Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (July 29)

This Week on the Blog

This was another week where all my reviews were for books being published during this week, starting with my thoughts on The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola .

My excerpt post was from The Liar’s Room by Simon Lelic which will be published on 9 August 2018.

This Week in Books featured the authors P.D. James, Stephen Bates and Lisa Ballantyne.

My second review of the week was for the superb Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys (aka Tammy Cohen), a novel set on the Riviera in 1948 which was published on 26 July 2018.

That was followed by my review for another exceptionally good psychological thriller; Open Your Eyes by Paula Daly.

My week concluded with me choosing my titles for The Classics Club Spin #18 – I have to wait for Wednesday to find out the result so fingers crossed it’s a good (and short) one!

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Shelter by Sarah Franklin. Set in the time of WWII and featuring lumberjill’s working in the Forest of Dean as part of the war effort.

Reading this book was a somewhat strange experience as I lived in the area from the age of nine until I left home and yet I had no idea about this part of its history.

The chief protagonist Connie hails from Coventry and wanted more from life than working in a factory followed by marriage meanwhile Seppe is a POW caught while fighting a war he didn’t believe in. There stories take in the local characters and captured the essence of life in a small community which was still evident when I lived there, decades later.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover.


Early spring 1944.

Connie Granger has escaped her bombed-out city home, finding refuge in the Women’s Timber Corps. For her, this remote community must now serve a secret purpose.

Seppe, an Italian prisoner of war, is haunted by his memories. In the forest camp, he finds a strange kind of freedom.

Their meeting signals new beginnings. But as they are drawn together, the world outside their forest haven is being torn apart. Old certainties are crumbling, and both must now make a life-defining choice.

What price will they pay for freedom? What will they fight to protect? Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

I was recently contacted to see if I would like to read James Henry’s second book in the DS Lowry series, Yellowhammer. Having greatly enjoyed visiting Essex during the 1980s in the first book Blackwater, I jumped at the chance.


July 1983, Essex. A boy playing hide-and-seek sees a fox tugging at something up on a railway embankment. He approaches it cautiously. Seconds later, a blast is heard, and rooks ascend from the poplars surrounding the farmhouse at which the boy is spending his summer holiday with cousins.

DI Nick Lowry is called upon to investigate two deaths at Fox Farm, the home of eminent historian Christopher Cliff. The body in the farmhouse kitchen is Cliff himself, having seemingly taking his own with an antique shotgun. The fox-disturbed body on the property boundary is as yet unidentified.

Lowry is already under pressure: County Chief Merrydown was at college with Cliff and knows the family. He must enlist colleagues Daniel Kenton and Jane Gabriel to answer two key questions: just who was at the house with Cliff that morning, and just what has since happened to Cliff’s wife? Amazon

Having built up three whole book tokens I went on a spending spree and spent the lot, although one book is yet to be delivered.

Those of you who read my review of Life After Life by Kate Atkinson won’t be at all surprised to hear that I bought a copy of A God in Ruins which takes up the story of Teddy Todd who appeared in the former novel.


A God in Ruins relates the life of Teddy Todd – would-be poet, heroic World War II bomber pilot, husband, father, and grandfather – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.

This gripping, often deliriously funny yet emotionally devastating book looks at war – that great fall of Man from grace – and the effect it has, not only on those who live through it, but on the lives of the subsequent generations. It is also about the infinite magic of fiction. Few will dispute that it proves once again that Kate Atkinson is one of the most exceptional novelists of our age.

I also have a copy of The One I Was by Eliza Graham, an author who has greatly impressed me with her historical novels, my most recent read being Another Day Gone


Restless, troubled Rosamond Hunter has spent most of her life running away from the past, filled with guilt about her involuntary role in her mother’s death. When her nursing job brings her back to Fairfleet, her childhood home, to care for an elderly refugee, she is forced to confront the ghosts that have haunted her for so long.

Her patient, Benny Gault, first came to Fairfleet, England, in 1939, having fled Nazi Germany on a Kindertransport train.

As his health fails, he and Rosamond begin to confide in each other. At first their tentative friendship revolves around the love they both shared for Rosamond’s glamorous grandmother, Harriet, but as their trust in each other grows, guilty secrets are exposed and history is turned on its head.
From the acclaimed author of Playing with the Moon and Restitution comes a beautiful and haunting tale of friendship, redemption and forgiveness across generations. Amazon


What have you found to read this week?


Sadly I’m back to only having finished 2 books this week and have gained 3 that brings the total to  171!
Physical Books – 114
Kindle Books – 41
NetGalley Books –15
Audio Books –1



I have added no reviews of my own books this week so technically I have 1 1/3 books (but one of those has been spent so it’ll disappear very soon)


Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (June 11)

Weekly Wrap Up

Mum’s last trip to Jersey July 2010


This has been a sad week as my Mum who had been suffering with dementia for the last few years, had a massive stroke and passed away a few days later on Friday. Mum wasn’t a huge reader but she did encourage my love of books, she was the one who taught me to read before I started school and took me to the library from a young age where I would sit happily choosing my latest haul, some things never change!
So because I tend to write and schedule my posts at the weekend, the content has been there but I haven’t been responding as usual…

This Week on the Blog

On Monday I posted my review of Love Like Blood by Mark Billingham a superb book which has the subject of honour killings at its heart. This, the fourteenth book in the Tom Thorne series got the full five stars from this reader.

My excerpt post came from Each Little Lie by Tom Bale, a psychological thriller which will be published on 29 June 2017.

This Week in Books featured the authors Beryl Bainbridge, Jane Corry and Nicci French… unsurprisingly I haven’t got too far through the list this week.

My review on Thursday was of my first read for my 20 Books of Summer 2017 challenge, What Remains Behind by Dorothy Fowler which is set on an archaeological dig in New Zealand. A different type of mystery to many with the storyline split between two, one hundred years apart.

Next I reviewed the fantastic second book by Fiona Barton, The Child. Her storytelling style had me hooked with the mysterious burial of a baby decades earlier and three unconnected women who react to a brief news item about the find.

Sadly I wasn’t as enamoured with Beryl Bainbridge’s novel Winter Garden which is set in Soviet Russia in the early 1980s, which was reflected in my last review of the week, although I will continue to explore this author’s other books.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge. I adored the setting of a theatre in 1950s Britain where we meet Stella a sixteen year old who is a stage hand. The story of Stella and her infatuation with an older man is at times painful to read but I loved the darkness, the cleverness, the period details and the sardonic humour.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover


It is 1950 and the Liverpool reporatory theatre company is rehearsing its Christmas production of Peter Pan, a story of childhood innocence and loss. Stella has been taken on as assistant stage manager and quickly becomes obsessed with Meredith, the dissolute director. But it is only when the celebrated O’Hara arrives to take the lead, that a different drama unfolds. In it, he and Stella are bound together in a past that neither dares to interpret. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

This week I gained two new reads courtesy of NetGalley:

Frost at Midnight by James Henry who has written the three previous prequel’s to R.D. Wingfield’s series and for me the tone has been consistent with the originals. I have a soft spot for Jack Frost in 1980s Denton.


August, 1983. Denton is preparing for a wedding. Detective Sergeant Waters should be on top of the world with less than a week to go until he marries Kim Myles. But the Sunday before the big day, instead of a run-through with his best man, the church is sealed off. The body of a young woman has been found in the churchyard, and their idyllic wedding venue has become a crime scene.

Detective Sergeant Jack Frost has been homeless for the past three months, ever since his wife’s family sold the matrimonial house. He’s been staying with Detective Constable Sue Clarke but with a baby to take care of and the imminent arrival of her mother, she’s given him his marching orders.

But as best man to Waters, he’s got a responsibility to solve the mystery of the dead girl in the churchyard. Can he put his own troubles aside and be the detective they need him to be? All in all, August looks set to be a wicked month in Denton… NetGalley

I was exceptionally lucky to be approved for a copy of The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham, a psychological thriller that sounds like it will indeed thrill! The Secrets She Keeps is due to be published on 11 July 2017.


Everyone has an idea of what their perfect life is. For Agatha, it’s Meghan Shaughnessy’s.
These two women from vastly different backgrounds have one thing in common – a dangerous secret that could destroy everything they hold dear.

Both will risk everything to hide the truth, but their worlds are about to collide in a shocking act that cannot be undone. NetGalley

Do let me know what you’ve found to read this week?


Since my last post I’ve read 3 books and gained 2

The current total is therefore 181 
Physical Books – 106
Kindle Books – 62
NetGalley Books – 13

Posted in Author Interview

Q & A with James Henry Author of Blackwater

Blackwater book jacket

Back in March I received a copy of this book from the author and simply couldn’t wait until closer to publication date to read it – yes my strict scheduling was broken for this author who also wrote the prequels to the Inspector Frost series, which he executed with the spirit of R D Wingfield.

You can read my review to Blackwater here and even better it’s published today!

I’ll start with the obvious question:

When did you know that you wanted to be a writer? Did you write stories as a child?  

I never thought about writing until the opportunity presented itself (with First Frost), and then it was more to see if I could, rather any burning passion to do so.

What were your five favourite childhood books?

Richard Scarry’s The Great Pie Robbery, The Magic Faraway Tree, The Fantastic Mr Fox, Comet in Moominland, Moominland Midwinter.

Oh yes! All of those were in our house too!

You wrote the three excellent prequels for R D Wingfield’s Inspector Frost series: Were you asked to or did you volunteer?

Thanks. I volunteered. I am a fan, the TV had drawn to a close and the author had sadly passed away. It is a rare privilege to be associated with the great R D Wingfield and his fantastic creation, Jack Frost.

Blackwater is set on the Essex shoreline particularly around Mersea Flats and your writing really evokes the sense of place. Is it somewhere that you have spent a lot of time?

Yes, I love it there. I have been windsurfing off West Mersea for over twenty-five years, but also visit on still days to walk on the sea wall at Cudmore Grove.

Where did the inspiration for DI Nick Lowry come from? Is he based on someone you know?

He’s not based on anyone I know (though like Lowry I keep my sherry in the fridge, but that’s where the similarity ends). His name is borrowed from the writer Malcom Lowry, a favourite of mine.

How would you introduce Nick Lowry at a party?

He’s not the party type!

Being a teenager in the 1980s I particularly enjoy stories set at this time so what one thing best evokes the 80s to you?

The music. A lot of it was truly dreadful, but on the other hand it was undeniably a varied decade, if you think about it.

It was indeed and there are some bars of music (good and bad) that instantly conjure up that time for me.

I felt quite sorry for WPC Jane Gabriel at the beginning of the book since she really is subject to the male whims of her colleagues who either dismiss her or see her as a sex object? This aspect of the book really did hammer home quite how far attitudes have changed. Was it a deliberate choice to make her quite so attractive to highlight this?

Yes – that and I wanted a new recruit from another industry/environment. Gabriel was a model and so was familiar with the drawing stares – the fact that she cannot escape this even behind a uniform made it an appealing attribute to her character.

Which book set in the 80s would you recommend to me?

It would have to be A Touch of Frost.

The pace of this thriller is far faster than Frost’s more meandering way at solving a case; which is easier to write?

Frost was easier to write, as there are (very good) precedents. Although the prequels aren’t by any means the same, the originals provide a guide to follow, with regard to structure.

Do you have a writing schedule? Perhaps you have a target of a set number of words per day?

In a way – I know how much I need to do in a month…and have deadlines (which I consistently miss).

With Colchester being a garrison town some of the members of the armed forces are under observation in relation to suspected drugs smuggling. How much research did you have to do to get the scenes where the Police force and the armed forces have different priorities right?

I didn’t research too deep, as that would have affected how I drew the characters and how they might interpret situations. That said I did get a general overview from people who were there at the time, and the whole book is influenced by stories I picked up on by dint of living in the area. For example in the 1930s Colchester Police had a boxing team that won the European Championship. The team was run by a Chief Constable who was keen to recruit sportsmen like Sparks in Blackwater. Whether they actually sparred with the army, I have no idea, but it seems feasible from a fictional point of view.

Where do you write?

On the train when I commute into London, and in very untidy room in Essex.

Are there any more books in the pipeline and do they feature DI Lowry?

There are. I’m just about to start…

The information I received with Blackwater says you work in publishing and enjoy long lunches? What do you do? Are there any openings as I like long lunches too!

Ha, yes I do work in publishing as an editor. The long lunches are infrequent now, but enjoyable when they occur… shout when you’re in town and we’ll what we can do!

James Henry_MG_5361

Thank you James for answering my questions with such good humour, I wish you every success with Nick Lowry and look forward to that book you are about to start…

Publication Date UK: 14 July 2016
Publisher: riverrun
No of Pages 496
Genre: Crime Fiction
Amazon UK
Amazon US

The Frost Prequels
First Frost
Fatal Frost
Morning Frost

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Blackwater – James Henry

Crime Fiction 4*s
Crime Fiction

Well James Henry has worked hard to shake off the shadow of Inspector Jack Frost who he brilliantly recreated in the three prequels he wrote following the demise of their creator R.D. Wingfield. In Blackwater there isn’t a whiff of Jack, although as these books are set in the 80s, the policing isn’t quite what we expect in these more enlightened times. This has the added advantage that the police are far more interested in actual action than meeting targets and getting overly involved in the politics of policing, although the whiff of them is just blowing faintly on the breeze!

Our chief protagonist in the force in Blackwater is Detective Inspector Nicholas Lowry, a sympathetic character who is struggling with his approaching fortieth birthday albeit with fortitude. His decision to stop smoking whilst those around him continue with abandon and to give up his position on the Boxing team is giving his boss serious cause for concern. Nick Lowry is married to a nurse, Jacqui, and although he may not fully understand why, his marriage isn’t as healthy as his New Year’s resolution. Conveniently our book covers the time the clock strikes midnight on 31 December 1982 and before too long a headless corpse is discovered on the salt marshes of Blackwater.

Meanwhile we get to hear from some smugglers with a shipment who have lost their way but are determined to start 1983 with the money they were promised but luck isn’t on their side. The discovery of the corpse has delayed them further and without the name of the buyer, it looks like they may have a long wait. Without mobile phones to handily use to pass on messages through the food-chain to explain themselves, life quickly becomes very complicated.

James Henry brilliantly gives us a sense of time period and place. The complexities of Colchester’s CID co-operation with the smaller, and often cut-off West Mersea police force are engagingly recreated for our pleasure. With the larger force at least making a nod towards more progressive policing, West Mersea are very much stuck in another time, where knowing someone is a ne’er-do-well, is reason enough to arrest and charge them for the next available crime. The author gives us some of the much loved products and historical facts to reinforce the time, without going over the top and trading on reader’s nostalgia. The setting helps here too, Colchester is a garrison town and the army features strongly as tensions rise between them and the locals, any patriotic goodwill from winning the Falklands War certainly doesn’t trump the soldiers spending their Christmas leave on using their wages to woo the local ladies.

The plot is complicated and with quite a few characters, including a very promising young female officer, to keep track of this isn’t a book to read if you don’t have plenty of concentration. Fortunately each change of view or place is helpfully signposted by giving the date, time and place, take note dear reader, especially at the beginning or I fear you may get in a terrible muddle! The switches frequent the viewpoint ever changing and with both actual and moral crimes being committed you do want to know what is what. With a steadier hand than our original two smugglers though, James Henry brings this to a fitting conclusion in the very model of a proper police procedural, with the loose ends tied up but leaving one thread to enable him to give us another episode, hopefully in the not too distant future.

I was given a proof copy by the author well ahead of the publication date of 14 July 2016 and I’m afraid I couldn’t wait until nearer this date to sample the goods!!

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (March 9)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lypsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

I am currently reading Blackwater by James Henry,  a new police procedural series featuring DI Nick Lowry which is set in 1980s Essex.


You can read the synopsis and excerpts from this book in yesterday’s post.

I have recently finished Mrs Maybrick by Victoria Blake, a short non-fiction book which examines this infamous convicted poisoner.

Mrs Maybrick


Florence Maybrick was a 19 year old Alabama belle when she married Liverpool cotton-broker James Maybrick in 1881. She was convicted of his murder in 1889 after arsenic was found in his corpse. However, it was never established whether she administered the poison or whether Maybrick himself took the fatal dose. This Crime Archive title examines the murder, trial and controversy through Home Office files held at The National Archives. Amazon

Next up is No One Knows by J.T. Ellison which is due to be published on 22 March 2016.

No One Knows


The day Aubrey Hamilton’s husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring closure so she can move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn’t want to move on. She just wants Josh back. It’s been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage—they were happy, weren’t they?—screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in his disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn’t Josh show up at his friend’s bachelor party? Who anonymously sent Aubrey her favorite cocktail at the bar where Josh stood her up? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious and strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting her new life?
As her heroine faces the possibility that everything she thinks she knows about herself, her marriage, and her husband is a lie, New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison expertly peels back the layers of a complex woman who is hiding dark secrets beneath her unassuming exterior. In a masterful thriller for readers who love Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins, Ellison pulls you into a you’ll-never-guess merry-go-round of danger and deception. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops…no one knows. NetGalley

So that’s my reading sorted! What are you reading this week?


Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (March 8)

First Chapter

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

My chosen book for this week is Blackwater by James Henry, the author who wrote the three prequels to the Frost series.



January 1983, Colchester CID
A new year brings new resolutions for Detective Inspector Nicholas Lowry. With one eye on his approaching fortieth birthday, he has given up his two greatest vices: smoking, and the police boxing team. As a result, the largest remaining threat to his health is now his junior colleague’s reckless driving.
If Detective Constable Daniel Kenton’s orange sports convertible is symbolic of his fast track through the ranks, then his accompanying swagger, foppish hairstyle and university education only augment his uniqueness in the department. Yet regardless of this, it is not DC Kenton who is turning station heads.
WPC Jane Gabriel is the newest police recruit in Britain’s oldest recorded town. Despite a familial tie to top brass, Gabriel’s striking beauty and profound youth have landed her with two obstacles: a young male colleague who gives her too much attention, and an older one who acts like she’s not there.
January 1983, Blackwater Estuary
A new year brings a new danger to the Essex shoreline. An illicit shipment, bound for Colchester – 100 kilograms of powder that will frantically accelerate tensions in the historic town, and leave its own murderous trace.
Lowry, Kenton and Gabriel must now develop a tolerance to one another, and show their own substance, to save Britain’s oldest settlement from a new, unsettling enemy. Amazon

~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro


10:45 P.M., Friday, New Years Eve, 31st December 1982
Blackwater Estuary, Essex

Though they couldn’t have been travelling at more than six knots, the din when they unexpectedly beached the boat was horrific The older man’s panic subsided once the racket of the small outboard motor was silenced and he realised they weren’t going to sink; that they had in fact run aground. Now all was quiet. And eerily dark.

Saturday, New Year’s Day, 1983


1 a.m., Saturday, Colchester CID, Queen Street

The telephone’s sudden ring jolted DI Nick Lowry awake and he knocked over a mug of coffee Lowry, thirty-nine, ex-Divisional athletic and boxing champion, was too big for the 1950s wooden desk he’d slumped asleep on, and he started as the cold liquid reached his prone elbow. Realising where he was, he yawned and scratched his dark brown hair, glancing sheepishly at his younger colleague, opposite, who was scribbling notes under a grimy Anglepoise lamp

Please note that these excerpts come from a proof copy ahead of publication on 14 July 2016

So what do you think? Would you read on?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking the Shelves (February 20)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared.

I am going to share the new additions to my bookshelves without any further ado!

From the wonderful Twenty7 Books whose imprint focusses on debut novelists I have The Last Thing I Remember by Deborah Bee which will be published in e-Book format on 3 March 2016.

The Last thing I remember


Sarah is in a coma.
Her memory is gone – she doesn’t know how she got there. And she doesn’t know how she might get out.
But then she discovers that her injury wasn’t an accident. And that the assailant hasn’t been caught.
Unable to speak, see or move, Sarah must use every clue that she overhears to piece together her own past.And work out who it is that keeps coming into her room.
A novel that grips from the very beginning and that will live long in the memory, The Last Thing I Remember is Deborah Bee’s startling debut thriller. Goodreads

From NetGalley I have The Shadow Hour by Kate Riordan which is graced by a particularly striking cover.

The Shadow Hour


Nineteen twenty-two. Grace has been sent to the stately and crumbling Fenix House to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps as a governess. But when she meets the house’s inhabitants, people who she had only previously heard of in stories, the cracks in her grandmother’s tale begin to show. Secrets appear to live in the house’s very walls and everybody is resolutely protecting their own.
Why has she been sent here? Why did her grandmother leave after just one summer? And as the past collides with the present, can Grace unravel these secrets and discover who her grandmother, and who she, really is?

I also have a memoir, Castles in the Air by Alison Ripley Cubitt which was published in November 2015.

Castles in the Air


An eight-year-old child witnesses her mother’s secret and knows that from that moment life will never be the same.
After Molly, her mother dies, Alison uses her legacy to make a film about Molly’s relationship with a man she had known since she was a teenager. What hold did this man have over her mother? And what other secrets was her mother hiding?
Castles in the Air follows the life of Molly Ripley through the eyes of her daughter Alison. From Molly’s childhood in colonial Hong Kong and Malaya; wartime adventures as a rookie office girl in the far east outpost of Bletchley Park then as a young nurse in the city; tangled romance and marriage… to her challenging middle-age when demons from the past seem set to overwhelm her.
The writer in Alison can’t stop until she reveals the story of Molly’s past. But as a daughter, does she have the courage to face up to the uncomfortable truths of Molly’s seemingly ordinary life?
As she unravels the private self that Molly kept secret, Alison realises that she is trying to find herself through her mother’s story. By trying to make sense of the past, can she move on with her future?
Honest yet unsentimental and told with abundant love and compassion, this is a profoundly moving portrait of a woman’s life, hopes and dreams. We learn not only about Molly, but about mothers and daughters, secrets and love. A story for readers struggling to come to terms with the trauma of losing loved ones. NetGalley

As well as another book about children exploring their parent’s lives in The People in the Photo by Hélène Gestern

The People in the Photo


The three figures in the photograph are frozen forever, two men and a woman bathed in sunlight . . .
The chance discovery of a newspaper image from 1971 sets two people on the path to learning the disturbing truth about their parents’ pasts.
Parisian archivist Hélène takes out a newspaper advert calling for information about her mother, who died when she was three, and the two men pictured with her in a photograph taken at a tennis tournament at Interlaken in 1971. Stéphane, a Swiss biologist living in Kent, responds: his father is one of the people in the photo. Letters and more photos pass between them as they embark on a journey to uncover the truth their parents kept from them. But will the relics of the past fill the silences left by the players? NetGalley

And finally a bit of crime with The Innocent Killer by Michael Griesbach which is linked to the recent TV series Making a Murderer, which I didn’t watch.

The Innocent Killer


The story of one of America’s most notorious wrongful convictions, that of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who spent eighteen years in prison for a crime he did not commit and now the subject of the hit series Making a Murderer. But two years after he was exonerated of that crime and poised to reap millions in his wrongful conviction lawsuit, Steven Avery was arrested for the exceptionally brutal murder of Teresa Halbach, a freelance photographer who had gone missing several days earlier. The “Innocent Man” had turned into a cold blooded killer. Or had he? This is narrative non-fiction at its finest and the perfect companion read for fans of Making a Murderer.

Lastly I was contacted by James Henry who wrote the three prequels to the much loved Frost series written by R.D. Wingfield who had promised to let me know when his first book not based on Frost was ready so I am the proud owner of Blackwater which I can’t wait to get stuck into. Blackwater is due to be published in July 2016.



January 1983, Colchester CID
A new year brings new resolutions for Detective Inspector Nicholas Lowry. With one eye on his approaching fortieth birthday, he has given up his two greatest vices: smoking, and the police boxing team. As a result, the largest remaining threat to his health is now his junior colleague’s reckless driving.
If Detective Constable Daniel Kenton’s orange sports convertible is symbolic of his fast track through the ranks, then his accompanying swagger, foppish hairstyle and university education only augment his uniqueness in the department. Yet regardless of this, it is not DC Kenton who is turning station heads.
WPC Jane Gabriel is the newest police recruit in Britain’s oldest recorded town. Despite a familial tie to top brass, Gabriel’s striking beauty and profound youth have landed her with two obstacles: a young male colleague who gives her too much attention, and an older one who acts like she’s not there.
January 1983, Blackwater Estuary
A new year brings a new danger to the Essex shoreline. An illicit shipment, bound for Colchester – 50 kilograms of powder that will frantically accelerate tensions in the historic town, and leave its own murderous trace.
Lowry, Kenton and Gabriel must now develop a tolerance to one another, and show their own substance, to save Britain’s oldest settlement from a new, unsettling enemy. Amazon

PicMonkey Collage TBR

Since my last count I have read 8 books, and gained, 6, so the total has reduced by a massive 2  giving a tiny total of  172 books!
83 physical books
73 e-books
16 books on NetGally


What have you found to read this week?

Posted in Books I have read

Morning Frost – James Henry

Crime Fiction 4*'s
Crime Fiction

Published 7 November 2013 by Bantam Press

The year is 1982, the place Denton, England and a foot is found in a nearby field while Frost buries his wife Mary. As his colleagues and a large contingent of the Masons in attendance at the wake the criminals in Denton go on a crime spree. With no time to mourn the loss of his wife, a wife who by his own admission he hadn’t put at the top of his priorities, Frost is soon investigating a rape at a school, the shooting of a small-time crook and coming to terms with the fact that a new computer system is being installed in Denton Police Station.

This is the third prequel that James Henry has written to the brilliant R.D. Wingfield books featuring Frost. This last one takes us up to Frost at Christmas the first in the original series. James Henry does a fantastic job of recreating Frost and the writing of R.D. Wingfield, so much so that I forget that it this isn’t the original. The crimes are sufficiently bizarre enough without being unrealistic, Frost is instantly identifiable, if a little younger and the references to the England of the eighties subtly inserted. I had forgotten how Radio Rentals and Rumbelows were ubiquitous in many towns, how life before mobiles meant the police would stake out telephone boxes and that once upon a time renting a video was the height of the technological revolution.

A great read for those of us who mourn the passing of R.D. Wingfield but Frost really couldn’t have been put into a safer pair of hands.

Morning Frost: (DI Jack Frost 3)

R.D. Wingfield’s books were first published in the United Kingdom in early 1989, and in 1992 Frost first appeared on television in A Touch of Frost, played by David Jason. Wingfield was never enthusiastic about the TV adaptation of his detective, once saying he had nothing against David Jason but “he just isn’t my Frost”. Wikipedia

With three prequels written by James Henry the books in order are:

First Frost: (DI Jack Frost 1) (James Henry)
Fatal Frost: (DI Jack Frost 2) (James Henry)
Morning Frost: (DI Jack Frost 3) (James Henry)

Frost At Christmas: (DI Jack Frost Book 1) (R.D. Wingfield)
A Touch Of Frost: (DI Jack Frost Book 2)  (R.D. Wingfield)
Night Frost: (DI Jack Frost Book 3) (R.D. Wingfield)
Hard Frost: (DI Jack Frost Book 4)  (R.D. Wingfield)
Winter Frost: (DI Jack Frost Book 5) (R.D. Wingfield)
A Killing Frost: (Di Jack Frost Book 6)  (R.D. Wingfield)

This is my second read in COYER challenge

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Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (November 6)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading
To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading Morning Frost by James Henry the third of the prequels he has written to the wonderful series by R.D. Wingfield which started with Frost at Christmas.

Set in 1982 Inspector Frost is burying his wife Mary at the start of this book when all the crimes start piling up in Denton.

Morning Frost

This book is due to be published on Thursday 7 November 2013 by Bantam Press.

I just finished reading The Moment Keeper by Buffy Andrews.

Click on the beautiful book cover to read my review of this book which explores the choices we make through the lives of Sarah and Olivia.

The Moment Keeper

Published 1 November 2013 by Carina

Next I plan to read The Sleeper by Gillian White

The Sleeper


The sins of the past haunt an isolated farmhouse as a snowstorm rages outside . . .
It’s not shaping up to be a very merry Christmas. Clover Moon feels trapped in her life as a farmer’s wife. She certainly doesn’t enjoy hosting Fergus’s mother, Violet, who always finds new ways to publicly humiliate her unsatisfactory daughter-in-law. But would Violet ever seek a more violent way of expressing her disapproval?
Violet is a medium, and the voices of the dead sometimes encourage her to do disturbing things. During her stay at the farmhouse, she claims to sense an intrusive presence. Fergus then discovers the dead body of a woman floating in their flooded cellar, and elderly Miss Bates, resident of a nearby senior home and a client of Violet’s, is missing . . .
With her acute sense of human nature and gift for suspense, reminiscent of Barbara Vine, Gillian White will leave you guessing until the very end. Amazon

Fiction Fan let me in on the secret that Gillian White’s books had been republished earlier this year by Open Road Media. I read several of her books years ago and was lucky enough to get this free copy through Netgalley. I am really looking forward to reading The Sleeper and all the others that I missed the first time round are now on my Wishlist!

Posted in Weekly Posts

Teaser Tuesday (November 5)

Teasing Tuesday CB

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My current read is Morning Frost by James Henry due to be published by Bantam Press on November 7, 2013
This is the third prequel written by James Henry to the brilliant original series by R.D. Wingfield.

Morning Frost


It’s been one of the worst days of Detective Sergeant Jack Frost’s life. He has buried his wife Mary, and must now endure the wake, attended by all of Denton’s finest.
All, that is, apart from DC Sue Clark, who spends the night pursuing a bogus tip-off, before being summoned to the discovery of a human hand. And things get worse. Local entrepreneur Harry Baskin is shot inside his nightclub, fake fivers are being circulated, and a famous painting goes missing.
As the week goes on, a cyclist is found dead in suspicious circumstances, and the more body parts appear. Frost is on the case, but another disaster – one he is entirely unprepared for – is about to strike . . . Goodreads

My Teaser:
Nev Sanderson pointed authoritatively with a large wooden stick. ‘That there is a foot.’
The dog continued to sniff the prominent big toe. Sanderson leaned on his stick and smirked.