Title: When We Were Young

Author: Dawn Goodwin

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Head of Zeus

The Blurb

Four best friends. One of them is dead. Are their secrets safe? 

Uni friends Stacey, Paula, Bev and Valentina used to be inseparable until one weekend before graduation when nothing was ever the same again.

Thirty years later, reunited at Valentina’s funeral, Stacey receives a letter written by her late friend asking for one last wish… that the three friends go back to where things fell apart and finally bury the hatchet.

As they revisit their old haunts of their uni days and follow a series of clues left by Valentina, their friend’s death begins to look suspicious and it is up to them to find out what happened – but they all have secrets to hide.

They say good friends are hard to come by, but when there is so much at stake and someone is lurking in the shadows, how do you know who is a friend and who is a foe?

The Review

One of my favourite things to read about is friendship. I love a story which looks at the nuances of friendship so imagine my excitement when I picked up When We Were Young and along with friendship I get the added element of a murder mystery.

When news of Valentina’s death comes the panic of Stacey, Paula and Bev rises. See, the four girls have a secret, one which one of them has taken to the grave…or has she.

When We Were Young looks back at toxic friendship and how one persons obsession can land others into a whole world of trouble.

This is a great book to read and allows you to remember the friendships of your youth and begin to wonder whether they were are innocent as you thought.

When We Were Young by Dawn Goodwin is available now.

For more information regarding Dawn Goodwin (@DGoodwinAuthor) please visit www.dawngoodwin.com.

For more information regarding Head of Zeus (@HoZ_Books) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: The Agathas

Author: Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

The Blurb

The most popular girl in school is dead – and everyone’s blaming the wrong guy.

When Alice Ogilvie ran away last summer, her disappearance was Castle Cove’s biggest mystery. But then her ex-best friend Brooke Donovan vanishes. Initially dismissed as a copycat case, Alice suspects there is something darker at play.

Joined by outsider and unlikely investigative partner Iris Adams, Agatha Christie-obsessed Alice sets out to get to the bottom of what is really happening in Castle Cove. There are clues the police are ignoring and a list of suspects a mile long. But Alice and Iris have no idea just how many secrets their little town is hiding…

The Review

I’m just going to say this, I flippin’ loved The Agathas.

The Agathas is a slick YA murder mystery fiction which has elements of classic murder mystery with a delicious dollop of Scooby Doo.

The story focuses on unlikely duo Alice Ogilve – one of Castle Cove’s beautiful people – who has a mystery of her own that she is keeping buried and the quirky Iris Adams – underdog, beautiful wierdo and someone who is desperate to leave Castle Cove as quickly as she can. They are thrown together and form an unlikely alliance to help solve the mystery of who killed Brooke Donovan.

Corruption, greed and love are all at the heart of this story and Glasgow and Lawson’s perfect tone drags you up and down the garden path throwing in red herrings galore. At once you both believe that you can and will solve the mystery whilst equally slapping your head in absolute shock horror when you get it wrong.

I will shove The Agathas into everyone’s hands.

The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson is available now.

For more information regarding Kathleen Glasgow (@kathglasgow) please visit www.kathleenglasgowbooks.com.

For more information regarding Liz Lawson (@LzLwsn) please visit her Twitter and Instagram account.

For more information regarding Oneworld Publications (@OneworldNews) please visit www.oneworld-publications.com.

Genre: Crime Thriller/Murder Mystery

The Gist: Following the death of a well known supermodel and 60s “It” girl the London Police force soon realise that they have a serial killer on their hands. It is a race against time to figure out who the murderer is. All they have to go one are the words left as clues in blue chalk.

Short Review: A run-of-the-mill whodunnit with a quirky main character and a villain whose motives seem insufficient. Easter delves into the criminal world with an 80s London backdrop using the era as an additional character.

Long Review: When Detective Inspector Anne Leeding turns up at crime scene she expects it to be a run-of-the-mill suicide. Yet clues begin to lead the inspector to consider different options. Could she have a serial killer on here hands?

Okay, as far as crime thrillers go Don’t You Want Me? is pretty good. The clues are dished out incrementally and you are generally playing guess who with who the killer could be. If I have to be honest, I did find the whole story a bit too long. I felt that certain parts could have been left out and the story would have flowed better. Furthermore, I did think that Easter really wanted the reader to know that the book was set in 1981. He overused references to the point of exhaustion. 

However, his smaller plot lines made the story much more full. The secrets waiting to be revealed allowed the characters to feel fully developed and much more interesting beside their lives within the police force. 

Overall, Don’t You Want Me? isn’t amazing but it is an interesting read that will keep you entertained for a few hundred pages. 

Don’t You Want Me? by Richard Easter is available now.

Title: The Thursday Murder Club

Author: Richard Osman

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved killings.

But when a local property developer shows up dead, ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

The four friends, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

The Review

What an absolute gem of a book!

I will admit that it was curiosity that led me to read The Thursday Murder Club. I love Richard Osman on his various television shows and I wondered if he would be as brilliant on page as he is on TV. 

The short answer is yes. More so.

The story centres on four residents of sheltered accommodation who attend a club every Thursday to discuss unsolved crime case files but when a real life crime happens on their doorstep they set about trying to solve it.

The Thursday Murder Club is joyous. I wanted to be old and part of their gang of crime fighters. This novel helps to remind us that we should never underestimate pensioners. They have lived longer and know more so let’s give them a fair chance. 

What is marvellous about this story is that Osman has you guessing to the very last page. I genuinely didn’t see it coming and made various guesses with very sound arguments for all of my suspects throughout. I didn’t even come close.

The Thursday Murder Club has a lot of heart, humour and page turning cliffhangers. I bloody loved it and I hope it gets commissioned to become a TV drama so those who are not readers get to enjoy the story as well.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman is available now.

For more information regarding Richard Osman (@richardosman) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: In the Crypt with a Candlestick

Author: Daisy Waugh

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group

The Blurb

Sir Ecgbert Tode of Tode Hall has survived to a grand old age – much to the despair of his younger wife, Emma. But at ninety-three he has, at last, shuffled off the mortal coil.

Emma, Lady Tode, thoroughly fed up with being a dutiful Lady of the Manor, wants to leave the country to spend her remaining years in Capri. Unfortunately her three tiresome children are either unwilling or unable (too mad, too lefty or too happy in Australia) to take on management of their large and important home, so the mantle passes to a distant relative and his glamorous wife.

Not long after the new owners take over, Lady Tode is found dead in the mausoleum. Accident? Or is there more going on behind the scenes of Tode Hall than an outsider would ever guess….?

In the traditions of two great but very different British writers, Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse, Waugh’s hilarious and entirely original twist on the country house murder mystery comes complete with stiff upper lips, even stiffer drinks, and any stiffs that might embarrass the family getting smartly brushed under the carpet…

The Review

In the Crypt with a Candlestick by Daisy Waugh is a slapstick romp with a murder mystery at the heart of it. I don’t really think it was what I was expecting if I am truly honest. I think I was expecting a more Agatha Christie style murder mystery and what I got was a little bit of Carry On films meets Jilly Cooper novels.

That doesn’t mean that In the Crypt with a Candlestick wasn’t fun or that it wasn’t an enjoyable read. It had me giggling in the right parts and to be fair to Daisy Waugh it also had me guessing whodunit until the very last page.

So whilst I cannot say that I was prepared for the story that I read I can honestly say that it was a thoroughly entertaining read and is perfect if you want to read something that is light-hearted.

In the Crypt with a Candlestick by Daisy Waugh is available now.

For more information regarding Daisy Waugh (@dldwaugh) please visit www.daisywaugh.com.

For more information regarding Little, Brown Book Group (@LittleBrownUK) please visit their Twitter page.