Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Published 28-31 March 2022

I've expanded on my monthly listing for March 2022. These are the 28 books published between 28 and 31 March 2022. Blurbs and covers taken from Amazon. 

Ambrose, Marty - Forever Past #3 Claire Clairmont, 1870s

Claire Clairmont's perilous quest to learn the fate of her daughter with Lord Byron enters its final stages in this last in a captivating historical trilogy based on the 'summer of 1816' Byron/Shelley group.

Italy, 1873. Claire Clairmont, one of the last surviving members of the Byron/Shelley circle, is determined to uncover the true fate of Allegra, her daughter conceived with Lord Byron. But her quest so far has been fraught with danger, and Claire knows she has enemies who will stop at nothing to keep past secrets hidden.

When she learns of a stunning revelation involving the abbess and Allegra, Claire returns to the convent of Bagnacavallo with her close companions to confront the abbess, and soon finds herself grappling with a series of chilling and threatening events.

As Claire finally closes in on the truth, could someone in her closest circle be plotting against her? And can she survive long enough to get the answers she craves for?

Barnes, Kerry - Taboo (ebook only)

He brutalised the wrong woman and now Harper Kane is coming for him . . .

Following the death of her husband, Desiree is left with two clubs. However, while her family are desperate to get ownership signed over to them, Desiree has other plans that involve Harper Kane.
It’s only been a year since Harper had to endure horrific torture at the hands of the Russian traffickers, but it didn’t break her, it only made her tougher. And now the one person she believed she could trust has shockingly become the enemy.
When Harper meets Desiree Deacon, she discovers that there is so much more to her family than just nightclubs. Harper is forced to enter the world of the unimaginable and discovers deeply guarded secrets that will leave her reeling.

Belbin, David - Death in the Family #4 Bone & Cane

Bilal’s sister, Nazia, is accused of having murdered her husband, Omar, because she’s having an affair with old flame, Nick Cane. Nick is being investigated by journalist Pete Carlson. He’s trying to prove that Cane is at the centre of a Nottingham drugs cartel.

It’s 2001 and there’s a General Election. Sarah Bone MP is likely to lose her seat in parliament. The last thing she wants is to be dragged into a messy murder where her ex-boyfriend is under suspicion. But Omar’s brother Fahd won’t take no for an answer.

Death runs through every family. This long-awaited novel is a tense, intricate mystery featuring an unforgettable group of characters with deep, tangled roots.

Belsham, Alison & Higgins, Nick - Death in Kabul #1 MacKenzie and Khan

2003. Kabul has become a frontier city, Afghanistan's fledgling democracy struggling with crime and corruption as NATO coalition troops, gangs and warlords jostle for control. A city where justice is an ideal and security means carrying a gun.

When the body of a British serviceman is discovered in the city's infamous tank graveyard, the Kabul Police reach out for support in their investigation. Alasdair 'Mac' MacKenzie, formerly of the Metropolitan Police, is seconded to the team.

Baz Khan, an Afghan-American investigative journalist, is in Kabul researching a story. Precious antiquities, priceless artefacts of the country's rich history, are disappearing amid the chaos, never to be seen again. Baz is determined to uncover whoever is spiriting them away, to prevent her war-torn country being further denuded for profit. And she has a lead...

The soldier's death was no accident. Why was he so far from the British base in the middle of the night? And alone? As Baz and Mac investigate, they quickly realise they have each stumbled on something far bigger than they reckoned with, and are tossed into the Kabul underworld, where violence and corruption rule.

A fast-paced, compelling adventure through the streets of Kabul, perfect for Jack Reacher fans.

Bengtsdotter, Lina - For the Lost #3 Detective Charlie Lager tr. tbc 


In Karlstad, nine-month-old Beatrice is missing from her pram. Her parents are in shock and the media is in a frenzy.

DI Charlie Lager is struggling with her own demons when she's called to investigate, forced to push them aside as the case intensifies.

As lead after lead goes nowhere, Charlie starts to feel like nobody actually wants the truth to come out about Beatrice as reluctant locals shut down in the face of her questions. And with each passing hour, the chance of finding Beatrice alive becomes less and less likely...

Boland, Shalini - The Family Holiday

Two families. One house swap. A vacation to die for.

I can't believe my luck as I arrive at the beautiful, white-washed Italian villa. Complete with an infinity pool and stunning views, it's the perfect place to create special memories with my family. But as soon as we step inside everything starts to go wrong...

When my neighbour from back home calls, concerned about the woman in my house - and the way she's snooping about - I start to wonder why successful Amber Mason has swapped her gorgeous villa in the sun for a crumbling English cottage.

In the mid-day heat a shiver runs down my spine. I have no idea who the stranger I've let into my life really is.

Then I discover an old photograph of my handsome husband hidden in a wardrobe in the master bedroom. My head spins as I try to understand why it's there. When I confront Niall on the balcony he has an answer for everything. As I search his familiar green eyes, with the sun setting in the background, I can no longer tell if he's lying. I storm out.

But when I return to the villa, in the dark of night, I scream. My husband is lying dead on the veranda.

Memories of our marriage flash before our eyes. Was it all a lie? And are my children now in danger?

The vacation is over and the nightmare has just begun...

Chapman, Julia - Date with Betrayal #7 The Dales Detective Series

Death is coming to Bruncliffe: its target is Samson O’Brien.

Oblivious to his impending date with fate, Samson is busy juggling a number of cases at the Dales Detective Agency. Too busy, in fact, to notice his partner behaving oddly.

Because Delilah Metcalfe knows what is coming. A hitman. Sent from London with one objective: to finally silence the troublesome O’Brien before his corruption case can make it to court.

With Samson’s life in peril, and betrayal around every corner, Delilah has no choice but to call in favours from all of her Bruncliffe connections in order to counteract the menace threatening to engulf the Dales town.

The only trouble is the townsfolk have long memories and deep grievances when it comes to Samson O’Brien. Trust must be earned and they will take some convincing before they put themselves in danger in order to save him.

And even then, it might not prove enough . . .

Doherty, Paul - The Hanging Tree #21 Brother Athelstan

Brother Athelstan must solve a theft from the royal treasure chamber and the murders of six executioners in this gripping medieval mystery.

London. January, 1382. The Crown's treasury has been robbed. Tens of thousands of silver and gold coins mysteriously lifted from the most secure chamber in the kingdom; the five Clerks of the Dark who guarded the king's treasure brutally garrotted. Sir John Cranston and Brother Athelstan are appointed to investigate - but Athelstan has problems of his own. Clement the Key Master, who helped fashion the complex locks to the royal treasure chamber, has been found strangled in the nave of Athelstan's parish, St Erconwald's church.

At the same time, six of the city's hangmen have been savagely murdered, their bodies stripped. Pinned to each corpse is a scrawled note: "Vengeance! The Upright Men never forget!" The Guild of Hangmen who frequent the majestic tavern, The Hanging Tree, on the River Thames, have petitioned for Sir John and Brother Athelstan to find the culprit. But have the sleuthing pair taken on more than they can handle . . . and could the two investigations be connected?

Duckworth, Charlotte - The Sanctuary

Four pregnant women. Three nights of pampering at an exclusive yoga retreat. One too many deadly secrets . . .

On a remote farm in the deepest Devonshire countryside, four pregnant women arrive at an exclusive yoga retreat for a five-star weekend of prenatal pampering. The location is idyllic.

Their host, Selina, is eager to teach them all she knows about pregnancy and motherhood. But, like Selina, each of the women has a secret.

And secrets can be deadly . . .

Finlay, Caz - Part of the Family #6 Bad Blood

You’re either with them

The Carters have always run the streets of Liverpool, but now there’s a new family in town who think it’s time to challenge the system.

Or against them

And when threats are made, both loyalty and money is at stake. Of course the Carters will seek revenge, but first Grace and her boys must find out who is responsible.

The decision is yours

Being at the top of your game is tough, especially when your enemies – both old and new – want to take you down. Now it’s time for the fight of their lives. The only question is, who will win?

Gatward, D J - One Bad Turn #9 DCI Harry Grimm

A murderous puzzle.

A compromised crime scene.

One DCI whose determination to nail the killer could cost him his life …

Detective Harry Grimm can’t catch a break. When his much-needed vacation is interrupted by a call reporting a decomposed corpse, he races home to examine the gruesome remains. Learning the young woman was tortured, he’s stunned when the peaceful countryside site explodes, destroying evidence and causing more death.

Uncovering clues from the victim’s car, Grimm struggles to keep up with a cunning killer when he discovers yet another body. But when the seasoned DCI examines the grisly murder and compares forensics, he’s alarmed when the patterns match those of a brutal drug dealer he put behind bars years back.

Can this hardened cop nab a wily crook before his own blood stains the picturesque dales?

Hall, Araminta - Hidden Depths


Lily is pregnant, travelling onboard the Titanic to her beloved family in the United States, hoping she can get there before her mind and body give up.

For a long time now she's known her husband is not the man he's pretending to be and she's not safe.

So, when she meets widower Lawrence she knows he's her last chance for help.

Or Prisoner...
But Lawrence knows he hasn't got time to save Lily.

Lawrence is the only person on board the unsinkable ship who knows he will not disembark in New York.

And the danger is much worse than either of them could imagine.

Can Lily and Lawrence help each other to safety before it's too late?

Hilton, Matt - Fatal Conflict #9 Grey and Villere, USA

Non-stop action is abound in this thriller set in Maine that will appeal to fans of CLIVE CUSSLER and CHRIS RYAN.

Where's Tony Vaughan? That's the question the Brogans are asking. And they don't ask nicely, as Private Investigator Tess Grey finds out. Angered by the Brogans' treatment of his fiancée, Nicolas 'Po' Villere is ready to enact retribution. As is Tess, who is itching for a new case and is troubled by Tony's apparent fate.

Tess and Po track Tony down and discover he's aided Leah Brogan - the heavily pregnant and oppressed daughter of one of the Brogans - in escaping the family. To make matters worse, the pair also stole money from someone they shouldn't have . . . someone who won't take such an insult lying down.

Leah dreams of freedom for her unborn child, but those chasing them will go to extreme lengths to deny her it. Tess is determined to fight for Leah and the child, but at what cost to her and Po's future?

La Plante, Lynda - Vanished #3 DC Jack Warr

When an eccentric widow claims she is being stalked by her former lodger, Detective Jack Warr is the only person who believes her wild claims.

Days later, she is found brutally murdered in her home.

When the investigation uncovers an international drugs operation on the widow's property, the case grows even more complex. And as the hunt for the widow's lodger hits dead end after dead end, it seems that the prime suspect has vanished without a trace.

To find answers, Jack must decide how far is he willing to go - and what he is willing to risk - in his search for justice. Because if he crosses the line of the law, one wrong move could cost him everything . . .

Lancaster, Neil - The Blood Tide #2 DS Max Craigie, Scotland

You get away with murder.
In a remote sea loch on the west coast of Scotland, a fisherman vanishes without trace. His remains are never found.
You make people disappear.
A young man jumps from a bridge in Glasgow and falls to his death in the water below. DS Max Craigie uncovers evidence that links both victims. But if he can’t find out what cost them their lives, it won’t be long before more bodies turn up at the morgue…
You come back for revenge.
Soon cracks start to appear in the investigation, and Max’s past hurtles back to haunt him. When his loved ones are threatened, he faces a terrifying choice: let the only man he ever feared walk free, or watch his closest friend die…

Max, Janie and Ross return in the second gripping novel in this explosive Scottish crime series.

Lloyd, Ellery - The Club

There’s no place like Home . . .

The Home Group is a collection of ultra-exclusive private members' clubs and a global phenomenon, and the opening of its most ambitious project yet – Island Home, a forgotten island transformed into the height of luxury – is billed as the celebrity event of the decade.

But as the first guests arrive, the weekend soon proves deadly – because it turns out that even the most beautiful people can keep the ugliest secrets and, in a world where reputation is everything, they'll do anything to keep it.

If your name's on the list, you're not getting out . . .

Lowe, Andrew - Cruel Summer #7 DI Jake Sawyer

A city in fear of the night.
A detective at home in the dark.

JAKE SAWYER is in demand. With his profile raised after successes in the Peak District, he’s called to London to help the Met Murder Squad with a baffling case which has shocked the nation.

A family of four has been tortured and murdered in their Fulham home. The crime’s disturbing details are kept private to retain the victims’ dignity and to deter copycats. But when the killer strikes again, so soon after the first attack, the pressure mounts to understand his motives before a third family faces his wrath.

Starved of hard evidence, the capital’s smartest detectives feed on scraps of speculation. As Sawyer struggles to settle in the big city, he follows a theory about the killer which leads him deep into an urban underworld where the lines between pleasure and pain are blurred.

Maitland, K J - Traitor in the Ice #2 Daniel Pursglove

Winter, 1607. 
A man is struck down in the grounds of Battle Abbey, Sussex. Before dawn breaks, he is dead.

Home to the Montagues, Battle has caught the paranoid eye of King James. The Catholic household is rumoured to shelter those loyal to the Pope, disguising them as servants within the abbey walls. And the last man sent to expose them was silenced before his report could reach London.

Daniel Pursglove is summoned to infiltrate Battle and find proof of treachery. He soon discovers that nearly everyone at the abbey has something to hide - for deeds far more dangerous than religious dissent. But one lone figure he senses only in the shadows, carefully concealed from the world. Could the notorious traitor Spero Pettingar finally be close at hand?

As more bodies are unearthed, Daniel determines to catch the culprit. But how do you unmask a killer when nobody is who they seem?

Mark, David - Blind Justice #10 Detective Sergeant McAvoy of Humberside CID

The call comes in before DS Aector McAvoy has had time for breakfast. The news is bad: A body. Found in the woods out at Brantingham.

The reality is even worse.

The young man's mutilated corpse lies tangled in the roots of a newly fallen tree, two silver Roman coins nailed through his sightless eyes. Who would torture their victim in such a brutal manner - and why?

DS McAvoy makes the victim a promise: I will find answers. You will know justice. But justice always comes at a cost, and this time it may be McAvoy's own family who pay the price.

Maslen, Andy - You're Always With Me

Sometimes you have to kill the one you love

Treating a woman for post-natal depression, therapist Mel Porter discovers a shocking truth about her marriage. As she battles to separate truth from lies, she must confront the most dreadful choice a wife can ever make. Believe that her husband is a killer. Or that she is.

The woman claims to have murdered her own child. The confession turns out to be false but it starts a chain of events that leads to horrifying consequences for Mel. As each brick in the wall she has built around herself crumbles and falls away, a stark truth is revealed. Is she even the woman she thinks she is?

When an ambitious detective with secrets of her own arrests Mel on a charge of murder, her world descends into chaos. Memories she thought she could trust turn out to be unreliable. Her very sanity is questioned. And Jonathan asks for a divorce.

In court, facing a hostile lawyer’s harrowing questioning, Mel’s faith in herself reaches breaking point. Then the jury returns with its verdict and delivers a shocking conclusion to the trial.

How much of her perfect life can Mel still believe in? And how much is total fantasy? The answer could be the difference between life and death.

McGilloway, Brian - The Empty Room

Pandora - Dora - Condron wakes one morning to discover her 17-year old daughter Ellie, has not come home after a party.

The day Ellie disappears, Dora is alone as her husband Eamon has already left for the day in his job as a long-distance lorry driver. So Dora does the usual things: rings around Ellie's friends... but no one knows where she is. Her panic growing, Dora tries the local hospitals and art college where Ellie is a student - but then the police arrive on her doorstep with the news her daughter's handbag has been discovered dumped in a layby.

So begins Dora's ordeal of waiting and not knowing what has become of her girl. Eamon's lack of empathy and concern, Dora realises, is indicative of the state of their marriage, and left on her own, Dora begins to reassess everything she thought she knew about her family and her life. Increasingly isolated and disillusioned with the police investigation, Dora feels her grip on reality slipping as she takes it upon herself to find her daughter - even if it means tearing apart everything and everybody she had ever loved, and taking justice into her own hands.

Mistry, Liz - Blood Games #4 DS Nikki Parekh


When a body is found at the edge of Chellow Dene reservoir Detective Nikki Parekh and DC Sajid Malik are quick to arrive.
This is the third murder in the space of a few weeks. Each murder has a completely different MO, but there is one common theme… all the victims are teenagers. The dead boy reminds Nikki of her nephew, and she feels more helpless than ever.
But then another boy goes missing. And this time his parents have been sent a threatening package too. The pattern is different again – is the killer just playing a game?

Can Nikki find the strength to uncover the shocking truth before the killer strikes again?

Parsons, Tony - The People Next Door

Lana and Roman Wade
 have fled the city for a little corner of paradise, exchanging their flat with its unhappy memories for a small honey-coloured house among the rolling green hills of Oxfordshire. Their new home, set in a residential Close known as The Gardens, is their dream and their new neighbours are charming.
So why is Lana feeling so uneasy?

Lana and Roman may seem like an attractive, popular couple. But they are also a couple with a secret; a secret buried in the life they have left behind, a secret they have shared with no-one.

But their new neighbours - these charming, affluent men and women in the Gardens - have secrets of their own.
Terrible secrets; unimaginable secrets that include the apparently happy family who lived - and tragically died - in Lana and Roman's new home.

As Lana struggles to adjust to her new life in Paradise, she becomes convinced that her new neighbours are hiding something from her, something connected with the deaths of the family who lived in her house before she did, something that could put her own life in danger...

The People Next Door is a psychological thriller full of twists and turns, a murder mystery wrapped in a love story, and a love story wrapped in a murder mystery. It is about the secrets we all keep - and what we will do for love.

Pearce, Bryony - Little Rumours

It started with a rumour. But rumours can be deadly…

In a small town, three mothers wave goodbye to their children at the school gates.

Naomi has lived in Exton Cross since she was born, and she knows everything there is to know about everyone.

Aleema hates it here. It’s been three years and she’s yet to make a single friend. And she’s sure the other mums whisper about her behind her back.

Kelly is an outsider. New to the town, she arrives with nothing but her son – and a dark secret.

By the end of the school day, one of their children will be missing. And rumours will swirl that one of them knows why…

Pinborough, Sarah - Insomnia

In the dead of night, madness lies…

Emma can’t sleep.


It’s been like this since her big 4-0 started getting closer.


Her mother stopped sleeping just before her 40th birthday too. She went mad and did the unthinkable because of it.


Is that what’s happening to Emma?


Rigby, Sally - Never Too Late #3 Sebastian Clifford

A vicious attack. A dirty secret. And a chance for justice

Ex-police officer Sebastian Clifford is quickly finding that life as a private investigator is never quiet. His doors have only been open a few weeks when DCI Whitney Walker approaches him to investigate the brutal attack that left her older brother, Rob, with irreversible brain damage.

For nearly twenty-five years Rob had no memory of that night, but lately things are coming back to him, and Whitney's worried that her brother might, once again, be in danger.

Clifford knows only too well what it's like be haunted by the past, and so he agrees to help. But the deeper he digs, the more secrets he uncovers, and soon he discovers that Rob's not the only one in danger.

Ross, L J - Mania #4 Alexander Gregory

Back in London after a dramatic trip to North America, Doctor Alexander Gregory finds himself without an occupation while he awaits the all-important decision of the disciplinary panel at Southmoor Hospital. That is, until he witnesses the death of a famous actor, live on stage during the opening night of King Lear. When the police rule the death suspicious, they call upon the elite services of Gregory and his partner in criminal profiling, Bill Douglas.

Gregory is paired with attractive investigating officer DCI Hope and tensions arise―especially when an old foe resurfaces.

With bodies piling up and no new leads, Gregory and Hope realise they must look to the past to uncover the truth―before it’s too late. Immersed in the glamorous world of celebrity, Gregory soon learns that, beneath the surface, things are far murkier than they seem…

Murder and mystery are peppered with dark humour in this fast-paced thriller set amidst London’s vibrant Theatreland.

Seymour, Gerald - The Foot Soldiers # 2 Jonas Merrick

Beware of Russians bearing gifts.

Defectors are not always welcome.

Is the information they bring worth the cost of protecting them for the rest of their lives? Is it even genuine? Might they be double agents?

These are some of the questions facing MI6 when a Russian agent hands himself in to them in Denmark.

As a team begins to assess his value, his former employers in the Kremlin develop a brutal plan to show that no defector will ever be safe.

And they know where to find him. Which means there must be a mole in MI6.

So it is that the cavaliers of Six find themselves being interrogated by nondescript Jonas Merrick of Five - the man called back from retirement and his beloved caravan, the man the young guns call the Eternal Flame because 'he never goes out.'

But while he may be grey, Jonas is also ruthless. As he quietly works through the suspects in London, and violent mayhem breaks out in Denmark, Jonas plans not just to unmask a traitor, but to hit back at the Russians with deadly force.

First encountered in The Crocodile Hunter, Jonas Merrick is set to become one of the great figures of modern spy fiction.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Update Week 13

In Petrona Award news, I received two more entry forms last week making it 28 from a max of 31 and books received so far is at 26. Just two publishers left to submit their books, if they wish to. The closing date is 15 April.

As I mentioned yesterday I'm still reading The Christie Affair by Nina de Gremont. I'm about half-way. I've had a slight cold this past week so I had a couple of early nights and I also snuck in Volume 1 of Heartstopper by Alice Oseman which is a graphic novel. 

A few things I'm looking forward to watching which are recently or shortly to be released:

Bridgerton Series 2 (Netflix)

Death on the Nile (Disney+)

Spencer (Amazon Prime)