Books reviews, book tours, cover reveals and anything else book-related.

Blog Tour & Book Review: The Cairo Brief by Fiona Veitch Smith

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Title: The Cairo Brief (Poppy Denby Investigates Book 4)
Author: Fiona Veitch Smith
Publisher: Lion Fiction
Publication Date: 21 September 2018

The Cairo Brief has recently been shortlisted for The People's Book Prize and voting is open now - more details can be found here.


I've heard all about you, Miss Denby. Everyone knows you have a nose for murder. Poppy Denby is intrigued when she is invited to attend the auction for the Death Mask of Nefertiti. Held on the country estate of Sir James Maddox, a famous explorer, the auction promises to be a controversial and newsworthy affair. Representatives from the world's leading museums are gathering to bid on the mask, which was discovered in Egypt. Poppy quickly sniffs out that the mask was not the only thing found that night: the underground chamber also contained a dead body. Poppy and her colleagues from The Daily Globe, who are trying to stay one step ahead of their rivals from The London Courier, dismiss rumours about the mask's ancient curse. But when one of the auction party is murdered, and someone starts stalking Poppy, the race is on to find the killer before the curse can strike again.

Book Review: The Mercy Seat by Elizabeth H. Winthrop

Wednesday, 21 November 2018
The Mercy Seat by Elizabeth H. Winthrop

Title: The Mercy Seat
Author: Elizabeth H Winthrop
Publisher: Sceptre Books
Publication Date: 8 May 2018 (ebook), 14 June 2018 (hardcover), 7 February 2019 (paperback)


As the sun begins to set over Louisiana one October day in 1943, a young black man faces the final hours of his life: at midnight, eighteen-year-old Willie Jones will be executed by electric chair for raping a white girl - a crime some believe he did not commit.

In a tale taut with tension, events unfold hour by hour from the perspectives of nine people involved. They include Willie himself, who knows what really happened, and his father, desperately trying to reach the town jail to see his son one last time; the prosecuting lawyer, haunted by being forced to seek the death penalty against his convictions, and his wife, who believes Willie to be innocent; the priest who has become a friend to Willie; and a mother whose only son is fighting in the Pacific, bent on befriending her black neighbours in defiance of her husband.

In this exceptionally powerful novel, Elizabeth Winthrop explores matters of justice, racism and the death penalty in a fresh subtle and profoundly affecting way. Her Kaleidoscopic narrative allows us to inhabit the lives of her characters and see them for what they are - complex individuals, making fateful choices we might not condone, but can understand. 

Book Review: The Corset by Laura Purcell [via PigeonHole]

Friday, 16 November 2018
The Corset by Laura Purcell

Title: The Corset
Author: Laura Purcell
Publisher: Raven Books
Publication Date 20 September 2018

Twitter: @spookypurcell


Dorothea and Ruth.

Prison visitor and prisoner. Powerful and powerless.

Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder.

When Dorothea's charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted to have the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person's skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.

The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations, of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses, will shake Dorothea's belief in rationality, and the power of redemption.

Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?

REVIEW: The Pigeonhole App - an online book club

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

The Pigeonhole

Book lovers and book bloggers, if you haven't already heard of The Pigeonhole you really should check it out!

I was introduced to The Pigeonhole approximately 2 months ago and since then I've recommended it to a number of friends.

Launched in September 2014, The Pigeonhole is an online book club. You download the app (for Android or iOS) onto your phone and then sign up - simple!  Once signed up, you pick a book (or two) and start to read through the app.  There will be a limited number of spaces for each book, so if you see one that takes your fancy you better sign up quickly!  Once a book goes live, you may or may not be able to join in. I believe it depends how many spaces are left. After the serialisation has concluded, the completed book will remain available for one month. 

Blog Tour & Book Review: The Green Viper (James Ryker Book 4) by Rob Sinclair

Saturday, 10 November 2018
Rob Sinclair

Title: The Green Viper (James Ryker Book 4)
Author: Rob Sinclair
Publisher: Bloodhound Books
Publication Date: 5 November 2018

Other books in series: The Red Cobra,  The Black Hornet  &  The Silver Wolf

I am delighted to be today's stop on the blog tour for The Green Viper by Rob Sinclair. Huge thanks to Emma Welton (aka @damppebbles), Bloodhound Books and the author himself for both inviting me to join the tour and for providing a copy of Rob's fantastic new novel, The Green Viper, for review.

Blog Tour: The Cornish Village School - Second Chances by Kitty Wilson

Thursday, 1 November 2018
The Cornish Village School - Second Chances by Kitty Wilson

Title: The Cornish Village School - Second Chances
Author: Kitty Wilson
Publisher: Canelo
Publication Date: 4 October 2018

Today on the blog we're joining the tour for The Cornish Village School - Second Chances by Kitty Wilson. As you will have noticed, autumn has most definitely arrived - the supermarkets are full of pumpkins, the trees are turning beautiful shades of red and orange, the nights are drawing in and there's a definite chill in the air. I'm delighted to have a spotlight piece from Kitty Wilson explaining what she likes best about autumn. 

Five fab things about autumn.

I am a fickle being when it comes to the seasons of the year, but the truth is I do genuinely love each single one of them and could wax lyrical about each of them with ease.

However, autumn is upon us now and as my new book in The Cornish Village School series, Second Chances, has a distinctly autumnal theme then it seems timely to share the things I love most about autumn.

Conkers – There is something special about conkers, finding them on the floor, bursting out of that hedgehog casing and revealing a shiny brown treasure never fails to excite me. Then as a child I would rush my hoard home to douse them in vinegar and bake them overnight to make sure I had the shiniest, toughest conker for the playground next day. You have no idea how many autumn walks were undertaken with my own children and put on the school timetable when I was teaching! Recently I went on holiday, bought presents for my family but for my momento, I slipped the conker with the most beautiful sheen I could find into my pocket.

Scrunchy leaves – surely this is everyone’s favourite? I defy anyone not to enjoy the scrunch of a leaf beneath their foot, and the joy of having squillions of them to jump on during a woodland walk (obviously you’re there looking for conkers!) is immeasurable. And then there are the colours, the vibrant reds, yellow and oranges that litter the floor during this time of year and make my soul sing, beautiful!

Jumpers – this sounds like a silly favourite thing but honestly it makes me so happy when the season changes slightly and I can start pulling great big roll necks out of the wardrobe and cuddling up in them, burying my chin and hooking my fingers into the end of the sleeves to make my hands ultra-toasty.

Fire – autumn is orange and as it approaches I scurry to the fireplace, dragging out the wood I have stockpiled and eagerly light the fire. I love getting lost in the shape of flames as they jump and flicker, lighting up and warming the room and giving permission for me to lose hours just sitting there and staring.

Bonfire night – this practically combines all of the above things and throws in the wow of fireworks and, if you’re lucky, some soup and a jacket potato as well! What is not to love? Add a measure of history in the shape of Guy Fawkes to the magic and I’m in seventh heaven. In the Cornish Village School – Second Chances a lot of the action occurs across Halloween and Bonfire Night, and in a season that is so exciting for small children (and this adult too) it is no surprise that it leads to something really special happening in the Cornish village of Penmenna. 

About the Author

Kitty Wilson
Kitty Wilson lived in Cornwall for twenty-five years having been dragged there, against her will, as a stroppy teen. she is now remarkably grateful to her parents for their foresight and wisdom - and that her own children aren't as hideous. Recently she has moved to Bristol, but only for love and on the understanding that she and her partner will be returning to Cornwall to live very soon. She spends most of her time welded to the Keyboard, dreaming of the beach or bombing back down the motorway for a quick visit! She has a penchant for very loud music, equally loud dresses and romantic heroines who speak their mind.

A huge thanks to Kitty for that wonderful reminder of the joys of autumn!  Personally I love this season, with the beautiful russet colours, the cosy jumpers and knee-high boots and, of course, big mugs of hot chocolate - what could be more perfect than that?!

If you've not yet heard much about The Cornish Village School - Second Chances (book 2 in the Cornish Village School series), then check out the information below:


Ex-ballerina and single mum Sylvie is in trouble. Juggling her ballet classes in the nearest town, preparing shy Sam for his first day at Penmenna Village school and trying to finally move out from the farm she shares with her cantankerous Uncle Tom means life is anything but easy.

Television journalist Alex is facing challenges of his own. Seeking a calmer environment for his newly adopted daughter, Ellie, he's swapped reporting in war zones for the school PTA in quiet Penmenna, where his best friend Chase has persuaded him to start laying some roots.

Fireworks ignite when Sylvie and Alex meet but as Ellie and Sam become instant best friends, will they be able to keep things strictly platonic for the sake of the children?

(Brief) Review

The Cornish Village School - Second Chances is a heart-warming tale about the creation of a family. Family doesn't always come in the same format and, for Sylvie and Alex, they find themselves and their children becoming a family despite the fact that they are not in a romantic relationship. Is it possible for them to make that leap without ruining everything? Do they even want to change something that already seems pretty perfect? From an eclectic cast of characters to the charming village setting, the book is feel-good, warm, funny, endearing and thoroughly entertaining! 


Finally, don't forget to catch up with the other stops on this blog tour, details listed below: