Saturday 17 February 2024

The Body in the Ice House

 The Body in the Ice House

A Georgina Drake Mystery #2

Kate Hardy

Reviewed by Helen

Another fabulous story in this awesome series, I love Georgina and Doris and her musketeers, Sybbie Cesca and Jodie add to that Bertie and of course there is DI Colin Bradshaw, if you love a good mystery then this is one to pick up, it is such a page turner.

Georgie is asked by Sybbie to help out with taking some photos for her goddaughters at the historic estate of Hartington Hall, she brings Bertie along for the day as well, when Georgie arrives at the historic ice house to take some photos there is a body at the bottom, who turns out to be the second wife of Lord Henry Berry, Karen Berry, is it an accident or is it murder, it appears that Karen is not a well-liked person who in the four years she has been married to Henry has done her best to alienate not only his daughters, Hattie and Posy but staff who have worked at the estate for many years. She has not been very loving to her own daughter Ellen either who spends a lot of time with the bats that are protected and live in the ice house.

The police have been called and DI Colin Bradshaw arrives to start the investigation, this is the second body that Georgie has uncovered and her and Colin are very good friends, not only that but when Georgie’s dog Bertie does some digging he uncovers human bones, two bodies in one day and again Georgie is caught up in the mystery again.

Georgie is very good at investigating murders herself it seems and with a bit of help from Doris she uncovers a lot about the mystery of the bones found and with more searching uncovers a lot of facts about Karen Berry and her past, all of which she passes onto Colin, but will they uncover the truth before Georgie is in danger again?

I loved this one from start to finish a one sitting read again, it is so well written and a must read for any cosy mystery lover, I was guessing till the very end and I can’t wait for book three to arrive, Thank you Kate Hardy for another brilliant story.

My thanks to Storm Publishing and Netgalley for my digital copy to read and review.

5 stars
February 20, 2024 by Storm Publishing

Tuesday 13 February 2024

A High Tide Murder

 A High Tide Murder

Cannabis Cafe Mysteries #2

Emily George

Reviewed by Helen

Book two in this series and I fell in to it from page one, we are back in Azalea Bay with Chloe and her wonderful family and friends, her cannabis café Baked by Chloe has opened and it is a huge success, Chloe is working hard to keep up with demand and the annual surfing competition is starting, it is an exciting time until, one of the competitors is found dead.

Aaron Gill is a very good friend of Ethan another competitor, who is the brother of one of Chloe’s friends Matt, Aaron has been struggling with personal matters but is a strong contender for the competition but when Ethan, Matt and Chloe find him in his hotel room with a note and a bottle of tablets everyone is devastated but Ethan knows he did not take his own life and soon Chloe is doing what she does best and that is investigating but will she put herself in danger again?

The clues are adding up but the police are convinced that it was suicide and Chloe and Ethan know different and when a young woman is attacked things heat up and Chloe puts herself in danger will they tie up the clues and find the killer before the surf competition is over and everyone leaves town?

This is such a fabulous story fast paced and filled with awesome characters who join in with Chloe to unearth the killer, of course the food in the café is so yummy and we learn a lot about legal cannabis use and how it helps so many people. I do highly recommend this one to any cosy mystery lover and I am eagerly awaiting more trips to Azalea Bay with Chloe, Grandma Rose, Aunt Dawn, Jake and Antonio.

My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy to read and review.

4 stars
February 20, 2024 by Kensington Cozies

Sunday 21 January 2024

The Body in the Ice House by Kate Hardy

 Reviewed by Nas Dean

"The Body in the Ice House" by Kate Hardy is a riveting mystery that seamlessly blends historical intrigue with a compelling narrative. This novel introduces readers to a chilling discovery in the ice house that sets the stage for a captivating investigation.

Kate Hardy's writing effortlessly transports readers, immersing them in the details of the setting and bringing the characters to life. The mystery unfolds with meticulous pacing, keeping the suspense taut as the characters unravel secrets hidden within the ice house.

The characters are well-developed and contribute to the overall atmospheric charm of the story. Once again, Georgina Drake’s journey into the heart of the mystery is both enthralling and filled with unexpected twists. Kate Hardy skilfully weaves together elements of suspense, historical detail, and a touch of the unknown, creating a tale that keeps readers guessing until the very end.

The ice house itself becomes a character in the story, adding a unique and eerie dimension to the mystery. The author's attention to detail creates a vivid picture of the surroundings, enhancing the overall reading experience.

"The Body in the Ice House" is a must-read for mystery enthusiasts who appreciate a well-crafted plot. Kate Hardy's ability to blend elements of the past with a compelling mystery makes this novel a standout in the genre. It's a chilling and immersive journey that will leave readers eagerly anticipating more from this talented author.

Highly recommended for all readers of mysteries. 


Saturday 2 December 2023

Everyone On This Train Is A Suspect

 Everyone On This Train Is A Suspect

Benjamin Stevenson

Reviewed by Helen

Ernest Cunningham is back, his first book a true telling about what happened in the mountains with his family reunion, he has been contracted to write a second book, this one fiction and he is struggling. When he is invited to the Australian Mystery Writers’ Society fiftieth anniversary crime writing festival aboard The Ghan, a train trip from Darwin to Adelaide, meeting some of the best Australian mystery writers is sure to give him ideas for the new book, he takes his girlfriend Juliette as his guest.

Along with the writers there are agents, publishers, editors, reviewers and fans, Ernest’s own agent Simone is there and she is putting pressure on him about his new book, there are panels for discussion but Ernest can feel the pressure from the start after all Ernest is a debut author and his was a non-fiction story, writing a fiction story is very different, his confidence is lagging, will this trip be what helps him?

Seven authors’ start the journey only five will leave alive and one in handcuffs. When one of the authors drops dead, the other authors decide that they will be able to use their knowledge to solve the mystery but of course it also means that they have to knowledge to cause the death as well, Ernest feels like he is back on the mountain with another death and just maybe he will have another book all be it another non-fiction book and when there is another death he knows he can write another book, but the pressure is on to solve the murders.

This is another fabulous story written in the same way his first book, Everyone in My Family has Killed Someone, it is witty, clever and funny as Ernest talks the readers through the clues and the ways and how’s along the way, there are some very good characters and such fabulous dialogue, you can feel the pressure Ernest is under, I didn’t work out who done it. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, it was a fabulous train trip and I highly recommend it to any mystery reader.

5 stars
October 17, 2023 by Michael Joseph

Thursday 30 November 2023

Fatal Crossing

 Fatal Crossing

Poppy McGowan Mystery Novella #2.5

Pamela Hart

Reviewed by Helen

Poppy is back and she has been shifted from her kids program at the ABC to the current affairs show as a researcher to take over from Jane Mancus who was killed in a car accident while working but was it an accident? This should keep Poppy busy while she worries about her boyfriend Tol going away soon, but it seems that when Poppy investigates she always ends up in danger, will she this time?

Detective Chloe Prudhomme is on the case and has asked for Poppy’s help seeing as how no one from the ABC will hand over any information and Jane’s wealthy family are also being very close lipped, Poppy dives straight in and has lots of thoughts on what happened and what is behind it all, is it one of her co-workers at the ABC or is there something underhanded going on in her family and they needed to keep Jane quiet? Of course when Poppy gets attacked the pressure is on to get answers and Poppy pushes more.

This is another brilliant story in this series, I adore Poppy and Tol and her family and the sheer determination that Poppy shows when investigating, people talk to her so easily, Detective Prudhomme hasn’t changed still pushy. There is a cast of awesome characters in this story and I do highly recommend this one and the series and bring on the next book Murder on the Mosaic, can’t wait to travel to Jordon.

My thanks to the author for my digital copy to read and review.

5 stars
November 30, 2023 by Improbable Fictions

Saturday 11 November 2023

A Clue in the Crumbs

 A Clue in the Crumbs

A Key West Food Critic Mystery #13

Lucy Burdette

Reviewed by Helen

I do enjoy a good cosy mystery, add in some yummy food and a great setting, Key West and a house boat and some wonderful fun characters and this one was a thoroughly enjoyable read that had me guessing. This was my first time meeting food critic Hayley Snow and her off-sider Miss Gloria and it was good to meet them.

Hayley and Miss Gloria are thrilled to be welcoming the Scottish Scone Sisters Violet and Bettina to their home town to do a new TV bake off show, Key West Edition, but things go upside down when the B & B they are supposed to be staying in goes up in flames, easily fixed they can stay on the houseboat with Miss Gloria but when the owner of the B & B is found murdered and it turns out that his wife Rayna is one of the contestants in the show, Hayley and Miss Gloria go into full investigative mode with the help of Violet and Bettina.

Will they find the fire bug and the killer before anyone is hurt, are they the same person? Will the bake off show still go ahead? I am glad I picked this one up and I look forward to getting around to reading more in this series, I do recommend this one to anyone who loves a good cosy mystery.

My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy to read and review.

4 stars

August 8, 2023 by Crooked Lane Books

Thursday 2 November 2023

Murder Under the Mistletoe by Liz Fielding

Reviewed by Nas Dean

A festive season filled with cheer and holiday spirit takes a chilling turn in "Murder Under the Mistletoe" by Liz Fielding. This cozy mystery weaves together Christmas decorations, unexpected deaths, and a cast of characters with secrets that make the holiday season a little less merry.

It is a November 2023 release by Joffe Books. 

Abby Finch is ready to embrace the joys of the season as she heads to the old church hall with mistletoe and holly in hand, eager to help decorate. But her holiday spirit takes a dark turn when she witnesses a shocking and gruesome scene unfold before her eyes. Edward Marsh, an unsuspecting victim, meets a shocking end as he tests an antique star atop the Christmas tree. What begins as a routine decoration endeavor quickly transforms into a murder investigation, leaving the small town in a state of shock and fear.

The mystery deepens as Abby discovers that Edward's death was no accident. Dark secrets and buried grudges come to light as the suspects are revealed, with the enigmatic and charming Gregory Tatton standing at the center of it all. Gregory, a known blackmailer with a way of captivating the senior ladies of the lunch club, becomes a prime suspect in a murder that should have been his own.

Liz Fielding masterfully weaves an intricate web of suspicion, taking readers on a delightful journey through the festive backdrop of the holiday season. The story is filled with a delightful array of quirky characters, each with their own motives, making it an engaging and unpredictable read. As Abby embarks on her quest for the truth, she unearths a series of shocking revelations and dangerous secrets, putting herself in the line of fire.

Despite the cozy holiday setting, "Murder Under the Mistletoe" keeps the tension high and the stakes even higher. The plot is well-paced, with enough twists and turns to keep readers eagerly flipping pages. The writing is crisp, and the dialogue is snappy, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

Author Liz Fielding creates a compelling holiday-themed murder mystery that keeps you guessing until the very end. If you're looking for a cozy yet thrilling read to curl up with by the fireplace during the holiday season, this book is sure to be a delightful choice. Who's been naughty, who's been nice, and who's hiding a murderous secret? Discover the answers in this heartwarming yet suspenseful tale that adds a twist of mystery to your holiday reading list.

Highly recommended for all cozy mystery and romance readers. 


Reviewed by Janie

I really enjoyed book 2 of 2 by Liz Fielding "Murder Under the Mistletoe (Maybridge Murder Series.)" If you enjoy a little suspense in your reading venue I highly recommend this series.

Book 1 in the series "Murder Among the Roses."


Reviewed by Patty Duplechin

If you love a good cozy mystery this one’s for you. Abby Finch is a single mum of three children and has a gardening business. She’s struggling to get through the holidays with children since this is their first Christmas since the death of their father. Abby is busy with work but is headed to church to drop off some mistletoe and Holly for the old folks Christmas festivities. While there she sees Edward Marsh go up the ladder to put the star on the top of the tree. Why was he up there? He doesn’t like heights. 

All of a sudden the lights go off. Why? Was their an electrical problem? They hear a thud and when the lights come on they see Edward on the floor. Abby runs over and tries to save him. Sadly he passed away. Everyone was shocked but now the accident is under investigation. Gregory Tatton was supposed to put the star on, so why didn’t he? Everyone is questioned, including Abby. The police suspects it wasn’t an accident. 

Time to put her sleuth hat on again. Will she find out who did it? Why did they do it? Gregory is causing trouble too. In a roundabout way, he is trying to blackmail Abby. He knows secrets of her ex husband’s family and thinks he can get her to do work for free in his garden. Is he doing the same to others? 

When Gregory is murdered, Abby is now trying to figure out who killed both men. Is it the same one? It’s now up to Abby to find the culprit without the police knowing since she is questioned again for the Gregory’s murder. Can she figure it out? Will the children be okay? Abby is a wonderful character. She’s a great mum and always puts her children first over her own, especially having new feelings for Jake, an old boyfriend from the past. 

The story keeps you guessing. Hard to put it down. It’s well written. Liz Fielding did it again. I received this book for my honest review. I give it voluntarily.


Murder Under the Mistletoe

Maybridge Murder Mysteries #2

Liz Fielding

Reviewed by Helen

Another awesome story in this series, I loved being back in Maybridge, it is just about Christmas time and Abby Finch is busy, it will be the families first Christmas without their father and Jake is away in Italy, but Abby is always happy to help where she can.

Abby has been asked for some mistletoe to decorate the old church hall for the seniors Christmas lunch, when she drops it in with some more foliage for decoration, her old teacher, Edward is there helping decorate, as he attempts to attach the star the lights go out and Edward is dead on the ground, Abby does her best to revive him sadly with no success, it is not long before they realise that it was not a terrible accident.

Abby is approached by Gregory Tatton, a real ladies man to organize for her help in his garden, but this man does not want to take no for an answer and with Abby asking questions it turns out that this man is a blackmailer and seems to have a lot of ladies and a few men at his beck and call, was it him who should have been the victim not Edward?

Then when there is another death in Maybridge, Abby is questioned by the police and Abby is determined to get answers and uncover the truth, there is a lot going on in this village, but will Abby put herself in danger with her digging?

I loved this story and I am loving this series, Abby is a wonderful character, she is easy to make friends with as are her children and things seem to be moving along with Jake, I was guessing till the end with this one, Liz Fielding had me turning the pages and I really hope there will be many more Abby stories to come.

Thank you MS Fielding for another fabulous story, this one is going on the keeper shelf, and I highly recommend to any reader who loves a good mystery with wonderful characters.

My thanks to the publisher Joffe Books and Netcalley for my copy to read and review.

5 stars
November 7, 2023 by Joffe Books