Showing posts from October, 2016

The Counterfeit Detective by Stuart Douglas

The Counterfeit Detective is the latest installment in Titan Books The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and it is Stuart Douglas's second contribution to the series.
The book begins with an anonymous letter which informs Holmes and Watson of another Sherlock Holmes at work in New York, and so the intrepid pair set out to investigate this false Holmes. The year is 1899 and their adventures begins almost immediately as they investigate the murder of a sailor on the ship as they travel across the Atlantic.
Arriving in New York with a letter of introduction from Inspector Gregson they meet a Yorkshireman; Simeon Bullock now an Inspector with the New York City Police and they begin to investigate the counterfeit Sherlock. However almost as soon as they begin the body count of former clients starts to mount.
This is an intriguing mystery full of twists and turns and Douglas does a great job at capturing the essence of everyone's favourite detective duo. The mystery here is suf…

The Constant Queen by Joanna Courtney

The Constant Queen is the second in Joanna Courtney's series which examines historical events leading up to the Norman conquest of 1066. This follows The Chosen Queen which I reviewed last year. You can read that review here. The Constant Queen does not follow directly from the previous book in the trilogy because each book tells the story of a different Queen, so they each feature different characters and though the historical events have an impact on each Queen in the series there is no interaction between them. Therefore they can be read in any order. The Constant Queen is Elizaveta who was born into royalty as a Princess of the Rus, growing up with her many brothers and sisters at Kiev.  This is the story of a fierce and lifelong romance between Elizaveta and  Harald of Norway who comes to be known as Harald Hardrada. Exiled from his own land Harald at first fought for Elizaveta's father and then went on to seek riches and glory in Constantinople before escaping imprisonm…

An Almond for a Parrot by Wray Delaney

An Almond For a Parrot is the spectacular adult debut from award winning children's author Sally Gardner and be warned it is very much a book for adults. The novel is the tale of the life, loves and romantic and sexual awakening of Tully Truegood.
Following in the footsteps of eighteenth century heroines like Moll Flanders and Fanny Hill, Tully's story begins in 1756 in Newgate Prison where Tully awaits trial for murder. Through a series of recipes and recollections Tully recounts her journey from a neglected childhood with her drunken father to a life of luxury as the mistress of a Lord.
Treated as little more than a servant by her father, who gambled and drank away what little money they had after her mother's death, the only kindness Tully receives is from a indifferent gin-soaked cook. Her father trades Tully like a commodity; at 12 she is a bride in a "Fleet Marriage" at 16 she is the payment for a gambling debt. Tully enjoys fleeting happiness when her fat…

As I Descended by Robin Talley

As I Descended is the third novel from Robin Talley; winner of the inaugural Amnesty Honour for her debut novel Lies We Tell Ourselves. The author once again chooses a school as the setting of her story. This time it is exclusive AcheronAcademy, which prides itself on being diverse and 21st Century despite its gothic campus and the rumours of numerous hauntings over the years. Lily and Maria are senior students, near the top of their class, room-mates and secretly a couple. Only Maria's best friend Brandon knows their secret. So Brandon is happy to play along when Lily wants the three of them to call up some of the spirits of Acheron's spooky past with a Ouija board. Brandon thinks it'll be a bit of fun but when strange and frightening things happen during the session with the Ouija board and the girls start behaving strangely afterwards he's not so sure. Maria is desperate to win the coveted Cawdor Kingsley Prize which goes to the top senior student every year but th…

Dear Charlie by N. D. Gomes

Dear Charlie is a powerful contemporary debut novel. Set in England in 1996/97, it deals with the aftermath of a school shooting. The book is narrated by Sam; 16 years old and brother of Charlie, the one who carried out the shootings before taking his own life. Sam is desperate to understand Charlie's actions and he is also dealing with the media frenzy, the anger and grief of local people and trying to grieve for the brother he loved but he's not sure if he really knew him. The book is Sam's letter to Charlie and his attempt to work his way through his own grief.  The book opens with Sam's fear as he starts a new school. He is bullied and harassed but he simply accepts it making no complaint. He soon realises that there are a group who don't attack him and begins to sit with them and eventually make friends. This group of outsiders become Sam's lifeline. He is able to just be a normal teenager; hanging out after school, joking around, going to parties. Somehow …

Death at the Seaside by Frances Brody

I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Frances Brody's latest novel Death at the Seaside; the 8th book in the Kate Shackleton Mystery series. 

Having decided that nothing much happens in August lady detective Kate Shackleton heads off for a relaxing stay at the Royal Hotel in Whitby where she hopes to enjoy the sea view and plenty of fresh air and spend time with old school friend Alma and her daughter Felicity. 
However within hours of her arrival she stumbles upon the dead body of local jeweller Jack Phillips. Kate is particularly shaken as it was at Mr Phillips' shop that she and her beloved husband Gerald had chosen her engagement and wedding rings. So obviously returning to the jewellers alone was especially poignant for Kate. Having contacted the police Kate is perturbed to then become a suspect in Sergeant Garvin's investigation. However she soon discovers that Mr Phillips was a gentleman friend of Alma's and now Alma's daughter Felicity is miss…