury Abbey, a man lies bleeding, close to death. He is the creator of a true-crime podcast which now will never air. He was investigating the murder of a 1940s police pathologist – had he come closer to the truth than he realised?

Stella Darnell has moved to Tewkesbury to escape from death, not to court it. But when this man dies in her arms, Stella, impelled to root out evil when she finds it, becomes determined to hunt down his killer and to bring the secrets he was searching for into the light…

My Review

With thanks to Head of Zeus Books for inviting me to join this fabulous blog tour and this very intriguing and exciting book!

I have not previously read the books in this series beforehand, so I was a little worried I might miss some of the character structure, however I was not disappointed and I feel this could easily be read as a standalone.

From the very beginning of this book you are engrossed within the storyline, with clear descriptions of the atmosphere and what the characters are dealing with, giving this story a gripping start!

The story is based within two timelines one in London 1940s and the other Tewkesbury 2019, brought together by a murder of many years ago, that might be connected to a recent day murder or two! The connection between the two timelines was linked together well, giving you gripping and chilling information, to digest to help you guess who could be involved.

Stella Darnell has her own cleaning company but becomes intrigued into the world of investigation and murder, following in her fathers footsteps, obviously you may know this from the previous books, however I learnt a lot about her character, her employees and who helps her in these investigations. With conversations being in-depth and intriguing, you get to know their patterns of thought and method of deduction.

This story will keep you guessing til the very end, with nothing given away at any point. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, with its intriguing storyline, engaging characters and mysterious plot, a definite must read!

Buy links:

Amazon:

iBooks:

Kobo:

Google Play:

Waterstones:

Bookshop.org:

About the author

Lesley Thomson is the author of the Detective’s Daughter series of West London-set mysteries featuring private investigators Stella, a cleaner, and Jack, a tube driver. The first novel, The Detective’s Daughter, became an ebook phenomenon in 2013, staying at number 1 in the digital charts for 3 months. Since then, the series has gone on to sell 800,000 copies worldwide. Lesley is an active member of the UK crimewriting community, and appeared at several crime festivals in 2019, including CrimeFest, Harrogate, Morecambe & Vice and Capital Crime. She lives in Lewes with her partner and her dog.

Follow Lesley:

Facebook: @LesleyThomsonNovelist

Twitter: @LesleyjmThomson

Website: lesleythomson.co.uk

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