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Archive for the tag “hardback”

Blog Tour – ‘Bryant & May – Hall of Mirrors’ by Christopher Fowler

‘Hall of Mirrors’ is the fifteenth book in the Bryant & May series.  It was published on the 22nd March 2018 in hardback by Doubleday, and as an eBook by Transworld Digital.  I was invited to take part in the blog tour for this book by Anne Cater of Random Things Through My Letterbox.

There is a chance to win a copy of ‘Hall of Mirrors’ further down the page.  First though you will be wanting to know what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

The year is 1969 and ten guests are about to enjoy a country house weekend at Tavistock Hall. But one amongst them is harbouring thoughts of murder. . .

The guests also include the young detectives Arthur Bryant and John May – undercover, in disguise and tasked with protecting Monty Hatton-Jones, a whistle-blower turning Queen’s evidence in a massive bribery trial. Luckily, they’ve got a decent chap on the inside who can help them – the one-armed Brigadier, Nigel ‘Fruity’ Metcalf.

The scene is set for what could be the perfect country house murder mystery, except that this particular get-together is nothing like a Golden Age classic. For the good times are, it seems, coming to an end. The house’s owner – a penniless, dope-smoking aristocrat – is intent on selling the estate (complete with its own hippy encampment) to a secretive millionaire but the weekend has only just started when the millionaire goes missing and murder is on the cards. But army manoeuvres have closed the only access road and without a forensic examiner, Bryant and May can’t solve the case. It’s when a falling gargoyle fells another guest that the two incognito detectives decide to place their future reputations on the line. And in the process discover that in Swinging Britain nothing is quite what it seems…

So gentle reader, you are cordially invited to a weekend in the country. Expect murder, madness and mayhem in the mansion!

~~~~~

‘Hall of Mirrors’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bryant-May-Hall-Mirrors-Book-ebook/dp/B0732K6JH4/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1523385562&sr=1-1

 

Competition

One very lucky person will win a hardback copy of ‘Hall of Mirrors’.  To enter just leave a comment telling me who your favourite fictional detective is.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 18th April 2018.

The winner will be chosen at random within 7 days of the closing date.  Their details will be given to Anne Cater who will then pass them on to the publisher.

 

About Christopher Fowler

Christopher Fowler was born in Greenwich, London. He is the multi award-winning author of 45 novels and short story collections, and the author of the Bryant & May mysteries. His novels include ‘Roofworld’, ‘Spanky’, ‘Psychoville’, ‘Calabash’ and two volumes of memoirs, the award-winning ‘Paperboy’ and ‘Film Freak’. In 2015 he won the CWA Dagger In The Library. His latest books are ‘Wild Chamber’ and ‘Hall Of Mirrors’. His most recent collection ‘Red Gloves’, 25 stories of unease, marked his first 25 years of writing. Other recent novels include the comedy-thriller ‘Plastic’, the haunted house chiller ‘Nyctophobia’ and the JG Ballard-esque ‘The Sand Men’.

He has written comedy and drama for BBC radio, script, features and columns for national press, graphic novels, the play ‘Celebrity’ and the ‘War Of The Worlds’ videogame for Paramount, starring Sir Patrick Stewart. His short story ‘The Master Builder’ became a feature film entitled ‘Through The Eyes Of A Killer’, starring Tippi Hedren. Among his awards are the Edge Hill prize 2008 for ‘Old Devil Moon’, the Last Laugh prize 2009 for ‘The Victoria Vanishes’ and again in 2015 for ‘The Burning Man’.

Christopher has achieved several ridiculous schoolboy fantasies, releasing a terrible Christmas pop single, becoming a male model, writing a stage show, posing as the villain in a Batman graphic novel, running a night club, appearing in the Pan Books of Horror and standing in for James Bond. After living in the USA and France he is now married and lives in London’s King’s Cross and Barcelona.

 

Links

Website – http://www.christopherfowler.co.uk/

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Peculiar

 

Blog Tour – ‘You And Me, Always’ by Jill Mansell

Blog Tour Poster

‘You And Me, Always’ is Jill Mansell’s brand new book.  It was published on the 28th January 2016 by Headline Review in hardback.  Today it is my turn on this blog tour and I have a few treats in store for you.  Firstly, my review.

This story is set in Stanton Langley, a beautiful village in Cornwall.  On the morning of Lily’s twenty-fifth birthday, she opens the very last letter written to her by her mother who sadly died when she was just eight years old.  Reading the letter, Lily leans more about her mum’s first and only true love and this gets her thinking.

Later on in the day Lily rather unexpectedly meets Eddie Tessler, a film star who is fleeing fame and who might have the ability to change her world in unimaginable ways.  However, Dan who has been her friend since childhood has his own reasons for not wanting Lily to get too carried away by Eddie’s attentions.

Before long, secrets begin to emerge and Lily’s friends and family become involved.  Nothing will ever be the same again in Stanton Langley.  Bu is this for the good or bad?  That’s for you to find out.

I really liked the cover for ‘You And Me, Always’.  It’s just so beautiful.  Right from the very first page I knew I was going to love this book.  The first chapter was just great and I loved that there was some humour from the start.  It certainly made me smile.

The author writes in such a way that you find yourself almost instantly getting drawn into the characters’ lives and feel as if you have known them forever.  I love it when a book does that.  The majority of the characters were really likeable, my favourites being Lily, Coral, Dan and Declan.  It must have been so hard for Lily losing her mum at such a young age.  Luckily she had plenty of people looking out for her.  Lily was a really lovely person who deserved happiness.

‘You And Me, Always’ is an absolutely delightful read which you won’t want to put down.

Jill Mansell certainly knows how to tell a great story.  I was very impressed and will be waiting eagerly for her next novel.  In the meantime though I suppose I could read some of her previous books.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

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Enjoyed reading my review?  Well to now whet your appetites that little bit more I have an exclusive extract from ‘You And Me, Always’.

Extract

Gosh, keeping secrets was hard. Lily kept finding herself glancing across the table at Patsy, and Patsy was doing the same to her.

Because Patsy knew about Eddie Tessler, and she knew about Eddie Tessler, and she knew that Patsy knew she knew …

In the meantime, Coral was blissfully unaware and rattling on about something else entirely.

Plus, of course, they had a birthday to celebrate.

Coming to this restaurant in the Montpellier area of Cheltenham was another tradition that had begun the year her mother had died. Having been brought to Maria’s months earlier and been enthralled by both the atmosphere and the fettuccine Alfredo, she’d asked to come here again for her birthday. And Maria, the owner, had made a wonderful fuss of her, bringing out the bowl of fettuccine with coloured candles stuck into it and persuading everyone in the restaurant, staff and customers alike, to sing ‘Happy Birthday’. Maria, a mother of seven herself, had succeeded in making what could have been a difficult evening a triumph instead. It might not be the most upmarket and glamorous place to eat, but it was without question the most welcoming. Nine-year-old Lily had hugged Maria and declared, ‘I’m always, always going to come here for my birthday.’

And they had done, every year since. Always the four of them when Nick had been alive, now they were down to three, but the welcome was just as warm, and Maria, like a proud and adoring grandma, still insisted on sticking candles into her food.

This evening they’d had another brilliant time, the food had been delicious and wine had been drunk.

Which wasn’t helping at all.

‘Who is it?’ said Coral when Patsy’s phone signalled the arrival of a message.

Patsy, who had glanced at the screen, gone a bit wide-eyed and hurriedly put the phone down, said, ‘Sorry? No one!’ Then her gaze had flickered in Lily’s direction and she’d taken another glug of wine.

~~~~~

Competition

Two very lucky people have the chance to win a hardback copy of ‘You And Me, Always’.  To enter all you have to do is leave a comment telling me about a previous book or books you have read by Jill Mansell.  If you haven’t read any of her previous novels then just tell me why you want to read this book.

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 14th February 2016.

The winners will be picked at random and notified of their win within 7 days of the closing date.  Their details will be passed on to Elizabeth Masters at Headline who will send out your prizes.

Blog Tour – ‘Silenced’ by Anne Randall

Silenced

Today it is my turn on this exciting blog tour and I have lots to bring you.  First up is my review of ‘Silenced’.

 

‘Silenced’ was published by Constable on the 3rd September 2015 in hardback. This is the second novel in the Wheeler and Ross series.

He buried his victim alive and was made to pay for his crime. But now he’s escaped and is on the run in the city of Glasgow.

Fiona Henderson, the daughter of the murdered victim, took things very hard and descended into a world of silence. She has gone missing and this isn’t the first time either. Soon after a homeless person is found dead in a deserted alleyway. Could this death be anything to do with the murderer on the loose?

As DIs Wheeler and Ross investigate the murder, another one occurs and a pattern starts to emerge. It’s as if the murderer has something against the homeless and vulnerable and wants to get rid of them all. The investigation reveals not only a flawed support system for the disaffected, but also a criminal class who are ruthlessly willing to exploit them.

When DI Wheeler starts receiving letters and being stalked, she and Ross realise that the threat is now personal. Someone is after DI Wheeler too and her life is in danger. Will they be able to solve the case before it’s too late?

These days I’m finding I can’t get enough of crime thrillers and so was really looking forward to reading ‘Silenced’. The prologue which I found a bit creepy piqued my interest straightway and I couldn’t wait to read on. With its short chapters and numerous twists and turns I found myself racing through this book. The story takes place over a week and in that time an awful lot happens.

As we all know, the homeless and those having to work on the game is a huge problem so I applaud Anne Randall for writing about this issue in ‘Silenced’. Although I’m sure a lot is done it’s still not enough. It’s heart-breaking seeing people living on the streets in this day and age.

‘Silenced’ is a complex mystery which really had me guessing. I liked Wheeler and Ross and hope that there are many more cases for them to solve. Keep writing, Anne.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

~~~~~

Below is an extract from ‘Silenced’.

Chapter 4

‘So, you’re saying I’m fucked.’ It was more of a statement than a question. Detective Inspector Kat Wheeler sat on a banquette in the alcove furthest from the stage and tried to make herself heard. Her blonde hair was shorn at the sides and longer on top, making a little quiff. She lifted a large glass of Chardonnay, took a sip and surveyed the food on the table in front of her. It was fare more suited to a wake. Scotch pies sat in pools of grease, fat bridies and sausage rolls hummed heart attack, and bowls of chips, with three types of mayonnaise, nudged the chances a little higher. But she had to eat. She decided the chips were the least toxic and speared a fat one with her fork. Around the room, the karaoke lights flashed green, red, blue and yellow on a continuous cycle. Acting Detective Inspector Steven Ross sipped his pint and reached for a piece of greasy garlic bread. He munched it before looking at her, blinking his long dark lashes over pale blue eyes. He waited a second before asking, ‘So, Stewart told you to forget it?’

‘Yep. Case closed.’ She glanced at a group of police officers huddled in front of the stage, the karaoke crew. ‘They’ll have hangovers from hell in the morning.’

‘Aye, but tonight’s the night to forget it all. Besides, it’s a celebration. Boyd got engaged and we solved the case.’

‘I’m not sure we’re celebrating the right result, Ross.’

‘We’re celebrating a result, a pretty good one in the circumstances.’

She looked at him, kept munching. Took another sip of wine. Waited.

He sighed. ‘You know the score, Wheeler. Sure you’ve photographic evidence, which may, just may, link Andy Doyle to James Gilmore but it’s a bit of a long shot.’

She finished the chip and reached for another. ‘It’s shit. Do you think I should take it higher?’

‘Come on, you already know the answer to that and, anyway, you’d get no support.’

She didn’t contradict him.

‘It would ruin their stats. From their point of view, the case is solved. Maurice Mason killed James Gilmore. Case closed. Two bastards are now off the radar, the heid-high yins are thrilled.’

‘Right. An ex-con was found dead.’ She speared another fat chip from the basket. Dipped it in the garlic mayon­naise. Ate. ‘And he was conveniently—’

Ross cut her off: ‘Wearing a St Christopher medal, which had been stolen from a murdered paedophile. You can see how it makes sense.’

‘It’s too neat, though, isn’t it?’

‘The top brass are delirious. The case is resolved. Big fucking result. You saw how Grim wrote it up in the Chronicle . . .’

‘Yeah, I remember. Carmyle police should be justifiably proud of their investigation.’

‘Just leave it, Wheeler. Pastures new and all that, and for starters that lunatic Haedyear’s done a runner.’

‘I know,’ said Wheeler. ‘You think he’ll head back to his old stomping ground, in Clarkston?’

‘He’d be a fool if he was even still in the city. My guess is he’ll be long gone,’ said Ross. ‘You think the two prison officers were in on it?’

Wheeler sipped her wine. ‘They’ve both been inter­viewed and released, but suspended from duty while the inquiry’s ongoing. Even if they’re not involved, they might end up losing their jobs.’

‘Seems a bit harsh if it was done by an outsider.’

‘But they weren’t thorough enough. I mean, Haedyear scarpered.’ Wheeler paused. ‘Anyway, should you be out on the ran-dan tonight, given that you’re going to be a dad?’

Ross shifted in his seat. ‘It’s all off again.’

‘The pregnancy?’

‘No, she’s still going ahead with it but it’s over between us.’

‘Again?’

‘Again.’

‘Because?’

‘She went into fantasy La-la Land.’

‘That’ll be the hormones kicking in.’

‘Wanted me to leave the force, get a nine-to-five. Be there for the kid.’

‘What did she suggest?’

‘Insurance.’

‘Right. I can just see you in insurance,’ said Wheeler.

‘She wanted the whole cartoon dream. Even the picket fence.’

‘Roses round the door?’

‘Exactly.’

‘But you’d miss the glamour of this job.’ Wheeler looked round the room. The Belter Bar and Grill was all about cheap booze and even cheaper artery-clogging deep-fried food. Even the humble vegetable had been coated in batter and deep-fried in fat. Tempura. Their boss DCI Stewart hadn’t turned up, but those who had were either swaying to the cheesy karaoke or looking distinctly glassy-eyed.

Ross sipped his pint. ‘I’m quite nervous about becoming a dad. Being a role model and all that stuff.’

‘You’ll be okay.’

‘Since we’re on the subject, did you ever want kids?’

Wheeler studied the contents of the chip basket. Speared a chip. Chewed. Said nothing.

Ross took the hint. He glanced across at the stage and changed the subject. ‘Look out, Boyd’s going up.’

Wheeler watched as Detective Constable Alexander Boyd lumbered towards the stage. ‘Nightmare. How does Boyd not even know how shit he is?’

‘Classic denial.’ Ross shuddered. They settled them­selves for the trauma as Boyd took the stage and began comprehensively to strangle every note of Bryan Adams’s ‘(Everything I Do) I Do It For You’.

A police sergeant in a too-tight shiny black shirt roared from the back of the room, ‘Get them out for the boys!’ Boyd duly complied and opened his shirt to expose a gen­erous expanse of flaccid flesh and tufts of thick dark chest hair. The team yelled and applauded as he gyrated and sang with no discernible talent in either department. Finally he finished and, flushed with success, left the stage to make his way to his fiancée. The upstairs function room in the bar was heaving, but not everyone in the place was drunk ‒ the staff on the whole were pretty sober.

‘So, if not the case, at least let’s celebrate Boyd’s engagement.’ Ross raised his glass. ‘The happy couple look delirious.’

‘And stocious.’ Wheeler lifted hers.

‘That too.’

‘Has no one mentioned the fact that Boyd’s still married or would that just be inconvenient?’

‘It definitely would seem that way. Anyway, his wife refused a divorce ‒ he’ll need to sit it out.’

‘That the lucky woman?’ Wheeler looked across to Boyd’s fiancée. Took in the tight red T-shirt, the short black skirt and the fishnets.

‘She looks like she’s dressed for work,’ said Ross. ‘Subtle she’s not.’

‘Tell me what she does again?’

‘She’s a burlesque dancer at Foaming Frothies. Boyd’s in Heaven.’

‘I’ll bet,’ said Wheeler, as the screen on her mobile lit up. She glanced at the number, headed to the far corner and pressed the phone to her ear. She listened carefully before making her way back to Ross. ‘New case.’ She went behind the bar, switched on the overhead lights and killed the soundtrack. She ignored the yells and waited for the boos to subside before she announced, to a silent room, ‘A body has been found in our area.’

A slurred prompt: ‘Go on, Wheeler.’

‘All I know at present is that we’re looking at a murder in the Tollcross Road area.’ She grabbed her coat and made for the door. Ross stood, pulled on his leather jacket and stared after her. ‘Guess I’ll be paying, then.’ But she was gone.

The music was switched on again, but the party was over. The atmosphere in the room was subdued. Officers who were on duty in the morning either finished their drinks quickly or abandoned them. No point in going in to a murder inquiry with a hangover. Jackets were collected. Wives, husbands and taxis were called. It was home time.

Outside, the weather raged around them. Thunder growled across the skyline as lightning flashed. ‘Thundersnow,’ muttered Wheeler, pulling up the collar of her coat as a taxi turned into Byres Road. She flagged it down.

‘So much for a night off and a wee break.’ Ross opened the door for her.

Wheeler climbed in, gave the driver instructions and, once on their way, turned to Ross. ‘Quit whining. Don’t you know—’

‘Aye. Your usual refrain, “Some poor sod has been battered/shot/strangled to death”, delete as applicable, and here I am whining about the weather/timing/ football results. Am I right?’

Wheeler skelped his arm, then ignored him, preferring instead to stare out of the window as they started their journey across the city, from the West End, where red-sandstone tenement flats began around the hundred-thousand-pound mark, to the East End, where similar flats facing Tollcross Park went for half that.

A few minutes later the driver broke the silence: ‘You polis, then?’

‘Yep,’ said Ross.

‘So I suppose you’ll not be able to tell me what this is about?’

‘Right,’ Ross replied.

‘I’m guessing you’re not uniform, so you’re CID, plus you’re leaving a night out by the looks of it, so I’d guess there’s been a death?’

Silence.

‘And you can’t talk about it?’

‘Have you been working all evening?’ asked Wheeler.

‘Just came on about half an hour ago.’

‘You get any fares take you across the city to Tollcross?’

‘Sometimes, but not the night. Tollcross Road, though, near the park? That where we’re heading? The wife loves that park.’

‘That so?’ said Ross. ‘She use it a lot?’

‘Christ, aye. During the summer she’s never away from it. It’s the roses, son, she’s mad about them . . . We don’t have a garden and that rose garden’s famous ‒ must be thousands of plants, all different types, mind . . . And the awards they win, a Garden of Excellence. The wife keeps up with it all. Lovely wee spot. Peaceful.’

‘Not tonight,’ muttered Ross.

 

~~~~~

Competition

1 very lucky person has the chance to win a copy of ‘Silenced’.  To enter just tell me why you love reading crime.

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to residents of the UK and Europe only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 21st September 2015.

The winner will be notified within 7 days of the closing date and their details passed on to Grace Vincent at the Little Brown Book Group Limited who will send out the prize.

Good luck! 🙂

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