Review: A Death by Any Other Name (Lady Montfort Mystery #3) by Tessa Arlen

I am always on the look out for new murder mysteries, preferably with a female lead ‘detectives’ and set in England. While this isn’t my first novel by this author, it felt new to me. I read Tessa Arlen’s first book in this series, DEATH OF A DISHONORABLE GENTLEMAN, back in early 2015 and though I wasn’t completely hooked at the beginning, I was invested enough to finish it and was rewarded for my tenacity.

I didn’t read the second book in this series for some reason, but when the third book came up for review it sounded rather good so I decided to give her books another go. I wish now that I had read the second book before this one, but over all, the third book read find as a ‘stand alone’.

Set in the day leading up to WWI, the elegant Lady Montfort and her redoubtable housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, investigate a murder among a group of amateur rose-breeders. When Mrs. Jackson receives a visit from a cook who believes she was an indirect witness to murder from a poisoned dish of breakfast kedgeree Lady Montfort promises to do what she can to clear the cook’s name, and contrives an invitation to Hyde Castle, the home of a self-made millionaire, to investigate a murder of concealed passions and secret desires.

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Special Feature: HIMSELF by Jess Kidd

Released in the UK to glowing praise—“a rollicking tale of a hero’s return… breaking down the barriers between mystery story and comedy of manners, mixing magical realism and crime fiction” (Guardian); a “brilliantly bold debut… Utterly unputdownable” (Sunday Express Magazine)—

HIMSELF is the spellbinding tale of a young man who returns to the provincial Irish village where he was born in search of the truth about his long-lost mother.

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

His arrival causes cheeks to flush and arms to fold in disapproval. No one in the village – living or dead – will tell what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite Mahony’s certainty that more than one of them has answers.

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

‘An intriguing story of family secrets and haunting.’ Andrew Michael Hurley, author of The Loney

‘I love this book. It’s a magic realist murder mystery set in rural Ireland, in which the dead play as important a part as the living. It’s one of those books that has you smiling as you read, and that you plan to read again very soon.’ Louis De Bernieres, author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

‘Himself is a sort of Under Milk Wood meets The Third Policeman meets Agatha Christie. It’s a highly unusual tale set in a highly unusual Irish village full of dark secrets and engaging characters (not all of them still alive). Lushly imagined, delightfully original and very, very funny, it hurtles along from the very first page. A hugely enjoyable read.’ ML Steadman, author of The Light Between Oceans

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Book Blast: The Semper Sonnet by Seth Margolis

02_the-semper-sonnetThe Semper Sonnet
by Seth Margolis

Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Diverson Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 374 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery/Thriller

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In this stunning thrill ride, perfect for fans of Dan Brown and Steve Berry, a long-lost manuscript, written for Elizabeth I, holds the key to unlocking the past—and to eliminating the future.

Lee Nicholson is ready to take the academic world by storm, having discovered a sonnet she believes was written by William Shakespeare. When she reads the poem on the air, the words put her life in peril and trigger a violent chase, with stakes that reach far beyond the cloistered walls of academia.

Buried in the language of the sonnet, in its allusions and wordplay, are secrets that have been hidden since Elizabethan times, secrets known only to the queen and her trusted doctor, but guessed at by men who seek the crown and others who seek the world. If the riddles are solved, it could explode what the world knows of the great Elizabeth I. And it could release a pandemic more deadly than the world has ever imagined.

Lee’s quest for the answers buried in the sonnet keeps her one step ahead of an international hunt—from the police who want her for murder, to a group of men who will stop at nothing to end her quest, to a madman who pursues the answers for destructive reasons of his own.

As this intelligent thriller moves back and forth between Tudor England and the present day, Lee begins to piece together the meaning behind Shakespeare’s words, carrying the story to its gasp-out-loud conclusion.

“Imaginative plotting and depth of character distinguish this centuries-spanning thriller…”—Publishers Weekly

“The Semper Sonnet is a wildly imaginative thriller that fans of Dan Brown and Steve Berry will love.”—Phillip Margolin, New York Times bestselling author

“This provocative and knuckle-biting thriller will have you on the edge of your seat as it careens through the hallowed halls of academia into the turbulent past. Hold tight to your farthingales: this is a roller-coaster ride of a book!”—C.W. Gortner, international bestselling author of The Last Queen

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

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Review: Love You Dead (Roy Grace #12) by Peter James

This is the fall of more modern thrillers for me, particularly ones set in England. I love love love British thrillers and when I heard this one was set in Brighton, I was all over it! I haven’t read anything by Peter James or heard anything about him, so this was a completely new author for me.

Jodie Bentley had two dreams in life – to be beautiful and rich. She’s achieved the first, with a little help from a plastic surgeon, and now she’s working hard on the second.

Her philosophy on money is simple: you can either earn it or marry it. Marrying is easy, it’s getting rid of the husband afterwards that’s harder, that takes real skill.

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is feeling the pressure from his superiors, his previous case is still giving him sleepless nights, there have been major developments with his missing wife Sandy, and an old adversary is back.

But worse than all of this, he now believes a Black Widow is operating in his city. One with a venomous mind . . . and venomous skills. Soon Grace comes to the frightening realization that he may have underestimated just how dangerous this lady is.

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Review: The Inheritance (Charles Lenox Mysteries #10) by Charles Finch

One of my favorite ‘armchair detectives’ is back…..though he’s less of an amateur and more of a professional than he was in the first books!

Charles Lenox receives a cryptic note from a former classmate, pleading for help and eludes to the fact that he might be in danger. Lenox and his friend Leigh agree to meet but when Leigh doesn’t turn up, Lenox begins to worry.

Fortunately Leigh is found alive but his lawyer is not……and it’s clear that Leigh is being stalked by a group of gangsters but what is unclear is the why? Leigh was lured back to London after many years abroad, with the promise of a substantial fortune…..by a mysterious benefactor.

Lenox and Leigh are no strangers to the ‘mysterious benefactor’ AKA the ‘MB’ as it’s a mystery they have tried to solve (rather unsuccessfully) since childhood.

Could the fortune and the MB be the reason why Leigh is being targeted? Or could it be his work in science that has upset someone to the point of murder?

Lenox begins to unravel his longest mystery yet….who was the MB and who would want Leigh dead?

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