Thursday, 18 April 2019


One Last Summer by Victoria Connelly -Womens fiction
Lisa and Audrey have been invited by their long time friend Harrie to spend a summer
holiday at a converted priory she has treated them to. They met 27 years ago and have
not met up for the last six but have kept in touch. Harrie has a secret, one she wants
to tell them but not until she has to as it will change the whole equilibrium. They have a
housekeeper and there is a restorer on the property, a chap who Harrie is finding herself
drawn to. They spend their days catching up and reliving the past , enjoying their beautiful
surroundings.Lisa is into her yoga and tempts the gardener into trying it for his injured back.
Audrey can’t stop working and disappears home for a few days and gets more than the
work she anticipated. Harrie invites her daughter over to stay wit the group and this tips
the balance. I liked Harrie. She was calm and in control in a very difficult situation.
She thought of others over herself. The others had their strengths and weaknesses
as we all do and found the best in each other.This is a poignant  and evocative
emotional read which is beautifully written. The pages almost disappeared
between my fingers as I got so immersed in the story, I was almost at the end
before I knew it. One of those reads to take you to another place.
One to smile at, one to shed a tear. A truly wonderful read.
For more reviews please see my blog

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One Last Summer They have the whole summer ahead of them. Is it enough to rekindle the friendship they once
shared? Harriet Greenleaf dreams of spending the summer in a beautiful ancient priory on the
Somerset coast with her two best friends—but her dream is bittersweet. On the one hand,
it’s a chance to reconnect three lives that have drifted apart; on the other, she has a
devastating secret to share that will change everything between them forever. First to arrive is Audrey—the workaholic who’s heading for a heart attack unless she slows
down and makes time for herself. Then Lisa, the happy-go-lucky flirt who’s always struggled
to commit to anyone—or anything. Ever the optimist, can Harriet remind them of the joy
in their lives and the importance of celebrating good friendship before it’s gone? Through the highs and lows of a long, glorious summer, these three women will rediscover
what it means to be there for each other—before they face the hardest of goodbyes. Purchase Link UK - US - Author Bio Victoria Connelly studied English literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval
castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young
springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as
many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into
a film in 2008 by Ziegler Films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the
Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award. Ms Connelly loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her
keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden, with either a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap. Her website is, and readers can follow her on Twitter
@VictoriaDarcy and on Instagram @VictoriaConnellyAuthor. Social Media Links – Facebook: Twitter: @VictoriaDarcy Instagram: @VictoriaConnellyAuthor

Wednesday, 17 April 2019


Where the Dead Fall- MJ Lee-Crime

One to get into very quickly- and stay there! DI Thomas Ridpath is on his way to see his
daughter on her 10th birthday when a naked man steps across his path on the motorway.
He manages to stop, only for the man to look towards the hard shoulder and then run
into the path of any oncoming truck. On the verge is a man with a gun and by the time
he re-looks across there is no trace of him. One major traffic jam and unhappy bosses
who can’t find any trace of the man and wonder if Thomas was making it up, maybe
a side effect of the drugs he is taking. He is now working for the Coroners office as
part of his return to work following illness. He feels rather pulled betwixt and
between from his old post and colleagues that want him back and his new position,
albeit temporary which he is enjoying. I like Thomas, he comes across as a loyal tenacious
man whom you would want on your side. MJ Lee always gives a strong story line and one
you quickly get into and want to find out more. There is the occasional humour in the
right place to give a lighter edge to counter some not so pleasant scenarios and
characters(nothing to give you nightmares or to put you off your dinner- ok maybe
not quite in one instance in this case). Good solid characters and a story that keeps moving
along. I found reading about the work of the Coroners office very interesting.
Not something I have come across in details about before and not quite what I
imagined- very interesting.This is the second in the series and would probably stand
alone- but the background of the first one, would make it more sense.
A real treasure of a read. Love Ridpath!
For more reviews please see my blog

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Thursday, 11 April 2019

Rosie and Ruby - Patricia Dixon- **COVER REVEAL *********

Ruby lives one-step away from poverty on a rundown, crime infested estate in Manchester, with Stella, her feckless, self centred a mother.

In the quiet suburbs of Cheshire Rosie, Ruby’s cousin, leads a charmed, middle class existence but feels suffocated by her domineering mother Doreen.

Although Stella and Doreen have little in common, they share the inability to show the love and loyalty that their daughters deserve.

Meanwhile, Olivia, a member of the elite Cheshire set, is aloof and distant, rattling around in her sprawling mansion, attending charity functions and hosting infamous bridge nights.

Her errant son Marcus lives his life in the fast lane, maximising the perks of the family firm whilst enjoying his jet setting bachelor existence, well away from the watchful eyes of his disapproving mother.

But when Ruby meets Marcus her life begins to crumble and one by one the secrets she has kept are exposed.

Can Rosie and Ruby’s bond survive? And in Ruby’s hour of need, will her cousin keep her promise, and come to her rescue?

(Please note this was previously published as Three Mothers)

Extract from Rosie and Ruby (edited) 906 words.

Remembering the events of that night still made Ruby feel sick and brought her sharply back to the present. The noises from the street outside had died down and thankfully, so had the sounds of her mother repaying Barry for an evening on the tiles and a chippy supper. It was 4am. The boy racers had finally called it a night and the helicopter had flown off into the darkness. There was still the occasional slam of a car door and the odd siren in the distance. Ruby allowed herself to doze. Surely Barry would be snoring away by now and she could get some sleep. She was dreaming of being fostered by Pippa in Home and Away and spending days on a caravan park or hanging out on the beach. In her dream, she really suited the red tartan dress she wore for school… and then her bed jerked and the strategically-piled books and alarm clock tumbled noisily to the floor, warning her of imminent danger and importantly, waking her from her sleep.
Ruby’s eyes shot open. He was there, outside the door, silently trying to force it open but there was no way he could get in because jammed into the space between the door and her bed was a chair and a chest of drawers. Ruby’s heart pounded so hard she truly thought it would explode inside her chest.
‘Are you awake, Ruby? Come on, love, don’t be shy. I only want a little chat to say sorry for what happened last time. Go on. Open the door for your Uncle Barry.’ He gave the door one more push.
 Horrified, Ruby saw his fingers appear as he squeezed his hand inside, feeling around for whatever was blocking his entrance. Leaping from her bed, sheer terror and adrenaline fuelling her movements, Ruby pounced onto the chair and then leapt on top of her cupboard before lunging at the door. Using her whole body weight she rammed it hard against Barry’s wrist, causing him to groan in pain.
‘You little bitch,’ hissed Barry. ‘I’ll make you sorry when I get in there, you cocky tart.’
Spotting her pencil case lying next to where her books had been, she rummaged inside until she felt her compass. Fury, shame and terror were coursing through her veins and without a second thought, gripping tightly, she rammed the steel spike into the back of his hand. Then Ruby started to scream. If they thought she was a banshee the last time, second time around she probably woke the dead, but most importantly of all, she woke Stella.
 ‘Mum! Mum! Make him go away. He’s trying to get in my room. He’s a perv, Mum. Please just make him go away.’

When her mum stumbled out of her bedroom, dragging on her dressing gown and trying to force open her bloodshot, mascara-streaked eyes, Stella was met by the sight of Barry in his underpants. He had one hand trapped inside Ruby’s bedroom while her daughter screamed hysterically from the other side.
Stella may have been many things but she wasn’t naive, and knew there and then that this time she really had picked a bad one. Without hesitating, she ran over to the draining board and grabbed the frying pan, grasping it firmly in both hands.
‘Get away from my daughter you dirty bastard. It’s okay, Ruby, I’m here, love.’ Stella tried to sound reassuring and in control, just before she lost it completely and smashed the pan into Barry’s head. ‘You dirty get! What the fuck do you think you’re playing at? Get away from my girl or I swear I’ll kill you.’ Stella was livid.

From between the crack Ruby watched as he slumped to his knees so she relaxed the pressure on the door as Barry’s blood smeared fingers left red tracks all down the woodwork. Barry probably didn’t know what hit him (literally) when the cold metal whacked the back of his head. For a moment he looked stunned as he stared at his blood soaked hand and rubbed his head with the other. Ruby wondered what hurt the most, his speared hand or dented skull.
The next thing they heard was the doorbell ringing and someone shouting through the letter box. It was old Mr Kenyon from next door.
‘You alright, Stella love? D’you want me to ring the coppers? I heard you and your Ruby screaming.’
Ruby watched as Stella ran to the front door, still grasping the frying pan, and flung it open to find Mr Kenyon in his pyjamas, holding a rolled-up newspaper and a plastic spatula.
‘It’s okay, Charlie, no need for the police, as long as this scumbag is out of here in the next ten seconds. He was trying to get into our Ruby’s bedroom, the filthy pervert. Go on, get your stuff and get out!’ Stella waved the frying pan menacingly as Barry scuttled off, holding his bleeding hand, clearly too stunned and embarrassed to speak.
Returning within seconds, his shirt and jacket stuffed under his arm and holding up his trousers with his uninjured hand, Barry made his silent, shamefaced exit from the flat. Not looking anyone in the eye, he fled into the freezing night but not before Stella kicked him in the rear end as Mr Kenyon gave him one last jab with his rolled-up newspaper and a crack on the head with the spatula.

It was 7am and getting light. Ruby’s bedroom furniture was back in its rightful place and the blood stains had been wiped off the door. Her eyes burned in their sockets from crying and lack of sleep. No matter how hard she tried she couldn’t banish the image of Barry’s hand poking through the door while her heart lurched when she imagined what would have happened if he’d managed to get in. Once Mr Kenyon had left, Ruby had repeatedly insisted that Stella checked the door was locked before she could relax. Every sound made her jump, fearing Barry had come back for revenge or his shoe, which Stella had chucked over the balcony when she’d found it on the landing. It must have slipped off in his panic to get away and now lay amongst the rest of the rubbish in the courtyard below.
When daylight finally peeked through her curtains and the party people of east Manchester began returning home, only then did Ruby feel able to settle. She was utterly exhausted, both mentally and physically but needed to get some sleep because later on that day she was going to go over to see Rosie, her cousin.
It was Aunty Doreen’s birthday and, as with any special occasion, Ruby and her mum would make the two-bus journey to the south side of Manchester and spend time with the upwardly-mobile section of the family. Ruby knew full well that Doreen looked down her nose at her sister, Stella, and had been ashamed when she brought an illegitimate child into the family. Out of duty, Doreen had fulfilled the promise she made to their dying mother that her wayward sister had to be looked after, not rejected, and baby Ruby was to be watched over and cared for. This was something that her Aunty Doreen did begrudgingly without grace or kindness, whereas Rosie offered it unconditionally, along with friendship and love.
Even though the Wilson’s home in Cheshire wasn’t the most cosy or welcoming of abodes, Ruby saw her visits to leafy suburbia as a breath of fresh air and a welcome break from the bleak greyness she saw on a daily basis. The garden was beautifully pruned and surrounded by privet hedges, and even though the interior screamed out for a dash of colour it was nevertheless tastefully furnished and coordinated using an unimaginative pale green palette.
Ruby embraced all of this. To her it represented stability, and was clean enough to eat your tea from the floor but above all, it was quiet and calm. Even Uncle Jim seemed to blend in with the house, never putting a foot out of place, seamlessly merging into his armchair and the wallpaper, nodding occasionally to agree with Doreen but for the most part he kept his opinions to himself, his head down and concentrated on reading the newspaper.
Despite the bland frugality of Aunty Doreen’s cuisine, Ruby knew that whenever she was invited for a sleepover or a few days in the school holidays, there would be three home-cooked meals placed before her on the starched white tablecloth and clean, fragrant sheets on her bed. But the icing on the cake was always Rosie. Never having siblings of their own, the two cousins saw in each other the sister and companion they never had. Ruby looked up to and adored Rosie while in return, being four years older, the elder cousin enjoyed her role as big sister to the fragile, wide-eyed, eager little girl who, when they were younger, held her hand tightly and hung on to her every word.
As they grew up, and despite the fact they lived miles apart, their bond managed to survive even when Doreen temporarily banned Stella from the house after her sherry-induced, bad behaviour on Christmas Day. Ruby’s frequent lack of bus fares to make the trip alone was sometimes a stumbling block, but nowadays Rosie gave her the money for a return visit which she stuck down her sock and hid from Stella. Even when she got her first boyfriend, it didn’t get in the way and Ruby wasn’t pushed out because Rosie wasn’t like that. She was Ruby’s rock, always there in a crisis, someone wise to confide in, a much needed escape route.

By the time Ruby eventually slipped into the land of dreams her heart had lifted slightly, and a small smile lingered on her lips because in a few hours she would be with her cousin, and then everything in the whole world would be okay.

Author Bio
Patricia Dixon was born in Manchester where she still lives with her husband. They have two grown up children and one grandson.
Ignoring her high school reports and possibly sound advice from teachers, Patricia shunned the world of academia and instead, stubbornly pursued a career in fashion. Once the sparkle of London life wore off she returned north and embarked on a new adventure, that of motherhood.
Now, almost thirty years later she has acquiesced to the wise words of her elders and turned her hand to writing. Patricia has written a total of eight novels, the latest is due for release in March 2019.

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The Cleansing- J.A Baker -Crime/psychological
Ray has recently split with his girlfriend and decided to move away to have a fresh start.
He moves into a village and tries to talk to people and make friends. However he finds that
they are all suspicious of him. Once he finds out why he takes baby steps and they begin
to accept him. There have been several incidents in the usually very quiet village and they
are getting worse, When an old man is attacked, the locals are beginning to worry.
One who first talked to Ray was the local young barmaid Lily. After a while and talking
to others he finds out her father is “ a nasty piece of work” and no-one will say much
more. Ray keeps receiving messages from his ex girlfriends mother, Delores. He
has blocked her number however she is very persistent in contacting him and we
don’t quite know why. There is one villager who has a record and a reputation,
and the rest of the villagers believe all the nasty going on are his doing but no one
can prove it.  In occasional alternate chapters titled “Me” we read of a person who
knows themselves to be evil. We learn of their childhood and how they were treated
and things they have done which are not usual behaviour in anyone’s book.
We don’t know who they are or even their gender, leaving this wide open. Oh!
This took me off kilter and wasn’t what or who I expected- no spoilers. A clever plot,
a twist (which I love) and then thinking I really should have seen it ( as you do!).
A highly enjoyable read.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1
The Cleansing blurb When Ray moves to a new house in the village of Whitchurch, he leaves behind a relationship and a luxury apartment in search of a better life in the countryside. However, he soon realises that sleepy Whitchurch also has its own fair share of problems. Last year, a woman’s body was discovered in the woods nearby. The killer was never caught. Soon suspicious things start to happen. Threatening letters are sent, cars are vandalised and headstones are desecrated. But who is responsible for these acts and why? As the tension in the village builds, Ray begins to feel the pressure. Someone is out to cause trouble and that someone might be closer to Ray than he ever imagined.

J.A.BAKER was born and brought up in North East England and has had a love of language for as long as she can remember. She enjoys reading many genres of books but especially enjoys psychological thrillers. When she’s not busy writing, she can be found trying to keep on top of her high maintenance garden! In December 2016 she was signed by Bloodhound Books who published Undercurrent.  Her second novel, Her Dark Retreat was published in October 2017. Since then she has written four other novels - The Other Mother, Finding Eva, The Uninvited and The Cleansing which is her latest release. J.A. Baker has four grown-up children and a grandchild and lives in a village near Darlington with her husband and madcap dog. You find out more about J.A.Baker by visiting her website at

Monday, 8 April 2019

HOUND by Ken Ogilvie-Crime
DC Rebecca Bradley is new to being a detective and in some ways she is still earning her
stripes. When a woman escapes from prison, Rebecca is alerted for more than one
reason. Jackie Caldwell is out to get Rebecca as well as her close friend Hound. Rebecca’s
father and grandfather had dealings with Jackie in the past which eventually got her
caught and she is out for revenge and is not a woman to mess with. Hound is a giant of
a man who dotes on Rebecca and will do anything to protect her. With Jackie loose and
on the rampage they are both in danger. I like to know a little more about the main
detective characters as to me it gives the reader more depth and the character more
life. We learn about Rebecca from diary entries at the beginning of some of the
chapters. We also know that for many years she has been wanting to find out more
about her mother’s death and who killed her as the case is still open. Hound comes
across as someone you would very much want on your side, the gentle giant with
loyalty to match. This is the second in the series (Her Dark Path being the first one)
but will happily stand alone. An interesting read. I would love to know more about
Rebecca and her home life and loves and those of her fellow detectives. We learnt
more about her in the final few chapters where both threads come together
nicely. An enjoyable read.
For more reviews please see my blog

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Hound (Rebecca Bradley #2) by Ken Ogilvie
Do you love mysteries with intricate plots and new locations? Meet Detective Rebecca Bradley as she faces an escaped serial killer whose next target IS THE POLICEWOMAN HERSELF.
Rebecca Bradley put serial killer Jackie Caldwell in prison. She had the assistance of Hound, a giant young man who’s in love with Rebecca.

But then Jackie murders a prison guard and escapes. She heads north to her home town of Conroy, where she hides out in the forest to evade a massive police search.

She’s burning with hatred for Rebecca, and wants revenge for the financial ruin of her family twenty years ago in a goldmining scam by Rebecca’s villainous grandfather.

Jackie  also hates Rebecca’s wealthy father, who betrayed and then helped the police apprehend Jackie’s sleazebag lover, Kingsley McBride.

Hound pursues Jackie in a bone-chilling chase through the eastern Georgian Bay forest . He faces a race against time to save the woman he loves.

Discover a new crime writer who will have you gripped till the pulsating end.
Rebecca Bradley was psychologically damaged by the unsolved murder of her mother when she was eight years of age. Driven by her mission to catch the murderer and make him pay for his crime, Rebecca is obsessed with justice and retribution, and is haunted by dreams of revenge.
Book 2: HOUND

About Ken Ogilvie

KEN OGILVIE is a new mystery writing author, with Her Dark Path as his first book. Prior to taking up writing, Ken worked in a variety of roles in the environmental policy domain, including positions with three governments in Canada (Federal, Manitoba and Ontario) and as the Executive Director of Pollution Probe, one of Canada’s premier environmental groups. He remains active as a consultant on energy and climate change, and sits on the Boards of two national nonprofit organizations – the Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, and Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow. He is well-known across Canada for his environmental work, and has received two honourary doctorates from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, and Thompson Rivers University, British Columbia.



Saturday, 6 April 2019

THE OXFORD MYSTERY - Faith Martin- Crime

(Please note this book was first published as “DEADLY STUFF” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO)
I love this series. There is something about Faith’s writing that quickly draws you in and a
warmth of character that you can’t help but like,This is the fifth book in  the Jenny Starling
series., each one I think could be a stand alone but why miss out on the rest? A travelling
cook who appears to have a knack for not only being around where there is a murder
but a sterling reputation for solving the crime, much to the chagrin of the local police
force. This time Jenny is in the hallowed portals of St Bede’s college Oxford for the
summer where a series of conferences are taking place. The first one on the agenda is
that of a group of taxidermists. Loving both reading and cooking, these are just up my
street and have given me several ideas for cooking- some dishes I hadn’t heard of.
eg. Bacon Clanger. Maybe don’t read these if you are hungry- they may give you an
appetite! I think my only criticism (and its tiny) is that we keep being reminded of
Jenny’s six foot, junoesque build which is a tad repetitive. That said she is not a
woman to mess with and has a nose and ears for what is around her.
Who wouldn’t love her as a neighbour or friend.?Then again…..she is always
around when there is a murder so perhaps not!
A wonderful read to curl up with and enjoy.
For more reviews please see my blog
or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1


Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These charming mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is.

Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective.

Please note this book was first published as “DEADLY STUFF” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO.

Jenny Starling has a summer job cooking at a prestigious Oxford college. But she’s not expecting murder on the menu.

Then womanisingtaxidermy society president, Maurice Raines, is found with a knife in his neck in the dining hall.
Everyone is in classes at the time of his death. So, frustratingly it seems they all have an alibi.
However there are many suspects, including Maurice’s wife and his lover.
The college and police need Jenny’s help to solve this perplexing case. But can Jenny keep her concentration with a budding romance on the cards?
This is the fifth in a series of enjoyable murder mysteries with a great cast of characters and baffling crimes which will keep you in suspense to the final page.
Perfect for fans of classic whodunits by authors like Agatha Christie, LJ Ross, TE Kinsey, and J.R. Ellis.
In her late twenties, Jenny Starling is an impressive woman. Physically, she stands at 6ft 1inch, and has shoulder-length black hair and blue eyes. Curvaceous and sexy, she’s a modern single woman, living the lifestyle that suits her – that of a travelling cook. Her famous (and now very rich) father, is a ‘celebrity’ cook, divorced from Jenny’s mother. Jenny drives a disreputable cherry-red van, and is happy travelling the country catering events and cooking great food. She is on a one-woman crusade to bring back ‘real’ food. And definitely doesn’t like having to divert her attention from achieving the perfect Dundee cake or creating a new sauce recipe by having to solve a murder. She finds crime very distracting, especially when there is chocolate to temper or pike to poach. Nevertheless, she is very good at reading people, and with a quick and agile brain, becomes very good at unmasking killers. And her always-undaunted sense of humour goes a long way in keeping her sane when all around her people are dropping like flies.
FAITH MARTIN is the best-selling author of the DETECTIVE HILLARY GREENE mysteries, which have sold over 1 million copies globally in just over a year.
More JENNY STARLING mysteries coming soon. Join the Joffe Books mailing list to be the first to hear about the next in the series.

Faith Martin was born in Oxford, and has spent all her life within twenty miles of the university city, even working at Somerville College for five years before turning to writing full-time. The author of the popular DI Hillary Greene novels, she also writes more classic-style 'whodunits' under the pen name Joyce Cato, but began her writing career as Maxine Barry, winning an award for penning romance novels! A popular writer for over 25 years, she has had nearly 50 novels published so far. Her hobbies include walking her now ageing dog, wildlife-watching, reading and (reluctantly) gardening.  

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...