Roses for the Dead by Chris McDonald cover reveal @RedDogTweets @cmacwritescrime #RosesForTheDead

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the cover reveal for the third book in the DI Erika Piper series by Chris McDonald, Roses for the Dead.

But before I reveal the cover, let’s take a look at the blurb.


Rockstar Johnny Mayhem sits on his bed, holding a bloody baseball bat. On the floor, clutching a lavender rose in her fist, is his wife, Amanda, who he has just beaten to death. Erika Piper knows this because she is one of the first on the scene. Mayhem is arrested and led away, screaming that they’ve got the wrong man. But the evidence is irrefutable and when Mayhem is sentenced to life in prison, no one is surprised.

Thanks to new evidence, Johnny Mayhem is a now free man. During a television interview, he issues a thinly veiled threat to those involved in the original case before seemingly disappearing off the face of the Earth. When the body of Mayhem’s dealer is found, Erika Piper is pulled from the safety of her desk job and thrown into the hunt for the Rockstar. Can she find Mayhem before he can enact his revenge on everyone involved, including Erika? Or, has he been telling the truth all along? Did the police really get the wrong man?

Now for the all important cover!

Roses for the Dead (DI Erika Piper Book 3) by [Chris McDonald]

Roses for the Dead is published by Red Dog Press on the 13th April 2021 and you can pre-order your copy by clicking on the link below.

Amazon UK

The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello by Chris McDonald #bookreview #blogtour @cmacwritescrime @RedDogTweets

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello by Chris McDonald on my blog today. With thanks to Meggy Rousell from Red Dog Press for inviting me to take part.

The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello: A modern cosy mystery with a classic crime feel (The Stonebridge Myseries Book 1) by [Chris McDonald]


Wedding bells are chiming in the idyllic, coastal town of Stonebridge. For Sam and Emily, it should be the happiest day of their lives. But, on the morning of the ceremony, the best man is found dead. The police quickly write his death off as a tragic accident, but something doesn’t seem right to wedding guest and groomsman, Adam Whyte.
Armed with an encyclopedic, but ultimately ridiculous knowledge of television detective shows and an unwarranted confidence in his own abilities, Adam and his best friend (and willing Watson) Colin, set out to uncover what actually happened to Daniel Costello.


The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello by Chris McDonald is the most fun you’ll have with a crime novel this year. It’s a very short novel, at just under a hundred pages, so if you’re looking for a quick and entertaining read, then this is the book for you.

In this introduction, to what I hope will be a new cosy crime series, we meet Adam Whyte and his friend, Colin. They are attending the wedding of one of their friends. The wedding is tragically interrupted when the best man, Daniel, is found dead in his hotel room. The police believe it was an accident, but Adam thinks otherwise after witnessing something which aroused his suspicions earlier in the day. He and Colin team up to find out what really happened.

The book opens with a gripping chapter when the groom is on his stag do, along with his best man, Daniel. Daniel witnesses something that may make him a potential target. It is clear that Daniel may be willing to use what he knows as blackmail, which would definitely give the killer a motive.

If you’re looking for something light hearted to read, particularly over the next few weeks, then you should definitely give this book a go. Adam and Colin made for excellent amateur sleuths who take what they are dealing with seriously. They want to understand what would prompt someone to murder the best man. It would surely have to have been someone who was invited to the wedding, wouldn’t it?

I had so much fun reading this book. Adam and Colin do not have all the expertise the police have at their fingertips. They can’t convince people to talk to them, and they can’t issue search warrants. This is what makes these types of stories very interesting. I find it all the more fascinating seeing how private detectives, or in this case, amateur sleuths, go about their work. I was rooting for Adam and Colin to find the truth. After the events that happen here, I’m certain that trouble will find Colin and Adam sooner rather than later. I think that they’ll be looking for it after the events in the first book in this series.

This is the perfect book to sink into on a Sunday afternoon. It’s highly engaging, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for Adam and Colin next.

Publisher: Red Dog Press

Publication date: 12th January 2021

Print length: 96 pages

The Curious Dispatch of Daniel Costello is available to buy:

Amazon UK


A Wash of Black by Chris McDonald #bookreview @cmacwritescrime @RedDogTweets

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on A Wash of Black by Chris McDonald on my blog today. This is Chris’s debut novel and I am sure I’ll be returning to his work again in the future.

A Wash of Black (DI Erika Piper Book 1) by [McDonald, Chris]



Anna Symons. Famous. Talented. Dead.

The body of a famous actress is found mutilated on an ice rink in Manchester, recreating a scene from a blockbuster film she starred in years ago.

DI Erika Piper, having only recently returned to work after suffering a near-fatal attack herself, finds she must once again prove her worth as the hunt for the media-dubbed ‘Blood Ice Killer’ intensifies.

But when another body is found and, this time, the killer issues a personal threat, Erika must put aside her demons to crack the case, or suffer the deadly consequences.


A Wash of Black is a strong debut crime novel by Chris McDonald, and I finished it in just a couple of days. This is the first book to feature Detective Inspector Erika Piper, and I can’t wait to catch up with her again.

Erika has only recently returned to work after taking a break for a year following a horrific event which took place twelve months earlier. But she suddenly has her work cut out when the body of a celebrity is discovered which will no doubt propel the case into the media spotlight. What is even more disturbing is that the killer has chosen to re-enact a murder screen from the star’s latest film. Clues left behind by the killer prompt Erika and her team to think that this won’t be the last of the killings.

This was a really intriguing first case for Erika and her team to get to grips with. I liked how Chris McDonald led me in different directions as he threw in each red-herring. He didn’t make it very easy for me to pinpoint the murderer, and I wanted to know what their motives were. This led to me considering a few of the characters as possible suspects, and when I thought the story was going one way, Chris managed to pull the rug out from under my feet.

Erika is a great character. She has an intriguing back story which made me want to find out more about her and what had happened in her past. She grew on me really quickly, and I can see her becoming a favourite character of mine in this genre.  You can see how difficult it still is for Erika to overcome what has happened in her past. This is also having an impact on her current relationship with her boyfriend. But she is also determined to make sure that this doesn’t have an impact on her work. It won’t stop her from trying to catch the person responsible before they kill again. It’ll be interesting to see how she will develop from this point on.

Chris McDonald keeps the pace of the book flying forward. I had to keep reading to find out the answers, and I could feel the tension rising as Chris threw in each new twist in the case.

I’m sure I’ll be returning to this series in the future, and I hope that we don’t have to wait too long for the next book. A Wash of Black is a chilling crime novel that will draw you in and keep you hooked.

Publisher: Red Dog Press

Publication date: 4th February 2020

Print length: 234 pages

A Wash of Black is available to buy:

Amazon UK