A Lover of Books

Archive for the tag “fourth book in the series”

Guest Post by Mark Ellis ~ @midaspr @MarkEllis15

It is a real pleasure having Mark Ellis as a guest on my blog today.  His latest book, ‘A Death in Mayfair’, the fourth book in the DCI Frank Merlin series, was published last November in paperback, as an eBook and Audiobook by Accent Press.

Mark has written a post about the research he has undertaken for his books.

 

Researching The World War Two Frank Merlin Detective Series

With this month’s VE Day Anniversary, public interest in World War Two has once again been high. This pleases me as the period is fascinating and one in which I spend considerable time as the author of a series of wartime crime thrillers. My hero, Detective Chief Inspector Frank Merlin, is a Scotland Yard policeman investigating serious crime in London. The series follows his adventures through the war sequentially. Four books have been published so far and I am writing the fifth. The first of the series, Princes Gate, is set in January 1940, at the time of the so-called ‘Phoney War’. The second, Stalin’s Gold, is set in September 1940, at the beginning of the Blitz and the Battle of Britain. The action of the third, Merlin At War, takes place in June 1941, just before Hitler’s invasion of Russia. A Death In Mayfair, the recently published fourth Merlin book is set in December 1941, the month in which the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour.

A considerable amount of research goes into the writing of the Frank Merlin series. I aim to set the Merlin stories against as realistic a historical background as I can. Before starting to write I spend around three months reading everything I can about the book’s particular period setting. When I started out with Princes Gate, I was very reliant on libraries for my research. I spent much time in particular at the Public Records Office in Kew where they had an abundance of helpful books and documents. Since then, as the amount of online information has proliferated, libraries have become less vital, although I still use them. The internet is an amazing source. If I want to find out the weather in London on a specific day in the war, I can find details online. If I want to find out which RAF squadrons were in the air on a particular day in the Battle of Britain, the internet can tell me. And so on.

Apart from the internet and libraries, I have a useful book collection of my own. It includes several excellent histories of life on the Home Front (eg Philip Ziegler, Juliet Gardiner, Angus Calder), great wartime diaries (Harold Nicolson, Chips Channon, Alan Brooke), memoirs and biographies (Churchill, De Gaulle, Eisenhower) and works of period fiction (Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, Elizabeth Bowen). I also travel for purposes of research. While the action of the Merlin books takes place mostly in London, other locations occasionally feature. These have included Berlin, Paris, Buenos Aires, Miami, Moscow, Berlin, Vichy, New York and Cairo, a number of which I have been able to visit.

When I write a book I do not work to an advance framework of the plot. After the initial period of research, I set out on the first draft with plot lines which have come to my mind during that process. With the most recent Merlin book, A Death In Mayfair, my research drew me to the British wartime film industry. I learned that there were as many as fifteen film studios in and around London in the early years of the war. This struck me as a large number and further reading provided interesting detail on cinema in the war years and of its importance to the British public. I thus decided to set the story of A Death In Mayfair against a background of movie stars, directors and producers making films in a fictional film studio beside the River Thames. As I began to write, I set various plot lines running and went where they took me. Then, as is my method, when I was about three quarters of the way through the draft, I worked out how the plots were resolved. This can be a rather nerve-wracking process but somehow it seems to work for me.

The new work in progress, the fifth Merlin book, is set in August 1942. The plot revolves around art theft, espionage and racism in the US forces. My preliminary research included books on wartime Lisbon, the art world, and the arrival of American GIs in Britain. As I’m not yet half way through the draft, I have no idea yet about what will happen. Thus I’m as excited by the development of the story as I hope readers are when it hits the bookshops! It will be out next year.

 

Book Blurb

December 1941. Japanese planes swoop down and attack Pearl Harbour. America enters the war and Britain no longer stands alone against Hitler. But conditions on the home front remain bleak, and for Scotland Yard detective Frank Merlin, life is as arduous as ever.  He is diverted from his tenacious campaign against London’s organised criminal gangs by the violent deaths of two young women in the centre of the city. Merlin investigates and encounters fraudulent film moguls, dissipated movie stars, mad Satanists, and brutal gangsters amongst others as he and his team battle to uncover the and search out the truth.

 

‘A Death in Mayfair’ can be purchased from:-

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Merlin-Noir-DCI-Frank-Novel/dp/1786156725/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=a+death+in+mayfair&qid=1589374554&sr=8-1

Waterstones – https://www.waterstones.com/book/a-death-in-mayfair/mark-ellis/9781786156723

 

About Mark Ellis

Mark Ellis is a thriller writer from Swansea and a former barrister. He is the creator of DCI Frank Merlin, an Anglo-Spanish police detective operating in World War 2 London. His books treat the reader to a vivid portrait of London during the war.

Mark grew up under the shadow of his parents’ experience of the Second World War. He has always been fascinated by the fact that while the nation was engaged in a heroic endeavour, crime flourished. His father served in the wartime navy and died a young man. His mother told him stories of watching the heavy bombardment of Swansea from the safe vantage point of a hill in Llanelli, and of attending tea dances in wartime London under the bombs and doodlebugs.

In consequence Mark has always been fascinated by WW2 and in particular the Home Front and the fact that while the nation was engaged in a heroic endeavour, crime flourished. Murder, robbery, theft and rape were rife and the Blitz provided scope for widespread looting.This was an intriguing, harsh and cruel world. This is the world of DCI Frank Merlin.

Mark Ellis’ books regularly appear in the Kindle bestseller charts. He is a member of the Crime Writers Association (CWA). His most recent book, Merlin at War, was on the CWA Historical Dagger Longlist in 2018. A Death in Mayfair will be published in November 2019.

 

Links

Website – https://markellisauthor.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/MarkEllis15

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MarkEllisAuthor

 

Blog Tour – ‘Beast’ by Matt Wesolowski ~ @annecater @OrendaBooks @ConcreteKraken

‘Beast’, the fourth book in the Six Stories series, is being published in paperback on the 20th February 2020 by Orenda Books and is available as an eBook.

I would like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate in this tour.  I have a competition for you all to enter.

 

Book Blurb

Continuing the unique, explosive Six Stories series, based around six podcasts comes a compulsive, taut and terrifying thriller, and a bleak and distressing look at modern society’s desperation for attention. Beast will unveil a darkness from which you may never return…

In the wake of the ‘Beast from the East’ cold snap that ravaged the UK in 2018, a grisly discovery was made in a ruin on the Northumbrian coast. Twenty-four-year-old vlogger, Elizabeth Barton, had been barricaded inside what locals refer to as ‘The Vampire Tower’, where she was later found frozen to death.

Three young men, part of an alleged cult, were convicted of this terrible crime, which they described as a ‘prank gone wrong’. However, in the small town of Ergarth, questions have been raised about the nature of Elizabeth Barton’s death and whether the three convicted youths were even responsible.

Elusive online journalist Scott King speaks to six witnesses – people who knew both the victim and the three killers – to peer beneath the surface of the case. He uncovers whispers of a shocking online craze that held the young of Ergarth in its thrall and drove them to escalate a series of pranks in the name of internet fame. He hears of an abattoir on the edge of town, which held more than simple slaughter behind its walls, and the tragic and chilling legend of the Ergarth Vampire…

 

About Matt Wesolowski

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- an US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller.

 

Links

‘Beast’ can be purchased from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beast-Six-Stories-Matt-Wesolowski/dp/1913193136/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1581867556&sr=8-1

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ConcreteKraken

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5303620.Matt_Wesolowski

 

Competition

One lucky person has the chance to win a paperback copy of ‘Beast’.  To enter just share my post on social media and leave a comment on here.

 

Terms and Conditions

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 25th February 2020.

The winner will be chosen within 7 days of the closing date and their details passed on to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours.

This competition is open to UK residents only.

 

Blog Tour – ‘Hell to Pay’ by Rachel Amphlett

It’s here at last! Yes, ‘Hell to Pay’ the fourth book in the Detective Kay Hunter series was published yesterday the 16th November 2017 in paperback and as an eBook by Saxon Publishing. Having thoroughly enjoyed this series so far I’m sure you can imagine my delight at being invited to take part in the blog tour for this book. I would like to thank the wonderful Emma Mitchell for organising this tour and Rachel Amphlett for the review copy.

A road traffic accident on a dark autumn night uncovers something rather shocking. Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter’s investigation exposes a ruthless serial killer who is exploiting vulnerable young women.

With her enemies unmasked and her career spiralling out of control, Kay’s determination to seek vengeance for the victims brings her dangerously close to those who want her silenced. Undeterred, she finally uncovers the real reason behind a plot to destroy her career.

Could Kay’s need for revenge be her undoing, or will she survive to see justice served?

Well, what can I say? I literally feel like I’ve been on a rollercoaster and only just got off it. ‘Hell to Pay’ was one absolute belter of a read. I have loved all the books in the series so far but this one has got to be my favourite. Rachel Amphlett really is a fantastic writer. With the short chapters and twists and turns she really keeps readers on the edge of their seat.

I thought this story to be particularly grisly but it didn’t stop me reading on. Through the authors descriptions I could picture the crime scenes. I’m just glad that I couldn’t smell them! The police obviously have to handle all sorts of cases, many of which are extremely unpleasant. I really felt for Kay and her colleagues coming across what they did. I like that the police officers were able to have a bit of banter despite this though. I guess it’s the only way to keep sane.

I liked the references made to previous cases throughout the story and I of course remembered them all. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to Kay next with regards to solving who was trying to ruin her career. The discovery she made was a shocker.

This book can be read as a standalone. The author has really taken great care and attention to recap on the ongoing storyline involving Kay and has also introduced the police officers to her readers again. I do however recommend reading all the books in order as this is such a great series.

‘Hell to Pay’ is a gripping and exciting read. It will leave you wanting more. I hope there are more books in the series to come.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

‘Hell to Pay’ is available to buy from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hell-Pay-Detective-Hunter-thriller-ebook/dp/B077CLS6RL/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1510858983&sr=1-1&keywords=hell+to+pay+by+rachel+amphlett

You can connect with Rachel by signing up to her mailing list via her website (http://www.rachelamphlett.com), or via Facebook (http://on.fb.me/TN7rpu) and Twitter: @RachelAmphlett

 

Cover Reveal – ‘Hell to Pay’ by Rachel Amphlett

I am more than just a little bit excited today.  In fact I am thrilled as I can at last reveal the cover for Rachel Amphlett’s new book, ‘Hell to Pay’, the fourth book in the Detective Kay Hunter series.  I swear the covers just keep getting better and better.

‘Hell to Pay’ is being published on the 16th November 2017 by Saxon Publishing and will be available in paperback, as an eBook and in audiobook.  Here’s what it’s about.

 

Book Blurb

When a road traffic accident on a dark autumn night uncovers a disturbing conspiracy, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter’s investigation exposes a ruthless serial killer exploiting vulnerable young women.

With her enemies unmasked and her career spiralling out of control, Kay’s determination to seek vengeance for the victims brings her dangerously close to those who want to silence her.

Undeterred, she uncovers the real reason behind a plot to destroy her career and sets in motion a terrifying chain of events.

Could Kay’s need for revenge be her undoing, or will she survive to see justice served?

Hell to Pay is a gripping fast paced crime thriller, and the fourth in the Detective Kay Hunter series:

1. SCARED TO DEATH

2. WILL TO LIVE

3. ONE TO WATCH

4. HELL TO PAY

A page-turning whodunit for fans of Peter Robinson, David Baldacci and James Patterson.

 

‘Hell to Pay’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hell-Pay-Detective-Hunter-Thriller/dp/0994547943/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1506969985&sr=1-1&keywords=hell+to+pay+by+rachel+amphlett

 

Blog Tour – ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ by Daniela Sacerdoti

Blog Tour

Today it is my turn on this blog tour and I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part.  Last year I read and reviewed Daniela Sacerdoti’s previous novel, ‘Set Me Free’ and I absolutely loved it, so I’m sure you can imagine how excited I was to read this book.  ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ is out in paperback this month, published by Black and White Publishing.  It is the fourth book in the Glen Avich series.

Isabel Ramsay lives in Glen Avich with her husband, Angus.  A successful artist, she has never really got over her mother’s death, even though she died when she was very young.  Haunted by what happened all those years ago, Isabel finds that her own life is spiralling out of control and unable to bear the pain any longer she decides to end her life.  But then Isabel wakes up and discovers that she hasn’t died after all.  She remembers a vision of a mysterious woman who has saved her, but doesn’t understand how this could be so.

With Isabel’s family and friends worried out of their minds, Angus and his brother find a companion to watch over Isabel.  Angus’s work means he is away quite a lot from home and he doesn’t want Isabel to be alone.  Isabel doesn’t like anyone in her home but somehow she accepts having Clara there.  Clara connects with her in a way no one else can.  She helps Isabel to face up to her painful past, rediscover her passion for art and encourages her to live her life again.  But there is something mysterious about Clara.

I tend to comment if I really love a book cover and this one is just beautiful.  It is picture perfect like a postcard.  The snow looks so lovely that you just don’t want to disturb it.

When I first started reading ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ I wasn’t sure if I would like it as much as the previous novel.  I thought it might be a little bit too depressing, but after a couple or so chapters I found myself really getting into the story.  Daniela Sacerdoti portrays her characters so well that you end up feeling as if you’ve known them forever.  It was nice meeting up with some of the characters from the previous book.  It felt like a reunion of old friends.

I could really understand how Angus was feeling.  He was put in a very tricky situation and was naturally scared in case Isabel tried to commit suicide again.  I thought that Clara was exactly what Isabel needed.  She was really good for her.  I found myself trying to work out what the mystery was about Clara, although I did have an idea.

‘Don’t Be Afraid’ is a beautiful, poignant and magical story and its one I won’t forget for quite a while.  I think this is a wonderful book for people who suffer from depression.  I am really looking forward to reading Daniela Sacerdoti’s next novel.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

 

‘Don’t Be Afraid is available to buy from Amazon:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dont-Afraid-Glen-Avich-Book-ebook/dp/B014JABSES/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452448414&sr=1-1&keywords=don%27t+be+afraid

 

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