Title: This Book Kills

Author: Ravena Guron

Pages: 384 Pages

Publisher: Usborne Publishing

The Blurb

There’s a murderer on the loose in an elite boarding school… But who is going to be next? This Book Kills is the deadliest YA thriller of 2023, perfect for fans of Holly Jackson and Karen McManus.

“I’ll make it clear from the start: I did not kill Hugh Henry Van Boren.

I didn’t even help. Well, not intentionally.”

When Hugh Henry Van Boren, one of the most popular and richest kids in Jess Choudhary’s school, is found dead, the student body is left reeling and wondering who the murderer could be… Jess, a student under strict instructions to keep her record clean or risk losing her scholarship, finds herself at the centre of the investigation when it’s revealed that Hugh died in the exact same way as a character in a short story she wrote.

And then Jess receives an anonymous text thanking her for the inspiration.

With time running out, Jess knows if she doesn’t solve this mystery she’ll finally have something in common with Hugh Henry.

She’ll be dead too.

The Review

Fish-Out-Of-Water meets Dark Academia – you get This Book Kills.

This Book Kills is the story of Jess, a scholarship student at an elite academy. When one of the richest students is killed all fingers begin to point to the outsider, they point to Jess. Jess has to help solve the mystery of the murder to clear her name.

This Book Kills is such a good story that shines a light on the pressure for elite academies to maintain a reputation but who are also at the whim of those paying for the education. Having a stark contrast between the rich and the poor highlights just how systemic prejudices can be.

What is truly great about This Book Kills is the pay off. I suspected everybody and I did not figure out who the actual culprit was until the very end. This Book Kills is a great YA Mystery.

This Book Kills by Ravena Guron is available now.

For more information regarding Ravena Guron (@RavenaGuron) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Usborne Publishing (@Usborne) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: The Traitors

Author: C. A. Lynch

Pages: 270 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins/One More Chapter

The Blurb

The brand new locked-room thriller for fans of Ruth Ware and Freida McFadden.

You are cordially invited to the Beechwood Castle for a night you’ll never forget…

Six people find a thick cream envelope on their doorstep. Inside is an invitation to spend 24 hours in a crumbling manor house and be in with the chance to win a portion of one million dollars. The catch: Beechwood Castle was the site of one of the most horrific murders in modern history.

The smell of blood, decay and death still hangs heavy in the air.

Six people walk into the house. One of them is an imposter, all of them are traitors, which of them will survive the night?

The Review

I have said it before and I will say it again, I am the perfect reader for a mystery novel because I never, ever see the big reveal coming. It was not different when I read The Traitors.

Beechwood Castle has seen some drama over the years, the abandoned building was a haunt for unruly teenagers looking for a place to hang out. However, when a brutal murder happens the castle is locked up but its notoriety grew. Now the castle has been bought and reopened and six special guests have been invited to spend the night, all have one thing in common – the murder that took place all those years ago.

The Traitors is a fun mystery. It is fast paced with short chapters and the multi-perspective narrative keeps you guessing to the end. The setting is perfect and acts like an additional character with all its nooks and crannies.

I genuinely had a lot of fun reading this novel.

The Traitors by C. A. Lynch is available now.

For more information regarding One More Chapter (@0neMoreChapter_) please visit www.onemorechapter.com.

Title: The Mystery Guest

Author: Nita Prose

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

The Blurb

DO NOT DISTURB. WHODUNNIT IN PROGRESS . . .

Molly Gray wears her Head Maid badge proudly for every shift at the Regency Grand Hotel: plumping pillows, sweeping up secrets, silently restoring rooms to a state of perfection. But the hotel’s reputation is sullied when a guest – a famous mystery writer – drops very dead on the tearoom floor.

As suspicion swirls in the hotel corridors, it’s clear there’s grime lurking beneath the gilt. And Molly knows that she alone holds the key to the mystery. But unlocking it means thinking about the past, about a dusty old house, and everything else she’s tidied away in her memory.

Because Molly knew the dead guest once upon a time – and she knows his secrets too . . .

The Review

Our favourite amateur (and unsuspecting) sleuth Molly Gray is back and I couldn’t be more happy!

The Regency Grand is just recovering from the last scandal they were embroiled in when a body was found dead (and murdered) in a hotel room. However, drama is never far away and when a famous crime writer hires the hotel to host a press conference trouble soon ensues. It is up to Molly and her band of hotel staff to help solve the mystery.

I loved The Mystery Guest. I loved The Maid but I felt much more at ease with The Mystery Guest. With The Maid, the sense of injustice really hit me hard. Molly sees the world differently and there is the suggestion that she is on the autistic spectrum and with the first book I felt myself feeling genuinely scared for the character. Now I am more comfortable because I now know it is cosy crime so my anxiety was a lot less.

I love this series and I do hope there are many more to come. Molly Gray is brilliant and I want more of these stories.

The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose is available now.

For more information regarding Nita Prose (@NitaProse) please visit www.nitaprose.com.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: The Secrets of Hartwood Hall

Author: Katie Lumsden

Pages: 339 Pages

Publisher: Penguin Random House/Michael Joseph

The Blurb

1852.

Margaret Lennox is offered a position as governess at Hartwood Hall. She quickly accepts, hoping this isolated country house will allow her to leave her past behind.

But Margaret soon starts to feel there’s something odd about her new home, despite her growing fondness for her bright, affectionate pupil, Louis.

Strange figures move through the dark.

Tensions rise between the servants.

The east wing sits eerily abandoned . . .

Even stranger is the local gossip surrounding Mrs Eversham, Louis’s widowed mother, who is deeply distrusted by the nearby village.

Margaret is certain that everyone has something to hide.

But as her own past threatens to catch up with her, she must learn to trust her instincts before it’s too late . . .

The Review

I do love a bit of gothic fiction.

The Secrets of Hartwood Hall is a great example of modern day gothic fiction done well. It uses all the best tropes and themes – creepy mansion, secrets, division between household staff and the owners and it is packaged in an extremely readable story.

Our heroine, Margaret Lennox, has been offered a place at Hartwood Hall to work as a governess and it is just what she needs. Recently widowed, Margaret is escaping her past and hoping to find a successful future, however, when the secrets hidden in Hartwood Hall start to plague her we see just how unsafe she actually is.

The Secrets of Hartwood Hall is a great read. It has mystery, intrigue, prejudice, small town mentality – all the things that heighten the tension in the story. It really is a page turner.

The Secrets of Hartwood Hall by Katie Lumsden is available now.

For more information regarding Katie Lumsden (@katiejlumsden) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Penguin (@MichaelJBooks) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Good Material

Author: Dolly Alderton

Pages: 345 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

Every relationship has one beginning.

This one has two endings.

Andy loves Jen. Jen loved Andy.

And he can’t work out why she stopped.

Now he is. . .

1. Without a home

2. Waiting for his stand-up career to take off

3. Wondering why everyone else around him seems to have grown up while he wasn’t looking

Set adrift on the sea of heartbreak at a time when everything he thought he knew about women, and flat-sharing, and his friendships has transformed beyond recognition, Andy clings to the idea of solving the puzzle of their broken relationship. Because if he can find the answer to that, then maybe Jen can find her way back to him.

Andy still has a lot to learn, not least his ex-girlfriend’s side of the story.

From the bestselling author of Ghosts and Everything I Know About Love: a sharply funny, beautifully observed and exquisitely relatable story of heartbreak and friendship, and how to survive both.

The Review

Good Material left me feeling exposed. It is the story about a break-up of a relationship. Jen and Andy have broken up. Andy is not happy and he is not handling it well. We follow him through his journey of trying to get over the relationship and I won’t lie to you, it is brutal.

If you have ever been through a break-up it will all feel painfully familiar. If you haven’t been through a break-up then it should give you the fear.

Dolly Alderton has written a triumphant novel that hits a different way to any other break-up novel I have ever read.

Good Material by Dolly Alderton is available now.

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