The Case Of The Screaming Beauty by @alisonjgolden cosy British police murder #Mystery

The Case of the Screaming Beauty (Inspector David Graham #1)The Case of the Screaming Beauty by Alison Golden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Case Of The Screaming Beauty is a quick read cosy mystery, set in Chiddlinghurst, England. The Lavender Inn Bed and Breakfast receives five star reviews and guests compliment the owners on their beautiful gardens.

One Sunday morning owner Amelia Swansbourne is tending her gardens when she hears a loud scream from one of her guest rooms. She rushes to the scene, but Norah Travis is perfectly well. However, the next morning her body is found in the bathroom by the housekeeper.

Old school Detective Inspector Graham is called in. Together with Sergeant Harris they question owners Amelia and Cliff, Doris the housekeeper and the only other guest, journalist Tim Lloyd. In a relaxed, methodical piecing together of evidence, the murder weapon is deduced, then found, but what was the motive behind the killing?

It takes a good nose to solve a murder, but the Inspector is the right man, with the help from the forensic lab, a bright young student and an ability to see matters from a different angle.

The charm of this murder mystery is the characters—their inside jokes, mannerisms and the relaxed, British, stoic determination to sniff out the truth. Ideal for fans of old fashioned “whodunnit” books, this is book #1 of The Inspector Graham series.

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Book Description

The prestigious Lavender Bed and Breakfast in Chiddlinghurst, England has a rich, Tudor atmosphere, an enviously manicured lawn… And a deadly problem. 
A young, beautiful woman, Norah Travis, has been found murdered in one of the rooms with no witnesses and seemingly no motive. Detective Inspector Graham, a man with a singular drive, a penchant for tea, and silent demons of his own, has been brought in to ferret out the perpetrator. Joining Sergeant Harris at the sprawling estate, the duo set their caps to solving a mystery that leaves them frustrated. 

It’s a “whodunit” of crafty design with suspects on all sides and nothing clear cut. The proprietors, Amelia and Cliff, have jokes to share and almost nothing to hide, while their long time guest, Tim, seems shiftier. There is an ex-husband, a housekeeper, an old man, and questions galore. But who could it be? It’s a conundrum. 

About the author

Alison Golden

Alison Golden was born and raised in Bedfordshire, England. She writes cozy mysteries and suspense novels, along with the occasional witty blog post, all of which are designed to entertain, amuse, and calm. Her approach is to combine creative ideas with excellent writing and edit, edit, edit. 

She is the creator of the Reverend Annabelle Dixon cozy mysteries, a charming, fun series featuring a female vicar ministering in the beautiful county of Cornwall, England. She also produces a Jersey-based detective series featuring Inspector David Graham and the Diana Hunter series, set in Vancouver. 

Her books’ themes range from the humorous and sweet to harder hitting suspense. They are recommended for readers who like to relax and unwind with their books, who enjoy getting to know the characters, and who prefer the tougher side of life implied.

She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and twin sons. She splits her time traveling between London and San Francisco.

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REMNANTS by @Carolyn_Arnold A Brandon Fisher FBI murder #Mystery #TuesdayBookBlog @HibbertStiles

Remnants (Brandon Fisher FBI Series Book 6)Remnants by Carolyn Arnold
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three Point Five Stars.

Remnants is book #6 of the Brandon Fisher FBI crime series and can also be read as a stand-alone novel.

The story is set in the state of Georgia. The prologue opens with a man in search of his next victim at a shopping mall in Atlanta, where we read about his quick ruthless snatch-and-grab of a young man.

Chapter one introduces us to FBI agent Brandon Fisher, his boss Jack and his co-workers Zack and Paige. They’ve been called to Savannah by Lieutenant Pike after human remains were found in a river. Evidence suggests the limbs are from three different victims; the feet, hands and skin have been removed.

Recent rainfall may have disturbed the place where these bones had been buried. Further disturbing evidence suggests the perpetrator is copying ancient Mayan sacrificial techniques. A local man is reported missing; investigations highlight questions about his work and social routine. The team believe they have a link to several cold cases of other missing men. Just what has missing banker Stanley Gilbert been doing on Friday afternoons?

I’ve not read any of the other books in this series, so the writer’s style was new to me. The main action is interspersed with chatter between the FBI team about their various relationships. This was a weaker part of the book for me with rather clichéd storylines. The call of the job puts paid to Valentine’s plans for both Brandon and Paige, whilst Jack has his own demons from a past case.

Much of the investigative work relied on Nadia, a data analyst from Quantico, who is super-efficient. This left the team in Savannah running between leads, interviewing suspects and working with the local police force. The Mayan sacrifice angle was interesting, I would have liked this to have a larger part to the storyline; I felt it could have added some more plot twists and tension to lift this to a real edge of your seat thriller.

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Book Description

When multiple body parts are recovered from the Little Ogeechee River in Savannah, Georgia, local law enforcement calls in FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team to investigate. But with the remains pointing to three separate victims, this isn’t proving to be an open-and-shut case.

With no quick means of identifying the deceased, building a profile of this serial killer is more challenging than usual. How are these targets being selected? Why are their limbs being severed and their bodies mutilated? And what is it about them that is triggering this person to murder?

The questions compound as the body count continues to rise, and when a torso painted blue and missing its heart is found, the case takes an even darker turn. But this is only the beginning, and these new leads draw the FBI into a creepy psychological nightmare. One thing is clear, though: The killing isn’t going to stop until they figure it all out. And they are running out of time…

Author Bio

Carolyn Arnold

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Website – http://carolynarnold.net/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

You can also sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

Goodreads | AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Twitter

 

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT REMEMBER ME by A.K. Lakelett Murder #Mystery #wwwblogs

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Remember Me by A.K Lakelett

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Remember Me? By A K Lakelett

3.5 out of 5 stars

‘A tragedy in three acts’ ~ this is an unusual take on the murder mystery novel.  It’s part play, part narrative, part poetry, revolving around a dead body found in Tersel Woods.  An experimental structure indeed, it’s one that works very well on some levels and less so on others.

An excellent start reveals the story of Julia, from the years 1993 ~ 1995, as she tells her mother about the joy she’s found with her new love, that quickly deteriorates into domestic abuse.  There’s a terrific poem that gives such stark insight into the emotions such victims experience, with the excuses they give to both themselves and others.  For Julia, though, there is a dramatic end to this tale.  I was very impressed by this part.

Moving on, I felt the dialogue was not always convincing.  Some colloquial/character illustrating speech does not come across, and one aspect I found unrealistic, thus: ‘Oh no, they are very private … I have not played with him.  I do not know his wife …’. In speech, people tend to say ‘they’re’, ‘haven’t’ and ‘don’t’.  This lack of abbreviation in dialogue occurs throughout the book, and when there are several in one paragraph of dialogue it feels very stilted.  The other thing that confused me was English people referring to their mother as ‘Mom’, for some reason I couldn’t see.  On a good note, there are many quietly humorous observations: ‘He claims and insists that he is not overweight, just a bit round.  His wife begs to differ … As with most pathologists, he’s not very good at dealing with the living, and always assumes nobody knows anything about anatomy’.

The plot itself is interesting and, generally speaking, the characterisation is cleverly done (I thought Estelle Warner was particularly good).  The story fitted well into the short format; it was a bit like reading a mystery novel without all the less interesting scene setting and incidental stuff, which is a plus for the short attention spans of many of today’s readers! And I didn’t guess whodunnit…

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

 

THE PATH OF SILENCE by Edita A Petrick @EditaBoni Murder #Mystery @ReadReviewRoom @tmsanders2014

The Path of SilenceThe Path of Silence by Edita A. Petrick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Path Of Silence is a police crime mystery set in Baltimore. Meg Stanton is a single mother and a cold case homicide cop. The book opens with a late night stop at a 7-Eleven for Meg and her partner, when they return to their car they find it covered by a body with an exploded chest.

The victim has 10 different fake ID’s on him and has been a missing person for the last 4 years. Cause of death – an exploding pace-maker. A second victim explodes in the private hotel room of a top US banker and Meg is forced to face a man she’s been hiding from for ten years. Meg and Ken soon find themselves on the path of a serial killer who can inflict death at the flick of a switch.

When the FBI are called in to help solve the case Meg’s home-life starts to collapse, the man who walked out of her life, now faces her across a briefing room. Forcing herself to focus on the job, they chase a possible money laundering ring with fingers deep in political circles.

This book has a good opening setting and a well paced story follows, I liked Meg and her feisty approach, this book touches on family relationships and there’s a chance of romance too. A few red herrings and twists lead to the identity of the cold blooded killer.

I reviewed this book for Readers Review Room

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

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT MURDER & MAYHEM by @carolJhedges #HistFic #WeekendBlogShare

Today’s Team Review is from Noelle, she blogs at http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading Murder & Mayhem by Carol J Hedges

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I’ll start by telling you how much I enjoyed this mystery. It’s a bit different from the mysteries I’ve read to date, but it is a smashing historical who dunnit.

Set against an exquisitely detailed Victorian London – I could see myself there – the story is told from multiple points of view, each character fully developed. It begins with the discovery of the corpses of infants in the basement of an abandoned house on a street in the middle of demolition for the railway system. Inspector Lachlan Greig of the Bow Street Police has become aware of dark practice of baby farming (women and men who will take someone’s child and a sum of money for “looking after” on a permanent basis) and it falls to him to find the murderers.

A second thread involves two school friends – Daisy Lawton, daughter of a wealthy physician who lives in the lap of luxury and wants for nothing but marriage to a handsome man of social standing, and Letitia Simpkins, daughter of a penurious widower who treats her like a servant. She disdains marriage but craves for higher education and the employment that would bring, in order to get her away from her family. Daisy becomes engaged to a wealthy young man headed for Parliament but with a shadowy life with prostitutes and a decent woman carrying his baby. Letitia meets a librarian, Sarah Lunt, who believes Ladies should be educated and trained for a profession, and she quickly becomes the only light in Letitia’s gloomy life.

Add in a couple of anarchists with catchy names — Edwin Persiflage and Danton Waxwing – who work as clerks but who have deep grievances against the rich and privileged and who are determined to blow up parts of London, and Inspector Greig has another problem on his plate.

I loved the rounding of all the characters, major and minor, and especially gas-lit, crowded and filthy Victorian London, a character unto itself. The author is at once humorous and heart-breaking in her descriptions, never more so than in the plight of women in that time. The depth of her research and the colorful details with which she decorates the story lines is exceptional.

Ms. Hedges breaks the wall and talks directly to the reader at the beginning of the book (which is when it should be done, if at all), and most charmingly pulled me into the story.

Every aspect of this read was a delight, and I am looking forward to the next book!

Five stars

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com also available free from Kindle Unlimited

 

#NewRelease THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by @TerryTyler4 #Thriller #TuesdayBookBlog

The Devil You KnowThe Devil You Know by Terry Tyler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Devil You Know is a thriller in a fictitious town in Lincolnshire, England. The book opens with the murder of a young woman by an unknown man. The story-line revolves round the possible perpetrator of a mounting series of murders. I like this author’s style of writing so I jumped at the chance to read an ARC of this book as she takes her writing and her readers on a bold move with this genre.

After the opening scene, events turn back to a year earlier, 2015. We are introduced to key characters who all discover that those close to them have valid suspicious actions which make them all capable of being the one the police are after. Juliet’s husband is a bully and regularly goes out late at night claiming it’s for business meetings. Steve’s friend Dan, is the spitting image of the e-fit photo of the man the police suspect. Tamsin’s liked colleague Jake Fallon for ages and when they finally get together she wants more than a one night stand. But why is Jake giving her the brush off and avoiding her? Maisie’s Mum has a new boyfriend, but just how loyal is he? Dorothy’s routine loving son Orlando, starts staying out late and not attending club meetings he’s always been to.

The plot is character driven, building the layers in delicious anticipation with plenty of red herrings which had me mentally accusing the most obscure characters of the deadly deed, then just when I had convinced myself I’d solved the case a new piece of evidence was dropped into the story-line and off my thoughts went on another tangent. My mind doesn’t work methodically like a police detective, and when the body count began to grow I needed to eagerly read on as I pointed my accusing finger at yet another character.

By the end I wanted to have a cuppa and a chat to Dorothy, who seemed a little lonely and I found Juliet very intriguing, which just shows that even with a dark genre, readers can still empathise with really well written characters. The last fifth of the book had some marvellous twists and complimented the different approach to thriller writing that made this a superb read.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com also available free from Kindle Unlimited

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT MURDER & MAYHEM by @carolJhedges #HistFic #Mystery

Today’s second team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry has been reading Murder & Mayhem by Carol Hedges

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Murder & Mayhem by Carol Hedges

5 out of 5 stars

I’ve read the other three of Carol Hedges’ colourful, amusing and really rather brilliant Victorian murder mystery series, and this was every bit as good.  They’re complete stand alones, by the way, no need to read them in order.

Murder & Mayhem follows the stories of several wonderful characters: lovely, outwardly superficial, privileged Daisy Lawton, a girl looking forward to her first ‘season’; Ms Hedges very cleverly avoided the trap of making her merely empty-headed, but gave her a heart of gold, too, especially when it came to her friend, poor Letitia, who is bound to a life of drudgery by her horrible father.  Then we have the would-be anarchists, Persiflage and Waxwing, Scottish detective Lachlan Greig, and various other upper middle class ne’er-do-wells, street rogues and those eager to make money by foul means, mostly the evil ‘baby minders’ around whom the story centres.

Inspector Lachlan Greig: ‘… a certain glint in his eye possessed by those who have found they are generally more intelligent than most people around them but haven’t yet learned that the most intelligent thing they can do is not to let said people find this out.’

Mr Sprowle, landlord: ‘… educated in the School of Hard Knocks, leading to a degree in Resentment.’

Just two lines I picked out, there are so many more little gems.

This book is not just a clever story with hilarious characterisation and descriptions so good you want to read them twice.  It’s an insight into how difficult life really was for women in those days, only 150 years ago, and a view into Victorian London as clear as any film or TV drama series.  When I got to 84% I thought ‘oh, no, I’ve only got a little bit left’, and tried to make it last as long as possible.

I believe this might be the last in the series but I do hope not; as long as Carol Hedges keeps writing these books I’ll keep reading them as soon as they’re available, and you should, too!

Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Darkroom by Mary Maddox @Dreambeast7 #Mystery

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

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Judith has been reading Darkroom by Mary Maddox

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My Review

Mary Maddox’  Darkroom is a murder mystery set in the mountains of Boulder, Colorado in  winter. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I enjoyed it, not only for the story but also for the style of writing; fast paced, clear and detailed; taking the reader along through plot’s many and intricate twists and turns. Some  sections of the action were a little easy to predict but this didn’t take anything away from the novel–in fact it gave me a great deal of satisfaction when I guessed correctly; A “I knew it!” moment.  Predict

There are a lot of characters in the story, so much so that, in the early parts, I had to keep flicking back to see who was who and where they fitted in. But once absorbed in the book everyone fell into place. I particularly like how the characters, even the minor ones, are so well drawn, so rounded. There are a few exceptions who are portrayed as completely unlikable, flat characters who don’t change throughout. But mostly, as in real life, the characters all have good and bad sides to them. All cross the boundaries with their actions at one point or another.

The descriptions of the settings, from the interior of Cascade, the club where much of the action takes place, to the portrayal of the harsh, snow-drifted mountains, fields and streams are exceptionally good. And I need to add here that the descriptive narrative of the action in the story is equally good and easy to envisage.

The story is told from the third person points of view of the protagonist, Kelly, and Animal (otherwise known as Beau), a bouncer from the club. The voices are distinctive and the dialogue throughout is well written.

Darkroom is a novel I would read again and probably get more out of the second time around; because I suspect there are nuances to the plot that I probably missed. I was so keen find out what happened next I read it quicker than I normally do.

 I would recommend Mary Maddox as an author to discover. I recommend Darkroom for anyone who likes a thrilling murder mystery

 

Buying Links:

Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/1Ur1H2v

Amazon .com: http://amzn.to/1Oh9WSp

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT MURDER ON THE TOR by @FrancesEvesham #SundayBlogShare

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

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Jenny has been reading Murder On The Tor by Frances Evesham

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Reviewed by me as part of Rosie Amber’s Review Team.
Murder on the Tor is the latest Exham on Sea Mystery by Frances Evesham. There are two previous titles and they can be read as standalones or as part of a series. Murder on the Tor is well-paced and written in an easy conversational style. It has an intricate plot involving amber beads, a glimpse of the seventies, dangerous jealousies and homemade chocolates, all set in the glorious Devon countryside.

Our two detectives, Libby and Max, continue their tentative romance from an earlier story, while following a trail of confusing clues about a new murder. In the end, the mist lifts and the truth is revealed, not only about the Murder on the Tor, but also about Libby’s deceased husband, Trevor and his gang of crooked friends.

My favourite character has to be Bear, the gentle giant of a dog. The account of how Bear manages to help a young girl communicate is very touching. For readers looking for a quick cosy mystery – with hidden depths – I thoroughly recommend this delightful read.

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

INDULGENCE IN DEATH by J.D.Robb #MurderMystery #Bookreview

Indulgence in Death (In Death, #31)Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Indulgence in Death is #31 of the series, a futuristic murder mystery set in New York. Part of a series of books featuring NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas it is easily a stand alone read.

The book opens in 2060, beautiful picturesque Ireland, Eve and husband Roarke take a vacation and visit family. We are quickly plunged into a murder scene, which is a bit of a shock for the peaceful local community and Eve has to step in and guide the local officer through his first murder case.

Holiday over, Eve is back in her comfort zone with the New York city buzz. It’s not long before she is called to an unusual killing, the murder weapon a crossbow, the victim a High class chauffeur. This is followed by a second murder, a high class licensed companion brutally stabbed in a chamber of Horrors on Coney Island. It looks like the killer buys his kills, is showing off and is thrilled by the kills.

With the body count rising higher, suspects in the open,  Eve and partner Peabody must find the links, the tiny threads and connections to close this case down before more innocent people are killed.

I always enjoy a J.D. Robb read. Eve is a sparky, sharp character, who is passionate about her work and the author brings this out with the depth of the writing. She is played off well against her work partner and her husband. The futuristic elements set these books apart from other NYPD police mysteries, but don’t over-shadow the police work. As readers we are taken every step of the way alongside Eve as she strives to stop the killer.

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

View all my reviews on Goodreads