Posted in Books I have read

A Small Deceit – Margaret Yorke

Crime Fiction 4*'s
Crime Fiction

I was recommended Margaret Yorke by a colleague who thought this would be an excellent author to add to my pile of crime fiction; I’m ashamed to say the 1993 winner of the CWA Golden Handcuff Award, for the most popular crime writer had passed me by.

A Small Deceit was first published in 1991 although the story it tells is set firmly in 1990. The first thing I noticed is how small the book seems, back in the early 90’s some paperbacks could still fit in a reasonably sized coat pocket although the size of the print has decreased to match resulting in a tidy 200 page book.

At the centre of our plot is William Adams a cold-hearted killer who sentenced for rape and assault has just been released from prison. He changes his name but when visiting a rural guest house he meets someone from the past who is not who he says he is. ‘From a small deceit, great crimes can grow…’

This book flits backwards and forwards building up the characters of both William and Judge Colin Drew, his wife Felicity and grown-up son Tim. Felicity is bored with the routine of her life so she has taken up buying and selling small antiques as a hobby, all this is kept secret from the judge who has kept her well but holds the school of thought that women are to be kept in the home and not encouraged to spread their wings but Felicity needs more than a twice-monthly visit from her pompous son and daughter-in-law to keep her spirits up. As befits her standing in the community Felicity has the faithful Mrs Hunter to help out with the house. This book gives a fascinating peek behind the window-dressing where all in the household is not well.
To the mix of characters we meet June a doctor’s widow who has transformed her home into a welcoming guest house where weary travellers or visitors to the area can rest-up and enjoy a good breakfast.

I found this to be a masterpiece of a crime novel, only slightly marred by too many soliloquies on the rehabilitation of prisoners. The characters really are key to this type of crime novel which keeps its bodies mainly out of sight. The plot tension was carefully tightened as the feeling of menace emanates from our known killer grows page by page.

I’m glad I found this little book particularly as one of the characters is a staunch monarchist and so it was also a snapshot in time of the year before the Queen stated; ‘1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an ‘Annus Horribilis.’ So within the pages of A Small Deceit our character was still able to revere a monarchy free from scandal.

A brilliant little book, I am very glad that I have two more books by Margaret Yorke to read on my TBR.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (June 20)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

So I am very soon departing for sunnier shores and have spent endless hours sorting out piles of books to take, both physical and kindle versions because I can’t take the risk of being without suitable reading matter. As always I have been wildly optimistic on how much I will read but I certainly won’t be short of choices.

First up, courtesy of NetGalley I have a copy of The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

The Good Girl

‘I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the colour of her eyes or what they look like when they’re scared. But I will.’
Mia Dennett can’t resist a one-night stand with the enigmatic stranger she meets in a bar. But going home with him might turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life…
An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a compulsive debut that reveals how, even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems…NetGalley

This book is due to be published on 1 August 2014 by Harlequin UK

A colleague at work has suggested Margaret Yorke as an author I might enjoy so I now have a copy of A Small Deceit originally published in 1991. This is a small book so easily tucked into the suitcase.

A Small Deceit


William Adams is a killer who has never been convicted for murder. He has never confessed, even when convicted of rape and criminal assault. Nor has he admitted to the other attacks upon women. He feels no remorse, no pity for his victims. He despises them.
Now, having served his sentence in full, he is free, subject to no supervisory control. He has some money put away. He can assume a new identity and disappear.
At a quiet guesthouse on the outskirts of a country town, Adams recognizes someone from his past, someone also staying there under an assumed name, someone who must have recognized him.
From this chance encounter, a nightmarish chain of events is set in motion, and the lives of many people who should have been immune to threat and blackmail, fear and violence, are profoundly changed. Goodreads

I also have a copy of Rage Against The Dying by Becky Masterman following a particularly good review by Bibliobeth who convinced me with the phrase ‘can I just re-iterate how refreshing it is to read a crime novel where our main character is an intelligent and very feisty OLDER woman.’ Read her full review here

Rage Against The Dying


In her hey-day, ex FBI agent, Brigid Quinn, not only worked serial killer cases but became their prize. Small and blond, from a distance she looked vulnerable and slight…the perfect bait to catch a killer. But as Quinn got older, she realised she needed to find a protégé, a younger field agent to take her place. So Quinn trains a twenty-two year old and lets her loose in the field. The plan works. Until the Route 66 killer not only takes the bait, but kills the bait.
Years on, Quinn is trying to move past the fact that she has a young woman’s death on her conscience. She’s now the perfect Stepford Wife – until she gets a knock on her door. The girl’s body has finally been discovered. Quinn is pulled back into the case and the more she learns about the killer the more she comes to believe, despite the overwhelming forensic evidence to hand, that they have the wrong man. Amazon

Also under consideration is Buried A Man I Hated There by Adam Pepper. Doesn’t that title just scream beach read?

Buried A Man I Hated There

Jack Maddox is distraught after the mysterious deaths of his wife and young daughter. His head constantly aches and his memories are hazy and lost.
Heidi, his wife’s twin sister, does her best to help Jack cope. Ever reliable and dutiful, she encourages Jack to move on with his life.
Each Valentine’s Day, they meet in a field in rural Vermont for a picnic in the snow.
Jack has a secret that’s buried deep. Heidi has a secret of her own. Will they unravel their secrets, or will their secrets unravel them?
Salvation lies hidden in the snow, and in each other. Amazon

Also being considered is a book set in the Blue Mountains; Currawong Manor by Josephine Pennicott

Curawong Manor


When photographer Elizabeth Thorrington is invited to document the history of Currawong Manor for a book, she is keen to investigate a mystery from years before: the disappearance of her grandfather, the notorious artist Rupert Partridge, and the deaths of his wife, Doris, and daughter, Shalimar. For years, locals have speculated whether it was terrible tragedy or a double murder, but until now, the shocking truth of what happened at the Manor that day has remained a secret.
Relocating to the manor, Elizabeth interviews Ginger Flower, one of Rupert’s life models from the seventies, and Dolly Shaw, the daughter of the enigmatic ‘dollmaker’ who seems to have been protected over the years by the Partridge family. Elizabeth is sure the two women know what happened all those years ago, but neither will share their truths unconditionally. And in the surrounding Owlbone Woods, a haunting presence still lurks, waiting for the currawongs to gather…Goodreads

Please share your Friday Finds with me, because once I’ve put a severe dent in the TBR with the holiday reads I’m sure I’ll need some new books to replenish the gap.