Thursday 27 December 2018

A Gilded Age Mystery Series by Rosemary Simpson

This series kept me thoroughly entertained during the week before Christmas.
I dived into each book one after the other and felt quite bereft when I reached the end.
I absolutely love historical mysteries and this fits the bill perfectly. Prudence and Geoffrey lead a fantastic cast of characters.
With tension, suspense and intrigue as well as a simmering, slow burn romance this series has everything. I really can't wait to read more as it's published.

I recommend that you read these books in the correct order.

Series in order 

Description for Book 1: What the Dead Leave Behind.

Set amidst the opulent mansions and cobblestone streets of Old New York, this enthralling historical mystery by Rosemary Simpson brings the Gilded Age to life in a tantalizing tale of old money, new love, and grave suspicion . . .

As the Great Blizzard of 1888 cripples the vast machinery that is New York City, heiress Prudence MacKenzie sits anxiously within her palatial Fifth Avenue home waiting for her fiance s safe return. But the fearsome storm rages through the night. With daylight, more than two hundred people are found to have perished in the icy winds and treacherous snowdrifts. Among them is Prudence s fiance his body frozen, his head crushed by a heavy branch, his fingers clutching a single playing card, the ace of spades . . .

Close on the heels of her father s untimely demise, Prudence is convinced Charles s death was no accident. The ace of spades was a code he shared with his school friend, Geoffrey Hunter, a former Pinkerton agent and attorney from the South and a former Pinkerton agent. Wary of sinister forces closing in on her, Prudence turns to Geoffrey as her only hope in solving a murder not all believe in and to help protect her inheritance from a stepmother who seems more interested in the family fortune than Prudence s wellbeing . . .

Filled with richly colorful characters, fascinating historical details, and thrilling moments of suspense, What the Dead Leave Behind is an exquisitely crafted mystery for the ages.

Advance praise for What the Dead Leave Behind

Naturally I always gravitate toward any book set in old New York, and this one exceeded expectations. It has everything one could expect from a historical mystery: set against the blizzard of 88, a smart heroine pits her wits against an evil stepmother out to destroy her. - Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of the Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness mysteries

An engrossing, complex tale of betrayal and triumph that takes the reader deep into the heart of Gilded Age Manhattan. - Alyssa Maxwell, author of Murder at Rough Point

Rosemary Simpson vividly recreates the world of nineteenth-century New York City in this exciting debut mystery. Every level of society intersects as we explore a world in which corruption touches both the highest and the lowest and nothing and no one is exactly what they seem. - Victoria Thompson, bestselling author of Murder in Morningside Heights

A beautifully crafted mystery, full of intrigue and historical atmosphere, with great characters and the potential for further adventures. - Catherine Lloyd, author of Death Comes to the Fair

A wonderfully colorful cast of characters makes Rosemary Simpson's debut mystery a pleasure to read. Prudence Mackenzie's focus on law, and the depiction of New York City in 1888 is fascinating. - Radha Vatsal, author of A Front Page Affair

Sunday 23 December 2018

Chat with a Grammar Nazi Serial Killer by Ryan Suvaal (2018)

Seventeen gruesome killings across the United States, within a span of six months and with one clear connection among victims. They were all book authors. 
While media was decorating the murders with sensationalist stories, and law enforcement was playing catch-up, the homicidal maniac remained elusive and secretive. 

Things got very interesting, however, when one day she decided to appear on an internet talk show for an honest fireside chat. Her reason for being on this show was not a quest for fame, but something much more disturbing.

Suvaal weaves a fast-paced, dark, serial killer tale. 

It's a story which is intense in parts yet comic on the edges and keeps the reader hooked in. A psychological thriller with a female protagonist.

Length- 40 pages
Buy Link Amazon 99p

Saturday 15 December 2018

The Duke's Agent (F.R. Jarrett Mystery #1) by Rebecca Jenkins

Publisher's Information

An ex-soldier turns detective in this thrilling Regency read!

A threatening presence is stalking a provincial Northern town…

1811, England 

Frederick Raif Jarrett has returned from battle and is seeking a quiet life as agent to the Duke of Penrith. 

So when he is sent to the Durham town of Woolbridge to settle the affairs of one of the Duke's tenants following his sudden death, the dangers of the Yorkshire countryside could not be more unexpected. 

Jarrett begins to uncover a network of crime and corruption but is thwarted at every turn by the town's powerful and much-feared magistrate, Mr. Justice Raistrick. 

When a young woman dies in tragic and mysterious circumstances, Jarrett is accused of her murder and has to fight for his life as he desperately seeks to uncover the truth. 

Is there a serial killer on the loose? Can Jarrett solve the case in time to clear his name? 

And what about the whispering rumours of the sinister figure calling himself The Tallyman…? 

This edition published 2018 (First published 1997)


THE DUKE’S AGENT is the first book in the Raif Jarrett Regency Mystery series: historical murder mysteries with a traditional British detective embarking on a private investigation in nineteenth-century England.

I found it quite difficult to get into this book and for the first 30% I found it slow and difficult to follow. There were so many side characters I couldn't figure out who the main ones were except for Raif, the Duke's Agent. The narrative jumped from person to person but the story didn't really go anywhere.
However, the more I read and as the story developed half way through I found it much more enjoyable. I liked Raif and Miss Lonsdale. 
It feels like much of the groundwork has been laid in book one so hopefully the second book won't be such hard work to get through. I liked this one just enough to give it a try.

Buy Link Amazon

Sunday 9 December 2018

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4) by Janna McGregor (2018)

A lady with a noble mission. A duke looking for redemption. A forbidden love that cannot be denied… 

Lady Daphne Hallworth is ready to celebrate the holidays with her family. But when they accidentally leave her home alone, Daphne uses the time to work on her dream—opening a home for unwed mothers. But her quest isn’t problem-free: She’s in a battle to win the property for the home against her brother’s best friend-turned-enemy, Paul Barstowe, Duke of Southart. And that’s not all: someone has stolen her personal diary, which holds secrets that could devastate her family. Daphne has always harbored private feelings for the man her family scorns…though perhaps striking a bargain with the handsome Duke will solve both their problems?

Paul, long considered good for nothing, aims to open a hospital to honor his brother and restore his reputation. So when a conflict over the land brings him straight into Daphne’s life, they make a deal: He will help her find her diary if Daphne can change her family’s opinion of him. But before he can win her family’s affection, he has to win hers first. Maybe love was the answer to their family feud all along?

For a Christmasy, Regency romance this one ticks all the boxes; a cute childhood friends to lovers story, a dilemma to solve before reputations are ruined, and the reuniting of old friends and lots of humorous shenanigans.
Daphne and Paul's relationship is bittersweet with neither of the pair realising how significant their interactions were to each other as they were growing up. In adulthood the chemistry between them is strong and I loved how much humour was thrown into their banter and their late night adventures. It offered a nice balance to the poignancy of their shared grief.

Buy Link Amazon