The Mausoleum – David Mark


1967. In a quiet village in the wild lands of the Scottish borders, disgraced academic Cordelia Hemlock is trying to put her life back together. Grieving the loss of her son, she seeks out the company of the dead, taking comfort amid the ancient headstones and crypts of the local churchyard. When lightning strikes a tumbledown tomb, she glimpses a corpse that doesn’t belong among the crumbling bones. But when the storm passes and the body vanishes, the authorities refuse to believe the claims of a hysterical ‘outsider’. 

Teaming up with a reluctant witness, local woman Felicity Goose, Cordelia’s enquiries all lead back to a former POW camp that was set up in the village during the Second World War. But not all Gilsland’s residents welcome the two young women’s interference. There are those who believe the village’s secrets should remain buried … whatever the cost.  


Transcript 0007, recorded October 30, 2010

He were standing by the church. Had to be, didn’t he? Smoking a cigarette, he was, under the branches of the big evergreen by the gate.
“What yer running for Mam? Yez’ll hurt yer self.”
He looked so pleased with himself. Looked like a bad lad. If he weren’t my own I swear I’d have been frightened of him. Too cocky for his own good, curling his lip and smirking at me in his vest and his jeans and his boots with the laces undone. He looked like he were made of bone. Pure white, he seemed, like a statue come to life.
“Why’d you run” I asked, and my voice sounded like a penny whistle; all high and trembly and out of tune.
“”I never ran. I said I were off. Thought we’d finished talking.”
“You know that’s not how it was.”
“No? Ah well, I’d stopped listening then.”
12-years-old and talking to me like that? My dad would have given me a wallop for it and I’d have had no cause to complain. Maybe I hadn’t walloped Brian enough, or maybe too much. Or maybe all the wallops in the world would have made no difference.
“You should have been at school,” I said, and it sounded proper pitiful.
“Aye,” he smiles, all swagger. “And then you’d be flat under the wheels of that Paddy’s truck.”
“But why weren’t you?” I asked, and I felt the tears stabbing at the backs of my eyes again.
He ground out his cigarette on the damp trunk of the tree and turned to me as if I were wasting his valuable time.
“I weren’t feeling well,” he said, like I should have known. “I had one of me headaches.”
“Did you tell the nurse?”
“That bitch? She couldn’t care less. Just wants to put her fat hands on you.”
“So you just walked out?” I asked.
“Aye. Got an early bus. I only missed a bit of spelling and I can spell good enough.”
I felt a sudden stab of pain down the side I’d landed on. It showed in my face and suddenly his whole self changed.
“You hurting?” he asked, and though he didn’t come toward me he did move aside to allow me under the protection of the branches. Up close he smelled different to how he used to. It used to be biscuits and soap and that earthy scent you get when you’re pull back the bark from a silver birch. Now he smelled like them. A man. Cigarettes and sweat and a rancid, unscrubbed tang that caught the back of my throat.

Buy Link

Are You the F**king Doctor? by Dr Liam Farrell

 Thoroughly enjoyed reading this.  This was the first of this genre that I have read.  I found this hilsrhilsly funny in places, an eye opener in others… An absolutely entertaining read but also makes you think about the humans behind the doctors that you see!

Are You the F**king Doctor? by Dr Liam Farrell
Paperback: 362 pages
Publisher: Dalzell Press (8 Nov. 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0956386466
ISBN-13: 978-0956386465


BLURB ‘General practice is the great unknown. We stand on the cusp of the beyond. Science takes us only so far, then the maps stop in the grey areas of intuition, imagination and feelings: here be dragons. Lurching from heart-breaking tragedy to high farce, we are the Renaissance men and women of medicine; our art is intangible. Anything can walk through our door…’

Family doctor, Irishman, musician, award-winning author, anarchist and recovering morphine addict, Liam became a columnist for the BMJ in 1994. He went on to write for many major publications, winning a series of prestigious awards; in 2005, he was the first doctor to win Columnist of the Year in the Periodical Publishers Association awards.

The book contains a selection of Liam’s best work, from his columns, blogs and short stories.Brilliantly funny, glittering with literary allusion and darkly wicked humour, this book is much more than a collection of stand-alone anecdotes and whimsical reflections, rather a compelling chronicle of the daily struggles – and personal costs – of a doctor at the coalface.

Dr Liam Farrell is from Rostrevor, Co Down, Ireland. He was a family doctor in Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, for 20 years, and is an award-winning writer and a seasoned broadcaster. He is married to Brid, and has three children Jack, Katie, and Grace.

He was a columnist for the British Medical Journal for 20 years and currently writes for GP, the leading newspaper for general practitioners in the UK. He has also been a columnist for the Lancet, the Journal of General Practice, the Belfast Telegraph and the Irish News. He wrote the entry on ‘Sex’ for The Oxford Companion to the Body.

On Twitter he curates #Irishmed, a weekly tweetchat on all things medical, which has a global following. He also co-curates #WritersWise, a regular tweetchat for writers, with novelist Sharon Thompson.
He was the medical columnist for the BBC Radio Ulster Evening Extra 1996-98; presented the series Health-Check for Ulster TV in 2002, and was medical consultant for both series of Country Practice in 2000 and 2002 for BBC Northern Ireland.

His awards include Columnist of the Year at Irish Medical Media Awards 2003, Periodical Publishers Association of Great Britain 2006 and Medical Journalist’s Society, London 2011, and Advancing Health through Media at the Zenith Global Healthcare Awards 2018.He was shortlisted for the Michael McLaverty Short Story Competition in 2008.

Twitter handle @DrLFarrell.

Bitter Edge – Rachel Lynch

Title: Bitter Edge

Author Name: Rachel Lynch

Previous Books: Dark Game, Deep Fear and Dead End

Genre: Crime Fiction

Release Date: 25th February 2019

Book Blurb: DI Kelly Porter is back, but so is an old foe and this time he won’t back down…
When a teenage girl flings herself off a cliff in pursuit of a gruesome death, DI Kelly Porter is left asking why. Ruled a suicide, there’s no official reason for Kelly to chase answers, but as several of her team’s cases converge on the girl’s school, a new, darker story emerges. One which will bring Kelly face-to-face with an old foe determined to take back what is rightfully his – no matter the cost.
Mired in her pursuit of justice for the growing list of victims, Kelly finds security in Johnny, her family and the father she has only just discovered. But just as she draws close to unearthing the dark truth at the heart of her investigation, a single moment on a cold winter’s night shatters the notion that anything in Kelly’s world can ever truly be safe.
Don’t miss this gripping crime thriller featuring a phenomenal detective. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Robert Bryndza.

Author Bio:
Rachel Lynch grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years. A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.
Author Photos:

Twitter: @r_lynchcrime

Today’s blog is a feature post from the author:
Blog Tour: Bitter Edge by Rachel Lynch
Why did you choose to write a crime series and how was Kelly Porter created?
The crime genre is wide enough to always welcome a new twist. On one side of the spectrum is pure police procedural and all the way on the other, is pure horror. I wanted authentic procedure, mixed with identifiable characters investigating shocking crimes.
I chose Kelly Porter as my detective because she has integrity and strength, but she also has a personal life that is interesting enough, without being overly dramatic and stereotyped.
Setting out to write a series of books centring on a couple of core characters is daunting, but it’s also been an organic process. I love spending time with Kelly: she’s ballsy, willing to take risks, and in possession of a pretty solid moral compass. She has flaws- because she’s human- and she has plenty still to learn. Her family is fractured (but who’s isn’t?) but she finds ways to concentrate on those bits that are worth taking care of.
Kelly isn’t afraid of anyone. If there’s a case to investigate, she’ll be there. She’s also incredibly hard working and dedicated to her small team.
That was my protagonist sorted!
So all I had to do was come up with some heinous crimes and jaw-droppingly savage baddies, and I had a series!
It wasn’t that easy, but one thing that never fails to inspire me is my choice of setting. The Lake District is full of dark corners, vast fields, empty valleys, windy peaks, impenetrable forests and deep lakes: perfect for evil to take a hold and nurture a sense of malevolence.
Kelly worked for the Met in London for ten years and recently moved back to her childhood home in the Northern Lakes. In this way, the series has been a journey as much for the reader, as for Kelly, because they’re starting on the same foot. For those reasons I’d recommend starting with Dark Game, and reading Deep Fear and Dead End in order, before Bitter Edge. However, reviewers agree that they can be read as standalones.
Fundamentally, it’s the ancient battle between good and evil that I love about Crime Fiction. I also enjoy weaving intricacies into the storyline, making predicting what happens next as difficult as possible: another thrill of the genre.
I think DI Porter can handle anything that’s thrown her way, with the help of her close team at Eden House, and there are many more Kelly Porter books planned for the series!
Thank you for reading! 

Testament to Murder – Vivian Conroy

Chapter One

“If you don’t take your foot off the gas, you will get us killed before we ever reach the Villa Calypso.”
Patty Bryce-Rutherford yelled the warning over the roar of the Triumph’s straining engine. The road ahead led upwards, in steep curves to where the pale pink villa sat like a frosted crown on a bridal cake. Bougainvillea with its bright purple flowers twined around the marble pillars beside the front door, and the grass of the immaculate lawn sparkled emerald green in the sunshine.
“If you hadn’t insisted on bringing so many cases, the ruddy thing wouldn’t be so heavy,” her husband of three months retorted, clenching the wheel and leaning forward like a race car driver. His rather too long blond hair was pasted to his thick sunburned neck, and he panted as if he had to push the car up the hill. Born and raised in California, Patty thrived in the heat, but Hugh wilted like a pansy as soon as temperatures rose over thirty degrees.
The wind that came from the bright blue ocean tugged at Patty’s wide brimmed hat. Securing it with one hand, she clutched the edge of the car seat with the other. The days where she had giggled at Hugh’s death-defying driving were long in the past. At the time she had done anything to lay her hands on a hyphenated name and a property in Cornwall, a place she had pictured as a castle from a fairy tale.
She had imagined herself throwing fabulous cocktail parties there and dress-up balls, but after its damp and dreadful glory had thoroughly ruined her wedding day – or rather her mother-in-law, who ruled there like a banished queen, had – Patty had ached to get away to the Riviera and buy something, anything, to remember why she had married Hugh in the first place.
Uncle Malcolm’s invitation had come at the exact right moment. He had written to them that his doctors were certain he wouldn’t last too long and would rejoice in the company of family during his final days.
Normally Patty would have been livid at the idea of spending the glorious days of summer with an old man nagging about his gout, but when that old man didn’t have much time left to nag, things were different. They’d be kind to him, take him touring, show him the sunset or the moon, whatever he preferred, and then when he did die, he’d leave it all to them: his house, the money in the Swiss bank accounts, the horses back in England and the cars.
The plane even.
Patty suppressed a little squeal of delight when she imagined the plane landing in Paris and how she alighted from it, laden with dazzling emeralds a brighter green than the grass of the villa up ahead.
Hugh wouldn’t have to travel home every few weeks to beg his father for a pittance, no, his father would have to come to him to ask for funds to restore the crumbling Cornwall facade. They’d be the ones in charge for a change, making others dance to their tune.
The car whirled through the last bend and shot past two stone lions leaning down from pillars beside the road. Potted palms lined the driveway that ended up before the pale pink house. The blinds behind the tall windows were closed against the afternoon heat.
Patty opened the car door while the engine was still turning and scrambled to climb out in her tight dress. Smoothing it down, she looked up at the villa’s upper storey. “Poor Uncle Malcolm must be in bed. To lie about all day in this heat must be dreadful.”
Hugh honked the horn.
She waved at him. “Hush, you’re disturbing the old man’s afternoon nap.”
Hugh’s brows drew together, and the scar on his right cheek turned white against his tan, as always when he got annoyed. “Don’t act like you’re so concerned for him.”
“I’m deeply concerned for him. And I intend to show it.” Patty reached into the back of the car and extracted the bottle of wine they had bought at a shop in the village nearby. “This will cheer him up. I could use a drink myself. My tongue is positively pasted to my palate. But it would have to be a cocktail. You think your uncle has some things around to mix a cocktail? Would be a shame if such a gorgeous house didn’t have a good liquor cabinet. I could give parties here.”
“All you ever think about is parties,” Hugh scoffed. “Don’t you see that the house is oriented on the south. That means the back is turned towards the north. Bright sharp light. Perfect for sculpting. And I think the old fox has a nice library too. I could sit there and type up some chapters on my novel. Between four and six in the afternoon of course. No decent writer ever wrote anything worthwhile in the morning.”
His jovial, fleshy face contracted in a deep frown. “Or perhaps I should start around midnight. The tortured artistic mind can’t sleep like normal people do.”
“As long as you don’t wake me when you get out of bed,” Patty said, shaking the wine bottle at him.
“I tell you it should have been champagne,” Hugh said gloomily, “or whiskey or something. Uncle Malcolm will point that out to me in no uncertain terms. Only my mother enjoys wine. With pheasant, I think. I don’t suppose Uncle Malcolm ever eats pheasant here. We should have gone for the seafood.”
Patty clicked her tongue. “Seafood could kill an old man. One bad oyster…”
“Exactly,” Hugh said. “Isn’t that what we are here for?”
Patty rolled her eyes at him and hopped up the steps leading to the villa’s front door. Before she could even reach for the bell, it opened. A tall man with a skeletal face looked at her. “Yes?”
“Patricia Bryce-Rutherford,” Patty said, her tongue caressing the well positioned r’s. How lucky her first name really was Patricia and not Madge or something that would have totally ruined the whole. “We were asked to come.”
“Ah, yes. Mr Malcolm told me to prepare the smaller guest room for you. Do come in.”
“The smaller guest room?” Patty asked. Whatever happened to the bigger one? She gestured over her shoulder. “My husband needs assistance to park the car. I mean, he can park a car, he just needs to know where to park it.”
“Yes, I suppose it will take some fitting to get all the cars into the garage,” the butler said. “The chauffeur will see to it. Follow me.”
Patty just caught a glimpse of a ruggedly handsome French-looking man going over to Hugh in the Triumph and was immediately sorry she hadn’t stuck around to practise her rudimentary French. If they were to inherit this house, she had to speak the local language.
But she had to follow the butler up the stairs. He opened a door to their left, and gestured for her to step into the darkened room.
Breathing the scent of something chemical, Patty wrinkled her nose in disgust, but reminding herself of the money, she trotted to the bed with a smile and leaned down to kiss the man in the pillows on his sallow cheek. “Uncle! How delightful to meet you at last. I am Patricia.”
“Oh, yes,” Malcolm Bryce-Rutherford said in a creaking, parrot-like voice. “Hugh’s American nanny.”
Although it was true that Patty had been accompanying a rich family with children when she had met Hugh on the SS Sunrise, she would never have called herself a nanny.
Malcolm said, “From his mother’s arms into the arms of someone trying to play a mother. He’ll never have to grow up.”
Patty shuffled her feet. “I have here…” she said trying to hold out the bottle, but Malcolm beat her to it. “Some terrible concoction to make me feel better? Put it over there with the other gifts.”
“What other gifts?” Patty asked as she peered at the table along the wall hidden in the dusk. Suddenly her heart beat fast with concern that Hugh had been right and they should have brought champagne. She didn’t want to look silly in front of other people.
“From the other guests of course.” Malcolm pushed himself up to sit better. “The other guests who are here to keep me company during my last days on Earth.”
As he said it, the door opened, and a woman came in, carrying something in her hands. She stooped like tall people often do, and moved with the solicitous air of someone who is doing something immensely important. A sweet scent filled the room as she crossed to the bed. “Pineapple, Malcolm. Cut up in small pieces so you can easily eat it.” The woman placed the bowl on the bed, holding it as Malcolm didn’t reach out for it. She glanced at Patty. “And you are?”
“Hugh’s American nanny,” Malcolm said before Patty could reply. “And this is my former secretary, Theodora, or Dodo as I used to call her. I never quite met anyone who…”
Theodora’s eyes lit in expectation.
“Had such a good shorthand,” Malcolm concluded.
The expectation died, and Theodora’s eyes flashed with something quite different. She pointed at the pineapple. “Eat it while it’s fresh. The taste goes off so quickly.”
The door opened again, and Hugh appeared. He hovered on the threshold, terrified, as he had confessed to Patty on the way over, of the deathbed dramatics.
“Come closer, boy,” Malcolm called. “I am not dead yet.”
Hugh came up and stood beside Patty, feeling for her hand. She slapped it away, keeping her smile firmly on her face. Malcolm already seemed to think she treated Hugh like a baby. No need to reinforce that in his mind. She said in a brisk tone, “Hugh has been so looking forward to seeing you again, Uncle. And you have such a beautiful house here. The view is stunning.”
“I get out so little,” Malcolm said.
“Then we must change that. We will take you out, won’t we, Hugh?” Patty glanced at Hugh, who stared like paralysed at the figure in the large bed. She prodded his foot with her own.
“Yes,” Hugh said. Even this one word came out strangled.
Malcolm sighed. “It will not be that easy, girl. I use a wheelchair these days.”
“Oh, we can take it along.” Patty put confidence in her voice. “And if you want to walk around the garden, you can lean on my arm.”
“Garden walks are taken care of,” Theodora said from the door where she had lingered, listening in on the conversation. “You are far too short to be able to support him.”
“I think we should let Uncle Malcolm decide with whom he wants to walk,” Patty said sweetly, brushing back her hair. She let her gaze wander deliberately down Theodora’s shapeless black gown. The former secretary’s shoulders slumped even more as she backed up against the wall as if she wanted to blend in with the wallpaper.
Malcolm made a rasping noise, then broke into a hacking cough.
Hugh stepped back, muttered an excuse and left the room.
“It’s his father’s death,” Patty said quickly. “He never got over that. He was only fifteen at the time.” Her voice caught at the memory of the first time Hugh had shared his unhappy childhood with her.
“Seventeen,” Malcolm corrected, “and he was in boarding school when my brother had his horse-riding accident. Hugh never even saw his father again until the day of the funeral.”
Patty’s eyes widened. On the steamer Hugh had told her, almost in tears, about his sick father whom he had tended for weeks, practically on his own. She had reached out and touched his hand and when he had looked up into her eyes, she had known she was going to marry him. For the double name and the money of course, but also because she felt truly sorry for someone who had lost his father that way.
Malcolm said, “Hugh should really publish a novel some day so his fertile imagination could serve some monetary purpose. Don’t you think?” He gave Patty a sharp, probing look from under his heavy brows. He then pushed the bowl with the pineapple away and said, “I want the newspaper.”
Theodora dashed off to get it. As soon as they were alone, Malcolm said, “I want you to know one thing, Patricia. It takes courage to be married to my nephew. For that courage you might be rewarded. With a mention in my will.”
Patty stood motionless. She felt like the old man in the bed could see her heartbeat flutter in her neck. “Yes?” she whispered.
Malcolm leaned forward, moving his thin grasping fingers across the sheet. “Maybe… I could make you sole heir to it all.”
Patty didn’t dare draw breath in case this was a dream and moving but a muscle would wake her up. “You would?”
“Of course Hugh wouldn’t like it. And the others might hate you for it. Would you mind?”
“Most certainly not.” Patty straightened up. “I know what it is like when people envy you.” The woman who had hired her to look after the children on the crossing from New York to England had been friendly, in a sort of patronizing way, until she had stumbled on Patty kissing Hugh and had fired her on the spot for being a siren. “It never hurt me before, why would it now?”
The dismissal had urged Hugh, who had felt hugely guilty for it, to propose to her. The proposal had of course been her intention all along, but the way in which her irate employer had contributed to it, she could never have thought up herself. Smiling to herself more than to Malcolm, Patty concluded, “I tend to think things turn out for the best, Uncle.”
“So you wouldn’t mind if I filled in your name? When the lawyer gets here…”
“The lawyer is on his way already?” Patty asked in a low voice. She glanced over her shoulder at the door.
It was half open.
The crack of bright light from the sunny landing seemed to smirk at her. Was there someone in the corridor listening in on them? Should she close the door before her little secret with Uncle Malcolm got out?
“He will be here soon,” Malcolm said in a sigh. He closed his eyes a moment. “I am so tired.”
Patty grabbed for his hand. It was bony and chill under her touch. “Don’t slip away now, Uncle. You must…” Change your will to contain my name.
She picked up a glass of water off the side table by the bed and gave it to him. “Drink some water to revive you. It’s hot outside, that must exhaust you. But I’m certain you’re strong enough to stay with us a little longer. We need you.”
Malcolm took a sip of water, then gave the glass back to her. She put it in place and retreated to the door. “You rest now.”
In the corridor she saw no one. Theodora was apparently still looking for the newspaper Malcolm had asked for, and Hugh had to be in their room, working through his confrontation with imminent death.
Relief flooded her, and she rubbed her clammy palms together. Nobody knew what Uncle Malcolm had offered her. Nobody could know about it, until it was all arranged for.
Her high heels making no sound on the thick carpet, Patty went down the corridor to a door that was open. Hugh stood beside a double bed, onto which he had tossed his jacket. He loosened his tie and took a swig from his silver hip flask.
Patty made a disapproving sound. “It’s not even dinner time yet.”
Hugh said, “I can’t stand this situation. The memories of…” He let the rest hang, sinking into a chair with the airs of a broken man.
Knowing now from Malcolm that Hugh had not even been around when his father had died, Patty wanted to tell him just what a pathetic little liar he was, but thought better of it. If Hugh didn’t want to come near the dying old man, Malcolm would blame him for that. It only improved the chances that he would make her, Patty, the sole heir.
Imagine that. Her inheriting all that this rich man owned. Having this house and being able to throw lush parties here, inviting movie stars and splashing out on thousands of orchids that rained down on the guests from the ceiling after the final dance, without Hugh telling her it was silly or too expensive. He would have to live off whatever scraps she threw at him. It was just perfect. Better than anything she had ever imagined when she had set out to marry a wealthy man.

Suspenseful from the first page to the last, A Testament to Murder is perfect for fans of And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and Crooked House
A dying billionaire. Nine would-be heirs. But only one will take the prize…
 At the lush Villa Calypso on the French Riviera, a dying billionaire launches a devious plan: at midnight each day he appoints a new heir to his vast fortune. If he dies within 24 hours, that person takes it all. If not, their chance is gone forever.
Yet these are no ordinary beneficiaries, these men who crossed him, women who deceived him, and distant relations intent on reclaiming the family fortune. All are determined to lend death a hand and outwit their rivals in pursuit of the prize.
As tensions mount with every passing second, retired Scotland Yard investigator Jasper must stay two steps ahead of every player if he hopes to prevent the billionaire’s devious game from becoming a testament to murder…

Released on 18th February,
Amazon (UK)
Kobo (UK)
Google Books (UK)
Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:
Armed with cheese and chocolate, Vivian Conroy sits down to create the aspirational settings, characters with secrets up their sleeves, and clever plots which took several of her mysteries to #1 bestseller in multiple categories on Amazon US and Canada. Away from the keyboard, Vivian likes to hike (especially in the Swiss mountains), hunt for the perfect cheesecake and experience the joy in every-day life, be it a fiery sunset, a gorgeous full moon or that errant butterfly descending on the windowsill.

Twitter: @VivWrites

Five Bloody Hearts – Joy Ellis

Fantastic read, highly recommend this, not much else I can say that’s not the blurb…

Five Bloody Hearts (DI Matt Ballard #2) by Joy Ellis
From multiple #1 best-selling author Joy Ellis, comes a mystery that will have you glued from first page to last, with a truly shocking conclusion. A killer mystery to make your heart race this Valentine’s.


Grace Repton, a beautiful older woman, walks into the police station to tell Matt she has information that could stop a murder. Her fiancé, the infamous serial killer Jeremy Reader, has told her that he has a disciple who is going to kill using Reader’s horrific methods.

Reader murdered five women and w8as finally brought to justice by Detective Ballard. Reader is safely imprisoned in a high security prison, and claiming to be a reformed man who wants to help the police.

But can Matt believe the serial killer or his peculiar wife to be?

And the Fenland police also have another investigation on their hands. A Lithuanian migrant worker is found dead on the fens. There is no ID on him, but he has a Tree of Life tattoo. The third body to be found with this distinctive tattoo. Is this gang war or something even more sinister?


The police are stretched to breaking point with multiple copycat murders. And Matt and his girlfriend Liz will fight for everything they care about in a heart-stopping conclusion that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Robert Bryndza, Mel Sherratt, Angela Marsons, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.

The Setting
England’s rural fenland is a strange place, with its never-ending fields, winding tracks, and long straight droves (the old livestock routes) that lead to nowhere. The lonely lanes are flanked either side by deep drainage ditches and are, for a good part of the year, filled with tall, whispering reeds. Closer to the Wash, high seabanks form a barrier between river and marsh, and the richly fertile soil of the drained land. But when the mists come down, as they so often do, perspective is destroyed and all sense of direction lost, and then the fens become a rather frightening place of mystery and danger. Somewhere that you do not want to be at night.





Author Bio
1 million books sold and rising!
“I was born in Kent but spent most of my working life in London and Surrey. I was an apprentice florist to Constance Spry Ltd, a prestigious Mayfair shop that throughout the sixties and seventies teemed with both royalty and ‘real’ celebrities. What an eye-opener for a working-class kid from the Garden of England! I swore then, probably whilst I was scrubbing the floor or making the tea, that I would have a shop of my own one day. It took until the early eighties, but I did it. Sadly the recession wiped us out, and I embarked on a series of weird and wonderful jobs; the last one being a bookshop manager. Surrounded by books all day, getting to order whatever you liked, and being paid for it! Oh bliss!
And now I live in a village in the Lincolnshire Fens with my partner, Jacqueline, and our two second generation Springer spaniels. I had been writing mysteries for years but never had the time to take it seriously. Now I can, and as my partner is a highly decorated retired police officer; my choice of genre was suddenly clear. I have set my crime thrillers here in the misty fens because I sincerely love the remoteness and airy beauty of the marshlands. This area is steeped in superstitions and lends itself so well to murder!” 

Daisy Song (Life after Us #3) by Rebekah Dodson

Daisy Song (Life after Us #3) by Rebekah Dodson

Review by Penny Buxton

This is a brilliant read that has you gripped from page one!

After the cliff hanger of the last book where Ambrose has left to find his way to rescue Vicki and Vicki is having pains from the pregnancy, I eagerly awaited the next book and wasn’t disappointed.

The story begins back with Vicki and follows her imprisoned and trying to escape and Ambrose as he fights on to rescue her, meeting many obstacles along the way. I found myself hating Vicki’s Fiancé, Will (The Supreme Leader) more as I read.

As the story goes on it is full of more twists and turns and I found myself emotionally connected to the characters more than I have in a book for a long time, the story progresses in ways I never expected and it had me gripped and needing to read on.

An absolutely brilliant conclusion to the series and an ending that I loved! Well worth a read!

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Seven months ago, Vicki Morel was supposed to be happy, not in the midst of the apocalypse. She and her fiancé, Will, should have been married and about to celebrate the birth of their child. Instead, she is on the run in fear for her life and the life of her baby. Her only hope is Ambrose—the man she truly loves.

Vicki entered Ambrose’s life like a bomb and blew everything apart. Just when he thought they could get out of this hell hole alive, she walked away. Or did she? After a cryptic message on a satellite phone, Ambrose is willing to risk it all to find her. Through a plane crash, escaping crazy doomsday preppers, and invading a military base, Ambrose and his band of survivors is determined to rescue Vicki. He wasn’t born a leader, yet the people follow him, determined to carve their own path in this world. 

When everything ends, the daisy’s song promises a new beginning, a different life, and a fresh path in this altered world. 

Rebekah Dodson Author Bio
Rebekah Dodson is a prolific word weaver of romance, fantasy, and science fiction novels. Her works include the series Postcards from Paris, The Surrogate, The Curse of Lanval series, several stand alone novels, and her upcoming YA novel, Clock City. She has been writing her whole life, with her first published work of historical fiction with 4H Clubs of America at the age of 12, and poetry at the age of 16 with the National Poetry Society. With an extensive academic background including education, history, psychology and English, she currently works as a college professor by day and a writer by night.

Hunter’s Revenge – Val Penny

The Blurb

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until his friend’s death is avenged. 

DI Hunter Wilson is called to the scene of a murder. He is shocked to find the victim is his friend and colleague, George Reinbold. 

Who would want to harm the quiet, old man? Why was a book worth £23,000 delivered to him that morning? Why is the security in George’s home so intense? 

Hunter must investigate his friend’s past as well as the present to identify George’s killer. 

When a new supply of cocaine from Peru floods HMP Edinburgh and the city, the courier leads Hunter to a criminal gang, but Hunter requires the help of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable, Sir Peter Myerscough, and local gangster, Ian Thomson, to make his case. 

Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taut crime thriller.

Hunter’s Revenge is the second in Val Penny’s gripping crime series featuring DI Hunter Wilson.  

An extract to wet your appetite:

DCs Tim Myerscough, Bear Zewedu, Mel Grant and Dr. Gillian Pearson stop for a few drinks on their way to the Scotland -v- Wales international rugby match and witness an unexpected meeting.
Tim was aware of comments about himself and Bear as the four of them walked along. The men were used to causing a stir. They were both tall, with the physiques of rugby players. Although they were now in their early thirties, and playing for the older players’ team of Merchiston Castle School former pupils, their distinctive builds and vastly different colourings always caused people to look twice. Tim knew that Mel was used to it, but was aware that the glances were all new to Gillian (although she often got a second glance herself, due to the bright green flash at the front of her hair). As the four of them went into the Roseburn Bar for a drink before the match, a group of Welsh supporters were getting up to leave and Gillian managed to grab the table.
“That was quick. Well done!” Mel said.
Gillian grinned. “It comes from playing musical chairs with three older brothers.”
Tim sat with the girls while Bear went to buy the round. He, Tim and Mel all ordered pints of special. Gillian asked for a gin and tonic and a bag of cheese and onion crisps. Bear caught Mel’s eye and smiled.
“We have a lady present,” he smiled.
“And that’ll not be me, big man,” Mel replied. “I know. Go on, get them in before I die of thirst.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Gillian said. “I’ve never liked beer.”
“Don’t worry about Bear, he’s just teasing me. He always says a pint glass looks silly in my wee hands, but compared to him and Tim everybody in the world has wee hands.”
It was Tim’s turn to smile.  
As soon as Tim saw that Bear had made it to the front of the queue around the bar, he got up to help and Bear passed the drinks back to him. They managed this above the heads of everybody else and never spilled a drop.
“You big boys sure ate your porridge when you were young, didn’t you?” a little Welshman said.
“That we did,” Bear laughed.
“You two have done that before,” Gillian said.
“More times than you would believe,” Tim replied as he sat down. 
“Myerscough, isn’t it? Tim Myerscough and Winston Zewedu? My goodness, imagine seeing you here.”
Tim and Bear stood up at the same time. Both of them dwarfed the newcomer. Neither of them smiled. 
“Lord Buchanan,” Bear said holding out his hand to shake the man’s hand formally.
“Well, I never, Lucky Lord Lachlan Buchanan. What are you doing slumming it here?” Tim did not offer to shake hands.
“I’m just meeting a few friends. Fine pub, here, what? And I heard about your dad, Myerscough. Rotten luck getting banged up like that.”
“Lucky! Oh, hello Tim, Bear,” a familiar voice said.
“Sophie. Long time no see. May I introduce you? Gillian Pearson, meet Lady Sophie Dalmore, my ex-girlfriend,” Tim said.
Gillian gasped and blushed. She brushed the green flash in the fringe of her hair and smiled.
“And my present one, of course.” Lucky put his arm protectively around Sophie’s waist.
“Of course,” Tim said flatly. 
The tension amongst the group could be cut with a knife. Tim could tell that Gillian was uneasy; the three men stood verbally scoring points against one another, whilst Sophie looked as if she wanted the earth to open up and swallow her.
“Good to see you boys. We must get together sometime,” Lucky said insincerely.
“Of course,” Bear said, sarcastically.
“Why?” Tim asked.
“Indeed. Well, I see my friends, I must go. Sophie, I won’t be long. Will you wait in the Range Rover?”
“Range Rover? You had me folded up in a Fiat 500 so you could save the planet!” Tim said angrily. 
Sophie looked embarrassed, but said nothing and turned to walk out of the pub.
As Lucky turned to walk away Tim made to sit down, but he noticed the group of men in the corner that Lucky was heading for. 
“You should choose your friends more carefully, Lucky, or you may not be Lucky Lord Lachlan Buchanan for much longer.”
“Jealously doesn’t become you, old boy. And no hitting on Sophie, if you know what’s good for you,” Lucky sneered.
Bear made to stand up to defend Tim, but Tim shook his head. “He’s not worth it, Bear.”
“Who are his friends?” Mel asked, nudging Tim.
“Look over there,” Tim murmured. “Donald Blair, Brian Squires and Lenny The Lizard.”
“I know Squires and Lenny The Lizard, but what is the other man’s connection?” Mel asked.
“Donald Blair? He’s a lawyer.”
“The one..?”
“What are you two whispering about?” Bear asked.
Tim nodded at the group.
“I thought Lucky Buchanan was choosy about the company he keeps,” Bear said.

Hunter’s Force – Synopsis

Hunter’s Force is a police procedural crime novel. It is set in Edinburgh, Scotland in October 2013. It is character driven. The central character is Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson. He is keen to investigate the death of a young woman whose body his son finds in his flat. However, the new united Scottish Police Force, Police Scotland now exists and the central Major Incidents Team would normally lead such a serious crime. Sub-plots include, money laudering, people trafficking and disgraced DC John Hamilton determined to make Hunter suffer.

The story starts with Hunter’s son, Cameron returning to his flat after a night at a club where he has met Harry Hope and his friend Gavin who are back from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. The soldiers have young women, Olena and Symona in tow and they all head back to Cameron’s flat. His date, Klavidya never turned up at the club. The group find Klavidya dead in the kitchen. Another young woman, Anichka, whom Cameron has never seen before is very upset and in the flat.

Cameron calls Hunter for help. Meera attends the flat with Hunter and also suggests that Hunter calls Tim because he knows Cameron’s boss and landlord, Lord Lachlan (Lucky) Buchanan. Cameron says a huge fair haired man brought Klavidya to stay at his flat. The man is identified as Brian Squires.

Ian Thomson is released from prison. Jamie collects him and takes him back to the house. Ian has secured a large new house for them to live in, and two betting shops to add to his business empire. He has hired Mrs Mansoor as his manageress. He re-unites with his estranged wife, Janice.

Klavidya’s father and uncle Oleksander and Sergei Ponomarenko are gansters. They are Ukrainians associated with the Russian mafia. However, he is appointed trade attache to the Ukrainian Consulate because of his expertise.

The deceased girl, Klavidya, was studying in Edinburgh at the Universtiy. Tim’s girlfriend, Gillian knows her. The new professor, Zelay Sheptytsky is known to Klavidya and her family. The professor also knows Arjun Mansoor and goes to visit him in jail. When Klavidya’s father cannot get hold of her he contacts Gillian at the University.  

Hunter goes to lunch with Cameron and Lucky then goes home to get ready for a darts match. Hamilton is in his house and knocks him out. When Hunter wakes up Hamilton forces him to go with him to a car. Brian Squires is in the back with Hunter. Hamilton is keen to make Hunter suffer because Hamilton had to leave the force. Hunter must use his wits and force to escape from Squires and Hamilton. Hunter misses a briefing during this time. Mackay tries to track him down. Meera gets worried. Evetually Hunter calls Tim to get him back to Edinburgh.

Tim and Jane interview Cameron. Oleksander sees Tim and thinks he is Squires. Oleksander threatens Tim with a gun, but Tim and Jane’s quick thinking avoids disaster.
Tim catches Hamilton when he is out with Gillian.
Ian lands back in jail – the betting shops and big house is lost. Jamie and Frankie end up back in West Mains Road. Janice leaves Ian again, this time for Brian Squires who escapes to Spain.
Oleksander Ponomarenko is charged with money-laundering and people trafficking but has diplomatic immunity. 
Olena, Symona and Anichka plotted to murder Klavidya. Anichka did the deed.

Hunter’s Force – Main Characters

DI Hunter Wilson –  A thoughtful leader, observant, divorced, a good team player.  
Likes: Fairness, honesty, loyalty, Meera Sharma, darts and success.
            Dislikes: Pomposity, drugs, corruption and losing. 

DC Tim Myerscough – Physically fit, intelligent, loyal, family oriented
    Likes: Family, rugby, loyalty, cats, Gillian Pearson and winning.
    Dislikes: Lying, cheating, self-aggrandising, small cars.

Gillian Pearson – Tim’s girlfriend, clever, good looking. Nice natured. Sees the best in people.
      Likes – travel, cars, Tim, translating 
      Dislikes – family, cats, cruelty and violence

Zelay  Sheptytsky – Professor of Modern Languages at University of Edinburgh, Gillian’s boss
          Likes – travel, study, friends, family, Gillian.
          Dislikes – violence, stupidity, Oleksander Ponomarenko, authority

Ian Thomson –  A clever ‘wide-boy’ always on the make
   Likes – Money, wheeling & dealing, family and success
   Dislikes – drugs, losing, being used, violence

Jamie Thomson – A young thief, intelligent, witty   
      Likes: Family, girls, jaffa cakes, beer and loyalty.
      Dislikes: police, losing, drugs, disloyalty.

Frankie Hope – Father of twins, works with his cousin, Jamie Thomson at Thomson’s Top Cars
    Likes: His twins, kindness, honesty.
    Dislikes: Drugs, his own skin.

Oleksander Ponomarenko – A gangster who portrays himself as a businessman. Clever.
    Likes: Money, connections, power, sex and family
    Dislikes: Poverty, weakness and bad manners.

Meera Sharma – Pathologist who works with Hunter Wilson.
        Likes: Hunter Wilson, her family, honesty, success.
      Dislikes: Dishonesty, violence, losing.

Lachlan ‘Lucky’ Buchanan –  Inherited his title, went to Fettes, dates Lady Sophie Dalmore.
      Likes: feeling important, wealth, pretty women and power
      Dislikes: Bear Zewedu, the dark and bad service in restaurants

John Hamilton – Disgraced former DC
      Likes:  Food, sugary drinks, drugs and power
      Dislikes: Hunter Wilson, Police Scotland and Colin Reid

Olena, Symona and Anichka – three young women trafficked by Oleksander Ponomarenko from Ukraine to Scotland. Hoping to make their fortunes.
   Likes – family, fame and money 
               Dislikes – Oleksander Ponomarenko, being chaeted and being mis-treated

Leo and the Lightning Dragons- Gill White


Everybody in the kingdom is supporting the brave knight Leo in his battle against his fearsome dragons. They try lots of different things to help him defeat them but eventually Leo realises that the most important thing to do is to believe in himself. This beautifully illustrated book with a poignant and uplifting rhyming story encourages children to persevere and find strength in the face of adversity, even when it seems that nothing is working. Written by Gill White for her son Leo who suffers from Ohtahara Syndrome, an extremely rare form of epilepsy, and beautifully illustrated by Fife artist Gilli B, this story has been positively received by parents of children with complex needs, by care workers and medical staff and by parents of healthy young children who love the book simply as an adventure story. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to CHAS (Children’s Hospices across Scotland).

Buy Link


Your Last Lie – Gretta Mulrooney

YOUR LAST LIE (Tyrone Swift #6) by Gretta Mulrooney
Looking for your next unputdownable mystery? Meet Detective Tyrone Swift. He takes the cases that the police have given up on.
Pilot Greg Roscoe is found stabbed to death in his cockpit. His body has been mutilated.
Detective Tyrone Swift is hired by the pilot’s parents to investigate the death. Greg had a tangled personal life, with three wives and a history of adultery and risk-taking.
Who wanted him dead and why?
The prime suspect was cleared by the police but Swift quickly puts together a list of people with a motive to kill Greg. And then Swift gets information from the deceased man’s troubled teenage daughter that may unlock the puzzle.
Can Detective Tyrone Swift get to the bottom of this tangled web of lies? Discover the truth in this crime thriller full of twists and turns.
YOUR LAST LIE is a beautifully written mystery that will have you gripped from start to pulsating finish.
Perfect for fans of Robert Galbraith, P.D. James, or Ruth Rendell. 

Tyrone Swift is an ex-police detective who now works privately. He’s survived a stabbing and his fiancée running off with another man. Swift’s personal life is complicated, to say the least. 

Gretta is a critically acclaimed author of best-selling fiction.
‘Mulrooney has a real gift for dialogue, the words and phrases ring true and make her characters wonderfully real . . . A tenderly funny and genuinely moving piece. I loved it.’ Fiona Morrow, Time Out (about ARABY)
 A beautifully observed study of reconciliation, Araby makes astute points about conflict and shifting values between generations.’ James Eve, The Times


I was born and educated in London, of Irish parents. I studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Ulster, Magee college in Derry. I have worked in education and social care.
I started writing in my thirties and I published four books for children and teenagers with Poolbeg Press, Dublin; A Can of WormsA Nest of VipersA Den of Thieves and I Love You-Te Quiero. These books are available on Amazon.
I have published five literary fiction novels.
Araby and Marble Heart were published by Harper Collins to critical acclaim. They have been translated into Dutch and Spanish.  These books are available on Amazon. They are being reissued in May 2016 by Fourth Estate as Kindle and paperbacks.
Fire and IceOut of The Blue and The Apple of Her Eye were published by Robert Hale. These books are available on Amazon.
Out of The Blue was published by Joffe Books as an e book and paperback in February 2016 and is available on Amazon.
Lost Child was published by Joffe Books as an e book and paperback in March 2016 and is available on Amazon. (This was previously published as Fire and Ice by Robert Hale.)
Coming of Age was published by Joffe Books as a e book and paperback in April 2016 and is available on Amazon. (This was previously published as The Apple of Her Eye by Robert Hale.)
I have always been an avid reader of crime fiction and psychological thrillers. I have started a series of crime novels featuring charismatic private detective Tyrone Swift.
The Lady Vanished was published as an e book and paperback by Joffe Books in December 2015 and is available on Amazon.
Blood Secrets, the second novel featuring private detective Tyrone Swift, was published as e book and paperback in spring 2016 and is available on Amazon.
Two Lovers, Six Deaths, the third Tyrone Swift novel, was published as an e book and paperback in December 2016 by Joffe Books and is available on Amazon.
Watching You, the fourth Tyrone Swift novel, was published as an e book and paperback in June 2017 by Joffe Books and is available on Amazon.
Low Lake, the fifth Tyrone Swift novel, was published as an e book and paperback in March 2018 by Joffe Books and is available on Amazon.
Bound By Lies is a boxset trilogy of the first three  novels in the Tyrone Swift series. It was published as an e book and paperback in June 2017 by Joffe Books and is available on Amazon.
Amazon Author page:

Hunters Chase – Val Penny


Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until Edinburgh is safe.

Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city, and he needs to find the source, but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course. 

Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder, but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman’s life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: Detective Constable Tim Myerscough, the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable Sir Peter Myerscough. 

Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this first novel in The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series.

Hunter’s Chase – Synopsis

Hunter’s Chase is a police procedural crime novel. It is set in Edinburgh, Scotland in November 2012. It is character driven. The central character is Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson. He must discover why three people in his city have been killed and who is responsible for those three deaths.

The first body has been dead for a few days before it is discovered. The cause of death and the identity of the victim (Mary-Ann Johnson) are both unknown. Hunter sees the second murder take place, when the victim is mown down by a car in a car park. Hunter knows the victim (Billy Hope) but cannot identify the killer and cannot recall crucial details correctly. The third victim’s attack is also witnessed by neighbours but everybody seems to have seen different things. The victim (Annie Johnson) is not carrying any means of identification.

Central to Hunter’s investigations are three young men and their fathers: DC Tim Myerscough and former Chief Constable Sir Peter Myerscough, petty thief Jamie Thomson and Ian Thomson who is presently incarcerated, and lastly loved up Frankie Hope and loan shark former councillor and Billy Hope.

The reader first meets Jamie Thomson who is carrying on his family business and breaking into a house in fine areas of the city. On this occasion he breaks into the house of Sir Peter Myerscough. Sir Peter is now the Justice Secretary in the Scottish Government. Sir Peter gives chase and catches Jamie after he trips over a corpse in the grounds of a local golf course. Sir Peter calls the police and the team is led by DI Hunter Wilson.

The next characters introduced are Annie Johnson, her parents, Mary-Ann Johnson and Joe Johnson and her boyfriend, Frankie Hope. Annie is a pretty girl who is pregnant by Frankie, a gentle young man. Annie’s mother knows about the pregnancy and has undertaken to tell Joe. It is clear, Mary-Ann has a secret that she had to confess to Joe. Mary-Ann had an affair with Frankie’s father, Billy Hope. Annie and Frankie are half siblings. Frankie’s mother Edna Hope is Jamie’s aunt.

Edna meets with Arjun Mansoor, the man who is running Ian Johnson’s car showroom while he is in jail. They argue. Hunter learns Arjun is found to be importing cocaine in luxury imported cars. Sir Peter Myercough is amongst his cocaine customers. He has been black-mailed and made fraudulent insurance claims to pay.

At first there is no apparent connection between the three attacks which find Mary-Ann dead, see Billy killed in a Tesco car park and Annie fatally injured in a leafy Edinburgh suburb. Annie is kept alive by the hospital trying to save the twins she is carrying. When the pathologist Meera Sharma confirm that Mary-Ann was also hit by a car, before her body was dumped, Hunter’s team believe they have a serial killer.

The victims have all been attacked with cars. One of the cars reported as stolen by Arjun Mansoor, the other belongs to Ian Thomson. Hunter’s main suspects are Joe Johnson, and Arjun Mansoor.

Annie dies after the delivery of her twins. Frankie and Joe attend the hospital and Joe confirms to Frankie that Annie was his half-sister. Frankie names the twins Kylie and Dannii after the Minogue sisters.

Tim is attacked by the car driver after Sir Peter tells his son where he is likely to find Ian Thomson’s car. Tim survives and sees the driver, Edna Hope. His testimony and DNA found in the cars allow Hunter to link her to each of the three deaths. Arjun and Sir Peter are convicted for their crimes.

HC Hunter’s Chase Excerpt 1

Jamie Thomson swaggered along one of the tree-lined streets in the wealthy Edinburgh suburb of Morningside. To him, the capital of Scotland was really just a big village. Everybody knew everybody else, and tonight, everybody would know Jamie Thomson. He felt it as he moved quietly along the dark street. Excitement. Pop was away, but, although he had just turned twenty, Jamie would show folk it was business as usual. Pop would be so proud.
Jamie’s uniform was clean: black trousers, black jacket with a hood – other folk might call it a hoodie – black silk gloves, and cheap, new black shoes. So much more difficult to trace, especially as he chose to wear them a size smaller than was comfortable. If he left a footprint they police would be looking for the wrong size of shoe. Genius!
He was glad of the hood. The rain was not heavy, but there was a lot of it. The wind blew it into his face and almost took his breath away. His Granny called this wet rain. Jamie missed her. A lot. Silly old sausage! Who ever heard of dry rain? He was glad the road was quiet. But then nobody with any sense would go out in this unless they had to, and Jamie had to.
The house was dark. Jamie smiled. Good. He liked it quiet and peaceful when he was working. He could concentrate, get on with it and get the job done quickly. Very satisfying. The old boy was usually out late on a Thursday, Jamie knew. Jamie watched. The old boy would come home with a babe, back of eleven o’clock, usually. Jamie had no idea what the hotties saw in the old geezer, but good luck to him.
Jamie sauntered up the path as if he belonged, although it was not easy to saunter with shoes so tight. Still, the pain was worth it. He quietly slipped the lock and the door creaked as it swung open. Then he sighed wearily as the burglar alarm sounded. He found the control panel behind the door (they always put it behind the door) and hit in a code. Silence.
Jamie nodded. He could not believe how many folk left their alarms on the factory settings, but he was very glad they did. Idiots. They deserved whatever they got, or whatever he got, more like it. He chuckled at his own wit.
Jamie pushed the door open and paused as it creaked. He breathed in deeply. Cigar smoke. Expensive. Didn’t the old boy know smoking was bad for your health? But the carpet was lovely! Thick. Far more expensive than that stuff Mam and Pop got on sale from Carpet Worth. Jamie flexed his knees and felt the thick, soft pile give beneath him. Class. He switched on his torch to check the soles of his shoes. No wet, no dirt. Good. Torch off. He didn’t want to leave muck on this carpet; that would be criminal.
Shit! He jumped. A mirror on the cupboard door gave him a fright! He thought it was a burglar dodging against him. Jamie didn’t like to fight. Violence wasn’t his game. He felt all hot and sweaty. He stood still for a moment, holding his chest while his heartbeat returned to normal. Then he looked around. Two doors to the left, two doors to the right, and in front of him a staircase and a door. He opened the first door on the left and slipped into the room. He was pleased; this was the room with the French windows. Jamie unlocked them, just in case he needed an escape route. As Pop always said, you couldn’t be too careful.
He kept the torch on low beam and swept the light around the room. He started at the mantelpiece and shoved the silver and ornaments into his Asda bag. Shocking having to pay 5p for a plastic bag now. Daylight robbery. As opposed to night time robbery.

The Blood of Kings – Angela King

The Blurb:

A gripping story of heartache and intrigue

1559. A girl arrives in London to search for her brother.
Aalia, an awkward, arrogant teenager plans to bring William to his senses, until she discovers that both their lives are based on a lie.    
Aalia must unravels a web of secrets but has the weight of her past to contend with.
Courageous and undisciplined, Aalia gradually comes to terms with the truth that William, her brother, has royal blood.
Deciding to undermine the men who want to use him as a pawn, Aalia must negotiate a world where secrecy arms the powerful. But unwilling to ask for anyone’s help she is forced into making a fateful decision.
Who can she trust when everyone around her is plotting? Is the truth really something worth dying for? 
This epic story of secrets and betrayal paints a vivid picture of Elizabethan England and asks questions that span beyond the test of time.

The Extract:

Torches flared as stragglers hiding from curfew joined them in the alley. Aalia kicked at a stumped pile of rags and a furry bag of bones jumped to its feet, wagging what was left of its tail. Beneath its filthy paws the rags shifted to exhume a human face, crusted with age and scowling.
‘You could have brought me supper.’ The beggar reached out a filthy hand.
‘All we’ve left is olives and you never suffered such delicacies.’
Aalia bent to stroke his dog.
‘Last time we met you owned two legs?’
‘A matter of expedience and besides…’ The man shuffled awkwardly, tossing aside the rags. ‘Able men don’t beg.’
‘And there was I hoping we could walk through the city together. I’m tired of boats and water and you promised to show me your home Tom.’
The beggar stretched, leaning his buckled frame hard against the wall.
‘London’s changed beyond my knowing. Everyone’s afraid, wondering what this next queen will bring. Nobody dares speak their mind… and I’d forgotten what it’s like to be cold.’
Georgiou helped sift through the rags until they found a scrap large enough to make a rough cape. He’d known Tom almost as long as he’d known Aalia. Being William’s devoted servant he never left his side, happy to serve in whatever role was needed, whipping boy to guardian angel.
Georgiou held his old friend’s arm.
‘It’s good to see you my friend.’
Tom’s walnut face was deeper incised and his soft brown eyes doused of their usual fire.
‘And it warms my heart to welcome you both. William’s biding his time, quietly gaining support. You’d hardly recognise him… dressed like an Englishman.’
‘Perhaps he’s changed his mind?’ Georgiou spoke gently. ‘Now England has a new queen?’
Aalia laughed. ‘William isn’t dallying with a new hobby but truly believes he’s fulfilling his rightful destiny! The Jesuit, did he know it, woke a dragon not a lion.’
Tom rattled his begging bowl as a passing stranger spat and then pulled Aalia into the shadows and swore.
‘Better whisper such things in Urdu. William’s stirring sedition.’
‘The streets are not safe?’ Aalia bowed her head meekly. 
‘We are not safe. Understand this… William pursues a highly contentious path and unless we tread carefully we risk being condemned by association. Give them cause and an English court will bay for hanging… if we’re lucky. Remember they like a good burning because beheading’s reserved for the rich, not nameless bastards like you and me.’
‘Or William?’ Aalia took Tom’s filthy hands and laced them in her supple fingers.
‘Especially William.’ He whispered, levelling her stare.

The Author

Angela King is a mum, daughter, gran and wife. She writes and lives in Cumbria, in a rosy sandstone cottage where past and present meet in glorious chaos. After a lifetime making stories come to life for other people she decided to make some of her own.

The Link to Buy:

A Rebel At Pennington’s – Rachel Brimble

A Rebel At Pennington’s

One woman’s journey to find herself and help secure the vote. Perfect for the fans of the TV series Mr Selfridge and The Paradise.
1911 Bath. Banished from her ancestral home, passionate suffrage campaigner, Esther Stanbury works as a window dresser in Pennington’s Department Store. She has hopes and dreams for women’s progression and will do anything to help secure the vote. 
Owner of the prestigious Phoenix Hotel, Lawrence Culford has what most would view as a successful life. But Lawrence is harbouring shame, resentment and an anger that threatens his future happiness.
When Esther and Lawrence meet their mutual understanding of life’s challenges unites them and they are drawn to the possibility of a life of love that neither thought existed. 
With the Coronation of King-Emperor George V looming, the atmosphere in Bath is building to fever pitch, as is the suffragists’ determination to secure the vote.
Will Esther’s rebellious nature lead her to ruin or can they overcome their pasts and look to build a future together?

This was the second of the books in this series that I have read and I am a massive fan. This one wasn’t a let down! Thoroughly enjoyed reading this and the development of the characters. Would highly recommend this series to readers of historical fiction or anyone who enjoyed Mr Selfridge.
Purchase Links  –
Amazon US –

Author Bio – Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.
In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The first book, The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!
Amazon Author Page:
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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

MURDER IN THE MINE (Inspector Crow #5) by Roy Lewis

MURDER IN THE MINE (Inspector Crow #5) by Roy Lewis
Looking for a classic murder mystery from an acclaimed crime writer?
Discover Inspector Crow of Scotland Yard. Enjoy a beautifully told story from a time before smart phones and DNA testing. Full of twists and turns, this will have you gripped from start to finish.
“Roy Lewis can always be counted on for precise, original, interesting environment…yet his characters and settings always interact.” Financial Times
A hunt for a missing dog leads to a gruesome discovery down a mineshaft.
Not just the injured dog, but a valuable piece of jewellery . . . and the decaying corpse of a woman.
Detective John Crow is called in to run the investigation in this South Wales mining community. He discovers flaws in the dog owner’s account and a visit to the north east of England reveals the dead woman’s identity.
Then there is a surprise confession. But the skeletal Inspector Crow is not convinced, and he pursues the investigation into the dead woman’s complicated life. New suspects emerge.
But as Crow closes in on the killer, complicated questions remain. Full of intrigue, this mystery will have the reader guessing until the very end.
Set in England in the late early 70s, this is the fifth book to feature Inspector John Crow. More coming soon.
Perfect for fans of Peter James, Ruth Rendell, P.D. James and Peter Robinson.
Roy Lewis is one of the most critically acclaimed crime writers of his generation.
“Each Lewis seems to better the last. Here is an intriguing puzzle and likely police work and a fine picture of Northumbrian society and countryside” The Times
“Roy Lewis has demonstrated an enviable range both in geography and style…a nice neat story” The Financial Times
“Lots of cunning complications embracing conservation and financial fiddles” The Guardian
“A thorough, unpretentious and immensely solid piece of work with an interesting and likeable hero” Times Literary Supplement
“Chilly drama with some stirring cliff hanger” Sunday Telegraph
Skeletally-built, mild-mannered Inspector John Crow is established in the Murder Squad in London and constantly meets hostility when he is called upon to work on murder cases in regional crime squads in Wales and the Midlands. He displays strong moral feelings, and a sensitivity which brings him into conflict with regional staff as he doggedly and successfully pursues the truth in cases where he is called in.

A Question Of Degree
“Aspiring authors are often advised to write about what they know. I did just that with my first novel—A Lover Too Many—using my legal training to develop a sub-plot based on a real case. And in my second novel—Error of Judgment—I placed DI Crow in the world of higher education. It was a milieu in which I worked. But in A Question of Degree I went back to my roots: the Welsh valley environment, and the closed societies where secrets are rarely divulged…”
“The Rhondda Valley was greening again as the pits closed down for ever, but Dai Chippo’s dog is missing—and when the dog is found at the bottom of a derelict pit shaft he is not alone. DI Crow is called in to investigate the death of the murdered young woman and finds himself up against a closed, secretive society, where information is rarely divulged to outsiders. He has to travel to Canada to dig out the truth and answer the question that disturbs him: why would an innocent man confess to murder?”
“I once shared a lift with historical novelist Philippa Gregory. We’d been invited to Collins’ publishers celebration of 60 years of the Crime Club. The publishers chose 12 novels to reissue in special editions. One of these  was A Question of Degree ( now reissued)…Both I and Ms Gregory were living in the north east at the time, but we never met again…”

Roy Lewis Author Bio
Roy Lewis is a well-established crime writer with 60 novels to his name. He lives in the north of England where he sets many of his books. He is a former college principal and Inspector of Schools who now runs business training programmes and has business interests in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. He has three children – all of them lawyers.



Everyone has secrets. Even those who seem to be perfect…

On a rainy October evening, Cecilia Wilborg – loving wife, devoted mother, tennis club regular – is waiting for her kids to finish their swimming lesson. It’s been a long day. She can almost taste the crisp, cold glass of Chablis she’ll pour for herself once the girls are tucked up in bed.

But what Cecilia doesn’t know, is that this is the last time life will feel normal. Tonight she’ll be asked to drop a little boy home, a simple favour that will threaten to expose her deepest, darkest secret…

Very different to books I have read, but enjoyed the dark storyline! I didn’t expect the twists and took me by surprise! Highly recommend this to all readers but particularly pychological thriller lovers!


Alex Dahl is a half-American, half-Norwegian author. Born in Oslo, she wrote The Boy at the Door while living in Sandefjord.


“Unsettling, layered, bold, unpredictable, dark. EXCELLENT.” Will Dean, author of Dark Pines

“Remarkable… Dahl is able to ring satisfying changes on the familiar ingredients, and her heroine Cecilia, in particular, is one of the most distinctive that readers will have encountered in recent years.” Crime Time

“Stunning… an extraordinary plot; intricate and twisted with dark secrets emerging at every turn. An engaging mystery with an ending you won’t see coming.” Alexandra Burt

“Heartbreaking and HEAD-SPINNING.” Mary Torjussen, author of Gone Without a Trace

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10th January 2019  £7.99

He’s watching… He’s waiting… Who’s next?

Buried in a woodland grave are a mother and her child. One is alive. One is dead.
DC ‘Charlie’ Stafford is assigned by her boss, DI Geoffrey Hunter to assist with the missing person investigation, where mothers and children are being snatched in broad daylight.
As more pairs go missing, the pressure mounts. Leads are going cold. Suspects are identified but have they got the right person?
Can Charlie stop the sadistic killer whose only wish is to punish those deemed to have committed a wrong? Or will she herself unwittingly become a victim.
A gripping, heart stopping serial killer read not for the faint hearted. Perfect for the fans of Karin Slaughter.
My Opinion
Add much at they tell young not to, I have to admit they I feel for the cover ana knew i gag to reach this book.  Luckily for me the blurb sold it and it didn’t let itself down.  Captivated in the investigation the plotline kept going amiss so did I! I couldn’t put it down! 

Highly recommend this to readers.   Accessible in both ebook & paperback I believe,  but the cover is beautiful if you prefer paperbacks. 

Where to buy?

Buy links for the paperback:

Or get the eBook from:

About the author
With a Metropolitan Police career spanning 35 years Sarah has spent her adulthood s by victims, criminals and police officers. She continues to work and lives in London with her partner and has three older daughters.

Follow Sarah: 
Twitter: @SarahFlint19
Facebook: @SarahFlintBooks

The Publisher

Follow Aria
Twitter: @aria_fiction
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More from the tour? 

Cover Reveal: Death Will Find Me – Vanessa Robertson

What does the back of the book say?

Scotland, 1920.Meet Tessa Kilpatrick; heiress and war-time covert operations agent.

Finding her husband – the feckless James – with another woman at a 1920s country house party, she demands a divorce. But when his body is discovered in a lonely stone bothy the next morning, Inspector Hamish Rasmussen sees Tessa as his only suspect.

Back in Edinburgh, links to another murder convince Rasmussen of her innocence. He enlists her help and together they set off on a pursuit that will bring Tessa once again face to face with the brutality of war as well as revealing to her the lengths that desperate people will go to in order to protect those they love. 

Will Tessa be able to prevent a final murder or will she become the killer’s latest victim?

This book will be perfect for anyone who’s enjoyed the work of Catriona McPherson, Sara Sheridan and Jessica Fellowes. 

What does the front of the book look like?

Book Funnell Link  – A pre-release sample…

To the Moon and Back – Patricia Asedegbega Nieto

To the moon and back (Anne Book 1)
Is there always a light at the end of every tunnel? 26 year old Anne is seriously beginning to question if she is ever going to find it. After a series of devastating blows, the young nurse finally catches a break; Ben, the love of her life asks her to marry him and it suddenly feels like she can start to smile again. But Anne has a secret that is threatening to destroy it all and this time, there is no easy way out. Will she be able to beat the odds and have the happy ending she has always longed for?

Author Bio
I live in sunny Spain and have been writing for about six years now. I started with a collection of cat stories to raise funds for a shelter and then moved on to my first suspense novel. I write both in Spanish and English and have series in both languages. Though I am a biologist, writing is my true passion. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do what I love.

Waking in the rain- Julia Ibbostson

The Drumbeats Trilogy is a passionate saga of love, betrayal and second chances – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust. A feel-good ‘up-lit’ story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity.  
Reviews include: “A powerful story” (Hannah Symonds), “beautifully written … an emotional roller-coaster” (Jo Lambert), “scenes full of raw emotion” (Joy Corkery), “a heart-warming read … wonderfully written … compelling, warm and uplifting” (Amazon review).
The first novel in the Drumbeats Trilogy saw 18 year old Jess escaping her stifling parents’ home in England for a gap year in Ghana, West Africa. This extract is from the second novel in the trilogy, Walking in the Rain, and it begins in 1986 with a shocked Jess now in her late 30s having clearly suffered a traumatic emotional event. She stands in the kitchen of her marital home, trying to make sense of what has happened to her and how the events of twenty years before have led to this current situation …

Chapter 1: Silence is Golden.
July 20th 1986
That was the date Jess would remember for ever more. It would be embedded in her brain and her soul.
She stood in the newly refurbished kitchen of their large house, leaning on the counter and staring blindly out of the window. Her knuckles white as she gripped the edges of the stylish circular twin stainless steel sinks she had chosen so happily just a few months before, not knowing what was to come.
How odd it was that dates had such resonances across the years: she had told her students that Shakespeare had entered the world and left it on 23rd April, St George’s Day, only 52 years apart. That George Orwell had mulled over what to call his futuristic novel and ended up reversing the last two digits of the year he wrote it: 1948 became the famous novel title 1984.
And now, with Jess, 20th July was the date she re-found the love of her life, 20th July 1968 was the day she married him, 20th July 1986 the day she lost him. Reflections and reversals.
The gentle resonances of 10cc’s ‘The Things we do for Love’ echoed in her ears and she recalled the way the builders had played it over and over as they refitted the kitchen, such a short time ago, and how she had sung along with them as she brought in countless mugs of tea. By the time she heard the refrain about walking in the rain, she knew that her tears were coursing silently down her cheeks and soaking her hands like raindrops in a storm.
Her mind travelled back to twenty years before …
The Drumbeats Trilogy
The love of a woman and the story of a country.

It’s 1965 and 18 year old Jess escapes her stifling English background for a gap year in Ghana, West Africa. Over the next three evocative novels, follow her journey as she encounters new cultures and loves in this stirring series.

The Drumbeats Trilogy is a passionate saga of love, betrayal and second chances – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust. A feel-good up-lit story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity. 
Omnibus Purchase Link
It’s 1965 and 18 year old Jess escapes her stifling English background for a gap year in Ghana, West Africa. But it’s a time of political turbulence across the region. Fighting to keep her young love who she believes is waiting back in England, she’s thrown into the physical dangers of civil war, tragedy, and the emotional conflict of a disturbing new relationship. So why do the drumbeats haunt her dreams?
This is a rite of passage story which takes the reader hand in hand with Jess on her journey towards growing into the adult world.
Drumbeats Purchase Link
Walking in the Rain
Jess happily marries the love of her life She wants to feel safe, secure and loved. But gradually it becomes clear that her beloved husband is not the man she thought him to be. She survived civil war and injury in Africa, but can she now survive the biggest challenge of her life?
Walking in the Rain purchase Link
Finding Jess
Single mother, Jess, has struggled to get her life back on track after the betrayal of her beloved husband and her best friend. When she is on the brink of losing everything, including her family and her job, she feels that she can no longer trust anyone. Then she is sent a mysterious newspaper clipping of a temporary post back in Ghana. Could this be her lifeline? Can Jess turn back time and find herself again? And what, exactly, will she find?
Finding Jess is a passionate story of love, betrayal and second chances – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust. It is a feel-good story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity.
Finding Jess purchase link

Author Bio –
Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then a university lecturer and researcher. Finding Jess (2018) is her sixth book and the last of the Drumbeats trilogy (which begins and ends in Ghana). Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.
Acclaimed author of:
Drumbeats (2015), the first of the trilogy set in 1960s Ghana: sometimes you have to escape to find yourself.
Walking in the Rain (2016), the second in the trilogy set in 1970s and 1980s England: never give up on your dreams.
Finding Jess (2018), the last of the trilogy set in 1990s England and Ghana: can the past ever be left behind?
Also by Julia Ibbotson:
A Shape on the Air (2017): historical (Dark Ages/early medieval) time-slip romance. Two women 1,500 years apart, with one aim: to reclaim their dreams and fight the dangers that threaten them both across the ages …
The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen, (first published 2011, rereleased 2017) a feel-good story of the renovation of a Victorian rectory interwoven with period recipes to feed the soul, all from the rectory kitchen.
S.C.A.R.S (first published 2012, rereleased 2016) (children’s novel): a troubled boy slips through a tear in the fabric of the universe into a parallel medieval fantasy world of knights, dragons, and a quest for the triumph of Good over Evil. But can he save himself?

Social Media Links –
Facebook Author page:
 Author website:
Pinterest page: includes boards with pics and images that inspired each book
Goodreads author page:
RNA (Romantic Novelists Association) website author page

Giveaway – Win a PB copy of Drumbeats (book 1), book marks, post cards, key ring and handbag fob (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

The Foyles Bookshop Girls at War – Elaine Roberts

I decided to read these in order, so bought the first one…. I have not been disappointed since being caught up in the world of the Foyles bookshop ladies and their lives during the war! I found the prose easy to read but engaging, and the plotline kept my interest throughout.  Highly recommend this to any saga lover. 
I cannot wait for Christmas at Foyles! 
About the book

‘A delightful story of friendship, love and hope during the dark days of WW1. Elaine Roberts is a bright new star in the world of sagas’ Elaine Everest.


Swapping books for the bomb factory takes courage – and could be dangerous.
Working at the Foyles bookshop was Molly Cooper’s dream job. But with the country at war she’s determined to do her bit. So Molly gathers her courage, and sets off for the East End and her first day working at Silvertown munitions factory…
It’s hard manual labour, and Molly must face the trials and tribulations of being the ‘new girl’ at the munitions factory, as well as the relentless physical work.
The happy-ever-afters Molly read about in the pages of her beloved books have been lost to the war. And yet the munitions girls unite through their sense of duty and friendships that blossom in the most unlikely of settings…
Perfect for fans of Elaine Everest, Daisy Styles and Rosie Hendry.
Look out for the next in the Elaine Roberts’ heartwarming series The Foyles Girls series, Christmas at the Foyles Bookshop, coming soon!
Buy links

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About the author

Elaine Roberts had a dream to write for a living. She completed her first novel in her twenties and received her first very nice rejection. Life then got in the way until she picked up her dream again in 2010 and shortly afterwards had her first short story published. Elaine and her patient husband, Dave, have five children who have flown the nest. Home is in Dartford, Kent and is always busy with their children, grandchildren, grand dogs and cats visiting.
Follow Elaine:   
Twitter: @RobertsElaine11
Facebook: @ElaineRobertsAuthor

Fat Chance – A B Morgan

Fat Chance
A missing barrister, a severed thumb and fat chance of finding out the truth.

Ella Fitzwilliam’s world is about to spiral out of control. She’s not cut out to be a private investigator. With little or no aptitude for the job, she’s been sent undercover to expose the hidden lives of two men who meet nearly every week at Buxham’s – a private members’ club where portions are large and secrets are held in strictest confidence. 

One of those men is Harry Drysdale, a defence barrister, and the other is Marcus Carver, an eminent surgeon with a tarnished past and much to lose. Ella knows he has unhealthy appetites, she’s sure he’s feeding his perverted habits and putting his female patients at risk but she has to prove it. 

When Harry Drysdale goes missing, Konrad Neale TV journalist tries to reveal the truth behind the lies, but some of the secrets start to reveal themselves… and they are big. 

Alison Morgan author bio
Alison Morgan lives in rural Bedfordshire, UK, with her engineer husband and bonkers dog. Life is never boring and they are usually planning the next adventure. Alison spent several decades working on the front line of mental health services as a specialist nurse and latterly as manager of an early intervention service for first episode psychosis. However, when a heart problem brought her career to a juddering halt, she had to find a way of managing her own sanity, so she sat down to write some useful clinical guidelines for student nurses. Instead, a story that had been lurking in her mind came spewing forth onto the pages of what became her first novel. Since then she has been unable to stem the flow of ideas and writes full-time from a luxurious shack at the top of the garden. Alison writes under the name A B Morgan and. within her storylines, she continues to make good use of her years of experience in mental health services, where the truth is often much stranger than fiction.
Gloucestershire Crime History

Historical bits and pieces about crime and punishment in Gloucestershire


The Perfect Way to Spend an Evening

Love Books Group

A love of books are our very core!



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