Thursday, 29 September 2022

Audiobook Review - Unlawful Killings

I am not much of a true crime fan. Funny that I'm writing that as I do listen to true crime podcasts (not many and I am very fussy over what episodes/crimes I listen to), but when I first discovered this book on an episode of a crime fiction podcast, Shedunnit, I was instantly fascinated about it. An Old Bailey's judge talking about her time being a High Court judge and talking about the law, the role of a judge and several of her cases. Took me a while to get my hands on a copy (I wanted physical or ebook, but went for audiobook in the end). 

Title and Author: Unlawful Killings by Her Honour Wendy Joseph KQ
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought

Her Honour Wendy Joseph KC (This has been changed from QC to KC due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II's death) has been a judge at the Old Bailey for over ten years. She's one of a handful of judges at the Old Bailey licensed to try murder cases at the Old Bailey and, in this, she tries to talk about the role of law, how the court works and talks about six murder and manslaughter cases, each with compassionate, humour and tries to show that, while the law is flawed and society is becoming more and more fractured, how each of us should have a cashed interest in what happens in the court room, especially when it comes to the death of a fellow human being.

Monday, 26 September 2022

re3 - Soulless

I'm not sure what made me desperately wanted to reread the first book in the Parasol Protectorate, Soulless, by Gail Carriger. It's been on my mind that I wanted to reread it for the last year or two but I seem to become desperate to find time to reread this and see if it was as fun as when I first read this back in 2013 (I had to backtrack through the blog to double check my dates but yes, I first read this nearly ten years ago!)

So, for those of you curious, Soulless is set in an alternative, steampunk London where vampires, werewolves and Alexia Tarabotti exist. Alexia Tarabotti has no soul - literally, though you wouldn't see it. All you would see is a spinster with Italian blood and speaks her mind. How very unladylike. 

But when Alexia is attacked by a vampire and accidentally kills it, breaking all social etiquette, she thinks it can't get worse. Boy oh, it does, as the handsome, gruff (and Alpha werewolf) Lord Maccon is sent to investigate by Queen Victoria. 

For you see, vampires are disappearing and new, rogue vampires are appearing. For some reason that no one seems to understand, Alexia keeps herself in trouble because of it. Something is afoot and whether Lord Maccon wants her help or not, Alexia is going to get to the bottom of it with her trusty brass parasol and a good cup of tea.

Friday, 23 September 2022

A Cast of Falcons Extract

I have an extract for you all! And it happened on sheer impulse - and by that, I mean, after finishing Sarah Yarwood-Lovett's A Murder of Crows and discovering that I needed to know what happens next (that took me by surprise, truth be told), I (impulsively) emailed the publisher - Embla Books - and went "I want to do something to get everyone excited for the next book in the Dr Nell Ward series, A Cast of Falcons, as I need to know what's going to happen next to these characters". Next time I know, I got a reply going "Fancy sharing a small extract from A Cast of Falcons?"

And here we are! So, before I share a tiny sneak peek of A Cast of Falcons, let me tell you what this is about. 

When her oldest friend announces that she's impulsively engaged to the almost too good to be true Hawke McAnstruther, Dr Nell Ward rashly offers to host the wedding at her family's estate of Finchmere. But if she thinks it's going to be a joyful event, she's in for a nasty shock when she discover's her friend's parent strong dislike of their soon-to-be son-in-law. 

But before the ceremony is even over, Hawke's shady personal and professional lives begin to unravel and before the evening is out, a shocking murder takes place and the list of suspects is long. Nell finds herself investigating what happened at her home with her best friend, Rav, and PC James Clarke, desperate for the truth. But that might not be the only truth as Nell finds herself in the middle of a love triangle between Rav and James, and she's able to find out where her heart truly lives... if she lives long enough. 

Now, this isn't out till next month (the 18th, if I remember right), but excited to read the chapter and share a snippet. Now, I could have share the first, dramatic page or something more romantic to wet your appetite... decisions, decisions...

Thursday, 15 September 2022

Audiobook Review - Equal Rites

I've been dipping in and out of the Discworld books over the past few years. I plan to do more in the coming few months (mainly the novels featuring DEATH. I read Reaper Man years ago and class it as one of my favourites. One that I should reread before I dare tackle the next DEATH book, Soul Music - which is on my kindle as we speak), but I seem to have been going towards the Witches series, reading Wyrd Sisters, Maskerade and now, Equal Rites (which is classed as the first book in the Witch series, but at the same time, reads as a standalone). 

Title and Author: Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Publisher: Penguin
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange of honest review/reaction though listened to audiobook via library audiobook app.

Wizards in the Discworld know when they are going to die. So, before Drum Billet does, he goes and passes his staff to the eighth son of an eighth son. But he didn't check the newborn's gender until it was much too late...

For you see, girls can't be wizards. It's the lore in the in the chauvinistic (not to say misogynistic) world of magic. And yet, here we are with our first female wizard. And it's up to local witch Granny Weatherwax to somehow train and keep an eye on the girl as she grows into her magic...

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Audiobook Review - A Murder of Crows

I'm not sure how this got on my radar. I want to say Twitter, but I think I might have got an email from the publisher's publicity department, saying "Vote for this upcoming release's cover!" and I am a sucker for a mystery poll for a new series. And this is a cosy murder mystery series so, of course, this is right up my street, people! 

Although, this wasn't what I was expecting for a cosy mystery. But more on that later... 

Title and Author: A Murder of Crows by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett
Publisher: Embla Books
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction, though listened to audiobook via library audiobook app.

Dr Neil Ward is an ecologist, not a detective. So when she took on a job for a local Manor House in Cookingdeal, this thinks it will be an easy open-and-shut to discover the building's wildlife. When she discovers a hidden tunnel, perfect for bats, she thinks she overhears something. It's not till a day or two later that she realises that she heard the home owner being murdered...

Desperate to help, she shows all her findings to the Police. But this has the opposite effect as the Police turn their sights on Neil being the prime suspect. Trying to clear her name, Neil and her colleague Adam decide to look into the murder. But that might be easier said than done...

Saturday, 3 September 2022

The Last Girl to Die Blog Tour

What's this? An extract from a crime novel that sounds utterly creepy, that fits perfectly for now as we slowly begin to enter autumn? How very nearly on brand for me... 

The Last Girl to Die starts with a desperate family. Their sixteen year old daughter has vanished after they move to the island of Mull, far off the coast of Scotland. But with hostile local and the Police that don't seem to care, the parents turn to private investigator, Sadie Levesque. 

Sadie is the best at what she does, so when she discovers Adriana's body in a cliffside cave, her body posed with a seaweed crown carefully arranged on her head, Sadie knows she is dealing with something truly sinister. But as Sadie begins to look for the truth and digs into the island's secrets, danger is edging closer to her... 

I am thrilled to share an extract with you from Helen Fields's The Last Girl to Die as this sounds like a deliciously creepy thriller and you know me with creepy thrillers. 

Now, before I tease you with an extract (I think it's the start of chapter 11, but I might be wrong), I just want to thank Olivia from Midas for emailing me about this book, tempting me with the blurb and going "Oh, do you want to share an extract?". And, if you want to know more about the book or the author's other works, you can pop over to helenfields.com or say hi to Helen on Twitter at @Helen_Fields

Now, ONTO THE EXTRACT!!!

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Audiobook Review - The Bone Garden

Tess Gerritsen is one of the first crime/thriller authors I tried when I was in my late teens/early twenties that I enjoyed (same goes for Kathy Reichs, not so much for Patricia Cornwell but THAT'S a different story!) and I have always dipped in and out of her books. I first read Body Double, then dipping in and out of her Rizzoli and Isles series.

Tess's stand-alone were very hit and miss with me. I really enjoyed Harvest when I read it YEARS ago, I DNFed Life Support & Playing with Fire and The Shape of Night was a bit meh for me (review for that is here, if you're curious on my thoughts when I first read it in 2019

But I have always, ALWAYS wanted to read Bone Garden. It just sounded creepy with how it looks at early medicine in Boston 1830s.

Title and Author:
The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen
Publisher: Transworld
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought eBook and borrowed audiobook from library via BorrowBox app.

In the present day, Julia impulsively bought a house to get over her divorce. As she is digging up the garden, she discovers a skull. The skeleton, it seems, was buried over a hundred years ago. But who is she, and how did she die?

In 1830s Boston, an impoverished medical student and a young Irish immigrant who suddenly becomes guardian of her baby niece find their paths keep crossing as a terrifying serial killer. Something sinister is happening in Boston, and it has nothing to do with the grave robbing or body snatching...

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Blog Tour Review - With Fire In Their Blood


I think am out of my reading slump! Good grief, I hope so! And with a book to read for a blog tour that I dived into because I loved the cover! It looks weird and gothic and with that title, how could I not say yes to being involved in this blog tour when I was asked by the lovely folks at Write Reads on behalf of Penguin (thank you Write Reads for allowing me to be involved in this tour)!

The hidden, crumbling Italian city of Castello was at war with itself. Two families were involved ed in a brutal clan war, spanning generations, till a mysterious leader survived a church fire, killing all but him, determined unity against a common, hidden enemy. 

When Lilly moves to town from the US due to her father's new job, she finds herself drawn to the rebellious Liza, the brooding Nico and sensitive Christian. But with her emotions pulling her in different directions with this strange love square, she finds that Castello is a city that will lead everyone to ruin because no one can be trusted. Not even herself. 

Because sins of the past are close to destroying and consuming the present and future. Because Lilly, unknowingly, has broken Castello's most sacred rule: when your blood is tested, you better be damn sure you not anything more than human...