#ThrowbackThursday ~ Honour & Obey #histfic @carolJhedges

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that were published over a year ago. Not to mention those that are languishing on the to be read pile for whatever reason.

This week I’d like to showcase Honour & Obey by Carol Hedges, the second of four books featuring Stride and Cully, policemen in Victorian London.  Continue reading

Top Reads of 2016 #Books #AmReading #TuesdayBookBlog

It’s that time again! This year has gone so quickly and it’s been filled with really great reads. Narrowing down favourites is a difficult task but here they are. As always, they’ll be either 4.5* or 5* and clicking on the cover will take you to Amazon UK. 

28111823Dead Is Dead ~ Thriller

Private investigator Jack Bertolino, previously an inspector with the NYPD, is employed as technical advisor, consulting on a movie being made of his last case. His job includes protection for the female star, who is being targeted by a disturbed, out of control stalker. Susan Blake is beautiful, haunted by a past that she can’t lay to rest.

During filming there’s an actual shooting several blocks away, which results in the accidental and tragic death of little Maria Sanchez and also that of known drug dealer, Tomas Vegas. Cruz Feinberg, the technical wizard in Jack’s company, knows the Sanchez family and asks Jack to make some enquiries. As Jack’s investigation progresses the Dirk brothers’ names pop up too often for Jack’s liking and his ingrained cop’s instinct is on high alert.  Continue reading

Rack & Ruin ~ #Victorian Murder Mystery book 4 by Carol Hedges #TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT @carolJhedges

  • rack-ruin-front-coverAuthor: Carol Hedges
  • ARC Review
  • Category: Crime, Thriller, Historical Fiction
  • five-stars

The city is in the grip of railway mania when the gruesome discovery of several infant corpses in an abandoned house forces Inspector Lachlan Greig of A Division, Bow Street Police Office and his men to enter the dark and horrific world of baby farming.

It’s the spring of 1863 in the city of London, and as Hind Street is being demolished to make way for the railway, something horrifying is uncovered by the construction workers. Inspector Lachlan Greig of the Metropolitan Police, based in Bow Street, is called to the scene, where the bodies of eleven dead babies have been discovered.  Continue reading

#FridayBookShare ~ Murder & Mayhem by @carolJhedges ~ A #Victorian Crime #Thriller @ShelleyWilson72

#FridayBookShare ~ an excellent idea created by Shelley Wilson

With the weekend approaching it’s the perfect time to seek out new books to read, so Shelley created a Friday Book Share meme to help search for that ideal read.

FridayBookShare

Anyone can join in. Just answer the following F.R.I.D.A.Y. questions based on the book you’re either currently reading (or listening to, in my case) or have just finished reading. Use the hashtag #FridayBookShare and remember to tag Shelley (@ShelleyWilson72)  Continue reading

The Final Virus by @carolJhedges #Dystopian #YA #TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT

  • 29605632Author: Carol Hedges
  • Published: April 2016 by Little G Books
  • Category: Young Adult, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
  • four-stars

Will’s father dies in a work-related accident. At least that’s the official story. But Will knows it isn’t true. Someone wanted his father dead – and he’s determined to find out who, and why. 

The only person who believes him is strange, beautiful loner Amber. But she’s hardly ‘normal’ – always hearing voices and seeing terrible Apocalyptic visions in her head. 

In a dystopian future, Earth’s environment has completely changed following a spate of natural disasters which claimed a huge percentage of the populace and caused extreme climate change. Plus a total cybercrash wiping the data from every chip, memory board and circuit on the planet. This new world is governed by just one president who revitalised the world and improved life for the remaining population. Seemingly. Continue reading

Death & Dominion ~ A Victorian Sensation Novel

  • Death&DominionAuthor: Carol Hedges
  • Published: October 2015 by Crooked Cat Publishing
  • Category: Historical Fiction
  • five-stars

When Detectives Stride & Cully are called in to investigate a fatal case of arsenic poisoning, they quickly realise that there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Despite their best efforts, secrets and lies will dog the investigation and frustrate their efforts. It will take all the skill and ingenuity of two of Scotland Yard’s finest to get to the truth of the matter. 
Meanwhile London is playing host to two enigmatic strangers: 
Darkly handsome Mark Hawksley has come to enrich himself at the expense of the gullible and greedy by selling fake shares in a bogus diamond mine company. 
Beautiful Belinda Kite has come to find excitement and adventure, and maybe bag herself the prize of a rich husband in the process. 
What will happen when their paths cross? 
Murder, love, trickery and false identities abound in this third Victorian crime novel, set once again in the foggy gas-lit streets and twisting alleyways of 1860s London. 

Tall and handsome, Mark Hawksley arrives in London and, with his partners in crime, intends to assemble as many rich business men as possible with the promise of more wealth if they will only consider investing in his diamond mine. Another newcomer to the city is Miss Belinda Kite, arriving as companion to Miss Grizelda Bulstrode, sister of Josiah Bulstrode, who are in London to escape an ‘Unfortunate Incident’ suffered by Grizelda. Continue reading

2015 ~ My 20 Top Reads ~ #reading #books

A tough choice, I’ve read lots a great books this year and, in no particular order (as they say) here are my top 20 reads. They are all rated either 4.5 or 5 stars. Clicking on the cover links to Amazon UK.

ravenschoiceRaven’s Choice ~ The Replacement Chronicles #1 ~ Prehistoric fiction, based on fact

As Mark finds out, many people including himself, carry Neanderthal genes although he’ll never know for sure the exact circumstances that brought about this occurrence. But it signifies that Early Modern Man didn’t take the place of extinct Neanderthals but rather the races mixed and interbred, which is proved by the presence of Neanderthal DNA in present day man. It’s such an interesting approach to how life might have been all those years ago, and even more so because it’s a very credible scenario. 

A wonderfully researched, dramatic and detailed narrative sets the scene for forthcoming instalments of The Replacement Chronicles, which I look forward to following.

Full review      Amazon US

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00014]The Dead Lands ~ post apocalyptic, sci-fi, horror

This is a very well crafted story with perfect pacing, the drama unfolds with consistency to keep the narrative flowing effortlessly. The characters are well-developed and real, Lane especially, but all the personalities are drawn brilliantly, whether you love or loathe them. I think this story covers every eventuality with action, of which there is plenty, greed, deception, horror and sadness. Balancing out the negatives are loyalty, a touch of romance and truthfulness. And the promise of satisfactory karma for the villain of the piece. It’s graphic, gruesome, gritty….and great! 

Full review    Amazon US Continue reading

Honour & Obey ~ A Victorian Murder Mystery #2

  • Honour&ObeyAuthor: Carol Hedges
  • Published: November 2014 by Crooked Cat Publishing Ltd
  • Category: Historical Fiction, Murder, Mystery
  • five-stars

The long awaited sequel to Diamonds & Dust , Honour & Obey brings together Detective Inspector Leo Stride and his assistant Detective Sergeant Jack Cully. It is London, 1861 and a serial killer stalks the dark gaslit streets.
In another part of the city, Hyacinth Clout, bullied and despised by her older sister, decides to find love via the lonely hearts column of a newspaper. But will it be romance, or ruin?

A serial killer stalks the streets of London targeting the unfortunate women working in or for the sweat shops of the garment industry. Until that is, a well to do young lady meets her maker in a theatre box. The women all are all killed in the same way but unfortunately Detective Inspector Leo Stride and his Detective Sergeant, Jack Cully, of the detective division of the Metropolitan Police, aren’t making a lot of progress. The killer leaves no evidence and no witnesses have come forward. Only Emily Benet whose friend was the first victim, is willing to help the detectives. Stride and Cully must use any and all means at their disposal to try and apprehend the killer. Once again they are persecuted by the press for failing to do so in record time, with discrediting headlines, such as ‘Ghastly Murder’ and ‘Baffled Detectives’ which do nothing but hamper the investigation. Continue reading

Diamonds And Dust ~ A Victorian Murder Mystery

  • DiamondsandDustAuthor: Carol Hedges
  • Published: November 2013 by Crooked Cat Publishing
  • Category: Historical, Fiction, Mystery, Murder
  • four-half-stars

When a horrific murder takes place on a dark night in 1860’s London, it changes two women for ever. New light is cast upon past lives they thought they knew so well, and suddenly their futures become intertwined. 

After a dismal start in life, eighteen year old Josephine King was rescued from the Bertha Helstone Institute for Orphaned Clergy Daughters (the name itself enough to strike fear into the heart) by her uncle, Herbert King. Herbert made his fortune abroad and now lives very comfortably. Josephine delights in the unaccustomed luxury and looks forward to a very pleasing future. But her world is turned upside down when she has a visit from the police to say her uncle has been murdered in very mysterious circumstances. The two policemen, Detective Inspector Stride and Detective Sergeant Cully, are not having much luck solving the case.

As Josephine tries to make sense of her uncle’s death and the strange events that follow, she and her uncle’s mistress, Lilith Marks, set out to track down the murderer. Josephine, now an heiress and the owner of a priceless diamond, has strength of character and is not cowed by being a young woman on her own. And Lilith, a highly paid prostitute who, thanks to Herbert King’s bequest, can now start the business she has always dreamed of. Circumstances have forged an unlikely friendship between the two women.

A wonderfully memorable secondary cast, who are all completely believable in the context of Victorian London, include Oi, the impish road sweeper and Trafalgar Moggs, the clerk at the offices of King & Co. I love the complexity and detail of these characters, the determined Mrs Thorpe and her daughter Isabella who can’t face her future nuptials to the debauched George Osborne (!) Isabella’s brother, the equally distasteful Gussy, who her mother is trying to pair off with Josephine. An heiress is, after all, a very good catch.

The descriptions of Victorian London are incredibly vivid and invoke a sense of actually being there with all the dirt and grime, the stark contrasts and immense divide between the haves and the have-nots.

It is midnight, a full moon and a cold mist rising up from the river. Mist ghosts the masts of sloops and Russian brigs waiting to unload their cargo. Mist curls itself possessively around sooty chimneys and rooftops. Mist gently fingers its way into fetid courts and alleyways…….

Dark columns of smoke rise from a million massed chimneys, for London in 1860 is a filthy, stinking city. There are too many people, too much coal dust, too many horses, and too many cow sheds and abattoirs.

Carol Hedges has a very individual style of writing which, to be honest I was a little unsure about initially, but I was very soon drawn into the flow of the story. Full of humour and wit, greed, affluence and the darker side of human nature, the story explores all levels of society. It’s a very entertaining read with some unexpected twists and a satisfying ending.

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

About the author

CarolCarol Hedges is the successful UK writer of 11 books for teenagers/Young Adults. Her writing has received much critical acclaim, and her novel Jigsaw was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal. Her four Spy Girl books, published by Usborne Books and featuring feisty sassy heroine Jazmin Dawson are available to buy on Amazon. Her ebook Jigsaw Pieces is also available in Amazon. Her latest book,Diamonds & Dust, A Victorian Murder Mystery is published by Crooked Cat books,and is available as both book and ebook. It is her first adult novel.Carol Hedges lives in Hertfordshire. When not writing/sleeping/trying to resist cake, she tutors A level and GCSE English Literature. She also campaigns as chair of a local action group to save a community urban green space from possible development. Bits of her writing life can be viewed on her blog: http://carolhedges.blogspot.com
Connect with Carol Hedges via Twitter: @carolJhedges