When a familiar leggy blonde slides onto the back seat of his cab with the offer of work, taxi-driver and amateur sleuth Terry Bell isn’t keen. However, compared to the tedium of driving a cab all day, the lure of another mystery is too strong to resist, and Terry agrees to help. Tracking down a missing writer and his tape recorder sounds simple enough, but following the clues to a remote village, the case takes a dangerous turn when the man turns up dead. After the police take over, Terry and his sidekick Carol return home to find their flat ransacked—and that’s not the only surprise. Caught between a suspicious detective inspector and the machinations of a mysterious woman, can the wily investigator unravel the mystery before the killer strikes again?
In this murder/mystery series set on England’s northeast coast, The Jansson Tapes is book #3 in the Terry Bell Mystery series.
This is the third book in the Terry Bell series, I was kindly gifted all three but thought I would read book 3 first so that I could give you an honest review as to if it could be read as a stand alone and it definitely can.
Terry is a taxi driver and sleuth detective but bar the first chapters where it says he is has a fair you don’t really see that side in this book and so I am assuming that is explored more in the first two books.
The writing style is fluid and easy to get into. I really enjoyed the fast paced plot and good mix of characters and my favourite line by far was, ‘Joe Spud was crazier than a bus full of zombies on a trip to the zoo’.
I will be going back to read the first two in the series and look forward to the next Terry Bell mystery.
Thank you to @colingarrow and @damppebbles for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.
True-born Geordie Colin Garrow grew up in a former mining town in Northumberland and has worked in a plethora of professions including taxi driver, antiques dealer, drama facilitator, theatre director and fish processor, and has occasionally masqueraded as a pirate. Colin has published three stage plays, six adventures for middle grade readers, two books of short stories, the Watson Letters series and the Terry Bell Mysteries. His short stories have appeared in several literary mags, including: SN Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Grind, A3 Review, Inkapture and Scribble Magazine. These days he lives in a humble cottage in North East Scotland where he writes novels, stories. poems and the occasional song.
Orphaned young, H is sent to live with her doting aunt in London. H s life is a happy one until her lecherous cousin robs her of her innocence, and the plague takes away the city and the people she loves. H is cast out friendless, pregnant and destitute into the rapidly emptying streets of London under quarantine.
Forced to fend for herself, she is determined to gain back the life she lost. H will face a villain out for revenge, find love in the most unexpected places, and overcome a betrayal that she never could have foreseen. Weathering it all, can H charm, or scheme, her way to the life of freedom and independence that she longs for?
Published by Legend Press on 1st May 2020, 272 Pages
The Strange Adventures of H is the rags-to-riches story of a sharp young woman who loses everything in the 1665 Great Plague of London and, fuelled by an indomitable will to thrive, must build herself back up from nothing. Armed with a ferocious intellect, a quick wit and unabashed ambition, H plots to conquer her foes, sidestep the restrictions of society, and forge a new life for herself and those she’s learned to love. The Strange Adventures of H is funny, shocking, tragic and emotionally captivating.
This book touches on lost of serious topics such as loss of loved ones, prostitution, survival, prejudice and each topic was written extremely well. From the topics covered this could have been a very serious and sad novel and whilst it was definitely sad in parts, the author had a wonderful way of writing H’s character with a sense of humour and hope which actually made it fun! I loved the writing about how the city of London was hit by not one but two tragedies and then ensuing descriptions of people building their lives back up afterwards.
Thanks to @Legend_Press for my #gifted copy of such a brilliant book
Five hostages, one café – and the moment that changed everything.
A regular weekday morning veers drastically off-course for five strangers whose paths cross in a London café – their lives never to be the same again when an apparently crazed gunman holds them hostage.
But there is more to the situation than first meets the eye and as the captives grapple with their own inner demons, the line between right and wrong starts to blur. Will the secrets they keep stop them from escaping with their lives?
Published by Atlantic on the 7th May 2020, 352 pages
The plot concept for this book is very simple, strangers trapped in a café by a gun man, each with their own secrets, but that is the only simple thing about this book.
The way the author works each of their stories into the narrative is brilliant and I could not put this book down. We learn about the gunman, his past and what has brought him to this whilst also learning about each of the hostages as they communicate with each other for comfort and to get through the upsetting event. We also get the perspective of the hostage negotiator which I though was very clever and worked very well. The characters are complex and pull on your heart strings.
This was the first book by Charity Norman that I have read but I certainly will be looking for more by her in the future.
If you enjoyed three hours then I definitely think you will enjoy this book, it is not the same and it didn’t have the same urgency at the end that three hours did but it had a quicker pace at the start and was a fantastic read.
Thank you to @annecater and @AllenAndUnwin and Kate at @AtlanticBooks for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.
Charity Norman was born in Uganda and brought up in successive draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. After several years’ travel she became a barrister, specialising in crime and family law. In 2002, realising that her three children had barely met her, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. THE SECRETS OF STRANGERS is her sixth novel.
Rosa Fisher is the smart girl, the good girl. At twenty-five and mid-way through a PhD in the psychology of fraud, she thinks she has herself all figured out. Until that night, when the house is dark and she is all alone, and she hears an intruder on the stairs. But the intruder isn’t looking for Rosa Fisher. He’s after someone else. And everything Rosa has ever known about her world is about to be turned upside down.
Published by Orion on May 2020, Pages
This is the story of Rosa and of how one night an intruder broke into her family home and changed her life as she knew it forever.
It is billed as a fast paced Thriller but I found the first part a bit slow going and a bit far fetched but it did have me intrigued and I thought I knew exactly where it was going until the second half threw in a murder!!! (no spoilers).
I didn’t warm to the main character at first and I just wanted to shake her as everything she was told not to do she did but she grew on me and I was intrigued to know what had happened to her and her family. The author is very descriptive, and you do feel like you can see exactly what Rosa sees.
I did guess the major twist but then I do pride myself on doing that.
Whilst I enjoyed the book it is not one of the best thrillers I have read and I did spot a few inconsistencies and was left with questions but there are three books in this series featuring one of the characters and I will read the other two out of interest (you don’t have to have read them to read this book as each story stands alone).
Review written by @FionaJaneFreer and our copy was kindly #gifted by @AlainnaGeorgiou at @orionbooks
Daisy Cooper’s life has been pretty uneventful – until the moment it suddenly ends. Unfortunately, her death is (literally) an accident: Daisy wasn’t meant to die for another fifty years. One terrible, embarrassing clerical error is behind it – and Death himself is to blame.
As Daisy battles against her new reality, she starts to learn that letting go isn’t just a challenge faced by those left behind. And while she learns how to survive this impossible new reality, friendship, hope and even love begin to come alive in the most unexpected ways.
For Daisy Cooper, death was the perfect time to start making sense of life…
Ebook available now, Hardback to be published by Orion on 20th August 2020, 320 pages.
This is the story of Daisy who slips on an icy pavement and dies, unfortunately a terrible error was made, it was not her time to die! The story then follows Daisy, her friends, family and unusually Death too as they deal with the aftermath of her passing. This book was described as fun, fresh – a brilliant love story with a twist. I started to read it and thought I knew exactly where it was going but I was completely wrong. It was just fabulous and nothing at all like I thought it was going to be. I am not a huge fan of stories where I can see exactly where it was going and everything works out all fluffy and lovely in the end and I made the mistake of thinking this was going to be like that. It is not. It is cleverly written and extremely touching in parts. The characters are superbly well written and I believed and was invested in every one of them, especially the character of Death (or Scout as he likes to be known) who has fears and faults and makes mistakes just like everyone else . I was so intrigued to find out what was going to happen that I just could not put it down. It is such an original book and it doesn’t flower over how the death of a love one effects the people left behind but also gives us the unusual perspective of the person who died. This may make it sound dark and sad but it really isn’t. It is a story of how love doesn’t die after death and of the power and strength of human nature and I cannot recommend it enough if you want to read something original and entertaining. This is Tamsin Keily’s debut and I cannot wait to read what she writes next…
Review written by @FionaJaneFreer and our copy was kindly #gifted by @kate_moreton at @orionbooks
Jessica Bradley has it all: the perfect boyfriend; influential healthy-eating blog; successful PR company and wonderful daughter, Anna. Or at least that is what her thousands of followers believe.
The truth is, her boyfriend just broke up with her in four words on a post-it; her zest for healthy-eating has all but disappeared; her PR success is all reliant on her now not-so-honest online-life and she just got caught eating her daughter’s Coco-Pops.
So as they say: fake it ’til you make it. A few little white lies and phoney smiling selfies and Jess can keep up appearances. But when her real-life starts to spiral out of control how can Jess tell the truth from the lies? And will she be able to seize real happiness when it is right in front of her?
Published by Orion, 28th May 2020, 384 Pages
Jess is trying to do it all whilst promoting her picture perfect life to the world via her blog and Instagram, only it’s all fake. Everything that built her following, like workouts and healthy eating, have fallen at the wayside and Dave, whose abs gain her more likes than anything else she posts, has left her. Yet determined not to let anyone see what’s happening she continues to post perfect life pictures and tweets and builds up a web of lies, each leading to disastrously funny consequences.
This is an easy, light-hearted, modern read that had me laughing out loud. I like the use of different medias such as tweets, emails and newspaper articles and thought that the use of social media through out was written really well. As someone who blogs and uses Instagram/twitter I found a lot of it very relatable, we have all thought about how many followers we have or how many likes and I pretty sure we have all made a coffee specifically for use in a photo…
My only qualm with the book is that she didn’t seem to care about her daughter at all, the author wrote that she cared but it wasn’t believable as she barely spoke to her through out the whole book!
Thanks to @alexxlayt at @orionbooks for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.
Things Stella and George have had blazing rows about:
– Misquoting Jurassic Park – Leaving a Coke can on the side of the bath – Fitting car seats for their hypothetical kids
In other news, they’re getting divorced.
But first, Stella’s mum is throwing a murder mystery party and – with her dad losing his job, her mum’s recent diagnosis, and some very odd behaviour from her sister – now is not the time to tell everyone.
All Stella and George have to do is make it through the day without their break-up being discovered – though it will soon turn out that having secrets runs in the family…
Although this is billed as being mainly about Stella and George you get the lives and perspectives of the whole family so it really is a well rounded story. It was easy to follow as the different character voices were clear and defined by chapters.
This was such a refreshing treat to read as its something I haven’t come across in a book before, it was a mixture of family drama/murder mystery in the form of a party. As some one who has attended a family murder mystery dinner party I was immediately drawn in to this idea and the characters were so well written that I couldn’t put it down!
This is perfect for fans of Agatha Christie type murder mystery and family dramas. It was the perfect blend of fun mixed with serious topics and I can thoroughly recommend this as a great lock-down read!
Thank you to @orionbooks for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.
No one knew it at the time, but April 19, 2011, was the most important day in the history of the world.
After his only friend and colleague, John Manta, disappears without a word, Dave Randall further entrenches himself in the humdrum life of an unenthusiastic lawyer. But once he begins to understand what happened, he embarks on a journey to uncover the deeper meanings and implications of John’s fate.
Accompanied by Peaches the cat, Dave uproots his life and reinvents himself in the midst of his search. Along the way, he is haunted by his piecemeal understanding of John’s fate and what it means for his existence. Little does Dave know, his journey of self-discovery will have ramifications that extend far beyond the borders of his own little life.
The story gives us a brief history of the main character Dave and how he came to be a lawyer despite appearing to not want to be one and shows us his one friendship with his college, John. Then John disappears and Dave continues on to become an even more successful lawyer but has no real life outside of work. When John appears over a year later and explains where he has been, Dave knows he cannot continue with his mundane and unsatisfying life so he quits his job and moves to the country with his cat.
This book is completely not what I was expecting and was as such I was pleasantly surprised. It touches on many heavy themes in a completely approachable way. I particularly enjoyed the discussions between Dave and John as the touched on so many important issues and were laid out in a completely relatable way, I especially enjoyed the discussion on questions of ethical laws (FYI I am Team John on that one!)
This is definitely going on the shelf with my books that restore my faith in humanity and is one I will pick up again when I need a little perspective.
Thank you to @rararesources for letting me be part of the blog tour and to @MaunzDaniel for gifting me a signed copy of this stunning book.
When he is not writing, Daniel Maunz works as an attorney as in-house counsel for a major insurance company. He currently lives in Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, with his wife Lynne, their son Patrick, and their two cats: Admiral Meowy McWhiskers and Captain Cutie (or “Admiral” and “Captain” for short). Questions of Perspective is his first novel.
How dangerous is a woman with nothing left to lose?
The year is 1905. London is a playground for the rich and a death trap for the poor. When Sofia Logan’s husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her penniless with two young children, she knows she will do anything to keep them from the workhouse. But can she bring herself to murder? Even if she has done it before…
Emmet Vinsant, wealthy industrialist, offers Sofia a job in one of his gaming houses. He knows more about Sofia’s past than he has revealed. Brought up as part of a travelling fair, she’s an expert at counting cards and spotting cheats, and Vinsant puts her talents to good use. His demands on her grow until she finds herself with blood on her hands.
Set against the backdrop of the Suffragette protests, with industry changing the face of the city but disease still rampant, and poverty the greatest threat of all, every decision you make is life or death. Either yours or someone else’s. Read best-selling crime writer Helen Fields’ first explosive historical thriller.
I am a massive fan of this author and when the chance to review this came up I knew I wanted in!
I picked it up and was hooked with in pages, it was clear who the characters where and what was going on and I was immersed in Sofia’s world immediately. I like that it flipped from the current time to her childhood to explain her past and how she became the woman she was.
This is a great piece of historical fiction for those who like a gritty read with a interesting storyline. The descriptions are detailed and meaty and not for the faint hearted!!!
I recommend it as much as I recommend all her books and look forward to reading more historical fiction from her in the future. Thank you to @lovebookstours for my #gifted copy in exchange for review.
An international and Amazon #1 best-selling author, Helen is a former criminal and family law barrister. Every book in the Callanach series claimed an Amazon #1 bestseller flag. Her next book, the sixth in the series, ‘Perfect Kill’ is due out on 6 February 2020. Helen also writes as HS Chandler, and last year released legal thriller ‘Degrees of Guilt’. Her previous audio book ‘Perfect Crime’ knocked Michelle Obama off the #1 spot. Translated into 15 languages, and also selling in the USA, Canada & Australasia, Helen’s books have won global recognition. Her first historical thriller ‘These Lost & Broken Things’ comes out in May 2020. A further standalone thriller published by HarperColllins will come soon. She currently commutes between Hampshire, Scotland and California, where she lives with her husband and three children. Helen can be found on Twitter @Helen_Fields for up to date news and information or at www.helenfields.co.uk.