My #Review of #BloodNotes by @linleversa @HobeckBooks ….. A compelling thriller!

A TEENAGE PRODIGY

HIS OVER-PROTECTIVE MOTHER

HIS JEALOUS TEENAGE RIVALS

ALL PLAYERS IN A CONCERTO OF CONSPIRACY AND MURDER

Edmund Fitzgerald is different

Sheltered by An over-protective mother, he’s a musical prodigy.

Now,against his mothers wishes, he’s about to enter formal education for the first time aged 17. Everything is alien to Edmund: teenage style, language and relationships are impossible to understand.

Then there’s the searing jealousy his talent inspires, especially when the sixth form collies Head of Music, turns her back on her other students and begins to teach Edmund exclusively.

Observing events is Steph, a former police detective who is rebuilding her life following a bereavement as the college receptionist. When a student is found dead in the music block, Steph’s sleuthing skills help to unravel the dark events engulfing the college community.

Firstly, thank you once again to Hobeck Books for the gifted copy of Blood Notes, I’m extremely grateful, as always.

Well I was hooked from the extremely shocking first chapter, I was not expecting that! Nope I’m not giving it away, buy it, read it!

From then on the storyline and plot is one of murder, jealousy and madness and I was hooked.

The main character of Edmund is written really well as a beyond his years, awkward with other teenagers, but brilliant Cellist. His upbringing has cocooned him from other children, just him and his Mother and his music, so when he starts at the local college it’s a clash of 2 worlds! His shock at how teenagers are is the start of a journey for Edmund and his Mother, Imogen.

The characters are all written and portrayed very well by Lin Le Versa in Blood Notes. The involvement of a retired police detective is frankly, a great plot! Steph Grant and her trusty sidekick Derek the dog (I loved that name) help the local Detectives to piece together what is happening when murders start occurring. In the meantime she is being blackmailed and threatened, and even Derek can’t help her! There’s a love angle, which has been simmering for years and her sleuthing ways help to lead us to the killer, in frankly a great finale.

This is the first in a new series of Steph Grant books, and I shall look forward to the next instalment!

LIN LE VERSHA

Lin Le Versha has drawn on her extensive experience in London and Surrey schools and colleges as the inspiration for her debut crime novel which Hobeck are thrilled to be publishing later this year. In addition to crime writing, she has written over twenty plays exploring the issues faced by secondary school and sixth form students. Commissioned to work exploring the issues faced by secondary school and sixth form students. Commissioned to work with Anne Fine on The Granny Project, she created the English and drama lesson activities for students aged 11 to 14.

Creative writing courses at the Arvon Foundation and ‘Ways with Words’ in Italy, encouraged Lin to enrol at the UEA MA in Creative Writing (Crime) and her debut novel was submitted as the final assessment for this excellent course.

Lin is the Director of the Southwold Arts Festival, comprising over thirty events in an eight-day celebration of the Arts.

You can buy Blood Notes from Hobeck Books HERE

Twitter @linleversa

#GuestChat with #HarryFisher @HFwritesCrime #Author of #WayBeyondALie @HobeckBooks

Welcome to my Guest Author this week, Harry Fisher, Author of the DS Mel Cooper series – Be Sure Your Sins & Way Beyond A Lie

I’d like to start by asking, what jobs you have done before becoming a full-time writer, and was it something you always wanted to do?

I had a career in telecoms and computing before taking redundancy and setting myself up in business as a training consultant – in Management and IT skills. The latter was hard work but great fun, and helping trainees, was incredibly rewarding. But was it what I always wanted to do? Em, no. Alpine guide, forensic scientist, international bestselling author – one of those, probably.

Way Beyond A Lie seems to be a story warning us of the dangers of the modern world, what inspired you to write it?

Cliché alert – I always fancied the idea of writing a book. The problem was finding a story that held water, then my wife disappeared from sight one day in a supermarket – temporarily, I hasten to add – and that’s where the idea came from. All my books have a technological element so that’s what brought the “dangers of the modern world” bit in. I didn’t plan it, instead it evolved, and the more I researched it the more relevant these dangers became. Some of the tales I heard about people falling victim would break your heart. In one case, the bank and the police strongly advised an individual they were being scammed but they still went ahead and lost a high six-figure sum. Hard to imagine how you live with that.

I found Ross McKinlay’s character to be very naive and wanted to shout at him! Why did you make him so out of touch with technology?

Poor Ross. He has no kids, no one to drag him into the 21st Century by insisting he learn and use all things IT. As an accountant, there was always someone in the practice to provide him with the support he needed, so he didn’t have to bother. So technology just kind of passed him by. But he’s not unusual actually – we have several friends not much older than Ross who utterly refuse to do Internet Banking, who spurned Zoom during Lockdown, who want nothing to do with social media … and on and on. So yes, he may have been naïve, or maybe he was just the type of guy who trusted people because he didn’t see the bad in everybody.

Who would you like to see playing the parts of Ross McKinlay and DS Mel Cooper, if Way Beyond A Lie is turned into a TV Show/Movie?

Oh my gosh, I’m asked this all the time and it doesn’t get any easier to answer. But definitely Dougray Scott for Ross – he’s an excellent actor, and he and I support the same football team, as does Ross. I’ll tag him on the post for your blog … unless anybody out there knows him and can pass this on. Mel is far more tricky because I can’t think of a Scottish actor who is the right fit. But then again, does Mel have to be Scots? If the voice and the attitude are right, she could be a Geordie or from Yorkshire

Dougray Scott

DS Mel Cooper is a strong female Detective in Way Beyond A Lie and Be Sure Your Sins, is it important to have a strong Female character in your books?

I guess it’s not about whether the female character is strong, it’s about whether every character has something about them that the reader loves, or really doesn’t like, or makes them feel something – anything. When Mel and Andrew first appeared in Way Beyond A Lie, so many people (including people I’d never met so they had no allegiance) told me they loved the characters so it was a no-brainer to give them their own series. Just one thing, though – as a reader I was fed up of lead police characters always having baggage or major flaws in their psyche so I decided (for better or worse) that Mel would just be a straightforward honest hardworking cop whose only motivation was to catch the bad guys. Any baggage she has is just the normal crap that life throws at most of us to deal with.

As a child growing up, were you a book reader? Do you have a favourite childhood book?

Yes. I read lots. Don’t have a favourite childhood book but the Biggles series by Capt W.E.Johns – I read it over and over. Airborne derring-do against the dastardly Baron Von Richthofen – France, WW1.

Biggles by Captain W.E Johns

What is your favourite book you’ve read this year and why?

Blackout by Simon Scarrow. Berlin, late 1930s, world-weary detective trying to operate while under the threat of the Nazi party’s excesses against the Jews and any other section of society they deemed unworthy. Scarrow’s attention to detail is meticulous, I read a few of his books about Roman times, they were fab too. The reason I liked Blackout is that it’s set in a period of history I’m very interested in and have read widely.

What’s the greatest gift you’ve ever received?

The travel bug. (Some bugs are good bugs). But see next question …

Tell us something we don’t know about you!

I’ve climbed over 300 mountains, mostly with my wife, Shiona, and a few with friends. In Scotland, we have “The Munros” – mountains over 3000 feet, some have a sea-level start or are miles from the nearest road so quite an undertaking. Some we’ve climbed in full-on winter conditions – ice axes, crampons, frozen fringes, the works. We’ve also hiked extensively in the French Alps, and our honeymoon was a three-day snowshoe trek down a series of glaciers near Mt Blanc, carrying all our own food and equipment and staying in remote mountain huts (no showers!) Also, we’ve hiked mountain trails across Europe and in Tasmania, Canada and New England. In fact, I began working on the plot for Way Beyond A Lie while on a 7-day solo walking holiday in the Julian Alps, Slovenia.

The Munro Mountains, Scotland, UK

If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

I’d like to have witnessed the mass immigration into the USA at Ellis Island (NY) from Europe and followed the experiences of some of those who made it through. We visited Ellis Island on a trip to NYC and it was far and away the best thing we did. Such an atmosphere. Such amazing tales from the tour guide who “just luuved our Scaattish accents”.

You can pick 4 famous people, dead or alive, for a dinner party, who would you pick and why?

Ernest Shackleton – so I can ask him all about his Antarctic expeditions.
Neil Young – I’ve been a fan of his music since about 1970.
Charles Dickens – I’d be so interested to hear about the writing process back in those days. No MS Word way back then.
And Neil Armstrong – come on, did you really go to the moon or was it actually filmed in a Hollywood studio?

When you’re writing do like silence or do you listen to music?

Sssshhhh!!!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t let the sun go down on an argument. Says it all, really. (Thank you, Auntie Irene)

Are you currently writing another book?

My latest crime thriller – Yes, I Killed Her– has reached the editing and polishing stages. Due in June 2022, it’s the second book in the DS Mel Cooper series.
I’ve recently become fascinated with the concept of the perfect murder but (with apologies for the terrible pun) it’s probably already been done to death. However, this is a contemporary thriller so here’s the thing: with rapid and ingenious advances in forensic science – both biological and digital, omnipresent CCTV and electronic footprints as wide as a Yeti’s, is the perfect murder even remotely possible?


Philip Walker (the bad guy) believes it is.  

DS Mel Cooper begs to differ.

So, game on. !!

Harry Fisher Website HERE Facebook Twitter Amazon Author Page

My #Review of #TheShadowsOfMen by @radiomukhers @HarvillSecker

When Abir Mukherjee’s latest book arrived from the Postman, I spent 10 minutes jumping around the lounge in joy!

Set at a time of heightened political tension, beginning in atmospheric Calcutta and taking the detectives all the way to bustling Bombay, the latest instalment in this ‘unmissable’ (The Times) series presents Wyndham and Banerjee with an unprecedented challenge. Will this be the case that finally drives them apart?

‘An engaging, evocative thriller that captures the heat of Indian nights and heady days of a bygone era, without being sentimental or simplistic’ Janice Hallett, bestselling author of The Appeal

The Shadows of Menfinds the always reliable Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Award-winner Abir Mukherjee on fine form
‘ Financial Times

When Abir Mukherjee’s latest book arrived from the Postman, I spent 10 minutes jumping around the lounge in joy! I have been hooked on the wonderful adventures of Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant Surrendranath Banerjee from reading the first book in the series, A Rising Man (see an earlier blog post).

We are now in 1923 Calcutta, and times are changing for the British Rulers, there’s an undercurrent of the uprising and amongst this, we find Suren in dire straits! I’m not going to give away the plot, but suffice to say that the book revolves around this event and the chaps trying to stop an all-out Religious war! Which affects Suren, Sam and all the usual characters who readers will know, the gorgeous and daring Miss Annie Grant and Lord Taggart among them.

I have read a lot of books in my life, but never have I read such a brilliant (that word isn’t really enough for how I feel!) series of books, that have taught me SO much about a historical period, as these books do. In The Shadows Of Men, Abir’s talent at taking the reader right there, right into the time, right into the fray, to feel what it must have been like and almost to experience it, is just frankly amazing and beyond my comprehension of how he can write like HE was there! I have always been fascinated with India, and wish I could have travelled there, the books take you there, you can smell the smells, taste the food, feel the oppressive heat or the steaming rain, Abir’s writing is poetic at times in describing the settings of 1920’s India. And to be able to write, with authority on the different faiths, and their peculiarities with such knowledge makes Abir, a once in lifetime Author, that rare mix of talent of a fantastic storyteller and a knowledgable historian.

However it’s not all seriousness, there are laughs, mixed in, Sam’s traditional British black humour to note! And I loved the introduction of another new Character, Miss Ooravis Colah, a fantastic and I’m sure ahead of her time woman.

In summing up, I must say that The Shadows Of Men is Abir’s best work so far, and to be fair, that’s high praise as the other 4 books were bloody amazing! As always I love the relationship between Sam and Suren and in this book we see their relationship start to shift, because of events and because of the times, but we are left with a cliffhanger that means that book 6 will undoubtedly move us into a different phase of their lives. I cannot wait… let’s hope Abir is writing away furiously now!! Thank you for your sublime talent Sir!

About Abir Mukherjee

Abir Mukherjee is the Times bestselling author of the Wyndham & Banerjee series of crime novels set in Raj-era India which have sold over 250,000 copies and been translated into 15 languages. His books have won numerous awards including the CWA Dagger for best Historical Novel, the Prix du Polar Européen, the Wilbur Smith Award for Adventure Writing and the Amazon Publishing Readers Award for E-book for the Year.
Alongside fellow author, Vaseem Khan, he also hosts the popular Red Hot Chilli Writers podcast, where every fortnight, joined by special guests from the media and literature, he takes a wry look at the world of books, writing, and the creative arts, tackling everything from bestsellers to pop culture.

WEBSITE Facebook Twitter Instagram

#Author #Chat #4 #Guest is @pamlecky #historical #fiction #writer extraordinaire focusing on #HerSecretWar

A huge thank you to Pam Lecky for being my 4th Guest Author on my blog, and for answering my questions….. Enjoy!

I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And have you always been drawn to the Historical novel?

Hi Jude, and thanks for having me on your blog.

No, it never occurred to me to become a writer, but the signs were there. I dabbled in poetry as a teenager (and yes; it was awful stuff!) and did some writing for a community magazine in my late teens, but I never imagined I’d eventually become a full-time writer of fiction. However, from an early age, books were on my radar.

My father was an avid reader and one of my earliest memories is of him bringing me to our local library to get my first library card. Again, my father read a lot of non-fiction history and loved to watch historical drama on the tv. I absorbed it all, and it certainly influenced my taste in books as I got older. When my father bought me the complete works of Jane Austen, that was it—I was hooked and raced off to read every classic I could get my hands on.

Did you have to do much research for the characters in Her Secret War?

Yes, I did, but thankfully, I love doing research. However, up to now, my books have been set in the late Victorian era, a time I’m very comfortable and familiar with at this stage. Luckily, I have always been fascinated by world wars and tend to watch anything related on TV, such as documentaries or movies. However, it was my agent’s suggestion that I explore writing a WW2 story with a strong Irish flavour. That made my antennae twitch. At the time, I was editing Footprints in the Sand, which is set in Victorian Egypt, so I had to be careful not to mix up my timelines and include Spitfires flying over the Great Pyramid or corset-wearing heroines in Blitzed London!

The greatest challenge was getting up to speed on day-to-day life. I knew a lot about the timeline and events of the war, but it was the nitty-gritty details of life in Britain on the Homefront during those terrible years that I needed to research. Basically, I had to read a lot and thankfully, there is an enormous amount of wonderful material out there, from eyewitness accounts to newsreels.

The plot and storyline of Her Secret War, is amazing and has many twists, how did you come up with the idea?

When I started to write the book, I knew only two things: it had to be an Irish story and it had to be an espionage novel. Essentially, the story is about spies and fifth columnists, and luckily, I came across a fantastic book by Tim Tate, Hitler’s British Traitors, which not only gave me a huge amount of background information but also threw up a few plot ideas too (always a bonus!).

Both my family and local history inspired Her Secret War. My mother and her sisters left rural Ireland to work in Britain during WW2. One aunt was following her boyfriend, who had joined the RAF, and she went to work in a factory making munitions. Another aunt wanted to study nursing, and my mother was a ‘clippie’ (bus conductor) on the Birmingham buses. Her Secret War is not their story, but there are glimpses of their experiences hidden amongst the fiction. The bombing of North Strand, which opens the book, happened only a few miles from where I grew up and as a young child, I passed the bombed-out sites regularly on the bus, knowing nothing about them. I was in my late teens before I learned of the bombing and the relevant history.

Who would you like to see playing the parts of Sarah and Rob if Her Secret War was turned into a Movie/TV Show?

It would have to be an Irish actress to play Sarah. I loved Niamh Walsh in Smother—I think she would do a great job. As for Rob, I think Oliver Jackson-Cohen would suit the role perfectly.

As a child growing up, were you an avid reader? Do you have a favourite childhood book?

I was an only child and spent a lot of time on my own, so I listened to a lot of music and read a huge amount. As a child, I was a fan of Enid Blyton books. The Secret Seven series was my favourite.

Do you have a favourite Author or favourite book of all time?

I greatly admire Georgette Heyer’s books—she was a wonderful writer. No one else comes close when it comes to writing romance, not least because she was a master of creating such wonderful, well-rounded characters and there is always humour in her books. My favourite book of hers is Faro’s Daughter. However, her detective stories weren’t as good. For that genre, my favourite will always be Dorothy L Sayers (who doesn’t love the characters of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane?).

How many books have you written, and which is your favourite?

I have now written six novels and one collection of short stories. It is always difficult to pick a favourite, but I really did enjoy writing the sequel to Her Secret War, which will be coming out in April next year. Her Last Betrayal follows on immediately from the first book and takes Sarah on quite a roller-coaster ride with plenty of action and a good old dollop of romance, too.

Do you play music when writing, and if so what’s your favourite?

Yes, I usually have music playing in the background, unless I’m doing line editing or proofreading when you must concentrate one hundred percent. What music I play really depends on my mood. The era I’m writing about can also be an influence. For instance, I played quite a bit of swing music while writing Her Secret War. Most of the time, it will be instrumental music that isn’t too distracting but great for setting a mood. I also find, when I hit those writers’ block moments, that it is listening to music and relaxing that usually helps.

What’s the greatest gift you’ve ever received?

The complete works of Jane Austen from my father, which still has pride of place on my bookshelf. It ignited my love of the classics and made me a huge fan of historical fiction too.

Are you currently writing another book?

I am in the final editing stages for two books. The third book in my Lucy Lawrence Series, The Art of Deception, is due for release in December, and Her Last Betrayal, the second book featuring Sarah Gillespie and MI5, is slated for release in April 2022. Currently, I am putting together synopses for future books, including a psychological thriller, which is an entirely new genre for me.

Pam is an Irish historical fiction author with Avon Books UK/Harper Collins. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, The Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Authors. She is represented by Thérèse Coen, at the Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency, London.

From an early age, Pam had a particular fascination with all things historical, from food and clothes to architecture and social history, so it is little surprise that her books are set against historical backdrops, from the late Victorian era right up to and including WW2.

June 2019 saw the publication of the first book in Pam’s historical mystery series – The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries. No Stone Unturned is a fast-paced adventure set in 1886 and was awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion. Footprints in the Sand, the second book, set in Egypt, was published in March 2020 and won a Silver Medal in the Coffee Pot Book Club Book of the Year Awards 2020. Pam is currently working on the third book in the series.

Her debut novel, The Bowes Inheritance, was awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion and was shortlisted for the Carousel Aware Prize 2016 and longlisted for the Historical Novel Society 2016 Indie Award. Her Secret War a WW2 Historical Novel is the first book of two with Avon Books UK/Harper Collins and tells the story of an Irish girl who travels to England only to be caught up in the dark world of espionage, where lies and treachery reign

She is also rather fond of short stories and writes both contemporary and historical tales, all of which can be found on Amazon.

Pam is on Twitter HERE Pam is on Instagram HERE

You can contact Pam directly here – pamlecky@gmail.com.

My #Review of the brilliant and gripping #DevilsTable by @K_RhodesWriter @simonshusterUK

THE GRIPPING LOCKED-ISLAND MYSTERY # 5

‘An absolute master of pace, plotting and character’ ELLY GRIFFITHS

A MISSING CHILD
St Martin’s is shrouded in bitterly cold fog when Jade Minear and her twin brother, Ethan, are attacked in a field, late at night. Ethan manages to return home but the shocking events of Jade’s disappearance have rendered him mute.

A LONG-HELD GRUDGE
On a small island where there are few places a child can hide, DI Ben Kitto must battle the elements to search for Jade. When his investigation reveals that the Minear family have many enemies on the island, Kitto grows increasingly worried that Jade is in danger.

A KILLER HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT . . .
Meanwhile, someone on the island knows exactly where the girl is. Someone with a deep-seated hatred of Jade’s family. To find the truth, Kitto must investigate the lives of the people he has known all of his life. Because one of them is lying – and it isn’t long until a body is found . . .

Having read all 4 of the other Hell Bay DI Ben Kitto series, I was so looking forward to finding out more about Ben and the next adventure in the Scilly Isles, I was not to be disappointed!

Firstly let’s talk about Maps in Books! I personally love a map in the beginning of a book, it really makes the story so much more tangible when you can see where it’s based. Kates books in this series are all based on the Isles of Scilly just off the coast of Cornwall, and her maps are always brilliantly illustrated. More maps in books please Authors!

Taken from Devils Table

The beginning of the book is a brilliant depiction of something bad happening in a beautiful setting, and from the first page I was totally gripped by Devils Table, devouring it in 2 days and reading deep into the night!

Imagine a locked room mystery but on a small Island and you have the premise of the story. The setting is just sublime and the way Kate writes, I could feel the oppressive setting with the fog pressing down on me! Kates writing about the Scilly Isles is almost poetic at times and her love of them shines thru with each chapter!

The lead character DI Ben Kitto is brilliant, he is a gentle giant with a complex personality due to a tragedy in his youth, but above all he is a fearless Police Detective, who is fair minded and won’t give up the hunt for a killer until he has caught them! His trusty sidekick Shadow the dog, just adds to his story and I love Ben as a written character so much!

As always I never give the plot away, that’s for you to find out by reading the book! But I will say that it kept me invested with every page and I did not guess who the perpetrator was! Thats a great book right there when the reader is kept in the dark! Kate Rhodes is a master of writing a genuinely great storyline and her characters just jump off the page at you!

So I must give Devils Table a 5⭐️ read, as it was everything I hoped it would be! I’m so looking forward to finding out what’s in store for Ben in the next book!

Kate Rhodes

Kate Rhodes is a crime novelist and award winning poet. Kate was born in south London, but now lives in Cambridge with her family. She studied English at university, and did a wide range of jobs including working in bars, being a theatre usherette, and teaching at a liberal arts college in Florida, before focusing on her writing.

Her latest crime novels are the acclaimed HELL BAY series set in the Isles of Scilly. Kate has been passionate about the islands since holidaying there as a child, and still returns for regular visits. Books in the series include HELL BAY, RUIN BEACH, and BURNT ISLAND.

Kate’s bestselling ALICE QUENTIN series includes CROSSBONES YARD, A KILLING OF ANGELS, THE WINTER FOUNDLINGS, RIVER OF SOULS, BLOOD SYMMETRY and FATAL HARMONY

Kates Simon & Schuster profile is HERE

Kate is on Twitter @K_RhodesWriter

Instagram @katerhodeswriter

#Review of #WhenTheGuiltyCry by @WriterMJLee published by @CaneloCrime

Three severed hands. No clues. A race against time.

Three embalmed hands are discovered in a disused Victorian house. Is it a gangland ritual? The work of a cult? Or just a prank played by Medical Students? And what happened to the bodies?

Meanwhile the Coroner needs to issue a Presumption of Death certificate on a teenage girl who vanished eleven years ago in mysterious circumstances.

As hints emerge the two cases are connected, DI Ridpath pushes himself to the limit to find out what really happened. It soon emerges the house is a former children’s home. When another woman, a local social worker, disappears, he is under immense pressure to find answers. What really happened at Daisy House Children’s Home all those years ago?

He has just one week to discover the truth…

The latest in the #1 bestselling DI Ridpath crime thriller series, perfect for fans of Mark Billingham and Peter James.

I will try not to be too biased with my review of the latest DI Ridpath thriller, When The Guilty Cry by the superbly talented MJ Lee, but I LOVE this book series!

From the opening chapter I just knew I was hooked, I’m trying to pinpoint why I love these books so much….I think it’s in the way MJ writes, every time I pick up one of the DI Ridpath books, it’s like Im being given a virtual hug, being wrapped in a warm blanket….I just know what to expect and I love it!

As with ever story and plot, this one is twisty and engaging, I personally love the Police procedural side and also the Coroner’s Office side…I’m thinking because I’m a frustrated Cop!, anything that details the procedures ticks my boxes! And I think learning about the Coroner’s office is really useful, I would love to have worked in a Coroner’s office, it’s seems so interesting and to be able to give the dead a voice is so powerful! The writing from both these points of view is really sublime, and with each Ridpath book it just gets better and better!

I’m not going to give anything away, but I will say this is a superb book and I also love the personal story that carries thru the books with Ridpath and his Daughter….as always I read this book in 2 days, now I will have to wait another year before I get a another fix of DI Thomas Ridpath!

A solid 5 ⭐️ read.

Martin spent 25 years of his life working for advertising companies in London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai. As a copywriter and a creative director, he has won awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York, the LIAA, and the United Nations.
He’s written four historical crime novels. The latest, ‘The Irish Inheritance’, a Jayne Sinclair, Genealogical Mystery, will be published on June 15, 2016.
When he’s not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, dancing with his three year-old daughter, researching his family histrory, practicing downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.

You can follow Martin HERE on his Website

Buy the DI Ridpath books HERE

Review of #WayBeyondALie by @HFwritesCrime published by @HobeckBooks

Your wife goes missing. She leaves no trace.
You have no idea where she’s gone.
Would you try to find her?

Damn right you would.

When Ross McKinlay’s wife, Carla, vanishes during an afternoon shopping trip he’s left bewildered and grief stricken. As Ross uncovers the reasons for his wife’s disappearance, his life begins to unravel. He’s determined to find her. He needs answers. But the deeper he delves, the more confused he becomes and the closer he edges towards danger.

As Ross is soon to discover, he isn’t the only person looking for his wife.
One man wants the truth.
Another wants blood.

Who will find her first?


The prequel to the DS Mel Cooper Series, Harry Fisher’s fast-paced story of love, friendship, fraud, intrigue and murder owill keep you guessing until the last page

I was thrilled to recieve a copy of Harry Fishers Way Beyond A Lie, from Hobeck Books, Thank You once again Rebecca.

The story starts with Carla, a missing wife from a Supermarket and the subsequent heartbreak and betrayal, that leaves her Husband, Ross McKinlay, shellshocked and Angry! It’s very well written, in that it feels like a normal, humble chap has something bad happen to him… I mean really bad… and how he deals with it, great writing here from Harry.

We also see the introduction to the series, of DS Mel Cooper, who takes no prisoners in investing the crime.

I felt the story was almost a warning to anyone who has money and trusting people close to them, in fact, I felt it was almost personal to Harry Fisher!

It’s a fast-paced read and has some twists and turns that I didn’t see coming, it kept me engaged until the end and was a very enjoyable read.

I’m looking forward to the next book in the DS Mel Cooper Series.

about Harry

I’m Harry Fisher, I write crime thrillers.

I live in Aberdeen with my wife, Shiona and our dog, Harry. And there it is – the lie exposed. Harry Fisher (the writer) is a pseudonym and here’s why. Despite the fact that in my entire life I’ve never met anyone with the same name as me, when I came to self-publish my debut thriller, Way Beyond A Lie I discovered a namesake down south who writes crime thrillers. Honestly, what are the chances? (Mutter mutter.)

I’m a native of Edinburgh – more specifically, Leith – and my books are set in and around that area. Write about what you know, and all that.

The big news from this year is I’ve signed with indie publisher Hobeck Books (Trad Values – Indie Spirit). Hobeck is run by two lovely people, Adrian Hobart and Rebecca Collins, and the current plan is they will publish my first four books.

Be Sure Your Sins was published on 5th October 2021. It’s the first in a series starring DS Melissa (Mel) Cooper and her sidekick DC Andrew Young. The story is about Six Events that happen to Six People and destroy Six Lives. Oh, and there’s a serial blackmailer in there too.

Next, on 9th November 2021, we’ll publish Way Beyond A Lie as a prequel to Be Sure Your Sins because it was this book that introduced Mel and Andrew. They were investigating the disappearance of a woman who vanished while supermarket shopping with her husband. Lots of readers of the original issue of Way Beyond A Lie told me they loved these two characters, so giving them their own series was a no brainer.

The next book in the DS Mel Cooper series will be Yes, I Killed Her – due Spring 2022. A man believes he’s committed the perfect murder – it’s up to Mel & Andrew to prove otherwise. The story’s been drafted – it’s going through the editorial process now.

And the fourth book? It’s only an idea at the moment but I hope it will be out sometime in 2023.

Things I’m into apart from walking the canine Harry every day: travel, outdoor stuff, wine and food, and if all four can be aligned then so much the better.

You can follow Harry on his website HERE

Harry is on Twitter HERE

Harry is on Facebook HERE

You can buy Way Beyond A Lie HERE

#Review of #LethalGame by @Gloriouscharlie @AvonBooksUK

This fast paced, electric thriller races from page to page and keeps you guessing until the very end’ NetGalley review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

He knows your name. Where you live. The car you drive.

If you don’t play, your family will die. If you lose, you will.

When DI Joel Norris and DS Lucy Rose begin investigating the death of a young woman, murdered on a quiet country lane, they can’t imagine what lies ahead.

This killer uses his victims like chess pieces in a life-sized contest, with the highest stakes imaginable.

Now Norris and Rose are pawns at the mercy of a twisted rulebook.

Can they beat him at his own game before the next round begins and more innocent lives are taken?

A totally addictive, edge-of-your-seat, crime-thriller that will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter, Ian Rankin and Stuart MacBride

Once again thank you so much to Avon Books UK for gifting me a print copy of Lethal Game, and may I say it’s another brilliant book from Avon, they just find the best authors!

My first foray into a book by Charlie Gallagher, and let me tell you I was hooked from the first chapter!

A gritty, violent opening to a brilliant hard-boiled thriller and Police procedural! I found the lead characters of DI Joel Norris and DS Lucy Rose really easy to like, although both are complex cops ( aren’t they all?)

The plot surrounding a board game called Escape, is really quite unique, involving a deranged but highly intelligent killer who is seeking revenge, by playing with peoples lives!

Although this is book 2 in the series, the first being The Friend, it is easy enough to read as a stand-alone. I loved the realistic Police Procedural side ( Charlie being an ex Cop means it’s spot on ) but again found it easy enough for all non-Police readers to grasp. I was gripped from the outset and didn’t want the book to end!

A brilliant and engrossing crime fiction novel from an accomplished author, a 5 ⭐️ star read from me, and I’m looking forward to the next instalment!

Lethal Game is released by Avon Books UK on the 11/11/2021

Charlie Gallagher

Charlie Gallagher has been writing for twenty years, most of that time as a hobby but with the dream of one day ‘doing it properly.’ Alongside this hobby it was necessary to have a day job which, for thirteen years, was as a serving U.K. police officer. This career in policing opened up a whole new world of experiences and opportunities and he is now fortunate enough to be able to channel those experiences into stories on a full time basis.

Whilst a police officer, Charlie worked as a response officer, a member of a specialist tactical team, a detective and in a regional counter terrorism unit.

His books are thrillers and, rather unsurprisingly, policing and crime are central to the stories. 

Charlie lives on the south coast of the U.K with his wife and two daughters, a springer spaniel, a tortoise and a cat with a far higher number of twitter followers. Charlie is published by Joffe Books and Avon, Harper Collins.

The Joel Norris Series:

Book 1: The Friend

Book 2: Lethal Game Released 11/11/2021

The Maddie Ives Series:

Book 1 – He Is Watching You

Book 2 – He Will Kill You

Book 3 – He Will Find You

Book 4 – He Knows Your Secrets

Book 5 – He Will Get You 

Book 6 – The Deadly Houses

The George Elms Series:

Book 1 – Bodily Harm

Book 2 – Panic Button

Book 3 – Blood Money

Book 4 – End Game

Book 5 – Missing

Book 6 – Then She Ran

Book 7 – Her Last Breath

Standalone books:

Ruthless

You can buy Lethal Game HERE

You can follow Charlie on Twitter @Gloriouscharlie

You can follow Charlie on Facebook @Charliegallagherwriter

Charlie’s website is HERE

#Novembers first #Author #Chat is with the brilliant @AwaisKhanAuthor

Firstly, I must say and huge thank you to Awais Khan for taking the time to answer my questions.

I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of No Honour come from?

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Jude! It is a huge honour. To answer your question, no, I never thought I would be a writer. I was always an avid reader, of course, but it wasn’t until I went to Canada for my bachelor’s degree that I realized that publishing was actually an industry. That got me interested in writing, but it wasn’t until I was 25 that I was able to write my first novel. No Honour actually began as a short story that I’d written for a magazine. My agent, Annette Crossland, took one look at it and told me that it was too important a topic to not be expanded into a novel. I wasn’t very sure, but thanks to her encouragement, I decided to attempt it. I had to do a lot of research because I wasn’t very familiar with life in our rural areas. I had to visit the rural areas in southern Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to see what life was really like and what I saw thoroughly depressed me. That was when I knew that I had to write this book.

How much research did you have to do for No Honour, and did you encounter hate in writing this book, as it’s a controversial subject?

I think there will always be some degree of hate for an author, but it’s the love from readers and supporters like yourself that more than makes up for it. I understand the criticism and I take it in my stride and use it to improve my craft, but I don’t understand blind hate, especially when people disregard my struggle and assume that I got here on pure luck. No, what you see today is the culmination of decades worth of struggle and I’ve only barely scratched the surface.

Abida’s Father is such a strong progressive character, did you base him on anyone?

Jamil was entirely fictional. However, I was aware that the evil father was a consistent stereotype in Pakistani television and fiction and I wanted to break away from that. Also, I wanted to show how much of an impact proper nurturing can make. Jamil was raised by a progressive woman who did not take any nonsense, and that enabled him to defy social convention

Who would you like to see playing the parts of Abida and Jamil, if No Honour is turned into a Movie?

Ah, that is a tough one. I think Abida could be played well by either Alia Bhatt or Sajal Ali whereas Jamil could be played well by Shaan from Pakistan or Sanjay Dutt from India.

As a child growing up, were you an avid reader? Do you have a favourite childhood book?

I was a very avid reader. As a matter of fact, when my parents would take me to a departmental store, I’d make a beeline for the books section ignoring the toy section entirely. I grew up reading The Secret Seven and Famous Five. I loved those books so much! Later, Harry Potter came.

What is your favourite book you’ve read this year and why?.

Ah, this is again a very difficult question. There can never be a single favourite book haha! Some books that I really enjoyed this year and would classify as my favourites are:

Better Confess by Alan Gorevan (He writes kickass thrillers with a generous dose of humour. Believe me, this book is worth all the hype it is getting and more!)
She’s Mine by A.A. Chaudhuri (This is Chaudhuri’s first foray into psychological thrillers and what an accomplishment it is. I was engrossed!)
Everything Happens for a Reason by Katie Allen (This one will break your heart, but then mend it all over again. I inhaled this book!)
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (Nobody can do horror and thrillers quite like Shirley Jackson)

Do you have a favourite author or favourite book of all time?

Again, there can’t be a single favourite author 😉 My favourite authors would be Faiqa Mansab, A.A. Chaudhuri, Alan Gorevan, Donna Tartt, Eve Smith… the list is endless. Favourite book of all time… well, that would be Harry Potter!

What were the challenges you faced growing up in Pakistan? And did you have a role model?

Pakistan is not the best place for a creative person. You are forced to quell your passion every step of the way. Luckily, I have supportive parents, but many people don’t. However, even with parents who have supported me, society has questioned my every career decision and regarded it with scorn. It is not easy to endure all of this. Even though I was working on other things apart from writing, I would always be asked when my book would be out and how much money I was going to make or am making. Is that something you would ask a person who works in a bank or in an office? No, you wouldn’t, so why is it okay to ask writers how much they earn? I think my role model is my father. I have always looked up to him, but sadly, I have never managed to be like him. I am literally the opposite! I think my role model is my father. I have always looked up to him, but sadly, I have never managed to be like him. I am literally the opposite!

If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

I’m not sure. History is full of so many horrors that I’m not sure I would ever like to go in the past at all. However, I suppose it would have been nice to be able to witness the fall of the Berlin Wall (9/11/1989) and see people finally getting their much-deserved freedom. I mean, I was alive at that time, but too young to remember.

You can pick 4 famous people, dead or alive, for a dinner party, who would you pick and why?

  • My paternal grandmother. She may not have been famous, but she was very special to me. I would give anything to see her again, even for a moment. I miss her terribly.
  • J.K. Rowling, only to beg her to write another Harry Potter book or maybe a prequel featuring Dumbledore.
  • Noor Jahan. She was such an accomplished singer. I’d love to listen to her sing live.
  • And you, Jude. Wouldn’t you like to join me for this fabulous dinner party and you are definitely famous enough to do so

When you’re writing do like silence or do you listen to music?

I don’t really have a preference. Whenever I am in London, I love to write in cafes. My favourite haunt is the Starbucks in Brunswick Centre near Russell Square Station. I can write in the silence of my study just as well.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Someone told me once to think of my biggest possible aspiration and imagine that it has come true. I was told to hold on to that feeling and believe in it, and that if I do, it will come true. In many cases, that has happened.

What’s the greatest gift you’ve ever received?

The gift of friends. I’ve always had very few close friends. In school, I was the weird kid who loved books and hated sports. College was a huge culture shock for me and I just didn’t get to enjoy it the way I should have. I think I bloomed properly in my 30s. I now have some amazing close friends and life is good!

Are you currently writing another book?

I am, indeed. I am writing another book for Orenda. This one is set between Lahore and London and explores the immigrant experience to a great extent. I think it will resonate a lot with South Asian ex-pats living in the UK.

Thank you once again, Awais for your brilliant answers, it’s great to get to know you better!

Awais Khan is a writer and consultant based in Lahore. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario and the University of Durham, he has studied Creative Writing at the prestigious Faber Academy in London. His work has appeared in the Aleph Review, The Hindu, Missing Slate Magazine (he was also their Author of the Month), Daily Times, MODE, The News International etc. He teaches creative writing through the Writing Institute in Pakistan and has a large student base both in Pakistan and abroad. He has conducted lectures on creative writing at Durham University, American University of Dubai, Canadian University of Dubai, United States Educational Foundation of Pakistan, Kinnaird College, Hajvery University etc.

Awais has also been featured in various magazines, TV and Radio channels. His interviews have appeared in the Khaleej Times, HELLO! Pakistan and Shots Blog UK to name a few and his TV and Radio interviews have appeared on Voice of America, Dubai Eye, Samaa TV, Cambridge Radio, Luton Radio, Uxbridge Radio, Indus TV, PTV Home and City42. He has had events at Foyles Charing Cross, Waterstones Cambridge, Waterstones Durham, Hillingdon Libraries, Dubai Literary Salon and Dolcino Loughborough.

His first novel, IN THE COMPANY OF STRANGERS, was published by The Book Guild in July 2019, by Simon & Schuster India in December 2019 and by Liberty Publishing Pakistan in April 2020 to much critical acclaim. Stunning reviews have appeared in Khaleej Times, Hello!, Free Press Journal, Dawn, The News International, Daily Times, Outlook Magazine, Newsline, Daily Telegraph (India), Pakistan Today and the novel has been hailed by bestselling authors and journalists including Faiqa Mansab, Soniah Kamal, Anita Chaudhuri, Miranda Husain, A.A. Chaudhuri and many more.

Audio rights for IN THE COMPANY OF STRANGERS have been acquired by Isis Audio for publication in 2021. Awais next book will be published in 2022, by Orenda.

You can find Awais here on Twitter Instagram here Facebook here

You can buy In The Company of Strangers HERE

You can buy No Honour HERE

My #October #Reads

So October is over, and now we are into the lovely cold and hopefully snowy Winter months. There have been some amazing Book Bangers this month!

Thank you to any publishers or authors who have been immensely kind and sent me books, as always, I am humbled.

Her Secret War – Pam Lecky

Opal Country – Chris Hammer

Bad Apples – Will Dean

The Inheritance – Gabriel Bergmoser

Lethal Game – Charlie Gallagher

Black Reed Bay – Rod Reynolds

Falling = TJ Newman

Be Sure Your Sins – Harry Fisher