Thursday, 28 September 2023

I Spy With My Little Die


I Spy With My Little Die by Helen Golden- cozy crime

The PAIRS team are back and this time one of their friends who was injured when shadowing thinks her colleague who was shot and later died was the real target rather than the person they were protecting. Lady Beatrice is still wondering about Fitz as lately he seems to have changed from the rather fierce, no nonsense person she once shuddered at. She is still trying to find out more about her husband's death fifteen years ago as new information has come to light that could put things in a totally different perspective. This is one of a series (number 5)  and needs to be read in order for the backstories to make sense. All are 5* reads from me- books with far more than a plot- read on.

Helen has a talent for taking a clever plot and making it lighthearted with wonderful characters you might even want as friends. There’s never a dull moment and I'm smiling writing this as there’s lots of fun between the pages to engage the reader with a smile. There’s a host of characters and this time it’s not just Bea and Perry doing the sleuthing which worked really well. Perry is a wonderful sidekick and there’s a budding romance and lots of humorous comments along the way which keeps the pages turning. The plot is, as ever, well crafted with lots of red herrings and twists. A thoroughly entertaining read that left me with a smile. 

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I Spy With My Little Die Uncovering a web of conspiracy that intertwines past and present, can Lady Beatrice and DCI Richard Fitzwilliam catch a killer and unveil the truth of her husband’s death at long last?   BREAKING NEWS Second Senior Police Officer Dies Within a Week A senior officer from the Protection and Investigations (Royal) Services died unexpectedly yesterday. His death comes hot on the heels of Detective Inspector Ethan Preece (43) from City Police, who died of a suspected heart attack last week. Although he’s not yet been named, the dead officer was a greatly respected public figure, who had served in policing for over thirty years. A PaIRS spokesperson has confirmed that ‘neither men’s death is being treated as suspicious at this time’.  With the senior PaIRS officer dead, so is any hope of reopening the inquiry into Lady Beatrice’s husband’s accident fifteen years ago. Unless, of course, there is something that links the two men to the earl’s fatal car crash?  Can she and Fitzwilliam, along with their friends, work together to unravel the mystery and catch a killer before the truth is buried forever? Purchase Links

Author Bio – Hello. I’m Helen Golden. I write British contemporary cozy whodunnits with a hint of humour. I live in small village in Lincolnshire in the UK with my husband, my step-daughter, her two cats, our two dogs, sometimes my step-son, and our tortoise. I used to work in senior management, but after my recent job came to a natural end I had the opportunity to follow my dreams and start writing. It's very early in my life as an author, but so far I'm loving it. It’s crazy busy at our house, so when I’m writing I retreat to our caravan (an impulsive lockdown purchase) which is mostly parked on our drive. When I really need total peace and quiet, I take it to a lovely site about 15 minutes away and hide there until my family runs out of food or clean clothes Social Media Links – Insta: Facebook: TikTok:

Tuesday, 26 September 2023

Wild Hope


Wild Hope by Donna Ashworth - Poetry (lifestyle)

Hope-that thing we sometimes lose sight of often in the darkest times just when we could do with it and it slips from our grasp. Early on Donna explains about this and to perhaps “ keep it next to our car keys” so we know where it is and like the keys we won’t get far without it. I'm now thinking this when I reach for said keys- perhaps a good mindset and habit.

I had a hen called Hope who died not so long ago. She was a rescue and came with issues which meant she was not expected to live very long. She ended up thriving almost twice as long as her healthy counterparts (who themselves lived a good long life) and she was so calm and determined and just got on with things, a force to be reckoned with. I mention this as it taught me that there is always Hope and I always remember her when I hear the word. She was and is such an inspiration- exactly what this book is for those that don’t have an animal reminder. It's explanatory, it's inspirational and it's uplifting. One of those reads you can pick up and flip to a page to give yourself that little reminder. My favourite is “ Joy”, one I shall be reading again and again, one to keep on my bedside table. 

Thank you Donna, you really do bring hope and joy to so many. Your words are a strength we never knew we had. 10* If I could. 

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Sunday, 24 September 2023

Murder in the Blitz


Murder in the Blitz by F. L. Everett-historical/cozy crime mystery 

1940 and the war is in full swing. In Manchester Edie is working at a newspaper typing and doing a variety of jobs in an era where " you can't possibly be a reporter, you are female". When some are called to fight and others plead reserved occupation,  Edie is called into the office.  She is terrified that she will lose her job but gets a welcome surprise when she is given the job of obituarist, to write about someone's life who is recently deceased. Her editor had chosen that someone but in trying to find out more about them Edie inadvertently steps into a possible murder enquiry. 

I loved this from the outset. There’s an entertaining light hearted element to this and the skill of writing a character that I quickly took to. I rapidly felt in the heart of wartime Manchester in a good way and the mystery that Edie found herself drawn to solving. There is an excellent balance between respect for the events of the war with the trauma people found themselves in and the entertainment of the plot. A cleverly thought out plot and one that left me with a smile and wanting more- I look forward to the next in the series. A brilliantly entertaining read. 

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Murder in the Blitz: A completely addictive historical cozy mystery (An Edie York Mystery Book 1)


England, 1940. Newspaper secretary Edie York wants nothing more than to be a real wartime reporter. But when she stumbles upon the death of a Home Guard soldier she must turn her investigative skills to sleuthing…

Rookie reporter 
Edie York dreams of being out in the field, instead of being stuck writing up the wartime headlines, transcribing Churchill’s rousing speeches on her cranky typewriter. So when her first real assignment one misty morning ends with the crack of a pistol shot and the sudden death of a Home Guard soldier, she’s determined to take her chance and investigate.

With the local police force, under the utterly irritating but outrageously handsome 
DCI Louis Brennan, stretched to the limit as bombs rain down, Edie strikes out alone. And she quickly discovers more than she’d ever hoped – or feared. From undercover spies to priceless stolen artwork, Edie is plunged headlong into a mystery that stretches from Manchester to Berlin.

But when she finds another body in the blackout, Edie realises she’s bitten off more than she can chew. With an exasperated Louis finally lending a hand, can Edie unveil the murderer and make headline news, her name in print at last? 
Or will she be next…?

A brilliantly addictive and totally twist-packed cozy historical mystery perfect for fans of Richard Osman and Agatha Christie. This is the first book in the Edie York Mystery series.


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About the author

Flic Everett is a Mancunian writer who now lives in a cottage in the beautiful West Highlands with her patient husband and two deranged cocker spaniels. She still misses Manchester, and returns like a homing pigeon every month to see family and friends. She spends a lot of time writing on trains.

Flic has owned an award-winning vintage shop, guest-presented Woman’s Hour and was once a part-time tarot reader. She has a grown up son who makes her laugh more than anyone on earth, and she likes reading, painting, cooking, clothes, animals, Art Deco and rummaging in charity shops for bargains. Her greatest fear is being stranded without a book. She has spent many years as a freelance journalist and editor for national newspapers and magazines and can’t believe she’s finally allowed to make up stories from the comfort of her own home.


Author social media


Facebook URL

Instagram URL @fliceverett

Twitter URL @fliceverett



Thursday, 21 September 2023

Have a Little Faith


Have a Little Faith by Kate Bottley 

This is a book about ”life lessons on love, death and how Lasagne always helps”. Its also about Kate- or rather it's not, not really. It's about all of us and how we get through life, seen in perhaps a different way in that “faith plays a part in normal life” and by faith not always being what one first might think. Being first a teacher and then a Reverend has given Kate a perspective on life some of us rarely see. Like hairdressers and other therapists, Reverends are sometimes those people we turn to when things are difficult and Kate loves a good chat- she bills herself as a ”curator of faith conversations”. That said, she also mentions that often on train journeys many avoid her as they expect her to talk about nothing but religion- do we all want to talk about work all the time?

 It's partly about success and how we measure it, or not and perhaps to be more kind to ourselves in doing so. One person's success isn't always another's, we all have different measuring tapes. It's about    ”faith” which maybe a shared love of something- a connection, a coming together of like minds. There are humorous anecdotes sometimes from the most unlikely sources. How can watching Love Island inspire a sermon… ?? I found this both inspiring and affirmative. I’ve often thought faith can be found in the most unlikely of places and Kate corroborates this. A book I’ll most likely read again and again. It’s hope and reassurance. Of remembering to be kind to ourselves as well as others, and that Lasagne may just be the thing we need!

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Thursday, 14 September 2023

Weirdo By Sara Pascoe


Weirdo by Sara Pascoe- general fiction  

Written in the first person this tells the story of Sophie who is working in a bar and as a guide on the London tour buses. She has been to Australia, ostensibly to see her father until she realised he was 5 hours flight away from where she was, not realising how big the place is. She is in debt big time on her credit cards and her life is rather a mess from where she is standing right now. Of love and life and the ups and downs therein.

I felt for Sophie almost from the word go as there is a vulnerability about her and a naivety as she struggles through life. It’s a journey through her days and how she sees the world which maybe makes us think about our own position in it. It’s weird, it's wonderful, it’s good and sad and happy and mad. It's perhaps an acquired taste for the writing style as at times it's rather disjointed until you realise this is how Sophie’s mind works. A jazz style if you will with bursts of sax and piano and then adagio for the strings. A different read, a brave one, most certainly unique and weirdo!

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Tuesday, 12 September 2023

Code Blue

 Code Blue by Anita Waller- crime

I was in the mood for something familiar and a read with a smile but one that would keep me engrossed and this fitted the bill perfectly from the word go. The Connections agency is once again busy, this time with an old case that Tessa dealt with in her time with the police. A woman, Caroline, was attacked in her home for the sake of some cash and lost the twins she was shortly to give birth to. The attackers were quickly found and apprehended however the man behind it who came to the house the day before to buy her car was never caught and Caroline is still traumatised knowing he is possibly doing the same to others. Meanwhile Fred is tasked with finding a man’s mother- a woman he thought was dead when he was a child and it now transpires that she has recently left him a fortune. Can Fred find out what really happened and can the others find a man that the police have given up on?

This is not just a crime book, there are wonderful backstories to add into the mix which gives the characters a realistic feel so by a few chapters in they feel like old friends. This is part of a series and needs to be read in order ( Blood Red is book one, this is book two) for things to make sense. There are also the Kat & Mouse books which are the start of the Connections investigation agency but can be read as a separate series although technically comes first(with different characters). All are 5* reads from me as they have such cracking plots and lots of human interaction and smiles. Anita has such a skill, a way with words, that draws the reader in and gives them that connection to the characters. A truly brilliant read. Five huge stars.

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Monday, 11 September 2023

The Evil Within


The Evil Within by Alistair Birch- psychological thriller

Back in 1966 a young woman was attacked and left for dead. In the 1980’s at school, three friends are vying for their place in the hierarchy. One is lured by his teacher, letting him do what he wants in class and getting better grades than he should, which it turns out is for a price. One is more than happy that his new employer, the newsagent has advanced him money for his bike which will help with his rounds. With debts, the price has to be paid and sometimes more. There is evil within but who is behind it and how does it link to the past?

Oooh! A book that drew me in and kept me there with a clever well executed plot. This has been well thought out and the characters carefully bespoken and as time goes on they grow up and perspectives perhaps change. There are reminisces of the era in clothes and songs which if you remember the eighties bring this even more alive. It has twists and turns, deception and a whole range of emotions. A twisty, slightly dark at times, thriller of a read I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend.

A gripping, entrancing read with twists to keep the evil alive.

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The Note

The Note- Andrew Barrett- 5* A short story written in the first person by CSI Eddie Collins. Eddie is the sort of bloke who calls a s...