Saturday, 30 June 2018


Proof Positive- Lucy V Hay book- Y.A. 5*
Lizzie discovers she is pregnant after one fumbled event. How on earth could this happen
to her when she is so young? Should she keep it? Abort it? “It” she then realises could be
a baby. Not exactly what she wanted when she is about to start university. I don’t
normally do books about either teenagers or babies so why did this one get me when
it was so far outside of my comfort zone? I won it (thank you!) and the quality of
writing is exceptional. Maybe it is one of those stories that you think “there by the
grace of whatever you believe in”. You are drawn in from the start- and if I was,
based on the above, then I imagine others will be too. I won’t say too much more about
the story line as it took me by surprise- other than to say nicely done- very nicely done.
Lizzie is a strong character and although inexperienced at life, knows she has her
family behind her (5 sisters, a decisive , supportive- sometimes too much so,  
mother and a father). For any teenager, for any parent… then again.. for anyone
with empathy. Stunningly written, compelling reading and a very cleverly
thought out plot. One to remember.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Dirty Secrets- Janice Frost-
A man is found with a bullet through his head by his wife who has been away looking after
her daughter and family. Suicide? She is adamant that it isn’t. The victim was in business
with a partner whom he regularly argued with, apparently in a good/’business way so no
motive there. When the partners family domestic help also is killed there is more than a
tentative link. What is behind the business and families and why all the secrets?
DI Jim Neal and DC Ava Merry have a plot with more threads than a little to deal with.
Is Hector dealing drugs? Is Ruth’s boyfriend back involved in drugs and if so why?  
Neal’s past catches up with him in the form of his sons mother. Will there be a
reconciliation? This is one of those reads that you feel comfortable with from the
start. Characters that you take to easily and a plot to keep you drawn into the
pages. Subplots to keep the action moving and backgrounds to make the
characters real. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Getting over Gary- Jessica Redland  5**
Elise and Gary are childhood sweethearts and have been married since they were 17.
Elise would love a family and is thinking that the time is almost right. Gary however
has his own ideas and a secret that Elise could never have imagined. I’m not normally
in to romance but as with “Searching for Steven” this has so much more. A woman
with determination that isn’t going to let a downturn spoil her outlook on life. I took
to Elise very quickly and felt for her predicament. It is sometimes easier to roll over
and let life put you down rather than get up, smell the coffee and go get what you
deserve. I love Jessica’s style of writing. It has that certain something that makes
you want to keep turning whilst giving you a relaxing read and the occasional smile.
For anyone who has or is facing difficulties in life . Reading this may give you a
strength you never knew you had and that little thing called hope. A truly captivating,
highly enjoyable read. This earned my 5** rating, one that isn't given lightly.
To books that I remember. only about 10% of the 220+ I read in a year.
A very worthy winner.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Author Bio – Jessica had never considered writing as a career until a former manager kept telling her that her business reports read more like stories and she should write a book. She loved writing but had no plot ideas. Then something happened to her that prompted the premise for her debut novel, Searching for Steven. She put fingers to keyboard and soon realised she had a trilogy and a novella! She lives on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast – the inspiration for the settings in her books – with her husband, daughter, cat, Sprocker Spaniel, and an ever-growing collection of collectible teddy bears. Although if the dog has her way, the collection will be reduced to a pile of stuffing and chewed limbs! Jessica tries to balance her time – usually unsuccessfully – between being an HR tutor and writing. Social Media Links – Twitter: @JessicaRedland Facebook: Website and blog:

Monday, 25 June 2018

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 spade a shovel- a no-nonsense down to earth, take him as you find him kind of chap. In this book we learn of his thoughts on life and others around him - and then he gets a note which makes him think about every move and who and how.
From the word go this is brilliantly written draws you in and makes you smile. Sentences like “ He looked like a bad drawing of Officer Dibble” makes those of us who remember “Top Cat” grin from ear to ear. Eddie quickly becomes a friend, someone who you listen to and understand-someone to trust.  A tale of a nightmare, a situation gone wrong. Suspense interspersed with humour. Even if you don’t normally “do” short stories, grab yourself a coffee, pull up a chair and enjoy “The Note”. Not only is it better value than the coffee, but it will leave you with a smile and a thought that is with you long after the caffeine has left - and will give you much more of a buzz. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Love Eddie!

For more reviews please see my blog
or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1


Have you ever had that feeling of being watched but when you turn around no one’s there?
I have.
It was raining, and I was working a murder scene around midnight when that prickle ran up my spine. If I’d listened to that feeling, if I’d thought back to my past, maybe I could have prevented the terror that was to come.
Back at the office, I found a death threat on my desk.
I had no idea who sent it or why they wanted to kill me.
But I was about to find out.
I’m Eddie Collins, a CSI and this is my story.
Author Bio:
Andrew Barrett has enjoyed variety in his professional life, from engine-builder to farmer, from Oilfield Service Technician in Kuwait, to his current role of Senior CSI in Yorkshire.
He’s been a CSI since 1996, and has worked on all scene types from terrorism to murder, suicide to rape, drugs manufacture to bomb scenes. One way or another, Andrew’s life revolves around crime.
In 1997 he finished his first crime thriller, A Long Time Dead, and it’s still a readers’ favourite today, some 200,000 copies later, topping the Amazon charts several times. Two more books featuring SOCO Roger Conniston completed the trilogy.
Today, Andrew is still producing high-quality, authentic crime thrillers with a forensic flavour that attract attention from readers worldwide. He’s also attracted attention from the Yorkshire media, having been featured in the Yorkshire Post, and twice interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds.
He’s best known for his lead character, CSI Eddie Collins, and the acerbic way in which he roots out criminals and administers justice. Eddie’s series is four books and two short stories in length, and there’s still more to come.
Andrew is a proud Yorkshireman and sets all of his novels there, using his home city of Leeds as another major, and complementary, character in each of the stories.


Sunday, 24 June 2018

Murder of a Lover- Faith Martin-Crime.
Ex Di Hillary Greene now works for CRT(Crime review team. The cold case unit by
another name. The body of a student was found ten years ago, stabbed with a pair
of dressmaking scissors and the perpetrator was never apprehended. Hillary has
a second to none success rate- or at least did have when she had her official badge.
Now as a civilian she has to reply on the forensics done at the time but can try and
open new leads. She still has her admirer who is now becoming more of a stalker.
Will a pseudo romance put him off? I love Hillary. She comes across as a likeable
person whilst at the same time taking no nonsense from those around her- either
villains or work colleagues. A girl who calls a spade a shovel. These are always
wonderful easy reads that you can curl up with and enjoy the ride without anything too
gory along the way. An excellent plot, an interesting sub story and a highly enjoyable read.
-For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1
Looking for a brilliant best-selling murder mystery with a feisty female detective?
Ten years ago, Rowan Thompson was found stabbed to death with a pair of scissors in his student house. It turns out that Rowan was quite a lover, with many disgruntled partners left in his wake.
But did any of them have a strong enough motive to murder him?
Meanwhile. Hillary’s stalker is getting more aggressive with his messages and flowers. And it looks like he may be much, much worse than she thought.
Has Hillary finally bitten off more than she can chew?
Hillary Greene has returned to Thames Valley Police HQ, acting as a consultant for the Crime Review Team, looking into murders which the police have never been able to solve.
She wasn’t sure she wanted to go back. But solving crimes is irresistible for Hillary Greene. And it doesn’t hurt that her new boss is devastatingly handsome.
This is a crime mystery full of well-observed characters, which will have you gripped from start to the absolutely thrilling conclusion.
MURDER OF A LOVER is the thirteenth a series of page-turning crime thrillers set in Oxfordshire.
Number 8 Kebler Road is a three-story house in a typical leafy road in Oxford, near South Park. Victorian terraces face each other across the narrow street, whose pavements are interspersed with strategically placed lime trees. Keble College, an unmistakable building of red and white brick is the dominant feature. Quiet, pleasant, it’s in one of the city’s many attractive areas, and dedicated mainly to student digs and private residential properties.
DI Hillary Greene
An attractive, single woman nearing the landmark age of fifty, Hillary Greene was a police officer of many years’ experience (earning the rank of DI) and came up through the ranks. Consequently, she knew how the system worked, and was always fiercely loyal to the force without being blinkered to its faults. Forced to retire early through no fault of her own, she has now returned to the force as a civilian consultant on cold cases. She still enjoys a rather enigmatic relationship with the wily Commander Marcus Donleavy, but it is her new boss, the very attractive Steven Crayle, who is likely to cause her the most problems now!
Books 14-17 coming soon!

Faith Martin has been writing for over 25 years, in four genres and under four different pen names. She was born in Oxford and sets most of her crime novels within sight of the city of dreaming spires. A real nature lover and afficionado of the countryside, descriptions of wildlife and native flora often find their way into her manuscripts. Right now, JOFFE BOOKS are re-issuing the DI Hillary Greene novels in new updated editions! The first 13 books in the series are available now.

Her romance novels, written under the name of Maxine Barry, are now available from Corazon Books. IMPOSTERS In PARADISE, and HEART OF FIRE are both out, and others will very quickly become available in the future.

Her first foray into writing 'spooky' crime, (and written under the pen name of Jessie Daniels) comes out in November 2017. THE LAVENDER LADY CASEFILE is published by Robert Hale, an imprint of Crowood Press.

As Joyce Cato, she writes more classically-inspired 'proper' whodunits. So, if you like an amateur sleuth, plenty of clues and red herrings, plus a baffling murder mystery to solve, these are the books for you.

Saturday, 23 June 2018


How Far We Fall- Jane Shemilt- Psychological
Beth is in love with Albie. Albie is a researcher working on a virus to try and eliminate
a type of fatal  childhood brainstem tumour. He is hoping that his work with his boss
Ted will lead to a contract with a pharmaceutical company and a cure, as well as
financial security for him and Beth. What he doesn’t know is that years ago
Beth had an affair with Ted and has learnt not to believe anything he says and not to
trust him as he lets people down at the last minute. When you start reading a book,
whatever the subject matter, you get a feeling of the writer, their use of words and
a little of how the book will proceed. This one stunned me from the start. There is
writing, good quality writing and then that other level , where occasionally you
have to re-read the odd sentence as the depth conveys so much more than the
individual words. Jane is a wordsmith of the highest order. You can understand
what she means and the pictures portrayed in your mind are vivid and colourful
in every way. There are theatrical introductions to some of the chapters making
it read almost like a classical play. Three sisters at the beginning making me
think of three witches. A modern twist on a classic. An interesting read.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Friday, 22 June 2018


Their Last words- Steve Parker
A body is found with a word inscribed on it. What has happened to the victim is rather
gruesome to say the least. When a very similar one appears a few days later DSI Ray
Patterson and his team have their work cut out. Ray is a detective superintendent
and has been fast tracked as he has the right markers- a good education, money
and connections. What he lacks is experience and although he picks things up
incredibly quickly he needs his team to back him up, especially DS Dave Jordan
who also has his own methods. Steve draws the reader in from the start on this
one and gives the main players characters which you take to easily. I love a book
where there is a little more than the main plot and more to the characters than
just the story, a little background to keep them “real” as it were. An unusual sub
plot, a clever story line and a very engaging read.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Cover reveal*************

Snowflake- Heidy Goody and Iain Grant- out 20th July **********

A 5* read

"Lori Belkin has been dumped. By her parents.
They moved out while she was away on holiday, and now, at the tender age of twenty-five, she’s been cruelly forced to stand on her own two feet.
While she’s getting to grips with basic adulting, Lori magically brings to life the super-sexy man she created from celebrity photos as a teenager.
Lori learns very quickly that having your ideal man is not as satisfying as it ought to be and that being an adult is far harder than it looks.
Snowflake is a story about prehistoric pets, delinquent donkeys and becoming the person you want to be, not the person everyone else expects you to be"

Thursday, 21 June 2018

The Flowerpot Witch- Wendy Steele- Contemporary Women's Fiction
When I first read the blurb for this book I thought it would be another light-hearted chick-lit type
read. Not at all- the author describes it as "witch lit". This is so very much more (that’s not
to put any other books in that category down- far from it). From the beginning the
descriptions and feelings put into this are wonderful and evoke your own emotions
and maybe even memories perhaps. It starts with the background as to why
Lizzie is where she is. She lives with her daughter Rowan and has been left an
inheritance but finds herself rather moping around rather than enjoying it as she
soon realises that she should- and also help others in the process. I loved the addition
of the animals in Lizzie's life- just as you imagine- or maybe even have. A read with
excellent descriptions and a different premise as Lizzie is by her own admittance a
witch (of the good kind).  A book with depth, a wonderful read.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

The Flowerpot Witch (A Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novel Book 3)
Lizzie Martin has chosen pottery to be her new career…

But the teacher from hell threatens to thwart her ambitions before she starts.

She has support from her best friend Louise and Evan, another pottery tutor, but Rowan,
her fifteen year old daughter is restless, Josh, her ex-husband is colluding with her aunt
and though her mother is alive, access to her is forbidden. When The Morrigan appears
in her sacred circle, Lizzie knows she has a battle on her hands.There is hope though.
Stardust the chicken brings a new creature into Lizzie’s life and a long awaited
meeting with her Aunt Matilda brings Lizzie’s past into perspective.
Lizzie’s magic ventures beyond The Sanctuary, into the Welsh landscape and
the realms of the fae.

Purchase Links – to follow once available, after 11th June when I’m back from holiday
Author Bio –

Wendy Steele is author, wise woman, goddess. She is writer, dance teacher, mother and healer.
Her passion is magic.
‘The Lilith Trilogy’ leads the reader along the paths of the witches Qabalah, following Angel Parson’s
story of betrayal, retribution and redemption. Her magical story contains high magic as well as pagan
‘The Standing Stone Book Series’ focuses on the lives of three women linked together across time
and space by the standing stone. The countryside is the focus of their magic, embracing the gods
and goddesses, tree spirits, elves and fairies.
Her latest series, The Wendy Woo Witch Lit Series, begins with The Naked Witch. Lizzie
Martin, receptionist, single mother and witch, is asked by her new boss to conform and
embrace the corporate dress code. The reality of paisley to pin stripe, an unexpected stay
in hospital, monitoring of her fourteen year old daughter’s latest crush, the search for
the truth about her father’s death and two new men in her life, give Lizzie plenty of
plates to spin. In the Orphan Witch, Lizzie is grieving while trying to find her real
mother and the truth about her father and in the third book, The Flowerpot Witch,
due to be published on 21st June, she embarks on a new career, thwarted at every
step by those around her.

You can hear Wendy telling her short stories in Pan’s Grotto on her Welsh riverbank,
on her YouTube channel, The Phoenix and the Dragon.
Wendy’s non-fiction title ‘Wendy Woo’s Year – A Pocketful of Smiles’ offers the reader 101
ideas to bring a smile to every day.
Wendy lives in Wales with her partner, Mike, and cats. If she’s not writing or teaching
dance, you’ll find her renovating her house, clearing her land or sitting on her riverbank
, breathing in the beauty of nature.

Social Media Links –
YouTube channel: The Phoenix and the Dragon

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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...