Claire’s 10 FAVORITE books this year! #blog #review #books #simplythebest!

WOW! What a fabulous reading year! Thanks to authors and publishers who have allowed me to not only read their fabulous books, but have provided an advance reader copy before publication. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel!

In this list you’ll find slick psychological thrillers, deliciously dark that keep you guessing until the end. Police procedurals with flawed but completely relatable characters and heartbreaking women’s fiction with resolutions and twists you don’t see coming. All of them exceptional. Un-put-downable. Highly addictive and superbly written.

This list is by no means complete. I had to pick out ten that stuck out in my mind and wouldn’t let go. But there are others I would have gladly added. So next year, instead of blogging in December, I’ll be blogging in June too!

Books and Descriptions:

Oh, I just finished The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor. WOW, bloody WOW!  It blew my mind, and should also be added to this list. But there isn’t room, so I’ll cheat and add it here instead.

The Chalk Man: The Sunday Times bestseller. The most chilling book you'll read this year by [Tudor, C. J.]

It was only meant to be a game . . . None of us ever agreed on the exact beginning. Was it when we started drawing the chalk figures, or when they started to appear on their own? Was it the terrible accident? Or when they found the first body? Print Length: 342 pages. Publisher: Penguin (11 Jan. 2018).

After The End by Clare Mackintosh – From New York Times bestselling author Clare Mackintosh comes a deeply moving and page-turning novel about an impossible choice—and the two paths fate could take. Print Length: 400 pages. Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (June 25, 2019)

Violet by SJI HollidayWhen two young women – strangers – end up sharing a cabin on the Trans-Siberian Express, a strange friendship develops, one that can only have one ending … a nerve-shattering psychological thriller from bestselling author SJI Holliday. Paperback: 276 pages. Publisher: Orenda Books (November 14, 2019)

The Marriage Trap by Sheryl Browne – My husband has been keeping secrets for a long time. He thinks I don’t know what he does outside of this house. But I know everything… Print Length: 300 pages. Publisher: Bookouture (July 30, 2019)

Nine Elms by Rober Bryndza – From the breakthrough international bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice, a breathtaking, page-turning novel about a disgraced female detective’s fight for redemption. And survival… Kate Marshall was a promising young police detective when she caught the notorious Nine Elms serial killer. But her greatest victory suddenly turned into a nightmare. Print Length: 392 pages. Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (December 1, 2019)

Our House by Louise Candlish – On a bright morning in the suburbs, a family moves into the house they’ve just bought on Trinity Avenue. Nothing strange about that. Except it’s your house. And you didn’t sell it. Print Length: 426 pages. Publisher: Berkley (August 7, 2018)

Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir – The prison doors slam shut behind Agla when her sentence ends, but her lover Sonja is not there to meet her. As a group of foreign businessmen tries to draw Agla into an ingenious fraud that stretches from Iceland around the world, Agla and her former nemesis María find the stakes being raised at a terrifying speed.  Print Length: 276 pages. Publisher: Orenda Books; None edition (August 17, 2019)

Dead Inside by Noelle Holten – The killer is just getting started… When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet. Print Length: 293 pages. Publisher: One More Chapter (May 31, 2019)

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver – When strangers take part in a series of group suicides, everything suggests that a cult is to blame. How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member? Print Length: 276 pages. Publisher: Orenda Books (September 14, 2019)

Dead Memories by Angela Marsons – She ruined their lives. Now they’re going to destroy hers. ‘Someone is recreating every traumatic point in your life. They are doing this to make you suffer, to make you hurt and the only possible end game can be death. Your death.’ Print Length: 400 pages. Publisher: Bookouture (February 22, 2019).

I Will Make You Pay by Teresa Driscoll – Every Wednesday, like clockwork, the terror returns. It seems like an ordinary Wednesday, until the phone rings. A mysterious caller with a chilling threat. Journalist Alice Henderson hangs up, ready to dismiss it as a hoax against the newspaper. But the next Wednesday, the stalker makes another move—and it becomes clear that this is all about Alice. Print Length: 317 pages. Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (October 10, 2019)

Top 10 Books 2019

My reviews on each of these amazing book are available on this blog under the book title. All of them are high star reads and highly recommended. I hope you enjoy them too!

Special thanks go to the Blog Tour Organizers, Sarah Hardy (@sarahhardy681) and Anne Cater, (@annecater) who have tirelessly and professionally given up their time to support writers, and @Netgalley for providing readers with a place to request copies to try out new authors.

Thank you!

And Happy Christmas to all.

Claire

 

Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir @OrendaBooks #review #blog #crime #thriller

Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir is a crime thriller, published by Orenda Books. With a quote by Val McDermid, I knew I was in for a treat! Told in multiple points of view, it’s an easy read with complex underpinnings that give the book that extra oomph!

About the book

Cage book coverDrugs, smuggling, big money and political intrigue in Iceland rally with love, passion, murder and betrayal until the winner takes all … in the masterful, explosive conclusion to the award-winning Reykjavík Noir trilogy…

The prison doors slam shut behind Agla, when her sentence ends, but her lover Sonja is not there to meet her.

As a group of foreign businessmen tries to draw Agla into an ingenious fraud that stretches from Iceland around the world, Agla and her former nemesis, María find the stakes being raised at a terrifying speed.

Ruthless drug baron Ingimar will stop at nothing to protect his empire, but he has no idea about the powder keg he is sitting on in his own home. At the same time, a deadly threat to Sonya and her family brings her from London back to Iceland, where she needs to settle scores with longstanding adversaries if she wants to stay alive.

With a shocking crescendo, the lives of these characters collide, as drugs, smuggling, big money and political intrigue rally with love, passion, murder and betrayal until the winner takes all … in the masterful, explosive conclusion to the award-winning Reykjavík Noir trilogy. 

Book details:

Series: Reykjavik Noir trilogy

Paperback: 276 pages

Publisher: Orenda Books; None edition (April 1, 2020)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1912374498

ISBN-13: 978-1912374496

Book links:  British flag UK here  US flag  US here

 

Review

Agla is restless and sitting out a sentence for financial crimes. Unable to get over why her girlfriend Sonja left her, life on the inside offers plenty of distractions. An Islandic smelter scheme for one. With Maria nosing around on the outside, Agla soon realises she gets the information she’s looking for and Maria gets one hell of a scoop.

Agla comes across as brusque and rigid. With her history in an unforgiving financial environment, you can’t expect her to be anything else. Her kindness to pill-popping Elísa builds as the relationship deepens but life outside comes at a cost. Breaching probation conditions for one.

María Gunnhildur Jónudóttir, who was a former investigator at the special prosecutor’s office where Agla Margeirsdóttir had been a person of interest, now runs an online news outlet. But when she goes to see Agla in prison to ask about her links to Ingimar Magnússon and William Tedd — the Paris-based markets guru — she is denied visitation. But she doesn’t have to wait long. With the tenacity of a bloodhound, she is determined to get to the bottom of a conspiracy where a few greedy men could push their profit margins through the roof. But this settling of scores is detrimental.

Ingimar Magnússon, closely connected to Iceland’s business and politics, likes to play dangerous games. With a natural cold, ruthless streak, he’s rather good at it. He’s also good at infringing international regulations while staying just within the legal limits. Dirty tricks, blackmail and willing to hold a gun at anyone who stands in his way, this is a man you’d want Agla and María to steer well clear of.

And then we have Anton, a creative and dynamic individual, who has a project simmering in the cellar. Too much listening to Radio Edda makes him feel it’s time for action.  If he takes matters into his own hands, his plan could blow a hole in the stratosphere. But will such a rash decision be a hit with his beloved Júlía? I have to say I was floored by the outcome.

Including Sonja, all of these people are in a cage of their own making, and each with their own axe to grind. The chapters are compact and the pace, even when weaving from character to character, is rapid and full of intrigue. You can’t get enough. It’s one of those books that if you have to put down, you’ll still have each scene fresh in your mind, frantic to know what happens next. When all stories converge, it’s a thrill to learn who belongs where and how their lives might or might not be intertwined. About three quarters of the way through, I guessed a small portion of how the ending might play out. But certainly not all.

All in all, I gave it five big fat stars. The story-line shifted effortlessly between each point of view and spun a complex tale of murder, revenge and betrayal. Flawlessly paced and painfully gripping.

Bonuses:

A map: Found in the front matter to show us the region and setting. Major plus!

Book cover: One that will definitely stand out on bookshelves.

Writing style: Relaxed and comfortable, with visceral descriptions.

About the Author

lilja+webphoto+2+f+liljawriter.jpgIcelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir is an award-winning playwright who has written four crime novels. The previous titles in the Reykjavik Noir series are Snare and Trap, which was a Guardian Book of the Year. The film rights for the series have been bought by Palomar Pictures. Quentin Bates is the author of a series of Icelandic crime novels that include Frozen Assets and Cold Comfort. He has translated all of Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series.

More books by Lilja Sigurdardóttir

Lilja Sigurdardottir

Webpage

Amazon 

Bookpreneur *Kindle Monthly deal picks* #BookReview, THE GIFT and GOLD MEDAL winner news. #Book #SALE! Just *99p/99cents* in the US and UK – EASY PREY by Claire Stibbe 5* – Two best friends. One deadly secret. . .

I have just finished Louise Jensen’s The Gift and I have to say this is a definite five star read from me. I hadn’t heard of this author before so I decided to give it whirl. I’m really glad I did.

Jenna works at a vet clinic, but she is also a heart transplant patient, living on her own after a break up with her boyfriend, Sam. If that’s not trauma enough, read on. After the surgery, she begins to feel different. She’s forgetful and anxious, has dreams and memories she can’t explain, all of which are putting her career at risk. But worse, she is obsessed with her donor’s life. After meeting the family to pay respects and to thank them, not only do unfamiliar sights and sounds become familiar but there’s a noticeable personality shift, culminating in questions as to what really happened that night when Callie was killed in an accident.

After splitting with her long-term partner, Jenna digs deep to get to the truth of Callie’s death despite the danger in which she suddenly finds herself. Living alone and not knowing who to trust, readers will empathize with Jenna, a character with scars on her body and in her mind, where her emotions are raw and so are her struggles. The author gives a powerful and intrusive idea of what it must be like to experience such a serious operation, compounded with her obsession with Callie. I think this is what made the book so unputdownable for me and also perhaps a certain cinematic vibe that transports you into the many layers of Jenna’s life.

Once I started this book, I couldn’t put it down. Jensen has definitely done her homework; Cellular Muscle Memory – an interesting case in hand. I always appreciate the research authors put into their work and this is no exception. The ending was as satisfying as the rest of the book and delivered well beyond my expectations. You can’t help being stirred by Jenna’s story and where a certain residue will remain with you for weeks to come. Definitely another author to watch.

The GiftSynopsis:

The perfect daughter is dead. And a secret is eating her family alive…

Jenna is given another shot at life when she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie. Eternally grateful to Callie and her family, Jenna gets closer to them, but she soon discovers that Callie’s perfect family is hiding some very dark secrets…

Callie’s parents are grieving, yet Jenna knows they’re only telling her half the story. Where is Callie’s sister Sophie? She’s been ‘abroad’ since her sister’s death but something about her absence doesn’t add up. And when Jenna meets Callie’s boyfriend Nathan, she makes a shocking discovery.

Jenna knows that Callie didn’t die in an accident. But how did she die? Jenna is determined to discover the truth but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life.

A compelling, gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist from the author of the Number One bestseller The Sister.

Publisher: Bookouture

Pages: 354

Links:    US https://amzn.to/2NJNp1C     UK  https://amzn.to/2NHWRme

BOOK SALE UPDATE!

Easy Prey by Claire Stibbe is on SALE this week – and on Bookbub – for only 99 cents / 99p. This is an excellent time to grab your copy.

Easy Prey SALE

Synopsis: Two best friends. One deadly secret.

Something dark and brooding stalks the mysterious Bosque nature reserve. Bird watchers fall prey to the menace and thefts of rare falcons are on the rise. But it is the body of a murdered girl discovered on the banks of The Rio Grande River that eventually brings Detectives Temeke and Santiago onto the trail.

During a camping weekend, Jessie Bowman’s best friend, Bree, has disappeared. Guilt ridden, yet determined to do the right thing, she tracks the man she believes is responsible and begins to unravel a mystery that tests every ounce of her resilience. She has only two choices – fight or flight. And Jessie is done with running.

Now Detectives Temeke and Santiago must locate Jessie before the madman snares his final prey.

‘Stibbe handles the latest mystery in the Detective Temeke series with the dexterity of a master falconer. The climax will swoop down and seize you when you least expect it, leaving you feeling as if you too have become ‘easy prey’. Dr Maurice Singleton, PhD in Narrative Theory, Author and Lecturer

‘A gripping story with some of the most vivid writing I’ve read this year. Unpredictable and absorbing, it was one of those books that hooked me right from the start.’ Bonnie’s Books

‘If there is a crime fan who hasn’t discovered the Detective Temeke series yet, go and read them all immediately. I love books with that extra-special something, where the author puts you at every scene and doesn’t let go until the last heart-pumping chapter.’ 23rd Avenue Book Club.

Publisher: Bookpreneur

Page: 348

Links:    🇺🇸 US      🇬🇧 UK 

BLOG NEWS:

Last, but by no means least, is a GOLD MEDAL from Feedspot. Bookpreneur has been selected as one of the Top 25 Thriller Book Blogs on the web. How cool is that! Why not head on over and take a look.

BADGE

Excerpt from Top 25 Thriller Book Blogs:

The Best Thriller Book Blogs from thousands of Thriller Book blogs on the web using search and social metrics. Subscribe to these websites because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information.

These blogs are ranked based on following criteria

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts.
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review

Review Tour – Stolen Gypsy by Elizabeth Horton-Newton

Whoo-hoo, I’m thrilled to have just read Stolen Gypsy by Elizabeth Horton-Newton. Some of you may know her other books, Riddle, Carved Wooden Heart and View From The Sixth Floor: An Oswald Tale.  Her books have garnered five star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads – definitely an author to watch!

About the Author

Elizabeth HOrton NewtonElizabeth Horton-Newton was born in New York City and was 10 years old when President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. As she watched the events unfold on television she became fascinated. This lifelong interest resulted in her first novel, “View From the Sixth Floor: An Oswald Tale”.

With the release of her novel “Riddle” she once again tackled a social issue; the illegal adoption of First Nations babies separated from their families. Small town prejudices against people of color and “outsiders” result in a unique friendship between two young people. Weaving a romantic thriller around the issues she creates rich characters in all her writing that draw the reader into their lives.

Her first erotic romance novel, “Carved Wooden Heart”, was written with new author Starla Hartless. The story follows a young journalist as she experiences joys and sorrows but never gives up on her dreams. Dani Stone deals with the pain of loss, panic attacks, and life challenges. Recently released “Stolen Gypsy” is an action packed tale revolving around a young gypsy girl and her search for her true identity. Elizabeth did extensive research on the Rom culture and the Witness Protection Program when writing this suspenseful mystery.

With her education in Criminal Psychology, Sociology, and Media Communications she has a unique insight into how criminals think and how society responds to their crimes. Volunteering in local Domestic Violence groups in her hometown she likes to confront social problems in her stories.

Book Description

“Her parents are dead. The government has failed her. Now she doesn’t even know who she is. Terza Blackstone is rescued by handsome Irishman Tristan Devlin and that begins the search for her true identity. When everything you thought was yours has been stolen from you, there’s only one thing to do. Steal it all back.

What do gypsies, the Witness Protection Program, a drug cartel, and a young girl running for her life have in common?”

Stolen Gypsy
Buy Links:  US  https://amzn.to/2HMQufk   UK  https://amzn.to/2Hho37S

 Advanced Reviews for “Stolen Gypsy”

“A real page-turner. I couldn’t put it down. Imagine waking up to find out you weren’t who you thought you were. ” Kathy Broggy

“Fascinating. Mind-blowing plot twists. I was up all night reading, unable to set the book down” Michelle Martin

“I learned so much about gypsies and their traditions. Best part was the action scenes and the Feds. The part when the drug cartel shows up was so well written I could smell the smoking guns.” Nick LeBlanc

“…it’s fantastic! I totally loved it! So much was stolen from her, but… she stole her life back again! Terza’s life starts to peel away, and an array of shattering truths rise up from a past, she hardly realised she’d had. With the help of a handsome Irish hunk Tristan, Terza faces off with ruthless drug cartels, mysterious Romany gypsy gangs, the local police and the FBI, all the time fighting to get back the life that was stolen from her. ” Michelle Medhat, Author “Connected: The Calling” and “The Shift.”

Amazon Review

With a tragic accident that involves her parents, seventeen-year-old Terza Blackstone is catapulted rapidly from the steady routine of family life into the unknown. Having been questioned at the police station, she is taken home by her hard-nosed attorney, Vanessa Duffy, who wants to petition for guardianship. Judging by the aggressive activity of reporters at the scene, there is something very sinister about this case.

There is some interesting back story involving secret pasts and I wanted to know more. Someone wants Terza out of the way and the action and tension begins to climb. There are lots of suspects and few clues, a complex story that has more twists and turns than a pretzel.

Once in a while a character like Terza comes along that gets under your skin and refuses to let go. I liked her at the outset; smart, stubborn and quirky, not to mention a fan of Lindsey Stirling. I think she and I would get along. As Vanessa takes Terza back to childhood, memories begin to surface of an unsettled background where she has never spent more than one year in any school.

As the plot moves forward, Terza comes face-to-face with the stark realization that nothing in her past life adds up. Even with new-found friends to help her, she is never far from the agencies of law enforcement or from those who might want to harm her. When the truth unfolds, the tragic thing about this book is the choices Terza must make. Her tale at the end of the book brings a fresh perspective on abandonment and how there is only one person who can set her free.

elizabeth books

Elizabeths books

Elizabeth currently lives with her husband, writer Neil Douglas Newton, along with a collection of rescued cats and dogs in a 100-year-old house. Mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of one, she is already working on her fifth book, “Blood on Murder Highway”, where she returns to her fascination with serial killers and the indigenous populations of the Pacific Northwest. The story is loosely based on the unsolved murders of indigenous women in British Columbia. In addition, she has novelettes through Electric Eclectic Books. These short stories range from horror to crime noir, domestic violence to slice of life mystery.

Review Tour – Mrs. Jones by B.A. Morton @Twisted Ink Publishing #BookReview

I am pleased to welcome author B.A. Morton, writer of hard-boiled, crime and horror thrillers. Babs also writes historical fiction, in particular The Wildwood Chronicles set in medieval England. One of her many five star reviewers have been quoted as saying these are beautifully written historical novels with strong elements of romance, adventure, mystery, and fantasy.

She lives amidst the wonderful scenery of the Northumberland National Park, an inspirational backdrop for her historical fiction series. As a member of the Crime Writer’s Association and Crime Readers Association, it’s not hard to see why this versatile and canny writer of crime fiction won the Yeovil Literary Prize in 2011 for Mrs. Jones.

Mrs. Jones

 

Buy Links 🇺🇸️ http://amzn.to/2uGtgkk 🇬🇧️ http://amzn.to/2tNl9VL 

Book Description

Formats: Paperback, Kindle Edition, eBook

Print Length: 341 pages

Publisher: TWISTED INK PUBLISHING

A British girl with a secret. A New York cop with a past. And a Mob that wants revenge.

When maverick New York detective, Tommy Connell, picks up a witness to murder, he finds himself with more than he bargained for.

Mysterious British girl, Lizzie Jones, is harboring a secret and both the Mob and the Feds are keen to know what it is.

Setting out to solve the puzzle Connell is inexplicably drawn back to his checkered past and the murder of his young son’s mother. With hired killers hot on their trail, Connell must protect Mrs. Jones and uncover the truth.

‘A fast paced roller-coaster of a ride’ ‘Twisty-turny romantic suspense’

Yeovil Literary Prize winner 2011

Babs

B.A. Morton

 

Book Review

Tracing a 911 call to Apartment 13A, Detective Connell investigates hit and run scene with a witness he’d rather like to know better. A witness who may just be a lot younger than her ID claims. Clever dialogue makes this opening scene a page-turner and just like Connell, I find anything odd intriguing. What he can’t figure out is why Mrs. Jones is living in this apartment. Why such a dangerous part of town? Connell is determined there is something she’s not telling him, something that sets the alarm bells ringing. And he’s determined to keep her close at hand. This case is not a straightforward one and, in many detective novels, they never are. But there’s a magic to this book that doesn’t let up and that’s what kept me reading until the end.

I want to know who Mrs. Jones is. Why she’s so vulnerable. And where is Mr. Jones? I like Connell . . . very much. There’s a unique stoicism to him that doesn’t fit the stereotype. His character is more realistic in my view, more to resonate with. In fact, there’s nothing to pigeon-hole these characters at all. What strikes me as unusual is Morton’s way of communicating their inner-workings. Effortless is the word, much like her other novels which portray unusual people in exceptional situations. There’s a sharp twist to these and a certain residue that sticks to the skin long after the last page. Five stars for a gripping, sensual ride. Straight to the point. No holds barred. (Bookpreneur 5* Review)

Other publications

Mrs. Jones would not be complete without the second in the series Molly Brown.

Molly Brown

Short description

A child to save – A killer to catch.

When a strange little girl disappears into the night and no one seems to care, Tommy Connell figures someone should take another look.

Watch out for more of Molly Brown on Amazon.

Amazon 5* Reviewer: The prose is crisp, transporting a reader through half the book in no time! But don’t go too fast. There are a myriad of details, clues and senses to enjoy, and characters to become attached to.

For a complete list of B.A. Morton’s books on Amazon take a look HERE

Why not visit B.A. Morton’s website HERE

 

 

Review Tour – The Sculthorpe Murder by Karen Charlton @Thomas&Mercer #BookReview

I’m pleased to welcome author Karen Charlton, writer of historical mysteries set in Regency England.

Her Detective Lavender Mysteries, published by Thomas & Mercer, are the fictional adventures of Stephen Lavender, who was a real-life Principal Officer with the Bow Street Police Office in London.

By the early 19th century, Principal officers had a variety of different and important roles although they were still nicknamed ‘Bow Street Runners’ as if they were messenger boys. Apart from supporting their colleagues solve crime in the capital, they were often sent out to help magistrates in the provinces with difficult cases. They also took part in undercover work in periods of insurrection, for example, during the Luddite riots in the Midlands and were available to hire by wealthy landowners.

They were Britain’s earliest private detectives and were famous throughout London. They were the only policemen allowed into Buckingham House (the forerunner of the palace) and did security work for the Bank of England. On some occasions, they were even sent abroad to help with crimes and criminals who had spilled out over our borders onto the continent.

Through Karen’s research, she has come across dozens of their cases reported in the newspapers of the time. She frequently uses them as the basis for the plots of her novels.

Karen Charlton 2

Buy Links    Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

Book Description

Formats: Paperback, Kindle Edition, eBook

Print Length: 318 pages

Publisher: THOMAS & MERCER

Book Review

The Sculthorpe Murder is the third book in the Detective Lavender Mysteries, although each book can easily be read as a standalone. Giving a nod to the Bow Street Police Office in London, Charlton’s writing is strong, bringing Regency London to life. Lavender and Woods are not just Bow Street detectives, they have become unique and appealing characters we know and love. I can’t help but champ at the bit for another book in the series.

Captain Rushperry of Market Harborough has written to Magistrate Read in London to send his best assistance in the brutal attack on old man William Sculthorpe. By the time Lavender and Woods arrive on the scene, the mystery has quickly turned into a murder investigation. Since there are known gangs terrorizing a nearby area and who have already robbed a local couple, it is generally assumed this gang is responsible for Sculthorpe’s death.

Already motivated by this eerie crime, my nose was twitching at the roasting meat and coal fires in the square at Market Harborough. Woods with his insatiable appetite for good food and Lavender’s cynical thoughts, not to mention his remarkable powers of detection, which ultimately lead me through a sea of local characters I thoroughly enjoyed meeting. Charlton is excellent at crafting well-paced, exciting action sequences, all laced with the accents of the Regency period. I always get a kick out of the relationship between Woods and Lavender, these are just one of the many aspects of this outstanding novel.

There are several fascinating threads of history throughout the book, as well as a beautiful descriptions. Never a dull moment as I tried to solve the crime together with Lavender and Woods. Every time I thought I’d clinched it, along came another surprise and the dramatic conclusion had me on the edge of my seat. Maintaining the flavor of the period throughout, Charlton has crafted a wonderful series that any lover of historical fiction will delight in reading. Thank you Netgalley and TBC for the ARC. (Claire Stibbe)

About the Author

Karen says:

Karen Charlton

An English graduate and a former teacher, I now write full-time and live in a remote fishing village on the North East coast of England. I am a stalwart of the village pub quiz and my team once won the BBC quiz show ‘Eggheads.’ My other claim to fame is that I won a Yorkshire Tourist Board award for writing Murder Mystery Weekends.

Other publications

The first in the Detective Lavender Books is The Heiress of Linn Hagh and the second in the series is The Sans Pareil Mystery. There are also two Detective Lavender Short Stories to compliment the series: The Mystery of the Skelton Diamonds and The Piccadilly Pickpocket.

Catching the Eagle, Karen’s first novel, is the true story of her notorious ancestor, Jamie Charlton, who was convicted back in 1810 of Northumberland’s biggest robbery. She says:

To explain how my late husband and I discovered this gaol-bird in our family tree, I wrote my nonfiction genealogy book, ‘Seeking Our Eagle.’ It’s a ‘How -we-did-it’ rather than a ‘whodunit?’ and is probably the closest I’ll ever come to an autobiography.

We are excited to announce that Karen has currently completed the fourth book in the series: Plague Pits & River Bones. COMING SOON!

For a complete list of Karen’s books on Amazon take a look here

Crime, One Book at a Time

I’m absolutely thrilled to share NEW BOOK NEWS about my fourth book, Dead Cold, which will be published on June 16th, 2017. I will be providing a cover reveal nearer the time on my Facebook page and Twitter page, so feel free to check in regularly at the following links.

Facebook

Twitter

Not only is there a new Detective Temeke book to add to the collection but book 2, Night Eyes, is on a special deal at the moment of only 99 cents.  If you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, don’t delay. Its a short promotion and will finish at the end of this week.

Night Eyes-new (2) FINAL FINALBookBub

If you are a BookBub member, feel free to follow me here for updates on all new books and special deals which we usually run three times a year.

Researching the books

The research for the Temeke books just keeps getting better. At the end of this month I will be graduating from the Bernalillo Sheriff’s Department CPA where we learned all about laws of arrest, search and seizure, property crimes, gang unit, active shooter, defensive driving, traffic unit and my personal favorite, dispatch. After completing three ride-alongs with Sheriff’s deputies we are now able to do a fly-along with Metro 1 and 2, two helicopters that serve the county.

Having graduating from the 50th Albuquerque Citizen Police Academy last year made all these classes possible. A big thank you to the boys and girls in blue who have taught us so much and who continue to teach me every time I see them.

As a member for Stand True For Blue, an organization that helps the families of fallen police officers, I will be helping with their newsletter. This includes officer interviews, taking pictures of events and writing up after event articles. I am excited to be a journalist in the community after being buried for three solid months in my writing cave. Even as I type this, I have just completed chapter 1 of Book 5.

Claire Helicopter

On a different note, I would like to thank author Jean Gill who very kindly took a few of the Temeke books with her on a tour to Wales this year. Selling some of her sumptuous historical fiction novels (and other genres) at the Llandeilo Lit Fest, she was rubbing shoulders with great writers such as Christoph Fischer, author of the World War II bestseller, Ludwika. Thank you Jean for allowing Detective Temeke to take a seat at your table.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Books.

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For those who have bought book 3, Past Rites, we would like to let you know there is a new and improved cover out now.  We felt this one added the right amount of ‘mood’ to the story without crossing over into another genre. I hope you like it too.

Past Rites (2) FINALFor All New Book News

For all New Book News Sign up to Claire Stibbe’s New Release Mailing List here

(Simply cut-and-paste the link into your browser. Your email will never be shared and you will only be contacted when a new book is out.)  

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I’ll be back with more news soon.

 

 

 

Description of Past Rites

Lies hurt. Truth kills.

Four years after the tragic suicide of Alice Delgado, eldest daughter of Albuquerque’s top racing driver, her younger sister, Lily, is reported missing and two of her peers are found dead. Detective Temeke’s investigation leads him to a private boarding school on the Rio Grande where the discovery of occult practices and an ancient book ignite a chain reaction of heartbreaking truths and demonic attacks.

What madness connects these girls to a ruthless killer? Against a background of simmering police tension and mounting victims, detectives Temeke and Santiago are in a desperate race to learn the truth before it’s too late.

Past Rites is a dark and gripping novel that challenges heartache and reveals the truths about our hidden demons.

Spread thick with winter chill, Stibbe delivers a richly textured, breathtaking novel that gives us an insight into the dark places of the psyche. Some secrets can never be buried. Litouture Café.

Excellent third novel. Fans of psychological fiction will enjoy Claire Stibbe’s original and unnerving portrayal of the darker side of human nature. Dr. Marco Storey, PhD in Narrative Theory & Criticism.

Vividly and believably drawn characters that are the series hallmark. It should be put at the top of every “to be read” pile! Paul Henderson, Crime Fiction New Mexico.

Watch out for more from Detective Temeke and Malin Santiago

 

 

Please vote for The 9th Hour!

Thank you so much for all those who have voted on The 9th Hour and Chasing Pharaohs, both longlisted for the Summer Indie Book Awards 2016, in Crime Fiction, Thriller Fiction and Historical Fiction.

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For those who would like to vote, click on the links below to find The 9th Hour, scroll down to the categories. Crime and Thriller are available and The 9th Hour is listed under both. Check the box next to the Book, scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit the VOTE button. It will take you to another screen which shows a list of all the books chosen this year.

Voting is open until Saturday.

The 9th Hour in Crime ~ eepurl.com/cdnpEj

The 9th Hour in Thriller ~eepurl.com/cdnpEj

Tight Plot, Great Characters, Great Writing.

Thank you to Elizabeth Horton-Newton, Author for her amazing review of The 9th Hour.

Set in colorful New Mexico, The 9th Hour successfully combines the intense investigation to find a serial killer before he strikes again with the inner workings of the killer’s mind. Into this mix comes a British born detective of African descent and a killer obsessed with Nordic mythology. Stibbe’s ability to bring these diverse elements together shows skilled writing. Her ability to do this effectively, holding the attention of the reader shows real talent.
Detective David Temeke brings a passion to his investigation that is softened by his sense of humor. Teamed with Malin Santiago whose mother was Norwegian and who speaks the language, Temeke has personal issues that crop up during the investigation. Malin has a somewhat dark past herself and struggles with demons of her own. While giving the characters an added dimension, Stibbe manages to keep these side stories from interfering with the plot; finding the serial killer before he claims another victim.
Providing insight into the workings of the police department investigating the crimes, Stibbe builds a tight story with characters that evoke emotions from sympathy to downright disgust.
The character that elicits the most sympathy is Darryl Williams, a distraught father dealing with the worst tragedy a parent can face, the murder of a child. As Williams deals with his loss and the difficulty of raising his remaining daughter’s, the reader is drawn along, sharing his pain.
The story moves forward smoothly, the tension grows, and just when you think everything is about to be resolved, bang; along comes another dark surprise. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a fast paced and dark detective story. I also look forward to more investigations with Detective Temeke and hopefully his partner Malin Santiago.

Consider also voting for Chasing Pharaohs: A Novel of Ancient Egypt for Best Historical Fiction: eepurl.com/cdnpEj – Scroll down to Historical Category and find Chasing Pharaohs in the listings.

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Thank you for voting. You ROCK!

In The Lap Of The Gods

In the lap ofIf you enjoyed Ted Tayler’s first three books in the Phoenix series, then you’ll certainly enjoy In The Lap Of The Gods. Taylor’s remarkable sequel is full of tension and suspense, similar in nature to its forerunners. Having received an ARC for an honest review, it wasn’t difficult to view so many scenes through a scope and capture a cast of remarkable characters in the crosshairs. The relationship between the cool, meticulous Phoenix and the sophisticated, discerning Athena is one I thoroughly enjoyed. There was a hominess to it, but at the same time it took on a professional and practical quality when required. The Olympus Committee includes a sparkling mixture of names taken from ancient Greek mythology. Each have flamboyant personalities and skills to fit them.

On the other side of the coin, Tayler has uniquely illustrated the criminal network of a well-established eastern European mob whose army of foot-soldiers is hell-bent on terrorizing the population. But it is the brutality of these migrant recruits and their reckless MO that strikes a chord and a leader who may be the most manipulative psychopath yet. Weaved in between the lines are the police who try to clean up the carnage while hunting down thugs intent on keeping the country on high alert.

There are plenty of fascinating surprises woven through the chapters and high powered action to keep you entertained. With all the bloody scuffles and internal mob affiliations threatening to undermine the inner core, I am reminded that this book would make an excellent movie.

Full Five Star Amazon review here

Book Description

This is the fourth book in the series so far, and it takes the stories featuring the Olympus Project in a new and exciting direction. From Larcombe Manor, Phoenix and Athena have battles to win against vicious gangsters on home soil and urgently need to identify factions within the organization plotting to take it in a different, far more sinister direction.

The opening scenes at Glastonbury 2013 to the closing chapter cover little more than a month in time. Yet in that short month, the landscape surrounding the Project is altered forever. The action is non-stop as it switches from the West Country to Windsor, then from England to the Mediterranean.

Take a deep breath; once you start you’ll want to keep turning pages until the end.
vigilante justice, secret organization, crime thriller, action adventure, closure, revenge, suspense

Endorsements:

‘the development of the characters and their relationships is beautifully handled’
‘taut and well plotted’
‘fast, thrilling and engaging’
‘a fascinating array of characters and consistent tension’

Meet the Author

TedTed Tayler was born in Corsham, Wiltshire in 1945. When he was five years old his family moved five miles up the road to Melksham. He’s lived there ever since. He attended Trowbridge Boys High School and left at 18 with a clutch of O and A Levels. He joined a bank initially but moved to a local tyre company because it fitted in better with his musical ambitions. He semi-retired in 2000; Ted’s been married to Lynne since 1971. They have 3 children in their mid-thirties and 4 grandchildren. Let Ted take up the story:-

“I grew up with reading and writing all around me. My mother loved books and I had 2 aunts who taught English. There was no escape. I just put it all on hold from school because of my music and work, until I wrote my book of memories from my life in bands in 2008; it was eventually published in 2011. At the end of 2012, I wondered if I could write fiction! Those are the when’s. I’m beginning to wonder why!

I think of myself as a storyteller; I hope that with each successive book I get better at it. What I’ve been told is that the reader feels as if we’re sat across the table from one another over a drink, and I’m just chatting with them.

As for the thriller series featuring The Phoenix; well life is all about balance isn’t it? Good and evil, love and loss, laughter and tears. The Phoenix believes that criminals should pay for their crimes; the system often fails to deliver the correct punishment. The Olympus agents can help him redress the balance. There are stories left to tell.”

More Books by Ted Tayler

The collection so far:-

We’d Like To Do A Number Now (2011)
The Final Straw (2013)
A Sting In The Tale (2013)
Unfinished Business (2014)
The Olympus Project (2014) Phoenix #1
Gold, Silver, and Bombs (2015) Phoenix #2
Conception (2015)
Nothing Is Ever Forever (2015) Phoenix #3
In The Lap Of The Gods (2016) Phoenix #4

Author Links

For more books by Ted Tayler, visit his website here

Why not visit Ted on Facebook and follow him on Twitter

Red Gold ~ A Gabe McKenna Mystery Review

Red Gold (A Gabe McKenna Mystery Book 1) 

Red GoldGabriel McKenna is grieving the loss of his wife and marinating in a sea of liquid gold, but nothing can prepare him for the surprise that awaits him in New Mexico. It’s easy to appreciate the history, the setting and the characters, especially for Albuquerque residents. As we follow Gabriel through a helter-skelter of incidents, a threatening white envelope on the windshield of his car and a Pueblo Revival style house he can now call his own, there is always that inescapable feeling of tension that kept me riveted.

Kidera’s writing is first rate and keeps at a consistent pace. From the development of Gabriel’s character and to his dry sense of humor, I enjoyed everything about him. He’s human, likeable, and will resonate with a multitude of readers. If you like a book that will keep you turning the pages and makes you shiver with anticipation, then this is just the ticket.

A five star Amazon review by Claire Stibbe.

Book Description:

Shaken by the death of his beloved wife and wrestling with powerful personal demons, Professor Gabriel McKenna leaves New York City for New Mexico to claim an inheritance from mysterious distant relatives. He finds something other than a Land of Enchantment.
Unseen enemies threaten his life. Old friends turn up and rally to his side. Together they plunge into a lethal struggle for a 19th Century treasure, the fabled Lost Adams gold. McKenna enters a world of violence, passion, sexual abuse, deceit, and death that cause him to question his core beliefs and values, and even his sense of self.
Desperate to find a way home, McKenna must first unearth the secret of an old family manuscript and risk his life against overpowering odds. He must rekindle his long-dead fighting spirit and discover new reasons to live and love.

“If you enjoy first-class suspense and an author with a unique voice and style, then you will love ‘Red Gold.’ This novel is a masterful blend of mystery, action, and love story, all wrapped up in a wonderful cast of characters and beautifully-described scenes of New Mexico. Robert Kidera’s first novel is a real treat that will have readers demanding more.”
—Joseph Badal, award-winning author of the Danforth Saga and “Ultimate Betrayal”

“Red Gold” earned the Tony Hillerman Award as Best Fiction of 2015 at the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. It was also named as Best Mystery of 2015 and the best eBook of the year.

Endorsements:

“Author Robert D. Kidera owes me big time. His debut novel in the promised McKenna Mystery series, ‘Red Gold,’ kept me up all night. Who can resist a good old-fashioned treasure hunt? ‘Red Gold’ is a thriller packed with deceit and danger but also compassion. McKenna is a damaged hero, but also one to root for.” —Vincent Zandri, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of “Everything Burns,” “The Remains,” and “The Shroud Key”

Author Bio:

Robert KideraAward-winning author Robert D Kidera’s debut novel “Red Gold” earned the Tony Hillerman Award as Best Fiction of 2015 at the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. It was also named as Best Mystery of 2015 and the best eBook of the year.

“Red Gold” is the first volume in the Gabe McKenna Mystery Series from Suspense Books. A sequel, “Get Lost”, will be available on March 8, 2016. “Cut.Print.Kill.”, a third Gabe McKenna mystery, is targeted for release in 2017.

After an early fling in the motion picture industry and a long and successful career in academia, Kidera retired in 2010. With his desire to play major league baseball no longer a realistic dream, he chose to fulfill his other lifelong ambition and became a writer. He is a member of Southwest Writers, Sisters in Crime, and the International Thriller Writers organizations.

The author lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife Annette and two cats, Otis and Woody. He has two daughters, a grandson and granddaughter. You can reach the author through his website: http://www.robertkiderabooks.com

Why not visit Robert Kidera at his website here

Take a look at Robert’s profile and books on Amazon