The Saxon Wolves

Britain 455AD. The Roman Empire has fallen. As the daughter of a king and a priestess of the sacred grove, Anya’s life in Germania is one of wealth and privilege – until she dares to speak out against the high priest’s barbaric human sacrifices. Her punishment is exile. Forced to leave her homeland, she sails to Britannia, to an island that is sliding into chaos and war, as rival kingdoms vie for power. Alone and far from home, Anya must learn to survive amidst the bloodshed, treachery and intrigue of fifth century Britain. Can she find a place to belong – a home, a hearth, a welcome?

 

My review

The fifth century was a time of migration and political unrest in Eurasia, and that is all very apparent in this story.  Anya migrates, unwilling, to Britain, and much of the rest of the book reflects the petty and more major political upheavals going on. It’s a period often neglected in historical fiction, but it certainly makes for exciting and interesting reading.

It’s fascinating to see Britain in that era – what settlements were like, what people wore, what they ate, how they treated each other, what sort of names they had. These all emerge in the novel and leave us informed as well as entertained. The author has obviously done a lot of research and she really throws some late on what’s often considered to be the mysterious Dark Ages. Since it’s fiction then the author has used her creativity and imagination too, and fact and fiction fuse well.

Anya is a very robust young lady. She goes through some pretty awful ordeals but she finds the courage to continue and overcome. She bumps into rather a lot of unpleasant people, most of whom are vying for some kind of power. Life was brutal then, and that certainly comes through.

This work of historical fiction is refreshing in that it chooses a period that’s often passed over and presents it to us with an intriguing story line and a very likeable heroine. Very enjoyable.

Purchase links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Saxon-Wolves-Exile-just-beginning-ebook/dp/B01L5NCDGE

US https://www.amazon.com/Saxon-Wolves-Exile-just-beginning-ebook/dp/B01L5NCDGE

Author Bio

Penny’s father, a journalist, instilled her with a love of history from an early age. Family holidays invariably included an invigorating walk up an Iron Age hill-fort whilst listening to his stirring stories of the Roman attack and the valiant defence by the Britons. Consequently, Penny has a degree in Classics and a passion for history and archaeology. She has enjoyed a varied career, including BBC production assistant, theatre PR and journalism, but her ambition was always to write historical fiction. Her first novel, The King’s Daughter, was awarded Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society. Penny has worked on many archaeological excavations, and these ‘digs’ and their evocative finds often provide the inspiration for her books. Penny’s research also takes her to the many spectacular historical sites featured in this novel, including Hadrian’s Wall and Tintagel.”

 

Twitter     – @pennyingham

Facebook    – https://www.facebook.com/TheSaxonWolves/

Instagram  – https://www.instagram.com/pennyinghamthesaxonwolves/

Website    –  pennyingham.wordpress.com

 

This is the last day of the tour for this super book, but do check out what other book bloggers have to say about it.

Synopsis

Isabel Long is a bit banged up from her last case with a broken collarbone and her arm in a sling. But that doesn’t stop her from pouring beer at the Rooster Bar or taking her third case with Gary Beaumont, a local drug dealer who once terrorized her. Gary is convinced his brother didn’t jump off a bridge known for suicides. Somebody pushed him.

Gary’s brother was a boozer who drove for a highway crew. But what interests Isabel and her ‘Watson’ — her 93-year-old mother who lives with her — is that the man wrote poetry.

The chief suspects are one of Gary’s business associates and a famous poet who plagiarized his brother’s poetry for an award-winning book. Yes, he was that good.

As a journalist, Isabel did regular meetups with her sources for stories. She called it checking the traps. She does the same as a private investigator, and this time, she’ll make sure she doesn’t get caught in one.

 

My review

Isabel and her mother are back in action, even though Isabel is still recovering from the last escapade. Her new case is an apparent suicide, and, as we both hope and expect there’s a lot more than initially meets the eye in this investigation. The wonderful ‘Old Farts’ are an invaluable help with their wisdom, nosiness and constructivce cantankerounsess!

The action is brisk and entertaining, the dialogue wonderful and the cast of characters is truly fascinating. Everyone we meet is rounded, and flawed, and as such makes for very convincing company.

There’s plenty of dry humour and excitement, but also a lot of tension and lurking danger. Isabel does tend to go in at the deep end head first without always thinking far enough ahead. However, you have to admire her courage and determination.

Jack is back, adding a touch of romance to the story, as well as a strong and sensible presence to counter the feistiness of Isabela and Maria.

The plot is interesting and original, with some super twists and turns along the way.

Truly enjoyable, fabulous writing. More to come I hope!

 

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Checking-Traps-Isabel-Long-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07NDFKS59

US – https://www.amazon.com/Checking-Traps-Isabel-Long-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07NDFKS59

 

Author Bio

Joan Livingston is the author of novels for adult and young readers. Checking the Traps, published by Crooked Cat Books, is the third in the mystery series featuring Isabel Long, a longtime journalist who becomes an amateur P.I. The first two are Chasing the Case and Redneck’s Revenge.

An award-winning journalist, she started as a reporter covering the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. She was an editor, columnist, and the managing editor of The Taos News, which won numerous state and national awards during her tenure.

After eleven years in Northern New Mexico, she returned to rural Western Massachusetts, which is the setting of much of her adult fiction, including the Isabel Long mystery series.

Social Media Links –

Website: www.joanlivingston.net

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JoanLivingstonAuthor/

Twitter: @joanlivingston 

Instagram: www.Instagram.com/JoanLivingston_Author

Goodreads: www.Goodreads.com/Joan_Livingston

Synopsis

Life couldn’t be better for Mia and her friends in Little Pondale – until tragedy strikes…

Mia Ward is on cloud nine after a magical Christmas and New Year and she isn’t the only one. Everyone on Lily Pond Lane seems to be living in blissful harmony. Until tragedy strikes… not once, but twice. And as Hettie Turner points out: ‘Bad things always come in threes.’

Whilst the other residents of Little Pondale are wondering what might happen next, Mia is busy worrying about her friends and trying to help them with their grief. But she needs to be careful. Just when she thought she had everything, there’s a very real chance she might lose the only thing she truly wants.

 

My review

Until now in the series, Little Pondale has generally seen only happiness and good things, but in this story there’s a dark cloud over the village, and definitely over Mia. However, as she always does, Mia proves to be a source of strength not only for herself but for others. A sense of friendship, loyalty and just being there for each other illuminates this book.

This is a shortish, fast-paced read. Plenty happens to keep the reader eagerly turning the page. You share the ups and downs of a truly likeable set of characters, who are all drawn into the village community. There’s a strong sense of place too. Little Pondale is so well portrayed and in such detail that it starts to feel like home as you’re reading. It’s a very special place indeed.

I particularly admire the way the characters interact. The author is brilliant with dialogue and catching all the little quirks and mannerisms that make the people we meet on the pages so very human.

It’s an absorbing and really enjoyable book, and I’m pleased to say that it’s not the end of this lovely series yet!

 

 

Purchase Links:

 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07N6J1TWG

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N6J1TWG

 

Author Bio –

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing… and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She’s an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily says, “I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings.” When she isn’t writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both.

Social Media Links –  https://www.facebook.com/emilyharvalewriter

https://www.twitter.com/emilyharvale

https://www.instagram.com/emilyharvale

 

Life and Other Dreams
Rick lives here on Earth now, with Cath. His life is boring, writing adverts for cat food and exotic holidays. When he’s asleep, he dreams vividly.

In his dreams, he lives as Dan, spending his time with his wife Vanessa. They live six-hundred years in the future, half a galaxy away. They’re explorers, searching for valuable minerals on Ecias, an alien paradise.

Dan has no dreams about Rick’s life, he lives on Ecias, loves his life and Vanessa.
When the two worlds overlap, Rick starts to question what is real. Events in his waking and sleeping lives are mirrored, similar people inhabit both and coincidences mount up. Then disaster strikes in each world at the same time. In his dreams, Dan is accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Meanwhile, after one coincidence too many, Cath thinks that Rick’s dreams are hiding an affair and leaves him.

Is Rick going crazy, or can he be living in two places, in two times, at once? If not, then which one of them is the reality? Will one life carry on when the other is on hold?
Richard Dee’s fast-paced, edgy science fiction -cum- psychological thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page!

My review
This book is crammed full of energy and originality. It’s a breathless read, and a lot of fun.
On one hand we have Rick and Cath living a rather mundane existence, although there’s plenty going on beneath the surface and threatening to bubble up. On the other hand we have Dan and Vanessa, where life is altogether quirkier and, in time, dangerous. We open with Dan and Vanessa, allegedly in a dream, but there are plenty of seeds of doubt as to which reality we’re actually in. But do we need to be rooted in one at all? Do we have to choose? Can’t we be in both?
These questions are amongst many that pop up as you read this clever, inventive novel. The sci-fi element has you thinking about technology and the way lives are lived in another world. Things are different enough to be interesting, but not too involved and futuristic to be confusing.
We meet plenty of intriguing characters in this story and face an assortment of dilemmas alongside our double-faceted hero. There’s never a dull moment. The imaginative plot keeps you guessing about many things and works very well. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read.

Purchase links
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Other-Dreams-Psychological-Thriller-ebook/dp/B07KVHG384
US- https://www.amazon.com/Life-Other-Dreams-Psychological-Thriller-ebook/dp/B07KVHG384

Author bio
Richard Dee is a native of Brixham in Devon. He left Devon when he was in his teens and settled in Kent. Leaving school at 16 he briefly worked in a supermarket, then went to sea and travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner in 1986.
Coming ashore to be with his growing family, he used his sea-going knowledge in several jobs, working as a Marine Insurance Surveyor and as Dockmaster at Tilbury, before becoming a Port Control Officer in Sheerness and then at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich.

In 1994 he was head-hunted and offered a job as a Thames Estuary Pilot. In 1999 he transferred to the Thames River Pilots, where he regularly took vessels of all sizes through the Thames Barrier and upriver as far as HMS Belfast and through Tower Bridge. In all, he piloted over 3,500 vessels in a 22-year career with the Port of London Authority.

Richard is married with three adult children and three grandchildren.

His first science-fiction novel Freefall was published in 2013, followed by Ribbonworld in 2015. September 2016 saw the publication of his Steampunk adventure The Rocks of Aserol and of Flash Fiction, a collection of Short Stories. Myra, the prequel to Freefall was published in 2017, along with Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, a murder mystery set in space and the start of a series featuring Andorra Pett, an amateur detective. Sequels to Ribbonworld and The Rocks of Aserol have been published, together with a second Andorra Pett story, Andorra Pett on Mars. He also contributed a story to the 1066 Turned Upside Down collection. Richard is currently working on prequels, sequels, and new projects.
You can find out more about me on my website at richarddeescifi.co.uk. Head over there to see what I get up to, click the FREE STUFF tab or the PORTFOLIO tab to get all the details about my work and pick up a free novel or short story.
I’m on Facebook at RichardDeeAuthor and Twitter at Richard Dee Sci-Fi.

Synopsis

They say time can heal all wounds…

When Jess and Rupert parted ways, it was the end of a great love story that might have been. Now ten years later, the very different paths they have taken in life will bring them back together for a chance meeting.

But with so much left unsaid about the break up neither ever recovered from and with each keeping their own devastating secrets, will they finally be able to make the fractured pieces of their love for one another whole again?

 

My review

You might think the theme of girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy back (or vice versa!) would be getting tired by now. But no, it isn’t, and I don’t think it ever will, especially when in the hands of authors like Rachel Burton who give their own very unique take on this timeless situation.

We have two very interesting protagonists in Jess and Rupert. Jess narrates the portions of the story that centre around here, whereas we get a third person pov for Rupert. This means we get to know Jess a little better than Rupert, since we really can see into the corners of her mind and she is deservedly the central character of the story. She has a lot on her plate besides losing Rupert, and she is strong and resilient. The different points of view also add an element of disjointedness which reflects what the book is about – the disjointed pieces of the two characters that somehow need to be fitted back together again. It won’t be easy, but nothing is that is worth doing.

The pace is generally gentle, but with plenty of excitement along the way, touches of humour and always sensitive writing. Descriptions of places and people are beautifully done and this is a very richly textured book. Entertaining, moving and very satisfying.

 

Purchase Link: mybook.to/PiecesYouMe

Author Bio – Rachel Burton is the author of the international ebook bestseller The Many Colours of Us.

Rachel spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire with her fiance and their three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes.

Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @bookish_yogi or follow her blog at rachelburtonwrites.com. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….

Social Media Links – Twitter: twitter.com/bookish_yogi

Instagram: Instagram.com/Bookish_yogi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rachel-Burton-353151308524664/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/rachelburton6/pins/

Synopsis

Strays and Relations follows the story of Dizzy, whose search for her birth parents is sad, humorous, and in parts bizarre. Dizzy learns that she began life as a surviving twin, then was fostered until a permanent home was found.

Dizzy begins her search for her original identity. Why was she given up for adoption in the 1960s? Following a tenuous lead, she travels to Ireland with her best friend Sugar, but the trail takes a misleading turn. It ends in what they mistakenly believe is Dizzy’s mother’s grave.

Dizzy falls in love with Will, a blacksmith. But something is missing. Dizzy’s life changes when her birth father Tommy makes contact using a private detective. He reveals that her birth mother is alive and married to a man called Vernon. Now the bigger, trickier task lies ahead: working out how to fit the disparate bits of her life together. This is a book which will both amuse and touch readers’ hearts.

Strays and Relations manages sensitive subject matter with engaging wit and sharply-observed dialogue, and includes vivid descriptions of some rather unusual animals and people. It will appeal to readers who have encountered a recycled animal or family.

 

My review

This book makes for a truly enjoyable reading. The author has an engaging, lively style that it’s hard to drag yourself away from. It’s no surprise, then, to find her story is equally as absorbing and eventful.

It’s about a woman searching for her biological mother – not because her adopted family is less than perfect, far from it, but to satisfy natural curiosity and deal with a few lurking issues. Non-adoptees possibly find this need to search, this need for some sort of answer, puzzling. They have a loving family and surely that’s enough? It’s not quite so straightforward. I think the most moving scene of the book is where Dizzy has her baby in her arms and realises that at last she has a blood relative.

Feeling a bit like a stray herself, Dizzy has a lot of love and understanding to lavish on an assortment of abandoned animals that come her way.

Dizzy is pragmatic in her search, at times helped and hindered by her friend Sugar. They have fun along the way, as well as making some sad discoveries. Yet there’s no mawkishness about the story, just positivity and determination. It’s full of energy and indomitable spirit. Plenty of humour too, particularly in Mum’s Great Craft Movement, which I guiltily realise is something I’ve inflicted on my own family…

You’ll enjoy the spirit and entertainment of this novel, which deals with a difficult subject with sensitivity but at the same time gusto and grit. A fabulous read.

 

Purchase Links

https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/contemporary/strays-and-relations/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Strays-Relations-Hours-Decades-Greenfield-ebook/dp/B07BGF2YKF/

https://www.amazon.com/Strays-Relations-Hours-Decades-Greenfield-ebook/dp/B07BGF2YKF/

 

Author bio

I have lived in the West Country all of my life, but never in such a remote place as I do now –  in the middle of the woods with rooks and bats.  It may be remote but it’s never quiet in Dizzyland! When I’m not looking after the dogs, chickens and a six-toed cat, I help run a blacksmith’s forge with my partner.

My ideas come from humorous incidents in my own life, which I fictionalise. Strays and Relations is my first novel.

Before I began writing I had various jobs, including working in a wildlife park and as a youth worker.

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.dizzygreenfield.co.uk/

http://silvercrowbooks.co.uk/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39290813-strays-and-relations?from_search=true

https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/contemporary/strays-and-relations/

Twitter:  @DizzyGreenfield

Synopsis

A suited man runs from a burning tower in Melbourne as bodies rain down upon him.

Before the city’s millions can compose, he boards a train into the countryside. Hiding his identity and changing his appearance, the man finds his way to Sulley Ridge, a lawless town in the heart of the harsh Victorian outback.

The following day, a burned man wakes up in a hospital bed. Surging with rage, he speaks a name. Within an hour, the suited man’s face is across every screen in the country. It’s the greatest manhunt Australia has ever seen.

But as he tries to camouflage in Sulley Ridge, he soon realises the town has its own problems. Under the iron fist of a violent leader, the locals are trapped within slow and torturous decay…

As we learn more about the night of the burning tower, the connection between the suited man and the burned man threatens to leave a trail of destruction across the state.

Here is the story of a man on the run from his past, as the line between sanity and evil is danced upon.

Here is the tale of This Strange Hell.

Purchase Linkmybook.to/thisstrangehell

 

My review

A book that opens with the image of the world as a billiards table has got to be worth reading since it’s pretty obvious that this author is imaginative and has a unique take on life.

This Strange Hell, a complex, twisted and dystopian tale, certainly doesn’t disappoint. Action is fast and furious, quite often shocking, and the story snakes its way swiftly along, sweeping a varied cast of troubled characters who tend t behave impetuously and violently along with it. It all makes for a challenging but absorbing read.

You get a great sense of place in the novel, both the suffocating city (especially when it’s burning) and the decidedly unnerving outback town of Sulley Ridge. There’s menace everywhere and desperation is all-pervasive, swamping, but some tendrils of goodness and loyalty, of wanting something better do manage to push their way out. Even in despair there’s hope, albeit only a tiny flicker.

An excellent read that may take you out of your comfort zone but you’ll be richly rewarded for doing so.

About the author

C.J. Sutton is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Masters in journalism and creative writing and supports the value of study through correspondence. His fictional writing delves into the unpredictability of the human mind and the fears that drive us.

As a professional writer C. J. Sutton has worked within the hustle and bustle of newsrooms, the competitive offices of advertising and the trenches of marketing. But his interest in creating new characters and worlds has seen a move into fiction, which has always pleaded for complete attention. Dortmund Hibernate was his debut novel, released by Crooked Cat Books on July 18. It is available now – mybook.to/dortmundhibernate

His new novel, This Strange Hell, will be released on March 15.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/cjsutton.author/

https://twitter.com/c_j_sutton

Instagram: @c.j.sutton

www.cjsutton-author.com

 

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Synopsis

Clarissa’s Warning is a haunted-house gothic mystery set on Fuerteventura, Canary Islands.

A lottery jackpot changes Claire Bennett’s life.

She buys an ancient stone ruin on the island of her dreams. Her mystic Aunt Clarissa warns her of danger, but Claire pays no heed.

Soon after moving to the idyllic island, Claire is confronted by a mystery. As the sinister story of her home slowly uncovers, Claire enters a world of inexplicable events and ordeals. Someone or something doesn’t want her there.

But is it really a curse, or is there something else behind the events?

 

My review

It’s nice to see the gothic genre given a more modern take. Gothic fiction combines mystery, horror, death and romance, traditionally in the setting of a building of Gothic architecture i.e. medieval, but any old, large imposing building will do. The heroine is generally unassuming, naïve but no sissy, and likeable. Claire Bennet from Colchester fits the bill perfectly. She’s had a lottery win and is using that money to buy a wonderful old building on the island of Fuerteventura which she’s admired every year during her summer holidays. It is probably a foolish thing to do, as the house needs a lot of work and it’s a huge leap for an ex bank-employee to take, but Claire is game. She’s even prepared to ignore a warning from Aunt Clarissa who informs her that the astrological and other psychic signs aren’t favourable to this rash venture. However, her warning comes too late. Claire is committed and so ignores anything she doesn’t want to hear.

She embarks on her plans, encountering some pleasant locals and some less so, and slowly her house becomes habitable. She’s forced to move in a little sooner than intended, and some inexplicable happenings began to occur. Claire is rattled, but she’s made of stern stuff and begins to investigate what might be behind it all. She’ll make some alarming discoveries, but also encounter true love.

This book is rich with description and thus we can conjure up the appearance and atmosphere of Fuerteventura in vivid detail in our minds. We quickly get to know Claire by sharing her wry humour and down-to-earth approach as we share her space, mental and physical. Aunt Clarissa is a colourful, eccentric figure but something of a cornerstone in this book, and Paco is another.

It’s an enchanting, exciting read and definitely has you considering whether there’s more than meets the eye in this world of ours.

Purchase Link – viewbook.at/ClarissaWarning

Author Bio

Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific novelist of brilliant, original fiction across a range of genres, including dark psychological thrillers, gripping mystery novels, captivating travel fiction, and hilarious dark satire. Isobel holds a PhD in Western Esotericism and carries a lifelong passion for the Canary Islands, Spain. A Londoner originally, Isobel currently lives near Melbourne, Australia, with her little white cat.

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/Lovesick.Isobel.Blackthorn/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5768657.Isobel_Blackthorn

@IBlackthorn

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Synopsis

How do you solve a murder when you are one of the suspects…

1664, London

Life should be good for Major Thankful Russell and his new bride, Thomazine. Russell, middle-aged and battle-scarred, isn’t everyone’s idea of the perfect husband for an eligible young woman but the moment Thomazine set eyes on her childhood hero, she knew they were destined for one another.

But Russell, a former Roundhead, now working for the King’s intelligence service, was never going to have a simple life in Restoration London.

Unable to shake suspicions of his Parliamentarian past, someone seems hell-bent on ruining his reputation — and his life.

 

My review

Now that the blurb has sent the scene, I can tell you that this unusual but ideally suited couple act together as seventeenth-century private detectives to clear Russell’s name.

The book is cleverly divided into four sections – Tinder, Spark, Fire and Ash – which fittingly describe and accompany the action. Fire is quite crucial to this book, not just physical fire but metaphorically in the determination and spirit we encounter in the pages.

In fact, everything about this book is clever and accomplished. It reminded me with an energetic shake why, not that I’m ever like to forget, I love historical fiction so much – it brings a period to life far more than even the best text book. Getting into our characters’ heads, following them around as they get soaked and cold on horseback, seeing them chisel off chunks of stale bread for breakfast, well, it really gives you a feel for what life was actually like.

We have some fabulous characters. Our hero is the introverted Thankful Russell, quiet but brave, and his bouncy new bride Thomazine, who made it clear to him that he was hers twenty years ago and she was still a toddler. Theirs is a happy, relaxed relationship. Thomazine isn’t a woman who’s going to disappear into the background, as is apparent from this, my favourite line from the whole book is when she says to her husband: “I have a brain in my head, husband, which I have not been permitted to use these three months and more, in case it scares the horses.”

The plot is intriguing and exciting, and the book races along. Almost too quickly, since I was enjoying it so much. But there’s more to come from this resolute and resourceful duo, thank goodness.

As well as a superb story and a whole host of fascinating rascals and rogues of various types, with a good assortment of honourable sorts too, there’s some easy-to-read and entertaining historical notes that are interesting and informative. The novel itself presents some major events of the period. You come away from this book with a much better idea of late seventeenth century history than when you went into it.

Definitely one to read if you’re a historical fiction fan, and even if you’re not! Trust me, it’s excellent.

 

About the author

M. J. Logue (as in cataLOGUE and epiLOGUE and not, ever, loge, which is apparently a kind of private box in a theatre) wrote her first short novel on a manual typewriter aged seven. It wasn’t very good, being about talking horses, but she made her parents sit through endless readings of it anyway.

Thirty-something years later she is still writing, although horses only come into it occasionally these days. Born and brought up in Lancashire, she moved to Cornwall at the turn of the century (and has always wanted to write that) and now lives in a granite cottage with her husband, and son, five cats, and various itinerant wildlife.

After periods of employment as a tarot reader, complaints call handler, executive PA, copywriter and civil servant, she decided to start writing historical fiction about the period of British history that fascinates her – the 17th century.

Her first series, covering the less than stellar career of a disreputable troop of Parliamentarian cavalry during the civil wars, was acclaimed by reviewers as “historical fiction written with elegance, wit and black humour” – but so many readers wanted to know whether fierce young lieutenant Thankful Russell ever did get his Happy Ever After, that the upcoming series of romantic thrillers for Sapere Books began.

Get in touch with MJ        

She can be found on Twitter @Hollie_Babbitt, lurking on the web at asweetdisorder.com, and posting photos of cake, cats and extreme embroidery on Instagram as asweetdisorder.

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My review

When Addie turns up at the hairdresser’s for a special early-morning appointment, she finds her friend Gwen distracted and decidedly chilly, not the usual way for her to be at all. And then after Gwen disappears out back to take a delivery, but is absent for a rather a long time, Addie goes to investigate and finds her friend dead. This so isn’t good.

Addie is obviously at the heart of the enquiries. And heart is the right word since dishy Detective Jonah makes her heart do crazy things.  This also isn’t good because she has a sweet and loving boyfriend, Noah.

Addie decides to investigate her friend’s murder, despite knowing that neither Jonah nor Noah will approve. Her loyal friend Grey gives a helping hand. We get all the misunderstandings, blunders and breakthroughs, both accidental and otherwise, that we expect to find in a light-hearted cozy like this one. And of course there’s that frisson of complicated romance running through.

This is a fast-paced, quick read that is totally delightful. Characters, settings and situations are beautifully created for us to immerse ourselves in. There’s lots of witty repartee and oodles of tongue in cheek humour.

Although the second in a series, the book works fine as a standalone, although, like me, you’ll be impatient for the next book when you’ve finished this one.

The book is available at all Amazon stores. Buy yours here: https://amzn.to/2XqJpZf