*Blog Tour* Need You Dead by Peter James

I’m super excited to be a part of Peter James’ official blog tour for Need You Dead where I’ll be sharing Peter’s dream dinner party along with all the book details. #LoveRoyGrace

Need You Dead. HB. High Res Jacket.jpgFirst up is the Blurb: 

Lorna Belling, desperate to escape her marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, even those you consider closest to you may not be who they say they are, and a chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything.

When the body of a woman is found in the bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first, it looks like an open and shut case but Grace is hesitant as ever to make assumptions and as the investigation lengthens so does the list of men with motives for killing Lorna.

As well as dealing with one of his most mysterious cases yet, Grace must cope with an unexpected new addition to the family. His existence may have only just been discovered following the death of Grace’s ex-wife, but ten-year-old Bruno is moving to Brighton to live with his Dad.

As the case unfolds, with each possible conclusion as tantalisingly plausible as the next, a sudden turn of events reveals the case to be more sinister than Grace could ever imagine.

Need You Dead, the thirteenth in the award-winning DS Roy Grace series by Peter James, is out 18th May (Macmillan, £20.00) and can be purchased here.

 

 Now over to Peter James for his Dream Dinner Party

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This is a tough one! Aside from my close family and friends here is my ten in no particular order…

Oscar Wilde – for his entertaining company

Lucretia Borgia – for being one of the most evil women who ever lived

Graham Greene – for writing the book that made me want to be a writer

Peter Cooke – for being one of the funniest people ever

David Attenborough – because of my wife’s fascination for wildlife

Winston Churchill – someone I have always greatly admired

Arthur Conan Doyle – because Sherlock Holmes was always a big inspiration to me

May West – because she would be fun

Dorothy Parker – for all her witty sayings

W C Fields – I love his curmudgeonly attitude to almost everything such as ‘How do you like children, Mr Fields?’ To which he replied ‘Fried’

Some fab choices here!

A little Research…

Dedicated to authenticity, Peter bases his books upon real life experiences he has witnessed through shadowing the Sussex Police.

In Need You Dead, he focuses on domestic violence and, in particular, a case in which the police are called out to a tearful woman reporting that her live-in boyfriend had pushed dog faeces into her mouth. Peter was invited in to hear the woman’s story.

Peter also studied the increasing number of internet crimes that are now outweighing the number of thefts and burglaries that take place.

 

About the Author:

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PETER JAMES is one of the UK’s most treasured crime and thriller novelists. His Roy Grace detective novels have sold over 18 million copies worldwide in total. The series is now published in 37 territories.  Peter’s first non-fiction title ‘Death Comes Knocking’ written in association with Graham Bartlett, Head of Sussex Police was published in July 2016, scoring Peter a hat trick of titles in the Sunday Times charts within a month.

Peter’s novella, ‘The Perfect Murder’ (2010) was adapted into a play called The Perfect Murder which did its first, smash hit tour starring Les Dennis in 2014. This was followed by the play of Dead Simple in 2015, starring Tina Hobley and Jamie Lomas which was an equally big success during its 6-month nationwide run. Not Dead Enough, the third of Peter’s books to be translated to stage, is currently touring the UK to critical acclaim, starring Shane Ritchie as Roy Grace and Laura Whitmore as Cleo Morey.

Peter, an established film producer, was educated at Charterhouse then at film school. He has produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino. He has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Brighton in recognition of his services to literature and the community, is Patron of Neighbourhood Watch nationwide, Patron of Crimestoppers in Sussex, Patron of Brighton & HoveSamaritans, and Patron of Relate, among many other charitable posts he holds.  Peter has been two-times Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association and has won many literary awards, including the publicly voted ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards People’s Bestseller Dagger and he was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Book Prize.  As popular internationally as in the UK, he won the US Barry Award, for Best British Crime Novel in 2012.  Last year, 2015, he was voted by WH Smith readers as The Best Crime Author of All Time. 

Born and brought up in Brighton, Peter divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London and Sussex. Peter is available for interviews and to write features.

Find out more about Peter James at www.panmacmillan.com and Peter’s website www.peterjames.com and follow him on:

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/peterjames.roygrace

Twitter. http://twitter.com/peterjamesuk

Instagram: https://instagram.com/peterjamesuk

YouTube: You can subscribe for free here: www.peterjames.com/YouTube

Don’t forget to check out all the other fabulous stops on this epic blog tour!

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Blog Tour: The Search by Howard Linskey

For today’s post I’m super excited to host the next stop on The Search blog tour, penned by Howard Linskey and published by Michael Joseph, Penguin. As always don’t forget to check out all the other fab books on this tour!

First up it’s the Blurb:

9780718180362Someone knows where the bodies are buried…

Little Susan Verity went missing during the heatwave of 1976. An unprecedented amount of police resource went into finding her, but to no avail. Until now.

Convicted serial killer Adrian Wicklow was always the prime suspect. In the past, he’s repeatedly lied to the police about where Susan’s body is buried – playing a sick game from behind bars. 

But this time, he says, he’ll tell the truth. Because Adrian Wicklow is dying.

Detective Ian Bradshaw works with investigative journalists Helen Norton and Tom Carney to find the body. However, this is Wicklow’s life’s work. Would a murderer on death’s door give up his last secret so easily…?

This is a story which centres around the investigation into the disappearance of a child in 1976. In 1976, six children went out to play but only five returned, little Susan Verity disappeared without a trace. Andrew Winklow, the prime suspect and convicted child killer who originally confused to her murder later retracted his confession. Now on the 20th anniversary of her disappearance, DS Ian Bradshaw is tasked with her case to try to uncover what really happened, because Adrian Winklow is dying and time is running out to discover the truth once and for all.

Wow! This story just grabbed my attention from the very beginning which opened with the creepy words of Adrian Winklow, and as the narrative unfolded kept me glued to the page.

This story is set in both the past, 1976, and the present day which in this case is 1996. The author does a fantastic job of interweaving both of these timelines into the main plot with both timelines revealing little clues along the way while still keeping up the pace and mystery.

What I really liked about this novel was the fact that the main narrative focused on an interesting cold case which managed to retain the strong sense of a life and death situation and fast-paced action which comes from novels with a ‘present day’ serial killer.

I adored the creepy, disturbing character of Adrian who even when he is at death’s door still manages to plays games with everyone. I’m not sure what really says about me but I do love a good villain!

I also really liked the main characters of DS Ian Bradshaw and journalists Tom Carney and Helen Norton who he turns to for help, to try and unpick the truth from a serial killer’s twisted and clever mind. I was also interested in their dynamic relationships which are just at the heart of this novel and I suspect the series. The author’s writing style just made me feel very invested in these characters and sympathetic – I really cared about what happened to them.

I have never read any of Howard Linskey’s previous books but I will certainly be picking them up now after reading The Search because this was such a fascinating and brilliant read.

This is a fabulous fast-paced and twisty page-turner which is a must for the avid crime-reader.

Big thanks to Jenny Platt and Michael Joseph Books for my advanced review copy.

You can purchase this book from Amazon here.

Or from Waterstones here.

To find out more about Howard Linskey follow him on Twitter at @HowardLinskey.

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Chiller Review: The One by John Marrs

As today marks the paperback publication of The One by John Marrs (hooray) I thought I would repost my original review. #MatchYourDNA

The Blurb:

How far would you go to find THE ONE?

51sLGvpEYQL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_One simple mouth swab is all it takes. One tiny DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for. 

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people take the test. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

My Review:

Oh My – This was such a superb read which had me on the edge of my seat most of the time with all it’s twists and surprises I just didn’t see coming. It is definitely a psychological thriller with a difference.

The One tells the story of five characters who have all taken the Match Your DNA test, but what turns out as a simple DNA swab which millions of other have done previously, quickly turns into something more sinister. Something more shocking than they could ever have imagined.

  • Nick is content with his fiance Sally, or so he thinks, right up until the point she begs him to take the test. But what could possibly go wrong  when he is matched with a straight man?
  • Ellie is a successful businesswoman, closed off from the world but then she is matched. Can she open her heart? And what could go wrong when she does?
  • Jade is matched with a man halfway across the world, but does she have the guts to leave everything behind to meet the love of her life?
  • Mandy is ecstatic when she discovers she has been matched to the man of her dreams, after her past relationships but then she starts looking him up online…
  • Christopher is a psychopath who is so wrapped up in his own project that when he meets his match he is unaware of the effect she will truly have on him.

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I loved how the author superbly weaves each of the character’s story, giving equal weight to each one while ending each chapter with a smallish-cliffhanger, leaving me as the reader needing to read more. It was one of those books where because of the short chapters you could keep reading another and another, although because I did just that one morning it forced me to literally run to work.

It was a book which really built the tension up from the word go with the author trickling surprise after surprise until you thought you couldn’t take anymore, well until the author wacked me with yet another corker of a twist about halfway through – turning the story completely on it’s head.

I just loved every minute of this book which had me literally gasping out loud with the many surprises and twists I couldn’t keep up with! I’m still not sure whose story was the most disturbing which makes it all the better.

This was a novel so full of high drama which made for a fantastic read! I would recommend for all lovers of psychological crime.

Big thanks to Stephenie Naulls and Ebury Publishing for my ARC.

The One is out in paperback today and you can you get your hands on it from Amazon here

Or from Waterstones here.

To find out more about John Marrs follow him on Twitter at @johnmarrs1

I wonder, would you take the test? I’m not quite sure if I would anymore…

*Blog Tour* The Restless Dead by Simon Beckett

Today, I’m really excited to be a part of the blog tour for The Restless Dead by Simon Beckett. As part of the tour I have some exclusive author content from Simon talking about the Forensic research which goes into the successful David Hunter novels (big thanks to Simon for sharing). Pssst…don’t forget to check out all the other stops on this fabulous blog tour!

*Forensic Crime Writing by Simon Beckett*

Before I visited Tennessee’s renowned Body Farm in 2002, I’d never really given forensics much thought. I was making my living working as a freelance journalist, and although I’d already written several novels they were all psychological thrillers. So when I got off the plane into the humid Tennessee heat, I’d no idea that this trip would lead to my writing a long-running series about a forensic anthropologist.

I’d been commissioned to write about highly realistic crime scene training that was being held at the Body Farm, at the time the only facility in the world to use human cadavers to research decomposition. The course was aimed at providing practical forensic experience for US police officers and CSIs, and although the crime scenes they had to process were carefully staged, the bodies used in them were very real.

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On the last day, I was given a pair of white overalls by an instructor and cheerfully told to help excavate a grave containing a body buried six months earlier. It was a surreal experience, and I came away both affected and impressed by what I’d seen. It also provided the inspiration for The Chemistry of Death, the first in my series about British forensic anthropologist David Hunter. A specialist in analysing badly decomposed, burnt or damaged human remains, Hunter is an emotionally wounded narrator through whose eyes we see this grimly esoteric world. It’s therefore vital for him to know what he’s talking about. Which means I have to know what he’s talking about as well.

Since I’m not a forensic expert that boils down to background research. A lot of it. The internet has made accessibility to information easier than ever, providing it’s used selectively, and I’ve also acquired a respectable collection of forensic text books. But whenever possible I prefer to consult a real-life expert, whose knowledge is based on actual experience. If I want insight into, say, the effect of fire on human bone, then I’ll ask a forensic anthropologist who has carried out work in that field. It’s the same for other factual aspects of the stories, whether it’s police procedure, rare neurological conditions or caving: if you don’t know something, find someone who does.

Occasionally my requests for help have been declined, which I can perfectly understand. I’m not sure how I’d feel if a completely stranger wanted to pick my brains either. However, most experts I approach have been happy to assist, and seem to enjoy puzzling over the sometimes-bizarre questions I throw at them. For which I am immensely grateful, since it contributes a degree of authenticity to the books it would otherwise be hard to achieve.

Obviously, this sort of relationship shouldn’t be abused: these are busy, professional people, and I try to keep my questions short and to the point. But gathering the information is only part of it: the real work for the writer comes with integrating it successfully into the narrative. The temptation is to include all those arcane details you’ve so painstakingly discovered, but that’s a mistake. Fascinating as they may be, it’s important to remember that they’re meant to inform and support the story, not overwhelm it.

Working as a feature journalist helped, since that typically involved writing with authority on unfamiliar subjects, as well as presenting often complex information in a concise and readable way. On occasion that led to misunderstandings: after one magazine article about how to cook the perfect chip (journalism isn’t all trips to Tennessee) I received several interview requests myself, as though I were the expert rather than the chefs I’d spoken to.

But that’s a sign you’ve done your job as a writer. When someone picks up a David Hunter novel, I want them to believe he really is a forensic expert, talking about what he knows best. The research itself is only a part of that.

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So now for the Blurb:

‘Composed of over sixty per cent water itself, a human body isn’t naturally buoyant. It will float only for as long as there is air in its lungs, before gradually sinking to the bottom as the air seeps out. If the water is very cold or deep, it will remain there, undergoing a slow, dark dissolution that can take years. But if the water is warm enough for bacteria to feed and multiply, then it will continue to decompose. Gases will build up in the intestines, increasing the body’s buoyancy until it floats again.
And the dead will literally rise . . . ‘

Once one of the country’s most respected forensics experts, Dr David Hunter is facing an uncertain professional – and personal – future. So when he gets a call from Essex police, he’s eager for the chance to assist them.

A badly decomposed body has been found in a desolate area of tidal mudflats and saltmarsh called the Backwaters. Under pressure to close the case, the police want Hunter to help with the recovery and identification.

It’s thought the remains are those of Leo Villiers, the son of a prominent businessman who vanished weeks ago. To complicate matters, it was rumoured that Villiers was having an affair with a local woman. And she too is missing.

But Hunter has his doubts about the identity. He knows the condition of the unrecognizable body could hide a multitude of sins. Then more remains are discovered – and these remote wetlands begin to give up their secrets . . .

About the author:

Simon Beckett December 2016

After an MA in English, Simon Beckett spent several years as a property repairer before teaching in Spain. Back in the UK, he played percussion in several bands and worked as a freelance journalist, writing for national British newspapers and magazines. Some of his more memorable assignments included going on police drugs raids, touring brothels with a vice unit and trying to learn how to win a gun fight in Nevada.

To buy this from Amazon just click here

To buy this from Waterstones click here.

To find out more about Simon Beckett follow him on Twitter  or check out his website here.

*Blog Tour* The Special Girls by Isabelle Grey

Today I’m delighted to host the next stop on the #BlogTour for The Special Girls written by Isabelle Grey and published by Quercus. Don’t forget to check out all the other fabulous stop on this tour!

The Blurb:

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They are called the ‘special girls’. How are they special and why were they chosen? Historical child sex abuse is linked to the murder of a young doctor.

A doctor is found beaten to death in woods close to a summer camp for young women with eating disorders. The camp is run by the charismatic Professor Chesham. DI Grace Fisher is called in, but is quickly pulled from the investigation – to head up a cold case inquiry involving Chesham himself.

Some years earlier, one of Chesham’s patients made allegations that he sexually assaulted her.

As Grace uncovers the lies that led to the doctor’s murder, she discovers the full extent of the damage done to the special girls – and the danger they are still in.

This is the third novel in the DI Grace Fisher series which sees Grace investigating the murder of Tim Merrick who was beaten to death, he was a psychiatrist who worked with Professor Ned Chesham  with vulnerable teenage girls who suffer with eating disorders. As Grace starts to delve she finds no clues to the culprit but before she can get too comfy she is pulled from the case to look into an old police enquiry which looked into an allegation of child sex abuse against Professor Chesham.

This is the third novel in the DI Grace Fisher series which sees Grace investigating the murder of Tim Merrick who has been beaten to death, he was a psychiatrist who worked with Professor Ned Chesham helping vulnerable teenage girls who suffer with eating disorders. As Grace starts to delve into the case she finds no clues to the culprit but before she can get too comfy, she is pulled from the case to look into an old police enquiry which looked into an allegation of child sex abuse against Professor Chesham.

The Special Blog Tour Poster

I really enjoyed this novel which has a solid and compelling narrative with very believable characters.

First of, I loved the setting of Wryford Hall, an old stately home with a big wooded area where the summer camp is held yearly and where Tim Merrick is found murdered in the opening passages; it is remote and just downright creepy.

I also liked characters in this novel which were all well-rounded who I cared about causing me to read on. I especially loved the main protagonist, Grace Fisher a courageous DI who will do everything in her power to uncover the truth.

There is not much violence in this novel but it does tackle some very dark, controversial themes of historic child sex abuse cases where abusers are figures with political or celebrity status and police cover ups, which are in fact very contemporary issues at the moment and made for a gripping and refreshing read. The content is very emotive and at times just harrowing which the author does a fantastic job of sustaining sympathy for the victims in this case and keeping that emotion at the forefront for the reader.

In this novel it really showed how much the author had done her research into police procedures and forensics which trickled throughout the narrative, giving it a very authentic and believable feel. I thought the writing style was very easy and the story just gripped me from the very start. The investigation has a solid narrative which picked up pace and ramped up the tension with Grace’s career in jeopardy.

If you like police procedurals with a sensitive subject, which I thought the author handled very well, than this is definitely one for you!

Big thanks to Quercus books for my advanced review copy.

This novel isn’t published until 6th April but the good news is you can preorder this from Amazon now just click here.

To preorder this from Waterstones click here.

To find out more about Isabelle Grey follow her on Twitter at  @IsabelleGrey ‏.

 

*Blog Tour* Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

Today I’m really pleased to be hosting the next stop on the Six Stories blog tour, penned by Matt Wesolowski and published by Orenda Books.

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Blurb:

1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who took that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby.

2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure.

In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. And who’s to blame… As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth.

The concept of this novel is brilliant; it is broken up into a series of Podcast episodes very much like the popular Podcast series ‘Serial.’ In Six Stories, a masked reporter Scott King delves into ‘cold’ criminal cases and re-investigates the evidence by interviewing key witnesses – allowing the ‘listener’ or in this case the reader to make their own conclusions. In this novel each episode features a new character’s voice and at the end of each episode it features the point of view of Henry Saint Clement-Ramsey who found the body of Tom Jeffries – a year after he had disappeared.

My Review:

Oh my, I’m not sure how to describe my thoughts about this book and do it justice. It just stole my breath and blew my mind!

I am a big fan of Serial so I couldn’t wait to read this novel! One of the things I loved about the Podcast, Serial was the way the narrator brings each voice to life which I felt the author, Matt, pulled off and brought to this story – by ensuring the main protagonist stepped back and allowed the story to slowly trickle through all six stories, while revealing another layer of the mystery with each episode or rather chapter.

The mystery surrounding the disappearance and potential murder of Tom Jeffries was brilliant and captivated me from the very beginning. I loved learning about all the little ticks and troubled past of each character which they were clearly hiding from Scott and the reader.

One of the best things about this novel is the setting – Scarclaw Fell. This setting for me was both atmospheric and very creepy which through the descriptions and the characters thoughts and actions really unsettled me as the reader (which I loved and must admit kind of freaked me out).

The narrative also, slowly builds tension and really picked up the pace towards the end – which incidentally the ending – I just didn’t see some of that coming which just threw me!

This novel just packs a punch and is such an original and refreshing read, where the main protagonist takes a back sit and allows the reader to come to their own conclusions about what exactly happened to Tom Jeffries. I absolutely loved this and cannot recommend this highly enough: it is a must read for all crime fans! 

About the author:

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Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for children in care and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. Wesolowski started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous magazines and US anthologies. Wesolowski was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at ‘Bloody Scotland’; Crime Writing Festival 2015 and his short crime story ‘Tulpa’ was subsequently published in the Northern Crime One’ anthology (Moth Publishing 2015). His debut crime novel ‘Six Stories’ is available through Orenda Books from the spring of 2017.

Big thanks to Orenda Books for my review copy.

To buy this on Amazon click here.

To buy this on Waterstones click here.

To find out more about Matt Wesolowski follow him on Twitter at @ConcreteKraken.

Don’t forget to check out all the other fabulous stop on this tour!

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Pushing Up Daisies: Mothers Day Review

As it’s mother’s day today I’m going to do something a little different. My mum is a massive fan of Cosy Crime novels, her absolute favourite are the Agatha Raisin series! She is always telling me about her latest read and is constantly on at me to read one of them. So, today I decided to hand over the reigns to her so she can have a chat about her latest crime read, Pushing Up Daisies by M.C. Beaton.

First up the Blurb:

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Allotment wars!  

Lord Bellingham, Carsely’s biggest landholder, has enraged locals by saying he is going to sell off their allotments to make way for a new housing development. So when he turns up dead, poisoned by antifreeze, nobody mourns his passing.

On another fine summer’s day Agatha visits Carsley’s allotments where everything looks peaceful and perfect: people of all ages digging in the soil and working hard to grow their own fruit and veg. Agatha feels almost tempted to take on a strip herself . . . but common sense soon prevails. She doesn’t really like getting her hands dirty.

She is introduced to three oldtimers who have just taken over a new strip; Harry Perry, Bunty Daventry and Josephine Merriweather are lamenting the neglected condition of the patch. But as Harry starts to shovel through the weeds and grass his spade comes across something hard so he bends down and tries to move the object. And then he starts to yell . . . 

The body is that of Peta Currie, a newcomer to the village – but who would want to murder her? Blonde and beautiful she’s every local male’s favourite. And then Lord Bellingham’s son engages Agatha to do some digging of her own and very soon Agatha is thrown into a world of petty feuds, jealousies and disputes over land. It would seem that far from being tiny gardens of Eden, Carsley’s allotments are local battlefields where passions – and the bodycount – run high!

Thoughts About the Book:

Basically she’s asked to investigate the death of the horrible man, Lord Bellingham, who is a nasty piece of work and wants to take away the allotments of Carsely, which has upset a lot of the locals. So Agatha is dragged in to investigate his murder but as usual man-mad Agatha manages to get herself into heaps of trouble!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading it with Agatha up to her normal tricks. It is another funny novel in the series and is up to the usual Agatha Raisin standards with her love of men.

It is a throughly good-hearted read with I would recommend to others – especially for anyone who likes a really good dose of humour with their crime.

This novel can be purchased through Amazon here

Or Waterstones here

To find out more about M.C.Beaton follow her on Twitter at @mc_beaton.