Friday, December 02, 2022

MURDER IN AN IRISH CASTLE

MY THOUGHTS:

Christmas time is finally here and Lady Eleanor Swift has received an invite to the village Christmas party.  Lady Eleanor happily accepts the invitation and is thrilled to trace her family history at her late uncle’s estate. Not to mention how excited she is to be celebrating Christmas in a castle in Ireland.  Lady Eleanor with Gladstone, her amazing bulldog, and Clifford, her butler, arrive late at night.  Imagine their surprise when they find a body laying in the snow just outside the estate.  When the constable arrives and sees Lady Eleanor and Clifford standing over the body, they are at the top of the list of suspects.  Lady Eleanor discovers the victim had an old key hidden in the heel of his boot, she immediately must find what it will unlock.  The villagers have their own speculations of who the murderer is.  And when there is a fire in the castle on Christmas Eve, Lady Eleanor wonders if she will make it out alive.  Her first Irish Christmas is turning out to be the opposite of what she expected.


This was such a fabulous addition to the Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery Series.  I loved the twists and turns of the story and I was literally on the edge of my seat trying to figure out who-dun-it.  This rapid, festive read was a wonderful escape to west Ireland.  The detailed description of the Castle and the quaint village made me feel like I was there in the midst.  Once again I loved Gladstone, the bulldog being right there front and center to all the happenings going on.  This installment to the series can be enjoyed as part of the series or as a stand-alone novel.  I highly recommend this must read for every cozy mystery fan. It is a lovely series.


Thank you Verity Bright for a wonderful addition to the series.  This cozy mystery set in Ireland is exactly the holiday escape I needed.  I loved it and I highly recommend it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DESCRIPTION:

MURDER IN AN IRISH CASTLE
Author:  Verity Bright
 
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: November 28, 2022 
Pages: 342 
Buy on Amazon 

Irish whiskey, rolling green hills, a traditional Christmas feast and… a murder? Lady Swift will need the luck of the Irish to survive this holiday season!

Christmas, 1923. Lady Eleanor Swift has received a rather unexpected invitation to the village Christmas party in the tiny, rural hamlet of Derrydee in the west of Ireland. Eleanor is thrilled about exploring her ancestral roots at her late uncle’s estate and spending the festive season in a castle. Packing Gladstone the bulldog’s coziest Christmas jumper, they set off to the Emerald Isle with her butler Clifford in tow.

Arriving late at night, Eleanor and Clifford are shocked when they find a body sprawled in the snow on the winding country lane outside the estate. The local constable is immediately suspicious and all but accuses the pair of murder. This isn’t the warm Irish welcome Eleanor imagined!

Clifford is certain he recognises the poor fellow from the funeral of Eleanor’s uncle – but what was their connection? Undeterred by the villagers’ lack of gossip on the matter, Eleanor is determined to get justice for the victim. The man’s pockets are suspiciously empty of personal effects, but closer inspection reveals an old key hidden in the heel of his boot. Could this unlock more than one mystery for Eleanor?

But when a fire breaks out at the castle on Christmas Eve, an even bigger question looms: 
is someone out to ensure the family line dies with Lady Swift? And will Eleanor’s first Irish Christmas be her last?

ABOUT VERITY BRIGHT

Verity Bright is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing partnership that has spanned a quarter of a century. Starting out writing high-end travel articles and books, they published everything from self-improvement to humour, before embarking on their first historical mystery. They are the authors of the fabulous Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series, set in the 1920s.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

WE FLY BENEATH THE STARS

MY THOUGHTS:

Europe, 1942:  The war rages on throughout Europe and there isn’t a country that is unaffected by this horrible time.  Tasha is in love with Luca and when he joins the Air Force to fight the Nazi’s from the sky above, Tasha knows she must do the same.  Nadia, Tasha’s older sister, can't let her go.  Nadia too finds herself in a war plane flying high in the sky.  Nadia is shocked to discover that she loves being a pilot. When both sisters are shot down behind enemy lines, they are taken to a horrible prison camp. Never expecting to see their homeland again, they question whether or not they will survive.  


This is an absolutely phenomenal story of family, love and friendship in unprecedented time.  I was completely captivated by the storyline of Russian women military pilots doing everything they can to protect their homeland. I found the courage of the women pilots concurring the unimaginable was admirable. I was especially interested in this book because although it was fiction, it was based on actual events, and that made it real. This unputdownable and emotionally heart-breaking story was amazing on so many levels. The twists and turns in this story sent my emotions on a roller coaster, and I ran through a box of Kleenex like it was nothing.  I highly recommend this book, but make sure you have some tissues because you will surely need them.


Thank you Suzanne Kelman for a phenomenal story.  I learned so much history from this book and i am amazed at the research you poured into this book.  I loved it and I highly recommend it.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 5.

DESCRIPTION:

WE FLY BENEATH THE STARS

Author:  Suzanne Kelman
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: November 30, 2022 
Pages: 416 
Buy on Amazon

1942, Europe: Based on the true story of a female-only bomber battalion, this is a totally heartbreaking and unforgettable story about sacrifice, sisterhood and a love that transcends war.

When the love of 
Tasha’s life, Luca, joins the air force to fight against the evil Nazi invaders, she knows she has to follow her heart—and him—into battle. Headstrong, impulsive and a daredevil, she’s the perfect recruit.

Tasha’s sensible older sister 
Nadia plans only to stop Tasha’s madness and bring her home. But a chance encounter puts her in a plane, soaring above the clouds, and she also finds her calling.

Underestimated by their superiors, Nadia and her sister find themselves in airplanes barely fit to fly, being sent on perilous missions with little hope of return. But before long their battalion is being nicknamed ‘the Night Witches’ by the Nazis, their ownership of the skies second to none.

But danger is up in the storm clouds with them, and when both sisters are shot down behind Nazi enemy lines, and taken to a brutal prison camp, they expect to never see their beloved homeland again.

Until Tasha’s eyes meet across the wire fence with someone she never expected to see again: the love of her life, Luca.

But with love comes peril… Will one sister have to sacrifice everything to save the other?

ABOUT SUZANNE KELMAN

Suzanne Kelman is an Amazon international bestselling author in America, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia and her books have sold over 250,000 copies worldwide and have been translated into six languages. Her WW2 historical fiction books “A View Across the Rooftops”, “When We Were Brave, and Under a Sky on Fire” are published by Bookouture – an imprint for Hachette U.K.

She is also the author of the bestselling book, “The Rejected Writers’ Book Club”, published by Lake Union, which is the first book in the Southlea Bay series. Other books in the series include, “Rejected Writers Take the Stage” and “The Rejected Writers’ Christmas Wedding”.

Kelman is an award-winning writer/screenwriter whose accolades include the Best Comedy Feature Screenplay Award from the L.A. International Film Festival, the Gold Award from the California Film Awards, and the Van Gogh Award from the Amsterdam Film Festival.

In 2015 her script, Held, was recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures and was shortlisted to the top ten in the Academy Of Motion Pictures Nichols Fellowship competition.

As well as a screenwriter and a published author, Suzanne is also a playwright, and her award-winning comedy play, “Over My Dead Body”, had its World Premiere at Outcast Theatre in Washington, Fall 2019.

Born in the United Kingdom, Suzanne now resides in Washington State.

Friday, November 25, 2022

PARIS AT FIRST LIGHT

MY THOUGHTS:

Paris, 1944: Juliette is a secret agent and is assigned the most dangerous mission she has ever had.  Her children have been kidnapped and she will do anything and everything to get them back…no matter what it is.  She is forced to work with an American agent, Captain Daniel Diaz.  They are assigned to uncover a deadly Nazi plot.  Although Daniel and Juliette started off on the wrong foot, the more time they spend together, the more their feelings for each other change.  When Juliette receives a ransom note, she must make a life changing decision, betray her country or save her children.


This amazing book is a phenomenal addition to the WW2 Resistance Series.  This is an incredible story of a mother’s unconditional love for her children, and a love for her country at a time when the world was falling apart.  I loved every minute I spent in the pages of this captivating book.  I couldn’t put down this heart-pounding read.  What an amazing escape to France and I literally went back in time.  This was a very thought provoking book, as I couldn’t help but wonder what I would do in the same situation.  It made me contemplate life well after I flipped the last page.  I was so engaged in the storyline, and invested in the characters, that I didn’t want the book to end.  This is book two of an incredible series, but can be read as a stand-alone novel, however, I suggest you read book one as well because it is every bit as good as this one.  I highly recommend this book.


Thank you Amanda Lees for a wonderful continuation to the World War 2 Resistance Series.  I loved it and highly recommend it.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 5.

DESCRIPTION:

PARIS AT FIRST LIGHT
Author:  Amanda Lees 
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: November 23, 2022 
Pages: 353 
Buy on Amazon 

Paris, 1944secret agent Juliette is on her most dangerous mission of the war so far. But then her children are kidnapped, and to get them back she may have to commit the ultimate betrayal – that of France itself… 

Four years ago, when France fell to the Nazis, 
Juliette made the ultimate sacrifice, leaving behind her two precious children to join the Resistance and defend her country. Now a spy in Paris, she must work with Captain Daniel Diaz – an American agent she’s taken an instant dislike to – on a dangerous mission to uncover a deadly Nazi plot.

As the pair play their parts, Juliette begins to see another side to Daniel, and their feelings for each other start to grow. But just as love blossoms, Juliette receives a ransom note that changes everything. Someone in Paris knows who she is. And they’ve kidnapped her little son and daughter. The message is clear: 
betray your country, or you’ll never see your children alive again.

Juliette has sworn a sacred oath to save France at all costs, but she could never sacrifice her children. So, against all the odds, she decides to attempt the impossible: rescue her children 
and continue her dangerous work fighting the Nazi threat.

But as the mission forces Juliette and Daniel to the very brink, will they succeed on all fronts? And if not, will France pay the ultimate price, or will Juliette?

ABOUT AMANDA LEES

She is the author of the bestselling satirical novels Selling Out and Secret Admirer (published by Pan) which have both received critical acclaim and have been translated into several languages. Her major YA thriller trilogy, Kumari, Goddess of Gotham, was written as a tribute to her mum, who died a couple of months before Amanda got the idea for a series which would reflect her own exotic childhood. Kumari was nominated for the Guardian Children’s Book Prize and the Doncaster Book Award. It featured as Redhouse Book Of The Month and Lovereading4kids Book Of The Month.


A broadcaster as well as an actress and novelist, Amanda appears regularly on BBC radio and LBC and was a contracted writer to the hit series Weekending on Radio 4. She researched and edited the leading directory for banks, The Banker’s Almanac, for Euromoney publications while also covering stories of shady dealings in the City for them. She has written for, or contributed to, The Evening Standard, The Times, New Woman, US Cosmopolitan, Bulgaria's Vagabond and Company Magazine as well as numerous online publications and has two non-fiction books published under a pen name. Amanda has conducted a love coaching phone-in from the sofa of Richard & Judy and wooed the viewers on Channel 5 Live. She won an award at the Hungarian Gyor Film Festival for a short film she produced, a psychological thriller called Pros and Cons. Her book, From Aconite to the Zodiac Killer: The Dictionary of Crime, was published by Robinson/Little Brown in July 2020 to excellent reviews. It was published in the US by Ulysses Press in May 2021. She has just completed the first in a romantic thriller series set at the end of WW2. 

             Website | Twitter | Facebook Instagram Goodreads Amazon

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

ALL THE COURAGE WE HAVE FOUND

MY THOUGHTS:

France, 1942: Kasia is leaving Poland to work as a radio operator in France during World War II.  She is working for the Resistance and is taking her life into her hands crossing the border.  But right before Kasia is to leave Poland she meets a little girl, Elodie who doesn’t speak.  Kasia can’t just leave her to fend for herself, so she decides to take Elodie with her to France to take care of her.  Once they arrive in France, she meets a man named Hugo that owns a farmhouse.  He knows the danger, but allows Kasia and Elodie to stay there.  Kasia sneaks around in the dead of night sending radio transmissions.  She knows that her mission is one, that if she is discovered, would surely get her killed.  Kasia’s mission will save countless lives of the soldiers, but she must consider the lives of those that she loves the most.


This phenomenal story of love, friendship, courage,  and survival was both heart-warming and heartbreaking.  I loved the message of forgiveness, trust and strength in such a difficult time in history.  The characters were very likable and I felt emotionally attached to them.  My heartbeat quickened as this story came alive and the words leaped off the page. This unputdownable story had me reading faster and faster as I felt the brisk night air on my face.  I felt every possible emotion within the pages of this story.  I wish I could give ten stars because five isn’t enough to express how fantastic this book is.  I highly recommend this book.


Thank you Carly Schabowski for another wonderful story.  This book was absolutely phenomenal.  I loved it and highly recommend it.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 5.

DESCRIPTION:


ALL THE COURAGE WE HAVE FOUND
Author: Carly Schabowski

Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: November 18, 2022
Pages: 335 
Buy on Amazon

France, 1942: An unforgettable, heart-wrenching and utterly unputdownable World War Two novel about one woman’s bravery in the face of darkness, and her heartbreaking decision to risk everything to do the right thing… 

As 
Kasia creeps out of the farmhouse in the dead of night to transmit an urgent message, her heart pounds in her chest. Gripping her radio tightly in her hand, she feels a terrible sense of dread. She knows that this message could be the one that finally leads the Nazis to her…

Crouching in the shadows, with trembling fingers she turns the dial on her radio and hears the familiar crackle of static. Shaking, she quickly taps out her message and, holding her breath, she waits in the darkness.

Suddenly, she sees a quick flash of light out at sea. Her message has been received by the Allied boats; now they know it’s not safe to come ashore tonight.

As she looks back towards the little farmhouse, her heart catches in her throat. Inside, the two people she loves most in this world are sleeping soundly. Because while Kasia knows her messages might save thousands of soldiers, she also knows that her radio signal could bring the Germans terrifyingly close, perhaps even straight to 
Hugo and Elodie

ABOUT CARLY SCHABOWSKI

Carly Schabowski worked as a journalist in both North   Cyprus and Australia before returning to Oxford, where she studied for an MA and then a PhD in creative writing at Oxford Brookes University. Carly now teaches at Oxford Brookes University as an associate lecturer in Creative Writing for first and second-year English literature students.

Monday, November 21, 2022

MURDER AT ST. SAVIOUR’S

MY THOUGHTS:

Sussex, 1956: Flora Steele bookshop owner and amateur sleuth is on the case.  Flora and crime writer Jack Carrington, arrive at the quaint St Saviour’s Church.  Upon their arrival and to their surprise, they find the body of curate, Lyle Beaumont, under the belltower.  He has a note clenched in his hand.  Flora is saddened that Lyle is dead and her super sleuth talents immediately kick into high gear.  There were many bell ringers at the church at the time of the murder, so how is it possible that no one saw anything?  Flora and Jack jump into action and begin their investigation.  But when one of the many suspects becomes the next victim, time is running out.  Flora and Jack must find the killer before they find another dead body.


This is the fifth installment in the amazing Flora Steele Mystery Series.  I enjoyed this book so much.  It was a quick read, with a fast paced storyline.  The plot twists and turns were interesting and entertaining, and kept me engaged in the story.  The characters were very likable and I enjoyed this wonderful addition to this series. This amazing read was well written and kept me guessing who the culprit was until the very end.  I loved it!  I definitely recommend this wonderful cozy mystery that can be read as part of the series or a stand-alone.


Thank you Merryn Allingham for yet another wonderful addition to the Flora Steele Mystery Series. It was so enjoyable, I loved it and highly recommend it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DESCRIPTION:

MURDER AT ST. SAVIOUR’S
Author:  Merryn Allingham
Published by: Bookouture 
Publication Date: November 21, 2022 
Pages: 273 
Buy on Amazon

Bookshop owner and amateur detective Flora Steele teams up with handsome crime writer Jack Carrington to unravel a curious murder in the village of Abbeymead!

Sussex, 1956: When Flora and her partner-in-crime-solving, Jack, arrive at the charming church of St Saviour’s the last thing they’re expecting to find is the curate, Lyle Beaumont, lifeless on the flagstone floor beneath the belltower, with a mysterious note in his hand.

Flora is dismayed to find the poor curate dead. But she can’t help being intrigued by the eclectic mix of bell ringers present at the old church – 
Mr Preece, the local butcher, Dilys Fuller, the busybody postmistress, and Stephen Henshall, a newcomer to the close-knit community. Any one of them could be the culprit – and Flora needs to act fast before someone gets away with murder…

When Flora and Jack begin their sleuthing, they quickly realise all is not what it seems with the victim, and the certainty of the dead man’s identity becomes the first twist in the investigation.

Just as they’re getting closer to the answer, the death of one of the suspects changes everything. As a series of unexplained accidents unfolds across the village, it seems no-one who was present at the church on the night of the curate’s demise is safe.

Has the bell tolled on Flora and Jack’s detective days? And will they work out the truth in time to save themselves?

ABOUT MERRYN ALLINGHAM

Merryn taught university literature for many years, and it took a while to pluck up the courage to begin writing herself. Bringing the past to life is a passion and her historical fiction includes Regency romances, wartime sagas and timeslip novels, all of which have a mystery at their heart. As the books have grown darker, it was only a matter of time before she plunged into crime with a cosy crime series set in rural Sussex against the fascinating backdrop of the 1950s.

Merryn lives in a beautiful old town in Sussex with her husband. When she’s not writing, she tries to keep fit with adult ballet classes and plenty of walking.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

THE WIDOW’S SECRET

MY THOUGHTS:

England, 1766:  Abigail and James are happily married and are ready to settle down and start a family together.  James was a tobacco trader turned sea captain.  Their plans rapidly change after a series of unexpected events.  James tells Abigail that he is going to captain a ship to Africa and then to the Americas.  He will be gone for a year.  Before James leaves he leaves a young slave girl with Abigail.  Present day: A shipwreck is discovered off the Cumbria coast.  Rachel is brought in to investigate.  She welcomes the distraction from her unhappy marriage.  It doesn’t take Rachel long to determine that the ship was a slave ship that sank in the Caribbean in the mid 1700’s.  The mystery of the ship soon has Rachel discovering the untold story of Abigail’s life.


This is the fourth and final installment in the amazing series of Goswell Quartet.  I enjoyed this story and really liked how the author tied all four books together.  There were so many parallels that worked well together.  This was a difficult storyline to read but was still a very emotional and an inspiring story.  I  found this book to be intriguing and portrayed hope in a most difficult time in history.   I enjoyed this wonderful addition to this series.  I definitely recommend this emotional story that can be read as part of the series or a stand-alone.


Thank you Kate Hewitt for such a wonderful conclusion to this amazing series, I loved it.


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rat ing: 5 out of 5.

DESCRIPTION: 

THE WIDOW’S SECRET
Author:  Kate Hewitt
Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: November 17, 2022 
Pages: 403 
Buy on Amazon 


She looked down at the sweet little girl and knew she wouldn’t listen to what anyone else said. She had to do what was right. Even if it meant going against everything she was taught to believe and keeping a secret from the person closest to her…

England, 1766: Abigail is happily married to James, a tobacco trader turned sea captain, and is looking forward to starting a family and settling down in Whitehaven, deep in the Lake DistrictBut after a series of devastating losses, she finds herself in turmoil, with her future suddenly seeming unknown…

When James announces that he will captain a ship to Africa and then the Americas for a year, it sparks a series of surprising and heartbreaking events – involving some of the darkest evils in humanity’s history, and a tiny, terrified slave girl who’s brought back to England. This helpless child forces Abigail to reconsider everything she thought she knew – and will change her life forever…

Now: When a shipwreck is discovered off the coast of Cumbria, local expert Rachel is brought in to investigate. Her first thought is that this will be a perfect distraction from her troubled marriage and the memories of her past that she is desperate not to think about. But then it becomes clear the wreck is a slaving ship from the 1700s – one that was recorded as sinking in the Caribbean – and Rachel begins to wonder if there’s more to this terrible mystery than meets the eye.

Faced with uncertainty about both the past and present, can Rachel learn from Abigail’s extraordinary story and take the first step towards a brighter future of her own?

ABOUT KATE HEWITT

Kate Hewitt is the bestselling author of many novels of women’s fiction, including the Hartley-by-the-Sea series set in the Lake District, the Willoughby Close series set in the Cotswolds, and Tales From Goswell written as Katharine Swartz. Her novel A Mother’s Goodbye has been called ‘unputdownable’ and ‘the most emotional book I have ever read’ by readers. Her latest novel, Not My Daughter, is out now, and No Time to Say Goodbye is available for preorder.

She lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five young(ish) children, along with their two Golden Retrievers. Join her newsletter for monthly updates and giveaways on her website, or be part of her Facebook groups Kate’s Reads.