blog tour · book review · cosy · Italy · mystery · series

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Murder in Chianti

Banner for blog tour of Murder in Chianti

Murder in Chianti

Murder in broad daylight…

When millionaire magnate, Rex Hunter is found with his head bashed in on the eighth hole of his prestigious golf and country club in beautiful Chianti, it’s a clear case of murder. Hunter was rich and successful and the envy of many, so retired DCI Dan Armstrong thinks the case will be a hole in one to solve….

A despised victim…

But as Dan and his trusty sidekick Oscar begin to dig deeper into Hunter’s lifestyle, they discover a man despised by many. A renown womaniser, ruthless boss and heartless family man, it seems no one is particularly sorry to see Hunter dead. And the list of possible suspects is endless…

A murderer covering their tracks.

Dan is determined to catch this clever killer, but it seems every new lead brings another dead end. Will this be one case Dan and his canine companion won’t solve?

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3sOnfkv

Author Bio

T A Williams is the author of over twenty bestselling romances for HQ and Canelo and is now turning his hand to cosy crime, set in his beloved Italy, for Boldwood. The series will introduce us to retired DCI Armstrong and his labrador Oscar and the first book, entitled Murder in Tuscany, will be published in October 2022. Trevor lives in Devon with his Italian wife.

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrevorWilliamsBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TAWilliamsBooks

My Review

I’ve read a few books by this author before and love how easy he makes it to get engrossed in the story. Obviously, the Italian setting helps with the escapism, but it’s more than a travel guide – though who wouldn’t want to escape to Tuscany after reading this, I do not know – the story is packed with truly great characters. From the wily locals who see and hear everything (and love to share over good food and grappa-fuelled coffee) to those who have made their life in the area and come with baggage (usually ex-wives and numerous affairs that would test any Casanova worthy of the title).
Former (but for how long?) DCI Dan Armstrong doesn’t seem able to give up on his old life at the Yard, despite being in a new country, and despite having second thoughts over the breakdown of his marriage and subsequent divorce. Together with his dog, Oscar, Dan has become part of the community, and so when Australian millionaire and owner of the country club, Rex Hunter is murdered, it’s no wonder his good friend and local police inspector calls on him to help with “translations”. And if he wants to ask a few questions of his own, or follow up on some leads when “walking” Oscar, then why not?
The victim is not well-liked and the suspects mount up, but when further murders occur it’s clear this will be no easy case to solve. I loved how the author gives insight as to how Dan is thinking, who he suspects, and what he thinks has happened. However, even Dan has to admit feeling blind-sided by this mystery, and there are red herrings galore that misdirect the reader with great skill until the truth becomes apparent.
Peppered with glimpses of life in Tuscany, amusing antics with Oscar, and an array of fascinating encounters with locals, it’s easy to see why Dan is enamoured of the area. However, in this book, he starts to wonder how he might fill his time in the years to come. Dan can’t live by tennis matches and Chianti alone, so where does his future lie: as an author (his first book has been accepted by a London publisher) or as an investigator? Will he ever be able to put that part of his life behind him? I can’t wait to find out.
PS – I was gutted to find this is the second book in the series, but will be making up for it by grabbing a copy of book one – Murder in Tuscany – before the next in the series is ready.

For more news and reviews,

As always,

blog tour · book review · British · cosy · mystery · series

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Not Mushroom for Death

Not Mushroom For Death

TV Chef Luca Mazza Dies After Collapse at Food Show on the King’s Private Estate

Luca Mazza (38), who was taken ill during a food demonstration at the Fenn House Food and Wine Festival two days ago, is now known to have ingested poison. Lady Beatrice (36), the king’s niece, who is working on a refurbishment project at Fenn House with her business partner Perry Juke (34), is believed to be comforting Luca’s boss and close friend Sebastiano Marchetti (38), who she began dating last month.

Is he crazy? Why else would Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam suggest that Sebastiano poisoned Luca without any evidence? So now, with the help of her little dog Daisy and her best friends Perry and Simon, Lady Beatrice will have to prove to Mr Know-it-all Fitzwilliam that Seb is innocent. But with so many people having access to the food preparation area at the show how will she find out who did murder Luca before Fitzwilliam lets his personal dislike get the better of him and arrests Seb?

Purchase Links

Amazon –https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0BFBMT9BP (UK)

and https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BFBMT9BP (US)

Author Bio

Hello. I’m Helen Golden. I write British contemporary cozy whodunnits with a hint of humour. I live in small village in Lincolnshire in the UK with my husband, my step-daughter, her two cats, our two dogs, sometimes my step-son, and our tortoise.

I used to work in senior management, but after my recent job came to a natural end I had the opportunity to follow my dreams and start writing. It’s very early in my life as an author, but so far I’m loving it.

It’s crazy busy at our house, so when I’m writing I retreat to our caravan (an impulsive lockdown purchase) which is mostly parked on our drive. When I really need total peace and quiet, I take it to a lovely site about 15 minutes away and hide there until my family runs out of food or clean clothes

Social Media Links

Insta: www.instragram.com/helengolden_author

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helengoldenauthor

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@helengoldenauthor

My Review

Who doesn’t love a punny title? It’s one of the best things about cosy mysteries, and it certainly caught my attention. I hadn’t read any of the others in the series but I am definitely planning to go back and check them out. By the way, the story works perfectly well as a standalone, I just want to know more about the key characters.
I’ll be honest, I did wonder if this would be a historical cosy given the main character is a proper Lady but I loved that it was a contemporary tale with a made-up Royal family of its own.
Lady Beatrice, together with her business partner, the fantastic Perry Juke, is working on a refurbishment project for the King while a cooking event is taking place starring Chef Seb – Lady Bea’s boyfriend – and a host of other chefs. When one of the main participants – Luca – takes ill and later dies, rumours of an unfortunate case of food poisoning run amok. And so begins the mystery. Had Luca been foraging and accidentally picked poisonous mushrooms? Did someone else plant the mushrooms in his dish?

So many questions, so many suspects, and so many secrets.
Let me just say that Lady Bea’s dog, Daisy knows the answer 😉

When it appears that Luca was murdered, Lady Bea’s nemesis in the form of DCI Fitzwilliam is brought in to investigate. Now, these two, I understand, have met before in other cases and he is not keen on her meddling. Which means, that’s the green light for her to “meddle” and solve the case before him. But will she? There’s a frisson of romantic tension bubbling away here which only adds to the fun.
Aided and abetted by the marvellous duo of Perry and Simon, not forgetting the instinctive reaction of her dog, Daisy, what follows is an entertaining mystery, and a tongue-in-cheek view of royal gossip. (Timely, indeed 😉 )

My only issue was the use of so many POVs which seemed to be used to reveal their inner thoughts and in so doing move the story forward. That said, each POV was presented with consistency and clarity. I loved the setting, the royal obligations to behave a certain way, and the inclusion of Lady Bea’s son brought a touch of youthful exuberance to the story (although Perry has his fair share of that too) I loved the characters, their relationship with each other, the behind-the-scenes details of the royal rooms being refurbished… in fact, it was a most amusing and engaging read with the promise of more to come. I’ll be back for more; I just need to catch up on the others in the series first.

For more news and reviews,

As always,

Audiobook · blog blitz · book review · historical fiction · murder mystery · mystery

Book Birthday Blitz ‘n’ Review – The Automobile Assassination (Audiobook)

The Automobile Assassination

A 1940s mystery

Erdington, September 1944

As events in Europe begin to turn in favour of the Allies, Chief Inspector Mason of Erdington Police Station is once more prevailed upon to solve a seemingly impossible case.

Called to the local mortuary where a man’s body lies, shockingly bent double and lacking any form of identification, Mason and O’Rourke find themselves at Castle Bromwich aerodrome seeking answers that seem out of reach to them. The men and women of the royal air force stationed there are their prime suspects. Or are they? Was the man a spy, killed on the orders of some higher authority, or is the place his body was found irrelevant? And why do none of the men and women at the aerodrome recognise the dead man?

Mason, fearing a repeat of the cold case that dogged his career for two decades and that he’s only just solved, is determined to do all he can to uncover the identity of the dead man, and to find out why he was killed and abandoned in such a bizarre way, even as Smythe demands he spends his time solving the counterfeiting case that is leaving local shopkeepers out of pocket.

Join Mason and O’Rourke as they once more attempt to solve the impossible in 1940s Erdington.

Purchase Link – https://books2read.com/TheAutomobileAssassination

Author Bio

MJ Porter is the author of many historical novels set predominantly in Seventh to Eleventh-Century England, as well as three twentieth-century mysteries. Raised in the shadow of a building that was believed to house the bones of long-dead Kings of Mercia, meant that the author’s writing destiny was set.

Social Media Links

Website: www.mjporterauthor.com/www.mjporterauthor.blog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/coloursofunison

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MJPorterauthor

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mj-porterauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/m_j_porter/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/coloursofunison/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/mj-porter

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/MJ-Porter/e/B006N8K6X4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7163404.M_J_Porter

Linktr.ee: https://linktr.ee/MJPorterauthor

My Review

As a Brummie and avid fan of historical fiction, I couldn’t turn down the audiobook version of The Automobile Assassination, if only to see how the local dialect was conveyed. Well, the narration was excellent – such a soothing yet perfect-for-the era voice – and the dialect, pretty good taking into account that Erdington at that time was a more rural area. So, it was off to a flying start for me.

Chief Inspector Sam Mason is in need of a challenge, but the latest case assigned to him does not appeal – that of counterfeit coupons infiltrating the area and causing much angst amongst businesses. The government has refused to accept the fake ration coupons, leaving the butcher, baker etc out of pocket. Besides, Mason thinks the sergeant running the case is making sufficient progress to not require his input.
Meanwhile, there’s a to do with the AA (The Automobile Association) who seem to be helping their members avoid speed traps, which is just not on! 😉
Mason is finding things a little dull, so when a body is found near Castle Bromwich aerodrome, this case is more to his liking. With no identification on the victim, Mason begins his investigation with the help of Sergeant Clara O’Rourke. But at the nearby air base, they say the man is not one of theirs and rumours abound that the victim might be a spy who’s come a deadly cropper. On top of that, there is no vehicle and the body is bent double at the most awkward angle. Questions, questions!
However the investigation seems to hit a dead end, and it is only when they follow up with the AA that potential clues appear that might solve the matter of who the victim was … but they’re still no further forward with finding out how, or indeed why the man died, let alone if there is a killer at large.

Mason and O’Rourke make a great team, in fact the police officers are a capable (if plodding along nicely) bunch apart from Mason’s boss – Superintendent Smythe whose passive-aggressive stance sees Mason once more diverted away from the case of the dead body in favour of the counterfeiting case that is gathering steam locally.
Nonetheless, Mason will not give up and he and O’Rourke follow up their enquiries up to a point where things really take off. There’s some undisclosed shenanigans at the AA headquarters, and even criminals with guns… suddenly Erdington is no longer the quiet rural place is used to be. Add in the intrigue of the AA shelters where members can call for assistance and fill up (from a jerry can) if they’re out of petrol, the mysterious locked shelter and several maps hidden in dark recesses of said shelters (that fuel the idea of spies being at large) and you have a compelling mystery on your hands.

A fab mystery, great characters, lovely historical touches and knowledge, and the most excellent narrator. I so enjoyed this that I am off to check out the case that boosted Mason’s reputation – The Custard Corpses – and I’ll add author, MJ Porter to my list of those to follow.

As always,

Amazon Reviewer Name

blog tour · book review · love · mystery · thriller & crime

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Dead Winner

Dead Winner by Kevin G Chapman

ABOUT DEAD WINNER

Dead Winner is a treasure-hunt mystery/thriller with a love story. Or is it? It’s the story of a lonely, cautious lawyer, Rory, who has the chance to step out of his riskless life, become the hero he pretends to be in video adventure games, and win the heart of Monica, the only woman he ever loved.

When Monica and her husband, Tom, discover they have a $60 million winning lottery ticket, old friend Rory is roped in to help them set up a trust to manage the money. So far so good – except that the next week, Tom is found dead with a gunshot to his head, apparently a suicide.

Why would such a lucky man take his own life?  And if it’s murder, why would his lovely wife become a suspect?  And more than that…. Where is the winning lottery ticket?

PRAISE FOR DEAD WINNER

“Dead Winner is a fun read with some VERY surprising twists! Fans of Michael Connelly and James Patterson will be impressed with this intriguing mystery thriller.” – Dan Alatorre, USA today bestselling author of The Gamma Sequence and Double Blind

“This story has it all; intriguing characters, a plot that would satisfy Machiavelli himself and my personal favourite, a lovable protagonist. I couldn’t stop reading until the twisted end. Very satisfying!” – Anna Willett, author of Dear Neighbour and the bestselling Lucy Hush series

“This action-packed thrill ride of a neo-noir keeps us guessing and turns up the tension at every turn. You’ll love this wild race and the twisty, dramatic finish.” – Valerie J. Brooks author of 1 Last Betrayal: the Third Book in the Angeline Porter Trilogy

“Mystery readers who look for more than whodunit elements will find Dead Winner compelling. It takes the time to build relationship puzzles into its overlying mystery; creates a strong, likeable, but flawed character in Rory McEntyre; and it develops realistic atmospheres to support its action and inquiries.” – D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“A magnificent story that kept this reader turning the pages. Both thrilling and intriguing, all the way to the end.” – Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews

Book and Author Information

  • Purchase link: kindle: https://mybook.to/DeadWinner_Amazon (pre-order; launching November 24)
  • Paperback, hardback and audiobook – TBC available soon
  • Genre:  Crime Thriller (Romantic)
  • Print length: 312 pages (80K words)
  • Age range: This is an adult book, but would be suitable for some mature teens age 16+
  • Trigger warnings: consensual sexual scenes, non-graphic
  • Amazon Rating: Not yet launched; 5* pre-publication ratings

My Review

Dead Winner begins with an interesting title and goes on to deliver a plot that totally lives up to such intrigue.
Rory is a hard-working, honest-as-the-day-is long estate lawyer with a penchant for gaming where his alter ego – a genuine keyboard warrior – is fearless, powerful and decisive. His everyday life is mundane but he’s successful in his field, well-liked, if a little naïve. So when Tom & Monica, old friends from college, – and I use the term friends loosely – seek him out to handle their affairs after a humongous lottery win that they insist on keeping secret for now – he can’t turn them down. In fact, he’s flattered they came to him whilst also trying to hide his long-term crush on Monica. Besides, it’ll mean bringing a lot of business to his firm, something that won’t harm his career in the slightest.
He doesn’t see that they’re taking advantage of him; friends wouldn’t do that, and anyway he can manage their affairs like the competent lawyer he is… until Tom is found dead and the lottery ticket has vanished.

Monica, aka the grieving widow, looks to Rory for support… and he can’t believe his luck when their “relationship” takes an altogether surprising turn. Their new goal is to find that ticket all while Tom’s business partners are happy to see his death recorded as suicide, since that’ll keep the police at bay.
Well, for a while at least, until Rory uncovers details that bring their business into disrepute, tarnish Tom’s reputation and bring him into direct contact with gangsters and killers.

Will they find that ticket? Can it all be worked out without any more “incidents”? To know for sure you’ll need to read the book. Expect drama, high stakes, plenty of tension and an awful lot of empathy for Rory as he does everything he can, plus more, to fulfil his promise to handle his friend’s affairs.

Dead Winner is jam-packed with great twists that had me second guessing everything for a while, although the penny did drop for me long before the end. Even so, the fast paced nature of the story and wanting to see how events panned out held my attention right to a very satisfying conclusion.
Highly recommended, and a new author for me to follow.

AUTHOR’S AWARDS

Book #1 of the Mike Stoneman series, Righteous Assassin: 2019 Kindle Book Award & CLUE Award semi-finalist

Book #2, Deadly Enterprise: 2020 Kindle Book Award Semi-finalist

Book #3 Lethal Voyage: 2021 Kindle Book Award as the best mystery/thriller of the year

Book #4, Fatal Infraction: 2022 CLUE Award as the #1 Police Procedural of the year

Book #4, Fatal Infraction: 2022 semi-finalist for the Kindle Book Award

A picture containing arrow

Description automatically generated

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kevin Chapman is an attorney specializing in labor and employment law.  His passion (aside from playing tournament poker and rooting for his beloved New York Mets) is writing fiction. He recently completed the first five books in his Mike Stoneman Thriller series.

Kevin writes: “The process of writing crime thrillers involves hours of thinking about and talking about how to kill people. And how to get away with it. It also involves figuring out how my protagonist detectives might solve the case. But mostly it’s about planning out ingenious ways to murder people. My wife is a willing participant in this process (so she must trust me). My current book is more of a mystery, and a little bit of a tragic romance. But all the stories are about the characters. If you don’t care about them, then I’m not doing my job.”

TO CONTACT THE AUTHOR

Kevin G Chapman welcomes communication from his readers – including comments, ideas, disagreements and critiques. He can be contacted via any of the links below:

Author website: https://kevingchapman.com/

The Mike Stoneman Thriller Group on Facebook

Email him at kevin[at]kevingchapman[dot]com

He is also on Twitter (@KGChapman) and Instagram (@kevingchapman)

As always,

Amazon Reviewer Name
blog blitz · cosy · mystery · series

One Day Blog Blitz – For Richer, For Deader (incl. extract)

For Richer, For Deader

Is the Wedding Between Sir Hewitt Willoughby-Franklin’s Step-Daughter and Billionaire’s Son Off?

Rumours are that the recent death of Kelley Lindsell (29), the personal chef of tycoon Rudy (68) and Sheri Trotman (65) at Sir Hewitt’s Fawstead Manor country estate in Fenshire, has spooked Sybil Bransgrove (36) so badly she’s considering cancelling her nuptials.

Meanwhile the bride and her mother, Lady Grace (61), are being supported by family friend Lady Beatrice (36), the Countess of Rossex, who, alongside her business partner Perry Juke, is currently managing the project to refurbish the Manor House and Lodge on the estate.

Not again! Now that Lady Grace has asked Lady Beatrice to liaise with the police during the investigation into Kelley’s death, she’ll have to cooperate with boorish Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam whether she likes it or not. Her only relief will be solving the murder with the help of her friends Perry and Simon and her dog Daisy to get rid of him faster. But with so many wedding party guests staying on-site, any one of them could be the killer. Can they find out who it is before Sybil calls off the wedding…

Purchase Links

Amazon

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0BF5P3C9N (UK) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BF5P3C9N (US)

Author Bio

Hello. I’m Helen Golden. I write British contemporary cozy whodunnits with a hint of humour. I live in small village in Lincolnshire in the UK with my husband, my step-daughter, her two cats, our two dogs, sometimes my step-son, and our tortoise.

I used to work in senior management, but after my recent job came to a natural end I had the opportunity to follow my dreams and start writing. It’s very early in my life as an author, but so far I’m loving it.

It’s crazy busy at our house, so when I’m writing I retreat to our caravan (an impulsive lockdown purchase) which is mostly parked on our drive. When I really need total peace and quiet, I take it to a lovely site about 15 minutes away and hide there until my family runs out of food or clean clothes

Social Media Links

Insta: www.instragram.com/helengolden_author

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helengoldenauthor

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@helengoldenauthor

Fancy an extract?

Intro

Another dead animal with a threatening note attached to it has been found at Fawstead Manor, the recently purchased country home of TV’s Sir Hewitt Willoughby-Franklin and his wife Lady Grace. Lady Beatrice, the Countess of Rossex, who is seventeenth in line to the British throne, and her business partner Perry Juke, are there working on the refurbishment of Fawstead in preparation for the arrival of the wedding party for the marriage of Lady Grace’s daughter Sybil to Otis Trotman, the son and heir of the American billionaire Rudy Trotman. Lady Beatrice had called Mike from the local CID and he has come along with Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam from Protection and Investigation (Royal) Services (PaIRS for short) to investigate. Lady Beatrice and DCI Fitzwilliam’s relationship is fractious to say the least.

Extract

“Thanks for coming so quickly, Mike. It was Kelley here who found the dead animal.” She gestured towards Kelley, who had risen from the table and was now leaning on it, resting her hands on its top.

Nodding at them, she said nothing.

“Mrs Noon,” Lady Beatrice continued, indicating the older woman, who took one step towards them and smiled, “was here too, and she suggested they inform me as Lady Grace wasn’t around. I called you straight away, of course.” She turned to the two ladies. “Kelley, Mrs Noon, this is Detective Inspector Ainsley from Fenshire police and his colleague Detective Chief Inspector Fitzwilliam. They will want to ask you a few questions.”

“Yes, thank you, Lady Rossex.” Mike turned to the cook. “So Lady Grace doesn’t know about this?”

“No, sir. She hasn’t come down yet.” As if prompted by her statement, the bell labelled ‘Study’ hanging from a wooden board attached to the wall rang, making them all start. “In fact, that will be her ladyship now,” she told them as she hastened to the large stove along the side of the wall behind them and pulled a white enamel kettle from a warming plate. She placed it on top of a gas ring and switched on the gas. Wiping her hands on her apron, she moved over to the long wide wooden work surface and prepared a tray. “She’ll be wanting tea.”

“We need to ask you some questions first, please, if you don’t mind Mrs Noon.” Fitzwilliam moved towards her.

“I’m sorry, chief inspector.” She carried a tray over to the stove and filled a teapot with steaming hot water. “But it’s more than my job’s worth to be late with her ladyship’s tea. I won’t be long.” And with that, she picked up the tray, bustled past him, and disappeared down the corridor.

Lady Beatrice caught Perry’s eye, and they both smirked. That told him!

“I think I’ll go up to the study, too, Mike, and talk to Lady Grace about us coming back on-site. I hardly think she can refuse us now. Can I leave you and Hines to interview Miss—” He looked at Kelley and raised an eyebrow.

“Lindsell,” she told him.

He nodded. “Miss Lindsell, and then have a look around the place? I’ll call Forensics on my way up.”

“Sure.” Mike nodded.

“Lady Beatrice, Mr Juke, as no one requires you here anymore, would you be kind enough to show me where the study is, please?”

Lady Beatrice turned towards Kelley. “Are you all right if we leave you now, Kelley? Mrs Noon will be back any minute.”

“Please stay,” Kelley said in a hushed voice. Walking around the table, she stopped in front of Lady Beatrice. “I don’t know how your police work over here, and I’d feel happier if I had someone with me when I’m being questioned.”

“There is really no need for you to be worried, Miss Lindsell. We just want to ask you a few questions,” Fitzwilliam piped up. “And no doubt Lady Rossex and Mr Juke are busy and need to get on.”

How dare he answer for me! If Kelley wanted her here, then she’d stay. He couldn’t stop her.

“I know.” Kelley looked at him, then looked down at the floor. “But I’d like to have someone else here with me. Please.” She reached a shaky hand to her forehand and rubbed it.

“Of course I’ll stay with you, Kelley, if that’s what you’d like.” She shot a look of disdain at Fitzwilliam. He glared at her but didn’t protest again. “Perry, would you be kind enough to show the chief inspector where to go?” Perry smirked back at her, and she suppressed a grin. “I’ll join you in the sitting room as soon as I’m done here.”

Perry cleared his expression and turned to Fitzwilliam. “This way, chief inspector.” He held his arm out and guided Fitzwilliam towards the kitchen exit. As he followed Fitzwilliam out, he turned to Lady Beatrice and winked.

I love this cover, and wish, wish, wish I’d had time to read this before it launched. Nonetheless, it’s on my TBR list. I hope you’ve been tempted too.

As always,

Amazon Reviewer Name
book launch · boxsets · cosy · murder mystery · mystery · preorder · romance

Book Launch – Frozen to Death

If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries, then why not treat yourself to this new boxset? Unlike many anthologies, Frozen to Death follows the highs and lows of protagonist Lizzie Lee in stories told by authors from around the world.

Lizzie’s had a rough old time lately and moves to Bleak Lake to help her mom run a B&B. It’s not her ideal job – she’s always wanted to be a police detective – but after a messy divorce, there’s nothing for her back in Newark.

Thing is, Lizzie’s dreams might just be about to come true… in a strictly amateur sleuth kind of way. Who knew that the quiet old town of Bleak Lake would be a magnet for the criminal fraternity? It’s a lesson Lizzie quickly learns, especially since the sheriff can’t be bothered much.

So, what’s she waiting for? There may even be signs of romance ahead… (OK, that’s going to happen because this is a cozy world and good must conquer evil 😉 Am I right?)

A year in the life of Lizzie Lee - from Christmas to Valentines, from Summer to Fall - and the crimes she has to solve (poison, murder, kidnap)

Read about Lizzie’s one year plight in her new home in this seasonal boxset which starts at Christmas and ends a year later.

Death by Plantation by P. A. Thomas Welcome to Bleak Lake cottage, where everything’s perfect except for a murder on Christmas night.

Invisibly Accused by R. C. Barnes Somebody has poisoned the newly crowned Queen of the Sweetheart Festival, and it is up to Lizzie to protect her best friend’s daughter from being accused of murder.

The Body Below Deck by Bea Kendall Lizzie & Ken take to the high seas for a much-needed vacation, but with a killer on-board, cruising the Caribbean gets deadly serious.

For Whom The Bell Tolls by Katherine Tomlinson A not-so-secret wedding ends with the groom everyone thinks is a gold digger dead from a poisoned wedding cake.

Shanghaied by Revenge by Aliyah Burke Refusing to stay on the sidelines when a young bride-to-be is kidnapped, Lizzie may be the only one who can figure out what happened and mount a rescue.

With a name like Bleak Lake you might expect a quiet town, and the sheriff would like nothing more. But, unlike him, the town has moved with the times. Its community thrives and visitors are welcome (mostly).

Bleak Lake, where secrets and rumors collide but murderers cannot hide.

Available to preorder now from many e-retailers, and will be out on Amazon on 15th November. (Bookmark this link for later!)

As always,

blog tour · book review · cosy · historical · mystery

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Daggers at the Country Fair

Daggers at the Country Fair

Winteringham Village 1947

As a thank you for her previous brilliant crime solving, amateur sleuth, Martha Miller is guest of honour at the Winteringham Country Fair. However, this time she is looking forward to simply judging dog shows and eating cream teas rather than apprehending a killer!

And Martha is just beginning to enjoy spending quality time with Vicar Luke Walker away from the prying eyes and gossips of her own village, when disaster strikes, and the local teenage femme fatale is found stabbed to death behind the tea tent by Martha’s trusted red setter Lizzie!

But who would want to kill such a young girl and why? Someone in the village has secrets to hide and it seems Martha and Luke have another case to solve!

Let the investigation commence!

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/39FO4RF

About the author

Catherine Coles writes bestselling cosy mysteries set in the English countryside.

Her extremely popular Tommy & Evelyn Christie series is based in North Yorkshire in the 1920’s and Catherine herself lives in Hull with her family and two spoiled dogs.

Social Media Links

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CatherineColesAuthor

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/catherinecoles

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/catherinecolesauthor/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/CatherineColesNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/catherine-coles

My Review

I must admit to not having read the first book in the Martha Miller series, but even so, Daggers at the Country Fair more than stands up for itself and can easily be read on its own merit.

Martha Miller, Luke Walker (the vicar), her sister Ruby and friends from her village, have been invited to visit Winteringham for the country fair, where Martha’s reputation as a crime solver precedes her. As such, she is the guest of honour and is asked to perform the opening ceremony.

It’s all perfectly lovely until Martha’s little dog sits down, refuses to move, and barks and growls at something odd behind one of the tents. Keen to see what’s troubling her pet, Martha ventures to look what’s happened. Finding a young woman, stabbed to death, is not something she ever expected to find, nor is subsequently learning that the young woman – Helen Kennedy – is the niece of the village vicar, who just happens to be Luke’s best friend… and their host.

While Martha feels it’s not her place to get involved in the case, Luke and Ruby convince her to at least ask some questions of the young woman’s family and friends.
The answers Martha gets to her investigation raise doubts in her mind that not everyone is telling the whole truth, and digging deeper only causes her to worry about the repercussions of her discovery. Alongside this concern, Martha is also trying to underplay her attraction to Luke. She, as a married woman (whose husband has left her), cannot get involved with the vicar. This emotional conflict reminds the reader how different those years were for women, and Martha is visibly struggling with the need to stand on her own two feet while society still prevents women from being so blatantly independent. The plight of young Helen Kennedy also highlights how society treated young women in her situation back then, and how so little was done to support them.

The mystery is intriguing with plenty of suspects, and I particularly enjoyed the big reveal when Martha eliminates one suspect after the other until the inevitable killer is trapped, unable to deny their involvement.

This is a perfect cosy mystery with vibes of Grantchester and a nod to the limited role of women in those post-war years. With great twist, a forbidden romance, and a quintessential village fayre, what’s not to love?

Thanks to NetGalley and Boldwood Books publishers for my copy of the book.

For more news and reviews,

As always,

boxsets · mystery · romance

Promo Blitz: Return to Cornwall Boxset (Books 1-6) with a Guest Post & Giveaway!

Return to Cornwall: Books 1-6

The first six books in the heartfelt UK series are now available in one collection! Look out for the guest post by author, Laura Briggs (check out the giveaway while you’re there too 🙂 )

From a runaway bride to a reality baking show competition, to rumors of a haunted wood and, of course, a Christmas of the cosiest kind, there’s never a dull moment for event planner Julianne in the quirky village she calls home.

This book bundle contains Wedding Vows and Cornish Ribbons, Cornish Sweets and Wedding Treats, Spring Roses Under Topaz Skies, Cornish Gold at Summer’s End, Walnut Mince Pies at the Frost Fete, Secrets and Sunsets at Azure Bay.

Purchase Link – https://smarturl.it/return1-6

Author Bio

Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’.

She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.

Social Media Links

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1JjeMoI

Twitter: h@PaperDollWritesttp://bit.ly/1ME9ivJ

Giveaway – Win either an e-copy of Return to Cornwall: Books 1-6 or A Novelty Scarf (Open INT)

Prize Winner #1: An eBook copy of the box set Return to Cornwall: Books 1-6.

Prize Winner #2: A novelty scarf featuring cover art from my Cornish romance books.

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link here.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Guest Post

What to Expect from My Cornish Romance Box Set

Thanks so much to Lynne for letting me share about my series RETURN TO CORNWALL with all the lovely readers at Just 4 My Books!

(My pleasure 🙂 it all looks fab!)

It follows the adventures of event planner Julianne in a quaint village where excitement arrives in the form of everything from a reality bake-off show’s competition, to rumours of a haunted autumn wood, and a Christmas filled with surprises. I’ve just released a box set containing the first six books in the series, and thought it might be fun to tell you what readers seem to like best about each one, starting with book one.

Wedding Vows and Cornish Ribbons

Will a runaway bride spoil Julianne’s chances of getting her budding business off the ground? Fans of the series really seemed to enjoy the bride’s will-she-or-won’t-she dilemma in this storyline that finds Julianne trying to advise a client with a reputation for walking out on wedding plans. It definitely comes down to the wire on whether the big day will—or should—take place, and there’s plenty of humor and drama along the way.

Cornish Sweets and Wedding Treats

Fans of The Great British Bake Off won’t have to look too hard to know where inspiration for book two came from, as a reality baking show competition returns to Julianne’s sleepy village. Readers loved the quirkiness of the characters and contest, as well as the first sparks of romance between the manor house chef Michael and Kimmie, the cute comedienne presenting the bake off show.

Spring Roses Under Topaz Skies

This one saw the return of fan favourite guest star character Teagen, the wild hen night planner who first crossed paths with Julianne in the novella An American in Cornwall. This time, her party girl shenanigans and plans to open a business in the community put Julianne in a tough spot with the village council. As usual, Teagen’s zany antics keep Julianne on her toes, but the highlight seems to be the hen night caravan that takes them on a tour to remember.

Cornish Gold at Summer’s End

Rumours of a spooky haunted wood kept readers turning the pages on Julianne’s autumn adventure. Several commented on enjoying the cosy mystery angle, as Julianne investigates the source of the town’s ‘ghost sightings’ with a bit of help from friends, of course, and the local amateur ‘ghost hunters’ club. There’s a hefty dash of humour and heartfelt moments in between the intrigue, and the twist at the end seemed to bring quite a surprise for fans.

Walnut Mince Pies at the Frost Fete

Book five’s theme of family and community struck a chord with readers who enjoyed the cosy atmosphere of Julianne’s latest Christmas adventure. Readers found its lighthearted escapism to be a welcome addition to the series, as well as the focus on Julianne’s home life.

Secrets and Sunsets at Azure Bay

This installment sported another dash of mystery, something readers seem to enjoy whenever it pops up in Julianne’s world. This time, she’s testing her amateur sleuthing skills in an effort to help a young archaeologist uncover a secret from their own past. The story also reunited readers with the characters of Percy and Elaine from the series’ prequel novel, bringing back the popular storyline of an ancient dig site on Cornish soil.

If these stories sound like your cup of tea, I hope you’ll be sure to check them out. The novels are available as individual titles in addition to the box set that contains the first six books in the series.

Mmm, mystery, romance and all in beautiful Cornwall, too. What’s not to love?

Thanks, Laura for sharing this lovely collection & I wish you lots of luck, sales, and new readers.

As always,

cosy · cover reveal · mystery · R&R Book Tour stop · series

Cover Reveal – Wedding Planned to Death

A picture containing text, clipart

Description automatically generated

I am so pleased to share this gorgeous cover of upcoming release, Wedding Planned to Death by Ellie Fields! Pre-order a copy today!

WEDDING PLANNED TO DEATH COVER

Wedding Planned to Death (Wedding Garden Cozy Mystery Series #1)

Expected Publication Date: August 9th, 2022

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Cricket Creek might be off the beaten track, but it’s an idyllic place to live—a quaint town where neighbors gather at the bakery, families go back generations, and where your friends always have your back.

It’s also where introverted gardener Cicely Rue is nervously about to start her new business hosting weddings in her picturesque garden. That is, until she discovers the wedding planner dead and buried in her compost heap! With this new business, she’d expected brides and bouquets, not murder and mayhem!

Small towns mean everybody knows your name and your secrets. Secrets some would die to know . . . and others would kill to keep.

PRE-ORDER HERE

About the Author

ELLIE FIELDS HEADSHOT

Author of The Wedding Garden Cozy Mystery Series, Ellie Fields grew up running around wild and barefoot in the foothills of northern California and hating every minute her mom made her spend in the kitchen and garden. She still runs around barefoot but now she absolutely loves spending time in her garden and has fallen hopelessly in love with baking. And with murdering people. Fictionally, of course.

Ellie weaves small town charm, baking recipes, and gardening tips into her cozy mysteries. Her fictional town of Cricket Creek is based on her hometown: a place where neighbors gather at the mailboxes to chat, families go back generations, and where the grocery store clerks know your name (and what your cousin just bought for the family bbq).

Facebook | Instagram | TikTok | Pinterest 

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

blog tour · book review · crime · historical fiction · mystery

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Twelve Nights

Tour Banner Twelve Nights by Penny Ingham
Twelve Nights

Twelve Nights

The TheatreLondon, 1592

When a player is murdered, suspicion falls on the wardrobe mistress, Magdalen Bisset, because everyone knows poison is a woman’s weapon. The scandal-pamphlets vilify her. The coroner is convinced of her guilt.

Magdalen is innocent, although few are willing to help her prove it. Her much-loved grandmother is too old and sick. Will Shakespeare is benignly detached, and her friend Christopher Marlowe is wholly unreliable. Only one man offers his assistance, but dare she trust him when nothing about him rings true?

With just two weeks until the inquest, Magdalen ignores anonymous threats to ‘leave it be’, and delves into the dangerous underworld of a city seething with religious and racial tension. As time runs out, she must risk everything in her search for the true killer – for all other roads lead to the gallows.

Twelve Nights Book Cover.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Twelve-Nights-Heavenly-Charmers-Book-ebook/dp/B09ZRPGZL8/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Twelve-Nights-Heavenly-Charmers-Book-ebook/dp/B09ZRPGZL8/

Author Bio

I was born and raised in Yorkshire where my father inspired my love of history from an early age. He is a born story teller and would take us to the top of Iron Age hillforts, often as dusk was falling, and regale us with stirring tales of battles lost and won. Not surprisingly, I went on to study Classics at university, and still love spending my summers on archaeological digs. For me, there is nothing more thrilling than finding an artefact that has not seen the light of day for thousands of years. I find so much inspiration for my novels from archaeology.

I have had a variety of jobs over the years, including working for the British Forces newspaper in Germany, and at the BBC. When our family was little, the only available space for me to write was a small walk-in wardrobe. The children used to say, ‘oh, mum’s in the cupboard again’.

I have written four historical novels: The King’s Daughter explores the story of Aethelflaed, the Lady of the Mercians. The Saxon Wolves and the Saxon Plague are both set in fifth century AD, a time of enormous upheaval and uncertainty in Britain as the Romans departed and the Saxon era began. My latest is something a bit different. Twelve Nights is a crime thriller set in sixteenth century London, and features William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe.

I now live with my husband in the Hampshire countryside. Like many others during the pandemic, we decided to try growing our own fruit and vegetables – with mixed results! We can only get better!

Social Media Links

Facebook: Penny Ingham Author Page | Facebook

Instagram: Penny Ingham (@penny.ingham)

Twitter: Penny Ingham (@pennyingham) / Twitter

Website: Penny Ingham (wordpress.com)

Giveaway to Win a PB copy of Twelve Nights (Open to UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Rafflecopter Link

My Review

As historical fiction goes, Twelve Nights is rich in detail, both regarding the setting but also the mood that conveys the strong – and menacing – anti-Papist vibe of the era. It’s a dangerous time to be Catholic … and a woman, it seems. Pestilence and poverty are rife, and the injustice of the class system is never more visible.
As mysteries go, the story has a solid and intriguing plot in which you easily root for Magdalen Bisset for whom a death sentence looms large after a friend – a player – dies at the theatre in her arms. She’s innocent, we all know that, but the case builds against her for two reasons. Firstly, because she’s a woman – and poison is the instrument of female killers – and by virtue of her job at the theatre she was there when the first man died. Tenuous? These days, yes, but back then people were hanged for such flimsy claims. Of course, the second reason is yet more disagreeable since the officer charging her with murder is acting mainly from spite, his “charms” spurned years ago by Magdalen’s grandmother.
Fascinating, isn’t it?
With Shakespeare and Marlowe in the mix, competing for recognition and audience, Magdalen is friends with both men. They come across as self-centred men, hell-bent on their own goals, yet there are touching moments of support from both – even if one of them takes that support too far in Magdalen’s eyes.
While she tries to find who killed her friend, she has to live through hostility from her landlady, unwanted advances of her landlord, all while trying to keep a roof over her head and that of her grandmother who is in the throes of dementia and very unpredictable. Notes warning her to stop pursuing her investigations fail to discourage her, though the fear is very real.
As if that was not enough, a possible love interest rocks her world and she sees her grandmother incarcerated for attending a Catholic Mass. Regardless, she battles on to find the killer … but the outcome of her quest only gives way to a much bigger – and more damaging – truth.
The story is resolved in part and leaves the way open for a sequel that I’ll be keen to check out when the times comes.

For more news and reviews,

As always,