The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello by Chris McDonald #TheStonebridgeMysteries

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my thoughts about the first in the series of The Stonebridge Mysteries by Chris McDonald, a novella published recently by Red Dog Press. This is a no spoiler review. Thanks to Meggy for the invitation to read and review.

Synopsis:

Wedding bells are chiming in the idyllic, coastal town of Stonebridge. For Sam and Emily, it should be the happiest day of their lives. But on the morning of the ceremony, the best man is found dead. The police quickly write his death off as a tragic accident, but something doesn’t seem right to wedding guest and groomsman, Adam Whyte.

Armed with an encyclopaedic, but ultimately ridiculous knowledge of television detective shows and an unwarranted confidence in his own abilities, Adam and his best friend (and willing Watson) Colin, set out to uncover what actually happened to Daniel Costello.

Buy links:

Amazon Link: mybook.to/Stonebridge

Red Dog Press: https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/shop

My thoughts:

This is the first book I’ve read by Chris McDonald and I’m already looking forward to reading more of the Stonebridge series. I have seen great reviews for Chris’s DI Erika Piper Series but must admit that I prefer a cosy mystery at the moment (I also enjoyed reading the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew as a teenager).

This is a book I read in one sitting. Adam and Colin are determined to prove that Daniel’s death wasn’t an accidental alcohol induced death. Channelling their inner Sherlock and Watson, they work together to piece together the events of the previous evening and night, to see who may want to harm the best man the night before the wedding.

Loved the story, the humour and the friendship between Adam and Colin. This book was a welcome escape from the reality of 2021 and I’m happy to recommend it to fans of cosy mysteries.

Author Bio:

Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime. A Wash of Black is his first attempt at writing a book. He came up with the initial idea whilst feeding his baby in the middle of the night, which may not be the best thing to admit, considering the content. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs. Whispers in the Dark is the second installment in the DI Erika Piper series, and Chris is currently working on his latest series, The Stonebridge Mysteries, to be published by Red Dog Press in 2021. 

Until We’re Fish by Susannah R Drissi

Today I’m pleased to be sharing my thoughts about Until We’re Fish by Susannah R Drissi as part of the blog tour organised by Anne Cater of Random Things Tours and Propertius Press. Thank you to Susannah for a signed copy of the book, sent from California. My thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

A man can be destroyed but never defeated.

Stunning and elegiac, Susannah Rodríguez Drissi’s debut novel Until We’re Fish juxtaposes vivid landscapes, brilliant, playful meditations on life, and penetrating insights into the human heart, to richly bring to life the story of rapscallion dreamer Elio, a Cuban teen whose unbridled confidence is severely tested after a near-fatal shark attack.

Elio longs for freedom from the dreary home he shares with his mother. He spends his days and nights fantasizing about an American bike and Maria, his vivacious next-door neighbor. Two obstacles stand in his way: the 1959 Cuban Revolution and Maria’s dream of moving to Chicago. Yet Elio is steadfast in believing that somehow, some way he will get both the girl and the Schwinn. When an injury leaves him terrified of the sea, he’s faced with an impossible choice: to overcome his fear and do whatever it takes to realize his vision, or to stay safe, and risk losing everything he’s been living for. 

An unforgettable coming-of-age story, Until We’re Fish blends the romance, violence, mood, and ethos of the Cuban Revolution with a young man’s hopeless and heroic first love. With the truth of experience and the lyricism of poetry, Rodríguez Drissi constructs an exquisite, gossamer tale of revolution and hearts set adrift. A Don Quixote for our times, Until We’re Fish is an intimate exploration into the souls of people willing to sacrifice everything to be free.  

My thoughts:

This beautifully written book starts in 1959, as young Elio deals with being being abandoned by his father, who has travelled to the USA to find fame and fortune. Elio suffers an injury at the beach and loses his nerve for swimming in the sea.

The book follows Elio, Pepe and Maria, as they grow up and start work in Cuba as the revolution changes the lives of the Cubans. Maria dreams of moving to Chicago but Elio doesn’t want to leave. The book is a blend of a coming of age story and a historical fiction novel. Would they stay or would they try to flee to the USA, to be able to live the consumer dream (Maria was obsessed with the Sears catalogue as a teenager).

This is a complex story, with Elio, Pepe and Maria on a variety of life journeys through over 30 years. I was engrossed by the story and enjoyed my virtual visit to Cuba, a world very different to England, especially during this time period. A book for both history and travel fans.

Author Bio:

Susannah Rodríguez Drissi, PhD is an award-winning Cuban-born poet, writer, playwright, translator, director, producer, and scholar. She is Faculty in Writing Programs
at UCLA, Affiliate Scholar in UC-Cuba Program Initiative, and Associate Literary Editor for Cuba Counterpoints,Cuban and Caribbean Research Studies Institute. As a 1.5-generation writer (born in Cuba in the 1970s, but coming of age in the US), Rodríguez Drissi writes about Cuba through a double lens—from the vantage point of the native and also from the benefit of a temporal and geographical distance.

Her poems, short stories, creative nonfiction, and reviews have appeared in anthologies such as In Season—Stories of Discovery, Loss, Home, and Places in Between (2018 Florida Book Award Winner); and journals such as the Los Angeles Review of Books, Saw Palm, Literal Magazine, Diario de Cuba (Madrid), SX Salon, Raising Mothers, Acentos Review, Cuba Counterpoints, among other journals. Following readings at the University of California, Irvine and the University of
California, Los Angeles, her award-winning play, Houses Without Walls, premiered at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in 2018. More recently, her short plays, The Fruit Flies and Rey y Atenea were selected to the 2019 Short+Sweet Theatre Festival and premiered at the Lee Strasberg Film & Theatre Institute, in Los Angeles. Rey y Atenea received an Audience Choice Award and was Finalist for the 2019 NBC Universal Talent Infusion Programs Award.

She is the author of the poetry collection The Latin Poet’s Guide to the Cosmos (Floricanto Press, 2019) and Rey y Atenea / Rey and Atenea, a Bilingual Edition (Cassandra Press, 2019). Her musical, Radio Nocturno, El Musical, wasscheduled to premiere at Miami Dade College’s Koubek Center, on August 6th, 2020, directed by Victoria Collado (John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons), musical direction by Jesse Sanchez (Hamilton, national tour), and produced by George Cabrera (Broadway Factor). The production was postponed due to COVID-19 and is now planned for August 2021.

Learn more at susannahrodriguezdrissi.com

The German Girl by Lily Graham

Today I’m pleased to be sharing my thoughts about the The German Girl by Lily Graham, published in ebook today by Bookouture. Thanks to Sarah Hardy for the invite to join the blog tour and for the free digital copy. My thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

‘Our parents were taken. And if we go home, the Nazis will take us too…’

Hamburg 1938. Fifteen-year-old Asta is hurrying home from school with her twin brother Jurgen. The mood in the city is tense – synagogues have been smashed with sledgehammers, and Asta is too frightened to laugh as she used to.

But when she and Jurgen are stopped in the street by a friend, her world implodes further. Her Jewish parents have been dragged into the streets by German soldiers and if she and Jurgen return to their house, they will be taken too.

Heartbroken at the loss of her parents, Asta knows they must flee. With her beloved brother, she must make the perilous journey across Germany and into Denmark to reach their only surviving relative, her aunt Trine, a woman they barely know.

Jammed into a truck with other refugees, Asta prays for a miracle to save herself and Jurgen. Crossing the border is a crime punishable by death, and what she and Jurgen must embark on a dangerous crossing on foot, through the snowy forest dividing Germany and Denmark. And when barking dogs and armed soldiers find Jurgen and Asta escapes, she must hold on to hope no matter what. One day she will find her twin, the other half of herself. Whatever the price she has to pay…

A gripping and poignant read that will break your heart and give you hope. Fans of Fiona Valpy, Kristin Hannah and Catherine Hokin will be gripped by the story of a brave brother and sister seeking safety during one of the darkest times in our history.  

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this book, my first historical fiction read of 2021 and a new author discovered. Lily Graham has set a high bar for the other historical fiction authors to reach, with great characters and emotive writing in this book.

The story starts in Sweden in 1995, when Ingrid is making changes to her life, including checking on her grandfather Jürgen. However she discovers that Jürgen is not who she has always thought he was. We travel back in time to Hamburg in the 1930’s to find out what happened to Asta, Jürgen and their family as the Nazi party tried to remove all the Jewish people in Western Europe.

I flew through the story, and found myself unable to put my Kindle down, wanting to find out what happened next. As usual in historical fiction novels set during this time period, there is a lot of tragedy and heartbreak, but there are also some lighter moments too. I’m happy to recommend the book to readers of my book blog and I will be looking to read more books by Lily Graham in the future.

Author Bio:

Lily has been telling stories since she was a child, starting with her imaginary rabbit, Stephanus, and their adventures in the enchanted peach tree in her garden, which she envisioned as a magical portal to Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree. She’s never really got out of the habit of making things up, and still thinks of Stephanus rather fondly.

She lives with her husband and her English bulldog, Fudge, and brings her love for the sea and country-living to her fiction.

https://twitter.com/lilygrahambooks

https://www.facebook.com/LilyRoseGrahamAuthor/

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://bit.ly/3b2aGdL

Ivy Hill Christmas: A Tales from Ivy Hill Novella by Julie Klassen @Julie_Klassen @Bethany_House @BPGUK @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Thank you to Love Book Tours for the invitation to join the blog tour for this festive historical fiction novella. Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book, my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill’s most prominent family, hasn’t been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life–unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/2UZEkH6

My thoughts:

This is the first book I’ve read by Julie Klassen so I haven’t read the previous books in the Ivy Hill series yet. However I’m pleased to say that it didn’t cause any issues with reading this book.

I’ve read a few festive novels this year (primarily to escape the news about the global pandemic) but this is the first one that took me back in time almost 200 years. I enjoyed my trip back in time, to a world very different today.

I enjoyed reading about Richard, what had driven him to leave his family home (Brockwell Court) and why he had avoided going home. This Christmas is his opportunity to face up to the past and to make plans for the future, and to share his worries with his brother too.

Richard appears to be a very self centred young man, who Arabella wisely avoids, but slowly we start to understand what happened to make him struggle to trust people and see what happens when he starts to think about others first.

An enjoyable read that I’m happy to recommend.

Author Bio:

Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books, The Silent GovernessThe Girl in the Gatehouse, and The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also won the Midwest Book Award, the Minnesota Book Award, and Christian Retailing’s BEST Award, and been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards and ACFW’s Carol Awards. She blogs at http://www.inspiredbylifeandfiction.com.
Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Create Your Own Calm by Meera Lee Patel @meeraleepatel @omarabooks @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #CreateYourOwnCalm

Today I’m sharing my thoughts about this beautiful book on the Love Books Tours blog tour (and will be sharing more images on my Instagram page @karenkisreading)

Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of Start Where You Are, a beautifully illustrated journal for easing the everyday anxieties we all carry.

Feeling anxious, uncertain, overwhelmed? You’re not alone. In this empowering new tool for self-care, popular artist and author Meera Lee Patel presents a fresh approach to feeling better. Designed to help us better understand ourselves and dial down the everyday worries getting in our way, these thoughtful and beautifully illustrated journal pages are a safe space for reflection, self-acceptance, and the freedom to move forward with more clarity and joy.

Bringing together inspiring quotes from great thinkers and writers throughout history and engaging journal prompts and plenty of room to capture your thoughts, the book is a calming breath of fresh air and a quiet space to reflect and recharge in a hectic and uncertain world.

My thoughts:

Thank you to Michael O’Mara Books and Love Books Tours for the opportunity to read and review this beautiful ‘self-help’ book.

2020 has increased the anxiety levels of the majority of people, with increased health and financial worries due to the global pandemic. It is difficult to avoid ‘bad news’ on TV or the internet at the moment, but this book gives you time to reflect and recharge.

In my work life, I work with young people, encouraging them to reflect on their past work and achievements and values before looking forward to their future. However, this is something I rarely do myself. However since this book arrived last week, I’ve been looking through it and taking time to think about the different ideas it suggests.

The book is beautiful to look at, full of colour and quotes, with lots of activities to encourage you to think and reflect. I haven’t kept a personal diary or journal since my first pregnancy 18 years ago but I will be using this book in 2021 to see if I can reduce my anxiety levels. My 15 year old daughter has asked me to buy a copy for her too.

Author Bio:

Meera Lee Patel is a self-taught artist and the author of Start Where You Are, Made Out of Stars, and My Friend Fear. She creates work to inspire and encourage others to connect with themselves, each other, and the world around them. She lives in the northern woods of Nashville, Tennessee.

Buy Link 

https://amzn.to/3mdWeCb

in pursuit of happiness by Freya Kennedy

Thank you To Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to join the Boldwood Books blog tour for this lovely book. I enjoyed reading The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn during the summer (see my review at https://mentoringmumof2bookreviews.home.blog/2020/07/01/the-hopes-and-dreams-of-libby-quinn-by-freya-kennedy/) and was thrilled to be able to head back to Ivy Lane again.

Synopsis:

The world is waiting…but just outside of your comfort zone.

Jo Campbell is perfectly content in a perfectly structured life.
Nothing ever changes in Jo’s life, and she likes it that way.
Or at least, she tells herself she does.
Most of the time, she manages to push down the tiny voice that tells her to chase her dream and maybe, just maybe, open her battered and bruised heart up to love.
But to chase her dreams she needs to take chances that are way out of her comfort zone and learn to not put other people’s happiness above her own.
Most of all she has to learn to trust her heart, which may just be the biggest challenge of all.

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

My thoughts:

It was lovely to return to Ivy Lane to meet the characters created by Freya Kennedy in The Hopes and Dreams of Libby Quinn. We do spend time with Libby and her lovely bookshop, but the main character this time is Jo, who has been putting everyone else ahead of her own dreams.

Jo helps her adopted brother with his pub, helps her mum care for her young adopted sister whilst her dad is working away and keeps an eye on elderly Harry at his shop in Ivy Lane. It is time for Jo to stop procrastinating and to work towards her dream of being a published writer. As her friend Libby has a bookshop with desks for writers and non stop coffee on offer, what could stop her?

I loved how Freya developed the relationships in the story, especially Jo with Clara her much younger sister. Jo also finds time to show Lorcan around when he comes to visit Harry, his grandfather and through a bookshop event, meets a best selling author who offers to help her achieve her dream of being a published author.

This is a non spoiler review, so I won’t ruin your journey through the book but will say that the course of events don’t always run smoothly. I loved my time back in Ivy Lane and hope that Freya Kennedy (aka Claire Allan) will take us back there again in the future.

Author Bio:

Freya Kennedy lives in Derry, Northern Ireland, with her husband, two children, two cats and a mad dog called Izzy. She worked as a journalist for eighteen years before deciding to write full time. When not writing, she can be found reading, hanging out with her nieces and nephews, cleaning up after her children (a lot) and telling her dog that she loves her. 

She has met Michael Buble and even kissed him. It was one of her best ever moments.

She believes in happy ever afters.

Freya Kennedy is a pen name for Claire Allan, who also writes psychological thrillers.

Social Media Links – 

http://www.claireallan.com/

https://twitter.com/ClaireAllan / 
https://twitter.com/AuthorFreya

https://www.facebook.com/ClaireAllanAuthor

https://www.instagram.com/claireallan_author/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/freya-kennedy

Newsletter sign up: http://bit.ly/FreyaKennedyNewsletter

The Cornish Cream Tea Christmas by Cressida McLaughlin

Thank you to Anne of Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour for this festive book. Thank you to Harper Collins/Harper Fiction for a copy of the book to prepare for the review. My thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

Hannah Swan is looking forward to Christmas for the first time in years. Her new job as an eco-consultant is taking her – and her geeky colleague, Noah – to the beautiful Cornish village of Porthgolow for the first time.

They’re are helping the Crystal Waters Hotel to ramp up its green credentials, though after a bumpy journey, Hannah can’t shake off the feeling that Porthgolow is strangely familiar. Never able to resist a mystery, her interest is piqued when the hotel’s staff and customers report odd noises and sightings, believing the hotel to be haunted.

When bad weather cuts off Porthgolow, Hannah and Noah are looking at a Cornish Christmas. It gives them plenty of time to work out what is really going on, but will their yuletide escape send shivers up their spines? Or will it be as warm and toasty as a glass of mulled wine?

My thoughts:

Having started to reduce my book blogging commitments as I returned to work, an email about this book from Anne at Random Things Tours popped into my inbox. Despite not having read any books by Cressida McLaughlin before, the gorgeous cover design and mentioning Cornwall, Cream Teas and Christmas in the title, meant that I had to email straight back to Anne to offer to read and review.

I’m so glad that I did reply, because I loved the book. As I said above, I haven’t read any books by Cressida before, so I have missed the first two books in the series, but that didn’t stop me understanding and enjoying this book. I’m also pleased to see that there is a fourth book in the series out in 2021, but I won’t name it here (spoiler alert for this story).

Hannah travels to Cornwall for work, but finds herself falling in love with the area, the food, and the people. Of course, this is set in a non Covid world, and it was lovely to be able to visit the Cream Tea bus with Hannah, to spend time at the Crystal Waters Hotel and the Seven Stars pub.

The story was a welcome escape from 2020, full of travel, food and new friendships. As regular readers of my blog know, I love it when a dog is an integral part of the story, and there are six dogs in this story.

One of my favourite festive reads of 2020. Grab a copy, a cream scone and a hot chocolate (or a gingerbread latte), and curl up with Hannah, Noah, Sprite and all the other fabulous characters. Just watch out for the ghosts…

Author Bio:

Cressy was born in South East London surrounded by books and with a cat named after Lawrence of Arabia. She studied English at the University of East Anglia and now lives in Norwich with her husband David. When she isn’t writing, Cressy spends her spare time reading, returning to London or exploring the beautiful Norfolk coastline.

One Snowy Week in Springhollow by Lucy Knott

Thank you to Vicky Joss at Aria Fiction for the invitation to join the blog tour for this fabulous festive book. Thank you for a digital copy via NetGalley, my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

Tomboy Scarlett thought Devon would be her best friend forever. He was the only person in Springhollow who supported her ambitious artist dreams. But then one winter, Devon and his parents disappear without warning to start a new life in NYC and a devastated Scarlett is left alone to face her high-school bullies and overbearing mother.

Fast-forward ten years: Scarlett is playing it safe in her childhood village with a dull PA job and a wardrobe that passes her mother’s old-fashioned standards. Meanwhile, Devon is a Hollywood heartthrob, starring in the latest superhero blockbuster. And he’s finally coming home for Christmas…

Scarlett can’t help blaming her former best friend for the way her life has turned out, but Devon’s cheeky charm and gorgeous smile prove difficult to resist. Devon always did make her feel on top of the world, but Scarlett knows her heart isn’t racing just because she has her friend back – is it mistletoe madness, or is she seeing Devon in a completely new light?

Scarlett hasn’t taken a risk in years… but this Christmas of second chances could finally be her time to shine

My thoughts:

This is the third book I’ve read by Lucy and I have to confess that this is my new favourite. Having enjoyed reading Wishes Under a Starlit Sky last year, I didn’t think Lucy could improve her storytelling but I loved this book even more.

Scarlett was devastated when her best friend Devon left for New York and changed her life totally, including stopping the love of comic book superheroes she had shared with Devon. So when Devon appears back in Springhollow to promote his new superhero movie, how will Scarlett react?

This book mixes romance, friendships, misunderstandings, peppermint coffees, superheroes, comic books, school bullies, gingerbread houses and the Avengers together and produces a lovely festive story which helped this reader escape the news of lockdown part two.

This book was published around the time of national anti bullying week, and demonstrates how being bullied at school can continue to impact on a person, long after they have left school. Devon had been Scarlett’s protection from the bullies, and losing him changed her life in more ways than everyone realised.

I love Christmas, the Marvel movies and romance, and this book delivered everything lightly dusted with snowflakes and served with freshly baked gingerbread. A lovely festive five star read.

Author Bio:

Lucy Knott is a former professional wrestler with a passion for storytelling. Now, instead of telling her stories in the ring, she’s putting pen to paper, fulfilling another lifelong dream in becoming an Author.

Inspired by her Italian Grandparents, when she is not writing you will most likely find her cooking, baking and devouring Italian food, in addition to learning Italian and daydreaming of trips to Italy.

Along with her twin sister, Kelly, Lucy runs TheBlossomTwins.com, where she enthusiastically shares her love for books, baking and Italy, with daily posts, reviews and recipes.

Follow Lucy:

Twitter: @TheBlossomTwins

Facebook: @TheBlossomTwins 

Instagram: @theblossomtwins

Pre-order links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/32sEaMQ 

Kobo: https://bit.ly/3pf4Ry7 

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2Ikp84y 

iBooks: https://apple.co/35dyPdZ 

Follow Aria 

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

Three Seasons of Sadie by Richard Masefield

Thanks to Lizzie at Red Door for an invite to join the blog tour and a copy of the book. My thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

The sixties are in full swing days of hedonism, youth culture and free love. Not so for Sam Ashby, a hormonally-charged country boy, busy navigating a turbulent adolescence. 

Frustrated by his lack of success, especially with girls, nineteen-year-old Sam accepts the job of Assistant Stage Manager and general dogsbody at the Meads Theatre in Eastbourne, where his world’s about to change, in ways he could never have imagined. 

Enter stage left Abigail Compton, glamorous star of stage and screen to dazzle, to embarrass and divest poor Sam of his every last defence (including his best shrink-to-fit Levi Strauss blue jeans) on his way across the shaky bridge to adulthood. 

The final playful episode in Richard Masefield’s quintet of Sussex novels and a sequel to his bestselling Chalkhill BlueThree Seasons of Sadie is a genuinely funny rite of passage story set in the provincial theatre of the nineteen-sixties.

My thoughts:

This is the first book I’ve read by Richard Masefield and I will look out for his previous Sussex novels, because I enjoyed this book. Before we dive into the book, I wanted to remind everyone to look at gorgeous cover (by http://www.clareconnieshephard.com) and remember the days of visiting theatres in person in pre-Covid 19 days.

This book is set in the nineteen sixties, when my parents were ‘courting’, so I loved reading about what life was like during that era. The story follows Sam, who after introducing himself at the start of the book over the first few chapters, regales us with the story of the summer he was nineteen and working at The Meads Theatre in Eastbourne.

From turning a bath blue trying to shrink Levi jeans, to trying to solve the mystery of who is out to sabotage the play, starring Abigail Compton, this is a book that was enjoyable to read, a coming of age story mixed with historical fiction about the sixties.

Sam experiences a number of events which change his summer (and life) as he moves from a boy to a man after spending time with Cordelia and Abigail. There is a great mix of characters and Sam has to cope with a variety of disasters and unexpected challenges over the time that Three Seasons of Sadie is being performed at The Meads.

I enjoyed my virtual time travel visit to Eastbourne and I look forward to reading more books by Richard Masefield in the future.

Author Bio:

Richard Masefield comes from a family of writers – John Masefield was his cousin – and with a love of animals and the outdoors he decided at a young age that he would farm and write, if necessary both at once. 
It took years of hard work before Richard could realise his dream, and in fact his first published novel was written while milking a herd of Friesian cows. He still lives on his farm in Sussex with his wife Lee and together they spend as much time as possible with their large family of children and grandchildren.

You can visit Richard’s website at http://www.richardmasefield.co.uk

Banking on Murder (Parker Sisters #1) by J.D. Whitelaw #BankingOnMurder @JDWhitelaw13 @RedDogTweets #RedTour

Thank you to Meggy at Red Dog Press for the invite to join the blog tour. Thank you J D Whitelaw and Red Dog Press for a digital review copy, my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis: 

Martha Parker runs a small private detective agency in Glasgow with her two sisters, Helen and Geri. They specialise in catching cheating partners and those playing away from home. 

The Parkers are hired by the reclusive wife of a wealthy banker she suspects is breaking their vows, but when he shows up murdered, it’s up to Martha, Helen and Geri to prove the wife’s innocence in their most dangerous case yet.

My thoughts:

This book was just what I needed for a dark and dreary December day in the middle of a global pandemic and I’m thrilled to see that this is the first of three books about the Parker sisters.

Martha, Helen and Geri are great characters, each very different but always fiercely protective of their sisters. We don’t get a huge back story for any of them, but enough to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Reflecting on the book, the majority of the main characters are female, from the women in the murder victim’s life to the senior police officer to the Parker sisters.

The sisters have been paid a large amount of cash to find out if Gordon Coulthard was cheating on his wife. However is this cash enough to deal with a hot tempered Tracey, a jealous Estelle and a dead body? This is a no spoiler review, so you will need to buy or borrow a copy of the book.

The story may be a little far fetched for readers who need everything to be done by the book. However, this reader thoroughly enjoyed the mystery, the mayhem and the murder investigation. I look forward to meeting the Parker sisters again in the future.

Buy Links: 

https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/banking-on-murder

Amazon

mybook.to/BankingOnMurder

Publication date: December 3rd 2020

Author Bio:

J.D. Whitelaw is an author, journalist and broadcaster. After working on the frontline of Scottish politics, he moved into journalism. Subjects he has covered have varied from breaking news, the arts, culture and sport to fashion, music and even radioactive waste – with everything in between. He’s also a regular reviewer and talking head on shows for the BBC. Banking on Murder is the first of three Parker sister novels. They follow his hugely successful HellCorp series. His debut in 2015 was the critically acclaimed Morbid Relations