betrayal · blog tour · book review · British · cosy · historical · mystery · revenge · romance

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Family Secret

The Family Secret

by Terry Lynn Thomas

The Family Secret

Will she find the truth?

England, 1940

After a sudden unexplained disappearance, Thomas Charles comes back into Cat Carlisle’s life with the suggestion she leave London – and the threat of bombs – to move to back her childhood village in Cumberland.

Back in her hometown Cat discovers her childhood friend, Beth Hargreaves, is suspected of murder. As Cat tries to prove Beth’s innocence, she discovers a scheme of deception that affects the whole village. Can she uncover the family truths behind the murder and expose the enemy hiding in plain sight?

Get ready for another gripping read from USA Today bestselling author of THE SILENT WOMAN!

Purchase Links

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Author Bio

Terry Lynn Thomas grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, which explains her love of foggy beaches and Gothic mysteries. When her husband promised to buy Terry a horse and the time to write if she moved to Mississippi with him, she jumped at the chance. Although she had written several novels and screenplays prior to 2006, after she relocated to the South she set out to write in earnest and has never looked back.

Terry Lynn writes the Sarah Bennett Mysteries, set on the California coast during the 1940s, which feature a misunderstood medium in love with a spy. The Drowned Woman is a recipient of the IndieBRAG Medallion. She also writes the Cat Carlisle Mysteries, set in Britain during World War II. The first book in this series, The Silent Woman, came out in April 2018 and has since become a USA TODAY bestseller. When she’s not writing, you can find Terry Lynn riding her horse, walking in the woods with her dogs, or visiting old cemeteries in search of story ideas.

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My Review

The Family Secret is a cosy, historical mystery set during WWII – one of my favourite eras to read about, especially in fiction. So, it should come as no surprise that I thoroughly lapped up every page of this book.

The heroine, Cat Carlisle is a strong-minded redhead with a warm and caring streak. But, never think that Cat will lurk on the sidelines when there’s a mystery to be solved or when a friend is highlighted as a suspect.

When a former friend and colleague, Thomas Charles, asks her to move back to her hometown to help him with his next book – and, of course, to escape the bombings that are expected in London – she does so for two reasons. Firstly, she is looking forward to being around Thomas again (to whom she seems scared to confess her feelings), but also because Annie (her ward) is scared of bombs and air raid sirens.

What Cat doesn’t know is that Thomas is going there for reasons other than his next book. His real job is to investigate a murder. He can’t tell Cat about this though, because she’ll want to get get involved – and that could really mess things up. Cat is known for digging a little too deeply and for causing all sorts of drama – even when she thinks she has done an altogether amazing job!

But, as I mentioned, Cat Carlisle is not going to take a back seat for anyone or anything. There may be trouble ahead!

As the stakes intensify, other characters come into their own, bringing tension, drama, a touch of unrequited love, a lot of envy and plenty of vengeful desires. The twists and turns are plentiful, and the opposing viewpoints always keeps the mystery at the forefront.

The Family Secret is the second book in the Cat Carlisle series, and despite not having read book one, this was an easy-to-follow story with enough information about the past to keep the reader up to speed in Cat’s lifestory and, more importantly, her past behaviour and its impact.

I’d definitely read more by this author in future, whether from this series or others.

Thank you to the author, NetGalley & Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to read and review this book. The opinions given here belong to me, are my own and only mine, so help me Hermes (apparently the god of literature, amongst many other things 😉 )

For more reviews and interviews, check out these blogs:

As always,

betrayal · Lacey's Law · relationships · revenge

In defence of … Lacey Fielding

Who? You might ask.

Lacey was my first protagonist to meet the public, yet she is also the one who has had the least attention. As the key player in Lacey’s Law (incidentally my most downloaded and, at the same time, least-reviewed book) she is a character close to my heart. But, for some reason, many have said she’s unlikable (which is an unfortunate comment to hear given she’s the character most like me in so many ways).

It’s has always amazed me how reviewers have been so quick to criticise her. Granted, at the outset, her desire for revenge is almost an obsession. But, without giving away the ending, things take an unexpected twist, turning her life upside down – again. This time, she acts with more maturity (about time, given she’s no spring chicken!) and her actions prove she’s not a total bitch.

So, I can see how reviewers might not take to her, but I feel they don’t give a chance before condemning her. I think, for some, there’s a moral judgement made that often leaves Lacey looking like the villain. Okay, her behaviour at times is inexcusable; she doesn’t claim to be an angel, but nor is she the devil in disguise.

She has been hurt. She’s grieving and in shock. She hits back. Literally!

Strangely enough, other readers who have spoken to / contacted me personally have said they understand her and end up rooting for her in the end. Sadly, these readers rarely leave a review 😦  (Hey, you can lead a horse to water …)

Anyway, I’m going to let Lacey introduce herself, and you can decide for yourself. But, I’ll warn you – she’s no Doris Day.

Lacey’s Law 

Beware the fury of a patient woman.

I’m Lacey Fielding and I have a score to settle.

I had everything I’d ever wanted: my dream job,

a riverside apartment, a great life.

Until …

Eight years ago I learned the truth behind my father’s death.

And it wasn’t pretty.

I mean, revenge was inevitable.

Carla Sommers, a ‘friend’ of thirty years, was my target.

After stealing her husband, I was about to confess

when my plan took an unexpected, yet delightfully

delicious turn, putting Carla’s liberty and her sanity at stake.

I was having so much fun … until an ironic shift in circumstances

challenged and changed my ‘happy’ ending.


Yep, she’s definitely got a touch of the Alexis Carrington about her, minus the shoulder pads and big hair. But, the clues are there – an ironic shift in circumstances – well, that’s an understatement.

Lacey & Carla met a university; they were polar opposites in every way. But Carla enjoyed having Lacey around, and when it was just the two of them, they got along marvellously. So well, in fact, Carla was a frequent visitor to Lacey’s home, albeit in a much less affluent area. Carla became the friend Lacey had always yearned for, the best friend she had dreamt of and couldn’t quite believe she had finally found.

After university, everything changed. Both took different paths, and despite countless attempts to contact Carla, Lacey found herself back on familiar territory – all on her lonesome. She threw herself into her work, becoming quite the successful architect. Headhunted by a big London firm, she headed for the Big Smoke where an illustrious career awaited her.

It was here she met up with Carla again and they rekindled their friendship. This time, Lacey was on an even keel with Carla, who had married and devoted her life to her husband and son.

Or so it seemed.

The truth remained buried for a long time, a very long time – until Lacey’s mother died.

As I said, Lacey was grieving, but the shocking secret that followed took the bottom out of her world.

Revenge was inevitable.

As for Carla … she had it coming!

And, so Lacey’s Law was born. In her shoes, how would you react? If nothing else, her story makes for great debate. 

I love her, but then again, I would, wouldn’t I?

Her story is told with love, humour and a wee bit of sarcasm, and is best read with a cup of tea and a packet of chocolate biscuits.

Of course, there are dogs in there, too – I told you how alike we are 😉

Thank you for reading 🙂

A to Z challenge · betrayal · Courting Danger · justice · revenge

J is for … Judas

The Judas effect is often the ultimate betrayal and it’s an act – and sentiment –  that resonates greatly with my characters in Courting Danger.

Stefan feels he was betrayed by his father, abandoned to deal with his alcoholic mother. Of course, he is embittered and unwilling to build bridges, until he has no other choice. The desire revenge creates a selfish man of Stefan – for whom only a satisfactory conclusion to his plan will ever be enough.

For Fern, the betrayal comes from Nessa – a friend who she accuses of allowing Stefan to get close and almost killing her. Fern finds it quite easy to dismiss Nessa from her life, but it’s not so simple for Raven – best friends with Nessa for  over fifteen years, but for whom this disloyalty is hard to overcome. Friendships are truly tested for the three young women proving the path to justice is never smooth.