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Jan 23, 2021

What's with the coffee cup?

Yes, the one to your right. I've set up an account on Buy Me A Coffee but not for the reasons you'd think.

I've seen friends who've dabbled with Patreon and frankly it looked like too much hard work. I'm hoping to build a small community of writers, friends and fans of the Nikki Doyle / Mary Mac books that doesn't just exist on FaceBook. Also BMC lets me set up things like zoom events and offer little extras like one to one chats. I'm used to doing those for online book groups. The main thing I like is that people can come, hang out, look at the BMC page and then they can choose to support me or not.

More book reviews coming soon (I've read more in the last month that I did in the last six of 2020, and oh boy are there some good books coming this year!)

After Shock, Judy Melinek, T. J. Mitchell

Forensic expert Jessie Teska gets hauled from her bed in the early hours to handle an accidental death on a building site, which turns into a suspected homicide, fast. The victim is high profile, as are the suspects and the investigation soon has high powered lawyers lining up to take on an insurance company who are dragging their feet on paying out on life insurance policies.

Jessie is juggling her new position and workload as Deputy ME with her fledgling relationship with lawyer Anup. Complicating things are a very pushy reporter, combative cops, her friend Sparkle's missing Uncle and the widow of the deceased- who may be crying crocodile tears.

What no one is prepared for - including the ME’s office - is a devastating earthquake. And the aftershocks from the quake will not just upend the state, they’ll put Jessie and those she cares about the most in danger. 

(This is the 2nd Jessie Teska mystery, start from the beginning with First Cut)

The Thursday Murder Club, Richard Osman

A retirement home is not where you would normally expect to find a quartet of crimefighters. Coopers Chase Retirement Village is one such place, except they are one member short. Elizabeth (who was something in security) recruits Joyce, a former nurse to join The Thursday Murder Club. Together with retired psychiatrist Ibramhim and former scourge of the unions Ron they pore over old cold cases provided by one time member Penny who is now in Meadowlands - a reminder that death stalks this place. 

Right now the case they're working on is hotter than one of Joyce's steak and kidney pies, a local murder, possible celebrity involvment and ties to a shady property deal that is set to oust some of the oldest residents sets off a chain of events even Elizabeth couldn't have foreseen. Aided by the local police in the shape of PC Donna De Freitas and her boss Chris and Bogdan, the builder who can fix anything, the four oldies set about exposing a murderer in this cross between Waiting for God and Murder She Wrote. Funny, poignant with some unexpectedly emotional jabs for such a fun book and a damn good mystery to boot.

Jan 12, 2021

Before The Ruins, Victoria Gosling

 Andy's childhood friend Peter is missing, the last time she saw him was weeks ago at a wedding in London where he wanted to talk about the past and she shut him down. Adult Andy has to turn to face that past,  jagged memories of her mother, the escape of hanging out at the old Wiltshire manor, the mysterious stranger and his story of the missing diamonds that as teenagers she and her friends tried and failed to find, and the tragedies that followed.

Could one of Andy's friends be behind Peter's disappearance? Do we ever really know what our friends are capable of?

Dec 3, 2020

Another Corona Virus update ... and some changes for 2021

We've had to close until the end of the week. A member of TKE's staff has been potentially exposed to Covid and until we know their test results it's self isolation time. Not the best time to get a booster shot that makes you shivery, mildly feverish and gives you muscle aches but I did and - apart from a still slightly painful arm - all is well on that front.

Hoping that people realize that Christmas this year is going to be just another day and getting stuff in in time for Christmas was problematic even before our covid imposed exile, supply chains being what they are at the moment.

The changes I'm talking about are my social media feeds. Time being a very precious commodity I don't want to waste it so the website is going away. It has been pretty much static since March and even before then the only updates to it were the uploaded videos from my YouTube channel, plus it is a complete faff to update. The blog gets updated fairly regularly and I can schedule uploads months in advance of their publication so that and the YouTube channel will be my focus next year.

French Widow, Mark Pryor

Hugo Marston is involved with two cases; in one he's assisting Lieutenant Lorens solve an art theft in which an American cititzen was attacked at an historic Paris chateau and the second has thrust him into the public eye in a way the Texan really isn't comfortable with and worse has exposed a security breach at the U.S. embassy that could put Hugo's career and reputation in jeopardy.

Hugo, concentrating on the aristocractic Lambourd family and their icy matriarch is narrowing down his list of suspects when some of the missing paintings are returned and his main suspect vanishes. What Hugo doesn't know is that he's been evaluated as a threat by a killer with no scruples and this killer like the rest of the Paris knows exactly where he lives.

N.B If you want to start Hugo's adventures in Paris from the beginning start with The Bookseller. There is also a prequel, The Button Man which is set in London when Hugo was in charge of embassy security in the U.K.


Lazarus, Lars Kepler

Joona Linna is about to return to his old life. Prison sentence complete, his daughter Lumi studying in Paris and his relationship with Valeria going well.

But then, the most terrifying opponent the Finnish detective has ever had to face strikes, seemingly from beyond the grave and everyone Joona cares about is at risk again and it’s not just Joona who could lose everything this time... 

N.B If you want to read this series from the beginning start with The Hypnotist