Murder In The Bookshop by Anita Davison is a fabulous historical novel that entertained me from the start. It is part of A Miss Merrill & Aunt Violet Mystery series but can be read as a stand-alone.
The action is set in London in 1915. Britain is embroiled in World War I and the atmosphere of fear has been captured by the author. We witness the devastation of zeppelin raids. As life is hanging in the balance, we see hasty promises turning to regrets.
There is a search to uncover the truth, whilst simultaneously some are in a hurry to bury it. A character wishes to hide a murky past. There are no lengths to which one will not stoop.
Childhood friends have forged deep bonds as they look out for each other.
Some set out their plans as deception is the order of the day – for some there are ulterior motives. Others practice smoke and mirrors in order to protect.
All the characters were well drawn and likable. We see the role of women changing. With World War I came more opportunities. Lives that had fought to expand as suffragettes, opened up further as women stepped into roles vacated by men going to war.
Foul Play At Seal Bay by Judy Leigh is a contemporary light-hearted crime novel that I really enjoyed. It is the first book in A Morwenna Mutton Mystery series which promises to be fabulous. I cannot wait for the subsequent books.
Judy Leigh has once more created an eclectic mix of characters who entertain the reader. The leading lady is sixty one and her mother is eighty. Both are a breath of fresh air with their energy, enthusiasm and unconventional ways. They refuse to be put in a box marked ‘old’. Both are bundles of energy. Growing old does not equal being staid.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is a delightful six year old girl, whose mannerisms have been perfectly captured by Judy Leigh. I loved her soft-toy doggy companions named Oggy 1 and Oggy 2 who had to accompany her wherever she went. Her innocence and zest for life were a pure delight.
After a crime is committed, Morwenna Mutton figuratively puts on her amateur sleuthing hat. She believes, and proves, herself to be far more competent at crime solving than the local bobby.
Maidens Of The Cave by Lloyd Devereux Richards is an absolutely marvellous contemporary crime suspense that had me glued and guessing from the start.
The plotline is intricate, well thought out and executed. It is definitely a thinking man’s novel. There is no time to sit back and relax as the reader is immediately plunged into the action. We know the nickname of the perpetrator from the start but we do not know who it is.
We see that our upbringing shapes the adults we become – for good or evil.
The leading lady is well drawn, likable and realistic. She is tenacious in her search for the truth, preferring to go against her boss rather than have a death on her conscience.
This is a book with heightened tension throughout as the reader fears for the safety of the characters. I read with baited breath and rapidly rising heartbeat!
The Crying Cave Killings by Wes Markin is another fabulous crime suspense and the third book in The Yorkshire Murders series. It can be read as a stand-alone but I recommend reading the previous books first for maximum enjoyment.
I enjoyed being reunited with familiar faces who were once more relentless in their search for the truth.
The line between good and evil is blurred as a ‘good’ character is tormented by a terrible past event. The guilt over the choice made, and the path taken, continues to eat away.
There is the theme of identity. Some hide who they really are through shame of what others might think. There are some tragic decisions taken.
Family is important. Sometime we choose our family, at other times we are born into it. True family will always protect the vulnerable.