Paper Dolls by Emma Pullar

Out: 28 March 2019


Book blurb

When a bizarre set of murders take place in London, three flatmates become embroiled in the terrifying mystery.

Mike, Beatrice and Kerri all share a flat and a passion to move their careers forward.  When Mike, a frustrated mime in Trafalgar Square, lays eyes on performance artist Princess, his world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, Kerri is struggling to hold onto her job as a journalist,when she stumbles across a body, which turns out to be the third victim of the Paper Doll Killer. Beatrice, who was once a bestselling author, looks to the series of murders for inspiration but finds a lot more than she bargained for.

As the three flatmates discover they each have links to the killer they start to turn on one another. Who might be next? Why does the killer paint the victim’s cheeks and lips with blood? What purpose do the paper dolls serve?

As the deranged Paper Doll Killer continues to stalk the streets of London there’s only one question that needs to be answered … is anyone safe?

My thoughts

I’ve found it a little difficult to describe this book without giving too much away and I really don’t like doing that! Still here goes…

To begin with the reader gets to know Mike, Beatrice and Kerri their worklife, ambitions, that they share a flat and the difficulties each is currently experiencing just to keep going. It is set in London and many of the geographical references will feel familiar to readers who have lived in or visited the capital.

Kerri has a comfortable relationship on the go, she’s a journalist but gets all the rubbish jobs. Then she has a stroke of luck, if you can call it that, when she discovers a body in a warehouse. The scoop will ensure her work at the newspaper takes an upward turn. She makes a link to two other murders – it’s a serial killer – The Paper Doll Murders.

Beatrice has been quite a successful author but recently she’s found it more difficult. In a bid to put her career back on track she has got herself a new agent who suggests, quite strongly, she takes up crime fiction. Not a genre Beatrice feels altogether comfortable with. Then she discovers what Kerri is working on and starts a fictionalised version.

Mike just wants to get his big break. He’s working as a Mime artist just outside the National Gallery. There’s no doubt that it can be good money but it’s seasonal and unreliable. If truth were told Mike’s big break would probably have had happened long ago, if it was going to happen at all, but you never know! Then, after a disastrous try out, he lands a role that is made just for him.

Things seem to be ‘on the up’ for the three flat mates but then suspicions creep in and each starts to suspect one of the others is the murderer. Could it really be one of them?

Whoever the killer is, we are given some of the Paper Doll Killers thoughts as part of the story, they are a troubled soul and there is some graphic description in the book.  We are not privy to the direct police investigation as the book is written from the points of view of the flat mates and the killer. It’s perfectly clear whose POV is being read as the story moves along.

Emma Pullar has written a dark tale which takes us on a twisty road to discovery. When that discovery comes it is shocking and quite saddening. This book gives a perspective on a murder, or rather a murderer, that asks as many questions as it answers.

Blog Tour

With thanks to Heather at Bloodhound Books for the invite onto the Blog Tour and for an eCopy of The Paper Dolls by Emma Pullar. Like to see more? Then do take a look at what everyone’s saying…



Publisher: Bloodhound Books (28 Mar. 2019)

Buy: Currently a snip at 99p  Amazon UK Smile

BE583032-30C8-458C-8799-FAADCCC83624Author: Emma Pullar is an award-winning and bestselling writer of dark fiction and children’s books. Her picture book, Curly from Shirley, was a national bestseller and named best opening lines by NZ Post. Her second picture book, Kitty Stuck, was illustrated by her talented daughter who was just twelve-years-old at the time. Four of Emma’s short stories have been published. Her dystopian duology, Skeletal and Avian, are popular with fans of the genre and Emma’s crime debut is out March 2019. She also writes articles for Bang2write and dabbles in screenwriting. Find her on Twitter @EmmaStoryteller or Instagram @emmapullar_storyteller or

The American Agent – Maisie Dobbs Series (Book 15) by Jacqueline Whinspear

Out: 26 March 2019


Book blurb

When Catherine Saxon, an American correspondent reporting on the war in Europe, is found murdered at her London flat, news of her death is concealed by British authorities. Serving as a linchpin between Scotland Yard and the Secret Service, Robert MacFarlane pays a visit to Maisie Dobbs, seeking her help. They are joined by an agent from the US Department of Justice—Mark Scott, the American who helped Maisie get out of Hitler’s Munich in 1938. MacFarlane asks Maisie to work with Scott to uncover the truth about Saxon’s death.

As the Germans unleash the full terror of their blitzkrieg upon the British Isles, raining death and destruction from the skies, Maisie must balance the demands of solving this dangerous case with her need to protect Anna, the young evacuee she has grown to love and wants to adopt. Entangled in an investigation linked to the power of wartime propaganda and American political intrigue being played out in Britain, Maisie will face losing her dearest friend—and the possibility that she might be falling in love again.

My thoughts

I’m sure fans of Maisie Dobbs have eagerly awaited this new book in the series. She is, however, new to me but I found it quite easy to read as a stand-alone book. Mind you as I read I felt that it would certainly be interesting to read the previous books.

Jacqueline Winspear writes with the assuredness of the seasoned author she is, conjuring up London during the blitz right before your eyes and you are living it with the characters. And what characters! Maisie is wonderful and, of the time, I could see her as quite the role-model. Not only does she volunteer as ambulance crew in war torn London, has ties to the Secret Service, has what looks like a very interesting back story but she also has her own investigative agency and is currently applying to adopt Anna. So life is busy enough when an old friend, Robert MacFarlane, asks for her help with a murder investigation.

Catherine Saxon, an American citizen, has been found dead. Will Maisie work with the American representative Mark Scott to find out what happened? Maisie was reluctant to get involved until she heard who the dead person was – she had just met Catherine, a journalist, who was writing a piece on the Blitz. She had joined Maisie and her co-volunteer and great friend Priscilla shortly before her death. Maisie had felt a sort of bond with Catherine, liked her even after such a brief encounter and so felt she deserved the truth to come out.

Mark has another agenda whilst in London turning up as it suits him he seems far more interested in Maisie than the investigation. MacFarlane wants the investigation to be sorted as quickly as possible without any issues arising with regard to Anglo-American relations or with regard to the work of the Secret Service. Still they both help out here and there.

So Maisie and her agency colleagues carry on with the investigation – checking stories, chasing leads and putting all the clues together. Has Catherine been killed because of something she wrote? Is there a connection to her past? Maisie chases down every lead to find out what happened and catch the killer.

This well written and engaging ‘cosy’ mystery murder has you hooked from the start not only in the chase for the murderer but because of the indomitable Maisie Dobbs and the vivid evocation of wartime London.

The threads of the mystery are expertly drawn together, having kept you guessing until the very end, when the killer is revealed in a rather tragic conclusion.

I can certainly recommend The American Agent and look forward to checking out the rest of this series.

The BlogTour 

With many thanks to A&B for an eCopy of The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me onto this wonderful BlogTour. Do catch up with threat of the Tour:-





Hardback / Allison & Busby / 26 March ’19 / £19.99

Buy – AmazonUK Smile




2EDD2589-63BC-4292-A247-6DBB397FD586Jacqueline Winspear was born and raised in Kent and emigrated to the USA in 1990. She has written extensively for journals, newspapers and magazines, and has worked in book publishing on both sides of the Atlantic. The Maisie Dobbs series of crime novels is beloved by readers worldwide – always going into the New York Times top 10 on publication. Jacqueline will be available for interviews, events and written features.

More info at:


Jacqueline Winspear is the author of the New York Times best-sellers To Die but Once, In This Grave Hour, Journey to Munich, A Dangerous Place, Leaving Everything Most Loved, and Elegy for Eddie, as well as eight other best-selling Maisie Dobbs novels.

Her stand-alone novel, The Care and Management of Lies was also a New York Times bestseller, and a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

Winspear has won numerous prizes, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity Awards for the first book in the series, Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and was named a New York Times Notable Book.

Maisie Dobbs: Birds of a Feather; Pardonable Lies; Messenger of Truth; An Incomplete Revenge; Among the Mad; The Mapping of Love and Death; A Lesson in Secrets; Elegy for Eddie; Leaving Everything Most Loved; The Care and Management of Lies; A Dangerous Place; Journey to Munich; In This Grave Hour; To Die but Once.

Also out on 26 March: What Would Maisie Do?  – a collection of readers’ favorite passages from the Maisie Dobbs’ series, together with the story behind each passage, sections on locations featured in the books, and pages for journaling.


Fatal Harmony by Kate Rhodes

A heart-stopping serial killer thriller



Book blurb

Adrian Stone believes he is a genius. A narcissist, with a psychotic desire to pursue his ambition to become the world’s most revered pianist, Stone joined London’s Royal College of Music as a child prodigy, believing hispath to fame was secure. But when his parents decided to send him back to school, he slaughtered them and hisolder sister in their Richmond home, landing himself in Rampton’s high security unit.

Nine years later Stone escapes with two goals in mind: to kill those who denied his destiny and pursue his musical ambitions.

As bodies start to appear around London Dr Alice Quentin is brought in from the Met’s Forensic Psychology Unit. But when she realises her name is on Stone’s list of potential victims, the case becomes personal.

Working alongside her boyfriend, DI Don Burns, London’s most successful murder investigator, Alice must stop Stone to save her own life.

Alice realises that there is logic to the music left at each murder scene, and thinks she’s cracked the case, but little does she know what Stone has in store for his grand finale…

My thoughts

The first time I read anything from Kate Rhodes was when I read Hell Bay and have very much enjoyed all of that series so far. When I was sent some information from Heather at Bloodhound Books about Fatal Harmony it seemed quite fortuitous as I knew the author had written another series of books. This is the fifth in the series. I recently read the first one (and have others in the series awaiting my attention) and thought it would be interesting to see what was now happening in the world of Dr Alice Quentin. Well things have moved on! Alice is now Deputy Director of the Met’s Forensic Psychology Unit and very much a part of the investigation into finding Adrian Stone when he escapes custody, killing two officers and seriously injuring a third. A master of disguise he eludes the investigating team who are frantically searching seemingly always one step behind.

It was also good to catch up with some of the other characters her brother, Will, best friend, Lola, and Don Burns their situations have moved on quite some way from Crosbones Yard the first in the series, as you would expect, and reading Fatal Harmony certainly makes me want to go back and read the journey they have all taken since then.

Back to Fatal Harmony though, this is after all a blog blitz about Kate Rhodes latest book and newest in the Alice Quentin Series. As always in her writing the author has a great sense of place and this exudes throughout the book giving the reader not only terrific descriptive information of London but some absolutely fascinating detail of various music venues and places around the Capital all put to excellent use to link the story together. Kate Rhodes certainly knows how to write a captivating, heart-rendering and intricate story of a psychotic murderer out for revenge and to show the world what a great talent he is. The way in which Rhodes writes the main character, Alice, allowing her to be sympathetic without being too naive and still showing that she is human – even if it’s not easy for her to demonstrate it in her personal life – is quite a triumph; the way in which the author gets to the very heart of what she wants to say in a few words must be due to her initially being a poet cutting straight to the heart of the matter, allowing the reader to understand some quite complicated ideas, feelings and actions so incisively, so clearly without a jarring in the overall story of the chase to catch a killer who will not stop taking revenge until he is caught.

We are allowed into the thinking of Adrian as the story progresses, his desperate need to perform and be acknowledged as a great musician and his manipulative ability when it comes to vulnerable people who might further his cause in one way or another. It is easy to believe how people might well be drawn under the influence of such a man, the way in which he is able to find their weak spots and use them for his own betterment without a thought for them. He is smart, capable – having built up a deal of knowledge – and has  carefully planned what he wants to do.

We follow Alice as she brings disparate musical clues together as she hunts for Adrian in the only way she knows and, to some extent, against the flow of the main investigation taking place under Ron Burns and his wonderful team. The team are not only investigating but trying to protect those most likely targets for Adrian’s revenge such as his sister, Melissa, and not least Alice herself. As the body count rises and then a very prominent pianist goes missing time is of the essence. This is a truly gripping story.

Fatal Harmony is an excellent read, one which I would highly recommend. This can most certainly be read as a stand-alone but I am sure that you, like me, will want to go back and read the rest of what is obviously a first-class series. I also can’t wait to read the next in the series as much to find out what is going to happen with Alice, Ron and the rest of the team as for whatever fiendish crime story these terrific characters will have to deal with.

Blog Tour

With thanks to Heather at Bloodhound Books for the invite onto the Blog Tour and for an eCopy of Fatal Harmony by Kate Rhodes.

I would also like to thanks to Kate Rhodes, although I have never met her in person, our paths have crossed on Twitter. I have loved the Hell Bay Series and done a little to champion her books when possible. It was lovely to see that Kate has very kindly added my name to her list of acknowledgements in Fatal Harmony.

Like to see more? Then do take a look at what everyone’s saying…



Publisher: Bloodhound Books  (27 March 2019)

Fatal Harmony is currently an absolute snip at 99p

Buy:            Amazon


9CEF05DC-A85A-4687-9BC6-A06F770BC092Kate was born in London and tried many jobs before starting to write. She spent time as a cocktail waitress, a theatre usherette, and more recently as an English teacher before writing two prize-winning collections of poetry. Her crime novels have been translated into ten different languages, and have received high acclaim from the press. The Guardian described her books as ‘beautifully written and expertly plotted, a masterclass in crime fiction.’ Her Hell Bay series set in the Isles of Scilly has been optioned for TV.

Kate’s new crime novel, featuring forensic psychologist Alice Quentin, Fatal Harmony, will be published by Bloodhound Books in March 2019.

Other Books by Kate Rhodes

Hell Bay Series : Hell Bay, Ruin Beach, Burnt Island (Out 13 June 2019)

Dr Alice Quentin Series : Cross Bones Yard, A Killing of Angels, The Winter Foundlings, River of Souls, Blood Symmetry, Fatal Harmony

Poetry:                   Reversal ;  The Alice Trap


The Courier by Kjell Ola Dahl translated by Don Bartlett

The Courier sees one of Norway’s most critically- acclaimed authors at his best


Book blurb

In Oslo in 1942, Jewish courier Ester is betrayed, narrowly avoiding arrest by the Gestapo. In great haste, she escapes to Sweden whilst the rest of her family is deported to Auschwitz. In Stockholm, Ester meets the resistance hero, Gerhard Falkum, who has left his little daughter and fled both the Germans and allegations that he murdered his wife, Åse, Ester’s childhood best friend. A relationship develops between them, but ends abruptly when Falkum dies in a fire.
And yet, twenty-five years later, Falkum shows up in Oslo. He wants to reconnect with his daughter Turid. But where has he been, and what is the real reason for his return? Ester stumbles across information that forces her to look closely at her past, and to revisit her war-time training to stay alive…

My thoughts

Some years ago I was in Munich and decided to make the trip to Dachau concentration camp. I visited the main camp (there were many satellite camps which came under the control of Dachau) it was a moving experience not least because, though quite sanitised, it allowed me to feel something of the reality of these appalling places. I had travelled from Munich by train and walked from there to the camp – the very route that thousands of prisoners had been forced to march down many ultimately to die.  Nazi Germany not only went to war in 1939 it set out to implement their policy of mass murder of Jews and other persecuted groups, now known as the Holocaust or The Shoah, across Europe. This took place throughout occupied Europe and which had begun with the building of Dachau in 1933. Initially used for dissidents, political and religious prisoners then from 1934 Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, the disabled and increasingly Jews. It is believed that 243,000 people died there. There were many other camps across Nazi Europe such as Auschwitz (Poland), opened in 1940, were an estimated 1.1 million people died. Death as a result of extermination (gas chambers), execution, forced labour, starvation, disease and medical experimentation. It is difficult to contemplate such horrific atrocities. We should not forget.

The Courier 

Set in Norway The Courier gives the reader an insight into how Nazi policies impacted on the people of countries which it invaded and highlights, for many, a less well-known story of WWII. It is, perhaps, Major Vidkun Quisling (1887–1945), the Norwegian army officer and diplomat who ruled Norway on behalf of the German occupying forces (1940–45) that most may recognise because of the word quisling, that is: a traitor who collaborates with an enemy force occupying their country.

The book opens with Turid who, when reading her newspaper, sees an item up for auction – an item she believes is hers. Since the auction house refuses to discuss the matter Turid, a retired lawyer, asks an ex colleague to help. We are then transported back to 1942 when a man, Gerhard Falkhum escapes from Norway to Sweden. A member of the resistance Gerhard is accused of murdering his partner Ãse and abandoning his daughter. Did he? Or was this a tactic of the Nazis to discredit the resistance?

We are then moved back and forth between 1942, where we first encountered Gerhard, Ãse and Ester and 1967 where Gerhard calls on Sverre and the story of what happened in 1942 gradually unfolds. Is Gerhard out for some kind of revenge? Or, as he says, does he simply wish to reconnect with is daughter?

We learn Esters story, a character so well drawn it is easy to relate to her, she carries and distributes illegal newspapers around Oslo but the net is tightening around her, has she been betrayed? She must flee or risk capture. Safe in Sweden Ester worries about her family, she saw her father taken, the family business closed and her mother has fled from the family home to stay with her grandma as it and their possessions are taken – for no other reason than that they are Jewish. Will she ever see any of them again?

As events unfold Ester and Sverre become increasingly nervous. Ester believes Sverre is playing a dangerous game. Ester feels that she is in danger, she starts to carry a weapon. Sverres house is broken into, nothing was taken, so why, what is going on?  Gerhards hotel room is ransacked, he is taken in for questioning by the police! Are they all in danger or is one of them the perpetrator? Who killed Ãse? What really happened in 1942? Will the truth come out?

This is not simply an historical murder mystery thriller but a fascinating and thoughtful story brought to life through its three main characters.

Beginning in the present we move seamlessly between that, 1942, 1967 and finally back to the present with an ending that made me, somewhat ruefully, smile.

A moving account of an horrific period in modern history. Kjell ove Dahl brings to life a story which is remarkable, enthralling and captivating. His writing is a deft, well-plotted story, with characters who are so believable – although not all are likeable – and into which you are effortlessly drawn.


Blog Tour 

With huge thanks to Orenda Books for an e-copy of The Courier and many thanks to Anne from #RandomThingsTours for inviting me on this wonderful #BlogTour

Like to read more? Then why not enjoy the rest….



Published:         Orenda Books     (21 March 2019)

ISBN 9781912374434
EBook (21 January 2019)
ISBN 9781912374441


Buy:                    Amazon UK (Smile)          Waterstones

Further Information

Oslo Jewish Museum          Jewish Museum London     IWM (UK)       NMAJH (USA)       United States Holocaust Memorial Museum


06812BF4-C131-49F0-B00C-4891C91A4170One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.

Follow: @ko_dahl



DC6FB8A6-3F92-4002-A401-B02ABE8B5123Don Bartlett lives with his family in a village in Norfolk. He completed an MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia in 2000 and has since worked with a wide variety of Danish and Norwegian authors, including Jo Nesbø and Karl Ove Knausgård. He has previously translated The Consorts of Death and Cold Hearts in the Varg Veum series.




Freefall by Jessica Berry

Heart-stopping and addictive, FREEFALL is a stunning thriller that explores the deep and complex bond between mothers and daughters.



Book blurb

Surviving the plane crash is only the beginning for Allison.

The life that she’s built for herself – her perfect fiancé, their world of luxury – has disappeared in the blink of an eye. Now she must run, not only to escape the dark secrets in her past, but to outwit the man who is stalking her every move.

On the other side of the country, Allison’s mother is desperate for news of her daughter, who is missing, presumed dead. Maggie refuses to accept that she could have lost her only child and sets out to discover the truth.

Mother and daughter must fight – for survival and to find their way through a dark web of lies and back to one another, before it’s too late…

My thoughts

An enjoyable read which brings two threads to the reader that of the thriller – Allison is running from someone and that of her mother, Maggie, who cannot accept that her daughter, who has been estranged from her for some time, has died. She wants to find out what happened.

It opens well and you have a good sense of tension building as Allison, badly injured, makes her escape from the air crash and away from whoever she believes is after her. As she does this we begin to get some of the back story in regard to what happened to Allison to put her into this position.

We then have her mother, understandably grieving and yet not accepting of what has happened, she wants answers and goes on a mission to find out what has been happening to Allison. Who is this man to whom she was engaged and who has crashed and died in the accident? She has a bad feeling about him. What she finds out will not only lead her to the truth but into danger.

Maggies is frustrated with the crash investigation and those close to her the police chief and his wife are trying to get her to accept that Allison has died but she can’t. She has to have proof.

We also learn about why the mother and daughter became estranged and this shows us how not trusting and communicating with those who we love can lead to loosing them.

Will Allison survive? What will happen to Maggie? Everything builds to a final, twisted and devastating conclusion.

Whilst delivering an ultimately good read, for me, it had moments that rather than turn up the tension slightly grated – during Allisons escape. Other readers may not notice or, indeed, may feel it enhances their experience.

There are some good characterisations Maggie in particular is believably and well portrayed. It is a book that addresses a number of issues – assisted death, family dynamics, grieving and loss – which adds layers and depth to the story.

An enjoyable read which gives a somewhat different slant, to me at least, on the thriller/mystery genre.

With thanks to Vantage via NetGalley for an eCopy of Freefall by Jessica Barry. All thoughts are my own, I have not received any payment for the review of this book.


Publisher:               Vintage Digital  (28 Feb. 2019)

Buy:                          Amazon           Waterstones


Author:                 Jessica Barry is a pseudonym for an American author who has lived and worked in London with her husband and two cats, Roger and BoJack, for the past fifteen years. She spends much of her time reading, writing, running along the Thames and trying unsuccessfully to remove cat hair from the furniture.

Freefall, her debut thriller, has sold in more than seventeen territories around the world and has also secured a major Hollywood film deal.

Manchester Book Event: Orenda Roadshow 2019



It isn’t often that you have the opportunity to see so many wonderful authors at a one-off event outside London so it was quite something when fourteen – yes, fourteen! – are going to turn up practically on your doorstep!  Coming in from so many countries it allowed us to see the richness of literature across the UK, Europe and Iceland.

Here they are…..

The quality of my photo’s aren’t great, just a few snaps, but I hope they give a flavour of the evening!


Lilja Sigurdardottir (Snare, Trap)

E1F97803-A2ED-47AC-948C-CF5ABEBD2107I had seen Lilja, who hails from Iceland and most definitely is it’s ‘Princess of noir’, at Bloody Scotland last year but it was lovely to have an opportunity to chat and get her to sign a(nother) copy of Trap for me, even though I already have both Trap and Snare. Isn’t that a funky stamp 💀 and what a lovely lady Lilja is.  It’s just wonderful that the film rights for the series have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California.


Michael Malone (A Suitable Lie, House of Spines, After He Died)

901C4426-0DD6-4982-BCE0-E80AD4523A1DYou can’t see him – well maybe just a glimpse of his glasses if you look really closely in the picture above – but he’s definitely there! Michael comes from Scotland – he does all his own translations don’t you know (with thanks to Matt Wesolowski for the translation*) ha, ha! Here’s a glimpse of what he actually  looks like.

Will Carver (Good Samaritans)

Will’s reading, description and chat about The Good Samaritans had the audience chuckling, well guffawing, away and continued the wonderfully humorous and relaxed atmosphere.

90F9CD38-A628-4076-9594-01910242DB48Johana Gustawsson (Block 46, Keeper)

Just peeking in on the left Johana, who is French but now lives in London, was just lovely to chat to and kindly signed her book for me. Another of these terrific authors to have a TV adaptation currently underway in a French, Swedish and UK co-production.

Simone Buchholz (Blue Night, Beton Rouge)

Simone (sitting next to Johana) comes from Germany and writes the terrific Chastity Riley series. I was delighted to be able to tell her how much I enjoyed her book. Really folks do get yourselves a copy of one or other or maybe both.

Kjell Ola Dahl (Faithless, The Ice Swimmer, The Courier)

I’ll be on Kjell’s Blog Tour for The Courier so *no spoilers here* …. but really I’ve heard it’s…. No, you’ll just have to wait!

Antti Tuomainen (The Mine, The Man Who Died, Palm Beach Finland )

The recently published Palm Beach, Finland has been a massive critical success, with Marcel Berlins of The Times calling Antti  ‘the funniest writer in Europe’ and listening to his quips through the evening and his reading you can see why.

Thomas Enger (Cursed, Killed, Inborn)

It was fascinating to hear Thomas talk about writing a story which is for both YA and Adults. He is known for the best-selling Henning Juul series.

Louise Voss (The Old You)

Another lovely chat and book signing Louise (below on the left) has eleven published books to her name and it was a pleasure to meet her and get a copy of The Old You signed – this one’s for a gift.



Steph Broadribb (Deep Down Dead, Deep Blue Trouble, Deep Dirty Truth)

We heard how Steph, (seen here in the middle) known to many as the crimethrillergirl, actually trained as a bounty hunter over in the US in order to write authentically her main character Lori Anderson – now there’s commitment for you!



Helen FitzGerald (The Cry, Worst Case Scenario)2AEB573E-9083-445F-96E4-7060600DD90C

Many of you will know Helen (on the right in the photo above) from The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and was made into the much talked about 2018 BBC TV series. I was thrilled to attend the Bloody Scotland event last year and go to the packed out and fascinating  The Cry session. Helen, an Australian now living in Edinburgh, has a new book Worst Case Scenario out soon.


50AE1527-609E-47FE-921D-0FC28E7A3FDDLouise Beech (How To Be Brave, The Mountain in My Shoe, The Lion Tamer Who Lost, Call Me Star Girl)

Louise multi-talented – author, playwright and front-of-house theatre usher, what can I say? I have The Lion Tamer Who Lost (shortlisted for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019) on my TBR list and have heard only good things about it – I will get to it *soon*, honest!

Matt Wesolowski (Six Stories, Hydra, Changeling)

Can you describe a scary writer as endearing? Well if you can then Matt Wesolowski is the one. What an absolutely charming fellow he is! A sharp wit:

*Michael Malone (in a fairly strong Scottish accent) “I translate all my own work” quick as you like Matt (slowly, very pronounced) “Michael tran-s-lates aaaall his own work” Much appreciated by the audience and fellow authors, ha, ha!

He also has a unique way of reading (tap, tap; tap, tap) to conjure up the required atmosphere. I was so tempted to buy Changeling it sounds so good but maybe a bit too scary for me! Then again you never know.

Well there we are a lovely evening was had by all, well by me and several others that I chatted to. It was so good to finally meet Jill (@JillsBookCafe ) a fellow blogger whose blog is well worth a look.

David Ross (Welcome to the Heady Heights)

Sadly David was ill, hope he soon recovered, and could not attend.


Just a quick shout out, this was spoken about on the evening, to the tremendous folk who translated many of the above books – without you we in the UK would not be able to read those books and wouldn’t that be a great loss for us? This is also true of translation of the above books originally written in English into other languages.  Information about them can be found on Orenda’s site.




The evening was brought to Manchester by Karen and the team at Orenda Books with Waterstones (Manchester Deansgate) and a fine time it was, thanks folks.




Bitter Edge by Rachel Lynch

DI Kelly Porter is back, but so is an old foe and this time he won’t back down…


D I Kelly Porter Series Book 4

Book blurb

When a teenage girl flings herself off a cliff in pursuit of a gruesome death, DI Kelly Porter is left asking why. Ruled a suicide, there’s no official reason for Kelly to chase answers, but as several of her team’s cases converge on the girl’s school, a new, darker story emerges. One which will bring Kelly face-to-face with an old foe determined to take back what is rightfully his – no matter the cost.

Mired in her pursuit of justice for the growing list of victims, Kelly finds security in Johnny, her family and the father she has only just discovered. But just as she draws close to unearthing the dark truth at the heart of her investigation, a single moment on a cold winter’s night shatters the notion that anything in Kelly’s world can ever truly be safe.

My thoughts

The opening chapter of Bitter Edge will twist your insides out as you reach for the tissues! Rachel Lynch does not flinch at telling the reader of the darkest side of life. In this complex tale that covers suicide, drugs, murder, missing teenagers and child abduction we are once again in the glorious, but rather bleak side, of the Lake District.

D I Kelly Porter has a lot on her plate when a teenager lays serious accusations against a teacher and the death of another teenager is ruled as suicide. Kelly doesn’t want to let it go but there seems to be nothing more to say and her team must investigate what has happened with pupil and teacher but lies are being told. Then a teenager is reported missing and things get a whole lot worse and even more lies are being told. Can Kelly and her team get to the truth? The weather doesn’t help as the temperature drops and the snow falls.

On the personal side we have the progression of her relationship with Johnny, who now has his teenage daughter living with him, sister Nikki and the discovery of her parentage which her mum Wendy is also living with along with Wendy’s terminal illness.

The characters are well drawn and it’s good to get to know more about the team. Kelly is shown not only as the terrific detective that she is but is given the human touch through her thoughts, how she handles the people she comes across through her work and her relationships.

This wonderful series has brought us an absolute stunner of a fourth book. Rachel Lynch writes so well that you cannot help but be engrossed in it’s dark, twisty storyline. The subject matters, harrowing though they are and bringing such profound sadness with them, are so well written, handled so carefully and with such honesty you are compelled to read not just to find out ‘whodunnit’ but to find out if everyone truly gets what they deserve.

This book, indeed the series, is highly recommended so if you’re looking for a really good read you don’t need to look any further.

Blog Tour

With thanks to Ellie at Canelo for the Blog Tour invite and to Canelo via NetGalley for an eCopy of Bitter Edge. These are purely my own thoughts, for which I have received no payment.  Like to read more? Then take a look……



 Dark Game       Deep Fear       Dead End


Publisher:     56E15FF9-826E-4EEA-AF5F-602DF5C400A4         Canelo

Publication Date:                                     25 Feb 2019

ISBN:                                                          9781788632676

Buy:                                                                           Amazon UK (Smile)


F6AD47FB-2EC7-4C7D-B9AB-F490E1884BF2Rachel Lynch grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years. A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.

Rachel Lynch at Canelo           Twitter: ‎@r_lynchcrime

D I Porter Series – The books


Coming soon!


Buy: Bold Lies 27th May 2019