Tuesday 28 February 2023

The Monthly Paper....back Mini Reviews #2

 For the past few years, every January I have said over the upcoming year that I wish to read more paperbacks over the course of the year and every year I fail to reach any of my physical books when I have the ease of my kindle. 

So this year I'm trying things a bit differently and I've decided that if I'm going out then I can read a paperback on the tube, and I'm also hoping to have one on the go at all times, to be read in bed.  I've bought a USB clip on reading light, so I don't have to get out of a warm comfy bed to turn off the light once I'm done reading which I think was putting me off in the past.  

The hope being that if I read a small amount each night, I may read a book in a week or so - but deep down I know the longer I spend reading a book the less I tend to write in a review, so I'm going to try and do this - a monthly digest of mini reviews of the paperbacks I read each month. 

I'm hoping this will mean that I also read more books that I I think mum would enjoy (although I'm only confident about one of these for her), that I fancy too, but haven't read, and hopefully will get more from my shelves to her in the care home, on a more regular basis.  Plus means I'll most likely be reading in paperback form, non specific review books, which will be a nice change. 

Well we are into month two of this and I'm still going, I only read 7 paperbacks in the whole of 2022 as far as I can tell, and at the point I've written this intro I'm already on 5 for 2023 so this may actually be working. 

Oh and Happy Birthday to me as I enter the last year of my 30s! 

February Mini Review #1 - The Secret Diary of a New Mum (aged 43 1/4) by Cari Rosen - 4 Stars

Amazon UK
I laughed out loud many times while reading this real, eye opening account of motherhood, when you are regarded as a geriatric mother.  It's filled not just with Cari's thoughts but also that of her friends and family, and gives a great look at life as a new mum when you are slightly older. 

And the antics of the child in this book are hilarious, and the things she comes out with at such a young age is either surprising to me or this is one genius child! 

This was thoroughly enjoyable and I kept wanting to go back to it to read on.  I don't read non fiction often and I hadn't realised until I started reading that this was real and not fictional, but I'm glad I read it, as I was certainly entertained. 

February Mini Review #2 - That Time I Got Kidnapped by Tom Mitchell - 5 Stars

What a breath of fresh air this book was over my normal books, it was just what I needed to read something rather different. 

It's a really great adventure for Jacob who is meant to be going to Hollywood to appear in a super hero movie, but after missing a flight, he ends up on an epic trip across America, without any clue where he is going, how and ending up in all sorts of situations, mainly due to Jennifer. 

At times really funny, others just gripping, this was a very enjoyable story to read, and I found myself wanting to go to bed each night just so I could read a bit more of this book.  Admittedly I'm not the target age for this book, but I could imagine young people would thoroughly enjoy it too, just like I did.  

Book Review - Nobody Puts Romcoms in the Corner by Kathryn Freeman

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: Nobody Puts Romcoms in the Corner
Author: Kathryn Freeman
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 27th February 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

Not an expert, not even close, not in any of this. But nobody will try harder than me to make you happy.

Sally is a classic romantic and Harry is a classic cynic, but when a drunken bet leads the new flatmates to (badly) recreate ‘the lift’ from Dirty Dancing, and the video goes viral (#EpicRomcomReenactmentFailure), they both realise there’s potential financial benefit in blundering their way through the romcom lexicon for their suddenly vast social media following.

Now, as Harry and Sally bring major romcom moments to new life – including recreating that classic diner scene – their faking it turns to making…out and suddenly they’re living a real life romcom of their own! But like all the greatest love stories, the road to happily ever after is paved with unexpected challenges for this hero and heroine…

If you have ever enjoyed watching any of the classic rom com then without a doubt this is the book for you. 

We have Harry and Sally recreating some classic rom com moments with their own unique spin, which causes them to get loads of TikTok followers.

They are living together as landlady and lodger, and Harry doesn't believe in romance and definitely doesn't share Sally's love of a romantic comedy.

But as they create more videos, well something changes, and I loved every last second of it.

But there is more to it than just tiktok, Sally has a fractured relationship with her sister, and Harry has awful role models for love.

Add in their best friends and you have a wonderful mixture of characters and memorable moments.  And yes they do that scene from the film that shares their names!

I had a big cheesy grin on my face while I was devouring every last word. I couldn't have adored this book more. 

Thank you to One More Chapter and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Monday 27 February 2023

Book Review - All The Wicked Games by Lauren North - #HolidayReading Summer 2022

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: All The Wicked Games
Author: Lauren North
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Publication Date: 11th August 2022
Rating: 5 Stars


'Dark and addictive, twisty and twisted...phenomenal!' Andrea Mara, author of ALL HER FAULT

Are you ready to play?

Best friends Cleo and Rachel spend their evenings pretending to be people they're not, inventing elaborate stories to escape the monotony of their real lives. It's all harmless fun - until they play the game on the wrong person...

It's your move now.

Five years later, Cleo is still struggling to come to terms with the night that destroyed her friendship with Rachel and almost cost them their lives. And then she receives a text: Rachel is missing. Have you seen her?

There's only one person to blame.

Wracked with guilt for failing Rachel the last time they were in danger, Cleo races to find her friend. But could the past be repeating itself? Only this time, they're caught up in a far darker game.

The rules don't matter when the goal is revenge.

Kept me hooked from start to finish. I needed to know just what the game was, just what happened 5 years ago, as well as fearing for Rachel's safety, and Cleo's frame of mind in the present. 

What a deviously twisty book this is, where you have to believe Cleo as she is the main viewpoint, but at the same time, you wonder just what she is hiding too. 

I really couldn't have predicted this and I loved trying to figure everything out. 

I loved the concept behind Cleo and Rachel's game and I can't help but feel this book is trying to tell us not to believe everything you see or hear online. 

Another fantastic psychological thriller from this fabulous author.

Thank you to Transworld and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Saturday 25 February 2023

Book Review - Together, Again by Milly Johnson - Blog Tour

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: Together, Again
Author: Milly Johnson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 29th September 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

Sisters Jolene, Marsha and Annis have convened at their beautiful family home, Fox House, following the death of their mother, the tricky Eleanor Vamplew. Born seven years apart, the women are more strangers than sisters.

Jolene, the eldest, is a successful romantic novelist who writes about beautiful relationships even though her own marriage to the handsome and charming Warren is complicated.

Marsha, the neglected middle child, has put all of her energy into her work, hoping money will plug the gap in her life left by the man who broke her young heart.

Annis is the renegade, who left home aged sixteen and never returned, not even for the death of their beloved father Julian. Until now.

So when the sisters discover that their mother has left everything to Annis in her will, it undermines everything they thought they knew. Can saying their final goodbyes to Eleanor bring them together again?

Together, Again is the story of truths uncovered and lies exposed, of secrets told – and kept. It is a novel about sister helping sister to heal from childhood scars and finding in each other support, forgiveness, courage and love.

It's always a joy to be able to start a new Milly Johnson novel and this was no exception.  

From an intriguing opening, where I realised I needed to learn more about Eleanor, to starting to get to know the three sisters who barely know each other, I was hooked. 

We have Jolene who is the eldest, married to Warren and nothing is quite as it seems with them  Which is arguably a theme for the book as there are plenty of secrets everywhere.   Marsha who is the middle child, I really enjoyed getting to know especially with regards romances. 

And then there is Annis to me the star of the book, completely estranged from her sisters she only returns home after leaving aged 16, when her mum dies.  And somehow I completely failed to guess the reason she left home. Everything I learnt about Annis made me warm to her more and I was always happy when the story was focusing on her. 

The rabbit she liberated may also be part of her appeal, as well as seeing how she slowly starts to form bonds with her sisters who she really doesn't know. 

This a story of rediscovering your siblings, and overcoming the past. There are secrets everywhere to be discovered and there is always something coming up that catches your attention and won't let it go. 

I was hooked on all the various sub plots and I was truly shocked by the final reveal from Eleanor.  It's a wonderful story and one i'm glad I had a chance to read. 

Thank you to Simon and Schuster and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily 

Please follow along with the other wonderful bloggers on this tour. 

Friday 24 February 2023

Book Review - The Sanctuary by Charlotte Duckworth - #HolidayReading Summer 2022

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: The Sanctuary
Author: Charlotte Duckworth
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Quercus
Publication Date: 16th December 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Four pregnant women. Three nights of pampering at an exclusive yoga retreat. One too many deadly secrets . . .

On a remote farm in the deepest Devonshire countryside, four pregnant women arrive at an exclusive yoga retreat for a five-star weekend of prenatal pampering. The location is idyllic.

Their host, Selina, is eager to teach them all she knows about pregnancy and motherhood. But, like Selina, each of the women has a secret.

And secrets can be deadly . . .

When four expectant mothers checked into the Sanctuary for a pre-natal yoga retreat, I don't think any of them anticipated just what would happen, 

For the retreat is far from relaxing, and with everyone including the people running it having secrets it was clear nothing would particularly go to plan. 

There are acts of sabotage, some truly upsetting scenes and stories coming out and this turns it into a book that I could barely put down. 

I was hooked, it is told from 5 points of view, and you always get the sense that something isn't quite right but it's hard to put a finger on just what. 

I loved seeing how everything unfurled and once again am very impressed with with author's writing.

A tense psychological drama that had me flummoxed and found it fascinating. 

Thank you to Quercus and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Book Review - Forever Yours by Debbie Johnson

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: Forever Yours
Author: Debbie Johnson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 21st July 2022 
Rating: 5 Stars

A love to last a lifetime...

Gemma knows perfectly well how one moment can change your life forever. That's why, for two decades, she's lived life by the rulebook.

But this year, everything is different. The beloved daughter she gave up for adoption all those years ago is about to turn eighteen - and that means, there's a chance of being found.

For the first time in her life, Gemma can no longer run from her secrets. And she begins to realise that when everything is falling apart, love can be found in the unlikeliest of places.

Because sometimes your true family is the one you pick for yourself...

Both at the start and end of this book I was on the verge of tears, there is just such a depth of emotion running through this story, it is hard not to be affected. 

It's a stunning, beautifully written story of love, courage, finding yourself, and a whole lot more that although emotional was also incredibly heartwarming. 

This is just a wonderful story, as Gemma navigates life knowing that the daughter she gave up for adoption is turning 18 this year, and a journey of self discovery as she discovers that her life is changing whether she wants it to or not. 

There are a a few people that are slowly able to get close to Gemma and get her to open up and seeing how Gemma changes over the course of the story, as well as her always near the top of her head thoughts about her baby, is just fascinating to read. 

I was totally hooked on this story, and suspect it will play on my mind for a good long while to come. 

Thank you to Orion and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Tuesday 21 February 2023

Book Review - Your Place or Mine? by Portia MacIntosh

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: Your Place or Mine?
Author: Portia MacIntosh
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 17th January 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

Two reluctant housemates. One question: Is this your place or mine...?

When Serena is kicked out of her flat, an offer from her friend, Taylor, to house sit for her while she and her husband go travelling could not be better timing. But unfortunately for Serena she’s not the only one to have received this offer…

Enter Ziggy: arrogant, messy (and annoyingly handsome) musician, and friend of Taylor’s husband. Living with him is far from ideal, especially when he claims the best room, has loud parties - and the least said about his kitchen manner the better...

There's just one solution for Serena – drive him out of the house by being twice as difficult to live with than he is! But Ziggy knows Serena's game and as war ensues between them, being forced together under one roof may result in some unexpected consequences...

Don't miss bestseller Portia MacIntosh's brand new laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

What an amazing first release of the year for Portia MacIntosh, kicking off her 2023 releases in great style (at least I am assuming there will be a few more book from this wonderful author later in the year!). 

This book had me laughing out loud many times during the book, it is hilarious, and I absolutely loved the dynamics between Serena and Ziggy. 

Their one-upmanship their love of a scheme,  and it goes from them declaring all out war when house-sitting together, to well something a great deal friendlier.

Oh and the storyline with Dean, so so good, I loved Serena's mind when it came to him! Also loved meeting Al, and discovering the nature of Serena's new business opportunity. 

There is just so much to love in this book it had me smiling throughout, and I seemed to whizz through the pages and when life meant I needed to stop reading for a bit, I was counting down until I could carry on with the story   Loved it oh so much. 

This is Portia MacIntosh at the top her game. Bravo! 

Thank you to Netgalley and Boldwood Books for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Monday 20 February 2023

Book Review - The Orange Grove by Rosanna Ley - #HolidayReading Summer 2022

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: The Orange Grove
Author: Rosanna Ley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Quercus
Publication Date: 4th March 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

An unforgettable story of past love and family secrets, set in sunny Seville

Holly loves making marmalade. Now she has a chance to leave her stressful city job and pursue her dream - of returning to the Dorset landscape of her childhood to open Bitter Orange, a shop celebrating the fruit that first inspired her.

Holly's mother Ella has always loved Seville. So why is she reluctant to go back there with Holly to source products for the shop? What is she frightened of - and does it have anything to do with the old Spanish recipe for Seville orange and almond cake that Ella keeps hidden from her family?

In Seville, where she was once forced to make the hardest decision of her life, Ella must finally face up to the past, while Holly meets someone who poses a threat to all her plans. Seville is a city full of sunshine and oranges. But it can also be bittersweet. Will love survive the secrets of the orange grove?

Very cleverly written this is the dual stories Ella and Holly's trips to Seville, around 30 years apart. 

They are mother and daughter and throughout there are uncanny parallels between their experiences of Seville. 

I loved learning all about Seville Oranges and also seeing the wide variety of products that can be made from oranges.

I was utterly enchanted by this story and there was no better place for me to read this Spanish set book, then in a swimming pool in Spain myself.

Definitely a great holiday read and another story from Rosanna Ley that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading. 

Thank you to Quercus and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Friday 17 February 2023

Book Review - Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan - #HolidayReading Summer 2022

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: Nora Goes Off Script
Author: Annabel Monaghan
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 7th June 2022
Rating: 4 Stars

Nora's life is about to get a rewrite . . .

Nora Hamilton knows the formula for love better than anyone. As a romance channel screenwriter, it's her job. But when her husband leaves her and their two kids, Nora turns the collapse of her marriage into the best script of her life. When it's picked up for the big screen and set to film on location at her picturesque Hudson Valley home, Nora's life will never be the same - especially after world-famous Hollywood actor and former 'Sexiest Man Alive' Leo Vance is cast as her ex-husband.

The morning after the crew leaves, Nora finds Leo on her porch with a half-empty bottle of tequila and a proposition. He'll pay a thousand dollars a day to stay for an extra week. Seven days: it's the blink of an eye or an eternity, depending on how you look at it. It's enough time to fall in love. Enough time to break your heart . . .

Filled with warmth, wit, and wisdom, Nora Goes Off Script is the best kind of love story - the real kind where love is complicated by work, kids, and the emotional baggage that comes with life.

For Nora and Leo, this kind of love is bigger than the big screen.

Took me a short while to fully get into this story but once I was, I was keen at all times to see what would happen next. 

I loved the dynamics between Nora and Leo, and was curious to see if their worlds really were too different, or they may somehow get it together. 

I enjoyed getting to know Nora's kids too, and kept wanting to give them great big hugs. 

This is the first book I've read by this author and I was fairly impressed and would be keen to see what she writes next. 

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Tuesday 14 February 2023

Book Review - Tilly's Tuscan Teashop by Daisy James

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: Tilly's Tuscan Teashop
Author: Daisy James
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 28th October 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

Welcome to Tilly's Tuscan Teashop, the first book in a brand new series from the author of the Hummingbird Hotel and the Cornish Confetti Agency series.

When photographer Natalie Nicholson’s beach hut studio – and everything she’s spent the last two years working on – is destroyed in a fire, she doesn’t think things can get any worse. Until she sees her boyfriend Josh Clarke on Instagram frolicking on a palm-fringed Balinese beach with a fellow cabin crew member.

Devastated and heartbroken, she heads to Italy to help out at her sister’s English teashop in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, where she encounters sun-dappled hilltop villages with attractive terracotta bell towers, cobbled piazzas housing world-famous art and architecture, and a national fixation with getting from A to B as quickly as possible whether in a glamourous Ferrari, a scarlet Vespa, or a snail-like ape.

With handsome local filmmaker-cum-waiter Matteo Ferretti on hand to guide her, can Tilly learn to ditch her workaholic ways and embrace the Italian pursuit of la dolce vita? Or will she miss out on her chance at a happy-ever-after?

Always a joy to read a new Daisy James novel, and with this one being the start of a new series I was doubly happy.

Well triply happy when I saw the setting was Italy and quadruply happy once I figured out there was plenty of tasty sounding food too.

And it certainly didn't disappoint. I was hooked from the initial pages, and could instantly see how this is a series,  each going to be featuring different characters who all have studios in Blossom Bay.

However when disaster struck, followed by finding out her relationship isn't as good as she thought, Tilly agreed to help with her sisters teashop in Tuscany.

And what a life changing adventure that turned out to be. 

I just loved every second of her time in Tuscany, from her ideas for the teashop, her new friends and well Matteo. 

There is so much to enjoy with this story.  I heartily recommend escaping to Italy with Tilly. You won't regret it. 

Thank you to the author for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Monday 13 February 2023

Book Review - Stranded by Sarah Goodwin - #HolidayReading Summer 2022

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: Stranded
Author: Sarah Goodwin
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 16th September 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

You’ll want to stay. Until you can’t leave…

A group of strangers arrive on a beautiful but remote island, ready for the challenge of a lifetime: to live there for one year, without contact with the outside world.

But twelve months later, on the day when the boat is due to return for them, no one arrives.

Eight people stepped foot on the island. How many will make it off alive?

A totally addictive psychological thriller with twists and turns you just won’t see coming. Fans of The Hunting Party, The Castaways and The Sanatorium will be totally gripped from the very first page until the final, breath-taking conclusion.

Wow, well that was more addictive and compelling than I was perhaps expecting 

It got under my skin early one and I read it in two sittings, barely pausing for breathe, 

It's claustrophobic in places, utterly terrifying in others, and it's amazing how fast a group fo people can turn on each other and make someone fear for their life. 

This is arguably when a reality TV show goes very wrong, and when civilised people collapse into mob rule, the world becomes a very scary place.

At least it is when on a remote Scottish Island trying to survive on the land for a year with 7 strangers, 

I know I can't do this book justice, but I urge you to give it a go if the blurb has remotely caught your eye. You won't regret it. 

Thank you to Avon and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Friday 10 February 2023

Book Review - A Mother's Heart by Carmel Harrington - #BlogTour

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: A Mother's Heart
Author: Carmel Harrington
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 26th May 2022
Rating: 5 Stars

Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
While Rachel Butler likes her life in a pretty Dublin coastal village, her heart lies in Hawke’s Bay, where she grew up. Visiting for the first time since tragedy tore her family apart, she and her stepchildren fall for its beauty and outdoor lifestyle.

Malahide, Ireland
As Rachel picks up the threads of her life as a single parent, she can’t shake off the memories of her loving family in New Zealand – and her dream house, the villa on the bay. But it’s time to move forwards with their life in Ireland, close to the children’s grandparents, amid the familiar surroundings they all know well.

Until the children’s grandmother, still grieving, starts to interfere, questioning Rachel's position as stepmother.

Until Rachel’s attempts to strengthen the family she loves so dearly backfires, pitting everyone against each other.

And until her late husband’s parents mend the rift that has existed as long as she’s been married – bringing with them an explosive secret . . .

Such a beautiful story, that I was soon engrossed in to the point of forgetting there was a real world out there. Carmel Harrington has once again written a brilliant book, of incredibly real characters, and with some big topics being discussed within its pages. 

This time it involves a custody battle for two of the most loved children everywhere.  Unfortunately in Olivia and Dylan's short lives they have lost their birth mum Niamh and their father Lorcan. But Lorcan in those intervening years since Niamh passed away, did meet the love of his life Rachel and they were married and she is the children's mum. 

Well except that Niamh's parent's can't accept that and are determined to bring it all to a head. 

It's a beautifully written, sensitive look at just what rights grandparents and step parents have, if the children's birth parents have both passed away, made more tricky by the fact that Rachel is clearly a wonderful mother to these children. 

The characters are all portrayed in such a way that I could easily see myself hopping on a plane to Dublin to see them for myself.  I could picture everything very clearly and really grew to love believe it or not all of the characters.  Some are flawed but the all felt incredibly realistic and although emotional at times, I was left with a really heartwarming feeling from the story. 

Another triumph from an always incredibly talented author. 

Thank you to HarperCollins and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Thursday 9 February 2023

Book Review - The Car Share by Zoe Brisby - #HolidayReading Summer 2022

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: The Car Share
Author: Zoe Brisby
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 25th March 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

A ninety-year-old woman with Alzheimer's and a heartbroken young man share a ride to Brussels that ends up changing their lives forever.

When Alex pulls up to meet "Max", he expects everything but a ninety-year-old lady who has her heart set on getting to Brussels by carpool.

As for 'Max', who is actually called Maxine, she could not be more ill at ease when settling into the seat next to this young man with bloodshot eyes. God help her if he turned out to be a drug addict who hasn't slept in days!

When it becomes clear that Maxine is suffering from Alzheimer's and wants to take matters into her own hands while she still can, and that Alex battles severe depression, a wonderful friendship starts to form between the unlikely pair. Before long, their travel plans take an unexpected turn...

Translated from the French by Kelly Lardin.

What an uplifting tonic this book truly is. 

It is madcap, its slightly bonkers but above all it features a wonderful new friendship that over a short space of time changes both Alex and Max's lives forever. 

One is depressed, the other is looking to end their life in Brussels, but they meet on a car share website and are on this road trip together. 

Max is larger than life, has all sorts of thoughts and also gets her sayings muddled, which is always amusing 

Alex is lacking in self confidence, is love torn and isn't expecting to bond with Max in the way that he does. 

I loved seeing how their fledgling friendship developed, as well as all manner of other bits of plot that couldn't help but make me smile. 

And the scene is the petrol station was just utterly brilliant and one to look out for.

I really enjoyed reading this novel and am curious to see what else this author has written. 

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Wednesday 8 February 2023

Book Review - Death in Heels by Kitty Murphy

 The Amazon Purchase link below is an Amazon Affiliate link.

Amazon UK

Title: Death In Heels
Author: Kitty Murphy
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer
Publication Date: 1st January 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

When Fi went to support her best friend’s drag debut, she didn’t imagine a killer would be going to watch it too. And they’re waiting for their grand finale…

Fi McKinnery is full of nerves as the gorgeous Mae B (aka her best friend Robyn) takes to the stage for her debut at drag club TRASH, but Mae B is dazzling…that is until local queen Eve lampoons her performance and ruins the show. So when Eve turns up dead later that night, face down in the gutter of a rain-soaked Dublin street, the timing seems awfully suspicious…

The police are quick to rule Eve’s death an accident, but Fi is convinced it was foul play. When her ‘Hagatha Christie’ amateur sleuthing backfires, it drives a wedge between Fi and Robyn. But when another friend is targeted in a hit-and-run, she’s determined to get this twisted killer caught, no matter what the consequences.

Even as the rest of the gang start to distance themselves, Fi is certain that they’re all in terrible danger. Something dark is lurking beneath the feathers, glitter and sequins of Dublin’s drag scene. And it’s not just the sticky floor and cracked mirrors. Someone is targeting the queens. When another member of the group is gunned down, it’s clear the danger is coming ever closer. Can Fi stop the killer before any more of her friends are hurt?

Wow my heart is pounding after that showstopper of a finale sequence.  I had half an inkling who the killer might be, but I also had many other theories and one of them was right but I wasn't even sure I wanted to be right. 

I'm a huge fan of drag queens and kings, and especially over the last few years seen many of them live on the West End stage, but this is the first time I'd read a novel centred around the world of drag, and getting an insight into far more than you see on Drag Race, or on stage, was just fascinating. 

Behind the glitz and glamour, there are real young men, who are just trying to live their best lives, do what they love for a living, and just hope that no one is going to kill them, or shout abuse at them for doing so. 

I loved how Fi was able to explain drag, and the pronouns to many people as she follows her suspicion that Eve's death wasn't accidental and it explained things to me in a way that made sense.  I've never been sure what pronoun to use when referring to queens and now do I do! 

I was fully absorbed in the world of TRASH the club all the queens featured perform at, and loved being on Mae B's journey for her debut and her being at the centre  of everything.  There are so many possible suspects and it's also clear no one is safe. 

Even the finale was in my mind a clear homage to a similar sequence in a film that I suspect is a hit within the gay community, and only other time I've seen that tried.  Actually though I reckon this book would almost certainly look good on a screen, big or small! 

it's just wonderful, I'm so glad I stumbled across the book and I'm greatly looking forward to reading the second book in this series too. 

Thank you to Thomas and Mercer and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...