‘Each story is a standalone’ @GeorgiaRoseBook Reviews Historical #Mystery Break From Nuala by @harrietsteel1 #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Georgia. She blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

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Georgia has been reading Break From Nuala by Harriet Steel.

I’ve seen this series of books (this is the eleventh) around for a few years now but hadn’t got round to trying one for myself. What a mistake that was! As soon as I started reading, I knew I was going to enjoy it. Don’t you just love it when a book makes you feel that.

While the author is well into this series you don’t have to start at the beginning as each story is a standalone. Also, the author has provided a helpful, and short, list of characters who appear regularly in the Inspector de Silva Mysteries. In this case none of these characters appeared, as Shanti De Silva and his wife, Jane, were on holiday but they were referred to so the short bios of each was useful.

Shanti and Jane have gone on holiday to Galle, Ceylon in the autumn of 1940 and stay at a hotel called Cinnamon Lodge. Naturally the other guests provide a super cast of characters.

When Shanti goes out for a late-night walk, he is warned a leopard has been seen nearby and then one of the nightwatchmen is killed by an animal. Shortly after, celebrity, Elodie Renaud, and her entourage who are staying in one of the guest bungalows, are struck down by a mysterious illness. Then the charming Helen Morris is reported missing and despite searches no trace of her is found.

Now, while you can take a policeman on holiday, you can’t take the policeman out of the, er, policeman, and Shanti can’t help but make some discreet investigations. None of which go down well with the local police chief.

This was a delight to read. Beautifully paced I enjoyed watching the mystery unravel as de Silva worked his way to the final whodunit. Readers of Marple and Poirot will love this series as will anyone who enjoys a well told tale.

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It is autumn 1940, and Inspector de Silva and his wife Jane are looking forward to a well-earned holiday. But their hopes of a relaxing break in the picturesque city of Galle beside the Indian Ocean are dashed when death, mysterious illnesses, and a missing guest cast a gloomy shadow.
As they’re drawn into the investigation, the mystery deepens. Is there a villain amongst their fellow guests or further afield? The search for answers will lead them into great danger that has repercussions far beyond the island of Ceylon.

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‘When you read the first few lines and know you’re in for a terrific ride!’ @GeorgiaRoseBook Reviews #thriller Jenks by @burrell_barney

Today’s team review is from Georgia. She blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Georgia has been reading Jenks by Barney Burrell.

You know that feeling you get when you open a new book, not knowing what to expect, and you read the first few lines and know you’re in for a terrific ride? That is exactly the feeling I got when I reached the end of the first paragraph of Jenks. A smile already on my face.

Jenks is a killer for hire. He has a profile on the dark web and carries out assignments for an unknown organisation called The Department, which is so undercover it isn’t linked to any legitimate agency. This makes everything deniable.

With his home life in the gentle seaside town of Whitstable, his on-going house renovation and pastime of birdwatching, Jenks is incredibly likeable. From his turquoise eyes and sense of humour to his casual flirtation with a local waitress that he knows can’t go anywhere you know he’s a decent man and are affected when he is jolted back to the life he gave up to be the necessity he’s described as.

Jenks naturally has a special skillset that he’s extremely accomplished at and there is graphic violence in this book.

Although this type of character and the activity he undertakes is not particularly new, think James Bond, Ethan Hunt or Jason Bourne, I found this story and Jenks refreshing. The writing is very good and flowed well. There is a lot of detail about how things happened or worked but I didn’t mind that at all. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting this new hero, I hope there is a sequel on the way and I highly recommend Jenks to everyone who likes a thrilling tale.

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In a nutshell.. Ruthless freelance professional assassin Jenks is hired by ultra-top secret government agency – responsible for the dirtiest of work – to kill a rogue CIA analyst and prevent a super Wikileaks-like Russian backed dissemination of catastrophic above Top Secret explosive revelations, capable of overturning the world order.

Using the most ingenious of spycraft, the chameleon like Jenks has no option but to let the crime play out until the very end. With the action taking place between Soho, London and Virginia, USA, Jenks hurtles towards the ultimate confrontation and sacrifice – his pedal to the metal race to uncover the truth will leave you gasping.

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Book #2 of The Harlow Series of Suspense #Thrillers. Georgia reviews If She Wakes by Erik Therme.

Today’s team review is from Georgia. She blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Georgia has been reading If She Wakes by Erik Therme

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I didn’t realise when I chose this book that it was a sequel. I wouldn’t usually read the second book without reading the first, but found this one works as a standalone story.

However, here is a lot of information given in the prologue and chapter one to bring the reader up to speed. For me this level of exposition slowed down the opening. I probably didn’t take in the detail as well as I should have done as I prefer it drip fed; pertinent details given at relevant points in the story. Once past that though the story flowed.

Tess is in a car accident with her sister-in-law, Torrie, who ends up in a coma, but not before saying a few things that make little sense to Tess. Tess and her husband, Josh, take in Levi, Torrie’s son, which brings its own emotional difficulties as they lost their child in book one.

A woman turns up claiming to be Torrie’s sister and before long another sister arrives which is confusing as Torrie had told Tess and Josh she had no family. The other problem is that they both want Levi.

This is a perfectly well told story but lacks a little of the suspense element that makes a book a real page-turner for me. I think maybe it was just over wordy in places which slowed the pace. However, I did like the way it ended. There is no cliff-hanger here but there is an epilogue which leads very well into the next in the series. Recommended, but start with book 1.

3 stars.

Desc 1

Who do you trust when everyone is lying?

My name is Tess Parker.

Two days ago, I was in a car accident with my sister-in-law, Torrie. Before she slipped into a coma, she asked my husband and me to care for her four-month-old son, Levi.

Yesterday, a woman claiming to be Torrie’s estranged sister knocked on our door. But Torrie has no siblings . . . or so she said. She and my brother were only together a short time before he left, and Torrie has clearly been keeping secrets.

Today, another of Torrie’s “sisters” has come to town. Both say the other is lying about who they are.

Neither of them is telling the truth.

Both of them want Levi.

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‘This story is about Diana who made a monumental decision aged just fifteen’. Georgia reviews Sugar And Snails by @Annecdotis

Today’s team review is from Georgia. She blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Georgia has been reading Sugar And Snails by Anne Goodwin

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This story is about Diana who made a monumental decision aged just fifteen and, now aged forty-five, I felt that while that moment changed everything for her, she has still been living in some sort of hiatus for the last thirty years. Existing, rather than living, I suppose, as she wasn’t comfortable sharing who she was, not even with the closest of her friends, let alone with the new man in her life, Simon.

Diana is a psychology lecturer so there is some psychology in the book but it’s well explained, and interesting. I also enjoyed the structure of this story with alternate sections revealing the story of Diana’s childhood. This was so well written there was no chance of getting confused and I found it kept the interest level high, and the pages turning, because you wanted to find out what exactly had happened in Egypt all those years ago.

The depictions of Diana’s family were very well done too. The parents, who I initially thought rather uncaring, were actually, understandably, confused and at a loss as to what to do with their child. Her father, particularly, clearly haunted by what had happened to his friend when they were in the forces together, and later on. His guilt plain to see.

This story covers a highly controversial topic sensitively and the author writes these words at the end of the book, ‘I hope you find my words worthy of your time’. I most certainly did and I highly recommend this most excellent read.

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At fifteen, she made a life-changing decision. Thirty years on, it’s time to make another.

When Diana escaped her misfit childhood, she thought she’d chosen the easier path. But the past lingers on, etched beneath her skin, and life won’t be worth living if her secret gets out.

As an adult, she’s kept other people at a distance… until Simon sweeps in on a cloud of promise and possibility. But his work is taking him to Cairo, the city that transformed her life. She’ll lose Simon if she doesn’t join him. She’ll lose herself if she does.

Sugar and Snails charts Diana’s unusual journey, revealing the scars from her fight to be true to herself. A triumphant mid-life coming-of-age story about bridging the gap between who we are and who we feel we ought to be. 

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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‘A fictionalised account of Project Tiger’. Georgia reviews Black Entry by Regis P Sheehan, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Georgia. She blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Georgia has been reading Black Entry by Regis P Sheehan

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Black Entry is a fictionalised account of Project Tiger, the CIA’s clandestine efforts to penetrate North Vietnam with indigenous (largely South Vietnamese) agent teams in the early 1960s.

There is a main character by the name of Jay Laird, nicknamed Jayhawk by his friends, and there’s a small cast of other characters around him but the real core of this book is all about Project Tiger. Laird was expecting to have a steady job safely behind a desk as his first posting, however due to a last minute personnel change he finds himself sending teams into the hostile lands of North Vietnam then waiting to see if they are ever heard from again. They are frequently not but even if they are their intelligence is often treated with suspicion and as though it’s been compromised.

As with the military there are plenty of acronyms in this book but fear not as they are explained, with reminders, along the way. Although fictionalised this feels very much like a factual account of this mission and I think it will interest anyone who enjoys reading about this period of history or military fiction in general.

3 stars

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‘Gods in a place that as yet has nothing’. @GeorgiaRoseBook Reviews Creation by Bjørn Larssen @bjornlarssen, For Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Georgia. She blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Georgia has been reading Creation by Bjørn Larssen

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This book tells the tale of Odin waking up along with his two brothers, Vili and Vé, to find themselves Gods in a place that as yet has nothing. It should be a terrific opportunity to create loads of cool stuff, you’d think. However, Odin, and his brothers, have no idea what they are doing and come up with random things such as celery and mosquitoes instead. (I mean, who would ever choose to invent either of those!)

When Odin does manage to create something useful, a cow. They have no idea how to get milk out of it and the cow doesn’t hang around for long.

Creation is a short book and a pacey read. I enjoyed the humour and Larssen’s writing throughout and look forward to seeing what comes next.

Desc 1

In the beginning there was confusion.

Ever woken up being a God, but not knowing how to God properly? Your brothers keep creating mosquitoes and celery and other, more threatening weapons. What can your ultimate answer be – the one that will make you THE All-Father and them, at best, the All-Those-Uncles-We-Don’t-Talk-About?

“FML! That answer’s why I drink!” – Odin

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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A #Ya Cosy #Mystery @GeorgiaRoseBook Reviews The Flat On The 7th Floor by @ELBarryAuthor, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT 

Today’s team review is from Georgia. She blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Georgia has been reading The Flat On The 7th Floor by E.L. Barry.

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There is mystery after mystery in this Josie Jackson novel, the first, I believe, of a series. Who is the mysterious stranger in the lift? Why is estate agent Josie’s new client, Michael, so aloof? Why won’t her father talk to her direct?

Josie has a rather privileged life living rent-free in the flat her late mother left for her (although despite her good fortune – regarding the flat, not losing her mother –  she seems terrible with money). She has a good job, friendly work colleagues, Kim and Gareth, and doesn’t lack for male attention. Nicholas is his name, but even her relationship with him is full of questions.

Things really start to kick off when Josie, Kim and Gareth go to a conference and someone in the hotel is attacked.

There are some nice messages in this book about improving yourself and how you live and work and I found the details of the Money Characters at the back very interesting. There’s also a Q&A with Josie Jackson which leads well into the next book.

This is a novel for young adults (YA) which I’m not, but I enjoyed the story and will be keen to see what’s next for Josie.

4 stars

Desc 1

When Josie Jackson discovers her past is not all as it seems, her life is changed forever.
Being warned not to investigate photographs she was sent of her mother before Josie was born, Josie discovers more secrets in unexpected places.

At the same time Josie meets a handsome stranger who raises more questions than answers. How can she resist his charms when he is everything she has been looking for?

Josie’s colleague’s Kim and Gareth are caught in the danger. When they form a close bond, Josie is conflicted by her feelings. Will Josie discover the truth before anyone gets hurt?

Follow the twists and turns of life choices. family, work, money, relationships, and self-discovery in this Josie Jackson thriller, as she lives in The Flat on the 7th Floor.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #NonFiction Writing Success by @KearleySusie

Today’s team review is from Georgia. She blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Georgia has been reading Writing Success by Susie Kearley

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Writing Success is, as it says on the front cover, a book filled with inspiring stories of success, with hints and tips for making money writing. Now, I have to admit that I am a little narrow focused when it comes to my writing, as I’m always working towards my next novel. However, reading this book has opened my eyes to other markets as well as how to go about approaching them and, very interestingly, how much to charge, as well as details of rates of pay.

I really enjoyed reading all about writing as a journalist, the benefits and challenges of being a freelancer and where to find your inspiration. Plus, there are several stories of success, including lessons from independent authors, and I was delighted to turn a page and see a familiar face!

Writing Success is very well written, clear and concise, and I’m sure all writers would find it a useful read, particularly if they are looking for a creative reboot, like a couple of the writers in one of the stories it features. Highly recommended.

4 stars

Desc 1

This book contains inspiring stories of writing success, with hints and tips for making money writing. It explores opportunities in writing for magazines, how much to charge, and covers inspirational stories of people who’ve quit the day job and become full-time writers. Whether you’re interested in writing for magazines or writing books, fiction or non-fiction, there are inspiring stories here for you.

The chapter breakdown is as follows:
1: Introduction – Beyond Covid
2: Writing for Magazines
3: Targeting Foreign Markets
4: Community Journalism – Launching a Newspaper
5: How Much Should I Charge?
6: Journalist’s Pay
7: Taking the Plunge!
8: Peter Jones: Happiness Guru
9: Creating Works of Fiction: Inspired by the Classics
10: Karl Drinkwater: Writing in Different Genres
11: Injecting Humour into your Writing
12: Crime Writer, Dave Sivers Q&A
13: Lessons from Successful Independent Authors
14: 30 Years to Publication
15: From Book Deal to Independent
16: Marketing Yourself and Your Work

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Shortstories Backstories by Simon Van der Velde

Today’s team review is from Georgia. She blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Georgia has been reading Backstories by Simon Van der Velde

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Backstories is a great idea. Take famous people from history, ancient or more recent, and write a short backstory about them allowing the reader to uncover who they are as the story progresses. I enjoyed reading the stories in this book.

There were 14 in all. I knew 12 of them and by swapping notes with another review team member I found out who the others were. It might have been helpful to have had a list of the answers at the back. I found that some of them were very clearly signposted, others, not so much. For me, however, the best bit was that I enjoyed the writing throughout all of the stories very much and don’t hesitate in recommending this book to all who like well-written short stories with a small mystery to solve.

4 stars

Desc 1

Dreamers, singers, heroes and killers, they can dazzle with their beauty or their talent or their unmitigated evil, yet inside themselves they are as frail and desperate as the rest of us. But can you see them? Can you unravel the truth? These are people you know, but not as you know them.Peel back the mask and see.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #ShortStories Penny Pinching For The Morally Bankrupt by @LibraryMarshall

Today’s team review is from Georgia. She blogs here https://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

Georgia has been reading Penny Pinching For The Morally Bankrupt by Libby Marshall.

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Goodness… where to start with my review of Penny Pinching Tips for the Morally Bankrupt. This is probably the most diverse book of short stories I’ve come across, and with such a range of eclectic stories, among the 43 in this volume, there’s bound to be something in there for everyone. There are some longer pieces while others are very short, only a page or two.

I loved Libby Marshalls writing style, it’s lean, punchy and very good, and her sense of humour, which is quick and darkly mischievous. Her ideas are highly original and Marshall writes what many of us may think but hesitate to express.

Did I love every story? No. But I loved, or liked, the majority, and certainly enough that when I finished I went to Marshall’s website to see what else I could find to read on there.

Despite what the title, and cover, may have you believe this is most definitely a work of fiction. If you’re looking to save money, look elsewhere, this is not for you, unless, of course, you happen to be morally bankrupt, in which case…

Addictive page turning has meant I got through this book of unique gems quickly and I don’t hesitate to recommend it to all those who don’t mind the occasional sexual reference and F word and who long to read something that little bit different.

Book description

Penny Pinching Tips for the Morally Bankrupt is a fantastically funny, wonderfully weird, and surprisingly sincere collection of short stories, humor pieces, and miscellaneous bits.

Debra, an unhappy billionaire’s wife, decides to resurrect the 18th-century trend of hiring a man to live on their property as an ornamental garden hermit. An elderly serial killer, bored by her dull nursing home existence, finds a deadly new purpose when her high school nemesis ends up living down the hall. In 1953 a young couple drives to Makeout Point where instead of an evening of heavy petting, they find mountain lions, a man with no gaps in his teeth, and the opportunity to kill Henry Kissinger. Within these pages, a man tries to date after losing his wife to The Salem Witch Trials, a Wi-Fi router gains sentience, a series of cardboard boxes oozing with smoky-sweet baked beans mysteriously appear at a woman’s front door, and a Chuck E. Cheese is haunted by the spirit of Princess Diana.

Boldly strange, deliciously satirical, and laugh-out-loud hilarious, Penny Pinching Tips for the Morally Bankrupt swings from the grim and ghastly to the exquisite and lovely. This one-of-a-kind book takes the reader on a surreal journey through the compulsory despair of daily life and concludes that the only sensible reaction to that much pain is laughter. 

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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