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


The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman #bookreview

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the debut novel by Richard Osman, The Thursday Murder Club on my blog today.

The Thursday Murder Club: The Record-Breaking Sunday Times Number One Bestseller by [Richard Osman]


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

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

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 Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman was a joy to read. I was excited to read this book when I first heard about it a couple of years ago. For me, what really made this novel were the characters. It’s what gave it an original spin. I really liked the idea of the residents of the retirement village gathering each Thursday to discuss murder. It’s something I can imagine myself doing when I am at that age, which is many, many years away for me.

The residents of Cooper’s Chase, ‘Britain’s First Luxury Retirement Village,’ as it is described, first get together on a Thursday to discuss old cases. The group is created by Elizabeth and Penny. Penny, however, is no longer part of the group as she is in a nursing home. The group now consists of Elizabeth, Ibrahim Arif and Ron Ritchie. Now Joyce is about to join them. Another character who appears is PC Donna De Freitas, and her idea of working for the police certainly isn’t giving a talk on security at Cooper’s Chase. But she certainly makes an impression on Cooper’s Chases’ finest detectives.

When Richard Osman first introduces to the group, the retirement village does have a similar feeling to when you first start school. Here you are with all these new people, and you have to seek out the ones who you will click with. It is also clear that there will always be those people who you will not get along with.

So, not long after Joyce joins The Thursday Murder Club, they soon find themselves in the midst of their first live case. A local builder, Tony Curran has been murdered. Now it’s time for the group to show off their skills and see if they can outsmart the police. It soon becomes clear that the mystery surrounding Tony’s death is a lot deeper than it first appears.

The characters are really what made this book enjoyable for me. I particularly liked Joyce’s narrative. She keeps a diary, and throughout the book, we get to read extracts and hear her innermost thoughts. You can see that the group take the prospect of solving the recent murder seriously. I also liked PC Donna De Freitas. I could tell that she wanted to make her mark, particularly when early on it is revealed that she ‘would like to have a gun.’ I hope that she does make further appearances in this series and I would like to see where her career progresses.

Richard Osman has created a diverse cast of characters which is what makes this book interesting as well, and I enjoyed seeing them all interact with each other. There are so many ways where I can see Richard Osman taking this series. I’m excited to see what will happen and what cases will come up next for The Thursday Murder Club. I’m certain as well that this isn’t the last the police will be hearing from our dynamic group.

I loved reading this book. I thought it was well plotted and I loved spending time with Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron. It is also very witty as well, and I found myself smiling and laughing in lots of places. I can’t wait to catch up with them again in the next book.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 3rd September 2020

Print length: 382 pages

The Thursday Murder Club is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Death in Dulwich by Alice Castle blog tour @DDsDiary @rararesources

Death in Dulwich Cover

Source: Review Copy


Thirty-something single mum Beth Haldane is forced to become Dulwich’s answer to Miss Marple when she stumbles over a murder victim on her first day at work.

To clear her name, Beth is plunged into a cozy mystery that’s a contemporary twist on Golden Age crime classics. But can she pull it off? She already has a bouncy young son, haughty cat, a fringe with a mind of its own and lots of bills to pay, as she struggles to keep up with the yummy mummies of SE21.

Join Beth in #1 of the London Murder Mystery series, as she discovers the nastiest secrets can lurk in the nicest places.


Death in Dulwich was a gem of a book. I haven’t read many cosy crime novels, which is the genre this book falls into the category of, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I became wrapped up in the mystery within the pages.

We meet Beth who has just taken on a new role at a very prestigious school in her local area, many of its students go on to attend top universities and so places at the school are highly sought after. Beth is charged with looking after the archive office but her day doesn’t get off to a very good start when she finds the body of her boss, Dr Alan Jenkins, round by the bins. You can imagine how this must look, Beth has just started there that day, and the school has never experienced anything like it. So Beth sets out to try and clear her name from the pathway of suspicion and find out who murdered her boss.

Death in Dulwich has a very Agatha Christie feel to it. You get the sense that the staff at the school are all under suspicion and I enjoyed trying to work out if it was any of them who committed the crime and what the possible motives could be. There are plenty of red herrings along the way as the author encourages you to look in a different direction. Alice captures Beth’s worry and fear well in her writing; this is when she fears that she might be implicated in the crime.

We do also get to know the police officer investigating the case, but it was Beth’s own investigation into the murder that intrigued me. As she became more involved in the mystery, I was worried that she was going to put herself in a more difficult situation and that her activities would be highlighted by the police officer in charge of the case. But I did also wonder, as she was a member of staff and not a police office, if she would uncover more facts than them and possibly get to the truth first. You shall have to read the book to find out yourself if Beth manages to crack the case.

This was a book that really surprised me. I thought that Alice’s writing was utterly immersive and I was absorbed by the plot and the lives of her characters until the final page. They all keep you guessing as you look for clues in the plot. This definitely comes recommended from me, particularly for fans of cosy crime. Thank you to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of the book to read.

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Publication date: 6th September 2017

Print length: 219 pages



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