#FridayReads If You Like #Mystery #Thriller Books You Might Like These…

If You Like #Mystery #Thriller Books then I can recommend these books…

22072877Wildlife photographer Gunnar Wolfe looked like the kind of guy every man wanted to be and every woman just plain wanted, and the St. Johns River of central Florida drew him like a magnet. EcoTour boat owner Maggie Devlin knew all the river’s secrets, including the deadliest ones found in the swamps. But neither Maggie nor Gunn was prepared for the danger that would come after them on two legs.
On a quest to make history photographing the rarest birds of them all, Gunnar hires the fiery, no-nonsense Maggie to canoe him into the most remote wetland areas in the state. He was unprepared for how much he would enjoy both the trips and Maggie’s company. He soon realizes he wants more than she’s prepared to give, but before he can win her over, they make a grisly discovery that changes everything, and turns the quiet little town of Riverbend upside down. A serial killer is on the prowl among them. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


22051845New York, present day, alternate reality. Karen Brown, angry and frightened after a kidnap attempt, has a choice – being eliminated by government enforcer Jeffery Renschman or fleeing to mysterious Roma Nova, her dead mother’s homeland in Europe.

Founded sixteen centuries ago by Roman exiles and ruled by women, Roma Nova gives Karen safety, at a price, and a ready-made family. Just as she’s finding her feet, a shocking discovery about her new lover, special forces officer Conrad Tellus, isolates her.

But the enforcer has crossed to Europe to pursue her. Unable to rely on anybody else, she undergoes intensive training, develops fighting skills and becomes an undercover cop. But crazy with bitterness at his past failures, Renschman sets a trap for her, knowing she has no choice but to spring it…Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

28931623For fans of Child 44 and The Lives of Others, this gripping novel pits an unforgettable heroine against an unforgivable past.

Signs of an agonisingly slow death, pools of blood, hands desperately searching for a hold. Judith Kepler has seen it all.

She is a crime scene specialist. She turns crime scenes back into habitable spaces. She is a cleaner.

It is at the home of a woman who has been brutally murdered that she is suddenly confronted with her own past. The murder victim knew Judith’s secret: as a child she was sent to an orphanage under mysterious circumstances – parentage unknown. And the East German secret police were always there, in the background.

When Judith begins to ask questions, she becomes the target of some powerful enemies. And nothing will ever be the same again. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

20739469Soccer mom Yvette Palmer lives an ordinary life in San Antonio, Texas when a box is delivered to her by mistake, and in taking it to its rightful owner—a crotchety neighbor named Mona who shares her back fence—is drawn into a strange and haunting tale.

Mona’s ratty robe, mood swings, and secretive behavior all raise red flags, and Yvette is sure someone else is living there despit Mona’s claim to live alone, but Yvette is unable to break away as she listens to how Mona transformed from a young college woman about to be married to the odd, reclusive, ghost of a woman she is now.

As Yvette listens to her neighbor’s tale, she discovers a shocking connection, but doesn’t know whether Mona’s come to help or to harm her and her family. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

22130087Ekaterina Romanova, the estranged wife of Russia’s wealthiest oligarch Konstantin Gravchenko, asks Scott Mitchell, an idealistic young English human rights lawyer who is being intimidated by the authorities, to find the father she’s never met. She believes he’s been languishing for decades without trial in the Gulag system. Meanwhile, General Pravda of military intelligence, though an advocate of transparency, is determined to protect a covert operation that he’s been running for years. General Pravda hinders Ekaterina and Scott at every turn and lawyer and client are forced to go on the run for a murder they didn’t commit. As they descend into the Hades that is the world of international realpolitik Scott is compelled to reconsider his own values, and Pravda’s life’s work disintegrates, when Scott uncovers a 50 year-old Cold War secret, which both the Russian and US governments are still trying to hide from the public domain. ‘Moscow Bound’ is the first book in The Puppet Meisters trilogy, dealing with state abuse of power. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

27275817Who would believe the words of a bird brain, anyway? When Camille inherits Simon, an African grey parrot from her deceased neighbor, she sees the challenge of owning such a noisy, spoiled pet. But when the music plays, and Simon starts to replay a violent scene in the voice of his former owner, Camille begins to realize that she has inherited more than she bargained for. Could a bird really recall the last moments of his owner’s life? And stranger yet, could he really be repeating a death scene that he witnessed? Camille’s best friend, Leo, has his doubts, and after the disappearance of Camille’s sister, he wonders if her tragic past is coming back to haunt her and she is finally breaking down. But she has no one else to go to, no one besides the questionable other neighbor who might well have been involved with the murder victim. It’s a question of a bird’s word against the truth and a race to find out what it all means.   Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Introducing the most lovable, pratfall-prone female sleuth in recent memory, this first novel in the Garnet Sullivan Live from Florida series will leave the reader in stitches and begging for more. Marlin, Darlin’ debuts the engaging, redoubtable and often annoying (to her colleagues and friends) small town journalist, the foxy Garnet Sullivan. A murky murder during a marlin fishing tournament forms the basis for this sizzling, uproarious mystery set in contemporary, steamy east coast Florida, featuring the unsinkable freelance reporter, snoop and trouble-maker, Garnet Sullivan, and a host of her bizarre, colorful friends.

A Gordian knot of a plot fairly gallops along from page one to the final page and will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat until the novel’s last words. Saturated with today’s most authentic Florida ambience and whackos, Marlin, Darlin’ is sure to delight the most cerebral mystery buffs as well as fans of romantic comedy–and dog lovers too! The novel is propelled by laugh out loud characters, scenes and situations reminiscent of Carl Hiassen and Dave Barry, but with more lipstick and purses. Fully imagined and drawn from life characters hook the reader from the book’s first sentences and the story seems to vault inevitably from who these characters are–nutty and flamboyantly so, but completely convincing, and whose native habitat could only be Florida. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


23396437After being made redundant from a seemingly secure job Jolene Carr takes a two week break in the sun. On the first day she meets Raquel, another hotel guest. Little does she realise how this apparently innocent acquaintance will lead to terrible and lasting consequences. After a frightening incident she hits a conspiracy of silence from the locals and over the rest of the holiday she feels herself slipping into a vortex of fear. Back home, the nightmare continues and she realises that Raquel is stalking her. Her hippie mother and her partner Mark tell her she is imagining it all. All certainties, even about relationships, become fluid and treacherous as her past begins to unravel. If it wasn’t for Rob, her ex-lover who Jolene thinks has his own agenda, she would be left to cope on her own.
How much fear and betrayal can one person take? Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Lori Powers loved being a flight attendant because life at home was a constant nightmare of physical and mental abuse. But her own trauma paled in comparison to her husband’s sexual abuse of their only child. Emily’s suicide note blamed Lori for failing to protect her. Overwhelmed by guilt, Lori sought justice for her Emily. When she heard the voices, she murdered domineering, abusive men whose misfortune brought them across her path.
The murder of Dr. Thaddeus Abrams, the precinct’s psychiatrist brought FBI profiler Mika Scott back to the precinct she began as a homicide detective and also face to face with her past partner and lover Detective Jake Roberts. Together they search for the killer. Michael Gates, Abrams’ lover, wanted to punish Lori. It cost Chief of Detectives Ed Fairchild his life. Airline captain Nick Parker had an insatiable, deviant sexual appetite. Things went desperately wrong when young flight attendant Megan joined him on a layover. Lori was part of the crew. When she met Parker, she heard Emily cry out from the grave. Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

February editions of Magazines I review books for are now delivered and on-line

February 1st and the latest editions of the local magazines I wrote book reviews for have now been delivered locally and are also on-line.

This month’s books featured in Fleet Life are;

After The Evil by Cary Allen Stone

Marlin Darlin’ by Margarette Langstaffe

Deceived by L.A Starkey

Secrets Of The Heart by Adrienne Vaughan

and Dreaming Of Love by Melissa Foster

Go to http://www.fleetlife.org.uk, click on the online directory and turn to page 6

Fleet Life Feb Twitter

Books featured in the February issue of Elvetham Heath Directory are;

The Parrot Told Me by Rachael Rawlings

Hawk’s Gift by Mary Forbes

Sheer Fear by Geoffrey West

Stories For Feelings  For Children by Hilary Hawkes

Stable Mates by Zara Stonely

Go to http://www.ehd.org.uk, click on the online directory and turn to page 6

Feb EHD Twotter

Marlin, Darlin’ by Margaret Jean Langstaff

Marlin, Darlin': Garnet Sullivan Live from Florida #1Marlin, Darlin’: Garnet Sullivan Live from Florida #1 by Margaret Jean Langstaff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Marlin, Darlin’ is a very well written and fun mystery set in Florida. Garnett Sullivan earns her living as a reporter and a part-time evening class teacher. There’s been an ugly accident at the local Marlin fishing tournament. A wealthy businessman went overboard and later his body was washed up and his boat impounded for evidence.

Squabbling over reporter rites with fellow newsman Randy Trigg, the pair follow up several suspicious leads. Ducking and diving with local police officer Lance Dawtry for inside information Garnett also has cause to suspect student Jim Walker of illegal dealings when he disappears with her car for several days.

Meanwhile a crazy old bird Mrs Bettina Bassett is arrested for the bale of grass on her back seat and Allison Highsmith is pressuring Garnett to help her out with a charity dog fundraiser. Just how much trouble can one delightful reporter get herself into?

I loved Garnett’s yellow VW Beetle and the warm sultry Florida background, filled with bugs and creatures as Garnett dashed after the clues. The characters were very well written and memorable, Dr Beidermeyer, Bettina even Randy and Lance, Definitely a book to cheer up the long winter nights.

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

View all my reviews On Goodreads

Good Deeds Challenge, Year 2 Week 35

Welcome to my second Year of Good Deeds, a challenge I set myself during April 2013. I decided to do at least one Good Deed a day for a whole year, now I am into my second year.

New Good DeedsThis week I’ve been doing the following;

December 14th – Big push today to get some more reviews for books on the review team list. I’m reading After The Evil by Cary Allen Stone.

December 15th – No school this morning as it was dress rehearsal for the school nativity play. Instead went to see a friend and took cakes.

December 16th – A lovely sunny day, walked into town and picked up litter on my way home.

December 17th – Today I read and reviewed Baby Girl Book 3; City By The Bay by Elle Klaas

December 18th – Just trying to make a big inroad in my book review request pile. Today I read Marlin, Darlin’ by Margaret Langstaff. Gave the postman a box of chocolates for all this year’s deliveries.

December 19th – We have friends coming over for tea today. Schools have now broken up for the holidays. Am reading Sheer Fear by Geoffrey West.

December 20th – Helped share the news of Nicky Wells’ two Christmas books and went out for a lovely walk, bringing home litter for the bin.

Good Deeds Challenge, Year 2 Week 30

Welcome to my second Year of Good Deeds, a challenge I set myself during April 2013. I decided to do at least one Good Deed a day for a whole year, now I am into my second year.

New Good DeedsThis week I’ve been doing the following;

November 9th – Day 9 on the Mystery Book tour and it was Mike Martin’s turn with his book The Body on the T http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5N9

Have finished reading 3 books this weekend and been writing reviews and drafting posts. Good deeds received: Have been sent an Amazon gift voucher, now what should I spend it on?

November 10th – My morning at school, then picking up bags of potatoes for myself and a friend from the farm I work for (yay, no more supermarket spuds for a few months) Day 10 on the Mystery Book Tour and it’s Marlin, Darlin’ from Margaret Langstaff http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5Ts

November 11th – Day 11 on the Mystery book Tour and it the turn of Jan Ryder and her book Blood Pool http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5Q0

November 12th – Had a new carpet fitted to one of our rooms today, made the fitters hot drinks. Day 12 of the tour and we met Jane Isaac and her book The Truth Will Out. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5Rz

November 13th – A busy day today, I had coffee with fellow author Alison Williams and we had a long chat about all things bookish. Our November mystery writer today was Maria Savva and her book The Dream. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5QY

November 14th – Today we met Adrian Churchward and his book Moscow Bound on the mystery tour. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5Oh

Picked up litter on my way back from the post box.

November 15th – It’s the turn of Patrick Brigham and his mystery Abduction: An Angel Over Rimini. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5Nd

Mystery Book Tour Day 10 #MysteryNovember Marlin, Darlin’ by Margaret Langstaff

November Mystery Tour

Today’s guest on the Mystery November Book Tour is Margaret Langstaff with her book Marlin, Darlin’

Marlin Darlin

Where is your home town?

You ask about my current home town. Well, I have lived on a lovely small farm just west of Gainesville, FL since 2002. Lots of wonderfully crazy animals, both domestic and wild. Six rescue dogs, horses and chickens and wild turkeys, deer, raccoons, red tail hawks, you name it. We have a high old time here. I love it. Every day has its surprises. One morning I had a lost Emu show up at my front door! My dogs went bonkers—it made an electrical jazzy noise—but that’s nothing, don’t get me started. Snakes on my front doorstep, bugs the size of drones. Florida in many areas is still really wild and my little farm is a perfect example.

How long have you been writing?

Though I’d ghost-written many books for public figures and celebrities already, Marlin, Darlin’ is the first novel I wrote under my own name. It’s got a lot of “me” in it, much disguised personal history and experiences (as crazy and whacko as they are!). Writing it was quite a release for me and it still remains my most popular book. It is the first title in the “Garnet Sullivan Live from Florida” mystery series. (The second—just two so far—is The Devil, the Diva and the Deep Blue Sea).

When it came out it was named #3 on the top ten mysteries for the month by Goodreads. Made my heart sing! Blew me away! My first novel! No way!

What is your favourite sub-genre of mystery?

My favorite sub-genres of mystery are the wild rollicking funny Florida mysteries such as those written by Carl Hiassen, mysteries that turn on the natural whacko behavior of many Floridians, behavior that is sometimes bizarre, wrong-headed and hysterical, but nevertheless contains its own inner logic and is true to the time and place. But I also am a fan of “cozies” and I think Marlin, Darlin’ contains blended elements of both.

Where is Marlin, Darlin’ set?

Punta Bella, the setting for my mysteries, is fictional (but an accurate depiction) small town Florida, and as strange as they may be, people there are good neighbors, kind and courteous. It’s very similar to my original home town and where I grew up, an island bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Indian River Lagoon on the other. A beautiful place off the beaten path. And true to say, I didn’t have to “stretch” the truth much about anything in these mysteries to write them!

But anyway, as I said, Marlin, Darlin’ is set in the fictional tiny “boondock” (backwater, rural) town of Punta Bella on the east coast of Florida. This is the area in which I grew up, and the mystery is saturated with much local color and ambience and bears the marks of the many wild experiences I had personally during that time. My childhood there was an idyll, full of blue skies and sunshine, not a care in the world other than deciding what we wanted to do next for fun. Florida had not been overrun by developers at that point; it was pristine and lushly wonderful and beautiful, unspoiled. I and my friends went barefoot everywhere, lived in our bathing suits and were in the water—ocean or river—most of the time, fishing, swimming, boating, camping out on islands just off the mainland and generally carousing around in an innocent way. Most of our parents were busy professionals and were very indulgent with us.

Introduce us to Garnet Sullivan.

Marlin, Darlin’ features as its heroine one Garnet Sullivan, someone who bears a faint resemblance to me as I was as a very young woman just out of college and casting about for her life’s “mission,” somewhat too serious in her desire to right all wrongs and “save the world.” She is a feisty nosey red head, poking her nose into everybody’s business, annoyingly offering opinions where none had been solicited, and a true blue die-hard dog lover. In her zeal, she is just as wild and crazy as I was at that point in my life, actually perhaps more so (wink).

She is a perpetually cash strapped freelance reporter for a local small town newspaper and, to make ends meet, teaches adult ed dullards at the local community college for a pittance.

So Garnet is typically busier than a one-armed wall paper hanger what with her duties at the newspaper, racing back and forth to classes, grading hopeless student papers, trying to keep Chester on the straight and narrow and, of course, “saving the world!” It’s a heavy burden and her customary state is “frazzled” and outraged at some real or imagined moral lapse or petty crime. The poor thing is always just a few inches away from a nervous breakdown, what with all she has taken on.

It is a bit ridiculous (something currently lost on her), for Punta Bella is, after all, not the center of the universe, and its short-comings and the minor transgressions of its citizens are not likely to spell the end of Western Civilization.


What mystery does she set out to solve?

The mystery at the core of the novel is the peculiar inexplicable death of billionaire car dealer David Devaigne—alone—on his massive yacht in a Marlin fishing tournament.

Garnet smells blood (a great story) and the unwinding of the ensuing complicated plot has teased and delighted most readers.

BTW, Garnet’s best friend and bunkie is Ringo, her beloved Irish Setter—and gasp—he disappears unaccountably in this maelstrom of wackiness. Kidnapped by a malefactor? Maybe ….

Tell us about some of the other flamboyant characters.

The love of Garnet’s life is Chester Dare, the handsome witty county public defender, a natural match for her, quite in keeping with her self-righteous “Joan of Arc” complex. But Chester has become afflicted with a job related drinking problem due to his stress over his usual hopeless derelict clients and this causes Garnet a lot of concern and sleepless nights.

Woe is she. She has a big heart for the less fortunate, will go to the ramparts for any desperate case and is in a constant state of agitation as a result (so many desperate cases!).

The mystery at the core of the novel is the peculiar inexplicable death of billionaire car dealer David Devaigne—alone—on his massive yacht in a Marlin fishing tournament in the Atlantic.

Garnet smells blood (a great story for the paper) and the unwinding of the ensuing complicated plot has teased and delighted most readers.

BTW, Garnet’s best friend and bunkie is Ringo, her beloved ever-slobbering Irish Setter—and gasp—he disappears unaccountably one night in this maelstrom of wackiness while Garnet is in the thick of researching the murder. Kidnapped by a malefactor? Maybe …. (Confession time: I had myself a wonderful Irish setter named “Ringo” and he lives on frolicking and creating chaos in my Florida mystery books. It’s sort of my way of keeping him with me now that he’s gone.)

So many other key nutzo characters contribute to a devil of a plot (most readers have no clue until the final paragraphs of how it will end). Here are a few:

Julie Devaigne, society vamp from Miami and the gold digger wife of David Devavaigne who is trying to divorce him when he is killed in the fishing tournament;

Randy, the limp witless reporter the Miami Herald sends up to Punta Bella cover the breaking murder story and who causes more problems for Garnet than creating solutions and nearly dies of plutonium (!) poisoning;

Garnet’s crazy pathetic community college students (she teaches on the side to make ends meet), especially Jim and his ditzy girlfriend Bunny, both of whom work at Travis Fenderman’s car dealership which David Devaigne is trying to buy when he is killed;

Allison Highsmith, Garnet’s “Miss Perfect” rich society BFF who gets sucked into the chaos trying to save Ringo;

Lance, the hunky, gorgeous airhead sheriff who suddenly becomes enamored of Garnet for her admirable zeal to solve the crime and whose sudden blind devotion to her creates all kinds of difficulties;

There are so many more hapless malefactors, goofy kindly do gooders and true to (Florida) life nutcases, all colorful and off the wall, too many to mention, but it all coalesces nicely thanks to—

Professor Biederman, a dotty retired professor emeritus at the University of Florida whom Garnet seeks out for “expert” counsel and from whom she eventually gets way more than she bargained for!

I have only mentioned half of the colorful key characters in this demon of a plot.

The story romps through some of Florida’s backwaters, but what is a boondock?

Marlin, Darlin’ is set in the fictional tiny “boondock” (backwater, rural) town of Punta Bella on the east coast of Florida around the Indian River Lagoon and close to the Atlantic Ocean.

You mention dog lovers will like the book too, tell us about the dog element.


The book is authentic Floridiana, you can feel the sand in your toes and hear the waves on the beach (as many reviewers have said); it could keep you up all night and it will make you laugh (to which the reviews on Amazon also attest).

It’s a sweet love story and dog story all wrapped up in a sinister murder mystery. Check the reviews! With very little promo this book has gotten its share of fans.

I do hope you read it and enjoy it—most who have read it have found it laugh out loud funny and surprising—and if you do read it, please let me hear from you!

Hot tip: There’s a third Garnet mystery in the works … so stay tuned.

Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

Margaret Langstaff

More about me and my books is available on my lively blog www.margaretlangstaff.com, LinkedIn, Profile http://www.linkedin.com/in/margaretjeanlangstaff/

Goodreads and my Amazon author page, should you be interested.


Margaret is a former publishing exec (Random House, Doubleday), her work has appeared in the L.A. Times, L.A. Times Book Review, the New York Times, Publishers Weekly and the Baltimore Sun
She has also been a ghost writer for public figures and celebrities for many years before I penning her first novel.

I want to thank you, darling Rosie Amber, for giving me this opportunity to talk about one of my favorite books. It’s been great fun and you are a treasure and an angel to authors! I would love to hear from readers of your wonderful blog, and would be delighted to answer any questions they may have or just chat about books and the writing life!


Marlin, Darlin’ link for Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

Tour News: ebook discounted 50% to $2.99  Limited time only

Us Readers only: signed copies of the paperback are also available for $5.00 plus $3.99 shipping from “Forever Rare Books” on Amazon (60% off regular price)

Sale on autographed copies of paperback!

Sale on ebook!