What Jennifer Knows – wonderful debut novel from Wendy Janes

I have recently finished Wendy Janes wonderful debut novel,’ What Jennifer Knows’ and this is what I thought of it:

‘What Jennifer Knows’ is a subtle and shocking tale of modern family life and relationships.
Sensitively drawn characters charm us but we, like them, are unsure who to trust. The shifting nature of loyalty and love is portrayed through searingly honest glimpses into the characters’ lives, both past and present.
The children in the novel are beautifully drawn and the way Tim’s siblings give him the acceptance and understanding he needs is both heart-breaking and wonderful.
As the complex plot deepens, we become so caught up in the characters’ lives that we have a real sense of urgency to know what will happen. How will Jennifer deal with what she knows? The final twist gives a fitting ending to this extra-ordinary book.

Here is another five star review for Wendy’s book, re-blogged from Judith Barrow’s blog.

Judith Barrow

What Jennifer KnowsI gave What Jennifer Knows by Wendy Janes 5* out of 5*

 The book blurb

“A vital member of her Surrey community, Jennifer Jacobs is dedicated to her job as a dance therapist, helping children with special needs to express themselves through movement. Wife of a successful though reclusive sculptor, Gerald, she is known for having a deep sense of empathy, making her a trusted confidante. So when two very different friends, Freya and Abi, both share information with her that at first seems to be an awkward coincidence, she doesn’t tell them. But as the weeks roll by, the link revealed between the two women begins to escalate into a full-blown moral dilemma – and also brings to the surface a painful memory Jennifer believed she had long since forgotten. What is the right thing to do? Should she speak out or is the truth better left unsaid?” 


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The Mysterious Disappearance of Mr Spearman


The Mysterious Disappearance of Mr Spearman is a cosy crime novella set in the fictional sleepy market town of Burcliffe. A young teacher, Rosie Rainbow, has a broken heart, Mr Spearman the school catering manager has disappeared, six year old Susie Sullivan makes an unusual discovery in the school playground at school and the famous Italian violinist Leonardo Pizzicato is robbed of one of his most precious possessions. As the mysteries deepen and entwine, we travel from Burcliffe to Naples, Legoland and to Dagenham, meeting a mysterious signorina, a suspicious photographer, a jealous cat named Marlow and  a gang of ruthless criminals along the way. All is solved by the time we reach the sparkling musical finale, thanks to the incredibly quick thinking of Rob Dobbs and his police colleagues, not forgetting vital help from Rosie Rainbow and the slightly dotty Miss Palmer.

This novella can best be enjoyed with a large pot of tea and a mind eager to spot the cheesy clues.


UK amazon link


USA amazon link


Mysterious Spearman picture.jpg



The Funny Business of Life KINDLE COUNTDOWN DEAL 99p

THE FUNNY BUSINESS OF LIFE (Mozart, Murder and Messiah)
Book 2 in the ‘Sing with the Choir’ series.

REDUCED TO 99p until 31st March 2015 – grab it while you can!

About the book:

Miriam has a secret, a secret she cannot bring herself to share, a secret that leads to a brutal stabbing on Bonfire Night at St Cecilia’s School.

We travel back in time to investigate the mystery, meeting a host of colourful personalities along the way, including the bumbling Director of Music Lancelot Prokofiev, the predatory french teacher Celeste Dubonnet, Brunhilda the chocolate-loving music secretary, Dorian the sixth former who can understand complicated mathematics but forgets the day of the week and the egotistical conductor, Tristan Proudfoot.

Demons are wrestled and surprises abound before we return to Bonfire Night for the final revelation of a dramatically altered future.

For readers in the UK:

For readers in the USA:


My review of ‘Cabbage and Semolina’ by Cathy Murray

Cathy Murray’s easy conversational prose tells of her happy childhood in the fascinating fifties – shadowed by the war and the heavy cost paid by the nation, but looking forward to a modern age. We get glimpses of an earlier long-vanished world too as she remembers her grandfather telling her how he went to work in the mines at the tender age of twelve and showing her the field where the pit ponies had their two weeks annual ‘holiday’ above ground.

The author looks with the eyes of a child, quite rightly starting with school dinners, for food is children’s main preoccupation, as anyone will tell you, and she also has periods of reflection when she observes through her adult eyes.

I particularly enjoyed reading about Miss Heaps, the rather formidable piano teacher, and how she managed to get a hundred per cent pass rate by ridding herself of the weaker pupils – a practice not generally encouraged today!

How times have changed we think as we read about liberty bodices, pens being dipped into ink bottles at school, ‘Listen with Mother’ on the wireless, pre-decimal money and the early days of the NHS, but we also realise that some things never change when we read the delightful descriptions of children playing with whatever comes to hand (the Geiger counter!) and having fun whatever the circumstances.

Cathy has described an ordinary childhood in ‘Cabbage and Semolina’, and in doing so, has made it extra-ordinary.


Book review 106: Jenny Worstall reviews An Explosive Time by Julia Hughes

This is my review of Julia Hughes’ novel, ‘An Explosive Time’, posted on Morgen Bailey’s excellent site for writers this morning.

MorgEn Bailey's Creative Writing Blog

Today’s book review is brought to you by short story author and novelist Jenny Worstall. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.

An Explosive Time (Celtic Cousins Adventure Book 3) by Julia Hughes

Genre: Young Adult / Adventure

An Explosive Time cover imageSynopsis: When a circus elephant goes missing on Detective Inspector Crombie’s watch, he immediately thinks of Celtic Cousins Wren and Rhyllann, who have to his mind made a career out of being the collective bane of his existence. And his instincts are correct: the cousins HAVE been up to something–but when Crombie finds out what it is and why, he runs into resistance not only from his immediate superiors, but also from the corridors of power in Whitehall itself. Described by one reviewer as a “Masterful British Thriller” this is the third…

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Book review 095: Jenny Worstall reviews ‘A Raucous Time’ (Celtic Cousins Adventure Book 1) by Julia Hughes

My review of ‘A Raucous Time’ by Julia Hughes, featured today on Morgen Bailey’s wonderful site.

MorgEn Bailey's Creative Writing Blog

Today’s book review is brought to you by short story author and novelist Jenny Worstall. If you’d like your book reviewed or to send me a book review of another author’s book, see book-reviews for the guidelines. Other options listed on opportunities-on-this-blog.

A Raucous Time (Celtic Cousins Adventure Book 1) by Julia Hughes

Genre: Young Adult/ Adventure

Purchase link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Raucous-Time-Celtic-Cousins-Adventures-ebook/dp/B0062SDMV8


A Raucous Time cover imageA Raucous Time is the breathless tale of two dare-devil cousins, Rhyllann and Wren, who are pursued by ruthless criminals in a series of incredible adventures, aided (and abetted) by Detective Inspector Crombie and the police force.

King John’s treasure is the original source of all the trouble (lost in 1216 in a terrible disaster). Rhyllann and Wren should be in school but instead they are involved in all manner of hair-raising exploits. There is double-dealing, police corruption, a mysterious note in code, a terrifying near collision…

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