Thursday 13 June 2024

πŸ“– Book Review ~ Retreat from Nuala by Harriet Steel

Inspector de Silva Mysteries
 Book #14

30 March 2024

My thanks to the author for my copy of this book

Shanti and Jane de Silva’s peaceful retreat at a mountain monastery rapidly turns into something far more challenging when they become involved in the search for a stolen ancient manuscript that is reputed to have the power to shake Christianity to its foundations.As they investigate their fellow guests and the monks themselves, the mystery seems as impenetrable as mountain mist – until events take a deadly turn. Will they succeed in bringing the truth to light?The Inspector de Silva Mysteries are vintage-style mysteries set on the exotic island of Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka) in the 1930s and 40s. Perfect for fans of Death in Paradise, Murder in Provence, and Midsomer Murders.

πŸ“– My Review..

This fourteenth book in the long running Inspector de Silva series sees Shanti and his wife Jane heading to coolness of the hills above Nuala to a peaceful retreat in a mountain monastery. The piece and quiet of this Buddhist sanctuary allows Shanti and  Jane to spend some quiet time together which is, however, bought to an end with the discovery that an ancient Christian manuscript has gone missing from the monastery’s library. This investigation turns out to be something of a locked room mystery as there have been few visitors to this remote place and with several of the other guests all acting strangely the Inspector is determined to discover more about the manuscript and the reason why it has been stolen.

As always the beauty of Ceylon ( Sri Lanka) is described in such detail that I felt as if I too had travelled into the peace of this beautifully described Buddhist sanctuary and watched, with fascination, as the inspector, ably assisted by Jane, sets about discovering who could have been involved in this particular crime. I love how this series has evolved so calmly, there’s a never a rush to get everything done and dusted and the gentle pace of the narrative really suits these stories to perfection. Shanti and Jane work well together and it’s been a real treat to have Jane feature more strongly in the action, and being away from the bustle of Nuala also gives the author more scope to describe the surrounding countryside.

It’s been a real pleasure to go on Retreat from Nuala in a fascinating story, with clever plot twists, and several red herrings, all of which kept me entertained from first page to last. I look forward to reading more Inspector de Shanti novels in the future.

About the Author

Harriet Steel wrote four historical novels before turning to crime with the Inspector de Silva mysteries, inspired by time spent in Sri Lanka (the former Ceylon)). Her work has also appeared in national newspapers and magazines. Visit her blog to sign up to her monthly newsletter for news of new releases and great offers, Blog 

Harriet is married with two daughters and lives in Surrey. When Harriet is not writing, she likes reading, long walks and visiting art galleries and museums.

Twitter @harrietsteel1

Tuesday 11 June 2024

πŸ“– Book Review ~ Trouble by Michael E Wills

Bygone Ages Press
9 February 2024

Clifftop Farm in Wartime #3

My thanks to the author for my copy of this book

The lives of the four children at Clifftop Farm become very difficult and dangerous when their beloved collie, Billy, gets into serious trouble.

The youngsters are compelled to devise a plan to rescue their dog. However, to get the crucial evidence they require, they must outsmart a group of criminals.

Unexpected assistance emerges from two surprising quarters: an Italian prisoner of war and a sergeant in a commando regiment stationed near to the farm. In a race against time, will the children succeed in locating the vital information needed to secure the dog's safety?

πŸ“– My Review..

This is now the third book in the trilogy of novels for young readers which explores the lives of the children who live at Clifftop Farm on the Isle of Wight. We first met this bunch of children after they had been evacuated to the farm which belongs to Jimmy and his mother, Vera and have followed their adventures in each subsequent book. This story begins in May 1941 when Jimmy and his mother have to attend magistrates court in Newport owing to an incident which has involved their collie dog, Billy. This acts as a catalyst and further adventures begin in the children’s quest to keep Billy safe.

What I have enjoyed about this trilogy is the way the place and the people come alive. The WW2 setting is explained really well and each book is interspersed with ‘true facts’ which help to put the historical details into context. The author writes well for his target audience which for these stories I would say was between 8-11 years. There is enough excitement to keep the attention of the reader and the characters are very personable which makes for an enjoyable and exciting read. I particularly enjoyed the ‘What became of them after the war’ section at the end of the book and the author’s recollections of his own wartime experiences along with the inspiration for the story about Billy.

The Clifftop Farm trilogy is a lovely introduction to WW2 historical fiction for young readers. Each book can be read as a standalone story but it makes sense to start at the beginning with Treason, Treachery and finally, Trouble.

Michael Wills was born in Newport on the Isle of Wight and attended the Priory Boys School and Carisbrooke Grammar. He trained as a teacher at St Peter’s College, Birmingham, before working at a secondary school in Kent.

Twitter @MWillsofSarum


Friday 7 June 2024

πŸ“– Blog Tour ~ A Heart Full of Hope by Kay Seeley


Enterprise Books
1 June 2024

My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the copy of the book
and the invitation to the tour

When Charity Browne arrives at The Fitzroy Hotel on her way to a country house party, she knows there’s more to the invitation than a weekend of revelry. She’s old enough to be married and her family are hoping for a good match.
Sparks fly when she collides with dashing Jack Carter, the hotel housekeeper’s disreputable brother. A visit to a home for waifs and strays makes Charity question her values. Her attempt to help a small, mute boy she sees there leads her to attractive and worthy Dr Adam Radcliffe. Together they uncover a web of deceit, betrayal and lies surrounding the boy’s family. Fate unites Jack and Charity in a quest to save the boy from unimaginable evil. Will Charity fall for Jack’s mesmerising charm, or will Adam’s selfless compassion capture her heart?

πŸ“– My Review..

Charity Browne arrives in London with her aunt and stays in the prestigious Fitzroy Hotel. There she bumps into the charismatic Jack Carter who is a guest of the hotel and also the brother of the hotel's housekeeper. There is a spark of attraction between Charity and Jack but with their social classes so very different there can be no hope of a romance. Charity is meant to make an altogether more affluent match but that doesn't stop her hoping for something very different.

Set at the turn of the twentieth century and with the Edwardian era very much settled, Charity has a little more freedom than her Victorian counterparts and yet she is still restrained by what society expects of her. The story shows two very different sides of the social divide, the wealthy with their sojourns in luxury hotels and their affluent country houses, whilst the poor are subject to danger, abuse and unrelenting poverty. The author shows these differences well and yet also shows that kindness and compassion can also be found in unexpected places.

A Heart Full of Hope is a charming historical romance which continues the Fitzroy Hotel series of historical novels set in Edwardian London. Whilst there is some overlap of characters, it is perfectly possible to read each book as an enjoyable standalone story.

About the Author 

Kay Seeley is a talented storyteller and bestselling author. Her short stories have been published in women’s magazines and short-listed in competitions. Her novels had been finalists in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. She lives in London and loves its history. Her stories are well researched, beautifully written with compelling characters where love triumphs over adversity. Kay writes stories that will capture your heart and leave you wanting more. Often heart-wrenching but always satisfyingly uplifting, her books are perfect for fans of Anna Jacobs, Dilly Court and Josephine Cox. All her novels are available for Kindle, in paperback, audio and in Large Print.

Kay is a Member of The Alliance of Indie Authors and The Society of Women Writers and Journalists.



*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

X @KaySeeley #AHeartFullOfHope
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Thursday 6 June 2024

πŸ“– Paperback Publication Day ~ The Fascination by Essie Fox


Orenda Books
6 June 2024

My thanks to the publisher and Random Things Tours for my copy of this book

Twin sisters Keziah and Tilly Lovell are identical in every way, except that Tilly hasn't grown a single inch since she was five. Coerced into promoting their father's quack elixir as they tour the country fairgrounds, at the age of fifteen the girls are sold to a mysterious Italian known as ‘Captain’. 

Theo is an orphan, raised by his grandfather, Lord Seabrook, a man who has a dark interest in anatomical freaks and other curiosities … particularly the human kind. Resenting his grandson for his mother’s death in childbirth, when Seabrook remarries and a new heir is produced, Theo is forced to leave home without a penny to his name. 

Theo finds employment in Dr Summerwell’s Museum of Anatomy in London, and here he meets Captain and his theatrical ‘family’ of performers, freaks and outcasts. But it is Theo’s fascination with Tilly and Keziah that will lead all of them into a dark web of deceits, exposing unthinkable secrets and threatening everything they know...

On it's Paperback Publication Day I am delighted to re-post my review 

πŸ“– My Review..

The Fascination takes us into the dark underbelly of Victorian England to places which creep into your imagination with sinister intent and yet the story is so imaginatively written that you can’t help but be inextricably drawn into a fascinating world of obsession and deeply troubled secrets.

Twins, Tilly and Keziah Lovell tour the country fairs with their father selling a noxious cure-all which provides a living of sorts however, life isn’t easy for the Lovell’s and there is exploitation along with cruelty. On the surface the twins shouldn’t have anything in common with Theo Seabrook whose sad and lonely childhood marks him out as another misfit and yet their lives entwine in a suspenseful story which captures the imagination right from the very first page.

The sinister and morally corrupt world of Victorian England is brought vividly to life, from the simple pleasure of a country fair, to the macabre exhibits in Dr Summerwell’s Museum of Anatomy in London, there is never a moment when the story-telling falters or fails to plunge you deep into a Victorian world of freaks, misfits and the downright macabre. The rich assortment of shady characters who are such an integral part of the story give us a fascinating glimpse into the shadowy world of Victorian obsession.

Beautifully written, and meticulously researched, The Fascination is Essie Fox writing at her Gothic best.

About the Author

Essie Fox was born and raised in rural Herefordshire, which inspires much of her writing. After studying English Literature at Sheffield University, she moved to London where she worked for the Telegraph Sunday Magazine, and then book publishers George Allen & Unwin, before becoming self-employed in the world of art and design. Essie now spends her time writing historical gothic novels. Her debut, The Somnambulist, was shortlisted for the National Book Awards, and featured on Channel 4’s TV Book Club. The Last Days of Leda Grey, set in the early years of silent film, was selected as The Times Historical Book of the Month. Essie is also the creator of the popular blog: The Virtual Victorian. She has lectured on this era at the V&A, and the National Gallery in London.

Twitter @essiefox #TheFascination

@OrendaBooks @randomttours

Wednesday 5 June 2024

πŸ“– Book Review ~ You Me Her by Sue Watson


3 June 2024

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book

Three people. One marriage. One murder.

YOU: My handsome husband Tom. You've given me everything our beautiful son and our perfect new seaside home. I want to trust you, but I know you haven't been honest about why you really wanted to move here. I haven't been honest with you either.

ME: I make a secret promise as Tom kisses me and pours a glass of ice-cold wine to toast the first night in our dream house: I'm going to forget about his past. For the sake of our son, I'll keep this family together, no matter what.

HER: Chloe is the only friend I've made since the move. I love our long lunches, even though she asks prying questions about my marriage. Tom hates me spending time with her, but I ignore his warning to stay away. I've seen the way he looks at her. It's better to keep your enemies close.

You may think you know what's going on in my marriage, but you'll be wrong. Only three things are true: Someone is a liar. Someone is in danger. Someone is a killer.

πŸ“– My review…

After receiving an inheritance Rachel, her husband, and small son relocate from Manchester to Cornwall. This move should have been the start of a new life for the three of them with everything to look forward to, however, it soon becomes obvious that there are differences in this marriage and even the most idyllic of settings can’t cover up the cracks.

You Me Her is a fast moving thriller which gets more and more complicated as the story progresses especially with the introduction of a character who soon becomes something of a nightmare. I really enjoyed watching how the drama unfolded and whilst none of the major characters were particularly likeable there was more than enough twists and turns to keep me guessing about who did what to whom and why! That there is danger ahead for Rachel is done really well and the hint of a past trauma in her life helps to keep the tension cranked up high. There’s never a moment when the pace slackens and author keeps this momentum going throughout the whole of the story.

You Me Her is an immersive and atmospheric story which really stretches the imagination and keeps you guessing until the final twist in the tale.

About the Author

Sue Watson was a TV Producer at the BBC until she wrote her first book and was hooked.Now a USA Today bestselling author, Sue has written eighteen novels, many have been translated into several languages. Sue is now exploring the darker side of life with her thrillers OUR LITTLE LIES, THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR, THE EMPTY NEST, THE SISTER-IN-LAW, FIRST DATE and her latest, THE FOREVER HOME.

Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her family in Worcestershire where much of her day is spent writing - okay, procrastinating. Her hobby is eating cake, while watching diet and exercise programmes from the sofa, a skill she's perfected after many years of practice.

X @suewatsonwriter #YouMeHer


Tuesday 4 June 2024

πŸ“– Book Review ~ The House in the Water by Victoria Darke

Boldwood Books
27 May 2024

Thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book

A secluded house. A lost notebook. A wartime secret.

1942: Young Irish nurse Ellen arrives at May Day House, tasked with helping the men there rehabilitate. But there’s something strange about the house, surrounded by water, on its own island in the Thames. And then there are the traumatised by their experiences of war, and subject to troubling methods in a desperate race to get them back to duty. As Ellen gets drawn into the world of May Day House, she starts to realise this will be no place to hide away from her own troubles…

2013: Philip and Meredith are the proud new owners of May Day House. Following a string of tragedies, the couple have moved to the area in search of a new start. But all is not what it seems in the riverside community. As their plans for the rundown house meet resistance from the neighbours, Meredith finds herself slowly she hears voices on the water, sees figures where there can be no one there. When she finds an old notebook from the war, she seeks solace in the stories about the former patients of the island.

But will shadows from the past threaten her future happiness – and even her life?

πŸ“– My Review..

Meredith and Philip sink all of their money into the dilapidated May Day House but with local opposition renovations are not going to be easy. Meredith spends far too much time alone in the house and with some sinister goings on she pretty much finds that she is isolated and becomes more and more afraid of things that only see can see.

Back in 1942, Ellen, a young Irish nurse, arrives at May Day House to help care for those WW2 soldiers who have been sent to the secluded hospital to recuperate from mental trauma. However, the brutal methods employed by the doctors cause Ellen much distress especially as she is also hiding some traumatic secrets of her own.

This is such an immersive novel that I barely looked up from the page and such was the pull of each time frame that each fitted comfortably within the concept of the story. I was slightly more drawn to the WW2 sections and Ellen's story and yet the modern day setting with Meredith and Philip was filled with such sinister undertones that it kept me on the edge of my seat. I liked the hint of mystery which runs like a thread and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching how all the stands of this complicated story come together. 

The House in the Water is a fast paced and brooding dual timeline mystery with more than enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. 

About the Author

Victoria Darke has been a journalist for many media outlets including the BBC and The Telegraph. She is the author of three novels as Victoria Scott, published by Head of Zeus. Her first book for Boldwood, a Gothic timeslip novel, The House in the Water, was published in May 2024

Twitter / X @ToryScott #TheHouseintheWater


Monday 3 June 2024

πŸ“– Featured Book of the Month ~ The Theatre of Glass and Shadows by Anne Corlett


Black and White Publishing

24 May 2024

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book

Sometimes the greatest spectacle hides the darkest secrets . . .

In an alternate London, the city's Theatre District is a walled area south of the river where an immersive production - the Show - has been running for centuries, growing ever bigger, more sprawling and lavish. The Show is open to anyone who can afford a ticket but the District itself is a closed world; even the police have no jurisdiction within its walls.

Juliet's mother died when she was a baby. Brought up by her emotionally distant father and even more distant stepmother, she has never felt wanted. It's only when her father passes away that Juliet - now nineteen - learns her birth was registered in the District. Desperate to belong somewhere at last, she travels to London where she hopes to unearth the truth about her identity, her mother's death and her father's years of silence - and claim her birthright.

But in the District, there is only one central truth: the Show must go on. And in a world where illusions abound, and powerful men control the narrative, Juliet has no idea of just how far some will go to ensure certain stories are never told.

πŸ“– My Review..

In mottled glass and smoky shadows lies the Theatre District where things are not as they seem and where truth and lies merge. This immersive theatre complex has been beguiling visitors for centuries but once its secrets are uncovered there’s no going back and yet for Juliet Grace her time there has only just begun.

A life filled with indifference has made Juliet wary but deep down she knows that, with her father’s death, the life she has known is over and as the overwhelming lure of the theatre calls her into its depths so she hopes for answers to her questions and that her heart’s desire will be fulfilled. Beautifully immersive, this view of an altogether different London emerges, and as the story starts to pull so the fragments of your imagination get carried along until you’re part of the scenery, watching as the dance unfolds and as each character emerges so you begin to question where the truth ends and the lies begin.

It’s been a long time since I was gorgeously immersed in an alternate world of a clever author’s imagination but The Theatre of Glass and Shadows fulfilled a need I didn’t know I had and I absorbed every word with as much anticipation as if I was a voyeur in this land of shimmering glass and deep, dark shadows.

Richly atmospheric, and utterly absorbing, I have no hesitation in making The Theatre of Glass and Shadows my Featured Book of the Month for June.

About the Author

Anne Corlett has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and has won a number of awards for her short stories, including the H. E. Bates Award. She works as a criminal solicitor and freelance writer, and lives with her partner and three young boys in Somerset.

X @ConsummateChaos


Wednesday 29 May 2024

πŸ“– Book Review ~ Ostriches : Ten Poems about My Dad by Jeanette Burton

Candlestick Press
May 2024

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this pamphlet

In this uplifting sequence, poet Jeanette Burton takes us on a lively journey to meet her dad: a man whose passions range from DIY to Only Fools and Horses. There are memories of fractious father/daughter driving lessons contrasting with moments of discovery, such as unearthing one of the entertainingly deadpan love letters he wrote in the 1960s while courting his wife-to-be.

The title poem evokes a more recent car journey in which the poet’s dad is a reluctant passenger who cannot resist tinkering with something on the dashboard. But there’s a moment of shared joy as he’s persuaded to look up and out of the window:

“look, there’s ostriches in the field over there.
He finally looks, really looks, sees this swagger
of flightless birds taking in the world around them,
the fence, the road, the cars, the people inside…”

from ‘Ostriches’ by Jeanette Burton

Just like ostriches, we don’t always pay attention to the things that are close to us. These delightfully tender poems remind us that all dads have idiosyncrasies that we should notice and treasure – things that make them unique and infinitely dear.

Cover illustration © likovaka/Shutterstock.

πŸ“– My Review..

It is said that we don't appreciate our parents until they are no longer with us and in many ways this strikes true especially in reading these rather poignant, and decidedly quirky poems written by the poet about her dad. So many of them reminded me of my own dad who was warm and wise, exasperating sometimes, but greatly loved and sadly missed.

I have enjoyed reading the ten poems which make up this collection. Some made me smile, especially:

'If you have  a treasured possession that's seen better days'  

bring it along to the repair shop. We rummage
for heirlooms, find dad gathering dust on the sofa,
take him off to the famous barn where Jay Blades
greets us with a nod and a grin...'

The strange concept  'Poem in which my dad's ear is haunted by the ghost of Tutankhamun made me ponder a while:

So it was that this strange tinnitus was labelled a visitation -
Tutankhamun's spirit had hitched a ride inside my dad's ear,
curled genie like into his ear canal...'

The collection is a lovely idea, obviously very personal to the poet, her memories are special so all credit to her for sharing and making the poems appear as if they belong to all of us, whilst at the same time evoking the essence of a dad who is very special to her, just like all dads are special to the rest of us.

Beautifully presented, as always, and with a quirky cover and end papers, Ostriches : Ten Poems about My Dad would be perfect 'instead of a card' for Father's Day which this year is Sunday 16 June 2024.

About the Publisher

Candlestick Press is a small, independent press publishing sumptuously produced poetry pamphlets that serve as a wonderful alternative to a greetings card, with matching envelopes and bookmarks left blank for your message. Their subjects include Mountains, Clouds, Walking, Birds, Wine and Happiness. Candlestick Press pamphlets are stocked by chain and independent bookshops, galleries and garden centres nationwide and available to order online.

Twitter/X @poetrycandle

Tuesday 28 May 2024

πŸ“– Blog Tour ~ Under a Summer Skye by Sue Moorcroft (Giveaway)


Avon Books
9 May 2024
Skye Sisters Trilogy #1

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book
and to Rachel's Random Resources for the invitation to the blog tour

A chance encounter is about to change everything for Thea Wynter.

The moment she arrived on the Isle of Skye, life changed for Thea. Running from a succession of wrong turns, she comes to the island in search of blue sea, endless skies, and mountains that make the heart soar. Here, she feels at peace.

As head gardener at Rothach Hall, life is exactly how she wants it, with her days spent working in the glorious clifftop garden and her evenings in the cosy local village.

But an encounter with a stranger from the mainland brings with it an unexpected turn – and only time will tell if he is friend or foe.

It seems that even on Skye, life can catch up with you, and Thea is soon faced with the past she left behind – and with it, the family she’s never met...

πŸ“– My Review..

They say that books come along at the right time and just when I was feeling decidedly under the weather with a nasty bout of Covid, along comes Under a Summer Skye to instantly lift my spirits.

Life hasn’t always been easy for Thea Wynter but for the last nine years she has managed to make a comfortable life for herself as head gardener at the Rothach estate on the beautiful Isle of Skye. When a handsome stranger turns up looking for seasonal work, Thea is little prepared for the effect Deveron Downie’s arrival will have on her life going forward which will see Thea having to make some life changing decisions. Under A Summer Skye is such a wonderful story that I was quite entranced by Rothach Hall, which is described so beautifully, and in such glorious detail, by the characters who really come alive and shine on the page, and by the way the story wrapped itself around me like a comfort blanket. 

As this is the first book in a trilogy there’s a definite sense of more to come and I especially enjoyed meeting Thea’s two sisters especially Ezzie who I hope we’ll get to know better next time and also Valentina who seems the more serious of the sisters. The story touches on some sensitive issues, namely the rise of social media influencers and their often malign contributions to society and also the emotional minefield of adoption. There’s also, at its heart, a beautiful love story which made turning the pages an absolute pleasure, a delightful dog called Daisy and the stunning Isle of Skye which is described in glorious detail.

I can’t wait to meet up again with the Skye Sisters in the near future.

About the Author

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author, and her novels have been #1 on Kindle UK and Top 100 on Kindle US, Canada and Italy. She writes two books a year for publishing giant HarperCollins and has won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Novel of the Year, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award, a HOLT Medallion and the Katie Fforde Bursary. She’s the president of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Her novels, short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses have appeared around the world.


Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of Under A Summer Skye, plus Sue Moorcroft Pen and Bookmarks (Open to UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

Social Media Links 

Amazon page: Sue Moorcroft

Audible page: Sue Moorcroft


Twitter: @SueMoorcroft

Instagram: @SueMoorcroftAuthor

Linked in: Sue Moorcroft

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Monday 27 May 2024

πŸ’” T I M M Y 2006 - 2024 πŸ’”

On Saturday, after a swift and sudden illness, I said goodbye to my little cat, Timmy.

I shall miss my little shadow, who was always by side. His quiet presence, his constant companionship and his gentle reassurance was something to treasure.

 My heart is broken into a million pieces.


TIMMY ~ The Quiet Cat

Silent shadow, always near, sitting with paws so neatly curved,

Or lying curled like a comma but ready to pounce like a musketeer. 

Soft and mellow, feisty and funny, your gentle orange glow filled us with sunshine.

In quiet garden corners you will sit, forever watchful, keeping your silent vigil,

Warmed by the sun, sheltered from the rain, 

As your gentle shadow creeps towards a peaceful rest.




Thursday 23 May 2024

πŸ“– Publication day Book Review ~ The Wild Swimmers by William Shaw

23 May 2024

DS Alexandra Cupidi #5

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book

The body of a local woman, Mimi Greene, is found washed up on the Folkstone shoreline. The community is left in disbelief as this confident swimmer seemingly chose to go out into the waters alone, in bad weather, without telling a soul about her plans… DS Alexandra Cupidi must find the truth behind Mimi’s death. Full to the brim with action and suspense, Shaw propels us into a world of shady characters as crimes of the past come to the fore with deadly consequences and the idyllic surroundings of waterways and sea life aren’t all they seem.

Join Cupidi in her latest intricate and unforgettable case as she battles to protect her daughter ZoΓ« from harm and discover the missing link between a group of wild swimmers, an online dating profile and a slippery killer, the mysterious ‘Malcolm’. 

The Wild Swimmers is a twisty and delicious crime novel.

πŸ“– My Review..

The Wild Swimmers is now the fifth book in the DS Alexandra Cupidi series of crime novels and whilst I hadn’t read the previous books, something I aim to rectify, I was soon able to pick up some of the back story, especially as this sees DS Cupidi returning to work after a short leave of absence. The story starts off as it means to go on with the sad discovery of a woman’s body on a remote Dungeness beach. With the dead woman having links to a group of wild swimmers, Cupidi and her team have a difficult task of determining whether Mimi Greene’s death was accidental or deliberate.

With a series of complications pulling the investigative team in all sorts of directions the mystery surrounding the dead woman deepens especially as Cupidi also becomes drawn into a parallel story which affects her friend William South and her colleague DC Jill Ferriter. The involvement of the group of women who make up the wild swimmers was an interesting plot-line and I enjoyed wondering where they would all fit into the story. I didn’t know any of these characters at the start of the story but by the end they all felt like old friends and I enjoyed watching them find their place in the plot.

The eeriness of the Dungeness setting, which soon becomes a character in its own right, and with the investigation pulled in all sorts of convoluted directions, some of which happened in the past, there was much to consider and ponder over. I didn’t see the ending coming, which is always a good sign, and I finished the book wanting to know more about DS Alexandra Cupidi, so it’s now my intention to catch up with the previous books in this  series.

About the Author

WILLIAM SHAW was born in Newton Abbot, Devon, grew up in Nigeria and lived for sixteen years in Hackney. He has been shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger, longlisted for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year and nominated for a Barry Award. A regular at festivals, he organises panel talks and CWA events across the country. He is the author of the Breen & Tozer crime series set in sixties London: A Song from Dead Lips, A House of Knives and A Book of Scars; and the standalone The Birdwatcher. Salt Lane and Deadland are spin-offs to The Birdwatcher. For over twenty years he has written on popular culture and sub-culture for various publications including the Observer and the New York Times. William lives in County Cork, Ireland with a base in Brighton. 

Twitter / X @william1shaw #TheWildSwimmers