Blind Witness – Blog Tour

 

Blind Witness Cover

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Blurb:

In 1922 a blind WW1 veteran and former intelligence officer attends a weekend with his aristocratic wife and her family at a country house in the New Forest, Hampshire, England. Fourteen people sit down to dinner on the Friday night; by the end of the weekend there are two murders, an attempted murder and a suicide.
This is book one in a series of humorous murder mysteries and introduces young sleuths The Hon Melissa Charters and her war veteran husband Major Alasdair Charters.
The pair collaborate using Melissa’s powers of observation and Alasdair’s old skills gained in the Secret Intelligence Service to investigate the events unfolding over the weekend. A murder mystery with a spy plot told from many different points of view in the tradition of Simon Brett, M C Beaton and Kerry Greenwood.
Will our investigators discover who is behind the murders?

 

My Review

Hey all, sorry for this being a bit late in the day, but, I can assure you it’s worth the wait, this book was SO MUCH FUN to read. Seriously! The only time I get this crazy about murder mystery books are Agatha Christie ones, so, the fact that I’ve loved this one so much speaks volumes. The Charter Mystery series, promises to be a fantastic one.

I enjoy my murder mysteries with the sort of gusto that I enjoy eating, sooo…A LOT. But that being said, I tend to enjoy them on a rather ‘average’ level, but this one not only kept me intrigued, Goldie’s writing style did such a good job of setting you up in the era that you wouldn’t have known this was written in this decade let alone this century. At the same time, she doesn’t over-clutter with old fashioned language, keeping it solely to the vernacular of the characters which  means you’re not weighed down by prose.

But let’s get to the heart of the matter. You’ve got a fantastically smart aristocratic woman with what seems to be a natural affinity for sleuthing and her husband. The one with the permanent alterations from the war, used to such an independent life and secretive role, finally able to return to what he does best, observations.

The fact that our Mr. Charter doesn’t have eyesight doesn’t deter him and in fact our sleuth uses it to his advantage. He’s living in a time when people sadly equated disabilities like blindness with other assumptions about how their brains work. But, this means they don’t tend to censor what they say within proximity, and when a carefree weekend turns to murder, this point works highly in our ex-Major’s favor as he tries to figure out who the murderer is.

Goldie uses the experiences and knowledge of her husband to write a character that we don’t see often enough; a blind one. There’s no over-exaggeration of the Major’s abilities and the struggle he deals with due tot he fact that he was not always blind and it was a war injury, well, it really hits his experiences home for the reader. She does a good job of conveying his PTSD and feelings on losing his independence in his mind.

The couple work together but without being joined to the hip, they each have their strengths and it’s great to see them separately in action and I really enjoyed that.

The fact that this book opened up with the first case involving their family meant that we were able as readers to get to know a good deal about the background without deterring from the plot and story and I thought this was rather clever of Goldie.

The mystery itself is really well done, I didn’t see that twist, and the tidbits that were used to throw you off the scent were well planted as I didn’t see them for what they were until the last moment. The reveal was exciting and the ending came too quickly in my opinion, it’s such a quick and enjoyable read!

Overall I could gush about this all day but I won’t, just know if you like Agatha Christie, or murder mysteries set in the golden age, I definitely recommend this book to you.

Four HUGE cups of coffee from me!

Thanks to Anne Cater, Vicki Goldie, and Victorina Press for a chance to read and review this honestly as part of the blog tour!

 

About the Author

Vicki Goldie Author pic

Vicki worked as a Chartered Librarian for the Royal National Institute of Blind People and then for the past 19 years in public libraries in Bournemouth and Poole. There she enjoyed arranging and attending writing courses and author events, including such luminaries as Fay Weldon and Peter James. With the Reading Agency and other librarians round the country she reviewed and selected books for The Radio Two Book Club. All the time writing away in her spare time.
Born in California but brought up in England she was introduced to the Golden Age of crime authors at an early age by her mother. She is married to a blind physiotherapist, and it is from his mother, born in a large country house in Devon (now a hotel), educated by governess and with a cut glass voice like the Queen, that she absorbed real life stories about the twenties and thirties.
She has always had a fascination with the Art Deco period and the Golden Age of crime writing. She has been filling her house with Art Deco inspired artefacts and clothing for 40 years. 
Blind Witness is her debut novel and is the beginning of the Charters Mysteries Series featuring Major Alasdair Charters and The Honourable Melissa Charters.

 

The Rest of the Tour

Blind Witness BT Poster

Died and Gone to Devon – Blog Tour

 

 

Died and Gone to Devon

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GoodReads:
X marks the spot for murder…
In the seaside town of Temple Regis, seagulls are wheeling overhead and the holidays are getting close. And then the body of political candidate Odile Clifford is discovered on the balcony of the lighthouse.
Fearless Riviera Express reporter Judy Dimont goes in search of the killer – but who is it? And where will they strike next?
What’s more, Judy’s position as chief reporter is under threat when her editor takes on hot-shot journalist David Renishaw, whose work is just too good to be true.
Life is busier than ever for Devon’s most famous detective. Can Judy solve the mystery – and protect her position as Temple Regis’s best reporter – before the murderer strikes again?

 

My Review

‘Died and Gone to Devon’ was a cute book a ‘cozy’ murder mystery with a very neat protagonist.

Though I did enjoy reading this, it unfortunately wasn’t for the mystery of it. The murder mystery was lacking for me, it felt as if this were more of a journalist who was living in a quirky town with an enjoyable cast of characters, but, for nearly the first half of the book there was nothing really to do with the mystery part other than an occasional mention.

The buildup was unsatisfying as a mystery, but, I did enjoy learning about the town and the crew of the ‘Riviera.’

Judy is a fun character and overall I would say this was still an enjoyable read and I thought the writing style was the definition of cozy. So, I gave this three stars, but, again, not for it fitting its genre.

One thing I really appreciated in the end was the way the time realistically lapsed, Judy didn’t solve this in two days, it took months for everything to come together and the way it all did mesh was clever and it really was a nice way to end it all.

Overall, it was a three cups of coffee read for me, and I do look forward to hopefully reading the others at some point in this series! [Though this could easily be read as a standalone as I read it]

Thanks so much to BloggerHQ and Harper Collins for a chance to read and review this honestly as part of the tour.

 

The Rest of the Tour

Died and Gone to Devon Blog Tour Banner

 

Thriller Thursday

Bringing you Thriller Thursday again, and this one was meant to go up in October, you know, before the move threw everything up in the air and laughed at my plans.

So.

Let me present to you one of my newly faved thriller series that I’ve had the joy to start this year.

The Reprobation Series

 

Catherine Fearns is an amazing author and she has put so much research and creativity in these books that there’s no way I couldn’t love this series. So, prepare to hear me fangirl screech…you know as usual when I love a book.

I mean it’s got murder mysteries, demonic occult, supernatural, metal bands, and more!

ARE YOU NOT INTRIGUED?!

The reason I’ve waited on posting about these books on my blog is simply because I was waiting to read the third book, and now that I’ve finished it, it’s time!

We’ll start with book one!

Reprobation

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GoodReads:

Are you one of the elect?

Dr. Helen Hope is a lecturer in eschatology – the study of death, judgement, and the destiny of humankind. She is also a Calvinist nun, her life devoted to atoning for a secret crime.

When a body is found crucified on a Liverpool beach, she forms an unlikely alliance with suspect Mikko Kristensen, lead guitarist in death metal band Total Depravity. Together, they go on the trail of a rogue geneticist who they believe holds the key – not just to the murder, but to something much darker.

Also on the trail is cynical Scouse detective Darren Swift. In his first murder case, he must confront his own lack of faith as a series of horrific crimes drag the city of two cathedrals to the gates of hell.

Science meets religious belief in this gripping murder mystery.

 

My Review

 

I hadn’t heard of this book before and how much I regret not reading this sooner! I loved so much about this. Firstly, we have a Calvinist Nun and the lead singer of a Norwegian Metal band solving crimes together, it’s like the metalhead version of Father Brown haha, and in the best ways.

We have a few characters at play and the way Fearns hints at the supernatural and otherworldly is perfect, she combines Christian mythology/theology with a police procedural to give you a spectacular murder mystery and the set up for a great set of books. Not to mention she keeps the length of the novel perfect, not overwhelming you or bogging it down unnecessarily so the pacing is just right. All too often a great thriller can be diminished by carrying on too long but Fearns doesn’t make this mistake.

What I really enjoy is Fearns giving us a new twist to murders/murder mysteries, she keeps it fresh which for someone like me who reads a copious amount of thrillers, well, it’s so nice!

Fearns provided me a copy of her awesome novel in exchange for my honest review.

 

Onto Book 2…

Consuming Fire

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GoodReads:
What Has Been Seen Cannot Be Unseen.

Liverpool is in the grip of an intense heatwave, and strange things are happening.

A woman dies in an apparent case of Spontaneous Human Combustion; a truck explodes on the dock road; the charred corpses of pets litter the city; forest fires ravage the pinewoods…and there are birds everywhere, silent flocks drawing in ominously.

Detective Inspector Darren Swift thinks there are connections, and his investigation delves into the worlds of football, nightclubs and organised crime. But is he imagining things?

Dr. Helen Hope doesn’t think so. And she believes the key lies in a mysterious seventeenth-century occult book which has gone missing from Liverpool Library.

In the blistering sequel to Reprobation, DI Swift is forced to confront some inconvenient ghosts from his past, as a terrifying shadow lies over his city’s reality….

 

My Review

Another knockout novel by Catherine Fearns! In this one, we continue with this thread of the unknown and supernatural that was introduced so wonderfully in book one and Fearns expands on it while keeping true to this also being a mystery as well. There’s once more a lot of theological ideas and they’re all put in a way for the readers to understand but it’s clear that Fearns has done her research.

This time the focus was more on Darren and even his partner Matt rather than Dr. Helen Hope. I do admit to missing Helen and Mikko interacting but I was also so happy to get to know more of Darren and the rest of his ‘squad.’

The ending for this was such an epic ending that I cannot wait for the next book, I am left waiting on pins and needles.

What I really enjoy is Fearns giving us a new twist to murders/murder mysteries, she keeps it fresh which for someone like me who reads a copious amount of thrillers, well, it’s so nice!

Can’t wait to read the next one!

Fearns provided me with a copy of this in exchange for an honest review which I am very happy to give. 

 

Finally, Book 3!

Sound (The Reprobation Series Book 3)

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GoodReads:
Can you hear it?

A professor of psychoacoustics is found dead in his office. It appears to be a heart attack, until a second acoustician dies a few days later in similar circumstances.

Meanwhile, there’s an outbreak of mysterious illnesses on a council estate, and outbursts of unexplained violence in a city centre nightclub. Not to mention strange noises coming from the tunnels underneath Liverpool. Can it really be a coincidence that death metal band Total Depravity are back in the city, waging their own form of sonic warfare?

Detective Inspector Darren Swift is convinced there are connections. Still grieving his fiancé’s death and sworn to revenge, he is thrown back into action on the trail of a murderer with a terrifying and undetectable weapon.

But this case cannot be solved using conventional detective work, and D.I. Swift will need to put the rulebook aside and seek the occult expertise of Dr. Helen Hope and her unlikely sidekick, guitarist Mikko Kristensen.

 

My Review

You may have noticed that the other two reviews were already on GoodReads but not this one, it’s being written here first. Wooo, celebrate.

This continues much where we left off with Darren. He’s been on leave after the crushing ending to ‘Consuming Fire’ and the events that seem too weird to be true continue to happen.

However this has nothing more to do with fire and everything to do with sound.

There’s a new case, two murders both staff, lecturers/experts in acoustics, one in psychoacoustics and also has synesthesia.

[I will say it was so interesting to have a character with synesthesia, it’s something we talked about a bit in Uni as part of the music program but I only knew of one person who had it, so that already caught my interest.]

The excitement I had in knowing Mikko was back was like a kid on Christmas, he is my favorite but also I love the chemistry between Mikko and Helen. This also means the band was back too, and it’s great.

The tension building from the last two books is palpable, it was coming off the page and making me sit hunched over in earnest as I read.

There’s another metal band, though, different sub-genre than our lovable gang, and they were such a cool part of the book, their concert definitely left me with some atmospheric chills.

There was a twist that I DID NOT see coming and I was SHOOK by it haha, like I can’t believe it happened, it was intricately weaved in from book one and I still had no inkling it was going to happen.

Forest was in this again and as horrible as he was, I was happy and satisfied with his ending but I’ll keep the spoilers to myself. This also has left a lot of questions though at the end of this book, wondering what will happen to my favorite trio next. Helen and Mikko especially, as I will go down with that ship.

Darren seems to be engaging in something that could prove to be a crazy awesome thread to continue on.

Another success by Fearns, and possibly my favorite of the three! Thank you to Fearns for providing me a copy of the book, and in exchange I’ve given my honest review.

 

 

 

 

Safe House – Blog Tour

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!

I’m doing my rewind post tomorrow because frankly I can’t be bothered and I got a fun tour post today, which as a thriller, fits nicely on Halloween. [Today is also its publication day, so yay for that!]

SH_7

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Blurb:
Charlie just wants to be forgotten but everyone else wants to know her story… 
The morning after a terrible storm, a woman turns up in a remote Cornish village. She has bought the crumbling cottage that has lain empty for over a decade, and she’s going to make it her home. She calls herself Charlie, but it’s a name she’s only had for a few days. She keeps herself to herself, reluctant to integrate with the locals. Because Charlie has a secret. 
Charlie was in prison for providing a false alibi for a murderer. But Lee Fisher wasn’t a murderer to her; he was the man she loved. Convinced of his innocence, Charlie said she was with him the night a young woman was killed. That lie cost her everything. 
And now she has the chance to start again. But someone is watching her, waiting for her, wondering if she’s really payed the price for what she did. 
Book Information
Publisher: Harvill Secker [Vintage Imprint]
Publication Date: 31, October, 2019
Format: Hardback & eBook

Purchase Link

The ebook will be 99p throughout November!

My Review

Hey all, first off thank you so much to Vintage [and NetGalley] for giving me a copy of the eARC in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the tour.

When they reached out and asked if I wanted to read and review this for a tour, how could I say no? Creepy awesome thriller for a Halloween timed tour? I was all in.

And I have no regrets!

This is as creepy and awesome as the blurb made it sound. You switch around between the cop Naz at the prologue, Charlie in the present, the creepy vigilante justice seeker [super creepy], and Charlie before she was Charlie.

You really do connect with her, I have to say it was a nice change of pace. I tend to be detached from protagonists in Thrillers, especially if they’re not the broody detective that you secretly want to cheer for and cuddle in a blanket.

I still wanted to wrap Charlie in a blanket lol. As you read the book there are certain things that have already been in motion before we were privy to the story or that happened int he past and you read about it and you’re just like ‘nooo don’t do that!’ and I liked the element of going between the past and present but not overlapping almost at all. It’s hard to not overlap too much but Jakeman pulls it off effortlessly.

This book also has the ability to make you pick it up and read it in a sitting, haha I picked it up thinking I would only read a few chapters, bam, I was done and sitting there in slight awe after finishing it.

There were some style elements that happen in all thrillers and personally I LIKE when things can be slightly formulaic so that’s what made it a solid thriller for me.

I can honestly say I’ll pick up another book by Jakeman again…and again after reading ‘Safe House.’

If you’re looking for a thriller with just the right amount of twists and turns and creepiness, I present to you this book. 3.5 Huge cups of coffee from me! Now to read her debut thriller, ‘Sticks and Stones.’

 

About the Author

JO JAKEMAN was the winner of the Friday Night Live 2016 competition at the York Festival of Writing. Born in Cyprus, she worked for many years in the City of London before moving to Derbyshire with her husband and twin boys. Safe House is her second novel and Sticks and Stones was her debut thriller.

 

The Birthday House – Blog Tour

 

 

The Birthday House 3D Cover .jpg

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BLURB:

The year is 1955, the location picturesque Devon.

In a house by the River Dart, schoolgirl Josephine Kennedy posts invitations to her twelfth birthday party – a party that never takes place.
Horrific violence is committed that night in the family home, leaving all of its occupants dead. 
Based on a disturbing real-life crime, this compelling story explores Josephine’s fate through the prism of friends and family – the victims and survivors who unwittingly influenced the events that led up to the tragedy.
Josephine’s best friend, Susan, is haunted by the secrets of the birthday house. Can she ever find a way of making peace with the past?

Book Information:
Paperback: 150 pages
Publisher: Silverwood Books (24 Jun. 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 178132879X
ISBN-13: 978-1781328798

Purchase Link

Amazon UK

My Review

 

A quick but memorable read. It was a fascinating book, birthed out of the need to deal with grief through fiction, to try and provide answers not freely given in the tragedy that occurred in ‘The Birthday House.’ It’s commendable what Treseder has done in trying to find an explanation, writing a sort of novella in the process. The senseless tragedy that has happened will never have a satisfactory answer or even an answer at all but to try and explain it seems natural as this tragedy will continue to affect those touched by it for the rest of their lives.

I really enjoyed this, Treseder has a strong voice and an impressive style, given that she does it all in 150 pages and makes it end on a satisfying note.

The chapters are divided between the people involved in the story, the young best friends, the parents, and even the housekeeper who stumbled upon the horrible discovery, and this is part of the reason why the book felt so fleshed out and was able to feel complete in my opinion.

Four solid cups of coffee, a great and fast read that will make you stop and think at the end.

Thank you to Silverwood Books and Anne Cater for a copy in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the blog tour.

About the Author

I started writing in a red shiny exercise book when I was seven years old. But in that time and place it was an ‘invalid’ activity, was overlooked, but never went away. It was many years before I felt able to call myself ‘writer’.
But there came a day when the phrase ‘I am a writer’ no longer sounded pretentious, but legitimate, and even necessary. Was it because I had a writing room instead of the corner of a landing? Or because I spent more time writing? Or because I’d got better at it? Or because I get miserable and bad-tempered if I don’t write? Probably a combination of all of the above.
Writing is my third career. The first was as a social worker with children and families, a job I loved, but left because I could no longer cope with the system.
This led to a freelance career as an independent management consultant, helping people to handle emotions in the work context. I worked in the IT industry, in companies large and small, as well as public organisations. Later I became involved in research projects concerned with the multi-disciplinary approach to social problems such as child abuse. So, in a sense, I had come full-circle.
All these experiences feed into the process of writing fiction, while my non-fiction book The Wise Woman Within resulted indirectly from the consultancy work and my subsequent PhD thesis,‘Bridging Incommensurable Paradigms’, which is available from the School of Management at the University of Bath.
I live in Devon and visit Cornwall frequently and these land and seascapes are powerful influences which demand a presence in my writing.
Writers’ groups and workshops are a further invaluable source of inspiration and support and I attend various groups locally and sign up for creative courses in stunning locations whenever I can. I try doing writing practice at home but there is no substitute for the focus and discipline achieved among others in a group.
I have written some short stories and recently signed up for a short story writing course to explore this genre in more depth.
I live with my husband in South Devon and enjoy being involved in a lively local community.

Author Links

Twitter | Website

 

The Rest of the Tour

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The Immortal City – Blog Tour

 

 

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GoodReads:
In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.

Dr. Penelope Bryne is ridiculed by the academic community for her quest to find the remnants of Atlantis, but when an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site, she flies to Venice determined to help the police before the killer strikes again.

Penelope has spent her entire life trying to ignore the unexplainable and magical history of Atlantis, but when she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, everything she believes will be challenged. Little does she know, Alexis has spent the last three years doing his best to sabotage Penelope’s career so doesn’t learn the truth—Atlantis had seven magicians who survived, and who he has a duty to protect.

As Alexis draws her into the darkly, seductive world of magic and history, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head if she is to find the answers she seeks.

With the new MOSE system due to come online, and Carnivale exploding around them, Penelope and Alexis will have to work together to stop the killer and prevent dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.

 

My Review

Hey guys, hitting you up with another book review on this lovely Saturday. If lovely for you means, cold, slightly damp, and having cleaned up a spider graveyard in the bathtub of your new house.

Anywho!

I was lucky enough to get to do the cover reveal for this book and now here I am reviewing it as part of the blog tour.

The synopsis really had me with Venice, but then I saw Atlantis and it was like I was 9 again looking over maps wondering where Atlantis could have been. Shhh. I was a very curious child with a love of archaeology.

So right off the bat, I wanted to read this given the premise.

Well, there wasn’t as much Venice I would have liked but there was certainly cool dark magic and occult things going on so that placated me.

As far as Atlantis content goes, well, I think/hope there’s more of it to come, it is the first book afterall and this was setting up the world and plots and so on.

I loved the Magician characters I thought they were fun and mysterious and I just wanted to go hang out in their ‘crib’ and drink wine with them.

Unfortunately, I had little love for Penelope. I think she must have been so much younger than I would have thought. This reads more as YA, though Penelope herself is old enough/brilliant enough if she’s still a teen, to have her doctorate. I think the reason I didn’t like her is that I found the romance aspect for her rather dull, but, I did enjoy her hunger for knowledge and her curiosity. I love it when characters are as big as history lovers as I am, haha.

Another Character to enjoy is Marco the inspector, he is just the best in my opinion haha.

The magic was actually very neat, and the ties with Atlantis were something I can’t wait to learn/read more about in the next book.

I mean there is little to fault with the premise and ideas, I thought they were awesome, I just found it lacking with Penelope’s character growth/development so at times it made it hard for me to love it as much as I wanted to. Still a good start to a series, enjoyable to read, and I look forward to reading book 2!

Thank you to BHCPressBooks for a copy of this in exchange for my honest review

 

About the Author

Amy Kuivalainen is a Finnish-Australian writer that is obsessed with magical wardrobes, doors, auroras and burial mounds that might offer her a way into another realm. Until then, she will write about fairy tales, monsters, magic and mythology because that’s the next best thing. She is the author of The Firebird Fairytales Trilogy and The Blood Lake Chronicles series that mash up traditional tales and mythology in new and interesting ways.

Author Links

Website| Twitter | GoodReads