blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Blood on the Tyne: Red Snow – Colin Garrow

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.
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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.

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My thoughts: this is a fast paced thriller set during one snowy winter in 1955. Without mobile phones or CCTV, the race is on to find a killer. All they can go on is Rosie’s memory and the evidence, all of which points in one direction but the prime suspect says it wasn’t him and scarpers.

Is there a new gang boss making a play for Newcastle? Rumours of a woman with a penchant for red hot pokers and a man with a scarred face have Rosie running scared, nowhere is safe and her friends are at risk too. Can Vic arrest the villains before anyone else gets hurt?

I was totally gripped, the pacing was relentless and I could not put this down. Rosie is a compelling protagonist and her friends and colleagues are a great bunch.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: So Pretty – Ronnie Turner

Fear blisters through this town like a fever…

When Teddy Colne arrives in the small town of Rye, he believes he will be able to settle down and leave his past behind him. Little does he know that fear blisters through the streets like a fever. The locals tell him to stay away from an establishment known only as Berry & Vincent, that those who rub too closely to its proprietor risk a bad end.

Despite their warnings, Teddy is desperate to understand why Rye has come to fear this one man, and to see what really hides behind the doors of his shop.

Ada moved to Rye with her young son to escape a damaged childhood and years of never fitting in, but she’s lonely, and ostracised by the community. Ada is ripe for affection and friendship, and everyone knows it.

As old secrets bleed out into this town, so too will a mystery about a family who vanished fifty years earlier, and a community living on a knife-edge.

Teddy looks for answers, thinking he is safe, but some truths are better left undisturbed, and his past will find him here, just as it always has. And before long, it will find Ada too.

Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature and dreamed of being a published author. Ronnie now lives in the South West with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she reviews books on her blog and enjoys long walks on the coast. Ronnie is a Waterstones Senior Bookseller and a barista, and her youth belies her exceptional, highly unusual talent.

My thoughts: this was really good, it got creepy very quickly and I really felt for Ada and Albie, terrified and trapped in Rye. With Teddy and the really disturbing Mr Vincent (he never speaks and collects really odd things). Teddy claims to want to escape the shadow of his father but proves to be more like him as the book goes on.

There is something a bit creepy about seaside towns, especially out of season, something sad and haunted about them. I don’t know Rye itself but it serves as the perfect setting for this tale of obsession and loneliness.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Case Files – Rachel Amphlett

Discover twelve dark and twisted mysteries from USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett.

This page-turning collection features The Man Cave in which Darren regains consciousness in a dank basement where escape turns out to be the least of his worries; in All Night Long Zoe soon wishes she wasn’t working the late shift; and in Nowhere to Run a rookie detective encounters her first serial killer… but will she survive?

My thoughts: this was a really enjoyable collection of short crime stories. Some were very brief and others felt like the beginning of a novel. All were clever and a couple made me laugh out loud. If you like crime fiction and short stories, you could do a lot worse than starting with these.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: A Deadly Covenant – Michael Stanley

While building a pipeline near the Okavango Delta, a contractor unearths the remains of a long-dead Bushman. Rookie Detective David ‘Kubu’ Bengu of Botswana CID and Scottish pathologist, Ian MacGregor, are sent to investigate, and MacGregor discovers the skeletons of eight more men.

Shortly after the gruesome discoveries, the elder of a nearby village is murdered in his home. The local police are convinced it was a robbery, but Kubu isn’t so sure … and neither is the strange woman who claims that an angry river spirit caused the elder’s death.

As accusations of corruption are levelled and international outrage builds over the massacre of the Bushman families, Kubu and his colleagues uncover a deadly covenant, and begin to fear that their own lives may be in mortal danger…

Michael Stanley is the writing team of South African authors Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana CID. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. The third in the series, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award for Best Paperback Original mystery and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award. A Death in the Family and Dying to Live are the latest in the Detective Kubu series, published by Orenda Books. A prequel to the Detective Kubu series, Facets of Death, was published in 2021 and A Deadly Covenant follows Kubu’s second case.

My thoughts: Detective Kubu returns in a case of murder, secrets and promises. Sent out to a remote village to investigate human remains found while digging for new water pipes, Kubu encounters people who won’t speak up, closing ranks against the outsiders. As more bones are found and pathologist Dr McGregor thinks they’re the massacred remains of a group of Bushmen, discriminated against widely, and some may be children, Kubu becomes more determined to find the truth. Then new murders occur.

As Assistant Commissioner Mabuku comes out to help with this new spate of crime, the local police think it’s a newcomer – a Bushman who says he’s come at the behest of his ancestors, because of the bodies they’ve found.

Digging into local history, rumours and friendships, the team find a terrible pact made between a group of friends years before. Could this hold the answers?

Gripping, trawling through the worst things humans can do, but with a lightness of touch, finding moments of humour, and with such intriguing characters. I loved the last Kubu I read and this was also very good. Enjoyable and thought provoking.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Time to Die – Jay Nadal

They thought the past was dead and buried. But now it’s back to haunt them.

A local criminal is savagely killed, then another . . .

As the body count grows, Detective Inspector Scott Baker and his team are caught in a race against time as they hunt for a serial killer who is at once methodical and deeply disturbed.

The investigation soon reveals that all the victims have links to a terrible crime which occurred years before. Someone is looking for payback – and they won’t stop till everyone involved is dead, executed in the most brutal manner.

Scott knows he’s sitting on a time bomb – under relentless pressure from the mysterious assassin, Brighton’s criminal underworld threatens to explode, bringing chaos to the streets of the city.

As the killings become ever more savage, can Scott find the murderer before anyone else meets an horrific death?

Time to Die – the first in the gripping crime series featuring DI Scott Baker.

Previously published by the author as Greed

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Jay Nadal writes UK police procedural crime thrillers. He’s the author of twenty novels and also writes private investigator and psychological thrillers. Hailing from Essex, he’s always had a passion for mysteries and crime thrillers and turned that into a full-time career as an author. He likes to write darker crime but enjoys lacing it raw human emotions and humour. 

When not writing, Jay loves nothing more than spending time with his family, two daughters and four Yorkies. 

Time To Die is his first police thriller with Inkubator Books. The Stolen Girls, book 2 in the series, will be released on the same day as book 1.

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My thoughts: this was a clever little police thriller, when a club owner and then a drug dealer are found murdered, money stuffed in their mouths, the police think it’s about drugs and look at another dealer looking to move into Brighton. But when evidence points to a crime from several years before, it changes the whole case.

The team are slightly at odds with each other and the DI can be a bit prickly. He’s dealing with personal trauma that keeps him from sleeping, but the charming pathologist might distract him from his pain. After they solve the case.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Book Blitz: Dead in Tune – Stephanie Dagg

It’s nearly Christmas, a time for peace and goodwill. Or maybe not.
First the house of a young Spanish family is burned down, and then a Dutch clog dancer is battered almost to death with his own footwear. On the night of the carol service, at which the Worldwide
Friendship Club’s choir is singing, a Scottish bagpiper is found dead. By Martha, who has come across enough dead bodies already this year to last her a lifetime.
Convinced there’s a link to the choir, Martha and best friend Lottie set out on the trail of the murderer. Their unconventional sleuthing methods land one of them in rather a lot of trouble…
‘Dead In Tune’, the sequel to ‘Hate Bale’, is an entertaining, festive cosy mystery set in rural France.

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I’m an English immigrant living in France with my family, after many years in Ireland. We have a seventy-five acre farm with animals ranging from alpacas to zebra finches. I work part-time as a
freelance editor. The rest of the time I’m helping to run our carp fishing lake business and inevitably cleaning up after some or other animal.
I’ve written both fiction and non-fiction books, and plenty of them – somewhere around the fifty mark now! Originally I was published by two presses in Ireland, but more recently I’ve taken the self-
publishing route. I’m a keen book blogger, and I also love knitting, natural dyeing, gardening and cycling.
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My thoughts: a series of crimes aimed at the ex-pat community in rural France raises Martha and Lottie’s interests and they start digging around in their community, looking for clues. Could it be another member of the Worldwide Friendship Club?

With a charming Spanish family in her guest cottage, animals to look after and a police officer boyfriend who’d rather she didn’t get involved (he’s away skiiing), Martha is dragged more into the case than she’d like by Lottie’s enthusiasm for the investigation, which risks Lottie’s own safety.

A fun, slightly silly, caper, with two women who really should know better but clearly want to help out their friends and neighbours when threatened by someone with a really nasty streak.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Death on the Crags – Jo Allen

Everybody loves Thomas Davies. Don’t they?
When policeman Thomas Davies falls from a crag on a visit to the Lake District in full view of his partner, Mia, it looks for all the world like a terrible but unfortunate accident — until a second witness comes forward with a different story.
Alerted to the incident, DCI Jude Satterthwaite is inclined to take it seriously — not least because of Mia’s reluctance to speak to the police about the incident. As Jude and his colleagues,
including his on-off partner DS Ashleigh O’Halloran, tackle the case, they’re astonished by how many people seem to have a reason to want all-round good guy Thomas out of the way.
With the arrival of one of Thomas’s colleagues to assist the local force, the investigation intensifies. As the team unpick the complicated lives of those who claim to care for Thomas but have good reasons to want him dead, they find themselves digging deeper and deeper into a web of blackmail and cruelty … and investigating a second death.
A traditional British police procedural mystery set in Cumbria.

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Jo Allen was born in Wolverhampton and is a graduate of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and the Open University, with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in geography and Earth science. She’s
been writing for pleasure and publication for as long as she can remember. After a career in economic consultancy she took up writing and was first published under the name Jennifer Young, in genres of short stories, romance and romantic suspense. She wrote online articles on travel and on her favourite academic subject, Earth science. In 2017 she took the plunge and began writing the genre she most likes to read — crime.
Jo lives in the English Lakes, where the DCI Satterthwaite series is set. In common with all her favourite characters, she loves football (she’s a season ticket holder with her beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers) and cats.

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My thoughts: this was another excellent outing for DCI Jude Satterthwaite and the team as a holidaying Welsh policeman is pushed off one of the Lakes peaks in front of his partner.

But why would anyone want to murder the very nice Thomas Davies – what secrets are his loved ones hiding? Jude is determined to solve this mystery.

Things get complicated by the arrival of a colleague from the North Wales police who has her own agenda. Jude and Ashleigh’s relationship is a bit rocky, Ashleigh being a very astute person knows Jude and Becca still have feelings for each other that they haven’t acted on. Will that change things?

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Velvet Badge – Bob Mantel

Forty years in the making, Bob Mantel’s thrilling debut novel challenges today’s social standards with compelling characters while infusing the Big Apple’s unmistakable presence.

In The Velvet Badge: A New York Noir a tasteless nightclub run by a failed JFK assassination co-conspirator brings out the worst in 1970s New York. Songbird Sadasia Trayne runs into a disco-era buzz saw of wine, women, and murder when she hooks up with the Brooklyn-based creator of a notorious TV sitcom. Her frantic SOS to a long-lost love, the Big Apple’s closeted lesbian Chief of Police Detectives, drives this tale of memory and regret, compromise and topiary, politics and a corrupt press, Kris Kringle and twisted acts of love. Will the headline-grabbing sex crime she sets out to solve max out the Chief’s investigative skills or deep-six her career?

The Velvet Badge combines edge-of-your-seat storytelling with stone-cold hilarity and just a touch of holiday ho-ho-ho. A fast-paced novel embedded with elements of suspense and dark humor, The Velvet Badge is perfect for readers who enjoyed Meatpacking by Michael Heslin, The Burn by Kathleen Kent, or Cold Evidence by Robin James.

Mantel creates a world of mystery while infusing dark comedy in a fresh way. “The novel’s New York episodes were inspired by the 1970s city I lived in during my Columbia College days…I was a classic hick, struggling with classes and discovering the highs and lows of the city. Many of these stories found their way into The Velvet Badge,” he said.

Authentically reflecting the sights and sounds of the city he loves, Mantel’s talent for bringing the diversity of New York to life on the page may seem effortless, but it wasn’t always easy. “Like many other writers, I knew what I wanted to accomplish in my first book but didn’t know how to pull it off,” he said. “I worked on The Velvet Badge, off and on for many years, and even completed several drafts, but never to my satisfaction. I took it up again after I retired in 2017 and, this time, all the missing pieces seemed to fall into place–including an ending that I’d previously been unable to conjure.”

Bob Mantel was educated at Columbia College, where he won the Cornell Woolrich Award for Fiction, and the University of Chicago. He lives in New York and enjoys visiting cities that have ballparks and concert halls. The Velvet Badge is his first novel. Learn more at and follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Bob Mantel Blogger Q&A

How long did it take you to complete The Velvet Badge?

An embarrassingly long time–more than 40 years–although I didn’t work on it steadily and often left it untouched for years. One of my problems was taking Ulysses too much to heart and spending nearly a decade badly imitating Joyce’s prose. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, which is why I call that magnificent book “the great crippler of young adults.” Long story short: you may know what you want to write but have no idea how to bring it off. I completed any number of drafts until I finally figured out a decent ending for the book. After that, everything else finally fell into place.

Have you ever experienced writer’s/creator’s block? How do you get out of it?

Writer’s block for me turns out being a function of not having thought through my material to the point where it’s ready to work on. Whenever one crops up, I make a backup copy of the chapter I’m working on, save it as Chapter X-GARBAGE, then write away as well as I can, not expecting to keep much of what I’m producing. If I keep at it, I eventually understand how I need to shape my material and I can get back to my original draft, revise as needed and move forward.

How much of your work is autobiographical?

All of it, just like every first novel is autobiography. I’ve been inspired and stimulated by the places I’ve lived and the people I’ve known and loved. But I’m not out to draw their portraits “from life.” Instead, I’m interested in drawing on the autobiography of the emotions I felt about them to create unique places and characters that I’m free to work with as I choose.

You use a lot of what used to be called “hard jokes” in your fiction. Are you concerned about offending your readers?

No. The Velvet Badge is a hard-edge black comedy/murder mystery set largely in the 1970s. Much of the book’s humor derives from its describing characters in two ways: first, as they’d be seen in the 1970s and then authorially commenting from the present day. There’s shock value in the first and, hopefully, laughter and healing balm in the second. If any of my readers are looking for hate speech, they should track down the TV channels and websites offering plenty of that these days.

The Velvet Badge seems to contain quite a few references to operas and old movies. Could you mention just a few?

Name-dropping like that isn’t surprising when you consider what was going on in New York back when I first knew it. Take the book’s Oscar Wilde/Richard Strauss “Salome” reference. Back in the day, standing room at the Met was three bucks–and didn’t come with subtitles! More importantly, you could get into any number of revival movie house double features up and down Broadway for only $2.50. There’s a big scene in “Badge” that riffs on “The Pride of The Yankees,” after the book previously sang the praises of the talented, ever-lovely Teresa Wright. Of course, a major plot point in “The Velvet Badge” is a direct homage to Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane.” And the book closes with a bit of dialogue straight-up stolen from Alida Valli in Carol Reed’s “The Third Man.”

What’s your favorite book-movie adaptation?

I’d have to say it’s a three-way tie between Raymond Chandler and Robert Altman’s “The Long Goodbye,” Thomas Pynchon and Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice” and Larry McMurtry and Peter Bogdanovich’s “The Last Picture Show.” By the way, if anybody wants to buy “The Velvet Badge” movies rights, please give me a call. I’m in the book.

Extract from The Velvet Badge

Faced with life’s deep dish pie of pain, Donny Damon always ordered his slices á la mode. It was a habit he’d acquired from his old man Harry, who’d been born in a land where the streets were paved with gold, days before the Blizzard of ’88 paralyzed the East Coast, and who did little to hang his hat on until 1923, when Harding’s sudden death out west landed brine-faced Coolidge in the Oval Office.

Silent Cal’s pronouncement that “the chief business of the American people is business” was a turning point for Harry Damon, inspiring the colorless street pug to scrape together whatever cash he could, marry the first woman he could fast-talk in front of an altar and make a go of “Damon Truss & Convalescent Supply” on New York’s Lower East Side. The driving force behind this enterprise’s success was the 35-year-old’s decision to have his child bride strut her fine, precocious stuff behind the shop’s plate-glass window, wearing little beyond a leg cast, neck brace and strategically placed Ace bandages. Since such a display was an insult to community standards, it drew the smutty-minded, bogus lame and halt to his establishment from a twelve-block radius and kept its cash register ringing for as long as Olivia Damon continued her risqué showcase.

Harry’s missus gave the act the hook during FDR’s first administration and would eventually divorce her husband claiming alienation of affection. But by then the small business owner hardly even remembered being married and had gone all in on racketeering practices that expanded Damon Truss ten-fold during the Great Depression. By the time the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, he was piloting a regional wheelchair powerhouse while also heading a body bag monopoly in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Damon’s stranglehold on these markets, however, couldn’t and didn’t last. America’s entry into World War II gave Feds the excuse they’d been waiting for to nationalize his enterprises rather than let Harry spend the next several years dodging profiteering charges. 

Being put out to early pasture may have caught the wheelchair king off guard, but it couldn’t keep him and his enormous wad of buyout cash down for long. Within a few months, Mr. Damon was steering his Studebaker President north along the mighty Hudson to a sleepy river town founded by the Dutch and re-christened by the Brits to honor the neatly trimmed juniper bushes surrounding its village green. Or so the story went. 

The actual name change to “Carvéd Hedge” dated only from the 1920s, when those eponymous hedges were first planted. Back then, local politicians and the chamber of commerce decided that a little fudged history would attract new business, along with a better class of people, and make the dusty old place a village to be proud of instead of the shoulder-shrug whistlestop it had been sliding into for decades. This effort hadn’t made much of a difference. But every once in a while, a resident would surprise the neighbors, show some talent or initiative and put the community’s general mediocrity to shame.

Sharpie Bev Boslegovich, for example, parleyed her ability to recognize a born patsy when she saw one into a thriving local real-estate business. So when Harry Damon turned his big sedan onto Main Street in 1942, he couldn’t even put the damn thing in park before “Hiya, handsome! Lookin’ to settle down?” came winging his way from under a mop of Shirley Temple curls. 

Since sparkplug Bev believed in telling people what they wanted to hear, she gave a twist to her town’s Jazz Age creation myth that a mark like Damon would be powerless to resist. Namely (“Turn left at this corner!”) that an eyesore property, sitting idle on her books for months, had once been the home of a profligate Tory (“You know, before the Revolution.”) who spent the bulk of his fortune developing a topiary wonderland of trees, bushes and shrubs that a small army of gardeners had stripped, clipped, bent, and chiseled into a stunning array of geometric and animal-shaped confections.

Not a word of this was true, of course, but Bev understood Damon had journeyed to her little piece of heaven on earth because he was in the market for prestige as much as a home. To hear her tell it, the property she was hawking was the true inspiration behind the name of the village that tripped so lightly off her tongue. “Why else would they call it Carvéd Hedge?” Bev demanded as much as wondered.

Moved by the realtor’s aggressive eloquence, Damon’s gullibility made him believe wholeheartedly that the unruly mess he was looking at was precisely the spot where a vital, breathing, European artform had jumped species and taken root in Colonial America. This despite the fact that the “estate,” as Bev called it, was nothing more than a derelict saltbox with a sagging catslide roof, centered on a half-acre lot and thick with oversized, misfit verdure that, if you wanted to believe in it hard enough, at one time might conceivably have served some decorative function. Boslegovich sealed the deal when she told him, “There are some things you just can’t put a price on.” Damon barely flinched when she quoted a ridiculously high ask and bought the place for cash. “None of that buying-on-time crap for me,” he crowed. It was the maraschino cherry topping a forced retirement that had already started to melt. 

My thoughts: this was a crazy, black humoured book taking in JFK’s assassination, a nightclub decorated in homage (?) to that event, a singer who might be amazing but who would ever know when she gets involved in the horrific murder of a lesbian TV producer, and turns to her ex – the Velvet Badge of the title – female chief of detectives, Ellia, who grew up in a house with Christmas obsessed parents and is still scarred by her younger brother’s death.

The murder seems fairly straightforward – the laundry delivery man fits the detective’s motive and suspicions very well, maybe a little too well. But as long as there’s no murder similar to this, he’ll do. There are other bodies, but if you can’t find them, are they there?

A local “businessman” has an interesting story to tell, tying up a few loose ends, but the damage is done and various people (like the mayor) just want this all to go away. A wandering, freewheeling format, slowly connecting the characters together is a bit confusing at first but then brings it all together at The Umbrella Man.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Deuce – Gail Meath

One for sorrow, two for spice triggers a game of three blind mice.

While vacationing in New England, PI Jax Diamond and his courageous canine partner, Ace, bite off more than they can chew when two small town deaths reveal two big time killers, and the locals don’t take too kindly to strangers.

Laura Graystone, Broadway star, auto expert, and Jax’s heartthrob, is once again front and center digging for clues while trying to ditch an old boyfriend. That is, until her brother becomes Jax’s prime suspect. Then all hell breaks loose, and Ace is left in the lurch, tracking down leads with his new sidekick, Susie.

A crazy duet of crimes sends Jax, Laura and Ace into a tailspin in small-town USA during the Roaring Twenties. Where no one is above the law, everyone is a suspect, and time is running out before the clock strikes one.

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Award-winning author Gail Meath writes historical romance novels that will whisk you away to another time and place in history where you will meet fascinating characters, both fictional and real, who will capture your heart and soul. Meath loves writing about little or unknown people, places and events in history, rather than relying on the typical stories and settings.

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My thoughts: another cracking case for Jax and Co, most importantly Ace, always the best canine PI the Roaring Twenties has. Things are going great till they’re very much not and Jax and Laura find themselves on opposite sides of the case. Ace is helping new pal Susie, while the lovebirds are at odds and the clock is ticking.

I love this team, obviously Ace makes them extra good at crime solving. This was another corker and the historic setting is a bonus as I’m a history nerd!

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Blitz: The Automobile Assassination – M.J. Porter

Erdington, September 1944
As events in Europe begin to turn in favour of the Allies, Chief Inspector Mason of Erdington Police Station is once more prevailed upon to solve a seemingly impossible case.
Called to the local mortuary where a man’s body lies, shockingly bent double and lacking any form of identification, Mason and O’Rourke find themselves at Castle Bromwich aerodrome seeking answers
that seem out of reach to them. The men and women of the royal air force stationed there are their prime suspects. Or are they? Was the man a spy, killed on the orders of some higher authority, or is
the place his body was found irrelevant? And why do none of the men and women at the aerodrome recognise the dead man?
Mason, fearing a repeat of the cold case that dogged his career for two decades and that he’s only just solved, is determined to do all he can to uncover the identity of the dead man, and to find out why he was killed and abandoned in such a bizarre way, even as Smythe demands he spends his time solving the counterfeiting case that is leaving local shopkeepers out of pocket.
Join Mason and O’Rourke as they once more attempt to solve the impossible in 1940s Erdington.

MJ Porter is the author of many historical novels set predominantly in Seventh
to Eleventh-Century England, as well as three twentieth-century mysteries. Raised in the shadow of a building that was believed to house the bones of long-dead Kings of Mercia, meant that the
author’s writing destiny was set.

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My thoughts: this was a good old-fashioned whodunnit, with an intriguing victim – a man with no identifying documents or even clothes, found bent double near the airfield in wartime. Easy to see why Mason and O’Rourke look closely at the RAF stationed there.

Theres other strange goings on too, someone is tampering with the AA’s road side boxes, and there’s still a case Mason doesn’t even want to be investigating to be resolved – Jones would love the counterfeiting case.

But there’s more crime than coppers, so Mason, aided by the very resourceful O’Rourke (not limited to filing and tea making as sadly female police officers really were for a long time) to solve all of these cases and identify the mysterious dead man in order to return him to his family and find his killer. Highly enjoyable.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.