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Blog Tours book reviews Emma's Anticipated Treasures

Blog Tour: The Plague Letters by V. L. Valentine

Published: April 1st, 2021
Publisher: Viper Books
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audio
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Thriller

SYNOPSIS:

WHO WOULD MURDER THE DYING…

London, 1665. Hidden within the growing pile of corpses in his churchyard, Rector Symon Patrick discovers a victim of the pestilence unlike any he has seen before: a young woman with a shorn head, covered in burns, and with pieces of twine delicately tied around each wrist and ankle.

Desperate to discover the culprit, Symon joins a society of eccentric medical men who have gathered to find a cure for the plague. Someone is performing terrible experiments upon the dying, hiding their bodies amongst the hundreds that fill the death carts.

Only Penelope – a new and mysterious addition to Symon’s household – may have the skill to find the killer. Far more than what she appears, she is already on the hunt. But the dark presence that enters the houses of the sick will not stop, and has no mercy…

This hugely atmospheric and entertaining historical thriller will transport readers to the palaces and alleyways of seventeenth-century London. Perfect for fans of Laura Shepherd-Robinson, Andrew Taylor and C.J. Sansom.

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MY REVIEW:

Hear ye! Hear ye! The society for the prevention and cure of the plague is now in session. And they’re hunting for a killer. Could he be closer than they think?

London, 1655. The Bubonic Plague is spreading and the number of corpses piled in the churchyard grows each day. But the virus isn’t the only killer stalking the city. There is another threat hidden in their midst. One that lingers in the shadows hunting its prey just waiting for the perfect time to strike. Someone is murdering the dying; kidnapping those suffering from the plague and subjecting them to horrific experiments. 

Rector Symon Patrick is the one to first notice the strange marks on some of the dead in his parish. Together with Penelope, a mysterious young woman who recently joined his household, and a group of medical professionals calling themselves the plague society, he sets out to find the merciless killer.

A gripping whodunit with a sinister and supernatural twist, this is an outstanding debut. Valentine transports you back to a time of death and peril, taking you on a journey  through the filthy, pestilence-ridden streets of London. Her vast knowledge and research on this subject and time period is clearly shown in the societal, cultural and medical details she has woven into the story. The imagery is so vivid that you can almost smell the rot and decay in the air as the virus ravishes the population. 

It starts at a steady pace, slowly building up the mystery and tension. There is a creeping malice woven through the pages as the barbaric killer commits  gruesome acts of torture on already suffereing victims. We know he is a cunning predator, so disturbed that he believes himself to be doing good, but everything else is a guessing game where we are almost as clueless as Symon and Penelope. Everyone is a suspect, and I had no one suspect in my mind even as we approached the big reveal. 

Most of the novel’s fascinating and memorable characters are based on real historical figures, adding to its air of authenticity. The protagonist, Symon, is a hapless sleuth who bumbles his way through the investigation. He isn’t even focused on his job as rector, instead more concerned with his complicated romance with a married woman. It is Penelope, the mysterious woman who has made herself a place in his household. Feisty, resilient and courageous, she was my favourite character. I loved how she was the total opposite of Symon and the driving force in the investigation, propelling things forward when he and the other members of the plague society would have just allowed things to happen. 

Atmospheric, haunting, compelling and darkly humorous, I lost myself in this book, relishing every word as I indulged my deep fascination with this time period and my love of historical and gothic mysteries. A delight for anyone who enjoys the genre, don’t miss this eerie tale. 

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✰

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MEET THE AUTHOR:

V.L. Valentine is a senior science editor at National Public Radio in Washington, D.C., where she covers infectious disease outbreaks such as the coronavirus pandemic, Ebola and the Zika. She has a master’s in the history of medicine from University College London. Her non-fiction work has been published by NPR, The New York Times, The Smithsonian Channel and Science Magazine.

Twitter |

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BUY THE BOOK:

Waterstones* | Bookshop.org* | Amazon* | Google Books | Apple Books | Kobo
*These are affiliate links

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Thank you to Viper Books for the invitation to take part and the gifted copy of the book. Please check out the reviews from other bloggers on the tour.

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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles. Until next time, Emma xxx

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Book Features Emma's Anticipated Treasures First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday

Welcome to First Lines Friday where I share the first lines from one of the books on my shelves to try and tempt you to add it to yours.

“I will tell you a story.
Seven years ago, when I was a child of ten, I became lost in the woods. My sisters and I had been travelling the road that skims the coast like a stone from Ditagel. I loved our summer home – a spume-silvered rock of houses and workshops, it’s docks piled high with amphorae. But there is a place, many leagues to the east, where the road slows, turning inland. It loses itself amongst the trees, straying into giant country. Branches interlace here, it is easy to slip away into the green space between the giant’s fingers. Easy for a careless child to disappear.”

I don’t know about you, but those lines just make me want to keep reading. So what book are they from? The answer is…

Sistersong by Lucy Holland. This stunning debut was released April 1st and is one I’m hoping to read this month.

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SYNOPSIS:

Betrayal. Magic. Murder.
A tale of three siblings and three deadly sins.

In a magical ancient Britain, bards sing a story of treachery, love and death. This is that story.


For fans of Madeline Miller’s Circe, 
Lucy Holland’s Sistersong retells the folk ballad ‘The Two Sisters.’

King Cador’s children inherit a land abandoned by the Romans, torn by warring tribes. Riva can cure others, but can’t heal her own scars. Keyne battles to be seen as the king’s son, although born a daughter. And Sinne dreams of love, longing for adventure.

All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold, their people’s last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. However, change comes on the day ash falls from the sky – bringing Myrdhin, meddler and magician. The siblings discover the power that lies within them and the land. But fate also brings Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear them apart.

Riva, Keyne and Sinne become entangled in a web of treachery and heartbreak, and must fight to forge their own paths. It’s a story that will shape the destiny of Britain.

Sistersong is a powerfully moving story, perfect for readers who loved Naomi Novik’s Uprooted and Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale.

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How incredible does that sound? I’m really excited to read this one after anticipating it for so long. Thank you to Pan Macmillan and Black Crow PR for my gifted copy.

You can buy the book here*
*This is an affiliate link

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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles. See you next Friday for more first lines xxx

Categories
Blog Tours book reviews

Blog Tour: The Lost Hours by Susan Lewis

Published: April 1st, 2021
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Domestic Fiction
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audio

SYNOPSIS:

A perfect marriage…

Golden couple Annie and David Crayce have it all. A loving marriage, three beautiful children and a thriving family business. Life couldn’t be better. Until the unthinkable happens…   

A perfect crime? 

A piece of damning DNA evidence has arisen, placing David as the prime suspect of a murder committed twenty-years ago. Annie is sure her David is innocent. But if he isn’t guilty, then either his father or brother must be. 

As the police investigate the cold case, so does Annie. Trawling through her old diaries, she begins desperately looking for answers. But it all comes down to a few lost hours she can’t solve.

And Annie begins to doubt the one person she thought she knew best… Her husband.

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MY REVIEW:

“The perfect family… until you scratch the surface and out come all the bugs.”

The Lost Hours is the story of a picture-perfect family who seem to have it all until a damning piece of DNA evidence shows there is a killer lurking among them. Is it David; the police’s prime suspect in the twenty-year-old case who swears his innocence? Or his father or brother; who also claim to know nothing about the death of the local teenager. The police and the family are all searching for answers in this compelling and emotional page-turner. 

This story is every family’s worst nightmare: DNA evidence proves that someone in your family is linked to a murder but everyone swears they are innocent, and you don’t want to believe that someone you love, that you thought you knew, could have murdered a 17-year-old girl and then kept it hidden for twenty years. Told by dual narrators in dual timelines, it moves seamlessly between them to tell the story as it unfolds in the present day while also detailing events leading up to and immediately after Karen’s murder. 

The author starts the story with the unearthing of Karen’s body not long after her disappearance and then jumps forward twenty years, immersing us in the world of the Cayce family. We get to know the family, and while they may be a little too perfect, a little too twee, and the children a little spoiled, I did like them. It is cleverly written, as allowing us to build this rapport with them before the shock of the DNA evidence leaves you with the same sense of disbelief Annie has that anyone in this family could be hiding such a dark secret. Combined with her evocative writing this makes it one of those books you really feel while reading; feeling all of the pain, confusion and torment that Annie and the others are going through. 

For me, it was this emotional side of the story that I found most compelling. Seeing the mystery from that angle and watching as the family’s perfect world crumbled around them was what got my blood pumping and had me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t really vibe with Natalie, the detective investigating the murder. I found her annoying and it felt like she was allowing her own past to influence her investigation. I could have happily read the book without her point of view and think this would have been a five star read for me if the second narrator had instead been the mysterious murderer rather than Natalie. 

The Lost Hours is a taut, twisty, atmospheric and heart-rending family drama with a mysterious twist that keeps you guessing. I would recommend this book, and this author, and look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✰

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MEET THE AUTHOR:

Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of over forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense and crime, including One Minute Later, My Lies, Your Lies and Forgive Me. Susan’s novels have sold nearly three million copies in the UK alone. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s.

Susan has previously worked as a secretary in news and current affairs before training as a production assistant working on light entertainment and drama. She’s lived in Hollywood and the South of France, but now resides in Gloucestershire with husband James, two stepsons and dogs.

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Website |Instagram |Twitter |Facebook

BUY THE BOOK:

Waterstones* | Bookshop.org* | Amazon* | Apple Books | Kobo
*These are affiliate links

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Thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part in the blog tour and to Harper Collins UK for the gifted copy of the book. Please check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part.

Thanks for reading Bibliophiles. Until next time, Emma xxx

Categories
Blog Tours Book Features

Book Feature: What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson

Published: April 8th, 2021
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audio

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Today I’m featuring What Beauty There Is, an unflinching debut that is receiving some fantastic reviews. Coincidentally, today is release day, so Happy Publication Day to Cory Anderson 🥳

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SYNOPSIS:

When everything you love is in danger, how long can you keep running to survive?

Life can be brutal

Winter in Idaho. The sky is dark. It is cold enough to crack bones.

Jack knew it

Jack Dahl has nothing left. Except his younger brother, Matty, who he’d die for. Their mother is gone, and their funds are quickly dwindling, Jack needs to make a choice: lose his brother to foster care, or find the drug money that sent his father to prison.

So did I.

Ava lives in isolation, a life of silence. For seventeen years her father, a merciless man, has controlled her fate. He has taught her to love no one.

Did I feel the flutter of wings when Jack and I met? Did I sense the coming tornado?

But now Ava wants to break the rules – to let Jack in and open her heart. Then she discovers that Jack and her father are stalking the same money, and suddenly Ava is faced with a terrible choice: remain silent or speak out and help the brothers survive.

Looking back, I think I did . . .

Perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, Meg Rosoff and Daniel Woodrell, What Beauty There Is an unforgettable debut novel that is as compulsive as it is beautiful, and unflinchingly explores the power of determination, survival and love.

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MEET THE AUTHOR:

Cory Anderson is a winner of the League of Utah Writers Young Adult Novel Award and Grand Prize in the Storymakers Conference First Chapter Contest. She lives in Farmington, Utah with her family. What Beauty There Is is her debut novel.

Website| Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

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BUY THE BOOK:

Waterstones* | Bookshop.org* | Amazon* | Google Books | Apple Books | Kobo
*These are affiliate links

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I love the UK cover, but check out its beautiful US counterpart:

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Thank you to The Write Reads for the invitation to take part in the tour and to Penguin UK for the gifted ARC.

Thanks for reading Bibliophiles. Until next time, Emma xxx

Categories
Cozy Mysteries Cozy Mystery Releases

Cozy Mysteries – April 2021

Welcome to my list of Cozy Mystery releases for April. I’ve been surprised just how many of these there are each month but I’m enjoying collating them and adding many of them to ever-growing TBR. Hopefully you will find some fun mysteries to enjoy amongst this list.

Farm to Trouble (A Farm to Table Mysteries 1) by Amanda Flower

SYNOPSIS:
Coming home to a run-down farm, gossipy neighbors, and a shady investor is a lot to handle… but a murderer on the loose is the final straw!

Shiloh Bellamy cashed in her big city job and 401K to return home to Michigan to save the family farm, but turning Bellamy Farms into a sustainable, organic operation—complete with a farm-to-table café—is no small feat. Especially when her new investor is found dead among the flowers just hours after the contract is signed. Everyone knows her father had a grudge against the investor, and word travels fast in a small town…

Now, Shiloh must clear her family’s name and track down the real killer before her organic farm dreams wilt before her very eyes. But with her father trying to stop any progress on his land, her cousin belittling her every effort, the farmhouse falling down around her, and the whole town believing her family at fault, Shiloh’s small town troubles are growing much faster than her crops. She’ll have to trust her own investigation or risk all her dreams drying up before they begin.

Published April 1st

Date with Deceit (The Dales Detective Series Book 6) by Julia Chapman

SYNOPSIS:
A woman in tears in the Dales Detective Agency is never the best way to start the week. But when that woman is the wife of Bernard Taylor, town mayor and eminent businessman, there is even more cause for alarm. So when Nancy Taylor asks the detectives to investigate whether her husband is having an affair, Samson O’Brien and Delilah Metcalfe know they will have to tread carefully.

The case, however, proves to be more complex than even they had imagined. While Delilah is undercover at a local shoot to better keep tabs on the errant husband, she is on the scene for a fatal incident that sends the town into turmoil. Soon the detective duo are embroiled in a far more serious investigation than mere infidelity as they discover that deceit is rife in Bruncliffe. And it may well prove deadly . . .

Published April 1st

Framed by Forgery (A Lacey Doyle Mystery Book 8) by Fiona Grace

SYNOPSIS:
Lacey Doyle, 39 years old and freshly divorced, has made a drastic change: she has walked away from the fast life of New York City and settled down in the quaint English seaside town of Wilfordshire.

November has arrived, bringing the crisp weather, farms, and the promise of Fall holidays, and Lacey is thrilled to be auctioning off a rare and priceless letter. But after selling it to an eager buyer, the letter turns out to be too good to be true—it’s been forged, and the buyer wants his money back.

But the person who sold it to her is now dead.

Can the forgery and murder be connected?

Lacey, with her beloved dog, must solve the crime and unearth the source of the forgery before she herself is implicated and her business is taken away from her.

Published April 6th

Checking Out Crime (A Bookmobile Cat Mystery Book 9) by Laurie Cass

SYNOPSIS:
Librarian Minnie Hamilton and her clever cat Eddie solve a purr-fect murder, in the newest installment of the delightful Bookmobile Cat Mystery series.

Minnie and her rescue cat Eddie can often be found out and about in their bookmobile near Chilson, Michigan, delivering great reads to grateful patrons all over the county. But they always brake for trouble, and when Minnie sees a car speeding away down the road, and soon comes upon a dead bicyclist, she assumes she just missed seeing a hit-and-run.

Minnie is determined to discover who was behind the wheel, but it soon turns out that things are far more complicated than they seem and there’s more to this case than meets the eye. Luckily, this librarian is ready to read the killer his rights.

Published April 6th

Deadly Editions (A Scottish Bookshop Mystery Book) by Paige Shelton

SYNOPSIS:
A treasure hunt through Edinburgh gives way to a search for a villain terrorizing the city in the sixth Scottish Bookshop Mystery.

It’s a quiet, snowy morning at The Cracked Spine bookshop, when bookseller Delaney Nichols receives a mysterious visitor, a messenger. He presents her with a perplexing note: an invitation to a meeting with eccentric socialite Shelagh O’Conner, who requests Delaney’s participation in an exclusive treasure hunt. Delaney is intrigued, but also cautious: Shelagh, while charming in person, has a reputation for her hijinks as a wealthy young woman in the ’70s. She was even once suspected for the murder of a former boyfriend, though ultimately cleared of all charges.

But Delaney is enticed by the grand prize at the end of the treasure hunt: a highly valuable first edition copy of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson. The winner is also to receive the contents of Shelagh’s vast library, and all participants will earn a large sum of cash.

The night after the first meeting of the treasure hunters, however, several homes in Edinburgh are robbed in a manner reminiscent of Shelagh’s old tricks. And when a man connected to Shelagh is killed, suspicion builds. Except Shelagh herself has disappeared from her home, seemingly kidnapped by the villain.

Terror mounts throughout the city as Delaney attempts to solve the mystery, while trying to evade the killer’s clutches. But it’s hard to know who to trust when around every corner, a new monster could be lurking.

Published April 6th

Hex, Drugs & Rock and Roll (A Supernatural Speakeasy Cozy Mystery Book 5) by Lily Harper Hart

SYNOPSIS:
There’s a dark shadow hanging over the French Quarter, and Ofelia Archer is constantly looking over her shoulder because of it, waiting for the enemy to strike. While searching for one enemy, however, she finds another.
On what was supposed to be a relaxing day on the riverwalk, a knife-wielding man tries to take out a street performer and chaos ensues. Ofelia manages to disarm the assailant, but when he’s being loaded into a police cruiser he explodes – literally – releasing a wave of magic that knocks down everybody in Jackson Square.
Upon waking up, Ofelia is convinced it was some sort of surgical attack. When some of the people present at the event start tracking her down with murder on their minds, she becomes more convinced than ever that she was right.
Tourists, police officers, and locals are becoming possessed. The one thing they all seem to have in common is a need to track down Ofelia … and end her.
Zacharias Sully vowed to protect Ofelia no matter what. The odds this time feel longer than ever.
Ofelia and Sully are a team. Working together, they must find a hidden enemy while another stalks their every move. It’s going to take both of them together to come out safely on the other side.
What’s waiting for them there might be even more terrifying.

Published April 6th

Animal Instinct: A K Team Novel (K Team Novels, 2) by David Rosenfelt

SYNOPSIS:
orey Douglas and his K-9 partner, a German shepherd named Simon Garfunkel, are recently retired police officers turned private investigators. Along with fellow former cop Laurie Collins and her investigating partner, Marcus, they call themselves the K Team, in honor of Simon.
The K Team’s latest case – a recent unsolved murder – gives Corey a chance to solve the one that got away. Corey knew the murder victim from his time on the force, when he was unable to protect her in a domestic dispute. Now, he is convinced the same abusive boyfriend is responsible for her murder. With some help from Laurie’s lawyer husband, Andy Carpenter, the K Team is determined to prove what the police could not, no matter the cost. What they uncover is much more sinister than they could have imagined.
Known for his dog-loving stories and addictive characters, bestselling mystery author David Rosenfelt presents Animal Instinct, the second installment in this engrossing new series about a dynamite investigative team and their canine partner.

Published April 6th

Miss Julia Happily Ever After: 22 by Ann B. Ross

SYNOPSIS:
The delightful final installment of the beloved and New York Times bestselling Miss Julia series.

Wedding fever hits Abbotsville and several of Miss Julia’s friends have plans to tie the knot. But, as usual, nothing is so simple. Christy Hargrove suddenly gives up a lifelong dream and drops out of medical school to marry, Helen Stroud and Thurlow Jones decide to change their commercial arrangement into a marital one, and, to Miss Julia’s consternation, Lillian, her housekeeper and closest companion, is considering a less-than-romantic offer to wed a local businessman who turns courting into a job interview. And then there’s LuAnne who just wants to be married, and Janelle who doesn’t.
Miss Julia wants to properly celebrate each ceremony, insofar as anyone will let her. But Helen wants a private, even secretive, wedding; Christy’s fiancé wants a destination wedding, and Lillian can’t decide if she wants a wedding at all. In the middle of it all, a strange figure keeps showing up in town, streaking across lawns and vandalizing the gardens of Miss Julia’s neighbors. Abbotsville’s liveliest resident finds herself trying to solve it all—matters of the heart and petty crime alike—and once again save the day.

Published April 6th

Cottage on Gooseberry Bay: Charmed Summer by Kathi Daley

SYNOPSIS:
Ainsley Holloway had come to Gooseberry Bay to find answers about her past. She’d come to find an explanation for the dreams that haunted her after the death of the cop who’d both rescued and raised her. And she’d come to identify the family she couldn’t remember but knew in her heart she’d once belonged to.

Ainsley hoped that by finding these answers, she’d also find healing. She hoped that once she’d resurrected the memories buried deep in her mind, she’d find peace.

Published April 6th

A Wicked Conceit (A Lady Darby Mystery Book 9) by Anna Lee Huber

SYNOPSIS:
Soon-to-be new parents Kiera and her husband, Sebastian Gage, have been hoping for a respite from their inquiries, but murder and mayhem have a startling way of dropping into their laps in the all-new historical mystery in this national bestselling series.

Edinburgh, Scotland. March 1832. Kiera and Gage have been eagerly awaiting their bundle of joy but trouble has been brewing in the form of the roguish criminal Bonnie Brock Kincaid. A new book and subsequent play features some of Kincaid’s daringly heinous exploits, although he swears he had nothing to do with it or the characters which are obvious representations of Kiera and Gage. While the scoundrel’s fury seems genuine, as well as his determined quest to uncover the real identity of the author, the Gages still hold doubts about his innocence.

A rash of crimes break out across the city, seemingly inspired by the play and book. When the publisher is found brutally murdered–in an imitation of a gruesome scene–the finger not only points to Bonnie Brock as the possible culprit, but also the Gages, who have been outspoken in their condemnation of the tale. Now, the Gages are on a hunt to unmask the killer. Between the infamy garnered by the play, the cholera outbreak still wreaking havoc throughout the city, and the impending birth of their child, they will need all the resources they can garner.

But family quarrels and the revelation of a secret Kiera has been keeping from Sebastian threaten to undermine everything they have overcome. When they find themselves in the crosshairs of the killer, trapped in the squalid underground vaults of the city, they will soon discover that the truth does not always set you free, and death can lurk around any corner.

Published April 6th

Bobbins And Bodies (Stitches In Crime Book 2) by ACF Bookens

SYNOPSIS:
All she wanted from the old farmhouse was the gorgeous mantel, not a dead body.

Paisley Sutton always expects the unexpected when she goes into a house to salvage the architectural prizes before its torn down. She evens knows she might encounter a rodent or two. But she really isn’t expecting to find a dead body, not again. And when it turns out the young man she found slumped in the house’s basement was killed, Paisley discovers that it’s not only the house that was abandoned.

Will her research trigger the decades-old fears that someone hoped to bury in the rubble?

Published April 6th

Phantoms and Felonies (A Haunted Mansion Mystery Book 2) by Lucy Ness

SYNOPSIS:
Avery Morgan has been hired to breathe new life into the Portage Path Women’s Club, but first she’ll have to deal with a dead body and a meddling ghost.

When a local theater troupe puts on a new play at the club, manager Avery Morgan is excited. This is just the sort of event that’s destined to bring in potential new members. Okay, millionaire banker Bob Hanover has more bucks than talent and has used his position to grab the lead role, but that seems like a small price to pay…until Bob is found dead backstage.
Bob rubbed many people the wrong way, but would anyone want him dead? The short answer to that is: Who wouldn’t want him dead? His long-suffereing wife had to put up with years of womanizing. The show’s playwright has been tricked out of his one great idea by Bob, who claimed it as his own work. And Bob bankrupted one of the town’s small businessmen. The choices are many and the time to find the killer is running short.
Avery is working overtime to keep the club open and find the killer. Fortunately, she has help with the latter task. Clemmie Bow was once a singer in the speakeasy in the club’s basement. Now she’s a ghost who’s also a top-notch detective. Together Clemmie and Avery will find the killer–even if it kills one of them.

Published April 6th

Big Little Spies (A Paws & Claws Mystery Book 7 ) by Krista Davis

SYNOPSIS:
A pet detective on the hunt for a prominent pooch is found dead, and inn owner Holly Miller has to sort through her guest list for suspects in this all new Paws & Claws mystery in the New York Times bestselling series.

The ladies of the Wagtail Animal Guardians, WAG for short, are in town for a pet adoption charity ball, and Holly is making sure to roll out the red carpet for her special guests. She and her furry best friend Trixie are busy keeping the WAG ladies happy and preparing for the ball when they learn that a retired judge has lost his prized pup. 

The venerable citizen has hired a pet detective who has some personal ties to Holly’s new guests. His presence ruffles some feathers, and when the PI is found DOA not long before the ball, Holly wonders if one of the WAG ladies had a motive for murder. To make matters worse, some pet-loving guests of the ball nearly suffer the same deadly fate. Holly and Trixie will have to sniff out the clues and leash a callous killer before they strike again….

Published April 6th

Dearly Departed: A 1960s Cozy Mystery (Killer Skies Mysteries Book 1) by Carly Winter

SYNOPSIS:
The year is 1965 and Patty Byrne is flying high as stewardess… until her life crashes when she finds her neighbor murdered.
While cooperating with the police, she meets FBI agent Bill Hart, who shows an interest in both her and the victim’s activities. When he asks Patty to introduce him to a couple of the suspects she knows, she immediately agrees, harboring groovy visions of leaving her stewardess job behind and becoming the first female FBI agent.

But as they dive deeper into the case, it only becomes more confusing. When Patty’s life is threatened, she realizes murder investigations aren’t for the faint of heart. Can she untangle the web of clues to find the killer, or will she be the next victim?

Published April 8th

Sixpence and Selkies (Manners and Monsters Book 5) by Tilly Wallace

SYNOPSIS:
A heart as lonely as the ocean…
Hannah and Wycliff arrive at his ancestral estate in Dorset as tragedy strikes the coastal village. A young woman has lost her life to the tempestuous ocean, but only Hannah suspects the woman’s death is anything but a horrible accident. As Hannah learns more about life in the close-knit community, she discovers two other women lost their lives to the sea. Or did they?

A rift grows between the young couple, as Wycliff refuses to believe another hand was responsible for the deaths. With her husband consumed by the needs of the long neglected estate, Hannah is left to her own devices and finds herself walking the same lonely path as the dead women.

Can Hannah and Wycliff heal the chasm in their relationship, or will Hannah succumb to the call of the ocean…?

Published April 9th

Catastrophe in a Cloister (A Lacey Doyle Cozy Mystery—Book 9) by Fiona Grace

SYNOPSIS:
Lacey Doyle, 39 years old and freshly divorced, has made a drastic change: she has walked away from the fast life of New York City and settled down in the quaint English seaside town of Wilfordshire.

December has arrived, bringing with it the first touch of Winter and the promise of Christmas. As Wilfordshire comes to life with holiday parties, Lacey is surprised when she receives an unexpected phone call—a mysterious object has been found hidden in the wall of a church. The monks who found it believe it is a rare medieval artifact—one which, if auctioned, can be the Godsend the church needs to save it from looming bankruptcy.

Lacey is determined to help them.

But when the artifact is stolen and a dead body is found, Lacey finds herself in the midst of a murder. With her reputation on the line, she may be the only one who can solve it.

Published April 9th

Boats, Bodies and the Bee’s Knees: Cape May Cozy Mysteries with a Twist, Book 2 by Jane Gorman

SYNOPSIS:
When her friend’s uncle is accused of murder, Anna McGregor dives into the boating life to prove his innocence. She soon learns that while lounging on a luxury yacht might be fun, matching wits with a killer can be deadly.

Life has finally settled down for Anna. The Cape May B & B she inherited from her Great Aunt Louise is fully booked and Anna is looking forward to a successful summer. Her peace is shattered when a body washes up in Spicer Creek and the police focus their investigation on her friend’s uncle. Determined to find the truth, Anna turns to skills she developed in her previous career in medical anthropology.

Once again, Anna teams up with her best friend Sammy, her young cousin Eoin and the local librarian to use their knowledge of the town and its people to solve this crime. But the disappearance of two local teenagers reminds Anna this is the wrong time for free fishing trips or relaxing on a yacht enjoying a Bee’s Knees cocktail. She needs to find the missing teenagers and identify the killer before anyone else gets hurt.

Published April 9th

Due to a Death (British Library Crime Classics): 90 by Mary Kelly

SYNOPSIS:
A car speeds down a road between miles of marshes and estuary flats, its passenger a young woman named Agnes – hands bloodied, numbed with fear, her world turned upside down. Meanwhile, the news of a girl found dead on the marsh is spreading round the local area. A masterpiece of suspense, Mary Kellys 1964 novel follows Agnes as she casts her mind back through the past few days to find the links between her husband, his friends, a mysterious stranger new to the village and a case of bloody murder.

Complex and thoroughly affecting, Due to a Death was nominated for the Gold Dagger Award and showcases the author’s versatility and remarkable skill for characterization and dialogue.

Published April 10th

Mystery at the Abbey Hotel (An Eve Mallow Mystery Book 5) by Clare Chase

SYNOPSIS:
Saxford St Peter is Eve Mallow’s beloved home, but she can’t resist the chance to spend a weekend in the nearby Abbey Hotel, famed for its glamorous owner Debra Moran and an array of celebrity guests. For a confirmed people-watcher like Eve, it’s perfect: she can observe the rich and famous while sipping tea in the gardens, her faithful dachshund Gus by her side.

But her relaxing break takes a shocking turn when Debra is found lying dead in the shadowy woods around the hotel. One of Eve’s fellow guests didn’t come to the Abbey for fine food and delightful décor – but to kill.

When the investigation gets underway, Eve finds herself trapped with a wide range of suspects. Could it be Debra’s new friend Harper, who inherits everything? Her ex-husband Chester, still seething over their messy divorce? Or her estranged sister Amelia, who came hoping for reconciliation, only for Debra to shut the door in her face?

As Eve roams the hotel, searching for clues and hunting down alibis, she uncovers a whole host of secrets. But can she find the truth before the killer brings her holiday to a deadly end?

Published April 12th

Buried by the Sea (A By the Sea Mystery Book 5) by Kathleen Bridge

SYNOPSIS:
At her family’s hotel on a Florida barrier island, sleuthing novelist Liz Holt is shocked by a hidden treasure—and a buried body . . .

A team of archaeologists is staying at Indialantic by the Sea to study the days of the Spanish explorers, and they’ve stumbled upon a stunning and valuable find at the dig site, but before they can unearth it one of the archeologists finds himself buried in the sand and pierced with diving spear tipped with poison.

The local sheriff’s department accuses the owner of the neighboring property, Liz’s elderly reclusive friend and naturalist, Birdman, of the crime. Liz is sure—well, pretty sure—he is innocent and sets her sights on the remaining four archeologists.

With the help of her PI boyfriend and an octogenarian hotel resident, and two mischievous pet parrots, Liz must dig into the mystery of who buried the scientist and absconded with the artifacts he’d promised would put him in Florida history books—before she becomes history herself . . .

Published April 13th

Pink Smoke and Mirrors: A Paranormal Cozy Mystery (A Witch’s Cove Mystery Book 11) by Vella Day

SYNOPSIS:
Pink smoke billowing out of my favorite bookstore sets me and my talking pink iguana on the trail of the arsonist. Watch out Witch’s Cove.

Hi, I’m Glinda Goodall, amateur sleuth and witch. Whenever a fellow Witch’s Cove resident is targeted, for whatever reason, I, along with my trusty familiar, Iggy, and my computer savvy boyfriend, Jaxson, always step up to the plate to solve the crime. Today will be no different.

This time it’s Frank and Betty Sanchez’s bookstore that was set ablaze, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. Candles Bookstore is one of the town’s icons. I don’t care that the gossip queens are convinced Frank, himself, set his place on fire. I refuse to believe it and plan to prove them wrong.

For once, it doesn’t look like magic is involved, but I’ve been wrong before. Regardless of how the blaze was set, I might have use magic to catch the criminal before the rest of the town goes up in flames.

Published April 13th

The Sign of Death: A Victorian Book Club Mystery Book 2 by Callie Hutton

SYNOPSIS:
Bath, England, 1891. Mr. James Harding was a lot of things–businessman, well-to-do, probable scoundrel–but a drinker he most assuredly was not. So when Harding is believed to have drunkenly fallen to his death into the icy River Avon, Lord William Wethington is immediately suspicious. Finding Lord William’s name on a letter in the victim’s pocket, the local constabulary summons William to identify the victim. Police detectives learn that William had been one of Harding’s business clients–and undoubtedly not the only client the dead man had cheated.
William entreats Lady Amy Lovell, a fellow member of the Mystery Book Club of Bath, to help him deduce what really happened to the late Mr. Harding. Lady Amy, a celebrated mystery author herself, once called on William to help her solve a real-life mystery, and now she fully intends to return the favor. But it won’t be easy.
Practically every one of Harding’s many clients had ample reason to want to do him in. And there’s precious little time to narrow down the list: William and Amy soon become prime suspects themselves when the police discover them ruffling through files in Harding’s house. Lady Amy will have to be as clever as her characters if she’s to save William from the gallows…and herself from Harding’s real killer.

Published April 13th

Dance with Death: A Barker & Llewelyn Novel: 12 by Will Thomas

SYNOPSIS:
London, 1893: Private enquiry agents Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn are called in to protect Tsesarevich Nicholas from nefarious forces as he travels to England for a royal wedding–in Dance with Death, the next mystery in Will Thomas’s beloved series.

In June of 1893, the future Nicholas II travels to London for a royal wedding, bringing with him his private security force and his ballerina mistress, Mathilde Kchessinska. Rumored to be the target of a professional assassin known only as La Sylphide, and the subject of conspiracies against his life by his own family who covet his future throne, Nicholas is protected by not only private security, but the professional forces of both England and Russia.
All of these measures prove inadequate when Prince George of England is attacked by an armed anarchist who mistakes him for Nicholas. As a result, Barker and Llewelyn are brought in to help track down the assassin and others who might conspire against the life of the tsesarevich . The investigations lead them down several paths, including Llewelyn’s old nemesis, the assassin Sofia Ilyanova. With Barker and Llewelyn both surviving separate attempts on their lives, the race is on to find both the culprit and the assassin they hired. Taking them through high society (including a masked ball at Kensington Palace) and low, chasing down motives both personal and political, Barker and Llewelyn must solve the case of their life before the crime of the century is committed.

Published April 13th

A Changing Light (Quaker Midwife Mysteries #7) by Edith Maxwell

SYNOPSIS:
In a new mystery from Agatha Award-winning author Edith Maxwell, midwife Rose Carroll confronts a killer on the cusp of a new age . . .

As the nineteenth century nears an end, midwife Rose Carroll can see signs of progress and change everywhere in her Amesbury community. Adding to the excitement is the annual Spring Opening, when the town’s world-famous carriage manufacturers throw open their doors to visitors from all over the globe. This year’s festivities are tainted, however, when a representative from a prominent Canadian carriage company is murdered.

Driven by her strong sense of justice, Rose is determined to track down the killer. She has only just begun her investigation when she learns that the plans for a radical new horseless carriage have gone missing. Faced with the question of whether the two crimes are connected—and a list of suspects that includes some of Amesbury’s own residents and any number of foreign visitors—Rose has to delve into a case with implications for the future, even if the motive for murder is one of mankind’s oldest . . .

Published April 13th

Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral, The: 9 (Provençal Mystery) by M. L. Longworth

SYNOPSIS:
A breezy, charming, and perfectly escapist mystery set in the heart of sun- and wine-soaked Aix-en-Provence–where murder investigations are always put on hold for lunch and the only thing more sweeping than the story is the Mediterranean coastline.

Something strange has happened at the unassuming Musée de Quentin-Savary in Aix-en-Provence. When the director, Monsieur Achille Formentin, walks in one beautiful April morning, he is shocked to find the whole museum emptied of its contents–only a bench, the reception desk, and a lowly fern remain.

Distressed, he calls the local police, and Aix’s examining magistrate Antoine Verlaque sets out to discover the thief’s identity. But it’s the most baffling case Verlaque has ever encountered. Why would someone want to steal porcelain dessert plates, some old documents, and a few small paintings? Could this have something to do with the mysterious robbery of Madame de Montbarbon’s apartment a few weeks earlier? And how can Verlaque possibly concentrate on the theft when he and his wife, Marine Bonnet, are going to have a baby?

Published April 13th

The Dagger Dance (Lady Fan Mystery Book 7) by Elizabeth Bailey

SYNOPSIS:
1793, England

After a not-so-relaxing holiday in Tunbridge Wells, Lady Ottilia and Lord Francis Fanshawe have returned to their home with a young orphaned girl, Pertesia ‘Pretty’ Brockhurst.

After losing both her parents in tragic circumstances, Pretty had been abandoned by the rest of her family and the childless Fanshawes have delighted in having her around.

But when her estranged grandfather turns up on their doorstep, Ottilia is worried she will lose the child she is growing so close to.

Meanwhile, their footman Hemp Roy, has run into trouble. After becoming reacquainted with Dorote, a woman from his past life in Barbados, Hemp is desperate to help her when she is accused of murder in Bristol.

And who better to turn to than his trusted Lady Fan?

Can Lady Fan save Dorote – and Hemp? Will she unmask the killer?

And what will happen to the poor orphan girl under her care…?

Published April 13th

Murderous Misprint (Old Bookstore Two-Hour Cozy Mysteries Book 2) be Isabella Bassett

SYNOPSIS:
As the English-speaking assistant at an old bookstore in picturesque Ascona, a resort town at the southern tip of Switzerland, famous for its Mediterranean climate, palm trees, and Italianate villas, Anne expects work to be quiet and relaxing.

But when Southern Switzerland’s only pagan festival arrives in town, its costumed attendees disrupt the peaceful repose of the luxurious lakeside resort. And when one, and then a second woman dressed as a witch turns up dead at the festival, the historic town is set abuzz by rumors of a modern-day witch hunt.

When Anne discovers, with a little help from the store’s peculiar black cat, that the first victim was a cosmetic industry executive with a taste for books on witch lore, the irony of a beauty boss interested in magic potions is not lost on her.

But murder is no laughing matter, and Anne’s meddling might just lead to a third death. So she needs to get her nose out of the spell books and put her feet back on solid Alpine ground to stop a killer.

Published April 15th

A Death Long Overdue: A Lighthouse Library Mystery: 7 by Eva Gates

SYNOPSIS:
At the Lighthouse Library, Lucy and her colleagues have assembled an exhibit of library artifacts showing how libraries have changed over the years. After the opening night reception, some of the women take a walk down the boardwalk to the pier, using flashlights to illuminate the dark path, but what’s scarier than the dark is finding the former director of the Lighthouse Library floating lifeless in the water. Helena Sanchez, the former director, wasn’t much loved and spent the party being rude to almost everyone there. As a result, Lucy finds herself in deep water as she rocks the boat, questioning several suspects. But she’ll have to batten down the hatches and fast before she’s left high and dry and right in the killer’s crosshairs.

Published April 15th

Legally Blind Luck (Braxton Campus Mysteries Book 7) by James J. Cudney

SYNOPSIS:
Surprising new family members. A hidden talisman. Deadly curses. Murder. Months after tragically losing a loved one, Kellan learns his relative’s death wasn’t an accident.

Someone has discovered a cursed talisman, and a rogue government agent will stop at nothing to retrieve the heirloom. Unfortunately, it has already changed hands and found its way on campus. Moments before Braxton’s controversial art exhibition opens, Kellan stumbles upon another murder victim, and it appears he might be next on the avenger’s list.

Can Kellan protect the talisman’s true heir and prevent the killer’s nefarious plan? Given all the suspects have ties to prominent Braxton citizens, he’s uncertain whom to trust. Together, Kellan and Sheriff April are determined to solve the mystery – via legal means or blind luck.

Published April 15th

A Trick of the Light: A Highland Mystery featuring Susie Mahl by Ali Carter

SYNOPSIS:
Pet portraitist Susie Mahl has to use all her artistic know-how to get to the bottom of a fiendish Scottish mystery

Struggling with long-buried family secrets and her own recent heartbreak, artist and pet portraitist Susie Mahl hopes her brief sojourn as an art tutor at a Scottish country house will prove a distraction.

But Susie soon realises she has bigger problems than teaching her eclectic mix of students to draw a Highland cow. Beneath the beautiful landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and the grandeur of the Auchen Laggan Tosh estate lie hidden secrets. Can Susie work out what exactly is going on before it’s too late? And can anyone be trusted?

Published April 15th

A Witch Hunt in Whitby: The Kitt Hartley Mysteries Book 5 by Helen Cox

SYNOPSIS:
A serial killer is loose in Yorkshire, and has claimed three victims in three months. Eleven days before each murder, a large purple V is painted on the front door of the victim’s house. The victims, all of whom have some association with the occult, are found drained of blood with two red marks on their neck.

When RUBY BARNETT comes home one evening to find a large purple V on her front door, it becomes clear she is the so-called Vampire Killer’s next victim. Private Investigators KITT HARTLEY and GRACE EDWARDS have just eleven days to solve the mystery and save Ruby’s life. The clock is ticking . . .

Published April 15th

I Saw Him Die (Agatha Christie 4) By Andrew Wilson

SYNOPSIS:
The brand new AGATHA CHRISTIE MYSTERY from bestselling author Andrew Wilson

Who saw him die?
I, said the fly,
with my little eye.
I saw him die.

An astonishingly beautiful setting on the island of Skye.

A gathering of fascinating guests at a hunting lodge set to enjoy abundant hospitality. And a double murder.

A household in chaos . . . No one is allowed to leave.

A tantalising new case for Agatha Christie to solve.

Published April 15th

Monkey Bread Business (The Cast Iron Skillet Mystery Series Book 6) by Jodi Rath

SYNOPSIS:
Nature breeds new life with the sign of Spring in the air in Leavensport, Ohio, and Jolie and Ava find their new families’ lives turned upside down! With properties in Leavensport beginning to sell, Nina Sanchez opened a bakery after purchasing the lot next to M&M’s Italian restaurant. She is new to town and swears to Ava and Jolie she has no connection to the Dominican Republic Sanchez mafia family. Yet, Ava is skeptical, and this sends Jolie and Ava off on yet another investigation looking at how organized crime connects to their little village and the politics that surround it.

Meanwhile, Nina Sanchez is not thrilled to feel obliged to cross-sell and become a full-fledged member of Leavensport, especially not with Jolie and Ava investigating her history. She has no choice when her son discovers a murdered homeless woman on the street on his way to deliver bread to the local shelter—it looks a lot like a mob hit and the reveal of who the homeless woman is will send all of Leavensport on alert making Jolie question the future of her town.

Published April 16th

Witch in the White City: A Historical Fantasy/Mystery (Neva Freeman Book 1) by Nick Wisseman

SYNOPSIS:
Thousands of exhibits. Millions of visitors. One supernatural killer.

Neva’s goals at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago are simple. Enjoy the spectacle—perhaps the greatest the United States has ever put on (the world’s fair to end all world’s fairs!). Perform in the exposition’s Algerian Theatre to the best of her abilities. And don’t be found out as a witch.

Easy enough … until the morning she looks up in the theatre and sees strangely marked insects swarming a severed hand in the rafters. Before she can scream, the bugs drop and swarm her.

And every one of them seems to have a stinger.

They strike fast—it only takes them a moment to inject her with so much venom that the same strange marks begin to rise on her skin. She’s horrified, but there’s worse to come: once the insects disperse, a Columbian Guard notices her rashes and warns that five people with similar sores have been murdered and dismembered. Before they died, the victims also seem to have lost their minds.

Neva considers fleeing the exposition. But that won’t stop her from going mad. So she marshals her powers and searches for the killer.

Within hours, it becomes clear he’s searching for her too.

Published April 16th

The Bernhard File (An Aunt Bessie Cold Case Mystery Book 2) by Diana Xarissa

SYNOPSIS:
After a surprisingly successful first investigation, Andrew Cheatham’s cold case unit is considering murder this time around. No one knew that Paul Bernhard was in New York City. No one knows why he was brutally murdered. No one knows where to find the woman he was meant to be meeting on the night he died.

Trying to keep her mind on murder, Bessie finds herself getting distracted by the idea that someone might be staying in one of the supposedly vacant holiday cottages near her home. Two people have already been murdered in that particular cottage. The last thing Bessie wants is to find another body.

Can Bessie help Andrew and the rest of the cold case unit work out what happened to Paul? Can she find out who has been staying in the empty holiday cottage? And does she even want to know how to play Prisoners of Cardavar?

Published April 16th

Changing Fortune Cookies (Auntie Clem’s Bakery Book 14) by P. D. Workman

SYNOPSIS:
Fortune Cookies Favor the Bold

The baker turned sleuth is hard at work once more, trying to run her business while at the same time tracking down a missing boy. Is he missing by his own choice, as the police suggest, or has he been kidnapped and held against his will?

The clues are all there, but can Erin decipher them before it is too late?

Published April 16th

The Vessel of Secrets: An Urban Fantasy Witch Novel (The Wickeden Inquisitor Mysteries Book 6) by Jo Hamilton

SYNOPSIS:
Inquisitor, Edie Pepperidge – witch from Wickeden, continues the hunt for the Vessel of Orcus, the urn that was buried long ago that contained seven dark art recipes.

The Wickeden Inquisitor Mysteries is an Urban Fantasy series set in both the witching and commoners’ worlds with an underlying slow burn romance. This series is written in British English and the female protagonist is in her early thirties.

Published April 18th

Spilled Milk (Barks & Beans Cafe Cozy Mystery Book 4) by Heather Day Gilbert

SYNOPSIS:
Welcome to the Barks & Beans Cafe, a quaint place where folks pet shelter dogs while enjoying a cup of java…and where murder sometimes pays a visit.

The fall flea market has arrived in Macy’s small mountain town, and she’s taking a day off work to check out the local wares. As she and her Great Dane, Coal, wander through the booths, Macy’s more than a little taken aback to discover that her enigmatic tattooed barista, Kylie, is selling antique weapons at the event.

She’s even more shocked when Coal sniffs out a dead body…and the man appears to have been struck down by one of Kylie’s swords.

As rumors begin to circulate, the Barks & Beans Cafe also takes a hit. Customers are reluctant to order their mochas from a murderess. Macy stands by her employee, but even she believes there’s a whole lot more to Kylie’s history than the woman lets on. To make matters worse, Macy’s brother Bo is out of the country, leaving the cafe’s future in her hands.

And then her ex-husband Jake shows up, begging to make amends.

With the past rearing its ugly head, Macy has to ignore Jake’s distractions, appease the angst of her nervous customers, and convince Kylie to trust her, all before an elusive killer strikes again.

Published April 19th

Hanks and a Hitman: (A Humorous & Heart-warming Cozy Mystery) (A Knitty Kitty Mystery Book 3) by Tracey Drew

SYNOPSIS:
Wanted: Cat mum to manage a yarn store, corral two curious cats, all the while being tangled up in murderous mayhem and mystery.

A smart woman would dump her cheating ex, move from the city, and give herself a chance for a well-deserved do-over. A smarter woman—smarter than me, anyway—wouldn’t jump out of that same frying pan and return to Cape Discovery, a seaside village where her family is the nuttiest of all the nut-ball residents.

I’m a high school counsellor turned new owner of Unraveled, my granddad’s yarn store in town. More exciting than a delivery of rainbow colored wool is the news of movie location scouts in the area, though not everyone believes all publicity is good publicity. Game on between landowners to secure such a lucrative deal.
I can’t help being caught up in movie fever, until I stumble onto one of those landowners, face down in a kitty litter tray. Deader than dead thanks to an unknown assailant. With dating disasters aplenty both online and in-real-life and a hitman on the loose, things couldn’t get much more murderously crazy in Cape Discovery. If only that were true…

Tessa Wakefield has her hands full juggling a cozy craft store, her crazy family, and two men who’d rather poke out their eyes than describe themselves as cute. Which they totally are. Cute, charismatic, and occasionally on her mind when she’s not stumbling over dead bodies and using her newfound sleuthing skills to track down murderers. Lucky she’s an excellent multi-tasker because digging beneath Cape Discovery’s surface can unearth secrets that kill.

Published April 19th

Confections of a Partygoer (Amish Cupcake Cozy Mystery Book 6) by Ruth Hartzler

SYNOPSIS:
When Rebecca caters cupcakes for a famous artist’s birthday party, Jane, Matilda, and Eleanor assist.

It’s not long before things fall aparty, and a guest is murdered.

With Damon injured in the line of duty, Jane must candle this one with care. It’s no dead giftaway.

Jane has no time to stop and smell the flours as Matilda and Eleanor’s long-held secret finally comes to light. You batter believe it!

Published April 20th

Amish Cupcake Cozy Mystery Box Set Books 4-6 (Amish Cupcake Cozy Mystery Series Boxset Book 2) by Ruth Hartzler

SYNOPSIS:
Books 4, 5, and 6, three funny and delightful cozy mysteries in a box set of this USA Today Best-selling series.

Contains:

Book 4. Speak with Confection

Book 5. An Instant Confection

Book 6. Confections of a Partygoer

Published April 20th

The Inn at Holiday Bay Books 7 – 9 by Kathi Daley

SYNOPSIS:
A heartwarming cozy mystery series about losing everything, taking a chance, and starting again.

After suffering a personal tragedy Abby Sullivan buys a huge old seaside mansion she has never even seen, packs up her life in San Francisco, and moves to Holiday Bay Maine, where she is adopted, quite against her will, by a huge Maine Coon Cat named Rufus, a drifter with her own tragic past named Georgia, and a giant dog with an inferiority complex named Ramos. What Abby thought she needed was alone time to heal. What she ended up with was, an inn she never knew she wanted, a cat she couldn’t seem to convince to leave, and a new family she’d never be able to live without.

In book 7 in the series, a whole new group of guests check into the Inn each with their own reason for being there and their own story to tell. Once of the guests, a single woman named Mylie, finds a long forgotten letter to Santa in the mouth of the life sized nutcracker Lacy purchased for Abby after a visit to an antique store. The list does not ask Santa for toys or games but for time with her parents. The note also lists the activities the child wishes they could do together over Christmas such as building a snowman and taking a sleigh ride. Mylie, who is in Holiday Bay to find her one true love, decides to accomplish all the items on the list herself while she is waiting for Mr. Right to come along. Meanwhile Abby wonders what ever happened to the child who left the list and why the list was still in the nutcracker all these years later. Her research pulls her into an unsolved mystery which she finds herself determined to solve before the arrival of the holiday. While Mylie is busy meeting Mr. Right and accomplishing the tasks on the list, and Abby is busy trying to figure out what became of the child who wrote the list, Georgia is cooking up a storm as she searches for the perfect cookie to enter in a local contest.

In book 8 in the series, Abby’s agent asks for help when the house she was going to rent to host a writers retreat becomes unavailable. After a bit of discussion, Abby agrees to have the retreat at the inn. The seven writers who will be staying at the inn for the week long event are new to publishing and Kate hopes the mentor she has hired to run things will be able to provide the valuable tips these new authors need. Of course what she doesn’t know is that Abby has a past with this particular mentor, and when all is said and done, fireworks of one sort or another are likely. Meanwhile, Georgia has started taping her new cooking show, Abby is worried about the approaching blizzard, and Colt has a murder to solve, after six men get together for a friendly poker game but only five of the six men make it to the end of the night alive.

In book 9 in the series, a newly engaged couple rents out the entire inn for their engagement party. As part of their ‘making memories’ theme they asks guests to take photos and share them with the group. Everyone is having a wonderful time until one of the guests turns up dead.

Published April 20th

The Moonlit Murders (A Fen Churche Mystery Book 3) by Fliss Chester

SYNOPSIS:
When a journey to New York is interrupted by missing diamonds and a body in the lifeboat, there is only one woman who can help: Fen Churche!

1945. Fen Churche follows her dreams and sails for New York. She books passage on a steam ship from France to America, excited to dance the night away in the glamorous ballroom and play games on deck. Nothing will stand in the way of her trip, not even when an eccentric heiress’s diamond tiara goes missing…

Looking forward to relaxing with her favourite crossword puzzles, Fen’s quiet passage is horribly disrupted by another crime – this time a murder. Fen finds Genie, a young actress bound for Broadway, strangled in her own cabin. With no police on board and a frantic captain, Fen decides to do a little snooping of her own.

When another body turns up, hidden in a lifeboat, whilst the ship is in the middle of the Atlantic, Fen feels sure these dreadful crimes are linked. Through her sleuthing she meets light-hearted lieutenants returning from the war, charming cabin boys and snooty first-class passengers who look down their nose at her. But it isn’t until Fen realises that one person is missing from the passenger list that she is finally on the murderer’s trail.

With only rolling waves and sea mists for company, can Fen solve the case before they dock in New York and the killer escapes for good?

Published April 21st

Skelton’s Guide to Suitcase Murders: The sharp-witted historical whodunnit (Skelton’s Guides Book 2) by David Stafford

SYNOPSIS:
November 1929. A woman’s dismembered corpse is discovered in a suitcase and police quickly identify her husband, Doctor Ibrahim Aziz, as their chief suspect. Incriminating evidence is discovered at his home and his wife was rumoured to be having an affair, giving him clear motive.

With his reputation for winning hopeless cases, barrister Arthur Skelton is asked to represent the accused. Though Aziz’s guilt does not seem to be in doubt, a question of diplomacy and misplaced larvae soon lead Skelton to suspect there may be more to the victim’s death.

Aided by his loyal clerk Edgar, Skelton soon finds himself seeking justice for both victim and defendant. But can he uncover the truth before an innocent man is put on trial and condemned to the gallows?

Published April 22nd

The Secret Life of Miss Mary Bennet (The Secret Life of Mary Bennet Book 1) by Katherine Cowley

SYNOPSIS:
In Jane Austen’s revered Pride and Prejudice, Mary, the middle sister, is often passed over. Until now…

Upon the death of her father, Mary Bennet’s life is thrown into turmoil. With no fortune or marriage prospects, Mary must rely on the kindness of her relatives. When a mysterious late-night visit by an unknown relative—a Lady Trafford from Castle Durrington—leads to an extended stay and the chance for an education, Mary gratefully accepts the opportunity.

But even as she arrives at the castle, she’s faced with one mystery after another. Who is Lady Trafford really and what is she hiding? Do her secrets and manipulations place the small seaside community at risk of an invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte? Always curious, Mary sets out to discover the truth. But when she discovers the dead body of a would-be thief she outed prior to her father’s funeral, Mary jeopardizes her position at the castle and her family’s good name in her quest for the truth.

Never underestimate the observation skills of a woman who hides in the background.

Published April 22nd

Farewell My Herring: The witty crime romp (Herring Mysteries Book 9) by L. C. Tyler

SYNOPSIS:
Ethelred Tressider and his agent Elsie Thirkettle have been invited to lecture on a creative writing course at Fell Hall, a remote location in the heart of ragged countryside that even sheep are keen to shun. While Ethelred’s success as a writer is distinctly average, Elsie sees this as an opportunity to scout for new, hopefully more lucrative, talent. But heavy snow falls overnight, trapping those early arrivals inside, and tensions are quick to emerge between the assembled group.

When one of their number goes missing, Ethelred leads a search party and makes a gruesome discovery. With no phone signal and no hope of summoning the police, can Ethelred and Elsie identify the killer among them before one of them is next?

Published April 22nd

Murderoni and Cheese (A Sunny Side Up Cozy Mystery Book 4) by Rosie A. Point

SYNOPSIS:
When Sunny Charles’ aunt comes back from her vacation, Sunny couldn’t be happier. Aunt Rita will take over and relieve all the pressure. No more dealing with mean customers, or worrying about when the air-conditioner will go on the fritz, or whether a local food vlogger is about to drop dead in the middle of the café.

At least, that’s what she thinks. Things never go to plan in Parfait, and when the dead body of her aunt’s worst enemy turns up on the beach, everybody’s convinced that Aunt Rita had a lot to do with it. That includes the ever-suspicious detective in town. With strange figures following Sunny and a threat that might mean she’s got more to worry about than just one murder mystery, Sunny’s determined. She won’t let her aunt take the fall for a crime she didn’t commit.

Can she solve the mystery before it’s too late?

Published April 22nd

Tragedy on the Branch Line (Railway Detective): 19 by Edward Marston

SYNOPSIS:
When Bernard Pomeroy finds a letter slipped under his door in the early hours, he flies into a panic. After dashing off a short note to his friend, he hands it to the porter at Corpus Christi College before hastening on to the railway station and boarding a train leaving Cambridge. However, shortly after disembarking at his destination, the undergraduate lies dead on the platform. Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming are summoned by the Master of the college to investigate Pomeroy s untimely demise. With the Boat Race on the horizon, the president of the Cambridge Boat Club believes their Oxford rivals responsible for the death of their cox, who had been heralded in the press for his talent. Yet it seems Pomeroy had ruffled many feathers during his short time at the university. With academic disputes, sporting rivalry and a clandestine romance in play, the Railway Detective will have to disentangle the many threads of Pomeroy s life in order to answer the truth about his death.

Published April 22nd

The Jane Austen Investigates: The Abbey Mystery by Julia Golding

SYNOPSIS:
It’s 1789 and a young Jane Austen turns detective as she seeks to solve the mysterious happenings at Southmoor Abbey. When a carriage accident forces a change of plans, 13-year-old Jane is sent to be a companion to Lady Cromwell for a week as the household prepares to celebrate the eldest son’s coming-of-age party. While there, Jane vows to solve the mystery of the ghostly monk in the Abbey grounds – for she does not believe in such stories!

But this is not the only strange occurrence for the adventurous young Jane to investigate. There are shivery night-time investigations, an Indian girl with secret talents, a library fire, two prize horses in danger, and friends to save from false accusations.

With notebook in hand and her faithful dog Grandison by her side, will Jane overcome the continuous obstacles and find out the truth?

Published April 23rd

A Cold Case On High (Ice Witch Mysteries Book 4) by J. L. Collins

SYNOPSIS:
Charming Springs – Where every day is colder than a witch’s kitty!
Magical misfit Indie Warren knows a thing or two about backstabbing in a small town, but this isn’t what she was expecting.

When the owners of the The Witch Cavern Spa are found sprawled out with knives in their backs, the search is on for their killer… and Indie wonders whether or not it might have something to do with the rumored secret treasure hidden deep within the salt caves.

But her quest for the truth isn’t the only digging she’s doing. Indie finds herself just as conflicted as ever about her love life when Julian’s true past is accidentally revealed. Will Indie be able to handle the truth about his dangerous former life?

And why can’t she shake the feeling that her own best friends are hiding something from her?

Published April 23rd

Yearning for a Burning (A Cruise Ship Cozy Mystery Book 3) by Paula Lester 

SYNOPSIS:
No synopsis available.

Published April 24th

Sealed with a Curse (Fairy Falls Mystery Book 4) by Samantha Silver

SYNOPSIS:
Welcome to Fairy Falls, where love is in the air and killers are on the loose

Pawdrey is happily revelling in her new career as the paranormal world’s latest film star, while Scarlett’s attempt at a career change doesn’t seem to be going quite as well. Things go from bad to worse for Scarlett when there’s a murder at the new production, and she’s immediately arrested.

Mina knows she has to clear her cousin’s name and find the real killer, before it’s too late.

Published April 25th

Southern Beginnings (Sweet Tea Witch Mysteries Book 19) by Amy Boyles

SYNOPSIS:
Pepper’s baby is due to arrive any day now. She’s got her hands full with that as well as being the new queen of Clan Reign. Can she handle it all?

Published April 25th

Fortune Falls, Felons, and Fudge: A Cozy Contemporary International Crime Mystery (Sadie Silver Mystery #4) by Kailin Gow

SYNOPSIS:
It is a Purrfect Mix of Romance, Food, and Mystery.

Fashionable Celebrity Pastry Chef Sadie Silver loves mixing travel, food, romance, and crime solving wherever she goes or stays…along with the help of her intelligent cat Orchid and sensitive-smelling-nose dog Biscuit. handsome forensic scientist Palmer, and the mysterious gorgeous man who always places an order directly from her for a dozen red velvet cupcakes.

In this Episode, Sadie returns back to her home in Fortune Falls, NY, with Palmer and her dog Biscuit and cat Orchid for some well-deserved rest and relaxation after a whirlwind trip from Catalina to Paris solving mysteries while baking her well-known desserts. Only there has been a murder committed in her hometown of Fortune Falls that hits too close to home. The handsome Sheriff with an obvious crush on Sadie needs her help to solve this crime, but can she trust him?

Published April 26th

Murder in the Cookbook Nook (A Book Retreat Mystery 7) by Ellery Adams

SYNOPSIS:
The witty new story from the bestselling author of The Secret Book & Scone Society series is perfect for bibliophiles who love a A Bookish Cook-Off with a little murder on the side…

Six chefs are preparing to compete in an outdoor tent at Storyton Hall in Virginia for prizes that will boost their careers—but is there someone who can’t stand the heat? It looks that way when one of the contestants is found dead in a pantry packed with two centuries’ worth of cookbooks, among other treasures and rarities.

Could there be a connection to other recent events in town, like tampering with the costume of a local mascot? Jane isn’t sure, but after someone serves a second course of murder, the kitchen must be closed and the killer must be found . . .

Published April 26th

Lemon Drop Dead (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery) by  Amanda Flower

SYNOPSIS:
Murder always leaves a sour taste…

Although baby showers aren’t an Amish tradition, Bailey King wants to celebrate Emily Keim’s forthcoming bundle of joy. It’s the least she can do for her hardworking assistant at Swissmen Sweets, especially with Emily being estranged from her siblings. Everyone in Harvest, Ohio has gathered at the town gazebo–decked out in lemon-themed décor to add some of Emily’s favorite flavor to the festivities–including Juliet Brook, Jethro the Pig, and in a last-minute invite, Emily’s sister Esther Esh.
But Esther isn’t the only surprise guest. A mysterious Amish woman confronts Emily claiming to know about her secret shame–the child she had as a teenager who was given up for adoption. The stranger vanishes before Bailey could find out who she was and if she knew what happened to Emily’s first baby. Later that evening, the woman reappears–dead in Esh Family Pretzels, with a threatening letter written by Esther found on her body.
Emily knows her sister is not a murderer and convinces Bailey to help clear Esther’s name and put the squeeze on the real killer…

Published April 27th

A Tale of Two Cookies (A Cookie House Mystery) by Eve Calder

SYNOPSIS:
In A Tale of Two Cookies, a cozy mystery from Eve Calder, it’s nothing but sugar and spice at The Cookie House, but elsewhere on Coral Cay everything isn’t so nice.

Pastry chef Kate McGuire is loving life on the laid-back island of Coral Cay, Florida. As junior partner in a bakery renowned for luscious desserts—especially her cookies—life is pretty sweet. So when an old friend arrives and announces a spur-of-the-moment beach wedding, that’s just the icing on the wedding cake.

But the groom vanishes right as a television crew descends on the town to film a hot, new realty show. Is there a connection? Is her friend Desiree somehow involved? Or did groom Judson simply get cold feet? The bride and groom were paired better than warm cookies and cold milk, so Kate doesn’t buy it.

As the show’s cast runs amok on the island and the investigation into Judson’s disappearance heats up, Kate and her pal Maxi, along with town dog Oliver, will brave the rambunctious world of reality TV and a wedding weekend gone awry, in an all-out effort to find the missing groom.

Published April 27th

Murder on Wall Street (A Gaslight Mystery Book 24) by Victioria Thompson)

SYNOPSIS:
Midwife Sarah Brandt Malloy and her detective husband, Frank, must discover who killed a prominent—but despised—society banker before an innocent family is destroyed in Murder on Wall Street, an all-new Gaslight Mystery in the USA Today bestselling series.

Reformed gangster Jack Robinson is working hard to bolster his image in Gilded Age New York City society as he prepares to become a new father. But when Hayden Norcross, the man who nearly ruined his wife, is shot in cold blood, Jack knows the police will soon come knocking on his door. Frank Malloy has to agree—things don’t look good for Jack. But surely a man as unlikeable as Hayden had more than a few enemies. And it’s soon clear that plenty of the upper echelon as well as the denizens of the most squalid areas of the city seem to have hated him.

Sarah and Frank have their work cut out for them. As the daughter of the elite Decker family, Sarah has access to the social circles Hayden frequented, and the more she learns about his horrific treatment of women, the more disturbed she becomes. And as Frank investigates, he finds that Hayden had a host of unsavory habits that may have hastened his demise. But who finally killed him? Sarah and Frank must put the pieces together quickly before time runs out and Jack’s hard-won new life and family are ripped apart.

Published April 27th

Death Gone A-Rye (A Bread Shop Mystery Book 6) by Winnie Archer

SYNOPSIS:
In the Northern California seaside town of Santa Sofia, a killer is trying to get a rise out of baker’s apprentice Ivy Culpepper . . .

Vincent van Dough focaccia is being touted on Instagram as the best thing since sliced bread. By strategically placing chives, olives, and yellow peppers to look like poppies and sunflowers, bakers create a mouthwatering masterpiece in the style of the great postimpressionist painter. At Yeast of Eden, where bread making has always been an art, they’re baking their own version for the school district’s Spring Fling.

But one person won’t be tasting the Mexican bakery’s latest specialty. Ambitious school board president Nessa Renchrik has been murdered. Like the rest of this close-knit community, Ivy is shocked. But she’s just as surprised to discover her beau—restaurateur Miguel Baptista—had his own fling with Nessa back in the day and now the police have this half-baked notion he might have killed her. It’s up to Ivy, her boss Olaya Solis, and eighty-six-years-young Penelope Branford to separate the wheat from the chaff to determine who the real culprit is . . .

Published April 27th

Southern Sass and a Battered Bride (A Marygene Brown Mystery Book 3) by Kate Young

SYNOPSIS:
At a murder mystery-themed wedding reception on Georgia’s picturesque Peach Cove Island, the bride is doing an awfully good job playing dead…

Marygene Brown always figured she’d marry her childhood sweetheart, Alex Myers, not cater his wedding. But the Peach Diner could use the exposure. Most of the island is showing up–although more for the role-playing murder game at the reception than for the widely loathed bridezilla, Lucy Carmichael. Marygene may have to smile through the festivities, but Mama doesn’t have to hold her peace–especially since only Marygene can hear her mother’s ghost. Mama says she sees an aura of darkness around the wedding.
So when Marygene finds Lucy lying beside the wedding cake, buried in batter, with no pulse, it looks like Mama called it. This is no game. And when the bride’s body simply vanishes, it’s up to Marygene and her best friend Betsy (cousin to the groom and no fan of the bride) to solve a real-life mystery–with a little help from Mama’s sassy spirit…

Published April 27th

Whole Latte Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery Book 5) by Lena Gregory

SYNOPSIS:
Ex-New Yorker and local diner owner Gia Morelli is still getting used to the sweltering Florida sun. But this summer she’ll have to deal with a more dangerous kind of heat—when she’s hot on the trail of another murderer . . .

Summer in Boggy Creek has arrived, and Gia’s best friend, successful real estate agent Savannah, is getting hitched. Now she’s enlisted Gia’s sleuthing talents in a desperate search for the perfect wedding dress. But when Savannah mysteriously vanishes after showing a mansion to a bigwig client, Gia investigates the house Savannah was trying to sell. The first clue she finds is Savannah’s car in the driveway. Inside the house, they stumble on Savannah’s potential buyer—dead. Someone had apparently closed the deal—with a two by four full of nails to the client’s head. Soon afterward, a woman’s body is fished from the lake near the same house. The townsfolk are now sweating bullets over the murders, and the heat comes down on poor Gia to find her missing friend, and track down the killer . . .

Published April 27th

Murder 101 (Kitchen Witch Mysteries) by Lynn Cahoon

SYNOPSIS:
Mia Malone has opened a catering business in Magic Springs, Idaho, putting both her culinary expertise and her gift for spellcasting to good use. But it’ll take more than witchcraft to make a murderer disappear behind bars…

Mia Malone has landed a lucrative and convenient gig, catering a reunion at the old school that’s become her new business headquarters. The town swirls with rumors that St. Catherine’s Preparatory is haunted, but there’s one living visitor that Mia wasn’t expecting—her mother. Theresa Malone stepped away from the magic that runs in Mia’s family, much to the annoyance of Mia’s grandmother. Soon Mia has to deal with more than personal drama when Robin Hanover, the head of the reunion committee, is murdered in one of the classrooms.

Robin had a history as a mean girl. Could one of her old enemies have been nursing a grudge all this time? Or is the culprit even closer to home? Mia will need the help of her magic, her wits, and her family to figure out the truth—before she gets schooled by a clever killer…

Published April 27th

Purrfectly Dead (A Whiskey, Tango & Foxtrot Mystery Book 5) by Dixie Lyle

SYNOPSIS:
Deidre “Foxtrot” Lancaster is back—with her supernatural sidekicks Tango and Whiskey—to unlock the mysteries of life, death…and murder…in Dixie Lyle’s Purrfectly Dead.

When zillionairess Zelda Zoransky throws a party, she means business. Assistant extraordinaire, Deidre “Foxtrot” Lancaster knows she’s in for a night when anything can—and will—happen. The evening’s festivities include a high-stakes game between two escape artists locked in a bitter rivalry.

Published April 27th

A Lethal Lesson: A Lane Winslow Mystery by Iona Whishaw

SYNOPSIS:
Lane Winslow trades crime solving for substitute teaching in the eighth installment of this mystery series that Kirkus Reviews calls “riveting”.

Back home in the Kootenays after her Arizona honeymoon, Lane offers her assistance when neither the outgoing teacher, Rose, nor her replacement, Wendy, show up at the local schoolhouse one blizzardy Monday in December. But when she finds the teachers’ cottage ransacked with Rose unconscious and bleeding, and Wendy missing, Lane delivers Rose to the hospital in Nelson and turns the case over to her exasperated husband, Inspector Darling, and his capable colleagues, Sergeant Ames and Constable Terrell.

Never one to leave a post unmanned, Lane enlists as substitute teacher for the final two weeks before the Christmas holidays, during which time she discovers a threatening note in the teachers’ desk and a revolver in the supply cupboard. But these clues only convolute the case further. Who has been tormenting these women, and where has Wendy gone?

Meanwhile, Darling finds the body of a hit-and-run victim in a snowbank miles outside of Nelson, the residents of King’s Cove are preoccupied by the possibility of a new neighbour, and Sergeant Ames is as confused as ever by the inimitable Tina Van Eyck.

Published April 27th

Kiss the Detective: A Lefty Mendieta Investigation (Book 4) by Elmer  Mendoza

SYNOPSIS:
An intelligent, atmospheric police procedural series for fans of John Le Carré and Mick Heron

“The most important thing that’s happened in Mexican literature in the last thirty years” Gaby Wood, Sunday Telegraph.

Detective Lefty Mendieta makes a deal with the devil in a gripping new novel from the Godfather of Narco Lit

Short of leads on the execution-style murder of a fortune-teller, Detective Lefty Mendieta turns to his contacts in the drug underworld. They oblige, but there is a quid pro quo: Help Samantha Valdés, head of the Pacific Cartel, slip through the net of Mexican army and federal police encircling the hospital where she is recovering after an attempt on her life. Grudgingly he agrees, but then gets caught on camera during the escape and becomes headline news.

Fired from the force and on the run from the Feds, Lefty again seeks Samantha’s help when he learns that his son Jason has been kidnapped in Los Angeles. There, he must come to terms with the woman who broke his heart, while contending with a thicket of conspiracies, feints and double-crosses that further blur the distinction between crime and the law. Betrayal is certain. To save his son, who will Lefty sell out?

Translated from the Spanish by Mark Fried

Published April 29th

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie (Hewey Spader Cozy Mystery Series Book 3) by Tanya R. Taylor

SYNOPSIS:
The town of Eppington experienced a phenomenon that literally wiped them off the map.
Thanks to the bravery of three teenage friends, a neighbor and his fearless dog, the community at large were rescued and life for residents returned to normal.

But did it really?

Hewey, Rob and Samantha have gone on with their lives, but they’ve never forgotten their best friend, Jase. They’ve decided twenty-five years after the incident to come together to find out what happened to him and his mother, once and for all.

The shocking truth surrounding their disappearance will bring the trio to their knees.

Published April 29th

Ghost and the Haunted Portrait, The: 7 (Haunted Bookshop Mystery) by Cleo Coyle

SYNOPSIS:
While gathering a collection of book cover paintings for a special event in her shop, Penelope discovers a spooky self-portrait of a beautiful woman; one who went mad, according to town gossip. Seymour, the local mailman, falls in love with the image and buys the picture, refusing to part with it, even as deadly accidents befall those around it. Is the canvas cursed? For answers, Pen consults an otherworldly source: Jack Shepard, PI. Back in the 1940s, Jack cracked a case of a killer cover artist, and his spirit is willing to help her solve this mystery.

Published April 29th

Murder in Belgrave Square: A 1920s cozy mystery (A Tommy & Evelyn Christie Mystery Book 4) by Catherine Coles

SYNOPSIS:
Tommy & Evelyn Christie were hoping for a break from solving murders when they agreed to host Aunt Victoria and her daughters, Madeleine and Elise at their London home in Belgrave Square.

Recently widowed Victoria has returned from France for the London Season and to mend bridges with her estranged family.

None of them were prepared for the doubly shocking sight of a newborn baby and a dead body on the back doorstep of their imposing London residence.

Tommy & Evelyn face a race against time to solve the murder and the mystery of the abandoned baby before cousin Madeleine’s London Season is ruined.

Published April 30th

Death on Bull Path: 4 (Hamptons Murder Mysteries) by Carrie Doyle

SYNOPSIS:
The end of summer in the Hamptons means crisp autumn air, cozy knit sweaters–and an unsolvable mystery?

Antonia Bingham, chef and proprietor of the Windmill Inn, is looking forward to baking goodies for her customers and relaxing after a busy summer. But when a Labor Day visit by two slick Wall Streeters ends with their gruesome deaths in a summer rental house, Antonia gets pulled into the murder investigation!

Soon she’s wading through social media, the local nightclub scene, and other unfamiliar haunts of the young and glamorous, all while managing her inn and restaurant. And the timing couldn’t be worse: Nick Darrow, Antonia’s movie star crush, is back in town and ready for a commitment… while the arrival of Antonia’s sinister ex-husband threatens to bring everything crashing down.

In this installment of Carrie Doyle’s cozy and delicious Hamptons Murder Mystery series, the high season may be over, but Antonia has never been busier: juggling work, recipes, love, and crime–and fighting for her own life!

Published April 30th

Mydworth Mysteries – Secrets on the Cote d’Azur (A Cosy Historical Mystery Series Book 8) by Matthew Costello

SYNOPSIS:
When Harry and Kat head south to the French Riviera, they look forward to dazzling parties, a shimmering sea, and wonderful food. But once they step off the legendary Paris-Nice train, Le Train Bleu, things start to be anything but restful. Asked to assist in a dangerous case of blackmail – they soon find that the streets and alleyways of the Cote d’Azur hide not only cafes and bistros…but also secrets and danger of a most deadly sort.

Co-authors Neil Richards (based in the UK) and Matthew Costello (based in the US), have been writing together since the mid-90s, creating innovative content and working on major projects for the BBC, Disney Channel, Sony, ABC, Eidos, and Nintendo to name but a few. Their transatlantic collaboration has underpinned scores of TV drama scripts, computer games, radio shows, and the best-selling mystery series Cherringham. Their latest series project is called Mydworth Mysteries.

Published April 30th

Consecrated Crime: A Rev Jessamy Ward Mystery (Isle Of Wesberrey Book 5) by Penelope Cress

SYNOPSIS:
The summer regatta is in full swing, but this isn’t the most highly anticipated event in the local social calendar. The wedding of the year is only days away, and romance is in the air for everyone until a body washes up on the far side of the island.

Officially the police line is it’s an accident, but it reminds Inspector Lovington of his young wife’s tragic death. As before, he turns to Jess’s aunt, Cindy, for more mystic support. But Cindy’s powers are weakening.

Will Jess finally embrace her pagan past? Can she find the truth through more supernatural means? Or will more down-to-earth sleuthing reveal all?

Published April 30th

Secrets of Willow Springs – Book 3: Amish Christian Fiction (The Amish of Lawrence County) by Tracy Fredrychowski

SYNOPSIS:
Secrets from the past come to light in this Amish Fiction Book. Her family’s hidden history could destroy her. Will forgiveness set their future free?
Emma Byler can’t wait for her sixteenth birthday and to experience a taste of freedom. With her Amish Rumspringa relaxing some of her usual restrictions, she’s desperate to spend time with a special boy. But she fears tensions at home and her father’s increasingly short-temper could make him pull back the reins.

Sixteen years ago, Jacob Byler made a promise. But as his daughter’s celebration draws near, he dreads the emotional upheaval she’ll go through when she learns the truth. And all he can do is pray that God will grant him the courage he needs to come clean.

As Emma tries to deal with her father’s worsening behavior, she’s forced to keep her own confidences. And Jacob reaches the breaking point when his son befriends a youth who could topple the whole house of cards.

Will honesty shatter the close-knit family, or will their faith help them open their hearts?

Secrets of Willow Springs is the first book in the captivating Amish of Lawrence County family drama series. If you like detailed accounts of traditional life, complex relationships, and stunning twists, then you’ll love Tracy Fredrychowski’s enthralling tale.

Published April 30th

Categories
Blog Tours book reviews Emma's Anticipated Treasures

Blog Tour: Look What You Made Me Do by Nikki Smith

Published: April 1st, 2021
Publisher: Orion
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audio
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Domestic Fiction

SYNOPSIS:

Two people can keep a secret . . . if one of them is dead.

Sisters Jo and Caroline are used to hiding things from each other. They’ve never been close – taking it in turns to feel on the outside of their family unit, playing an endless game of favourites.

Jo envies Caroline’s life – things have always come so easy to her. Then a family inheritance falls entirely to Jo, and suddenly now Caroline wants what Jo has. Needs it, even.

But just how far will she go to get it?

You’ll be riveted by the new psychological suspense from Nikki Smith – a gripping gut-punch of a novel . . .

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MY REVIEW:

“Ooh, look what you made me do. Look what you made me do. Look what you just made me do.” I can’t be the only one that sings that every time I see this cover? Well as it turns out that anthem is the perfect soundtrack for this addictive, twisty page-turner as, once again, Ms. Smith knocks our socks off with this outstanding thriller.

Sisters Jo and Caroline have always had a strained relationship full of rivalry, but these things hit an all-time high in the midst of their grief over the death of their father and upon the revelation that he left the bulk of the family inheritance to Jo. The sisters have very different ideas about what should be done with the family business and now that Jo has the final say, it creates a deeper rift between them. This is a story of a fractured family that is coming apart at the seams. A family where secrets, lies, trauma, conflict and betrayal bubble beneath the surface, threatening to boil over and destroy everything in its path.

Emotionally charged, compelling and mysterious, this book bristles with a gloriously sinister tension from start to finish, keeping you on the edge of your seat. I was a huge fan of Smith’s debut and she has secured her place on my list of must-read authors with this sensational follow up. Exquisitely written, pacy and full of surprising twists, she knows how to hold the reader in the palm of her hand. I love how she can entertain while also addressing deeper topics, making the reader think as she looks at the masks we wear around those closest to us and just how far people are prepared to go for those they love. And her exploration of grief, how it is something very different to each individual and the effect it can have on your relationships, is heart-achingly raw and real.

She also addresses domestic abuse in a candid and unflinching manner that may be hard for some to read but, as an abuse survivor, I appreciated for the authenticity of the characters and storyline. Caroline’s all-consuming terror radiated from the page, turning the clock back thirteen years for me, and I could sadly recognise Rob’s vile, soulless and cowardly character.

This is an adrenaline-filled thrill ride that will have you reading with bated breath. So addictive that I had to force myself to put it down at 4am so I could sleep, I devoured this one in almost one sitting. It is a must-read for anyone who enjoys this genre, just make sure you don’t have anything else to do because you won’t want to put it down.

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✮

TW: Domestic Abuse

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MEET THE AUTHOR:

Nikki Smith studied English Literature at the University of Birmingham and went on to forge a career in finance; working for companies including a city bank and a trampoline park. She’d always wanted to write, and prompted by someone she hadn’t seen since school contacting her to ask if she’d ever done anything with her writing, signed up for a Curtis Brown creative writing course in 2017. She went on to win a short story competition and mentorship by the author Amanda Reynolds before being accepted for representation by Sophie Lambert at C+W. Her debut novel, ALL IN HER HEAD, went on submission in January 2019 and she accepted a pre-empt offer for a two book deal by Orion ten days later. LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO is her second novel and will be published in April 2021. She lives in Guildford with her husband, two daughters and a burmese cat, Saffi, who thinks she’s a dog.

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

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BUY THE BOOK:

Waterstones*| Bookshop.org* | Amazon* | Google Books | Kobo
*These are affiliate links

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Thank you Orion for the gifted ARC and invitation to take part in the tour. Please check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part.

Thanks for reading Bibliophiles. Until next time, Emma xxxx

Categories
Blog Tours book reviews

Blog Tour: The Source by Sarah Sultoon

Published: April 15th, 2021
Publisher: Orenda Books
Format: Paperback, Kindle
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Political Fiction, Coming-of-Age Fiction

SYNOPSIS:

A young TV journalist is forced to revisit her harrowing past when she’s thrust into a sex-trafficking investigation in her hometown. A startling, searing debut thriller by award-winning CNN journalist Sarah Sultoon.
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1996. Essex.
 Thirteen-year-old schoolgirl Carly lives in a disenfranchised town dominated by a military base, struggling to care for her baby sister while her mum sleeps off another binge. When her squaddie brother brings food and treats, and offers an exclusive invitation to army parties, things start to look a little less bleak…

2006. London. Junior TV newsroom journalist Marie has spent six months exposing a gang of sex traffickers, but everything is derailed when New Scotland Yard announces the re-opening of Operation Andromeda, the notorious investigation into allegations of sex abuse at an army base a decade earlier…

As the lives of these two characters intertwine around a single, defining event, a series of utterly chilling experiences is revealed, sparking a nail-biting race to find the truth … and justice.

A riveting, searing and devastatingly dark thriller, The Source is also a story about survival, about hopes and dreams, about power, abuse and resilience … an immense, tense and thought-provoking debut that you will never, ever forget.

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MY REVIEW:

The Source is a story of survival and strength, of power, abuse and corruption, and of finally finding justice. It is a story of a cesspit of evil and the nefarious characters that can hide behind a mask of authority and respectability; and a story of the courage and resilience of those who were their prey. 

It is told in three parts and in two timelines: in 1996. 13-year-old Carly is living on an army base with her mum and baby sister. Her world is one of neglect and doing whatever it takes to survive. She begins partying with the squddies in the barracks, turning to drinking, drugs and sex to escape the realities of her life. But things take an even darker turn and Carly finds herself embroiled in something much bigger, scarier and more powerful than she anticipated.  

In 2006, journalist Marie is taking part in her first undercover case. But after she and her team successfully get the evidence they need to a expose sex trafficing case, the Met quashes their story by announcing new evidence in Operation Andromeda: the investigation into sexual abuse in the army a decade earlier. Moving seamlessly between the two narratives, the author weaves the two stories together as secrets are exposed and the fight for long-overdue justice continues. 

Sultoon writes unflinchingly but with sensitivity. While it is horrifically authentic, it is never graphic, focusing instead on the emotions of the characters to tell the story. I was particularly drawn to Carly and her little sister Kayleigh. They are so evocatively written that you can feel their pain as if it’s your own and I wanted to reach in and save them from the neglect and nightmare that was their life. 

Unsettling, raw and close to the bone, this isn’t an easy read. This is a book that will elicit strong emotions: heartbreak, shock, outrage, disgust. If I’m honest, I might not have picked it up if I’d known the subject matter ahead of time, and there was a point I wasn’t sure if I could keep reading, but having finished I’m glad I kept going. 

The Source is a fast-paced, eye-opening and compassionate exploration of some of the darkest aspects of our society by a talented author. A striking debut. 

Rating: ✮✮✮.5

TW: Sexual abuse, child abuse, eating disorders 

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MEET THE AUTHOR:

Sarah Sultoon is a journalist and writer, whose work as an international news executive at CNN has taken her all over the world, from the seats of power in both Westminster and Washington to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. She has extensive experience in conflict zones, winning three Peabody awards for her work on the war in Syria, an Emmy for her contribution to the coverage of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, and a number of Royal Television Society gongs. As passionate about fiction as nonfiction, she recently completed a Masters of Studies in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge, adding to an undergraduate language degree in French and Spanish, and Masters of Philosophy in History, Film and Television. When not reading or writing she can usually be found somewhere outside, either running, swimming or throwing a ball for her three children and dog while she imagines what might happen if … 

Twitter

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BUY THE BOOK:

Waterstones* | Bookshop.org* | Amazon* | Google Books | Apple Books | Kobo
*These are affiliate links

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Thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part in this tour and to Karen at Orenda Books for the eBook ARC. Please check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part in the tour.

Thanks for reading Bibliophiles. Until next time, Emma xxx

Categories
Monthly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up – March 2021

March has come to an end and it’s time for another monthly wrap up. I had a great month and managed to read a total of thirteen books.

Out of these thirteen book, seven were are debuts and ten are by new to me authors. I enjoyed revisiting characters I loved with A Court of Silver Flames and Nighthawking, and finding new series’ to enjoy with The Abduction and Mystery by the Sea. I also enjoyed taking part in my first audio book tour with The Abduction and hope to do more in the future.

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With so many great books, as you can imagine choosing a favourite wasn’t simple. There were five that particularly stood out: The Lost Apothecary, Body of Stars, Dangerous Women, The Asylum and Nighthawking. But after some deliberation, I managed to get my book of the month down to two: Body of Stars and The Asylum.

Did we read any of the same books in March? Let me know in the comments.

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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles. Until next time, Emma xxx

Categories
First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday: Flashback

Welcome to First Lines Friday: Flashback, where on the first Friday of the month I share the first lines from one of the older books on my shelves and try to tempt you to add it to yours.

“Wake up, Alice.
The nasal voice finds its way to me in the honeycomb of my daydream.
I don’t remember nodding off, but I was somewhere far lovelier.”

Today’s first lines are taken from Wonderland by Juno Dawson, which won the YA Book Prize 2020. I’ve read some great reviews for this one and it sounds like an intriguing read.

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SYNOPSIS:

What happens when you fall down the rabbit hole? The compulsive must-have follow-up to CLEAN and MEAT MARKET from bestselling, award-winning author Juno Dawson

Alice lives in a world of stifling privilege and luxury – but none of it means anything when your own head plays tricks on your reality. When her troubled friend Bunny goes missing, Alice becomes obsessed with finding her. On the trail of her last movements, Alice discovers a mysterious invitation to ‘Wonderland’: the party to end all parties – three days of hedonistic excess to which only the elite are welcome.

Will she find Bunny there? Or is this really a case of finding herself? Because Alice has secrets of her own, and ruthless socialite queen Paisley Hart is determined to uncover them, whatever it takes.

Alice is all alone, miles from home, and now she has a new enemy who wants her head…

A searing exploration of mental health, gender and privilege, from the most addictive YA novelist in the UK today.

Buy the book here*
*this is an affiliate link.

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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles. Until next time, Emma xxx

Categories
Blog Tours Book Features

Book Feature: The Drowned City (Daniel Pursglove 1) by K. J. Maitland

Published: April 1st, 2021
Publisher: Headline
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audio
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Historical Mystery, Thriller

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Today I’m featuring the first in a new historical fiction series set in the Jacobean era.

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SYNOPSIS:

Gunpowder and treason changed England forever. But the tides are turning and revenge runs deep in this compelling historical thriller for fans of C.J. Sansom, Andrew Taylor’s Ashes of London, Kate Mosse and Blood Sugar.

1606. A year to the day that men were executed for conspiring to blow up Parliament, a towering wave devastates the Bristol Channel. Some proclaim God’s vengeance. Others seek to take advantage.

In London, Daniel Pursglove lies in prison waiting to die. But Charles FitzAlan, close adviser to King James I, has a job in mind that will free a man of Daniel’s skill from the horrors of Newgate. If he succeeds.

For Bristol is a hotbed of Catholic spies, and where better for the lone conspirator who evaded arrest, one Spero Pettingar, to gather allies than in the chaos of a drowned city? Daniel journeys there to investigate FitzAlan’s lead, but soon finds himself at the heart of a dark Jesuit conspiracy – and in pursuit of a killer.

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If this sounds like a book you’d enjoy, then head over to my Instagram page where I’m giving away a proof copy of this book.

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MEET THE AUTHOR:

Karen Maitland is an historical novelist, lecturer and teacher of Creative Writing, with over twenty books to her name, including the much-loved Company of Liars. She grew up in Malta, which inspired her passion for history, and travelled and worked all over the world before settling in the United Kingdom. She has a doctorate in psycholinguistics, and now lives on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon.

Website | Twitter

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BUY THE BOOK:

Waterstones* | Bookshop.org*| Amazon*| Google Books | Kobo
*These are affiliate links

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Thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part and to Headline for the gifted ARC. Please check out the reviews from other bloggers on the tour.

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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles. Until next time, Emma xxx