Review of ‘Front Page Murder’ by Joyce St. Anthony

Irene Ingram is now editor in chief of the Progress Herald. Her father has left to report on the war in the pacific, and her fiancé is in training somewhere, preparing to join the battles in Europe. She may be a great reporter and ready to take on the role, but it’s the early 1940s. Many of the residents in her small town don’t agree. A woman in a position of power is extremely unusual and not always welcomed. Irene is determined to prove them wrong and gets the chance to show her skills, when a sudden and unexplained death hits close to her. With anti-Semitic attacks springing up in the previously quiet and welcoming town, Irene and her friend Peggy begin to investigate. 

I liked the historical World War 2 time-frame. It was very well described and it felt so contemporary even though it was set in the 1940s. These characters felt real.  She managed to make the reader feel a part of the time too. It was a fantastic story and so believable. I really liked Irene . She was strong, daring and clever, and I want to read more of her stories.

This book gave a very different perspective. We found out about the women who stepped up and took on responsibilities outside the home. Through Irene’s eyes we saw the barriers they came up against. 

The mystery was well told and kept me gripped throughout. I loved it.

I was given this ARC to review .

Review of ‘The Scandal’ by Mari Hannah

‘The Scandal’ is a gripping story from the start, as a terrified woman flees for her life, frantically trying to evade her pursuer. I could feel her fear. But it is the investigation into another death that impacts DS Frankie Oliver and she finds herself in conflict with her boss, DI David Stone. The realism, be it of story, character or setting, really struck me.

Mari Hannah captures the emotions of her characters with such insight and precision. I appreciated that the police never lost sight of the victims and their families. I also can’t get enough of the North East as described in Ms Hannah’s novels. She moves from the beauty of the Northumberland countryside to the modern, vibrant city of Newcastle. This is the first of the Stone and Oliver series that I’ve read but I was so impressed that I’ll have to go and read the other two. An excellent read and highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review by Netgalley and Orion.

Review of ‘Rhythm and Clues’ by Sue Ann Jaffarian

Review of ‘Judgment of Murder’ by C S Challinor 

Rex Graves QC is asked to investigate the death of his old mentor Judge ‘Murder’ by the judge’s daughter, Phoebe. Connections from the judge’s old cases and an abduction on the news further complicate matters. I enjoyed this story and it was well plotted and tied up well. I liked Rex and found him an interesting character. He was clever, kind and determined to do whatever he could for Phoebe, to put her mind at rest. One gripe I have though, as a Scot, is the use of the words ‘aboot’ and ‘oot’ by Rex. As an educated and well off Edinburgh lawyer he would not use this way of speaking. Such people do not use slang phraseology and instead speak in an anglified manner. Morningside residents are among the poshest in the whole country!This is a good book and well worth reading . I plan to read some more of Rex’s works in the future .

I was given this ARC free by Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Review of ‘Murder in G Major’ by Alexia Gordon

Gethsemane Brown is an African-American musician who goes to an Irish school to teach after a job falls through. She stays in the old house of Eamon McCarthy who was a famous musician and composer and is supposed to have died in a murder- suicide with his wife Orla, an equally famous poet. Eamon’s ghost appears to her and begs her to prove that he did not kill his wife and that they were both murdered. This is a really wonderful book and an addictive reading experience. The mystery surrounding the deaths of Eamon and Orla draws Gethsemane into a well-plotted story that has so many twists and turns that you never know who to suspect next. The Irish village is so well described that I felt I knew it by the end of the book. The humour and craic of the inhabitants really add to the whole and I certainly want more of these books. Alexia Gordon leaves us wanting a sequel and I’ll be first in the queue to buy it! It would make a good tv/film adaptation so I hope to see it on the screen some day too.