Dark Hearts and Right Wrongs

Outcast‘ by Chris Ryan

After single-handedly intervening in a deadly terrorist attack in Mali, SAS Warrant Officer Jamie ‘Geordie’ Carter is denounced as a lone wolf by jealous superiors.

Now a Regiment outcast, Carter is given a second chance with a deniable mission: locate SAS hero-gone-rogue, David Vann.

Vann had been sent into Afghanistan to train local rebels to fight the Taliban. But he’s since gone silent and expected attacks on key targets have not happened.

Tracking Vann through Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Carter not only discovers the rogue soldier’s involvement in a conspiracy that stretches far beyond the Middle East – but an imminent attack that will have deadly consequences the world over . . .

As with most things in books, there are people who are sniffy about writers originating from ranks of the military. There is a snobbery around books which are designed to sell and to entertain people and this is doubled down upon if the writers have done something in a previous incarnation.

Chris Ryan, of course, had quite the life before he turned to writing thrillers. Any man who holds a Military Medal and can walk from Iraq to Syria whilst under fire deserves some form of attention.

It is this background, as part of the fabled Bravo Two Zero platoon which gives Ryan the authority to write the novels which he does. His experience in the ranks of the SAS which lend all of his thrillers the verisimilitude which so many other writers of “men of action” tales lack.

Here, however, protagonist Jamie ‘Geordie’ Carter finds himself caught up in a plot which might have come straight from the pen of Joseph Conrad – disgraced hero left to search for an outcast SA legend-gone-rogue.

That might, of course, be true only if Conrad had ever written a sentence like “the stiff afternoon breeze scraping through his dark hair, and wished to fuck he was somewhere else.” But, to be fair, this would have livened up the snoozeathon which is ‘Heart of Darkness’ no end.

There’s a healthy disrespect for authority and politician both officially and those in the rank and file which adds a layer of sympathy to the poor put upon hero.

Ryan has a control of the punchy sentence. Tension is built, backstory filled in. The point of these novels is to vicariously experience the snapping of bone and the crunch of boots on gravel and for all to be right with the world in the end.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outcast-Chris-Ryan-ebook/dp/B09SM14MPC

US – https://www.amazon.com/Outcast-Chris-Ryan-ebook/dp/B09SM14MPC

https://www.brownsbfs.co.uk/Product/RYAN-CHRIS/OUTCAST/9781838777616

Author Bio

Chris Ryan was born in Newcastle.

In 1984 he joined 22 SAS. After completing the year-long Alpine Guides Course, he was the troop guide for B Squadron Mountain Troop. He completed three tours with the anti-terrorist team, serving as an assaulter, sniper and finally Sniper Team Commander.

Chris was part of the SAS eight-man team chosen for the famous Bravo Two Zero mission during the 1991 Gulf War. He was the only member of the unit to escape from Iraq, where three of his colleagues were killed and four captured, for which he was awarded the Military Medal. Chris wrote about his experiences in his book ‘The One That Got Away’, which became an immediate bestseller. Since then he has written over fifty books and presented a number of very successful TV programmes.

Social Media Links  

Twitter

Chris Ryan and Zaffre Books

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

Chow Down All Over the World

‘Cook it Eat it Live it’ by Jo Kenny

‘Cook it Eat it Live’ it is written by Jo Kenny, food writer and owner of GirlEatsWorld.co.uk.
In this first publication, Jo offers readers a vibrant and varied collection of recipes inspired by both travel and family ties to the UK, Japan, Guyana, the Caribbean.


This delicious collection of every day recipes satisfies appetites for light bites, indulgent dinners, fresh sides and delicious desserts.You’ll find a spectrum of dishes from rich, earthy flavours to fresh aromatics giving you meals to enjoy year round. All recipes are firm favourites in Jo’s own household and cooked regularly. This is family style, every day inspiration to ensure no more boring dinners.

Recipes are punctuated with stories of travel, food inspirations and a personal philosophy of enjoying food unapologetically. Cook it Eat it Live it is about finding happiness in the little things and injecting some joy into every day life through wholesome, exciting meals.

Purchase Link – http://mybook.to/cookiteatitliveit  

Cookery is one of those things – like book blogging I suppose – which has exploded in the age of social media. Wonderfully easy to post on Instagram, those who have travelled about a bit are able to share their food in easy snaps at the click of a phone camera.

Whilst this hasn’t exactly improved people’s experiences of being in restaurants – a sea of camera lenses maketh not the most entertaining scene for dining – it has opened up worlds of food previously not available to the every day person.

Enter Jo Kenny. With ten years at the forefront online sharing of food via her website, GirlEatsWorld.co.uk, here Jo has published a cookbook with vibrant variety, covering a great many culinary corners of the globe.

Richly illustrated with photos from her own travels, the recipes are laid out in sensible order and the intervening prose is light and bubbly.

This is a book for people who want a decent standard of cooking and are interested in the world around them. This is not a book for people who have the desire to sous vide everything and spend their time trying to operate liquid nitrogen in the comfort of their own kitchen: it is all the better for that.

Practical, real world cooking for the culinary adventurous. That will do me.

Author Bio

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Jo is a food writer from Bedford, living with her husband Alex, newborn son and Kimchi the cat. Her website GirlEatsWorld.co.uk was founded in 2012. Starting out as a personal space to capture cooking and food adventures, it has evolved into a public hub for recipes, cooking guides and food inspiration. Jo is passionate about fresh ingredients eaten joyfully, intuitively and adventurously.

Social Media Links – 

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/kingsleypublishers/?hl=en-gb

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jogirleatsworld/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/kingsleypublis1

The Clue’s All There…

‘Mollie Mack, Private Detective’ by Linda Dobinson

Mollie is excited!

She has been a private detective for six months, and FINALLY a BIG case has landed on her desk. If she solves it, it will make the papers and make her agency famous. She needs to give it her full attention; but she already has three cases she is working on. And when she gets an unexpected lead in her oldest case, she HAS to run with it.

Completely coincidentally, I saw a headline this morning which read, “Each generation get the Nancy Drew it deserves”.

This struck me as apt, although Nancy Drew is a name to me rather than a lived memory. In the gendered 80s, the Hardy Boys were my go-to American kids investigates crime fare as the teen detective of the female persuasion were not offered to young boys.

And here we have Linda Dobinson introducing Mollie Mack, Private Detective. A lead character with a passion for crime fiction – she’s read all the Sherlock Holmes and the Agatha Christie – and criminal psychology and who, alongside her trusty feline companion Clarabel she’s got her own detective agency.

What is better, is that this is the sort of novel which ought to be acceptable to readers of any gender and which parents will enjoy reading to their youngsters.

Mollie Mack looks for excitement in a place synonymous with nothing but glamour and excitement: Basingstoke.

Dobinson has crafted a charming tale which should appeal to the amateur sleuth in us all.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Molly-Private-Detective-Linda-Dobinson-ebook/dp/B09NL5Y8Y1/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Molly-Private-Detective-Linda-Dobinson-ebook/dp/B09NL5Y8Y1/

Author Bio –

Linda Dobinson was born in Croydon but grew up in Barbados – endless sunshine and never too far from the beach. She has worked in fashion, the motor industry, and been a PA.

In the 90s she picked up her pen and started writing poetry. Her work has appeared in poetry magazines, and for two successive years she had poems selected for the anthologies Southern England and South-West England. Her second collection Encounter reached the top of Amazon’s poetry charts. Since then she has started writing middle grade novels and has discovered that immersing herself in a plot is a great distraction from a pandemic.

Social Media Links –

https://goodreads.com/author/show/6077640.Linda_Dobinson

https://www.instagram.com/baspoet/

www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-Dobinson/e/B00J0ZVZ14/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Giveaway to Win a Kindle copy of Mollie Mack, Private Detective (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  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.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494483/?

A Pearl Coming Up With A Diamond

‘The Chair Man’ by Alex Pearl

Michael Hollinghurst is a successful corporate lawyer living a comfortable, suburban life in leafy North West London. But on 7 July 2005, his life is transformed when he steps on a London underground train targeted by Islamist suicide bombers. While most passengers in his carriage are killed, Michael survives the explosion but is confined to a wheelchair as a result.

Coming to terms with his predicament and controlling his own feelings of guilt as a survivor conspire to push him in a direction that is out of character and a tad reckless. In a quest to seek retribution, he resorts to embracing the internet and posing as a radical Islamist in order to snare potential perpetrators.

Much to his surprise, his shambolic scheme yields results and is brought to the attention of both GCHQ and a terrorist cell. But before long, dark forces begin to gather and close in on him. There is seemingly no way out for Michael Hollinghurst. He has become, quite literally, a sitting target.

On the morning of July 7th 2005, I was waiting to catch a flight to Venice. News began to filter through that something terrible had happened in London. One of my best friends lived in north London and was working out towards Heathrow.

As the BBC News began speculating about power surges and explosions on the Tube, I watched in horror as the route my friend, Dan, took every day was highlighted by the ashen-faced presenters.

Then an exploded bus was shown. Also on his route.

My phone began lighting up. There are a bunch of us: the same age, the same year at school – we speak every day. Richard phoned. “I can’t get a hold of Dan.”

“Me neither.” Texts went unanswered. Phone calls fizzled out. We realised that the mobile phone networks had been shut down in order to avoid remote detonations.

My partner at the time was flapping. “Do we fly? What are we going to do? Aren’t all the trains cancelled?”

I had no answers.

At 09:30, the phone rang. “What?” snapped a fairly cheesed off Dan, whose phone had almost combusted with the number of calls and messages.

“Where the fuck have you been?”

“I walked to work. It took ages. What’s the matter?”

Never been so delighted to hear the crabbit Cockney in my life.

And here we have a novel which uses this as the catalytic event of the main characters life. Alex Pearl has crafted an exciting thriller which sees his protagonist Michael Hollinghurst ensnared in all sorts of dramas, trapped between a terrorist cell and the security services.

The novel opens with one of the most surprising events I can remember in a thriller and Pearl is very good on the daily issues and inconveniences experienced by the disabled.

Overall, a thumping good read with a white knuckle conclusion.

Purchase Links

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-chair-man-alex-pearl/1136672496?ean=2940164005511

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1009862

https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-chair-man/id1503252665

Author Bio –

Alex’s first novel ‘Sleeping with the Blackbirds’, a darkly humorous urban fantasy, written for children and young adults, was initially published by PenPress in 2011. It has since become a Kindle bestseller in the US. In 2014, his fictionalised account of the first British serviceman to be executed for cowardice during the First World War was published by Mardibooks in its anthology, ‘The Clock Struck War’. A selection of his blog posts is also available in paperback under the title ‘Random Ramblings of a Short-sighted Blogger.’ In 2019, his psychological thriller, ‘The Chair Man’ that is set in London in 2005 following the terrorist attack on its public transport system, was published as an ebook by Fizgig Press. The paperback followed in 2020.

Alex lives in NW London with his wife and terribly spoilt feline.

He is quite possibly the only human being on this planet to have been inadvertently locked in a record shop on Christmas Eve.

You can visit his website at http://booksbyalexpearl.weebly.com

Social Media Links – https://linktr.ee/AlexPearl

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/

Here and No

‘Then and Now’ by RJ Gould

Sandy is about to retire following an illustrious career as editor of an upmarket fashion magazine.

Michael can’t retire, he thinks his work to explain the dangers of climate change is far too important.

Jonathan is considering retiring from running his fundraising consultancy.

These three were the best of friends at university before a tragedy wrecked their friendship. They haven’t spoken since.

Fifty years on, they arrange to meet at a reunion. Having reminisced about student life during a wild and self-indulgent era with its heady mix of free love, drugs and ground-breaking music, they share their life journeys since the Swinging Sixties – the successes and failures, the happiness and despair, and their optimism and fears for the future.

The reunion is drawing to a close. Dare they tackle the incident that tore them apart, an event that has brought guilt for so many years? If they are to have any chance of reconciliation they have to, but the clock is ticking.

I first encountered the work of RJ Gould last year when I reviewed his novel ‘Dream Café’ (Very good, by the way, would recommend.) https://pajnewman.com/2021/09/06/catering-to-the-romantics/

A fellow male aficionado of the romance genre, both that novel and this one allow Gould to explore the hope and bittersweet experiences which beset lives as people grow, develop and get older.

Here the protagonists are coming towards the end of their careers – or not as the case maybe – and are wrestling with the way society views the Baby Boomers as well as fallout from a long buried event from their youth.

Oddly, perhaps the text which ‘Then and Now’ most reminded me of, however, was ‘Our Friends in the North’. Gould is a jolly writer and one who’s characters burst with joie de vivre but there is a lovely tonal shift in the characterisation which allows him to explore the melancholia and less upbeat experiences of life too.

Having said that, I think Sandy is my favourite. She’s a lovely character. A successful woman, downing champagne and exactly the sort of life and soul of the party person it would be fun to share a glass or two of fizz with.

‘Then and Now’ is another engaging outing from Mr RJ Gould.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/R-J-Gould/e/B006QLQZ8S

US – https://www.amazon.com/R-J-Gould/e/B006QLQZ8S

Author Bio –

R J Gould writes contemporary fiction about relationships, using a mix of humour and pathos to describe the tragi-comic life journeys of his characters. Then and now is his seventh novel, following The Engagement Party, Jack and Jill Went Downhill, Mid-life follies, The bench by Cromer beach, Nothing Man and Dream Café. He is a member of Cambridge Writers and a rare male member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Before becoming a full-time author he worked in the educational and charity sectors.

R J Gould lives in Cambridge.

Social Media Links –

Website:                          http://www.rjgould.info

Twitter:                            https://twitter.com/RJGould_author

Email:                               rjgould.author@gmail.com

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

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

Goodreads                     https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6432126.R_J_Gould

High Plains Drifters

‘Inner Trek: A Reluctant Pilgrim in the Himalayas’ by Mohan Ranga Rao

After being threatened by a Bangalore mob boss, retired Indian businessman in Mohan Ranga Rao makes a vow: if he somehow gets out of the situation, he will thank the gods by going on Kailash Mansarova, a holy mountain pilgrimage in Tibet. What starts out as merely a challenging high-altitude trek soon becomes a life-changing adventure. With a blend of humour, honesty and keen insight, Mohan journeys toward a deeper understanding of the world around him.

A memoir of a road less traveled and a true story of self-discovery at 18,000 feet.

I am not, I must confess, an especially spiritual man. In fact, I am I think about as far removed from being spiritual as it is possible to be. For reasons now lost to the mists of time, I once ended up studying GCSE Buddhism. A fascinating topic as far as a sociological study of a totally different culture goes but the report from our teacher began, “despite Peter being unable to maintain even a moment’s peace and serenity…” so no, not a natural spiritualist.

Probably about as close as I get to feeling there is more to the life than this version our animated meat carcasses wander around in, is when travelling. Obviously this was as much a casualty of the pandemic as many other things but being in a different culture and meeting people of wildly different experiences and outlooks is good for the planet and good for (what passes for) the soul in my opinion.

I was, therefore, taking a risk by agreeing to review Mohan Ranga Rao’s memoir, ‘Inner Trek: A Reluctant Pilgrim in the Himalayas’. It lies outside usual reading fare, I’ve never been to the Himalayas and there was a chance that it was going to be chakras and inner peace: ‘Eat, Pray, Love at 3000 Feet’.

I needn’t have worried: Mr Rao is – if the initial impression he cultivates at the beginning of the text can be believed – even more secular than me. This lends a gently pleasing arc to his narrative as he explores the world beyond property speculations and land extorting gangasters.

A carefully crafted, enjoyable opportunity for the mind to explore, ‘Inner Trek: A Reluctant Pilgrim in the Himalayas’ is a potential treat for those of us for whom explorative travel is still a long way off at the moment and Mr Rao is that most engaging of guide’s – the one who does the heavy lifting.

Purchase Links – https://www.amazon.com/Inner-Trek-Reluctant-Pilgrim-Himalayas/dp/1945736119

Author Bio –

Mohan Ranga Rao is an accomplished businessman, an avid traveller and a generous philanthropist. He has visited over thirty different countries and is drawn to places of natural beauty and physically-challenging trails. Mohan lives in Mysore with his wife Mamatha. They have two adult children. He plays tennis daily, takes frequent hikes and reads anything from scotch labels to quantum physics to Vedanta.

Social Media Links –

https://www.instagram.com/innertrek_mohanrangarao/

https://www.facebook.com/myinnertrek/

Twitter: @mohanrangarao

@rararesources

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