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.

Purchase Link: https://mybook.to/MrsMorphett

Review of ‘This Charming Man’ by C.K. McDonnell

‘This Charming Man’ by C.K. McDonnell is the second in The Stranger Times series. I haven’t read the first one, but got most of the jist pretty quickly. That said reading the first one will give a greater understanding of what on earth is going on from the get-go. 

The Stranger Times is a publication reporting on the very odd things happening around Greater Manchester and beyond. This weird group of characters involved in the paper work together in the most bizarre circumstances. Yet they manage to keep a sense of humour – well most of them do. When it appears vampires are on the loose in the city, wreaking havoc and leaving bodies in their wake, an investigation is demanded. What will they uncover – and can they really trust what they find?

It was funny, irreverent and just plain bonkers. But lots and lots of fun. This urban, supernatural fantasy kept me laughing. The author sees the bizarre in every situation and keeps the reader engaged until the end.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘The Last Conception’ – a movie directed by Gabriela Ledesma

‘The Last Conception’ is a feel-good multi-cultural romantic comedy directed by Gabriela Ledesma and written by Gabriel Constans. Savarna’s family want her to settle down and have a family – especially as she is the last in her ancient bloodline, and must produce a baby to prevent the line dying out . The only problem is, she is gay and hasn’t told her parents. How will her Indian family react when she brings girlfriend Charley to dinner? Will the idea of a female partner stop their desire to get Savarna married off and pregnant?

First of all I was impressed by the quality of the acting in this film. It could have been a Richard Curtis romcom. I especially enjoyed the performances of Lovelee Carroll as Chitra, Savarna’s sister, and Marshall Manesh as her dad. It was funny and poignant, and had a touching family dynamic that brightened up my day. The cinematography was lush and bright, adding to the happy tone of the script. And the upbeat Indian music score was a delight. I loved it and will be adding it to my ‘must-rewatch’ list of movies

Review of ‘Elemental Attraction’ by K Aten

‘Elemental Attraction’ by K Aten is the first in her new MythWorld Series. It’s a beautifully crafted tale of shapeshifters, mythical creatures and destiny. Ellys is a half-elven swordsman and a great one at that. She hires out her skills to help keep body and soul together for herself and her companion steed, Roccotari. When dragon shapeshifter, Aderri offers her more than the usual rate to help her get home for an important family ceremony she agrees. But the journey is fraught with danger and the threesome find themselves dealing with more than they bargained for. Add in the beginnings of an attraction that grows hotter as they near Aderri’s homeland. As each grapple with their own and others expectations, life becomes a whole lot more interesting. 

The world-building is superb in ‘Elemental Attraction’ and K Aten has once again hooked me with her imaginative storytelling. The mixture of different creatures is fantastic and seeing how they interact with each other made me laugh and sometimes shed a tear. Ellys is strong and fearless and loyal. She strives to achieve balance in everything she does. Her relationship with Roccotari is funny, sarcastic and joyful. They have an amazing bond and it is the most significant relationship for both of them. As they travel with Aderri we begin to see that love does not have to be static, and change can be embraced. I loved the banter between the three, but also the traditions, mythology and history that made them who they were. A great story.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘A Con Con’ by Anne Hagan

‘A Con Con’ by Anne Hagan is an excellent short story, showing her mastery of mystery. After arriving at the GCLS Convention, she is tired and just wants to freshen up before the activities all begin. But an intriguing mystery has her flummoxed – until she uses her innate skills to solve an interesting mystery. It’s a fun story, with lots of humour. I really enjoyed it and it shows just how much the author loves a good mystery.

I was given this ARC for review

Review of ‘Dead Lez Walking’ by G Benson

‘Dead Lez Walking’ is exciting, tense, funny and touching. When an outbreak of a mysterious virus hits Perth, the hospital Taren works in takes the brunt. As a lockdown is enforced, she and her colleagues must find a way to survive – or become victims themselves. This is no ordinary virus. As zombies wander the corridors looking for their next meal, surgeon Joy wakes to find her world turned upside down. One by one, the survivors find each other and with the help of some medical knowledge, sheer determination and more than a hint of gallows humour, they battle against the odds.

G Benson’s books are normally funny, romantic and exciting. And ‘Dead Lez Walking’ is all of those things – but with gore and light horror too. It was so well written that she had me believing this could really happen. She made it seem so real. That was down to great characters, snappy, witty dialogue and a story with pace. All throughout I could not help but think it would make a terrific film. 

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘The Man Who Died Twice’ by Richard Osman

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the second book in Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series, so I was delighted to receive an early review copy. I loved it even more than the first one. It was like coming home to old friends, as we joined Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron for another mystery and some fantastic adventures. When Elizabeth receives a letter from an old work colleague the Murder Club members become embroiled in a dangerous hunt for stolen diamonds, involving mobsters and the real possibility that the bodies will start piling up again. 

It was everything I hoped for and more. It was perfectly plotted, utilising the various talents of the group. Each and every character mattered in this story, because that’s how it’s solved. Not with one person, but with the combined strengths of each of them. Foolish is the person who underestimates these septuagenarians.

It made me smile and made me shed a little tear. We can only hope to have friends like Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron when we move to our own retirement villages. 

And even if I have only a fraction of the excitement they have, I’ll be happy.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead’ by Emily Austin

Emily Austin had me in stitches at Gilda’s predicaments one moment, then weeping the next. This insightful and poignant book is one I will never forget. As Gilda obsesses and overthinks her way through life, I could not help but feel her every emotion, be it dread, anxiety or fear. But it was her attempts to pass as a devout Catholic that had me roaring with laughter. This wonderful book took me into the mind of a woman struggling with her mental health and made me really feel everything she felt. A stunning debut.

I was given this ARC by LoveReading to review.

Review of ‘The Thing About Tilly’ by G Benson

Do you know how difficult it is to write a review with happy tears streaming down your face? Well, I found out today. ‘The Thing About Tilly’ by G Benson is hands-down my favourite book of the year. Tilly runs away – a lot. Throughout their friendship, Ellie has had to accept that she would. But she’s never known why. Finding herself unexpectedly pregnant, Ellie needs to be able to rely on her friends. She can rely on the third member of the triumvirate, Sean, but Tilly’s another matter. There are so many secrets between them, secrets that stop them living their lives to the full. Will they find a way to be honest, to say what needs to be said? 

I loved the relationship dynamics, the longing and the angst. There were so many layers and stories to be told and I couldn’t put it down. It was wonderful. G Benson certainly knows how to make her readers feel. It was heartbreaking at times, and joyful at others.  And being a G Benson novel, it was also very funny. The intensity of the emotions was breathtaking and so beautifully written. I adored ever last word. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Death Before Dessert’ by A.E. Radley

‘Death Before Dessert’ is a feel-good kind of book. You can’t fail to be drawn in by the setting, excellent plot and loveable characters. A cozy mystery set in a small English village, it features a new dynamic duo, Clara Harrington and her irrepressible aunt, Vanessa. Clara has left London after losing her job and home all in the one week. Her mystery writer aunt has offered her a place to stay and the chance to take stock. But one thing she didn’t expect was a murder in the country house next door – and an elderly relative determined to solve it before the police.

I loved Vanessa’s gleeful demeanour. She had a wicked sense of humour and loved a good real-life mystery. There was no way Clara was going to stop her investigating when her reviled next-door neighbour dies in the middle of a dinner party. Clara was sweet and kind and prone to blushing profusely when in the presence of a certain beautiful woman. The inter-generational element to the investigate partnership was a winner. A series with this pair is going to be wonderful and I can’t wait to read the next in the series. A.E. Radley has given us cozy mystery at its best. Highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review.

Amazon Links :

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Before-Dessert-Vanessa-Harrington/dp/1912684322/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Before-Dessert-Vanessa-Harrington-ebook/dp/B085B54PLV/