Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell @Caroline_writes @bookouture #blogblitz

** advanced copy received via publisher **

Happy Halloween! It’s such a pleasure to host a stop on the blog blitz for Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell. Many thanks to Noelle Holten and Bookouture for the opportunity!

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Author : Caroline Mitchell
Title : Murder Game
Series : Detective Ruby Preston #3
Pages : 285
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : October 31, 2017

aboutthebook

A killer is playing a twisted game of life or death with his victims. After he captures them, a countdown begins. He marks the time by sending clues to the whereabouts of the women he has taken in three disturbing images: alive, tortured, dead.

In a race against the clock, East London Detective Ruby Preston must play the killer’s terrifying murder game and decipher the clues before more women die.

But this isn’t the first time the police have seen such a sickening crime. The notorious Lonely Hearts Killer, Mason Gatley, was put behind bars ten years ago for murdering six women in exactly the same chilling way. Desperate for more information, Ruby asks her gangster boyfriend, Nathan Crosby, to set up a dangerous meeting to allow her to see into the twisted mind of a murderer.

But the closer Ruby grows to the dark and charming Mason Gatley, the more worried her team becomes. Is he really helping her catch the killer? Or is he lining her up to be his next victim?

mythoughts

One word : brilliant! What? You need more words to convince you to buy and read this? I’ll try but it won’t be easy as this latest instalment in the Ruby Preston series totally blew my mind. It’s that good, people! Sadly, it’s also the final book of the series. Let’s take a minute to let that sink in.

Someone’s playing a rather macabre game, a murder game. You know, in case you missed that from the title. 😉 When a woman goes missing, a countdown is set in motion and the killer will leave clues in the form of pictures : alive, tortured, dead. Ruby and her team find themselves in a race against the clock when a second woman goes missing.

These acts are reminiscent of a serial killer’s work ten years ago. To find answers to her questions, Ruby sets out to meet him in prison. But this notorious killer may just be playing a game of his own. Will he help Ruby? Or is she putting her own life in danger?

These two killers, the original one and the copycat, are by far two of the most disturbing characters I’ve ever met. Talk about chills running up and down your spine. Murder Game is one dark and intense ride and had me guessing until the end. I had no idea who was responsible for these murders and when the killer was finally revealed, I think my eyes popped out of my head. Utterly blind-sided! Love it!

As always, Caroline Mitchell gets the balance between Ruby’s personal and private life spot-on. Her relationship with Nathan continues to fascinate me and I can’t wait to see how things will develop in the future. Can there ever be a happy ending for them? Or will Ruby have to make a choice? These are important questions, people, and apart from the brilliant crime fiction aspect of these books, it’s why I keep reading. And you should too. At the risk of repeating myself, if you’re not reading this series then you are missing out!

Murder Game is out today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family, parrot and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. Published by Bookouture and Thomas & Mercer, she now writes full time and all her books have become number 1 best sellers in their categories.

Her fast-paced DC Jennifer Knight thrillers carry a hint of the supernatural and are weaved from Caroline’s personal experiences in the police and paranormal.

Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston series is described as “terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers”.

 Caroline also writes psychological thrillers, the most recent, Witness, has been described as “thrilling, tense, exciting, dark and twisted in the best possible way”.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

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Murder Game - Blog Tour 2

 

Anne Boleyn : A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir @AlisonWeirBooks @headlinepg

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Author : Alison Weir
Title : Anne Boleyn : A King’s Obsession
Series : The Six Tudor Queens #2
Pages : 507
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : May 18, 2017

aboutthebook

The young woman who changed the course of history.

Fresh from the palaces of Burgundy and France, Anne draws attention at the English court, embracing the play of courtly love.

But when the King commands, nothing is ever a game.

Anne has a spirit worthy of a crown – and the crown is what she seeks. At any price.

ANNE BOLEYN. The second of Henry’s Queens. Her story.
History tells us why she died. This powerful novel shows her as she lived.

mythoughts

For most people, Anne Boleyn probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. No matter how you feel about her, she was a pretty influential figure in Tudor history. Having read quite a bit about her, I at first found Alison Weir’s version of her to be rather conflicting to all the other information stored in my pea-sized brain and I struggled for a while.

Most things you read about Anne Boleyn depict her as a manipulative, conniving so-and-so who’s determined to ruin a marriage and become Queen. But Alison Weir has taken a different approach and has made a valiant attempt to cast a more sympathetic light on Anne Boleyn and despite my early misgivings, she completely managed to convince me.

As always, it’s incredibly obvious Alison Weir has done her research, which is evident from the author’s notes that are also truly interesting to read. Based on that research, could it possibly be that it wasn’t Anne who set her eyes on the King but the other way around? And when a King chases you and you realise what you could achieve if you were a queen, what would you do? Was Anne a pawn? Was she an evil, ambitious woman or was she simply misunderstood? You’ll have to read this story and make up your own mind.

I found Anne Boleyn : A King’s Obsession to be thoroughly thought-provoking and as I’ve mentioned, my opinion of her has changed. Alison Weir deftly guides us through Anne Boleyn’s life, from the very first time she leaves home until her untimely death. She made her mark but paid the price for it due to a fickle man who stopped at nothing to get his way. The Tudor era will never stop fascinating me and I can’t wait to read the next book in The Six Tudor Queens series which will be all about wife number three, Jane Seymour.

Anne Boleyn : A King’s Obsession is available now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Goodreads

Broken Bones by Angela Marsons @WriteAngie @bookouture #extract #AngelaMarsons

I’m beyond excited to be able to share an extract of Broken Bones by Angela Marsons with you tonight! Broken Bones is the seventh book in the Detective Kim Stone series, which is one my favourite crime fiction series and if you’re not reading this, you are missing out on a whole lot of awesome!

Anyway, here’s a little more information about the book and then I shall whet your appetite with the prologue. Get ready!

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Author : Angela Marsons
Title : Broken Bones
Series : DI Kim Stone #7
Pages : 374
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : November 3, 2017

aboutthebook

The murder of a young prostitute and a baby found abandoned on the same winter night signals the start of a disturbing investigation for Detective Kim Stone – one which brings her face to face with someone from her own horrific childhood.

As three more sex workers are murdered in quick succession, each death more violent than the last, Kim and her team realise that the initial killing was no one-off frenzied attack, but a twisted serial killer preying on the vulnerable.

At the same time, the search begins for the desperate woman who left her newborn baby at the station – but what looks like a tragic abandonment turns even more sinister when a case of modern slavery is uncovered.

The two investigations bring the team into a terrifying world of human exploitation and cruelty – and a showdown that puts Kim’s life at risk as shocking secrets from her own past come to light.

extract

 PROLOGUE
Black Country : Christmas Day


Lauren Goddard sat on the roof of the thirteen-storey block of flats. The winter sun shone a grid onto her bare feet dangling over the edge. The cold breeze nipped at her wiggling toes.

The protective grate had been erected some years ago after a father of seven had thrown himself over. By the time she was eleven she had stolen a pair of wire cutters from the pound shop and fashioned herself an access point to the narrow ledge that was her place of reflection. From this vantage point she could look to the beauty of the Clent Hills in the distance, block out the dank, grubby reality of below.

Hollytree was the place you were sent if Hell was having a spring clean. Problem families from the entire West Midlands were evicted from other estates and housed in Hollytree. It was displacement capital. Communities around the borough breathed sighs of relief as families were evicted. No one cared where they went. It was enough that they were gone and one more ingredient was added to the melting pot.

There was a clear perimeter around the estate over which the police rarely crossed. It was a place where the rapists, child molesters, thieves and ASBO families were put together in one major arena. And then guarded by police from the outside.

But today a peace settled around the estate, giving the illusion that the normal activities of robbing, raping and molesting were on pause because it was Christmas Day. That was bollocks. It was all still going on but to the backdrop of the Queen’s Speech.

Her mother was still slurring her way around the cheerless flat with a glass of gin in her hand. Her one concession to the event was the line of tinsel wrapped haphazardly around her neck as she stumbled from the living room to the kitchen for a refill.

Lauren didn’t expect a present or a card any more. She had once mentioned the excitement of her friends. How they had enjoyed presents, laughter, a roast dinner, a chocolate-filled stocking.

Her mother had laughed and asked if that was the kind of Christmas she wanted.

Lauren had innocently nodded yes.

The woman had clicked the television to the Hallmark Channel and told her to ‘fill her boots’.

Christmas meant nothing to Lauren. But at least she had this. Her one piece of Heaven. Always her safe place. Her escape.

She had disappeared unnoticed up here when she was seven years old and her mother had been falling all over the flat pissed as a fart.

How lucky was she to have been the only one of the four kids her mother had been allowed to keep?

She had escaped up here when her mother’s drinking partner, Roddy, had started pawing at her groin and slobbering into her hair. Her mother had pulled him off, angrily, shouting something about ruining her retirement plan.

She hadn’t understood it when she was nine years old but she had come to understand it now.

She had cried up here on her sixteenth birthday when her mother had introduced her to the family business and to their pimp, Kai Lord.

She’d been up here two months earlier when he had finally found her.

And she’d been up here when she’d told him to fuck right off.

She didn’t want to be saved. It was too late.

Sixteen years of age and already it was too damn late.

Many times she had fantasised about how it would feel to lurch forward onto the wind.

She had envisioned herself floating to and fro, gently making the journey like a stray pigeon feather all the way to the ground. Had imagined the feeling of weightlessness of both her body and her mind.

Lauren took a deep breath and exhaled. In just a few minutes it would be time to go to work. Heavy rain, sleet, snow, Christmas – nothing kept the punters away. Trade might be slow but it would still be there. It always was.

She didn’t hear the roof door open or the footsteps that slowly strode towards her.

She didn’t see the hand that pushed her forward.

She only saw the ground as it hurtled towards her.

***

😲. Well, I don’t know about you but I’m hooked!

If you’d like to read more, Broken Bones will be published on November 3rd but is already available on pre-order!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

***

Make sure you also check out the previous books in the series!

abouttheauthor

Angela is the author of the Kim Stone Crime series. She discovered a love of writing at Primary School when a short piece on the rocks and the sea gained her the only merit point she ever got.

Angela wrote the stories that burned inside and then stored them safely in a desk drawer.

After much urging from her partner she began to enter short story competitions in Writer’s News resulting in a win and three short listed entries.

She used the Amazon KDP program to publish two of her earlier works before concentrating on her true passion – Crime.

Angela is now signed to write a total of 16 Kim Stone books for Bookouture  and has secured a print deal with Bonnier Zaffre Publishing.

Weekly Wrap-Up (October 29)

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Autumn is in full swing and I hate it. 😄. Sure, nature is pretty with all its stunning colours. But really, Autumn is just the prelude to Winter, which I quite frankly hate even more. I don’t like the short, dark days, the cold, that annoying icky white fluffy stuff that falls from the skies. I just count down the days to Spring. Luckily I have a lot of books to keep me entertained.

Since I was away last weekend, there was no wrap-up. But in the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll admit I read one book that week. Although in my defence, it was more than 500 pages long. 😜

This week was a bit better. A lot of catching up on blog tour reading and there’s more to come of that in the following weeks because November is absolutely INSANE! Anyway, I read 6 books this week and I’m halfway through the utterly brilliant Lie To Me by JT Ellison.

Books I read this week 

 

Books I bought this week

Too many! Too many! I already owned The Theseus Paradox and The Detriment on Kindle but really wanted the print copies too. The others are new additions. I just need time to read them 😄

 

ARC’s received via Netgalley

All these are necessary as I am on the blog tours. Lots more to come over the next few weeks. I’m downloading in bits and pieces so my rating doesn’t drop like a hot potato.

 

Skipping this next bit as apart from my own orders arriving, there was no book post this week. It’s okay. I’ll live. 😂


On the blog this past week

I didn’t post anything on Monday and Tuesday. It felt weird 😄

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Joined the blog tour for No Bodies by Robert Crouch

Friday : Took part in the blog blitz for Silent Lies by Kathryn Croft

Saturday : Shared my review of the brilliant The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

Sunday : Another blog blitz, this time for The Lost Child by Patricia Gibney, my weekly wrap-up and you may want to check back later tonight for something extra special. Just sayin’. 😉

Next week on Novel Deelights

Three more blog tours next week : Caroline Mitchell’s Murder Game, P.A. Davies’ Absolution and DK Hood’s Don’t Tell A Soul. And if I ever finish writing the four reviews in my drafts folder, there will be other stuff too 😂

That’s it. Have a great week and happy reading! xx

The Lost Child by Patricia Gibney @trisha460 @bookouture

** advanced copy received via publisher **

It is my absolute pleasure to join the blog blitz for The Lost Child by Patricia Gibney today! Many thanks to Kim Nash for the opportunity to join the tour and the advanced copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Patricia Gibney
Title : The Lost Child
Series : DI Lottie Parker #3
Pages : 483
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : October 27, 2017

aboutthebook

An elderly woman is found murdered in her own home, and Detective Lottie Parker and her partner Detective Boyd are called in to investigate. When they discover that the victim’s daughter is missing as well, they start to fear for the safety of the whole family…

Two days later as a nearby house is set on fire and with the body count rising, Lottie and her team begin to unpick a web of secrets and lies, as the murders seem to link back to a case investigated by Lottie’s father before he took his own life.

With little knowledge of what really happened to her father, Lottie knows this is a case that could give her some answers. But how much does she want to know? And how far is Lottie prepared to dig to uncover the truth?

mythoughts

I’ve loved this series from the first book and could barely contain my excitement when I got my grabby hands on this new addition. The Lost Child is the third book in the DI Lottie Parker series and really, I don’t know how Patricia Gibney does it, but she has once again raised the bar and delivered her best book yet!

An elderly lady is found dead, her daughter has gone missing and a few days later, a cottage burns to the ground claiming more victims. Lottie Parker and her team are in for a very busy week. When it looks like the investigation is somehow connected to her father, things get pretty personal for Lottie. Will she finally be able to discover the truth about his death?

I have to say that Lottie got on my nerves quite a bit this time around and I often felt like slapping her. But most of the time, as I sat reading, the words coming out of my mouth were along the lines of “holy crap, what the hell is going on?!”. I didn’t have a clue because one thing Patricia Gibney does extremely well, is create an intriguing background story with its roots firmly in the past that seemed to grab me by the throat and not let go. Once again, it’s the most heartbreaking, dark and disturbing story with devastating consequences and it had me utterly hooked!

The Lost Child is insanely gripping and compelling and I stayed up way too late in a desperate attempt to finish it. Absolutely worth the zombie look I’m displaying today. This series keeps going from strength to strength, as does the author’s writing. With an intricate and complex plot and amazing character development, Patricia Gibney has delivered another absolute corker.

If you’re not reading this series, do yourself a favour and start right now! From the beginning, people, or you’ll be missing out on a lot of important background information! In the meantime, I will sit here and impatiently await book number four.

The Lost Child is out now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Patricia lives in the midlands of Ireland. She is an avid crime reader so naturally she found herself writing in the crime genre.

A life changing experience in 2009, with the death of her 49 year old husband, meant she had to give up her career, and over the following few years, she rekindled her love of art and writing.

Initially Patricia wrote and illustrated a children’s book, but her real ambition was to write a novel. And she did!

In January 2016, she joined with Ger Nichol of The Book Bureau Literary Agency. In July 2016, Patricia signed with Bookouture for four DI Lottie Parker crime novels.

The Missing Ones (Book 1) published in March 2017 and to date has reached a high of number 2 in Amazon UK Kindle charts and number 6 in the US. It also achieved number 1 in all its categories. It is a bestseller in UK, US, Canada and Australia.

Facebook | Twitter | Website

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The Lost Child - Blog Tour

 

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

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Author : Allen Eskens
Title : The Life We Bury
Pages : 306
Publisher : Seventh Street Books
Publication date : October 14, 2014

aboutthebook

College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe’s life is ever the same.

Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran–and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

As Joe writes about Carl’s life, especially Carl’s valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory.

Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl’s conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it’s too late to escape the fallout?

mythoughts

To be fair, I’d never heard of Allen Eskens before. It wasn’t until one of my fellow book bloggers reviewed his latest book, “The Deep Dark Descending”, that he made it onto my radar. What a travesty that is because if The Life We Bury is anything to go by, I have been seriously missing out! And now that I’ve been introduced to his work, I’ll definitely be checking out his other work.

Joe Talbert is a college student who needs to write a biography for his English assignment. As he’s running out of time, he visits his nearby retirement village and meets Carl Iverson. Carl was in prison for the rape and murder of a fourteen year old girl back in 1980 but since he’s dying of cancer, he was released to the nursing home. When Joe gets to know Carl a little better, he finds it hard to reconcile this Vietnam war veteran with the horrifying murder he was sentenced for.

The Life We Bury is a multi-layered mystery with a fantastic puzzle that needs solving. Did Carl kill this young girl or not? If he didn’t, then who did? Together with his neighbour, Lila, Joe tries to unravel a mystery that dates back thirty years.

This story is full of suspense and incredibly compelling but it’s not just a thriller. It’s also an amazing character study, exploring the things we try to bury in order to live our lives. Events in Carl’s past might explain if he is or isn’t a murderer, just like events in Joe’s past compel him to find the truth and try to help a dying man. But Joe also struggles with an alcoholic mother who frequently abandons his autistic brother. Joe thought leaving for college and creating some distance would help, but he was wrong.

“No matter how hard you try, there are some things you can’t run away from.”

I adore the author’s descriptive writing and it had me gripped from start to finish. I was glued to the pages and utterly absorbed. This is an incredibly engrossing and compelling read and I highly recommend it! I can’t wait to read more by this author!

The Life We Bury was published in 2014.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Goodreads

Silent Lies by Kathryn Croft @bookouture #blogblitz

** advanced copy received via publisher **

It’s my pleasure to be hosting a stop on the blog blitz for Silent Lies by Kathryn Croft today! Many thanks to Noelle Holten and Bookouture for inviting me and for providing me with an advanced copy!

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Author : Kathryn Croft
Title : Silent Lies
Pages : 309
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : October 25, 2017

aboutthebook

Mia Hamilton lived the perfect life with her husband, university teacher Zach, and their two-year-old daughter, Freya. But everything changed when Zach committed suicide on the same night one of his students, Josie Carpenter, vanished.

Five years later, and Josie is still missing but Mia has finally found some happiness with new boyfriend Will. Until one day when stranger Alison walks into her life and tells Mia that her husband didn’t kill himself.

Desperate to find out what really happened to Zach, Mia is forced to put her trust in Alison. But she soon discovers that Alison has her own agenda behind exposing the details of Zach’s death. Can Mia really believe anything Alison says?

Mia must decide how far she is willing to go to uncover the truth – even if she risks losing everything she loves.

mythoughts

Five years ago, Mia’s husband Zach committed suicide in the flat of one of his students on the same night this same student, Josie, goes missing. Mia had a hard time putting her life back together again but now she’s found happiness again with a new partner. Until one day, Alison arrives on her doorstep and claims Zach didn’t kill himself at all. But Alison seems to have some issues. Can she be trusted? Will Mia ever find out what really happened to her husband?

Man, I do so love it when an author can keep me guessing until the very end and Kathryn Croft managed it effortlessly! This, to me, is always the mark of an excellent story! There were times where I felt I should have figured things out but I couldn’t, which just made me flip the pages faster until I found myself completely and utterly blindsided by a jaw-dropping ending that left me spinning! Talk about not seeing something coming! Cor!

Silent Lies is incredibly intense and full of intrigue. Its gripping and compelling plot had me hooked from the very first page. The story is told through alternating chapters, switching between Mia in the present and Josie in the past. My only niggle is that maybe, just maybe, some things were a tad “out there” and I couldn’t quite find myself in some of the motives of the characters but none of this hampered my enjoyment for one second and I raced through this brilliant psychological thriller.

This is only the second book I’ve read by Kathryn Croft but I’ll definitely be catching up now and I look forward to whatever is next.

Silent Lies is available now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

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No Bodies by Robert Crouch @robertcrouchuk @CarolineBookBit #blogtour

** advanced copy received **

It is my absolute pleasure to host a stop on the blog tour for No Bodies by Robert Crouch today. Many thanks to Robert and Caroline Vincent for the opportunity and the advanced copy.

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Author : Robert Crouch
Title : No Bodies
Series : Kent Fisher Mysteries #2
Pages : 298
Publisher : n/a
Publication date : October 19, 2017

aboutthebook

Why would environmental health officer, Kent Fisher, show any interest in finding Daphne Witherington, the missing wife of a longstanding family friend? The police believe she ran off with Colin Miller, a rather dubious caterer, and Kent has problems of his own when a young girl who visits his animal sanctuary is rushed to hospital.

When enquiries into Colin Miller reveal a second missing wife, Kent picks up a trail that went cold over a year ago. But he’s struggling to find a connection between the women, even when he discovers a third missing wife.

Is there a killer on the loose in Downland? With no motive, no connection and no bodies, Kent may never uncover the truth.

mythoughts

No Bodies is the second book in the Kent Fisher Mysteries series and if you’ve not yet read the first one, you most definitely should as events carry over and relationships have already been established. Missing out on those things may influence your reading experience. Just so you know. I truly enjoyed No Accident when I read it a while ago, but I must say that I found this one to be so much better!

Not a lot of time has passed since events in the previous book and the consequences are evident from the start. Kent’s stepmother has moved in with him after the death of her husband, his job continues to be in jeopardy, his (non-existent) love life is a mess and now people seem to think he’s some kind of super sleuth. On top of that, things take a personal turn when Kent’s beloved sanctuary is threatened due to a little girl being admitted to hospital with a case of E-Coli.

Colonel Witherington asks Kent for help in locating his missing wife. Daphne disappeared almost a year ago. The Colonel thinks she must be dead but the police think she ran off with a lover. When it becomes clear another woman went missing around the same time, Kent becomes involved in another investigation. But with no bodies, no motive and no connection between the women, can Kent solve this mystery?

No Bodies has a brilliantly executed, multi-layered and intriguing plot which had me hooked from start to finish as I found myself trying to figure out the pieces of the puzzle. This series makes such a nice change from the crime fiction I normally read. It’s not all guts and gore. In fact, there’s very little of it. Think more cosy mystery, inspired by Columbo (incidentally also the name of Kent’s dog) or Agatha Christie.

Kent is an incredibly likeable character with a delicious sense of, sometimes quite dark, humour and he makes a fabulous main character. Since Kent is an Environmental Health Officer, the things he can or can’t do are limited and his determination to get to the truth keeps getting him into trouble. He doesn’t really have much authority, carries no weapons and relies purely on his wit. It’s a breath of fresh air to solve a mystery alongside a character that isn’t your typical chain-smoking and utterly flawed detective.

I thoroughly enjoyed this change of pace and if you enjoy your cosy mysteries, I have no doubt you will like the Kent Fisher Mysteries! I look forward to seeing more of Kent soon!

No Bodies is available now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Inspired by Miss Marple, Inspector Morse and Columbo, Robert Crouch wanted to write entertaining crime fiction the whole family could enjoy.

At their heart is Kent Fisher, an environmental health officer with more baggage than an airport carousel. Passionate about the environment, justice and fair play, he’s soon embroiled in murder.

Drawing on his experiences as an environmental health officer, Robert has created a new kind of detective who brings a unique and fresh twist to the traditional murder mystery. With complex plots, topical issues and a liberal dash of irreverent humour, the Kent Fisher mysteries offer an alternative to the standard police procedural.

Robert now writes full time and lives on the South Coast of England with his wife and their West Highland White Terrier, Harvey, who appears in the novels as Kent’s sidekick, Columbo.

To discover more, visit http://robertcrouch.co.uk.
Or find Robert on Twitter or Facebook.

***

No Bodies - Robert Crouch - Amended Blog Tour Poster

This Week in Books (October 25)

this-week-in-books

Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

Last book I finished reading :

Layout 1

Why would environmental health officer, Kent Fisher, show any interest in finding Daphne Witherington, the missing wife of a longstanding family friend? The police believe she ran off with Colin Miller, a rather dubious caterer, and Kent has problems of his own when a young girl who visits his animal sanctuary is rushed to hospital.

When enquiries into Colin Miller reveal a second missing wife, Kent picks up a trail that went cold over a year ago. But he’s struggling to find a connection between the women, even when he discovers a third missing wife.

Is there a killer on the loose in Downland?

With no motive, no connection and no bodies, Kent may never uncover the truth.

The book I’m currently reading :

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(Why, yes, this book was on the list last week too. Oops.)

Mia Hamilton lived the perfect life with her husband, university teacher Zach, and their two-year-old daughter, Freya. But everything changed when Zach committed suicide on the same night one of his students, Josie Carpenter, vanished.

Five years later, and Josie is still missing but Mia has finally found some happiness with new boyfriend Will.

Until one day when stranger Alison walks into her life and tells Mia that her husband didn’t kill himself.

Desperate to find out what really happened to Zach, Mia is forced to put her trust in Alison. But she soon discovers that Alison has her own agenda behind exposing the details of Zach’s death. Can Mia really believe anything Alison says?

What I’m reading next :

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An elderly woman is found murdered in her own home, and Detective Lottie Parker and her partner Detective Boyd are called in to investigate. When they discover that the victim’s daughter is missing as well, they start to fear for the safety of the whole family…

Two days later as a nearby house is set on fire and with the body count rising, Lottie and her team begin to unpick a web of secrets and lies, as the murders seem to link back to a case investigated by Lottie’s father before he took his own life.

With little knowledge of what really happened to her father, Lottie knows this is a case that could give her some answers. But how much does she want to know? And how far is Lottie prepared to dig to uncover the truth?

***

Have you read any of these? Any take your fancy? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

Dead Lands by Lloyd Otis @LloydOtisWriter @urbanebooks #blogtour #guestpost #DeadLands

Today, I’m hosting a stop on the blog tour for Dead Lands by Lloyd Otis and it is my absolute pleasure to welcome the author to the blog. Before I hand over to Lloyd Otis, here’s a little information about the book!

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Author : Lloyd Otis
Title : Dead Lands
Pages : 320
Publisher : Urbane Publications
Publication date : October 12, 2017

aboutthebook

When a woman’s body is found a special team is called in to investigate and prime suspect Alex Troy is arrested for the murder. Desperate to remain a free man, Troy protests his innocence, but refuses to use his alibi. Trying to protect the woman he loves becomes a dangerous game – questions are asked and suspicions deepen.

When the prime suspect completes a daring escape from custody, DI Breck and DS Kearns begin the hunt. Breck wants out of the force while Kearns has her own agenda and seeks revenge. Breck has his suspicions and she wants to keep it from him, and a right-wing march provides an explosive backdrop to their hunt for Troy.

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Dead Lands – the finance behind the fiction

The decade of the 1970s in which Dead Lands is set, was a time when politics and fashion slapped you firmly in the face, a time when music’s voice grew louder through the punk movement, and when the thought of being PC was nothing but a distant dream. All true but the something else happened too. The country’s economic situation had improved from years gone by. How much? Well enough for me to feel comfortable in letting the cloak of finance attach itself to some of the main characters involved in the story.

The late 1960s saw the UK economy struggle, growth stalled and inflation rose. But the country had strengthened by the early part of the 1970s after entering the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973. That move soon revived the economy and most would agree that Britain’s foray into Europe increased trade.

The first victim in the story has a finance background and the prime suspect has a finance background too. I think that my own experience of working within the financial square mile for several years for one of the Big Four, enabled me to be confident enough to set it up this way. Although the story is set a few decades ago, many facets are still relevant such as attitudes, ways of thinking, and incentives to maximise profit, aligned with ambition. By placing the first victim in the story within a financial culture, I wanted to set her status for the reader from the off. That of a successful career woman in her own right, and there was no better way to display that than having her be a director at a large city company, amidst a climate of male chauvinism.

Putting Alexander Troy, one of the main characters, also in that environment, allowed me to easily cultivate his image of a city high flier. One that the general public wouldn’t easily point to as a suspect in a crime, and the surprise and shock is evident when the news of his suspected involvement is broken to his superiors.

That cavalier relationship with money becomes both a factor and a distraction from the truth. How can a person who earns a good salary, possibly be desperate enough to commit a crime for money? The detectives in this, Breck and Kearns, see beyond the stereotypes, but for many, it’s hard to. The shadow of big city money in the Dead Lands serves as a constant reminder that crime doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, and one or two other questions are thrown in too. For example, the mere suggestion of social class prioritisation for an investigation.

Having Troy committed to a strong and respectable career was important. He needed to have a white-collar background, and his place of work and the colleagues within it, set the tone – allowed me to manipulate the mystery when I needed to. Yes, I could have delved deeper into the inner workings of the financial environment but this crime fiction story didn’t require me to do that.

Today, the UK economy is once again under the spotlight with all eyes on the Brexit negotiations and discussions on whether or not there should be a hard Brexit or a soft Brexit. If I placed Troy into this modern-day scenario, I wonder what he would make of it, and where he would see his opportunity to take risks and climb the career ladder.

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Thank you so much, Lloyd for this insight and for taking the time out to visit the blog! And also, many thanks to Abby for the opportunity to join the tour!

abouttheauthor

Lloyd was born in London and attained a BA (Hons) in Media and Communication. After gaining several years of valuable experience within the finance and digital sectors, he completed a course in journalism. Lloyd has interviewed a host of bestselling authors, such as Mark Billingham, Hugh Howey, Kerry Hudson, and Lawrence Block. Two of his short stories were selected for publication in the ‘Out of My Window’ anthology, and he currently works as an Editor.

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