Devils Kitchen – Stephen Puleston

Book blurb:

“When two bodies are found sprawled at the bottom of the Devil’s Kitchen in the mountains of Snowdonia, it looks like a murders/suicide. But something doesn’t feel right to Detective Inspector Ian Drake and his gut instinct has never let him down before.

Drake suspects at least one of the deaths could be suspicious, but who would kill such an ordinary couple and why? This might be Drake’s first murder inquiry, but his years as a detective have taught him one thing – every murder has a motive, and every killer leaves a trace.”

My thoughts:

Coming into this not having listened to any previous stories, it was great to go back to the very beginning and find out how it all began for Drake.

There is something about stories set in Wales , the accent ,the scenery it just makes crimes seem that little bit grittier.

Drake for me is tenacious,like a puppy with a stick ,not prepared to leave anything unchecked to find the answer to the case, when everyone else is telling him to close it. I can see his tenacity only getting stronger.

I loved the descriptions of the scenes, the names of the towns, I can could never hope to pronounce but i really want to visit,

The supporting cast of characters were brilliantly written and complemented/annoyed drake in a believable way, Drake himself the well groomed, fussy cop, did he keep himself well groomed because he wanted to or was to hide deeper feelings, maybe more will be revealed in later books.

The voice behind this fine tale is Richard Elfyn and he does the story absolute justice, great pace and keeps things interesting the whole time.

Despite this book is only two hours twenty one minutes long, it holds nothing back from the very beginning to the end.

In all honesty I loved this, I loved the writing style, none of the characters annoyed me, if your looking for a new series to start, then definitely start this.

You can buy it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Devils-Kitchen-Inspector-Prequel-Novella-ebook/dp/B01DOB25I6/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539976466&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=devils+kitchen+stephen+puleston&dpPl=1&dpID=518s7N5OoPL&ref=plSrch

You can follow Stephen here: @stephenpuleston

How I lose you – Kate McNaughton

Book blurb:

“When Eva and Adam fall into bed one Friday night, tired and happy after drinks with friends, they have their whole lives ahead of them. But their story ends on page twelve.

That’s no reason to stop reading though, because How I Lose You is a story told backwards – and it’s all the more warm, tender and moving because we know it is going to be interrupted. It’s a story Eva thought she knew – but as you and she will discover, it’s not just the ending of the story that she got wrong.”

My thoughts :

It is my pleasure to welcome Kate McNaughton to my blog and her debut novel “How I lose you”.

Where do I begin, there was so much packed into this 11 hour story, I have so many thoughts, I will try and make sense of them for you all.

First of all this story doesn’t play out in the normal way of beginning, the middle and the end.

Instead this turns everything on it’s head and tells you events from a point in time somewhere near the middle and goes backwards, this was a brilliant piece of writing.

The two characters, Adam and Eva, seemed so real I have to remind myself this is just a fictional story. Eva I immediately could get behind, Adam at first I found whiney and annoying but he slowly grew on me.

The story jumped between present and past frequently but it was easy to follow and didn’t leave me lost. This book shows how you think you know family, till you find out the truth.

In the same way I really enjoyed the past/present moves I also found the descriptions of London and later Berlin where the majority of Eva’s story takes place.

And speaking of Berlin, brings me nicely onto the teller of this amazing tale, Jessica Ball I found her narrative mesmerising I could close my eyes and in my mind picture everything she was describing, also she did a very good German accent, look forward to hearing more from her.

An all round amazing listen and a fantastic debut, easily one of my favourites of 2018, can’t wait to see what is to follow.

You can find it here : https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B07B1HNRXQ/ref=tmm_aud_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1522042707&sr=8-1

You can follow her on Twitter here : @katemcnaughton

Ghostly Tales: An Audible Christmas Gift

ghostlytales

Book Blurb:

“The days are getting colder, the nights are getting longer, and as Christmas approaches the time is high for some ghostly tales. As an exclusive gift for Audible members, settle down, snuggle up and listen to four chilling ghost stories, read by Simon Callow. Four great stories, one master storyteller – what could be simpler than that?

Also featuring Sally Phillips, John Banks and Dan Starkey, this exclusive recording includes ‘Between the Lights’ by E.F. Benson, ‘A Strange Christmas Game’ by J.H. Riddell, ‘Was It an Illusion’ by Emelia B. Edwards and ‘The Signalman’ by Charles Dickens.”

My Thoughts:

With Christmas just round the corner, a wee review before the big day. This little early present had dropped into my email inbox, as it has been such a great year to be an audible member they wanted to share their happiness.

This delightfully scary collection expertly narrated by the great Simon Callow, is a great way to frighten your way into this years festivities.

Containing four very different tales of christmas terror, between ‘The Lights’, ‘A Strange Christmas Game’, ‘Was It An Illusion’ and finally, ‘The Signalman’.

As I said, not one of the stories is the same, each taking your imagination to a different time, place and people. The ghosts… some are obvious, but most leave you wondering “…was it really there?”. These are the type of stories I enjoy most, doubting your own eyes, mind and sanity, best way to occupy a dark wintry evening.

If you like a bit of a fright stepping into Christmas I thoroughly recommend this four story bundle.

So with that I wish all my followers a fantastic Christmas and New Year celebrations, and I look forward to discovering more brilliant audiobooks with you in 2018.

You can find more of Simon Callow’s work here:

https://www.audible.co.uk/search/ref=a_pd_Fictio_tseft?advsearchKeywords=simon+Callow&filterby=field-keywords&x=0&y=0

You can find it on Amazon here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghostly-Tales-Audible-Christmas-Gift/dp/B07879ZW74/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1513973874&sr=8-1&keywords=ghostly+tales+an+audible+christmas+gift

You can follow Simon on Twitter here: @SimonCallow

 

 

 

 

Roam – Erik Therme

roam

Book Blurb:

“When three lives intersect in an unsavory hotel with a bloody history, each will struggle to exorcise their personal demons, unaware that a bigger threat is looming . . . and waiting for the right moment to strike.

Like Joshua Gaylord and Daniel Kraus before him, author Erik Therme explores the angst of disconnected youth in his enthralling and powerful Roam. Therme’s darkly tinged novel is an unforgettable tale of three errant souls brutalized by life’s cruel circumstances, and a remarkable night of discovery and violence that will change them forever.”

My thoughts:

If you are looking for something different then I may have saved you a search, this is so different from my last Erik Therme review of ‘Rest Haven’.

It’s not the way I would want to spend my birthday as Sarah’s evening goes from bad to worse. But through an unlikely ‘knight in shining armour’ Sarah embarks on a night she will never forget for quite some time.

The other main characters in the story are Kevin who gifts the biggest act of kindness he ever has. Then there is Scotty, what is wrong with him? Even he doesn’t know. There are a few other minor characters who pad out the story nicely.

The teller of this tale is Joe Hempel another new name to me and tells the story well, a name to watch.

A brilliant mysterious book, that your really not sure what is going to happen but makes you want to keep listening to find out.

You can find it here:

Resthaven – Erik Therme

Book blurb:

“The last thing Kaylee wants to do is participate in a childish scavenger hunt–especially inside the abandoned retirement home on the edge of town. When she finds a bruised, deaf boy hiding inside one of the rooms, she vows to lead him to safety . . . only to discover the front doors are now padlocked, and her friends are nowhere to be found. Kaylee is about to learn that not everything that goes ‘bump in the night’ is imaginary, and sometimes there are worse things to fear than ghosts.”

my thoughts:

This book had been patiently waiting in my queue for a while, it kept slipping out of view, but the wait has not been in vain.
I cannot decide which category to put this into, is it teen, young adult or adult? It can cover so many bases its just that kind of book.

I personally love abandoned buildings , wandering around wishing the walls could talk and what secrets they would reveal, but for these five friends a simple scavenger hunt in a building they think is abandoned turns into a fight for their very lives.

So many times during the book, I could close my eyes and visualise the same surroundings the narrator was describing, which is something I love. To me, as I’m sure I have said before, it is the mark of a great writer and narrator that allows you to become immersed in the story.

Talking about the narrator a new name to me Rhandi Larson, I like her easy to follow reading style, keeps the tension nicely, wound to breaking point.

I’m glad I finally got to this one, it was a nerve shredding story of friendship, secrets and ultimately doing the right thing.

You can find it at:

A Looming of Vultures – Richard Storry

Book blurb:

“While an ugly war with its neighbouring realm continues to rage, the insulated members of Ruritania’s upper class laugh and dance their way through their superficial lives. Some people, increasingly disillusioned by the pointless conflict, start to consider how the King might be persuaded – or forced – to end it.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of items of great value are going missing from those attending these high society gatherings. At whom will the finger of suspicion point? Who can be trusted? With so many competing, yet intertwined, agendas, what will be the outcome of this looming of vultures? “

My thoughts:

Let your imagination run free through this brilliant story of fiction. I love how the characters interact with each other and if you want a tense, edge of your seat tale, then listen to this.

The land of Ruritania is laid out in vivid and colourful descriptions, showing both the good and bad sides, even the upper classes aren’t as safe as they think they are, even from their own kind.

The narration is brought to us by the gifted Jake Urry, who I’m convinced can turn his vocal talents to almost anything, even intriguing animal sounds.

A tale of thievery, deception, trust and friendship awaits you, and yes you’ll even meet a vulture.

You can find it here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=A+looming+of+vultures

Miss Seeton Quilts the Village – Hamilton Crane

quiltsthevillage

Book Blurb:

“Miss Seeton is back! A new original for this classic series of humorous cosy mysteries.

It’s practically a Royal Marriage! The highly eligible son of Miss Seeton’s old friends Sir George and Lady Colveden has wed the daughter of a French count.

Miss Seeton lends her talents to the village scheme to create a quilted ‘Bayeux Tapestry’ of local history, inspired by the wedding. But her intuitive sketches reveal a startlingly different perspective – involving buried Nazi secrets, and links to the mysterious death of a diplomat and to a South American dictator . . .

Serene amidst every kind of skulduggery, this eccentric English spinster steps in where Scotland Yard stumbles, armed with nothing more than her sketchpad and umbrella!

The first new mystery in this much-loved series for almost twenty years. Find out why the world can’t get enough of Miss Seeton!”

My review:

Like finding your favourite blanket or meeting your oldest friend after a long time, that’s how returning to the world of Miss Seeton felt when I got a copy of this.

I know it’s been 20 years since the intrepid Miss Seeton burst into my life in book one, and I know I started at the beginning and went to the end, but I promise to fill in the gaps with the other 20 in time, but onto this one.

The final peels of the wedding bells are fading and Miss Seeton has come back from a holiday in Scotland.

I love how the two books I have listened to the story is so easy to follow and get lost in. This story has an international feel about it, and like the tapestry the village is making this story has many strands. Amongst hidden Nazi gold, odd paintings, misconceived gossip and as always Miss Seeton is right in the middle of it whether she realises it or not. Throw in the mysterious death of a diplomat and of course Miss Seeton’s sketches once again make sense where Scotland Yard cannot.

Even though some time has passed we welcome back Phyllida Nash, who it feels like she has never been away and beautifully tells us this new story.

When I was first sent this I was a bit unsure as it has quite been a while, but I’m delighted to say it was all unfounded as it could have been yesterday, a welcome return for the cute little village and our favourite Miss Seeton.

You can find it here:

 

Wretchedness – Ambrose Ibsen 

wretchedness

“There is no hope.

A peculiar tablet unearthed in a Middle Eastern ossuary provokes madness in those who encounter it. One by one people come under the tablet’s sway and are subjected to horrific visions and dreams. In time, the tablet’s true purpose becomes clear: It is the harbinger of an eons-dead god whose reemergence will steep the world in terror and suffering. Having put the pieces together, two men race against the clock and attempt to disrupt the terrifying work of an ancient cult.”

My thoughts:

First thing I have to say about this book is if you are a visual person be prepared to get very uncomfortable very quickly, that’s not a bad thing, in fact it makes this book all the more special, for everyone else you will still get the impact.

I found myself at several points actually turning it off and putting something lighter and cheerier on because this story is no sunshine and lollipops, that’s why it took me so long to get to the end but glad to say I did keep going back to it.

Fear is a funny thing, it can manifest itself in many ways and in this book it was something truly horrific, I ‘enjoyed’ it and it terrified me in equal measure, not many books can do that.

If I find a stone tablet anywhere I am definitely going to leave it well alone after learning many lessons from this story.

I found the characters engaging and felt sorry for them at times, the narrator was the welsh terror Jake Urry, he did a fantastic job keeping the intensity dialed up to eleven! His descriptions of the people, places and things meant I could visualise everything.

It left me wanting to know more about the old lady, more about her past, how did she come across that tablet.

If you are looking for something with a dark side then this is the story for you, just don’t listen to it alone at night…

You can find it here:

Picture Miss Steeton – Heron Carvic

picturemissseeton

 

Book Blurb:

“When Miss Seeton walks out after a performance of Carmen and witnesses a real-life stabbing, all she can recall is a shadowy figure. But how could she have guessed that her latest artistic endeavor is a picture-perfect portrait of the killer?

Her sketch puts her in a perilous position, for back at her recently inherited cottage in Plummergen village, she’s fated to be a sitting duck . . . for murder most foul!

Meet Miss Emily D. Seeton: retired art teacher Miss Seeton steps in where Scotland Yard stumbles. Armed with only her sketch pad and umbrella, she is every inch an eccentric English spinster and the most lovable and unlikely master of detection.”

 

My review:

As cosy crime stories go, this one has hidden depth, it’s book one of a series of five.

The hero of this take the formidable yet loveable Miss Seeton, a retired spinster, a women anyone would love to have as their granny.

Miss Seeton and the whole surroundings is so quintessentially english, that’s part of the charm. I am pretty sure every little English town has their own Miss Seeton and so they should.

The narrator Phyllida Nash regails us with the adventures of Miss Seeton in a wonderful manner that is easy to listen to and follow.

Time after time Miss Seeton saves Scotland Yard from red faces, but as always they get their man, whether they realise it or not.

On the face of it, this looks like a retired art teacher, moving to a small village and causing all sorts of chaos, but go beyond that and you have a multi layered tale which is well worth more than one listen.

You can find it here:

Harvest Festival – Karl Drinkwater

 

 

 

harvestfestival

Book blurb:

“How Far Would You Go To Save Your Family?

First the birds went quiet.

Then the evening sky filled with strange clouds that trapped the heat below.

Now Callum wakes, dripping in sweat. Something has come to his isolated Welsh farm. If he’s going to keep his family alive during this single night when all hell breaks loose, he’ll have to think fast. And when he sees what he’s facing, he suspects even that may not be enough.

This blast of a book can be read in one nail-biting session.”

 

My review:

How much fear, action and horror can you fit into 2 hours and 5 minutes? If this book is anything to go by rather alot.

Callum an ordinary family man with a wife and 2 teenage kids, his life on his farm is about to be turned upside down.

I liked the fast pace of the story, it grabbed you by the scruff of the neck and dragged you right along till the end.

The descriptions of the narrator R J Alldred are detailed and terrifying, you do not want to meet one of these things on a dark night.

I really hope there is a sequel as I want to know more about the origin of the “things”.

If you want a scary, sci-fi, short story then I highly recommend this one.

You can find it here:

Death stalks Kettle Street – John Bowen

 

deathstalkskettlestreet_

Book blurb:

“Imagine your neighbours begin to die in a series of accidents. Only they aren’t accidents…

Someone is murdering Greg Unsworth’s neighbours and staging the deaths to look like accidents.

Greg knows the truth, but when he’s grappling with OCD and simply closing his front door and crossing the road are a battle, how is he supposed to stop a serial killer?

Meet Greg Unsworth, afflicted with OCD, who begins to realize a series of fatal accidents on his street are in fact a series of murders. After encountering Beth Grue at the scene of one such crime, the two share their suspicions. Beth, a local librarian, aspiring author, and a woman who has never allowed herself to be defined by her cerebral palsy, agrees they have to do something. So when the police repeatedly dismiss their concerns, they take matters into their own hands, seek to discover the Kettle Street killer’s identity and expose him before he claims his next victim…”

My review:

Well,  as my first venture into a cosy crime story I couldn’t have picked a better choice. The story was engaging and made me want to keep going back to finally find out who the killer was.

The two main characters Greg and Beth certainly put a whole new spin on crime solving, one with OCD and other with Cerebral Palsy together somewhat tentatively they come together and try and sort the whole mess out.

All the events throughout the story all look like simple accidents a wasp sting, an unfortunate end with a weight lifting bench and such like, all brilliantly portrayed.

The narrator Helen Clapp is very easy listening and she does a fantastic irish accent.

Through a writing class , Beth thinks she has it all worked out, the author/teacher Dermot O’Shay looks good for it due to various things.

Throw in a couple of red herrings, a number of brilliantly crafted clues and you have a wonderfully warm and well written story, I can see alot of research has gone into the two conditions that feature heavily throughout.

If you have never listened to a cosy crime story I would highly suggest this is where you start.

You can find a link to buy here: