Book reviews, Classic Fiction

The Magic Carpet by Jessica Norrie – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Outer London, September 2016, and neighbouring eight-year-olds have homework: prepare a traditional story to perform with their families at a school festival. But Nathan’s father thinks his son would be better off doing sums; Sky’s mother’s enthusiasm is as fleeting as her bank balance, and there’s a threatening shadow hanging over poor Alka’s family. Only Mandeep’s fragile grandmother and new girl Xoriyo really understand the magical powers of storytelling. As national events and individual challenges jostle for the adults’ attention, can these two bring everyone together to ensure the show will go on?

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MY REVIEW 

The Magic Carpet is set in a London school, where young children of 8 years old are turning fairy tales into a school performance.

They have been told they can make any changes they like and include anyone they want to.

So we follow the children to their homes and meet their families…..all from different backgrounds and it’s really a beautiful way of hearing all these stories. The different cultures, religions and languages and how they managed to make their lives in London.

There are grandparents, single parents, good and bad marriages and some sadness as there’s not always a happy ending….

A lovely diverse group of children and adults and not forgetting the difficult job the teachers do with almost limitless patience.

The final performances the children have created are thoughtful and show how the young really hold the power to change the world and our perceptions of it. Moving and thought provoking.

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

You can buy a copy here 

 

https://amzn.to/2NgfAbQ

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Jessica Norrie was born in London and studied French Literature and Education at Sussex and Sheffield. She taught English, French and Spanish abroad and in the UK in settings ranging from nursery to university. She has two adult children and divides her time between London and Malvern, Worcestershire.

 

She has also worked as a freelance translator, published occasional journalism and a French textbook, and blogs at https://jessicanorrie.wordpress.com

 

Jessica sings soprano with any choir that will have her, and has been trying to master the piano since childhood but it’s not her forte.

 

She left teaching in 2016. The Infinity Pool was her first novel, drawing on encounters while travelling. Her second novel The Magic Carpet is inspired by working with families and their children. The third is bubbling away nicely and should emerge from her cauldron next year.

 

The Magic Carpet is available at https://tinyurl.com/y2gk2g7q

The Infinity Pool is available at getBook.at/TheInfinityPool

 

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/wordsandfictions/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jessica_

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Book reviews, Classic Fiction

Death Comes To Dartmoor by Vivian Conroy – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

The mist-shrouded moors of Devon proffer a trove of delights for two vacationing zoologists–but also conceal a hoard of dark secrets reaching down to the fathomless depths of the ocean.

Miss Merula Merriweather barely saved her uncle from the gallows after he was wrongly accused of murder–and now, she’s left the bustle of Victorian London to recuperate in the fresh air of Dartmoor with her fellow zoologist, Lord Raven Royston. The trip offers a unique treat, as they’ll be staying with a friend of Raven’s, who owns a collection of rare zoological specimens–including a kraken, a sea monster of myth and legend.

But all is not right in the land of tors, heaths, and mist. Their host’s maid has vanished without a trace, and the townspeople hold him responsible, claiming that his specimens are alive and roam the moors at night, bringing death to anyone who crosses their path. Merula and Raven are skeptical–but the accusations become more ominous when they find several specimen jars empty.

As the two hunt for clues across a desolate and beautiful landscape, a stranger appears bearing a shadowy secret from Merula’s past. Could there be a connection between her family history, the missing girl, and a fearsome monster that could be on the loose? The race is on to find the truth.

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MY REVIEW 

Death Comes to Dartmoor is #2 in the Merriweather and Royston Mystery Series by Vivian Conroy.

The story tells of the murder of a girl, who is believed to have been killed by Oaks. Oaks is a bit of an eccentric, with his home full of taxidermy, so obviously suspicion falls on him.

So, as Merula and Raven are staying with Oaks, they decide to use their skills of deduction and find out who really is the murderer.

This is an in-depth story, with its many little side plots and lots of background into the main characters, which I really enjoyed as it builds the story into more than just the mystery at hand…..I also love the atmosphere, a glimpse into the past and a simpler time. An easy to read, thoroughly enjoyable murder mystery in a classic style.

Thank you to the publishers, the author and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Book reviews, Classic Fiction, Historical fiction

A Shot In The Dark by Neil Richards and Matthew Costello – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Sussex, England, 1929.

Mydworth is a sleepy English market town just 50 miles from London. But things are about to liven up there considerably, when young Sir Harry Mortimer returns home from his government posting in Cairo, with his unconventional American wife – Kat Reilly.

No sooner have the two arrived, when a jewel robbery occurs at Harry’s aunt’s home – Mydworth Manor – ending in one of the thieves being shot…and killed.

The local police are baffled by the case. But Harry and Kat have an edge in the hunt for the second thief: not only do they have certain useful “skills” they’ve both picked up in service of King, President and Country, they also have access to parts of English high society that your average bobby can’t reach.

Because this Shot in the Dark…could have come from anywhere.

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MY REVIEW 

#1 of the Mydworth Mysteries series

Lord Harry Mortimer and his new wife, Kat have just arrived in England, when Harry is called to Whitehall on urgent business. So Kat decides to drive herself to their new home, in his beloved Alvis….

Eventually, she arrives at Dower House, but it’s all locked up, so she walks to nearby Mydworth Manor, home to Harry aunt, Lady Lavinia. But, as she arrives she hears gunshots, a man falls from a window and more shots are fired in her direction…..What a welcome!

Harry arrives and they search the body and find jewellery in his pockets…..who is this man? And how did he know where to find these jewels?

Kat and Harry put their skills and knowledge to use to find out….

All set in 1920’s England amongst the upper classes, this is a marvellously fun crime thriller from a simpler time. It reminded me of the novels of Josephine Tey and is a must for readers of a classic style mystery. A quick read but packs a lot in. I loved it.

Thank you to Red Dog Press for the opportunity to read this for free and this is my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here

https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/a-shot-in-the-dark

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

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Co-authors Neil Richards (based in the UK) and Matthew Costello (based in the US), have been writing together since the mid-90s, creating innovative television, games and best-selling books. Together, they have worked on major projects for the BBC, PBS, Disney Channel, Sony, ABC, Eidos, and Nintendo to name but a few.

Their transatlantic collaboration led to the globally best-selling mystery series, Cherringham, which has also been a top-seller as audiobooks read by Neil Dudgeon.

Mydworth Mysteries is their brand new series, set in 1929 Sussex, England, which takes readers back to a world where solving crimes was more difficult — but also sometimes a lot more fun.

Book reviews, Classic Fiction, Crime thriller

The Decoy by Florrie Palmer – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

In the rural English village of Heronsford, Eliza and Jay Armstrong live in the farmhouse Eliza was brought up in. Her now elderly mother lives in a small converted barn close by.

Surrounded by friends, the Armstrongs appear to have an idyllic life. But when two members of their social group die in suspicious circumstances, a cloud falls over the village. 

Are the deaths linked? And were they really accidents? 

One of the villagers believes they have the answers and is prepared to risk everything to get to the truth…

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MY REVIEW 

In the idyllic village of Heronsford, friends, family and neighbours regularly meet up for weekly socialising and the local pub…

There’s, Eliza and husband Jay and mum Annie, Actress Francesca, wealthy Bob and Stella, Kate and Hamish and Louise and Patrick.

One day Louise’ body is found in their pool and it’s thought possible suicide. Then Stella’s little dog is found dead in a pond….along with petty vandalism the villages takes a sinister turn and everyone is on edge…then another body is found …just  who wants these women dead and why?

This is not a fast paced read, but a slow burn, with a sense of tension cleverly building right up to the heartbreaking end. A classic english whodunnit.

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

You can buy a copy here (only .99p too for Kindle at the moment )

https://amzn.to/2KIA9tK

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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One of the first British female singer-songwriters, Florrie’s songs have been recorded by many including Abba blonde Agnetha Faltskog, Manfred Mann, Mike Rutherford of Genesis, Elaine Paige and Sheena Easton. Her biggest hits were recorded by Sheena Easton who hit the number one spot in America for 6 weeks with 9-5 (Morning Train) resulting in a platinum record followed by a number 12 with When He Shines.

In 1994, Florrie wrote a comic novel based on her experiences in the music business called Never Final Till it’s Vinyl.

The Decoy is her first venture into crime fiction. She is currently writing her second. Having lived in various English counties as well as the so

Book reviews, Classic Fiction, Thriller

The Teeth Of Giants by Gordon Wallis – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

In the brutal war on Elephant poaching in Africa one man takes a stand against a ruthless international ivory smuggling syndicate. A stand that almost costs him everything.

Jason Green never for one minute expected the appalling violence and horror he would endure when he returned to Africa to pay his respects to an old friend.

A profound sense of guilt and nostalgia prompts London based ex soldier Jason Green to return to Africa for the funeral of an old friend killed in suspicious circumstances in The Zambezi Valley.

He is about to be sucked into the murky and brutal underworld of the illegal ivory trade. Grave injury and a burning desire for revenge thrust Green from the blistering heat of The Zambezi Valley to the tropical coast of Mozambique and beyond. Every tortured step of this journey is fraught with extreme danger and the ever present threat of death.

The Teeth Of Giants is the second novel by Gordon Wallis featuring his main character Jason Green. Readers of thrillers set in Africa will devour the frenetic pace and sheer brutality of this gritty crime thriller.

Pick up The Teeth Of Giants today and prepare for the ride of your life.

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MY REVIEW

Another stunningly descriptive tale from Gordon Wallis..

After the death of Kriel, the adventure begins in this beautiful world, spoiled by the truly awful poachers, trading in ivory, rhino horn and more, mainly for the Chinese medicine market…..barbaric and brutal.

Jason needs to get a report to Switzerland and ending the vile trade in whatever way he can….I found this to be fast paced, exciting and has the feel of a classic adventure 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:

 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07QHY66Q2

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QHY66Q2

 

Author Bio –

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Gordon Wallis is a 50 year old author based in Zimbabwe , Southern Africa. Born of

British parents he has lived there all his life. A keen reader of thriller novels , particularly those set in Africa , he has travelled extensively in Africa , Europe , The Middle East and Asia. He runs a number of businesses in Zimbabwe and is single.

 

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/gordon.wallis

https://twitter.com/zimbabaloooba

 

Book reviews, Classic Fiction

The Art of Sherlock Holmes by Phil Growick – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

The Art of Sherlock Holmes 

The Art of Sherlock Holmes is a totally unique experience. Imagine a dozen or more of the finest artists in the U.S. creating art for some the best new short stories written by some of the finest Holmes authors in the world.

Each artist has envisioned their version of one story specifically selected for them. All stories and art in one large, hardcover, coffee table presentation volume. This first edition features artists from West Palm Beach, Florida.

Future editions will be global, with participating artists contributing from all over the world. The Art of Sherlock Holmes was conceived and curated by Phil Growick, himself a renowned Holmes author.

 

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MY REVIEW

What a stunning book…..

I’ve always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes and I love these new stories of Sherlock and Dr Watson.

Each of the stories are written in the style of Conan Doyle with a fresh feel but still have the soul of Sherlock and are accompanied by wonderful artwork.

At the beginning of each story is an introduction to the author and to the artist, whose art illustrates the tale….such a unique style.

This Is a real coffee table book, one to have on display to enjoy the art and the stories together……a must for any fan of Sherlock Holmes and his adventures.

My thanks to Caroline Vincent at Bits About Books for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my free ebook which I received in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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Book Info

‘The Art of Sherlock Holmes’ is available at Amazon: viewbook.at/TheArtofSherlockHolmes
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About the Author 

The project was conceived by and is curated by Phil Growick. Phil ran one of the world’s leading executive search firms in the advertising industry. Phil’s network in the creative world is unparalleled which is perfect for artist acquisition. Now living in West Palm, Phil is heavily involved in the local art community and as a two-time Sherlock Holmes novelist came up with the concept of combining two of his passions – art and Holmes.

“You’re presented with murder, theft, treason, betrayal, love, loss and greed. All the ingredients to make a delicious Holmes meal of mystery: inimitable interpretations of truly unique Holmes stories.”

 

You can find Phil Growick here:

Blog: https://holmesandwatsonandi.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PhilGrowick  

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/thesecretjournalofdrwatson

Instagram: www.instagram.com/philgrowick/

 

MX Publishing

MX is the world’s largest Sherlock Holmes publisher. The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories is the world’s largest new Sherlock stories collection with twelve bestselling volumes in the last four years – with three more volumes due in May 2019. Over 100 authors have taken part in the anthology including NY Times best sellers Lee Child, Jonathan Kellerman, Lyndsay Faye and Bonnie MacBird.

The collection raises money for the Stepping Stones School ( a school for children with learning disabilities) at Undershaw, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former home which carries the Estate’s Conan Doyle Seal. The collection has overwhelming support from leading Sherlockians worldwide. MX are in a perfect position to bring the best in Holmes fiction and the Sherlock fan base to the project.

MX’ other project is the Happy Life Children’s Home in Nairobi, Kenya. Twinned with Stepping Stones, Happy Life has saved the lives of over 600 abandoned babies in the last two decades. The project has expanded to include a school and paediatric hospital.

 

MX Publishing on Social Media:

Website:  http://mxpublishing.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mxpublishing

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MXPublishing/

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mxpublishing/

Instagram – The Art of Sherlock Holmes: www.instagram.com/artofsherlock/

 

 

What a stunning book…..

 

I’ve always been a fan of Sherlock Holmes and I love these new stories of Sherlock and Dr Watson.

 

Each of the stories are written in the style of Conan Doyle with a fresh feel but still have the soul of Sherlock and are accompanied by wonderful artwork.

 

At the beginning of each story is an introduction to the author and to the artist, whose art illustrates the tale….such a unique style.

 

This Is a real coffee table book, one to have on display to enjoy the art and the stories together……a must for any fan of Sherlock Holmes and his adventures.

 

My thanks to Caroline Vincent at Bits About Book for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my free ebook which I received in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

 

Book Info

‘The Art of Sherlock Holmes’ is available at Amazon: viewbook.at/TheArtofSherlockHolmes

 

About the Author

 

The project was conceived by and is curated by Phil Growick. Phil ran one of the world’s leading executive search firms in the advertising industry. Phil’s network in the creative world is unparalleled which is perfect for artist acquisition. Now living in West Palm, Phil is heavily involved in the local art community and as a two-time Sherlock Holmes novelist came up with the concept of combining two of his passions – art and Holmes.

 

“You’re presented with murder, theft, treason, betrayal, love, loss and greed. All the ingredients to make a delicious Holmes meal of mystery: inimitable interpretations of truly unique Holmes stories.”

 

You can find Phil Growick here:

Blog: https://holmesandwatsonandi.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PhilGrowick  

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/thesecretjournalofdrwatson

Instagram: www.instagram.com/philgrowick/

 

MX Publishing

MX is the world’s largest Sherlock Holmes publisher. The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories is the world’s largest new Sherlock stories collection with twelve bestselling volumes in the last four years – with three more volumes due in May 2019. Over 100 authors have taken part in the anthology including NY Times best sellers Lee Child, Jonathan Kellerman, Lyndsay Faye and Bonnie MacBird.

 

The collection raises money for the Stepping Stones School ( a school for children with learning disabilities) at Undershaw, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former home which carries the Estate’s Conan Doyle Seal. The collection has overwhelming support from leading Sherlockians worldwide. MX are in a perfect position to bring the best in Holmes fiction and the Sherlock fan base to the project.

MX’ other project is the Happy Life Children’s Home in Nairobi, Kenya. Twinned with Stepping Stones, Happy Life has saved the lives of over 600 abandoned babies in the last two decades. The project has expanded to include a school and paediatric hospital.

 

MX Publishing on Social Media:

Website:  http://mxpublishing.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mxpublishing

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MXPublishing/

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/mxpublishing/

Instagram – The Art of Sherlock Holmes: www.instagram.com/artofsherlock/