Tag Archives: Mystery

Footprints in the Sand (The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries Book 2) by Pam Lecky – Review

Today I’m going to be reviewing Footprints in the Sand (The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries Book 2) by Pam Lecky.

Here’s the blurb

Cairo 1887: A melting pot of jealousy, lust and revenge. Who will pay the ultimate price?

Lucy Lawrence throws caution to the wind and embarks on a journey of self-discovery to the land of the pharaohs.

Travelling to Cairo as the patron of the charming French Egyptologist, Armand Moreau, Lucy discovers an archaeological community plagued by professional rivalries and intrigue. It is soon apparent that the thriving black market in antiquities threatens Egypt’s precious heritage.

When the Egyptian Museum is burgled, Lucy is determined to solve the case, much to the annoyance of the local inspector of police, and the alarm of Mary, her maid. But when an archaeologist is found murdered in the Great Pyramid, Lucy is catapulted into the resulting maelstrom. Can she keep her wits about her to avoid meeting a similar fate?

Review

First off.. have you read book 1 in the series? No Stone Unturned. You don’t need to in order to read Footprints in the Sand but it would certainly help you understand Lucy and her motivations.

After the death of her husband Charlie and the events that followed it’s time for Lucy to find herself.. to enjoy herself a little..lord know she needs it.

Lucy’s quite an independent woman… at a point in time when this would be highly looked down upon. It’s the whole Men do the real work kind of thing but Lucy pulls no punches and doesn’t listen to these silly views.. she will do exactly what she wants. She’s a little headstrong too at times which isn’t always a good thing for her.. impulsive and that leads to trouble.

When Lucy meets Armand Moreau she’s captivated not only by him but also his profession.. he’s an archaeologist working in Egypt.. the whole idea fascinates Lucy and with no one waiting for her to come home to she decides to be a patron of Moreau and agrees to accompany him on the dig.

Soon a theft occurs.. and a black market in goods becomes clear.. is this really a good place for Lucy to be?

Things soon become even worse when a body is found in the Great Pyramid and the murder weapon is… oh well I’ll let you find that out ha.

There’s twists and turns along the way, some subtle..some quite glaringly obvious but Lucy needs to put the pieces together to understand the events and the meanings behind them.

Why doesn’t she just go to the Police you ask? Well she quite fancies herself as a amateur detective.. and more so she wants to prove she’s capable of anything she puts her mind too.. sod what anyone else thinks.

I really enjoyed the plot and the final twist in the tale. It’s paced well and I loved the characters and their development..everyone seemed to get their fair share of the limelight.

For me Footprints in the Sand is a fun and easy read..you’ll flow through it like a hot knife through butter..it’s just written in a way it’s effortless to read..you just get sucked in.

Pam Lecky is really good at writing female lead novels which I find I really enjoy.. her characters have their good and bad points.. that makes them human.. you can’t be perfect after all.

What also shined through is Pam’s commitment to the subject as she balanced the plot perfectly with tit bits of information to show she researched well. Archaeology and Egypt have always fascinated me so It was lovely to see she didn’t skim on this but neither overegged it.. spot on.

A fun and fresh series I’m very much enjoying. More please.

5/5 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

David’s Book Blurg’s Top Choices for 2019

Ok.. so there’s still time for some last minute gifts so I want to share my top picks! These are just some of the books I’ve read/listened to this year! Click the pictures to head to Amazon to have a look in detail!

  1. Are you an audiobook fan? If so you’ve got to get Lucia by Steven A McKay. It’s a gut wrenching slaves tale set in Roman times.51cHfw39UnL._SX342_
  2. Fancy a delicious new mystery novel? then look no further than No Stone Unturned by Pam Lecky. (Currently at the bargain price of £0.99 on Kindle!)46203408._SY475_
  3. Do you like a police procedural kind of novel and like flawed leads? Well The Silent Dead by Keith Nixon is the book for you.47969376._SY475_
  4. Enjoy a bit of Science Fiction without the word count? Take a look at The Bastard Cadre by Lee Carlon!415GhUysFtL
  5. Like a bit of a historical read.. ever heard of the Hittites? look no further than Empires of Bronze by Gordon Doherty.51Odsq2iUkL
  6. Not quite sure what you are after? Fancy more than one book? Well why not get a boxset of goodness? Check out forged in Fire, a set which includes books by authors Prue Batten, Simon Turney and Gordon Doherty 5168XFNxseL

 

There’s so many good books out there.. these are just a few of the hundreds i’d happily recommend so do check out my reviews and see if anything takes your fancy.

Do get in touch and let me know what book gifts you give and receive this year 🙂

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.

Guillaume by Prue Batten – Review

Title – Guillaume (The Triptych Chronicle Book 2)
Author – Prue Batten
Genre – Historical Fiction
Publication – 10th Dec 2016
Pages – 314
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

The Church – powerful and moneyed.
The Heretics – zealous and poor.
Lyon – a city that might claim to cast the seeds of reformed thinking upon the world.
Guillaume of Anjou, formerly an archer fighting with other Angevins in the Third Crusade, is now the manager of a successful merchant house. In his new position, he unwittingly steps into and out of the shadowed world of trade and secrets in Lyon.
Guillaume carries the weight of a book in his hands – a book that may well light the flame of the greatest philosophical and spiritual change Europe will experience so that word and sword will cut a swathe through the fabric of life in Lyon.
But he has also made an enemy who wants nothing more than revenge.
He will fight for his life…

“With her customary elegant use of language, Prue Batten plunges us effortlessly into the mercantile houses, twisted alleys and secret shadowy tunnels of medieval Europe. Guillaume is a riveting tale of twelfth century trade, treachery and intrigue.” Matthew Harffy, bestselling author of The Bernicia Chronicles.

“This is for readers who love the historical fiction of writers such as Wendy Dunn, but yearn for the adventure of an earlier period and the excitement and mystery of ordinary people tangled in dangerous politics.” Gillian Polack, bestselling author of The Middle Ages Unlocked

Review

This is my first venture into the work of Prue Batten and I can safely say I was impressed!

The book follows a man named Guillaume who helps run a merchant house. I can’t lie, I loved him.

His life is about to change very quickly. As we go through the tale you can tell he likes to give out a calm impression but underneath he’s exhausted.

From the start of the book you can tell someone is either out to get Guillaume or destroy the business he helps run but you are kept guessing as to which and the motive behind it. I really enjoyed the mystery in the book, the author keeps you hooked until she is ready to reveal all.

Character development is the thing I look for most in a book. I need to find them believable and Prue Batten has put together an ensemble that ticks all the right boxes for me.  Not only was Guillaume a great character but the story also had a great supporting cast to the tale. The relationships, motivations and personas all felt right, they developed naturally rather than being forced.

This book is full of treachery, murder, mystery and intrigue. Shadows form the past return and it’s all woven together in a wonderful plot that was gripping from start to finish. This book really was a treat to read.

I also really enjoyed the descriptiveness used by the author. Prue gives you a background to the trade Guillaume is part of and this only added to the story which made it feel more real.

I can’t spoil the plot for you but can I can say this, there’s multiple players involved in this story and until the last few chapters you don’t have all the pieces so it a real buzz when things start to click together.

A special mention must go out for the ending of this book. Again I can’t spoil it but it suited the story perfectly and left me with that empty feeling..Hold on, that’s a good thing! I mean I was left with that “oh wow” moment and was left wanting.. needing more. I can’t wait to read more of the authors work.

Guillaume is a well written tale with great characters and a perfectly paced plot.. There’s nothing about this story I didn’t love!

My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review their work. I’ll certainly be watching out for more 🙂

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon

Blog Tour – The Eden Tree by Peter Worthington – Review

1Title – The Eden Tree
Author – Peter Worthington
Genre – Mystery/Contemporary Fiction
Length –    280 Pages
Publication Date – 19th July 2016
My Rating – 4/5 Stars

Synopsis                 

Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” John James Morgan knew the day he was born. Two days before his sixty-first birthday he found out why. John is a happily married businessman, father and grandfather, living in Cheshire, in the heart of England. Happy, that is, until his family face a crisis. A terminal one. At the local market, a flower-seller tells John a story that changes his life. Assured his destiny is in his own hands, John crosses the globe in pursuit of a religious artefact which has remained hidden for two thousand years. Presented with an antique box containing maps, parchments and a bag of leaves, John returns to the UK and witnesses a miracle. With the box in his possession, John and his family find new friends and enemies; lives are threatened and people die, although some will be healed. With the help of many different people, from all walks of life, John’s journey will finally lead him to the discovery of an extraordinary and mysterious tree. But what will this Eden tree mean to John, his family, their faith and their future? The Eden Tree is author Peter Worthington’s first novel; a fictional account based on his own experiences with his son, John Wesley, who underwent treatment for cancer but sadly passed away shortly after his seventh birthday. The Eden Tree has allowed Peter to give his much-loved son “a happier ending.”

Review

This book was a bit of a surprise to me I must admit. When I first picked it up I had no idea how much love had clearly been put into the book and the story behind it..that came as soon as i opened the book and read the dedication and the acknowledgements and I was immediately touched that the author plans to help Great Ormond Street Hospital through this book.

Even before chapter one I had a warm fuzzy feeling tingling within me.. the anticipation

The story follows John, his world starts to fall apart. Wesley is terminally ill and there seems no hope.

Little does he know many years ago a box was found that contained the leaves of the Eden Tree. This box has been kept safe under strict instructions it’s only to be given to one man.. the man who bares the symbol and asks for help.. Without knowing what is about to happen John is whisked away on an adventure where a cure exists.

I must admit I’m not religious but I have the utmost respect for anyone who does… I wasn’t sure at first if this book would be for me with its religious undertone but  it’s done in such a way that if anything I found it intriguing, it was very well written so even someone like myself could enjoy the tale

It’s a fast paced book and I felt a couple of the relationships that formed happened a bit quickly but I can see why the author did this.. there was such much to cram in this book.. so much story to tell and quite a few characters but it all worked well.

The characters themselves were great, lots of them, each with a different personality. Sometimes with so many characters it’s hard to remember who is who but not with this book,   the author clearly defines each character and their place in the tale

It a nice, well written story that’s heart-warming but at the same time has the added buzz of adventure

One thing I did think early on with the story is if you got these magic leaves..how could you only help one person..if you don’t, how do you choose who to save..whilst also trying to keep this cure safe as anything like this would clearly be exploited. It was good to see the author tackle this towards the end of the book where the family discuss life and death.. it would be good to see this explored more but I imagine that would be a very difficult tale to write if it was possible.

This book is a labour of love and you can tell just how much the author has put into this tale. Every time I read a chapter I thought of the real Wesley and how the author has wrote this for him and it gives the book that extra something in my opinion

I liked this one.. a lot.

My thanks go to the author and Authoright for the chance to read/review the book and take part in the blog tour

To find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

The author has kindly wrote a piece on the process he went through with The Eden Tree, I hope you enjoy the insight as much as I do –


 

How I Got to the Finished Product. – Peter Worthington

I have been writing for a number of years. Some of my articles, short stories and flash fiction have been published. But the novel ‘the Eden Tree’ has occupied my time for a decade, with the actual writing and editing process over the past four years.

In 1980 when my wife and I were told that our toddler had cancer we were plunged into another existence. Wesley at three and a half years old endured his treatments with heroism and a smile. Sadly, after a short remission, his cancer returned and he passed away two weeks after his seventh birthday in 1984.

I have wanted since to write a novel about his life. Initially I was imagining non-fiction. But as a Christian pastor I was drawn to the miracles of the Bible. The idea came which gave me an alternative Wesley story. One with a happier ending.

From the idea – some years ago- of healing leaves from the Eden tree I began to use an A4 folder in 2012. I divided it for Characters, Chapters, Research and Resources. I had a page for each chapter and scribbled as ideas came and also inserted some notes in a clear folder.

Once I had enough of a storyline I started to type chapter one in Word. Initially I had John Morgan’s arrival in Tel Aviv as the prologue but after a few months I realised that needed to change as it did not seem to fit. So after some tries I inserted a new prologue as the two brothers discovering the box. A website I use for reviews gave me a clear thumb up.

I found the writing very enjoyable and often woke in the night with new ideas to insert in a chapter. My storyline was clear after the first year and once I had a timeline for characters, events and scenes that worked my novel took shape.

I had three drafts before I finally found an editor. I knew as a debut novel the Eden Tree needed a full structural edit so in November 2015 I sent her a few chapters to see what she would do. I was so pleased with her suggestions that I commissioned her for the full edit later that month. It is amazing with the technology that enables an editor in New Zealand edit and send back her suggestions using Word’s edit function. After three edits and my editor patiently explained her amendments along the way we finally reached the finished manuscript. The 85,000 words had been honed to a leaner 75,000. The novel had less meandering, clearer focus and made a much better read.

By that time in December 2015 I had also discovered after sending samples to various agents – nearly having my fingers burned by one – that Authoright would be a great fit as publisher, printer and publicist. The CEO phoned me personally to talk me through the process. I commissioned them in November/ December 2015 and was kept informed throughout and found it easy to negotiate. They sent several design suggestions for front cover and the one that I chose is ideal. I have found the team professional and courteous.

The momentous day arrived when twenty copies of the Eden Tree were delivered to my home in May 2016. I felt I was dreaming as I lifted the novel and I’m sure my face was beaming. Since then I have spoken to groups and used social media and my website to spread the news. My novel will be released for sale on July 19th. If I can do it anyone can!

To find out more head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com