I’m delighted to feature The Flame Tree by Siobhan Daiko on the blog  #HistoricalFiction #WomensFiction #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub

Here’s the blurb:

In the spring of 1939, dashing young William Burton and the beautiful Constance Han set sail from London on the same ocean liner to Hong Kong.

Romance blossoms while they enjoy games of deck quoits and spend sultry tropical evenings dancing under the stars. Connie is intrigued by Will’s talent for writing poetry, and she offers to give him Cantonese lessons to help him with his new job— a cadet in the colonial service.

But once in Hong Kong, Connie is constrained by filial duty towards her Eurasian parents, and their wish for her to marry someone from her own background. She can’t forget Will however and arranges to meet him in secret under the magnificent canopy of a flame of the forest tree—where she fulfils her promise to teach him to speak Chinese.

Before too long, trouble looms as Japanese forces gather on the border between Hong Kong and mainland China. Will joins a commando group tasked with operating behind enemy lines, and Connie becomes involved in the fight against local fifth columnists.

When war breaks out, they find themselves drawn into a wider conflict than their battle against prejudice. Can they survive and achieve a future together? Or do forces beyond their control keep them forever apart?

Based on a little-known true story, The Flame Tree is a tale of love and survival against all the odds.

PRAISE FOR SIOBHAN DAIKO

“Siobhan Daiko will tug at your heartstrings, and leave you desperate for more…” 

~ Ellie Yarde, The Coffee Pot Book Club.

“Daiko is an author you’ll want to add to your historical fiction favourites.” 

Netgalley Reviewer

Buy Links:

Universal Link: https://mybook.to/TFTHK

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CAAmazon AU

Meet the author

Siobhan Daiko is a British historical fiction author. A lover of all things Italian, she lives in the Veneto region of northern Italy with her husband, a Havanese dog and a rescued cat. Siobhan was born of English parents in Hong Kong, attended boarding school in Australia, and then moved to the UK—where she taught modern foreign languages in a Welsh comprehensive school. She now spends her time writing page-turners and enjoying her life near Venice. 

Her novels are compelling, poignant, and deeply moving, with strong characters and evocative settings, but always with romance at their heart. You can find more about her books on her website http://www.siobhandaiko.org

Connect with Siobhan

Website

TwitterFacebookFacebook: LinkedInInstagram

PinterestBook BubAmazon Author PageGoodreads

Follow The Flame Tree blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

I’m delighted to share my review for Death at Crookham Hall by Michelle Salter #historicalmystery #cosycrime #highlyrecommended

Here’s the blurb

A fatal jump. A missing suffragette. An inexplicable murder.

London, 1920. When she catches news of a big story, reporter Iris Woodmore rushes to the House of Commons. But it’s a place that holds painful memories. In 1914, her mother died there when she fell into the River Thames during a daring suffragette protest. But in the shadow of Big Ben, a waterman tells Iris her mother didn’t fall – she jumped.

Iris discovers that the suffragette with her mother that fateful day has been missing for years, disappearing just after the protest. Desperate to know the truth behind the fatal jump, Iris’s investigation leads her to Crookham Hall, an ancestral home where secrets and lies lead to murder…

Purchase Link

 https://amzn.to/3DuWBSw

My Review

Death at Crookham Hall is an incredibly well-written historical mystery set in 1920, both in London and Walden.

Our intrepid young report, Iris, finding work as a reporter for the local newspaper, begins to discover much she doesn’t know about her mother’s untimely death following a visit to the House of Parliament.

Iris is a great character, modern but not too modern – wearing trousers is fine, but wearing a dress short enough to show her thighs is too shocking – and she finds herself desperate to gather together the unknown strands of her mother’s death.

This is a really well-written story, interspersed with fascinating tit-bits of information both about the suffragettes and their sister organisation, the suffrage societies, and where the focus is very much on the women of their time, from the lady to the laundry-maid. It’s a very compelling tale, on occasion, fast-paced. Everything Iris does brings her some new information, and her role as a reporter means she gets to interview all of the main suspects without the narration feeling forced.

The resolution of the mystery feels particularly well constructed, and I just thoroughly enjoyed the story. A fabulous, well-written, mystery that holds all the promise of much more to come for young Iris and her fellow reporter, as well as the local policeman, Ben, and her friend, Alice, in Walden.

Meet the author

Michelle Salter is a historical crime fiction writer based in northeast Hampshire. Many local locations appear in her mystery novels. She’s also a copywriter and has written features for national magazines. When she’s not writing, Michelle can be found knee-deep in mud at her local nature reserve. She enjoys working with a team of volunteers undertaking conservation activities.

Connect with Michelle  

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Twitter

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Bookbub profile

I’m delighted to feature Matthew Jones’ new book, Dancing with the Devil on the blog #blogtour #mystery

Here’s the blurb

A wealthy oligarch, a failing business and a man who sacrificed everything for one final shot at freedom.

When Danny accepts a job from wealthy Conrad Szekely to spy on his business partner, Jerry, he finds himself with a world of trouble. Within days of Danny’s arrival, the business is destroyed in a catastrophic fire, which also claims Jerry’s life.

Torn between conflicting interests, Danny starts to suspect that Jerry’s business had been anything but straightforward, and finds himself trapped in a spiral of treachery and lies, which rapidly begins to degenerate into a cat and mouse chase across the fens.

With former allies turning violently against him, Danny tries to solve the mystery that surrounds Jerry’s death. But can Danny find the answers when those answers themselves prove lethal?

Purchase Links

Amazon

Until 10th February the ebook is available for only £1.99 

Waterstones

WHSmiths

Bookshop.org

Hive.co.uk

Blackwells

Until 10th February, the paperback can be purchased directly from Troubador with a 25% discount for only £7.49 using this code at checkout – RRRDANCING 

Meet the author

Aged 60 (will be 61 at time of blog tour). Married with 3 children (and grandchild). Consultant paediatric and neonatal surgeon at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. Have always been an avid reader. Hobbies = outdoor swimming (former long-distance swimmer), hillwalking, painting (did cover illustration myself). Used to play rugby, but sadly no longer. Still enjoy faded prog-rock bands from the nineteen-seventies. 

I’m welcoming Siobhan Daiko and her new book, The Flame Tree to the blog today #blogtour

Here’s the blurb

Based on a little-known true story, from award-winning author Siobhan Daiko comes a tale of love and survival against all the odds set in Hong Kong at the start of the Pacific War.

In the spring of 1939, dashing young William Burton and the beautiful Constance Han set sail from London on the same ocean liner to Hong Kong.

Romance blossoms while they enjoy games of deck quoits and spend sultry tropical evenings dancing under the stars. Connie is intrigued by Will’s talent for writing poetry, and she offers to give him Cantonese lessons to help him with his new job— a cadet in the colonial service.

But once in Hong Kong, Connie is constrained by filial duty towards her Eurasian parents, and their wish for her to marry someone from her own background. She can’t forget Will however and arranges to meet him in secret under the magnificent canopy of a flame of the forest tree—where she fulfils her promise to teach him to speak Chinese.

Before too long, trouble looms as Japanese forces gather on the border between Hong Kong and mainland China. Will joins a commando group tasked with operating behind enemy lines, and Connie becomes involved in the fight against local fifth columnists.

When war breaks out, they find themselves drawn into a wider conflict than their battle against prejudice. Can they survive and achieve a future together? Or do forces beyond their control keep them forever apart?

Perfect for readers of Dinah Jefferies, Ann Bennett and Victoria Hislop.

Purchase Link https://mybook.to/TFTHK

Meet the author

Siobhan Daiko is a British historical fiction author. A lover of all things Italian, she lives in the Veneto region of northern Italy with her husband, a Havanese dog and a rescued cat. Siobhan was born of English parents in Hong Kong, attended boarding school in Australia, and then moved to the UK—where she taught modern foreign languages in a Welsh comprehensive school. She now spends her time writing page-turners and enjoying her life near Venice. Her novels are compelling, poignant, and deeply moving, with strong characters and evocative settings, but always with romance at their heart.

Connect with Siobhan

WebsiteTwitterFacebook

Facebook: LinkedInInstagram

Pinterest:  Book BubAmazon Author Page

GoodreadsTikTok

Giveaway to Win a signed copy of The Flame Tree (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494542/?

Today, I’m delighted to welcome NL Holmes and her new book, Pilot Who Knows the Waters to the blog #HistoricalMystery #AncientEgypt #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub

Here’s the blurb

Hani must secretly obtain a Hittite bridegroom for Queen Meryet-amen, but Ay and the faction behind Prince Tut-ankh-aten are opposed–to the point of violence. Does the death of an artisan have anything to do with Ay’s determination to see his grandson on the throne? Then, another death brings Egypt to the brink of war… Hani’s diplomatic skills will be pushed to the limit in this final book in The Lord Hani Mysteries.

Buy Links

Universal Link

Amazon UKAmazon US:   Amazon CAAmazon AU

Barnes and NobleWaterstonesKoboiBooks

My Review

Pilot Who Knows the Waters is a really well-written novel, stuffed full of historical detail and with a charming main character, Hani.

I have a real fascination with ancient Egypt, (some might blame Stargate but I actually think it’s more to do with Paul Doherty’s mystery books, the Amerotke Mysteries), and I love it when authors manage to recreate so much of the detail. It also perhaps helps that I’ve just read Simon Turney’s new Egypt-based Roman stories, The Capsarius and Bellatrix. It’s fabulous to find all the little connections between these stories.

The writing style is very engaging, and I don’t think many authors manage to recreate the omnipresent, but character specific point of views in the main narrative well, but NL Holmes certainly does so. With the point of view switching from Hani to his son in law, and also his father, the audience are treated to a number of different thoughts and feelings.

I also really enjoyed the fact that the author provided enough detail for the long journeys but without making it a day by day account of what was happening. Again, I think this is a real skill.

I’m so glad I decided to read Pilot Who Knows the Water, and yes, it might be book 6 in a series, but that just means I get to go back to the beginning now and read the stories that have led to this moment.

A wonderful novel, rich in historical detail, but incredibly readable and with a lovely pacing. So enjoyable.

Meet the author

N.L. Holmes is the pen name of a professional archaeologist who received her doctorate from Bryn Mawr College. She has excavated in Greece and in Israel, and taught ancient history and humanities at the university level for many years. She has always had a passion for books, and in childhood, she and her cousin (also a writer today) used to write stories for fun. Today, she and her husband live in France with their chickens and cats, where she weaves, plays the violin, gardens, and dances.

Connect with N L Holmes

WebsiteTwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagram

PinterestBook BubAmazon Author PageGoodreads

Follow the Pilot Who Knows The Water blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club

I’m so excited to share my review for Educating the Tudors by Amy McElroy #newrelease #nonfiction

Here’s the blurb

Education during the Tudor era was a privilege and took many forms including schools, colleges and apprenticeships. Those responsible for delivering education came from a variety of backgrounds from the humble parish priest to the most famed poet-laureates of the day. Curriculums varied according to wealth, gender and geography. The wealthy could afford the very best of tutors and could study as much or as little as they chose whilst the poorer members of society could only grasp at opportunities in the hopes of providing themselves with a better future. 

The Tudors were educated during a time when the Renaissance was sweeping across Europe and Henry VIII became known as a Renaissance Prince but what did his education consist of? Who were his tutors? How did his education differ to that of his elder brother, Prince Arthur and how did Henry’s education change upon the death of his brother? There is no doubt Henry was provided with an excellent education, particularly in comparison to his sisters, Margaret and Mary. Henry’s own education would go on to influence his decisions of tutors for his own children. Who had the privilege of teaching Henry’s children and did they dare to use corporal punishment? 

Educating the Tudors seeks to answer all of these questions, delving into the education of all classes, the subjects they studied, educational establishment and those who taught them.

Purchase Link

Pen and Sword Books

My Review

Educating the Tudors by Amy McElroy is a fascinating and thorough examination of the state of education for all during the Tudor era, following developments due to the Renaissance and the Reformation, as well as the introduction of the printing press. Not content with researching the tutors of the royal children from Arthur to Edward, Amy has also examined education for all levels of society as well as what would have been taught. With an eye for the difference between class, sex and wealth, Amy has examined what education was, and how it was undertaken, as well as the titans who were making use of their interest in learning to advance learning for all, making use of the printing press, even as they sought to catch the eye of the reigning monarch.

And this isn’t just book-learning, but also the paths of apprenticeships, as well as how people became lawyers, and just what effect the Reformation did have on an education system that was so heavily reliant on priests and had to be radically rethought when the monasteries, and later, chantries were closed.

I was fascinated by the subject matter, and learned so much from reading this book – indeed, even things I’ve read about before suddenly made a lot more sense.

An absorbing and well-researched book, which is sure to fascinate all those interested in the Tudors, as well as the development of education in England.

(I found the subject matter absolutely fascinating, especially as I’ve personally been researching the education of the children of King Alfred. I was struck by the similarities, despite the six hundred plus year distance between the two eras. I’m sure I won’t be alone in that – I hope:) And there’s a another link between the Tudors and the Saxons, as it was the renewed interest in learning that is responsible for many of the surviving Saxon text we now have, including the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.)

My thanks to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for my review copy, but my hardback is in the post as well:)

Meet the Author

Amy my was born and bred in Liverpool before moving to the Midlands to study Criminal Justice eventually becoming a civil servant. She has long been interested in history, reading as much and as often as she could. Her writing journey began with her blog, sharing thoughts on books she had read, before developing to writing reviews for Aspects of History magazine and culminating in her own book.

Connect with Amy

Blog

Twitter

I’m delighted to share an excerpt from Tony Bassett’s new novel, Out for Revenge #blogtour #mystery

Here’s the blurb:

When notorious gangland boss Tadeusz Filipowski is released from prison, several people start looking over their shoulder.

A volatile character, not shy of picking fights, Filipowski plans to expand his drugs empire and put his competitors on a backfoot. That’s until he turns up dead. Very dead.

DS Sunita Roy of the Heart of England police is handed the case but it’s a challenge to find the killer of a man with so many enemies.

DCI Gavin Roscoe would lend more support but he is busy nailing down suspicions of corruption plaguing the force.


Soon, however, the investigations will bump into one another. And unless Roy and Roscoe can get to the bottom of the mystery, they could well become the next victims.

OUT FOR REVENGE is the fourth gripping standalone mystery in the Detectives Roy and Roscoe crime fiction series by Tony Bassett.

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0BK9PJLHK/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BK9PJLHK/

EXTRACT FROM  OUT FOR REVENGE BY TONY BASSETT

A serial killer is being driven to Birmingham Crown Court in a prison van, escorted by police, to give evidence for the prosecution in a murder case. But armed members of a criminal gang, including one of two corrupt detectives, are lying in ambush, ready to free the prisoner from custody.

Detective Sergeant Bains flicked off the car radio. He glanced towards the driver sitting beside him, Tahir Khan. They had turned off the main Pershore Road in Edgbaston and were parked in a black Audi Q7, which had tinted rear and side windows, a few metres along a side road, Brunel Way, close to Calthorpe Park.

‘Shouldn’t be long now,’ Bains remarked. ‘I’ve got three guys on look-out and we should hear from them the minute the convoy appears.’

‘Bloody cold today,’ moaned Khan, who like Bains was wearing suitably dark clothing.

‘Yes, but at least it’s stopped raining.’

‘Why did you decide we should stop here? I’d have thought it would’ve been easier to do this little job in a quiet country lane.’

‘Well, Seymour found out the main route they usually take up from the Vale is along the A441 and then they take the inner ring road. They’re mainly fast roads and, of course, there’s a chance they’d be on a blue light. The only part of the journey where they’re forced to slow down is here. They turn off the Pershore Road and use this street as a cut-through to Bristol Road at the other end. So this is our only chance before they hit the dual carriageway.’

‘How does Seymour know they always come along here?

‘We’ve got an insider. The prison driver’s wife used to live round here, so he’s very familiar with the area. There’s an added bonus for us – there aren’t many shops round here, so there’s not much in the way of CCTV.’

Just then Bains’ mobile phone rang. It was Leroy, one of the new gang members Blake had recently taken on. The sergeant looked at his watch.

‘What did you say, Leroy? … It’s just coming up to twenty past one and they’ve just passed the zoo at Cannon Hill? … OK, thanks, mate,’ said Bains as he ended the call.

‘I’ll just let the brothers know,’ he told Khan, while pressing buttons on his phone.

‘Hello, is that Gabriel? … Hi, it’s Phil. They’ll be here in a couple of minutes. Are you both ready? … Good. Don’t forget to dispose of your phone afterwards … OK, so you know exactly what to do? … Good man!’

The minutes ticked by. The two men put black balaclavas over their heads. The sergeant, who had a Beretta pistol on his lap, was becoming nervous. The adrenalin was beginning to flow. He kept glancing over his shoulder at Khan’s sawn-off shotgun on the back seat and watching in the side mirror as the traffic passed slowly along the Pershore Road behind.

Suddenly they became aware of a siren in the distance. The noise became louder until the pair spotted a glimmering blue light near the junction. Khan flashed his headlights on and off to alert Gabriel and Dominik Nowak – who were two hundred metres ahead at the entrance to the Bedford housing estate. The Nowaks started up their hired box lorry and waited in anticipation just a few metres back from Brunel Way.

Within seconds, a police motorcycle appeared at the Pershore Road junction, where its rider halted briefly to cast his eyes around. Then he set off along the cut-through.

After he had travelled at least a hundred metres up the street, two constables in a police Ford Focus with its siren blaring turned the corner, followed closely by a white prison van with blacked-out windows. A solitary officer in a police Range Rover brought up the rear.

The motorcyclist continued past the entrance on the right to the Bedford estate, but no sooner had he gone by than the eighteen-tonne lorry lurched across the road, at once separating the rider from the police car.

The lorry careered directly in front of the car driver – forcing him to slam on his brakes.

The van driver behind was compelled to do the same. The lorry, which was eleven metres long, completely blocked the road. Despite the police driver turning off his siren and hooting his horn instead, the man in the cab made no attempt to shift it.

Then, just as the constable was thinking of stepping out of the car to have words with the driver, he was stunned into shock. Part of the lorry’s blue webbing was hauled back and a man in a black balaclava strode across the lorry’s floor – like an actor taking to the stage in a chilling melodrama.

What really caught the attention of the two officers in the Focus was that the slim man, Dominik Nowak, was grasping a double-barrelled shotgun. He pointed his menacing weapon at the car’s windscreen, ordering the constables to remain inside.

Meet the author

I am a semi-retired journalist who was born in West Kent. While growing up, I spent hours reading and writing, and, from an early age, nursed an ambition to become first a journalist and then novelist. My theory was that, in order to write novels, one had to have life experiences to colour one’s writing and one could obtain those experiences through journalism.

I was fortunate enough to be named Time-Life Magazine Student Journalist of the Year in 1971 in a competition organised by the National Union of Students. At the time, I was editing the student newspaper at Hull University, where I gained a BA Honours degree in History and Political Studies.

After six years working on provincial newspapers in Sidcup, Worcester and Cardiff, I became a freelance journalist in London. For 24 years, I was a reporter on the staff of the Sunday People (now part of Reach plc, formerly Trinity Mirror). Over the years, I sold tens of thousands of stories to the national newspapers, including the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, The Sun, Daily Star, Daily Telegraph and London Evening Standard. I helped cover the Jeremy Thorpe trial at the Old Bailey for the Evening Standard. I broke the news in a Sun newspaper exclusive in April 1989 that Bill Wyman, the Rolling Stones guitarist aged 52, was to marry 18-year-old Mandy Smith. I bought 200 blank MOT forms to expose a trade in fake certificates.

My speciality was tracking people down. For instance, I found evidence about Rod Stewart’s secret love child Sarah Streeter by tracing a retired adoption agent through a library ticket. On one occasion, I took an escaped gangster back to prison. Some of my stories can be read on my website (see below); others are generally available online. For thirty years, I was also employed as a birth and marriage researcher mainly for the Mail on Sunday, Sunday Mirror, Sunday People and The Sun.

I have a grown-up son and four grown-up daughters who all live in South Wales.

Connect with Tony

www.tonybassettauthor.com

www.twitter.com/tonybassett1

www.facebook.com/tony.bassett.92505  

www.instagram.com/tonyba1

Happy publication day to The Alewives by Elizabeth R Andersen #mystery #historicalmystery #newrelease Highly Recommended

Here’s the blurb

Colmar, 1353 CE

Gritta, Appel, and Efi managed to survive the Black Death, only to find that they are in desperate need of money. With limited options and lots of obstacles, they band together to become alewives – brewing and selling ale in the free Alsatian town of Colmar. But when an elderly neighbor is discovered dead in her house, the alewives cannot convince the sheriff and the town council that her death wasn’t an accident, it was murder. As the body count piles up, the ale flows and mystery is afoot!

Set in the tumultuous years after the most devastating pandemic the world has ever experienced, The Alewives is a playful romp through a dark time, when society was reeling from loss and a grieving population attempted to return to normal, proving that with the bonds of love, friendship, and humor, the human spirit will always continue to shine.

Purchase Link

My Review

The Alewives is a fantastically well-written murder mystery set in the immediate aftermath of the Black Death, with delightful characters and a sinister murderer and thief, at the heart of all the problems. Set in the tannery area of Colmar, something smells bad.

The three main characters of Gritta, Appel, and Efi are all glorious creations – Grita with her useless husband and horde of children (she had 12, you see), Appel with her mysterious nighttime activities, and young Efi, who has the sense of a young kid goat at the beginning of the tale.

This story is immersive and filled with just enough tension and humour to make even a story about those who survived the Black Death an absolute delight to read. The humour is well constructed, the antics of the three women, acting a little outside the ‘law’ in a deeply patriarchal society that doesn’t allow women to brew their own ale for profit, artfully created, and even the Friar, Wikerus, is a sympathetic character, in the end. The three women are put upon. Society is against them, as is the sheriff (all the male characters are dismissive of the women, but they get on with it, doing all they can to circumnavigate the obstacles placed in their path), and the church, and just about everyone else, but they triumph.

The mystery itself is really well constructed, as are the red herrings. I didn’t know who the culprit(s) (no spoilers here) were until the big reveal.

A short, sharp, snappy, hugely entertaining, medieval mystery that portrays the realities of life at the time, with just the right amount of humour to make it thoroughly entertaining. A well-deserved 5/5 from me!

Meet the Author

Elizabeth R. Andersen’s debut novel, The Scribe, launched in July of 2021. Although she spent many years of her life as a journalist, independent fashion designer, and overworked tech employee, there have always been two consistent loves in her life: writing and history. She finally decided to do something about this and put them both together.

Elizabeth lives in the Seattle area with her long-suffering husband and young son. On the weekends she usually hikes in the stunning Cascade mountains to hide from people and dream up new plotlines and characters.

– Join Elizabeth’s monthly newsletter and receive the first two chapters of The Scribe for free. Sign up at https://www.elizabethrandersen.com

– Find photos of hikes and daily author life at Elizabeth’s Instagram: @elizabethrandersen 

– Follow Elizabeth on Twitter for nerdy medieval history facts: @E_R_A_writes 

– Watch Elizabeth try to explain the weird, wonderful world of Medieval life on her TikTok channel: https://www.tiktok.com/@elizabethrandersen

Elizabeth is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Find my previous blog posts here for The Scribe and here for The Two Daggers Series.

I’m delighted to be reviewing Patches Through Time by Sian Turner on the blog #blogtour

Here’s the blurb

An unbelievably believable time travel escapade.

Casual antique dealer Jake Patch picks up an unusual object and can’t put it down. Literally. His find is a time travel device, and he hatches a bold plan to acquire objects from the past and sell them at modern day prices. But when the mysterious Infinity Glass leaves Patch stranded in a dangerous past, it falls to his teen daughter Cass to save him.

With hints of The Time Traveller’s Wife and Back to the Future and a smattering of LovejoyPatches through Time will send you spinning headlong into the past, then spit you back into the twenty-first century.

This book contains occasional profanities. Trigger warning: bereavement (parent, spouse).

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Patches-through-Time-Sian-Turner-ebook/dp/B0BNQ7XGT6

US  – https://www.amazon.com/Patches-through-Time-Sian-Turner-ebook/dp/B0BNQ7XGT6

My Review

Patches Through Time is a really enjoyable novel. It hooked me from the beginning, with its premise of limited and location-specific time travel.

Patch is a great character, but the story really comes to life with the point of view switch to Cass, and having visited a handful of places in the distant past, much of the narrative revolves around events in war-torn Hastings in the early 1940s. The author does an excellent job of reconstructing the past locations, and the characters that Patch and Cass meet there are believable and all bring something new to the story.

I’m not sure if the plan is to write a sequel, but if it is, then, I’ll happily read it, as I think there’s much more that Cass and Patch can do with their time travelling device.

A thoroughly enjoyable novel.

Meet the author

Sian Turner was born in Wales, but lives in East Sussex. She has recently started learning Welsh (and can categorically testify that Welsh is difficult). 

She works as a part-time volunteer in her local RSPCA cat re-homing centre, from where she keeps adopting new family members (only one or two at a time).

Sian enjoys reading and reviewing some of the many truly amazing novels by Independent Authors, and she is secretary of her local writers’ group, Shorelink Writers.

Connect with Sian

Facebook   Twitter

Today, I’m welcoming Blood on the Tyne:Red Snow by Colin Garrow to the blog #blogtour #extract #review #mystery

Here’s the blurb:

A dead body. A hoard of forged banknotes. A gangster out for blood.

Newcastle, December 1955. Returning home after a weekend away, singer and amateur sleuth Rosie Robson discovers a man lying on a baggage trolley with his throat cut. After the police get involved, an attack on Rosie and her boss prompts Inspector Vic Walton to find a safe house for the pair. But the bad guys seem to be one step ahead of them and Rosie is forced to track down a possible witness to the murder in a bid to learn the truth. Can the canny crooner solve the mystery before a Newcastle gang boss catches up with her?  

Set on Tyneside, Blood on the Tyne: Red Snow is book #3 in the Rosie Robson Murder Mysteries series.

Purchase Link – https://geni.us/3PKXkN

Extract from: Blood on the Tyne: Red Snow by Colin Garrow (contains some strong language)

Having tracked down the train station porter to a Gateshead apartment, Rosie and Frankie question him about money he stole from the dead man’s pocket. Finally admitting his crime, the porter hands over the money. But a man in a trench coat is watching the building:

Frankie wandered into the kitchen while I counted the notes. Three hundred and thirty pounds. I looked up at the porter. ‘Not worth getting killed over, is it?’

He worked his mouth for a minute. ‘Ye’re sayin it belongs to that Danny Fisher, are ye?’

I nodded.

‘Fuck.’

‘Know him, do you?’

‘Only by reputation.’ He pointed to the money. ‘So are yous gonna give it him back?’

I laughed. ‘Don’t be daft. This’ll go to the police.’

Martin’s eyes widened. He stared at me. ‘But what if Fisher thinks Ah’ve still got it?’

I hadn’t considered what the consequences might be for Martin if Fisher did track him down. I studied the carpet for a moment, thinking. ‘If he didn’t suspect you’d nicked it, he’d have no reason to come visiting, would he?’

He glared at me. ‘But ye said,’ stabbing the air with a grubby finger, ‘ye said if Ah didn’t talk to yous, Ah’d have to deal with Fisher.’

I shook my head. ‘I implied that if we were able to find you, sooner or later he would too.’

His eyes almost popped out of his head. ‘Jezaz Christ. So, he might still turn up here, eh?’

‘He might. But if no-one saw you take the cash, there’s nothing to worry about.’ I looked hard at him. ‘No-one didsee you, did they?’ I’d dismissed the idea that Fisher might’ve seen something while he’d been standing by the bridge on the station platform. If he had seen the porter messing with the body, he’d have been here already, and we’d likely have another dead body to deal with.

‘Oh, Christ, man.’ Martin threw his hands up in the air. ‘When Ah found the money, Ah shook so much Ah could hardly walk. Ye could’ve driven a steam train up me arse and Ah’d not have noticed.’

I tried not to laugh. Resting a hand on his arm, I said, ‘Look. We’ll tell the police where we got it and they’ll probably come round to speak to you. If you’re worried about anything—’

Frank grabbed my shoulder. ‘We’ve got a problem, bonny lass.’

I followed him back into the kitchen. The man in the trench coat stood in the lane, looking up at the flat. Now though, he had two more men with him. Behind him, Maurice’s car had been pushed out of its hiding place. 

‘Is that who I think it is?’

‘It’s not the fuckin Pied Piper, that’s for sure,’ said Frankie.

Back in the living room, I caught sight of Martin making for the front door.

‘I wouldn’t do that, Mr Sutherland,’ I called.

He turned and stared at me. ‘Well Ah’m not bloody stayin here to get me neck sliced open.’

‘No, and neither are we. Is there a fire escape?’

He paused. ‘Not from this building.’ He came back into the room. ‘If we could get onto the roof…’

‘The roof?’

‘Aye. The warehouse next door has a fire escape.’

Frankie pushed past me and opened the flat door. Me and Martin followed him. Gazing over the banister into the stairwell below, we peered into darkness. Everything seemed quiet.

‘D’you think—’

Frankie shushed me. Lowering his voice, he murmured, ‘There’s someone there.’

Turning to the porter, I whispered, ‘How do we get to the roof?’

I didn’t hear what Martin said, my attention focused on the shadowy figures sliding up the first flight of stairs towards us. 

My Review

Blood on the Tyne: Red Snow by Colin Garrow is an exciting murder mystery set in and around Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Northumberland in 1955.

Many of the locations are familiar to me, and I could quite happily trace Rosie’s journey upon discovering a body at Newcastle train station on her return from York.

This really is a fast-paced tale of murder, mayhem, forgery and gangsters. Rosie is headstrong even when embroiled in something far beyond her control. She’s resourceful and determined to find out the truth and stay alive.

Surrounding her is a great cast of supporting characters, and the story takes some quite unexpected twists and turns before reaching its conclusion.

As might be expected, there is some foul language throughout the book, and the author has also done a great job of ensuring the Geordie accent is prevalent throughout. Readers will quickly come to ‘hear’ the characters as well as read about them.

An entertaining read.

Meet the Author

True-born Geordie Colin Garrow grew up in a former mining town in Northumberland and has worked in a plethora of professions including taxi driver, antiques dealer, drama facilitator, theatre director and fish processor. He has also occasionally masqueraded as a pirate. Colin’s published books include the Watson Letters series, the Terry Bell Mysteries and the Rosie Robson Murder Mysteries. His short stories have appeared in several literary mags, including: SN Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Grind, A3 Review, Inkapture and Scribble Magazine. These days he lives in a humble cottage in Northeast Scotland.

Connect with Colin

Website (Adults)  Website (Children)  Amazon Author Page 

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