Posts Tagged ‘mystery’

City of Ghosts (GhostWriters Book 1) by JH Moncrieff

June 17, 2017 - 7:55 am No Comments

City of Ghosts (GhostWriters Book 1) by JH Moncrieff

Published by DeathZone Books on 15th April 2017

282 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Wanting to be the next great author, Jackson Stone has come up with an idea to write about haunted places. Travelling round China, Jackson decides to ditch his tour group and spend a night in Hensu. Supposedly haunted, Jackson a non-believer, thinks nothing of it when Yuehai a mysterious young woman joins him and wants him to tell her story. However, the further he delves into her story, the more he finds himself in danger, running for his life, he needs to trust someone and finds himself turning to Kate a member of the group who has a special talent. Can they tell Yuehai’s story before time runs out?

At the start of this story Jackson was a sceptic when it came to ghosts and just thought that it was an easy option to get a best seller. As he starts to look into the Hensu flooding, his curiosity gets the better of him and he starts asking questions which draws attention from the wrong people. Although Jackson was easy to like and was a team player I had the feeling that he was a bit of loner and found it hard to trust.  He was confident in himself and even used his skin colour to escape capture, however he did have a guilty secret, and it took the help of Kate for him to shed his guilt.

Kate had a soft spot for Jackson from the start and always found a way to gravitate towards him. She was always a target from one nasty girl in the group and although she defended herself you could tell it hurt her feelings. Once she told Jackson about her talent their friendship moved to another level and if the circumstances were different I could see them becoming a couple.

Whilst the story revolved around Jackson and Kate, reading this story you get to know about the other people on this trip. The minor characters were described in detail and whilst they were minor they all played a role in Jackson being able to tell Yuehai’s story. Set in China, Jackson had the added barrier of not using the internet to search for information, and you could sense his struggle in finding out what had happened. This shows just how much we rely on the internet to get our answers. The start of the story was a steady pace as you get to know the characters, but as the story of Hensu is revealed and you realise that Jackson’s life is in danger, the pace quickens up. Whilst this is a supernatural read, this book does not rely solely on the hauntings to tell the story. This way of telling the story added suspense as you did not know when it was going to happen. The action is nonstop, which builds up to a dramatic ending.

This is the 1st book I have read by this author and I did enjoy this story. Book 2 in this series is already out

 

The Fallen and Bloodlust: 2 books both by RL Weeks and KL Roth

April 10, 2017 - 9:11 pm No Comments

The Fallen by RL Weeks and KL Roth

Published 3rd March 2017

100 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

What if you find your boyfriend murdered and you know who did it but he made you forget with a kiss? This is the dilemma that Chloe had. But when she finds out that two sexy handsome demons are involved, Chloe does not know whether to run, fight or be loved.

Chloe was devastated when she loses Jake, and whilst she tried to tell everyone what happened no one believed and just wanted to dope her up. Even her best friend Zelda was worried, but she was more concerned about the constant visits from Miles who helped her overcame her grief. However, you could tell that she still had a crisis of conscious when she was with Miles. Miles although a demon was caring and considerate, but possible that was down to the heritage of his parents. For him falling in love with a human was frowned upon, but this did not stop him pursuing Chloe. Things became more confusing for Chloe when Grail decided to pay her attention. Grail was very full of himself and I think he toyed with Chloe’s guilt. He was like a cat playing with a mouse. Although whilst reading this story I thought she was one lucky girl

The sex scenes were hot but what do you expect when one of the demons is a succubus. The ending had one unexpected twist which completed this story. As a novella, this was a quick read and it was a good introduction to the authors writing skills as a collaboration. If you like your demons hot and spicy then this is the book for you.

 

Bloodlust: A Darkness Calls: Volume 1 by RL Weeks and KL Roth

Published 3rd March 2017

238 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Emeline was in the wrong place at the wrong time, caught up in a witch hunt and cursed to walk the earth as a vampire. Whilst find a cure for her curse, she loses someone she loved, vowed never to love again, she hurts others before they can hurt her. Born to serve is her only friend and servant Marie who she saved from death many years before. After moving to a quiet town in England, she puts her plan into action to make their friendship eternal, but after meeting Matt a troubled young man whose family is falling apart, she stops to think about who she really is. Does Emeline go with her plan? Is Matt her saviour? and where is Matt’s missing sister?

Emeline is a complex woman, from the moment she got cursed she knew what she was doing was wrong, however she needed to survive. After the loss of first love her whole nature changes and she becomes heartless. However, I think that was just to protect herself from the hurt and underneath her evilness she was still a scared young woman. Only when she was with Marie do we see her carefree nature and this showed more after she met Matt. Matt had so many problems at home, a missing sister, a mom who had spiralled into a deep depression and a dad that had a fascination with a younger woman. Matt brought out the best in Emeline, and what started out as escapism soon turned into something else, but was it love or lust.

The further you get into the story more characters appear, Ti a warlock infatuated with Emeline and Lilith a love-struck witch to name but a few, but with all the additional character it does not make this book confusing as the authors tie up their involvement neatly. Added to this is further magical creatures, all having an important role in this story   About 2/3rds into the story there is a scene that shocked me as I could not believe what the authors had done with Emeline but further on and with a great twist the story gives you an explanation of Matt’s missing sister. There is so many twist in this story that it makes it a page turner as you don’t know what to expect. This book ticks all the right boxes. Paranormal, erotica, horror, mystery and fantasy. This will please so many different readers and with a cliff-hanger that makes you wander where this story will go, I can’t wait for book 2

Perk Noir by Chris Garson

March 26, 2017 - 10:38 am No Comments

Perk Noir by Chris Garson

Published by Optimus Maximus Publishing on 6th July 2016

375 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

After getting injured on the field, former American Football player Mason Barnes became an author. He has a created a series about a ninja spy Mia Killjoy who can kill any assailant with her lady parts, loved by a niche audience all Mason wants to do is to win a Pulitzer. Mason does his writing at Perk Noir, a coffee shop dedicated to Earl “Lightening” Perkins, original owner and little known Jazz player. Being a big fan of Lightening, Mason knew there was more to his life and if he wanted to win that prestigious award, then he would have to investigate and write Lightening’s story. Helping with this story was Shelly a big Mason, Cosplay and Mia fan, who’s family heirloom kicked started the Lightening investigation, but he knew that he had to get to the story before his nemesis, Bancroft.

The way the author described Mason you have a definite picture in your mind whilst reading this story. I found him to be a loveable character, a gentle giant who had a fascination for people’s head size. When he joined up with Shelly their partnership was solid and I felt that she bought out the best in Mason and was always worrying about his wellbeing, especially when Mason suffers a health scare.  Although young in age, she was very mature and was full of confidence and I liked the way that she did not care what people thought about her. The detail that the author put into each character even the minor ones, added more depth to the story. I was instantly drawn to Brett Barlow, the café owner and Professor Harrison Coopers-Clarke Mason’s mentor and I would like to know more about them

Weaving from past to present, helped tell the story of Mason’s investigation, without it being confusing. Lightening’s story was so convincing that I had believed that he was an actual Jazz player. This is a well written book, with a great plot full of twists and turns. I did not want the story to finish but I could not put it down. It had me laughing at Mia’s antics and the constant comparison of head sizes and the final twist I am sure I just sat there with my mouth agape as I definitely did not see that coming.

This is a great story and not just for mystery lovers. I want to read more of Mason and I want to know if Snippy ever loses weight.

Beatrice Beecham’s Cryptic Crypt by Dave Jeffery

March 3, 2017 - 5:51 pm No Comments

Beatrice Beecham’s Cryptic Crypt by Dave Jeffery

Published by Crystal Lake Publishing on 3rd March 2017

277 pages

Reviewed by Yvonne Davies

Dorsa Finn, has its secrets. A typical quiet coastal town where everyone knows each other. Mayor Codd wants to keep his town peaceful, so when the Blue Thunder Foundation wants to set up their new base, Mayor Codd jumps at the chance and wants every teenage boy to sign up to the project. Beatrice, Patience, Elmo and Lucas are The Newshounds; 4 teenagers who like nothing else but a good mystery but with strange tremors, re-educated boys and history resurfacing they get more than they bargained for.

It takes a skill to write from the POV of a teenager without it sounding annoying and immature and Dave Jeffery has nailed it. These 4 teenagers had a really great friendship and relied on each other for support. I did not find any of the characters annoying. I personally thought that the girls Beatrice and Patience was the brains behind the group. Beatrice was a great chef and I did smile to myself when to help her make decisions had an imaginary debate with her favourite chefs and Patience had a knack with languages and that came in useful when a new resident came to live in Dorsa Finn who was deaf. When the older generation were in trouble, the Newshounds were the ones they called. Talking about the older residents Maud and Agnes where my favourites characters as they reminded me so much of Cissie and Ada, and if you are too young to remember them, then google Les Dawson

Using the link between the Occult and the Third Reich as the base of the story added mystery and intrigue. This enabled the author to explain the history of some of the older residents of Dorsa Finn whilst adding a supernatural element to the story.

This book is not just for teenagers, as an adult I enjoyed reading it as there was enough mystery and intrigue to keep my interest. The author teased you throughout the book dropping hints about what the Blue Thunder Foundation were and what their beliefs were but it was not till the end of the book that the secrets came out. This is the 1st book that I have read by Dave Jeffery and although there are other books starring Beatrice Beecham, you do not have to read them to understand and enjoy this story. Move over Nancy Drew, watch out Mystery Incorporated there are a new gang of teenagers in town.

Death Stalks Kettle Street by John Bowen

November 22, 2016 - 8:14 pm No Comments

Death Stalks Kettle Street by  John Bowen
Page Count: 374
Release date: 9th December 2016
Reviewed by Chris Amies

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Greg Unsworth has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Massive, almost-crippling OCD that makes it difficult for him to get out of the house and he has to count backwards from 100 before he can cross the road. His world is circumscribed by drawing comic-book characters, making trips to the local shop, and occasional excursions to the city.
Beth Grue is an aspiring writer. She has Cerebral Palsy but doesn’t let that stand in her way. More of an issue for her at the moment is that the teacher of her Creative Writing class assumes wrongly she’ll be an easy catch.
And in the town they live in, the suburban peace is about to get broken by a series of inexplicable and vicious murders.
I enjoyed this novel. I felt the narrative bowled along. The murders are intriguing and Bowen sets us up from the first to expect what is known as a ‘cosy’ … but then there is nothing cosy about murder, and it has ramifications, not least in this case where Greg seems to be being set up to take the blame. Teaming up with Beth the two of them set off to find out what is going on. There are suitable blind alleys and red herrings and characters who could easily have done it, but did they? The reader has to read and find out.
The two protagonists having respectively OCD and CP was intriguing and convincing especially about the question which all must be asked, without actually saying it: What’s wrong with you? Both are tough characters in their way and their relationship develops interestingly. The secondary characters are well-rounded: throughout there is a theme of people not being reducible to a word or an adjective: that one story tends to become the only story. Your adjective is not your definition or your limitation. A similar lack of definition extends to the novel’s setting: the characters’ home town (‘Northcroft’) is likely Northfield, a southern suburb of Birmingham, and the ‘city’ is clearly Brum, including a good description of the new Library. They aren’t named as such though which allows the writer to take liberties with their geography.
There is no supernatural element to the story, unlike some of John Bowen’s other work. Instead “Death Stalks Kettle Street” marks a strong and confident turn towards the detective genre.