BOOKS BY STEWART GILES – Blog 4 of 4 #crimefiction #policeprocedural #detective

Today is the last of my Stewart Giles Books Blog and we are looking at the DC Harriet Taylor series. There are currently 3 books in this series The Beekeeper, The Perfect Murder and The Backpacker. This series is different to the DS Smith series as it has a little black humour interwoven into the stories. I love these books as much as the others. For a short period you can get each of these books for £0.99 GBP / $1.28 USD / $1.79 AUD / $1.66 CDN so grab yourself a bargain and start reading.

The Beekeeper (DC Harriet Taylor #1)

Available from Amazon UK   US   AU   CA

A shocking discovery starts a trail of mayhem on the Cornish coast.

Alice Green is a beekeeper in the small Cornish village of Polgarrow. She lives with her pet jackdaw in a beautiful cottage not far from the sea. One evening, Alice finds something strange under the hollyhock bush in her garden. The gruesome discovery will change everyone’s lives. And then Alice’s best friend Milly disappears . . .

Detective Harriet Taylor has just transferred to the area from Edinburgh. As she investigates a series of shocking crimes, she grows close to the old beekeeper and is determined to bring the criminals to justice. But who is really what they seem and who can she trust?

A crime mystery with a touch of black humour. You’ll enjoy this fast-paced and dark unearthing of the secrets of a sleepy Cornish village.

My Review

This is a brilliant book. The Author takes what should be gory and makes it amusing with an enormous amount of skill and the result is a gripping book that has the reader turning page after page.

This is possibly the funniest thriller I have ever read. Stewart has a dark sense of humour that comes through in the book which brings a totally unique perspective to the story. I found it very intriguing. I suspected who the killer was at the beginning but what you have learned from reading thrillers over the years is ingrained into you and you find yourself denying what is actually staring you in the face. The characters are unique but develop well throughout the book and the story is also different I was very impressed.

I love Alice’s character, she is a lot of fun. An eccentric old lady who has had a rough life with a philandering husband who had a habit of disappearing for long periods with his latest fling. He eventually left 10 years ago and hasn’t returned. She makes a living from the honey produced by her beekeeping. She has a Jackdaw that she rescued who is her main companion and a friend Millie. Millie is widowed and a fragile person who is dominated by Alice.

Detective Harriet Taylor has also had a difficult life. Her husband was killed in a car crash with his lover also in the car. She became the laughing stock of the Police Force in Edinburgh so transferred to Polgarrow, a quiet town in Cornwall. She is picking up the pieces of her life and has a good relationship with her boss, Killion, when half a body is caught up in the nets of a fishing boat. Shortly afterwards Millie goes missing and her car is found at the bottom of the cliffs. When a house explodes the decision is made to bring in a crack team from Exeter. When Harriet is chosen to be part of this team she finds herself, again, the talking stock of the station. The similarity in their history forms a connection between Alice and Harriet.

The Perfect Murder (DC Harriet Taylor #2)

Available from Amazon UK   US   AU   CA


Two cats are found mutilated in the same town. Detective Harriet Taylor is reluctant to investigate, but then one of their owners is killed a bizarre way that same day.

Harriet and the team step in. The dead woman has four words written on her neck — four very ambiguous words.

Then another body turns up with the same words written on it. Harriet fears the worst — a serial killer is on the loose in the small Cornish town of Trotterdown.

Can Harriet stop the murders and work out the connection to the local writing group who, conveniently enough, have been set the task of writing stories on the theme of “the perfect murder”?

A crime mystery with a touch of black humour. You’ll enjoy this fast-paced and dark unearthing of the secrets of a sleepy Cornish community.

My Review

I have been looking forward to meeting Harriet Taylor again, after reading The Beekeeper, and I wasn’t disappointed.

This is a fast paced story with dead end’s and curve ball’s a many as we join the team in a race to uncover the murderer before any more people die.  Stewart has brilliantly created a murderer that turns on its head everything you thought you knew about the profile of a serial killer.  Excellent read.

The story begins with the death of 2 cats and from that point I was hooked and just kept turning the pages.  This is a very unique story which keeps the intrigue building throughout the book.  There are many twists and turns with the ending being a real shocker.

I love Harriet.  She is a very compassionate person who sees a lot of good in people and this makes her an excellent detective.  She is backed by a team who all work together excellently.  We get to know them a little more in this book as their characters develop and we learn about their private lives.  All are realistic characters with depth.

As I have come to expect from Stewart there are quirks in the story that bring a touch of humour (he has also worked in a little romance)  This is a brilliant read and I am looking forward to more.


The Backpacker (DC Harriet Taylor #3)

Available from Amazon UK   US   AU   CA


A girl’s body is found hidden in a remote spot of a Cornish Farm. The same farm that a young girl ran towards to escape her pursuer many years before. Detective Harriet Taylor has to abandon her day out to investigate.
As the forensics team get to work they uncover another mystery hidden among the rocks.
Who would kill a young backpacker? Is there a link between this and a mystery from many years ago?
As Harriet and the team get to work they find more questions than answers. What secrets is the sleepy Cornish village hiding?

This is a fast-paced page-turner that has so many twists and turns it keeps the reader guessing right up to the shocking end.

My Review

This is book 3 in the Detective Harriet Taylor series but it works excellently as stand-alone

My first introduction to Stewart Giles was The Beekeeper which is book 1 in this series and will always hold a special place in my heart.  Obviously a lot of other people loved it because it has hit #1 in Australia twice.  The Perfect Murder was also of the same calibre so I was looking forward to reading this new release.

Harriet moved to Cornwall to escape the gossips when her philandering husband was killed in a crash with his lover.  I am pleased to see her getting over that and moving on with her life. Her character is developing well. She is forming a healthy friendship with John Finch and they both have a passion for boats.  The first chapter gives us an insight into the boating world but reality returns when a body is found.

This is an intriguing story with 2 strands.  2 bodies a couple of decades apart in the same place in the remote countryside of Landell’s farm. The same farm a girl ran towards escaping a pursuer many years before.  What is the connection between the 2 cases?  Is there one?

I loved this story I found myself thinking ‘detective’ and trying to work out who the murderer was all the way through along with the team.  Every clue leads to a dead end as the team go around in circles trying to find a way through the secrets and lies.

There are a lot of twists and turns as the story moves along keeping the reader totally engrossed in the story.  The intrigue builds all the way through to the very end.

There are a mix of characters in this book and all are unique and bring a lot to the story.  Some I liked some I didn’t.  I am familiar with Derbyshire farmers and although the characters at Landell’s are Cornish I doubt they differ much so in my opinion Stewart has them portrayed perfectly.  There are characters that come and go but they are all realistic and well described.

I love Stewart’s books I think he is a very talented author but this book is, in my opinion, the best yet.  It has everything you could want from a good detective book.  Intrigue, suspense the ins and outs and entanglement of complex detective work all wrapped up in a fast-moving page-turner that keeps the interest all the way through to the shocker of an ending.

Brilliant read.  Definitely 5 golden stars from me


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