In this captivating dual narrative novel, a modern-day woman finds inspiration in hidden notes left by her home’s previous owner, a quintessential 1950s housewife. As she discovers remarkable parallels between this woman’s life and her own, it causes her to question the foundation of her own relationship with her husband–and what it means to be a wife fighting for her place in a patriarchal society.
When Alice Hale leaves a career in publicity to become a writer and follows her husband to the New York suburbs, she is unaccustomed to filling her days alone in a big, empty house. But when she finds a vintage cookbook buried in a box in the old home’s basement, she becomes captivated by the cookbook’s previous owner–1950s housewife Nellie Murdoch. As Alice cooks her way through the past, she realizes that within the cookbook’s pages Nellie left clues about her life–including a mysterious series of unsent letters penned to her mother.
Soon Alice learns that while baked Alaska and meatloaf five ways may seem harmless, Nellie’s secrets may have been anything but. When Alice uncovers a more sinister–even dangerous–side to Nellie’s marriage, and has become increasingly dissatisfied with the mounting pressures in her own relationship, she begins to take control of her life and protect herself with a few secrets of her own.
💭 MY THOUGHTS 💭
This is a story that spans sixty decades. A story of two housewives, in the same house but at different times. I love these dual timeline stories. Were we get to see the world through two perspectives but in a totally different age.
Despite the fact that Nellie and Alice are growing up in different decades, there are remarkable similarities between them. Through the story we get to see their characters develop and how life has different impacts on the women.
At the start of each chapter, there is a quote from articles published in the 50s. It really does make me glad that we as a society have moved on from the ideologies of the past. It amazes me the ways that women were meant behave as such in those days. But, it is great to have an insight into that world as well. Nellie was the perfect character for this, a little rebellious but that’s what made her good.
The link between the two women is the recipe book, I loved this touch. That both women had this unassuming book in connection with each other.
Thanks to Lucy at Legend Press for my spot on the blog tour.
✍🏼 ABOUT THE AUTHOR ✍🏼
Karma Brown is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author of the novels Come Away with Me, The Choices We Make, In This Moment, and The Life Lucy Knew. In addition to her novels, Brown’s writing has appeared in publications such as Self, Redbook, Canadian Living, Today’s Parent, and Chatelaine. Visit Karma at
In 1989 the Alphabet Killer, Professor Rodney Boone, murdered eight students. The victims, ‘A’ to ‘H’, were each found with their surname initial carved into their neck. Victim nine narrowly escaped and the murderer was left to burn to death.
Eight years later and rookie police officer, Rebecca Angell, is thrown headlong into assisting a murder investigation. A body is found floating in the sewer, bearing the initial ‘J’. The investigators are convinced they are dealing with a copycat killer, but Boone’s body was never recovered…
As Angell scrambles to uncover the truth, the body count continues to rise, and it soon becomes apparent that the killer is intent on completing the alphabet…
💭MY THOUGHTS 💭
Keri Beevis has knocked it out of the park yet again with this masterpiece of a mystery thriller.
This story had all the elements needed for a great story. So many unanswered questions. Did Rodney survive the fire? Is he back to continue with alphabet? Who are his brothers? Where are they now? Is there a copycat serial killer?
I really enjoyed this story, the action and mystery is non stop throughout. There’s always a new mystery or connection at every turn.
You’ll be a fool to not get this book. I loved the fact that Rachel Angell was completely dedicated to her job. She felt she had a point to prove to all those in her life, her parents didn’t have confidence in her, her colleagues tend to look down on her because she is a female. Yet, due to these people not believing in her, this gives her more motivation. And, with this motivation comes results.
An excellent story that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.
When a beautiful, red haired nurse’s body is found mutilated in her house in Lawley the morning after a date with Detective Constable Ryan Downey, all eyes turn to him.
With a very specific modus operandi, Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan and her team know exactly who the offender is, the trouble is he’s currently serving a life stretch in HMP Long Lartin.
It soon becomes evident to DS Morgan and her team that there maybe a copycat killer is on the loose.
In a race against time, they need to track down the copycat and discover who is pulling whose strings?
💭 MY THOUGHTS 💭
COPYCAT is the second installment in the DS Jenna Morgan series.
It’s a cleverly thought out case, written in a way that the reader is only aware of what little information there is about the killer. Even though we get chapters from the point of view of the killer, don’t be fooled in thinking you’ll be able to suss out who they are. Oh gosh no, Diane Saxon has made sure that you will go through this whole case second guessing yourself all the time. Trust me because I’ve read it, and I was suspecting quite a few people.
This is my first foray into Saxon’s work and I was very pleased with what I read. There were hints and teasers to the first case in this book, but, not so much that it spoils the story. COPYCAT is easily read as a standalone.
Jenna has great chemistry with her partner Mason Ellis. She describes him as a little brother, and this shows in the way they both banter with each other. Alongside these two is DC Ryan Downey, he may be younger than the other two but he is very much an integral part of the force.
However, Ryan doesn’t realise how close to the case he actually is. When in fact he has connections to a couple or more of the victims. I love this idea to have a police officer in the middle of the investigation, it gives us the reader reason to start doubting everyone that we come across.
This was a fantastic thriller full of suspense. It was crammed with drama and intrique. Thanks to Megan for my stop on the blog tour
✍🏼About The Author ✍🏼
Diane Saxon previously wrote romantic fiction for the US market but has now turned to writing psychological crime. The Keeper was her first novel in this genre and introduced series character DS Jemma Morgan. She is married to a retired policeman and lives in Shropshire.
There’s always time to help out a stranger…isn’t there?
Supermarket delivery driver Charlie enjoys his new job because he doesn’t have to spend too long with people, who, he’s found, are nothing but trouble. But when he’s assigned the Hope Row street, he realises there are a lot of lonely people out there – and for some, he’s their only interaction.
The supermarket boss tells Charlie he’s a driver, not a social worker – but Charlie can’t abandon the Hope Row residents and he sets about trying to draw them out of their shells and back into the world. But will his helping hand make everything worse?
💭MY THOUGHTS 💭
Thank you to Tracy, Compulsive Readers for my stop on the blog tour.
This is a heart-warming tale of how friendship and being kind can have a great effect on people. It highlights a lot about mental health, and how people cope differently with stresses of life.
The opening chapter is of Charlie supposedly burning all his belongings and starting afresh.
On his first day at his new job as a delivery driver he hints that his family thinks he will fail, like always. What happened to Charlie who is nearly 30 years old, that made him a failure and want to start again? We join Charlie on his journey and along the way we get to delve into the lives of some of his customers on his round.
We meet Ruth, who is forever collecting broken electrical items from the skip to repair them. Vik, who cooks curries every Friday. And, who has recently become widowed. Then there’s Greg, who has hit on instant fame through his blog about travelling and adventuring, despite being disabled.
Everytime Charlie turns up at their door to deliver their groceries, we get to delve a little deeper into their lives. As Charlie’s boss has said, each delivery should only take four minutes.
So, how much can we learn about someone in four minutes? Pick this book up and you’ll learn a whole lot about each character. It will make you stop and think about people you come across in your lives, how well do we know the people around us?
This is such an easy read of a book, but it does pack a punch. The subject matter behind it is very powerful.
The tenth book in the Sunday Times-bestselling Inspector McLean series, from one of Scotland’s most celebrated crime writers.
When a member of the Police Scotland team fails to clock-in for work, concern for her whereabouts is immediate… and the discovery of her burnt-out car in remote woodland to the south of Edinburgh sets off a desperate search for the missing woman.
Meanwhile, DCI Tony McLean and the team are preparing for a major anti-corruption operation – one which may raise the ire of more than a few powerful people in the city. Is Anya Renfrew’s disappearance a co-incidence or related to the case?
McLean’s investigations suggest that perhaps that Anya isn’t the first woman to have mysteriously vanished in these ancient hills. Once again, McLean can’t shake the feeling that there is a far greater evil at work here… The truth far more chilling than a simple cold case…
💭 MY THOUGHTS 💭
Well my gosh what another blinder of a book by James Oswald. Now this is the tenth book in the Tony McLean series, and admittedly I have not read the previous nine. But, that does not make a difference to the beauty of this book. I can say it’s easily read as a standalone, I definitely don’t feel that I’ve missed out on Mclean’s backstory. I will definitely be reading the whole series.
It’s a hefty book by my standards at 450 pages, but, don’t let that worry you. The writing is so easy to read that before I knew it I had flown through half the book. I love a book that draws you in and hypnotises you.
Ok, so let’s talk plotline without giving away spoilers.
Opening chapter. A mystery female is doing something in secret. She doesn’t want to be recognised or she could lose her job. She does it for excitement not money. What does she do?
Anya Renfrew, who works for the police doesn’t turn up for work one day. This is totally out of character, and after a few phone calls it starts looking a bit suspicious. When they call round to her home address this is where Anya’s holier than thou image starts looking a bit more differently. Is this linked to the woman in the opening chapter?
What has happened to Anya? Where can she be? When a burnt out car is found by a nearby wood, the plot thickens.
Along with the main characters of McLean and his team. I love the secondary characters that build this story up. The teenage boys Bobby and Gav, when they were introduced I just thought they would make a discovery and that would be it. But, James Oswald builds up their role and gives these two a storyline that intertwines with the main story. And, through them we get to learn more mysteries of the woods.
Other second characters who open up more intrigue is Norman Bale and Grace. These two are at total ends of the spectrum. Norman is incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital for murder, and Grace is a retired chief detective. Yet, they both have information that is useful to the investigation.
This story is full of suspense and drama. I enjoyed unravelling the mysteries. Thank you to Anne for my spot on the blog tour, and to the publishers for my gifted copy.
✍🏼About The Author ✍🏼
JAMES OSWALD is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries, as well as the new DC Constance Fairchild series. James’s first two books, NATURAL CAUSES and THE BOOK OF SOULS, were both short-listed for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award. BURY THEM DEEP is the tenth book in the Inspector Mclean Series. James farms Highland cows and Romney sheep by day, writes disturbing fiction by night.
It’s just a normal morning for Anna McDonald. Gym kits, packed lunches, getting everyone up and ready. Until she opens the front door to her best friend, Estelle. Anna turns to see her own husband at the top of the stairs, suitcase in hand. They’re leaving together and they’re taking Anna’s two daughters with them.
Left alone in the big, dark house, Anna can’t think, she can’t take it in. With her safe, predictable world shattered, she distracts herself with a story: a true-crime podcast. There’s a sunken yacht in the Mediterranean, multiple murders and a hint of power and corruption. Then Anna realises she knew one of the victims in another life. She is convinced she knows what happened. Her past, so carefully hidden until now, will no longer stay silent.
This is a murder she can’t ignore, and she throws herself into investigating the case. But little does she know, her past and present lives are about to collide, sending everything she has worked so hard to achieve into freefall.
💭MY THOUGHTS 💭
Firstly, I’d like to thank Hope for the opportunity to be on this blog tour. And, also thank you to the publishers for my gifted copy.
Ok, so what do we have? Anna seems from first impressions to be just a regular housewife, tending to the kids needs. But, when her world comes shattering down around her. Mainly due to the fact her so called best mate is sleeping with her husband, if that wasn’t bad enough, they are also taking Anna’s daughters away from her.
However, this is where the first little mystery lies. Anna doesn’t fight for her daughter’s to stay, she is quite happy for them to leave. And, says it’s best for them to go rather than the truth coming out. The truth of her past. So, what is she hiding? What can she have done that was so bad?
To distract herself away from what has happened, Anna turns to the one thing she truly loves; true crime podcasts. When she starts listening to a new case file, she is shocked to discover that she may actually know one of the victims. Along with Fin Cohen (who just so happens to be the best mates husband, who is also feeling really down about the cheating) they set off to play amateur detectives to solve the case.
What follows is more mystery and suspense. And, the unraveling of who exactly is Anna McDonald?
I enjoyed this book, Anna was a great character and I loved how it felt like she was actually talking to us the reader. It made you feel more a part of the unfolding story. Despite all that she’s going through, there is some dark humour involved which made the flow of the story run more smoothly. It was really fitting for her character. The unlikely relationship between Anna and Fin was genius. I loved how they bounced off each other and how irritated she got with him at times.
Not only do we have the storyline of Anna and her mysterious and secretive background. We also get the mystery of the podcast. A two for one kind of book.
I loved Denise Minas style of writing, I’ll be making a note to buy more of her books in the future.
In the UK, Detective John Steel is investigating the organization who killed his family. When he comes across information that something big is going to happen on the cruise ship Neptune, Steel goes undercover. He has fourteen days to figure out what is going to happen – and to stop it.
In New York, Steel’s NYPD partner, Detective Samantha McCall, is investigating a series of deaths. All seems run of the mill for the homicide detective until they find out that the deaths are somehow connected to the cruise ship John Steel is on.
McCall is convinced there is a mole in the department, but can she figure out who he is – and who he’s working for? Meanwhile, Steel is running out of options… and the clock is ticking.
💭MY THOUGHTS 💭
How can I describe John Steel. He is the epitome of a man of mystery and a thrill seeking secret agent. Think James Bond, Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, Bruce Willis in Die Hard. These men have all got the same thing in common, they run around fighting evil and saving the world. Never getting hurt and always bedding the ladies. When I read up about the author Stuart Field, John Steel made perfect sense. Field has a passion for all these action films and grew up on James Bond. And, he’s put all his loves of these film heroes and balled them up into one character. Steel, John Steel (this is how he introduces himself at one stage)
This is what I enjoyed about John Steel as a character though. We have all watched these spy films at some point in our lives, and no matter whether you love or loathe them, you will never forget them.
Hidden Steel is the second in the series. It is easily read as a standalone novel. We do have a few hints and teasers as to what may have happened in the first book. Which is why I would like to read that to get the bigger picture.
A cracking page turner, with breathtaking and impelling drama at every corner.
Thank you to Emma for my spot on the blog tour. And, thanks to the publishers for my gifted copy.
✍🏼About Stuart Field✍🏼
Stuart Field was born in the UK, in the West Midlands. He spent his early years in the army, seeing service in all the known (and some unknown) hotspots around the world. He now lives in Germany with his wife Ani. When not engaged in highly confidential security work, he writes thrillers which perhaps mimic his life-experience more than the reader would like to believe.