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

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

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: A Murder at Rosings by Annette Purdey Pugh

Happy Friday bookish people! Today is my spot on the book tour for A Murder at Rosings by Annette Purdey Pugh. Thank you to Anne Cater 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.

A Murder at Rosings Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I enjoyed the plot of this book. It was an interesting take on Mary Bennett and Mr. Bennett and a lovely change from the many versions that focus on Mary’s sister, Elizabeth Bennett. The novel was quick paced and intriguing and I was soon engrossed in the plot and trying to figure out who had committed the murder. If I’d had a whiteboard and some sticky notes I would have made one of those suspects boards like you see on Police TV shows. There were enough twists to keep me guessing for almost all of the book because of the clever writing and well developed plot.

A Murder at Rosings Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I think the characters in this novel were very well developed and I felt recruited particularly to Mary, the protagonist. I think it is a testament to the author that I did not become suspicious of most of the characters or believe them capable of being the killer for most of the book.

A Murder at Rosings Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It took me a while to get used to the writing style of this book because it is written so well, and in a similar style to Victorian period literature and the Austen style of writing. I did get used to it eventually and then I found myself really enjoying the style, it reminded me of classics and I love classics.

A Murder at Rosings Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars overall because it was a well written and intriguing mystery that I couldn’t put down.

Blurb/Synopsis:

When Mr Collins is found stabbed to death in Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s garden, simmering tensions are revealed beneath the elegant Regency surface of the Rosings estate.

The prime suspect is Mr Bennet, who was overheard arguing with Mr Collins over the entail of Longbourn in the days before the murder was committed, and who stands to benefit more than anyone from the Rector’s death.

His daughter Mary uncovers a scandalous secret that holds the key to the murder. Can she prove her father’s innocence in time to save him from the gallows?

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

blog tours, Book Reviews

Book Review: The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Happy Thursday bookish people! I’m very excited that today is my spot on the book tour for The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. Thank you to Anne Cater and Weidenfeld and Nicolson 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.

The Maidens Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’ll start by saying that I almost had to put this book down because of how easily drawn into the world I became. I could feel the dark atmosphere, the fear and the rising tension. The plot was beautifully intricate in a way that had me constantly guessing about what was going to happen next. I am very glad that I didn’t stop reading because the ending – and the final reveal – was very satisfying for me as a reader. I did have a suspicion of the who and the why but the author of this book cleverly interwove the plot with red herrings. I always enjoy a book that has me guessing, it gives me a lot of anticipation for how a story will end.

The Maidens Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Alex Michaelides has managed to create a variety of well explored characters who all have an element of mystery surrounding them. I found that I was suspicious of almost every character at some point and although this was great for the suspense and the psychological parts of the novel, however, because of this I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters in the way I like to be when reading.

The Maidens Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed the writing style of this book. It flowed well and I felt that every part of the story worked better because of Alex Michaelides’ writing style.

The Maidens Overall:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars because I think it is an excellent psychological novel that I enjoyed reading. I found it a bit too dark for my personal taste but I enjoyed branching out into a slightly different genre than I usually read.

Blurb/Synopsis:

From the author of the global #1 bestselling debut The Silent Patient comes a spellbinding literary thriller which weaves together Greek mythology, psychology, and murder…

St Christopher’s College, Cambridge, is a closed world to most.

For Mariana Andros – a group therapist struggling through her private grief – it’s where she met her late husband. For her niece, Zoe, it’s the tragic scene of her best friend’s murder.

As memory and mystery entangle Mariana, she finds a society full of secrets, which has been shocked to its core by the murder of one of its own.

Because behind its idyllic beauty is a web of jealousy and rage which emanates from an exclusive set of students known only as The Maidens. A group under the sinister influence of the enigmatic professor Edward Fosca.

A man who seems to know more than anyone about the murders – and the victims. And the man who will become the prime suspect in Mariana’s investigation – an obsession which will unravel everything…

The Maidens is a story of love, and of grief – of what makes us who we are, and what makes us kill.

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

Book Quotes

Favourite Book Quotes – 100-91

Happy Friday bookish people! This post is going up later than I would have liked it to, this week has been super busy for me with my job, University, hospital etc.. and this morning I got my second Covid jab so hopefully I’ll get this written before any side effects kick in.

I’m starting a little series (in case you didn’t notice by the title of this post…) where I show and maybe talk about, depending on my mood, my 100 favourite quotes from books. But doing ALL 100 in one post might have been a bit much so I’m splitting it down into sections of ten. Also it will give it a bit of mystery, you’ll be thinking ooh I wonder what’s going to be on the next set of ten and I wonder what quote will take the top spot – no? Just me? Okay…

Well, with all that said lets go to the first set of ten.

In last place at 100 we have a classic from….

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

100. “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same” – I really dislike Wuthering Heights but this quote just managed to squeeze into my top 100.

Coming in at 99 we have a quote from….

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

99. “Fate […] is a very weighty word to throw around before breakfast” – I mean yes, it certainly is. I don’t usually eat breakfast so if you want to talk to me about fate you’re going to have to wait until after I’ve eaten something for lunch.

Speaking of food we have number 98…

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

98. “It was a well known fact that there were no calories in homemade cakes” – if only that was true.

Quote 97 is one that came from a series of books I read in my early years at Secondary school….

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

97. “Dreams, dreams. I walk them; I live them. I delude myself with them” – I can definitely relate to the deluding yourself with dreams part, I’m well known for daydreaming.

A much more serious quote at 96…

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

96. “The only way to learn is to live”

At the halfway point for this first installment of favourite quotes is one from a favourite series of mine…

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

95. “There were shipwrecks more graceful than Tella” – I am more graceful than Tella and I need more than ten fingers to count the amount of times I fall and trip each day.

At 94 is a quote that reminds me of a few people who I know….

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

94. “It’s not exciting if nothing can go wrong” – I completely disagree with this statement and that’s not at all because I’m scared of everything, including people. Some particular people.

Moving on quickly. 93 is a quote that I wrote down on a sticky note while I was reading the book because of how much it caught my attention….

Spin The Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

93. “Seize the wind, don’t become the kite that never flies” – as illogical as trying to catch hold of actual wind is, this is still a beautiful quote.

Up next is a quote from a book that has vampires in…

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

92. “She was no lamb, she was a lion” – I won’t tell you the character name who says this but this quote sums up her character arc very well.

and the final quote of this first installment is…..

How The King Of Elfhame Learned To Hate Stories by Holly Black

91. “A heart of stone can still be broken” – simple and a little sad this quote tells you a lot about two characters – the one who says it and the one they are saying it to.

That’s it for this blog post, I hope you all enjoyed the first installment – have you seen any of your favourite quotes yet? Are there any quotes you are hoping might show up further up my list? Let me know in the comments.

I’ll be back soon with quotes 90-81!

Book Reviews

Book Review: An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

Happy Monday bookish people! The fourth book review today is for An Unwanted Guest. I’ve recently gotten into reading the mystery/thriller genre and so far I am loving it.

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 the book review!

An Unwanted Guest Plot:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The plot of this novel gave me classic crime, Agatha Christie’s Poirot style vibes. With the remote Inn where all the guests get snowed in and then a murder happens. This is the style of murder mystery I truly enjoy. The whole time my brain was whirring trying to figure out who the murderer was and why they did it. I will admit now, I did not guess it correctly. There are so many twists in this book, secrets hidden by all of the guests and none of them can be trusted. I read this book in an afternoon and loved every second of it. I felt that the changing between the scenes could have been smoother because sometimes I did get confused about where I was but this didn’t impact much on my enjoyment.

An Unwanted Guest Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You get an introduction to almost all of the characters and all of them have mystery surrounding them. Some have marital problems, some have jealousy and some have even worse secrets. I found each character to be engaging and interesting however, I didn’t feel that I liked any of them and I certainly didn’t trust any of them.

Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The dialogue in this book worked brilliantly with the atmosphere. It gave the characters personalities and their interactions with each other spoke volumes with minimal words. The writing style was clever, dynamic and creative. It was smooth to read and I barely remembered that I was not in the story myself because of this.

An Unwanted Guest Overall Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this book four stars because I really enjoyed the mystery, the atmosphere and how everything came together. I felt that some parts of the book needed a tiny bit more explaining and some things weren’t fully resolved at the end but overall I loved the book.

Blurb/Synopsis:

A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway . . . but when the storm hits, no one is getting away

It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in and try to make the best of it.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead–it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, they start to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm–and one another.

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

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths

Happy Monday Bookish people! This is book review 2 of 5 today. The first was The Windsor Knot by S J Bennett if you’d like to check that out. This review is for The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths. I was given a copy of this book for Christmas 2020 and I ended up reading it in January of this year.

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 me book review.

plot of The Postscript Murders:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I found the plot of this novel to be exciting and fast paced. The opening was full of tension and set the scene beautifully. I felt that the ages of the characters was a unique addition to the plot of a murder mystery novel and this was what caught my interest to begin with. Throughout the novel I felt that the changes of location and the events that happened in each place continued to create tension filled scenes. I knew I was getting caught up in the story because I could feel my heart racing for most of the book. The plot was clever and intricate.

The Postscript Murders Characters:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The characters of this novel were quirky and interesting. I found them easy to connect to and this was one of the reasons I ended up enjoying the novel. There was a good balance between character and narrative which I enjoyed even though I usually enjoy character central novels the best.

Writing and Dialogue

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The writing style was smooth and clear, it helped me to keep track of the story as it went between different days and locations. The dialogue was authentic and engaging, I felt that I knew the characters personally because of the great dialogue. In my opinion I think there were some points where I would have liked more dialogue and more explanation about what was happening in a scene.

The Postscript Murders Overall Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I gave this novel four stars because the mystery was intricate, well plotted and well written and I found the characters engaging and humorous. At the time of reading it I gave it four stars because I had just read my first five star read of the year and I didn’t feel this book was quite up there with it however if I had read this book after a three star or another four star read my rating might have been different.

Blurb/ Synopsis:

“This droll romp is a latter-day Miss Marple.” Washington Post

Murder leaps off the page when crime novelists begin to turn up dead in this intricate new novel by internationally best-selling author Elly Griffiths, a literary mystery perfect for fans of Anthony Horowitz and Agatha Christie.

The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should not be suspicious. Detective Sergeant Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing out of the ordinary when Peggy’s caretaker, Natalka, begins to recount Peggy Smith’s passing.

But Natalka had a reason to be at the police station: while clearing out Peggy’s flat, she noticed an unusual number of crime novels, all dedicated to Peggy. And each psychological thriller included a mysterious postscript: PS: for PS. When a gunman breaks into the flat to steal a book and its author is found dead shortly thereafter—Detective Kaur begins to think that perhaps there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all.

And then things escalate: from an Aberdeen literary festival to the streets of Edinburgh, writers are being targeted. DS Kaur embarks on a road trip across Europe and reckons with how exactly authors can think up such realistic crimes . . .

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

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Windsor Knot by S J Bennett

Happy Monday bookish people! It’s time for another book review (1 of 5 book reviews that I will be posting today). I’m catching up with the book reviews for all the books I’ve read so far this year. I read The Windsor Knot in January after seeing it in my local bookshop, I didn’t buy it there my friend actually sent me a copy. I thought it looked like a unique mystery novel, the Queen solving murders in her free time? I needed to read it.

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!

Plot:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This is the first book in a series and I’ll start by saying that I will be continuing the series because it is an original and compelling take on the murder mystery genre. I found myself unable to put this book down because I wanted to know how the case would unravel at the end. However, I felt like the majority of the story focused on other characters rather than the Queen and I would have liked to have seen her feature more in the case. I enjoyed that there was a twist with the murder itself at the beginning of the novel and the twists kept coming which kept me hooked on the book. Personally, I think that the plot could have been developed further, maybe by making the book longer, but also this is the first book of the series and I think that as the series goes on the plots will get better.

Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The characters were okay. I personally didn’t believe in them, or get recruited to them and their motivations. I felt that there were a lot of characters that were introduced in one sentence and barely mentioned throughout the book but at the end they were important to the plot and for me this meant that I didn’t have the chance to enjoy the characters or to develop any real feelings towards them. The main character throughout the novel, Rozie, is an interesting protagonist that takes you along the journey of solving the case. She is a likeable and intelligent character, I’m glad we got so much of her in the plot because I enjoyed following her thoughts.

Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

For me the writing style was hard to get into. There was nothing technically wrong with it but something about it was difficult for me. Some pages I had to read through more than once, this didn’t have much of an impact on my overall enjoyment of the book however it did have an impact on my star rating for the book. However, this is only my opinion on the writing style.

Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I gave The Windsor Knot 3 stars overall because I enjoyed it however, there were some parts of the plot that I think let the story down. I struggled a little with the physical reading of the book and I felt that there wasn’t enough of the Queen in the book.

Blurb/Synopsis:

The first book in a highly original and delightfully clever crime series in which Queen Elizabeth II secretly solves crimes while carrying out her royal duties.

It is the early spring of 2016 and Queen Elizabeth is at Windsor Castle in advance of her 90th birthday celebrations. But the preparations are interrupted when a guest is found dead in one of the Castle bedrooms. The scene suggests the young Russian pianist strangled himself, but a badly tied knot leads MI5 to suspect foul play was involved. The Queen leaves the investigation to the professionals—until their suspicions point them in the wrong direction.

Unhappy at the mishandling of the case and concerned for her staff’s morale, the monarch decides to discreetly take matters into her own hands. With help from her Assistant Private Secretary, Rozie Oshodi, a British Nigerian and recent officer in the Royal Horse Artillery, the Queen secretly begins making inquiries. As she carries out her royal duties with her usual aplomb, no one in the Royal Household, the government, or the public knows that the resolute Elizabeth will use her keen eye, quick mind, and steady nerve to bring a murderer to justice.

SJ Bennett captures Queen Elizabeth’s voice with skill, nuance, wit, and genuine charm in this imaginative and engaging mystery that portrays Her Majesty as she’s rarely seen: kind yet worldly, decisive, shrewd, and most importantly a great judge of character.

That’s it for this book review, let me know if you enjoyed it, if you’ve read The Windsor Knot and what you thought of it!