blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: A Case of Royal Blackmail by Sherlock Holmes

Happy Monday bookish people! I’m back from my trip to Hampshire to see family and today is my stop on the book tour for A Case of Royal Blackmail by Sherlock Holmes. Thank you to Anne Cater, Random T Tours and Unicorn Publishing for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

In this book review I will give star ratings for four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

A Case of Royal Blackmail Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book was interesting to me because I’m a fan of the original Sherlock Holmes novels and I wondered how this one would compare. While I was intrigued by the case in this novel, that was to do with the Prince of Wales later King Edward VII, and I really wanted to know how the end was going to be figured out I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. The mystery itself was one that I enjoyed, it had various threads of other mysteries interweaved in the narrative. I also loved the appearance of Oscar Wilde, being an English student this really appealed to me.

A Case of Royal Blackmail Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This for me was where the book was slightly disappointing, the story itself was good but because Sherlock Holmes is such a beloved character and he is known for being with Dr Watson I felt the gap where that other character should have been and it threw me off a little bit. I also felt that it was strange that it was supposedly Sherlock himself writing about one of his cases. However, it did feel authentically like Sherlock Holmes and it did keep the Victorian era setting and language very well.

A Case of Royal Blackmail Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

As I said above, I think the author did very well to make the dialogue and the writing feel like the traditional Sherlock Holmes that everyone knows.

A Case of Royal Blackmail Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I gave this book three stars overall because as a book, distancing it from previous Sherlock Holmes works, it was very well written and filled with tension and mystery. However, I’m not able to forget about Conan Doyle’s original stories and it didn’t quite live up to my expectation in that way.

Blurb/Synopsis:

In Oscar Wilde’s Amethyst Tie-Pin, the 24-year-old Sherlock Holmes recounts how he untangled the web of blackmail and deceit surrounding the ‘complex romantic endeavours’ of the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, those of Lillie Langtry and her various suitors and the morass of ‘scandal sheets’ and libel cases surrounding the Prince’s court of the time, while at the same time solving the mystery of Oscar Wilde’s missing amethyst tie-pin.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Quotes

Favourite Book Quotes: 30 – 21

Happy Friday Bookish people! I’m back with the next set of ten quotes in my top 100 favourite book quotes series. I hope you’ve all been enjoying it so far, I can’t wait to share with you what my top ten is, but we aren’t quite there yet. Only two weeks to go!

At 30 is a quote from a popular series with Fae in..

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

30. “kiss me again, kiss me until I am sick of it”

Up next is from a great murder mystery/thriller….

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

29. “one may smile and smile and still be a villain”

The next quote is from the ‘Queen of crime’….

Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie

28. “if the foundations are rotten, everything’s rotten”

At 27 is a quote from one of my favourite books…

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

27. “every good story needs a villain”

Now a quote from a beautifully dark book…

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

26. “wild birds die in cages”

At 25 is from a duology…

Vicious by V E Schwaab

25. “plenty of humans were monstrous and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human”

Up next is a quote from a book I haven’t read yet…

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

24. “I turned my nightmares into fireflies and caught them in a jar”

Now a quote from a very unusual murder mystery…

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

23. “we are never more ourselves than when we think people aren’t watching”

At 22 is a book that I found very humorous….

The Left Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

22. “Fantasy writers, they’re the bane of our existance”

And finally from the third book in one of my favourite series’….

Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

21. “most stories are too good to be true that’s what makes them enchanting”

That’s it for this week’s quotes, I hope you all enjoyed it!

blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: No Number Nine by F J Campbell

Happy Friday bookish people! I’m so happy that today is my spot on the book tour for No Number Nine by F J Campbell. Thank you to Literally PR for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

No Number Nine Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book was very different to books that I usually read, I loved how the backstory of Pip gets revealed throughout the story. It kept the tension throughout the story about what would happen next and what secrets are people hiding. This book had intriguing character relationships and a plot that both flowed and constantly changed. I thought it was the perfect timing to read this book, especially with it’s links to Olympics and the Tokyo Olympics about to start. Although there was a dramatic undertone to this book I liked that the romance subplot was well developed and fit into the plot seamlessly. It also gave the book points for tension, which I think it is quite obvious I like in books.

No Number Nine Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I really felt for Pip throughout this book, there were things she could have done differently but still it seemed like nothing could go right for her. When the book begins we know she has lost her sister and this gives Pip an interesting character dynamic because it is the catalyst for some of the events throughout the book. I’m not going to talk about any of the other characters in particular because I don’t feel I can without giving some spoilers but I will say that they each added layers to the story.

No Number Nine Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

For the most part the writing style of this book was something I enjoyed, it was clear and well written. The part I didn’t enjoy was that some sections are written in the style of a drama script. This confused me as I didn’t feel there was any need for it to be written in this way and it disconnected me from the characters in the scene.

No Number Nine Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars because I enjoyed the reading of it and I would be interested in reading other books by this author.

Blurb/Synopsis:

What do you do when your amazing, beloved sister dies?

Hide in your room for two years.

Sleep with a very, very wrong man.

Leave home and start a new life, lying to everyone you meet including your kind employer, your curious friends and the man you love?

Pip Mitchell’s an expert at making seriously bad decisions. But when her past, present and future collide at the Sydney Olympic Games, she’s going to have to decide whose side she’s on – or she’ll lose everyone she loves.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: The Murder Box by Olivia Kiernan

Happy Thursday bookish people! Today is the publication day of The Murder Box by Olivia Kiernan and I am part of the Social Media Blog Blast for the book. I’m so excited to tell you all what I thought about it! Thank you to Milly Reid, Quercus Books and River Run Books for giving me a Netgalley copy of this book to read and review.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Onto the review!

The Murder Box Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What can I say about this book? It was brilliant. I love a good murder mystery plot and this one got me invested immediately. There were many points that completely shocked me, I didn’t expect the twists that were intricately threaded into the plot. Predominantly following the detectives and their side of the investigation was interesting to me because I usually pick up mysteries that follow the Amateur Detective and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this point of view. I felt the pacing of the mystery was perfect, it didn’t take too long to get started and there were no lapses in action, this was well balanced with information about the detectives and their personal lives. Now, the ending, what a twist! I had a suspect in my head (I was wrong – and not to sound bad or anything but I do guess a lot of the killers in murder mysteries, honestly I probably read too many of them) and who it actually was caught me completely by surprise, in a good way because once it was revealed it made sense that was who it was.

The Murder Box Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed how the author created this world and it’s characters. I haven’t read any of the other books in the Frankie Sheehan series but I definitely plan to now. I think it is a testament to Olivia Kiernan’s talent that throughout this book I had no idea which characters I could or couldn’t trust, that always makes a murder mystery good for me. As I said above, I liked getting an insight into the personal lives of the detectives as well because it allowed me to see who they really were and why, especially Frankie, were trying so hard with the case.

The Murder Box Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Kiernan’s writing is well written, incredibly well researched and has perfect pacing. It flowed well and read clearly, I hardly felt the few hours it took me to read it pass by that’s how much I was enjoying it.

The Murder Box Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars, a great read for me this month and I would tell anyone who loves a good, unique, murder mystery to pick up this book and give it a go.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Some games can be deadly

At first, Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan believes the murder mystery game sent to her office is a birthday gift from one of her colleagues. But when Frankie studies the game’s contents, she notices a striking resemblance between the ‘murder victim’ and missing twenty-two-year-old Lydia Callin.

As Frankie and her team investigate, a series of grisly crimes connected to the game are discovered across Dublin city and Lydia’s involvement with a shadowy network of murder mystery players becomes clear.

On the hunt for Lydia’s murderer, Frankie is drawn more deeply into the game. Every successful move brings her closer to the killer. But the real question is not what happens should she lose — but what happens if she wins.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: How To Be Brave by Daisy May Johnson

Happy Monday bookish people! It’s Monday and today is my spot on the book tour for How To Be Brave by Daisy May Johnson. Thank you to Poppy Stimpson for having me on this tour.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Onto the review!

How To Be Brave Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The plot of this book was reminiscent of so many books that I read throughout my childhood, books like the Naughtiest Girl at School, Malory Towers, books with boarding schools as the setting. They were some of my favourites, there is something very intriguing about a boarding school and everything that goes on there, so I was especially excited to get to read this book. I loved that this story let the reader see some of the Mother, Elizabeth’s, story before focusing on the daughter Calla and her experience at the school. I loved that the duck (it will make sense if you read the book) was a thread that the author used to link all the stories together. This book is filled with fun, friendship and adventure that kept me hooked from beginning to end.

How To Be Brave Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The characters in this book are well written and interesting. I found myself wanting them to succeed with their plans. I liked that this book was written in third person because it helped me to view the whole scene as well as the characters. I felt that this was one of the reasons I became so recruited to the characters.

How To Be Brave Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I didn’t enjoy this part of the book as much, I still enjoyed it but this book has footnotes on some of the pages and for me I found this difficult to navigate but that is only my opinion, otherwise they add humour and I can see how they would help the reader understand some parts of the story. I also felt the pacing was a little fast for my reading style.

How To Be Brave Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because it was a fun, quick read full of heart and with a focus on family and friendships that I really enjoyed.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Calla North and her mother Elizabeth live a quiet but happy life together. Elizabeth happens to be the world’s leading expert on ducks—but unfortunately, being an expert on ducks doesn’t always pay the bills (no pun intended).

When Elizabeth is offered a well-paid research trip to the Amazon, it’s an opportunity too good to miss. But while her mother’s off exploring, Calla winds up at boarding school. No adventures are likely to find her there—or so she thinks.

Then Calla receives the terrible news that her mother’s plane has gone missing. Can Calla, her friends, and a motley crew of nuns defeat an evil new headmistress and find Elizabeth before it’s too late?

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Quotes

Favourite Book Quotes: 40 – 31

Happy Friday bookish people! I am back with the next ten quotes in my top 100 favourite book quotes series. It’s getting so close to revealing what quotes have made it into the top ten now, but you’ve got to wait just a little bit longer for that…

Onto the quotes!

At 40 is a quote from one of my favourite authors…

Traitors Blade by Sebastien De Castell

40. “The archer is the true weapon; the bow is just a long piece of wood”

Next is a quote from a sequel I haven’t read yet…

Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

39. “I know that for every dawn, dusk must unravel it’s darkness” – although it seems slightly pessimistic I also think this quote is very lyrical.

At 38 is from a book I was very excited to read…

Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow

38. “Behind every witch is a wronged woman” – I love this quotes, and this book.

Next is a quote from a book on my July TBR…

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

37. “I remember you” – short and simple but has so much meaning behind it.

At 36 is from a book I got a special edition of…

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

36. “Once upon a time an angel and a devil fell in love – it did not end well” – This quote really sets the scene for the book and also slightly makes me think of the TV show Lucifer for some reason.

Next is from the second book in a very popular series…

A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J Maas

35. “To the stars who listen and the dreams that are answered”

At 34 is from a book I’m anticipating to be a five star read…

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

34. “Desire fame and the city will make you a tragedy”

Up now is from a sequel I started to read and then put down for now…

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

33. “A kiss worth dying for”

At 32 is a book I read very recently…

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

32. “Wicked are the ways of women, especially a witch”

Up last for this week is from a book I rated three stars…

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

31. “Three dark sisters all fair to be seen, two to devour and one to be queen”

That’s it for this post, I hope you all enjoyed it! Next Friday I’ll be sharing the next ten so come back then.

blog tours, Book Reviews

Unknown Vengeance by Pat O’Brien

Happy Tuesday bookish people! Today is my spot on the book tour for Unknown Vengeance by Pat O’Brien. Due to a lot of things that have happened recently, I wasn’t able to finish this book in time to write a proper review so I will be sharing with you the book and the blurb instead.

Thank you to Kelly Lacey and Love Books Tours for sending me an ecopy of this book.

Blurb/Synopsis:

A serial killer is terrorizing members of the medical community in Buffalo, NY. Veteran
Detective, Rhody Richardson, is leading the investigation with his partner, Detective Wayne.
Victims have been disfigured and tortured – faces sliced, numbers carved into their chests. The brilliant, but young, forensic intern, Connor Patrick, tries desperately to make sense of the numbers but cannot find a pattern.

The killer has promised ten victims, but Richardson, and psychiatric consultant Dr. Kaileen
Taylor believe it will continue well past that number. At each of the gruesome crime scenes, the
killer has left cryptic poems with different names. Richardson ventures down a dangerous path, deciphering what the killer is trying to tell them before they escape justice into the eternal void of the unknown.

And if you’re interested in this book you can check out some reviews from other people on this book tour.

blog tours, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell

Happy Monday bookish people! This is my second post today, I must be in a productive mood this rainy Monday. I’m here to show you all the wonderful book mail I received from Macmillan Kids UK last week. As you can probably guess from the title of this post… it was Any way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell, the final book in the Carry On series which includes Carry On, Wayward Son and Any Way the Wind Blows.

Here it is!

It came all wrapped up and honestly it felt a little but like Christmas to receive it, I didn’t end up eating the biscuit (my Dad got there first!) but I did use the tea and they were delicious.

That’s it for today, I’m looking forward to reading this book and sharing my thoughts on it here!

blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: Death and Croissants by Ian Moore

Happy Monday bookish people! I’m very happy to be part of the book tour for Death and Croissants by Ian Moore today. Thank you to Anne Cater and Random T Tours for sending me a copy of this book to read and review for this tour.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Death and Croissants Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I was highly anticipating this book because I thought the premise sounded very much to my taste in murder mysteries, a hotel setting, a missing guest, a bloody handprint and some humour? I was pretty excited about it. It didn’t quite live up to my expectations. I still enjoyed it as a whole but there were some parts that didn’t work for me. The tension was brilliant, it built as the story went along and I was very intrigued to find out who it was that had done it. I thought the setting and the worldbuilding was also good, I felt like I was in France while reading this book. Where I think it was let down was the humour side, there were some funny moments but to me it felt forced. It felt like the book was trying too hard to be funny so for me most of it wasn’t.

Death and Croissants Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I liked the characters in this book. Most of them grew on me as the book went on. I didn’t like the character of Valerie at the beginning, it was quite the rollercoaster with her character – I liked her, then I didn’t, then I did… she was very well written and I could picture her exactly. The owner of the hotel, Richard, I mostly enjoyed following throughout the book. Things just seemed to keep happening to him and I liked this feature of the book, what I didn’t like about him was his reaction to the bloody handprint and I won’t say any more because I don’t want to spoil anything.

Death and Croissants Writing and dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

As I said above, some parts of the novel felt forced to me and this had an affect on how easy it was for me to read it. Most of the writing was smooth and clear but some parts I got slightly stuck on. That is my personal opinion on the writing in this book.

Death and Croissants Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Overall I gave this book three stars because I enjoyed the book but not as much as I thought that I would.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Richard is a middle-aged Englishman who runs a B&B in the fictional Val de Follet in the Loire Valley. Nothing ever happens to Richard, and really that’s the way he likes it.

One day, however, one of his older guests disappears, leaving behind a bloody handprint on the wallpaper. Another guest, the exotic Valérie, persuades a reluctant Richard to join her in investigating the disappearance.

Richard remains a dazed passenger in the case until things become really serious and someone murders Ava Gardner, one of his beloved hens … and you don’t mess with a fellow’s hens!

Unputdownable mystery set in rural France, by TV/radio regular and bestselling author Ian Moore – perfect for fans of Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club, Julia Chapman, or M.C. Beaton.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!

blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: Secrets of the Stars by Maria Kuzniar

Happy Saturday Bookish people! Today is my stop on the book tour for Secrets of the Stars by Maria Kuzniar, the second book in the Ship of Shadows series. Thank you to Puffin Books and Random T Tours for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review.

Secrets of the Stars Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book was an interesting and engaging adventure to faraway ports and across treacherous seas. The first chapter hooked me immediately, and not just because they were dressed in masquerade costumes although I did love imagining that scene. The worldbuilding was beautifully detailed and sensory so it was easy for me to become caught up in the adventures with the crew. I found the beginning was a little slow in pacing for my personal taste but once the action got started I raced through the book to find out how it was going to end.

Secrets of the Stars Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

One of the parts of this book that I really enjoyed was that the crew of the Ship of Shadows is an all girl crew, it presented a lovely dynamic to the story. The characters really brought out the themes of friendship and loyalty that are being developed throughout this story. The protagonist is someone you feel the need to root for as different events happen to her and this increased my enjoyment of the book Also, the shadows (I’m counting them as characters) on the Ship of Shadows are pretty cool.

Secrets of the Stars Writing and dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As I said above, the beginning was a little slow for me but once the pacing picked up I couldn’t really fault any of the writing in this book.

Secrets of the Stars Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because it was a well written and engaging novel that had me rooting for the characters from beginning to end, and it may have even persuaded me to pick up the next in the series when it comes out.

Blurb/Synopsis:

THE SECOND THRILLING ADVENTURE FOR ALEJA AND THE CREW OF THE LEGENDARY SHIP OF SHADOWS

Excitement and wonder are in store for the pirates as they continue to their epic quest across the world. But time is running out, and as their quarry grows closer, so the perils of the sea grow ever greater . . .

Praise for The Ship of Shadows:

“A feast for the imagination . . . an enthralling adventure.” – Abi Elphinstone, author of Sky Song

“This swashbuckling tale has it all – storms in jars, magic kraken bells, lost cities and a truly unique pirate ship. I loved it.” – Alex Bell, author of The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club

“Thrilling, exciting and intriguing and I can’t wait for the next instalment!” Rhiannon, Waterstones bookseller

That’s it for this book review, I hope you all enjoyed it!