Category Archives: Mystery

The Christie Affair, Nina de Gramont – Book Review

There’s been plenty of books over the years which have reimagined what happened during those 11 days when famous author Agatha Christie disappeared. And, maybe this one isn’t the best exploration of the subject matter as it actually doesn’t have that much to do with Agatha. But I thoroughly enjoyed this book – it was a gripping, multi-layered historical drama – with a little Christie-esque murder mystery thrown in too!

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Filed under Book Reviews, Drama, Historical, Mystery

Mad Honey, Jodi Picoult & Jennifer Finney Boylan – Book Review

Jodi Picoult is back on form once again with this latest offering, in which she works with Jennifer Finney Boylan to create a compelling and beautifully written story which peels back the layers on themes of identity, wrapping it up neatly into an emotive murder mystery.

Olivia is a beekeeper and single mother to her teenage son, Asher. She’s escaped an abusive relationship with her ex-husband to build a life for herself and Asher back in her hometown. And it’s going well – Asher is a popular teen, playing hockey on the high school team, and he’s just got himself a new girlfriend, Lilly – who has recently arrived in town.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Drama, Mystery

The Night Shift, Alex Finlay – Book Review

I flew through this, my second read from Alex Finlay and I think it was even better than Every Last Fear. There’s something incredibly immersive about this author’s writing and the world. Starting out on New Year’s Eve 1999 at a Blockbuster and moving through to present day, Finlay immerses the reader into small-town America. A place where serial murders are rare but, when they do they can have repercussions for generations.

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The Paris Apartment, Lucy Foley – Book Review

Lucy Foley has quickly carved a name for herself and gained a following with her twisty-turny locked-room mysteries. This is her third novel, and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s her usual compulsively readable style this time in a glamorous new location.

Jess is in need of a break. She thinks that what she’s getting when she travels to Paris to stay at her half-brother Ben’s apartment. But when she arrives, Ben is nowhere to be seen, and she’s met instead with an eclectic cast of characters who all seem to be hiding something.

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The Couple At The Table, Sophie Hannah – Book Review

It’s been a long time since I’ve revisited Sophie Hannah’s Culver Valley series, and it was great to dive back in with this brand new release. We’re reunited with our old favourite crime-solving, bickering married couple Simon Waterhouse and Charlie Zailer and the usual gang at Culver Valley police force.

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The Lighthouse Witches, C. J. Cooke – Book Review

I requested this on a bit of a whim – I hadn’t heard of the author, it was witching season, and there’s something a little enchanting about that cover. And, that definitely followed through in the book. This was a surprise five star book, it was a gorgeous blend of fairytale and folklore with contemporary fiction, with a small but powerful cast of characters all of whom I truly felt for.

There are three timelines. We start with 1998, when Liv arrives at a remote lighthouse in Scotland with her three daughters. She’s got an art commission to paint the lighthouse, and she’s running away from her life in England and dragging her daughters with her. Their arrival at the lighthouse is incredibly atmospheric, and it doesn’t let us from there.

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When The Stars Go Dark, Paula McLain – Book Review

This is the first I’ve read of this author – I’ve had her hit historical fiction novel The Paris Wife waiting on my Kindle for years, and it will be getting bumped up the list now. McLain is an established writer who’s enjoyed success in a range of genres – even poetry – but this is her debut in crime fiction. And I adored it. You can tell reading this novel that this is a seasoned author, one who knows how to use words in a literary, almost lyrical way, but also how to craft a suspenseful, plot-driven story.

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The Burning Girls, C. J. Tudor – Book Review

This is my second read from this author – I was a little late to the party starting with The Other People last year. But I think I’ve got a feel for her style now, and I like it. This is another smart, fast-paced mystery thriller with just a hint of supernatural horror lurking.

The setting is perfect for a creepy tale – an old chapel in a small village; a creepy graveyard and a nearby derelict building. The sleepy Sussex town is the sort where everyone knows everyone’s business, and everyone respects tradition. One of the town’s oldest and darkest traditions gives the book its title. The ‘burning girls’ are sacrificial twig dolls burnt every year in the village to commemorate the protestants burnt at the stake decades before.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Mystery, Psychological thriller

The Survivors, Jane Harper – Book Review

I received The Survivors in exchange for an honest review

I don’t know why I haven’t revisited this author since loving her debut The Dry back in 2016. But that changes now. Having just devoured her latest offering, The Survivors, I won’t be waiting so long for my next read by her. This author skilfully blends intriguing mystery with authentic, sympathetic characters and a unique, exotic (to me, at least) setting. It’s the perfect ingredients for a gripping read.

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An Unwanted Guest, Shari Lapena – Book Review

I was looking for a quick read (yes, to help me hit my reading goal for the year) with a winter setting and a compelling plot, and this was perfect. It’s the first I’ve read of this author, but I’ll be looking out for her back catalogue. This is a cosy, locked-room mystery set in a remote hotel during a snowstorm, where the assorted guests find themselves isolated for the weekend. It’s got strong Agatha Christie vibes, and feels very reminiscent of And then there were none.

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