Monday, February 28, 2022

Update Week 9

I'm writing this a little bit earlier this week so, I've almost finished several things but I have scheduled the March releases post (list version) for Tuesday -  which is taken from the Euro Crime website.

Reading-wise I'm just a handful of pages away from finishing The Darkness Knows by Arnaldur Indridason translated by Victoria Cribb. I like it a lot more than the Shadow-series but I've yet to warm to Konrad. I haven't chosen what to read next.

Petrona Award-wise, I've now received 24 entry forms out of a probable maximum of 31.

TV-wise, tantalisingly me and him indoors have watched 5 of the 6 episodes of BBC4's The Promise and it'll be a couple of days (grrh) before we can finish it off . In the main very good, just one bit where we were going - no, no, no, don't do it!

Grappling with the ghosts of the past. Twenty years after detective Pierre Castaing failed to find a missing girl, his daughter takes up the case. French noir from the creators of Spiral.

I'm also watching I, Sniper: the Washington Killers which is on Channel 4. I'm currently on the fifth episode. Despite the graphic and upsetting content I'm finding it compulsive viewing. I'd obviously heard about this terrible series of crimes but it happened at a time when I couldn't glue myself to the Guardian website all day, every day (like now), so I didn't really know much detail and the documentary makers have done an superb job pulling all the information, footage and interviews together. Anyone else seen it?

Friday, February 25, 2022

Published 21-28 February 2022

I'm expanding on my monthly listing. These are the 27 books published between 21 and 28 February 2022. Blurbs and covers taken from Amazon.

This is a trial set of posts for February so I'd love some feedback as to whether they're useful, and/or encourages you to seek out titles that a basic list doesn't. So far the feedback has been very positive. I think I'll have to stick with weekly lists for these type of posts, as there's too many titles for one post.

Anthology: Music of the Night (ed. Martin Edwards)

Music of the Night is a new anthology of original short stories contributed by Crime Writers' Association (CWA) members and edited by Martin Edwards, with music as the connecting theme. The aim, as always, is to produce a book which is representative both of the genre and the membership of the world’s premier crime writing association.

The CWA has published anthologies of members’ stories in most years since 1956, with Martin Edwards as editor for over 25 years, during which time the anthologies have yielded many award-winning and nominated stories by writers such as Ian Rankin, Reginald Hill, Lawrence Block, and Edward D. Hoch. Stories by long-standing authors and stellar names sit alongside contributions from relative newcomers, authors from overseas, and members whose work haven’t appeared in a CWA anthology before.

Baker, Tina - Nasty Little Cuts


A nightmare jolts Debs awake. She leaves the kids tucked up in their beds and goes downstairs. There's a man in her kitchen, holding a knife. But it's not an intruder. This is her husband Marc, the father of her children. A man she no longer recognises.

Once their differences were what drew them together, what turned them on. Him, the ex-army officer from a good family. Her, the fitness instructor who grew up over a pub. But now these differences grate to the point of drawing blood. Marc screams in his sleep. And Debs hardly knows the person she's become, or why she lets him hurt her.

Neither of them is completely innocent. Neither is totally guilty. Marc is taller, stronger, and more vicious, haunted by a war he can't forget. But he has no idea what Debs is capable of when her children's lives are at stake...

A powerful exploration of a relationship built on passion, poisoned by secrets and violence. Perfect for readers of Blood Orange and Big Little Lies.

Blake, Robin - Hungry Death #8 Titus Cragg, Coroner & Luke Fidelis, Doctor, 1740 Lancashire

When a blackened body is discovered buried beneath a hot-house, Coroner Titus Cragg uncovers a tale of scandalous secrets stretching back almost twenty years.

"Coroner Cragg. You think you can find out what happened at this house? You are mistaken. You can never find out."

November, 1747. County Coroner Titus Cragg has been called to the scene of a gruesome slaughter at a rural farmhouse: a mother and her four children brutally murdered in their own home. Were they killed by the man who should have protected them: their husband and father? And what role is played by the peculiar religious cult the family belongs to? Perhaps the mute boy who lives in the dog kennel knows the truth.

Meanwhile, Titus's friend Dr Luke Fidelis is a guest of wealthy landowner and local magistrate John Blackburne at nearby Orford Hall. When a blackened but well-preserved body is discovered deep beneath Blackburne's hot-house, Cragg and Fidelis are asked to investigate. But how can they make headway when, as they soon learn, this corpse might have been in the ground for centuries?

Gradually, Titus pieces together a tale of secrets, scandal and thwarted passion - and uncovers a shocking connection between the body under the hothouse and the slaughter in the farmhouse.

Bright, Verity - A Royal Murder #9 Lady Eleanor Swift, 1920s

At the royal boat race there are beautiful barges, plenty of bunting, a handsome prince and... is that a body in the water? Lady Swift is on the case!

Spring, 1923. One-time adventurer and now amateur sleuth Lady Eleanor Swift is attending the annual royal regatta with her new pal Tipsy Fitzroy. Tipsy has Eleanor trussed up like a debutante in a new dress, determined to turn her into a proper society lady. Even Eleanor's favourite companion, Gladstone the bulldog, has a new outfit for the occasion.

But the sparkling prize-giving ceremony is interrupted when the devilishly handsome host gulps his glass of champagne on stage and collapses to the floor. The victim is none other than the king's cousin, Lord Xander Taylor-Howard. He was rumoured to be entangled in a rather dubious gambling ring, but did someone kill him instead of collecting his debt? Or was this simply an ill-timed tragic accident? Either way, a right royal scandal is afoot...

Sir Percival, the head of the royal police, asks Eleanor for her help investigating. He'd do anything to keep the story under wraps. She knows it will get her into hot water with a certain dapper Detective Seldon, but she's determined to see justice done. However, as she digs deeper, she learns Lord Taylor-Howard was hiding more than one murky secret. It isn't until she takes a closer look at the unfortunate royal's shattered champagne flute that she stumbles upon just the clue she needs. But can she reel in the killer before her ship is sunk too?

A warm and witty 1920s mystery that cozy fans will just adore. Addictive reading for fans of T E Kinsey, Lee Strauss and Agatha Christie.

Browne, Sheryl - The Invite

The invites went out weeks ago, and tonight, at a lavish manor house surrounded by friends and family, Kaitlin couldn't be happier. But as the champagne corks pop, her dream party becomes her worst nightmare...


Staring at the stunning diamond solitaire on her finger, Kaitlin is finally getting the chance to introduce her best friend Zoe to her perfect fiancé. She hasn't known Greg long, but he looks after her, and he loves playing dad to her young daughter. How could she say no when he's already planned their elopement?

 As guests arrive, why is Greg acting so shifty? And is that a flicker of recognition on Zoe's face? And why does she look terrified every time her phone rings?

Kaitlin watches as Zoe knocks back her white wine and makes a beeline for Greg. After a heated conversation, Zoe stumbles towards the door and flees the party without looking back.

Days later, the police knock at Kaitlin's door - Zoe is missing.

Kaitlin wants to believe her loving fiancé is not to blame, but she knows what she saw the night of the party. And when he lies to the police, can she trust the man she's marrying? Could Kaitlin and her precious daughter's life now be in danger too?

The Invite is an absolutely unmissable psychological thriller, perfect for fans of The Girl on the TrainGone Girl and The Wife. You'll be hooked from the first page!

Carson, John - Final Warning (ebook only) #1 Detective Superintendent Calvin Stewart

A detective on his way out. A pathologist already out the door. And a killer up for the challenge.

Detective Superintendent Calvin Stewart is on his final warning after messing up a crime scene in Glasgow. He's never been one for desk duty and he's not going to start now.

Finbar O'Toole is a pathologist and is at the crime scene where Stewart disgraces himself. There's no love lost between the two men.

A violent incident takes place and Finbar steps in to save Stewart, and then the two men get talking.

A bond is formed as they set about tracking down a killer who's been amongst them all this time - and nobody is even aware.

Finding roadblocks at every turn, they put their own lives on the line as they search for the truth and hunt down a killer who won't let anybody stand in their way. Not even them.

The first book in an off shoot from the DCI Harry McNeil series, Final Warning brings together two enemies to form a formidable bond.

Cercas, Javier - Even the Darkest Night tr. Anne McLean

When Melchor goes to investigate the horrific double-murder of a rich printer and his wife in rural Cataluña nothing quite adds up. The young cop from the big city, hero of a foiled terrorist attack, has been sent to Terra Alta till things quieten down. Observant, streetwise and circumspect, Melchor is an also an outsider.

The son of a Barcelona prostitute who never knew his father, Melchor rapidly fell into trouble and was jailed at 19, convicted of driving for a Colombian drug cartel. While he was behind bars, he read Hugo's 
Les Misérables, and then his mother was murdered. Admiring of both Jean Valjean and Javert - but mostly the relentless Javert - he decided to become a policeman.

Now he is out for revenge, but he can wait, and meanwhile he has discovered happiness with his wife, the local librarian, and their daughter, who is, of course, called Cossette.

Slowly at first, and then more rapidly once ordered to abandon the case, he tracks the clues that will reveal the larger truth behind what appears at first to be a cold-blooded, professional killing.

Croft, Kathryn - The Lying Wife

Be careful what you wish for…

Callie has known sadness, and sometimes doubted she would ever have the life she wanted. When she meets James, also no stranger to grief, it seems as though her luck has changed. She becomes his wife, and in the process a stepmother to his two sons. Callie has finally got what she always imagined for herself.

But things don’t go to plan for Callie. She tries to get things right, but at every turn she makes mistakes. If she can only show her new family just how much she cares, perhaps everything will be okay. Yet the harder she tries, the more she fails. A split-second decision leads to her spiralling out of control, and there is no way back for Callie.

When the police arrest her for murder, the dark tale of Callie’s shocking fall from grace slowly unfolds. But how much is Callie willing to reveal about the choices she made? If those she cares for the most learn the truth, they will hate her. Will her secrets be her undoing? Or will she tell the truth, no matter the cost?

Denzil, Sarah - A My Perfect Daughter (ebook only)

Most mothers hope their little girl turns out like their dad, but not Zoe. She hopes the apple falls far from the tree.

Zoe didn't meet her daughter the way most mothers do. She finds five-year-old Maddie alone and dirty on a countryside road. Frightened for Maddie's safety, she picks her up and takes her back to her father, not knowing what she's about to step into. Because Maddie wasn't just lost, she was there to lure her serial killer dad's new victim.

escaping from the clutches of Maddie's dangerous father, she bonds with the little girl. Only Maddie knows what it was like to be at that house. And when no family members come forward to claim Maddie, Zoe decides to adopt her. They move away to a safe house on the Cornish coast and become a family of their own. Zoe gets married and has another child, a baby brother for Maddie.

But Maddie is still traumatised by what she experienced. Diagnosed with callous and unemotional traits, Zoe has a tough job to ensure Maddie has the love and support she needs. Zoe truly loves her daughter—she wouldn't change a thing about her. But there is a part of her that always stays alert. 
A part of her is afraid of Maddie.

And now, eleven years later, 
Maddie's school bully is found dead, and another girl is missing.

Zoe can't help but wonder... 
like father, like daughter?

Duffy, C S - All the Stars Above (ebook only) #3 Stockholm Murders

Everything is going to be fine.
Ellie just needs to find the serial killer who destroyed her life and bring her to justice.

Save Johan. Get her career and life back on track. Finally start living her happy ever after.

It all starts with nailing Mia once and for all.

There’s just one problem.

She is the only one who believes Mia is still alive.

A psychological suspense thriller with a twist of Scandi noir - perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Ellicott, Jessica - Death in a Blackout #1 WPC Billie Harkness, Hull, 1940

The first in a brand-new WWII historical mystery series introduces WPC Billie Harkness - a female police officer who risks her life to protect the home front in the British coastal city of Hull.

1940. Britain is at war. Rector's daughter Wilhelmina Harkness longs to do her duty for her country, but when her strict mother forbids her to enlist, their bitter argument has devastating consequences.

Unable to stay in the village she loves, Wilhelmina - reinventing herself as Billie - spends everything she has on a one-way ticket up north. Hull is a distant, dangerous city, but Billie is determined to leave her painful memories behind and start afresh, whatever the cost.

The last thing Billie expects on her first evening in Hull, however, is to be caught in the city's first air raid - or to stumble across the body of a young woman, suspiciously untouched by debris.

If the air raid didn't kill the glamorous stranger, what did? Billie is determined to get justice, and her persistence earns her an invitation to the newly formed Women's Police Constabulary. But as the case unfolds, putting her at odds with both high-ranking members of the force as well as the victim's powerful family, Billie begins to wonder if she can trust her new friends and colleagues . . . or if someone amongst them is working for the enemy.

DEATH IN A BLACKOUT is a perfect pick for fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Rhys Bowen and Susan Elia MacNeal.

Engberg, Katrine - The Harbo(u)r  #3 Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner, Police, Copenhagen  tr. Tara Chace (UK: 10 March)

A boy is missing.
A web of lies will be uncovered...

When fifteen-year-old Oscar Dreyer-Hoff disappears, it's assumed he's another teenage runaway - an overlooked middle child who will turn up within 24 hours.

But as the hours, and then days, tick by and the family become more frantic, Detectives Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner begin to dig deeper into Oscar's life.

Who has been sending the family malicious notes? What secrets is Oscar's best friend keeping? And what's really going on down at the harbour?

With every passing hour and little evidence, the odds of finding a missing person grow dimmer and dimmer in Kørner and Werner's toughest case yet.

Combining pin-sharp storytelling and a rollercoaster investigation, The Harbour is an absorbing mystery thriller for fans of Jo Nesbo and Tana French.

Griffiths, Rebecca - The Body on the Moor (ebook only)

Connie splashed through puddles, the rain slapping her face. Everywhere was tarmac and concrete, fog and drizzle, but no sign of her child. ‘Have you seen my daughter? Please, you must’ve seen her?’ Connie’s face crumpled, preparing to cry. But there wasn’t time for tears, she told herself, she had to find her child.

Manchester, England, 1965: In an instant Connie’s life has changed. She only left her daughter Kathy alone for a moment but that was enough for her to vanish without a trace. As Connie desperately searches for her, she has to put the news reports of other missing children to the back of her mind. She is determined to find her safe. She will bring her daughter home.

As local farmer 
Ronald listens to the news, he is shocked by what he hears. He has spent his life away from the spotlight, quietly tending to his farm. But when a young couple begin acting suspiciously on his land, he knows that trouble is about to reach his door.

And then he sees her. A girl in a bright red coat who looks completely lost. Ronald knows he needs to help keep her safe and find her family. But on the wild and desolate farmland, Ronald has buried his own dark secret. Can he risk it coming to light to save her life?

Inspired by a real-life true crime story, this is an unforgettable and totally gripping mystery thriller perfect for fans of Gregg Olsen, Elly Griffiths and Found.

Higson, Charlie - Whatever Gets You Through the Night

Most people travel to Corfu to escape the real world for a couple of weeks and embrace the fantasy of olive trees, sandy beaches, and little fishing boats bobbing on sparkling blue water under a warm sun.

But not McIntyre. McIntyre's a fixer, specialising in getting people out of places they don't want to be with the minimum of fuss, publicity and violence. The job in Corfu should be easy - spring, Lauren, a 15-year-old schoolgirl, from the luxury compound of the tech billionaire, Julian Hepworth. Hepworth's young, handsome and charismatic - he's also a suspected paedophile, who, under the guise of training a girls' tennis team, has set up an abusive cult.

But as McIntyre sets up his operation in the exclusive north eastern corner of the island, things quickly start to slip out of his control. First, Lauren's father turns up, threatening to give the game away, and soon, McIntyre's having to contend with Albanian gangsters, Greek drug dealers, psychotic bodyguards, flat earthers and spoilt, wealthy teenagers looking for dangerous kicks. To further complicate things, Lauren's planning her own 'jailbreak'. It looks like things are going to be a lot harder than McIntyre's used to. Luckily, he has his team around him, a motley and colourful bunch, each with their own speciality.

The intertwined stories come together as the various characters all converge on a glamorous summer party at Hepworth's spectacular villa. Can McIntyre play the different factions off against each other and get Lauren to safety without things going horribly wrong?

Whatever Gets You Through The Night is a crime novel with a thrillingly dark heart about the truths that lurk beneath the picture post card surface of a sunny Mediterranean idyll.

Hunter, Evie - The Trap

Callie Devereux has it all – a successful career, a beautiful home and an attentive, loving partner. Until one day, she wakes up to discover that the man she thought she loved has taken everything from her, leaving her penniless. Desperate to get answers, Callie goes after the man she once trusted and discovers a world built on secrets and lies...

Jack Carlisle has never heard of the man Callie Devereaux claims to have once loved, but he has a good idea who it is – his business partner and old friend, Logan Armitage. Jack can’t believe Logan would steal, but as he helps Callie to find his old friend, Jack discovers money missing too…

But with Logan missing without trace, there is only option left to catch this thief – to set a trap.

A gripping revenge thriller, perfect for fans of Gemma Rogers!

Jameson, Emma - A Death at Silversmith Bay #3 Jemima Jago, Librarian, Isles of Scilly

Librarian Jemima Jago can’t resist a whodunnit, but finding a body in a bookshop is a plot twist she could never have expected…

Jem Jago is back at work with her antique books, and spending her weekends exploring her new home. On a trip out to picturesque Penzance to visit local gem Tattteredly’s second-hand bookstore, Jem and her best friend Micki get more than they bargained for when they discover the body of the beautiful Gina Marrack, the owner, dead among the stacks…

Unable to resist a real-life mystery, Jem convinces Gina’s friends to talk. She learns Gina wasn’t actually well liked in her little corner of town. A property developer had been sniffing around the street for some time, but Gina had refused to sell up. 
Did the rowdy real estate agent bump off poor Gina, looking for a quick pay day? Or was her jilted ex-lover out for revenge?

Poking around the scene of the crime, Jem finds an unusual book out of place on the meticulously organized shelves. Could this be a vital clue? And can Jem get to the bottom of the murder before the terrible tale comes to an end for her too?

A fun, cozy page-turner filled with mystery and intrigue, from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Emma Jameson. Fans of M.C. Beaton, Faith Martin and Agatha Christie will be totally hooked!

Kane, Alex - The Family Business

Donnie Black. Charming, successful... and utterly terrifying, he rules the Glasgow underworld with an iron fist. Nothing - or no one - will stop him and he's not afraid to get his hands dirty to grow his fortune.

Layla Black. She's been married to Donnie for twenty years, enjoying the lavish world he has worked hard to create. But behind the perfect image Layla is crumbling, numbing her pain with alcohol. But Layla doesn't know the secrets Donnie keeps - and the truth will send her spiralling.

Louise Bellshaw. She's young, beautiful and innocent. She's charmed by Donnie's sweet words, and believes she's found true love. But Louise doesn't know her dream man has plans that will turn her life into a nightmare.

As the three collide, no one can predict how family ties will turn to bloodshed. Because you'll do anything for the ones you love, won't you?

A dark, twisty and totally gripping thriller set in the heart of Glasgow gangland - fans of Mandasue Heller and Kimberley Chambers won't be able to put this down.

Kaya, Kerry - Reprisal (ebook only)

Her vengeance will be deadly…

Cathy Townsend has it all, a loving husband, two handsome sons, and a lifestyle that many people envy. But one violent and bloody night Cathy's whole world comes crashing down around her.

Heartbroken and reeling from the events that took place, Cathy is determined to seek revenge on the people responsible for stealing her perfect life away from her. She knows she’ll need help but doesn’t know who to trust.

Because in this new dark and dangerous world, Cathy discovers that friends are enemies and blood isn’t always thicker than water.

Another brilliant story from Kerry Kaya, perfect for gangland fans everywhere!

Keogh, Valerie - A Taste of Deceit 

A darkly suspenseful story of troubled marriages, small-town secrets, and shocking twists by the author of The Three Women.

After a row with her husband, Jocelyn Dexter leaves London and heads to their country cottage for a break. While she’s there, Jocelyn joins a group of women one night at the manor house nearby—and gets entangled in other people’s relationships.

Picking up on the tension beneath the surface, Jocelyn entertains herself by indulging in some snooping, and tries to pry secrets out of the locals. The tables turn when she discovers that someone is spying on her, and it becomes clear that someone wants her to go back where she came from.

Jocelyn considers it a challenge. But involving herself in the affairs of others will lead her down a dark path . .

Kristian, Giles -Where Blood Runs Cold

Erik Amdahl and his spirited daughter, Sofia, have embarked on a long-promised cross-country ski trip deep into Norway's arctic circle. For Erik, it's the chance to bond properly with his remaining daughter following a tragic accident. For Sofia, it's the proof she needs that her father does care.

Then, far from home in this snowbound wilderness, with night falling and the mercury plummeting, an accident sends them in search of help - and shelter. Nearby is the home of a couple - members of Norway's indigenous Sami people - who they've met before, and who welcome them in. Erik is relieved. He believes the worst is over. He thinks that Sofia is now safe. He could not be more wrong. He and Sofia are not the old couple's only visitors that night - and soon he and Sofia will be running for their lives . . .
...and beneath the swirling light show of the Northern Lights, a desperate fight ensues - of man against man, of man against nature - a fight for survival that plays out across the snow and ice.

A story of endurance and of the desperate, instinctive will to survive, of a father's love for his child, of knowing when to let go - and of a daughter's determination to prove herself worthy of that love, 
Where Blood Runs Cold is a pulse-racing thriller from a master storyteller.

O'Connor, Carlene - Murder on an Irish Farm #8 Siobhan O'Sullivan, Kilbane, County Cork

In this enchanting new read in the fan-favorite series from a USA Today bestselling author, garda of County Cork, Ireland, Siobhán O’Sullivan and Macdaras Flannery, are about to get married at last. But just as the rowdy O’Sullivan brood and all the regulars of the local bistro have gathered at the church, the nuptials come to an abrupt halt when the discovery of an unidentified skeleton puts the wedding on pause…

If only her mother could be here! The entire O’Sullivan brood—not to mention the regulars from Naomi’s Bistro—have gathered at St. Mary’s Church for the wedding of Siobhán and Macdara. It’s not every day you see two garda marrying each other. Only Siobhán’s brother James is missing. They can’t start without him.
But when James finally comes racing in, he’s covered in dirt and babbling he’s found a human skeleton in the old slurry pit at the farmhouse. What farmhouse? Macdara sheepishly admits he was saving it as a wedding surprise: he purchased an abandoned dairy farm. Duty calls, so the engaged garda decide to put the wedding on hold to investigate.
James leads them to a skeleton clothed in rags that resemble a tattered tuxedo. As an elderly neighbor approaches, she cries out that these must be the remains of her one true love who never showed up on their wedding day, fifty years ago. The garda have a cold case on their hands, which heats up the following day when a fresh corpse appears on top of the bridegroom’s bones. With a killer at large, they need to watch their backs—or the nearly wedded couple may be parted by death before they’ve even taken their vows. . .

Sheridan, Sarah - Girl in Bed Three

A victim of crime may actually be a criminal in this twisting tale of psychological suspense by the author of Devil’s Play.

When Sophie Macreavey wakes up in the hospital, suffering from stab wounds, detectives are quick to question her—hoping to make sense of the horrific scene where she was found. Sophie’s adoptive parents and sister are dead. Her brothers are missing. Sophie can’t remember anything—but reveals the abusive nightmare she’s been through as part of the family.

The social worker assigned to her case eventually brings Sophie home, but soon notices discrepancies in Sophie’s story. She claims she hadn’t been allowed to use technology, yet there’s a social media account, extensive messages between herself and a boy, and videos of Sophie online. The more that comes out, the worse it looks for Sophie. She has told some lies. But will the full truth be uncovered?

Sherratt, Mel - Broken Promises (ebook only) #4 DS Allie Shenton

Family is everything.

The Limekiln Estate has witnessed many a dark crime over the years. When DI Allie Shenton is called out to a suspicious death, she isn’t surprised to see it’s a local she knows only too well.

While the slaying of Billy Whitmore is on everyone’s lips, a woman is stabbed in her home. A day later and a third victim turns up.

Three known associates brutally murdered - the bodies are piling up quicker than the forensic evidence is coming back. Yet Allie senses there’s something more disturbing going on. She’s sure Fiona Abbott, Billy’s partner, is involved too.

With enemies from her past rearing their ugly heads, and the press and public up in arms, Allie has her work cut out to get to the shocking truth. Can she and her loyal team stop the killer who has a close-knit community living in fear?

And by raking up secrets from the past, has she made the Abbott family the next target, especially fourteen-year-old Kelsey?

Set within the gritty streets of Stoke-on-Trent, this fast-paced British detective novel is a dark murder mystery with an emotional pull.

Shrager, Rosemary - The Last Supper #1 Prudence Bulstrode, Retired Chef

The irresistible debut novel from celebrity TV chef Rosemary Shrager where cosy crime and cookery collide!

When an old television rival, Deirdre Shaw, is found dead at the Cotswolds manor house where she was catering for a prestigious shooting weekend, Prudence is asked to step into the breach. Prudence is only too happy to take up the position and soon she is working in the kitchens of Farleigh Manor.

But Farleigh Manor is the home to secrets, both old and new. The site of a famous unsolved murder from the nineteenth century, Farleigh Manor has never quite shaken off its sensationalist past. It's about to get a sensational present too. Because, the more she scratches beneath the surface of this manor and its guests, the more Prudence becomes certain that Deirdre Shaw's death was no accident. She's staring in the face of a very modern murder. . .

Walters, Alex - Bad Terms #3 DI Annie Delamere, Derbyshire

When a skeleton is unearthed at a building site in the village of Meresham, the police immediately link the case to a notorious missing persons investigation. Jayne Arnold was sixteen when she disappeared in the long, hot summer of 1976, and has not been seen since.

Soon after the bones are found, a tragic accident occurs at an elite boarding school nearby. The young victim fell to her death from the roof of a building. Digging into the girl's background links her to an attempted expose of donations from unsavoury individuals. When further deaths follow, does it suggest a cover up is underway? Who stood to lose most from the truth coming out? And how do recent crimes link to events from more than 45 years ago? DI Annie Delamere and her team are tasked to answer these questions, but her own mother may stand between Annie and the truth.

Wilson, Glenis - Dead Lucky #5 Harry Radcliffe, Jockey

Jump jockey Harry Radcliffe is thrown into another dark mystery when a good friend is left fighting for his life after being struck by a bullet.

A day of celebration quickly turns into a nightmare for champion jockey Harry Radcliffe and his friend, horsebox driver Keith Whelan, when Keith is brutally shot in the head while driving the pair back from an engagement party. But was the bullet that smashed through the horsebox windscreen really meant for Keith, or for Harry himself? Harry escapes unscathed from the bloody scene, but Keith is left fighting for his life in hospital. It seems that Harry is dead lucky to be alive.

Despite his recent vow to focus solely on his racing, Harry determines to find out who committed such a brutal act, and quickly finds himself drawn into horse racing's dark and dangerous underbelly. Will his pursuit of justice for Keith prove to be a deadly step too far?

Wright, Adam J - House of the Dead (ebook only) #4 Murder Force

A remote and lonely house. A murder from out of the blue. A detective in danger. This will be the Murder Force’s most perilous case yet.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Update Week 8

I'm currently at my mum's - not quite stranded by all the storms but hopeful I can have a safe journey back home tomorrow.

February's weekly lists seems to be popular - thanks so much for the emails and comments. The final books for February will be detailed in a post on Friday.

In my to do list are the releases for March (list version) and then subdivided into weeks with the blurbs etc. Also to do is the Petrona Eligibles post and chase up the outstanding Petrona entries - we have about half the books already and most publishers have responded to my initial email so it's looking good.

My current read is the Petrona 2022 Eligible, The Darkness Knows by Arnaldur Indridason translated by Victoria Cribb.

I really liked the Erlendur series but didn't get on so well with 'The Shadow' ones. This is the start of a new series featuring retired police detective Konrad (I assume this is the same Konrad who appears in The Shadow District?) and involves a cold case - cold in both senses - where a man who disappeared thirty years ago is discovered frozen in a glacier.



Friday, February 18, 2022

Published 14-20 February 2022

I'm expanding on my monthly listing. These are the 19 books published between 14 and 20 February 2022. Blurbs and covers taken from Amazon.

This is a trial set of posts for February so I'd love some feedback as to whether they're useful, and/or encourages you to seek out titles that a basic list doesn't. So far the feedback has been very positive. I think I'll have to stick with weekly lists for these type of posts, as there's too many titles for one post.

Adolfsson, Maria - Wild Shores #2 Doggerland trilogy tr. Agnes Broomé 
A disused quarry. A suspicious death. A dark past bubbling to the surface . . .

Though Detective Karen Eiken Hornby returned to her homeland, the island nation Doggerland, from London some years ago, she has largely avoided visiting the northernmost island where her father's wayward family reside.

But when a man's body is discovered in a flooded quarry on Noorö and with illness preventing any of her colleagues attending, Karen has no choice but to head north to investigate.

However, with limited resources at her disposal Karen is largely on her own - and she cannot shake the feeling that her relatives, with their somewhat lax approach to the rule of law, could be involved . . .

Alonge, Amen - A Good Day To Die #1 Pretty Boy
Meet Pretty Boy. Vengeance is on his mind.

His real name:

His code of conduct:
Don't be a pawn in someone else's game.
Never underestimate the enemy.
Above all, survive. There is no glory in death.

His mission:
It's been ten years since Pretty Boy left the big city - today he's back. No one knows why, but it's clear that revenge is on his mind: he is determined to make the person responsible for his exile from the London scene finally pay. But his plans seem derailed when he takes possession of a bracelet, unaware that its original owner has set a high price for its safe return. Suddenly, the hunter becomes the hunted and Pretty Boy will have to find out if it is indeed a 'good day to die'.

Jam-packed with action, an unforgettable cast of characters and peppered with dry humour, A Good Day to Die marks the arrival of a fresh and exciting new voice in thriller writing.

Austin, Stephanie - A Devon Night's Death #5 Juno Browne
Barnes, Charlotte - The Things I Didn't Do 

A writer interrogates a woman who may or may not have killed her husband, in a taut tale of psychological suspense by the author of Sincerely, Yours.

After twenty-five years in the remote English countryside, living under an assumed name, Erica Miller has decided it’s time for the world to hear her story—from her point of view, rather than from the tabloids or the gossips who think she got away with murder.

She hires Prudence Carr to write about her privileged childhood, her marriage, the affairs, the day her husband disappeared, and the day his body was found in the marshes. Despite evidence against her, the jury refused to convict, leaving Erica to live a life of quiet isolation.

Erica has a lot to say. But as the story unfolds, so does Prudence. It is clear that this project could make Prudence’s career. In this compelling novel of mystery and deceit, everything will depend on who gets the last word . . .

Berry, Freya - The Dictator's Wife 
I learned early in life how to survive. A skill that became vital in my position.

I was given no power, yet I was expected to hold my own with the most powerful man in the country.

My people were my children. I stood between him and them.

I am not the person they say I am.
I am not my husband.
I am innocent.

Do you believe me?

Visceral and thought provoking, haunting and heartbreaking, The Dictator's Wife will hold you in its grip until its powerful conclusion and keep you turning the pages long into the night.

Comley,  M A - The Missing Wife #7 DI Sally Parker
Years have gone by, justice was served. The case closed. Until now.

The body of a woman, missing for twelve years, is discovered during a routine dig on a nature reserve. It’s up to DI Sally Parker and her team to revisit the evidence. Was the right man convicted? Are there more victims?

On-going investigations are piling on the pressure, forcing Sally to reach out to an old friend for help.

The team are driven to provide closure for the family, but can the killer escape conviction yet again?

From the New York Times Bestselling author who brought you the Justice Series, M A Comley now brings you The Missing Wife, the next gripping installment in the nail-biting DI Sally Parker Cold Case series.
Corcoran, Caroline - Five Days Missing 

I did this. The most awful thing…’

Romilly disappeared hours after giving birth, leaving behind her baby. Now, those closest to her rally around to look after the little girl, and to figure out what drove Romilly to do such a thing.
Her husband Marc has an explanation that makes total sense. But is the easiest solution always the right one? And does someone in Romilly’s tight circle know more than they are letting on?
As secrets spill out and old ties are tested to their limits, one thing is clear: the truth will come out. The question is, who will still be alive to hear it?

A twist-filled, emotional tale of dark pasts and even darker secrets – perfect for fans of Adele Parks and Heidi Perks.

Dixon, Helena - Murder in First Class #8 Miss Underhay 

All aboard a train bound for... murder.

Kitty Underhay is looking forward to a week of long lunches and wedding planning with her husband-to-be, Captain Matthew Bryant. But the plan is derailed when he is called on to collect a former comrade-in-arms, arriving on the 15:50 from Bakerloo. As the train bearing Simon Travers pulls up to the platform, a piercing scream rises over the screech of its brakes. Travers is dead in his seat, a dagger in his heart. 

Who gave this defenceless man a one-way ticket to the next life? And why? And could Matt's close connection put him at risk? Only a few individuals had access to Travers's compartment, and Kitty must find out which of these seemingly benign passengers is in fact a cross-country killer

But when Kitty's prime suspect, the travelling salesman with no merchandise, is found murdered, she is stumped. Until she makes the connection between the two victims and realises that this murderer has an even more deadly destination in mind. Can she stop them before they strike again? Or will Kitty's own next stop be the graveyard? 

A pitch-perfect and totally gripping Golden Age historical cozy mystery! Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss.

Ewan, C M - The Interview
It’s 5 p.m. on a Friday.
You have been called to an interview for your dream job.
In a stunning office thirteen floors above the city below, you are all alone with the man interviewing you.
Everyone else has gone home for the weekend.
The interview gets more and more disturbing.
You’re feeling scared.
Your only way out is to answer a seemingly impossible question.
If you can’t . . . what happens next?

Horst, Jorn Lier & Enger Thomas - Unhinged #3 Alexander Blix tr. Megan Turney 
When a police investigator is killed execution-style and Blix’s own daughter is targeted by the killer, he makes a dangerous decision, which could cost him everything. Blix & Ramm are back in a breathless, emotive thriller by two of Norway’s finest crime writers…

Jakeman, Jo - What His Wife Knew

The only word scribbled on a note from Beth's husband before he disappeared.

The police believe that Oscar took his own life and this last apology was his way of saying goodbye to his wife. But Beth knows there is more to the story. As disturbing secrets about his life emerge, and the lies of those closest to her begin to unravel, she realises she never really knew her husband at all.

She wants to know what he was sorry for, and she's going to find out... but someone doesn't want her to discover the truth.

And they'll do anything to stop her.

What His Wife Knew is a gripping suspense which is not what it first seems. It is a tale of revenge and betrayal but also of family and loyalty, with a final showdown you won't easily forget.

Jarratt, Laura - Disappeared 

Let it burn. Let everything burn.

One day Cerys walks out of her comfortable life, never to return. Standing on a hillside at night with no phone and no possessions, watching her car set alight, she believes this is the end. And then Lily walks into her life.

Lily is desperate for a new start for herself and her child. More than that, she knows she has to disappear in order to keep them both safe.

The two women strike a fierce bond, and are both running from things that soon threaten to catch up with them. Can these two women keep each other safe... Can they trust each other ? Or are the pasts they've escaped too much for either of them to bear?

A deeply emotional and complex thriller that explores motherhood, love and the desperate need to protect it... at any cost.

Matthews, L V - The Twins


Margo is a live-in nanny for an upper-class family. Cora is a penniless dancer on the cusp of a big break.

Total opposites, bound by the worst secret you can imagine.

And when it's revealed, only one can survive.

But can there be a winner when a secret is so dark?


McCleave,  Simon - The Lake Vyrnwy Killings (ebook only) #11 DI Ruth Hunter 

A missing husband. A gruesome discovery. DI Ruth Hunter and her partner, DS Nick Evans, must decide if the two are linked and if a local man is the victim of a Liverpool gangland hit.

Ruth and Nick are called to a gruesome discovery at the beautiful Lake Vyrnwy but have little to go on to identify the grisly remains. When a local man is reported missing, it seems that his links to a Merseyside gang might explain his disappearance. However, closer scrutiny seems to suggest that it might also be a domestic dispute that simply got out of hand.

When the man is spotted at various locations, Ruth and Nick must discover if he is on the run and hiding, or if there is a darker manipulation that could explain the sightings.

The Lake Vyrnwy Killings is the eleventh book in the DI Ruth Hunter Murder Case Snowdonia series. If you like chilling police procedurals, true-to-life characters, and psychological twists, then you’ll love Simon McCleave’s page-turning thrill ride.
McCulloch, Amy - Breathless 
When struggling journalist Cecily Wong is invited to join an expedition to climb one of the world's tallest mountains, it seems like the chance of a lifetime.

She doesn't realise how deadly the climb will be.

As their small team starts to climb, things start to go wrong. There's a theft. Then an accident. Then a mysterious note, pinned to her tent:
there's a murderer on the mountain.

The higher they get, the more dangerous the climb becomes, and the more they need to trust one another.

And that's when Cecily finds the first body . . .

Oswald, James - All That Lives #12 Detective Inspector McLean, Edinburgh

Two victims. Nothing connects them, except that someone buried them in the exact same way.
Seven hundred years apart.

An archaeological dig at the old South Leith parish kirkyard has turned up a mysterious body dating from around seven hundred years ago. Some suspect that this gruesome discovery is a sacrifice, placed there for a specific purpose.

Then a second body is unearthed. This victim went missing only thirty years ago - but the similarities between her death and the ancient woman's suggest something even more disturbing.

Drawn into the investigation, Inspector McLean finds himself torn between a worrying trend of violent drug-related deaths and uncovering what truly connects these bodies. When a third body is discovered, and too close for comfort, he begins to suspect dark purpose at play - and that whoever put them there is far from finished.

Raybourn, Deanna - An Impossible Impostor #7 Veronica Speedwell, adventuress and butterfly hunter, Victorian London

London, 1889. Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian beau Stoker are summoned by Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Special Branch. He has a personal request on behalf of his goddaughter, Euphemia Hathaway. After years of traveling the world, her eldest brother, Jonathan, heir to Hathaway Hall, was believed to have been killed in the catastrophic eruption of Krakatoa a few years before. But now a man matching Jonathan's description and carrying his possessions has arrived at Hathaway Hall with no memory of his identity or where he has been. Could this man truly be Jonathan, back from the dead? Or is he a devious impostor, determined to gain ownership over the family's most valuable possessions - a legendary parure of priceless Rajasthani jewels? It's a delicate situation, and Veronica is Sir Hugo's only hope. Veronica and Stoker agree to go to Hathaway Hall to covertly investigate the mysterious amnesiac. Veronica is soon shocked to find herself face-to-face with a ghost from her past. To help Sir Hugo discover the truth, she must open doors to her own history that she long believed to be shut for good.
Tallon, Emma - Her Betrayal (ebook only) #3 Scarlet Drew 
If you love reading Martina Cole and Kimberley Chambers you will be totally gripped by this gritty, gangland crime thriller. Once you meet fearless and strong Scarlet Drew, you won’t be able to stop reading.

Head of the family crime business, and with a new guy in her life, things have never been better for Scarlet Drew. Working with her aunt Lily on their biggest ever job – revenge on the woman who set fire to their factory, with Lily’s daughter trapped inside – Scarlet is suddenly dragged into the local police station to answer questions about the death of a local gangster. The face she sees across the interview table shocks her to her core. It’s her new boyfriend, John.

Hours later, John is banging on Scarlet’s door, telling her he loves her and she can trust him. Can Scarlet risk believing the only man she’s ever loved, or is she putting her family in unthinkable danger?

As the night of Lily’s plan draws near, the police come knocking once again. This time with evidence that could see Scarlet locked-up for good. Can they still pull off their biggest job yet, or has Scarlet made a fatal mistake and let John get one step ahead of them?

A completely unputdownable crime thriller that will keep you up all night!

Veste, Luca - You Never Said Goodbye

Sam Cooper has a happy life: a good job, a blossoming relationship. Yet, there's something he can never forget - the image seared into his mind of his mother, Laurie, dying when he was a child. His father allowed his grief to tear them apart and Sam hasn't seen him in years.

Until an unexpected call from Firwood hospital, asking Sam to come home, puts in motion a chain of devastating events. On his deathbed, Sam's father makes a shocking confession.

Who was Laurie Cooper? It's clear that everything Sam thought he knew about his mother was wrong. And now he's determined to find out exactly what she did and why - whatever the cost.

What happens if you discover you've been lied to by your own family for twenty-five years?

Sam Cooper is about to find out.