I’m delighted to be part of the book tour for this wonderful book by one of my favourite authors.

Synopsis

What if you had a unique talent, but everything conspired against your dreams?

France, 1897. Born to a modest farming family, Marie-Thérèse has a remarkable singing voice and wants to become a professional singer. But too many obstacles, including her parents’ opposition, stand in her way. And, through no fault of her own, she makes a dangerous enemy of the local landlord.

When the family circumstances change suddenly, Marie-Thérèse and her mother must move to Paris to work in her aunt’s restaurant. Her ambitions rekindle, but the road to success is paved with setbacks until a chance meeting gives her a precious opportunity.

She is close to achieving all her dreams, but the ghosts of the past come back to haunt her and threaten Marie-Thérèse’s life as well as her career.

 

My review

I so admire this author’s writing, and I’m delighted that there’s a new novel for us to enjoy. Even better, it’s the first in a trilogy so there are two more books to follow in this particular series.

Historical fiction presents a story set in the past. Some books in this genre tend to be more history than fiction, or vice versa, but with Vanessa Couchman the balance is perfect. The time period of the setting plays as essential a role as the characters and plot.

Marie-Thérèse is a fascinating heroine. She’s the only child of poor farmers and as such is fated to life as first their unpaid farmhand, and then that of a future husband who will move onto the farm. Her life appears to be mapped out for her: she’ll live in the same place until she dies. The feeling of oppression this brings her seeps from the pages of the book and is overwhelming. It makes the reader strongly realise that this was what women in the past had to endure. They were at someone else’s beck and call their entire lives. All they could do was grit their teeth and get on with it.

Marie-Thérèse has talents: she’s very bright, and she also sings beautifully, like a lark soaring into the sky. It’s no surprise the locals call her l’alouette, which is the French name for that bird. But it seems she must keep her light under a bushel. Her family think it’s wrong for her to show off.

Fate steps in and her father’s death gives Marie-Thérèse a little more clout. Her mother’s health deteriorates quickly so the daughter has to become the strong one of the family. But her mother is stubborn and unforgiving, and this complicates things no end. It’s only when things are at their darkest – when homelessness looms – that there’s a glimmer of light for Marie-Thérèse. Paris brings hope to Marie-Thérèse, and it’s where she must prove her mettle if she wants to live her dream. But it’s not going to be easy.

I couldn’t put this book down. It’s engrossing, fascinating and beautifully written. It recreates early twentieth-century France in intricate detail and mood. This book hands us tightly-woven story and history on a silver platter.

Purchase Link

http://mybook.to/OvertureBook1

 

About the author – Vanessa Couchman is a novelist, short story author and freelance writer and has lived in an 18th-century farmhouse in southwest France since 1997. French and Corsican history and culture provide great inspiration for her fiction. She has written two novels set on the Mediterranean island of Corsica: The House at Zaronza and The Corsican Widow. Her third novel, Overture, is Book 1 of a trilogy set in France between 1897 and 1945. Vanessa’s short stories have won and been placed in creative writing competitions and published in anthologies.

Social Media Links –

Website: https://vanessacouchmanwriter.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vanessacouchman.author/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Vanessainfrance

Amazon Author Page: http://author.to/VanessaCouchman

 

Do follow the rest of the tour and find out what other reviewers have to say about ‘Overture’. But best of all, buy and read the book for yourself!

 

Synopsis

When Hollywood’s sexiest bachelor meets the girl next door their relationship doesn’t follow the script…

On-screen, Christian Slade is America’s favourite heartthrob. Off-screen, letting romance into his life isn’t as easy. The women he dates all seem to want a piece of his glamorous life rather than his heart, and trust doesn’t come easy for him.

Then along comes Lana. A beautiful rocket scientist who’s also sweet, smart, sexy, and has absolutely no idea who he is. But what will happen when she finds out?

Will their worlds prove too far apart or could love really be like in the movies?

Purchase Link – http://smarturl.it/clw67x

 

My review

There are so many things about this book that make it light and refreshing. The writing does with its deftness and cleverness, its changing viewpoint and its use of the present tense. There are text messages here and there which help keep the tone modern and breezy.

What’s also very refreshing is Lana’s attitude towards Christian. She is totally unaware of his ‘celeb’ status, so to him he’s just another, although better looking than many, bloke. So she’s not bowled over by his possessions and wealth. In fact, his selfishness over his money in the typical conspicuous over-consumption of real-life celebs is decidedly off-putting. It’s been all about him having up to now.

Lana breathes that fresh air into this life that he needs. He starts to see that he should be thinking about others and the environment, and also that he needs to put his best interests first. Money isn’t everything.

This is a delicious romcom with misunderstandings, clashings of different lifestyles, friendships, loyalty and betrayals, temporary heartbreak and then permanent happiness, all the standard ingredients that make this such an enjoyable genre. However, there’s nothing standard in the way Camilla Isley has mixed these ingredients together and sprinkled her originality over them. I like how there’s a more serious message there too regarding the hedonistic lifestyles of people that we really shouldn’t admire yet somehow do.

The book is as sparkly as those stars in the title!

 

About the author

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband on an adventure abroad.

She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

Social Media Links –

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/camillaisley/

Twitter https://twitter.com/camillaisley

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14135080.Camilla_Isley

Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/camilla-isley

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/camillaisley/

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/camillaisley/

 

And look! There’s a fabulous giveaway!

Giveaway to Win a To The Stars and Back Tote Bag (Open to UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494236/

 

Synopsis

They say every dog has his day.

Well, today I’ve certainly had mine.

Hey, I’m Albertus Eagle and it turns out I’m an unwitting pet detective. I haven’t always been such a successful legal beagle, but when I’m confronted with a case that is so personal I can’t ignore it, I discover I have a passion for finding those who don’t want to be found.

Cleo the cat. Well, she came along for the ride too.

So, sure I’ve had my day today, but not in the sense of being past my prime. To the contrary, the fun is just starting. And I am buzzing with a new purpose, mixed with a tiny amount of vindictive elation.

Why?

Because, I’ve not only found myself a new home after the untimely demise of my previous owner, but I’ve also made amends with the cat. It turns out she’s not that bad, really.

On top of that though, and this is what really sends shivers racing all the way down my spine to my paws, is that we’ve fingered a killer.

How?

Because you humans, you underestimate us animals. And while you go about your business ignoring our very existence, the cat and I are listening and taking notes.

This is the first full length novel in the Albertus Eagle detective beagle series of animal cozy mysteries, starring Albertus Eagle, and his two sidekicks, Cleo the cat and Bella Schuhmann, the smart human who actually understands him. In this wonderful full length book packed with humour and satire, we see the world of murder and intrigue set up through the eyes of a loyal dog turned amateur sleuth.

 

My review

Well, this is certainly a book with a difference! It’s a lively cosy mystery with a dog as the sleuth. In the cosy genre, there’s generally a dog or other pet animal in the mix somewhere, but they don’t often take centre stage. Albertus, or Albie for short, is our hero.

We generally associate talking animals with children’s literature or films, but when done well, as in this book, such characters are successful when aimed at an adult audience. There’s a tongue in cheek tone, but also some very sharp, to-the-point observations about our less-than-perfect human ways. Our canine companions don’t miss much, it seems.

They may have four paws, in most cases, but the characters we meet are rounded and convincing and with very distinct personalities. They’re a talented bunch too. Cleo the cat and Albie make for a formidable crime-fighting team. The plot is clever and interesting, and will keep you guessing to the end.

If you like a lively read from a whole new perspective, then this book will brighten your day. It certainly did mine!

 

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07NP9VVXK

US  – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07NP9VVXK  

Author Bio – Chloe Grace is the cozy mystery pen name for romantic mystery author, Karen Botha. While she doesn’t understand animals quite as well as Bella in the Albertus Eagle Detective Beagle cozy mysteries, she does chat along to her rescue dog, Shadow, pretty much all day.

And she’s sure that he chats back.

Chloe lives with Shadow and her hubby in a small outpost of London city—funnily enough it’s a little like where Bella and Albie live. As a family they like to go on walks in the local woods and throw a tennis ball until their respective arms ache, which is usually before Shadow shows any hint of exhaustion.

While her first romance novels were inspired by true life events, the Albertus Eagle series are complete imagination – although her conversations with Shadow can’t be ignored.

Social Media Links –

SIGN UP FOR MAILING LIST – https://dl.bookfunnel.com/jgeib0362x
VISIT HER WEBSITE – http://www.karenbotha.com/meet-karen/chloe-grace-cozy-mysteries/
FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/ChloeGraceMysteries/?modal=admin_todo_tour
INSTAGRAM – https://www.instagram.com/karenbothaauthor

This tour has been organised by Rachel’s Random Resources. I’m unable to load all the tour-related graphics and author pic due to who knows what reason, but I’m still working on it!

The Dinner in the Sky

After a shocking encounter, Constance tries to piece her life back together and is on a mission to finally move on.

The thought of having her friends near is comforting as they take time out of their busy online lives and meet up at their favourite place, A Cupful of Dreams Café. Everyone seems happy enough until cracks begin to show and all is not as good as it seems. Constance tries desperately to keep positive as there’s so much to look forward to: shopping for posh frocks, dinner at The Shard and a movie premiere.

As things start to look rosy, a few odd tweets begin to pop up from nowhere. At first, they seem innocent, but as the weeks go by and premier night draws near, not only do the tweets increase but they become more obnoxious.

By the time Constance and her chums arrive on the red carpet, she’s determined to work out who the troll could be and to keep them from spoiling her evening. However as Constance soon learns, the troll wants to destroy far more than that!

Breathtaking views of London.

Posh frocks and Paparazzi

But there’s definitely trouble in the air …

 

My review

The Dinner in the Sky is a jolly romcom with a very engaging heroine who has a lively group of friends.

This is the third book in a series but works beautifully as a standalone. We’re given all the background information we need, neatly and succinctly, and so we can get on with the story.

Constance, a single mum with an autistic son, is a likeable, strong woman but she values the support she gets from her genuinely kind and caring friends. They meet up at the Cupful of Dreams where they have some very funny and very touching conversations.

There’s fun and romance, but also darker deeds interwoven in the action. The author doesn’t hesitate to tackle unpleasant, modern issues.

It’s a ‘busy’ story with a lot going on, but it’s never cluttered or confusing, rather energetic and absorbing.

In summary, an enjoyable and invigorating read from a talented author.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dinner-Sky-Friendships-Online-Book-ebook/dp/B07QYJX7VR

UShttps://www.amazon.com/Dinner-Sky-Friendships-Online-Book-ebook/dp/B07QYJX7VR

Book Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-qRJaZdgjs

Spotify Playlist of the whole series  –
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7lYuwzrSYvz77Iuq6NymVY?si=b7FFD0EURuy-jhIdr5amZQ

 

Author Bio

Anne John-Ligali is a writer and found of Books and Authors UK, a website that features author interviews, cover reveals, blog posts, features and reviews. She loves all things books, going to book events and meeting other book worms. She has written her first series and is currently writing her first novel.

When Anne is not writing she is likely to be playing with her kids, going for walks in the park, watching Netflix or thinking up more stories.  Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London she studies graphic design at the University of Arts and held a number of IT jobs in the city. Anne continues to write romantic comedies, women’s fiction, and has the desire to write a non-fiction book and a few children’s books.

Author Social Media Links –

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anne_johnligali/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnneJohnLigali

Author FB: https://www.facebook.com/annejohnligali/

www.annejohnligali.com

Anne’s Book Blog Links – Books and Authors UK

Books and Authors UK:  www.booksandauthors.co.uk

Books and Authors UK Twitter: https://twitter.com/BooksNAuthorsUK

Books and Authors UK Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Books-and-Authors-UK-674729805905507/

 

Synopsis

Liz Parker doesn’t like surprises, but winning the lottery isn’t something she would complain about. Before she has time to think about how to spend her new fortune, she’s hit with an even bigger shock than unexpected wealth. She has three months to live unless she finds a one-in-a-million bone marrow donor.

 

While her medical team scrambles to locate her miracle, Liz throws together a bucket list, charters a private jet, and takes off to see the world. The journey of a lifetime holds even more surprises, including the hunky pilot she’s falling for at the most inconvenient time.

 

Will Liz die before she can realize her happily-ever-after, or will the universe come through for her one more time? Find out in this humorous tale of true love and adventure!

 

My review

 

This is a really sweet and enjoyable romcom but with some serious stuff going on too. However, it’s so sensitively and engagingly written that it’s not worrying or depressing. The possibility of not having long to live focusses our heroine’s mind on the positive, and she sweeps us along with her. We can’t feel sorry for her because she’s seizing the day with such gung-ho enthusiasm.

 

There’s a host of wonderful comedy, exuberant escapades and fascinating characters awaiting us in the novel. It’s utterly absorbing and you just can’t put the book down once you start reading. The author has a deft touch and it’s a pleasure to read this uplifting, inspiring book.

 

The story is clever and imaginative, funny and touching. In summary, utterly delightful.

I’m so pleased to have discovered this author and I will most certainly be reading a lot more of his books.

 

Purchase Links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R8P83SF

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07R8P83SF

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07R8P83SF

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07R8P83SF

 

Author Bio:

Fun, Quirky Romantic Comedies from a Guy’s Perspective. Rich Amooi is a former radio personality who now writes romantic comedies full-time. He is happily married to a kiss monster imported from Spain. Rich believes in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.

Social Media Links –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.richamooi

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RichAmooi

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/richamooi

 

 

A cover reveal today for what looks like a fascinating book. I can’t wait to read it!

 

Buried Treasure

Their backgrounds could hardly be further apart, their expectations in life more different. And there is nothing in the first meeting between the conference planner and the university lecturer which suggests they should expect or even want to connect again. But they have more in common than they could ever have imagined. Both have unresolved issues from the past which have marked them; both have an archaeological puzzle they want to solve. Their stories intertwine and they discover together that treasure isn’t always what it seems.

 

And here’s that cover…

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07SN5NWJ2

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SN5NWJ2

Author Bio –  Gilli Allan began to write in childhood – a hobby pursued throughout her teenage. Writing was only abandoned when she left home, and real life supplanted the fiction.

After a few false starts she worked longest and most happily as a commercial artist, and only began writing again when she became a mother.

Living in Gloucestershire with her husband Geoff, Gilli is still a keen artist. She draws and paints and has now moved into book illustration.

Currently published by Accent Press, each of her books, TORN, LIFE CLASS and FLY or FALL has won a ‘Chill with a Book’ award.

Following in the family tradition, her son, historian Thomas Williams, is also a writer. His most recent work, published by William Collins, is ‘Viking Britain’.

Social Media Links –

https://accentpressbooks.com/collections/gilli-allan

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gilli-Allan/e/B004W7GG7I

http://twitter.com/gilliallan   (@gilliallan)

https://www.facebook.com/GilliAllan.AUTHOR

http://gilliallan.blogspot.com

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1027644.Gilli_Allan

https://romanticnovelistsassociation.org/rna_author/gilli-allan/

Synopsis

The Mongol Derby is the world’s toughest horse race. A feat of endurance across the vast Mongolian plains once traversed by the people of Genghis Khan, competitors ride 25 horses across a distance of 1000km. Many riders don’t make it to the finish line.

In 2013 Lara Prior-Palmer – nineteen, underprepared but seeking the great unknown – decided to enter the race. Driven by her own restlessness, stubbornness, and a lifelong love of horses, she raced for seven days through extreme heat and terrifying storms, catching a few hours of sleep where she could at the homes of nomadic families. Battling bouts of illness and dehydration, exhaustion and bruising falls, she found she had nothing to lose, and tore through the field with her motley crew of horses. In one of the Derby’s most unexpected results, she became the youngest-ever champion and the first woman to win the race.

Told with terrific suspense and style, in a voice full of poetry and soul, Rough Magic’s the extraordinary story of one young woman’s encounter with oblivion, and herself. LARA PRIOR-PALMER was born in London in 1994. Her aunt is Lucinda Green, a legendary rider and one of the UK’s best-ever equestrians.  Lara studied conceptual history and Persian at Stanford University. In 2013, she competed in the 1000-kilometer Mongol Derby in Mongolia, sometimes described as the world’s toughest and longest horse race. Rough Magic is her first book.

 

My review

This is an exhilarating account of a very exciting and gruelling race told in a very memorable way. Almost lyrical at times, the writing is also as brutal as the race itself.

It’s hard to believe the narrator is so young. This is such an incredible undertaking for anyone, let alone someone just out of school, to undertake. From drifting indecision, Lara Prior-Palmer becomes incredibly focussed and tackles the various problems and difficulties in signing up for and funding her participation in the race.

The race itself is recounted in a fascinating way. As well as discovering the scenery, the author discovers a lot about herself. She tells it as it is, at times not showing herself in her best light but a test like this is pushing her to the limit. Her admiration for the animals she rides really shines through because to her they are the stars of the show, although I think the reader is more impressed by this tenacious young lady.

It’s an unusual and gripping memoir, thoroughly enjoyable and absolutely one to read.

  

MORE ADVANCE PRAISE FOR ROUGH MAGIC

“Rough Magic is (Prior-Palmer’s) chronicle of the experience, and if her debut as an author is half as strong as her maiden effort in racing, it will be well worth the read.”  HuffPost

“Rough Magic is the most entertaining memoir I’ve read in years. It’s thrilling, hilarious, unexpected, and ultimately breathtaking. I loved every minute of this wild ride.”  Abbi Geni, author of The Wildlands and the award-winning The Lightkeepers

“Prior-Palmer’s style is a fascinating mix of pep and poignancy. A really terrific story by a spirited new voice.”  Sara Baume, author of A Line Made by Walking

“In Rough Magic she possesses Annie Dillard’s brilliance for noticing, laced with a wild and glistering humour. If an intellect can be said to be elemental, this is it.”  Josephine Rowe, author of A Loving, Faithful Animal

“This debut memoir is a brilliant literary exploration of loneliness and an exhilarating, funny, soulful account of how one young woman, against all odds, won a truly extraordinary race.” Kristen Radtke, author of Imagine Wanting Only This

“As fast-paced as the swiftest Mongolian race horse, Lara’s searingly honest account of her astonishing rise from hopeless underdog to Mongol Derby Champion leaves grit in your teeth and dust in your hair. I laughed, I cried and I felt every bruise. I was riveted till the last word and left with lasting daydreams of Mongolian horizons.” Felicity Aston, author of Alone in Antarctica

Synopsis
Why is so much of the world managed by arseholes? When workaholic business school hot shot Ben Stillman is fired, he has the chance to find out. Not a guy to sit still, Ben jumps head first into turning his former business school into a world-class madrassa of capitalism.
Ben has ten days to rescue the launch of its spectacular glass tower, and his own career – ten days during which he will have to confront terrorist plots, undercover police, the extravagant demands of the super-rich, and the only woman who can save him from this madness.
A satirical thriller, a love story, and a wry look at modern management ideology all rolled into one – MBA is a piercing yet hopeful enquiry into the meaning of success.

My review
This is an energetic, quirky and unforgiving exposé of the confused and self-congratulatory world of business and business management. Like the protagonist Ben, the author loves pushing things to their limits and beyond. In the author’s case it’s out of mischief but with Ben it’s out of an unrealistic sense of his own power.
We get sharp humour and no-holds-barred criticism, characters both admirable and awful, and an off-the-wall, or possibly off –the-glass-ceiling, story that’s wonderfully entertaining. This is a novel that jogs along at a smart pace, making you breathless as you eagerly absorb what craziness is currently taking place and looking forward to what’s coming next.
As well as satire there’s a thoughtful look at business ethics and reward, political influence, and morality. The business world hasn’t quite got its priorities right, when considered from a rational, detached perspective, but when you’re immersed in that world there’s a tendency to lose your grip on reality.
It’s an enjoyable romp with a serious message lurking underneath all the farce and high jinx. Definitely one to read.

Purchase Links
30% off with discount code BLOGTOURMBA http://eye-books.com/books/mba
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/MBA-Douglas-Board-ebook/dp/B00YS91B02
US – https://www.amazon.com/MBA-Douglas-Board-ebook/dp/B00YS91B02
Promotional Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=hUOs5YqqkBg

Promotional Videos


About the author 
Douglas Board is the author of the campus satire MBA (Lightning Books, 2015), which asked why so much of the business world is Managed By Arseholes. Time of Lies, his second novel, is a timely exploration of the collapse of democracy.
Born in Hong Kong, he has degrees from Cambridge and Harvard and worked for the UK Treasury and then as a headhunter. He has also had a distinguished career in public life, serving as treasurer of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and chairing the British Refugee Council.
As well as writing fiction, he is the author of two applied research books on leadership, which was the subject of his doctorate. He is currently a senior visiting fellow at the Cass Business School in London. He and his wife Tricia Sibbons live in London and Johannesburg.
Social Media Links –
Twitter: @BoardWryter
https://douglasboard.com/home/

Synopsis

In 2020 the United Kingdom elects its own Donald Trump.

Bob Grant, former football hooligan, now the charismatic leader of the Britain’s Great party, has swept to power on a populist tide. With his itchy finger hovering over the nuclear trigger, Bob presides over a brave new Britain where armed drones fill the skies, ex-bankers and foreigners are vilified, and the Millwall football chant ‘No one likes us, we don’t care’ has become an unofficial national anthem.

Meanwhile, Bob’s under-achieving, Guardian-reading brother Zack gets a tap on the shoulder from a shady Whitehall mandarin. A daring plot is afoot to defy the will of the people and unseat the increasingly unstable PM. Can Zack stop his brother before he launches a nuclear strike on Belgium? And just what is ACERBIC, Britain’s most closely-guarded military secret?

A darkly comic political thriller, Time of Lies is also a terrifyingly believable portrait of an alternative Britain. It couldn’t happen here… could it?

 

My review

A Time of Lies makes for a very timely read as the Brexit insanity endures. It’s clever political satire, and, given recent events in the UK, seems all too worryingly possible.

You need to keep your wits about you reading the book. The author has us jumping around between different narrators, which makes for extra exciting and lively reading. We step alternately into the shoes of our good guy, our bad guy and an impartial narrator. This means we get different perspectives on the various and increasingly frantic and extreme events.

There’s lot of wry humour, sharp observation and some gentle and well-deserved savagery. The pace is lively to the point of rollicking and it’s a very entertaining and enticing read.

 

Purchase Links:

30% off with discount code BLOGTOURLIES http://eye-books.com/books/time-of-lies

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Time-Lies-Douglas-Board-ebook/dp/B07199TZQ5

US – https://www.amazon.com/Time-Lies-Douglas-Board-ebook/dp/B07199TZQ5

Promotional Videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvExzv39qs8&t=37s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqBwnl4rtk8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_clB5pM7Gbw&t=48s

Author Bio

Douglas Board is the author of the campus satire MBA (Lightning Books, 2015), which asked why so much of the business world is Managed By Arseholes. Time of Lies, his second novel, is a timely exploration of the collapse of democracy.

Born in Hong Kong, he has degrees from Cambridge and Harvard and worked for the UK Treasury and then as a headhunter. He has also had a distinguished career in public life, serving as treasurer of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and chairing the British Refugee Council.

As well as writing fiction, he is the author of two applied research books on leadership, which was the subject of his doctorate. He is currently a senior visiting fellow at the Cass Business School in London. He and his wife Tricia Sibbons live in London and Johannesburg.

Social Media Links

Twitter: @BoardWryter

https://douglasboard.com/home/

Synopsis

Mina Scarletti is invited to ancient Hollow House to investigate reports of ghostly occurrences.

A determined sceptic, Mina’s main concern is for Kitty, whose health appears to be dramatically sinking under the strain of all that is going on.

With the help of her trusted adviser, Dr Hamid, and her lively friend, Nell, Mina must get to the heart of the mystery.

Have the maids merely been frightening themselves with tales of the macabre? Is there a rational explanation for what is being reported?

Or will Mina be forced to admit to the presence of a ghost in Hollow House?

 

My review

This book is part of the Mina Scarletti Mystery Series, one that I wish I’d discovered earlier since this novel is absolutely delightful. It works as a standalone but I’ve no doubt there will be added richness if you follow the series from the start.

The book is set in the Victorian era and that’s obvious at once from the clever use of language. Both the way the characters speak and the author’s own narrative reflect this, but never overdo it! An air of genteelness comes over well, and there’s also a hint of frustration on the part of the female characters who are rather constrained by their times. Our heroine Mina is also constrained physically by her scoliosis, but, as with the social mores of the time, this doesn’t affect her sharp mind and intelligence.

Kitty, a friend of a friend of Mina’s, has recently married and gone to live in Hollow House with her new, much older husband Mr Honeyacre. However, there are strange goings-on and whilst Kitty is largely sceptical, her servants are becoming worked up over the presence of ghosts. Mina has a track record in routing out fake spiritual mediums, and so she’s the ideal person to visit and work out what’s actually happening.

And she does, and it’s all thoroughly entertaining! Mina is also a novelist writing under the male pseudonym of Robert Neil, so we get to see not only Mina but also Robert at work. His version of events is a little different from what Mina experiences. This clever touch adds even more sparkle to this lively, interesting and very enjoyable cosy mystery. Definitely one to read.

Published by Sapere Books. Available at http://getbook.at/HollowHouse