Book reviews, Historical fiction

Foul Deeds Will Rise by Elizabeth Ireland – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

By 1875, Lillian Nolan believes she has successfully shut off any connection to the spirit world. That winter she is thrilled when she wins the role of Ophelia in a new production of Hamlet in her home town of Chicago. Everything changes when the body of the managing director is found sprawled across the steps of the dress circle and all the investors’ money is missing. Lillian fears, once again, her career is over before it begins.

After her dearest friend is arrested for murder, Lillian commits herself to discovering the truth. Her search is complicated by a strange man who is following her, the romantic overtures of her co-star, and a reunion with an old nemesis. But nothing is what it seems. What she does find puts a member of her own family at risk and leads to the unmasking of the killer with lethal consequences for herself.
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MY REVIEW

This is the second book in the  A Backstage Mystery series by Elizabeth Ireland…but can easily be read as a Stand-alone.

Philip Kincaid has died…natural causes? Maybe not and suspicion is raised at something more sinister…

The story is told by the elderly, Lillian Nolan and her memoirs.

Phillip Kincaid’s widow, Regina is arrested on suspicion of his murder. She is a friend of Lillian and so Lillian wants to help her clear her name..the spirits again make themselves known, adding a little of the supernatural to this clever and intriguing tale. There’s more of Lillian’s background and life too which add the to atmosphere along with the excitement of solving a murder….

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07NQM8NT4/

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NQM8NT4/

 

THE BACKSTAGE MYSTERY SERIES

Life upon the wicked stage can be deadly.

Set against the backdrop of the Gilded Age, the Backstage Mystery Series stars Lillian Nolan, an unconventional member of Chicago’s upper class who dreams of a career of fortune and fame in the theater. Talented and ambitious, she possesses a hidden skill which she is extremely reluctant to use—the ability to communicate with those who have died and now live in the world of “The Beyond.”

The series chronicles her adventures in which she continually becomes enmeshed in solving mysteries which often require her accessing the realm of the paranormal. Filled with an incredible cast of characters—factual, fictional, and sometimes non-physical—who either help or hinder her quest for the truth, the stories take place during a a period considered to be the golden age of both acting and spiritualism in America.
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Author Bio –

Elizabeth Ireland discovered her passion for theater early. After receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theater, she accepted a teaching position in a vibrant performing arts department at a college in northern Illinois. For ten years, she taught, directed and ran front-of-house operations.

American Theater History—particularly that of the 19th century—has always been of particular interest to her.

She has been a quarter-finalist and a semi-finalist for the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowship in screenwriting sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Two of her screenplays have been optioned, but remain unproduced. Her nonfiction work, Women of Vision: Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives, was published in 2008. Her work has also been published in a collection

of paranormal short stories, Paramourtal: Tales of Undying Love and Loving the Undead. She lives in metro Atlanta with her ever-patient husband, and two quirky dachshunds.

 

Social Media Links –

http://www.facebook.com/BackstageMystery/

http://www.BackstageMystery.com

https://twitter.com/EbethIreland

Book reviews

Cultivating a Fuji by Miriam Drori – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Convinced that his imperfect, solitary existence is the best it will ever be, Martin unexpectedly finds himself being sent to represent his company in Japan. His colleagues think it’s a joke; his bosses are certain he will fail. What does Martin think? He simply does what he’s told. That’s how he’s survived up to now – by hiding his feelings.

Amazingly, in the land of strange rituals, sweet and juicy apples, and too much saké, Martin flourishes and achieves the impossible. But that’s only the beginning. Keeping up the momentum for change proves futile. So, too, is a return to what he had before. Is there a way forward, or should he put an end to the search now? Gradually, as you’ll see when Martin looks back from near the end of his journey, life improves.

There’s even a woman, Fiona, who brings her own baggage to the relationship, but brightens Martin’s days. And just when you think there can be no more surprises, another one pops up.

Throughout his life, people have laughed at ‘weirdo’ Martin; and you, as you read, will have plenty of opportunity to laugh, too. Go ahead, laugh away, but you’ll find that there’s also a serious side to all this…

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MY REVIEW

Cultivating a Fuji is a unique ‘Up Lit’ book.

Martin is the main character, an only child who grew up in England.

He’s very clever and works for a software company……but people think him strange and the bullying he experienced as a child continues albeit in a slightly different form.

What people don’t understand is that Martin suffers from social anxiety, which makes him quiet and withdrawn….what people think is weird !

Because of his expertise with computers, he is sent to Japan…where the story really begins.

It took me a little while to get into the rhythm of this story, but found it to be a moving description of social anxiety and just how traumatic a simple meeting can be for sufferers….yes there’s humour, but I found this to be a sad, poignant and thought provoking tale.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Purchase Link – mybook.to/cultivatingafuji

 

Author Bio –

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Miriam Drori has decided she’s in the fifth and best stage of her life, and she’s hoping it’ll last for ever. It’s the one in which she’s happiest and most settled and finally free to do what she wants.

Miriam lives in a delightful house and garden in Jerusalem with her lovely husband and one of three children. She enjoys frequent trips around the world. She dances, hikes, reads and listens to music, and she’s realised that social anxiety is here to stay, so she might as well make friends with it. On top of that, she has moved away from computer programming and technical writing (although both of those provided interest in previous stages) and now spends her time editing and writing fiction.

NEITHER HERE NOR THERE (currently unavailable), a romance with a difference set in Jerusalem, was published in 2014. THE WOMEN FRIENDS, co-written with Emma Rose Millar, is a series of novellas based on the famous painting by Gustav Klimt.

SOCIAL ANXIETY REVEALED (non-fiction) provides a comprehensive description of social anxiety from many different viewpoints.

CULTIVATING A FUJI

takes the social anxiety theme into fiction, using humour to season a poignant story.

 

Social Media Links – Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram, Wattpad, website/blog

and social anxiety blog.

 

Amazon page: Author.to/MiriamDroriAtAmazon

 

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Book reviews, Crime thriller, Historical fiction

Death and The Harlot by Georgina Clarke – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

A gripping historical crime debut from an exciting new voice.

It’s strange, the way fortune deals her hand.’

The year is 1759 and London is shrouded in a cloak of fear. With the constables at the mercy of highwaymen, it’s a perilous time to work the already dangerous streets of Soho. Lizzie Hardwicke makes her living as a prostitute, somewhat protected from the fray as one of Mrs Farley’s girls. But then one of her wealthy customers is found brutally murdered… and Lizzie was the last person to see him alive.

Constable William Davenport has no hard evidence against Lizzie but his presence and questions make life increasingly difficult. Desperate to be rid of him and prove her innocence Lizzie turns amateur detective, determined to find the true killer, whatever the cost.

Yet as the body count rises Lizzie realises that, just like her, everyone has a secret they will do almost anything to keep buried…

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MY REVIEW

Death and the Harlot is the historical crime debut novel from Georgina Clarke.

Set in London 1759, wealthy Norwich cloth merchant George Reed visits Lizzie Hardwicke, a prostitute at Mrs Farley’s brothel. To keep him sweet and to earn extra coin, Lizzie invites him to a masked ball…

But after Tommy shows up and a bit of a todo,  Reed is thrown out……

His body is then found murdered, robbed and left among the rubbish.

Constable William Davenport suspects Lizzie is responsible….but she decides to find the murderer herself !!!!

This unlikely pair begin to work together as Lizzie will be able to get people to talk, where Constable Davenport can’t….

There are many secrets and lies in this wonderfully, risqué, rollicking historical crime thriller….from whores to highwaymen…..thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to Canelo for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook and this is my honest, unbiased review.

 

Links to Book:

 

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

 

Author Bio:

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Georgina Clarke has a degree in theology and a PhD in history but has only recently started to combine her love of the past with a desire to write stories. Her Lizzie Hardwicke series is set in the mid-eighteenth century, an underrated and often neglected period, but one that is rich in possibility for a crime novelist.

She enjoys running along the banks of the River Severn and is sometimes to be found competing in half marathons. In quieter moments, she also enjoys dressmaking.

She lives in Worcester with her husband and son, and two extremely lively kittens.

Twitter: @clarkegeorgina1

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Police procedural

The Dancing Girls by M.M. Chouinard – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The light in her wide brown eyes dimmed as she drew her last breath. She might have been beautiful lying there on the floor, if it wasn’t for the purple marks on her neck and the angry red line on her finger where her wedding band used to be…

When Jeanine Hammond is found dead in a hotel in the picture-perfect town of Oakhust, newly-promoted Detective Jo Fournier is thrown into a disturbing case. Who would murder this shy, loving wife and leave her body posed like a ballerina?

Jo wants to know why Jeanine’s husband is so controlling about money, and where Jeanine’s wedding ring is, but before she and her team can get close to the truth, another woman is found strangled in a hotel, arms placed gracefully above her head like a dancer.

While digging through old case files, Jo makes a terrifying link to a series of cold cases: each victim bears the same strangulation marks. But the FBI won’t take Jo seriously, and if she disobeys direct orders by investigating the killings outside of her jurisdiction, it will mean the end of the career she’s already sacrificed so much for, even her relationship.

Just as Jo is beginning to lose hope, she finds messages on the victims’ computers that make her question whether these small-town women were hiding big lies. Jo thinks this is the missing link between the victims, but she knows the killer is moments away from selecting his next victim. Will it lead her to the most twisted killer of her career in time, or will another innocent life be lost?

An absolutely unputdownable and brilliant new crime thriller series that fans of Robert Dugoni, Lisa Regan and Melinda Leigh will devour in one sitting.

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MY REVIEW

Martin knew he wasn’t a psychopath. He’d done his research, so much so that he probably knew more about serial killers than most profilers did.”

Jeanine’s body is found in a hotel room, spangled and left lying on the floor..had she been posed or just fallen oddly?

Jo Fournier is called in to investigate along with her partner, Bob Arnett….They feel something is off about how the body is lying but can’t put their finger on it…

Then a second woman is found a few weeks later, Emily. Similarly posed, strangled and her wedding ring is missing…just what connects these two women.

Jo finds more deaths with similar MO’s and feels there is a link, and she will not let it go….

What follows is an absolutely gripping thriller that really brings to light the dangers of online grooming…it’s not just young people who are targeted, but sometimes people who are a little vulnerable, looking for a connection with another human being, someone who ‘sees’ them after living with passive neglect from their own families and partners…..

World of Warcraft is an original setting for the grooming, but it made sense….the escapism and chatting with other ‘players’….

I found the chapters showing the online chats between Martin and his potential victims truly terrifying, it seems so innocuous but the menace behind it is palpable….I enjoyed the police procedural part too and the atmosphere of sheer menace is a credit to M.M.Chouinard’s gripping writing..

I loved the relationship between Jo and Arnett, the friendly banter and heartfelt chats really brought them to life…

Will Jo manage to find Martin before he kills again? Will Diana survive?……

With a stunning ending, I loved every minute and read this in one sitting and can thoroughly recommend it for anyone who loves a serial killer thriller…I’ll certainly be looking out for #2 in the Jo Fournier series.

Thank you to Bookouture for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest review.

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)

Author Bio:

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M.M. Chouinard’s first fiction story was published in her local paper when she was eight, and she fell in love with Agatha Christie novels not long after. While pursuing a Ph.D in psychology and helping to found the first U.S. research university of the new millenium, the stories kept rattling around inside her skull, demanding to come out. For sanity’s sake, she released them. She’s currently at work on her seventh novel.

Author Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.mmchouinard.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mmchouinardauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/m_m_chouinard

Title:  The Dancing Girls   

Publication Day: 15/05/2019

Author:   M.M. Chouinard