Tag Archives: mystery

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by Carolyn Arnold

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by bestselling author Carolyn Arnold to review. This is the third of Carolyn’s titles for me, so I was very much looking forward to reading this one. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by Carolyn Arnold

Here is the book blurb.

In Egypt’s Western Desert lies the tomb of an unnamed pharaoh that hides a secret so powerful, it could destroy the world as we know it.
 
Archaeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor has made a career of finding legends the world has all but forgotten. Though there’s one in particular that has fascinated him for years—the Emerald Tablets. Myth says that they possess the knowledge of the universe, allowing humankind to traverse Heaven and Earth, and have the power to bestow wealth and wisdom upon whomever possesses them. But if they fall into evil hands, it could cause a global disaster.

So when a former colleague stumbles across an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic map that promises to lead to a pharaoh’s tomb and the Emerald Tablets, there’s no way he’s turning down her invitation to join the dig. He only has one stipulation: his best friends Robyn Garcia and Cal Myers come with him.
 
The road ahead isn’t going to be an easy one, and their shared dream of recovering the Emerald Tablets is being crushed at every turn. And just when they think it’s all over, they learn there are a few clues they have overlooked. But they’re no longer the only ones searching for the Tablets. Now, the fate of the world hangs in the balance, and soon they’ll find out that when it comes to hunting legends, they can’t trust anyone.

This is the second title in the Matthew Connor action-adventure series and works perfectly as a stand-alone read.

The story starts with archaeologists Alex and Jasper looking at the hieroglyphics in a tunnel they have just discovered under the Egyptian desert which they decipher as meaning that a pharaoh son of Khufu is buried nearby, although we are about 200 miles away from the Great Pyramid. And that is not all, it also points to the Emerald Tablets, which from legend are rumoured to turn base metal into gold. Just the sort of thing you don’t want to fall into the wrong hands. The fate of the world could be at stake.

Alex invites “myth chaser” Matthew to join the team, who insists that he will only come if his friends Robyn and Cal are included too. Tensions run high and then the tunnel caves in behind them, so with no escape the only way is forward in the dark including swimming and snakes.

What do they and don’t they find? Who are the good guys and who are the baddies? I would compare this thrilling adventure to a modern-day Indiana Jones.

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh is available on Amazon, currently priced at £10.99 in paperback or £4.57 in Kindle format. A different genre to her other titles that I’ve read but still a gripping story full of twists and turns. I’ve now added City of Gold, the previous Matthew Connor story to my wishlist and hope there will be more of these adventures to follow.

Here are the links to my reviews of other books by Carolyn Arnold.
Remnants
Power Struggle

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

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Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David Ahern

I loved reading the first two Madam Tulip titles, so I was very pleased to receive a free e-copy of the third book in the series “Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance” by David Ahern to review.

Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David Ahern

Here is the book blurb.

A surprise role in a movie takes actress Derry O’Donnell to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands. But romance soon turns to fear and suspicion. Someone means to kill, and Derry, moonlighting as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip, is snared in a net of greed, conspiracy and betrayal.

A millionaire banker, a film producer with a mysterious past, a gun-loving wife, a PA with her eyes on Hollywood, a handsome and charming estate manager – each has a secret to share and a request for Madam Tulip.
      
As Derry and her friend Bruce race to prevent a murder, she learns to her dismay that the one future Tulip can’t predict is her own.

This is the third in the series of thrilling and hilarious Madam Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant amateur detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.

The story starts with actress Derry being unemployed again but a movie opportunity comes up in Scotland where they want her to play Madam Tulip with no audition. She doesn’t wish to do this but agrees to play a gypsy fortune-teller instead. Her friend Bruce also gets a role in the movie.

Meanwhile her artist dad Jacko has purchased a ruined castle and her gallery owner mum Vanessa is opening a new a gallery in Edinburgh.

Derry arrives on set to be asked by Jessica, PA to executive producer Jim Carson if she would come and tell his wife’s and daughter’s fortunes that evening. She is annoyed but can hardly say no, since he is funding the movie. Rab, the very charming estate manager drives her there and Sally, Carson’s wife begins by asking Derry if Hamish who has disappeared is dead.

Also millionaire Alex Dunbar keeps inviting Derry out and then cancelling. And then Derry gets harassed by the press, who are accusing Madam Tulip of being a fraud.

So lots of different threads to this story to which the reader keeps asking why? But they are all drawn together as the story progresses and things heat up.

Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.87 in kindle format. Another far-fetched mystery. It didn’t hit the spot for me quite as much as the first two titles, but still a great read which I am happy to recommend. I am certainly looking forward to book 4.

Here are the links to my reviews of the previous two Madam Tulip titles.
Madam Tulip
Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts


About the author

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

Madame Tulip wasn’t David Ahern’s first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’s ever had with a computer. He is now writing the fourth Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.

You can learn more about David Ahern and Madam Tulip on his website www.davidahern.info

Connect with David Ahern on Facebook: www.facebook.com/davidahernwriter
and Twitter: www.twitter.com/daveahernwriter

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

Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts by David Ahern

I recently read and thoroughly enjoyed Madam Tulip, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to receive a free e-copy of the second book in the series “Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts” by David Ahern to review.

Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts by David Ahern

Here is the book blurb.

When out-of-work actress Derry O’Donnell moonlights as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip in an English Stately home, she’s trying to make some cash. Instead, she is drawn into an alien world of wealth, titled privilege and family secrets.

A countess once a chorus girl, a gambling earl and his daughters, a cultured and handsome art expert—all caught in a terrifying web of ghastly threats, murder and abduction. As an aristocratic engagement party turns into a nightmare, Derry and her friend Bruce face the prospect of a gruesome and infamous death.

Madame Tulip and the Knave of Hearts is the second in a series of thrilling and hilarious Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant amateur detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.

Derry, an actress is once again unemployed, due to the proscenium arch falling down at the Palace Theatre. She organises a fund-raising art auction at which she bumps into Marlene again, who persuades her to come over to Sorley Hall in England as Madam Tulip for another fortune-telling role at her friend Charlotte’s engagement party. Charlotte and her sister Bryony are the daughters of the Earl of Berkshire and great nieces of the Dowager Countess Octavia.

However the party gets postponed for a week due to the shock of receiving a severed limb in the post. It has been sent as a threat but why and who did it belong to? Things go from bad to worse, but I’m not going to reveal why.

Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts is available on Amazon, currently priced at £8.99 in paperback and is also available in kindle format. A far-fetched mystery. Highly recommended. I am looking forward to when book 3 is finished.


About the author

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

Madame Tulip wasn’t David Ahern’s first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’d ever had with a computer. The second in the Madam Tulip mystery series, Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts, was published in autumn 2016. He is now writing the third Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.

You can learn more about David Ahern and Madam Tulip on his website www.davidahern.info

Connect with David Ahern on Facebook: www.facebook.com/davidahernwriter
and Twitter: www.twitter.com/daveahernwriter

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

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

Madam Tulip by David Ahern

I have received a free e-copy of the book Madam Tulip by David Ahern to review.

Madam Tulip by David Ahern

Here is the book blurb.

Suspense, mystery, action, a little romance and lots of laughs

Out-of-work actress Derry O’Donnell is talented, professional, just a little psychic… and broke. Spurred on by an ultimatum from her awesomely high-achieving mother, Derry embarks on a part-time career as Madame Tulip, fortune teller to the rich and famous. But at her first fortune-telling gig – a celebrity charity weekend in a luxurious castle – a famous rap artist mysteriously dies.

As Derry is drawn deeper into a seedy world of fashion, millionaires, horses and cocaine, she must race to save her best friend from jail and a supermodel from being murdered. Her efforts threaten to destroy her friends, her ex-lover, her father and herself.

Madame Tulip is the first in a series of thrilling and hilarious Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant amateur detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.

The book starts with Derry, an unemployed actress receiving a telephone ultimatum from her mother Vanessa that she wants Derry to return to the US and take a job in PR. Vanessa is not going to pay Derry’s rent any longer and is coming over to Dublin to discuss it.

Derry’s best friend Bella suggests Derry make money out of her psychic card-reading talent. They decide she will be called Madam Tulip. The theatre wardrobe ladies kit her out with a costume and make-up so she looks just the part.

Meanwhile Derry meets her artist dad Jacko at the races, who bets 40-1 on a horse called Inside Out on the basis that Derry said “should have brought a brolly”. He then spots some celebs he knows and gets them into the VIP suite. Supermodel Marlene and husband Doyle are impressed when Inside Out wins the race and Marlene asks Derry to come and do fortunes at their celebrity charity event. She is amazed when the organiser offers her a 1500 euro fee, more than a month’s rent. And Marlene requests a reading, at which Derry sees a lucky escape.

Bella gives Derry a lift to the event, where they discover another actor friend Bruce working as security at the castle. As they arrive, they spot rapper Mojo and singer Sonya Dee. Whilst in costume, Derry is surprised to spot ex-boyfriend Fitz of the Met Police dressed like a millionaire. She calls out to him, but he hurries past, saying she has mistaken him for someone else. Shortly afterwards, Bella who was supposed to have left, bursts into Derry’s room saying that Mojo has collapsed.

Bella had snuck back to try to get a selfie with Mojo. When Mojo subsequently dies, Bella ends up framed for his murder. Can Derry work out what is going on? Plenty more twists and turns to come.

Madam Tulip is available on Amazon, currently priced at £7.99 in paperback and is also available in kindle format. This is the best of both worlds – a funny mystery. Highly recommended. Book 2 in the series is already out and added to my ever-growing wishlist. And I certainly hope there will be more to come in this series.


About the author

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

Madame Tulip wasn’t David Ahern’s first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’d ever had with a computer. The second in the Madam Tulip mystery series, Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts, was published in autumn 2016. He is now writing the third Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.

You can learn more about David Ahern and Madam Tulip on his website www.davidahern.info

Connect with David Ahern on Facebook: www.facebook.com/davidahernwriter
and Twitter: www.twitter.com/daveahernwriter

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

MamaMummyMum

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

The White House Files by Sara Cobb

I have received a free e-copy of the book The White House Files by Sara Cobb to review. To find out more about the author you may see her website here.

The White House Files by Sara Cobb

Here is the book blurb.

She’ll do anything to unearth the secrets.
They’ll stop at nothing to silence her.

Hundreds of years after WWIII, Smithsonian archeologist Roslin Williams has uncovered an old Air Force One plane containing human remains. It is the greatest historical discovery of her lifetime, one that raises more questions than answers. Roslin is determined to dig up any information about the plane that she can and unravel the secrets behind it.

However, the dangerous powers behind this age-old scandal have plans of their own. Keeping facts buried is their number one priority and Roslin is getting in their way. With an assassin closing in to silence her once and for all, Roslin teams up with Special Agent Mark Appleton to unravel this ancient conspiracy. But with time running out, will they unearth the truth before they’re the next buried fatalities?

Even the best kept secrets can’t stay buried forever.

This book is set in the future, hundreds of years after WWIII, although we don’t get to know which century. Roslin is part of the archaeological team who are working on the dig of the century at the site where the White House once stood. On live camera feed, they uncover a door with the presidential seal and Martin, her annoying boss who has a tendancy to ignore protocol, tugs the door handle which breaks off and causes the door to jamb halfway open. He orders Roslin to squeeze through the gap and she falls face first onto skeletal remains. As she orientates herself, she realises she is in Air Force One.

The live feed has been watched by those who don’t want Air Force One found. They know secrets that have been handed down through many generations and it is their responsibility that those secrets remain secret. The discovery of Air Force One jeopardises the secrets. What will they do? Loads of twists and turns follow, as Roslin tries to piece together the mystery of what happened to Air Force One and who was on board. She struggles to read old documents found on the plane, as written English is now a dead language.

I normally avoid futuristic novels as they tend not to appeal. But I loved this one, as instead of focussing on the technology of future, Roslin is much more interested in the past. So her home was full of things that nobody else has heard of like a television and a combination safe hidden behind a painting. Her security system is a piece of masking tape placed on top of the door, and her roll of tape is running very low, but she doesn’t know where to obtain a new roll, since again it is an obsolete item. Similarly she has a battery operated flashlight keyring for emergencies but of course replacement batteries are obsolete too. And when she finds an artefact which she can’t identify, it turns out to be a USB stick. I just found all these touches that the author had included so appealing.

The White House Files is available on Amazon, currently priced at £2.32 in Kindle format. A great read that kept me on the edge of my seat although I was disappointed that it ended so suddenly. The author is already writing the next in the series, so I’ll just have to wait. Highly recommended.

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MamaMummyMum

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

The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard

My other half was clearing out some of his books and several of them including this one by Robert Goddard took my eye.

The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard

This is what it says on the back cover.

Paris 1919. The aftermath of the Great War.

With the fate of the world’s nations hanging in the balance, a secret affair ends with the death of a senior British diplomat.

As the authorities try to pass it off as a bizarre accident, ex-RFC flying ace, James ‘Max’ Maxted is convinced otherwise and throws himself headfirst into the dark heart of a seemingly impenetrable mystery – hellbent on uncovering the truth.

With the stakes impossibly high and friends indistinguishable from foes, the only way is to keep pushing … until you can see who’s pushing back!

The book starts with a phone call from Max’s mother announcing that his father has been killed. Henry had fallen from a roof-top in Paris and the police have declared it accidental. Lady Maxted requests Max and his brother Ashley go to Paris to bring Sir Henry’s body back home.

Max starts to get suspicious when identifying Sir Henry’s body and visiting the scene of his death and collecting his personal effects from the police. Things don’t quite add up for him. Then he meets Madame Dombreux who lived at the address where Sir Henry died. She was Sir Henry’s lover and also believes him to have been murdered. She shows Max a mysterious list that Sir Henry had written.

Whilst Ashley takes his father’s body home, Max remains in Paris, determined to discover the truth. Plenty of exciting twists to unfold. A real page turner.

The Ways of the World is available on Amazon, currently priced at £6.49 in paperback and is also available in hardback or Kindle format. A great book which I highly recommend. It is book 1 in a trilogy and I shall certainly be adding the other two stories to my wishlist. Wondering why my other half never got round to purchasing the other two.

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Gilding the Lily by Justine John

I have received a free e-copy of the book Gilding the Lily by Justine John to review.

Gilding The Lily by Justine John

Here is the book blurb.

An invitation to her estranged, wealthy father’s surprise 75th birthday party in New York sees Amelia and her husband, Jack, set off across the pond to meet a whole new world of family politics.

Amelia, now a successful businesswoman, feels guilty about never liking her father’s women, so does her upmost to give his new socialite partner, Evelyn, the benefit of the doubt. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could just all get along? But there’s something very dark, determined and dangerous about her…

When Amelia’s father, Roger, becomes ill, Jack grows suspicious that there is more to it. Amelia understands why, but no one else will believe them. They travel back to America to piece together the puzzle, but when Roger goes missing, the couple are driven to their wits’ end. It takes a DEA officer and a secret assassin to bring them answers, but the ruthless truth is something no one expected…

Amelia and husband Jack travel from London to New York to attend a surprise 75th birthday party for her father Roger, organised by his new partner Evelyn. There they meet Evelyn’s step-granddaughter Laura for the first time. Amelia finds it very difficult to get on with Evelyn, but makes friends with Laura, who visits them in London, the next year when over in the UK.

They return to the US for Thanksgiving, but at the airport waiting to go home, they receive a phone call from Miriam, Roger’s housekeeper saying that Roger had been taken into hospital the previous day. They postpone their flight, but Evelyn is not pleased to see them return.

Roger recovers but when he next visits the UK, they are shocked to see how unwell he looks. Ex-cop Jack starts to get suspicious as to why and begins to develop a theory, although there are some red herrings.  I’ll stop at this point to avoid spoilers.

The book switches chapters between narrative by Amelia, Jack and Evelyn, which I enjoyed the different perspective. And the chapters for Evelyn let the reader build up a picture of her history.

Gilding the Lily is available on Amazon, currently priced at £7.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A great story which I highly recommend.


Here is an extract from chapter 18 of the book for you to read.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. But a strange dread ran through my veins, as I lay there in the dark. Jack was finally sleeping soundly – the odd snore and mumble emanated from his side of the bed. We’d talked for hours. And now, each thought linked to another in a never-ending chain. “She has enough money of her own so I know she’s not after mine” was what my father told me when they first met. Ironically, it comforted us both. Staring into the blackness, I began to get carried away with Jack’s theory. If it were true then we had to stop it. It would be murder. No, that couldn’t happen, surely, not to us. I tried to mentally rein in my thoughts, as they began to hurry away with me, like a runaway train. Who were we to interfere so belligerently when we could be so wrong? And then again, if we did nothing, and then something terrible happened… that was simply unthinkable.

I turned over to put my arms around my husband. He was warm and his breathing was soft and slow. I tried to relax into his body, and allowed his raising ribs to rock me.

I woke at 6a.m. with a feverish energy. A strange vitality or stamina had suddenly appeared in me – a drive to endure, a surge of power, like a battery charger. I wouldn’t let anyone hurt my dad. Something had to be done. Today.


About Justine John

After over thirty years of working in the corporate sector in London Justine John left the rat race for the stunning countryside of the Surrey Hills where she lives with her husband, horses and two dalmatians.

Website  – http://www.justinejohn.co.uk/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/JustineCJohn
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/justinejohnauthor/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15985439.Justine_John


I’m participating in the blog tour. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts.

Gilding The Lily by Justine John

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

Mumsnet Book Club review – Himself by Jess Kidd

I have received another book from the Mumsnet Book Club free to review. It is Himself by Jess Kidd.

Himself by Jess Kidd

This is what it says inside the front cover.

When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland’s west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the lies of his past.

No one – living or dead – will tell Mahoney what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite his certainty that more than one of the villagers knows the sinister truth.

Between Mulderrig’s sly priest, its pitiless nurse and the caustic elderly actress throwing herself into her final village play, this beautiful and darkly comic debut novel creates an unforgettable world of mystery, bloody violence and buried secrets.

This book is really unusual as Mahoney, the central character can also see the dead. It starts with a prologue in 1950 when a girl is murdered in front of her baby. The main story is set in 1976 when Mahoney arrives in remote Mulderrig from Dublin, interspersed with historical flashbacks.

Mahoney was brought up in a Dublin orphanage and by the end of chapter 1, he has just found out that his mother was Orla Sweeney of Mulderrig. The reader is left to surmise that Orla was the girl murdered in the prologue. Mahoney finds out from old Mrs Cauley that nobody knows where Orla went and that his grandfather left when Orla was a child and his grandmother died 10 years ago and nobody admitted to being his father. But Mrs Cauley is also able to tell that Mahoney can see the dead. Neither of them believe Orla is alive, although Mahoney has never seen her amongst the dead either.

The book continues with Mahoney trying to discover the truth of what happened to Orla, both from the living and dead. He is sure that some of the villagers know the truth, particularly as some try to force him to leave, even attempting bribery. You’ll have to read it to find out more.

Himself is by Jess Kidd and is published by Canongate. The hardback edition is currently on sale on Amazon for £9.99 compared to an RRP of £12.99. It is also available in paperback and kindle format. I highly recommend this book. A really different great read.

I have previously read the following books from the Mumsnet Book Club.
The Fire Child by S. K. Tremayne
Noonday by Pat Barker
Missing Presumed by Susie Steiner
The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall
The Forgotten Summer by Carol Drinkwater
The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
Coming Home by Annabel Kantaria
Fallout by Sadie Jones
Falling by Emma Kavanagh
The Girl Who Just Appeared by Jonathan Harvey

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

Who REALLY Wrote Shakespeare? by David Lawrence-Young

I was about to select a book on NetGalley when I realised I had one from earlier in the year that I had forgotten to read. I don’t know how this oversight happened, but I’ve now read Who REALLY Wrote Shakespeare by David Lawrence-Young.

Who REALLY Wrote Shakespeare by David Lawrence-Young

Here is the book blurb.

“William Shakespeare was a con man! A faker and a forger!” With these words from a fellow lecturer ringing in his ears, university lecturer, Daniel Ryhope, sets off on a quest to uncover the truth: Did Shakespeare really write Shakespeare?

Joined by his wife and two friends, Daniel begins the search: analyzing and sifting through information on writers and dramatists who were alive during the Shakespearean era. How could it be that the writer of the greatest works in English came from a small market town? Did the creator of Hamlet and Macbeth have to be rich and well-educated? Was Shakespeare a cover-name for an anonymous aristocratic playwright? Did Shakespeare have connections at court? Was the writer really a woman? Was it possible that the plays were written by a team?

In true detective fashion, Daniel and his friends investigate all the possible options and theories. In the end, they announce their conclusion, appropriately enough, in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace.

Using sources from far and wide, D. Lawrence-Young has written a fascinating novel of detection which throws much light on the perennial question: Who Really Wrote Shakespeare?

The blurb really attracted me to this book. I have to say that it had never occurred to me that someone else may have written Shakespeare’s plays and I was fascinated by the idea. Was the famous bard really who he said he was? The story is fictional but it references many earlier works as this question has been debated for over 200 years.

The story starts with fellow lecturer Anna stating that Shakespeare was a fraud. How could the son of a Stratford glovemaker write so well about things he hadn’t experienced first-hand like other countries, battles and sea-storms? History lecturer Daniel decides to try to find out whether Shakespeare really did write his plays and sonnets or was it someone else. He enlists the help of his friend and fellow history lecturer Mike. Soon Jenny, another history lecturer and also Mike’s girlfriend joins in. And later on, Daniel’s wife Beth gets in on the act too. There seems to be a wealth of material on the topic in the university library plus sources online. And I like how Daniel utilises his students too.

It is done in a Poirot detective style with them investigating each other possible candidate in turn. I loved how it is broken down into manageable chunks, with them stopping each session because it is time for favourite TV show or they are hungry, etc. I felt it was written in a style that many of us might write in. It made me feel that there could be a book in more of us than we realise.

I loved this book especially the conclusion reached. And it even had me looking up the question on Wikipedia myself afterwards.

David Lawrence-Young is a prolific author who has spent the last forty-five years teaching History and English. In addition to Who Really Wrote Shakespeare, he has written sixteen other novels – and many more magazine articles – about travelling and history, indicating not only his wealth of knowledge about these subjects, but his love of them too. Follow Lawrence-Young’s blog for more fascinating insights into the life and work of the famous bard.

Who REALLY Wrote Shakespeare is available on Amazon, currently priced at 99p on Kindle. I highly recommend this book, an  intriguing, historical detective novel.

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

Dead Down East by Carl Schmidt

I have received a free e-copy of the book Dead Down East by Carl Schmidt to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

Dead Down East by Carl Schmidt

Here is the book blurb.

Dead Down East, a fictional murder mystery, is both detective noir and smart screwball comedy rolled into one. Jesse Thorpe, a young private investigator operating out of Augusta, Maine, receives a mysterious phone call from a former client, Cynthia Dumais. She begs to be rescued from an island south of Brunswick, within a mile of where William Lavoilette, the governor or Maine, was assassinated the night before. She insists that her life is in danger, but is unwilling to provide any further information. Reluctantly, Jesse goes to fetch her.

Within a week, Jesse has three separate clients, each with his, or her, own desperate need to have the murder solved. He assembles a motley team of compadres, including rock band members, a tie-dye psychic and his rousing girlfriend, Angele Boucher, to help him with the case. While the FBI and the Maine State Police investigate political motives, Jesse looks for the woman—Cherchez la Femme—as the trail draws him through the lives, and DNA, of the governor’s former mistresses.

Fresh, witty and loaded with eccentric characters, this first novel in the Jesse Thorpe Mystery Series is both clever and stylish. It’s an old-school private eye tale with inventive twists and local charm. If you enjoy a well-crafted and zesty narrative, lively banter, or take pleasure in the company of Mainers, you’ll love Dead Down East.

It took me a little effort to get into this book as the first chapter is mostly about Jesse’s fishing trip, but once Cynthia Dumais calls to ask for Jesse’s help, I was hooked. She wants Jesse to pick her up from an address nearby where the governor was murdered the previous evening. Jesse is a private investigator and Cynthia is a former client. He agrees, but has to navigate a police roadblock near the murder scene, at which he pretends he is picking up his girlfriend. Together, they come up with a plausible story to get back past the road block again, as Cynthia believes her life to be in danger as she was the governor’s mistress and witnessed his murder. Jesse takes Cynthia back to his own home. During a quick nap, he dreams of his friend Kathleen saying “Cherchez la femme” that very morning, which is to be one of the prime focuses of his investigation along with DNA samples.

Jesse sets up surveillance at Cynthia’s home, whilst Cynthia arranges a meeting for Jesse with Richard Merrill, the governor’s closest friend. Richard also wants the crime solved and becomes Jesse’s second client on the case. Then Travis, Cynthia’s ex is arrested and becomes Jesse’s third client.

DNA reveals a very interesting match, which convinces Jesse of who was involved in the murder. Next he has to prove it.

Dead Down East is available on Amazon, currently priced at £8.96 in paperback or FREE in Kindle format. A great read. Highly recommended, although sadly the cover design didn’t do anything to pull me in. This is the first of three Jesse Thorpe novels. I hope there will be many more to follow?

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