Kerry Wilkinson – Thicker Than Water

release-date

23 October 2013


51-lYpJpJ2LWhen Cameron and Eleanor Sexton arrive home to find their teenage babysitter missing, their immediate concern is for their young daughter. Detective Sergeant Jessica Daniel is dispatched to find out what’s going on, but with all apparently well, she thinks she’s been sent on a fool’s errand.

Soon, the teenager’s body is discovered in an apparently random house on the other side of Manchester. The puzzle deepens when a journalist points out that someone placed an obituary for him just days before his disappearance.

A string of clues point to a club whose owner has an unhealthy interest in Jessica, but then something happens which makes her question the very core of her beliefs.

In Thicker Than Water, Jessica is left to turn to the one person she knows she can rely on . . . but is that trust misplaced?


review-3This is book 6 in the Jessica Daniel series.  As with all series, it can be read as a standalone book, although it would obviously make more sense to read the other books in the series first.

Cameron and Eleanor Sexton return home to find their babysitter, Oliver is missing and their baby daughter sound asleep in her bed.  Jessica is put on the case of the missing teenager, but finds there’s no reason for Oliver to have disappeared.  She gets a phone call from her journalist friend, Garry, who has heard about the missing boy.  He informs Jessica that an anonymous caller placed an obituary in the paper under the missing boy’s name.  Things get even more sinister when Oliver’s body turns up in the bathroom of an old friend of Eleanor’s.    It’s Jessica’s job to find out if there is a link and if there is, what is it?

This is a great series of books, although I have to admit this is probably my least favourite of the series so far.  I felt the story began well, but for it slowed up and I initially found myself getting a bit bored with it.  The other books I’ve read in the series have all started with a bang and carried on throughout the book, but the bang seemed missing in this one.  It then picked up again half way through the book and we were then back on track with our usual standard of story!!

There was more of Jessica’s personal life in this book than what I think there has been in all of the others.    Whilst I always liked Jessica for a ‘no nonsense’ attitude I felt that at times this slipped and she became someone I couldn’t see her being.  I would have imagined suspicions of Adam having an affair would have sent Jessica in with all guns blazing not retreating into her shell and ignoring the issue.  Perhaps this shows how vulnerable Jessica really is and the Jessica we know and love is all just a front.  Personally I prefer the gutsy Jessica, but I have a feeling in following books we are going to see a lot more of the other Jessica!

Without giving too much of the story away, this case leads Jessica into ‘club land’ where she meets some not very nice characters.  The actual police story itself is great, with a very clever twist working out what was going on, who the murderer was and how it all fitted together.  On a personal side, Jessica’s story is left hanging with a cliff-hanger, so I can’t wait to get onto Book 7 to find out what happens to her!

Even though the other books have been better, this is still up there as part of a great series of police procedural crime books.  Now, onto book 7……

Buy it here!

4stars


about-the-authorKerry Wilkinson has been busy since turning thirty.

His first Jessica Daniel novel, Locked In, is a number one ebook bestseller, while the series as a whole has sold more than a million copies.

He has written a fantasy-adventure trilogy for young adults, a second crime series featuring private investigator Andrew Hunter, plus the standalone thrillers, Down Among The Dead Men and No Place Like Home.

Originally from the county of Somerset, Kerry has spent far too long living in the north of England, picking up words like ‘barm’ and ‘ginnel’.

When he’s short of ideas, he rides his bike or bakes cakes. When he’s not, he writes it all down.

Upcoming and recent UK releases:
Nothing But Trouble (Jessica Daniel): Out now
Ten Birthdays (standalone): 21 April 2017
Two Sisters (standalone): Summer 2017
The Girl Who Came Back (standalone): Autumn 2017
Eye For An Eye (Jessica Daniel): February 2018
The Death And Life Of Eleanor Parker (standalone): Spring 2018

Find out more at: http://kerrywilkinson.com or http://facebook.com/KerryWilkinsonBooks

Sheila Norton – The Vets at Hope Green: Part Four: A New Start

release-date

13 April 2017


51TlW6kcORL.jpgThe last few months have been hard for Sam. Her dream to work as a vet is slowly becoming reality, and she is beginning to encounter the struggles and heartbreaks that someone in a job like this must face.

But what’s more heartwarming and inspiring than a litter of new piglets? On a call to a farm with Joe, Sam can’t help but feel a sense of renewal in her own life as she witnesses one of the most glorious and natural processes of all.

Sam’s thoughts inevitably turn to her own child – will she be able to cope when the baby is born? And with her love life so shaky, will a fatherless child turn out all right?

Note: this is part four of a four-part serialised novel. The full length paperback will be available in June.


review-3

Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for this advance review copy.

This is the fourth and final instalment in this serialised novel.  The book will be released with all 4 parts together later in the year.

I have been lucky enough to have read all 4 parts of this book pre-release.  Part 3 was left on a cliff-hanger and I thought I would have to wait until it was released before I was able to finish the story, but luckily Part 4 was given to me in exchange for an honest review!

In this instalment we find out how Joe copes after a devastating loss.  We also find out if Sam manages to stick at the job as the vet’s receptionist – a job that she obviously loves, but gets harder with Joe’s ever increasing bad moods.  Can Sam make her dream of becoming a vet a reality, or is being a mother going to put a stop to that?

This was a lovely end to a lovely story.  The characters are lovely (yes, even Grumpy Joe the Vet) and you can’t help but fall in love with them all.  There is a new addition to the village as well when Sam’s baby is born, but things are never easy and the birth is definitely one to remember.  There are tears of sadness and tears of joy.  It was a shame the story ended (although I’m hoping there will be a second book….please!!).  I’ve really enjoyed reading this story, and would definitely recommend this book, although I would have preferred to have read it in one sitting, as opposed to 4 different parts!  It was a sweet, easy, heart-warming read that whisked you away from reality just for a little while!  What more could you want!

Buy it here!

5stars


about-the-authorSheila Norton lives in Essex and worked for most of her life as a medical secretary, until retiring early to concentrate on her writing.

Her most recent novels are published by Ebury (Penguin Random House) and are contemporary fiction with animal backgrounds: ‘The Vets at Hope Green’ was preceded by two ‘cat’ stories: ‘Oliver the Cat Who Saved Christmas’ and ‘Charlie the Kitten Who Saved a Life’.

Sheila’s first novel was published in 2003 and most of her earlier books were of the ‘chick lit’ style of women’s fiction, apart from two books set mostly in the 1960s and one book about grandparents.

She has enjoyed writing all her life, but her writing career first really took off in the 1990s when she won two first prizes for her short stories, and went on to have over 100 stories published in women’s magazines.

Sheila enjoys hearing from readers and can be contacted through her website: http://www.sheilanorton.com- where you can also ask to be added to an email mailing list for updates about Sheila’s books and writing life.

Karen Clarke – The Beachside Sweet Shop

release-date2nd March 2017


51yy1QrNjSLWhen Marnie Appleton inherited a sweet shop from her grandfather she was determined to do his legacy proud. The shop has been a much-loved feature of the little seaside town of Shipley for years, but now Marnie needs to bring it up to date, and she’s recruited gorgeous new assistant Josh to help.

Marnie gets busy redecorating the shop and choosing delicious new sweets to stock, but things are never that simple: new neighbour Isobel, a fame-hungry blogger, is on a crusade against sugar, and she’ll go to any lengths to secure bad publicity for Marnie’s shop.

Marnie fights back with homemade sugar-free treats, but with her best friend Beth heavily pregnant, her grandmother Celia recovering from an operation, and her very recently ex-boyfriend Alex returning to Shipley with a new love, Marnie has a lot on her plate.

And then there’s Josh, with whom Marnie is struggling to keep her relationship strictly professional…Will both the sweet shop and love flourish?


review-3Thank you to Netgalley and the Publishers for this review copy.

Marnie Appleton runs the Beachside Sweet Shop in Shipley. It was left to her by her grandfather and she wants to do him proud and keep the legacy going. The only problem is, she’s not sure she wants to stay in Shipley. She wants to be like her mother and go off travelling. She wins a local business award and this gives her the financial means to pursue her dream. When it boils down to it though, does she really want to go? The business award also brings a different kind of trouble in the guise of Isobel Sinclair, former model and new neighbour who is determined to single handed bring down all unhealthy teeth rotting sweet shops! With the local press on the case, Marnie keeps putting her foot in it and suddenly finds herself announcing that she will start a new line of handmade sugar free sweets. Everything seems to happen at once – her ex-boyfriend comes home with new girlfriend in tow, her new shop assistant wants to be her new boyfriend and her best friend has a baby! Will she manage to hold Isobel off with her healthy treats or will she sell up and leave her grandfather’s legacy?

I loved this book! The title and cover enticed me straight away – who doesn’t love a good old fashioned sweet shop! To be honest, it’s very similar to other books in this genre but this is the first one I’ve read based in a sweet shop! This is also, so I discovered today, the first in the Beachside Bay series, with the second book ‘The Beachside Bay Flower Stall’ released on 13th April 2017.

The characters were lovely and I felt connected to them straight away. I worked out that some of them had some secrets, but they don’t come out to much later in the book! Some of the names were great also – Bunty the baby and of course, how could we forget local busybody Doris Day! It was such a delightful read, nice and easy and no difficult or confusing storyline. I have read so many intense crime/thriller books recently and it was so refreshing to have something that was entertaining and made me laugh out loud! I love the fact that Josh had been sent to ‘give her the willies’ (you’ll get it when you read it!).

A funny book with a hint of romance by the sea in a sweet shop – what more could a girl want! Five Stars!

Buy it here!

5stars


about-the-authorKaren Clarke writes romantic comedy novels. THE BEACHSIDE SWEET SHOP, the first in a series, is due for release in March 2017 and THE BEACHSIDE FLOWER STALL will follow in June.

Karen has also written three romcoms with a paranormal twist, all available to download

When she’s not working on her novels, Karen writes short stories for women’s magazines and has had over three hundred published in the UK and abroad. Some of them can be read in her short story collection ‘BEHIND CLOSED DOORS…and other Tales with a Twist’

Karen lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children and writes a blog at http://www.writewritingwritten.blogspot.com. You can also follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/karen.clarke.5682

Robert Bryndza – Last Breath

release-date

12th April 2017


61Y1sNo59OLWhen the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case.

While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery.

Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist?

Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual.

Gripping, tense and impossible to put down, Last Breath will have you on the edge of your seat, racing to the final dramatic page.


review-3

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this advance review copy.

This is the fourth book in the Erika Foster series. You don’t need to read the books in order, but obviously not only does it help to understand the story, but why would you not want to read this fantastic set of books.

A young woman’s body is found dumped and DCI Erika Foster is first on the scene. The only problem is she is no longer on the Murder Investigation Team and is treading on Superintendent Sparks’ toes, which doesn’t go down very well. She is eager to get back on the team, but can she get around Sparks first? In the meantime Erika is ‘working’ the case on her own. She finds a link to another unsolved murder of a young woman found dumped. Is there a serial killer on the loose dumping their bodies around the city?

I was so excited for this book. And when I say so excited, I mean jumping up and down excited! Robert Bryndza has leapfrogged up to the top place in my list of favourite crime authors after reading his other books. The first three books were amazing, and this one was no different, if not better. I love Erika’s character and in each book you get to see more and more of Erika’s personal side. I also love the way she’s so gutsy and headstrong and if she says she’s going to find the killer, then she will! The relationships with her team also make you release that not only is she a really good boss but a really well respected boss. Unlike some books, there are no members of her team who she doesn’t get on with, although the same can’t be said with her superiors – sparks certainly fly with Superintendent Sparks!

This book was absolutely fantastic!! The story gripped me from page one and didn’t let up until the end. I love the way the killer is revealed quite early on. There’s no ‘it was him, it was him, it was him’. You know who it is, you just want to see how Erika and the team work it out. It’s also interesting how social media is brought into it. It highlights the dangers of trusting people online – are people really who they say they are?

I really didn’t want this book to end – well in a way I did as I wanted to find out what happened, but in another way I didn’t as this would mean that I have no more Erika until the next book. I’ve so enjoyed the last couple of days, reading my book whenever I can even if it’s just to squeeze in a couple of pages, and now my life will become empty again until the next instalment – please say there will be a next instalment!! This has been the best series of books I’ve read in a very long time – long may they continue!!

If you’re looking for a gritty police procedural crime thriller, then I can highly recommend this book. If you’re going to buy this one, don’t forget to buy the others too!! Five stars (although if I could give it more I would!)

Buy it here!!

5stars


about-the-authorRobert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller is the first book in the Detective Erika Foster series.

The Night Stalker, and Dark Water are the second and third books in the series, and you can now pre-order the fourth, Last Breath which will be published on April 12th 2017.

Robert’s books have sold over 1.7 million copies, and have been translated into 26 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

You can find out more about the author at http://www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza

Sign up to Robert Bryndza‘s New Release Mailing List here: http://eepurl.com/UITxz

Daisy Styles – The Bomb Girls Secrets

release-date

23rd March 2o17


51w-nwspal

In the Phoenix Munitions Factory everyone has their secrets . . .

As WWII rolls across Europe, Kitty boards a ship set for England; leaving her cruel father for war work in a munitions factory. She hadn’t wanted to leave Ireland, but the money sounded too good to resist. And money is what she really needs right now, what with tiny baby Billy back in Dublin without a father.

In Lancashire Kitty settles into the hard work and soon makes new friends; the dazzling Gladys who is a talented musician, and the beautiful but nervous Violet who seems to be nursing a secret of her own. And then there is motherly Edna at the local chippy, always there for a cup of tea and a good natter when she yearns for home.

Working hard in the day and playing in the Bomb Girls Swing Band by night, on the surface, life seems to be looking up. But Kitty has kept a secret from her friends. Something she needs to figure out. And when a letter arrives from home, she realises she might need their help before it’s too late and she loses her baby forever . . .


review-3Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this review copy.

We’re back at the Pendle Bomb Factory for the second instalment in the Bomb Girls Series. We meet Kit, Gladys, Violet and Lily. Everyone seems to have a reason why they signed up to work at the bomb factory, but not all of them want to share their secrets. The girls are all put together in the factory and find that they all have one thing in common – they can all play musical instruments! Along with a few of the other girls they start up a swing band and begin to play in competitions. Alongside all this, their lives go on living in the war. They have to put up with the air raids, the destruction, the loss of loved ones and the dangers of making the bombs

I enjoyed this book, but have to admit I did prefer the first book in the series. This book focuses a lot on the swing band that the girls set up, although obviously there is a lot of stories around their romances! In the other book, there was more about the work that the girls did in the factory, but there wasn’t as much in this one. Saying that, it was still an enjoyable book, and I loved reading the girls exploits in love and war! I won’t say too much about the story as I wouldn’t want to spoil it, but if you like your war-time romances, then you’ll love this book. Another great book by Daisy Styles. It’s a lovely easy read which gets you wrapped up in the girls lives. Will there be a Bomb Girls #3? I hope so!!

Buy it here!

4stars


about-the-authorDaisy Styles grew up in Lancashire surrounded by a family and community of strong women. She loved to listen to their stories of life in the cotton mill, in the home, at the pub, on the dance floor, in the local church, or just what happened to them on the bus going into town. It was from these women, particularly her vibrant mother and Irish grandmother, that Daisy learnt the art of storytelling. There was also the landscape of her childhood; wide, sweeping, empty moors dappled with sunshine, thick with snow, slippery underfoot in the rain, hills that ran as far as the eye could see to the Pennine Way and beyond that to the Lake District. A perfect backdrop for a saga, a space big enough and wild enough to stage a drama about women’s lives in a munitions factory during the Second World War.

Joe Lycett – Parsnips, Buttered: Bamboozle and boycott modern life, one email at a time

release-date

20th October 2016


41bH1t3fLZL

The mischievous and hilarious bulletins from comedy’s fastest rising star.

Dear Reader,

Using letters, emails, tweets and telegrams I will show you how the things in your life that make you sad, low or anxious can soon appear trivial, insignificant and like a fish. In short, I will butter your parsnips.

Life is hard. We are a bombarded generation: Facebook, billboards, Twitter, Instagram, taxes, newspapers, watches monitoring our sleep, apps that read our pulse, terrorism. There’s such an onslaught to the senses these days it’s a marvel any of us manage to get out of bed. I love bed.

While we are overwhelmed and confused by the miasmic cloud of information, there are those that seek to take advantage: there are parking fines, hate Tweets, Nigerian email scams and Christmas newsletters from old school friends about their ugly kids. And just as we’re getting round to doing something about it, we’re distracted again.

I, Joe Lycett, comedian, wordsmith, and professional complainer, am here to help. During my short life of doing largely nothing I’ve discovered solutions to many of life’s problems, which I impart to you, dear Reader. Containing a centurion of complaint letters to unsuspecting celebrities, companies and anyone brave enough to clog up my phone, as well as illustrations, one-liners , jokes and life hacks, this little gem offers you a collection of tips and advice* for all manner of modern woe. By the time you have finished reading this book you will have learnt how to:

– Reverse a parking fine
– Manipulate the tabloid press
– Navigate social media
– Respond to hate mail
– Out-weird internet trolls
– Contest a so-called ripe avocado
– Send the perfect Christmas newsletter
– Defeat ISIS
– Take down multi-national companies
AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!

Joe Lycett x

* If you are looking for guidance with taxes, quitting smoking, moving house, love, divorce, education, healthcare or anything actually important may I recommend speaking to friends or family members and not consulting a book by a comedian who eats halloumi at least twice a day.


review-3

I’ve seen Joe Lycett lots of times on the TV and have recently seen him live at a comedy night.  Whilst out shopping with my husband, we saw his DVD which we decided to buy as we had really enjoyed watching him live.  My husband then asks me whether I knew he had a book out also.  Well, this was news to me, which is really strange as a) I love my books and b) I work in a library.  You would have thought I would have seen this book on my travels, but I hadn’t.  So off to the bookshop I went, and after flicking through this book decided that I just had to read it.

Now, I haven’t finished reading it yet, but I know it’s going to be a 5 star review just from reading the first few pages!  Joe has a penchant for complaining (or winding people up – isn’t that the same thing?) via emails, tweets, texts and letters.  Many of these complaints (or wind ups) have been heard already in his numerous TV appearances, but in the book they are ‘beefed’ up somewhat with an extended version of each story.  The result is a hilarious collection of anecdotes, emails and pictures from Joe to various people and companies.  These include local councils, neighbours, Starbucks and, of course, Donald Trump.

Obviously this book should not be taken seriously in any way, shape or form.  It is a cheeky, light heartened and downright funny book which should definitely not be read in public places unless you want many disapproving looks of you laughing out loud.  Oh….and I have to admit that Joe Lycett has now become my secret guilty pleasure!!

5stars

Buy it here!


about-the-authorOne of the best-loved performers working on the UK circuit, Joe is a rising comedy star with bundles of stage presence and effortless charm.
Joe’s television appearances include performing stand-up on programmes such as BBC One’s Live At The Apollo and ITV1’s Sunday Night At The Palladium, as well as regular appearances on panel shows including Channel 4’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Would I Lie To You? He is a regular on BBC Radio 4 including a number of appearances on the institution that is Just A Minute and hosts the panel show It’s Not What You Know. He’s also been on Comedy Central’s Drunk History a couple of times, but he can’t remember.
In 2012 Joe performed his hotly-anticipated debut tour Some Lycett Hot at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival securing Joe a Foster’s Comedy Award Best Newcomer nomination. Joe returned to Edinburgh in 2015 with That’s The Way, A-Ha, A-Ha, Joe Lycett to huge audiences and critical acclaim. The show won the Chortle Award for Best Show. He is actively looking for new show titles that include Lycett-based puns.
This is his first book. His first book that he’s written. He’s read loads of books.

Frances Vick – Bad Little Girl

release-date

22nd February 2017


517-RBgZENLLittle Lorna Bell is from a notorious family on a rundown estate. Everyone thinks she’s a nasty piece of work. The schoolchildren call her a thief. But Lorna’s hair is matted, her shoes pinch her feet and school teacher Claire Penny can’t help herself; some kids just need a bit more support, a bit more love, than the rest.

As the bond between teacher and pupil grows stronger, Claire sees Lorna’s bruises, and digs to uncover the disturbing tale behind them. Heartbroken, Claire knows she has to act. She must make Lorna safe.

Just when Claire thinks she has protected Lorna, a chance encounter brings enigmatic stranger Marianne Cairns into their lives. Marianne seems generous and kind but there is something about her story that doesn’t quite add up. Why does she feel so at home, and why is Lorna suddenly so unsettled?

Claire has risked everything to save Lorna. But what can save Claire from the shocking truth?

An utterly unputdownable and darkly compelling read that will have fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister, and Gone Girl absolutely hooked.


review-3Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this review copy.

We meet Claire, or Miss Penny as she’s know by the children from the primary school where she is a teacher. Claire has been a teacher for many years, just like her mother is. She really cares about her pupil and one day one particular child catches her attention. 8 year old Lorna Bell is a bit of a loner. She is unkempt, her clothes don’t fit and none of the other children like her. Everyone else thinks she is a trouble maker, but Claire sees her as a child in need, crying out for attention. One day, following a problem at school, Lorna’s mum slaps Lorna across the face and Claire sees this. She pleads to the headteacher to look into Lorna’s home situation, to see if there is a safeguarding issue at home. He talks to Lorna, but Lorna denies there is anything wrong. Lorna appears to only be telling the ‘truth’ to Claire, and as Claire feels that no one is listening to her concerns, she decides to take matters into her own hands and make the child safe.

This was an okay book. I initially thought that this would be a difficult read, obviously the book is about a child who is being neglected, and isn’t a story that will have a happy ending. I found the story a little bit slow in parts, and to be honest I did find parts very difficult to believe. I found it hard to comprehend that a teacher with so many years experience would be drawn in so easily by one girl’s story that she would risk everything by taking her away and passing her off as her own child. I also found, later in the story, when they met the mysterious Marianne that someone like Claire would let the situation get as bad as it did – Claire seemed to get weaker as the story went on.

But, there is no doubt that the story does get you hooked, purely on the fact that you want to know what on earth is happening and how is all this going to end! I’m not sure if there was a ‘brilliant twist’ as was described on the book’s cover, but it certainly wiled away a few evenings even if they were spent shouting at Miss Penny for being so weak, gullible and stupid!

Three Stars (although I think it was probably more of a 3.5 Stars!)

Buy it here!

3stars