They Ain’t Heavies – They’re Brothers

‘Blood Pact’ by Heather Atkinson

To survive, they’ll need to stick together…

After the defeat of the rival Gordon and Thompson families, the Blood Brothers’ reputations as feared lieutenants of the McVay clan are firmly established. The Gallowburn has become an untouchable stronghold in their capable hands.

However, danger rears its head in another form – Jamie’s deadliest foe, Cameron Abernethy. Still fighting to be released from prison, Cameron decides to use the Lawson family, the Blood Brothers’ biggest rivals, to discover his daughter’s whereabouts.

With his enemies getting closer, and the police on his tail too, Jamie has some impossible choices to make. This is his last chance to live the life he’s dreamed of with the woman he loves, but first he’s got to make sure he’s not caught or killed…

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3KhTlf2

The opening instalment of Heather Atkinson’s Gallowburn series of crime novels, ‘Blood Brothers’, came out in December 2020. When I reviewed it, I noted that her publisher – Boldwood Books – were an interesting independent publisher making some interesting moves and that Atkinson was definitely one to watch.

I think by now, she must be a jewel in the crown.

Atkinson writes fast: usually people see this as a negative but in her case this is the fourth instalment in the series in just two years. Producing novels at a rate of one every six months is some going.

And clearly, you would expect a diminution in quality – but Atkinson is not declining. The dialogue is still punchy, the punches are still punchy as well and she lays the pipe of plot with aplomb.

Characters from previous novels, events which took place in seemingly insignificant moments in earlier books, are all threaded through the story.

It is, in the best sense of the word, like a soap opera. By now, we know the Blood Brothers, we know their families – we also know their enemies and the danger they are in as the Gallowburn estate remains as treacherous as ever to navigate.

For authentic Glasgow gangsters, crunching action and a sense of stepping back into a comfortable set of characters it’s a pleasure to revisit, readers will be very satisfied.

You can read a review of the third novel in the series here:

Author Bio –

Heather Atkinson is the author of over fifty books – predominantly in the crime fiction genre. Although Lancashire born and bred she now lives with her family, including twin teenage daughters, on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. Her new gangland series for Boldwood, set on the fictional Gallowburn estate in Glasgow begins with the title Blood Brothers and was published in December 2020.

Social Media Links

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/booksofheatheratkinson/

Twitter https://twitter.com/HeatherAtkinso1

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/heathercrimeauthor/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/HeatherAtkinsonNews

Sweet Poisons and Perfumes

‘Poison at the Village Show’ by Catherine Coles

With the war finally over the residents of Westleham village are trying to reclaim a sense of normality and the upcoming village show is proving to be a popular event!

Newcomer, Martha Miller, has high hopes for the village show. Since her husband Stan left for work one day and never returned, some of the villagers have treated Martha with suspicion – why would a good man like Stan simply up and leave? Was it something Martha did?

All Martha knows is that she’s hoping that she can win people over and hopefully they’ll but her delicious homemade plum gin, too and she’ll be able to make ends meet.

But as glasses of Martha’s gin are passed around, disaster strikes. Alice Warren, Chairwoman of the village show slumps to the ground after taking a sip. It’s clear she’s been poisoned!

Martha is shocked, but not surprised, when fingers of suspicion once again point her way. Determined to prove her innocence, Martha sets about trying to find the real culprit. But who would kill Alice and why?

Ably helped by the new vicar, Luke Walker, Martha quickly tries to get to the bottom of this mystery. But with the villagers closing ranks it quickly becomes apparent that the only person with a motive is Martha herself….

Will Luke and Martha discover who is behind the poisoning before it’s too late?

What is it about the English country village which breeds such malice, mistrust and murder in the novel?

Well, Miss Marple is always banging on about the village being a microcosm of wider society, its foibles, human failings and all too universal facets of greed, lust and the green-eyed monster which mocks the milk it feeds upon.

In ‘Poison at the Village Show’. Catherine Coles introduces a cast of characters beset by all of the usual accoutrements of country life, only here with the added delight of collapsing village worthies at – as the title suggests – the annual village show.

Any novel which combines country mysteries, dogs and petty village intrigues is worth investigating in my mind.

Grantchester with a quietly feminist ethos was the phrase which kept leaping to mind as poor Martha fights to clear her name, attempt to find out what happened to the long gone Stan and maintain a sensible conversation with her loving companion hound, Lizzie.

If you too have experienced the stilted small talk of the annual village fete, then ‘Poison at the Village Show’ will entertain and trigger memories of Victoria sponges gently warming in the sun of the vicarage garden like a Proustian memory.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3freNRj 

Author Bio –

On the #MondayBlog today, a review of @CatherineColes 'Murder at the Village Show'. Thanks as ever to @rararesources and

The daughter of a military father, Catherine was born in Germany and lived most of the first 14 years of her life abroad. She spent her school years devouring everything her school library had to offer! Catherine writes cosy mysteries that take place in the English countryside. Her extremely popular Tommy & Evelyn Christie mysteries are set in 1920s North Yorkshire. Catherine lives in northeast England with her two spoiled dogs who have no idea they are not human!

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CatherineColesAuthor

Twitter  https://twitter.com/catherinecoles

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/catherinecolesauthor/ 

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/CatherineColesNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/catherine-coles?list=about

Boldwood’s IG account – https://www.instagram.com/bookandtonic/

Bookshops, Bodies and Corpses in the Cotswalds

‘Murder At The Summer Fete’ by Victoria Walters

A fete worse than death…

After finding the killer of Lucy Roth six months ago, life has settled back to normal for bookshop owner, Nancy Hunter, and her grandmother, Jane. The annual Dedley End village fete is just around the corner, and Nancy is delighted when bestselling author, Thomas Green, agrees to launch his first new novel in ten years there.

But then a series of sinister events lead Nancy to realise someone is trying to sabotage their fete, so she, along with Jane and their journalist friend Jonathan, must turn detective to discover who isn’t at all thrilled about the return of Thomas Green.

When a body is discovered at the summer fete, the death scene mirroring that in Thomas’ latest bestseller, they realise that there’s another killer in Dedley End, but can they outsmart someone who appears to have pulled off the perfect crime?

The clues are right under Nancy and Jane’s noses, if only they can find them. Because the answers to life’s questions can always be found in a book…!

A twisty, unputdownable cozy mystery that fans of Richard Osman, S.J. Bennett and ‘The Marlow Murder Club’ will love.

In September last year, I reviewed the opening instalment of The Dedley End Mysteries, ‘Murder at the House on the Hill’ and titled it “If Downton did Homicide” which, I thought, captured the gentle and charming tone of the novel.

I also said I was very much looking forward to book two and that – although I did include my ideal daydream about wanting a bookshop all of my own – didn’t include my belief that Walters may have stolen my thoughts from out of my brain: because that might have come across as odd.

The best news of all is that the gang’s all here: Nancy Hunter, nan Jane, local journalist Jonathan Murphy and – most importantly – Charlie the beagle.

In the motley crew’s latest adventure, Dedley End’s Summer Fete is playing host to a reading by Thomas Green, the most successful author working today due to the TV adaptation of his work and, as the novel opens, a body lies on the green, blood seeping, in a scene replicated straight from the writer’s latest work.

Walters has changed the structure of her writing up a little in this latest outing for her Cotswald crime fighters – we go back in time four days after this effective opening tableau adding a who’s-been-done-in aspect to the subsequent whodunit, which is fun. (Also, it’s not unentertaining to speculate as to which author Green might be based upon, although Walters’ is far too generous a writer for this to be a thing.)

However, Walters’ real strength for me lies in her ability to render the characters, setting and plot as a nice place for the reader to be. In these crazy times, Dedley End is a warm bath for the brain where evil will be rooted out and all will be right with the world in the end.

Roll on book three!

Purchase Links

AMZ: https://amzn.to/3HE7928  

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3JLSUtX

Apple: https://apple.co/3zDUyte

Author Bio –

Victoria Walters writes up-lifting and inspiring stories. She’s the author of the bestselling GLENDALE HALL series, which continues with its third book ‘HOPEFUL HEARTS’ at GLENDALE HALL in September, as well as two other standalone novels – ‘SUMMER at the KINDNESS CAFE’, and ‘THE SECOND LOVE of my LIFE’. She has been chosen for WHSmith Fresh Talent and shortlisted for two RNA awards. Victoria was also picked as an Amazon Rising Star, and her books have won wide reader acclaim.

Victoria is a full-time author. She lives in Surrey with her cat Harry, and loves books, clothes, music, going out for tea and cake, and posting photos on Instagram.

Find out more about Victoria by following on Instagram at @vickyjwalters, on Twitter at @Vicky_Walters or by visiting her blog at: https://victoria-writes.com/.

To Lose One Husband May Be Accident…

‘The Mystery of the Lost Husbands’ by Gina Cheyne

Is murdering husbands an addiction or merely a bad habit?

This is the question facing Private Investigator Cat Harrington when rich builder, Tom Drayton, dies shortly after his wedding night. Suspicion falls on his widow, Anastasia Rodriguez, the survivor of three previous ‘lost’ husbands.

Two years later, Anastasia is engaged again, to Cat’s friend Angelo, an Italian snail collector.

Angelo’s sister, Gia, employs Cat and the SeeMs Detective Agency to discover if her brother’s financé is a killer.

The search for Anastasia’s lost husbands takes Cat and her team from Scotland to the South of Spain and on to Argentina.

They have just a few weeks before the wedding to discover if Anastasia is a murderer and save their friend from becoming victim number five.

For fans of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ and ‘The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency’

I once worked as a cleaner in a stone mason’s yard. It was odd work. Big men – and they were all men – lifted heavy rock and the sanded and sculpted it into fireplaces and kitchen counters any other form of home good which can be made of expensive rock.

In the mean time, I – at the time at student – would be a dog’s body, lugging rocks, emptying bins and trying to sweep up. All I really remember was all of us looking like apprentice Casper the friendly ghost impersonators as the limestone dust got everywhere. Smoking a roll up was nightmare.

The reason this book reminds me of that unusual summer? Firstly, because this novel has the same sort of madcap energy off-kilter joie de vivre which I associate with that time, but secondly – and more pertinently if I’m honest – the firm had been won in a divorce by the wife of the original owner and her new partner.

When the novel begins with a painter and decorator letting Cat know about Anastasia’s supposed murder of their boss, I did just wonder if maybe there was more to the stone mason divorce win than met the eye.

For the rest of you without such idiosyncratic associations, this novel does indeed combine elements of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ and ‘The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency’ but also does a charmingly campy drive by on Footballer’s Wives or Dynasty. There’s glamour, exotic locations and some truly boo hiss characters it’s fun to spend time with.

Plus, you know, a dog finding detective agency – perhaps there should be a cross over with KT Lee’s ‘A Nose for Mischief’.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mystery-Husbands-SeeMS-Detective-Agency/dp/1915138019/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Husbands-SeeMS-Detective-Agency/dp/1915138019/

Author Bio –

Gina has worked as a physiotherapist, a pilot, freelance writer and a dog breeder.

As a child, Gina’s parents hated travelling and never went further than Jersey. As a result she became travel-addicted and spent the year after university bumming around SE Asia, China and Australia, where she worked in a racing stables in Pinjarra, South of Perth. After getting stuck in black sand in the Ute one time too many (and getting a tractor and trailer caught in a tree) she was relegated to horse-riding work only. After her horse bolted down the sand, straining a fetlock and falling in the sea, she was further relegated to swimming the horses only in the pool. It was with some relief the racehorse stables posted her off on the train into eastern Australia to work in a vineyard… after all what could go wrong there?

In the north of Thailand, she took a boat into the Golden Triangle and got shot at by bandits. Her group escaped into the undergrowth and hid in a hill tribe whisky still where they shared the ‘bathroom’ with a group of pigs. Getting a lift on a motorbike they hurried back to Chiang Rai, where life seemed calmer.

After nearly being downed in a fiesta in Ko Pha Ngan, and cursed by a witch in Malaysia, she decided to go to Singapore and then to China where she only had to battle with the language and regulations.

Since marrying the first time, she has lived and worked in many countries including Spain and the USA.

For a few years Gina was a Wingwalking pilot, flying, amongst others, her 64-year-old mother standing on the wing to raise money for a cancer charity. She was also a helicopter instructor and examiner and took part in the World Helicopter Championships in Russia and the USA.

She became a writer because her first love was always telling a good yarn!

Under the name Georgina Hunter-Jones she has written illustrated children’s books such as The Twerple who had Too Many Brains, and Nola the Rhinoceros loves Mathematics.

She now lives in Sussex with her husband and dogs, one of who inspired the Biscuit and Pugwash Detective Series about naughty dogs who solve crimes.

The Mystery of the Lost Husbands is the first in the SeeMS Detective Agency series and Gina’s first crime novel for adults.

Social Media Links – 

Website: www.ginacheyne.com

Canines and Crime

‘A Nose for Mischief’ by KT Lee

When materials engineer Zoey Butler lands her dream job at Future State Energy, she believes her research in renewable energy will make headlines. Unfortunately for her, she’s right. Zoey is working on her latest experiment when FBI Special Agent Alexis Thompson and her K-9 partner, Waffle, raid Future State and arrest the head of the development for fraud. Zoey helps the FBI find answers in the aftermath, but she soon finds herself jobless and unemployable. Desperate and out of options, she reaches out to Alexis, the one person who knows Zoey was duped like everyone else.

Liam Graham is an FBI special agent and instructor at Riverbend K-9 Academy. When Alexis brings in a new recruit with an unusual background, Liam pairs her up with Tasha, a dog in need of a handler to stay in their competitive program. Zoey is thrilled to put her past behind her and give the mischievous rescue dog her own second chance. However, shortly after she arrives, the FBI realizes the Future State case is far from closed. And Zoey may be the key to solving it.

Zoey offers to go back to Future State to help the FBI end things once and for all. Only this time, she’ll have Liam and Tasha for backup. But, the problems at Future State are more explosive than any of them suspect.

This is one of those novels which just come along and you think, “That’ll do for me!” FBI and dogs? I need no more invitation than that.

What was very interesting is the link (unintentional? Intentional?) between this novel and VW Emissions scandal from 2016. So, this novel becomes a cross between Turner and Hooch meets the VW Emissions swindle filtered through Elon Musk. Which, if we’re being honest, kinda sounds plausible.

Personally, I enjoyed ‘A Nose for Trouble’ very much. In Zoey, KT Lee has created a very interesting central character: an innocent abroad unfairly tarnished with the events at an unscrupulous company out of her control. Slightly high on the control freak scale (“You mean I’m an excellent planner,” she tells her sister at one point), Zoey is also charming and very well equipped to analyse data for her new employers utilising her science background.

KT Lee is clearly in love with her core characters and wants to invite you in to spend time with her motley crew of FBI agents and charming hounds. It is a little like that 90s classic Northern Exposure in its gentle charm.

My own fearsome crime fighting canine poised for action

If I have a criticism at all, it is that perhaps Lee uses Zoey’s “disgrace” as a motivation to drive the plot along past the point at which anyone would really care and it takes Zoey too long to realise the power of her own abilities. On the other hand, haven’t we all worked with people who persist in not recognising how amazing they really are while over confident charlatans push past them on wings buoyed by hot air and unwarranted confidence? So maybe – unfortunately – not unrealistic.

Ann Richardson does a fine job as narrator and, most importantly, Lee gets the dogs right. I am delighted to know there are more books in the Riverbend series.  I can’t wait to revisit our crime fighting canines and their kindly trainers.

Purchase Links

Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/A-Nose-for-Mischief-Audiobook/B09RTKC6RK

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/a-nose-for-mischief-1

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/audiobook/a-nose-for-mischief/id1605764153

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/K_T_Lee_A_Nose_for_Mischief?id=AQAAAEB8uQT5aM

Author Bio –

K.T. Lee is a writer, mom, and engineer who grew up on a steady diet of books from a wide variety of genres. She’s the author of multiple books, including those in the Riverbend K-9 Series and The Calculated Series.

Social Media Links –

https://www.instagram.com/ktleeauthor/

https://www.facebook.com/ktleewrites

Narrator Bio

Ann Richardson has been happily sequestered away narrating in her home studio since 2008. She narrates for large audiobook publishers such as Blackstone, Penguin Random House, MacMillan, Oasis, Tantor, and many others, in addition to smaller, independent publishers and directly with authors. Her performances have garnered several Earphones awards and glowing reviews in AudioFile Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, but spent her youth in the Midwest, where she grew up surrounded by animals and cornfields. “I’m so lucky to have discovered what I was truly called to do with my talents and energy. I fall in love with nearly every book I narrate, and am also incredibly grateful to work with such talented authors and publishers in this cohesive, supportive industry.”

Social Media Links –

@hersmoothvoice

https://www.instagram.com/ann_richardson_narrator/

https://www.facebook.com/Annrichardsonnarrator/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/annrichardsonnarrator/

Giveaway to Win 10 x Audio Copies of A Nose For Mischief via Author’s Direct. (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box linked above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Foraging for Murder, Finding Only Comedy Gold

‘Foraging for Murder’ by Simon Whaley

MORTIFORDE’S FOOD FESTIVAL IS A RECIPE FOR MURDER.

Three butchers. Two deaths. One four-hundred-year-old grudge.

It’s Aldermaston’s first food festival as the Eighth Marquess of Mortiforde and it’s not going well. One butcher is missing. Another has been threatened. And the Vegetarian Society has been sent a meaty ultimatum. 

Meanwhile, Lady Mortiforde desperately needs her husband to find some wild boar meat for her savoury pie entry into the festival’s Bake Off competition.

When the Council’s Chief Archivist disappears, along with the Food History Marquee’s star attraction, a seventeenth-century recipe book, Aldermaston has all the ingredients of a murder mystery that’s been marinating for over four hundred years.

Can he find the missing butchers before it’s too late? Will Lady Mortiforde avoid a soggy bottom in the Bake Off competition? And why do all the butchers take their pet pigs for a walk in the woods at night?

The first of Simon Whaley’s Marquess of Mortiforde Mysteries novels, ‘Blooming Murder’ was one of those novels which crept up on you unawares. I was completely bowled over by it and, in my review, describe it as, “essentially, what would happen if Gardener’s World had an illicit love child by Midsomer Murders via the work of Tom Sharpe. And it’s all the better for it.”

Whilst ‘Foraging for Murder’ can’t really harness the same take-you-unawares quality of the original, the sequel – set two years into Aldermaston’s reign as the Marquess – retains the same down to earth humour and, well, bonkers cast of loveable characters. 

This time, the butchers are being set against the vegetarians as the Borderlandshire Burger Competition looms. We are in safe hands with Whaley a man unafraid of capturing the class-based absurdities of British life.

Purchase Links 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Foraging-Murder-Marquess-Mortiforde-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B09LZ8SC6F/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Foraging-Murder-Marquess-Mortiforde-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B09LZ8SC6F/

Author Bio

Simon Whaley is an author, writer and photographer who lives in the hilly bit of Shropshire. Foraging for Murder is the second in his Marquess of Mortiforde Mysteries, set in the idyllic Welsh Borders – a place many people struggle to locate on a map (including by some of those who live here). He’s written several non-fiction books, many if which contain his humorous take on the world, including the bestselling ‘One Hundred Ways For A Dog To Train Its Human’ and two editions in the hugely popular Bluffer’s Guide series (‘The Bluffer’s Guide to Dogs’ and ‘The Bluffer’s Guide to Hiking’). His short stories have appeared in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special’, ‘The Weekly News’ and ‘The People’s Friend’. Meanwhile his magazine articles have delighted readers in a variety of publications including ‘BBC Countryfile’, ‘The People’s Friend’, ‘Coast’, ‘The Simple Things’ and ‘Country Walking’.

Simon lives in Shropshire (which just happens to be a Welsh Border county) and, when he gets stuck with his writing, he tramps the Shropshire hills looking for inspiration and something to photograph. Some of his photographs appear on the national and regional BBC weather broadcasts under his BBC WeatherWatcher nickname of Snapper Simon. (For those of you who don’t know, they get a lot of weather in Shropshire.)

Social Media Links – 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/simonwhaley

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SimonWhaleyAuthor

What’s Harder Than Nails?

‘Diamond Geezer’ by Gillian Godden

Diamond by name…

Handsome, wealthy and successful, lawyer Nick Diamond is a man who commands and expects respect from everyone he meets. People think he is a man to be trusted. They are wrong.

Deadly by nature.

Because away from his glittering life in upper-class Chelsea, Nick is keeping a dark and dangerous secret. One that takes him to the slum estates of Glasgow and a very different world.

Nick will do anything to keep his secret under wraps, because if it’s ever revealed it would be his downfall.

Don’t miss this brilliant new gangland story from Gillian Godden – guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat! Perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers, Heather Atkinson and Caz Finlay.

Purchase Linkhttps://amzn.to/3crRhSM

At various times on this blog, I have praised the work that Boldwood Books are doing. Authors like Alison Knight, Heather Atkinson and Caro Savage are really doing a good job of ploughing the furrow laid by authors like Martina Cole before them.

A new, at least to me, addition to the Boldwood stable is Gillan Godden, a writer with the sort of colourful biography which makes me want to reader her life story and a sense of character and plotting which makes me keen to revisit her back catalogue.

Here we have a scenario which begins in the meaner tower blocks of the East End of Glasgow and there is no let up from the diamond hard (geddit?) action as low level drug dealers meet sticky ends and we are given insights into the striations of the various criminal activities we are exposed to.

A fascinating tale which oscillates between locations and social classes with the crispness of a well timed punch, this is an excellent guns and gangsters rollercoaster.

Author Bio –

Gillian Godden is a brilliantly reviewed writer of gangland fiction as well as a full-time NHS Key Worker in Hull. She lived in London for over thirty years, where she sets her thrillers, and during this time worked in various stripper pubs and venues which have inspired her stories. She has signed a six-book contract with Boldwood for a new series. In addition, Boldwood will be reissuing her five backlist titles.

Social Media Links –   

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/gilliangoddenauthor

Twitter  https://twitter.com/GGodden

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/GillianGoddenNewsletter

COVER REVEAL: ‘Murder at the Summer Fete’

I reviewed the first instalment of the Dedley End Mystery series, ‘Murder at the House on the Hill’ in September of last year. My headline, (“If Downton did Homicide”) seemed to summarize the plot pretty well and I can’t wait to catch up with the gang as they go after another murder in the countryside.

The cover of Dedley End Mystery, Book 2, ‘Murder at the Summer Fete’

Synopsis:

A fete worse than death…

After finding the killer of Lucy Roth six months ago, life has settled back to normal for bookshop owner, Nancy Hunter, and her grandmother, Jane. The annual Dedley End village fete is just around the corner, and Nancy is delighted when bestselling author, Thomas Green, agrees to launch his first new novel in ten years there.

But then a series of sinister events lead Nancy to realise someone is trying to sabotage their fete, so she, along with Jane and their journalist friend Jonathan, must turn detective to discover who isn’t at all thrilled about the return of Thomas Green.

When a body is discovered at the summer fete, the death scene mirroring that in Thomas’ latest bestseller, they realise that there’s another killer in Dedley End, but can they outsmart someone who appears to have pulled off the perfect crime?

The clues are right under Nancy and Jane’s noses, if only they can find them. Because the answers to life’s questions can always be found in a book…!

A twisty, unputdownable cozy mystery that fans of Richard Osman, S.J. Bennett and ‘The Marlow Murder Club’ will love.

Author Bio

Victoria Walters writes up-lifting and inspiring stories. She’s the author of the bestselling GLENDALE HALL series, which continues with its third book HOPEFUL HEARTS at GLENDALE HALL in September, as well as two other standalone novels – SUMMER at the KINDNESS CAFE, and THE SECOND LOVE of my LIFE. She has been chosen for WHSmith Fresh Talent and shortlisted for two RNA awards. Victoria was also picked as an Amazon Rising Star, and her books have won wide reader acclaim.

Victoria is a full-time author. She lives in Surrey with her cat Harry, and loves books, clothes, music, going out for tea and cake, and posting photos on Instagram.

Find out more about Victoria by following on Instagram at @vickyjwalters,

Twitter: @Vicky_Walters 

She blogs at https://www.victoria-writes.com/.

You can pre-order ‘Murder at the Summer Fete’ ahead of it’s March 17th release here:

The Ties That Bind? It’s a Family Thing

‘Blood Ties’ by Heather Atkinson

The Queen of Glasgow, Toni McVay, is no ordinary crime boss.

For one thing, she likes to discipline disappointing employees by scooping out their eyeballs and keeping them as souvenirs. Jamie Gray and his gang the Blood Brothers are happy to do her dirty work in return for lessons in the ways of the local underworld, but are in no doubt that they need to keep Toni sweet to keep themselves safe.

Rival families The Gordons and The Thompsons are ready for a turf war, keen to take over the lucrative Gallowburn estate, and weaken Toni’s grip on the city. But can the old enemies really trust each other enough to join forces? And will their assumption that the Blood Brothers are the weak link in the McVay empire, prove to be their greatest mistake?

Meanwhile Jamie’s past refuses to stay hidden, and as his biggest secret looks set to be revealed with explosive consequences, Jamie faces the battle of his life. To keep his family safe, to keep his friends safe, to keep himself safe, and to keep the woman he loves alive.  

If you love Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers, and Jessie Keane, you’ll love Heather Atkinson. Discover the bestselling gangland author Heather Atkinson and you’ll never look back… 

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3iFP7CA

It is almost exactly a year since I first reviewed a novel by Heather Atkinson. Attracted by the Glasgow setting, I was full of praise for Atkinson’s ‘Blood Brothers’ and saw her as a “safe pair of hands”.

In June, I reviewed the sequel to ‘Blood Brothers’, ‘Bad Blood’ and I went on an almost hallucinatory literary mash up, taking the bone jarring violence of the novel – especially in the visceral opening battle scene on the streets of her fictional scheme, Gallowgate – and mashed it up with a plethora of ‘Macbeth’ quotes.

Which was different, if nothing else.

Here, though, Atkinson’s latest novel begins to move into different territory. There is a calmer tone, especially in the opening stages of the novel and the sense in which the author is focusing less on the crash, bang, wallop-there-goes-a-chain-to-the-face of the earlier instalments and more on the expanding cast of characters who inhabit the scheme.

It is like the world is expanding and we are peeking behind the curtains of these characters lives. There’s also a humour and a lightness of tone which was not so much in evidence in the earlier outings for these characters.

Fans of the genre and this author should not be concerned, however, there are still plenty of battles and Machiavellian scheming gangsters to go around – and that’s before we get as far as the women who, as in the Godfather, are more dangerous than shotguns.

Atkinson remains an extremely safe pair of hands ‘Blood Ties’ heralds yet another enjoyable and accomplished outing for the folk of the Gallowgate.

There is one moan I have with the novel – although I doubt it is serious or will damage anyone’s enjoyment of the work- No one in Glasgow has called a tattie scone a potato cake in the history of the world.

Either way, I’m sure we’ll live – which is more than can be said when you go against the Blood Brothers.

Author Bio –

Heather Atkinson is the author of over fifty books – predominantly in the crime fiction genre. Although Lancashire born and bred she now lives with her family, including twin teenage daughters, on the beautiful west coast of Scotland.

Social Media Links –  

Website https://www.heatheratkinsonbooks.com/ 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/booksofheatheratkinson/

Twitter https://twitter.com/HeatherAtkinso1

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/heathercrimeauthor/

Newsletter Sign Up Link http://bit.ly/HeatherAtkinsonNewsletter

Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/heather-atkinson

Boldwood’s IG account – https://www.instagram.com/bookandtonic/

No Coal Here Just Backstories to Be Mined

‘The Murky World of Timothy Wall’ by Ian McFadyen

TO WIN A COPY OF ‘THE MURKY WORLD OF TIMOTHY WALL’ FOLLOW THIS LINK

When the body of Timothy Wall, a Private Detective, is fo und in his office, the querulous Inspector Carmichael discovers some surprising revelations and curious contradictions about the dead man. Loved by many and seemingly despised by others in equal measure, Timothy Wall’s whole world seems to be strewn with paradoxes.   

This fast-moving whodunnit, based in the North West of England, sees McFadyen’s detective team tackle one of their most taxing cases yet.

Who killed Timothy Wall? Will one of his numerous lovers or ex-partners provide the answer to the conundrum? And what about Tim’s involvement with the brothers Baybutt, the local bookmakers. Do they know more than they are telling?

As Carmichael and his team seek answers to these questions it becomes crystal clear that all was not quite how it seemed in the life of Timothy Wall. This, the nineth book in the Carmichael series, is full of twists, turns and red herrings that will keep the reader guessing right up to the bitter end. 

What is it about detective fiction that we like so much? I have no definitive answer, although like all great detectives I have my theories.

Something I do know is that I like the conclusion of the mystery, the detective proven correct, the world put to rights – at least for today.

I’m not sure what it was that attracted me to this latest in the Detective Carmichael series by Ian McFadyen. I’d not come across the stories before, I have no connection to Lancashire where they are set (in fact, to the best of my recollection, I’ve never been to Lancashire).

But, I do like a Private Investigator story and I do like a nice police procedural and here was a nice intersection of both: I was in.

Do I regret my choice? Not at all. The characters and setting are obviously well set after so many books and, as in Martin Walker’s Bruno Chief of Police novels which I have written about elsewhere, by now, they are living, breathing people in their own right. McFadyen approaches something like this with Carmichael’s family and his passion for his special pinotage wine.

And, for all Carmichael’s back story and intricate relationships with his colleagues, McFadyen is going to keep the story zipping along at pace and is not afraid to make sure the reader is never allowed to become bored.

Sometimes, the dialogue does tip a little towards the stilted for my taste, but in a novel of well fleshed out characters, with convincing motivations, backstories and plenty of mysteries to be unravelled, this is a small complaint which shouldn’t deter anyone from exploring the world of McFadyen’s Carmichael universe.

Purchase Links

Book Guild – https://www.bookguild.co.uk/bookshop/book/302/The%20Murky%20Wall%20of%20Timothy%20Wall/

Bookshop.org – https://uk.bookshop.org/books/the-murky-world-of-timothy-wall/9781913913441

Waterstones – https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-murky-world-of-timothy-wall/ian-mcfadyen/9781913913441

Foyles – https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/the-murky-world-of-timothy-wall,ian-mcfadyen-9781913913441

WHSmith – https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/the-murky-world-of-timothy-wall/ian-mcfadyen/paperback/9781913913441.html

Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murky-World-Timothy-Wall/dp/1913913449/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=The+Murky+World+of+Timothy+Wall&qid=1632920646&sr=8-1

Book Depository – https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Murky-World-of-Timothy-Wall-Ian-McFadyen/9781913913441

Author Bio –

AUTHOR — Author Ian McFadyen visits Ulverston Library to talk to local people about his books. Thursday 30th October 2014. HARRY ATKINSON REF:

Ian McFadyen grew up in Lancashire, the setting for the Carmichael series of detective novels. Having studied marketing at Huddersfield University he had a 30-year career in sales and marketing with leading global companies in the electronics industry before switching full-time to writing. He has published eight books in the Carmichael series so far, several of which are available in large print, two have been translated and published in Italian and two in Czech. He lives in Bishop’s Stortford, Herts.

Social Media Links –

FB : Facebook.com/ianmcfadyenauthor

Twitter : @ianMcFadyen1