#TROTTERDOWN (Detective Harriet Taylor Box Set) by Stewart Giles #bookbargain #boxset #KindleUnlimited #DCTaylor #crimefiction #CornishCrime #Detective @stewartgiles @books_n_all

We are very excited that the first three Detective Harriet Taylor thrillers are now available in a great value box set just in time for Easter reading. For a short period you can read the Kindle version for just £2.99/$2.99 FREE on Kindle Unlimited (Paperback coming soon)

Tomorrow Simon @ Black Books Blog will be kicking off the Blog Tour with a review stop.  In the meantime read on for a little about the book…

TROTTERDOWN (the first three Detective Harriet Taylor thrillers) by Stewart Giles

Available from AMAZON

Do you like gripping thrillers that are a little different? Meet Detective Harriet Taylor in this gripping series set in Cornwall From #1 best-selling author: Stewart Giles.

Three gripping thrillers in one, great value, box set.

BOOK ONE: THE BEEKEEPER
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…

BOOK TWO: THE PERFECT MURDER
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.

BOOK THREE: THE BACKPACKER
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. Who would kill a young backpacker? And is there a link between this and a mystery from many years ago?

If you like Police Procedurals, then this is a series you won’t want to miss.

THE SETTING
Trotterdown and the surrounding villages is a fictional village in Cornwall. It is typical of Cornish villages with remote farms and sleepy Cornish stone cottages. However, the area is steeped in history and the residents of the quaint cottages have their share of myths and secrets making it the ideal setting for this series.

THE DETECTIVE
DC Harriet Taylor had only been married for 2 years when her philandering husband was killed in a car crash. It is common knowledge around the station that the woman who died next to him was his latest lover. Harriet transferred to Trotterdown to escape the gossip and sympathetic looks. She is now finding her way around Cornwall and getting to know the other members of the team.

THE WITNESS by Kevin Marsh #crimefiction #thriller #promopost

The Witness by Kevin Marsh

Available from AMAZON

Landscape artist Josie MacDonald is coming to the end of her stay in Scotland. Whilst out on a painting trip early one morning she witnesses a horrific murder.
Mr Mac, the deranged killer, is aware that she has seen him at work and sets out to kill her but Josie manages to escape by plunging desperately into the North Sea.
Mr Mac, convinced that she has perished, discovers a few days later that she has survived and sets out to track her down. He follows her to London where he subjects her to terrible psychological torment as one by one her friends are drawn into the nightmare.
Josie returns to Scotland in order to discover the truth where her worst fears are realised. With time running out and a killer on the loose she must survive long enough to bring their horrifying ordeal to an end.


Kevin Marsh author bio

Kevin Marsh was born in Canterbury in 1961. He lived and went to school there attending the Technical College, (now Canterbury College), as an apprentice sheet metal worker. During his five years of training he worked in a small local company with his father and brother. In 1981 he was married and moved to Whitstable, (his father’s home town).
His first novel, The Belgae Torc, book 1 in the Torc Trilogy, was launched on 30th June 2012 with his second book, The Witness, a psychological thriller, being published in March 2013. The Gordian Knot is the second part of the Torc Trilogy and was published in July 2014.  Cutting the Gordian Knot (The Final Solution) is the final book in the Torc Trilogy and was published in July 2016

He has recently retired from teaching steel fabrication and welding and moved to the beautiful Kent countryside to focus on writing and painting.

Website: http://www.kevinmarshnovels.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kevin.marsh.1069

BLOG TOUR WRAP UP – The Oxford Mystery (Jenny Starling #5) by Faith Martin #crimefiction #mystery @joffebooks

Faith, Joffe Books and I would like to say a very big THANK YOU to all the bloggers who helped with the launch of THE OXFORD MYSTERY.  Your help is very much appreciated.

What the bloggers thought:

Black Books Blog

As with the previous books this is a very cosy mystery, with no blood or gore in it and enough twists to keep you entertained and guessing throughout.  Read more here

Musings of a tired mummy

The book is easy to read, feels comfortably and traditionally English, full of red herrings and interesting characters. The Oxford Mystery kept me guessing until the end and I look forward to seeing where Jenny ends up next… Read more here

Nicki’s book blog

Maybe don’t read these if you are hungry- they may give you an
appetite! I think my only criticism (and its tiny) is that we keep being reminded of Jenny’s six foot, junoesque build which is a tad repetitive. That said she is not a woman to mess with and has a nose and ears for what is around her. Who wouldn’t love her as a neighbour or friend.?Then again…..she is always around when there is a murder so perhaps not!
A wonderful read to curl up with and enjoy. Read more here

Joanna Larum’s Reviews

This is the fifth in the Jenny Starling series and, I have to admit, my favourite so far. This time, Jenny is employed by an Oxford college (St Bede’s) to cook during the summer holidays for the various meetings and conferences being held there.  Read more here

Jessica Rachow

I read this novel as a standalone and it worked well, however, now I feel like I’m missing out on a wonderful series and must go back to read the rest! I loved the mystery, it kept me guessing until the reveal and that is so important in a story like this.  Read more here

Robin Loves Reading

In this series to-date, Jenny’s focus has never been directed towards romance. It was a delight to see something blooming in that direction. I am not sure what is next for this series, but I certainly look forward to seeing more of Jenny in the future.   Read more here

Linda Strong Book Reviews

Once again, this is a well written mystery with memorable characters. Although this is 4th in the series, it is easily read as a stand alone.  Read more here

Ginger Book Geek


The Oxford Mystery (Jenny Starling #5) by Faith Martin

Available from Amazon

Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These charming mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is.

Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective.

Please note this book was first published as “DEADLY STUFF” under Faith Martin’s pen name JOYCE CATO.

Jenny Starling has a summer job cooking at a prestigious Oxford college. But she’s not expecting murder on the menu.

Then womanisingtaxidermy society president, Maurice Raines, is found with a knife in his neck in the dining hall.

Everyone is in classes at the time of his death. So, frustratingly it seems they all have an alibi.

However there are many suspects, including Maurice’s wife and his lover.
The college and police need Jenny’s help to solve this perplexing case. But can Jenny keep her concentration with a budding romance on the cards?

This is the fifth in a series of enjoyable murder mysteries with a great cast of characters and baffling crimes which will keep you in suspense to the final page.

Perfect for fans of classic whodunits by authors like Agatha Christie, LJ Ross, TE Kinsey, and J.R. Ellis.

JENNY STARLING
In her late twenties, Jenny Starling is an impressive woman. Physically, she stands at 6ft 1inch, and has shoulder-length black hair and blue eyes. Curvaceous and sexy, she’s a modern single woman, living the lifestyle that suits her – that of a travelling cook. Her famous (and now very rich) father, is a ‘celebrity’ cook, divorced from Jenny’s mother. Jenny drives a disreputable cherry-red van, and is happy travelling the country catering events and cooking great food. She is on a one-woman crusade to bring back ‘real’ food. And definitely doesn’t like having to divert her attention from achieving the perfect Dundee cake or creating a new sauce recipe by having to solve a murder. She finds crime very distracting, especially when there is chocolate to temper or pike to poach. Nevertheless, she is very good at reading people, and with a quick and agile brain, becomes very good at unmasking killers. And her always-undaunted sense of humour goes a long way in keeping her sane when all around her people are dropping like flies.

THE AUTHOR
FAITH MARTIN is the best-selling author of the DETECTIVE HILLARY GREENE mysteries, which have sold over 1 million copies globally in just over a year.

JENNY STARLING MYSTERIES
Book 1: THE BIRTHDAY MYSTERY
Book 2: THE WINTER MYSTERY
Book 3: THE RIVERBOAT MYSTERY
Book 4: THE CASTLE MYSTERY
Book 5: THE OXFORD MYSTERY


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Faith Martin was born in Oxford, and has spent all her life within twenty miles of the university city, even working at Somerville College for five years before turning to writing full-time. The author of the popular DI Hillary Greene novels, she also writes more classic-style ‘whodunits’ under the pen name Joyce Cato, but began her writing career as Maxine Barry, winning an award for penning romance novels! A popular writer for over 25 years, she has had nearly 50 novels published so far. Her hobbies include walking her now ageing dog, wildlife-watching, reading and (reluctantly) gardening.

BLOG TOUR WRAP UP – Hound (Rebecca Bradley #2) by Ken Ogilvie #CrimeFiction #newrelease #netgalley #Hound #detective #TeamJoffeBooks @joffebooks

Ken Ogilvie, Joffe Books and I would like to say an enormous THANK YOU to the awesome Bloggers who helped with the Blog Tour for HOUND. Your help in promoting this book is very much appreciated.

Bloggers give their time and expertise freely to help authors publicise their books.  They make a BIG difference to how well a new release sells as well as helping readers to find their next read.  Read on to see what these amazing people thought about HOUND

Linda Strong Book Reviews

This is a well written crime fiction … full of non-stop action .. and finely drawn characters. I look forward to the next adventure for Rebecca and Hound.  Read more here

Joanna Larum’s Reviews

The action in this book speeds along and I was drawn into it, constantly turning the page to find out more. I didn’t want to put the book down and that, for me, is the sign of a good book. I was also very taken with the description of the wonderful scenery which made me want to be able to visit it in real life.  Read more here

Ginger Book Geek

Reading ‘Hound’ was like being on an unpredictable and at times scary rollercoaster ride with not much of an idea in which direction the story is going to take you.  I smugly thought that I had fathomed out how the story was going to pan out but I soon realised that I had the wrong end of the stick and the story panned out very differently to how I had imagined it would.  Read more here

Debbie Hipster

It goes from past to present in seemless manner, and definitely had me gripped. Some parts confused me so needed to be reread, but that could just be me reading too fast, and not retaining the information well. But over all a highly enjoyable read, and I’d definitely read more by Ken.  Read more here

Nicki’s book blog

This is the second in the series (Her Dark Path being the first one)
but will happily stand alone. An interesting read. I would love to know more about
Rebecca and her home life and loves and those of her fellow detectives. We learnt
more about her in the final few chapters where both threads come together
nicely. An enjoyable read.  Read more here

Turn The Page Blog 

#Promopost

Black Books Blog 

This book centres around a woman called Jackie, who is out for revenge against Rebecca as Rebecca’s Grandfather scammed Jackie’s family and has escaped from prison to get her revenge.  This is where Hound comes into play, he is a giant of a man who loves Rebecca and would do anything in his power to protect her. He is soon on the trail of Jackie as he tries to get to her before she gets to Rebecca.  Overall this is an action packed book, which I loved as it was so fast paced the pages flew by.  Read more here

Book Worm


Hound (Rebecca Bradley #2) by Ken Ogilvie

Available from AMAZON CA AU US UK

Do you love mysteries with intricate plots and new locations? Meet Detective Rebecca Bradley as she faces an escaped serial killer whose next target IS THE POLICEWOMAN HERSELF.

Rebecca Bradley put serial killer Jackie Caldwell in prison. She had the assistance of Hound, a giant young man who’s in love with Rebecca.

But then Jackie murders a prison guard and escapes. She heads north to her home town of Conroy, where she hides out in the forest to evade a massive police search.

She’s burning with hatred for Rebecca, and wants revenge for the financial ruin of her family twenty years ago in a goldmining scam by Rebecca’s villainous grandfather.

Jackie also hates Rebecca’s wealthy father, who betrayed and then helped the police apprehend Jackie’s sleazebag lover, Kingsley McBride.

Hound pursues Jackie in a bone-chilling chase through the eastern Georgian Bay forest . He faces a race against time to save the woman he loves.

Discover a new crime writer who will have you gripped till the pulsating end.

THE DETECTIVE
Rebecca Bradley was psychologically damaged by the unsolved murder of her mother when she was eight years of age. Driven by her mission to catch the murderer and make him pay for his crime, Rebecca is obsessed with justice and retribution, and is haunted by dreams of revenge.

REBECCA BRADLEY SERIES
Book 1: HER DARK PATH
Book 2: HOUND


My Review


Author Bio

KEN OGILVIE is a new mystery writing author, with Her Dark Path as his first book. Prior to taking up writing, Ken worked in a variety of roles in the environmental policy domain, including positions with three governments in Canada (Federal, Manitoba and Ontario) and as the Executive Director of Pollution Probe, one of Canada’s premier environmental groups. He remains active as a consultant on energy and climate change, and sits on the Boards of two national nonprofit organizations – the Pembina Institute for Appropriate Development, and Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow. He is well-known across Canada for his environmental work, and has received two honourary doctorates from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, and Thompson Rivers University, British Columbia.

BLOG TOUR WRAP UP: Martha’s Revenge (Chronicles of the Coleman Family #3) by Joanna Larum. #bookreview #newrelease #historicalfiction @jolarum

Joanna Larum and I would like to say a massive THANK YOU to the wonderful Bloggers who helped with the launch and promotion of MARTHA’S REVENGE.  Your help is very much appreciated.  Jill & Jo x

What the bloggers thought:

Penny Buxton

This was an amazing read I had eagerly awaited the next part and was not disappointed with the outcome, it had me turning page after page and the way the characters developed was great, it has some turns in it that shocked me into “wow I did not see that coming!” Read more here

Black Books Blog

I really loved how the book is setup and the extremes that Martha is willing to go to in order to get her fix for murder as she really thrives off the adrenaline of it all. As I neared the end of the book I flew through it to find out what was going to happen as it was so engrossing and riveting.  Read more here

On the Shelf Reviews

#GuestPost Q&A with Joanna Larum

Daisy White’s Wicked Words

Turn the Page Blog

This is historical fiction set in Middlesbrough at the time of WW1.  It is a gripping story that takes the reader back to the difficulties of life in that period.  An enjoyable read.  Read more here

Ginger Book Geek


Martha’s Revenge (Chronicles of the Coleman Family #3) by Joanna Larum

Available from AMAZON

Martha’s Revenge begins where Martha is pretending to have lost her memory after Dolly attacked her. She is finding playing the ‘angelic younger sister’ a strain but this is compensated by the adrenaline rush that she gets when she murders her next victim, Mrs Browne. This is so addictive she looks out for another victim and settles on Mr Gray, the inoffensive but rather weak printer who made such a mess of her advertising leaflets.

Martha and Daniel’s mother, Edith, falls ill as she pays for all the years she spent working in the damp laundry in the cold and wet. She dies and her husband Bob is devastated, as is Daniel. Martha doesn’t feel anything at the loss of her mother other than irritation at her failure to protect her children from the cruelty of their grandparents.

Georgie hero worships Daniel who rescued him from the work house and has been almost a father figure to him since he came to live in York Street with them. Dolly, a fat and unattractive older woman, was also taken in by Daniel and she adores him for being so kind to her. Her head is stuffed with Irish folk tales which she learnt from her Irish grandmother, as well as the conviction that she can see the kindness or cruelty in other people’s auras. Daniel is the innocent in this, as he believes that Martha has reformed and is the delightful sister he always hoped she was.

Both Georgie and Dolly want to protect Daniel as they know he would be devastated by proof of Martha’s wickedness and they both know that he won’t help them to trap her. When the printer dies, strangled during the night by an ‘unknown’ killer, they realise that they could be next on her list and start to plan how they are going to trap her.

Daniel finds Frank Jackson, a twelve-year-old boy who has an alcoholic mother and younger siblings and has lost his father to the War, who is taken on as a shop boy to help Martha. Frank initially thinks that Martha is a wonderful person but, the more he sees of her behaviour in the shop, the more he realises how wicked and cruel she actually is. He mentions his concerns over Martha’s behaviour to Dolly and she recruits him as a spy in the shop. Martha moves on to another victim, murdering old Mrs Jessop in her own kitchen. Frank is now frightened of Martha and glad that he took his concerns to Dolly.

Lucy Renwick, who Martha blackmailed over her affair with the married David Dundas, has sunk very low in the world. Jobless and living in one room which she can’t afford, she spends her days looking for work, walking up to Normanby every day and then home again, still jobless. Mr Wilfred Chambers owns the manor house which faces Normanby Road and he watches Lucy every day. He has been invalided out of the Army and he wants to open a market garden on the land which surrounds his house, so that he can provide work and wages for those soldiers who have lost limbs to the War, or to the families of those soldiers who gave their lives in service to their country. He goes to the Baptist Chapel one Sunday morning and sees Lucy and offers her the job of housekeeper and overseer of the garden. He has admired the way that she has never given in or up, despite losing everything and wearing out her shoes walking the streets looking for work. She accepts the job and moves into the manor house where she loses her high-handed attitude and is genuinely loved by the garden workers and their families and the staff of the manor house.

Martha writes a letter to Lucy, admitting to being the person who tried to have her framed for burglary in the pawnbroker’s shop. Lucy comes to the shop to see Martha and they make friends – genuine on Lucy’s part but false on Martha’s part. Frank is told to go home but he is frightened of Martha’s mood and reports to Georgie and Dolly. They decide to keep watch on Martha, even if that means taking turns at staying awake all night in order to see what she does.
Martha has been invited to a garden party at the manor house where she decides to make a play for Mr Chambers, but he has eyes only for Lucy.

Meanwhile, Daniel has fallen in love with Bob Prosser’s daughter and is devastated to learn that Bob is also his father. Their relationship is forbidden which plunges Daniel into a deep depression which worries Georgie and Dolly even more. Daniel is oblivious of all that is happening around him as he is so concerned about his love for Grace.

While at the garden party, Martha took the opportunity of taking an impression of the back door key in order to have it copied. Frank, Dolly and Georgie are convinced by Martha’s behaviour that she has planned on killing Lucy as retribution for the times that Lucy was rude to her in Reed’s shop. That night, when Martha sets off to storm the manor house, Georgie and Dolly follow her, unaware that Frank is following all three of them. Martha is also unaware that Mr Chambers has proposed to Lucy, although Lucy has to decline his offer as she is still married to her husband, the one who threw her out when he learnt of her adultery.

Martha reaches Lucy’s bedroom but doesn’t find Lucy as she is in her parlour next door to her bedroom, reliving Mr Chamber’s proposal. A storm arrives and lightning hits the barns which house the tender plants as well as one of them being a dormitory for the workers. Chaos ensues as they all try to extinguish the fires which result from the lightning strike but the water in the pump runs dry and Lucy goes to try and find an old well at the bottom of the manor’s garden. Martha accosts her there, away from anyone else and attempts to strangle her. SPOILER ALERT – Frank pushes Martha down the well and saves Lucy’s life.

Once the fire has been extinguished, Frank explains everything that happened and produces Martha’s suitcase which she had hidden in the garden. She intended killing Lucy and then escaping to London. She has a letter in the suitcase, stamped and addressed to Daniel which Georgie opens. It contains her confession of Lucy’s (and other) murders and explains she is going to move to a city. She has taken all the money she amassed with her blackmailing.

Lucy, Mr Chambers, Georgie and Dolly decide to use the money to rebuild the barns and extend the garden. They tip the detritus from the fires down the well and then seal it, so Martha’s body is never discovered and they all keep the secret of who killed Martha. The rest of the world, including Daniel, believes that Martha has moved to a big city, so no-one misses her.

Also by Joanna Larum:

Chronicles of the Coleman Family

Book 1 – Something Wicked This Way Comes:  Read more here

Book 2 – Martha’s Secrets: Read more here

Book 3 – Martha’s Revenge: Read more here


My Review


Author Bio

I only went to school to learn to read. At age 6, I decided I COULD read and promptly left, by the school gate, the same gate which my mother marched me back through 10 minutes later. So I had to spend the next 12 years at school, learning lots of different things, none of which lived up to the excitement of reading. Wanting to be a writer was a natural progression, because there is nothing as exciting as inventing the story yourself. But it’s taken over 50 years before I dared to present my stories for other people to read. So, here they are! I’ll just creep behind the sofa.

#BlogTour Martha’s Revenge by Joanna Larum @jolarum @books_n_all #Historical #fiction

black books blog

Today I am very excited to be on the blog tour for Joanna Larum’s latest book Martha’s Revenge book 3 in the series.

About the Book

The third in a trilogy of books about the Coleman family. Daniel and Martha continue to run their own businesses during the Great War but Martha discovers that she is addicted to the sensations she experiences when she murders her victims. Lucy Renwick is still on her list as a potential victim and this book sees her come ever closer to her desire. Daniel is falling in love with a girl who is forbidden to him when he discovers their real relationship. Will Lucy survive and will Daniel understand that he has to stop playing with fire?

My Review

This is the third book in the trilogy, after ‘Something Wicked this way comes’ and ‘Martha’s Secret’ and is a brilliant conclusion to a fabulous…

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BLOG TOUR: The Secrets by Jane Adams #TheSecrets #PoliceProcedural #TeamJoffeBooks #Detective @joffebooks

Today it is my pleasure to share with you my review of THE SECRETS (Mike Croft #2) as part of the Blog Tour

The Secrets (Detective Mike Croft #2) by Jane Adams

Available from Amazon

DISCOVER A CRIME THRILLER THAT WILL KEEP YOU HOLDING YOUR BREATH UNTIL THE VERY LAST PAGE

Please note this book was first published as “Cast The First Stone.”

WHAT DOES HE KNOW?
Threatening phone calls, smashed windows, physical intimidation. Eric Pearson and his family have only just moved into a new home in a sleepy cul-de-sac, but they already have dangerous enemies. How could a respectable family become the focus of such hatred?

Detective Inspector Mike Croft knows the Pearson family well. Eric Pearson claims to own a journal which gives evidence of a horrifying ring of abusers. If true, it would be a high stakes case for DI Croft, and expose awful secrets that the town has buried deep.

But no one wants to believe the dark conspiracies of this friendless and bitter man.

Then a body is found on the edge of Bright’s Wood, wrapped in a black bag.

DI Croft must confront evil which threatens to rip apart everyone in the community.

EVERYONE HAS SECRETS. BUT SOME ARE SO DARK THAT PEOPLE WILL KILL TO KEEP THEM.

Praise for JANE ADAMS, author of the sensational best seller THE GREENWAY.

“Few debut novels achieve this level of suspense. The Greenway lingered in my mind for days. It takes the psychological suspense novel into new realms of mystery.” Val McDermid, Manchester Evening News

“A haunting debut.” Minette Walters

“Compellingly told and rich with psychological insight.” Independent

“Nail-biting stuff.” Ms London

“An assured first novel, with a strong cast and a plot which twists and turns without a glitch.” Yorkshire Evening Post

“Adams has a distinctive voice, which I predict will be heard by the majority of mystery fans.”

DETECTIVE MIKE CROFT SERIES
Book 1: The Greenway
Book 2: The Secrets


My Review

This is book 2 in the Mike Croft series but does work well as stand-alone.

An old case comes back to haunt Mike as he is asked to investigate the Fletcher case. Fletcher was imprisoned several years ago but many involved went free amid rumours of police corruption.

This is a fast paced thriller with child paedophile rings being the main part but many side stories are running in tandem before all linking together in an edge-of-your-seat ending you will not anticipate.

The case is difficult for Mike as it brings back memories of his lost son but that makes him even more determined to get justice for the abused and murdered children.

I like how Mike’s character is developing and the insight into his personal life. I also love Price I think the two make up a very effective team and I love the humour Price brings to the book.

An excellent read and I love this series already – next book please


Jane Adams Author Bio

Why do I write?

Like most writers, it’s a kind of compulsion. The stories are there and I have to try and grab hold of them and pin them onto the page. Most of the time, I enjoy the process; sometimes, I’d rather be doing just about anything else, up to and including the ironing – and I hate ironing.

I started writing when my youngest child went to school. I was incredibly lucky and my first novel, The Greenway, was picked up by Macmillan in 1994 and published in 1995.

I currently write two series; Naomi Blake and Rina Martin. Rina was a character I’d had in mind for years before committing her to paper. An elderly, ex thespian who had played the part of a popular TV detective, she had retired to the seaside and bought a boarding house for other ex performers. Rina’s feisty, no nonsense character is, I suppose, based on the rather powerful and opinionated ladies I grew up surrounded by – mother, teachers in the all girls school I attended, aunts and pseudo aunts, all of whom had opinions about everything and made sure these were unstintingly shared.

Naomi Blake, on the other hand, was the brainchild of my late agent, Bob Tanner at International Scripts. ‘You should write a blind detective,’ he said ‘ and she needs a big, black guidedog, called Napoleon’.

I thought it was a daft idea, and told him so. I just couldn’t see how to do it. But, like a lot of seemingly daft ideas, this one wormed its was into my brain and I realised he was right. It could work and so, the Naomi Blake series came into being.

I have always written in other genres too, short stories in the SF, Fantasy and Gothic Horror genre, and am working on longer projects when time allows. I also teach Creative Writing and have had the great priviligde of being a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at three different universities.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN MARSH #CRIMEFICTION #AUTHORINTERVIEW

Today I have the pleasure of chatting with KEVIN MARSH. Kevin is a recent addition to my list of favourite authors. On Monday (15th April) we are kicking off a Blog Tour to relaunch THE WITNESS so look out for that. In the meantime lets see what we can find out about the man behind the books:

Interview with Kevin Marsh

1. As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was a child I wanted to work with animals and nature. My Mother looked into a career with the Forestry Commission but as I was only about ten years old at the time these ideas were put to one side. My Father was a Blacksmith and worked for a local engineering company. When I left school I was encouraged to take up a trade so joined the company and became a Sheet Metalwork Apprentice. I studied at the local technical college for the next five years.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I have been interested in reading and writing from a very young age. My Mum would read my stories and correct the spelling. She always used to say ‘I don’t know where you get all your ideas’. When I was about twelve I wrote what I thought was a full length novel and my English teacher at school corrected all the errors. The Commerce and Typing teacher used my work as a typing exercise and produced a manuscript with a blue print copy. My Mum sent this out to publishers so I became used to receiving rejection letters at an early age. I did however become quite well known at school as a writer.

3. How long does it take you to write a book?

The actual writing process takes about nine months, but with the research time and editing I usually allow twelve. I usually find the writing element the easiest but then the hard work begins. The editing process is where many of the decisions about characters, plot and presentation is made, it’s then that I have to read, read, and re-read my work.

4. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I am much more creative in the morning so like to begin as early as possible. In the summer months I usually start at six or earlier in the morning. I write until about two then the rest of the day is spent reading through and changing what I have produced.

5. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I like to write the first draft by hand. I love notebooks so the story is written in what I call the ‘rough book’. I then write it again by hand in the ‘best book’ and from there the typing begins. This process is ongoing, I don’t complete the whole book before re-writing it. The first, second and typing drafts can be on going at once. This allows me to keep up with the plot and complete at least two edits before the first manuscript is typed. I sometimes like to use a fountain pen and always use different colour pens in my research book. My research book is another notebook where everything goes. I write my research notes there, character profiles, dialogue and everything that might be useful. I don’t believe in writer’s block so whenever I’m stuck I dip into this book and always manage to find inspiration. Not everything in the book gets used so this can transfer over to the next book. Very useful when writing a series or trilogy.

6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I have quite an active imagination but a lot of my ideas come from people watching and eavesdropping. This drives my wife mad and she is always telling me off!
I love to research so when I have an idea I read around the subject and make notes in my trusty notebook. The internet is a good place for information but I also read books and other resources. I always check what I have read on the internet and only use reliable sites.
Often I rely on my characters to drive the plot forward so never really know what I might have to research next. Giving my characters so much freedom is quite challenging at times because it can take a lot of thought and scheming to get them out of trouble.

7. Which is your favourite book?

My all time favourite book is called Ferney by James Long. I have read it many times over the years and still find it fascinating.
I read a huge range of books and am not afraid to read ‘chick lit’. I like indie authors as well as the great and the good. Ian Rankin, Clive Cussler, Elizabeth Chadwick, Barbara Erskine, Nick Alexander are some of my favourites. Also I love the Ruby Baker Mysteries by Daisy White.

8. The Witness is the first book I have read. Can you tell us more about your books?

The Witness is my second book but my first thriller. My first book, published in 2012, is called The Belgae Torc. It is an action adventure novel that begins in the Iron Age then moves on to modern day. My main character, Orlagh Gairne is an archaeologist working for the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. She is central to the plot but there are many strong characters in this book. It was never intended to be more that a single novel but as the plot developed it soon became obvious that there was more to Orlagh and her adventure than I thought. Her story is told over three books that I call The Torc Trilogy, it consists of The Belgae Torc, The Gordian Knot and Cutting the Gordian Knot (The Final Solution). The historical content ranges from the Iron Age to the Second World War.

After writing The Witness I decided to create a series of thrillers that are essentially stand alone novels but some of the main characters appear in each book. It was not my intention to write police crime novels. The police work forms a large part of each book but I try to focus on the victims and the antagonist. The second book in this series is called The Cellist and was published just over a year ago.

9. What are you working on now?

I am currently working on another thriller. It is at the editing stage and almost ready for proof reading. This book contains characters from The Witness and The Cellist. I have also been producing short stories that appear on my blog and website.

10. Is there anything else you think your readers would like to know about you or your writing?

I moved to the countryside four years ago and within a year gave up my day job. I was teaching engineering to Royal Engineers but wanted to focus more on my writing. Every year in October and November I work for a production company painting pantomime backdrops and props. Last year I painted Widow Twankey’s washing machine for a major production of Aladdin.
I design my own book covers often using my own paintings or drawings. I used to paint and exhibit my work locally so have a lot of sketches and paintings that I can use. The cover of The Witness is a portrait of Josie, the main character.
I am learning to read music and play the piano. I have a full size keyboard, a Rowland FP-30 and have performed to an audience. That was very scary!
My next book is likely to be another thriller, but I also have ideas for an action adventure featuring Orlagh Gairne.

Kevin Marsh author bio

Kevin Marsh was born in Canterbury in 1961. He lived and went to school there attending the Technical College, (now Canterbury College), as an apprentice sheet metal worker. During his five years of training he worked in a small local company with his father and brother. In 1981 he was married and moved to Whitstable, (his father’s home town).
His first novel, The Belgae Torc, book 1 in the Torc Trilogy, was launched on 30th June 2012 with his second book, The Witness, a psychological thriller, being published in March 2013. The Gordian Knot is the second part of the Torc Trilogy and was published in July 2014
Cutting the Gordian Knot (The Final Solution) is the final book in the Torc Trilogy and was published in July 2016
He has recently retired from teaching steel fabrication and welding and moved to the beautiful Kent countryside to focus on writing and painting.
Website: http://www.kevinmarshnovels.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kevin.marsh.1069

BLOG TOUR: Martha’s Revenge (Chronicles of the Coleman Family #3) by Joanna Larum. #guestpost #bookreview #newrelease #historicalfiction @jolarum

Today it is my pleasure to close off the Blog Tour for MARTHA’S REVENGE by Joanna Larum. I am sharing with you a Guest Review by Penny Buxton.

Martha’s Revenge (Chronicles of the Coleman Family #3) by Joanna Larum

Available from AMAZON

Martha’s Revenge begins where Martha is pretending to have lost her memory after Dolly attacked her. She is finding playing the ‘angelic younger sister’ a strain but this is compensated by the adrenaline rush that she gets when she murders her next victim, Mrs Browne. This is so addictive she looks out for another victim and settles on Mr Gray, the inoffensive but rather weak printer who made such a mess of her advertising leaflets.

Martha and Daniel’s mother, Edith, falls ill as she pays for all the years she spent working in the damp laundry in the cold and wet. She dies and her husband Bob is devastated, as is Daniel. Martha doesn’t feel anything at the loss of her mother other than irritation at her failure to protect her children from the cruelty of their grandparents.

Georgie hero worships Daniel who rescued him from the work house and has been almost a father figure to him since he came to live in York Street with them. Dolly, a fat and unattractive older woman, was also taken in by Daniel and she adores him for being so kind to her. Her head is stuffed with Irish folk tales which she learnt from her Irish grandmother, as well as the conviction that she can see the kindness or cruelty in other people’s auras. Daniel is the innocent in this, as he believes that Martha has reformed and is the delightful sister he always hoped she was.

Both Georgie and Dolly want to protect Daniel as they know he would be devastated by proof of Martha’s wickedness and they both know that he won’t help them to trap her. When the printer dies, strangled during the night by an ‘unknown’ killer, they realise that they could be next on her list and start to plan how they are going to trap her.

Daniel finds Frank Jackson, a twelve-year-old boy who has an alcoholic mother and younger siblings and has lost his father to the War, who is taken on as a shop boy to help Martha. Frank initially thinks that Martha is a wonderful person but, the more he sees of her behaviour in the shop, the more he realises how wicked and cruel she actually is. He mentions his concerns over Martha’s behaviour to Dolly and she recruits him as a spy in the shop. Martha moves on to another victim, murdering old Mrs Jessop in her own kitchen. Frank is now frightened of Martha and glad that he took his concerns to Dolly.

Lucy Renwick, who Martha blackmailed over her affair with the married David Dundas, has sunk very low in the world. Jobless and living in one room which she can’t afford, she spends her days looking for work, walking up to Normanby every day and then home again, still jobless. Mr Wilfred Chambers owns the manor house which faces Normanby Road and he watches Lucy every day. He has been invalided out of the Army and he wants to open a market garden on the land which surrounds his house, so that he can provide work and wages for those soldiers who have lost limbs to the War, or to the families of those soldiers who gave their lives in service to their country. He goes to the Baptist Chapel one Sunday morning and sees Lucy and offers her the job of housekeeper and overseer of the garden. He has admired the way that she has never given in or up, despite losing everything and wearing out her shoes walking the streets looking for work. She accepts the job and moves into the manor house where she loses her high-handed attitude and is genuinely loved by the garden workers and their families and the staff of the manor house.

Martha writes a letter to Lucy, admitting to being the person who tried to have her framed for burglary in the pawnbroker’s shop. Lucy comes to the shop to see Martha and they make friends – genuine on Lucy’s part but false on Martha’s part. Frank is told to go home but he is frightened of Martha’s mood and reports to Georgie and Dolly. They decide to keep watch on Martha, even if that means taking turns at staying awake all night in order to see what she does.
Martha has been invited to a garden party at the manor house where she decides to make a play for Mr Chambers, but he has eyes only for Lucy.

Meanwhile, Daniel has fallen in love with Bob Prosser’s daughter and is devastated to learn that Bob is also his father. Their relationship is forbidden which plunges Daniel into a deep depression which worries Georgie and Dolly even more. Daniel is oblivious of all that is happening around him as he is so concerned about his love for Grace.

While at the garden party, Martha took the opportunity of taking an impression of the back door key in order to have it copied. Frank, Dolly and Georgie are convinced by Martha’s behaviour that she has planned on killing Lucy as retribution for the times that Lucy was rude to her in Reed’s shop. That night, when Martha sets off to storm the manor house, Georgie and Dolly follow her, unaware that Frank is following all three of them. Martha is also unaware that Mr Chambers has proposed to Lucy, although Lucy has to decline his offer as she is still married to her husband, the one who threw her out when he learnt of her adultery.

Martha reaches Lucy’s bedroom but doesn’t find Lucy as she is in her parlour next door to her bedroom, reliving Mr Chamber’s proposal. A storm arrives and lightning hits the barns which house the tender plants as well as one of them being a dormitory for the workers. Chaos ensues as they all try to extinguish the fires which result from the lightning strike but the water in the pump runs dry and Lucy goes to try and find an old well at the bottom of the manor’s garden. Martha accosts her there, away from anyone else and attempts to strangle her. SPOILER ALERT – Frank pushes Martha down the well and saves Lucy’s life.

Once the fire has been extinguished, Frank explains everything that happened and produces Martha’s suitcase which she had hidden in the garden. She intended killing Lucy and then escaping to London. She has a letter in the suitcase, stamped and addressed to Daniel which Georgie opens. It contains her confession of Lucy’s (and other) murders and explains she is going to move to a city. She has taken all the money she amassed with her blackmailing.

Lucy, Mr Chambers, Georgie and Dolly decide to use the money to rebuild the barns and extend the garden. They tip the detritus from the fires down the well and then seal it, so Martha’s body is never discovered and they all keep the secret of who killed Martha. The rest of the world, including Daniel, believes that Martha has moved to a big city, so no-one misses her.

Also by Joanna Larum:

Chronicles of the Coleman Family

Book 1 – Something Wicked This Way Comes:  Read more here

Book 2 – Martha’s Secrets: Read more here

Book 3 – Martha’s Revenge: Read more here


Guest Review by Penny Buxton

This book is the last in the series after something wicked this way comes & marthas Secrets, it picks up after the end of the 2nd book, Dolly and Georgie grow suspicious of martha’s behaviour as she is pretending to have lost her memory, and Daniel is quite taken in by her innocent appearance on the outside glad that she has changed her ways, as the story progresses you learn more of Martha’s dark side, as with Marthas secrets it sees blackmail and murder, she cannot forget the way she was treated as a child by her abusive grandparents, the story progresses and sees the introduction of Frankie who is rescued by Daniel and without spoiling the story it all comes to a very good ending for the series!

This was an amazing read I had eagerly awaited the next part and was not disappointed with the outcome, it had me turning page after page and the way the characters developed was great, it has some turns in it that shocked me into “wow I did not see that coming!” and came to a head with a brilliant twist, all I will say is it is well worth the wait and is an amazing read. Be aware if you read this it will have you gripped from start to finish, absolutely brilliant!

Penny Buxton


Author Bio

I only went to school to learn to read. At age 6, I decided I COULD read and promptly left, by the school gate, the same gate which my mother marched me back through 10 minutes later. So I had to spend the next 12 years at school, learning lots of different things, none of which lived up to the excitement of reading. Wanting to be a writer was a natural progression, because there is nothing as exciting as inventing the story yourself. But it’s taken over 50 years before I dared to present my stories for other people to read. So, here they are! I’ll just creep behind the sofa.

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