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Down by the sea and the plum tree

The Cottage at Plum Tree Bay Book Cover The Cottage at Plum Tree Bay
Darcie Boleyn
Romance , Women's Fiction
Canelo
Pub Date 25 Jul 2019

One summer can change everything...

Catherine Bromley has spent her life in Penhallow Sands, dedicating herself to work and supporting her emotionally fragile mother. Since her father left, it’s always been the two of them and Catherine has no interest in romance. What’s the point when men just leave? And besides, her mother needs her.

But when handsome novelist Mark Coleman arrives to stay at the cottage overlooking nearby Plum Tree Bay, Catherine’s world is changed. She’s soon bumping into Mark everywhere – or being thrown at him by her matchmaking friend! The chemistry is undeniable. But can Mark let go of his painful past to be the man that Catherine can rely on? And will Catherine find the courage to let love in?

A heart-warming romance set in Cornwall and perfect for fans of Holly Martin and Phillipa Ashley.

I kept reading, but when I was some two-thirds of the way through I was still hoping that something would happen that was new and novel and surprising, but it didn’t.

This book sauntered rather than trotted or even cantered to the end of the story. The trope was on too even a keel.

Darcie can write better and does when writing historical fiction. Just too cosy for me… This story only just reaches the 3 star mark..

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Well rock troll princesses are a good start

Breaking the Lore Book Cover Breaking the Lore
Inspector Paris #1
by Andy Redsmith
Mystery & Thrillers , Sci Fi & Fantasy
Canelo
15 Apr 2019

A magical, mischievous mystery perfect for fans of Douglas Adams and Ben Aaronovitch How do you stop a demon invasion... when you don’t believe in magic? Inspector Nick Paris is a man of logic and whisky. So staring down at the crucified form of a murder victim who is fifteen centimetres tall leaves the seasoned detective at a loss… and the dead fairy is only the beginning. Suddenly the inspector is offering political asylum to dwarves, consulting with witches, getting tactical advice from elves and taking orders from a chain-smoking talking crow who, technically, outranks him. With the fate of both the human and magic worlds in his hands Nick will have to leave logic behind and embrace his inner mystic to solve the crime and stop an army of demons from invading Manchester!

Love the introductory sentence as it really sets the scene for a very different novel.

Inspector Paris and Manchester seem to go together well. This is book 1 in a new series that I really want to read more of.  The Sergeant is wonderfully dumb and there is plenty of grisly and sarcastic humour to keep me interested. Fairies being crucified is new to me, but then it was new to everyone as Paris says ‘How do you kill somebody who doesn’t exist?’ ie a fairy!

We are then introduced to a talking crow, a female baby rock troll princess, an elf, and the Vanethria and yet more such creatures who shouldn’t exist. All of which with a sly humour and great writing style.

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Let’s travel to Italy

Dreaming of Rome by
T.A. Williams
Romance , Women's Fiction
Canelo
Pub Date 06 May 2019

Rome is where the heart is… The heartwarming read of the summer

Jo has had enough of handsome men. After a painful break-up, she’s decided she doesn’t believe in love.

Then, while on a professional trip to the magical city of Rome, she meets Corrado, a scientist and her brother-in-law to be, who doesn’t believe in love either. To him, it’s just a biochemical reaction. So what’s the problem?

Well, he’s gorgeous for a start, as well as charming, generous, intelligent and attentive, and she feels herself immediately falling for him, despite her new outlook.

The majesty of the Eternal City brings them ever closer together. But is their relationship doomed, or will love conquer all?

Heartbreaking and hilarious in equal measure, Dreaming of Rome is a joyous and uplifting read from T.A. Williams, perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Tilly Tennant and Jenny Oliver

Oh how I remember Rome in July/August – hotter than you can imagine – not the place to be – hotter than this novel implies too.

This novel was in many ways predictable – pleasantly so – with many nice diversions. I liked the sailing around the islands and their descriptions; the butterflies; and the science about the environment (such as there was) a very current and important theme.

I also thought that the story was a good length – often romance novels are too short, barely more than a novella – always ending with the ‘and Jack was free’ like TV crime stories – with none of the real explanation. For me, this would be a good holiday read and with some envy thrown in if you are in Cornwall and it is raining!

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Where can you find truth?

Where the Truth Lies Book Cover Where the Truth Lies
DI Redpath #1
M J Lee
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers, Detective
Canelo
Pub Date 22 Oct 2018

The case was closed. Until people started dying… The unputdownable first DI Ridpath crime thriller from bestseller MJ Lee

A killer in total control. A detective on the edge. A mystery that HAS to be solved.

DI Thomas Ridpath was on the up in the Manchester CID: a promising young detective whose first case involved capturing a notorious serial killer. But ten years later he’s recovering from a serious illness and on the brink of being forced out of the police. Then people start dying: tortured, murdered, in an uncanny echo of Ridpath’s first case.

As the investigation intensifies, old bodies go missing, records can’t be found and the murder count grows. Caught in a turf war between the police and the coroner’s office, digging up skeletons some would rather forget, Ridpath is caught in a race against time: a race to save his career, his marriage… And lives.

When a detective goes missing everything is on the line. Can Ridpath close the case and save his colleague?

WHERE THE TRUTH LIES is a nail-biting crime thriller, full of breathtaking twists and turns in this fast-paced and extraordinarily original novel. Perfect for fans of Mark Billingham, Peter James and Faith Martin

A new detective for us to consider – set in Manchester this story is full of the grey, wet, dull, and dreary feel that Manchester novels often have. Which to be fair, is what Manchester often resembles – a very wet city every time I visit, when not snowing..

It is an interesting take as here we see what the role of a Coroner is and their investigative powers as against the police.  A Coroner [also called a Medical Examiner] has a number of specific tasks/roles to determine the manners and causes of death – they w also visit death scenes, identify human remains, supervise the transportation of corpses, operate crime scene equipment, complete death certificates and notify the next of kin.

Coroners have Investigators or Officers attached to them who inquiry into the circumstances of deaths that are:

sudden and of unknown cause; are due to unnatural causes;

or deaths that occur in custody.

Coroners’ officers are often the main point of contact for the coroner’s office and will liaise or speak to:

bereaved relatives and family representatives;

doctors and other health professionals;

police, and other emergency services;

registrars of births and deaths;

funeral directors;

pathologists and mortuary staff and others as relevant depending on the case.

So the Officer undertakes the bulk of the work and takes on a role that mimics what we assume the police might do, or may in fact be the prime investigative officer for a sudden death deciding whether or not the case requires a Coroner to call it a homicide and thus require a formal police investigation.

Until reading this novel I had notrealised just how much work this Office undertakes and can see how it would be an excellent role for an ex-police or officer needing lighter duties.

Hence we find Ridpath allocated to this role as he recovers from his cancer.

Ridpath is not quite as angst ridden as we now expect our police to be and thus makes for a different storyline which is refreshing. He is not an addict or alcoholic nor suffering from a traumatic divorce, though his wife is none too pleased with him and his attitude to work and looking after his health.

I think his has the makings of a nice series as the characters develop and Ridpath becomes more familiar with his role.

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The Dead pile up

Where The Dead Fall Book Cover Where The Dead Fall
DI Ridpath #2
MJ Lee
crime fiction, mystery, thriller,
Canelo
11 Apr 2019

One chance encounter, one street side murder, will change everything…

The extraordinary new Ridpath crime thriller Manchester has been at peace for twenty years. Not any more.

DI Ridpath is in the process of getting his life back together when everything goes wrong.

Driving to meet his daughter, he is caught in a horrific motorway accident, in which a near-naked man is rundown by a lorry, while fleeing from a lone gunman.As Ridpath closes Manchester’s road network in search of the assailant, one question remains: why did nobody else see him?

Ridpath’s investigations, which at first seem to follow protocol, soon unearth a number of inconsistencies, which pulls the police force itself into question and hint at something sinister to come...

For Manchester is on the brink of a fresh surge of violence unlike anything it has seen in decades. As Ridpath battles this unprecedented conflict, he must battle his own demons. One thing is for sure. There will be blood on the streets…

The nail-biting sequel to Where the Truth Lies, M J Lee’s Where the Dead Fall is an absolute must read, perfect for fans of Mark Billingham, Faith Martin and Peter James 

This book is set in Manchester UK – a grim town as I recall (always raining) and according to Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett in their novel Good Omens, it was created by the demon Crowley as part of his work towards sending humans to Hell [not to mention his slight adjustment of the M25..].

This novel does not encourage you to think that it might be a nice place to visit and be a tourist. It talks about crime families – 4 in Manchester – having ‘carved up’ the town into 4 quarters each holding their own with no inter-gang warfare, but each specialising in drugs, or prostitution, or…  but not really guns until this story starts.

I found it a useful introduction to the work of a Coroner’s Office which I had not known – I always assumed that it was part of the offices that dealt with the post-mortem – no doubt confused by TV stories. But here we find out that they stand for the victim and attempt to discover just what happened to them and how the death was investigated, if necessary.

The story makes grim reading as we have a series of deaths and a very ill policeman working for the Coroner’s Office who is charged with assuring the Coroner of her facts as she holds her Inquest into their deaths.

But still compelling and whilst I had guessed some of it, I had not guessed all of the back story which ended up with these particular deaths.

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