Beattie Bramshaw Mysteries by Susan A. King Double Review @SusanKing63 @EyeAndLightning #bookreview #cosycrime

Marrow Jam (Beattie Bramshaw Mysteries 1) written by Susan A. King, publisher Lightning Books, is available NOW in ebook format.

Book Blurb

MURDER, MYSTERY…AND MARROWS

Some people would describe Beattie Bramshaw as a pillar of the community. Many would applaud her numerous successes in the bakery competition at the annual village show. A small number might say, if pushed, that they find her a little on the bossy side. And one or two might just whisper the words ‘interfering’ and ‘busybody’ behind her back.

But no-one would have her down as a murderer.

So why is she being questioned in Dreighton police station after being found in the local allotments, at the dead of night, wielding a kitchen knife just yards away from where local lottery winner, Yvonne Richards, was found stabbed to death? And what does all of this have to do with Doug Sparrow’s prize marrows?

Marrow Jam is a comedy crime caper in the spirit of Agatha Raisin. It will have you chuckling all the way through many a cup of tea.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/36VqrjA

REVIEW

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Whilst recently scrolling through Instagram I came across a promotion for a new book called Banana Devil Cake by Susan A. King. Banana Devil Cake is classed as a cosy crime comedy novel, which is not one of my usual genres but I liked the sound of the novel so investigated more. I learned that it was book two in a series and although you can easily read the stories as standalone I felt I wanted to give this new to me author and a slight deviation from my usual genre a chance so I read book one: Marrow Jam first.

To my great delight I found myself completely enthralled with this cosy crime caper set in a remote English country village. It’s the late 1990’s and you can feel yourself stepping back two decades to this sleepy village with the most wonderful assembly of quirky characters. The village WI have a strong membership and each year they are relied upon to embrace the competitive spirit and enter the competitions in the Village Summer Fete. Alas this year all matters of mayhem were to ensue and it all started with the judgings of Best in Show.

When a deadly crime is committed and our favourite WI member is caught up in the scandal Beattie Bramshaw takes it upon herself to clear not only her name but that of her nemesis.

Susan A. King has written a wonderful comic crime caper that will have you chuckling with nostalgic glee. I loved this novel from start to finish and I was pleased as punch when I knew I’d got another book in the Beattie Bramshaw mysteries to read. On paper Beattie Bramshaw is one of those characters that appear quite prickly on the outside but once you get to know her she has a heart of gold. The author must have relished writing about Beattie and I could sense that she was a pleasure to create such a multi-layered character.

Banana Devil Cake (Beattie Bramshaw Mysteries Book Two) written by Susan A. King, publisher Lightning Books, is available NOW in ebook format.

Book Blurb

With the murder of last year’s fête judge now but a hazy memory, the village of Elmesbury has retired to its former tranquil existence. That is, until a mysterious newcomer sets in motion a series of events that will see members of the W.I. crossing wooden spoons at dawn.

In the midst of preparing for her long-awaited engagement party, redoubtable village busybody Beattie Bramshaw not only finds herself embroiled in a one-woman campaign to save the elm tree from which the village gets its name, but also having to contend with an outbreak of unrest within her beloved W.I. group. Rivalry to win favour with the judge of this year’s fête has fuelled dissent within the ranks and, when two members are found dead in mysterious circumstances, suspicions run rife.

Confident the devil is not only in the cake but in the detail, Beattie determines to uncover the clues that will ultimately lead to the killer’s conviction. But can she solve the mystery before another member of the W.I. is picked off?

Banana Devil Cake is a comedy crime caper in the style of Agatha Raisin and one that is guaranteed to lift your spirits. Prepare yourself for a tale of tea, cake and riotous goings-on from the author of Marrow Jam.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2MC6Y0J

REVIEW

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

It’s a good six months on since the last mystery that Beattie solved and alot has happened to the lives of a few of the villagers. Friendships have blossomed and love is in the air but a newcomer is about to bring mayhem back to the village.

Celebrity Psychic Leo Levine thinks he has escaped from his paparazzi lifestyle by moving to this sleepy village but he didn’t expect the ladies of the WI to welcome him with such relish.

With the fate of a well loved Elm Tree in the village green at risk and with the Summer Fete looming Beattie is once again at the forefront of keeping unjust and crime at hand.

Susan A. King has written another wonderful comic crime caper that I feel is a must read to brighten up your days. I am so pleased I stepped a little out of my comfort zone in reading genres and took the plunge to try a new author and a new genre. I will certainly be looking out for more work by Susan A. King and hope Beattie never tires in keeping her tabs on the comings and goings of the village of Elmesbury.

About the Author

Susan A. King lives with her husband in a quiet suburb in leafy Hampshire.

The inspiration for her debut novel, Marrow Jam, came from her long experience and observation of competitors at the local Romsey Show where she regularly aspires to win Best in Show with her floral arrangements. Unsuccessful to date, she has been tempted to investigate more underhand methods by which to acquire the trophy, but has yet to sink to the depths described in her novel. Or so she would have you believe!

Marrow Jam, was shortlisted for the Write Here, Right Now novel competition, Bradford Literature Festival and is published by Eye/Lightning Books.

Twitter: @SusanKing63

Instagram: @susan.king63

The Betrayal (The Guernsey Novels book 6) by Anne Allen book review

the betrayal anne allen

The Betrayal (The Guernsey Novel – Book 6) written by Anne Allen, publisher Sarnia Press is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2l8KipY

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Treachery and theft lead to death – and love

1940. Teresa Bichard and her baby are sent by her beloved husband, Leo, to England as the Germans draw closer to Guernsey. Days later they invade…
1942. Leo, of Jewish descent, is betrayed to the Germans and is sent to a concentration camp, never to return.
1945. Teresa returns to find Leo did not survive and the family’s valuable art collection, including a Renoir, is missing. Heartbroken, she returns to England.
2011. Nigel and his twin Fiona, buy a long-established antique shop in Guernsey and during a refit, find a hidden stash of paintings, including what appears to be a Renoir. Days later, Fiona finds Nigel dead, an apparent suicide. Refusing to accept the verdict, a distraught Fiona employs a detective to help her discover the truth…
Searching for the rightful owner of the painting brings Fiona close to someone who opens a chink in her broken heart. Can she answer some crucial questions before laying her brother’s ghost to rest?
Who betrayed Leo?
Who knew about the stolen Renoir?
And are they prepared to kill – again?

renoir guernsey

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Two tragedies just less than 70 years apart, is there a connection?

A time slip mystery that takes you to a war torn Guernsey, who at first were coping fairly well but with the threat of German occupation the small island and it’s community were soon left isolated from the rest of Europe.

Now in 2011 Fiona and her twin brother Nigel, the new owners of a long-established antique shop in Guernsey, are fizzing with excitement of the paintings they have just found hidden amongst the property.  With Fiona’s expertise in the field of Historical Art and her current work for the V & A museum, Fiona recognises the possible work of local artists Naftel and Toplis but another painting looks almost like a Renoir, which totally astounds Fiona.  Renoir was known to have created fifteen paintings of Guernsey during his stay on the isle in 1883.  To have first hand sight of one of his works was every Art Historian’s dream.  The twins, Fiona and Nigel, knew then that what they have stumbled across could be a pivotal moment in the art world and especially important that this was found in Guernsey.

As Fiona was authenticating the painting back in London she knew nothing of the danger her brother Nigel was in.  Coming home on a high with news of the painting Fiona was in for a traumatic shock when she discovers Nigel’s body.  Fiona is utterly devastated, she has lost not only her twin brother, her best friend but also the last remaining member of her immediate family.  She is shocked that the police believe Nigel’s death may be suicide and sets out to find the truth with the help of a local private detective.

We follow Fiona on her search to find out what exactly happened on this fateful day.  We also follow her on her journey to find the original owners of the Renoir painting.

The storyline also travels back in time to 1940 and of the inhabitants of Guernsey during the war, in particular to Leo Bichard, his young wife Teresa and new baby Judith.  The fear of the future during the war, the fear of being separated during evacuation and the fear of losing everything.

I really enjoyed this story especially going back in time to 1940, reading about the social ramifications of the war fascinates me but also as Guernsey was such a small isle I could understand how isolated and alone the islanders must have felt.  The author, Anne Allen, has packed The Betrayal with drama, history, intrigue, anguish and grief but I also felt a strength of warmth of friends rallying around to support one of their own in their desperate hour of need.  Also the spark of love at a time when your life has been shattered was a welcome distraction to all the emotional despair.  4.5/5*

To learn more about Anne Allen and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://anneallen.co.uk/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/AnneAllen21

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/Anne-Allen-Author

 

 

Rubies in the Roses by Vivian Conroy blogtour/book review

rubies in the roses

Rubies in the Roses (Cornish Castle Mystery book 2) written by Vivian Conroy, publisher HQ digital is available in ebook from 30th August 2017.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2wUtzer

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Welcome to Cornisea island and spend your summer holidays in a Cornish Castle.

Guinevere Evans has a dream summer job: cataloguing books at a castle on a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall. With her perky dachshund Dolly by her side she explores the island’s colourful history, tries fabulous local food and sees the gorgeous sunsets.

But when an old friend of her employer drops in, claiming a rare bejewelled wedding goblet is hidden in the castle gardens, strange events start to take place: several people turn up claiming they have a right to the elusive goblet, and a dead body is found on the beach.

An unfortunate accident, or does this death relate to the struggle for ownership of the goblet? Is there even a goblet?

Guinevere and Dolly dig in and discover plenty of motives to lie, steal and yes, maybe even kill. Can they prove what really happened to the victim and what became of the precious rubies that are at the heart of the mystery?

rubies in the roses blogtour

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour promoting and celebrating the launch of book 2 in this cosy crime series by Vivian Conroy.

This is the second book in the Cornish Castle mysteries.  Although, the novel could be read as a standalone I would urge you to read book one Death Plays a Part first just to appreciate the history of the characters and setting.  You can find my review of book one here.

Once again we are back on Cornisea Island and the Castle is at the centre of another mystery.  Legend has it that a silver goblet studded with rubies and diamonds that was used in wedding ceremonies many, many years ago was left hidden by it’s last known owner somewhere on the castle grounds.  An article has been written in a forthcoming magazine claiming to know the whereabouts of the goblet.  Lord Bolingbrooke is keen for the goblet to be found on his property so he can claim rights to it however, others feel they have family connections to the treasured piece.

Vivian Conroy has taken us on another cosy crime mystery with Rubies in the Roses.  Guinevere is a little like a modern day Miss Marple and with her trusty side kick Dolly the Daschund providing many charming moments to make you smile.  As with the first book in the series I did find the story a little slow but thinking back about the genre the style and flow of the writing suits this cosy crime mystery.  The series would make a perfect Sunday chill day reading.

To find out more about Vivian Conroy please visit the following pages:

Vivian Conroy’s call story:  http://www.carinauk.com/the-call-vivian-conroy

Fantastic Fiction:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/c/vivian-conroy/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/VivWrites