Thursday, 30 May 2019

The Wrong Direction

The Wrong Direction by Liz Treacher -Historical literary fiction
(Sequel to “The Wrong Envelope”) Evie and Bernard are now married and living in London
away from Evie’s familiar territory of Devon. They are not well off and Evie is struggling
to get to grips with being a wife and housewife after previously working. All the jobs are
now being given to men and women are at the back of the queue, especially married
ones. She throws away a whole trout “as she doesn’t like the look on it’s face” !! This is
1920 and it is wonderful to read of a life which by today’s standards is so simplistic and
it can’t help but make you smile (and wince) at how different things are. Even the
dialogue is different in many ways to how we speak and think today. The blatant sexism
Evie encounters even at Cambridge. This is the second in the series and does need to
be read in conjunction with the first book. A husband who is struggling to give up his
previous lifestyle whilst being totally in love with his wife. A woman who doesn’t want
to be pushed around by the establishment or be “just a housewife”. A search for a
child fleetingly seen by the grandfather which causes more issues than it solves.
I really enjoyed this. A trip to another era and larger than life characters we don’t
often meet these days. A treasure of a read.
For more reviews please see my blog

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Autumn 1920. When Bernard Cavalier, a flamboyant London artist, marries Evie Brunton, a beautiful Devon post lady, everyone expects a happy ending. But Evie misses cycling down country lanes, delivering the mail, and is finding it hard to adapt to her new life among Mayfair’s high society. Meanwhile Bernard, now a well-known artist, is struggling to give up his bachelor ways. The Wrong Direction is as light and witty as The Wrong Envelope, with racy characters and a fast-paced plot. Wild parties, flirtatious models, jealous friends – Bernard and Evie must negotiate many twists and turns if they are to hold on to each other...  

Liz is a writer, a Creative Writing teacher and an Art photographer. She lives in the Highlands of Scotland with a view of the sea. Her love of images influences her writing.

Her debut novel, 'The Wrong Envelope', is a romantic comedy, set in 1920 in Devon, England. It tells the story of Bernard, an impulsive artist and Evie, his beautiful post lady. You can watch the trailer on this page, under 'Videos'. Light and witty, and full of twists and turns, 'The Wrong Envelope' captures the spirit of another age - when letters could change lives.

The sequel, 'The Wrong Direction', follows Evie and Bernard to London, and charts their further adventures in Mayfair's high society. Wild parties, flirtatious models, jealous friends - Bernard and Evie must negotiate many twists and turns if they are to hold on to each other.

For more information visit:
Follow on Twitter: @liztreacher

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Wednesday, 29 May 2019

The Binding-Bridget Collins- Historical Fanasy
Emmett has been chosen to be the apprentice to the binder. He leaves home when he is
still recovering from an illness that has laid him up unable to work for a while. Once at his
new position he finds out more about binding and that it is not just books that get bound.
This is one of those reads that somehow captivates you form the start without really
knowing why- there is just that something about it that keeps the pages turning.
Emmett is a likeable young man albeit naive in the ways of he world and most certainly
of the world of binding that he has entered. Perhaps it is that unknown quality that we
want to know more about , that suspicion that all is not quite as it first appears that
keeps us there.  There has been much publicity and talk about this book and I can see
why. even the cover is captivating and beautiful. A very clever plot- I won’t give
anything away other than to say ingenious! How stories are made and the “false”
ones are called novels. I saw Joanna Cannon (Three Things about Elsie/The Trouble
With Goats and Sheep said that” This is more of an experience than a book”  which
I wholeheartedly agree with.
A brilliant premise. a wonderful story well told, a captivating read.

For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nicki’sbookblog

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Breakers by [Johnstone, Doug]

Breakers by Doug Johnstone-Crime /contemporary urban
Tyler is a good guy at heart. He is still at school himself and takes care of his younger sister
Bethany affectionately known as Bean, as their mother is more often than not the worse for
wear on either drugs or vodka or both. He has older siblings in the form of Barry and Kelly
(who are in a relationship). Barry is a bully and will knock Tyler about for the slightest thing
. Barry rules with his fists. In order to survive in the easiest way possible the three of them
break into houses in the better parts of the area. They need Tyler as he is small and can
get through fanlights, although he is getting bigger and doesn’t want Barry to bring Bean
into this. Tyler does his best and really wishes that he  wasn’t involved in housebreaking.
One night things take a different turn and Barry pulls a knife. The recipient is the wife of
the local gang lord and revenge is on the cards. Tyler meets a friend in the most unusual
of places and his thoughts are starting to strengthen. I really took to this and wanted
Tyler to do the right thing by him and seven year old Bean having been let down by
the authorities for care. One where the heart in the right place makes good.
A moving tale. an excellent plot, a wonderful story.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

‘A cracking and highly original thriller. Johnstone never fails to deliver’ Mark Billingham ‘As psychologically rich as it is harrowing. I’ve come to expect nothing less from Doug Johnstone, one of the genre’s premiere writers’ Megan Abbott ‘Doug Johnstone is Scotland’s truest exponent of noir. He writes novels that are punchy, fast-paced and sometimes gruellingly dark; unflinchingly challenging his readers by taking them to places that are emotionally and ideologically uncomfortable’ Chris Brookmyre Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Whilst trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addicted mother, he’s also coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings. One night whilst on a job, his brother Barry stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead. And that ’s just the beginning of their nightmare, because they soon discover the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt. With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in terrible danger, Tyler is running out of options, until he meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house. Could she be his salvation? Or will he end up dragging her down with him? ‘Doug Johnstone never fails to deliver’ Mark Billingham AUTHOR BIO
Doug Johnstone is an author, journalist and musician based in Edinburgh. He’s had nine novels published, most recently Fault Lines. His previous novel, The Jump, was a finalist for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his other novels have been award winners and bestsellers, and he’s had short stories published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines. His work has been praised by the likes of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Irvine Welsh. Several of his novels have been optioned for film and television. Doug is also a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow. He’s worked as an RLF Fellow at Queen Margaret University, taught creative writing at Strathclyde University and William Purves Funeral Directors. He mentors and assesses manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy and regularly tutors at Moniack Mhor writing retreat. Doug has released seven albums in various bands, and is drummer, vocalist and occasional guitarist for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He also reviews books for The Big Issue magazine, is player-manager for Scotland Writers Football Club and has a PhD in nuclear physics

Monday, 27 May 2019


Bonnie & Stan-Anna Stuart- Contemporary Love story
A love story with a difference- I’m not into out and out romance novels(this isn’t- there is
far,far more) but this is one unique read. Bonnie and Stan are in their seventies and about
to finally build their dream home. Bonnie was a architect and having bought the land many
years earlier they can now build for their twilight years. Stan has had to go the the hospital
and has some bad news, news that Bonnie is determined to fight. They met in the 1960’s
and the book alternates between then and now to tell us the story of their lives. Having
been together 50 years they are soulmates and Stan is determined that Bonnie won’t be
left alone so with the assistance of his granddaughter he tries to find a suitable
companion for Bonnie for after he is gone. Oh my heart! This is so beautifully written.
I almost wanted to meet both Bonnie and Stan they are such endearing characters each
with their own strengths and weaknesses who bounce off each other to make a real
team.Characters that we maybe all meet once in a lifetime.  One real treasure of a
read. I loved this and shall remember it for a very long time.

For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Bonnie and Stan are soulmates. They met during the Swinging Sixties, to the soundtrack of The Beatles and the Merseybeat scene. They’ve grown up and grown old together, had children and grandchildren. They are finally settling into retirement and building their dream home when disaster strikes.

Stan cannot bear the thought of leaving Bonnie. All his life he’s devoted himself to looking after her and now, when it really counts, he will have to leave her alone. Or will he…? Alongside his teenage granddaughter Greya, he forms a plan to find Bonnie a new love of her life. And she must never find out...

Bonnie & Stan is a poignant, surprising love story set during the Swinging Sixties and the present day which will make your heart sing.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Please note this book was first published as “JUST NOT CRICKET” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO.
Jenny Starling is travelling cook and this time she is preparing the tea and evening buffet
for a village derby cricket match. As soon as some of the ladies arrive she begins to hear
village gossip and whilst baking she overhears various bit and pieces. When the match
begins some of the talked about characters arrive and one person in particular is
despised by several people for various things from having an affair to losing money on
investments. As ever when a body is found there is a predicament of not only who could
have done it but the impossible how- until Jenny’s eyes and ears get to work. A second
murder which at first appears unrelated adds to the excitement. I love this series.
A book you know you can settle down with comfortably with nothing to give you
nightmares or put you off your dinner. A homely character you can’t help but take to
and lists of food which gives me ideas for baking- what’s not to love! A cleverly
worked out plot and to date I haven’t worked out the perpetrator before the reveal
which keeps the grey matter functioning and a nice level of intrigue whilst
reading. I very much look forward to the next in the Jenny Starling series.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nicki’sbookblog

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 “JUST NOT CRICKET” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO.
Jenny Starling is doing the catering for the village cricket match. But she’s not expecting one of the players to turn up dead.
Everyone from the village has turned out to watch the match, and with this being the club’s centenary, Jenny Starling has been hired specially to provide her stunning food for the event.
Then the next man up to bat, Tristan Jones, is nowhere to be found. He is discovered behind the pavilion, murdered by a blow to the back of the head with an old cricket bat.
The handsome twenty-something had a reputation as a Lothario, with an appetite for married women. Did a scorned woman or a cuckolded husband kill him?
However, he’d annoyed other people too. He was a stockbroker who took big risks with other people’s money and lost their lifesavings.
Soon another body turns up and Jenny Starling is going to need all her cunning to crack this complex case.
This is the sixth 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.


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.  

Saturday, 25 May 2019


The Promise Between Us by Barbara Claypole White - Women’s fiction
Kate suffers from OCD and anxiety, something she developed after giving birth to her
daughter Maisie. This led to her leaving the family home as she was so fraught that she
would do something to harm her child. Ten years later she is working as a metal artist and

accidently comes across her daughter who appears to have similar symptoms as herself.
Can Katie help Maisie and prevent her having the mental illness that has taken so much
from Kate’s life?OCD is far more than “just having to have the towels folded a certain
way”. For some it is a never ending cycle of anxiety that dominates their world and this
book portrays this well. ““If you leave your newborn child because you have
unstoppable thoughts of harming her, are you a good mother or a terrible one? “ .
You can’t help but feel and want Kate to overcome her issues. The book is written
from the viewpoints of the main characters so each tells their own side. A brave
subject to write about and handled sensitively and well researched. Kate is selfless
is wanting the best for Maisie and at times this is a poignant read.
A highly enjoyable memorable, different read.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

The Promise Between Us
“If you leave your newborn child because you have unstoppable thoughts of harming her, are you a good mother or a terrible one? This dilemma is at the heart of Barbara Claypole White’s novel, a wrenching story of how one woman’s OCD has a ripple effect on those around her—including the people she tried hardest to protect. This is an eye-opening and realistic exploration of mental illness—a topic that greatly deserves to be front and center.”—Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things
Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.
But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?
To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

Purchase Link:
UK -
US - 

Author Bio – Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White has created her own idiosyncratic niche in mainstream fiction: hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina, where she lives with her family. Her novels include:
The Unfinished Garden, Mira Books, 2012, winner of the Golden Quill for Best First Book 2013; The In-Between Hour, Mira Books, 2014, chosen by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance as an Okra Pick; The Perfect Son, Lake Union, 2015, Goodreads Choice Awards Semi-finalist for Best Fiction; Echoes of Family, Lake Union, 2016, WFWA 2017 Star Award Finalist; The Promise Between Us, Lake Union, 2018. (View the book trailer here:
Barbara is also an OCD advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity.
To listen to Barbara’s 2018 interview with Frank Stasio on The State of Things, click here:
To watch Barbara’s 2018 interview with Linda Hurtado on Fox 13, click here:
For more information on Barbara, please visit 
Social Media Links –

To listen to Barbara’s 2018 interview with Frank Stasio on The State of Things, click here:
To watch Barbara’s 2018 interview with Linda Hurtado on Fox 13, click here:
For more information on Barbara, please visit 
Social Media Links –

Friday, 24 May 2019

Hunter's Force by Val Penny- Crime/Police procedural  

A young woman is found horrifically mutilated in a young man’s flat. The young man
in question is Cameron and his father just happens to be in the police. He says a large
man brought the woman there a few weeks ago and gave him money to feed her on
the orders of Cameron’s boss who owns the flat. On questioning the owner knows
nothing about the woman. Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson wants to head this up
himself rather than call in MIT. A man is released from prison and being collected by
his son announces that not only has he bought two very profitable betting shops
whilst inside but that they are moving into a 12 bedroomed home. Someone
however wants Hunter out of the picture and when things get rather rough he decides
things have to change. This is a series of crimes and suspects cleverly intermingled.
I liked Hunter- a force to be reckoned with and a personable one. This is number
three in the series and not having read the others this does stand happily alone.
Set in Edinburgh, there are wonderful descriptions of the city.
A very interesting enjoyable read.
For more reviews please see my blog

or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Hunter's Force Blurb

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature:
Can DI Hunter Wilson keep Edinburgh safe when he is the hunted?

DI Hunter Wilson is woken in the early hours of the morning by a call from his son, Cameron. Who has murdered the young student who shares Cameron's flat? Why would anybody want to kill a young woman recently arrived in the city?
Now that the united police force, Police Scotland exists, Hunter must call in the new Major Incident Team (MIT) to lead the investigation. Hunter's ability to investigate anything further is put in severe doubt when someone from his past decides to take revenge on him. He goes missing and his team have no idea where to look for him. Who would want to stop Hunter in his tracks? 

Hunter's team must work closely with MIT, with or without him, to solve the murder in this taught c

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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...