Murder at the Cathedral (An Exham on Sea Mystery #4) by @FrancesEvesham #FridayReads #cozy murder/mystery

  • Author: Frances Evesham
  • Published: February 2016 by AinsleyAssociates
  • Category: Cozy Murder Mystery

The respectable ladies of the Knitters’ Guild plan a surprise for the cathedral city. The surprise isn’t meant to include murder…

Libby Forrest and her friend Angela Miles are enjoying coffee and a chat in Wells Cathedral café. Angela is a volunteer guide at the cathedral. They unintentionally witnessing an argument between Libby’s lodger, Mandy and her boyfriend, Steve who is Angela’s nephew. As Mandy storms out Angela’s phone rings. There’s been a murder…..

Giles Temple, a historian, has been researching at the cathedral library and was found that morning by Dr Phillips, the librarian. Libby is determined not to involve herself in another investigation. She is busy organising her son’s wedding, her own business and her plans to set up a private investigation service with Max Ramshore. Not only that, she had found herself agreeing to marry Max as well and was getting cold feet about giving up her independence. 

Whenever Libby thought about Max her heart fluttered, but her head throbbed with questions. Would they tire of one another if they lived and worked too closely together? Could she give up her independence and walk away from the business she’d struggled so hard to grow, just as it was taking off? What about Mandy? Libby couldn’t let her apprentice down. She needed a few days’ breathing space, with time to think and no crime investigations, while Max finished his current assignment. Any inquiry into a suspicious death was best left to the police.

Yarn Bombing

Libby’s curiosity gets the better of her, and along with the desire to help and support her friend, she couldn’t resist and is drawn into the investigation regardless of her other commitments, getting involved in a ‘yarn bombing’ knitting circle in the process.

These are enjoyable fun reads, written well and easy to read with eccentric and quirky characters I can’t help but like. Libby especially is engaging and believable. I learned something new too, having never heard of chained libraries before. The characters continue to evolve and the storylines are getting better all the time. And another great cover image. Everything necessary for a cozy murder mystery is included; unexpected twists, intrigue, some suspense and touching scenes, not to mention a bit of romance. I love the locale, especially as I’m familiar with areas where the action takes place. The plot held my interest to the end and, of course, last but no means least there’s Bear!

I chose to read and review Murder at the Cathedral based on an ARC supplied by the author/publisher.

Book links ~ Amazon UK || Amazon US

About Frances Evesham

One day, Frances Evesham walked on a beach in peaceful Somerset and came upon a unique nine-legged Victorian lighthouse. Her first cozy crime story, Murder at the Lighthouse, was born.

Now, she writes mystery stories: the Exham on Sea contemporary cozy crime series set in a small Somerset seaside town, and the Thatcham Hall Mysteries, 19th Century historical mystery romances set in Victorian England. 

She collects poison recipes and cooks with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch of chillies in the other, her head full of ingenious ways to dispatch her victims – in fiction, of course. 

She’s been a speech therapist and a road sweeper, and worked in the criminal courts seeing crime from all points of view: victim, prosecution and defence. Spending time in the dock and the witness box alongside witnesses taught her more about motive, means and opportunity than she could ever have imagined.

 Social media links ~ Website || Twitter

As The Crow Flies by Damien Boyd (DI Nick Dixon #1) #Crime @DamienBoydBooks #Mystery #TuesdayBookBlog

  • Author: Damien Boyd
  • Published: January 2015 by Thomas & Mercer
  • Category: Crime, Suspense, Police Procedural

Rock climbing is now a blood sport.

Detective Inspector Nick Dixon’s former climbing partner, Jake Fayter, is dead. Killed in a fall whilst practising a new route on High Rock, Cheddar Gorge. Convinced that Jake would not have made such a simple mistake, Nick Dixon starts digging and uncovers a web of intrigue and criminal activity that will rock the sleepy seaside town of Burnham-on-Sea to its core.

DI Nick Dixon recently left the Metropolitan Police and returned to his home county, joining the Avon and Somerset force and, although few people could understand his reasoning, Nick knew he’d made the right decision. He wasn’t particularly interested in advancement, it was all about solving crimes, even if it had left him in an unfurnished rented cottage. That didn’t matter so much when he was on the beach with his eight month old rescued Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Monty. He is enjoying being on his home turf. Continue reading

Twins of a Gazelle ~ An Ionian Affair by Margaret Cullingford #FridayReads @CullingfordMags #BookReview

Fifteen months married to Adam Burgess, Calista Blake suspects she has chosen the wrong man. She looks forward to their holiday on the Greek island of Ithaca, hoping its magic will banish her disenchantment.

Calista Blake had no notion her affair would lead to marriage. She hadn’t wanted Adam to leave his wife but, carried away by the excitement and mystery of their relationship, here she was, married to Adam. The realisation she didn’t really know him at all left her disillusioned and confused. Once upon a time she was the other woman, has she now created an opening for someone else to fill? Adam spends a lot of time in London, leaving Calista, lonely and uneasy, rattling around their Leicestershire home with spaniel, Beppo. Luckily she has her career as a lawyer to occupy her. Continue reading

The Surgeon ~ Rizzoli & Isles book 1 by Tess Gerritsen #Crime Medical #Drama #TuesdayBookBlog

  • 51qkygahxvlAuthor: Tess Gerritsen
  • First Published in 2001 by Bantam Press
  • Category: Crime, Thriller, Suspense
  • three-half-stars

IN BOSTON, THERE’S A KILLER ON THE LOOSE…

A killer who targets lone women, who breaks into their apartments and performs terrifying ritualistic acts of torture on them before finishing them off. His surgical skills lead police to suspect he is a physician – a physician who, instead of saving lives, takes them.

Having been a long time fan of Rizzoli & Isles, the TV series, I decided to give the books a go. Very late in the day, I know, since this book was published in 2001. It was strange to read the description of Detective Jane Rizzoli as small, square-jawed and insecure in her position as part of a male dominated team, among other less than flattering characterisations. The only similarity is the dark, curly hair. The only other name I recognise is Frost and in the book he’s white. Maura Isles doesn’t appear in this book either. Continue reading

Irex by Carl Rackman ~ based on fact #BookReview for #RBRT @CarlRackman #Histfic #FridayReads

  • 51gv4vgjy-lAuthor: Carl Rackman
  • Published: September 2016 by Rackman Books
  • Category: Historical, Fiction, Drama
  • five-stars

In the harsh winter of December 1889, the sailing vessel Irex leaves Scotland bound for Rio de Janeiro. She carries three thousand tons of pig iron and just three passengers for what should be a routine voyage. But Captain Will Hutton discovers that one of his passengers hides a horrifying secret.

First of all, I have to say it’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. It’s so good and the quality of the writing is excellent throughout. The story is based in history, the ship, a couple of the main crew members, reason for the wreck and the attempts at rescue, are all fact. Carl Rackman has woven an incredibly imaginative and compelling tale around that tragic event. Continue reading

The Winter Over by Matthew Iden @CrimeWriter #Thriller #Suspense at the South Pole #TuesdayBookBlog

  • 31815415Author: Matthew Iden
  • Published: February 2017 by Thomas & Mercer
  • Category: Thriller, Suspense, Crime
  • four-half-stars

Each winter the crew at the Shackleton South Pole Research Facility faces nine months of isolation, round-the-clock darkness, and one of the most extreme climates on the planet. For thirty-something mechanical engineer Cass Jennings, Antarctica offers an opportunity to finally escape the guilt of her troubled past and to rebuild her life.

Cass Jennings’ career had ground to a halt after a tragic accident caused her to seriously doubt her own judgement. She applied and had been accepted as one of the Shackleton South Pole Research Facility’s over-winter staff. Cass was the station’s mechanic, plumber and carpenter among other things. Each member of staff had to be able to cover other jobs as well as their own. Continue reading

A Change of Heart (The Heartfelt Series #2) by Adrienne Vaughan @adrienneauthor #Drama #Romance #BookReview

  • 16301209Author: Adrienne Vaughan
  • Published: November 2013 by New Romantics Press
  • Category: Contemporary, Drama, Romance
  • five-stars

Escaping to a remote Irish isle, journalist Marianne Coltrane had not bargained for a tumultuous affair with movie star Ryan O’Gorman.

When Ryan leaves to pursue his career, Marianne remains to care for those who need her most, but Ryan soon realises he cannot live without her and returns to woo her back.

Following on from events in The Hollow Heart, Ryan O’Gorman returns to the beautiful island of Innishmahon with his baby son, Joey, much to the shock and amazement of Marianne Coltrane. Their relationship hasn’t been without its ups and downs but Ryan is determined this time he’s back for good. Unfortunately it’s not so simple. Ryan’s movie contract is for three pictures, he’s only made one. He brings more turmoil in his wake in the form of his troubled and trouble making ex-wife, Angelique de Marcos. It seems the peaceful, settled life he and Marianne are looking forward to is not going to materialise any time soon.  Continue reading

High Force by LJ Ross (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Bk 5) @LJRoss_author #Thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

  • 33533363Author: LJ Ross
  • Published: January 2017
  • Category: Thriller, Mystery
  • five-stars

Hell has unleashed a demon – and he’s coming for you… 

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan’s worst nightmare has just become a reality. Notorious serial killer The Hacker has escaped prison and kidnapped one of his best detectives from her own home. His brutality is the stuff of legend – Ryan lost his sister and nearly his own life bringing the man to justice first time around. Can Ryan do it again to save his friend?

Picking up immediately after the cliffhanger ending in Angel, Denise MacKenzie finds herself in a desperate situation. Cold blooded killer Keir Edwards, aka The Hacker, has escaped from prison in an elaborate and high profile way, his single-minded goal drawing out DCI Ryan and causing as much suffering as possible.  Continue reading

Ghost Variations: The Strangest Detective Story in Music by Jessica Duchen #RBRT @jessicaduchen #bookreview #FridayReads

  • 32053103Author: Jessica Duchen
  • Kindle Edition
  • Category: Historical, Fiction
  • five-stars

London, 1933. Dabbling in the once-fashionable “glass game” – a Ouija board – the famous Hungarian violinist Jelly d’Arányi is amazed to receive a message supposedly from the spirit of the great composer Robert Schumann, asking her to find and play his long-suppressed violin concerto.

Ghost Variations is created from real people and true events which occurred during their lives; history dramatised into a rich and enchanting narrative.

Jelly d’Arányi, the central character, is a renowned Hungarian violinist, living in 1930s London with her sister, Adila and her family. Jelly has been the muse for several famous composers and is dedicated to her music, to the exclusion of her personal life, especially since she lost the man she loved at the Battle of the Somme during WWI. The sisters have lived in London since Jelly was sixteen and now as she approaches her fortieth birthday, Jelly is aware she is (unfairly) considered past her prime as a musician.  Continue reading

The Caretaker ~ a #ShortStory by Dan Klefstad #Vampire @danklefstad

A very intriguing short story which I believe the author has plans to develop into a novel. It was published in Crack The Spine Literary Magazine on February 1st 2017. I enjoyed reading The Caretaker very much, it’s a unique perspective on a vampire tale. To hear Dan read the quote below, check out the video clip.

Dear Applicant, Congratulations. Out of hundreds of applications, yours stood out…..But, I must warn you: The more you read, the more my employer will consider you a threat if you decline our offer. If you have no intentions of taking the job, delete this message now before reading further.” 

Then…the final warning.  Do you want to devote your best years to an exacting employer who will pay more than handsomely for loyalty and secrecy, spending your retirement in wealth and luxury or settle for a mundane job, family and regular yearly holidays? Continue reading