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

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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

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In The Absence Of Miracles – Blog Tour

 

 

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Synopsis:
In this powerful new thriller, Michael J Malone returns to A Suitable Lie territory, movingly and perceptively addressing a shocking social issue. Chilling, perceptive and heartbreakingly emotive, In the Absence of Miracles is domestic noir at its most powerful, and a sensitively wrought portrait of a family whose shameful lies hide the very darkest of secrets. 
John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home. Following a massive stroke, she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again. With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood. 
In a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover. For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. 
And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence… 
Book Information:
PUBLICATION DATE: 19 SEPTEMBER 2019
Published By: ORENDA BOOKS
Format: PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
Price: £8.99

 

My Review

This book threw me through a few loops, in all the best ways. Sometimes with thrillers I always try and guess what’s going on, or sometimes I become disinterested if they put too many twists. But Malone does a perfect balance of unexpected twists and reveals against the logical conclusions you expect and perhaps sometimes need in a book to further the suspension of disbelief.

John is a rather heartbreaking character, you can tell he wants to be better, that he’s struggled his whole life trying to be a guy he’s not ashamed of but there’s still something haunting him. The problem is that not even John knows what’s haunting him.

His mother has suffered a horrible stroke, his father had passed away a few years before that, and though he has a brother, Chris, he’s left to deal with selling the family house to pay for their Mother’s care.

But, John makes a chilling discovery while trying to clear out the house and it’s leading him down a path where the truth may cause more damage than the lies he’s accepted. However, he feels a powerful urge to find out more about the secret older brother he had. Is it just the familial connection that drives John, or is he hoping the truth will set him free?

This is a dark and powerful story and one that I enjoyed reading from start to finish.

You watch John in his self-destructive behaviour, you find out more about his family, and everything just weaves into a tragic form of truth.

Really, such a great story, and one that focuses on an important message, the predators aren’t always the ones that we assume, and money often speaks louder than words to a lot of people who do things that seem monstrous.

Definitely, a four cups of coffee read for me, I actually plan to reread this one soon, it was too good not to, and if you enjoy thrillers then I highly recommend this.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Orenda books for a copy of this to read and review honestly as part of the tour.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Violence, Drugs and Alcohol Abuse, and Child Abuse. This includes abuse of a sexual nature.

*Apologies on a late post, suffering my third day in a row of migraines!*

 

About the Author

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Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes Carnegie’s Call; A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage; The Bad Samaritan and Dog Fight. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines and After He Died soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr. 

 

About the Publisher
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Orenda Books is a small independent publishing company specialising in literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, and approximately half the list in translation. They’ve been twice shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award at the IPG awards, and publisher and owner Karen Sullivan was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016. In 2018, they were awarded a prestigious Creative Europe grant for their translated books programme. Three authors, including Agnes Ravatn, Matt Wesolowski and Amanda Jennings have been WHSmith Fresh Talent picks, and Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, won an English PEN Translation Award, and adapted for BBC Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime. Six titles have been short- or long-listed for the CWA Daggers. Launched in 2014 with a mission to bring more international literature to the UK market, Orenda Books publishes a host of debuts, many of which have gone on to sell millions worldwide, and looks for fresh, exciting new voices that push the genre in new directions. Bestselling authors include Ragnar Jonasson, Antti Tuomainen, Gunnar Staalesen, Michael J. Malone, Kjell Ola Dahl, Louise Beech, Johana Gustawsson, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Sarah Stovell.

Publisher Links

Website | Twitter

 

The Rest of the Tour

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