Dead Flowers by Nicola Monaghan #bookreview blog tour @nicolanovelist @Verve_Books

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Dead Flowers by Nicola Monaghan as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Clare at Verve Books for inviting me to take part.

Dead Flowers by [Monaghan, Nicola]


She doesn’t trust the police. She used to be one of them.

Hardened by ten years on the murder squad, DNA analyst Doctor Sian Love has seen it all. So when she finds human remains in the basement of her new home, she knows the drill.

Except this time it’s different. This time, it’s personal…


Dead Flowers by Nicola Monaghan was such an intriguing read. Steeped in family secrets, this is a book that will keep you on your toes.

We are introduced to forensic scientist, Dr Sian Love who has just inherited a property, an old pub from her uncle once known as The Loggerheads in Newark. But within a short time after moving into her new home, Sian makes an unsettling discovery in the basement. Two skeletal remains have been abandoned there many years before. But after Sian and her partner, Kris reports the grisly find to the police, Sian finds that she can’t trust them. She sets out trying to identify the remains herself. This is despite Sian being an ex-police officer herself. Why doesn’t Sian trust her former colleagues? What discovery is she afraid they will make before she has a chance to find out the truth herself.

Finding the remains of two decaying human bodies is certainly not the welcome you would want when you move into your new home. I think if this ever happens to me, I would want to sell the place and move on. I couldn’t bear the thought of something dreadful that may once have occured there. I had a feeling right from the opening pages that Sian was going to uncover something very dark in her family history. But I couldn’t work out why she wanted to go about finding answers herself, rather than leave it to the police to deal with. Why would she want to risk her reputation and potentially do something illegal and especially Kris’s reputation as well, who is still a police officer? This is what gave the book an edgy feel as I wanted to see if there was any chance that Sian would be able to crack the case herself. Was she doing this to try and protect someone?

Both timelines which Nicola explores here are fascinating. Nicola takes us back to 1971 when The Loggerheads was a vibrant, busy pub at the heart of the local community. There were some very edgy characters in these scenes. They kept me on my toes as I waited to see how events between them were going to unfold. I knew something drastic was going to happen, and I wanted to see who was going to cause it and who would end up being the victim. Would any of them turn out to be the remains discovered many years later?

From the opening page, I wanted to see what dark secrets were going to be uncovered and what sort of an impact this would end up having on Sian. The edginess is there right from the start as Sian gets closer and closer to the truth, and ultimately she puts herself in grave danger. I wanted to see just how she was going to get out of this. Dark and suspenseful Dead Flowers is a very gripping read. I would definitely recommend it.

Publisher: Verve Books

Publication date: 5th September 2019

Print length:

If you would like to purchase Dead Flowers, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.

Amazon UK  Kobo



The Righteous Spy by Merle Nygate blog tour @MerleNygate @Verve_Books

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today for The Righteous Spy by Merle Nygate, the first book to be published by Verve Books, a new digital imprint, it is also Merle’s debut novel.

The Righteous Spy final cover (1)



Eli Amiram is Mossad’s star spy runner and the man responsible for bringing unparalleled intelligence to the Israeli agency. Now, he’s leading an audacious operation in the UK that feeds his ambition but threatens his conscience.

The British and the Americans have intel Mossad desperately need. To force MI6 and the CIA into sharing their priceless information, Eli and his maverick colleague Rafi undertake a risky mission to trick their allies: faking a terrorist plot on British soil.

But in the world of espionage, the game is treacherous, opaque and deadly…


Doesn’t that sound good? If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of the book the link is at the bottom of this post. Now, if you’d like to brush up on your spy knowledge, why not have a go at answering the questions below.



6           What is a shoe?

A           Russian intelligence jargon for passport

B           British intelligence jargon for a DNA test

C           Israeli intelligence jargon for super-secret

D           American intelligence jargon for easy access to a source


7           What is Tombstoning?

A           Visiting cemeteries to find child deaths to assist with faking new identities

B           Taking part in a tourist trip to get close enough for a targeted assassination

C           A hobby that’s similar to brass rubbing.


8           What is Treff?

A           Hungarian goulash immortalised in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale

B           The international intelligence term for a rendezvous with an agent

C           Intelligence from an asset that is so low grade that it’s completely worthless


9           What is meant by cultivation?

A           Secret drug farms used to fund spy activity

B           Development of a potential asset

C           Training courses that take place at The Farm, the CIA training facility in Virginia


10         What’s a walk in?

A           A volunteer spy who approaches an intelligence agency asking to work for them

B           A method of checking that you’re not being followed by walking into shops or buildings.

C           An intelligence boss recruited from outside of a department


If you think you’ve answered all the questions above correctly, don’t forget to check out on Twitter tomorrow to see if you were right. The answers will be published on Verve Book’s official Twitter account @Verve_Books

Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers taking part in the tour, for reviews and lots more interesting content. Thank you to Katherine Sunderland at Verve Books for inviting me to take part. If you would like to purchase a copy of The Righteous Spy you can do so by clicking the link below.

Publisher: Verve Books

Publication date: 18th October 2018

Print length: 277 pages



Updated Blog Tour Poster