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Hello and welcome if you’ve stumbled across my blog.

I have no idea how these things work so you’ll have to bear with me while I figure it out.

The idea of this is so I can keep on top of my reviews mainly, and maybe I’ll appear a bit more “proper” when it comes to me providing a synopsis and opinion of any book I read.

I love reading. I’ve gone through half of the genres already…………ok I’m including baby books here, but I did it so it is a thing ok! Adult genres, I started on Danielle Steel (not she’s a genre perse but…….) jumped headlong into horror (I got into Richard Laymon just about the time he died, honest, not my fault) loved King. Then it was thrillers which kind of overlapped with mystery, crime, law (yes John Grisham obviously…………….actually, mostly) Scattered in amongst those I like a good fantasy (read Terry Pratchett) (yes another late author, do I need a lawyer?) Now included in amongst those I’m chucking in a bit of humour (Loved Fat Vampire – Jonny B Truant) and I’m currently working my way through the Bad Mother books by Suzy K Quinn…………..think I need a middle initial with my humour authors!

So, put your feet up………………seriously,  please do because I’m the procrastination queen and this might be all you get for months (don’t get me started on Pinterest – please – there’s a day gone)

See you soon!

 

THE MAGPIES TRILOGY by Mark Edwards

I read the first one then realised there was another two and I had to buy them to find out what happened so here’s all three in the same review. This may cause spoilers for you. Sorry.

THE MAGPIES by Mark Edwards

Discovered this after an update, it had got rather lost in amongst all the books I have on my kindle. I actually thought I’d read it but apparently not (either that or my advancing age forgetfulness is really getting worse)

Kirsty and Jamie move into their dream flat, it’s light and airy and comes with some nice neighbours. Brian and Linda live on the top (Brian is a YA author) Mary and her cat live under them, and then under their flat is Lucy and Chris.

They get invited round to Chris and Lucy’s for dinner and they seem to be getting along fine. Until they get a letter asking them to keep the noise down. They weren’t making any noise. Then they get a CD of them having sex. Then there’s the ice that causes pregnant Kirsty to slip on the stairs and miscarry. The spiders were just too much for poor Kirsty. Eventually she moves out and Jamie should have gone with her but he was just too stubborn and that was the end of their marriage. The showdown/meltdown at the end put an end to one of their tormentors.

So then I found dear Mark had written a sequel as too many readers had contacted him for answers to the unanswered questions the book brought up.

A MURDER OF MAGPIES (Same author)

Cut to five years later and Jamie is living in Australia, Kirsty still in England having had a relationship that produced a longed for child.

A chance meeting with his old neighbour Brian brings all the old feelings back and then he gives Jamie Kirsty’s number. With him thinking about that time in his life he happens upon a forum and gets contacted by someone who has, they think, Lucy as their neighbour. Anita tells him what she’s done to her so far and Jamie feels he has to fly over and help.

Big mistake! I won’t spoil it for you and as this is a novella there’s not too much story I can tell you without giving it all away.

On to the next one…………

THE LAST OF THE MAGPIES (him again)

Fast forward 12 months and Jamie is teaming up with a true crime podcaster who wants to do a piece on Lucy Newton.

She really wants Kirsty to be in on it too as she was there in the thick of it. Also up crops a publisher who wants to do a book with Jamie. He has done a book with Lucy as it happens and wants to get the other side of the story. The book he published by Lucy was not the original, however, she was persuaded not to publish this as it would get her arrested. We get little clips of this original book through the novella and I’d love to read the whole book (Mark? Idea for another one)

Be warned this is part of a trilogy and a short book – if you read on it’s own you may be disappointed.

Anyway, this was a fitting conclusion to the story and as is usual people don’t turn out to be as they seem!

Brilliant set, loved every minute. Buy the lot.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B A Paris

As the song goes “no-one knows what goes on behind closed doors” and if your abusing partner is clever enough he will have groomed you to do what he tells you, such as making it all look on the outside as if everything is perfect.

But, of course, if you keep cancelling things people will eventually get suspicious – or just not bother contacting you again.

This is what happens in this story. I know some reviews say it is far fetched, I am guessing they have been lucky enough not to have witnessed abuse like this. Ok most women aren’t locked up most of the time but only because the abuser has complete control over them. Jack doesn’t have complete control; Grace does try to escape, to send messages to others asking for help, but is thwarted at every turn.

Grace has a sister, Millie, who has downs syndrome and lives in a home. Jack uses her love for her sister as a tool for getting his way. However he underestimates her intelligence and it is Millie who comes through for Grace at the end.

The story unfolds in a past and present approach, the past finally catching up with the ending in an impressive ending.

He started out as her knight in shining armour but the fairy tale turned into a nightmare.

One thing I did think of – surely Jack would have had to get someone in the do the alterations to the house, i.e. the bars on the windows fitting up the room in the basement…….wouldn’t they have though “hang on, this seems a bit dodgy”?

I loved this book; don’t listen to the reviews that say it isn’t worth your time.

THE BLAKE GHOST by H P Bayne

My favourite sleuthing brothers!

Dez and Sully are given a case involving a haunting of a young couple in their new home whilst doing their last minute Christmas shopping.

It’s not going to be an easy one as Sully recognises the address as the place he was fostered out to before finding the Braddock’s, and Mr Blake was not a nice man.

The house was burnt to the ground along with everyone in it, apart from Sully, so aside from being an outright a*hole anyway Blake is super pissed off! Even so Sully reckons he can deal with him, he just hadn’t counted on Blake hitching a ride with his brother.

Now Blake can go anywhere, and with Dez’s strength do almost anything – most of which mortify poor Dez, who can see everything happening but doesn’t have Sully’s ability to deal with the ghost.

Be warned though this is a novella – I finished it in two nights and I’m not a fast reader. That aside, I would recommend this book, maybe even gift it to someone as a taster of the series and its previous series.

TORN APART by M A Comley

I have always loved M A Comley’s books and this is a new series featuring a new character – DI Hero Nelson, known as Patch to his friends.

In the Manchester council estates lurk gangs, and one in particular, the krulls, are really nasty.

Saskia Hartley comes upon them in a burger café when she takes her son for a treat after his boarding school breaks up at the end of term. She is raped and then they are both run down after finally escaping. Understandably her Husband is beside himself with grief and needs the police to find the culprits and bring them to justice.

The police, unfortunately, have the gang’s stomping ground listed as a no go area and find it difficult to going forward with any arrests – even though they are sure this gang did it.

The rest of the story unfolds at pace and ends with a twist I never saw coming.

I didn’t actually warm to Patch as much as I have other characters in MA’s books and I struggled with some of the terms used (a gang wouldn’t generally call themselves ‘the Krull gang’, just ‘the Krulls’). Also I couldn’t believe the other gang – the Tidy gang a) stupid name b) it didn’t come across that they could beat their way out of a paper bag.

That said I love a British crime thriller and this fitted the bill for me.

P.S. I haven’t seen the film Krull, but maybe this is where the name came from?

BAD MOTHER’S WEDDING by Suzy K Quinn



If you read my reviews you’ll know I just love love love this series of books. I just can’t get enough of them (or Suzy doesn’t write enough) I guess that is my problem, I kind of wish I’d come across this series some time in the future, when there was about thirty books in the series, then I could cocoon myself in my bed and just read the whole bloody lot……………….and I wouldn’t be thinking that I’ll leave it at that last chapter I read coz if I just carry on reading the book will be over and then what will I do??
 
So the first lockdown is over and Juliette and Alex are planning their wedding. Her and Daisy, John boy, Brandi and Callum and Zach, Laura and Bear are all living with Alex and Catrina at the Dalton estate.
 
Booking a wedding, when everything is so up in the air with regard to covid, is not without its difficulties. Also going for a local venue at the same time as your conniving ex and his Mother totally doesn’t help (well who wanted the sailing club anyway). Then the second venue falls through and Juliette is left stressed.
 
When the housekeeper comes back to work after lockdown she starts clashing with the family. Zach, Laura and Bear move into their new home and Brandi, John boy and Callum move back into Juliette’s cottage……….followed by Juliette and Daisy – which stirs things up as Alex assumes she’s actually left him and it’s all over, when all she wanted was to get away from the housekeeper.
 
I haven’t even mentioned Shirley (Juliette’s Mum and my soul sister when it comes to over consumption) She goes on a health kick, diet and exercise AND sticks to it. (I don’t think this means I have to do it as well but I am mourning the Shirley I once knew and loved)
 
So, I could tell you whole story but then you wouldn’t need to read the book – it’s not an essay for school!!
 
I say it every time after one of Suzy’s books – get it now! Her writing style is so easy to read and the wit just rolls off the page.

THE BOY BETWEEN By Amanda Prowse & Josh Hartley

Amanda is one of my favourite authors so when I saw this book about part of her life, written by her and her son, I had to get it.

The book is all about the struggle her family went through when Josh developed depression and came close to killing himself. (Another reason I had to get this book – I have had (and still do) similar suffering in my own family)

Each chapter is written alternately by Josh and Amanda and is written in the timeline of how it all took place.

The book documents what actually happened, how they think it may have started and what they did to rectify it. There are some very handy links at the back of the book to organisations who can help and a very scathing statement on who really didn’t help (we’re looking at you family GP)

I knew when I started this book that I was going to have get the tissues out, and it happened often (and surprisingly early). There were the comments that made me sad, the ones that resonated with me but all through was Amanda’s hope that it would get better. Josh’s step dad Simeon, was a rock and weirdly slightly psychic (luckily)

I definitely liked this book, I can’t say enjoyed it as that suggests I get some morbid pleasure from such content, but I think for someone going through this it would be a great help. I still cry when someone puts into words what I felt when I was in the depths, and I am ‘better’. (for now)

Get this book, even if you don’t think you know anyone who has a similar health issue, you may find you do (we are quite good at hiding it)

EVERY MISSING THING by Martyn Ford

I have to admit this has not kept up my attention like a lot of other books. Not sure if I’m finding it difficult to read because of the writing style or I’m just not following the narrative.

The style of writing doesn’t, to my mind, flow. The sentences are rather stilted. I am thinking this is to build some suspense. Every now and again there is a section in italics that appears to have been written from to POV of a camera. (in a third person style)

The basic premise of the story: Ethan Clarke went missing ten years, now his sister Robin has gone in very similar circumstances.  Sam was the OIC of the first case, and is now retired, is brought in to help Isabelle on this case. The parents Anna and Francis are obviously persons of interest, with the emphasis on Francis, though Sam stoically believes him to be innocent.

I have to admit, and this doesn’t happen very often, I bailed at 40%. I just wasn’t into it. The story was there but the brain wasn’t connecting with the writing.

It’s not you, it’s me.

LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED by Jenny Lawson

Another book I reserved from the library a while ago (and had to wait till the first lockdown was eased before getting it)

This is on a similar vein to her Furiously Happy book, little stories of things that have happened to her. More things seem to happen to Jenny than to other people and most of them are madly funny. If she does dip into fantasy she holds her hands up to it and it doesn’t happen much. Reading it, I find myself giggling uncontrollably while my Husband looks on in confused surprise.

I love her sense of humour and the little inclusions of conversations had with Husband Victor – who although suffering her silliness is almost equally as nuts. The fact that he is even conversing, rather than shutting it down means he is her perfect match.

Read about how she got her arm stuck up a cow, how her Dad brings home various animals (dead and alive) and actually made a hand puppet out of one of them for her and her sisters’ amusement.

Also read about the sad parts of her life, the anxiety disorder, the miscarriages, although still told in a witty way.

I follow Jenny’s Blog (the Bloggess) so you could test your humour by seeing if it is up to  reading a whole book of her personal brand of hilarity by dipping into her posts there.

I think it’s well worth reading and cheered me up no end.

A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY by Lisa Jewell

So, I read the synopsis before starting to read this and nearly didn’t (read it that is) Heart-warming??? I don’t do heart-warming, more heartbreaking, heart ripping. Clearly I had only read the first bit and thought it was about a person infiltrating a family and maybe killing them one by one, or setting them against each other. But, ok, maybe I’ll see where this goes; maybe the heart-warming bit is at the end when the family re-unite.

By chapter 3 I was hooked. Sean’s engaged to Millie who is pregnant but Sean doesn’t want her to be, but his brother Tony is obsessed with her even though he’s with Ness – who everyone but him thinks is brilliant. Ned has abandoned Mon in Australia and she keeps sending him nasty things in the post but he had designs on getting back with his ex. Carly, who he left to be with Mon who has now totally changed and is now happy with her new man.

Halfway through the book I am so invested in this family, then I remember – it’s about the friend of the family. Gervase is his name. He infiltrated the family by getting to know their Mother Bernie, and we find out that he appears to have only existed for a couple of months – no-one – other friends included – has known him longer than that. He also has a habit of touching people and then coming out with a diagnosis of their life. This, the boys find unsettling at first but over time he grows on them. They start taking his advice and this is where the book really gets going.

No more details, just get it and read it, I think you’ll like it.

THE WYNNE WITCH by H P Bayne

Many thanks to Heather for an ARC of this book.

The story goes that this family inherit a big old house, which seems to have a previous owner attached to it, who doesn’t seem to like light – she keeps shutting the curtains.

They also have a banshee, which according too Sully’s friend Marc (who knows these things) will appear when the family are in danger. She keeps appearing.

Old Aunt Mildred, who Neil and Drea inherited the house from, apparently died in a freak accident falling into a pond in the middle of the maze. But Sully can see her, and he can only see homicide victims. Neil and Casey, his daughter, can see the banshee. Neil’s other child, Callum (who had struck up a friendship of sorts with the old lady before she died), is basically the one usually bringing most of the trouble to their door, though maybe this time the real trouble is closer to home (Callum is a runaway involved in drugs and gangs)

Not sure I can go any further with the story without spoilers, but things get hairy and there are deaths. Also Ned gets involved – I love Ned the poltergeist.

So, when the book gets published (actually don’t have a date yet) get on Amazon and order yourself a copy. I usually say read the whole series but you can read them as standalones, things get explained.

This one has to be one of my favourites from the whole Sully & Dez serieses (seriesi?)