📚Vintage #Mystery. @LizanneLloyd Reviews Stardust in Nuala by @harrietsteel1 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 Stardust In Nuala by Harriet Steel.

It is Spring 1941 in Ceylon and in the small hill town of Nuala the war in Europe has little effect, but a visiting film crew from Bombay is very disruptive to the peace and quiet as Inspector Shanti de Silva’s small police team is responsible for controlling the excited crowd. All goes well for the final filming at the Royal Nuala Cricket Club of a dramatic, colourful devil dance. The film company is owned by the famous actor, Dev Khan, who stars as the King, with his second wife, Sunita, as the Queen. Shanti and his English wife Jane are invited for drinks by Ashok, Dev’s efficient PA, but they find Dev rather full of himself and his relationship with his two stepsons, who also work for the film company, is problematic.

When a member of the family is found dead in the grounds of their hotel Shanti asks his friend, the hotel manager, to assist him with investigations. Meanwhile at the house of Archie Clutterbuck, the Assistant Government Agent, the mysterious disappearance of small items and the distress of his dog, are alarming and of course Shanti is expected to solve this case too.

The delight of this series is the warm relationship of the de Silvas and the pleasure Shanti takes from good Sinhalese food and sitting quietly with his cat Bella on his lap.  His leadership and care about his sergeant and constable are admirable and he puts his clever mind to good use solving seemingly impossible investigations. If this is the first volume of this series you read, the cast list at the beginning will be very helpful. Another intriguing mystery in a fascinating era.

Orange rose book description
Book description

A celebrated Indian film company comes to Nuala, sprinkling its stardust over the quiet little town and keeping Inspector de Silva busy. With the end of the visit at last in sight, he looks forward to returning to a more peaceful existence, but a sudden death dashes his hopes. With Jane’s help and that of a new ally, he’s drawn into the turbulent affairs of a warring family. Meanwhile, a mysterious intruder is causing trouble at the Residence.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Vintage #Mystery LISTED DEAD (Bunch Courtney Investigations #3) by @Jancoledwards

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

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading Listed Dead by Jan Edwards


Listed Dead is the third in the Bunch Courtney series and told from her perspective in the third person. There’s much more insight into the Courtney sisters’ background, the environment in which they grew up and the family dynamics in this book. Things have changed drastically for Bunch since the start of the war. The family home, Perringham House, has been requisitioned by the military and Bunch is left to run the estate with the help of Land Girls, while living at the Dower House with her Granny Beatrice.

When a body is discovered in a fatal car wreck close to Perringham House Bunch goes to investigate, hoping it’s no-one from the estate. She knows there’s something suspicious about the accident when she finds Chief Inspector Wiiliam Wright at the scene. The victim is familiar to Bunch as a friend of her sister’s, one of a group of young pleasure seekers who got together several years ago to form a supper club. When a second member of the club is found dead, Bunch finds herself acting as a police consultant (once she and Wright overcame the issue of her title) finding out what she can about the victims and those members of the club who are still around.

I enjoyed the interaction between Bunch and Chief Inspector Wright and their joint investigation. They make a good team and there’s scope for more of a relationship. Bunch is familiar with the lifestyle of the privileged younger set, who want to live as they did before the war and which couldn’t be further from the lives of ordinary people and those serving in the military. Her knowledge of people and places help, but as she invites gossip from friends and contacts someone is not happy with her interference. There’s a darker undercurrent to this story than previously and the trail leads Bunch into life threatening situations.

The writing and characterisations are realistic and authentic for the time, as is the atmosphere which is re-enforced by a strong sense of place. Bombing raids, rationing, air raid shelters and blackouts are becoming part of everyday all across the country, although the cities are hit the hardest, most notably London. The descriptions of the air raids, the shelters and life generally was very evocative.

Bunch is an extremely likeable protagonist, resourceful, determined and quick to notice things. Not much would cause her to deviate once her mind was made up. A very enjoyable read.

Book description

November 1940. The Battle of Britain has only just ended and the horror of the Blitz is reaching its height.

Two deaths in rapid succession on the Sussex Downs brings Bunch Courtney and Chief Inspector Wright together once more. What could possibly link a fatal auto accident with the corpse in a derelict shepherd’s hut? The only clue the pair have is a handwritten list of the members of a supper club that meets at London’s Café de Paris.

Two of those on that list are now dead and the race is on to solve the mystery before any more end up on the mortuary slab.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT @CathyRy reviews vintage #mystery A Clerical Error by @newwrites

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs here http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading A Clerical Error by J New


This is the third book in the cozy mystery series set in the 1930s, featuring
Ella Bridges and her ghost cat, Phantom. Ella’s life has taken a very unexpected turn. Having believed her husband, John, had died two years ago, she now knows that to be false after a telephone call out of the blue and a conversation with the Home Secretary. With the help of her Uncle Albert, Ella finally learns the truth about John and his activities. Her housekeeper, Mrs Shaw, also proves not to be who, or what, she had claimed. A visit with her Aunt Margaret goes someway to helping Ella to absorb the shocks, put her feelings of anger and distress in perspective and restore her composure.

Ella returns home feeling much more positive and looking forward to a return visit from her aunt. A near miss while out on a bicycle ride brings about an acquaintance with two ladies involved in raising funds for the church and Ella is soon persuaded to run a stall at the May Day Fete. Sergeant Baxter, the policeman Ella has worked with previously was attending the fete, along with the vicar, Father Michael, recently returned from a sabbatical. The fun was cut short drastically when a suspicious death occurred.

Another entertaining mystery, well written with a well crafted and twisty story line. As with the previous books the atmosphere of the era is brought to life perfectly, with suitable dialogue, lifestyle and descriptive prose. Realistic, developing characters and relationships add to the appeal. Despite Ella’s personal problems, she and Sergeant Baxter work together and follow the clues, some of which, understandably, take Ella a little longer to process this time round. It’s useful, however, having friends in high places who are only too willing to help.

There’s less of the paranormal in this story but I was glad Phantom made several appearances. A well thought through and interesting mystery, the reveal coming as a complete surprise. The threads running through the main story line were all wrapped up too, which was good. These are the perfect cozies; engaging characters, no sex or gratuitous violence and a very enjoyable story in a vintage setting.

Book description

When the crime scene is pure coincidence and there’s no evidence, how do you prove it was murder?

Ella Bridges faces her most challenging investigation so far when the vicar dies suddenly at the May Day Fete. But with evidence scarce and her personal life unravelling in ways she could never have imagined, she misses vital clues in the investigation.
Working alongside Sergeant Baxter of Scotland Yard, will Ella manage to unearth the clues needed to catch the killer before another life is lost? Or will personal shock cloud her mind and result in another tragedy?

‘A Clerical Error’ is set in 1930’s England, and is the third of The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mystery series.
‘Miss Marple meets The Ghost Whisperer’ – Perfect For Fans of Golden Age Murder Mysteries, Cozy Mysteries, Clean Reads and British Amateur Sleuths

About the author

J. New is the British author of The Yellow Cottage Vintage Mystery series. Set on the fictitious island of Linhay in the south of England during the 1930’s, they are an homage to the Golden Age mysteries but with a contemporary twist.

J. New

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