Title: The Christmas Appeal

Author: Janice Hallett

Pages: 203 Pages

Publisher: Serpent’s Tail

The Blurb

One dead Santa. A town full of suspects. Will you discover the truth? Christmas in Lower Lockwood, and the Fairway Players are busy rehearsing their festive pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, to raise money for the church roof appeal. But despite the season, goodwill is distinctly lacking amongst the amateur dramatics enthusiasts. Sarah-Jane is fending off threats to her new position as Chair, the fibreglass beanstalk might be full of asbestos, and a someone is intent on ruining the panto even before the curtain goes up. Of course there’s also the matter of the dead body. Who could possibly have had the victim on their naughty list? Join lawyers Femi and Charlotte as they read the round robins, examine the emails and pore over the police transcripts. Will the show go on?

The Review

Oh Janice Hallett. I feel like I have just been for a visit with old friends!

The Christmas Appeal takes us back to Lower Lockwood and our favourite amateur actors. This time the Fairway Players are putting on a performance of a pantomime – oh no they’re not – sorry I couldn’t resist. Once again we are faced with the temperamental egos of the players along with a dead body. What could possibly go wrong?

I really enjoyed The Christmas Appeal. It was such a tonic – funny, dry and full of warmth. Perfect for when the weather outside is cold and yuck.

The Christmas Appeal by Janice Hallett is available now.

For more information regarding Janice Hallett (@JaniceHallett) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Serpent’s Tail (@serpentstail) please visit www.serpentstail.com.

Title: The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels

Author: Janice Hallett

Pages: 416 Pages

Publisher: Serpent’s Tail

The Blurb

Open the safe deposit box. Inside you will find research material for a true crime book. You must read the documents, then make a decision. Will you destroy them? Or will you take them to the police?

Everyone knows the sad story of the Alperton Angels: the cult who brainwashed a teenage girl and convinced her that her newborn baby was the anti-Christ. Believing they had a divine mission to kill the infant, they were only stopped when the girl came to her senses and called the police. The Angels committed suicide rather than stand trial, while mother and baby disappeared into the care system.

Nearly two decades later, true-crime author Amanda Bailey is writing a book on the Angels. The Alperton baby has turned eighteen and can finally be interviewed; if Amanda can find them, it will be the true-crime scoop of the year, and will save her flagging career. But rival author Oliver Menzies is just as smart, better connected, and is also on the baby’s trail.

As Amanda and Oliver are forced to collaborate, they realise that what everyone thinks they know about the Angels is wrong. The truth is something much darker and stranger than they’d ever imagined. And the story of the Alperton Angels is far from over.

From the bestselling author of The Appeal and The Twyford Code comes a stunning new mystery for fans of Richard Osman and S.J. Bennett. The devil is in the detail…

The Review

I have read Janice Hallett’s previous books The Appeal and The Twyford Code and I really enjoyed the format. Hallett’s unique way of telling stories through mixed media is really engaging. However, I was starting to wonder if it was getting a bit….samey.

I was wrong.

Her latest book, The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels, is by far her best in my opinion. It looks at the unsolved case of the Alperton Angels, a cult that set about trying to convince a vulnerable young girl to sacrifice a child.

It is a story about coercion, about police corruption, about the ethical nature of journalism and it was brilliant. Janice Hallett is a master a drip feeling you enough clues to keep you guessing.

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels is a bloody good page turner.

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett is available now.

For more information regarding Janice Hallett (@JaniceHallett) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Serpent’s Tail (@serpentstail) please visit www.serpentstail.com.

Title: The Twyford Code

Author: Janice Hallett

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Viper Books

The Blurb

It’s time to solve the murder of the century… Forty years ago, Steven Smith found a copy of a famous children’s book by disgraced author Edith Twyford, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. Wanting to know more, he took it to his English teacher Miss Iles, not realising the chain of events that he was setting in motion. Miss Iles became convinced that the book was the key to solving a puzzle, and that a message in secret code ran through all Twyford’s novels. Then Miss Iles disappeared on a class field trip, and Steven has no memory of what happened to her. Now, out of prison after a long stretch, Steven decides to investigate the mystery that has haunted him for decades. Was Miss Iles murdered? Was she deluded? Or was she right about the code? And is it still in use today? Desperate to recover his memories and find out what really happened to Miss Iles, Steven revisits the people and places of his childhood. But it soon becomes clear that Edith Twyford wasn’t just a writer of forgotten children’s stories. The Twyford Code has great power, and he isn’t the only one trying to solve it… Perfect for fans of Richard Osman, Alex Pavesi and S.J. Bennett, The Twyford Code will keep you up puzzling late into the night.

The Review

Towards the end of 2021 I read and enjoyed The Appeal by Janice Hallett. It was a good crime caper and it showed the power and talent of Hallett that she had a character that I was so irritated by that I still read the book – there is always the possibility that I will DNF a book due to hating a character. The writing in The Appeal was so good that I couldn’t give up.

In my opinion Janice Hallett’s latest offering The Twyford Code has proven that she is not a one trick pony. The Twyford Code – another non-traditional novel is brilliant.

The Twyford Code centres on the story of Steven Smith – an ex-convict – and his search to solve a childhood mystery. On the way he reunites with friends from (and enemies) from his past as he works his ways through the clues.

The story is told through audio transcripts which helps give intimate knowledge of our cast of characters and like all good mysteries the reader has to work through several clues and red herrings and if you are anything like me you will be constantly slamming your hand against your head in despair that you should have seen the answer. Essentially, Hallett proves that she is a master at the mystery genre.

The Twyford Code by Janice Hallet is available now.

For more information regarding Janice Hallett (@JaniceHallwett) please visit www.sheilland.com/janice-hallett.

For more information regarding Viper Books (@ViperBooks) please visit www.serpentstail.com/viper/.