#TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT The Code for Killing by William Savage #BookReview

I have recently become a member of Rosie Amber’s book review team (#RBRT) and the first book I have reviewed as part of the team is

The Code for Killing: a mystery set in Georgian England by William Savage.

I picked this book because of its intriguing title and the bits of code shown on the cover. I thought it looked both unusual and entertaining – and this certainly turned out to be true. Here is my review:

The Code for Killing is a fascinating historical mystery set in Georgian England. It is the second novel in a series and there are fairly frequent references to the previous mystery, but the novel can be read and enjoyed without any previous knowledge of the first book.

The main character is Dr Adam Bascom – a man who, for all his intellect and skills, has very little understanding of women, much to his mother’s despair and also amusement. Adam relies on quite a few women to help him solve the mystery, including the delightful and spirited Miss Sophia LaSalle. I do hope there will be a sequel as I would love to hear more from this character in particular.

The mystery is set in the turbulent times of the late 1700s and there are many details about the political situations of the period, such as the riots in Norfolk, that add greatly to the vividness of the storytelling. The characters come from all walks of life – we meet the wise Sir Daniel Fouchard, Miss Phoebe Farnsworth the actress and the wonderfully named pair of sailors, Peg and Dobbin, to mention a few among many gems. The details of medical conditions and treatments at that time are described in interesting detail and I was very amused when London was described as ‘noisy and crowded’ by Adam on his welcome return to Aylsham – some things don’t change!

All in all, a really good, well-written story, with great richness of detail. Thoroughly recommended!

 

Link to The Code for Killing on Amazon UK

 

My review of ‘Jam for Tea’ by Cathy Murray

‘Jam for Tea’ is a touching, funny and affectionate look at the author’s childhood in the 1950s and ’60s. It follows on from ‘Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood’ and takes us right up to the point where Cathy Murray is a qualified primary school teacher and is, in her own words, ‘on the cusp of some of the best experiences of my life’.
We learn where Cathy was when JFK was assassinated, how she tried to subdue her naturally curly hair with sellotape in an effort to copy Twiggy’s hairstyle and of the fun she had on her trip to Wales with the Girl Guides even though conditions were fairly basic. Cathy tells us about her holiday jobs, why we might want to follow her example of never sending food back to the kitchen in a restaurant and reveals why the book is called ‘Jam for Tea’ (hint: there is a canine influence).
One of my favourite reminiscences has to be the story of Cathy’s mother attending a wedding reception wearing a dress made out of the new one hundred per cent man-made fabric, Crimplene. In the crowd, her mother was pushed against a heater then spent the rest of the evening with her back turned away from the other guests so that no one would see the large brown scorch mark on her bottom!
There are charming glimpses of the future too, for example the vignette of Cathy and her father dressed up in their wedding outfits, playing piano duets at home while waiting for the ancient Bentley to arrive and take them to Cathy’s wedding. These hints of what is to come whet our appetite for the next installment of Cathy’s life story. More please, Cathy!

 

 

Why not take a look on amazon? UK USA

A link to my review of ‘Cabbage and Semolina’ by Cathy Murray.

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?” 

I…

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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:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Funny-Business-Life-Mozart-Messiah-ebook/dp/B00OQT8OR2/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1427285009&sr=1-3&keywords=jenny+worstall

For readers in the USA:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OQT8OR2

ENJOY SINGING WITH THE CHOIR!

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.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cabbage-Semolina-Memories-1950s-Childhood-ebook/dp/B00UDHAP5A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427021266&sr=8-1&keywords=Cathy+Murray

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 - Creative Writing Guru

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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