First Published in 1987 by Century Hutchinson Ltd
Category: Murder, Mystery, Police Procedural, Book Review
Badger’s Drift is an ideal English village, complete with vicar, bumbling local doctor, and kindly spinster with a nice line in homemade cookies. But when the spinster dies suddenly, her best friend kicks up an unseemly fuss, loud enough to attract the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby. And when Barnaby and his eager-beaver deputy start poking around, they uncover a swamp of ugly scandals and long-suppressed resentments seething below the picture-postcard prettiness.
Miss Simpson and her long time friend, Lucy Bellringer, had an ongoing but friendly rivalry as who could spot the spurred coral root orchid first. Each summer they searched in the beech woods for the rarely flowering bloom and this year Miss Simpson was excited to have the triumphant first sighting. Marking the almost hidden site she turned to return home when a sound stopped her and she tentatively decided to investigate. Miss Simpson saw something she shouldn’t have that day, and unfortunately sealed her fate.
I’m delighted to welcome Robert McCaw with a guest post. Robert is the author of the Koa Kane Hawaiian Mystery series and his new book, Death of a Messenger, the prequel to the series, is published tomorrow.
On Hawaii Island, an anonymous 911 caller reports a body at Pohakuloa, the Army’s live-fire training area. Hilo Chief Detective Koa Kane, a cop with his own secret criminal past, finds a mutilated corpse–bearing all the hallmarks of ancient ritual sacrifice.
He encounters a host of obstacles as he pursues the murderer–an incompetent local medical examiner, hostility from both haoles (Westerners) and sovereignty advocates, and a myriad of lies. Koa races to discover whether the victim stumbled upon a gang of high-tech archaeological thieves, or learned a secret so shocking it cost him his life and put others in mortal danger.
Will Hilo’s most respected detective stop this sadistic fiend–or will the Pohakuloa killer strike again, with even deadlier consequences?
Where Do Characters Come From and Why?
Often when I fall in love with a book or a movie, it’s because some unique character sparks my imagination, which leads me to wonder how and why the author conceived them. Consider Michael Connolly’s Harry Bosch or Renée Ballard, Barry Eisler’s John Rain, and Delia Owens’s Kya Clark. I’d love to interview these authors and delve into the origins of these fictional favorites to learn to what degree they are imaginary or not. Another question I often ask myself is why the author incorporated a particular character at all. The answer is usually evident for main actors in a story but can be more subtle and elusive for secondary players.
Due to be published (Kindle, Audio and Paperback) February 2021
Category: Police Procedural, Crime Fiction, Psychological, Book Review
Elspeth, Meggy and Xavier are locked in a flat. They don’t know where they are, and they don’t know why they’re there. They only know that the shadow man has taken them, and he won’t let them go.
Desperate to escape, the three of them must find a way out of their living hell, even if it means uncovering a very dark truth.
Because the shadow man isn’t a nightmare. He’s all too real.
The Shadow Man is a collector of people, an abductor, watching his victims and planning while learning their routines, until it’s time to make his move. In the opening sequence his plan goes fatally wrong causing him to be careless with his next victim.
Narrated by Stephen Shanahan
Published: September 2020 by Hachette Audio UK
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Murder, Mystery, Audiobook Review
Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal town he once called home. Kieran’s parents are struggling in a community which is bound, for better or worse, to the sea, that is both a lifeline and a threat. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn.
The Survivors is a story of family, secrets, lies and friendships and takes place in the small, fictional coastal town of Evelyn Bay in Tasmania. Kieran, along with girlfriend Mia and baby daughter Audrey, have returned to their home town from Sydney, in order to help Kieran’s mother pack up and move his father to a nursing home in Hobart.
Published: July 2020 by Penkhull Press
Category: Historical Fiction, Cosy Murder/Mystery, Book Review
November 1940. The Battle of Britain has only just ended and the horror of the Blitz is reaching its height.
Two deaths in rapid succession on the Sussex Downs brings Bunch Courtney and Chief Inspector Wright together once more. What could possibly link a fatal auto accident with the corpse in a derelict shepherd’s hut? The only clue the pair have is a handwritten list of the members of a supper club that meets at London’s Café de Paris. Two of those on that list are now dead and the race is on to solve the mystery before any more end up on the mortuary slab.
Listed Dead is the third in the Bunch Courtney series and told from her perspective in the third person. There’s much more insight into the Courtney sisters’ background, the environment in which they grew up and the family dynamics in this book. Things have changed drastically for Bunch since the start of the war. The family home, Perringham House, has been requisitioned by the military and Bunch is left to run the estate with the help of Land Girls, while living at the Dower House with her Granny Beatrice.
Performed by Aoife McMahon
Released: June 2020 by Quercus
Category: Irish Crime Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Audiobook, Review
On a Dublin city street, packed with afternoon shoppers, a young woman appears, naked, traumatised and bearing burn marks.
Tom Reynolds, now Chief Superintendent, is no longer head of the murder squad. But when it transpires the woman escaped from a house fire started deliberately and that there are more victims, Tom is sucked in. What begins as a straightforward case of arson, soon becomes something much more sinister.
After having a quick catch up with his daughter Maria, a junior doctor, Chief Superintendent Tom Reynolds was about the leave the hospital where Maria worked, when he overheard snippets of a conversation between two porters. A naked and distressed young woman covered with burn marks and signs of smoke inhalation, was seen walking through the city centre and had been brought to the hospital.
Published: May 2020 by Travelling Life Press
Category: Cosy Murder/Mystery, Book Review
A Mother’s Day trip to the Netherlands turns deadly when a guest plummets from a windmill. Was it an accident or a murder? For Lana Hansen, the answer will mean freedom or imprisonment for someone close to her…
Lana Hansen is scheduled to lead the Mother’s Day tour of the Netherlands despite her boss Dotty Thompson’s reservations. Lana and her estranged mother, Gillian, haven’t been close for the past ten years, since Lana was sacked from her job as an investigative reporter for the Seattle Chronicle. Dotty is determined to bring them closer together and has a plan.
Published: August 2019 by British Library Publishing
Category: Classic Crime, Murder, Mystery, Book Review
Jim Teasdale has been drowned in the Dumb River, near Ely, miles from his Yorkshire home. His body, clearly dumped in the usually silent (‘dumb’) waterway, has been discovered before the killer intended — disturbed by a torrential flood.
With critical urgency it’s up to Superintendent Littlejohn of Scotland Yard to trace the mystery of the unassuming victim’s murder to its source, leaving waves of scandal and sensation in his wake as the hidden, salacious dealings of Jim Teasdale begin to surface.
First published in 1961, The Body in The Dumb River has been reissued by the British Library Crime Classics. I’ve read and enjoyed a few of these classic crime novels, this is the first by George Bellairs. I didn’t realise the Littlejohn books were such a long running series but this book quite easily reads as a stand alone.
First published in 1962
Category: Classic Crime, Murder, Mystery, Book Review
One minute, silly Heather Badcock had been gabbling on at her movie idol, the glamorous Marina Gregg. The next, Heather suffered a massive seizure. But for whom was the deadly poison really intended?
Marina’s frozen expression suggested she had witnessed something horrific. But, while others searched for material evidence, Jane Marple conducted a very different investigation – into human nature.