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!

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!

Book Reviews

Book Review: Deepwater King by Claire McKenna

Happy Wednesday bookish people! Today is my stop on the book tour for Deepwater King by Claire McKenna, the sequel to Monstrous Heart and the second in the Deepwater trilogy. Thank you to Jennifer Harlow for sending me a copy of this book to read and review.

As with all my reviews 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.

Deepwater King Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I enjoyed the plot of this book overall. I liked the premise and the fantasy elements of the story. One of the main parts I enjoyed was the complex magic system, I did find myself getting confused sometimes about this but this always passed quickly. It was nice to see, in this novel, a different type of special ability that I rarely see in books, in this book it is a type of blood magic called Sanguinem – or bloodworker. From the very first chapter there is a dangerous energy to this novel and the story has threads of danger, religion and sacrifice as an undercurrent which was very intriguing. This book felt slightly too dark for me but this is because I usually read fantasies that aren’t so complex however, I still enjoyed the worldbuilding and plot of this book. I’m also very drawn to books that feature water (and this book has it in the title) so it was a good one for me to pick up.

Deepwater King Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The two main characters in this book are Arden and Jonah and both of them were very well developed in this book. I didn’t feel much of a connection to either of the characters within this novel, and that is something that makes me really enjoy a book, so I wasn’t completely engaged with everything that happened in this novel. It didn’t take away from the story completely and I did still enjoy the characters and how they interacted with each, the background characters as well as the main characters.

Deepwater King Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I struggled with some of the writing style to begin with, because the language has a slight historical feel to it in my opinion, and so this meant I wasn’t fully immersed in the story the whole time. The author has created beautiful imagery within this book though that helped to create some atmosphere that I wanted to keep reading and be involved with.

Deepwater King Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Overall I gave this book three stars because although I enjoyed this book I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would and I am undecided if I will read the third book in the trilogy.

Blurb/Synopsis:

Since losing her great love to the Queen of the Sainted Isles, Arden must fulfil an impossible promise before she can return home – she must complete the dangerous Rite that will return Jonah’s spirit to the abyssal Court of the Deepwater King.

This sets her off on a journey far out at sea to find believers of the old religion on the oil-slick and mysterious islands beyond the horizon. But such a responsibility will not come without sacrifice, for the Deepwater folk who worship the King require the most desperate payments the soul, and with one man Arden may have to pay the greatest price of all…

Astonishingly original, with world-building to rival the depths of the ocean, McKenna has drawn a rich tale of longing and courage – penning the perfect oceanic steampunk fantasy.

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

Book Reviews

Book Review: Things To Do At The End Of The World by Emily Barr

Happy Saturday bookish people! I don’t usually post on a Saturday but today there’s a special reason – I am part of the blog tour for Things To Do At The End Of The World by Emily Barr! Thank you to The Write Reads and Penguin for sending me a copy of this book to read and review for the 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!

Things To Do At The End Of The World Plot:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

From the outset I found this plot very interesting – it is full of adventure, travelling and getting the confidence to do things that perhaps you might not have done otherwise. I think this book has a very important message, that you don’t know what is going to happen in life and that you should grab opportunities with both hands. This is something that really resonated with me while reading, life is to be enjoyed.

I did feel that this book was more like two separate books shoved into one and for me it didn’t quite work. I thought on their own, the end of the world part and the discovering you have a cousin part, would be very interesting stories however, they didn’t work together – in my opinion.

Things To Do Before The End Of The World Characters:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I loved seeing the growth of Libby (Olivia) throughout this book. The way she changed and gained confidence doing different things was fascinating to read about. I’m also slightly biased because I’m also called Olivia and I love reading books with characters that have my name.

The character of Natasha was written very well, as soon as she was introduced there was an unnerving presence surrounding her and that continued well throughout, giving the book an element of mystery which stopped the plot from becoming slow.

Things To Do Before The End Of The World Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Emily Barr’s writing was a pleasure to read. Recently I’ve been reading books where the writing style is hit or miss but Emily’s is smooth and consistent. I really enjoyed it. This book doesn’t have a big focus on dialogue so I thought it was okay but there wasn’t that much in the story.

Things To Do Before The End Of The World Overall:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I gave this book three stars because I did enjoy my reading of it, however, I don’t think I’m likely to pick up this book again.

Ultimate Tour Penguin UK

Things To Do Before The End of  The World

by

Emily Barr

Blurb

A timely and powerful coming-of-age thriller from the bestselling author of The One Memory of Flora Banks.

***

What would you do when you hear the news that humans have done such damage to the earth that there might only be a limited amount of safe air left – a year’s worth at most?
You’d work through your bucket list, heal rifts, do everything you’ve never been brave enough to do before?

Olivia is struggling to do any of this. What it is she truly wants to do? Who do she wants to be?

Then out of the blue comes contact from a long-lost cousin Olivia didn’t even know existed. Natasha is everything Olivia wants to be and more. And as the girls meet up for a long, hot last summer, Olivia finds Natasha’s ease and self-confidence having an effect on her.

But Natasha definitely isn’t everything she first appears to be . . .

Length: 368  Pages

Emily Barr

I started out working as a journalist in London, but always hankered after a quiet room and a book to write. I managed, somehow, to get commissioned to go travelling for a year, and came home with the beginnings of a novel set in the world of backpackers in Asia. This became Backpack, a thriller which won the WH Smith New Talent Award, and I have since written eleven more novels for adults, one novella, and three book for Young Adults, published in the UK and around the world. I live in Cornwall with my husband Craig and our children.

Website: https://www.emilybarr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/emily_barr

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