Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT WHO KILLED VIVIEN MORSE? by @DianaJFebry #Thriller

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com

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Cathy has been reading Who Killed Vivien Morse by Diana J Febry

Who Killed Vivien Morse (DCI Hatherall Book 4) by [Febry, Diana J]

Although I haven’t read the preceding books in the series, this wasn’t too difficult to settle into. DCI Hatherall is waylaid by the local, loves to complain, busybody, Glenys Pitman, who is well known at the police station. She has seen a man dressed in Druid robes behaving suspiciously in the woods. A humorous exchange follows before DCI Hatherall is able to usher Glenys on her way. Returning to his office, his partner DI Fiona Williams informs him the body of a young social worker, Vivien Morse, has been discovered in Silver Lady Woods.

Vivien’s estranged husband, Nigel, is the most likely suspect for her murder initially. That is, until Vivien’s supervisor goes missing and a prison inmate along with his paranoid and obviously disturbed erstwhile girlfriend, are thrown into the mix. The list of suspects grows. Although Fiona is still convinced there’s something off about Nigel, it seems the client Vivien visited before her death could be linked to the murder and missing supervisor.

This is a well thought through and tightly woven mystery with a twisty, somewhat convoluted plot, requiring plenty of concentration, and unconventional characters. I particularly enjoyed the Druid, Dick Death (or Dee-ath as he likes to pronounce it), his (female) dog, Colin and over the top Gladys. There’s a feeling of some sort of history between Peter and Fiona, but not having read the previous books, I’m not sure how accurate that is. And it seems Fiona’s current relationship might not be all hearts and flowers.

The humour and banter offset the darker side of the story extremely well. Vivid and atmospheric descriptions convey a real sense of the locations and characters. From the start I could picture Peter Hatherall – a man approaching middle age, with a younger, second wife, resenting the fact he had to work at keeping in shape but proud of his full head of dark hair. He is purposeful and determined to find the murderer, and won’t run with an obvious theory until he has explored every avenue. There are plenty of threads to unravel and needless to say, I didn’t guess the outcome.

Well written with sharp, witty dialogue, a fast paced, intricate plot and a mix of quirky and interesting characters makes for a very enjoyable read.

I chose to read and review Who Killed Vivien Morse? for Rosie Amber’s book review team, based on a digital copy from the author.

Book Description

Vivien Morse, a young social worker is discovered battered to death in Silver Lady Woods. Everyone assumes she was attacked by her estranged husband until her supervisor disappears. The connection appears to be Vivien’s last client. A damaged and disturbed girl who believes a bundle of rags is her lost baby and never leaves the family farm while she awaits the return of her lover.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT WHO KILLED VIVIEN MORSE? by @DianaJFebry #Mystery

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs here http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading Who Killed Vivien Morse? by Diana J Febry

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Who Killed Vivien Morse? is the fourth book in the DCI Peter Hatherall series. I haven’t read the other three, but the author has done a great job making this a stand-alone book.

This is what I would call a traditional English mystery. It opens with a complaint to the nattily dressed DCI Hatherall by a neighborhood busybody, who reports seeing a man looking like a Druid and accompanied by a dog peeking into the windows of houses in her neighborhood. Hatherall’s interaction with her is humorous but is quickly leavened by the discovery of a young social worker, the Vivien Morse of the title, battered to death in a local wood.

The reader is quickly introduced to the main players in the action: Hatherall’s partner, Fiona; Ellen, a disturbed, strange young woman who was Vivien’s last client contact; Nigel Morse, Vivian’s husband – a prime suspect but with an alibi; Jane Salt, Vivien’s boss, with whom Vivien has publicly argued; Lucy and Ian, Ellen’s parents, whose marital relationship is strained, and Kathy, Ellen’s aunt.

We learn that Ellen’s problems date from being run down by her boyfriend, Robbie Creer, who is serving time in prison for fraud. Creer is discovered to have links to each of these characters as the yarn unwinds, including Dick Death (pronounced Deeath), the hulking, sandal-wearing Druid-like man. I enjoyed the characters, although Dick Death, and his new, elderly girlfriend, Gladys, rather overpowered everyone else. Ellen, with clear mental issues, also stands out, with her occasional violent episodes and her attachment to a ragged doll she calls ‘Future,’ a replacement for Robbie’s baby which she lost in the accident.

There are a number of McGuffins cleverly placed to lead the reader, Hatherall and Fiona down various paths before the main path to the solution is discovered. The story is complex and the reader needs to pay close attention to figure out whodunit.

I loved the light humor of various parts of the book. What did become somewhat tedious after a while were the long, long dialogues between Peter and Fiona, not quite the give-and-take of real conversation. Nevertheless, the characters were human, with all the normal warts and foibles.

Four stars

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Point Of No Return by @DianaJFebry #Mystery #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review comes from Karen, she blogs at https://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com/

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Karen chose to read and review Point of No return by Diana J Febry

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My Opinion

The book leads DCI Peter Hatherall and DI Fiona Williams to Grange Farm, owned by James Palmer; weird stuff is happening. I will not tell you more about the story than shown in the Goodreads plot description. This would spoil the fun of reading this book yourself.

With Point of No Return, Diana J. Febry has once again created an intriguing story of a relatively easy seeming case that is just the beginning of a strange series of events. Point of No Return is a very gripping read with lovingly elaborated characters; I learned a lot about the characters, helping me to come to my own conclusions, being involved in solving the case. Diana J. Febry gives the reader time to get acquainted with the characters and the case and it gets more and more thrilling as the story proceeds – thanks to a cleverly woven plot line. I was drawn into the story right away, was really close to Peter, Fiona and all events. Point of No Return is a great British mystery – a highly enjoyable read. You will enjoy it even if you usually prefer fast-paced reads.

This a book to read again. Highly recommended.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Karen reviews Bells On Her Toes by Diana J Febry

Today we have a review from team member Karen, she blogs at https://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com/

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Karen chose to read and review Bells On Her Toes by Diana J Febry.

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The book introduces you to DCI Peter Hatherall and DI Fiona Williams. They are called to Elmsgrove Farm where human remains are discovered after a suspicious barn fire.

With Bells On Her Toes, Diana J. Febry has created an intriguing story of a relatively easy seeming case that is just the beginning of a strange series of events. Bells On Her Toes is a very gripping read with lovingly elaborated characters; I learned a lot about the characters, more details than usual – yet not too many details. Diana J. Febry gives the reader time to get acquainted with the characters and the case and it gets more and more thrilling as the story proceeds. I was drawn into the story right away, was really close to Peter, Fiona and all events. Bells On Her Toes is a great British mystery. You will enjoy it even if you usually prefer fast-paced reads.

This a book to read again. Highly recommended.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book review Team #RBRT Vanessa reviews Bells On Her Toes by Diana Febry

Today we have a review from team member Vanessa, she blogs at http://www.vanessawesterwriter.blogspot.com

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Vanessa chose to read and review Bells On Her Toes by Diana Febry

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“I have to start with the positives. This detective murder mystery had a lot of twists and I did not see the ending coming.

However, I have to admit that the range of characters and interview situations took me out of the story a lot and it wasn’t until I was about half way that it picked up the pace and I had to finish it to find out what was going to happen.

Having read a lot of Agatha Christie novels in my time, I think the problem was that I did not really like either of the main characters. They had too much emotional baggage which detracted from the mystery at hand. Both Poirot and Mrs Marple had solid characters that compel you to believe they will come up with the goods against the odds. The big reveal in Christie novels is always full of surprise.

In the case of “Bells on Her Toes” the finale fizzled out, and the tying up of loose ends did not add much to the story. I think that the removal of some characters would tighten up this plot. A romantic angle will also keep it more exciting. The romantic side of things was pretty depressing… unhappy marriage, woes of parenthood (I can relate to this one), and unfulfilled relationships.

Even so, worth a read if you enjoy detective mysteries.

I obtained it for free for an honest review via Rosie’s Book Review Team. I can only hope this review is helpful in some way.”

Rated: 3 stars

Find a copy here form Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Jessie reviews Bells On Her Toes by Diana J Febry

Today we have a review from team member Jessie, she blogs at http://behindthewillows.com/

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Jessie chose to read and review Bells On Her Toes by Diana J Febry

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I seem to be stuck with an unfortunate combination: the love of a good mystery and a proneness to an overactive, nightmare-inducing imagination. I blame Nancy Drew for my love of a good mystery with all its twists, turns, sleuthing and excitement. Unfortunately, now mysteries are often of the murder type, which plays to that overactive imagination of mine and so they aren’t my typical fare.  Back, ages ago, when we had a TV I could occasionally be sucked into a random crime drama. I’d divide my time between watching icky things between my fingers, enjoying the thrill of the investigation and being majorly confused as to what sort of shenanigans the characters were up to outside their day jobs. I loved it and hated it all at the same time.

I am still tempted by the occasional murder mystery but now exclusively in the written format. Fortunately, books are always better and this one was no exception.

For starters I never had to read any of it from behind my fingers. Because, let’s face it, unless you are the Cat in the Hat, reading with your eyes shut tight makes the whole experience very difficult. I may never look at a pitchfork without wincing again but other than that minor incident the gore was kept to a minimum. The book focused on the sleuthing, investigating and the general fascinating rottenness and strangeness of humans pushed to their limits. You know, all the best parts. It did become apparent early on that this wasn’t the detective’s debut novel but unlike the television crime dramas I’ve seen, I was able to pick up the lines of their personal lives without a problem.

Would I recommend it? Its got twists, its got turns, it’s got drama and horses and tea and it didn’t give me a single nightmare. My only disappointment is that I didn’t read The Skeletons of Birkbury first.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com