My Top 10 Favourite Series of 2017


I can’t wrap my head around the fact it’s time to compile favourites of the year already. Where did this year go? I don’t know but I do know that it was filled with absolutely amazing books and since my list of favourites was getting way too long, I decided to split things up. Next week, I’ll be telling you all about stand-alones but today, the focus is on series. Not all of these were published this year but as I’ve been catching up and did actually read them this year, I think that counts.

So, here we go. In alphabetical order, this is my Top 10 Favourite Series of 2017.

Angela Marsons – DI Kim Stone

I read the first book in the DI Kim Stone series when it first came out and then somehow lost track of the series but thanks to an amazing fellow blogger, I set myself the challenge to catch up before Dead Souls was published back in April. Nailed it, in case you missed it. Still one of my proudest moments. 😉 This is just an incredibly thrilling and gripping series and the last one left me completely discombobulated.

Carol Wyer – DI Robyn Carter

An author who quickly found her way onto my list of go-to authors and another series that just keeps getting better. Carol Wyer has an uncanny ability to make me sympathise with the “bad guys”. She also has this mean streak of letting you get to know a character and caring for them, only to kill them off. Love it! There’s also an intriguing backstory that has me hooked!

C.J. Carver – Dan Forrester

I knew from the second I started reading the first book that this series would make the list. This series is perfect for binge-reading, which is exactly what I did and I read all three in three days. My reviews will be shared soon but I tell you right now, if you are not reading these, you are missing out!

David Videcette – DI Jake Flannagan

I can’t tell you the truth, but I can tell you a story …

With that one sentence, David Videcette had me hook, line and sinker! The author is a former Scotland Yard investigator and boy, does that show! Inspired by true events, this series just blows my mind to smithereens.

Graham Smith – Jake Boulder

Bad boy Jake Boulder wormed his way into my heart from the minute I met him and Graham Smith effortlessly found his way onto my list of go-to authors this year.

Helen Fields – DI Luc Callanagh

Truly magnificent series with taut and brilliantly executed plots full of lovely gruesomeness! Possibly not for the faint-hearted. Watch out for book 3 Perfect Death, which is coming in January!

Michael Wood – DCI Matilda Darke


An absolute corker! Matilda’s new case leads her to Starling House, a home for some of the country’s deadliest teenagers who are too young to be sent to prison. When someone is murdered, it’s up to Matilda and her team to figure out if the killer is one of the teenage boys or someone from the staff. Can any of them be trusted?

Rachel Amphlett – Detective Kay Hunter

Rachel Amphlett always delivers an interesting premise and manages to balance Kay Hunter’s personal and professional life like no other. These are all hugely entertaining page-turners and I always quite happily drop whatever it is I’m doing to read the next instalment as soon as it publishes.

Sarah Hilary – DI Marnie Rome


Without a doubt the best one in the series yet. Sarah Hilary’s writing just keeps getting better and better. Marnie’s foster brother returns, and it’s obvious he’s not done playing games. Meanwhile, Noah is faced with some difficult decisions concerning his brother.

Sarah Ward – DC Connie Childs

I didn’t review either one of these on the blog. A Deadly Thaw was published before I started blogging and I read A Patient Fury on holiday. It left me rather speechless. While I did take notes, by the time I got home they made zero sense to me so the review was never written. Sarah Ward continues to raise the bar and blow my mind at the same time. This is a corker of a series and a writer to watch!


And there you have it. The best series this year according to little old me. Do you agree with my choices? Did I forget to include a firm favourite of yours? Have you read any of these or would you like to? Do let me know in the comments so we can talk about books!

Next Friday, I’ll be sharing my Top 10 favourite stand-alone books of 2017. Or maybe 20. I haven’t quite figured it out yet. See you then!

Happy reading! xx

The Bad Mother by Amanda Brooke @AmandaBrookeAB @HarperCollinsUK

** advanced copy received via Netgalley **


Author : Amanda Brooke
Title : The Bad Mother
Pages : 416
Publisher : Harper Collins UK
Publication date : December 14, 2017


That’s what he wants you to think…

A good mother doesn’t forget things.

A good mother isn’t a danger to herself.

A good mother isn’t a danger to her baby.

You want to be the good mother you dreamed you could be.

But you’re not. You’re the bad mother you were destined to become.

At least, that what he wants you to believe…


Lucy is pregnant with her first child. This should be a time of pure joy and excitement but it’s anything but for Lucy and her husband, Adam. Because Lucy is becoming increasingly forgetful. She forgets conversations or turning off the gas hob and often loses or misplaces things. Surely this can’t all be blamed on baby brain?

It’s actually quite obvious from the start what’s going on, which I’m going to assume was the point. Many times I felt like grabbing Lucy by the shoulders, urging her to open her eyes and realise the truth. As it is, this story offers a fascinating insight with realistic and believable characters and it’s utterly terrifying! It’s incredibly devastating to even try and imagine what it must be like to feel so lost and confused all the time.

From the opening page, Amanda Brooke had me on the edge of my seat. This is one amazingly gripping story and I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough to see where things were headed. It’s a tense ride, full of suspense. I got incredibly invested in it and went through a whole gamut of emotions. From frustration and anger to sadness and disbelief.

While I thought the conclusion was completely satisfying, I can’t help but feel I needed more answers. More of an explanation as to the “why” of it all, even though I fully accept there isn’t a reason most of the time. All in all, a brilliantly executed, well-paced, chilling and highly addictive psychological thriller that had me hooked from start to finish!

The Bad Mother is out in ebook format today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

This Week in Books (December 13)


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 :


A family in England is massacred, the father left holding the shotgun.

PC Lucy Davies is convinced he’s innocent.

A sleeper agent in Moscow requests an urgent meeting with Dan Forrester, referencing their shared past.

His amnesia means he has no idea who he can trust.

An aging oligarch in Siberia gathers his henchmen to discuss an English accountant.

It’s Dan’s wife.

The book I’m currently 
reading :


A thirteen-year-old boy commits suicide.

A sixty-five-year old man dies of a heart attack.

Dan Forrester, ex-MI5 agent, is connected to them both.

And when he discovers that his godson and his father have been murdered, he teams up with his old friend, DC Lucy Davies, to find answers.

But as the pair investigate, they unravel a dark and violent mystery stretching decades into the past and uncover a terrible secret.

A secret someone will do anything to keep buried.

What I’m reading next :


June 1940: Nightly blackouts suffocate Berlin. Then France falls and a shadow descends across Western Europe now under German occupation.

A shadow has fallen over Clara Vine’s own life, too. She is an Anglo-German woman in a country that hates Britain. Virulent anti-British propaganda is everywhere.

Then she is summoned to meet the Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels who has decided that Clara should adopt a new role – as his spy — and that she must go to Paris on a mission.

Much as she dislikes the idea, Clara realises this might be the chance to find an escape route to Britain. But Goebbels has other ideas and soon Clara is drawn into a web that threatens to destroy her. As everything she holds dear is taken as ransom, she must fight to protect her family – and to survive.


That’s it! What are you reading this week? Would love to know! Happy reading! xx

Tall Chimneys by Allie Cresswell @Alliescribbler @rararesources #blogtour #extract

It’s my pleasure to join the blog tour for Tall Chimneys by Allie Cresswell today! My thanks to Rachel for the invitation! I have a wonderful extract to share with you, right after I tell you a little something about the novel.


Author : Allie Cresswell
Title : Tall Chimneys
Pages : 417
Publisher : n/a
Publication date : December 12, 2017


Considered a troublesome burden, Evelyn Talbot is banished by her family to their remote country house. Tall Chimneys is hidden in a damp and gloomy hollow. It is outmoded and inconvenient but Evelyn is determined to save it from the fate of so many stately homes at the time – abandonment or demolition.

Occasional echoes of tumult in the wider world reach their sequestered backwater – the strident cries of political extremists, a furore of royal scandal, rumblings of the European war machine. But their isolated spot seems largely untouched. At times life is hard – little more than survival. At times it feels enchanted, almost outside of time itself. The woman and the house shore each other up – until love comes calling, threatening to pull them asunder.

Her desertion will spell its demise, but saving Tall Chimneys could mean sacrificing her hope for happiness, even sacrificing herself.

A century later, a distant relative crosses the globe to find the house of his ancestors. What he finds in the strange depression of the moor could change the course of his life forever.

One woman, one house, one hundred years.


Tall Chimney’s remote and secluded situation means that it is the ideal place for clandestine political meetings. In 1936, its owner, Colin Talbot, uses the house to entertain his right wing friend Oswald Mosley and to try to espouse others to the Fascists’ cause. One of those invited is Edward VIII, a known admirer of Hitler’s Nationalism, and, with the King, comes Mrs Simpson.

Tea with Mrs Simpson

She was huddled into a small armchair she had pushed as close as possible to the fire. She was poking ineffectually at it but it hardly emitted any heat – somebody had put damp logs on it and only a thick, acrid, yellowish smoke rose from the grate. Mrs Simpson wore a thin cardigan over a plain blouse. The scarf she had worn earlier was draped across her shoulders. I have no doubt the cardigan was cashmere and the blouse and scarf both silk, but they seemed to provide no warmth. Her face was pinched; a deep frown slashed her bony forehead which her starkly parted hair made very prominent in her face. I could see she wore a good deal of make-up but it did not disguise her discomfort. Bright red lipstick made her mouth seem very wide, and emphasised a blemish on the left side of her chin. Apart from the poker her hands were empty; she didn’t seem to have any reading material with her, or anything at all to occupy the lonely hours she must have known she faced while the men talked.

I bobbed a curtsey – probably wrong – and went across to fire to mend it, taking the poker from her hand, which was ice cold.

‘I’ve been sent to see if you need anything, ma’am,’ I said. ‘I can see immediately that you do.’

She gave me a wan smile and leant back in her chair as though exhausted. I soon had the fire burning better, and pulled the thick curtain across the window, to block out the draught. I lit the lamps and rang the bell. ‘Bring tea,’ I said, ‘hot tea, and toast, and that thick mohair blanket from the settle in the hall.’

I took the liberty of tucking the blanket around her legs while she dozed, easing off her high heeled shoes and chafing her feet, which were frozen. She allowed my ministrations without a murmur, and when the tea came I poured her a cup without asking and placed it on a table at her side. She roused herself enough to drink it, both hands cupping the fine porcelain, before lapsing back into sleep. Satisfied I had done everything I could to bring her ease, and with the fire now burning very brightly and the room altogether more cheerful and comfortable, I gingerly took another armchair and settled to my sewing.

Presently I looked up to find her eyes on me. ‘What’s your position here?’ she asked.

I decided it was pointless to prevaricate. ‘I hardly know,’ I admitted, putting down my work. ‘I am Colin Talbot’s sister. I live here permanently but you wouldn’t call me the lady of the house. Up until a few weeks ago I lived here alone, practically.’

‘Ah! You’re the reclusive sister.’ Her American accent was pronounced; it would be clichéd to call it a drawl but it certainly had a languorous quality to it.

I felt a brief surge of anger. Her privacy had been protected at all costs, I fumed. Everything had been cloak-and-dagger to the extent I hadn’t even known she was coming. My affairs, in contrast, it seemed, had been thoroughly discussed. ‘I’m not a recluse,’ I retorted. ‘At least, not by choice. It seems to have been my fate, though. It’s the part that has fallen to my lot, for good or ill. I can’t deny, before the visit of these gentlemen, and yourself, Tall Chimneys has had no visitors since 1929.’

‘Good God!’ she ejaculated, and then, more musingly. ‘What bliss.’

We sent for more tea. She smoked cigarettes. I told her what I could about the house – its history, as far as I knew it, about my brother George and the difficulties his death had caused. She seemed very interested to know how I had coped, all alone. ‘I wasn’t quite alone,’ I mumbled, ‘not all of the time, anyway.’

‘I see,’ she said, knowingly. ‘Now I think about it, something was mentioned. I know Mr Cressing’s work, in fact. I attended an exhibition of his, I believe.’

I said, wryly ‘It seems you know all my secrets.’

‘Don’t you know, dear, there are no secrets,’ she replied, bitterly.

We spoke of John for a while, and of the art scene in general. Mrs Simpson was surprisingly well informed. As I described John’s work I was conscious of a pit of longing for him deep in my stomach. ‘I wish he was here,’ I blurted out at last.

‘I’m sure you do,’ she said, warmly.

From the library the hum of masculine voices had been growing louder as we talked. Subliminally I had heard the tread of feet along the corridor, the chink of glasses on a tray. ‘The men have called for drinks,’ I said. ‘They must want whisky instead of tea. Perhaps the meeting has come to a close.’

‘I’d like some whisky too,’ Mrs Simpson said, stretching her feet out and groping with a silk-stockinged toe for her shoes. ‘I ought to go and freshen up. Will you show me the way?’

I showed her up to her room where, I was pleased to see, a fire burned and the best towels had been laid ready. Her maid stood by to draw her a bath, evening clothes were laid across the bed and on the dressing table a case of jewels stood open.

‘You won’t join us for dinner, I am told,’ she said to me as she paused on the threshold. I shook my head.

‘That’s a pity. Send the whisky, will you?’


Tall Chimneys is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads


Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, one granddaughter and two grandsons, is married to Tim and lives in Cumbria, NW England.

Tall Chimneys is the sixth of her novels to be published.

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Foul Trade by B.K. Duncan @BKDuncanwriter @Bloodhoundbook #blogtour

** advanced copy received via publisher **

It’s a pleasure to host a stop on the blog tour for Foul Trade by B.K. Duncan today! Many thanks to Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound Books! Read on to see what the book is all about.


Author : B.K. Duncan
Title : Foul Trade
Series : May Keeps #1
Pages : 372
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : December 12, 2017


It is March 1920. May Keaps, the Poplar Coroner’s Officer, has never failed to provide a jury with sufficient evidence to arrive at a just verdict.

The poverty, drunken fights between visiting sailors, drug trafficking, and criminal gangs, haunting the shadows of the busiest docks in the world, mean that the Coroner sees more than its fair share of sudden and unnatural deaths.

May relishes the responsibility placed upon her but there are many who believe it’s an unsuitable job for a woman. Even May begins to wonder if that is the case when the discovery of a young man’s body, in a Limehouse alley, plunges her into an underworld of opium dens, gambling, turf wars, protection rackets and murder.

As her investigations draw her into danger, it becomes increasingly clear that whoever is responsible intends to avoid the hangman’s noose by arranging to have May laid out on one of her own mortuary slabs.


Two years after the events of the novella The Last Post, we meet up again with May Keaps. May is now 22 years old and working as the Coroner’s Officer in Poplar, East London. While many think this job isn’t suitable for a woman, May loves it and the responsibilities it gives her. But when a young man is found dead in an alley, May quickly finds herself involved in a murky criminal underworld full of drugs, gambling and murder. Meanwhile, she’s also taking care of her sister, Alice, and trying to deal with a past that has seen too much death.

Now, I must admit that it took me a while to get into this story. I felt it was a bit of a slow-burner, especially after reading the novella which packed quite a punch. May remains incredibly fierce and determined, even if her quest for truth and justice may land her in danger. Set in 1920’s Poplar, it seems danger is lurking around pretty much every corner as well. This isn’t exactly a thriving neighbourhood and being so near the docks, who knows what goods find their way into the area.

May’s boss is quite the judgmental character who makes up his mind about a possible inquest result way before any evidence has been presented to him. But May doesn’t work that way and together with James, a journalist, she will do whatever it takes to make sure the family of the victim finds closure. The investigation had me guessing until the end, utterly unable to figure out the culprit and not trusting anyone.

This is a well-written, complex and multi-layered mystery. I found it slightly dark and depressing and maybe also a little bit too long. However, the historical setting is really brought to life and works like a charm. It adds something truly special to the story. From the busy docks, to the markets, to the prostitutes and the theatre … It’s easy to find yourself completely immersed and imagine the sights and the sounds. May is a formidable main character and she’s surrounded by a cast of interesting characters like James and her best friend Sally, whom I adored. It’ll be interesting to see what’s in store for all of them. If you like your mysteries with a historical setting, you’ll find this one highly enjoyable!

Foul Trade is published today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads


BK Duncan is the pen name Ruth Wade has adopted for the May Keaps series of historical crime novels.

Born on a steam railway and brought up on the South Coast of England, such beginnings were destined to leave BK Duncan with a love of vintage transport, crashing seas, and Art Deco architecture.

Following a career encompassing developmental learning and change-management consultancy she now combines producing her own work with lecturing part-time in creative writing in colleges and academies in Cambridge and Oxford. Her two great passions are longbow archery and the Argentine Tango. Sadly, she is not nearly as accomplished at either as she’d like.

BK Duncan also writes historical crime novels as Ruth Wade.




The Silent Children by Carol Wyer @carolewyer @bookouture #blogtour

** advanced copy received via Netgalley **

I’m thrilled to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for The Silent Children by Carol Wyer today! This is the fourth book in the brilliant DI Robyn Carter series and I will share my thoughts with you right after I tell you a little something about the book. Many thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture! Make sure you also check out my blog buddy Jen’s review!


Author : Carol Wyer
Title : The Silent Children
Series : DI Robyn Carter #4
Pages : 360
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : December 7, 2017


The boy studied the bruise turning yellow at the base of his neck. With quick fingers his mother tightened his tie, and pulled his collar high above it. Her eyes alone said, We will not speak of this…

Years later, a man is found shot dead in a local park. On his phone is a draft text: I can’t keep this secret any longer. The recipient is unnamed.

Detective Robyn Carter knows this secret is the key to the case, but his friends and family don’t offer any clues, and all her team have to go on is a size-ten footprint.

Then a woman is found in a pool of blood at the bottom of her staircase, and a seemingly insignificant detail in her stepdaughter’s statement makes Robyn wonder: are the two bodies are connected, and has the killer only just begun?

When another body confirms Robyn’s worst fears, she realises she’s in a race against time to stop the killer before they strike again. But just as she thinks she’s closing in, one of her own team goes missing.

Buried in the past is a terrible injustice. Can Robyn uncover the truth before another life is lost?


Cor! Way to hit the ball out of the park!

The DI Robyn Carter series is one of my favourites and I realise I say this quite a bit but it’s not my fault there are so many good ones out there! I can’t believe we’re already at book four and Carole Wyer shows no signs of slowing down. I do most heartily recommend you start with the first book so you get to know Robyn and her team and an especially intriguing background story.

Now, if you have read the previous ones and you’re hoping for some sort of conclusion after the mind-blowing ending of book three, weeeell, let’s just say Carol Wyer has this teasing thing down to an art. There are some breadcrumbs, some clues but the focus is more on a truly fabulous murder investigation. It’s pure torture but it’s also awesome and a surefire way to keep me coming back for more. Love it!

As for the investigation, a man is found shot to death at a local park. By all accounts, he seemed to be a much loved person so why would anyone want him dead? When a second person is found murdered, Robyn wonders if these cases are somehow connected. But how? Cue an incredibly complex and multi-layered plot that had me guessing until the end.

With a combination of utterly emotional, heartbreaking, harrowing chapters dealing with abuse set in the past and a hard-hitting investigation in the present, I was absolutely gripped! For the longest time, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what was going on and I will always love an author who manages to do that. This is one of those stories where you start reading and the hours just pass by without you realising. Totally addictive and engrossing!

As if investigating murders and bumping into dead ends all over the place wasn’t enough, Robyn and her team are also dealing with some unwelcome guests when they are forced to share their office space with Shearer and his team. That can’t possibly go well, can it?! Again, as in the previous books, I’m loving these team dynamics, the diversity and the banter. Getting to know the other team members better each time adds that little something extra.

If you’re not reading these books, you are missing out and I strongly urge you to correct the error of your ways! This is an absolutely fantastic series which just keeps getting better and better. This latest instalment is immensely gripping and compelling and dare I say, the best one yet. I so can’t wait for the next one!

The Silent Children was published on December 7th!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads


Carol E. Wyer is an award-winning author whose humorous books take a light-hearted look at getting older and encourage others to age disgracefully. More recently she has chosen to write for the “dark side” and embarked on a series of thrillers, starting with the gripping best-seller, Little Girl Lost.

Her book Grumpy Old Menopause won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction 2015.

Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ‘Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’ featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and writes regularly for The Huffington Post.

Carol is a signed author with Bookouture and Delancey Press.

Twitter | Website



Weekly Wrap-Up (December 10)


It’s snowing! Enough said about that. I suppose it’s better and way prettier than rain.

I didn’t do a wrap-up last Sunday because of stuff so this week, you get a twofer! Also last week, my reading slump went from bad to worse. Never mind a book just not taking my fancy and trying something else. I just didn’t feel like picking one up to begin with. At all! So I didn’t, apart from two I absolutely had to read for blog tour commitments. Things are better this week though and I managed 6 and a half books. Almost back to normal. 😄

Books I read the last two weeks


Books I bought

I went ahead and bought the entire Dark Iceland series. I have no idea when I’ll get around to reading any of them but there you go. I also fixed the gap in my Stuart MacBride collection.


ARC’s received via Netgalley

Three for blog tours, one I was invited to read and then I nearly passed out when I was approved for Perfect Death.


On the blog this past week

I’m not doing a wrap-up of last week’s posts or I’ll still be here tomorrow. 😄

Monday : I was on the blog tour for The Secret Child by Kerry Fisher

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour for Breaking Bones by Robert White

Wednesday : This Week in Books which I stuck to as well. Proud moment. 🤣

Thursday : Hosted a stop on the blog for The Other Mother by JA Baker

Friday : Shared my review for the brilliant Dark Pines by Will Dean

Saturday : Joined the blog tour for The Runaway Children by Sandy Taylor

Sunday : Wrap-Up time

Next week on Novel Deelights

Only three blog tours next week : The Silent Children, Foul Trade and Tall Chimneys. And only one blog tour the week after that! There is light at the end of the tunnel 😂. (Whatever you do, do not ask about my January schedule 🙄).

I’m also hoping to join in with something called Reading Bingo and I’m working on my post of favourite books of the year but that’s not going so well right now. I’m considering doing a Top 100. 😂

That’s it for another week. I’m off to snuggle under a blanket on the sofa with my doggie, a nice cup of tea and a book.

Wishing you all a great week and lots of happy reading! xx


The Runaway Children by Sandy Taylor @SandyTaylorAuth @bookouture #blogtour

** advanced copy received via Netgalley **

I’m absolutely delighted to join the blog tour for The Runaway Children by Sandy Taylor today! Many thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture!


Author : Sandy Taylor
Title : The Runaway Children
Pages : 365
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : December 8, 2017


London, 1942: Thirteen-year-old Nell and five-year-old Olive are being sent away from the devastation of the East End. They are leaving the terror of the Blitz and nights spent shivering in air raid shelters behind them, but will the strangers they are billeted with be kind and loving, or are there different hardships ahead?

As the sisters struggle to adjust to life as evacuees, they soon discover that living in the countryside isn’t always idyllic. Nell misses her mother and brothers more than anything but she has to stay strong for Olive. Then, when little Olive’s safety is threatened by a boy on a farm, Nell has to make a decision that will change their lives forever…

They must run from danger and try to find their way home.

Together the two girls hold each other’s hands as they begin their perilous journey across bombed-out Britain. But when Nell falls ill, can she still protect her little sister from the war raging around them? And will they ever be reunited from the family they’ve been torn from?


For reasons I can’t explain, the World War II era always fascinates me so when this novel popped up on my radar, I couldn’t resist its lure. This story centres around children being evacuated during the war and I can’t even begin to imagine what that was like. Not for the parents who felt this was the only option to keep their children safe, nor for the children who were forced to leave everything and everyone they knew and loved behind to go off and live with strangers on the other side of the country.

Thirteen year old Nell and her five year old sister Olive live near the docks in the East End. It’s all they’ve ever known and while they’re poor, even during the war they’re trying to make the best of things. Then it is decided the sisters should be evacuated and they are sent away to Wales. But will they be safe there?

Prepare yourself for the characters of Nell and Olive to worm their way into your heart and stay there forever! They miss their families enormously but Nell stays strong for her sister and takes her responsibilities very seriously for a girl so young. Olive is an absolute treasure. An incredibly witty and brave child who made me chuckle more than once and gives her sister strength without even realising it.

As often happens in stories like these, it’s the community spirit that tends to get to me. Something that’s sorely lacking in this day and age. People who will stop everything at the drop of a hat to help someone out, even if their circumstances aren’t exactly perfect either. People who open their doors to strangers, who share their meagre rations, who look out for each other.

I absolutely adored The Runaway Children from the very first moment. It’s an incredibly heartwarming, though sometimes also sad, story about family, love, hope and survival. I loved every minute I got to spend with Nell and Olive and the various other characters they meet on their journey. It left me feeling all warm, fuzzy and hopeful. If you like beautifully written stories set in the WWII era, then you should definitely give this one a go!

The Runaway Children is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads


Sandy Taylor grew up on a council estate near Brighton. There were no books in the house, so Sandy’s love of the written word was nurtured in the little local library. Leaving school at fifteen, Sandy worked in a series of factories before landing a job at Butlins in Minehead. This career change led her to becoming a singer, a stand up comic and eventually a playwright and novelist.

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Dark Pines by Will Dean @willrdean @OneworldNews @PtBlankBks

** advanced copy received via Netgalley **


Author : Will Dean
Title : Dark Pines
Series : Tuva Moodyson Mystery #1
Pages : 400
Publisher : Oneworld Publications / Point Blank
Publication date : January 4, 2017


It’s week one of the Swedish elk hunt and the sound of gunfire is everywhere.

When Tuva Moodyson investigates the story that could make her career she stumbles on a web of secrets that knit Gavrik town together. Are the latest murders connected to the Medusa killings twenty years ago? Is someone following her? Why take the eyes?

Tuva must face her demons and venture deep into the woods to stop the killer and write the story. And then get the hell out of Gavrik.


I can’t quite explain where my recent fascination with Scandi-Noir comes from. For one, I absolutely hate cold weather and the mere mention of freezing temperatures and snow makes me want to run for the hills. And yet, when one of my dearest blogging friends couldn’t stop raving about Dark Pines, I dived right in and didn’t look back.

Tuva Moodyson is a journalist, working for the local newspaper in the tiny town of Gavrik. When a body is found in the forest, Tuva sets out to investigate the story that could make her career. But there is a fine line between telling the story truthfully and not alienating the community you live in. On top of that, Tuva must face her biggest fears and head deep into the dark woods.

There’s an incredibly threatening and claustrophobic vibe running throughout this entire story. It doesn’t just come from the small town feeling, but also the forest, which is almost a character all on its own, and the residents themselves. Each and every one of them is a suspect in this murder and I probably pointed my finger at all of them. From the massively creepy woodcarving sisters, to the ghostwriter in his fancy house, to the taxi driver with his slightly odd son, each and every one of them displays a certain level of eccentricity that made me eye them in the most suspicious way. I can’t even begin to explain how much I love it when an author can keep me guessing.

Everything in Dark Pines works like a charm. The atmospheric setting, the weather and our main character being deaf adds another brilliantly intricate layer. I loved how Tuva doesn’t make a big deal of her deafness. It’s just a part of her, like the colour of her eyes. I can’t for the life of me imagine what it’s like, thankfully, but I feel the author did a great job incorporating it into the storyline. Especially by explaining how certain sounds can interfere with hearing aids. I had no idea.

The investigation into the murder is utterly gripping. Will Dean will have you second-guessing everyone and everything at every single turn of the page. Just when I thought I figured out the who, there was a curveball. And I completely gave up on figuring out the why but the reveal blew me away. Fantastic!

So, a brilliantly executed plot, an extremely interesting protagonist, a cast of fabulous if slightly weird characters and an amazing setting. What more could you possibly want? Scandi-Noir has completely won me over and Will Dean is most definitely one to watch. I have no doubt Dark Pines will do well and it’s kicking off the new year in style!

Many thanks to the publisher for my advanced copy, which I received via Netgalley and chose to review honestly!

Dark Pines will be published in paperback format in January.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | BookdepositoryGoodreads

The Other Mother by J.A. Baker @thewriterjude @Bloodhoundbook #blogtour

It’s such a pleasure to host a stop on the blog tour for The Other Mother by J.A. Baker today! Many thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for the invitation and the advanced copy. Here’s what this gripping psychological thriller is all about.


Author : J.A. Baker
Title : The Other Mother
Pages : 240
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : December 5, 2017


Three troubled women. One deadly secret.

Lissy and her daughter, Rosie, live a quiet life in Yorkshire. However when events at Rosie’s school come to light, their peaceful existence is shattered.

Meanwhile, middle-aged women Erica and Beverley appear to have perfect lives but behind closed doors things are not as they seem.

All three women are tied together by a dark past that goes back to their school days. A child was murdered and one of the women is to blame.

But is the person responsible for the child’s death the same person who was blamed for it all those years ago?

As secrets from their past begin to surface it becomes clear that someone has revenge in their sights…


I’ve come to the conclusion that I quite enjoy it when a story starts backwards. When at the start of the book, you’re given a tiny clue as to what the ending might look like and you try to figure out the pieces of the puzzle. And then, in my case, get it completely wrong but that’s the fun part!

To that effect, the first chapter of The Other Mother, which I won’t talk about, already had me hooked. Now I must admit that a few of the chapters that followed had me a bit confused at first as I wasn’t quite sure what was going on but it was done in such a way that I just couldn’t stop reading. It didn’t take long for things to click and off I went on this thrilling ride. So if you find yourself struggling through those first pages, please don’t give up! It’s worth it!

This is one of those books that’s hard to talk about without giving anything away. The things that are happening in the present are very much rooted in events of the past and the author leaves you guessing for quite a while as to the identities of the characters involved. Three women are connected through the murder of a child. One of them was blamed for it but was that rightfully or not?

The Other Mother is incredibly gripping and the author even managed to almost make me sympathise with the “bad guys”. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, there was a curveball I didn’t see coming at all. This is an intense, suspenseful and thrilling ride that will keep you guessing until the end!

The Other Mother is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads


Born in Middlesbrough too many years ago to mention, J. A. Baker developed a deep appreciation of literature and reading from a young age after being introduced to it by her parents. Weekly visits to the library were the norm and after being handed a collection of Edgar Allen Poe stories by her father, her love for the darker side of fiction slowly grew. She is an avid reader of all books but is drawn in particular, to psychological thrillers.

After many rejections (too many to mention!) her debut novel, Undercurrent, was published by Bloodhound Books in March 2017 and made it into the top 100 Amazon chart in both the UK and Canada. She is currently putting the finishing touches to her third novel and working on her fourth one.

J. A. Baker has four grown up children and lives in a village on the outskirts of Darlington with her husband Richard, and Theo, their barking mad dog.

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