Review of ‘The Body At Carnival Bridge’ by Michelle Salter

‘The Body At Carnival Bridge’ by Michelle Salter is a mystery set in the 1920s, and follows the life of journalist Iris Woodmore. After spending time abroad, Iris is back home and hoping to return to work on her old paper. Things have changed in Walden. Local businesswoman Constance Timpson has brought in equal pay for woman in her factories, and the right for married women to continue working. Not everyone is happy about this. When one of the workers is murdered, Iris starts investigating, and finds that many other women may be in danger, including Constance. Can she uncover the culprit before it is too late?

I love the strong women characters in Michelle Salter’s stories. Not just Iris. She writes them well, and ties their lives in with historical events of the time. Iris is a force of nature and has no intention of staying in her ‘place’, as dictated by the mores of the time.

This book dealt with real issues of the time. Issues that women were faced with every day. They were woven cleverly into a wonderful mystery. I loved it.

I was given this ARC for review

Review of ‘The Sequinned Cape Murders’ by Millie Ravensworth

‘The Sequinned Cape’ by Millie Ravensworth is the third in the series and this time Penny and Izzy find themselves solving a murder much closer to home – their bathroom to be exact. When a woman’s body is found sitting on their toilet the pair must find out how on earth she got into their locked premises in the first place. And find how she ended up dead on the loo. Meanwhile making fancy dress costumes for Nanna’s upcoming 80th birthday keeps their minds off the tragedy for a while. As they investigate they rush to uncover the truth before anyone else dies.

The story was well written and a joy to read. It was funny and light-hearted in all the right places, with the cosy mystery feel I’ve come to expect. 

I found it a happy read. It was a lovely way to while away a few hours, in the knowledge that everything always works out in the end. I love the dress-making and crafting theme. Having had no knowledge or interest in dressmaking in the past, I find myself intrigued by it now. I love following the process Penny and Izzy go through in creating a masterpiece. This time it’s an Elvis cape and jumpsuit. 

This series is fast becoming a big favourite of mine.

I was given this Arc to review.

Review of ‘The Lumberjills’ by M W Arnold

I’m delighted to be a part of the Blog Tour for ‘The Lumberjills’ by M W Arnold. Stories about the experiences of real people fascinate me, and I learned so much from this novel. I did not know women worked in the forestry service then.

‘The Lumberjills’ is a heartwarming story set during the Second World War. A group of dedicated women join the forestry service in North Yorkshire in 1942, determined to help the war effort. It’s a hard job and one that brings its own dangers. The horrors of war are brought home to them every day, and they will need friendship to get through. 

There’s a camaraderie between the women, and this is so important to their ability to carry on. There’s a genuine feeling of the time and place in history that works so well in this story. MW Arnold shows the pain and unexpected consequences of war. 

There is a strong sense of community and family, and how vital these are when you never know what will happen next. Or when you’ll see someone again.

I enjoyed reading their story and look forward to more from this author. I was given this ARC for review. 

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My Top 10 Books of 2022

This has been a wonderful year for books. I have read so many great stories and have found it so difficult to choose my Top 10 for 2022. But after much deliberation, I have managed to whittle them down.

These are my Top 10 books of 2022:

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett

The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

A Song of Winter by Andrew James Greig

Elizabeth of York by Alison Weir

Just A Touch Away by Jae

It Started With a Kiss by Clare Lydon

In Place of Fear by Catriona McPherson

Vision of Virtue by Brey Willows

Legacy in the Blood by Catherine Maoirisi

Cover Reveal for ‘The Venice Secret’ by Anita Chapman

I’m excited to be involved in the Cover Reveal day for ‘The Venice Secret’ by Anita Chapman. Due out on 7th March, this is the debut novel from Anita. It sounds amazing and I can’t wait to read it.

One hidden painting. Two women born centuries apart. A secret uncovered.

In 2019, Rachel is stuck in a rut when she discovers what appears to be a Canaletto painting in her grandmother’s loft along with a note addressed to Philippa in 1782. With help from Jake at the local art gallery, Rachel endeavours to find out if the painting is an original and uncovers a secret from the past.

In 1780, governess at Chipford Hall, Philippa is offered the role of mistress by Earl Rupert. She escapes to Venice as companion to bluestocking, Lady Cordelia who reveals a secret that changes both their lives. They do their best to keep the secret from Lady Cordelia’s social circle, but their nemesis is determined to reveal all and ruin them.

Pre-order Link:

Publication Date: 7th March 2023

Anita Chapman enjoyed writing stories from a young age, and won a local writing competition when she was nine years old. Encouraged by this, she typed up a series of stories about a mouse on her mum’s typewriter and sent them to Ladybird. She received a polite rejection letter, her first.

Many of Anita’s summers growing up were spent with her family driving to Italy, and she went on to study French and Italian at university. As part of her degree, Anita lived in Siena for several months where she studied and au paired, and she spent a lot of time travelling around Italy in her twenties.

Anita likes to read journals and diaries from the past, and one of her favourite pastimes is visiting art galleries and country houses. Her first published novel, The Venice Secret is inspired by her mother taking her to see the Canalettos at The National Gallery in London as a child.

Since 2015, Anita has worked as a social media manager, training authors on social media, and helping to promote their books. She’s run several courses in London and York, and has worked as a tutor at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult Community College.

I’ve joined Mastodon

Join me at Mastodon!

I love keeping in touch with readers and writers and those who adore books as much as I do.

Twitter is one of the places I connect with others, and where I share my reviews and news about my own books. But as it appears to be on shaky ground these days, I’ve felt the need to set up an account elsewhere too. Just incase.

You can find me on Mastodon now and this is the information you need if you’d like to connect with me there:

Review of ‘The Empire’ by Michael Ball

It’s 1922 and Jack Treadwell Finds himself entranced by the glamorous world of the theatre. On the surface all is well, but tensions and secrets lie beneath the glitz of The Empire. Getting a job there is the dream he didn’t realise he had. Beautiful stars and behind the scenes rivalries draw him in and he finds himself with a chance of a great future – and the love of a wonderful woman. 

Michael Ball sets the scene well. His writing is cinematic and I can easily  imagine the story being filmed. I found the whole world of the theatre enthralling. I was interested in what went on in putting on a show. 

It was a good story with interesting characters, and had a very different setting – one that I hadn’t read before. I loved the characters, especially Jack, Grace, Lillian and Agnes . There was a charming camaraderie and ultimately a feel good factor. I loved it .

I was given this ARC for review.

Sapphic Sizzle – feel the heat!

If you like your romance with an injection of heat, then the erotic romance anthology ‘Sapphic Sizzle’ is exactly what you need.

My story ‘My Edinburgh Awakening’ is part of this new anthology. I was delighted to be involved with some amazing authors in bringing this collection to you.

Join Anne Hagan, Johana Gavez, Kim Hartfield, Adrian J. Smith, Elle Armstrong, LL Shelton, Raven J. Spencer, KC Luck, and Alyson Tong in this scorching anthology.

Buy here:

Review of ‘A Body On The Beach’ by Dee MacDonald

‘A Body On The Beach’ by Dee MacDonald is book 5 in her Kate Palmer Mystery Series. This is the second one I’ve read and I’m quickly becoming a big fan. 

The whole village looks forward to the Tinworthy summer fete, but this year it turns out to be a lot more interesting and deadly. When a body is found on the beach, Kate is the first on the scene, and due to an earlier spat with the victim, becomes prime suspect. She’s not the only one in the frame though. Sienna Stone was a singularly unpleasant individual, and the list of those who could have killed her grows and grows. But Kate is determined to get her own name removed from that list, and with her new husband Woody, takes on the mantle of amateur detective once again.

Dee MacDonald writes delightful cosy mysteries, with wonderfully picturesque settings. This book is no exception. Her characters feel like people we all know, and the scenarios extremely believable. Kate is a caring and inquisitive person, with an understanding of how people tick. She can also be reckless and puts herself in some very dangerous situations. Her relationship with Woody is ideal, as he is the sensible and measured foil to her more elaborate plans. ‘Body On The Beach’ is a very good story, with plenty of twists and turns – and the odd red herring to spice things up. I really enjoyed it.

I was given this Arc to review.  

Review of ‘Mrs Morphett’s Macaroons’ by Patsy Trench

I was delighted to be asked to be a part of the Blog Tour for ‘Mrs Morphett’s Macaroons’ by Patsy Trench. Having spent over twenty years working in the theatre and television as an actress, Patsy now spends her times writing, fiction, non-fiction and also scripts for The Children’s Musical Theatre of London. ‘Mrs Morphett’s Macaroons’ is the fourth in her ‘Modern Women:Entertaining Edwardians’ series, and is set in the world she knows and loves best.

‘Mrs Morphett’s Macaroons’ is a funny, light and gentle story set in Edwardian London. Violet Graham finds herself producing a new play by Robbie Robinson, the man who would give anything to be her beau. As the pair try to pull all the strings together, we are given an insight into exactly what it takes to stage a show. First of all they need backers to put the money up. Then there’s the problem of who to cast, and a theatre to hire. The subject matter of the suffragette movement isn’t to everyone’s taste either.

I found this story delightful. It was humorous, had engaging characters and managed to deal with a serious subject in a different way. I loved the historical truths mixed in with the story of how to get a message across in the play without alienating the audience. I enjoyed following Violet as she became more confident in her role. Society wasn’t quite ready for women in positions of power. Neither were they ready for women to get the vote – until they were. This book was just the tonic I needed.

I was given this ARC for review.

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