Category Archives: Mystery

Dragonfly by Trisha Hughes – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Dragonfly by Trisha Hughes.

Here’s the blurb

Genre – Mystery/Thriller

Ex-police detective Jack Curtis thought he’d seen everything.That is until he found his friend Joe naked and sobbing on the steps of his house, a gun lying beside him and his fiancée Shannon dead in a pool of blood.All the evidence points to Joe as the murderer, yet he professes his innocence. But if Joe didn’t do it, who did?Jack digs deep for answers but what he finds reveals Shannon was playing a more sinister and dangerous game than he could ever have imagined. Now he is questioning everything he thought he knew.

Review

I was immediately interested in reading Dragonfly as it’s a change in genre for the author who was more familiar to me as a historical fiction writer.. Will a mystery/thriller live up to the same standards.. lets find out.

Jack Curtis an ex-police detective is about to have his night ruined when he receives a phone call from his friend Joe.. Joe’s fiancée is dead.

Things don’t add up from the start and Jack quickly decides he’s going to be involved one way or another.

A web of lies and deception is soon uncovered. The twist in this tale is just how far these deceptions go and how far will Jack go to uncover the truth… nothing is what it seems.

The author feeds you all the right words to make you feel you know the truth pretty early on..but wait a minute..that’s too easy right? There has to be more too it but what?.. oh trust me it’s worth the wait for the big reveal.

As a mystery/thriller goes this is really good, I must admit I didn’t really warm to Jack as quickly as I’d like.. There’s a lot of back story for the reader to follow and I needed time to learn his motivations but once I’d worked him out everything fell into place and I found myself connecting with Jack more and more.

If you are looking for intense build-up that drives you crazy this is the book for you..

I seriously hopes there’s more to come.

4/5 Stars.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

Faces of Darkness by Steven A. McKay

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Faces of Darkness by Steven A. McKay.

Here’s the blurb

When a young noblewoman is brutally assaulted in her own manor house, two former outlaws decide they must solve the mystery, before things go too far…

CROFTUN, NORTHERN ENGLAND
WINTER, AD 1328

Lady Isabella de Courcy is found alone in a room bolted from the inside, unconscious, and with a dagger forced through her hand, but this is just the latest in a line of similar, terrifying incidents. For months now, she’s been stalked by some shadowy tormentor yet, bafflingly, the attacker has never been clearly seen by anyone, even Lady Isabella, and he seems to leave no trace of his movements.
Can the bailiff, John Little, along with the legendary friar, Robert Stafford, uncover the truth and, more importantly, will they be able to save the troubled victim before she ends up dead?

This new standalone novella from the author of The Druid sees the return of two much-loved characters from the Forest Lord series and is based on a shocking real-life case which remains, to this day, unsolved.Genre – Historical Fiction.

Review

Steven A. McKay has delivered a gem of a story! I really thought McKay had shelved for good Robin Hood and his gang for new pastures.. turns out there’s still some stories left to be told and I couldn’t be happier.

We are back with Friar Tuck and Little John who are about to stumble upon a mystery.. and let’s be fair we all know Tuck.. he’s not one to walk away without getting to the bottom of things.

Little John in his role as bailiff is out to collect a fine and Tuck comes along for the journey. They soon learn of the plight of Lady Isabella, who is being terrorised and things seem to be escalating! There’s one issue though.. there’s no witnesses and no evidence that the individual exists..but there must be someone right?

John and Tuck do due diligence and secure the area.. with no issues found they go on their way… only to be called back as another frightful event has occurred.

It soon becomes clear that not everyone believes the stories they are being told by Lady Isabella.. things don’t add up.

Tuck is a good judge of character and soon seems to be getting somewhere.. you can see the cogs start to turn once the oil gets the gears going and it leads to a fast paced and gripping ending that packs a punch.

What I really enjoyed about this book..  it’s a perfect little mystery but with the authors fun and gritty edge.. and Tuck and John were the perfect duo. You’d be forgiven for raising an eyebrow.. you either want modern-day mysteries or straight up historical fiction right?..can you mix them? McKay certainly knows the recipe!

I’m going to put it out there now… I love these little novellas.. Can we have Will Scaflock back in the next please :).

Faces of Darkness offers an intriguing plot based around a real life event, balanced with wit from both Tuck and John.. add in the perfect pace and you’ve got a winner!

McKay knows what his readers want.. everything he offers us is pure brilliance and while we may not see the gang around that much it was so good to be back!

5/5 Stars.

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

Nexus by Alison Morton – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Nexus by Alison Morton.

Here’s the blurb

Genre –  Crime Thriller

Mid 1970s. Ex-Praetorian Aurelia Mitela is serving as Roma Nova’s interim ambassador in London. Asked by a British colleague to find his missing son, Aurelia thinks it will only be a case of a young man temporarily rebelling. He’s bound to turn up only a little worse for wear.

But a spate of high-level killings pulls Aurelia away into a dangerous pan-European investigation. Badly beaten in Rome as a warning, she discovers the killers have kidnapped her life companion, Miklós, and sent an ultimatum: Back off or he’ll die.

But Aurelia is a Roma Novan and they never give up…

Review

Nexus is a novella in the Roma Nova series by Alison Morton and the first thing I’m going to say is you don’t need to have read the series to enjoy this book but it certainly would help you understand the character motivations.

Ever wonder what would have happened if Rome never fell? Well look no further. Rome lives on through Roma Nova.

Roma Nova still holds many values and one of them in integrity.. they are a respected people who have very strong female leads… one being Aurelia Mitela.

Aurelia is a fun character, she’s an ex solider who can’t seem to shake that past. In Nexus Aurelia’s skills are put to the test when a connection is made between a series of unexpected deaths.

Whilst the investigation continues she also lends her skills to tracking down a friends missing son..but does he want to be found?

She can’t do this on her own and the enigma that is Miklós is along for the ride. I love Miklós and his approach to life which varies so much to that of Aurelia. They need each other in my ways.

Nexus is full of twists and turns to provide the reader with plenty of suspense and the ending packs quite a punch.

What the author manages to do really well with this book is mix a normal base for a thriller.. mysterious deaths.. with her own unique setting to give the reader a wondrous tale.. you might have read thrillers/mysteries before but this edge the tale has gives it a different feel.. it’s fun and exciting and the plot is simply riveting.. the setting for the tale really gives it that extra something I’m always looking for.

As a fan of the series what I really enjoyed was the character development of Miklós.. it felt like he had a bigger part to play and as much as he’s still quite an unknown it was so great to see him have his own part to play.. although he does seem to get himself in rather a lot of trouble ha.

If you enjoy thrillers but need something a little different..something fresh..then this is the book for you.

Nexus builds nicely on the foundations set in previous novels for fans but also offers a chance for new readers an easy way into the authors world.. you can’t not enjoy it.

Alison’s work for me is a go to if I need a refresh.. I’ve never read anything like this before and I doubt I ever will.. nothing can live up to the high standards set by Aurelia Mitela!

My rating – 5/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

No Stone Unturned (The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries Book 1) by Pam Lecky – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing No Stone Unturned (The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries Book 1) by Pam Lecky.

Here’s the blurb:-

Genre – Historical Mystery.

A suspicious death, stolen gems and an unclaimed reward: who will be the victor in a deadly game of cat and mouse?

London October 1886: Trapped in a troubled marriage, Lucy Lawrence is ripe for an adventure. But when she meets the enigmatic Phineas Stone, over the body of her husband in the mortuary, her world begins to fall apart.

When her late husband’s secrets spill from the grave, and her life is threatened by the leader of London’s most notorious gang, Lucy must find the strength to rise to the challenge. But who can she trust and how is she to stay out of the murderous clutches of London’s most dangerous criminal?

Review.

I’m a big fan of Pam Lecky’s work and have been following her progress since 2015 when I read The Bowes Inheritance. When I got wind of the latest release I couldn’t wait to grab a copy.

The tale follows Lucy, whose life has just been shattered by the death of her husband.. but nothing makes sense.. he shouldn’t have been there..what was he doing and why didn’t he tell her where he was really going?

Soon Lucy learns her husband was in league with some very bad men and her life could even be in danger.. but what are they looking for?.. to top it off her finances are a mess since her husband kept these affairs from her.

To escape the stress and the building pressure she heads to her childhood home..but things aren’t going to easy there either and while she’s trying to find out what to do with her life she ends up in more hot water… this time she gets to see the inside of a prison cell.

Lucy gets a helping hand by Phineas Stone.. they have briefly met before.. but why is he here? What is he after? Can he be trusted? Can anyone?

Soon a dark web of deceit is uncovered that goes further than either of them could have imagined.

When the pieces start to fall into place we see Lucy, who is determined to be independent, head out to solve the mystery and the revelations will have lasting repercussions for Lucy and her family.

So down to the nitty-gritty. I loved the plot and it played out at a perfect pace. The characters were fun and developed well but what Pam Lecky got spot on once again is her writing style..quite literally for me it was the perfect mix of plot progression, descriptors & character development.. nothing was forced in there.. it was a natural progression.

I also really enjoy Pam’s style of female leads.. they a flawed (like all the great characters are!), they are independent, head strong and can be ruled by emotions at times.. it’s not anything against men certainly but Pam shows female driven stories work just as well and as male driven stories.. better even. Like with all good characters there worth moments I loved her and moments she had me screaming inside to see what’s right in front of her… I wasn’t frustrated with her.. more I was invested and wanted her to succeed.

Overall a fun little historical mystery tale which ticked the all the boxes. It’s mystery, thriller and suspense all thrown into one and I do hope it’s not the last we see of Lucy and Phineas!

5/5 stars!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

The Watson Letters Volume 1: Something Wicker This Way Comes by Colin Garrow – Review

Today I’m going to share my thoughts on The Watson Letters Volume 1: Something Wicker This Way Comes by Colin Garrow.

Here’s the blurb :-

Genre – Historical Mysteries

In a not quite Post-Victorian, steampunk parallel universe, Holmes and Watson continue their fight against crime.
Based on the infamous Blog of the same name, this indecorous take on the Holmes and Watson stories pitch the detecting duo into Whitechapel, the Western Isles and the Village of the Damned. Adult humour throughout.

THE WATSON LETTERS is book #1 in this Victorian comedy adventure series.

Review

I chanced upon Colin Garrow while on Twitter.. I’m nosy so had a look at the books he’s written..Sherlock Holmes? YES PLEASE!.

Sherlock has always been a favourite of mine, his humour dark as well as the subjects he explores.

This collection is written from Watson’s viewpoint as he chronicles the cases he and Sherlock examine. More often than not Holmes leaves Watson in the dark and this is where the adult humour really comes in. The relationship between the two was so much fun.. humorous..witty..

I really enjoyed the short sharp style diary entries which made it easy to read. It was exciting and riveting, a thoroughly enjoyable read!

It can’t be easy writing a story based on a well-known figure..how can you live up to expectations? For me Garrow got it spot on and I immediately felt at home with the tale and I loved it from the first page to the last!

Why did I choose to read this book you might wonder? Well I read a lot and sometimes I need a change of pace or an easy quick read. At under 150 pages this filled my needs for a quick read..but what I got was so much more than I could have expected and I’m so glad I took the time to enjoy this beauty of a book.

My rating – 5/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Chase: The Hunt for a King by Thomas Dellenbusch – Review

Title – Chase: The Hunt for a King (Chase (EE) Book 2)
Author – Thomas Dellenbusch , Richard Urmston (Translator)
Genre – Crime, Thriller, Mystery
Length – 118 Pages
Publication – Feb 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

Translated Version from the popular German book series of Movie-Length-Theatre-Of-The-Mind-Stories

Scotland on the brink of independence: the government is planning its own Scottish monarchy. But when a member of the close-knit planning group reveals the identity of the candidate for the throne, suddenly people appear who want to prevent this royal ascension at all costs – including murder. When CHASE is called in to assist, Jérome and Chen Lu travel to Glasgow. Together with the Scotsman James Campbell, they hunt for his father’s murderer. A secretive wax seal leads them into a maze of ancient legends and lost manuscripts. Can they solve the mystery and save the king – or will old ruins become their grave?

Review

This is the second book in the CHASE series. If you didn’t catch my review of book one then click here –  The Hunt for the Mute Poetess.

On to book two…. This time the author lets other members of the CHASE team shine and this meant the story was not only enjoyable but fresh. This added some depth to the team which we were introduced to in the previous book and it’s this kind of slow but steady build-up that makes me invest in a series.

The CHASE team have a habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and they’re thrust into a life or death situation as a friend of Jérome’s life hangs in the balance.. it’s all linked to the death of his father and ties to the past and the Scottish monarchy itself.

There’s plenty of twists to this tale and exciting revelations to keep the reader hooked. Fast paced scenes keep the action flowing but there are also points in the book where you and the characters can reflect on events. For me this reminded of TV character Columbo, a real mystery to be solved and it takes the CHASE team to figure things out.

A real joy to read I must admit and both the author and the translator have got this book spot on. I really wouldn’t have guessed this book was translated from German to English at all and the story works well. It especially fits at the moment with Brexit and the question of Scotland’s independence being discussed.

A super quick, easy and fun read. I’d go so far as to say it would be impossible not to enjoy the book.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

Miss Christie Regrets by Guy Fraser-Sampson – Review

Title – Miss Christie Regrets
Author – Guy Fraser-Sampson
Genre – Mystery/Crime
Length – 320 Pages
Publication – Jan 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

The second in the Hampstead Murders series opens with a sudden death at an iconic local venue, which some of the team believe may be connected with an unsolved murder featuring Cold War betrayals worthy of George Smiley. It soon emerges that none other than Agatha Christie herself may be the key witness who is able to provide the missing link. As with its bestselling predecessor, Death in Profile, the book develops the lives and loves of the team at ‘Hampstead Nick’. While the next phase of a complicated love triangle plays itself out, the protagonists, struggling to crack not one but two apparently insoluble murders, face issues of national security in working alongside Special Branch. On one level a classic whodunit, this quirky and intelligent read harks back not only to the world of Agatha Christie, but also to the Cold War thrillers of John Le Carre, making it a worthy successor to Death in Profile which was dubbed ‘a love letter to the detective novel’.

Review

This book is the 2nd book in the Hampstead Murders series. I read the first book in the series Death in Profile recently and loved it so much I jumped at the opportunity to read this one.

The book starts of slowly but with a clear purpose as the author reminds us about the characters from the previous book, building on them but also giving enough information that you could read this book as a standalone.

So the tale itself is a brilliant whodunit. After a body is found the suspects are interviewed nothing concrete can be found. As more evidence comes to light the attention moves from one suspect to another and then for good measure a few twists are thrown in along the way to really put you off the scent.

One of the twists has links to the past and the very well-known Agatha Christie and this just added to the already intriguing tale.

What I really enjoyed about this tale is that until all the evidence is laid out the real killer could have been anyone, motives aplenty and no solid alibi’s leave you guessing.. then bang..the author has teased you long enough and finally fills in the blanks. The last twist I must admit I loved. I understood the motive but really didn’t see it coming.

The author’s style of storytelling is what really makes a good read, easy following, sharp informative chapters keep you gripped as little by little things are pieced together.

I also really liked that the author made this book much more than just a police procedural book, he gives the characters depth. Their own lives feature heavily in the story and this influences the way they tackle the case at times. This gave realness to the tale and really does make me hope the series continues as I’m invested in the team.

A special mention has to go to the cover on this one. This is the kind of cover that would make me buy the book regardless of the subject. It’s just looks so damn good in my opinion.

My thanks to the author and Urbane Publications for a copy of this book.
To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.