Prove It: Murder in the Mix by Hannah R Kurz – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book Prove It: Murder in the Mix by Hannah R Kurz to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

Prove It Murder in the Mix by Hannah R Kurz

Here is the book blurb.

When a tragic mixer mishap results in the closing of a beloved bakery, new mom and upstairs neighbor Stephanie Wu is sure of two things: One, she misses their cappuccinos. And two, it was no accident. But time is running out for the sleep-deprived sleuth. Can she solve the murder and figure out pumping before her maternity leave is up? With a baby at her breast and a killer at her back, life and living above The Likable Daisy will never be the same again.

The story is set in and above a French-Lebanese bakery, The Likable Daisy in New York. New mum Steph lives in one of the three apartments above the bakery with her husband Henry and two-week old baby Madeline.

She loves the baking smells and sweet treats. In fact she and Henry seem to be always eating, starting with a cooked breakfast, numerous daily treats, lunch and a big dinner. Steph is breast-feeding but what is Henry’s excuse?

So when Henry goes back to work after his paternity leave is up, naturally Steph’s first solo trip out with Madeline is downstairs to the bakery for a pastry and a cappuccino, catching up with staff and regulars.

But next day the bakery is closed. Owner Sameed had been found strangled by his own tie, wound in the mixer. The police have it down as an accident, but Steph is not convinced. It doesn’t add up and she believes he was murdered.

So we have a new mum amateur sleuth focussing on suspects and clues. I think this is the first time I’ve come across a new num in that role, but it worked perfectly.

I loved this cosy foodie murder mystery. And what a great corny title.

Prove It: Murder in the Mix is available on Amazon, in paperback and kindle formats. A great foodie cosy mystery. This is Hannah’s debut novel and she is currently writing the second Likable Daisy mystery, which I’m really looking forward to.

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Earl of Baxter by Tammy Andresen – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book Earl of Baxter by Tammy Andresen to review.

Earl of Baxter by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

He’s known as the Earl of Bastards…

If society thinks the nickname is an insult, they are sorely mistaken. Mason, the Earl of Baxter, has grown up knowing he’s the illegitimate son of the Duke of Devonshire, otherwise known as the Demon Duke. He’ll join his father in hell before he bows before any man or woman of the peerage.

She’s an orphan with a dark secret…

Most think Clarissa is a saint. She’s tended wounded soldiers and helped raise forgotten children. But she is not all that she appears and there are dark secrets in her past that threaten her tenuous opportunities for the future. No one can know how she managed to escape…except one man already does…the Earl of Baxter.

And what he’ll do with that information is anyone’s guess.

She can’t control him anymore that she can the loud thrumming of her heart anytime the man walks into the room. But when specters from her past begin to circle closer she must make a choice. Does she trust the Earl of Bastards? And if she does, will she lose her heart?

This is the eighth title in the Regency Romance Lords of Scandal series, but works well as a stand-alone read. I believe there are a further seven more titles to follow.

The prologue is set in 1815 in a seaside church basement where Mason was saved from death from his war wounds, tended by an angel child, 12 year old orphan Clarissa. But by the time he recovers, she is gone.

Fast forward six years and by chance Mason, now the Earl of Baxter has finally found Clarissa again, at the Earl of Goldthwaite’s residence. He still wants to help her, but she is scared. He knows too much about her past. She tries to deny being the Clarissa he is looking for, but to no avail, he is determined. What will ensue?

Earl of Baxter is available on Amazon in both Kindle format and paperback. Another nice light short romantic story from Tammy Andresen.


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

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Boostology here to give you and the planet a boost

Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Regular followers of my blog will know that I am passionate about the environment and keen to support small independent UK businesses who are of a similar mindset to me. Boostology+ is a brand who caught my eye recently and they have now sent me a liquid hand soap in a glass bottle free to review.

Boostology liquid soap

These days where possible I buy loose bar soap as the best zero waste option. However there are plenty of reasons when only a bottle of liquid soap will do and I’m not just talking hand wash because of coronavirus. For example how about when you have been touching raw meat or someone in the household has a skin infection or for guests. Or it could just be a space issue, as the wash basin in our downstairs toilet, is too small to balance a soap dish, (see photo further down). Previously I’ve only seen liquid soap in  plastic bottles, so I was delighted to find this in an attractive amber glass bottle.

Boostology packaging

Dispatch was very prompt and the package was carefully packed with a prominent fragile warning sticker. Another label inside described how it is an eco-friendly parcel, telling the customer that the box and brown paper packing tape can be recycled together. Also that the natural starch beads are biodegradable and compostable. Thumbs up!

Boostology packaging

Looking at the glass bottle, I was very pleased to see how easy the pump mechanism is to open and close. Opening pump-operated bottles is something that has defeated me on several occasions in the past. Or it could just be me, as also trigger spray bottles seem to stop working for me about half way through most bottles, but that is a problem to resolve another day. The pump is the only component which is still plastic, so it would be great if Boostology+ could perhaps introduce a liquid soap refill option with a metal lid to the range, for returning customers to purchase.

Moving on to the soap itself, I found it lathers up well and the peppermint and eucalyptus fragrance is amazing. I love it, and big plus point, you would certainly know if your kids say they have washed their hands but haven’t actually done so. They also stock a hand sanitiser in the same flavour.

Boostology liquid soap

I’m a firm believer in using one product for multiple purposes, so I also tried this in the shower as well as for hand-washing. It is absolutely brilliant in the shower, my skin felt really moisturised. And the Boostology+ tagline of each product is designed to give you, and the planet, a boost really comes into its own, as it gave me a fab boost especially the aroma which left me feeling tingly and revitalised, ready for the day. Great feeling for well-being. The product’s name Revive is spot on in this regard. I shall be trying it on my hair next.

It is a convenient 250ml size, made of 100% natural ingredients including 25% organic ingredients, essential oils and coconut oil. Plus it is palm free, vegan, cruelty free and handmade. The coconut oil will provide antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. There are 5 symbols on the bottle for things like vegan, but I’m not sure what the second one down means, so it would be helpful to be able to match these symbols against meanings on the product webpage. Yes it is more expensive than you would pay for soap in a supermarket, but look at all its qualities that I have listed above. I would certainly be more than happy to buy this and support a small independent UK business.

Boostology liquid soap

This product in its beautiful amber glass bottle would make a lovely gift for a friend. Also a helpful nudge in showing options for reducing plastic, if they are not already taking steps in that direction. Boostology+ has lots more great gifts in the range besides natural skincare, like jewellery, candles, face masks, diffusers and essential oils. Do take a look at the full range on their website, which is extra user-friendly with its filtering options by category, occasion, speciality or values. Each of their gifts is kind to you and has minimal impact on the environment. The range encompasses natural, organic, vegan, plastic free, handmade, reusable and made in the UK. They also offer a 60 day refund policy.

Boostology liquid soap

Having tried the Revive soap, I’m now very tempted to try their volcanic potpourri in the same peppermint and eucalyptus scent, a product sold exclusively by Boostology+ I did have to swap to browsing on my phone to discover this, as the drop down list of six scents seemed to be incompatible to view on my MacBook.

Returning to the sustainability angle of the packaging, it was great to read all the eco-information on the label and see how Boostology+ have taken steps for a plastic free delivery. But as a consumer I wish to pose more questions. Does that mean home compostable or would it require an industrial composter? How about an estimate of how long the beads take to biodegrade and what conditions are required. For instance, it partially defeats the purpose if the consumer then tips those beads into a plastic bin bag, ties it up and sends it to landfill. Also stickers are not generally recyclable, as the adhesive can get caught in the recycling equipment, so are the ones used here okay in that regard or not? If not, then how about warning the consumer to remove the labels before recycling. Yes they are probably better than self-inking stamps, but is there an even better solution? Maybe the eco-friendly details could be emailed on the order confirmation and “Fragile” could be hand-written.

Boostology liquid soap

I was very pleased to read that Boostology+ plant a tree for every order placed, no matter how small the order. A good step to help tackle the climate crisis. And they recycle all their office waste and use 100% renewable electricity at their HQ (from solar, wind and hydro-electric power stations).

So to summarise, I highly recommend both this product and brand.

And I’d love to hear your top tips for eco-friendly bathroom swaps you have made.

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An Unexpected Escapade by Kandi J Wyatt – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book An Unexpected Escapade by Kandi J Wyatt to review. You may find out more about the author on her website.

An Unexpected Escapade by Kandi J Wyatt

Here is the book blurb.

A greedy poacher threatens a unicorn Daisy finds hiding among her horses. Daisy will do anything to protect the magical creature, even if it means losing her best friend.

The only ones who understand Daisy’s struggles at school are her horses and Kajri, the unicorn that appeared out of nowhere. Kajri wants to go home, but Daisy doesn’t know how to help.

Ana wants to help Daisy, but her parents are sick. The unicorn horn could be the key to saving them. Yet her actions could be the death of both the unicorn and her friendship with Daisy.

An Unexpected Escapade is a refreshing middle grade fantasy in the Myth Coast Adventures trilogy. If you like fun kid fantasy, amazing characters and realistic endings, you’ll love Kandi J Wyatt’s stunning continuation of the Myth Coast Adventures. Explore An Unexpected Escapade to allow your dreams to fly!

This is the second title in the Myth Coast Adventures trilogy, set in the small town of Myrtle Beach in Oregon. You may wish to read my review of the first book An Unexpected Adventure before this.

The prologue introduces us to Kajri the unicorn who mysteriously passes from her world to ours. She wants to go back home.

8th grader (Yr9) Daisy, who lives with her mum and two horses Ginger and Root, is the first to see Kajri. She tells her best friend Ana and the next time they see her together in the forest. Ana then tells Will who helps her Dad out on the boats. Will (from book 1) warns Ana to keep it secret, especially from Professor Raleigh.

Meanwhile NSA agent Winston Raleigh whose sensors have detected a rift, traces a signal from beyond Daisy’s home. Will he be able to capture the mythical creature to take to the sanctuary?

But Winston is not the only one tracking the unicorn. Nasty cruel poacher Jack Collins wants the unicorn’s horn and tears.

What will happen? Plenty more events to unfold in this story. Who should the girls turn to for help?

An Unexpected Escapade is available on Amazon in Kindle format or paperback. A great book for older children and teens with lots to engage with.

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Hawthorn Woods by Patrick Canning – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book Hawthorn Woods by Patrick Canning to review, which is a very different genre to his previous book The Colonel and the Bee which I read a couple of years ago.

Hawthorn Woods by Patrick Canning

Here is the book blurb.

Seeking to rediscover herself after a divorce, a detective-minded woman embarks on solving the small mysteries of a Midwest neighborhood, only to learn the secrets hidden there are more horrifying than she could have ever imagined.

Summer, 1989. Reeling from a catastrophic divorce, Francine Haddix flees San Francisco for a two week stay at her sister’s house in Hawthorn Woods, Illinois. The quaint neighborhood of shady trees and friendly neighbors seems like the perfect place for her to sort through her pain and move on with her life.

But Francine quickly discovers the “idyllic” neighborhood is hiding a number of disturbing mysteries. Behind every door and window there’s marital strife, simmering grudges, and a secret so terrible, someone will kill to keep it quiet.

Francine rewrites her prescription from relaxation to investigation. If she can remember how to trust herself, she might discover what’s hidden in Hawthorn Woods. She might even be able to believe the future can be good again, assuming she stays alive long enough to be in it…

This story is set in 1989 when Francine house-sits for her sister Ellie, whilst trying to get her life back on track after a messy divorce. Before Ellie and husband Pete leave for their own holiday, they throw a party introducing Francine to all their neighbours.

Francine bonds with Ellie’s best friend Laura-Jean and elderly Roland Gerber at the party, but why does Magdalena throw a cocktail in Francine’s face? Following in the footsteps of her heroine Nancy Drew, this is the first mystery that Francine tries to investigate. She gets Laura-Jean to give her a gossipy tour of the neighbourhood, which helps to build a picture of all the characters. The neighbourhood feels very much in period with the time it is set.

But one thing leads to another, as Francine makes more discoveries. There are certainly some very unexpected twists that I didn’t see coming.

Initially I wasn’t sure what to make of this story, but it certainly grew on me as the storyline developed.

Hawthorn Woods is available on Amazon, in paperback or Kindle format. A psychological suspense filled mystery.


About the author

Patrick Canning is the author of three novels, including Cryptofauna (2018), The Colonel and the Bee (2018), and his latest, Hawthorn Woods (2020). He has also published several short stories. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys playing beach volleyball, following space exploration, and losing at bar trivia. Patrick lives in Los Angeles with his dog Hank, who some consider to be the greatest dog of all time.

To find out more about the author you may visit his website.


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Earl of Gold by Tammy Andresen – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book Earl of Gold by Tammy Andresen to review.

Earl of Gold by Tammy Andresen

Here is the book blurb.

Why did he need love if he had gold?

The Earl of Goldthwaite had spent his entire adult life accumulating wealth. It was his life’s goal to never end up as his father had, penniless and rotting in some debtor’s prison. He has no time for such silly notions as love or romance. When he eventually marries, he’ll find a nice heiress to increase his holdings. But when Miss Penny Walters waltzes into his life, he knows she’s all wrong for him. As poor as her name implies, she’s nothing that he wanted. Just another woman attempting to part him from his gold. So why can’t he look away?

Who needed gold when her heart was rich with love?

Penny’s life had been charmed, at least she’d always believed so until the age of twelve. Though her parents had little assets, they’d had enough to be comfortable and their home had been rich with affection. After their death, she’s determined to live the rest of her life the way they taught her. With her whole heart. Her first task was to open an orphanage in a poor London neighborhood. One that would give back to the community. The problem? She needed a loan to make her dream come true. And the one man she might be able to ask for such a sum was…

The miserly Earl of Gold.

It filled her with sick dread but what choice did she have? What she never expected was to find herself drawn to such a man. He’s nothing that she ever wanted and everything she wished to stand against. But the longer she knows him, the more she wonders: is there a soft heart under that hard-shiny veneer of gold?

Earl of Gold is a bridge between the first and second round in the Lords of Scandal series.

Just when I thought the Lords of Scandal series was complete, Tammy has cleverly written this the seventh title in the series, which as the blurb states, opens it up for quite a few more reads. Great news as I enjoyed all the earlier books.

This story also works well as a stand-alone read. One of the links between the earlier titles was that the lords were co-owners of a gaming den. They are now thinking of selling their business venture and the story begins with Logan, the Earl of Goldthwaite negotiating a deal with Daring, the Duke of Darlington to buy in. However the Duke stipulates that Logan has to find three partners, plus help fund Penny Walters in setting up an orphanage, who has just written to him for financial assistance.

He makes an appointment for Penny to call on him, but forgets all about it. Poor Penny is left waiting for hours and Logan is tired and in a bad mood when he gets home, having failed to find any potential business partners. He quickly makes an offer to get rid of Penny and escorts her home as it is now dark, luckily dispersing a band of hooligans who were gathering outside.

Meanwhile Daring invites him to dinner to meet some potential partners, but insists he brings Penny too. What is Daring upto? Will Logan succeed in buying into the gaming den? Where does Penny fit into the scheme of things?

Earl of Gold is available on Amazon in both Kindle format and paperback. As per usual a nice light short romantic story from Tammy.

Here are the links to my reviews of earlier titles in the series.
Earl of Sin
Baron of Bad
Viscount of Vice
Earl of Exile
Marquess of Malice
Duke of Daring


About the author

USA Today Bestselling Author, Tammy Andresen lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

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Eco-friendly Frugal & Green Lens Cleaner

Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I am really excited to tell you about a new sustainable product which will be launching on Kickstarter towards the end of next month. This is an eco-friendly lens cleaner and I have received a 5-year supply free to review.

Frugal & Green eco-friendly lens cleaner

This brilliant concept has been thought up by two friends Marin and Alex who have named their brand Frugal & Green. And that name is so apt for a product which is not only great for the environment and planet but saves you money at the same time.

Frugal & Green eco-friendly lens cleaner

The product comprises of two bottles – a tiny one containing 50 tablets and a pocket-size empty spray bottle, which will easily fit in a handbag. You fill the spray bottle with tap-water and add a tablet, which quickly dissolves, a similar process to my daily routine with mouthwash tablets.

There is no information on the bottle regarding the ingredients of the tablets, but the website advises that the contents are eco-friendly too. Apparently a cloth is also included with the product, but as I didn’t receive one, I am unable to comment on what it is made of.

Frugal & Green eco-friendly lens cleaner

The current retail price is €24.99 which is approximately £22 , but there will be a 33% Early Bird discount on Kickstarter. That is amazing value when you consider it will last about 5 years! Frugal & Green estimate the price to be about 10 times cheaper than plastic alternatives.

Frugal & Green eco-friendly lens cleaner

My glasses get so greasy, that lens cleaner is something I tend to use at least once every day. I’ve never ever tried single-use lens wipes, but I am still concerned about my current brand of lens cleaner bottle being non-recyclable. I hate it when I have to throw something in the rubbish bin as I’m a firm believer in the mantra Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Refurbish, Repair, Regift, Rehome, Repurpose, Recycle, Replant, Rot. So a refillable durable glass bottle ticks all the boxes for me.

Frugal & Green eco-friendly lens cleaner

And this lens cleaner is suitable for other types of lenses as well as your spectacles, like cameras and binoculars. I also tried it out on my phone screen, laptop and some dvds and cds and found it great for all those too. That might be a particular bonus for those who only wear glasses occasionally and are thinking, do I really need a 5 year supply of lens cleaner? Yes I’m thinking back to when I wore contact lenses, before varifocals became a necessity for me.

I was also pleased to observe that sustainability had been considered with regards to the packaging. The glass bottles had been wrapped in old newspaper and the accompanying note looked like it was written on recycled paper.

All in all an easy way to help try to save the future of the planet, which regular readers of my blog will be aware is very important to me, from my series of posts on reducing waste.

I discovered this brand via the Ethical Influencers network. And as I mentioned at the beginning of my blog post, their lens cleaner will be launching on Kickstarter next month. You may sign up to their newsletter to be notified of the product launch here.

I highly recommend this product. Plus I’ll be back with a giveaway after the Kickstarter launch.

And I’d love to hear your top tips for eco-friendly bathroom swaps you have made.

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How to be a Hero by Cat Weldon – book review

Disclosure. This post is a review of a book I was sent for free.. All opinions are my own.

I received a free proof copy of the book How to be a Hero by Cat Weldon to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

How to be a Hero by Cat Weldon

Here is the book blurb.

A no-good viking thief. The worst-ever trainee valkyrie. An ungodly case of mistaken identity.

When failing trainee valkyrie Lotta mistakes an unconscious viking thief, Whetstone, for a fallen hero and takes him triumphantly to Valhalla, things are definitely not turning out to be epic or glorious. Having lost a precious talking cup, Whetstone is also desperate to cover up his mistake and the two embark on a quarrelsome journey to find it and regain their heroic status. But Loki the trickster God is desperate to get his hands on the cup with a plan to unleash chaos across the nine worlds. Can Whetstone prove himself a hero after all when it matters most?

The first in a hilarious and fast-paced trilogy about how to be brave, what it means to be a hero and just how confusing the Norse Gods really are. Fully illustrated throughout, Cat Weldon’s How to Be a Hero is perfect for fans of How to Train Your Dragon and Who Let the Gods Out.

I was hoping to get a review from my younger son for this book, as he is very interested in Norse  mythology. However as we have reached the publication date and he still hasn’t started reading the book, you’ll have to make do with just a review from me.

The book draws you in with a couple of double page illustrations at the front. We have the nine worlds all hanging from the huge Yggdrasil tree with Asgard at the top. And then a map of Krud in Midgard, where the story opens, featuring signs like “Ivor the Nose Grinder, Gerroff My Land! Travelling Minstrels will be force fed Cabbage till they burst!” Just the sort of humour that will particularly appeal to young readers. The book has been illustrated by Katie Kear brilliantly.

I’m not very knowledgeable on Norse Mythology but the story all tied in with what I do know of Norse gods and worlds. Loki the trickster god and his son Vali certainly cause havoc in this tale.

The story begins with Whetstone, an orphan aged about 12, stealing a magical golden talking cup from Awfulrick, the Viking chief of Krud, on behalf of Light Finger, the greatest thief in all the known world. We then swap to Asgard to introduce Lotta who is of a similar age, and is training to be a Valkyrie in class 3 but not doing too well. Class 3’s next mission will be the first time they leave Asgard and they will be travelling to Midgard to collect fallen warriors to fill Valhalla.

Whetstone then hides the cup before taking cover himself. But things don’t go quite to plan. He is attacked and left unconscious. Lotta, finds him and assumes he is dead, so takes him back to Asgard as a “fallen hero”, Whoops.

The two have to then pair up to sort out the mess they are in. Lots of fun. Plus throw a dragon into the mix. The book finished leaving me tantalising clues ready for books 2 and 3 in the trilogy, but I’ll have to wait as book 2 doesn’t publish until the summer.

How to be a Hero is a great fun fantasy mythological adventure read, which I highly recommend to children age 9-12. Newly published today.

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Jimmy Coates: Killer by Joe Craig – book review

My latest personal choice of read, rather than a requested book review is Jimmy Coates: Killer by Joe Craig. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

Jimmy Coates Killer by Joe Craig

Here is the book blurb.

An eleven-year-old boy discovers he has strange powers, and a future that holds mystery, adventure – and death!

Bending his knees, Jimmy let go of the windowsill and slowly tipped backwards. Surely this is impossible, he thought, even as he could feel himself doing it. He pushed out with his legs and the thrust sent him flying backwards into the air… Then his fingers locked on to the cold wire of the fence, poised in a perfect handstand on the top.

Who are the mysterious men chasing Jimmy across the city?
Why are they after him?
What are Jimmy’s parents keeping from him and who can he trust?
And how come he can suddenly do all this really cool stuff…?

This is the first book in the Jimmy Coates series and was published back in 2005.

The story begins with Jimmy discovering he can jump through the upstairs closed window and fall onto the concrete feeling no pain, when trying to evade the strangers who have mysteriously arrived at his home to take him away from his family. He hides under the car, as they lead his parents away but his older sister Georgie manages to run off.

He eventually makes his way to the police station, but they seem just as suspicious as the others, so he legs it out of there.

Why is everyone after him?
Who can he trust?
How has he suddenly got these mysterious super powers?
Where have his parents been taken?
Where is Georgie?

Gradually things become clearer to Jimmy but it doesn’t make his decisions any easier. Plenty of twists and turns to come in this story set in the Neo-Democratic State of Great Britain.

Jimmy Coates: Killer is an excellent book, targeted at readers from about age 10-14. A great read that had me immediately adding books 2-7 to my TBR list.

Spoiler Alert. The only disappointing thing is when you reach the back of the book and it mentions the website www.jimmycoates.co.uk with lots of fun activities, secret files, etc, but when I visited, all I found was a Google map to explore Jimmy’s World. However the map features locations from all books in the series.

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The Little Grave by Carolyn Arnold – book review

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Little Grave by bestselling author Carolyn Arnold to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

The Little Grave by Carolyn Arnold

Here is the book blurb.

Detective Amanda Steele stops just inside the doorway, recognizing the victim’s face instantly. He seems so vulnerable in death; soft, human, even harmless. But she can never forget the evil he has inflicted. Her heart is hammering as she remembers her precious daughter, with her red curls and infectious laugh, and how she was lowered into that little grave…

It’s been five years since Detective Amanda Steele’s life was derailed in the path of an oncoming drunk driver. The small community of Dumfries, Virginia, may have moved on from the tragic deaths of her husband and daughter, but Amanda cannot. When the driver who killed her family is found murdered in a motel room, she can’t keep away from the case.

Fighting her sergeant to be allowed to work an investigation with such a personal connection to her, Amanda is in a race to prove that she can uncover the truth. But the more she digs into the past of the man who destroyed her future, the more shocking discoveries she makes. And when Amanda finds the link between a silver bracelet in his possession and the brutal unsolved murder of a young exotic dancer, she realizes she’s caught up in something darker than she ever imagined and suspects that more girls could be in danger.

But as Amanda edges toward the truth, she gets closer to a secret as personal as it is deadly. Amanda has stumbled upon a dangerous killer, and she must face some terrible truths in order to catch this killer – and save his next victim as she couldn’t save her own daughter…

This is the first title in the new Detective Amanda Steele series from Carolyn Arnold. I’m always impressed how many series this author can juggle simultaneously, but this is the first time that I am starting with book one in a series.

The prologue draws you in with a killing in Atlanta over five years ago, before introducing you to the main character Amanda Steele in Virginia, who has just had a hot one-night stand in a motel with a stranger. We soon learn that Amanda lost her husband and six-year old daughter five years ago, killed by drunk driver Chad Palmer and since then life has just held pain and sorrow. She sleeps with strangers and pops sleeping pills.

Not long after abandoning this latest guy, Amanda gets a call from friend and colleague Becky. Chad Palmer has been found dead, days after being released from prison. Even with the conflict of interest, Amanda manages to talk herself onto the case, but Sergeant Malone insists she doesn’t work solo and assigns her a partner, namely new guy joining the team, Trent Stenson. Plus he wants details of her alibi.

So who has killed Chad? How can Amanda investigate the death of a man who destroyed her future? How will she track down her sexy mystery man alibi? Can she work well with new partner Trent? And what is the connection with that prologue?

Lots of strands to this story as the investigation progresses, with plenty of surprises that I would never have guessed.

The Little Grave is newly published today and available on Amazon. Once again Carolyn Arnold has delivered a real page turner that had me gripped throughout.

Here are the links to my reviews of other books by Carolyn Arnold.
Remnants
Power Struggle
The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh
On the Count of Three
Shades of Justice
Exercise is Murder
Past Deeds
The Legend of Gasparilla and his Treasure
What We Bury

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