#Guestpost #BlogTour : Winter at Cedarwood Lodge by Rebecca Raisin. @jaxandwillsmum @HQDigitalUK

Today I am beyond thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Winter at Cedarwood Lodge, the compilation of the three novellas that make up the Cedarwood Lodge series.  As I’ve already read and reviewed all of them previously (you can find my reviews herehere and here) I decided not to write another review but instead I have a post from the fabulous Rebecca Raisin herself about Christmas songs. So read on, and enjoy!

Blurb:

Includes bonus material!

This winter it’s time to fall in love at Cedarwood Lodge…


After years of dreaming, Clio Winters is finally fulfilling her childhood dream of renovating the gorgeous old Cedarwood Lodge in Evergreen and turning it into the perfect destination for celebrations, weddings and extravagant birthday parties. The huge property used to be a bustling holiday camp, now Clio wants to bring it back to its halcyon days – which will be a lot of hard work!

 

Returning back to the small town of her youth she’s glad to have one of her best friends still around to lean on, Micah who is just as solid as he used to be. But with her own secrets pushing her to run from her glamorous life in New York, she’ll have to tread carefully, especially when the far-too-handsome-for-his-own-good contractor, Kai, shows up on her doorstep…

Sure she’s here in Evergreen to change her life, but there is no way she’s falling in love!

Previously published as three novellas.

Book Links: Amazon Amazon UK Amazon AUS | GooglePlay |iBooks Nook Kobo

Guest post:  Christmas soundtrack

It’s truly not Christmas until you’ve played carols on repeat, blubbered a little and got paper cuts from wrapping paper is it? In Winter at Cedarwood Lodge the carols have already started and they’re on a loop! So with the help of my lovely Facebook friends, I’ve come up with the ultimate playlist for Christmas! So make your mulled wine, turn on the Christmas lights and get ready to warble…

* Oh come all ye faithful

* Driving home for Christmas

* The Christmas Song

* Maria durch den Dormald ging

* Fairytale of New York 

* Little Drummer Boy

* When a child is born

* Have yourself a merry little Christmas 

* It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas 

* All I want for Christmas is you

* Santa Claus is coming to town

* Last Christmas 

* Auld Lang Syne

* Happy Xmas (war is over)

* Silent Night

* Amazing Grace 
Have I missed any? What’s your favourite Christmas song? Wishing you a safe and happy holidays! All the best, Bec xxx

Author Info:

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance. Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.

Author Links: Website Facebook Twitter Goodreads

Tour Schedule: http://tours.readingromance.com/2017/11/winter-at-cedarwood-lodge-by-rebecca.html


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#BlogTour #Review : A Ragbag of Riches by James Chilton @authoright @AuthorightUKPR 

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for an unusual book, quite unlike what I normally review on here. So, read on and find out more about this unusual book. 

Blurb:  This collection of quips and quotes creates a book for the bower, the bedside, the bath and for browsing; a book at arm’s length from the deck chair, for the tedium of travel but above all for pleasure.

It is a haphazard collection: the Ragbag covering the rougher, even vulgar (but nevertheless witty) entries of graffiti, newspaper headlines and bumper stickers, the Riches being the poetry, prayers and prose of fine minds that inspire by their beauty, sincerity and sublime use of words. At the lower end, I love the astringency and ability of the authors to poke fun with the sharpness of a red-hot needle. At the top end, silver words and profound wisdom sometimes lead me to tears.

So I invite you to wallow or skip lightly. I hope there is something in this salmagundi to make you smile or catch the affections of your heart; to mingle quiet music with amiable irreverence. 
Purchase from Amazon UK  – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ragbag-Riches-assortment-wordy-delights/dp/1912262533/ 

 

Review:  My usual reads are novels so have a beginning, middle and end. Therefore, when the option to be on this blog tour appeared at the exact time that I was fancying something different I was intrigued.

This book is one of those that you can dip in and out of as the mood takes you. It is divided into chapters covering everything from generally humerous quotes and comments to ones covering life, death, politics and a variety of other subjects. 
The contents of each chapter are a mixture from funny to thought provoking pieces that make you stop and take stock and some are poems that make you slow down and feel more relaxed when you’re reading them. 

This is a tricky book for me to put into words simply because it is so different from what I’m used to but do not underestimate the brilliance of it. Whatever the situation there will be a quote or chapter relevant to it. It can be dipped into when you have a spare 5 minutes or when you want others perspectives on something. I may not have described it very well but this is a fabulous book that I will be read from for a long time to come. 
About the author: A grandfather of nine and a father of four, James Chilton lives with his wife and two labradors in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. He holds diplomas in Architectural History from Oxford University, in Design and in Plantsmanship from The English Gardening School and a certificate in the Decorative Arts from the Victoria & Albert Museum. Perennially busy, James draws, sculpts, designs gardens and jewelry and is a member of Bart’s Choir. He also a member of the International Dendrology Society and has lectured at the Royal Geographical Society and in Oxford. His first book, The Last Blue Mountain, was published in 2015.

#Guestpost #BookBlitz : Christmas at the The Little Knitting Box by Helen J Rolfe @HJRolfe @rararesources

Today I have a guest post from Helen Rolfe who talks about her favourite Christmas films. There’s a couple of films in there that I enjoy myself but if films are not for you then why not enter the giveaway where you could win a copy of this fabulous sounding book and some chocolate to enjoy while you read.  

Blurb:   Christmas is coming and New York is in full swing for the snowy season. But at The Little Knitting Box in the West Village, things are about to change …

The Little Knitting Box has been in Cleo’s family for nearly four decades, and since she arrived fresh off the plane from the Cotswolds four years ago, Cleo has been doing a stellar job of running the store. But instead of an early Christmas card in the mail this year, she gets a letter that tips her world on its axis.

Dylan has had a tumultuous few years. His marriage broke down, his mother passed away and he’s been trying to pick up the pieces as a stay-at-home dad. All he wants this Christmas is to give his kids the home and stability they need. But when he meets Cleo at a party one night, he begins to see it’s not always so easy to move on and pick up the pieces, especially when his ex seems determined to win him back.

When the snow starts to fall in New York City, both Cleo and Dylan realise life is rarely so black and white and both of them have choices to make. Will Dylan follow his heart or his head? And will Cleo ever allow herself to be a part of another family when her own fell apart at the seams?

Full of snow, love and the true meaning of Christmas, this novel will have you hooked until the final page.

Purchase From:

Amazon UK  /   Amazon.com 

Guest post:  Favourite Christmas movies

Where do I start? I love Christmas movies and have to stop myself watching them all year round. I like to save something for the winter months!

My favourite would have to be Love Actually. I know there’s a real divide between movie lovers as to whether they love it or hate it, but I’m definitely in the ‘love it’ camp. What I really love about the movie is that it’s made up of so many smaller stories, but characters’ lives are all intertwined. There are some funny moments, some tender scenes, some sad, but the movie really does leave me feeling happy. And of course, there are plenty of romantic moments, so it’s a winner for me!

My second favourite is The Holiday starring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. I bought this movie when I lived in Australia and needed a little fix of England. Set in a charming Cotswold village, as well as L.A. this movie certainly doesn’t disappoint. I love the way the two female characters have swapped houses and get to live a different life, which helps them learn about themselves. I think this movie is a brilliant way of showing how stepping outside of our comfort zone can open our eyes to where we need to make changes in our lives. 

Another Christmas favourite is Christmas with the Kranks. I think I only watched it originally because it was suitable family viewing so the kids could enjoy it too, but I’ve watched it every year since.  It’s an amusing tale about a man, Luther, who wants to skip Christmas. His daughter won’t be around so he books a cruise for himself and his wife, they’re not holding their usual Christmas party, they’re not even doing cards or decorating the house even though everyone else on their street has. But when their only daughter says she’s coming home from overseas for Christmas, there’s a party to organise and Christmas to arrange! What I love about this movie is that it ends up being a lesson in the true meaning of Christmas. There’s a moment – and I won’t spoil it for you – towards the end of the movie where Luther shows his good side and makes a grand gesture straight from the heart. I think tears well up in my eyes every time I see it. There are romantic moments, funny scenes and it’s a great movie for the whole family. I’d definitely recommend it! 

My favourite thing about Christmas movies? Snuggling up under a blanket, a glass of mulled wine and the tree lights twinkling in the background.  

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Helen J Rolfe. 
Giveaway:

Win Christmas at the Little Knitting Box (paperback) & Chocolate! 

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Author Bio:

Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction with an emphasis on relationships and love. She enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and characters who face challenges and fight to overcome them. Helen enjoys creating strong female lead characters and although her stories often deal with serious issues, they always have a happy ending. 

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds. 

Born and raised in the UK, Helen graduated from University with a business degree and began working in I.T. This job took her over to Australia and it was there that she studied writing and journalism and began writing for women’s health and fitness magazines. She also volunteered with the PR department of a children’s hospital where she wrote articles and media releases. Helen began writing fiction in 2011 and hasn’t missed the I.T. world one little bit, although the I.T. skills have come in handy of course, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining a website. 

After fourteen years of living in Australia, Helen returned to the UK and now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and their children.

Author links:  Website /  Facebook  /  Twitter

#Guestpost and #Extract #BlogTour Blood Rites by David Stuart Davies @DStuartDavies @urbanebooks @annebonnybook

Synopsis:  Blood Rites is a Northern thriller set in Huddersfield, Yorkshire in the 1980s featuring Detective Inspector Paul Snow. DI Paul Snow has a personal secret. He is a homosexual but is desperate to keep it secret, knowing it would finish his career in the intolerant police force of the time. As this personal drama unfolds, he is involved in investigating a series of violent murders. All the victims appear to be chosen at random and to have no connection with each other. After the fourth murder, Snow is removed from the case for not finding the killer but continues investigating the matter privately. Gradually, Paul manages to determine a link between the murder victims, but this places his own life in great danger. Can Paul unmask the killer as he wrestles with his own demons?   

Guest post:  Keep ‘Em Guessing

As a writer of crime fiction novels, I have always worked on the principle that while the opening section of your story must be entertaining, it must also be a little mystifying to the reader. You have to intrigue them, make them want to delve further into the text, to stay with the story. If your opening section is too simple, too predictable you are prompting fading interest and yawns. Once the readers have made it to page fifty, they will either give up and turn to another volume or carry on with enthusiasm. It is at this point some clarity and real page-turning elements need to be employed.

In Blood Rites, my new crime novel, I played a few intriguing tricks to snare the reader. The book opens with the final section of the last chapter. It does not give any clues or indeed the game way but I hope it surprises and fascinates in order to prompt the reader to see what the whole thing is about. The purpose of this ploy only becomes clear at the end.

Around Chapter Three, without explaining the concept, I introduced the idea of the domino. Or to be precise a line of dominoes, all set up just waiting for one to fall thus setting off a destructive chain reaction as it does. The domino effect becomes clearer as the novel progresses but the first domino, a character called Barry ‘Bazzer’ Donovan, really has no connection with the main thrust of the plot. This was deliberate. In one sense he is an innocent pawn in the chain of events but he is also an essential component of the process. He is the spark that ignites the action.  There is irony here too, for while I referred to Barry as ‘an innocent pawn’ he is far from a pleasant or blameless character.

Enough waffle from me. Here is a section of the novel that uses Barry and the domino idea. This, I think, will speak more eloquently to you that I can.
EXTRACT

Sometimes FKeepsets up a row of dominos and just gives the first one a gentle push and stands back and watches with dark satisfaction the resulting chain reaction and the chaos, confusion and tragedy the clattering falling pieces initiate. Certainly this was the case with Barry ‘Bazzer’ Donovan. 

He was the first domino.

If a film producer was making a film about a disaffected fourteen year old from a sink estate, Bazzer Donovan would have been ideal casting. He was small and under nourished for his age, with narrow deep-set haunted eyes and a feral loping walk. He looked forever furtive and angry. It was an anger that he could not explain. It was just there bonded to his soul and this made him very dangerous. His teachers, his social worker and his mother had all given up on him. There was no reasoning with the creature. He had become a law unto himself, wandering the streets of Deighton at all hours causing problems: stealing, damaging cars, drinking, lighting fires, fighting and taking drugs. 

He was particularly disaffected this particular evening. On returning home he found that his stupid mother had gone off to the fuckin’ bingo and not left any food in the house. The cow had done it on purpose. The cow! He hated her! The volcanic anger that was always on the verge of erupting within him, spurted forth. He roamed the house smashing up some crockery, ornaments and furniture and then poured a bucket of water on his mother’s bed. See how the fat cow liked sleeping on that. He grinned at the thought, but there was no joy or humour there, just malice.

Satisfied that he had done all he wanted in the house, he swept out slamming the door as hard as he could. His anger had not abated. If anything it burned with greater ferocity. He was still hungry and he had no money at all. Not even a few bob to buy his tea at the chippy. Well, he wasn’t going to fuckin’ starve. He’d just have to get some fuckin’ money somehow. And he knew how.

He found himself passing by Wentworth House flats, a multi-story structure built in the sixties by the council and considered at the time a smart modern housing unit. Now it was a crumbling slum, unloved and in need of demolition. Peeling paint, boarded windows, walls smeared with graffiti and worse, a lift that had not worked in years and was used as a toilet were now the charms of Wentworth House. Only the desperate, the destitute, the serially unemployed and the mentally unstable inhabited this place.

Bazzer saw a lean figure emerge from the building. A tall man, smartly dressed, walking with a swift and urgent step.  To Bazzer, he didn’t look like one of the inmates of Wentworth House. He was too clean, too upright, too normal. A visitor then. By the look of his clothes, he could be someone from the council, or a doctor or maybe a bleedin’ undertaker. They had a lot of deaths in Wentworth House.

Quickening his step, Bazzer caught up with the man.

‘Ere mate,’ he called, his thin strident tone piercing the silence of the darkened street.

The man stopped in his tracks and turned round.

‘Ere mate, I got something for you.’

The man looked quizzically at this strange urchin who had materialised out of the night.

‘Yes,’ he said.

The next thing the man knew was a sudden harsh pain to his face and a blinding light. He fell to his knees and tried to look up, just as Bazzer hit him again with the half brick. This time he fell back into the gutter, unconscious.

The youth stood over his victim for some time. He was waiting to see if the bastard moved, if he really was unconscious or faking it. Of course, he could be dead. That would be really cool. But no, he could see his chest rise and fall.

Bazzer knelt down by the unconscious man and rifled his pockets. It was slim pickings. Five bob in his trouser pocket and less than a fiver in his wallet.

Fuckin’ cheap skate.

He stood up and snarled his disappointment, giving the man a frustrated kick in the ribs. We walked off slowly in the direction of Brian’s Chippy.

Some five minutes later, the man regained consciousness and slowly, very slowly, he sat up. He had a thunderous headache and his fingers, gently caressing his forehead established that he had a cut there and it was still bleeding. Well, at least he was alive. He had to thank God for that.

With infinite care, he pulled himself to his feet and waited a moment while the world around him steadied itself before slowly taking a few steps in the direction of home. There was no sign of his assailant, of course. Well, there wouldn’t be, would there?  He felt inside his coat to discover that his wallet had gone. He sighed heavily: he was too tired and distressed to swear. Well, he thought, as he made slow progress down the street, there was no point in going to the police. They wouldn’t heal his wound or get his money back. He didn’t quite know then what a very deep, life-changing impression that brief but brutal encounter with the young brick-wielding hooligan would have on his life and that of others.

The first domino had fallen and the inevitable demolishing process had begun.
Author bio:

David Stuart Davies is an author, playwright and editor. His fiction includes six novels featuring his wartime detective Johnny Hawke, Victorian puzzle solver artist Luther Darke, and seven Sherlock Holmes novels – the latest being Sherlock Holmes and the Ripper Legacy (2016). His non-fiction work includes Starring Sherlock Holmes, detailing the film career of the Baker Street sleuth. David has also penned a Northern Noir trilogy of gritty crime novels set in Yorkshire in the 1980s: Brothers in Blood, Innocent Blood and Blood Rites.

David is regarded as an authority on Sherlock Holmes and is the author of two Holmes plays, Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act and Sherlock Holmes: The Death and Life, which are available on audio CD. He has written the Afterwords for all the Collector’s Library Holmes volumes, as well as those for many of their other titles.

He is a committee member of the Crime Writers’ Association and edits their monthly publication Red Herrings. His collection of ghost and horror stories appeared in 2015, championed by Mark Gatiss who said they were ‘pleasingly nasty.’

David is General Editor of Wordsworth’s Mystery & Supernatural series and a past Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund. He has appeared at many literary festivals and the Edinburgh Fringe performing his one man presentation The Game’s Afoot – an evening with Sherlock Holmes & Arthur Conan Doyle. He was recently made a member of The Detection Club.

Authors Links:  Website /  Twitter  /  Via Urbane 

#Review A Pearl for My Mistress by Annabel Fielding. @DearestAnnabel @HQDigitalUK

Today I am reviewing A Pearl for My Mistress, a historical fiction novel set in 1930s England.  Many thanks to the author for giving me a copy of the book to review.

Blurb:  England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady’s maid in a small aristocratic household.

Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.

Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital… and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society’s most dangerous secrets…


My Rating: 4/5

Review:   I love historical fiction, though I tend to read more historical crime than straight fiction stories.  As I said to someone a few days ago the books I do read set in the past tend to be no more recent than around 1900 so this book was a bit of a departure for me. 

This book centers around Lady Lucy Fitzmartin who, having recently been introduced into London society, feels out of place as she is unaware of what the other ladies around her are talking about. She determines to find out so the the following year (the London season lasts a few months each year) she can take part in the discussions and laugh at the jokes. However, in searching out the source of their discussions she stumbles upon information about event s that she knew nothing about. Being female and belonging to an aristocratic house goings on in the real world had been kept from her as was the way in those days. While Lucy is becoming involved in things that Lady’s should not be involved in, her family decide to hire her a lady’s maid to accompany her in town and generally take care of her. 

This is where the story really begins. We see Lucy, having learnt about the lack of jobs in industrial areas, etc beginning to change and adapt to her new knowledge. The whispered suggestions of another war on the horizon also affect her and her position in the world. Added to that the relationship betwen herself and Hester, her lady’s maid and this makes for a story with lots of unconnected, but at the same time connected, threads running through it 

The relationship between Lucy and Hester grows and develops through the course of the books does Lucy’s relationship with others and with the world around her. It was interesting reading her changed and develop into her own person rather than just a carbon copy of the other ladies who want to find good husbands and settle down.  I know this is how it was for many at the time as women had little say in their futures, but it was nice to watch Lucy change things for herself realising as well that the aristocracy was not what it once was and perhaps her status didn’t mean as much as it used to. 

The story moves between Lucy’s home in the country and London and does so quite well.  The descriptions of the areas are good though I felt they could have been a bit richer in detail. However, this story is mainly about Lucy and Hester and the world around them and how the ongoing changes affect them. This was done very well. While both characters change and develop as the story progresses their development was shown in their speech and actions rather than spelled out to the reader which worked well as it gave the feeling of being there and observing these changes which added a nice layer of depth and realism to the story.  

Being set relatively recently, historically speaking, it’s a good book to start with if you want to try historical fiction but aren’t sure you’ll like it although it will also appeal to those who already enjoy historical fiction.


Blog Tour Review: Whiteout by Ragnar Jonasson. @ragnarjo @orendabooks

I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Whiteout today. I’ve read most of the Ari Thór series and loved it so there was no way I was going to miss out on taking part in this. 

Blurb:  Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the old house on the remote rocky outcrop? 

With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier. As the dark history and the secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place. Dark, chilling and complex, Whiteout is a haunting, atmospheric and stunningly plotted thriller from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.

Review:  Ragnar Jonasson is very skilled at weaving stories that keep you reading and this one is no different.  The mysterious death of a young woman and the subsequent discovery that her mother and sister died the same way throws up many questions for Ari Thór and the investigation. The scene is set before that when we meet all of the characters and learn a little about them before the death occurs. The characters themselves come across as a little odd, probably through years of living somewhere so isolated, but once the police investigation begins we begin to see how suspicion and questions affect them all. Due to the remoteness of the location there are only five characters and therefore, if it was murder, five suspects. This means we get an interesting insight into the psychological impact on each person of the unexplained death and the police looking at what happened to the victim’s family, 25 years earlier.  

Despite the fact that there appears to be only two houses in the area and plenty of open spaces the story gives a very distinct  feeling of claustrophobia.  Most of the characters live in the same house with others able to visit easily which makes it feel as if they cannot escape each other which, of course, only adds to the increasing tension as the investigation continues and people get more irate or fed up of the police being involved. 

It has echoes of locked room mysteries and stories such as Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, where all of the characters are confined to a small island and cannot escape while people keep dying around them.  The tension that this confinement creates is fascinating, as is the effects that the ongoing police presence has and that is what makes this story one that you keep reading and are reluctant to put down. Every opportunity I had I was picking up this book, wanting to find out what happened next. 

If you’re already a fan of Ari Thór you won’t be disappointed and if you love locked room mysteries or slow burn psychological stories then this is definitely the book for you.  


Author bio:

Ragnar Jónasson is author of the international bestselling Dark Iceland series. His debut Snowblind went to number one in the kindle charts shortly after publication, and Nightblind, Blackout and Rupture soon followed suit, hitting the number one spot in five countries, and the series being sold in 18 countries and for TV. Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he continues to work as a lawyer. From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik with his wife and young daughters.

Blog Tour Review: CWA Anthology of Short Stories, edited by Martin Edwards. @Orendabooks #blogtour #review

I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for this book today. I have to give my thanks to the publisher for letting me have a copy of the book to review for this tour. 

Blurb:  Crime spreads across the globe in this new collection of short stories from the Crime Writer’s Association, as a conspiracy of prominent crime authors take you on a world mystery tour. Highlights of the trip include a treacherous cruise to French Polynesia, a horrifying trek in South Africa, a murderous train-ride across Ukraine and a vengeful killing in Mumbai. But back home in the UK, life isn’t so easy either. Dead bodies turn up on the backstreets of Glasgow, crime writers turn words into deeds at literary events, and Lady Luck seems to guide the fate of a Twickenham hood. Showcasing the range, breadth and vitality of the contemporary crime-fiction genre, these twenty-eight chilling and unputdownable stories will take you on a trip you’ll never forget.


Contributions from:
Ann Cleeves, C.L. Taylor, Susi Holliday, Martin Edwards, Anna Mazzola, Carol Anne Davis, Cath Staincliffe, Chris Simms, Christine Poulson, Ed James, Gordon Brown, J.M. Hewitt, Judith Cutler, Julia Crouch, Kate Ellis, Kate Rhodes, Martine Bailey, Michael Stanley, Maxim Jakubowski, Paul Charles, Paul Gitsham, Peter Lovesey, Ragnar Jónasson, Sarah Rayne, Shawn Reilly Simmons, Vaseem Khan, William Ryan and William Burton McCormick

Review:   I don’t usually review short stories but when I saw this collection I knew I wanted to read and review it, partly because I wanted something different to read and partly because I have yet to read works by some of the authors so it was a good chance for me to discover some new authors. 

Given this is a collection of stories I wasn’t sure how to approach it so I decided to jump in and start with Ragnar Jonasson, a writer I am very familiar with. His story is only 2 pages long but packs quite a punch. There’s so much packed into those 2 pages that I’m still not sure how he managed it. 

I then chose authors that I have wanted to read for a while but not had the chance yet.  First up was C.L. Taylor with a tale set in Thailand. I admit reading this one I was quite confused at first, which I think was deliberate, but then the smoke cleared and that Ohhhhh moment happened when I realised exactly what was happening. After that I read Ann Cleeves who wrote about an author at a book festival. This one was a story that intrigued from the first few words and twisted around so well that I was left gaping at the end. Both stories were absolute perfection in only a few pages. 

My last read so far was by Christine Poulson, another author new to me. She wove her tale using only receipts which was definitely a first for me.  It was so imaginative and definitely one I will read again just to appreciate the brilliance of the construction. 

This is one of those books that you can easily dip in and out of. I found it ideal for reading on my breaks at work because of the length of the stories. The contributions list reads like a Who’s Who of crime fiction so if you want to discover some new authors this is an ideal way of doing it.  I am going to thoroughly enjoy picking tales at random over the next few weeks. Definitely a must read!