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.

Title: Holding

Author: Graham Norton

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

The Blurb

The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama; and yet its inhabitants are troubled. Sergeant PJ Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; mother-of-two Brid Riordan hasn’t always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn’t always felt that her life was a total waste.

So when human remains are discovered on an old farm, suspected to be that of Tommy Burke – a former love of both Brid and Evelyn – the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As the frustrated PJ struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regret.

Darkly comic, touching and at times profoundly sad, Holding is a masterful debut. Graham Norton employs his acerbic wit to breathe life into a host of loveable characters, and explore – with searing honesty – the complexities and contradictions that make us human.

The Review

I’ve had Holding sitting on my Kindle for a while now. If I am honest with myself, I wanted to read it out of curiosity for what Graham Norton could produce rather than the story given on the blurb. There have been times when I have bought a book because of who the writer is and have been completely disappointed in the outcome. I wanted to read Holding but I didn’t want to lose my love for Graham Norton.

In this case, I really shouldn’t have worried. Holding is really funny.

It is set in a small podunk village in Ireland where nothing ever happens but when the remains of a body are found the whole town flails with uproar. While the whole town try to figure out ‘whodunnit’ more and more drama and mystery unravel among the residents.

Essentially, Holding is a murder mystery comedy. Norton perfectly encapsulates a gossipy town where everyone lives in the pockets of everyone else. It is a town in which no one can have any secrets. Indeed, Duneen becomes a character in its own right and even though it was the setting for a murder I found myself kind of wanting to go and visit.

Holding by Graham Norton is a very witty novel and I for one should have given him more credit for his writing ability.

Holding by Graham Norton is available now.

For more information regarding Graham Norton (@grahnort) please visit his Twitter page.

For more information regarding Hodder & Stoughton (@HodderBooks) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: The Reunion

Author: Guillaume Musso

Pages: 308 Pages

Publisher: Little Brown

The Blurb

An elite prep school frozen in the snow
Three friends linked by a tragic secret
One girl taken by the night
The French Riviera – 25 years ago

One freezing night, as her campus is paralyzed by a snowstorm, 19-year-old Vinca Rockwell, the most beautiful and glamorous girl at her prep school, runs away with her philosophy teacher, with whom she has been conducting a secret affair.

She will never be seen again.

The French Riviera – present day

Once inseparable, Thomas, Maxime, and Fanny—Vinca’s best friends— have not spoken since graduation. But when they receive a notice from their old school, detailing plans for a new gymnasium and inviting them to come to a class reunion, they know they must go back one more time. Because there is a body buried in the gym’s walls…and they’re the ones who put it there.
What really happened that long-ago winter night? Now nothing stands in the way of the truth.
From France’s #1 bestselling author, Guillaume Musso, The Reunion is a taut and suspenseful thriller that will keep readers riveted until its haunting final page.

The Review

I have said it before but I am the perfect person to read murder mysteries. I never guess who the murderer is, I never see the twists coming, and I am the person who can be found making shocked ‘no way’ noises when something major happens.

This was exactly the same with Guillaume Musso’s book The Reunion. It is the story of a secret that has been kept uncovered for 25 years. The story of a murder that took place n high school and one that is threatened to be revealed with the construction of a new building.

Protagonist Thomas hasn’t got long but he must do everything to stop the secrets of the murder he committed being revealed. However, whilst he races against time, those who he holds nearest to him start to get mysteriously attacked and killed.

The Reunion is a fast paced mystery. You really do fly through the book. The short chapters help build the tension and keep the momentum going. I did find a bit of disconnect between myself as a reader and the characters, almost like I was being kept at arm-length. I don’t know whether this was because things were lost in translation (the original novel was written in French) but sometimes I think the old adage of ‘show not tell’ could have been applied.

Either way, The Reunion is a really good read for those who enjoy a good murder mystery.

The Reunion by Guillaume Musso is available now.

For more information regarding Guillaume Musso (@Guillaume_Musso) please visit www.guillaumemusso.com.

For more information regarding Little Brown (@littlebrown) please visit www.littlebrown.com.

Title: Sleep

Author: CL Taylor

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Avon Books

The Blurb

All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

Someone’s going to sleep and never wake up…

The Review

Crime fiction is not necessarily my genre of choice; however, I am the perfect audience for crime writers. I never see the ending coming.

Sleep by CL Taylor is one of the few crime/thriller books that I will probably read this year but if any story was going to get me reading more then this would be the one.

The majority of the story is set in a secluded hotel (already it had me creeped out) on an island that is difficult to get to or get off for that matter. It has a cast of characters that all seem to have secrets. One of them is the killer and we need to figure out who before it is too late.

I honestly loved Sleep. I would have read it in one sitting but everyone in my house was going to bed and I was that freaked out I couldn’t read the rest. I know I am no expert in this genre but CL Taylor seems to have mastered the craft.

If you like crime dramas then Sleep is the perfect book for you.

Sleep by CL Taylor is available now.

For more information regarding CL Taylor (@callytaylor) please visit www.cltaylorauthor.com.

For more information regarding (@AvonBooksUK) please visit www.avonbooks.co.uk.

Title: Thirteen

Author: Steven Cavanagh

Pages: 368 Pages

Publisher: Orion Books

The Blurb

‘To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’

Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.

This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.

Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I would make a terrible detective and a terrible lawyer and a terrible FBI agent for that matter. For I am Lisa Bentley, the person who never quite cottons on to clues given in crime thriller novels. In essence, I am the perfect audience for crime fiction.

This brings me to the review of Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh. Holy moly, this is a great novel. Let’s forget that I didn’t solve the crime, yada yada yada, but instead look at the way Steve Cavanagh builds tension and suspense in his novel. The chapters are palatably sized, you are always kept wanting more, to read more. His dual narrative makes you think you know what is going on and what is going to happen next (you really don’t) and the added inserts about jury members keeps you on your toes and invariably keeps you guessing over who the bad guy is. All in all, Steve Cavanagh did good.

Thirteen is actually the fourth book in the Eddie Flynn series. I haven’t read the earlier books because as I have said, crime fiction is not really my genre of choice. If I was asked to recommend a book – which I very often am – and they want a crime/mystery/thriller, then Steve Cavanagh will be at the top of that list.

Read Thirteen. It will either make you feel really smart if you guess whodunit or like me it will make you marvel at someone else’s genius and not your lack of mad detective skills.

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh is available now.

For more information regarding Steven Cavanagh (@SSCav) please visit www.stevecavanagh.com.

For more information regarding Orion Books (@orionbooks) please visit www.orionbooks.co.uk.