Break From Nuala (The Inspector de Silva Mysteries #11) by @harrietsteel1 #CosyMystery #BookReview for #RBRT #FridayReads

image-3Author: Harriet Steel

Published: March 2022

Category: Cosy Mystery

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It is autumn 1940, and Inspector de Silva and his wife Jane are looking forward to a well-earned holiday. But their hopes of a relaxing break in the picturesque city of Galle beside the Indian Ocean are dashed when death, mysterious illnesses, and a missing guest cast a gloomy shadow.

Ceylon hasn’t yet been affected by the war in Europe and Inspector Shanti de Silva and his wife, Jane are taking a short holiday at the luxuriously appointed Cinnamon Lodge in the coastal town of Galle. As always when they were away from Nuala, de Silva was a little concerned how people would view a Ceylonese man and a British woman as a married couple but any worries were soon laid to rest.

What was meant to be a restful break was soon interrupted by a couple of incidents at the hotel — a visit by the local Chief Inspector which de Silva didn’t think was routine and a group of guests, famous diver Elodie Renaud and her party, were taken ill by what appeared to be food poisoning. Seemingly unremarkable, if unfortunate, events initially, but then de Silva couldn’t help but put his policeman’s hat on and investigate surreptitiously when a nightwatchman is found dead and a guest mysteriously disappears.

No wonder the manager had looked so uncomfortable, thought de Silva. Were it to come out, a death on the premises, particularly such a grim one, would do the hotel’s reputation no good at all. He shuddered. It sounded like the dead man was the same nightwatchman he’d talked to on the evening he and Jane had arrived at the hotel. He might well have been killed not long after they spoke.

Break from Nuala is the eleventh outing for Shanti de Silva, and is just as enjoyable as the previous books, although I did miss the regulars. Jane takes a more active role than usual and de Silva treads carefully as he has no jurisdiction in Galle. The cast of characters is diverse with several potential suspects. As the mystery begins to unfold and the investigation gains momentum things edge towards danger.

An enjoyable and well written cosy mystery set in a wonderful location.

I chose to read and review Break From Nuala for Rosie Amber’s book review team, based on a digital copy kindly supplied by the author. 

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HarrietSteelHarriet Steel wrote four historical novels before turning to crime with the Inspector de Silva mysteries, inspired by time spent in Sri Lanka (the former Ceylon)). Her work has also appeared in national newspapers and magazines. Visit her blog to sign up to her monthly newsletter for news of new releases and great offers, harrietsteel.blogspot.co.uk/

She’s married with two daughters and lives in Surrey. When she’s not writing, she likes reading, long walks and visiting art galleries and museums.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Ella Maud ~ The story of an unsolved #truecrime by Nicholas Nicastro #HistoricalFiction

Throwback Thursday this week tells the story of Ella Maud Cropsey, or Nell as she is more commonly known, and her family who live in a small community in North Carolina. Set around the turn of the 20th century, the story is a fictionalised account of her murder, based on the known facts.

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My Thoughts

Nell was feted as a beauty, sometimes a contrary young woman but one who knew her own mind. She was high-spirited, hated the restrictions the ladies of the time were subjected to and planned to attend university. Jim Wilcox had been courting Nell for over three years and was the last person to see her before she disappeared. I say disappeared because it seemed unclear initially to most people what had happened to Nell. Her body was discovered in the river that ran past the family home thirty-six days later, without the expected indications of being in water for that amount of time. An autopsy confirmed Nell did not drown but died from a blow to the head. So where had Nell been before she went into the water? And who put her there?

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Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner ~ Historical Fiction @NatalieMJenner @StMartinsPress #BloomsburyGirls #HistoricalFiction @Austenprose #TuesdayBookBlog

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour and sharing my review for Bloomsbury Girls, courtesy of Laurel Ann Nattress at Austenprose PR. 

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My Thoughts

Bloomsbury Girls continues the story of Evie Stone, who was initially introduced in The Jane Austen Society. However, Bloomsbury Girls works perfectly well as a stand alone. Enough of Evie’s backstory, along with mentions of events and appearances from several characters from the previous book, occur throughout the narrative, bringing the reader more or less up to date.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Bum Luck by Paul Levine #Audiobook #LegalThriller

Throwback Thursday this week features Bum Luck, one of a series featuring lawyer, Jake Lassiter. I listened to the audiobook which was released in 2017 and performed by Luke Daniels.

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My Thoughts

Jake Lassiter, criminal defence lawyer and ex linebacker for the Miami Dolphins, feels like killing his client after he won the case. He was not expecting to win as the evidence seemed unquestionable, but Thunder Thurston, high profile football star, has been found not guilty of murdering his wife. Jake is angry at himself, for doing his job too well, and Thunder. He’s certain Thunder is guilty and is completely disillusioned about the justice system, fantasising about taking matters into his own hands. To add to his problems Jake learns the District Attorney is attempting to charge him with jury tampering and bribing a witness.

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Spring Tides At The Starfish Café (The Starfish Café #2) by Jessica Redland #FeelGoodFiction #TuesdayBookBlog @JessicaRedland @BoldwoodBooks

9781801624268Author: Jessica Redland

Published: April 2022 by Boldwood Books

Category: Contemporary, Feel Good FictionFeel, Romance

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A new season…

As winter turns to spring, Hollie – owner of The Starfish Café – is feeling content as she settles into her new life with her loving boyfriend, Jake, and their adorable dog Pickle.

But when an unwelcome visitor threatens the future of her café, Hollie must stay strong to protect her family’s legacy…

A leap of faith…

Emerging from an unhappy relationship, Tori finds herself with nowhere to stay and nobody to talk to. The long-hidden secrets of her past weigh heavily on her until a chance encounter with Finley, struggling to come to terms with his own secrets, provides an opportunity to open up.

I confess, I haven’t read the first book in this series and it’s obvious Hollie and Jake have a back story, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying this book. I felt enough information was included to fill in the gaps. 

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Cornish Coast Murder by John Bude (British Library Crime Classics) #CosyMurderMystery #PoliceProcedural

The Cornish Coast Murder, republished to great acclaim in 2014, was my introduction to the British Library Crime Classics. I’ve since read several and enjoyed them, with more in my to read list.

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My Thoughts

Reverend Dodd, vicar of St Michael’s-on-the-Cliff, enjoys his Monday evening dinner engagements with Doctor Pendrill. Boscawen is a small isolated fishing village on the Cornish coast and both the vicar and the doctor look forward to their weekly meetings. Over an after dinner coffee they open the crate of library books each takes a turn in choosing, most commonly crime stories which they’re both addicted to, and are discussed in detail. Reverend Dodds has become quite good at solving mysteries by recalling previous twists, traps and detection methods, whereas they are proving a little more difficult for the doctor. 

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One Step Too Far ( Frankie Elkin Book Two) by @LisaGardnerBks #CrimeThriller #NetGalley #TuesdayBookBlog

51gHxVG9GWLAuthor: Lisa Gardner

Published: January 2022 by Penguin

Category: Crime Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary Fiction

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If he never left the woods, where did he go?
A young man disappears during a stag weekend in the woods. Years later, he’s still missing.
But his friends who were with him that day are still searching for him. Still hunting for answers.
They hike deep into the wilderness.
With them is missing person specialist Frankie Elkin.
What they don’t know is that they are putting their own lives in terrifying danger, and may not come back alive . . .

In this second outing for Frankie Elkin, she reads about Timothy O’ Day in a small local newspaper. Timothy went missing in the Wyoming wilderness several years ago while camping with four friends prior to his marriage. The National Guard and volunteers searched initially but after finding no trace they gradually gave up. 

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