Author: Agatha Christie
Published: April 2007 by HarperCollins
Performed by Hugh Fraser
Category: Crime, Mystery, Murder, Book Review
Unpleasant things are going on in an exclusive school for girls – things like murder… Late one night, two teachers investigate a mysterious flashing light in the sports pavilion, while the rest of the school sleeps. There, among the lacrosse sticks, they stumble upon the body of the unpopular games mistress – shot through the heart from point blank range. The school is thrown into chaos when the ‘cat’ strikes again. Unfortunately, schoolgirl Julia Upjohn knows too much. In particular, she knows that without Hercule Poirot’s help, she will be the next victim.
The setting for Cat Among the Pigeons is Meadowbank, an exclusive school for girls, run with precision by the inimitable Miss Bulstrode. An eclectic mix of students, including a princess from the Middle East, arrive for the summer term. The staff, old and new, are introduced to the reader as they welcome the girls, chat among themselves or just observe with their own thoughts. There’s also a new gardener, a young, good looking gardener who is not quite what he seems.
Author: Connie Berry
Published: June 2021 by Crooked Lane Books
Category: Cosy Murder Mystery, Police Procedural, Book Review
Spring is a magical time in England–bluebells massing along the woodland paths, primrose and wild thyme dotting the meadows. Antiques dealer Kate Hamilton is spending the month of May in the Suffolk village of Long Barston, enjoying precious time with Detective Inspector Tom Mallory. While attending the May Fair, the annual pageant based on a well-known Anglo-Saxon folktale, a body turns up in the middle of the festivities.
I was a little concerned when asked if I’d like to review The Art of Betrayal as it’s the third book in a series. Thankfully, it works perfectly well as a standalone with enough background information woven through the narrative that I didn’t feel at a loss at any stage.
Author: Terry Tyler
Category: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic, Book Review
The UK’s new megacities: contented citizens relieved of the burden of home ownership, living in eco-friendly communities. Total surveillance has all but wiped out criminal activity, and biometric sensor implants detect illness even before symptoms are apparent.
That’s the hype. Scratch the surface, and darker stories emerge.
First there was hope, then came the wasteland, and out of those the megacities grew. A good proportion of the population have been lured into thinking it’s the way to go…but not everyone was taken in. There were those who still chose to live off grid in self sufficient developments scattered across the countryside.
Author: Mimi Matthews
Due for publication on 20th July by Perfectley Proper Press
Category: Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Gothic, Romance, Book Review
Yorkshire, 1843. When disgraced former schoolmaster John Eyre arrives at Thornfield Hall to take up a position as tutor to two peculiar young boys, he enters a world unlike any he’s ever known. Darkness abounds, punctuated by odd bumps in the night, strange creatures on the moor, and a sinister silver mist that never seems to dissipate. And at the center of it all, John’s new employer—a widow as alluring as she is mysterious.
John Eyre is quite a different offering from from Mimi Matthews. In a very good way. It’s a gothic and paranormal retelling of Jane Eyre, with genders reversed and another classic tale thrown into the mix. The broodingly dark atmosphere of evil and menace is palpable.
Author: William Shaw
Published: May 2021 by riverrun
Category: Crime, Murder/Mystery, Drama, Book Review
A double murder.
An elaborate scam.
An unlikely killer.
The naked corpses of Aylmer and Mary Younis are discovered in their home. The only clues are a note written in blood and an eerie report of two spectral figures departing the crime scene. Officer Jill Ferriter is charged with investigating the murders while her colleague Alex Cupidi is on leave, recovering from post-traumatic stress.
DS Alex Cupidi, suffering from metal and emotional burnout, is in counselling for PTSD. She experiences bad dreams and premonitions that something bad is about to happen. She is under strict orders to stay clear of any sort of active police work. Her life revolves around work and her daughter Zoë. Their relationship is challenging most of the time and Zoë is often out so, combined with the two, Alex is finding it very difficult to fill in the time.
Author: Mike Martin
Published: June 2021 by Ottawa Press and Publishing
Category: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Cosy, Book Review
Welcome back to Sgt. Windflower Mysteries, where there’s always something good cooking and another seat at the table. Sgt. Windflower is on a special assignment in St. John’s and adjusting to life in the big city. He is navigating traffic, a difficult boss at work and what seems like an epidemic of missing girls. He becomes more interested when he discovers that one of the girls is from Grand Bank. Then a girl approaches his RCMP van one night and he is pulled into the underlife of the capital city.
In Safe Harbour we find Sgt. Winston Windflower and his family have left Grand Bank as Windflower takes on a temporary assignment in the often foggy port city of St John’s. Windflower was the new public outreach coordinator for the RCMP, while his wife, Sheila studied for her MBA.
Author: Charlie Laidlaw
Published: May 2021 by Ringwood Publishing
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Literary, Book Review
Carole Gunn leads an unfulfilled life and knows it. She’s married to someone who may, or may not, be in New York on business and, to make things worse, the family’s deaf cat has been run over by an electric car.
But something has been changing in Carole’s mind. She’s decided to revisit places that hold special significance for her. She wants to better understand herself, and whether the person she is now is simply an older version of the person she once was.
Carole Gunn feels in a rut and it’s taken her by surprise. She loves her daughter and supposes she feels the same about her husband. But everything seems to fall into the same old routine…familiar conversations, mannerisms, the TV programmes they watch. Carole feels redundant and somehow that she’s missing out. Her daughter is all but independent and doesn’t appreciate her mother. Her husband has his career, traveling abroad on occasion, and Carole wonders if he really was in New York as he claimed. Beyond the mutinae of household tasks that map out her life, there’s nothing. Would anyone actually notice if she wasn’t there?
Author: Harriet Steel
Category: Cosy Mystery, Historical Fiction, Book Review
It’s January 1940 and the day of Nuala’s famous motor rally. Excitement is at full throttle, but matters take a dark turn when that same evening, human remains are found buried in a lonely corner of a local tea plantation.
Inspector de Silva has a cold case to solve. Add a playboy racing driver, a missing Bugatti and a family scandal hushed up years ago into the mix and he has plenty to think about. You can be sure that whatever happened in the past, now de Silva’s in the driving seat, you’re in for a gripping ride.
The story opens as Inspector Shanti de Silva and his wife, Jane are attending Nuala’s famous car rally, the Hill Country Challenge held every four years, along with Archie and Florence Clutterbuck and Charlie Frobisher and his lady friend. This was de Silva’s third time at the rally but his appreciation of the array of wonderful cars, including a Bentley, Maserati and Bugatti, has not diminished. After the excitement of the race Charlie treated them all to a round of cocktails.