Cover Reveal – ‘Mrs Sidhu’s Dead and Scone’ by Suk Pannu

Cover Reveal Day for ‘Mrs Sidhu’s Dead and Scone by Suk Pannu.

To be released on 12th October 2023 from Harper Collins Publishers.

“The new 2023 cosy culinary crime thriller for fans of Suk Pannu, creator of Mrs Sidhu Investigates and writer for Goodness, Gracious, Me and five series of the Emmy Award winning Kumars at No. 42

Mrs. Sidhu – unofficial Aunty to everyone, caterer, and amateur sleuth from Slough – spices up the lives of Berkshire’s elite with both her mouth-watering dishes and her sharp detective skills. But when she stirs up trouble among the rich and ruthless, she finds herself an outsider in her own community.

Banished to the kitchen by her boss and sentenced to an endless loop of aubergine bhajis, Mrs. Sidhu seizes the opportunity to whip up a new recipe for success – getting a job as a private chef at an exclusive celebrity rehab retreat. But when a therapist is found dead in the quiet village, Mrs Sidhu’s appetite for mystery is rekindled.

As the plot thickens, it becomes clear that the killer is picking victims through a twisted raffle at the village fete. Is a vengeful spirit returning to exact a horrifying revenge, or is there an impostor among the residents hiding a deadly secret?”

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Review of ‘Mystery at Farfield Castle’ by Clare Chase

‘Mystery at Farfield Castle’ by Clare Chase is an Eve Mallow mystery and is set in the beautiful Suffolk countryside. Eve attends a champagne reception for the opening of the castle as a writers’ retreat. Novelist Julian Fisher and his wife Kitty, along with her brother, plan to make a success of the venture, but not everyone is happy. When Kitty is found dead that night, Eve becomes involved in the investigation  –  if only to prevent the local police making a mess of it. She soon discovers that there are a few people with reason to kill Kitty. But as she delves deeper, danger comes closer, and Eve must find the killer before anyone else is hurt. 

I like Eve. I’ve read a few in this series and have enjoyed them all. This is no exception. Eve is a good friend, kind and thoughtful. It helps her in her work writing obituaries, as well as in her investigative endeavours. She’s sensible and not easily flummoxed. She’s also curious and observant. That makes for a great amateur detective. She’s also empathetic and able to read people well. 

I loved being in the Suffolk countryside again and appreciate Clare Chase’s wonderfully descriptive writing about the area. She has a knack of getting inside the heads of her characters, and therefore draws the reader in.

I enjoyed the story immensely and look forward to more in the same vein.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘The Swan Dress Murders’ by Millie Ravensworth

‘The Swan Dress Murders’ by Millie Ravensworth is the fourth in the Cozy Craft Mystery Series. In this story Penny and Izzy are invited to the wedding of an old school friend, but when the wedding cake maker is found dead they must investigate lest suspicion fall on one of their group.

They’ve also been tasked with making a spectacular dress for one of the guests. Penny has a difficult decision to make regarding her plus one. After a year of procrastination, can she finally decide which of her two potential beau’s to ask?

I feel I’ve got to know the characters well by now and enjoy spending a few hours with them trying to solve a crime. That’s the strength of such a well written series – it keeps me coming back for more. 

Millie Ravensworth has perfected the art of combining mystery with humour and character development. There are some very funny moments, as well as some so very touching and heartfelt. 

We get to delve into the characters’ past this time, as well as see them deal with present day relationships. As they investigate their old schoolfriend’s murder, we find out more about Penny and Izzy. The act of dressmaking allows them time to think and it is often from the most incongruous snippet of information gleaned while sewing that they find a solution. I loved it.

I was given this Arc to 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 Painted Lobster Murders’ by Millie Ravensworth

‘The Painted Lobster Murders’ by Millie Ravensworth was an absolute joy to read. This is the second book I’ve read in the Cozy Craft Mystery series, and I’ve become addicted.

 Set in the Suffolk village of Framlingham, the series revolves around cousins Penny and Izzy, who run the local craft shop.   A houseguest of their customer, Fliss, is found dead just before a Classic Car weekend in the village.  As the pair have been in the vicinity organising their dress-making commission they must discover the culprit before a rival dressmaker puts suspicion on them. With the help of local painter and decorator Aubrey – and a cute little corgi they’ve acquired – Penny and Izzy investigate. Can they solve the puzzle before anyone else is hurt?

I love how Penny and Izzy work as a team, bringing their own individual talents to the investigation. Their method are different, but combined it really works. I’m getting to know the local characters and enjoy it when they pop up again. Aubrey is a particular favourite – as is Nana Lem. The addition of a four-legged friend really adds to the cosy feeling.

The humour in ‘The Painted Lobster Murders’ is endearing and very British. The story is engaging and funny, with a great mystery at its heart . It is perfect escapism, and one of those books that calms the mind and lets the reader slip into a happy, cosy state as they read. Once I started reading, I whizzed through it as I did not want to put it down. Highly recommended. 

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘The Wonderland Murders’ by Millie Ravensworth

‘The Wonderland Murders’ is book 1 in the Cozy Craft Mystery series by Millie Ravensworth. It is the funny, heartwarming and enthralling story of Penny Slipper and her cousin Izzy. Penny moves back to rural Suffolk when her grandmother ends up in hospital, and needs someone to run her craft shop while she recovers. If Penny was hoping for a quiet time in a sedate setting, she’s in for a big surprise. After less than a day in town, the local librarian is poisoned, and Penny fears she might be somehow responsible. To find out the truth, Penny and her scatter-brained cousin Izzy get on the case. Can they find the killer before it is too late? 

I adored the setting of this novel. Rural Suffolk doesn’t get enough attention and it should. The picture perfect villages and friendly people are shown off to great effect by Millie Ravensworth. Penny quickly settles into the slower pace of life – she just wasn’t expecting murder on her doorstep. 

I loved finding out about Penny’s journey as a fledgling dressmaker. It was funny and charming. 

The mystery was beautifully written and was a lovely, gentle read. Humour shone through every page, and as soon as I finished I was desperate for more of the same. 

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Murder at Waldenmere Lake’ by Michelle Salter

‘Murder At Waldenmere Lake’ by Michelle Salter is a cosy mystery set in England in the 1920s. Iris Woodmore is a journalist on the local newspaper, the Walden Herald, and has become involved in the fight to save Waldenmere Lake from development. The army has been using the area since the war and would like to build a convalescent home on the grounds. The local council wants to keep it as it is for the people, but a powerful railway company has plans that would ruin it as a nature reserve forever. General Cheverton lives on the land in an old mansion and plans to stay put. When he is murdered, Iris investigates.  Who stands to gain from his death? Can she find out who killed him before anyone else is hurt?

Iris was a formidable character. She held down an important job at a time when young women were expected to get married and leave to workforce. Their contributions during get war were not given the credit they deserved, and they were expected to make way for the men returning from the front. Iris defied all expectations. 

As Iris delves deeper into the goings on at Waldenmere, it becomes apparent that people having been hiding things, and agendas were not always what they seemed. Who can she trust? I enjoyed the mystery just as much as following the life of a young woman in the early 20th Century. Iris’s status in life at that time impacted on her ability to access the people and places she needed to.

The story was well written and cleverly thought-out. It had many strands, all of which were beautifully brought together at the end. I like Iris and am keen to follow her investigations in the future. 

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘The Morelville Cozies Collection: Books 1-3’ by Anne Hagan

As a huge fan of Anne Hagan’s mystery series set in Morelville, I was thrilled to find she had written a series of cozy mysteries featuring Mel and Dana’s mothers. Chloe Rossi and Faye Crane are the perfect senior sleuths we’ve all been waiting for. 

This collection comprises of books 1-3 in the series. In The Passed Prop, Opera House Ops and the Conjuring Comedienne, we find out just how clever the pair are. I love seeing the pair solve mysteries in their own inimitable way. A wonderful way to pass a few hours.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘A Christmas Candy Killing’ by Christina Romeril

This is the first book I’ve read by Christina Romeril and it won’t be the last. I enjoyed her writing style and her perceptive eye on village life and the secrets held within. 

The Sleuth Book Club holds meetings at Murder and Mayhem: Killer Chocolates and Bookshop, run by Alex and her twin sister, Hanna. When elderly club member Jane hints to Alex that there may be a killer hiding in their village, Alex isn’t sure what to believe. Jane is an aficionado of true crime TV and it won’t be the first time she’s accused a neighbour. When death enters their lives, Alex has to take it seriously- especially as she’s one of the prime suspects. 

This was a well written story, with interesting characters. I enjoyed it.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Mystery At Southwood School’ by Clare Chase

‘Mystery At Southwood School’ is the ninth Eve Mallow mystery by Clare Chase. Eve is at the school helping her friend Viv provide catering to ‘The Coven’ who run the school. Founders Day is upon them, and ex-pupil and celebrity, Natalie Somerson, is to be the Founders Day Champion. Much to the chagrin of certain members of staff. Professional gossip-monger, Natalie made many enemies whilst a pupil and since. When her speech hints at a secret lover affair from the past, little does she know the trouble she has stirred up. The discovery of her body the next morning puts suspicion on Eve’s boyfriend Robin, compelling her to find out who really had a motive to kill Natalie. Will she find out in time? Or has her investigation put her in danger?

This is the second book I’ve read in this series and I am becoming increasingly fond of Eve and her friends. Eve is kind, loyal and determined. She’s exactly the type of friend you want on your side. I think a lot can be said about writing characters your readers will connect with. The author has done this with Eve Mallow. She’s easy to like.

I loved that the story was based in a boarding school. It took me back to my days of reading Mallory Towers and the like. A mystery in a closed setting works so well, and this is no exception. I was hooked.

I was given this ARC for review.