Book reviews, Cosy mystery, Historical fiction, Police procedural

A Fatal Secret by Faith Martin – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Oxford, 1961

A family day out at Briar’s Hall ends in tragedy when a young boy goes missing – and his body is found at the bottom of a disused well in the orchard.

It looks like a simple case of an eleven-year-old exploring where he shouldn’t: a tragic accident. But Coroner Clement Ryder and Probationary WPC Trudy Loveday aren’t convinced. If Eddie had been climbing and fallen, why were there no cuts or dirt on his hands? Why would a boy terrified of heights be around a well at all?

Clement and Trudy are determined to get to the truth, but the more they dig into Briar’s Hall and the mysterious de Lacey family who live there, the murkier things become.

Could it be that poor Eddie’s death was murder? There are rumours of blackmail in the village, and Clement and Trudy have a horrible feeling that Eddie stumbled on a secret that someone was willing to kill for…

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MY REVIEW 

This is #4 in the Ryder & Loveday series and it can easily be read as a stand-alone, but I feel you will be missing out if you haven’t read the other 3…

19 year old Trudy Loveday is a probationary police constable with the Oxford Police force. She works closely with the local coroner, Dr Clement Ryder, a retired surgeon and her friend.

Set I. 1961, Trudy has to deal with the general everyday sexism at work, she is seen as a girl just suited to the more menial tasks. However, Dr Ryder treats her as a person, someone with a quick mind and a definite asset during their investigations.

When a young boy, Eddie,  is found dead Dr Ryder is not so sure this is an accident and so the investigation begins.

This is a great series and I love how the friendship between Loveday and Ryder gets better with each book. Its part historical fiction as set in the 60’s and part police procedural and is thoroughly entertaining. 

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Faith Martin is a pen name of English author Jacquie Walton, who is best known for her popular detective series, starring Detective Inspector Hillary Greene. 

 

As Joyce Cato, she writes more classically-inspired ‘cosy’ murder mysteries. As Maxine Barry, her latest romance novels are now available from Corazon Books. As Jessie Daniels, her ‘spooky’ crime novel, The Lavender Lady Casefile came out in November 2017, and now the Ryder and Loveday series. 

Book reviews, Horror

Hearthstone Cottage by Frazer Lee – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Mike Carter and his girlfriend Helen, along with their friends Alex and Kay, travel to a remote loch side cottage for a post-graduation holiday. When Mike becomes haunted by a disturbing presence in the cottage, the bonds of friendship are tested as he must uncover the terrifying truth dwelling within the walls of Hearthstone Cottage.

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MY REVIEW 

Mike, Helen, Alex and Kay have just graduated and so are off on a trip to Hearthstone Cottage in the Scottish Highlands, to relax.

Just as they are about to arrive, they hit a stag in the road, killing the poor animal, writing off the 4 x 4 and really shaking them all up. They arrive at the cottage finally and find Alex’ sister, Maggie is there already with her dog, Oscar.

They get settled but then things start to get weird…..Mike starts to hear a child laughing, he has horrific nightmares and hallucinations…then a crow hits the cottage window, Oscar goes missing and tragedy strikes….

Beware of past sins, they may just catch up with you one day……

This is a fantastically creepy tale, with a sense of gradually building menace. All set in beautiful surroundings which really added to the atmosphere. Gripping, spooky and thoroughly entertaining.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here

 

https://www.flametreepublishing.com/Hearthstone-Cottage-ISBN-9781787583276.html

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Frazer Lee is a novelist, screenwriter and filmmaker. His screenplay credits include the acclaimed horror/thriller feature Panic Button, and multi-award winning short films On Edge, Red Lines, Simone and The Stay. Frazer’s screenwriting and story consultant engagements have included commissions for Movie Mogul, The Asylum, Mediente, eMotion, and Vanquish Alliance Entertainment.

His film and television directing credits include the multi award-winning shorts On Edge and Red Lines, and the promo campaign for the Discovery Channel series True Horror With Anthony Head. His new short film The Stay had its World Premiere at World Horror Con Atlanta USA 2015. Frazer was named one of the Top 12 UK directors in MySpace.com’s Movie Mash-up contest by a panel including representatives from 20th Century Fox, Vertigo Films and Film Four.

Frazer’s novel The Lamplighters was a Bram Stoker Award® Finalist for ‘Superior Achievement in a First Novel’.

Frazer is Head of Creative Writing at Brunel University London and is an active member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers. His guest speaking engagements have included The London Screenwriters Festival and The Guerilla Filmmakers Masterclass. Frazer Lee lives with his family in Buckinghamshire, England just across the cemetery from the actual Hammer House of Horror.

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FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched recently in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.