Sunday, 15 September 2019

Murder Month 2019 - Nothing Stays Buried

  • Title And Author: Nothing Stays Buried by P.J. Tracy
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook 
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from local library via BorrowBow
  • Length: 320 Pages or 7 Hours 22 minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

I wanted to include The Guilty Dead by P.J. Tracy in my Murder Month, but decided against it for reasons I explained back in July. But I had such a fun time audiobooking it, I decided I wanted another P.J. Tracy audiobook so when back in June/July (yes, I decided to prep for this month and get my stuff together and organise) via my local library audiobook app, I jumped at it. I do like a good audiobook and podcast, as you know! 

This is the 8th book in the Monkeewrench or Twin Cities series (depending on which you prefer - plus, The Guilty Dead was the ninth so am backtracking) and it starts with a body of a woman beginning discovered in a dog park. When detectives Gino and Magozzi get to the scene, they soon realise that this is the work of a serial killer. And he’s stuck before as he left a playing card, like with his last victim over a year ago. Expect that card was the ace of spades and this victim’s card is the four of spades…

As Gino and Magozzi desperately try and stop the killer from completing the whole deck,  they cal on the computer skills of Grace MacBride and the Monkeewrench team for help. But they, too, are investigating a case: a disappearance of a young woman in farm country…

But are the two cases linked to each other?

Friday, 13 September 2019

The Devil Upstairs

Blog tour time! I know, what is going on this Murder Month?!

And this is linked to The Devil Upstairs by Anthony O'Neill. I read his previous novel, Dr Jekyll and Mr Seek (a "sequel" or sorts to Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) a few years ago and thorough enjoyed myself. So when I was asked if I wanted to be involved in this blog tour, I jumped at it. But, this sounds a little creepy...

The Devil Upstairs follows Cat Thomas, who moves from Florida to Edinburgh into her dream house. Everything is perfect. Expect the neighbour upstairs. He is loud, rude and respects nothing. In sheer desperation, Cat appeals to the Devil to do something, anything.

Then upstairs goes deafly quiet. Has Cat's nightmare ended, or just begun...?

I am so excited to be involved in this tour and I have something to share. Anthony O'Neill found time to write a small guest post for the tour about the novel's title! How very intriguing!

Before I hand you over to Anthony, I just want to thank him for finding time to write this and to Jaz at Black and White Publishing for asking if I wanted to be involved in the tour! If you fancy checking out his website - - you are always welcome. And if you are curious over The Devil Upstairs, you can read more about it on Black and White Publishing website or via Book Depository. Now, over to Anthony!

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Murder Month 2019 - The October Man

  • Title And Author: The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch
  • Publisher: Gollancz
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
  • Length: 192 Pages or 4 Hours 20 Minutes
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Waterstones - Audible

I am in two minds over whether or not to write this as part of my Murder Month. I decided, probably against my better judgement, that I will on the condition that I attempt to read the first book in the Rivers of London series this month as well (yes, I know, this is my first within this series and before you all have a go at me, when have I EVER read a book series in order? This is very on me brand).

The reason I bought this is because back in October last year, at the Orion Book Blogger Event, the sampler of this audiobook was played and I went “Ok, I need to read this!” so I preordered it a few weeks later and thought “I’ll have plenty of time to catch up”. Oh, foolish book blogger, do you know nothing about yourself? You’ve been doing this for how long and still, you don’t know yourself? 

So, in this 7.5 novella of the Rivers of London series, we are no longer in London, but Germany. In Trier, to be exact. Famous for being Germany’s oldest city, its wine and now a dead body covered impossibly in fungal rot. Enter Tobias Winter, an investigator for the Abteilung KDA, the branch of the German Federal Criminal Police that handles magic and the supernatural. His aim is to get in, solve the case and get out, with little fuss, danger and, more importantly, paperwork. 

Together with a frightening enthusiastic local cop, Vanessa Sommer, the two link the first victim to a group of ordinary men who create a wine club to handle their midlife crisis. But is it possible this club has reawaken a bloody conflict from the previous century? Looks like the duo will have the unearth the secret, magical history of Trier that goes back two thousand years. That is… is history doesn’t kill them first…

Monday, 9 September 2019

The Apartment Awaits...

When I first heard of The Apartment, something about it chilled my blood and I knew I had to get it involved in my Murder Month!

The Apartment is an Audible original thriller, written by KL Slater (author of The Silent Ones, Closer, The Mistake and other creepy thriller), which is inspired by the terrifying "Little Albert" Experiment. I won't go to much into what the plot of this is, but let me be as vague as I can.

Freya is struck by tragedy. Losing her husband and her house, she needs to find somewhere to live quickly. So when she meets by chance Dr Marsden, she can't believe her luck. He offers her and her five year old daughter, Skye, a place to live. A small apartment in an exclusive part of London for a fraction of the market rent. When she moves into Adder House, she feels comfortable with the other residents.

But strange things start happening and no matter what Freya does, she can't help feeling that she and Skye are never truly alone... Freya might have escaped the problems of her past, but it looks like danger is in Adder House, and they are terrifying...

Now, I am thrilled to have a small guest post from KL Slater, talking a little about The Apartment and I hope to will creep you out to check it out!

I want to thank KL for writing this post - I know how busy she is! And I want to thank Anna at Midas PR for asking this would be up my street! Now, if you want to check KL out, visit her via her website - - or via her Twitter at @KimLSlater. And if you want to check out The Apartment, you can visit Audible now!

Sunday, 8 September 2019

BBC National Short Story Award 2019 PRESS RELEASE

***Embargoed until Friday 6 September 2019, 1945hrs ***

Award-winning writer Lucy Caldwell joined by former bookseller Lynda Clark, charity worker Jacqueline Crooks, and new voices Tamsin Grey and Jo Lloyd to complete shortlist of writers exploring sexual politics, intolerance, community and immigration. #BBCNSSA #shortstories

Lucy Caldwell, multi-award-winning novelist, playwright and short story writer, has been shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University for the second time for ‘The Children’. Previously shortlisted in 2012 for ‘Escape Route’, one of her first ever short stories, Caldwell is joined on the 2019 shortlist by a wealth of emerging talent including University of Dundee Fellow and former bookseller Lynda Clark for ‘Ghillie’s Mum’; charity worker Jacqueline Crooks for ‘Silver Fish in the Midnight Sea’; civil servant Tamsin Grey for ‘My Beautiful Millennial’; and Welsh writer Jo Lloyd for ‘The Invisible’. The shortlist of five stories was announced this evening, Friday 6 September 2019, during BBC Radio 4 Front Row.

The shortlist is:
  • The Children’ by Lucy Caldwell
  • Ghillie’s Mum’ by Lynda Clark
  • Silver Fish in the Midnight Sea’ by Jacqueline Crooks
  • My Beautiful Millennial’ by Tamsin Grey
  • ‘The Invisible’ by Jo Lloyd

The need for empathy and human connection are key themes this year in a rich and varied shortlist that is set in both contemporary and fantastical worlds. Loneliness, activism, intolerance and social exclusion are all explored in stories that range from the comic contemporary to the mythic with inspiration coming from Brexit, Trump, #MeToo and experiences of immigration and isolation. 

Intimate and immersive, each short story shows the potent power of the form to reflect the political via the personal. From Lucy Caldwell’s ‘The Children’, a tale about motherhood and loss told through the deft interweaving of the true story of a 19th century child custody campaigner, a modern mother’s health scare and the child migrant crisis on the US/Mexican border as reported via Twitter; to Jacqueline Crook’s evocative and haunting ‘Silver Fish in the Midnight Sea’ exploring isolation, neglect and social exclusion set against memories of Jamaica and childhood summers; to the magical, fantastical world of Lynda Clark’s ‘Ghillies Mum’ where ‘otherness’ and intolerance are explored in the story of a family who are able to shape-shift into animals. 

Richly varied and tonally diverse, each story reflects the importance of community and human connection in an increasingly divided world. From the otherworldly, almost mythical Welsh village of Jo Lloyd’s ‘The Invisible,’ where a community is torn apart by one woman’s stories about the ‘invisible’ Ingram family, while in the contemporary metropolis of Tamsin Grey’s wonderfully comic ‘My Beautiful Millennial’, a young woman alone in London is desperate to make a connection. All five are beautifully told stories that conjure complete worlds for the reader and listener. 

Now celebrating its fourteenth year, the Award is one of the most prestigious for a single short story, with the winning writer receiving £15,000, and the four further shortlisted authors £600 each. Selected from over 900 entries (an increase of 15% on 2018), this year’s shortlist is the sixth all-female shortlist in the BBC National Short Story Award’s history. The winner will be announced live on BBC Radio 4 Front Row on Tuesday 1 October.

Nikki Bedi, TV and radio broadcaster and Chair of Judges for the BBC National Short Story Award 2019, says:
“One of the things I’ve discovered over a lifetime of meeting, interviewing and spending time with the most extraordinary creative minds in the world, is that they all have something in common: they seek to move us, to make us think and to transform us. I strongly believe all five of the shortlisted writers and stories we’ve chosen do all that and more. Judging them, however, has not been an easy process. To say it was a hard-fought contest is putting it mildly. We agonised over our decisions and disagreed vociferously at times, but on the whole, the discussion and debating was carried out in a civilised manner.” 
Nikki Bedi is joined on this year’s judging panel by novelist and writer of narrative non-fiction Richard Beard; short story writer, novelist and youngest author to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize Daisy Johnson; screenwriter, novelist and 2017 BBC National Short Story Award winner Cynan Jones; and returning judge Di Speirs, Books Editor at BBC Radio.

All five stories will be broadcast on Radio 4 on BBC Sounds in September and published in an anthology produced by Comma Press. The readers of this year’s stories include Line of Duty and Call the Midwife star Jessica Raine, who reads ‘The Children’, and Welsh actor Aimee-Ffion Edwards of Peaky Blinders and Skins fame, reading ‘The Invisible’. Tamara Lawrance, who read Candice Carty-Williams’ Queenie for BBC Sounds, reads ‘Silver Fish in the Midnight Sea’, and Katherine Press, whose television credits include Foyle’s War and the Golden Globe-nominated BBC series Dancing on the Edge, reads ‘My Beautiful Millennial’. Stephen Campbell Moore, best known for his role in the stage production of The History Boys completes the line-up with ‘Ghillie’s Mum’

Di Speirs, Editor of Books at BBC Radio and judge of the Award since its launch says:
Discovering new short story writers is one of the great joys of Radio 4. This year we see some prodigious new talent in the shortlist, stories from writers who have been quietly honing their craft and picking up prizes and who Radio 4 are now delighted to bring to a wider audience. All five stories, be they magical or comical, modern or historical, reflect both the range of the short story form, and the variety to be found weekly on Radio 4.”

The BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University was established to raise the profile of the short form and this year’s shortlist join distinguished alumni such as Zadie Smith, Lionel Shriver, Rose Tremain, William Trevor, Sarah Hall and Mark Haddon. As well as rewarding the most renowned short story writers, the Award has raised the profile of new writers including Ingrid Persaud, K J Orr, Julian Gough, Cynan Jones and Clare Wigfall.

James Gazzard, Director of the Institute of Continuing Education, Cambridge University, says: 
“As a leader in creative writing education, we, the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education’s Centre for Creative Writing, value short stories as a platform for learning and expression. This year’s shortlisted stories highlight the wealth of excellent writing in this genre and it’s particularly encouraging to see the overall growth in submissions and wide range of themes explored in the writing.”

Alongside the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University, the BBC Student Critics’ Award with First Story and Cambridge University (SCA), now in its third year, will see 1618 year olds from around the UK reading, discussing and critiquing the five shortlisted NSSA stories in advance of the winner’s announcement. 

The BBC will also continue to celebrate young, emerging talent with the fifth BBC Young Writers’ Award with First Story and Cambridge University shortlist announced on Sunday 22 September. Open to 1418 year olds, the aim of this Award is to inspire and encourage the next generation of short story writers and is a cross-network collaboration between BBC Radio 4 and Radio 1. The winner of the BBC Young Writers’ Award will also be announced on 1 October on Front Row.

Key Dates: 
  • From Friday 6 September: Front Row will broadcast interviews with each of the 2019 shortlisted writers from 7:15pm on Radio 4 on BBC Sounds on Friday 6, Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 September 2019. 
  • From Monday 9 September: Shortlisted stories will be broadcast on Radio 4 on BBC Sounds from Monday 9 to Friday 13 September 2019 from 3.30 to 4pm.
  • From Monday 9 September: An anthology – The BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University 2019 – introduced by Chair of Judges Nikki Bedi and published by Comma Press will be available at and all good bookshops priced £7.99.
  • From Monday 9 September: Five newly commissioned short stories at R4 Book at Bedtime to mark the 2019 BBC National Short Story Award, beginning with a tale of food and love from 2018 winner Ingrid Persaud. The other writers are 2016 winner KJ Orr, former award judge Ben Markovits, Elizabeth Day and Ned Beauman, with actors including Bill Nighy, Miranda Raison best known for Spooks and Claire Skinner for Outnumbered.  
  • From Monday 9 September: A celebration of the Short Story - 25 classic short stories will be available on BBC Sounds to complete the collection of 100 showcasing some of the finest examples of the short story form 
  • From Monday 9 September: School groups of sixth-form students around the UK participating in the Student Critics’ Award will read and/or listen to the shortlisted stories and hold discussion groups supported by teaching resources. 
  • Sunday 22 September: The stories shortlisted for the BBC Young Writers’ Award with First Story and Cambridge University will be announced on Radio 1 on BBC Sounds on Sunday 22 September from 4 – 6pm.
  • Tuesday 1 October: The winner announcements of the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University 2019 and the BBC Young Writers’ Award with First Story and Cambridge University will be broadcast live from the award ceremony on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row from 7.15pm. 
  • Wednesday 9 October: Shortlisted writers Lucy Caldwell, Tamsin Grey and Jacqueline Crooks will be in conversation with Alice Slater, host of Waterstones Gower Street's monthly short story salon and co-host of the podcast What Page Are You On? A book signing will follow the readings and discussion. 6.30pm, Waterstones, 19-20 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1T 1BJ

The 2019 Shortlist:
  • The Children’ by Lucy Caldwell is a powerful story linking the past and present inspired by the true story of 19th century writer Caroline Norton and her battle to change Victorian child custody law after her abusive husband took her children from her. Caldwell deftly weaves together Caroline’s tragic story of personal pain turned to public good, alongside that of a mother researching Caroline’s story while battling her own thoughts of loss as she faces a possible breast cancer diagnosis, with the plight of mothers separated from their babies on the Mexican border in Trump’s America. Connected across the ages by the pain of a mother’s love, this moving story of loss links the personal with the political. 
  • Ghillie’s Mum’ by Lynda Clark is a magical realist allegory that plays with the notion of outsiders and ‘other-ness’ through the story of Ghillie and his mother’s ability to transform into a menagerie of animals. Inspired by a dream where a dumbo octopus, a baby orangutan and a baby elephant were giving a human baby a bath, this surreal, strange and darkly comic story won the regional Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2018. 
  • Silver Fish in the Midnight Sea’ by Jacqueline Crooks was inspired by the author’s memories of childhood isolation, exclusion and poverty triggered by the sudden death of her sister. The story of three siblings forced to play in the garden while their night-shift working, single-parent mother sleeps, this rich, haunting and fantastical story explores the many faces of displacement – children locked in, and out; a mother parted from her Caribbean homeland; and a ghostly figure trapped between the worlds of the living and the dead.
  • My Beautiful Millennial’ by Tamsin Grey is set in contemporary London and is the comic story of Dido, a young woman alone and alienated in the metropolis who finds herself in a ‘relationship’ with an older man, through want of a human connection. Inspired by the tube route from city to country and the author’s own experience with a pigeon on the Bakerloo line, sexual politics and millennial angst are explored as Dido’s journey from central London to Amersham becomes transformative.
  • ‘The Invisible’ by Jo Lloyd is a distinctive and compellingly original story inspired by a real-life Welsh woman called Martha who claimed to be friends with an invisible family living in an invisible mansion. Set in a closely-knit community in Wales, the villagers are at turns intrigued, fearful and then jealous of the strangers and as the seasons unfold, the presence of ‘The Invisibles’ has a devastating effect on their lives.  A thought-provoking meditation on ‘seeing’ and ‘unseeing’ and society’s wilful blindness towards inequality and class division. 

About the shortlisted writers:
  • Lucy Caldwell is the author of three novels, several stage plays and radio dramas, two collections of short stories (Multitudes, 2016, and Intimacies, forthcoming in May 2020), and is the editor of the anthology Being Various: New Irish Short Stories (Faber, 2019). Awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the George Devine Award, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Imison Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, the Irish Writers’ and Screenwriters’ Guild Award, the Commonwealth Writers’ Award (Canada & Europe), the Edge Hill University Short Story Prize Readers’ Choice Award, a Fiction Uncovered Award, a K. Blundell Trust Award and a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018. She was previously shortlisted for the BBC NSSA in 2012. Lucy Caldwell was born in Belfast and lives in London.
  • Lynda Clark is a former bookseller and videogame producer, has a PhD in interactive narrative and is currently a Research and Development Fellow in Narrative and Play at the University of Dundee. ‘Ghillie’s Mum’ won the Europe and Canada Commonwealth Short Story Prize, received a special mention in the Galley Beggars Press Short Story Prize 2016/17, and was published in Granta online. Another of her stories, ‘Grandma’s Feast Day’ was shortlisted for the 2017 Cambridge Short Story Prize and is forthcoming in a collection from The Short Story UK. Her debut novel, Beyond Kidding, will be published by Fairlight Books in October 2019. Lynda Clark was born in Nottingham and lives in Dundee, Scotland.
  • Jacqueline Crooks writes stories about Caribbean migration and the supernatural and supranational stories that sustain the diaspora. She was born in Jamaica in a rural village and came to London in 1963 with her mother when she was a baby – she is a Windrush Baby. She grew up in the migrant town of Southall between 1960 and 1980. She draws on these distinctive landscapes for her writing. She has Jamaican, Indian and German ancestry. Jacqueline is listed in the Breaking Ground list of the best British Writers of Colour, her collection of short stories, The Ice Migration, was longlisted in the 2019 Orwell Prize in the Political Fiction category and she has been shortlisted for the Wasafiri New Writing Prize. She has a First Class degree in Social Policy from Roehampton University of Surrey and an MA in Creative & Life Writing from Goldsmiths University. She has worked in the community/charity sector for 25 years developing support services for socially excluded children and families and also runs writing workshops for young people. Jacqueline was born in Jamaica and lives in London.
  • The eldest of five sisters, Tamsin Grey spent her early childhood in England, Scotland and Zambia, her family settling in south London when she reached her teens. Tamsin’s varied career has included waitressing, speechwriting, yoga teaching, oral history interviewing, picking cucumbers, and selling advertising space on a calendar. Having always wanted to write novels, in 2012 she embarked on She’s Not There. In 2015 the third draft found its way onto the desk of literary agent Jo Unwin, who proceeded to sell it to Suzie Dooré at Borough Press. Tamsin currently works part time as a civil servant. She is using her oral history skills to interview colleagues across Whitehall about their experiences of working on EU Exit, in order to create a collective ‘story’ of this time. She is also working on a second novel, set at a music festival. Tamsin lives in south-east London.
  • Jo Lloyd’s short stories have appeared in The Best British Short Stories 2012 (Salt), Zoetrope: All-Story, Ploughshares, Southern Review, and elsewhere. Her short story, ‘The Earth, Thy Great Exchequer, Ready Lies’ featured in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2018, widely regarded as the most prestigious awards for short fiction in the US. Jo has also previously won an Asham Award, the Willesden Herald International Short Story Prize, and a McGinnis-Ritchie Award. She grew up in South Wales and has recently returned to live there.

  • The BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University (NSSA) aims to expand opportunities for British writers, readers and publishers of the short story and honour the UK’s finest exponents of the form. James Lasdun secured the inaugural Award in 2006 for ‘An Anxious Man’. In 2012, when the Award expanded internationally for one year, Miroslav Penkov was victorious for his story, ‘East of the West’. Last year, the Award was won by Ingrid Persaud for her story The Sweet Sop. K J Orr, Sarah Hall, Cynan Jones, Jonathan Buckley, Julian Gough, Clare WigfallKate Clanchy and David Constantine have also carried off the Award with authors shortlisted in previous years including Zadie Smith, Jackie KayHilary Mantel, William TrevorRose Tremain and Naomi Alderman.
  • The BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University is open to authors with a previous record of publication who are UK nationals or residents, aged 18 years or over. The story entered must either have been unpublished or be first published or scheduled for publication after 1st January of the previous year. The story should have a maximum of 8000 words and must have been written in English. The Award offers £15,000 for the winner and £600 to four shortlisted writers. For more information please visit
  • The BBC Student Critics' Award with First Story and Cambridge University (SCA) gives selected 1618 year olds around the UK the opportunity to participate in the BBC National Short Story Award: to read, listen to, discuss and critique the five NSSA stories shortlisted by the judges, and have their say. The students are supported with discussion guides, teaching resources and interactions with writers, judges, First Story patrons, and staff and students from Cambridge University Faculty of English, for an enriching experience that brings literature to life. 
  • BBC Radio 4 is the world’s biggest single commissioner of short stories, which attract more than a million listeners. Contemporary stories are broadcast every week, the majority of which are specially commissioned throughout the year. 
  • The mission of the University of Cambridge is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. To date, 107 affiliates of the University have won the Nobel Prize. Founded in 1209, the University comprises 31 autonomous Colleges, which admit undergraduates and provide small-group tuition, and 150 departments, faculties and institutions. The University sits at the heart of one of the world's largest technology clusters. The 'Cambridge Phenomenon' has created 1,500 hi-tech companies, 14 of them valued at over US$1 billion and two at over US$10 billion. Cambridge promotes the interface between academia and business and has a global reputation for innovation. The BBC National Short Story Award is being supported by the School of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of English, University Library and the new University of Cambridge Centre for Creative Writing which is part of the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education, which provides a range of part-time and courses to members of the public. 

  • First Story believes there is dignity and power in being able to tell your own story, and that writing can transform lives. We’re working towards a society that encourages and supports all young people to write creatively for pleasure and agency. We’re committed to bringing opportunities for creativity to students who may not otherwise have the chance. Our flagship programme places professional writers into secondary schools serving low-income communities, where they work intensively with students and teachers to foster confidence, creativity and writing ability. Through our core programme and extended activities, we expand young people’s horizons and raise aspirations. Participants gain vital skills that underpin academic attainment and support achieving potential. Find out more and get involved at 

Friday, 6 September 2019

Murder Month 2019 - Small Wars

  • Title And Author: Small Wars by Lee Child
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from BorrowBox & Local Library
  • Length: 1 Hours 17 Minutes
  • Buy From: Audible

Maybe this wasn’t the best place to start with Lee Child and his well loved creation, Jack Reacher. This is, to my knowledge, 19.5 within the series. But when have I ever started in the right place...? 

Set in 1989, a young lieutenant colonel in a stylish handmade uniform and a swish car, drives through the woods down a lone road meets a very tall soldier with a broken-down car. 

But what connects a cold-blooded off-post shooting, an officer in the military police called Jack Reacher, his mysterious brother Joe and a secretive unit of pointy-heads from the Pentagon…? 

So… what are my thoughts of this short audiobook that I wanted to listen to due to Murder Month?

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Murder Month 2019 - Murder She Wrote: Gin and Daggers

  • Title And Author: Murder She Wrote: Gin and Dagger by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain
  • Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrow from local library
  • Length: 261 Pages
  • Buy From: Book Depository

I bet you thought when I decided to do a possible crime reading month back in May, you didn’t think I was going to start with Murder She Wrote. But yeah, I am and I have no shame. 

The first book in the series, best selling author Jessica Fletcher is off to London for be a keynote speaker as a mystery writers convention. She’s also looking forward to meeting her friend and fellow crime writer, Marjorie Ainsworth, who she’s hasn’t seen in so long. When Marjorie invites Jessica to a house party to celebrate the release of her new novel, Gin and Daggers, Jessica happily accept. But the party ends with murder when Jessica discovers Marjorie stabbed in her bed… 

When I first discovered this book spinoff series existed, I went “This is no way going to be as fun as the TV show” and yet I still wanted to read at least one of the titles in this series. And it’s a long series. At the time of you guys reading this, its 50th instalment will be published this coming November. FIFTY BOOKS in this series, and it’s not going to end any time soon as it’s still hugely popular, plus the TV is still hugely popular with reruns still airing on TV channels round the world (according to me Googling, 5USA is the UK home for Jessica now, but ITV, BBC and Alibi have all been home in the past ten years). 

So… what do I think of this?

Monday, 2 September 2019

Murder Month - Sue Wallman Gets Dead Popular

Let's kickstart this Murder Month of mine with having the super lovely Sue Wallman on for a quick Q&A.

For those of you not in the loop, Sue is a YA thriller writer who's previous three novels, Lying About Last Summer, See How They Lie and Your Turn to Die have been making waves with YA thriller readers. Lying About Last Summer was selected as one of Zoella's Book Club picks with WHSmiths in autumn 2016 and each book has won awards and have received praise across the UK.

Her newest, Dead Popular, came out last month, but I have been saving myself to read it till this month as how perfect this book is to fit into this themed month of mine! Sue has written about what Dead Popular is in my quick Q&A of six questions - I didn't want to go too spoiler plus I wanted to know what her thoughts of the genre of crime and thriller.

Before I hand you over to the Q&A, I want to quickly thank Sue for answering these questions and thank Harriet at Scholastic for going "That sounds like fun" when I mentioned I was planning to do this month. If you want to say hi to Sue, you can check out her website at or say hi to her on Twitter at @SueWallman. And, if you want more info on Dead Popular, check out Book Depository.