Murder in Mind by Cheryl Bradshaw

25th July 2019      5 stars.

My thoughts

I love novels where it gets personal. And it doesn’t get more personal than hunting down the man who killed your twin sister.

When the killings begin again, with the same hallmarks as three years ago, private eye Sloane Monroe knows Sinnerman is back. She sends him a message to say she’s coming for him and the stakes go through the roof as both hunter and hunted become obsessed with each other.

Sloane’s pain and determination are expertly evoked as she goes through the wringer to catch this man. Her personal relationship with Nick suffers and animosities with the local police threaten to derail her quest until help comes from an unexpected corner.

The pace is perfect. The tension creeps up with each chapter to a thrilling climax. The stakes rise when Sinnerman takes more victims. In the process, he reveals more and more of the neglect and suffering he endured as a child, which led to his killing spree. While it’s difficult to defend murder, it helps to understand that no one is pure evil.

This outing for Sloane is much darker and more engaging than the first novel and shows that cosy crime can have bite and grit without stretching the boundaries too far. Think Kinsey Millhone with an extra helping or two of grit and attitude.

Thoroughly recommended and I already have the third in the series on my Kindle.

Description

Sloane Monroe has solved every case except one – the brutal murder of her sister Gabrielle.

Three years have passed without a trace of the killer until today, when a young woman’s body is discovered in front of the local supermarket. Now Sloane is faced with the most difficult challenge of her life – finding the man who is a master at concealing his identity before he strikes again.

Murder in Mind

Burning Ambition by BL Faulkner

16th July 2019      4 stars.

My thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed my first outing with Detective Chief Superintendent Palmer as his team piece together a baffling crime puzzle. While I haven’t read the first six books in the series, in no way did it spoil my understanding or enjoyment.

At the heart of the story is a direct, no-nonsense style that’s easy going and addictive, giving pace without sacrificing quality or content. I was drawn straight into a story filled with well-drawn and believable characters on both sides of the law. These elements gave the story realism and authenticity, which can be lacking in many police procedural crime novels.

Though a quick read, the story doesn’t skimp on suspense, tension or thrills, though I would have preferred a little more details about the characters. The action scenes are well-handled and though I anticipated the final twists, they still delivered.

If you like entertaining crime fiction without frills and artifice, I would recommend this series. I’m certainly going to read more of the books.

Description

What is behind the murder of three prisoners in a security van on their way from court to jail? How did one of the prisoners get substituted on the way and why is a family of one of them wiped out? What did they know that had to be kept secret?

DCS Palmer and the team find a wall of silence and a major crime family intent on one last major heist that would eclipse all others. An old adversary from Palmer’s early days in CID shows his hand and bit by bit the team piece together the clues. Then just when it seems all over and ready to file in the ‘solved’ drawer Palmer finds something that blows it all open again leading to the major end twist.

As usual with Palmer, his wife and nemesis neighbour Benji both have an input to the proceedings.

Burning Ambition by Barry Faulkner

Robert Crouch – Author Interview

Colin Garrow is one of my favourite authors with his irreverent Sherlock Holmes spoof, The Watson Letters.

He recently interviewed me for his blog, asking some interesting and searching questions about my writing and the Kent Fisher series. Please click here to read the interview and let me know what you think. If you have any questions, please ask away.

Love You Dead by Peter James

26th June 2019    5 stars.

My thoughts

This is one of the best, most enjoyable and original of the Roy Grace series so far. Faultless and accomplished, this is an author at the peak of his abilities, thoroughly enjoying the story he’s written. The joy shines through every chapter, every page and paragraph as Jodie Bentley works her way through rich husbands with consummate skill and conviction.

Then there’s the return of Tooth, one of my favourite hitmen with deadpan humour, a no nonsense approach to business and a complete lack of empathy. Tooth doesn’t do pity. Neither does Jodie, who’s more than a match for him.

At times, it seems like Roy Grace is on the sideline, still trying to resolve his last case with a serial killer still on the run and pressure from management. But Jodie’s no ordinary killer and seems quite capable of eluding Tooth and Grace, helping to crank up the tension for a fantastic finale with some heart-stopping moments.

And finally there’s the master stroke – the sign of a great author, showing his mastery of characterisation and story. I won’t spoil it by revealing what it is, but it’s inspired. To fully appreciate it, you need to have read the series from the beginning, though this book still works as a standalone.

This is a brilliant series, strong on police procedure, authenticity and original plots. The characters are beautifully drawn, whether friend or foe, and there’s always so much more going on than the murders.

Love You Dead is my favourite so far and highly recommended.

Description

An ugly duckling as a child, Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life – to be beautiful and rich. She’s achieved the first, with a little help from a plastic surgeon, and now she’s working hard on the second. Her philosophy on money is simple: you can either earn it or marry it. Marrying is easy, it’s getting rid of the husband afterwards that’s harder, that takes real skill. But hey, practice makes perfect . . .

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is feeling the pressure from his superiors, his previous case is still giving him sleepless nights, there have been major developments with his missing wife Sandy, and an old adversary is back. But worse than all of this, he now believes a Black Widow is operating in his city. One with a venomous mind . . . and venomous skills. Soon Grace comes to the frightening realization that he may have underestimated just how dangerous this lady is.

Love You Dead is the gripping twelfth book in Peter James’ Roy Grace series.

Love You Dead Peter James

Murder Undeniable by Anita Waller

18th May 2019. 4 stars.

While this was crime fiction, it was a fun book filled with memorable characters that will live long in the memory.

I’d picked up on the Kat and Mouse trilogy on Facebook and decided to give the first book a try. The author’s relaxed style immediately drew me into this intriguing and well-written murder mystery with a few neat twists and turns along the way.

It’s a little fanciful and far-fetched in places, but with three brilliant characters in Kat, Beth and her wonderful grandmother, Doris, who steals the show by a mile, who cares? It’s fast, fun, filled with surprises and a brooding subplot that will eventually pack a nasty surprise for one of the trio.

If you want an entertaining cosy mystery that’s highly original and great fun, then put this on your list.

Description

Katerina Rowe, a Deacon at the church in the sleepy village of Eyam, has a fulfilled life. She is happily married to Leon and her work is rewarding.

But everything changes when she discovers the body of a man and a badly beaten woman, Beth, in the alleyway behind her husband’s pharmacy.

Drawn to the young woman she saved, Kat finds herself embroiled in a baffling mystery.

When Beth’s house is set on fire, Kat offers the young woman sanctuary in her home and soon the pair begin investigating the murder, with some help from Beth’s feisty grandmother, Doris. But neither the police, nor Leon, nor the criminals want Kat and Beth looking into their affairs and the sleuths quickly find themselves out of their depth…

Can Kat and Beth solve the mystery and walk away unscathed?

Murder Undeniable Anita Waller

No More Lies Blog Tour – Day Eight

16th May 2019.

The final day of the blog tour brings two more terrific reviews from newcomers to the Kent Fisher mysteries.

The Caffeinated Reader says, ‘It’s a fun read, Robert Crouch likes to tease you with the mystery while also integrating Kent’s own whirlwind of a personal life. …that ending was such a surprise! I loved it and it definitely hooked me into wanting to read the next book.’

Click here to read the full review.

Chelle, of Curled up with a Good Book says, ‘I really enjoyed Robert Crouch’s writing style. It was easy and enjoyable to read… The plot was well written and the ending…..(I won’t say any more!). I’m just pleased there will be another book!’

Click here to read the full review.

No More Lies Blog Tour – Day Seven

15th May 2019.

Another terrific review today with Lacy Ace Book Reviews saying No More Lies is ‘a fabulous ‘whodunit’ read to enjoy, with secrets to uncover, laughter, passion and some lovely creatures to add to the mix, this is definitely one story to read!’

Click here to read the full review.

The Tattooed Book Geek has also joined the party with a guest post, Avoiding Jessica Fletcher Syndrome’, about my attempts to keep the Kent Fisher mysteries fresh and not formulaic.

Click here to read the post.

No More Lies Blog Tour – Day Six

14th May 2019.

A terrific review and guest post for today.

Mo Mo Book Diary, says, ‘I do enjoy a good mystery and each of the Kent Fisher mysteries are brilliantly written and easy to read.  No More Lies is the fourth in the series and I enjoyed this very much. Kent Fisher is such a character!’

Click here to read the full review.

Linda’s Book Bag, which has been very supportive of my novels, have put out a guest post from me, entitled, A Deadly Combination, explaining how an environmental health officer can solve a murder.

Click here to read the guest post.


In addition, a separate guest post, entitled The Book I Had To Write I produced for Nemesis Book Blog was also published today. My thanks to Kim for indulging me.

Click here to read the guest post.