YA Book Review “The Arcane” by Andrew S. French


The Arcane

Orphaned science nerd and maths prodigy Alice Valentine wants to ace her studies. She’s spent all her life struggling to make friends, passed between foster families and care homes, isolated and lonely. Losing herself in academia from an early age, she becomes the first sixteen-year-old at her local university. Her whole world changes, but nothing can prepare Alice for the night she’s attacked by a werewolf.

But even that isn’t as strange as discovering she has an identical twin sister, Cassie.

And Cassie kills werewolves. And all the other monsters Alice didn’t believe existed.

Alice and Cassie set off to discover what happened to their parents, a journey that takes them from northern England to the edge of the apocalypse, unsure if they will save the world or destroy it.


I am going to start this review with, beware what lurks in the shadows, its scary out there. This YA (Young Adult) supernatural spook fest took me right back to my younger self when I devoured this genre as if I were a vampire sucking the life out of it’s victim. The ability of the writer Andrew French to be able to take me back to my love of the supernatural and being scared silly was just great. I’m going to be honest and admit I really sure if the adult me still enjoyed this style of book, OH Yes I certainly do. It is a superbly written novel with fantastic characters who actually have a story. Its not just full of werewolves, vampires and all things of the night leaping out and snacking on a passing stranger although there is plenty of that as well. The descriptive mode for the creepy creatures when they ae attacking Alice and Cassie is expertly done and you get a really clear picture in your minds eye that almost makes you physically back away just in case they spring out of the pages.

Alice has to fight with her scientific brain that is telling her constantly that werewolves and demons do not exist, there has to be an answer, an explanation for these weird things she is encountering with Cassie, who seems to have appeared out of nowhere but looks just like her. Alice is completely outside her comfort zone. Mind you wouldn’t we all be? A total stranger turns up, stops a very hairy boy from attacking you and then tells you he was a werewolf and you’re coming on a demon hunt with me, ok? yep that sounds great, which way?

Cassie is a totally different kettle of fish. She knows that she hunts the supernatural, she’s happy with that She will do her utmost to rid the world of these vile creatures and shows no mercy.

A feisty, creepy supernatural tale that is full of shock moments, unbelievable creatures that make you think, “are these really out there”? You question your sanity a bit and I absolutely now know that yes I do still love this genre. A great great read if you feel the need to be scared and relieved that Alice and Cassie are on the case. Brilliant.


Purchase Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arcane-1-Andrew-S-French/dp/1914308077

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Arcane-1-Andrew-S-French/dp/1914308077

About the author.

Andrew French is a man of no wealth and little taste. He lives amongst faded seaside glamour on the North East coast of England. He likes gin and cats but not together, new music and old movies, curry and ice cream. Slow bike rides and long walks to the pub are his usual exercise, as well as flicking through the pages of good books and the memoirs of bad people.

Social Media Links – Website, Twitter, Instagram, FB page

With Thanks for the advance copy for this #BLOGTOUR to ….

Rachel Gilby https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com

Andrew French AUTHOR


Book Review “Starry Skies in Ferry Lane Market” by Nicola May

Starry Skies in Ferry Lane Market

‘Full of heart, hope, friendship, family and laughter, and a plot with a mystery gagging to be solved’ Kim Nash on Welcome to Ferry Lane Market

When Star Bligh got pregnant at the age of sixteen, she thought her life was over. Now thirty-three, mother to Skye and owner of the successful jewellery stall in Ferry Lane Market in Hartmouth, Cornwall, she wouldn’t change a thing about it.

Well, maybe one. A few months ago she fell hard for American visitor Jack, but then he left without even saying goodbye and ever since she has struggled to get him out of her head. Until the handsome, roguish Conor turns up and sweeps her off her feet. But then one day, Star is shocked to bump into Jack. He’s back in Hartmouth to tell her why he left – but is she ready to listen?

As things get more complicated with her love life, another revelation threatens to turn the lovely world she has built for her and Skye upside down. But could this be the one thing that will make it complete?


Starry Skies in Ferry Lane Market does not disappoint in “Chick Lit” stakes. A beautifully crafted novel with plenty of laughs and love along the way. A perfect bit of escapist writing that flows well and takes you on a lovely journey with the main characters, Star, Skye and Conor to name but a few. A wonderful “will they, won’t they” novel. The Characters feel like old friends from the off, they are realistic and not over the top “mushy” as some books in this genre can be. I loved every page with an enthusiasm that meant I found it hard to put down. A perfect few evenings were spent devouring the pages and stories contained within. I have not read this author before and now I have found her I’m not letting go. One of the best things about being a book reviewer is stumbling across authors like Nicola May, authors who write from the heart and have that uncanny knack of making you feel part of the story, making you think “I want to live here and have these people in my life”.

A very down to earth book full of characters that are 100% believable. They have issues, but the don’t we all. I definitely related to Star and her relationship with her Daughter Skye, the drama and emotional journeys everyone goes on are perfectly created and I can not wait for the next instalment or indeed any book by Nicola May.


Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Starry-Skies-Ferry-Lane-Market/dp/1529346487

US – https://www.amazon.com/Starry-Skies-Ferry-Lane-Market/dp/1529346487

Author Bio – Nicola May writes ‘chick lit with a kick’ and is the internationally bestselling author of eleven romantic comedies. All have appeared in the Kindle bestseller charts. The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay became the best-selling Kindle book in the UK across all genres in January 2019 and March 2020 respectively. It was also the second best-selling eBook of 2019 in the UK. Nicola’s books have also been sold in many languages.

Social Media Links – @nicolamay1  @hodderbooks – Twitter

@author_nicola @hodderbooks  Instagram

With thanks for the Advance Copy to …..

Rachel Gilby https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/

Nicola May

Hodder Books https://www.hodder.co.uk/

Audio Book Review “The Custard Corpses” By M.J. Porter

The Custard Corpses, a delicious 1940s mystery.

Birmingham, England, 1943.

While the whine of the air raid sirens might no longer be rousing him from bed every night, a two-decade-old unsolved murder case will ensure that Chief Inspector Mason of Erdington Police Station is about to suffer more sleepless nights.

Young Robert McFarlane’s body was found outside the local church hall on 30th September 1923. But, his cause of death was drowning, and he’d been missing for three days before his body was found. No one was ever arrested for the crime. No answers could ever be given to the grieving family. The unsolved case has haunted Mason ever since.

But, the chance discovery of another victim, with worrying parallels, sets Mason, and his constable, O’Rourke, on a journey that will take them back over twenty-five years, the chance to finally solve the case, while all around them the uncertainty of war continues, impossible to ignore.


The Custard Corpses is my first book by M. J. Porter and I can honestly say this was a great introduction to this author. I had an advance copy as an audio book and the narrator can either make or break an audio version. in this case the narrator, Matt Coles lends a certain something to this eerie murder story. Set during the War which is a constant background, the policemen, Inspector Mason and Constable Hamish O’Rourke revisit an old case that quickly spirals out of control. It’s a chilling case that having never been solved, O’Rourke finds he needs to find the culprit second time round. The investigation process is thorough and holds your attention as everything begins to fall into place. I became completely absorbed in the process and the fabulous characters. The way the investigation builds is fascinating. I love trying to work out the whodunit and I did find myself feeling like I was working it all out with the characters. I was totally invested in the case and the ending was superb. The creepy unsettling murders really hold your attention. The Custard connection is very creative but I’m not going to spoil anyone’s enjoyment by saying what that is.

All in all a great intro to MJ Porter and I will definitely be seeking out more books by this creative writer who gets the police procedure spot on. A creepy suspenseful, historical read. Highly recommended.

Purchase Linkmybook.to/TheCustardCorpses

Author Bio – I’m an author of historical fiction (Early English, Vikings and the British Isles as a whole before the Norman Conquest) and fantasy (Viking age/dragon-themed). I’ve recently written a relatively modern mystery novel set in 1943. I was born in the old Mercian kingdom at some point since 1066. Raised in the shadow of a strange little building, told from a very young age that it housed the bones of long-dead Kings of Mercia and that our garden was littered with old pieces of pottery from a long-ago battle, it’s little wonder that my curiosity in Early England ran riot. I can only blame my parents!

I write A LOT. You’ve been warned!

Find me at http://www.mjporterauthor.com and @coloursofunison on twitter.

Social Media Links – https://twitter.com/coloursofunison



With Thanks for Advance Audio Copy to……..

Rachel Gilby https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/

M. J. Porter AUTHOR

Book Review “Behind Her Smile” by JA Andrews

Behind Her Smile

There are two sides to every story…

Grace Thomas and her husband Cameron live busy urban lifestyles and decided to take a short break away in the countryside to reconnect as a family with their two children. Suspecting her husband of having an affair, the trip is ruined when Cameron’s personal assistant Chantelle, arrives unannounced with some devastating news. Chantelle appears to be everywhere Grace turns, and her instincts can’t all be wrong.

Not only does Chantelle resemble Grace, It soon becomes clear that she is desperate for Cameron’s attention, but at what lengths would she go to get it?

Determined to save her marriage, Grace begins to unravel all the secrets in her relationship by scrutinising the clues. Chantelle is always in the background, but behind her smile is a dangerous lie that has devastating consequences for everyone.


What an absolute chiller of a psychological read Behind Her Smile is. I read this in one evening, I just couldn’t put it down. The storyline grabbed me instantly and the main characters, Grace, Cameron and his assistant Chantelle are all written really well. They are believable and have all those insincerities that make for a superb book. Grace is recovering from a recent accident and decides to go on a holiday on her own to try and get back to the woman she feels she used to be. She doesn’t want to suspicious of her husband but she just can’t help it. Maybe this break will help her see more clearly. oh wrong could she be.

The suspense runs throughout the book and I thought, more than once, what is going on? I was about a third of a way through and thought “aha, I know what’s happened, of course that’s what is going on” umm no that wasn’t it at all. The twists and turns are many and really keep you guessing. Your synapsis will be firing off in all different directions and you still won’t figure it out until its actually there on the pages and it’s definitely a total shock moment.

The setting for this journey is brilliant and you get drawn in to the beauty of it all. It’s all helps you to understand Grace and her concerns right from the minute she begins her holiday. I was so focused on all the chilling revelations that I felt really sorry for her then I really didn’t like her at all. She drags everyone down and seems to be very self centred, but is this all part of the plan? You will just have a get yourself a copy. I can guarantee you will be engrossed from start to finish. An ingenious story line with suspense and chills that holds you right there in the palm of it’s hand then bam, it hits you with a massive surprise. The perfect book for all psychological thriller lovers!


UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/JA-Andrews/e/B084TPDQFY

US – https://www.amazon.com/JA-Andrews/e/B084TPDQFY

Author Bio – JA Andrews is from Devon in the UK and the author of gripping twisty psychological thrillers. As well as writing fiction, he enjoys reading a mix of genres, watching reality TV and spending time with family and friends. He is a member of the Crime Writers Association and is often plotting his next novel…

Social Media Links – https://www.twitter.com/jasona1980

With Thanks for Advance Copy to …….

Rachel Gilby https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/


Book Review “My Secret Sister” by Lauren Westwood

My Secret Sister

Two DNA tests, one big lie…

“As I speed off in the ambulance holding my daughter’s hand, I wonder how I could have been so stupid. I should have made the bargain, paid the price – anything to avoid being right here, right now. 

A voice whispers in my head that I can’t silence. This is all your fault. You killed her. It’s her voice, the one I hear in my nightmares. The woman who stole my memories, the woman who stole my life. And, this time, I know she’s right.”

How far would you go to save your child?

Claire is living every mother’s worst nightmare. Her daughter, Jess, has been diagnosed with a rare illness and desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. With no match on the registry, Claire turns to a charismatic geneticist for help and embarks on a Genetic Journey to seek a familial match for her daughter.

On the other side of the country, Marianne suffers her eighth miscarriage. Her perfect life is rotting underneath, but she is determined to do whatever it takes to have a baby.

When DNA test results reveal that Claire and Marianne are half-sisters, Claire must face the dark lies of the past and make impossible choices about the future. Is her secret sister the answer to her prayers, or will she cost her everything?

My Secret Sister is a tense and emotional family drama with a moral dilemma at its heart. Fans of Liane Moriarty, Jodi Picoult, and John Marrs’ The One will be gripped.

Purchase Link – http://mybook.to/MySecretSister


What an absolute heart breaking story. Many times I found myself holding my breathe and fighting back tears. Both of these families are going through horrendous emotional times that is really does make your heart ache for them. The characters are hugely complex and Jess is a particularly likeable girl just trying to come to terms with her illness and her loss of a childhood. She can see that her mother wraps her in cotton wool, which annoys her greatly. She is also astute enough to see how her older sister is being affected by this family drama and seemingly lack of her Mother’s love. Poor Jess is an incredible character, strong yet almost resigned to her fate.

Family ties are strong throughout the story even those family members that you didn’t know you actually had. The DNA story is so interesting and in my humble opinion is written with a truth and strength that just takes you away on a thought process, wondering about your own DNA and how far reaching it can be.

This really is a phenomenal book that I couldn’t put down. I read it in two days and had tears streaming down my face. A few personal things came up for me that just made me weep. So just a little warning the story does deal with unsuccessful IVF and miscarriage quite often so may well be upsetting, yet it is such an awesome story told with such compassion that I would highly highly recommend this book to everyone who loves a family drama that deals with illness, grief, love and life and most of all the family ties that bind us together.

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Author Bio:

My books explore the darkness and the light of the human spirit, and take you on an emotional journey. My Sister’s Secret is a tense and emotional drama about a mother’s race against time to save her daughter’s life. My Mother’s Silence is a gripping and romantic drama about homecoming and family secrets set in the wild Scottish highlands. It was shortlisted for the Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award 2020. The Daughter She Lost is a dark journey of self-discovery and overcoming the secrets of the past. My holiday romance Moonlight on the Thames is a love story to classical music and the healing power of love. It was a bestseller in urban fiction and top 100 Kindle book. My first three novels: Finding Home, Finding Secrets and Finding Dreams all feature mysterious old houses and intelligent, feisty contemporary heroines who set out to unravel the mysteries of the past. I also write award winning children’s books as Laurel Remington. I am originally from California, and now live in Surrey, UK with my partner and three daughters.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @lwestwoodwriter

Facebook: @Lwestwoodbooks

Website: www.laurenwestwoodwriter.com

With Thanks for the advance copy to……..

Lauren Westwood  www.laurenwestwoodwriter.com

Rachel Gilby https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/

Book Review “I’ll be Home for Christmas” by M. W. Arnold

Broken Wings series, Book 3

I’ll Be Home For Christmas  – Broken Wings book 3

A mysterious key left by her murdered sister, leads Air Transport Auxiliary pilot Betty Palmer on a journey of discovery and danger. Given up to an orphanage upon birth, the parents she’s long thought had no part in her life force themselves back in, purely out of greed and self-preservation.

Penny’s life is unexpectedly turned upside down by a potentially life-changing situation, which causes her wounded husband to question their marriage. No-one seems safe in this year of turmoil in the middle years of the war, as some relationships face breaking point whilst others become stronger.

Kidnap, crashes and dogfights, the girls of the Air Transport Auxiliary Mystery have never faced such dangers. To survive may not be enough as they must find the strength to rise above the most trying times yet of their lives.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Home-Christmas-Broken-Wings-Book-ebook/dp/B09DB1KV3J

US – https://www.amazon.com/Home-Christmas-Broken-Wings-Book-ebook/dp/B09DB1KV3J


I’ll Be home for Christmas is the third book in the Broken Wings series. I have not read the previous books in the series and I feel that you probably should read all the books in order to get the very best out of this book.

Initially I was confused by the characters that obviously had very strong relationships that have been forged throughout the series. I got to know the characters pretty quickly though and was drawn into the drama immediately. The friendships are well written and you can tell they really would do anything for each other. The historical side to this drama is well researched and as an area close to me I was really interested to find out about all the goings on at the airfields all around me. M. W. Arnold has an easy, flowing writing style that doesn’t over complicate the plot. I felt that I very quickly got to know the characters and they felt like old friends. Excellent descriptions and vivid story telling add to this story becoming a gripping one that builds on relationships in such a way that you begin to understand why love was sometimes forged so quickly. No one knew just how long this love would last.

A perfect series for readers who enjoy historically accurate War time drama, with strong female characters at their heart. A solid, well written saga that will hold your attention throughout.

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Author Bio:

Mick spent fifteen-odd years roaming around the world, courtesy of HM Queen Elizabeth II – gawd bless her – before becoming a civilian and realizing what working for a living really was.

He loves traveling, and the music of the Beach Boys, Queen, Muse, and Bon Jovi. Books play a large part in his life, not only writing, but also reading and reviewing, as well as supporting his many author friends.

He’s the proud keeper of two Romanian Were-Cats bent on world domination, and enjoys the theatre and humoring his Manchester United-supporting wife. Finally, and most importantly, Mick is a full member of the Romantic Novelists Association. I’ll be Home for Christmas will be his third novel with The Wild Rose Press.

Other books by M. W. Arnold from The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

A Wing and a Prayer

Wild Blue Yonder

Social media links –


Twitter – Mick859

Instagram – Mick859

YouTube Channel –tinyurl.com/cymt5zea

With Thanks for the advance copy to ……

The Wild Rose Press, Inc

Rachel’s Random Resources https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/

W. M. Arnold

Book Review “The Bloodless Boy” by Robert J. Lloyd


In 17th Century London, a murder
investigation by intrepid scientists Harry
Hunt and Robert Hooke uncover shocking
revelations in this gripping debut thriller,
where politics, religion and science meet.
INSPIRED BY HISTORICAL RESEARCH: while studying for his MA degree in ‘The History of Ideas’, Lloyd came across Robert Hooke’s
Diary. The life and experiments of this extraordinary man, including Hook’s book Micrographia, the first important work on microscopy,
triggered the thought that Hooke would make an effective investigator, able to interpret evidence left on a body.
REAL HISTORICAL CHARACTERS: including our main protagonists Robert Hook, the Curator, then Secretary of the Royal Society (still
going today, the society promotes and celebrates advances in science) and his assistant Harry Hunt about whom little biographical
information is known ; prominent English politician Anthony Ashley Cooper (the Earl of Shaftesbury) and his secretary John Locke,
the ‘Father of Liberalism’ … plus many more (see the enclosed character glossary).
A FAMOUSLY UNSOLVED MURDER: offers a fictional conclusion to the real-life murder of the Justice of Peace, Sir Edmund Berry
Godfrey, whose mysterious death in 1678 caused anti-Catholic uproar in England.
MORE THAN JUST ANOTHER THRILLER: it is an exploration of late-17th century politics and attitudes, taking place as the new, empirically
based science emerged, as well as an action-packed adventure.
OVERCOMING THE ODDS: after mutliple rejections, Lloyd originally self-published The Bloodless Boy in 2014. The novel captured the
imagination of readers immediately, gaining over 100 five star reviews on Amazon. Finally, after 7 years, Melville House co-owner
Dennis Johnson came across the book, fell under its spell and signed it up.
PERFECT FOR FANS OF: Andrew Taylor and Susanna Gregory with the literary stylings of Wolf Hall and The Name of the Rose.
FIRST IN A SERIES: The Bloodless Boy will be followed by two further books, all featuring our ‘dectectives’ Hooke and Hunt, as well as
cameos from famous historical figures, from Wren to Newton.
BEAUTIFULLY PACKAGED: the stunning hardback will have map endpapers and a dust jacket adorned with luxurious finishes.
The City of London, 1678. New Year’s Day. Twelve years have passed
since the Great Fire ripped through the City. Eighteen since the fall of
Oliver Cromwell and the restoration of a King. London is gripped by
hysteria, and rumours of Catholic plots and foreign assassins abound.
When the body of a young boy drained of his blood is discovered
on the snowy bank of the Fleet River, Robert Hooke, the Curator of
Experiments at the just-formed Royal Society for Improving Natural
Knowledge, and his assistant Harry Hunt, are called in to explain such
a ghastly finding—and whether it’s part of a plot against the king. They
soon learn it is not the first bloodless boy to have been discovered.
Wary of the political hornet’s nest they are walking into—and using
scientific evidence rather than paranoia in their pursuit of truth—
Hooke and Hunt must discover why the boy was murdered, and why
his blood was taken.
The Bloodless Boy is an absorbing literary thriller that introduces two new indelible heroes
to historical crime fiction. It is also a powerfully atmospheric recreation of the darkest corners of Restoration
London, where the Court and the underworld seem to merge, even as the light of scientific inquiry is starting to emerge…


The Bloodless boy is an absolute masterpiece in terms of the obvious level of research, time and effort that Robert J. Lloyd has committed to this stylish novel.

At first I found it hard to sort out the characters. They are described and developed superbly well however it took me a few pages to get everyone organised in my head. Once I just let myself get into the story I was enthralled. An unusual story surrounding The Bloodless Boy that takes you through the very accurate historical setting of the 17th century. The prejudices, strong beliefs and mistrust of the era is brought to life incredibly well. The plot has a very intricate theme but not overly complicated that you can’t follow what is happening.

Over all this is a truly gripping book that takes on a journey of discovery. A journey towards finding out how and more importantly why the boy is murdered. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an in-depth historical novel with twists and turns that keep you riveted right to the end.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Robert J. Lloyd grew up in South London, Innsbruck, and Kinshasa (his parents worked in the British Foreign Service), and
then in Sheffield, where he studied for a Fine Art degree, starting as a landscape painter but moving to film, performance, and
installation. His MA thesis on Robert Hooke and the ‘New Philosophy’, inspired the ideas and characters in The Bloodless Boy. He
lives in Crickhowell in the Brecon Beacons. This is his first book

With thanks for the advance copy to…

Nikki Griffiths at Melville House UK

Book Review “A Match made in Venice” by Leonie Mack

A Match Made in Venice

Escape to the breath-taking beauty of Venice – The City of Love.

When pragmatic, sensible and resolutely single Deirdre York (Didi to her friends) is sent to Venice for work she is determined not to be taken in by the romantic clichés. Winter in the floating city may be breathtakingly beautiful, but she’s here with a clear purpose and will not let the magic of Venice distract her.

Piero Zanetti is the epitome of the handsome yet tortured artist. Heart-broken by the end of his love affair with a glamorous opera singer, he has lost his ability to work, and his inspiration has drained away, along with his zest for life.

But Didi needs Piero working – she has been tasked with commissioning him to do a glass centrepiece for a luxury department store Christmas display – some how Didi has to cheer Piero up or at least find him a new muse…

As Didi and Piero slowly become friends, and as Venice starts to melt Didi’s heart and gently nudge Piero out of the blues, something special begins to happen. Can Venice – the City of Love – work a Christmas miracle and help Didi and Piero to find their happiness at last…

Leonie Mack is back with the most gloriously romantic escape, perfect for all fans of Mandy Baggot, Jo Thomas and Carole Matthews.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3DPYqc8


A Wonderful setting for a romantic adventure between Didi and Piero. The style of writing is so creative that it conjures up exquisite pictures of Venice and the surrounding areas. Its definitely the place to open your heart to love and embrace a whole new world, which Didi tries to do despite Piero being somewhat grumpy with a tendency to artistic temper tantrums.

If you love travel then this book would be a great choice. Leonie Mack has the ability to transport you straight to Venice and the contrast between it and drab, miserable London serves to highlight the beauty and escapism that is all things Venice.

The budding friendship between the two main characters is brilliantly done. A few mishaps along the way, as with most friendships but can this really into the love that Didi is looking for? Is she really looking for love? She only went to Venice to try and get a bespoke Christmas display, not to find love and friendship. It just goes to show that you never really know what is around the corner and sometimes the best thing to do is throw caution to the wind and just go with it.


Leonie Mack is an author of romantic comedies with great international locations. Having lived in London for many years her home is now in Germany with her husband and three children. Leonie loves train travel, medieval towns, hiking and happy endings!

Social Media Links –  

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/LeonieJMack/

Twitter https://twitter.com/LeonieMAuthor 

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/leoniejmack/

Newsletter Sign Up Link https://bit.ly/LeonieMackNewsletter  

Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/leonie-mack 

With Thanks for an advance copy to…

Boldwood Books

Rachel’s Random Resources

Book Review “Murder at the Abbey” by Francis Evesham


Murder at the Abbey

The Brand NEW instalment in the bestselling Exham-on-Sea series.

An unsolved murder echoes down the corridors of Cleeve Abbey for years.

The Exham-on-Sea’s History Society’s annual summer picnic comes to an abrupt end when human bones are discovered in Washford River, beside historic Cleeve Abbey.

Thrilled to find evidence of a possible centuries-old murder mystery, the members of the society organise a ghost-hunting night in the ruins of Cleeve Abbey, despite amateur sleuth Libby Forest’s reservations.

Libby is a woman of many talents, a baker, chocolatier, even a reluctant sleuth, but she’s no fan of the supernatural.and her doubts are justified when a friend is attacked under cover of darkness at the ghost-hunt.

Distressed and angry, Libby sets out with her new husband Max and their two dogs Bear and Shipley to uncover the connection between the murder of a sixteenth century monk and a present-day attack in picturesque Somerset.

With friends and neighbours as suspects, Libby and Max close in on the culprit only to find that others are still in danger.

There’s no time to lose as the sins of the past threaten lives in the community.

Murder at the Abbey is the eighth in a series of Exham-on-Sea Murder Mysteries from the small English seaside town full of quirky characters, sea air, and gossip.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3BJyYn1


A lovely cosy, proper whodunnit style book and I loved it. Really gets your grey matter working. Plenty of twists and turns and full of quirky characters and the odd irritating ones too, as you would expect in a this genre. I laughed and I gasped at some of the goings on. I’d love to say I figured who did do it but I didn’t! That is the sign of superb writing, leading you to believe one thing then wham turning on a sixpence and it’s the one person I was so sure it wasn’t.

The setting is beautifully idyllic with plenty of atmospheric old buildings. The abbey and it’s spooky ghost hunt that proves to be a killer, well almost. I was totally drawn into the plot, the characters, the bones, the bodies, everything! I loved it. I know I have said it already but I really did love it..

This is book 8 I believe in the series but the first one for me. Although I initially had a bit of a problem sorting out who was who it really didn’t take me long and I believe it works well as a stand alone. I am definitely going to read the others though. This genre is right up my street. The nights are drawing in, it’s getting chilly and what better way to spend a few hours immersed in a really great Agatha Christie style novel that has a strong plot, paced just right to keep you reading. If like me you are an avid armchair sleuth then this book is one for you. I loved it!.

Author Bio –  Frances Evesham is the author of the hugely successful Exham-on-Sea mysteries set in her home county of Somerset. Boldwood has republished the complete series. Frances has also started a new cosy crime series set in rural Herefordshire, the first of which was published in June 2020.

Social Media Links –

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/frances.evesham.writer/

Twitter https://twitter.com/francesevesham 

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/francesevesham/

Newsletter Sign Up Link https://bit.ly/FrancesEveshamSignUp 

Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/frances-evesham 

Book Review “The Girl from Bletchley Park” by Kathleen Mcgurl

The Girl from Bletchley Park

A country at war. A heartbreaking betrayal.

1942. Three years into the war, Pam turns down her hard-won place at Oxford University to become a codebreaker at Bletchley Park. There, she meets two young men, both keen to impress her, and Pam finds herself falling hard for one of them. But as the country’s future becomes more uncertain by the day, a tragic turn of events casts doubt on her choice – and Pam’s loyalty is pushed to its limits…

Present day. Julia is struggling to juggle her career, two children and a husband increasingly jealous of her success. Her brother presents her with the perfect distraction: forgotten photos of their grandmother as a young woman at Bletchley Park. Why did her grandmother never speak of her time there? The search for answers leads Julia to an incredible tale of betrayal and bravery – one that inspires some huge decisions of her own…


This is one of those books that grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go until the very last page. I adore Historical drama and especially anything surrounding Bletchley. I am utterly fascinated by it and what occurred there. This is a wonderful insight into how women were enlisted into roles and really helps you see just how hard it must have been to keep their work private. the constant worry that they might have let something slip.

The story telling across time is superb and the fact that Julia, in the present day finds out that her Grandmother worked at Bletchley park is a great addition to the way the plot unravels. She sees her in a totally different light. I found Pam to be an astute woman who really wants to do something for her country during the war. She wants to make a difference and maybe find a little love along the way. Pam almost lets her emotions get the better of her when she falls for a handsome gardener. Is he all he makes out to be, just a little bit too good? Alarm bells rang for me immediately when he starts asking Pam about her job, his moods change quickly and soon becomes very much more than Pam thinks.

Julia works hard in her own business seemingly to the detriment of her two boys and husband. When she discovers the history of her grandmother Pam, she really begins to look inward and wonders if she’s doing the right things in her life. Then she is let down in catastrophic ways by the two most important men in her life.

I savoured every historical word in The Girl from Bletchley Park. The pace is excellent and holds your interest. Moving between past and present day works excellently and only adds to hold your attention right until the end. A thoroughly moving and gripping story that I would highly recommend to any War time drama lovers such as myself.

Author Bio – Kathleen McGurl lives near the coast in Christchurch, England. She writes dual timeline novels in which a historical mystery is uncovered and resolved in the present day. She is married to an Irishman and has two adult sons. She enjoys travelling, especially in her motorhome around Europe.

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