Posted in Blogging

I’m sensing a bit of a theme here…

Let’s see, one I’m currently listening to, one I’m currently reading, and the third recently catapulted itself to the top of the TBR pile.

I’m guessing there’s a bit of a theme to my reading of late ūüôā





“Them bones, them bones, them dry bones, them bones, them bones, them dry bones, them bones, them bones, them dry bones, now…”


Posted in 12 Words, Author Q&A's

12 Words with Luca Veste

Luca Veste is a writer of Italian and Scouse heritage, married with two young daughters, and one of nine children. He is the author of the Murphy and Rossi novels, with the third in the series – Bloodstream – released October 2015. The first in the series – Dead Gone – was also published in Germany and Czech Republic

Part psychological thriller, part police procedural, the Murphy and Rossi novels take place in the city of Liverpool. Taking in both sides of a contrasting city, they explore the changing landscape of Liverpool and “bad” things which can happen within it.

Today he takes on the 12 word challenge.



Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)

Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.

LOC: Then She Was Gone is the fourth in your series about DI Murphy & DS Rossi, what can you tell us about it?

LV: A prospective MP goes missing. His sordid private life points to revenge.

LOC: How would you describe your writing process?

LV: Days and nights spent worrying with infrequent bouts of clarity.

LOC: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt in your writing career?

LV: Even those writers with years of experience worry about the next one.

LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

LV: Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre

LOC: why?

LV: A masterclass in crime fiction. Great writing, great characterisation, great plot twists.

LOC: Describe your perfect day

LV: Wake up in Roma, eat all the food, read and watch TV.

LOC: What is the strangest sentence you have written/read this week?

LV: Steve Cavanagh only moisturises his head 

(LOC: If you want to find out why, check out the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone Podcasts)

and finally just for laughs……

LOC: You’ve just woken up to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of Britain’s Got Talent, with just a Walking¬†Stick, Six helium balloons and a Monkey. ¬†What do you do?

LV: I make the monkey do his best Charlie Chaplin impression.



Tim Johnson took his baby daughter out for a walk and she never made it home. Johnson claims he was assaulted and the girl was snatched. The police see a different crime, with Johnson their only suspect.

A year later, Sam Bryne is on course to be elected as one of the youngest MPs in Westminster. He’s tipped for the very top … until he vanishes.

Detectives Murphy and Rossi are tasked with discovering what has happened to the popular politician – and in doing so, they unearth a trail that stretches into the past, and crimes that someone is hell-bent on avenging.

Posted in Blogging

O/t Partners in crime

It’s been a loooooooong three years since the other half proposed to me in front of 600+ people at the end of Steve Mosby’s panel at Theakstons Old Perculiar Crime Writing Festival back in 2014.

But I am happy to announce that last weekend, married her partner in crime at the home of Crime & Publishment, in Gretna Green.

Posted in Blogging, Reading, Reviews

Melody Bittersweet & The Girls Ghostbusting Agency – Kitty French

Life’s tricky for Melody Bittersweet. 

She‚Äôs single, she’s addicted to sugar and super heroes, her family are officially bonkers and … she sees dead people. Is it any wonder no-one‚Äôs swiping right on Tinder?¬†
Waking up lonely on her twenty seventh birthday, Melody finally snaps. She can’t carry on basing all of her life decisions on the advice of her magic 8 ball; things have got to change. 

Fast forward two months, and she’s now the proud proprietor of her very own ghostbusting agency Рkind of like in the movies but without the dodgy white jumpsuits. She’s also flirting with her ex Leo Dark, fraternising with her sexy enemy in alleyways, and she’s somehow ended up with a pug called Lestat. 

Life just went from dull to dynamite and it’s showing no sign of slowing up anytime soon. Melody’s been hired to clear Scarborough House of its incumbent ghosts, there’s the small matter of a murder to solve, and then there’s the two very handsome, totally inappropriate men hoping to distract her from the job… 

Welcome to Chapelwick, home of the brand new and hilarious Girls Ghostbusting Agency series, where things really do go bump in the night.

Take some Janet Evanovich, mix it up with some classic Scooby-Doo mysteries, throw in some Ghostbusters, some of M Knight Shyalaman’s Sixth Sense along with a pair of devilishly handsome but totally inappropriate suitors, and you’ve got¬†your next funtastic read. ¬†If anything can take a grey, miserable time and turn in on its head into one filled with smiles and laughter, this book can do it

Melody Bittersweet is a hilarious narrator, and absolutely adorable, you can’t help but fall for her charms as she converses with ghosts, translates their thoughts and words to the “I-don’t-see-dead-people” folks, and solves mysteries, all while caught between an outrageous ex-boyfriend and an all too desirable complete non-believer out to discredit her at all times.

Her sidekick’s are just as much fun, and I’m really struggling to decide who I like the most. ¬†Feisty Italian descended Marina, loyal and innocent Artie, Melody’s interfering family or LeStat the pug, there’s so much to look forward to from this interesting bunch that I’m already keen to¬†find out what’s next.

With an interesting and tragic family mystery to solve, there’s plenty in here to keep the cosy crime fanatic in you enthralled, just enough romance to spice it up, and some great wisecracks, and while you let yourself go in the company of Melody Bittersweet, I will be eagerly awaiting the next instalment…..


Posted in Reading, Reviews

Lightening up, with cooking, craziness, chaos, cosiness, and con jobs…

I’ve had a tiring few weeks, with the last one being particularly exhausting, so I took some time off from the deep, dark, psychological thrillers I usually read and I went to my comfort corner, keeping with crime but going as wacky, crazy, and cosy as I could.

These were my choices…


All pulled off like the perfect A-Team plot. ¬†Let go with¬†an enjoyable read and challenge yourself to see how many of Lee’s TV references you can spot!

FBI agent Kate O’Hare’s covert partner has been kidnapped. But she is in hot pursuit…

Nicolas Fox, con man, thief, and one of the top ten fugitives on the most-wanted list, has been kidnapped from a retreat in Hawaii. The kidnapper doesn’t know that Nick Fox has been secretly working for the FBI and that his partner, Special Agent Kate O’Hare, is on their trail.

The pursuit leads to Belgium, France and Italy, and pits Nick and Kate against a deadly adversary: Dragan Kovic, an ex-military officer from Serbia. He’s plotting a crime that will net him billions… and cost thousands of lives.

Nick and Kate have to mount an audacious con to avert catastrophe. The pressure’s on for them to make this work – even if they have to lay their lives on the line…


If you like Stephanie Plum’s Grandma Mazur, you’ll love Agnes Barton

Ever since Agnes’ car accident, things have changed drastically for her. When she wakes up in the hospital, not only is her son Stuart there, who she hasn’t seen in years, but a ghostly apparition!

Instead of getting ready for the loony bin, Agnes and Eleanor help ready the Butler Mansion for a grand opening as a bed and breakfast on Halloween, except they find the body of Katherine Clark. It’s game on, as usual, for Agnes, except she now has a new partner, one who has remained silent and is‚ÄĒwell‚ÄĒa ghost.

Agnes now struggles to keep her wits, keeping her ghostly companion a secret from Eleanor, not such an easy feat since Eleanor is sharp as a tack. Not only that, but where has Stuart been all of these years and what is he up to?


‚ÄúThey say one should never trust a thin chef. By this measure, Chef Maurice was very trustworthy indeed.‚ÄĚ

Take one sleepy Cotswold village, mix in one Poirot-esque murder mystery, add a larger-than-life French chef with an appetite for solving crime, and season with clues and red herrings galore . . .

It‚Äôs autumn in the Cotswolds, and Chef Maurice is facing a problem of mushrooming proportion. Not only has his wild herb and mushroom supplier, Ollie Meadows, missed his weekly delivery‚ÄĒhe‚Äôs missing vital signs too, when he turns up dead in the woods near Beakley village.

Soon, Chef Maurice is up to his nose in some seriously rotten business‚ÄĒcomplete with threatening notes, a pignapping, and an extremely well-catered stake-out. Can he solve Ollie‚Äôs murder before his home-made investigation brings the killer out for second helpings?


Posted in Blog Touring, Blogging

DragonFish by Vu Tran #WhereIsSuzy

Out Now

When I heard about this fresh approach to a blog tour I just had to join in and give it a go.  Instead of writing a review, or doing an author Q&A, us bloggers were given a hashtag and a challenge.

The Challenge

To read the synopsis of the novel, and¬†in¬†no more than a few¬†minutes using only the information in the synopsis to write down where you think Suzy is. ¬†Then using #WhereIsSuzy encourage our followers to do the same, to see just where the creative flows will take us. So here goes…

The Synopsis

Robert, an Oakland cop, still can’t let go of Suzy, the enigmatic Vietnamese wife who left him two years ago. Now she’s disappeared from her new husband, Sonny, a violent Vietnamese smuggler and gambler who is blackmailing Robert into finding her for him.

As he pursues her through the sleek and seamy gambling dens of Las Vegas, shadowed by Sonny’s sadistic son, ‘Junior’, and assisted by unexpected and reluctant allies, Robert learns more about his ex-wife than he ever did during their marriage. He finds himself chasing the ghosts of her past, one that reaches back to a refugee camp in Malaysia after the fall of Saigon, and his investigation uncovers the existence of an elusive packet of her secret letters to someone she left behind long ago.¬†

As Robert starts illuminating the dark corners of Suzy’s life, the legacy of her sins threatens to immolate them all.


Here’s what I thought….

Suzy is back in Malaysia looking for the son she left in the refugee camp to keep him safe from his gangster father, the man who trafficked her to America, and keeping herself and her secret son safe were the reasons behind marrying men who could protect her by whatever means necessary.

Then I thought I’d ask a couple of authors¬†what they thought.

Vu Tran’s fellow No Exit stable mate¬†Leigh Russell went for the pessimistic view.

I guess she went back to Malaysia to find the guy she left behind. Her boat capsized and she’s now at the bottom of the ocean…. ¬†

Graham Smith author of Snatched From Home had this to say.

She’s in a Western country trying to track down the daughter she gave birth to after being raped in Vietnam. The daughter is now grown up and like her mother has married a westerner.

And finally, I asked¬†some of my friends…

Ann B said firmly

She’s In Las Vegas

Vic W agreed

I think she’s in Fremont Street, Las Vegas.

Marc F isn’t quite so sure

She could be anywhere, but I’m guessing looking for someone in Asia…..

and the fantastic Kate H really let her imagination go

Suzy is in the UK, in Telford. She got nervous in Vegas and running through one of the hotels a few streets off the strip, quite by accident stumbled into a World Archery Vegas archery competition. Initially, she hid in the audience, but shrewd as she is, she quickly started befriending one of the coaches who she had noticed eyeing her up. Throwing all her best moves at him and hiding her fear, she manages to convince him to allow her to accompany him home to the UK for a holiday. She spends the last of her cash on a fake passport and heads back to the UK with the archery team from Telford. Once in the UK, she gets her bearings and then disappears from her ‘holiday romance’ and slips away to start a new chapter in her life…

Now, using the comments tell us what you think, and if you want to find out for real? ¬†Go pick up a copy of DragonFish now….


Posted in 12 Words, Author Q&A's, Guest Posts

12 words with Angela Marsons


Recently racking up her 1,000,000th book sale since Silent Scream was first published in February, Angela Marsons is the author of the DI Kim Stone crime thrillers, set in ‘The Black Country’ at the heart of the West Midlands.

Brought up in a series of foster homes, Kim is a no nonsense copper, determined to get to the bottom of every crime she comes across, whatever the cost, or the consequences.

 Today on, Angela takes on our 12 word challenge.



Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)

Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.

LOC:  Your latest book Lost Girls is the third in your series featuring DI Kim Stone, what can you tell us about it?
AM:  It is a kidnapping drama that evolves into an auction for life.
LOC: As a fellow biker, I’m intrigued that you’ve made¬†Kim more than just a motorcycle rider, but a true “petrol-head” repairing and re-building motorcycles, what was behind this?
AM: She needed an interesting hobby that suited her inquisitive, puzzle solving personality.
LOC: How would you describe your writing process?
AM: The first draft is for me to write what I want fearlessly.
LOC: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt in¬†your writing career?
AM: That my gut is the most reliable organ in my body.
LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read this year (title & author not in word¬†count) and why?
AM:¬†A Sister’s Promise by Renita D’Silva.¬† It is beautifully written and took me on an unforgettable journey.
LOC: Describe your perfect day
AM: There would be coffee, crisps, notepads, pencils and sunshine.  And more coffee.
and finally just for laughs……
LOC: Thanks to author Matt Hilton you¬†have just woken up¬†to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of Britain’s Got Talent, with¬†a waffle maker, a hamster and a kilt.¬†What do you do? ¬†
AM: Wear the kilt and waffle the hamster. Not really, obviously. Love hamsters.


Published by Bookouture, all three Kim Stone thrillers are available now, and to keep up with Angela, you can find her on Twitter @writeangie

DI Kim Stone Book One
DI Kim Stone Book Two
Posted in 12 Words, Author Q&A's, Guest Posts

12 Words with Matt Hilton


Matt Hilton quit his career as a police officer with Cumbria Constabulary to pursue his love of writing tight, cinematic American-style thrillers. He is the author of the highly successful, 10 strong Joe Hunter thriller series, which includes such titles as Dead Men’s Dust, Cut and Run, Blood and Ashes, No Going Back, The Lawless Kind and The Devil’s Anvil

His latest novel Blood Tracks Introduces private investigator Tess Grey and Southern renegade ex-con Nicolas ‘Po’ Villere in the first of a brand-new series of fast-paced action thrillers.

Today on, Matt takes on our 12 word challenge.


Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)

Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.


LOC: You’ve just released your latest novel Blood Tracks, what can you tell us about it?

MH: It has a female lead, who is not Joe Hunter in tights.

LOC: What was behind your decision to take a break from your serial character Joe Hunter and begin a new series?

MH: To exercise my creativity and extend my commercial viability to female readers.

LOC: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your writing career?

MH: Winning over readers who complain Hunter isn’t Lee Child/Jack Reacher.

LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read this year (title & author not in word¬†count) and why?

MH: “No One Gets Out Alive” by Adam Neville was intense and spooky and I do love a good scary story.

LOC: Describe your perfect getaway

MH: A log cabin in the Scottish highlands, preferably near a remote loch.

LOC: What is the strangest sentence you have written/read this week (limit does not apply)

MH: From my WIP: “Nicolas, I‚Äôm just shy of three hundred and fifty pounds, me; if I wore high heels I‚Äôd end up nailed to the sidewalk for the duration.”

and finally just for laughs……

LOC: Thanks to author C.L.Taylor you¬†have just woken up¬†to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of Britain’s Got Talent, with just a sledge, a grappling hook and some fish bones.¬†What do you do? (12 words – minimum of one item.)

MH: Throw on furs; sit on the sledge singing White Fang the musical.