🕵🏻‍♀️A New Case For Bunch Courtney. @LizanneLloyd Reviews #CrimeFiction In Cases Of Murder by @Jancoledwards for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Liz.

Liz blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Liz has been reading In Cases Of Murder by Jan Edwards

Following on from a distressing experience in Book 3, one would expect Bunch Courtney to be reluctant to continue with her investigations as a civilian police consultant, but she is an intrepid heroine determined to be an active part of DCI Wright’s new murder case. Ignoring the misgivings of her family, she insists on going to the mortuary to find out more about the death of Laura Jarman, whose body has been found in a trunk on a station platform. William Wright has asked for her assistance because Laura had connections to Bunch’s family and had visited a lonely cottage in the village shortly before her death.

William Wright remains enigmatic, ignoring Bunch for weeks on end, then treating her as an equal in their investigations. He knows that she is determined to participate in all aspects regardless of the danger, but her personal life is complex at present. Bunch’s mother is very sick and though they have never been close, she begins to realise how much her mother understands her.

Another murder victim is found and Laura’s father is put under the spotlight. Both Bunch and William find clues but the difficulties of wartime life are also an important aspect of the storyline. The settings in Sussex and London and the accurate details of life for those in southern England, wondering if they are soon to be invaded, adds intensity to their actions and feelings.

I very much enjoy this series and am glad to hear that two more volumes are currently in progress. Highly recommended.

Orange rose book description
Book description

When the body of Laura Jarman is discovered crammed into a steamer trunk and dumped on a Brighton railway platform, members of her wealthy industrialist family are shouting for answers, but their reluctance to co-operate with the investigation arouses suspicion from all sides.

What could possibly link Laura to private gentlemen’s parties on the edge of sleepy Wyncombe village, and what are her family so desperate to conceal?

When Laura’s London flatmate is murdered in an almost identical style, Bunch Courtney and DCI William Wright find themselves racing along a convoluted trail through munitions factories and London clubs to a final shocking end.

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🏞 ‘Exploring the awesome beauty of the Emilian Apennines.’ @LizanneLloyd reviews Tales From The Hamlet by Cassandra Campbell-Kemp @CassCK55

Today’s team review is from Liz.

Liz blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Liz has been reading Tales From The Hamlet by Cassandra Campbell-Kemp

Book cover for Tales from The Hamlet by Cassandra Campbell-Kemp
Tales From The Hamlet by Cassandra Campbell-Kemp

Cassandra Campbell-Kemp’s memoir of her time in Italy, when she found herself unemployed and without sufficient funds to return to England with her beloved cat and all her belongings, is an amazing account of a courageous woman whose warmth attracts loyal friends and who is prepared to work hard using her fluent Italian and her wide experience of people’s needs when looking for holiday property, to build a successful business.

Grateful to find a delightful, converted barn in the countryside amongst friends and helpful neighbours, she and her frail old cat, Geisha are cherished and nurtured in the Hamlet. A confident and, according to her Italian friends, fast driver she is happy to use her right-hand drive car on the mountain roads exploring the awesome beauty of the Emilian Apennines. Her descriptive passages are detailed and inspiring and the flowing prose also encompasses the delicious meals she is given by friends and in restaurants. Her accounts of the local history are fascinating and her intense interest in the stories is clear.

Despite mobility issues Cassandra battles Italian bureaucracy, worsening as a result of Brexit, plunges into local social life, including amazing local concerts, and she is widely accepted by the community. As winter approaches, Cass decides that she needs to decamp to the UK, but she keeps on her barn rental intending to return in the following summer. This is where the book ends and I am looking forward to her follow up volume.

4 stars

Orange rose book description
Book description

At the age of 61, Cassandra, a single and peripatetic Brit, was asked to pack up her house and move to Italy to take up the offer of a much-needed job. 15 months later she was made redundant, leaving her unnerved, broke and unable to return home. Her dream of a new life was rapidly turning into a nightmare and, saddled with all her belongings, her antique furniture, over 800 books and her aged Siamese cat she had nowhere to go.

A kind friend offered them sanctuary in a tiny converted former barn in his family’s ‘Borgo’, a cluster of rustic properties grouped around a late-Medieval manor House in the mountains; the beautiful and mysterious Emilian Appenines of northern Italy. There she was befriended and watched over by the owner; an eccentric octogenarian, his household ghosts and 14 semi feral cats.

The experience proved to be challenging yet deeply transformative as she struggled to recover her equilibrium and rebuild her life.

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💕’Set in the magical city of Rome in 2016.’ @LizanneLloyd reviews #romance Rome For The Summer by @LynneShelby5, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Liz.

Liz blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Liz has been reading Rome For The Summer by Lynne Shelby

This is a slow burning romance set in the magical city of Rome in 2016. Having been defrauded by her boyfriend and lost her job in a London Art Gallery, Kate Harper has taken a temporary job in the “English House”. Relieved to find that her boss, Briony and co-worker Ariel are friendly and welcoming she also enjoys the company of Artist in Residence, Jamie Taylor. He persuades her to take up sketching and painting once again and her increased confidence as a tour guide helps to heal her heart.

She had chosen this location because of her interest in Charlotte Browne, an English girl who had lived there with her artist lover 200 years earlier. Kate’s family had owned a painting of Charlotte, but no-one knew what had happened to her after the artist had abandoned her. As Jamie takes Kate to visit the many essential places to see in Rome, we share her pleasure, described so well by the author. Kate also meets Conte Donatello Chiaretti who becomes a good friend even though he lives in a palace.

Interspersed between the story of Kate’s life in Rome are sections from Charlotte’s diary which describe why she decided to accompany the artist, Edmund Carey, to Rome. We read of her delight in the works of art she sees just as we do with Kate. Thus the two stories blend well.

This is a very satisfying novel of a young woman discovering her own gifts, among a group of people who care for her. The “Will they? Won’t they?” aspect of her relationship with Jamie add frisson to a rewarding read.

Orange rose book description
Book description

Kate Harper has always loved the painting that has hung in her parents’ dining room for years, never suspecting that it is worth a fortune. When her art dealer boyfriend cheats her family out of the proceeds of the painting’s sale, she is left devastated and alone.

Kate discovers that two hundred years ago, the girl in the painting, Charlotte Browne, ran off to Rome with the artist who painted her portrait, but her eventual fate is unknown.

Hoping to uncover the mystery of what happened to Charlotte, Kate seizes the chance of a summer job in Rome, where she strikes up a friendship with Jamie Taylor, an English artist. As they explore the city and start to piece together the surprising secrets of Charlotte’s life, Kate finds herself wondering if a summer in Rome can mend a broken heart…

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🏡’The beautiful, wild setting of the Cumbrian coastline enhance it perfectly.’ @LizanneLloyd reviews The Cottage On Winter Moss by @Alliescribbler, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Liz.

Liz blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Liz has been reading The Cottage On Winter Moss by Allie Cresswell.

Book cover for contemporary fiction, The Cottage On Winter Moss by Allie Cresswell.
The Cottage On Winter Moss by Allie Cresswell

Dee is a successful author, but her personal life is in tatters. In the first three chapters, she tells us of her success with her fourth novel which became a screenplay and the relationship she began with Ivor Kash, one of the film’s actors. But since then, his career has gone downhill and Dee is paying the rent and supporting him. She suspects he is being unfaithful as he travels to a new opportunity leaving her with Bob, a dog he seems to have acquired from a stranger.

It is time for a new start. She gives in notice on her London flat, puts Bob and her possessions into her car and sets off. With no plan, she continues driving further north then westward towards the coast. The roads become ever narrower and in the early hours she reaches Journey’s End on a quiet estuary. Next morning exploring the graveyard she encounters local vicar, Marjorie and her daughter, Olivia. They give her food and a bed to sleep on and then suggest a cottage she can rent for the off-season winter period. But having taken Winter Cottage unseen, it is a shock to find its remote setting on marshland with only one helpful but decidedly prickly neighbour, Jamie.

As Dee tells us, she begins a new novel, “my version of a story of others, taking bones gathered,” from the conversations of the villagers. In the words of Dee’s book, we are taken back to the 20th century to the Forrester brothers who followed in their father’s footsteps acquiring more and more farms and land with hatred and unkindness, replacing the Winter family, squires of old. She identifies with the long-suffering wives and mothers of the Forrester family and feels compelled to give them a voice.

With much loved, spaniel, Bob by her side, Dee explores the sand dunes and the treacherous tides, and she is entranced by the Trysting Tree hidden in a glade which features both in her own tale and in the novel she is writing. Neighbour, Jamie, at first so unapproachable, reveals his love of books and they begin a friendship, but mysterious noises from his house confuse her. Meanwhile another man comes into her life. Hugh is a handsome mystery who brings romance into her life, then disappears.

This intriguing book gives the reader two stories, one of mid-20th century struggle for power and ownership, love and betrayal and the other a contemporary story of family estrangement, forgiveness and acceptance. And the beautiful, wild setting of the Cumbrian coastline enhance it perfectly.

Orange rose book description
Book description

Burned-out author Dee needs fresh inspiration. Impetuously, she abandons London and her good-for-nothing boyfriend to go wherever her literary quest takes her. Journey’s end is a remote village on the shores of a wild estuary, overshadowed by a ruined pele tower. She rents Winter Cottage and waits for a story to emerge.

The bleak beauty of the whispering dunes, the jacquard of colour and texture of the marsh and a romantic tree in a secluded glade—The Trysting Tree—all seduce Dee. Nevertheless, the secretive behaviour of a handsome neighbour, lights across the marsh, a spurious squire and a bizarre, moonlit encounter all suggest there is something odd afoot.

Local gossip and crumbling graveyard inscriptions give Dee the opening she needs. She begins to weave hints about the tragic history of a local family, feuding brothers and a fatal fire into a sweeping historical saga. Her characters clamour for a voice as the tale spools effortlessly onto the page—demanding to be told. Dee feels more like its instrument than its instigator.

As she becomes enmeshed in the local community, Dee is startled to find her fiction unnervingly confirmed by fact, her history still resonating in the present-day.
Is she being guided by echoes of the past?

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👩‍🍳Caterer Lucinda Green knows something is missing from her life👩‍🍳@LizanneLloyd reviews #contemporaryromance The Only Exception by @ClaraVal, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Liz.

Liz blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Liz has been reading The Only Exception by Claire Huston

Book cover for contemporary romance The Only Exception by Claire Huston, set against a photo of decorated cup cakes from a free photo from Pixabay.
The Only Exception by Claire Huston

Lucinda’s busy professional life running a catering firm has caused her to put her personal life on hold. Still living in the same house as her ex-fiancé, who betrayed her, she doesn’t believe true love exists, so when her mother phones to say she is getting married again Lucinda is confused.  Meanwhile she has a dramatic encounter in a lift with a handsome actor when they jointly revive a lady who has collapsed.

Alex has steady work in a successful TV series, but he still feels insecure renting a house in his 40s with a young actress he likes but does not love. When he meets Lucinda there are sparks and he keeps thinking about her, even though she is amazingly annoying. It is good to see the relationship from the viewpoint of each of them in turn.

Circumstances throw the couple together again and they discover they share similar values and sense of humour. When both experience professional problems they are each able to provide practical help, but their misunderstandings continue.

The characters in The Only Exception, especially in Alex’s family, are so believable and added to my enjoyment of the plot. A delightful story of modern life where work stresses, scandal and social media all play their part. And of course, a delicious sprinkling of romance.

Orange rose book description
Book description

Lucinda Green knows something is missing from her life. But what? Her catering business is enjoying modest success and she loves her cosy house, even if she does have to share it with her irritating ex-fiancé.

Whatever’s making her unsettled and edgy, Lucinda’s certain that a lack of romance isn’t the problem. How could it be when she doesn’t believe in true love?

But Lucinda’s beliefs are shaken by a series of electric encounters with Alex Fraser, a newly notorious actor who gradually proves himself to be infuriatingly funny and smart, as well as handsome.

Not that any of that matters. Because Lucinda doesn’t believe in all that ‘The One’ nonsense. That’s the rule.

But doesn’t every rule have an exception?

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💕Filled with ‘family love and friendly understanding’. Liz reviews My Corfu Love Story by Effrosyni Moschoudi @FrostieMoss, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT💕

Today’s team review is from Liz.

Liz blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Liz has been reading My Corfu Love Story by Effrosyni Moschoudi

Book cover for My Corfu Love Story by Effrosyni Moschoudi
My Corfu Love Story by Effrosyni Moschoudi

This appealing novella transports you to the beautiful island of Corfu where Spyri has returned to visit her much loved grandmother. She has many wonderful memories of holidays in the village of Moraitika but one summer in her early teens stand out more than others. That had been when she fell for Markos, who was staying with his aunt, but she has never seen him again.

Despite her grandmother’s advancing age, she maintains the same lively spirit and Spyri loves conversations and eating with her. Making the most of the beach she describes the features of the village, bringing it to life for the reader. But when she discovers Markos may be returning for the funeral of his aunt she wonders if he will remember her.

As they rekindle their feelings for each other, they explore the area, increasing our enjoyment of the story. We know there will be a happy ending but there is a spiritual incident which clarifies the future for Spyri. A life-enhancing read for those who enjoy a simple romance without eroticism but with lots of family love and friendly understanding.

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Spyri forever lives in the past, haunted by old memories. This summer, she meets a man she once loved, and he is about to change everything…

Spyri, a half-Greek restauranteur in her early thirties, is back on the island of Corfu, staying in her grandmother’s village home for a few days to decompress from her busy life in London. Her nostalgia for the good old summer days hit her upon her return. When she hears that Markos, the one she never forgot, is staying at the village, she becomes excited.

Sparks begin to fly when they meet, but Markos has his own hurts of the past to deal with…

Do you love Greek romances? How about clean love stories about second chances with a happily ever after? This novella will take you straight to Corfu, to experience the warmth of Greek summer, and the sweetness of rekindled love from old summer days of innocence.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

I ‘have grown very fond of the clever Sinhalese police inspector’, says @LizanneLloyd with her review of historical #Mystery Break From Nuala by @harrietsteel1

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

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Liz has been reading Break From Nuala by Harriet Steel.

I have read almost all of the Inspector de Silva Mysteries and have grown very fond of the clever Sinhalese police inspector and his delightful English wife, Jane. This mixed marriage ought to encounter disapproval, but the sensible and likeable couple are usually greeted with friendship. Sometimes, however, Shanti De Silva is patronised by senior British police officers because Nuala is seen as a backwater.

Expecting to enjoy a peaceful holiday in a luxury hotel, the couple find themselves in a typical Agatha Christie setting. First a nightwatchman is found dead, then Elodie Renaud, a famous diver, staying in a bungalow in the hotel grounds, is struck down with symptoms of severe food poisoning along with her film team. Soon after Shanti befriends Helen Morris, a charming teacher, on holiday with her demanding Aunt Edith, the young woman disappears under mysterious circumstances. Not only does Inspector de Silva feel he must investigate, but bravely, his wife Jane takes an active part in trying to discover where Helen might be. The local police believe she has been murdered by a local fisherman but there several likely culprits among the hotel guests.

The book is set in an uneasy time and place. It is 1940 but Ceylon is not yet involved in the war.  People feel guilty at their pleasant lives while there is suffering in Europe. There are vivid descriptions of life in Galle,

“Stalls selling an assortment of fruit, vegetables, tin pots and pans, trays of snacks and brightly coloured drinks were set up along the road. Women haggled over wares while groups of men loitered in the shade of palm trees gossiping and chewing betel. In some places, de Silva noticed beggars crouched on the ground, scrawny arms outstretched and hands holding battered tin cups.”

I enjoyed seeing Shanti and Jane working together to solve the mysteries and events became increasingly thrilling. Like the earlier books, this novel would make a wonderful episode in a TV series.

5 stars

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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.

AmazonUK AmazonUS

On The Trail Of Family Secrets In France. @LizanneLloyd reviews In My Mother’s Footsteps by Cheryl Waters.

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

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Liz has been reading In My Mother’s Footsteps by Cheryl Waters

It is easy to identify with Claire, the heroine of this novel. We share her grief at failed IVF treatment and then discover that her marriage to her teenage sweetheart has been betrayed. After the death of her mother, she has nothing to keep her in her hometown. Arranging to work remotely, as a travel writer, she sets out for France, where her mother had worked as a nanny before she was born.

Claire feels at home immediately, so she rents a cottage for 6 months. She is astonished to encounter a man she last met when she was in a distressed state in England. He was kind then and is good company now. But Claire has been ignoring a letter left for her by her mother. It concerns Gloria’s time working at a chateau and casts doubt on Claire’s parentage. The section written from Gloria’s point of view is particularly engaging.

I found this kindle version difficult to follow at first, due to its faulty formatting. Words divided by commas run into one and some pages are set out like poetry. My enjoyment would have been increased by good formatting.

Despite that, this is a lovely story of new beginnings and forgiveness and includes detailed descriptions of the beautiful French countryside.

4 stars.

Desc 1

They say bad things come in threes, and for Claire that is certainly the case. Her mother passes away, her last-chance IVF treatment is negative and then she spots her husband of twenty years with their next-door neighbour. They are definitely more than friends!

 Devastated, Claire decides to travel to the French countryside where she used to spend time in her childhood. Full of fond memories, it’s the perfect place to heal. But she packs with her something that changes the course of her trip – a mysterious letter from her late mother.

As Claire settles in France, she cannot put the letter and the secrets it holds out of her mind. She needs answers. Claire sets off on a path of discovery to trace her mother’s footsteps to a chateau she once worked at.  What will she find along the way?

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‘You might long, like me, to attend a literary party at Grandma’s house.’ @LizanneLloyd reviews Lost Coast Literary by @ellielovesbooks

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

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Liz has been reading Lost Coast Literary by Ellie Alexander

Many years ago, I read several mystery books by an author called Phyllis A Whitney. Each book took me to a different part of the US and descriptions of the area made me want to visit. Lost Coast Literary had the same effect. Ellie Alexander has introduced me to the beautiful area of the Lost Coast, and I would love to sit down in a welcoming coffee shop in the vibrant, colourful town of Cascata where this story is set.

Emily Bryant has arrived there to claim her inheritance after the death of a grandmother she dimly remembers. Having left the town when she was only 8 years old, she felt her relations had no interest in her, especially as none of them came to her mother’s funeral. Emily has had to leave her budding editing career in New York, but she is tantalised by the task that her grandmother has left for her. She must edit a stack of abandoned manuscripts. As a girl who often wrote alternative happy endings to classic books the task is perfect for her. Working in Grandma’s book-filled Victorian mansion, she remembers how much they had in common. She becomes close to her cousin Shay and gets to know the community well. And it’s here that a paranormal theme emerges. The lost manuscripts parallel life in the town and Emily’s endings start to come true in catastrophic ways.

This is a feel-good novel, but nothing comes easily. Emily has to solve real problems, including her own, and decide what she wants from life with a little help from magical realism. If you are a book enthusiast, you will love Emily’s references to her favourites by authors such as Jane Austen, Dodie Smith and Ursula Le Guin, and you might long, like me, to attend a literary party at Grandma’s house.

4 stars

Desc 1

Book editor Emily Bryant finds herself unexpectedly in the charming town of Cascata on California’s Lost Coast, holding the keys to her grandmother’s rambling Victorian mansion. While sorting through her grandmother’s things, Emily learns that she must edit old manuscripts to inherit the estate. It’s a strange request from a family member who was basically a stranger.

Emily quickly realizes that there’s something different about these manuscripts. Any changes she makes come true. At first, she embraces the gift. She has a chance to help characters find true love or chart a new course for their future. But then things go terribly wrong. Her edits have the opposite effect. The sweet and funky seaside community of Cascata is reeling from the chaos Emily has created. Everything she thought she believed about her family and her past is in jeopardy, and no amount of editing can fix the damage she’s done.

Then she finds one last manuscript. If Emily can get this edit right, maybe she’ll have a chance to create a new narrative for herself and everyone around her.

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‘There are amusing anecdotes as well as terrifying moments.’ @LizanneLloyd reviews #CrimeFiction A Final Regret by @JeffreyJWarren

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

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Liz has been reading A Final Regret by Jeff Warren

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It is always good to find a new murder mystery story which is well plotted and intriguing. Set in a beautiful part of Wales it begins with a nail-biting account of the murder. You naturally empathise with the victim, a young mother running along the clifftop to keep fit, but later we discover that her scheming nature had made her rather unpopular.

The investigation brings together one time school friends, Alys and Matt. Alys is the neighbourhood police sergeant while Matt has just transferred to the local police as a Detective Inspector. Events in the past make their relationship difficult while Matt’s detective sergeant, Beth, does her best to undermine Alys.

After another local is killed in suspicious circumstances the police are under pressure to find the killer and to stop a spate of theft of farm vehicles. Alys makes a foolish mistake but also puts herself in danger. She is keen to become a detective and to prove her abilities to Matt, while he begins to have feelings for her despite his determination to remain professional.

There are amusing anecdotes as well as terrifying moments in an entertaining story with no gratuitous violence. I am looking forward to further investigations involving Matt, Alys and Beth.

Desc 1

A missing mother, her baby’s father a suspect

Young single mother Rianna fails to return from her cliff-top run. Did she have an accident, or did someone want her dead?

Neighbourhood Sergeant Alys Carey and Detective Inspector Matt Vincent are thrown back together when Matt returns to Pembrokeshire and takes on the case. There’s no shortage of suspects: Rianna’s blackmail victims; the men she beguiled; the women who loved them; the father of little baby Meg.

Can Alys and Matt unravel the complex web of relationships within the local community and ensure that justice prevails? Will Matt’s embittered detective sergeant, Beth Francis, derail the investigation? And what will become of Rianna’s baby daughter, Meg?

A Final Regret is a murder mystery set on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast, with romance, humour and no graphic violence, sex or swearing.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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