Review Tour – The Sculthorpe Murder by Karen Charlton @Thomas&Mercer #BookReview

I’m pleased to welcome author Karen Charlton, writer of historical mysteries set in Regency England.

Her Detective Lavender Mysteries, published by Thomas & Mercer, are the fictional adventures of Stephen Lavender, who was a real-life Principal Officer with the Bow Street Police Office in London.

By the early 19th century, Principal officers had a variety of different and important roles although they were still nicknamed ‘Bow Street Runners’ as if they were messenger boys. Apart from supporting their colleagues solve crime in the capital, they were often sent out to help magistrates in the provinces with difficult cases. They also took part in undercover work in periods of insurrection, for example, during the Luddite riots in the Midlands and were available to hire by wealthy landowners.

They were Britain’s earliest private detectives and were famous throughout London. They were the only policemen allowed into Buckingham House (the forerunner of the palace) and did security work for the Bank of England. On some occasions, they were even sent abroad to help with crimes and criminals who had spilled out over our borders onto the continent.

Through Karen’s research, she has come across dozens of their cases reported in the newspapers of the time. She frequently uses them as the basis for the plots of her novels.

Karen Charlton 2

Buy Links    Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

Book Description

Formats: Paperback, Kindle Edition, eBook

Print Length: 318 pages

Publisher: THOMAS & MERCER

Book Review

The Sculthorpe Murder is the third book in the Detective Lavender Mysteries, although each book can easily be read as a standalone. Giving a nod to the Bow Street Police Office in London, Charlton’s writing is strong, bringing Regency London to life. Lavender and Woods are not just Bow Street detectives, they have become unique and appealing characters we know and love. I can’t help but champ at the bit for another book in the series.

Captain Rushperry of Market Harborough has written to Magistrate Read in London to send his best assistance in the brutal attack on old man William Sculthorpe. By the time Lavender and Woods arrive on the scene, the mystery has quickly turned into a murder investigation. Since there are known gangs terrorizing a nearby area and who have already robbed a local couple, it is generally assumed this gang is responsible for Sculthorpe’s death.

Already motivated by this eerie crime, my nose was twitching at the roasting meat and coal fires in the square at Market Harborough. Woods with his insatiable appetite for good food and Lavender’s cynical thoughts, not to mention his remarkable powers of detection, which ultimately lead me through a sea of local characters I thoroughly enjoyed meeting. Charlton is excellent at crafting well-paced, exciting action sequences, all laced with the accents of the Regency period. I always get a kick out of the relationship between Woods and Lavender, these are just one of the many aspects of this outstanding novel.

There are several fascinating threads of history throughout the book, as well as a beautiful descriptions. Never a dull moment as I tried to solve the crime together with Lavender and Woods. Every time I thought I’d clinched it, along came another surprise and the dramatic conclusion had me on the edge of my seat. Maintaining the flavor of the period throughout, Charlton has crafted a wonderful series that any lover of historical fiction will delight in reading. Thank you Netgalley and TBC for the ARC. (Claire Stibbe)

About the Author

Karen says:

Karen Charlton

An English graduate and a former teacher, I now write full-time and live in a remote fishing village on the North East coast of England. I am a stalwart of the village pub quiz and my team once won the BBC quiz show ‘Eggheads.’ My other claim to fame is that I won a Yorkshire Tourist Board award for writing Murder Mystery Weekends.

Other publications

The first in the Detective Lavender Books is The Heiress of Linn Hagh and the second in the series is The Sans Pareil Mystery. There are also two Detective Lavender Short Stories to compliment the series: The Mystery of the Skelton Diamonds and The Piccadilly Pickpocket.

Catching the Eagle, Karen’s first novel, is the true story of her notorious ancestor, Jamie Charlton, who was convicted back in 1810 of Northumberland’s biggest robbery. She says:

To explain how my late husband and I discovered this gaol-bird in our family tree, I wrote my nonfiction genealogy book, ‘Seeking Our Eagle.’ It’s a ‘How -we-did-it’ rather than a ‘whodunit?’ and is probably the closest I’ll ever come to an autobiography.

We are excited to announce that Karen has currently completed the fourth book in the series: Plague Pits & River Bones. COMING SOON!

For a complete list of Karen’s books on Amazon take a look here

Review Tour – The Doomsong Sword by J.G. Harlond @Lucero #BookReview

Hosting J.G. Harlond on this review tour has been one of the most thrilling rides of the year. Author of ‘Local Resistance’, ‘The Empress Emerald’ and ‘The Chosen Man’ trilogy (work-in-progress) Harlond writes page-turning historical crime fiction that weaves fictional characters into real events. She is particularly interested in aspects of power; international intrigue and domestic politics are significant elements in her adult fiction.

‘The Doomsong Sword’, a novel for younger (and not-so-younger) readers, is based on part of the old Norse Volsung Saga.

 

Doomsong

 

Buy Links    Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

Book Description

Formats: Paperback, Kindle Edition, eBook

Print Length: 364 pages

Publisher: LUCERO BOOKS

 

Facing up to destiny can be lonely, silent, and secret.

In the darkest years of Long Ago in the cold, cold North, there were two young men who were very much alike; and very different in all that mattered most. Davor was a spinner of stories; Sigurd was an earl. Both were destined to confront an evil dragon – but only one of them slew the beast.

The Doomsong Sword is coming-of-age, mythic fantasy based on the ancient Norse Volsung Saga, where the real tests of character aren’t always what they seem.

Book Review

The Doomsong Sword is a treasure. A classic everyone should read. Harlond has done a marvelous job inventing a mythical place full of thick-furred wolves, dwarves, the semimortals of Asgard and leather-winged dragons with tongues of flame. The main character is a young man called Davor who, although frequently tricked and trapped, goes from strength-to-strength in his quest. One adventure sees our friend traveling with the lightfoot troublemaker Loki, whose element is fire. Davor must beat a path to Andvari’s treasure horde to get much needed gold. With Master Odo who can read thoughts and greedy shapeshifters on the prowl, how can Davor possibly overcome so many obstacles with so many more adventures to come?

I gave this book five stars because of the ingenious word pictures that sum up warm fires and good friends. It’s true that one young life can make a huge impact on the world, not because he has power. But because he has the edge. Readers will appreciate the heroism of Davor and enjoy rich words and exciting adventures. It’s truly a compelling read.

(Bookworm 5* Review)

This hugely entertaining tale will appeal to those who enjoy the likes of The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia. Based on Viking legends, Davor is a reluctant young adventurer who embarks on a journey which turns into a quest. Directed by the inscrutable traveller Master Odo, and accompanied by a Wolf, Davor encounters all manner of odd events and dangerous situations. The story is cleverly told and there is great depth to the characters, particularly Davor who, just like the sword in the title, is forged with considerable skill. An exciting adventure in the best tradition with a wonderful cast of princes, dragons, dwarves – and of course treasure!
This fabulous story will enchant older children and adults alike.

About the Author

Jane

Jane Harlond is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the British Society of Authors. Originally from the English West Country, she has travelled widely and is now settled in rural Andalucía, Spain.

Other publications

‘Dark Night, Black Horse’ is a true short story about a young boy who rescues his father’s favourite black stallion during the Spanish Civil War. This is now available in Spanish as ‘Noche Oscuro, Caballo Negro’.

Website: http://www.jgharlond.com

 

 

 

Crime, One Book at a Time

I’m absolutely thrilled to share NEW BOOK NEWS about my fourth book, Dead Cold, which will be published on June 16th, 2017. I will be providing a cover reveal nearer the time on my Facebook page and Twitter page, so feel free to check in regularly at the following links.

Facebook

Twitter

Not only is there a new Detective Temeke book to add to the collection but book 2, Night Eyes, is on a special deal at the moment of only 99 cents.  If you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, don’t delay. Its a short promotion and will finish at the end of this week.

hardbackstandingstraight_890x1110BookBub

If you are a BookBub member, feel free to follow me here for updates on all new books and special deals which we usually run three times a year.

Researching the books

The research for the Temeke books just keeps getting better. At the end of this month I will be graduating from the Bernalillo Sheriff’s Department CPA where we learned all about laws of arrest, search and seizure, property crimes, gang unit, active shooter, defensive driving, traffic unit and my personal favorite, dispatch. After completing three ride-alongs with Sheriff’s deputies we are now able to do a fly-along with Metro 1 and 2, two helicopters that serve the county.

Having graduating from the 50th Albuquerque Citizen Police Academy last year made all these classes possible. A big thank you to the boys and girls in blue who have taught us so much and who continue to teach me every time I see them.

As a member for Stand True For Blue, an organization that helps the families of fallen police officers, I will be helping with their newsletter. This includes officer interviews, taking pictures of events and writing up after event articles. I am excited to be a journalist in the community after being buried for three solid months in my writing cave. Even as I type this, I have just completed chapter 1 of Book 5.

Claire Helicopter

On a different note, I would like to thank author Jean Gill who very kindly took a few of the Temeke books with her on a tour to Wales this year. Selling some of her sumptuous historical fiction novels (and other genres) at the Llandeilo Lit Fest, she was rubbing shoulders with great writers such as Christoph Fischer, author of the World War II bestseller, Ludwika. Thank you Jean for allowing Detective Temeke to take a seat at your table.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Books.

banner 9th hour (2).jpg

For those who have bought book 3, Past Rites, we would like to let you know there is a new and improved cover out now.  We felt this one added the right amount of ‘mood’ to the story without crossing over into another genre. I hope you like it too.

hardbackstandingstraight_890x1110For All New Book News

For all New Book News Sign up to Claire Stibbe’s New Release Mailing List here

(Simply cut-and-paste the link into your browser. Your email will never be shared and you will only be contacted when a new book is out.)  

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I’ll be back with more news soon.

 

 

 

Description of Past Rites

Lies hurt. Truth kills.

Four years after the tragic suicide of Alice Delgado, eldest daughter of Albuquerque’s top racing driver, her younger sister, Lily, is reported missing and two of her peers are found dead. Detective Temeke’s investigation leads him to a private boarding school on the Rio Grande where the discovery of occult practices and an ancient book ignite a chain reaction of heartbreaking truths and demonic attacks.

What madness connects these girls to a ruthless killer? Against a background of simmering police tension and mounting victims, detectives Temeke and Santiago are in a desperate race to learn the truth before it’s too late.

Past Rites is a dark and gripping novel that challenges heartache and reveals the truths about our hidden demons.

Spread thick with winter chill, Stibbe delivers a richly textured, breathtaking novel that gives us an insight into the dark places of the psyche. Some secrets can never be buried. Litouture Café.

Excellent third novel. Fans of psychological fiction will enjoy Claire Stibbe’s original and unnerving portrayal of the darker side of human nature. Dr. Marco Storey, PhD in Narrative Theory & Criticism.

Vividly and believably drawn characters that are the series hallmark. It should be put at the top of every “to be read” pile! Paul Henderson, Crime Fiction New Mexico.

Watch out for more from Detective Temeke and Malin Santiago

 

 

A Wonderful Start To 2017

It’s been a great 2017 so far. Book sales for The 9th Hour have soared thanks to a brand new cover and a FREE BookBub promotion which found well over 100,000 new readers. I want to thank those who downloaded this book and all those who were brave enough to read it!

There are certain visceral reactions when reading crime fiction, especially those in the hardboiled family. In fact, I can truly say many crime novels leave me spooked and filled with unease. Intensity by Dean Koontz is a standout within this group and regularly springs to mind. By the middle of the book I was checking the locks and by the time I finished it I couldn’t bring myself to get out from under the covers. It simply had to be consumed in a single sitting.

It’s not surprising to find Dean Koontz regularly in the #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER list under the category of Horror and Psychological Thrillers.

61niazvuszl__sy346_Past midnight, Chyna Shepard, twenty-six, gazes out a moonlit window, unable to sleep on her first night in the Napa Valley home of her best friend’s family. Instinct proves reliable. A murderous sociopath, Edgler Foreman Vess, has entered the house, intent on killing everyone inside. A self-proclaimed “homicidal adventurer,” Vess lives only to satisfy all appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear, remorse, or limits, to live with intensity. Chyna is trapped in his deadly orbit.

Chyna is a survivor, toughened by a lifelong struggle for safety and self-respect. Now she will be tested as never before. At first her sole aim is to get out alive—until, by chance, she learns the identity of Vess’s next intended victim, a faraway innocent only she can save. Driven by a newly discovered thirst for meaning beyond mere self-preservation, Chyna musters every inner resource she has to save an endangered girl . . . as moment by moment, the terrifying threat of Edgler Foreman Vess intensifies.

Even though this book was published in 2007 by Random House it has never lost pace and mirrors Stephen King’s books to a remarkable degree. What makes Dean Koontz the author of ‘uncommonly sleek work’ (Publishers Weekly) is allowing his stories to race fast enough to give his readers whiplash. There is high tension and compelling and spirited characters to feed on. It’s a rush!

Although I can never hope to write like Mr. Koontz, I can certainly work hard to research the craft of crime writing by attending workshops, conferences, and joining a group of like-minded souls who just want to entertain their readers.

The research for The 9th Hour was inspired by a violent case involving a fugitive who exploited young female victims by impersonating an authority figure. He decapitated at least 8 women keeping the severed heads as mementos. This man, whose name has been changed for this book and whose MO was based on folklore, suffered from antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) a condition which describes many serial killers. No matter how horrific the crime, we must never forget the victims.

The second and the third books in the Detective Temeke series have been doing extremely well garnering good reviews and positive comments. Needless to say,  I’m floored!

Here are a few of the most recent reviews for The 9th Hour.

5-stars

The surprise was near the end, I usually can pick the murderer but this time it took quite a while. A lot of thought in this book. Pat, January 15, 2017.

5-starsI enjoyed reading this book, it kept me continuing wanting to know what was happening. I will read more books about Detective Temeke, he fascinates me. Diane Boudreau, January 15, 2017

5-starsA very good read. Excellent characters. Will definitely read the next in the series. Can’t wait to see what else the author has available. John, January 16, 2017

Caution to readers: Since The 9th Hour is hardboiled Crime Mystery the rating would naturally be an ‘R’ due to the level of violence and the depraved nature of the killer.  Please be sure to check the genre & categories of all books on Amazon, the 15% look-inside-feature – usually the first four chapters which sets the voice and mood – and the blurb. This will help readers make the right choice when purchasing a book.

Remember, a good book is best read with a great cup of coffee!

cropped-twitter-banner-canva.png

Thank you for buying my books!

Claire M.T. Stibbe

AMAZON: Worldwide

LIKE us on Facebook

FOLLOW us on Twitter

Check out our website

Why not sign up for our newsletter

For a free copy sign up here at Instafreebie

 

 

 

New Covers!

Hi everyone.

I’m pleased as punch to tell you that the Detective Temeke Crime series The 9th Hour and Night Eyes are being given two brand new faces. While there are no additions or subtractions to the books themselves, they will soon have a different look.

the-ninth-hour-finalThe third book in the series, Past Rites will also be available in eBook and paperback via all retailers by December 15. Most of all, I want to thank all those who helped spread the word and to the readers who have told me how much they love the series.

But what is it that makes these books so real? Is it the characters themselves, the unique New Mexico landscape, or the extensive research into the finer workings of law enforcement?

For me, I don’t want a book to just amuse me for a few hours. I want a book where my life becomes the book for days on end. If I find a fictional character who is brave, funny, charismatic and suffering from some kind of life trauma, it spurs me on to build an emotional bond with them. I enjoy the messes they create, the pain and the tears, and where I find their problems may not be so different from mine. The big difference is, how they were able to overcome them. How they became a better person in the end.

As I crack on with the fourth Detective Temeke novel, I am reminded how grateful I am to the brave men and women of the Albuquerque Police Department. For taking time out of their busy schedules to teach us about the police department and its many units. I thank God for their sacrifice, their dedication and for their professionalism. And for helping make these stories so real.

img_1765It was a privilege to attend the 50th Citizen Police Academy ‒ a tuition free, twelve-week program designed to introduce members of the community to the Albuquerque Police Department. The Academy is designed to teach citizens about the philosophy, policies, and guiding principles of law enforcement and ethical conduct governing police services in our community. Please see the website here.

This was a three month training which included units such as firearms training, special weapons and tactics, crimes against children, bomb squad, use of force, active shooter, violent crimes, crime scene investigator, K-9, reality based training and scenarios, and so many more.

The 9th Hour was inspired by a violent case involving a fugitive who exploited young female victims by impersonating an authority figure. He decapitated at least 8 women keeping the severed heads as mementos. This man, whose name has been changed for this book and whose MO was based on folklore, suffered from antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) a condition which describes many serial killers. But no matter how horrific the crime, we will never forget the victims.

Even though the past often casts a shadow over the present, the Detective Temeke series always sees each investigation in a whole new light.

nm-az-2016

A very big THANK YOU to all those who nominated the first in the series, The 9th Hour as a finalist for the 2016 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards. I’m really chuffed! The awards dinner promises to include an auction and a fabulous menu at one of the most beautiful country clubs in Albuquerque.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Claire.

 

november_newsletter_header

 

The Venetian

It’s a trait of ours to be attracted by fear as well as repulsed by it, so I was fascinated to read The Venetian. Having never tackled this genre before I decided to take the plunge. I must say, I was very glad I did.

61rrbvsmrdlThe novel picks up in 2015 with a married couple Rob and Louise who venture to Venice for a romantic weekend. It is clear by the sultry nights and bizarre sights this weekend is going to be anything but normal. I visited Venice in 1972 and recall the hauntingly beautiful sunsets behind this city of canals. Taking us on a whirlwind tour of the winding streets with their Byzantine and Gothic architecture, Struthers devises a unique tour not only for her characters, but for her readers as well.

The focus at this point is mainly upon Louise, a sensitive young woman with a passion for the unknown, and after a fractious few hours with her husband, she sees something that will change the course of her entire weekend – a veiled lady that appears to be trapped between two worlds. As Louise tries to make sense of what she has seen, her passion to visit the island of Poveglia becomes stronger.

Woven into this tale is an English lady living in 1938, a Charlotte Evans bound for Venice with her new husband, Italian doctor, Enrico Sanuto. At this point forward, the pace accelerates as we see Charlotte in love but at the same time entrenched in the mysteries cultivated by two doctors bent on a path of discovery. As Charlotte begins her employment on Poveglia she plunges deeper and deeper into a vivid frightscape where she realizes nothing on the island is quite what it seems.

It becomes clear that these two resilient protagonists, although living in different time periods, are somehow linked. What I liked about this book was the tragedy behind the mystery and the sheer horror of an emerging truth. But most of all, the evil energies we suddenly begin to empathize with. Struthers captures the darkness beyond our perception with every turn of the page.

A treasure trove of detail, filled with suspense and curiosity and a deftly crafted read you won’t be able to put down. I was extremely grateful to TBC for giving me an ARC for an honest review.

The Venetian is published by Storyland Press/Authors Reach (August 4, 2016)

Full Five Star Amazon Review here

Book Description

An Amazon International Bestseller!

For fans of Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island, Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black and du Maurier’s Don’t Look Now

‘Welcome to the asylum…’

2015
Their troubled past behind them, married couple, Rob and Louise, visit Venice for the first time together, looking forward to a relaxing weekend. Not just a romantic destination, it’s also the ‘most haunted city in the world’ and soon, Louise finds herself the focus of an entity she can’t quite get to grips with – a ‘veiled lady’ who stalks her.

1938
After marrying young Venetian doctor, Enrico Sanuto, Charlotte moves from England to Venice, full of hope for the future. Home though is not in the city; it’s on Poveglia, in the Venetian lagoon, where she is set to work in an asylum, tending to those that society shuns. As the true horror of her surroundings reveals itself, hope turns to dust.

From the labyrinthine alleys of Venice to the twisting, turning corridors of Poveglia, their fates intertwine. Vengeance only waits for so long…

Endorsements:

Praise for Shani Struthers, author of the bestselling Psychic Surveys series and Jessamine:

“If you’ve ever watched Ghost Whisperer and enjoyed it, then you’ll love the Psychic Surveys series.” Paranormal Romance Guild

“I was gripped from the word go. Shani is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.” Orchard Book Club

“A ghost story that should stand the test of time.” Jesse Christiansen (author)

“This is one of the best ghost stories I have ever read (and I read a lot!)” Happy Customer

“Ms Struthers tells a gripping edge of your seat story of darkness and possession.” Andy Angel

“From the wickedly tantalizing opening, Highdown Hall never let’s up.” John Bowen

“A refreshing new take on an often overdone genre.” WildWelshWoman

“Eve is a poignant story with a knockout impact.” Mallory Heart Reviews

“This book had me enthralled, bewitched even with some of the wonderful descriptive passage. I was completely at its mercy throughout.” Ashrae – Top 500 Reviewer

“Shani Struthers goes from strength to strength as a writer.” Lady Roachford

Meet the Author

shaniBorn and bred in Brighton, I’m the author of several paranormal books, some set in and around my hometown, others further afield, in the world’s most haunted locations to be exact! After graduating from Sussex University with a degree in Sociology and English and American Literature, I became a freelance copywriter. Twenty years later, the day job involves crafting novels too. I don’t have much time for hobbies at the moment but when I can I enjoy reading, walking in all weathers and lazing with my family. I love chatting to my readers so do get in touch – I’ve a very active Facebook Author page and an occasional newsletter you can subscribe to (see the box below) for information on new books, competitions and special offers.

For a list of all Shani’s books on Amazon: Author Central on Amazon

More Books by Shani Struthers

Psychic Surveys Prequel: Eve – A Christmas Ghost Story
Psychic Surveys Book One: The Haunting of Highdown Hall
Psychic Surveys Book Two: Rise to Me
Psychic Surveys Book Three: 44 Gilmore Street
Blakemort – A Psychic Surveys Christmas Novella – COMING NOVEMBER 2016

For more books by Shani Struthers visit her website here

Why not visit Shani on Twitter and follower her on Facebook.

shani-banner

Please vote for The 9th Hour!

Thank you so much for all those who have voted on The 9th Hour and Chasing Pharaohs, both longlisted for the Summer Indie Book Awards 2016, in Crime Fiction, Thriller Fiction and Historical Fiction.

indie-award-voting

For those who would like to vote, click on the links below to find The 9th Hour, scroll down to the categories. Crime and Thriller are available and The 9th Hour is listed under both. Check the box next to the Book, scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit the VOTE button. It will take you to another screen which shows a list of all the books chosen this year.

Voting is open until Saturday.

The 9th Hour in Crime ~ eepurl.com/cdnpEj

The 9th Hour in Thriller ~eepurl.com/cdnpEj

Tight Plot, Great Characters, Great Writing.

Thank you to Elizabeth Horton-Newton, Author for her amazing review of The 9th Hour.

Set in colorful New Mexico, The 9th Hour successfully combines the intense investigation to find a serial killer before he strikes again with the inner workings of the killer’s mind. Into this mix comes a British born detective of African descent and a killer obsessed with Nordic mythology. Stibbe’s ability to bring these diverse elements together shows skilled writing. Her ability to do this effectively, holding the attention of the reader shows real talent.
Detective David Temeke brings a passion to his investigation that is softened by his sense of humor. Teamed with Malin Santiago whose mother was Norwegian and who speaks the language, Temeke has personal issues that crop up during the investigation. Malin has a somewhat dark past herself and struggles with demons of her own. While giving the characters an added dimension, Stibbe manages to keep these side stories from interfering with the plot; finding the serial killer before he claims another victim.
Providing insight into the workings of the police department investigating the crimes, Stibbe builds a tight story with characters that evoke emotions from sympathy to downright disgust.
The character that elicits the most sympathy is Darryl Williams, a distraught father dealing with the worst tragedy a parent can face, the murder of a child. As Williams deals with his loss and the difficulty of raising his remaining daughter’s, the reader is drawn along, sharing his pain.
The story moves forward smoothly, the tension grows, and just when you think everything is about to be resolved, bang; along comes another dark surprise. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a fast paced and dark detective story. I also look forward to more investigations with Detective Temeke and hopefully his partner Malin Santiago.

Consider also voting for Chasing Pharaohs: A Novel of Ancient Egypt for Best Historical Fiction: eepurl.com/cdnpEj – Scroll down to Historical Category and find Chasing Pharaohs in the listings.

chasing-award-indie

Thank you for voting. You ROCK!