Today, I’m excited to share my review for Daggers at the Country Fair, the second book in Catherine Coles delightful 1940s cozy crime series

Here’s the blurb:

Winteringham Village 1947

As a thank you for her previous brilliant crime solving, amateur sleuth, Martha Miller is guest of honour at the Winteringham Country Fair. However, this time she is looking forward to simply judging dog shows and eating cream teas rather than apprehending a killer!

And Martha is just beginning to enjoy spending quality time with Vicar Luke Walker away from the prying eyes and gossips of her own village, when disaster strikes, and the local teenage femme fatale is found stabbed to death behind the tea tent by Martha’s trusted red setter Lizzie!

But who would want to kill such a young girl and why? Someone in the village has secrets to hide and it seems Martha and Luke have another case to solve!

Let the investigation commence!

Purchase Link

https://amzn.to/39FO4RF

My Review

Daggers at the Country Fair is a welcome return to the sleuthing duo of Martha and Luke. This time the characters aren’t at home but rather on a weekend away, when their skills are unexpectedly called into use once more.

What follows is an intriguing examination of the inhabitants of Winteringham when a body is found during the country fair. Martha and Luke work to unpick what happened to the deceased and to hunt down the killer, as a collection of likely murderers make themselves known

I do love a Catherine Coles cozy mystery, and Daggers at the Country Fair is a welcome addition to the Martha Miller series. I will definitely look out for book 3 in the series.

Catherine Coles writes bestselling cosy mysteries set in the English countryside. Her extremely popular Tommy & Evelyn Christie series is based in North Yorkshire in the 1920’s and Catherine herself lives in Hull with her family and two spoiled dogs.

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Follow the Daggers at the Country Fair blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources

Welcome to today’s stop on the Vendetta by Edie Baylis new release blog tour #Gangland

Here’s the blurb:

Who can you trust?

Once bitter enemies, Samantha Reynold and Seb Stoker’s powerful alliance enables their firms and casinos to go from strength to strength. With the families no longer in opposition, it seems that Sam and Seb are untouchable…

But not everyone is happy with the new power couple of the club world.

Unbeknownst to everyone, someone new wants to see Sam’s perfect life ruined. And they will stop at nothing to seek their revenge – even if it means destroying everything – and everyone – in their path.

With tensions high, Sam and Seb must put their trust in each other completely. But can they trust those closest to them? Or do they have a vendetta of their own?

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3bcvMYW

My Review

Vendetta is the third book in the Allegiance series, and the second book that I’ve read by Edie Baylis.

I really enjoyed returning to the world of Samantha and Seb, and I found the build-up to the second half of the book, which is pretty non-stop, to be much easier going for me. I think, as with these things, not having read the first book made the second book a bit tough. But with this book, I already knew many of the characters, and it was far more enjoyable for that.

As ever, none of these characters really have any redeeming qualities, but I did find myself hoping some of the women would have a happy outcome. Whether they do or not, I won’t spoil it for other readers.

It’s always fascinating to read about places that you know. And these books, set in Birmingham in the 1990s resonate with me. I think I also enjoy knowing a little more about the landscape.

A fabulously entertaining read. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my review copy. Vendetta is released today, 1st September 2022, and I wish the author a happy publication day:)

Meet the Author

Edie Baylis a successful self-published author of dark gritty thrillers with violent background settings. She lives in Worcestershire, has a history of owning daft cars and several motorbikes and is licensed to run a pub. She has signed a five-book deal with Boldwood and the first book in her new ganglit series, set in Birmingham, was published in January 2022.

Connect with Edie

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/downfallseries

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ediebaylis

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ediebaylis/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/EdieBaylisnewsletter

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/edie-baylis

Check out my review for the previous book in the series, Fallout.

Today, I’m taking part in the blog tour for A Harvest Murder by Frances Evesham #blogtour #cosycrime

Here’s the blurb:

One unexplained disappearance is strange, but two are sinister.

In Lower Hembrow, an idyllic village nestled beneath Ham Hill in Somerset, the villagers are preparing to enjoy the autumn traditions of the rural English countryside until Joe Trevillion, a curmudgeonly local farmer and the father of six children, vanishes.

When Adam Hennessy, the ex-detective proprietor of The Plough, the village’s popular Inn, investigates, he finds ominous undercurrents beneath apparently harmless rumour and gossip.

Meanwhile, a vicious campaign of vindictiveness forces Adam and his three amateur sleuth friends to dig deep into the secret lives of their neighbours to expose the source of a cruel vendetta and prevent another death.

As they uncover the disturbing truth, the friends learn they must also lay their own past lives to rest before they can hope to make their dreams for the future come true.

Purchase Link  – https://amzn.to/3tNDDDd

Review

A Harvest Murder is the first Ham Hill Murder Mystery I’ve read, but it was easy to get to know the four main characters and I’m sure other readers will be able to jump right in if they want to. Mind – there are a few references to the earlier books, so if you do, it might spoil your enjoyment of books 1 and 2 in the series.

I found the characters and the twin mysteries to be intriguing. The residents of Lower Hembrow are a typically mixed bunch of nosy do-gooders and those trying to keep their secrets just that, secret. Much of the action takes place in the local pub, listening to gossip from the locals, and if it’s not at the pub, then it’s at the local hotel, either on Cider Night or Guy Fawkes Night. The book feels very autumnal.

An enjoyable, cosy read that makes you think of toffee apples, and pumpkins. This won’t be the only book in the series that I read.

Meet the author

Frances Evesham is the bestselling author of the hugely successful Exham-on-Sea murder mysteries set in her home county of Somerset, and the Ham-Hill cosy crime series set in South Somerset.

Connect with Frances

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/frances.evesham.writer/

Twitter https://twitter.com/francesevesham

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/francesevesham/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/FrancesEveshamNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/frances-evesham

It’s release day for Wolf of Mercia, book 2 in the Eagle of Mercia Chronicles

I’m really excited for this one. I truly hope you, as my readers, will love this second book in young Icel’s story. My beta readers assure me it’s very good, and in fact, one of them was up until 3am reading the end:)

Here’s the blurb:

As a lone wolf inside a Wessex stronghold, Icel must ensure his own and Mercia’s triumph.

Icel is becoming a warrior of Mercia, but King Ecgberht of Wessex still holds the Mercian settlement of Londonia and its valuable mint.

King Wiglaf of Mercia is determined that the last bulwark be reclaimed from his sworn enemy to complete his rehabilitation as Mercia’s rightful ruler.

In the heart of the shield wall, Icel suddenly finds himself on the wrong side of the battle and thrust into the retreating enemy stronghold where he must take on the pretence of a Wessex warrior to survive and exact a cunning plan to bring down the Wessex force cowering behind the ancient walls.

His allegiances are tested and the temptation to make new allies is overwhelming but Icel must succeed if he’s ever to see Tamworth again and bring about King Wiglaf’s victory, or will he be forced to join the enemy?

books2read.com/Wolf-of-Mercia

Wolf of Mercia will be on blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources for the next week. Do check out the stops on the blog, which I’ll add as it goes along.

Www.davidsbookblurg.co.uk
https://www.thepursuitofbookiness.co.uk/
https://ruinsandreading.blogspot.com/
bookishjottings.wordpress.com
www.reviewsfeed.net
https://overtherainbowbookblog.co.uk/
https://www.instagram.com/imreadingmybook/
https://medium.com/@authorbeccamcculloch
https://www.instagram.com/eamons/
https://thestrawberrypost.wordpress.com/
http://www.nikipreston.com/

And, don’t forget to sign up for my Boldwood Books newsletter to keep up to date with special offers and new release information, and also to enter competitions – there will a release day competition to win some signed copies of book 2.

https://bit.ly/MJPorterNews

And, if that isn’t enough, book 3, Warrior of Mercia, is available for preorder now.

Today, I’m trying something a little different. Check out my review for Fallout by Edie Baylis, a bit of Gangland Fiction #BlogTour

Here’s the blurb:

Secrets. Lies. Revenge.


With the odds stacked against her, Samantha Reynold is determined to prove she’s tough enough to be the boss. But when a secret from the past threatens to ruin Sam’s reputation, she suddenly feels very alone in this dark new world. There’s only one man she can turn to – rival club owner, Sebastian Stoker.

Seb knows first-hand how secrets and lies can tear a family apart. He wants to protect Sam at all costs, but siding with her could threaten his own position as head of the Stoker family and risk accusations of betrayal.

With loyalties divided and two families at war – the fallout could be deadly.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3pYMsrB

Review

Fallout is my first gangland crime novel. It’s not my usual read – or is it?

Set in Birmingham, in 1995, it’s quite strange to read about a place I once lived quite close to. Mentions of the shops made me chuckle, and I recognised many of the place names, if not all of them.

I thrust myself straight into the book, not realising that it’s the second part of a two part book set (I know, I do this all the time.) That said, I did eventually work out many of the interactions – if I missed a few things, it didn’t impact my enjoyment of the story. And, I did enjoy it. It’s not my usual read – and it is really quite gritty. There is no one in this book that is particularly pleasant – there’s a lot of backstabbing and the plot winds tighter and tighter as it continues. You just know it’s all going to get very nasty in the end. And it does, but not quite as nasty as I feared:)

So, yes, not my usual read, but a story of backstabbing and double-crossing is very similar to the sort of story I like to write, and so the setting might have been different but the plot was like. Overall, I enjoyed my first foray into a touch of gangland, and I will certainly be reading the follow-up.

Meet Edie Baylis

Edie Baylis is a successful self-published author of dark gritty thrillers with violent background settings. She lives in Worcestershire, has a history of owning daft cars and several motorbikes and is licensed to run a pub. She has signed a five-book deal with Boldwood.

Connect with Edie

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/downfallseries

Twitter https://twitter.com/ediebaylis

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ediebaylis/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/EdieBaylisnewsletter

Follow the Fallout by Edie Baylis new release blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources

Happy release day to Elena Collins whose The Witches Tree is released today. Here’s my review.

Here’s the blurb:

A tale as old as time. A spirit that has never rested.

Present day

As a love affair comes to an end, and with it her dreams for her future, artist Selena needs a retreat. The picture-postcard Sloe Cottage in the Somerset village of Ashcombe promises to be the perfect place to forget her problems, and Selena settles into her new home as spring arrives. But it isn’t long before Selena hears the past whispering to her. Sloe Cottage is keeping secrets which refuse to stay hidden.

1682

Grace Cotter longs for nothing more than a husband and family of her own. Content enough with her work on the farm, looking after her father, and learning the secrets of her grandmother Bett’s healing hands, nevertheless Grace still hopes for love. But these are dangerous times for dreamers, and rumours and gossip can be deadly. One mis-move and Grace’s fate looks set…

Separated by three hundred years, two women are drawn together by a home bathed in blood and magic. Grace Cotter’s spirit needs to rest, and only Selena can help her now. 

Review:

The Witch’s Tree is my second dual timeline novel in a week. It’s not my preferred take on historical fiction, but hey, I’m on holiday, so why not.

The Witch’s Tree is a story linked by a single space – a house – and the author offers two timelines, one modern-day and one set in the late seventeenth century. It was the late seventeenth-century story that fascinated me the most, and the feeling of impending doom made the story a little difficult to read in places. The contrasting stories of the two women further enforced the sense that problems were brewing for Grace in the seventeenth century,. As you might expect, I wanted more of the seventeenth-century story, and less of the modern-day one. I did appreciate that the modern-day story didn’t give away any of the details of the seventeenth-century story and that some of the aspects were misunderstood by the modern cast. I think that little bit of realism really helped with the contemporary storyline.

A captivating read, I think readers will enjoy meeting Grace and Selena.

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my review copy.

(Not one to ever think that books should come with trigger warnings, I confess, there was one aspect of the book that I found a little upsetting, so I’ll say here that readers should be aware of the appearance in the narrative of a cleft lip. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but just to let readers know it is there.)

The Witches Tree is released today, 17th May 2022, and is available in ebook, paperback, hardback, large print and audio.

Connect with the author on twitter.

It’s my turn on the Poison at the Village Show by Catherine Coles New Release Blog Tour

I’ve been reading Catherine Coles previous series for a while now. I do love a Golden Age mystery novel, so I was really pleased to see she was becoming a fellow Boldwood Books author, and that there was going to be a new series as well.

Here’s the blurb:

With the war finally over the residents of Westleham village are trying to reclaim a sense of normality and the upcoming village show is proving to be a popular event!

Newcomer, Martha Miller, has high hopes for the village show. Since her husband Stan left for work one day and never returned, some of the villagers have treated Martha with suspicion – why would a good man like Stan simply up and leave? Was it something Martha did?

All Martha knows is that she’s hoping that she can win people over and hopefully they’ll but her delicious homemade plum gin, too and she’ll be able to make ends meet.

But as glasses of Martha’s gin are passed around, disaster strikes. Alice Warren, Chairwoman of the village show slumps to the ground after taking a sip. It’s clear she’s been poisoned!

Martha is shocked, but not surprised, when fingers of suspicion once again point her way. Determined to prove her innocence, Martha sets about trying to find the real culprit. But who would kill Alice and why?

Ably helped by the new vicar, Luke Walker, Martha quickly tries to get to the bottom of this mystery. But with the villagers closing ranks it quickly becomes apparent that the only person with a motive is Martha herself….

Will Luke and Martha discover who is behind the poisoning before it’s too late?

Here’s my review

Poison at the Village Show is a charming mystery set in a small village in the years after the Second World War, featuring Martha Miller, her sister Ruby, and the new vicar, Luke Walker.

I’ve already read all of Catherine Coles Tommy and Evelyn books set in the aftermath of World War I and love the depictions and the characters of Tommy and Evelyn. Fans of those books will not be disappointed with Martha, Luke and Ruby. They are all excellent creations and make for an engaging read.

The story really gathers pace as it continues, and the ending is both satisfying, and I confess, slightly unexpected for me. It’s always good not to guess who the real perpetrator was.

I really look forward to reading more of this series and returning to the charming village of Westleham with its cast of eclectic busy-bodies in the years after the war when a sweet cup of tea is the solution to everything.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my review copy.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3freNRj  

Meet the author

The daughter of a military father, Catherine was born in Germany and lived most of the first 14 years of her life abroad. She spent her school years devouring everything her school library had to offer! Catherine writes cosy mysteries that take place in the English countryside. Her extremely popular Tommy & Evelyn Christie mysteries are set in 1920s North Yorkshire. Catherine lives in northeast England with her two spoiled dogs who have no idea they are not human!

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Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the Poison at the Village Show Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources

Happy Release Day to Son of Mercia

Today is the day. Son of Mercia is FINALLY released (I know it hasn’t actually been that long, it just feels like it).

I’m so excited to share it with fans and new readers alike.

If you’ve not yet heard about my new book (where have you been:)) then here’s the blurb:

Tamworth, Mercia AD825.

The once-mighty kingdom of Mercia is in perilous danger.

Their King, Beornwulf lies dead and years of bitter in-fighting between the nobles, and cross border wars have left Mercia exposed to her enemies.

King Ecgberht of Wessex senses now is the time for his warriors to strike and exact his long-awaited bloody revenge on Mercia.

King Wiglaf, has claimed his right to rule Mercia, but can he unite a disparate Kingdom against the might of Wessex who are braying for blood and land?

Can King Wiglaf keep the dragons at bay or is Mercia doomed to disappear beneath the wings of the Wessex wyvern?

Can anyone save Mercia from destruction?

And what’s so exciting about Son of Mercia is that it’s released in all the formats and over many, many platforms, today. Find the ebook, paperback, hardback, large print and audio version at your retailer of choice via this link.

books2read.com/u/3R6x7x

Join the blog tour for Son of Mercia by following #SonOfMercia on twitter, or check back here, as I will be posting links to the blogs. Thank you to all the bloggers and to Rachel for organising such a fantastic tour to celebrate release week.

David’s Book Blurg

NIKI PRESTON

The Writing Desk

Melisende’s Library

Chicks, Rogues and Scandals

Bookish Jottings

Ruins and Reading

Snowphiethebookworm

The Strawberry Post

The Paige Ladies

Over The Rainbow

Reviewsfeed

The Very Bookish

Donna’s Book Blog

@enjoyingbooksagain

To keep up to date with news and information about book 2 in The Eagle of Mercia Chronicles, please sign up to my newsletter or the Boldwood Books newsletter. Thank you. I can confirm that book 2 is already up for preorder on some sites. )I’ll add more links as it appears elsewhere.)