Blog Tours book reviews

12 Audiobooks of Christmas Blog Tour: Murder Most Festive by Ava Moncrief

Published: December 1st 2021
Publisher: Vintage/Isis Audio
Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Holiday Fiction
Format: Audiobook

Welcome to my stop on the 12 Audiobooks of Christmas Blog Tour. Thank you Danielle for the invitation to take part and to Isis Audio for the gifted audiobook.



It’s Christmas at Westbury Manor and amateur detective Hugh Gaveston must unravel a fiendish mystery…

Christmas Eve, 1938. The Westbury family and assorted friends have gathered for another legendary celebration at their beautiful country house. The champagne flows, the silverware sparkles and upstairs the rooms are ready for their occupants.

But one bed will lie empty that night. On Christmas morning, David Campbell-Scott is found dead in the snow. There’s a pistol beside him and only one set of footprints.

Yet something doesn’t seem right to amateur sleuth Hugh Gaveston. Campbell-Scott had just returned from overseas with untold wealth – why would he kill himself? Hugh sets out to investigate…

‘If you’re a fan of historical mysteries, then Murder Most Festive should be at the top of your to-read list’ Cultured Vultures

Wonderfully atmospheric, with charming wit and brilliant plotting, Murder Most Festive is perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, M.C. Beaton and James Runcie’s Grantchester series.



It’s Christmas at Westbury Manor and amateur detective Hugh Gaveston must unravel a fiendish mystery…

On Christmas Eve 1938 the Westbury family and some of their friends have gathered for a celebration at their beautiful country house. Everyone is in the festive spirit as the champagne flows and Christmas games begin. But on Christmas morning, one of the guests is found dead in the snow. All clues seem to point to suicide, but ameutur sleuth Hugh Gaveston thinks that something is amiss. Could there be a killer in their midst?

I listened to this charming festive cozy mystery as part of the 12 Audiobooks of Christmas blog tour. While I admit that it took me a few chapters to get into it, once I did I enjoyed this story. The combination of the prose and narration came together to create a witty and atmospheric read that transported me back in time. It has a Christie-esque charm that I loved, making me feel like I was in an episode of Poirot. I was surprised to discover that this is Ava Moncrief’s first novel and I look forward to either reading or listening to more of her books.

A fabulous, fun and festive read, this is the ideal book to listen to this Christmas for anyone who enjoys historical fiction or cozy mysteries.

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✰



Ada Moncrieff was born in London and has lived in Madrid and Paris. She studied English at Cambridge University, and has worked in theatre, publishing and as a teacher. A Christmas Murder is her first novel.



Buy from The Reading House here


Please check out the reviews from the other bloggers taking part in the tour.

Thanks for reading Bibliophiles And Merry Christmas! Emma xxx

Book Features

Inauguration Day Book Feature: The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris

Today is a historic day; the 46th President, Joe Biden, will be inaugurated, with Kamala Harris also inagaurated as Vice President. Kamala is the first woman and woman of colour Vice President and to celebrate this Vintage Books have kindly sent me a copy of her biography. Not only that, but inspired by her own words from the book, they are encouraging people to think about how they can #bepartofthesolution.

‘My daily challenge to myself is to be part of the solution, to be a joyful warrior in the battle to come. My challenge to you is to join that effort. To stand up for our ideals and our values. Let’s not throw up our hands when it’s time to roll up our sleeves. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not ever.’

One way they are suggesting we do this is by donating to The Advocacy Academy, a transformational Social Justice Youth Organising Movement for young people from South London for those who are passionate about creating a more just and fair society. You can read more about them and the work they do here. Vintage Books will be holding an internal charity staff sale of books to raise money for the charity and I have personally made a donation. Should you also wish to donate you can do so here.

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Emma's Anticipated Treasures Monthly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up – September 2020

The weather has cooled and the nights are drawing in. Summer is officially over and autumn has arrived. Another month is also over, which means it’s time for another wrap up.

It’s been a fantastic month. I’ve read 17 books in total, which includes one audiobook, and I’m part way through two other audiobooks. I’ve read some outstanding books and discovered some new authors I’ll definitely read again.

I also took part in 14 blog tours, 4 readalongs and the Tasting Notes Book Club. I was excited to take part in my first author Q&As. The first was a private Zoom with Cecelia Ahern and other bloggers, and the other was my first over Instagram Live. Courtesy of One More Chapter I took part in a Q&A with Annie Lyons. I’m so grateful to have these opportunities and still can’t believe I’m able to talk with authors I’ve loved for years.

So lets get back to what I’ve read this month:

  1. After The Silence ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  2. Truth Be Told ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  3. A Ruined Girl ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  4. Heatstroke ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  5. Under Your Skin ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  6. To Cook A Bear ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  7. A Song of Isolation ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  8. A Court of Wings and Ruin ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  9. If I Could Say Goodbye ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  10. Pizza Girl ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  11. The Thursday Murder Club ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  12. The Philosopher Queens ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  13. In Black and White ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  14. Eudora Honeysett is Quite Well, Thank You ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  15. Mother Loves Me ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  16. Dead Woman Crossing ⭐⭐⭐
  17. Love Orange ⭐⭐⭐⭐

With so many great books, it’s not easy to choose a favourite. But Eudora Honeysett is Quite Well, Thank You was such a standout read that it ended up making the choice easy. I loved it so much that it is even a contender for book of the year.

If you want to read my reviews for what I read in September, then click on the title and it will take you to my review (unless it’s one of the ones I’ve not written yet lol).

Did we read any of the same books this month? What was your favourite book in September? Let me know in the comments.

*Thank you to the publushers for my gifted copies of the books.

Blog Tours book reviews

The Snakes by Sadie Jones ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Published: February 20th, 2020
Publisher: Vintage
Format: Paperback
Genre: Thrillers, Suspense, Literary Fiction

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Snakes. Thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part and to Vintage for the gifted copy of the book.


Family secrets can be deadly…

Newly-weds Dan and Bea decide to escape London. Driving through France in their beaten-up car they anticipate a long lazy summer, worlds away from their ordinary lives.

But their idyll cannot last. Stopping off to see Bea’s brother at his crumbling hotel, the trio are joined unexpectedly by Bea’s ultra-wealthy parents. Dan has never understood Bea’s deep discomfort around them but living together in such close proximity he begins to sense something is very wrong.

Just as tensions reach breaking point, brutal tragedy strikes, exposing decades of secrets and silence that threaten to destroy them all.

‘A twisty delight of a novel, a cracking page-turner that has much to say about modern life and our attempts to find a way to navigate it, no matter where we come from’ Cathy Rentzenbrink


“You’d swear you could see it, in the cracks in the pavements and the bricks in the walls; violence and grief.”

Bea and her husband Dan have decided to take a three month break from their lives in London to go travelling. Beginning in France, they stop at the hotel owned by Bea’s older brother, Alex. When they arrive they find the hotel is rundown and unfit for business, but Bea insists they stay. When Bea’s parents join them unexpectedly a few days later, the visit isn’t welcome. Bea has an animosity towards them that Dan doesn’t understand, insisting she doesn’t want them in their lives, but saying she can’t leave Alex alone to deal with them. Over the coming days, the couple’s dream of an idyllic break away from everything crumbles as old secrets and resentments resurface and tragedy strikes.

Narrated by newlyweds Bea and Dan, she has never told him the full story about her parents. He doesn’t know why she wants nothing  to do with them or that they aren’t just well off and are part of the elite 1%. Bea is a paragon of morality and virtue – she works with vulnerable people, volunteers with charities, wants to save the planet and is a big believer in justice. She sees things in black or white and refuses to compromise on her morals – something Dan admires but her father mocks her for. Being around her family again means Bea must face that she harbours a deep rage and wrath towards them for their transgressions, things she can’t forgive but also refuses to share with Dan, leaving him confused and driving a wedge between them as he sees two very different people to those his wife sees, not understanding her deep resentments and inability to forgive.  

The Snakes is a story about temptation, power, morality and forgiveness. It is a story about a toxic family and dark secrets that explores moral dilemmas and the consequences of the characters’ actions on those around them. It was dark, intriguing and unexpected, keeping me guessing right until the final page. While it didn’t have the heart-pounding tension you find in some thrillers, it was full of a subdued suspicion that was compulsive. The tragedy that strikes the family and search for truth and justice that unfolds is secondary to the story about the family itself. 

I hadn’t seen a lot of reviews for this book before reading but I had heard that it was a marmite book, with some people not taking to the format and others loving it. Well, I’m one of the strange ones who has mixed feelings about marmite, and that’s kind of how I felt about this book, which was a very different novel from the one I was expecting. The Snakes is a compelling, well-written and readable novel with a shocking and abrupt conclusion that lingers.

Sadie Jones Author Pic


Sadie Jones is a screenwriter and a #1 Sunday Times bestselling author. Her first novel, The Outcast won the Costa First Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. It was also a Richard and Judy Summer Reads number one bestseller and adapted for BBC Television. Sadie also wrote: Small Wars (2009), The Uninvited Guests (2012) and Fallout (2014). Her fifth novel, The Snakes, was listed as ‘March book of the month’ in The Bookseller.




Book Depository

The Snakes BT Poster