Author: Elly Griffiths
Narrated by Nina Wadia
Published: October 2020 by Quercus
Category: Cosy Murder Mystery, Audiobook, Review
PS: thanks for the murders.
The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka’s account of Peggy Smith’s death.
But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her…
Although Peggy Smith is ninety with a supposed heart condition, living in sheltered accommodation, she has all her wits about her. Her flat looks out over the bay in Shoreham-by-Sea and she enjoys nothing better than keeping an eye on goings on, sitting in her armchair in the bay window with binoculars to hand, sometimes making detailed notes of who she sees and what they appear to be doing. She is visited on a daily basis by carer Natalka, who works for the Care4You agency. This particular morning Peggy notices something out of the ordinary that piques her interest.
The two men have been standing there for eighteen minutes. Peggy has been timing them on her stopwatch. They parked on the seafront just in front of Benedict’s café. A white Ford Fiesta. Annoyingly she can’t see the registration but, if she uses her binoculars, she can see a dent in the nearside door. If they have hired the car, the company will have taken note of this. Peggy makes a note too, getting out her Investigation Book which is cunningly disguised as A Seaside Lady’s Diary, complete with saccharine watercolours of shells and fishing boats.
There are several reasons why Peggy finds the men suspicious. They look out of place in Shoreham-by-Sea, for one thing. Sometimes, just for fun and to keep her observational powers honed, Peggy makes an inventory of people who have walked past her window.
When Natalka finds Peggy dead in her chair later that day she and the owner of the agency assume it was a natural death. After all, Peggy was ninety, not forgetting the added complication of a heart condition. Yet, when Natalka is packing up Peggy’s collection of books she notices Peggy is mentioned in the dedications and acknowledgements by many of the authors, including local author Dex Challoner. It seems Peggy was a murder consultant, helping authors with plot points and innovative ways to murder people.
On the surface it seems like a natural death, nothing suspicious about it. On the other hand it seems unusual for Peggy to be mentioned in so many books, while classing herself as a murder consultant. Natalka isn’t convinced Peggy’s death was natural and after talking to Peggy’s friends, it’s decided Natalka should go to the police. DS Harbinder Kaur thinks about the conversation she’s just had with Natalka while driving home. The claims of a suspicious death are taken much more seriously after an incident at Peggy’s flat.
I enjoyed this cosy murder mystery encompassing most aspects of the literary world although I didn’t realise it was a follow on from a previous book. However, it’s perfectly able to be read as a standalone. A small diverse and engaging group of Peggy’s friends take it upon themselves to help the police by initiating their own investigation into Peggy’s death, which takes them to Aberdeen. Besides Harbinder, and Natalka we meet 80 year old Edwin, an ex BBC researcher and broadcaster, and Benedict who used to be a monk but now owns and runs a beach cafe.
Elly Griffiths has created an unconventional and well drawn cast of characters who develop fully as the story progresses, while learning their backstories along the way. They get themselves into all kinds of trouble as more murders occur during a story peppered with twists, humour and danger.
About the Author
Elly Griffiths was born in London. The inspiration for her books about forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway came from her husband who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist. Elly lives near Brighton but often spends holidays on the wild Norfolk coast. She has two children and a cat.
Author: Terry Tyler
Category: Post Apocalyptic, Dystopian, Murder Mystery, Book Review
In 2024, a mystery virus ravages the entire world. ‘Bat Fever’ is highly contagious and one hundred per cent lethal.
A cottage tucked away in an isolated Norfolk village seems like the ideal place to sit out a catastrophic pandemic, but some residents of Hincham resent the arrival of Jack, Sarah and their friends, while others want to know too much about them.
What the villagers don’t know is that beneath Sarah’s cottage is a fully-stocked, luxury survival bunker. A post-apocalyptic ‘des res’.
The year is 2024, four years after the coronavirus pandemic, when the world is hit with a far deadlier virus. There was no way back from this one, it was fatal. If you caught it you died, unless you were one of the lucky ones who were vaccinated. At least in 2020 people still had their home comforts and there was a good recovery rate. This was a whole different ball game, bringing death and destruction on a massive scale. For those who survived, life was a struggle fraught with danger.
Author: Carl Rackman
Independently Published: September 2020
Category: Conspiracy Thriller, Suspense, SciFi, Crime, Book Review
Four years have passed since Voyager One sent back chilling photos of a spaceship from deep in interstellar space.
A shocked world prepared to meet the Visitors, but terrorism, pandemics, and global political turmoil have now consumed it. Discredited as a hoax, the Visitors have faded from public attention.
But the powerful global conspiracy known as the Triumvirate is behind much of the chaos. Creating a screen of subterfuge and misdirection, they prepare a clandestine welcome for the Visitors, whose origins may be more sinister than the aliens of popular fiction.
Although this is the second book in the trilogy, there is enough information included, in a non intrusive way, to understand about the conspiracy, and what happened in the first book, Voyager.
Author: Sharon Booth
Published: December 2018 by Green Ginger Publishing
Category: Festive, Romance, Magic, Witches, Book Review
Do you believe in magic?
Sky St Clair doesn’t, and growing up in Castle Clair, a small town renowned for its mystical past and magical legends, she never felt she belonged.
Sky got away from Castle Clair as soon as she could, but when a run of bad luck leaves her homeless and jobless, she has little choice but to accept her sister Star’s invitation to return home for the festive season.
It’s over three years since Sky St Clair left the pretty town of Castle Clair, the ancestral home of her family. She is returning reluctantly, forced to swallow her pride and stay with her two sisters, after losing her job, boyfriend and home in one fell swoop. She loves Star and Celeste, of course she does, it was just…the legend and the family business. She just didn’t—couldn’t—believe in all that magic stuff despite the family legacy.
Author: Marcia Meara
Published: August 2020
Category: Urban Fantasy, Book Review
The archangel Azrael created his emissaries to help mortals avoid choices that would doom them for eternity. He hadn’t planned on the youngest member of the team falling in love with one. In Marcia Meara’s final installment of her Emissary Trilogy, a Riverbend spinoff series of novellas, we find our heroes facing a new problem, and it’s all because Dodger died before having a chance to learn what love was all about. His request that Azrael help him correct that situation causes a multitude of problems no one could have foreseen. Except the angel, himself.
In Love Hurts we catch up with Jake and Dodger, both of whom have been given a second chance at life as emissaries for the Archangel Azrael. Azrael is in the process of building an army of emissaries to assist the angels in their quest to help troubled souls, despite the continued opposition from some of the members of the Council of Angels.
Author: Mike Martin
Published: September 2020 by Ottawa Press and Publishing
Category: Cozy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Book Review
Sgt. Windflower is back, untangling another swirling mystery, this one bringing the meth crisis and biker gangs to the quiet Newfoundland town of Grand Bank, feeling the sting of their deadly tentacles reaching all the way from the United States. He’s working with his familiar crew of RCMP characters — but wait, are some of the faces changing? There are new challenges for Jones, an unknown side of Smithson reveals itself, and what ever happened to Tizzard? In the midst of putting the pieces of the puzzle together, Windflower and his beloved Sheila also find themselves navigating sorrows and surprises on the family front.
Changes are afoot in the quiet town of Grand Bank on the Newfoundland coast. Eddie Tizzard has left the RCMP and is in Las Vegas training to be a private detective. That was the idea anyway, until he found himself on the wrong side of the law, held as a suspect in a holding cell. After returning to his hotel he had found a large amount of money spread around the room and bloodstains on the bed, not to mention a body in the bathroom. Unfortunately for Eddie, it seemed the dead man had a connection to Grand Bank and the FBI were involved.
Author: Steve Cavanagh
Published: September 2020 by Orion
Category: Legal Thriller, Crime Fiction, Book Review
Two sisters on trial for murder. Both accuse each other.
Who do YOU believe?
Alexandra Avellino has just found her father’s mutilated body, and needs the police right away. She believes her sister killed him, and that she is still in the house with a knife.
Sofia Avellino has just found her father’s mutilated body and needs the police right away. She believes her sister, Alexandra did it, and that she is still in the house, locked in the bathroom.
I’ve read and enjoyed the books in this series, more so with each one. Eddie Flynn is an endearing protagonist, a mixture of common sense, personal ethics and sensitivity, as well as being an attorney who only takes on clients he believes in.
Author: Mimi Matthews
Due to be published 10th November by Perfectly Proper Press and is available for pre-order
Category: Regency Romance, Historical Fiction, Book Review
Wealthy squire’s daughter Margaret Honeywell was always meant to marry her neighbor, Frederick Burton-Smythe, but it’s bastard-born Nicholas Seaton who has her heart. Raised alongside her on her father’s estate, Nicholas is the rumored son of notorious highwayman Gentleman Jim. When Fred frames him for theft, Nicholas escapes into the night, vowing to find his legendary sire. But Nicholas never returns. A decade later, he’s long been presumed dead.
Maggie Honeywell, the only child of Squire Honeywell and raised more as his son and eventual heir than an indulged daughter, had a happy childhood spending most of her time with Nicholas Seaton, the illegitimate son of scullery maid, Jenny Seaton. Now a groom in Squire Honeywell’s stables, Nicholas had incurred the wrath of Frederick Burton-Smythe, whose estate borders the Honeywell’s and the man her father wants Maggie to marry. Their fathers had agreed years ago the two would marry, thereby joining the two estates. Maggie had other ideas. Nicholas was the only man for her and the feeling was mutual.