‘Someone Stole A Dead Body’. A new case for Stride and Cully. @CathyRy reviews Desire And Deceit by @carolJhedges for #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Cathy. She blogs here https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Cathy has been reading Desire And Deceit by Carol Hedges

Desire & Deceit (The Victorian Detectives Book 9) by [Carol Hedges]

London during 1868 is experiencing the hottest summer on record, wilting under the relentless heat and resulting odours. Detective Inspector Leo Stride, feeling the lack of his daily caffeine from the usual coffee stalls holders who have forsaken London for the much cooler countryside, is summoned along with his colleague DS Jack Cully to the morgue. There was a problem. A body had gone missing.

“You are seriously telling us that someone stole a dead body?” Cully asks.

“Unlikely as it may appear, that would seem to be the case,” Robertson replies drily. “Nos non habemus corpus as it were. I am sure I do not need to provide a translation. And I would hardly tell you such information frivolously, detective sergeant.”

Try as they might, a lack of evidence and motive hampers and eventually stalls the investigation.

Elsewhere, two despicable brothers are intent on ingratiating themselves with their rich, elderly aunt who is dying, each trying to outdo the other to be the recipient of her fortune and jewellery collection.

Miss Lucy Landseer has set herself up as a Private Consulting Detective and it’s no time at all until she receives her first client. Then we have Micky Mokey and Little Azella, variety artists appearing nightly at the Varieties Music Hall for the summer season. But who is the real Micky behind his stage persona?

The Replacement, newly appointed private secretary to the Honourable Thomas Langland MP, a position previously occupied by his good friend who seems to have disappeared. The Replacement’s bland appearance and subservient attitude disguises his intelligence and the real reason he has secured this post.

The intricate plot threads are woven together cleverly and seamlessly with engaging, descriptive prose and several twists. Crimes and machinations are resolved convincingly and in a very satisfactory manner. The characters are well rounded, easy to picture. I loved young Harriet and her no holds barred parrot, as well as the regulars. London and it’s inhabitants are evocatively depicted as always. Another very enjoyable addition to The Victorian Detectives series.

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t is 1868, and the body of a young man has gone missing from the police mortuary at Scotland Yard, an event that has never happened before. Who was the mysterious corpse, and why was he spirited away in the night? These are the questions baffling Detective Inspector Stride and Detective Sergeant Cully as they set out to uncover the truth.

Meanwhile, two greedy, unscrupulous, inheritance-seeking brothers, Arthur and Sherborne Harbinger, descend upon London and their very rich dying aunt, each determined to get whatever they can out of her, and prepared to use whatever methods they can to win her favour. And over in her newly rented rooms in Baker Street, Miss Lucy Landseer, consulting private detective, has been presented with her first ever proper case to investigate ~ and finds it is one that will defy even her imaginative and inventive mind.

Set against the hottest summer on record, Desire & Deceit, the ninth outing for this popular Victorian Detectives series, explores how the love of money really is the root of all evil. Once again, Victorian London is brought to life in all its sights, its sounds, its sordid and gas-lit splendour. Another must-read book, teeming with memorable Dickensian-style characters.

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Desire & Deceit (The Victorian Detectives Book 9) by [Carol Hedges]

Fetch Nurse Connie by @JeanFullerton__ #HistoricalFiction #Bookreview

Fetch Nurse ConnieFetch Nurse Connie by Jean Fullerton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fetch Nurse Connie is historical fiction set in the East End of London 1945. If you love war dramas and are fascinated by how the ordinary people coped then this is for you.

Connie Byrne is a Queen’s Nurse, midwife and District nurse for St George & St Dunstan Nursing Association. We join her as the end of WW2 is announced and London begins to celebrate and welcome home it’s menfolk from the fighting.

Through-out the war Connie and the other nurses kept the people of London, patched up, delivered babies, held clinics and dispensed much needed care and attention. They’ve worked through rationing, black-outs and bombing and they are set to keep London working as it begins the big clear up.

Connie can’t wait for fiancé Charlie Ross to return home, she hasn’t had a letter for several years, but she’s counting down the days until she sees him again. She has the church booked, the dress all made and the wedding planned, all she needs is her man.

Post-war changes and shortages of nurses in the health service mean than nurses no longer have to leave their positions once married. This is a relief to Connie and her friend Millie who are warn out dealing with the demands of their patch, their Superintendent and their personal lives.

This book is set in the same time period as “Call Nurse Millie” also written by Jean Fullerton and I have enjoyed both of the books. The nursing side is fascinating and I do like looking through the window into the past lives of those thrown together by the war and by circumstances beyond their control.

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

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT The Widow’s Tale by @paulacmoss1 #Romance

Today’s team review is from Alison, she blogs at http://alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Alison read and reviewed The Widow’s Tale by Paula C Moss


Reviewing this book was a bit of a struggle for me. I love historical fiction, and this time period in particular, but I love my historical tales to be realistic and gritty. So why did I choose to read ‘A Widow’s Tale’? Well, the blurb reads as though this is a tale of adventure, of conflict, of the horrors of living through a time when war was literally on your doorstep. Indeed, the author says at the beginning of the book that she hopes to give an insight into the lives of ordinary men and women. But this book isn’t really a historical drama; in fact it reads more like a historical romance.

There are certainly some very good aspects to this novel. Paula C Moss can write. The historical details are good, and the settings are described well. Charlotte has real potential as a character. The situation she finds herself in – widowed, pursued by her late husband’s creepy brother, conned out of her land – are all issues that real women faced and her resilience, stubbornness and humour add a warmth and depth to the story. However, if this was a historical drama, then a character like that would be desperately trying to carve out a life as an independent woman, railing against authority, seething with pent up frustration at the inequality and unfairness of it all. But with Charlotte, these characteristics are simply a reason for her doing stupidly dangerous things and getting into scrapes from which she has to be rescued by the hero who alternately patronises her or punishes her.

There are places where the writing really shines, showing that, given a polish, this book could be so much more. Unfortunately, the text is full of typos, spelling mistakes that become annoying (steal and steel both used incorrectly for example, and repeated use of door jam instead of door jamb). Punctuation is used incorrectly, and there are capital letters where there shouldn’t be. This novel needs a thorough proofread.

It’s obvious that the writer loves her characters and is invested in her story, and that she has taken a great deal of care over the historical aspects of the novel. However ultimately, as a reader, I was left wondering what the book was really about and what it was trying to achieve.

3 out of 5 stars

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


Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT The Widow’s Tale by @paulacmoss1 #Historical #Romance #wwwblogs

Today’s team book review comes from Babus, she blogs at http://ajoobacatsblog.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Babus chose to read and review The Widow’s Tale by Paula C Moss


This historical romance is set in seventeenth century England during the time of the civil war between parliamentarians and royalists. Charlotte was married off by her family at seventeen to a man several years older than her, after a month of marriage and barely knowing her husband she became his widow. Now she and her family are embroiled in a bitter dispute regarding her inheritance from her husband, who due to his royalist loyalties has been disinherited by his family who also refuse to give Charlotte land that was given to her husband in lieu of a dowry. Charlotte’s aspirations to be independent and running her own farm are under fire, but in an age where women seem to be traded like chattel can she truly find independence?

Defying expected propriety Charlotte goes riding and meets Mate Weatherall, a rebel soldier who could not be more different from her but with her families’ loyalties under question and the defeat of the remaining royalists, Charlotte is put in a position once again to make a match for the greater good of her family rather than a great love, which she feels should be the reason for her to marry again

I really enjoyed reading A Widow’s Tale; Charlotte, despite the attitudes towards women of the time, is quite a character and a challenge to those around her. Her attraction to Nate is bewitching to read but the path of attraction and love does not run predictably or particularly smoothly for them.

As a historical novel the facts, conditions and details of the time seem very much in keeping with the seventeenth century, however, if you are a historical fiction reader that requires all the language in a book to be periodically appropriate then I fear you will be disappointed as Charlotte’s language is littered with words and phrases not exclusive to the language of the time. This did not detract from my personal enjoyment of the book as I found the characters of Charlotte and Nate captivating and their story had sufficient twists and turns to keep me engrossed.

This book could have been made even better with a decent proofread and editing, but despite the errors in the book it is a very beguiling read and I would definitely want to know what happens next in the series.

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

The Orchid Tree by Siobhan Daiko

The Orchid TreeThe Orchid Tree by Siobhan Daiko

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Orchid Tree is a historical drama set in Hong Kong. The First part is from 1941 – 1945 during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during WWII. Fifteen year old Kate Wolseley is British and lives with her parents on The Peak. When the Japanese invade and the governor surrenders no one can quite believe what happens.

Once the Japanese have taken over, Kate and her family are moved to the Stanley Internment Camp, an ex-prison. Conditions are poor and food soon runs very short. Kate makes friends with Charles Pearce a half Chinese boy as they queue each day for water and attend lessons together. The descriptions and imagery are very thought provoking as everyone waits to be rescued by either the British or the Americans.

Across the water in Macau we meet Sophia Rodrigues and her family who are from Portuguese descent. During the war, Macau was neutral, yet Japanese people still arrived in the area. Sophia’s father is head of the Macau gold consortium and befriends the Japanese Kimura family. Sophia is half Chinese and is close to her Uncle who is involved with smuggling. During the war he smuggles medicines into the POW camps.

As the recapture of Hong Kong drew nearer, situations on both sides got very desperate, Charles is arrested one day when the prison guards learn of a radio that the prisoners are listening to. News comes that Charles was on a ship heading for a Japanese labour camp when the boat as torpedoed and everyone fears the worse.

A heart-broken Kate and her father go to Australia after the war, but both return to their home in Hong Kong later. Part two of the book covers the years 1948-1949. Hong Kong rebuilds itself and there are many opportunities to make money for enterprising individual’s. The population is growing fast with the spread of communism in China and people fleeing the fighting. Sophia and Kate are both young ladies now and their lives and loves link them in more ways than one.

I enjoyed this book, it was a very good insight into the war years and how Hong Kong expanded in the post war years.

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

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