Miss Christie Regrets – Guy Fraser-Sampson

Miss Christie RegretsISBN-10 1911331809

ISBN-13 978-1911331803

Author Guy Fraser-Sampson

Publisher Urbane Publications

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

From Goodreads

The second in the Hampstead Murders series opens with a sudden death at an iconic local venue, which some of the team believe may be connected with an unsolved murder featuring Cold War betrayals worthy of George Smiley. It soon emerges that none other than Agatha Christie herself may be the key witness who is able to provide the missing link. As with its bestselling predecessor, Death in Profile, the book develops the lives and loves of the team at ‘Hampstead Nick’. While the next phase of a complicated love triangle plays itself out, the protagonists, struggling to crack not one but two apparently insoluble murders, face issues of national security in working alongside Special Branch.

On one level a classic whodunit, this quirky and intelligent read harks back not only to the world of Agatha Christie, but also to the Cold War thrillers of John Le Carre, making it a worthy successor to Death in Profile which was dubbed ‘a love letter to the detective novel’.

What did I think?

‘Miss Christie Regrets’ is the second book in the Hampstead Murders series and it is a book I’ve been looking forward too since I read and reviewed ‘Death In Profile‘. Guy Fraser-Sampson is a rarity of the book world today as he focuses on the ‘Golden Age’ of detective work, a true police procedural book through and through.

I do feel that if you haven’t read the first book in the series then ‘Miss Christie Regrets’ may leave you with a few questions of what happened initially…it’s a good excuse to read both books! It has everything you want from a good book, it’s got a rather confusing love triangle and a great whodunit to keep you guessing and to keep those pages turning.

I love how guy based ‘Miss Christie Regrets’ against one of the most famous detective writers, Agatha Christie. I think this adds such a uniqueness to the story and it also makes you feel that you’re having some sort of insight to her life and where she found inspiration for her stories. Guy really excels in painting scenes that you can imagine and he makes it seem effortless.

Much like ‘Death in Profile’ it kept me entertained, it kept me guessing and most importantly Guy’s work upped my rating by one heart…so no more room for improvement in my eyes! I cannot wait for ‘A Whiff of Cyanide’ to be released in summer as I need another dose of the Hampstead Murders in my life already!

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥♥

You can buy this book here

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

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Book Tour – Playlist for a Paper Angel – Jacqueline Ward

Playlist for a Paper AngelASIN B01N74PKV5

Author Jacqueline Ward

Publisher Kindle Press

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

From Goodreads

DS Jan Pearce is still searching for her missing son. When she finds a little girl, Elise, alone in a pram in a busy town centre, she must unravel a mystery that takes her to the edge of her emotions. Then another child, Dara Price, goes missing.

Lisa Connelly, Elise’s mother, has been forced into a life of prostitution and has been leaving her little girl alone. Her gangland boss is holding her prisoner but she wants her little girl back.

Jan finds herself balancing her search for her son with finding Dara. Her right hand man, Mike Waring, is on another case so she and her temporary partner, profiler Damien Booth, must solve the puzzle and find Lisa before time runs out for Dara.

What did I think?

‘Playlist for a Paper Angel’ took me by complete surprise, it was a little bit slow to begin with but Ward didn’t keep you waiting for long. Once the story was in motion there was no stopping, and that accounts for my reading too – I couldn’t put it down!

Considering this book has an incredibly dark story-line that I think a lot will struggle to read at times, Ward approached the subjects in a respectful way while making sure they still hit hard. You start to connect with the characters and the emotions that you feel throughout are strengthened by the relationships you’ve built.

‘Playlist for a Paper Angel’ doesn’t stop at any point, it keeps on going until the very last sentence and it keeps you wanting more. I felt emotionally drained when I finished ‘Playlist for a Paper Angel’ and I didn’t expect it in the slightest. Ward is an extremely talented author and ‘Playlist for a Paper Angel’ is a great example of what a thriller should be, I loved every minute of it.

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥♥

You can buy this eBook here

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

Q&A with Jacqueline Ward

Where did you find the inspiration for ‘Playlist for a Paper Angel’? The inspiration for Playlist for a Paper Angel came from the Ed Sheeran song ‘The A Team’. Lisa appeared in the previous Jan Pearce novel ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ as a member of the Connelly family who had gone into police protection and I was interested in what might have happened to her. I find inspiration from lots of different places but stories in music influences me a lot.

How did you develop the characters and plot? I developed the plot over a long time. Jan’s story had to progress in the direction of looking for Aiden, but I wanted a storyline where she and Mike get closer and she is teamed up with another police operative. Lisa’s was more difficult. I had ideas for her character and I read other novels and watched films about young girls who had limited choices. I also wanted to introduce Della, Mike’s wife as she is an interesting character.

What was the hardest part to write? The hardest part of this novel to write was all the parts involving children. It’s hard to write bad things about children in fiction – they happen in the real world but it’s hard to find a balance between being gratuitous and telling a story. I hope I have done the latter.

What were your goals/intentions with ‘Playlist for a Paper Angel‘ and do you think you’ve achieved them? Mothering is often stereotyped and, as a subtext, I wanted to look at how mothers have different types of lives and how they look after their children with the resources they have, and how external aspects of life influence. Part of this novel looked at how the criminal world takes advantage of young people who are drawn to the peripherals, and I hope I achieved that.

Playlist for a Paper Angel‘ has a very, very dark story-line that evokes a lot of emotions. How did you find writing such a dark story? It was difficult. I had to interview women who worked in the sex industry and learn about their experiences – despite what the media often report, not one of them told me that they had voluntarily entered the industry, rather that they had either been forced because of financial problems or had progressed from no sex industry roles. None of them were happy, and it made me realise how privileged I was and also that in this day and age it it horrendous that women still have to do this. Writing Lisa’s story was underpinned by this darkness and it brought up a lot of emotions.

Will we be hearing more from DS Jan Pearce? Yes! Jan isn’t finished yet –  she’s only just started. I have a series prologue novel due out soon and a third DS Jan Pearce novel later on in 2017.

I for one cannot wait to read more of DS Jan Pearce’s story!

Playlist for a Paper Angel

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Book Tour – Burned and Broken – Mark Hardie

Burned and BrokenISBN-10 0751562084

ISBN-13 978-0751562088

Author Mark Hardie

Publisher Sphere

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

From Goodreads

An enigmatic policeman – currently the subject of an internal investigation – is found burned to death in his car on the Southend sea front.

A vulnerable young woman, fresh out of the care system, is trying to discover the truth behind the sudden death of her best friend.

As DS Frank Pearson and DC Catherine Russell from the Essex Police Major Investigation Team are brought in to solve the mystery that surrounds their colleague’s death, they’re under intense pressure to crack the case without damaging the force’s reputation.

When a dramatic turn of events casts a whole new light on both cases, the way forward is far from clear. Were the victims connected in some way? And just how much should Pearson and Russell reveal to their bosses as they begin to unearth some dark secrets that the force would rather keep buried?

What did I think?

‘Burned and Broken’ sounded like a book right up my street, a police procedural, a murder or two and twists and turns at every point. I jumped at the opportunity to take part in this blog tour and Mark Hardie’s writing skills didn’t let me down.

There are lots of sub-stories in ‘Burned and Broken’ and while I did find it a little slow at points, the book never fully lost my interest. There’s just enough suspense to keep you wanting to read on and I’m really glad I did. ‘Burned and Broken’ got better the more pages I turned.

The ending really made it for me, it had a great twist and it made me feel a bit stupid that I didn’t see it coming. I thought I had it sussed by just over halfway through but Mark Hardie proved me wrong and ‘Burned and Broken’ is worth reading for the ending alone!

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥

You can buy this eBook here (the paperback version is released in May!)

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

Why not follow the blog tour for different views?

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Book Tour – Relativity – Antonia Hayes

Relativity - Antonia HayesISBN-10 1472151704

ISBN-13 978-1472151704

Author Antonia Hayes

Publisher Corsair

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

From Goodreads

Twelve-year-old Ethan Forsythe, an exceptionally talented boy obsessed with physics and astronomy, has been raised alone by his mother in Sydney, Australia. Claire, a former professional ballerina, has been a wonderful parent to Ethan, but he’s becoming increasingly curious about his father’s absence in his life. Claire is fiercely protective of her talented, vulnerable son—and of her own feelings. But when Ethan falls ill, tied to a tragic event that occurred during his infancy, her tightly-held world is split open.

Thousands of miles away on the western coast of Australia, Mark is trying to forget about the events that tore his family apart, but an unexpected call forces him to confront his past and return home. When Ethan secretly intercepts a letter from Mark to Claire, he unleashes long-suppressed forces that—like gravity—pull the three together again, testing the limits of love and forgiveness.

Told from the alternating points of view of Ethan and each of his parents, Relativity is a poetic and soul-searing exploration of unbreakable bonds, irreversible acts, the limits of science, and the magnitude of love.

What did I think?

‘Relativity’ reminds me a lot of ‘The Theory of Everything’ and I’m sure that all rests on the fact that ‘Relativity’ centres around Ethan’s fascination with science and physics, certainly not an easy thing to write a book on! Especially seeing as Ethan’s fascination is deep, intricate and on genius level – Hayes had her work cut out for her when thinking up the story-line, but she executed it seamlessly and perfectly.

While I didn’t feel that ‘Relativity’ sucked me in from the start, Hayes slowly but steadily built up the story of Ethan and she made you start to connect with the characters so you couldn’t help yourself but carry on reading.

Whilst the story is quite heartwarming, it is equally as heartbreaking. Ethan has been through an awful lot for a 12 year-old and with ‘broken’ families being a common thing within the world I feel it is something that most people can relate to so you’re feeling his emotions as you read his story.

Relativity is an easy, relaxing read that evokes a lot of emotions within. I would definitely recommend reading it!

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥

You can buy this book here

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

Relativity - Antonia Hayes

See what else has been said on the final day of the tour!

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Everything You Told Me – Lucy Dawson

Everything You Told MeISBN-10 1782396276

ISBN-13 978-1782396277

Author Lucy Dawson

Publisher Corvus

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

From Goodreads

You went to bed at home, just like every other night.
You woke up in the back of a taxi, over 250 miles away.
You have no idea how you got there and no memory of the last ten hours.
You have no phone, no money; just a suicide note in your coat pocket, in your own writing.
You know you weren’t planning to kill yourself.
Your family and friends think you are lying.

Someone knows exactly what happened to you.
But they’re not telling…

What did I think?

This isn’t the first time that Lucy Dawson has featured on my blog, last year I read and reviewed ‘You Sent Me A Letter‘ and while I thought it was a great read, I did note that I found it a little predictable and so I was intrigued as to what ‘Everything You Told Me’ was going to be like and to see if Dawson has advanced her writing skills.

From the very beginning, ‘Everything You Told Me’ pulls you in and doesn’t show any signs of letting you go. It’s been a while since I’ve been hooked to a book so much that I couldn’t put it down. It has such an eerie feel to it that keeps you on the edge of your seat and keeps those pages turning. You’re misled and deceived at various points throughout the story. The twists and the turns never let up and you’re sent on a huge roller-coaster ride until the very last page.

It’s safe to say that Dawson has impressed me with ‘Everything You Told Me’ so much more than she did with ‘You Sent Me A Letter’, I didn’t want the book to end and I was kept on my toes the whole time. Go grab a copy and read it for yourself, you won’t regret it!

My Rating? ♥♥♥♥♥

You can buy this book here

Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?

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