The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett #bookreview #blogtour @JaniceHallett @ViperBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Janice Hallett, The Twyford Code. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Twyford Code: from the bestselling author of The Appeal by [Janice Hallett]


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…


Janice Hallett has become the new queen of the murder mystery novel. I can see why her books are perfect for fans of Agatha Christie. I loved her debut novel The Appeal, so I was so excited to start reading The Twyford Code. The way how she has written both of her books is so original. Her ideas are very cleverly put together, and I love the way how she tells her stories, which make them very unique. The way how she tells them, really does make you think about what is happening in the novel, and it makes for such an entertaining read, especially as I was trying to work out what was going on.

The Twyford Code is told through a series of recordings, produced by ex-prisoner, Steven, who is determined to solve the mystery of what happened to his teacher, Miss Isles, who vanished on a school trip. He believes the answer to her disappearance lies in the pages of a series of novels for children, written by Edith Twyford, a prolific writer who was working for the British in the Second World War. This is where the plot for the novel really becomes intriguing. I wanted to know what it was that Edith Twyford was potentially hiding in the pages of her books. People, who believe that there is a code, believe that she kept an extraordinary secret, and if you followed the clues in her book correctly, you would discover the truth. And there are various different theories of what the secrets in her books may contain.

Janice Hallett does write this book in a different way to how she wrote her debut novel. I really liked the way how she wrote her second book. She manages to heighten the tension as Steven tracks down his former classmates in his attempt to try and discover the truth about what happened to their teacher. I got the feeling that there were people out there who were determined to stop him from getting to the truth. It made me even more intrigued to find out what happened to Miss Isles, and if it was, at all, connected to the hidden code in Edith Twyford’s books.

The Twyford Code is a cleverly constructed novel that kept me utterly gripped. I loved the concept and I thought it was really well done. If you loved Janice Hallett’s first book, you are going to love her second.

Publisher: Viper Books

Publication date: 13th January 2022

Print length: 384 pages

The Twyford Code is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones


The Twyford Code BT Poster (1)

The Village by Caroline Mitchell #bookreview #blogtour

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the chilling new novel by Caroline Mitchell, The Village as pat of the blog tour. With thanks to Rhiannon Morris from FMcM Associates for inviting me to take part.


Ten years ago, the Harper family disappeared. Their deserted cottage was left with the water running, the television playing cartoons, the oven ready for baking. The doors were locked from the inside.

Overnight, the sleepy village of Nighbrook became notorious as the scene of the unsolved mystery of the decade, an epicentre for ghoulish media speculation.

For crime journalist Naomi, solving the case has turned into an obsession. So now, with Ivy Cottage finally listed for sale, it’s her chance to mount an investigation like no other. And her husband and stepdaughter don’t really need to know what happened in their new home… do they?

But Nighbrook isn’t quite the village she expected. No one wants to talk to her. No one will answer her questions. And as she becomes increasingly uneasy, it’s clear that the villagers are hiding something―that there is something very dark at the heart of this rural idyll. And the deeper she digs, the more it seems her investigation could be more dangerous than she ever imagined… In raking up the secrets of the past, has she made her own family the next target?


The Village is the new chilling standalone thriller by Caroline Mitchell. It follows crime reporter, Naomi, who has been obsessed with the disappearances of the Harper family, who vanished from the town of Nighbrook ten years earlier without trace. Their disappearance has never been solved despite being a big story nationwide. Naomi’s obsession has taken her to the point of even buying the Harper family home, in the hope of finally solving the mystery of what happened to them.

The Village has a really intriguing premise. When I read the blurb it made me want to find out more about Naomi. I wanted to know what would prompt someone to buy a house where an unexplained crime took place years earlier, just in the hope of solving the case. I wanted to know if there was anything that the police had missed over the years that Naomi might be able to uncover. What secrets was the house hiding?

The villagers aren’t exactly welcoming when Naomi and her family arrive there. They are hostile towards them and this prompted me to think that they were hiding something. I wanted to know what was really going on here, and it made the Harpers disappearance even more intriguing.

I thought Caroline Mitchell explored the relationship between Naomi and her step daughter really well. There is tension there, and as Naomi’s step daughter becomes acquainted with her new life in Nighbrook, she begins to notice that something strange is going on.

There is a chilling atmosphere in the village of Nighbrook, which adds to the sense of mystery. Caroline Mitchell writes this really well. As I was reading, the village, made me think that if I was ever to drive through it by accident, I wouldn’t stop, I would just keep driving as fast as I could.

Fans of Caroline Mitchell’s work will really enjoy The Village. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication date: 18th January 2022

Print length: 303 pages

The Village is available to buy:

Amazon UK


Caroline Mitchell Blog Tour Asset

Demon by Matt Wesolowski #bookreview #blogtour @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the new novel by Matt Wesolowski, Demon as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

Demon (Six Stories Book 6) by [Matt Wesolowski]


In 1995, the picture-perfect village of Ussalthwaite was the site of one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, in a case that shocked the world.

Twelve-year-old Sidney Parsons was savagely murdered by two boys his own age. No reason was ever given for this terrible crime, and the ‘Demonic Duo’ who killed him were imprisoned until their release in 2002, when they were given new identities and lifetime anonymity.

Elusive online journalist Scott King investigates the lead-up and aftermath of the killing, uncovering dark stories of demonic possession, and encountering a village torn apart by this unspeakable act.

And, as episodes of his Six Stories podcast begin to air, and King himself becomes a target of media scrutiny and the public’s ire, it becomes clear that whatever drove those two boys to kill is still there, lurking, and the campaign of horror has just begun…


The Six Stories series by Matt Wesolowski continues to go from strength to strength. Demon is the latest addition to the series and if you love a good horror novel, mixed with crime, then you definitely need to read it. In the latest episode, presenter Scott King examines a horrific case which took place in 1995. I could see where some of the inspiration for this story comes from, especially the Jamie Bulger case here in the UK, and it’s what makes this novel all the more chilling and harrowing. It feels like this can happen and that’s what makes it so scary.

Once again, Scott King is taking a look into the supernatural as he tries to understand what happened in 1995, when a young boy is killed by two boys the same age as him. The village in which the crime took place is called Ussalthwaite and it is a village said to be haunted by an evil spirit. There are lots of different stories told by people over the years about this, and I wanted to know more about it. As locals described the events that led up to these hauntings, it did send a shiver up my spine.

I really liked how Matt Wesolowski blended the supernatural and the real world. The way how he describes the supernatural events leaves just enough room open to make you wonder what is really going on here. It doesn’t make you think straight away that this couldn’t happen. This is also what makes the stories that are told so terrifying.

As with the previous books in this series, we hear the story through six podcasts from the show Scott King hosts. This is what I really love about this series. We always have Scott King, who, in his world, has become quite famous, but with each new book, we hear from a cast of new characters as Scott King tries to uncover the real facts behind the case he is investigating. With each episode, you know you are getting closer to the truth and it makes me turn the pages faster as I want to know what really happened in the events Scott is investigating. It’s what makes these books so gripping and I always look forward to the next book in the series. It’s such a clever way of telling a story.

I feel Scott King’s character also continues to develop with each book. He examines quite a lot of dark stories and he really delves deep into the mind-set of the people who were involved. The end of each book does make me wonder what is going on inside his head and what case he will choose to investigate next.

I really enjoyed Demon, it is always a real treat to read a new Six Stories novel. I can’t wait to see where Matt Wesolowski takes the series next.

Publisher: Orenda Books

Publication date: 26th November 2021 (kindle) 20th January 2022 (paperback)

Print length: 320 pages

Demon is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones



Left for Dead by Joy Kluver #bookreview #blogtour @JoyKluver @bookouture

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel in the DI Bernadette Noel series by Joy Kluver, Left for Dead.

Left for Dead: Absolutely gripping crime fiction packed with suspense (Detective Bernadette Noel Book 3) by [Joy Kluver]


The sun is rising over the deserted park. Spring shoots have burst through the frozen ground, framing the woman’s broken body in green and gold. Their surge of relief at finding her alive quickly dissolves into fear: the man who did this is still out there. His next victim might not be so lucky…

The first time Detective Bernadette Noel sees Keira Howard, she is lying in a hospital bed fighting for her life. The police assume that she has become the latest victim in a series of brutal attacks, and after weeks of fruitless searching, they think the evidence found in Keira’s case will finally lead them to their man.

When a suspect is caught the case looks closed, but Bernie isn’t convinced. Keira may have the same markings as the other women, but she doesn’t meet the profile – the random attacker let his victims go. Keira’s attacker had intended to kill. The witnesses – Keira’s closest friends – are all telling different stories, and the discovery that Keira was hiding a secret pregnancy suddenly makes everything a lot more complicated.

When a crucial witness goes missing, Bernie’s gut instinct is proven right – so why won’t her superiors let her investigate? They may have caught a guilty man, but a potential murderer still walks free. Then when their prime suspect is suddenly killed on police watch, Bernie’s situation becomes much more dangerous.

The closer Bernie comes to discovering the truth, the more she is putting her life at risk. And the only people she can rely on to make it out alive might be those she can no longer trust.


I am really enjoying this series. Left for Dead is the latest book in the DI Bernadette Noel series by Joy Kluver and I really enjoyed getting back together with Bernie and her team. This time around, as well as having a complex case to investigate, Bernie is also pregnant. This has left her with a lot of complex issues in her relationship with her boyfriend, Dougie. Left for Dead makes for a really intriguing addition to the series.

Bernie and her team face another complex investigation when a young woman has been found after being brutally attacked. It sparks fear that there is a serial predator at work here following a spate of similar attacks on women. It becomes a race against time to track down the woman’s attacker.

What I really liked about this book was how Joy Kluver explored Bernie’s relationship with her boyfriend, Dougie. I thought this development in her character was done really well and I was wondering throughout the book how things are going to pan out for them. This made for an intriguing sub plot and now that I’ve read it’s left me wondering what’s to come in the future.

Another character who Joy Kluver introduces us to is Leigh, who is a new member of the team. Leigh has autism and I thought that Joy Kluver explored this well and sensitively in her writing. I think Leigh makes an excellent addition to the books and I’m looking forward to seeing how her character develops further.

I didn’t expect the twist which came at the end and it really drove the tension up a notch as Bernie and her team raced to bring the case to a conclusion. I thought Joy Kluver wrapped the plot up very well.

I’m really hoping that there are more books to come in this series. It really is becoming one of my favourites.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 10th January 2022

Print length: 395 pages

Left for Dead is available to buy:

Amazon UK


Left For Dead - BT Poster

Darkness Falls by Robert Bryndza #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the gripping new novel in the Kate Marshall series by Robert Bryndza, Darkness Falls.

Darkness Falls: The unmissable new thriller in the pulse-pounding Kate Marshall series by [Robert Bryndza]


Kate Marshall’s detective agency takes off when she and her partner Tristan are hired to investigate a cold case from over a decade ago. Twelve years previously, a determined young journalist called Joanna Duncan exposed a political scandal that had major repercussions. In the fallout she disappeared without trace and was never found.

When Kate and Tristan examine the case files, they find the trail long cold, but they discover the names of two young men who also vanished at that time. As she begins to connect their last days, Kate realizes that Joanna may have been onto something far more sinister than anyone first believed: the identity of a serial killer preying on the people who few will ever miss.

But the closer Kate comes to finding the killer, the darker things become . . .


I’m a huge fan of Robert Bryndza’s writing and I couldn’t wait to start reading Darkness Falls, the latest book in his Kate Marshall series. Kate is a character with a really intriguing backstory. A former police officer, she has now set up a private detective agency with her business partner Tristan, and in Darkness Falls, they are working on their first major case. And Kate knows how important this first case will be to them, if their business is to succeed.

Robert Bryndza’s books are always really gripping. The dialogue in Robert Bryndza’s writing is always engaging and it pulls you into the story. After the previous cases Kate has worked on have hit the headlines, she is contacted by a woman whose daughter, Joanna more than a decade ago. The case has never been solved and Joanna’s body has never been found. Kate and Tristan are determined to find out what happened to her daughter and bring closure to her family. But as they begin to investigate, the case becomes far more complex than they thought it would. And soon they begin to realise that Joanna’s disappearance might be connected to a series of other murders.

There is a lot of tension in this book which I loved and it’s what makes it an unputdownable read. This is the type of book that you can read in a couple of hours. The case begins to get even more intriguing and it felt as though Kate and Tristan were putting themselves very close to danger. The final revelations floored me as Robert Bryndza revealed the truth. I hadn’t been expecting that revelation at all.

I really like the friendship that Kate and Tristan have. It feels like there is more between them then just simply a business relationship, they feel like they both come from the same family, and this is what really makes them such engaging characters.

The Kate Marshall series is one of my favourites in the crime fiction genre. I can’t wait to see where Robert Bryndza takes this series next. 

Publisher: Sphere

Publication date: 7th December 2021

Print length: 305 pages

Darkness Falls is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Last Place You Look by Louisa Scarr #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the first book in a new police procedural series by Louisa Scarr, Last Place You Look.

Last Place You Look: A gripping police procedural crime thriller (Butler & West Book 1) by [Louisa Scarr]


The man you love has been murdered. You’d do anything to find out the truth. Wouldn’t you?

A man lies dead in a hotel room, and the police attend his home address to inform the widow. Nothing unusual, until DC Freya West realises that the victim is the man she has been having an affair with. The future she imagined has been snatched away.

Meanwhile, her new boss, DS Robin Butler, is preoccupied with his own problems. Mistakes he thought were buried deep in his past now threaten to be exposed. Before long, both Butler and West are keeping secrets that could end their careers – and worse.

When the detectives have a chance to tell the truth, they choose to keep quiet. But once that line is crossed, is there any going back? After all, breaking the law is easy when you know how to uphold it.


Last Place You Look is the first book in a new police procedural series by Louisa Scarr, featuring detectives Robin Butler and Freya West. It opens with an intriguing opening scene, and Louisa does explore some interesting topics in her book, which I haven’t seen explored too much before in crime fiction.

The discovery of the body of a man in a hotel room, who seems to have died in a sex game gone wrong, prompts the start of a complex investigation. As Freya and Robin begin to investigate, their own personal lives begin to get caught up in the work they are doing, and this complicates matters further. Their investigations also take them into some seedy areas as they try to solve the case, such as sex clubs and swingers parties.

There isn’t a lot of fast paced action in this book, but I was really intrigued and I thought Freya and Robin’s personal lives were fascinating. They are both two very different characters but they work together really well. Robin is a deeply complex character. He has suffered from trauma in his past and Louisa Scarr gradually reveals what happened as the novel progresses. You can certainly feel a lot of the emotions that he is experiencing. Freya is also going through something deeply traumatic, and her emotions too, also come through very strongly in Louisa’s writing.

The tension builds in this book as we begin to understand more about Freya and Robin. I don’t want to give too much away here, but as we get to know more about them, it did make me wonder what impact this would have on the case. Both of their lives are very interesting, and I am looking forward to seeing where Louisa Scarr takes them next. What has happened to them in this book has made me wonder how things for them will move forward from here.

Last Place You Look is an intriguing start to a new series, and I’m definitely going to be getting the next book. Crime fiction fans, you definitely need to add this to your TBR pile, if you haven’t done so already.

Publisher: Canelo Crime

Publication date: 8th April 2021

Print length: 362 pages

Last Place You Look is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

My top 10 reads of 2021

It’s hard to believe that this year is drawing to a close. It has been good to see some live book events return this year. I was really pleased to get to the Theakston Crime Festival in July, even though it was a bit different to how it usually is, it was still a great weekend.

It’s been really difficult to choose a top ten this year. I’ve managed to read a total of 146 books this year so far. These are the books that have stayed with me throughout the year. In no particular order:

Fragile: Secrets and Betrayal in the Stunning Break-out Psychological Thriller from the Theakstons' Crime Novel of the Year Winner by [Sarah Hilary]

I am a big fan of Sarah Hilary’s writing. I love her Marnie Rome books but Fragile is her first standalone psychological thriller. You can read my full review by clicking here.

When I read When I Was Ten, I knew straight away it would be in my top ten books of the year. To read my full review, you can click here.

The Beresford by [Will Carver]

The Beresford is perfect for you if you are looking for a chilling read. I flew through it. You can read my full review by clicking here.

When They Find Her: An unputdownable thriller with a twist that will take your breath away by [Lia Middleton]

The twist at the end of When They Find Her blew my mind. It is such a gripping read. You can read my full review by clicking here.

Black Reed Bay: The MUST-READ thriller of 2021 … first in a heart-pounding new series (Detective Casey Wray, Book 1) by [Rod Reynolds]

Black Reed Bay is the start of what I hope will be a long running series featuring Detective Casey Wray. You can read my full review by clicking here.

Vine Street: THE TIMES Crime Book of the Month by [Dominic Nolan]

Vine Street by Dominic Nolan is a really brilliant book. To read my full review you can do so by clicking here.

Shiver: a gripping locked room mystery with a killer twist by [Allie Reynolds]

Shiver is the perfect book to read this winter if you haven’t got round to reading it yet. You can read my full review by clicking here.

Girl A: The Sunday Times and New York Times global best seller, an astonishing new crime thriller debut novel from the biggest literary fiction voice of 2021 by [Abigail Dean]

I was a huge fan of Girl A when I read it earlier in the year. It was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021. You can read my full review by clicking here.

The Last House on Needless Street: The Bestselling Richard & Judy Book Club Pick by [Catriona Ward]

I loved, loved this book. It is very creepy and very original. You can read my full review of The Last House on Needless Street by clicking here.

Bad Apples: 'The stand out in a truly outstanding series.' Chris Whitaker (The Tuva Moodyson Mysteries Book 4) by [Will Dean]

I’m a big fan of Will Dean’s writing and I loved his latest book, Bad Apples. I read this over Halloween and it was the perfect creepy read. You can read my full review by clicking here.

I hope you have a brilliant year in 2022.

Thriller Challenge

I spotted this challenge on Crime by the Book’s Instagram page and I thought I’d give it a go in a blog post. The challenge is this, show a thriller with:

  1. Your favourite detective
  2. Your favourite villan
  3. Your favourite plot twist
  4. A creepy setting
  5. An unreliable narrator
  6. A cover your obsessed with
  7. An ending you never saw coming

My favourite detective:

Someone Else’s Skin (DI Marnie Rome 1) by [Sarah Hilary]

I love Detective Inspector Marnie Rome in Sarah Hilary’s police procedural series. I go back to these book so often and I loved seeing her develop over the course of six books. I’m hoping she is going to return in a new book soon.

My favourite villan:

Evil Games: A gripping, heart-stopping thriller (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Series Book 2) by [Angela Marsons]

I love Dr Alexandra Thorn in the Kim Stone books by Angela Marsons. She made her first appearance in book two in the series, Evil Games and I always get really excited whenever she has appeared in the series since.

My favourite plot twist:

I Let You Go: The Richard & Judy Bestseller by [Clare Mackintosh]

The twist in I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh really blew my mind. I read it a good few years ago now and I still haven’t forgot about. It remains one of my all time favourite reads.

A creepy setting:

The Lingering by [SJI Holliday]

The Lingering by SJI Holliday has a really creepy setting. It really gave me chills as I was reading it. It’s the perfect ghost story.

An unreliable narrator:

Behind Her Eyes: The No. 1 Sunday Times best selling thriller with a shocking twist, now a major Netflix series! by [Sarah Pinborough]

The characters in this book really held my attention and they are definitely unreliable. Behind Her Eyes was recently adapted for Netflix and I thought they did a really good job with it.

A cover your obsessed with:

The Sanatorium: The spine-tingling breakout Sunday Times bestseller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick by [Sarah Pearse]

I really like this cover for The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse. I think it really draws you into the setting.

An ending you never saw coming:

When They Find Her: An unputdownable thriller with a twist that will take your breath away by [Lia Middleton]

The ending in When They Find Her by Lia Middleton really took me by surprise.

What would your answers be? Let me know.

Lightseekers by Femi Kayode #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the brilliant debut novel by Femi Kayode, Lightseekers.

Lightseekers: 'Intelligent, suspenseful and utterly engrossing' by [Femi Kayode]


They already know who killed the men. What they don’t know is why.

When three young students are brutally murdered in a Nigerian university town, their killings – and their killers – are caught on social media. The world knows who murdered them; what no one knows is why.

As the legal trial begins, investigative psychologist Philip Taiwo is contacted by the father of one of the boys, desperate for some answers to his son’s murder. But Philip is an expert in crowd behaviour and violence, not a detective, and after travelling to the sleepy university town that bore witness to the killings, he soon realises that someone really doesn’t want him there and will do anything to prevent him learning the truth.

Will he uncover what really happened to the Okiri Three?


Lightseekers is a brilliant debut by Femi Kayode. He has crafted a stunning novel with a real sense of place. I was pulled into this book from the first page and it was so engrossing and it felt really fresh as well.

We are introduced to psychologist Philip Taiwo who has travelled to Nigeria to investigate the deaths of three young boys. It is a case which has been brushed under the carpet but the boy’s families believe that there is something more to uncover here. It is Philips job to uncover the reasons why the boys were killed and hopefully provide some answers for their family.

When Philip Taiwo lands in Nigeria it seems as though there is uneasiness in the air. Femi Kayode explores the tensions between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria in his book, which for me, made for really enlightening reading. I don’t know an awful lot about Nigeria, but Femi Kayode’s writing really made me feel as though I was there, experiencing the conflicts between its people and also the landscape as well. This also adds to the tension that is there throughout the book, simmering away in the background. It also creates a real sense of foreboding, especially as Philip tries to piece together what was going on behind the scenes here.

Philip was a really interesting and likeable character. He has just recently returned from the United States and so has become accustomed to their way of living. He knows he has a tough task ahead of him but you can also see that he is determined to do his best to give the victim’s families answers. You can see that his doing this for the families and not himself. But soon, Philip finds himself very close to danger. This creates a lot of tension in the book which makes it really gripping as well. I had no idea how things were going to unfold for Philip and I wanted him to find the answers he was looking for.

There are a number of shady characters in the book who Philip is introduced to after he arrives in Nigeria. They each add to the sense of mystery in the novel. I really liked the friendship that develops between Philip and Chika, who picks him up from the airport, but who soon plays a much bigger role in the story.

Lightseekers is an utterly compelling read. Philip is a lead character who you will be rooting for right from the first moment when you are first introduced to him. I will definitely be reading what Femi Kayode writes next.

Publisher: Raven Books

Publication date: 4th February 2021

Print length: 414 pages

Lightseekers is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

First Monday Crime December @1stMondayCrime

It’s hard to believe that this is the final First Monday Crime panel of the year. We have four more brilliant authors appearing on next week’s panel. But before I reveal more details about who will be appearing and how you can access the event, let’s find out a little bit about the authors and the books.

The Dark by Emma Haughton

The Dark: The unputdownable and pulse-raising Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month by [Emma Haughton]

In the most inhospitable environment – cut off from the rest of the world – there’s a killer on the loose.

A&E doctor Kate North has been knocked out of her orbit by a personal tragedy. So when she’s offered the opportunity to be an emergency replacement at the UN research station in Antarctica, she jumps at the chance. The previous doctor, Jean-Luc, died in a tragic accident while out on the ice.

The move seems an ideal solution for Kate: no one knows about her past; no one is checking up on her. But as total darkness descends for the winter, she begins to suspect that Jean-Luc’s death wasn’t accidental at all.

And the more questions she asks, the more dangerous it becomes . . .

Fragile: Secrets and Betrayal in the Stunning Break-out Psychological Thriller from the Theakstons' Crime Novel of the Year Winner by [Sarah Hilary]

Everything she touches breaks . . .

Nell Ballard is a runaway. A former foster child with a dark secret she is desperately trying to keep, all Nell wants is to find a place she can belong.

So when a job comes up at Starling Villas, home to the enigmatic Robin Wilder, she seizes the opportunity with both hands.

But her new lodgings may not be the safe haven that she was hoping for. Her employer lives by a set of rigid rules and she soon sees he is hiding secrets of his own.

But is Nell’s arrival at the Villas really the coincidence it seems? After all, she knows more than most how fragile people can be – and how easily they can be to break . . .

The Christmas Murder Game: The must-read murder mystery for Christmas 2021 by [Alexandra Benedict]

Twelve clues.
Twelve keys.
Twelve days of Christmas.
But who will survive until Twelfth Night?

Lily Armitage never intended to return to Endgame House – the grand family home where her mother died twenty-one Christmases ago. Until she receives a letter from her aunt, asking her to return to take part in an annual tradition: the Christmas Game. The challenge? Solve twelve clues, to find twelve keys. The prize? The deeds to the manor house.

Lily has no desire to win the house. But her aunt makes one more promise: The clues will also reveal who really killed Lily’s mother all those years ago.

So, for the twelve days of Christmas, Lily must stay at Endgame House with her estranged cousins and unravel the riddles that hold the key not just to the family home, but to its darkest secrets. However, it soon becomes clear that her cousins all have their own reasons for wanting to win the house – and not all of them are playing fair.

As a snowstorm cuts them off from the village, the game turns deadly. Soon Lily realises that she is no longer fighting for an inheritance, but for her life.

This Christmas is to die for . . . Let the game begin

A bumper collection of delightful stories featuring Bruno, Chief of Police and France’s favourite cop, all set in the beautiful Dordogne valley and the ravishing Perigord region of the south west. Here is a landscape of meandering rivers with medieval castles overlooking their banks, of lush hillsides and spreading vineyards, of delicious local wines and world renowned cuisine.

With titles like ‘The Chocolate War’; ‘The Birthday Lunch’; ‘Oystercatcher’; ‘A Market Tale’ and ‘Fifty Million Bubbles’, you may be sure that champagne and gastronomy will feature as well as cosy crime in ‘Dangerous Vacation’. Bruno strides through these tales, staying calm. settling local disputes and keeping safe his beloved town of St Denis.

Only on one occasion does he panic: in ‘Bruno’s Challenge’, his friend Ivan, proprietor and chef of the town’s popular eatery, suddenly collapses on the eve of a large anniversary dinner, and he asks Bruno to take over the restaurant. After a few protests followed by some deep breaths, the inimitable Bruno meets his challenge and saves the day.

First Monday Crime will be back live on their Facebook page from 19.30 pm. Jake Kerridge is moderating the panel. To access the event you can do so by clicking on the link below which will take you through to the First Monday Crime Facebook page.

First Monday Crime