#blogtour The Beekeeper by Stewart Giles @JoffeeBooks

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Book description:

A shocking discovery starts a trail of mayhem on the Cornish coast.

Alice Green is a beekeeper in the small Cornish village of Polgarrow. She lives with her pet jackdaw in a beautiful cottage not far from the sea. One evening, Alice finds something strange under the hollyhock bush in her garden. The gruesome discovery will change everyone’s lives. And then Alice’s best friend Milly disappears . . .

Detective Harriet Taylor has just transferred to the area from Edinburgh. As she investigates a series of shocking crimes, she grows close to the old beekeeper and is determined to bring the criminals to justice. But who is really what they seem and who can she trust?

A crime mystery with a touch of black humour. You’ll enjoy this fast-paced and dark unearthing of the secrets of a sleepy Cornish village.

Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, LJ Ross, or TE Kinsey.

My Review:

The Beekeeper is an interesting mystery that is quite easy to read as it is fast flowing and there is always something happening or being discovered which makes the book difficult to put down.

I really liked the main character Alice, the Beekeeper, who is a fantastic character really kookie and entertaining.  I enjoyed reading about her exploits throughout the book and discovering more about her.  Her hobby of beekeeping was fascinating and I enjoyed learning more about what it involved.  I also liked Harriet Taylor who seemed quite a strong woman, despite her sad background.  It was lovely to see her grow in confidence throughout the book and settle into her new job. I especially liked her determination to do her job to the best of her abilities and that she fought to ensure she got the right results.

It was great to be able to follow an investigation from the start to its conclusion and be able to see the ins and outs of a police investigation.  The author includes descriptions of how the police get to their conclusions and how they conduct their investigations which was fascinating to read about.

The internal politics of a police station and how important or necessary each person is considered by others was very interesting.  The conversations between the police officers was very telling and could get quite personal at times leading to some funny moments.

There are some gory bits in the book, where the author goes into quite a lot of vivid detail about how a corpse looks.  If you are squeamish you might be better avoiding this book. Some of the descriptions made me feel quite sick at times.

I did unfortunately guess early on who the murderer was.  I read a lot of mysteries and thrillers and I think that was why I was able to guess rather than anything being wrong with the book.  Even though I had guessed I enjoyed reading the rest of the book while I waited to discover if I was right.

This is Stewart Giles’s debut novel and I would be interested in reading more of his books as I did enjoy most of the book its just a shame I worked it out.

Huge thank you to Joffe Books and Jill Burkinshaw for my copy of this book.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

More about the author:

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After reading English & Drama at three different English Universities and graduating from none of them, I set off travelling and finally ended up in South Africa, where I still live. I enjoy the serene life running a boat shop on the banks of the Vaal Dam. I came up with the DS Jason Smith idea after my wife dropped a rather large speaker on my head. Whether it was intentional still remains a mystery. Smith, the first in the series was finished in September 2013 and was closely followed by Boomerang and Ladybird. Occam’s Razor, Harlequin and Phobia (a series of short stories detailing Smith’s early life) were all completed in one hazy 365 days and Selene was done and dusted a few months later. Horsemen, the seventh in the DS Smith thriller series is out now. The Beekeeper, a departure from the DS Smith series will be released through Joffe Books on 22 May.

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Electric Soul by Rose McGinty @rosemcginty @urbanepub @urbanebooks

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When Aisling arrives in the Middle East she is looking forward to a grand adventure in a new country. She soon immerses herself in the new culture, enjoying meeting new people and experiencing the night life. However Aisling soon discovers that everything is not as it seems. Strange and sinister things start happening at work and her expat colleagues are arrested or disappear. Not knowing who to trust Aisling must try and find out the answers but will she be able to or will she disappear like her colleagues.

Electric Souk is vivid, colorful and unique. What makes it so unique is the way it is written. For most of the book it seems to just be a description of Aisling’s everyday life but then something will happen that makes you think otherwise. Slowly sinister things start coming to the surface as people reveal their true natures and things start happening at work. This gradual unveiling helps add a lot of tension to the book which kept me reading as I wanted to know what was happening. It is hard to put this book into one genre as it has bits of all of them in it but this never seems forced or is confusing and adds to the books uniqueness.

The author managed to take you to another time and place with her brilliant description. I especially loved the description of the Souk where I could perfectly imagine the hustle and bustle and almost smell the spices. It was very interesting to learn more about daily life in a middle Eastern country and how different it is to ours. The characters are very varied and quite colourful. I enjoyed reading about them and found I cared about what might happen to them. Some of the evil characters in the book I loved to hate. Especially Brian who was quite scary at times! The ending was brilliant and very fitting to the story. It was nice that the author didn’t go for the easy ending and instead chose one quite hard hitting.

This is Rose McGintry’s debut novel and I look forward to reading more from her. Huge thanks to Matthew from Urbane Publishers for my copy of this book.

Rating: 4/5 stars

About the author:

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Rose McGinty lives in England and works for the NHS.  She studied at Trinity College Dublin and is an alumna of the Faber Academy.  She has worked overseas, including the Middle East.  She has won a number of writing competitions.  Electric Soul is her debut novel.

 

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The English Agent by Clare Harvey @ClareHarveyauth @jessbarratt88 @simonschusterpr

 

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My Review:

It’s 1940 and the war is in full swing. Edie takes a job with the SOE, as an escape from a turbulent past and soon finds herself being dispatched to occupied France to work as a wireless operator. Once there she discovers how dangerous things are in France and has to learn the ropes very quickly. When the unthinkable happens, Edie has to draw on all her strength and training to survive. In London, Vera works hard at her job with the SOE training and dispatching agents to occupied France. But Vera is hiding a secret of her own and when Edie goes missing her loyalty is tested.

Clare Harvey certainly knows how to write gripping and atmospheric historical fiction. I was immediately drawn into the story wanting to read more to discover what was going to happen next. I felt that she perfectly evoked the atmosphere of World War Two London and Paris. There was a constant feeling throughout the book of unease, uncertainty and fear that something was about to happen. The description of war time Paris where Gestapo raids are part of everyday life added to the already tense atmosphere as no one knew who would be next. The authors use of real places that were used by the Germans as headquarters or offices helped make the story and events more real.

I have long been a fan of strong, confident female characters so I was thrilled that this book contained two of them. I loved reading about their exploits and how they never let being a women get in their way. Both women go through a huge journey throughout the book as they discover what they are capable of. This is especially true of Edie who starts the book with people being unsure that she’ll make a good agent to her becoming a confident and capable agent towards the end.
The tension in the book is gradually increased as the book goes on. I don’t want to say to much about what happens as I don’t want to give anything away but towards the end I found myself holding my breath as events unfolded.

I thought the ending was brilliant and very fitting for all the characters involved. I wish it hadn’t ended there as I would have loved to have read more about what happened next but maybe, hopefully, there is a sequel planned.

This is Clare Harvey’s second book although this is the first one I’ve read. Her first book, The Gunner Girl, is a prequel to this one and feature Edie again. This book can be read as a stand alone book through, which is what I gave done and it works perfectly well.

Huge thanks to Jess Barrett and Simon & Schuster for giving me a copy of this book.

About the author:

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Clare Harvey is an ex-army wife.  The Gunner Girl, her debut novel, was inspired by her mother-in-laws experience during WW2 and written while her husband was on active service in Afghanistan.  She has travelled widely and worked all over the world, doing voluntary work in Tanzania and as a journalist and tutor, in Nepal, Germany and Northern Ireland.  She hitchhiked from Zanzibar to Cape Town, and went to work for an overseas charity before falling in love with a soldier.  She now lives in Nottingham with her family.

Find out more: 

Facebook: Facebook.com/clareharvey13

Twitter: @ClareHarveyauth

Website: http://www.clareharvey.net

Her next novel, The Night Raid will be published in hardback 27 July 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#blogtour: Not Your Average Nurse by Maggie Groff

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4.5 stars. Review part of blog tour:

Maggie is 17 when she decides to abandon her A-levels and pursue a career in nursing. Moving to London Maggie soon falls in love with the city, and after making new friends enjoys the social life the city offers. Although initially finding nursing difficult, Maggie works hard and, despite her tutors reservations, passes her nursing account. Not Your Average Nurse follows Maggie through her nursing training and career as she lives and loves, nurses in a variety of places and finds a true passion for nursing.

Any student nurse is a fascinating, enjoyable but sometimes poignant glimpse into nursing and life in 1970’s London. Firstly I loved Maggie. She is such a strong, confident lady who isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and others when needed. I really enjoyed reading about her exploits with her friends and colleagues. It was very funny to hear what they got up to both at work and in their spare time. I wanted to be a part of their group enjoying the social life in London with them.

It was very educational for me to learn about the differences between nursing then compared with nursing now. With a lot of modern techniques and treatment not available, nursing then seemed quite primitive. It was fascinating to find out how things were done then. It was also interesting to discover more about how nurses and women were viewed then. There seemed to be a lot of sexism towards women stil. The poor pay, hours and working conditions were attributed to the fact that nursing was mainly a female career. It was great to read about Maggie and her colleagues attempt to fight against this.

To me the most enlightening part of the book was learning more about the different types of nursing available, outside of a hospital. Who knew there was a thing called Industrial nursing, that involved nurses working in shops or theatres and that a nurse might be needed in a convent. I certainly didn’t!

The tales of some of the patients Maggie nursed throughout the years were quite poignant. Learning how their experiences during the war had caused their current condition was heart breaking at times. As was her accounts of how illnesses caused by living conditions which couldn’t always be helped. It was lovely to hear how the NHS helped treat such people back then. There was such warmth and compassion shown to them, which was lovely to read about and probably wouldn’t happen now.

This is not Maggie Groff’s first book but it is the first book of hers that I have read. I will definitely be going back and reading some more of her work as I enjoyed this one very much.

Huge thanks to Rosie Margesson and Transworld publisher s for providing me with a copy of this book. If you enjoyed the Call The Midwife books you’ll love this one!

 

About me and my blog!

Hi I’m Joanna Park, I’m a stay at home mum to my two gorgeous children.  I have been a huge bookworm all my life. When I was little I would climb up into my dad’s lap and he’d read out loud to me from whatever he was reading.

I will read anything apart from horror as I have quite a vivid imagination and get scared easily! My favorite types of books are historical fiction or mysteries and thrillers though I will try any book that interests me.  I have started this blog to firstly shout about the great books I have enjoyed but also to try and start discussions about books with fellow book lovers as there is nothing I like better than a bookish chat! I’m hoping to post twice a week depending on what’s happening with the kids!

We sadly lost our second son, Christopher Allan in 2014.  I was 24 weeks pregnant when he decided to come early and sadly was too small to survive, living only five hours before passing away.  The name of this blog is a little tribute to him as the song Over The Rainbow has comforted me since his passing as I hope that he has gone to a better place and we will meet again.  It is also a tribute to my other two kids as they are both ‘Rainbow’ babies as like a rainbow they are the beauty after the storm, or in my case, the hard times we had having them.