Publisher: Kensington Books

#GuestPost Murder at Mallowan Hall by Colleen Cambridge @colleengleason @KensingtonBooks #MurderatMallowanHall #ColleenCambridge

#GuestPost Murder at Mallowan Hall by Colleen Cambridge @colleengleason @KensingtonBooks #MurderatMallowanHall #ColleenCambridge Title: Murder at Mallowan Hall

Author: Colleen Cambridge

Published by: Kensington Books on Oct. 26, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

The first in an exciting new historical mystery series set in the home of Agatha Christie!

Colleen Cambridge’s charming and inventive new historical series introduces an unforgettable heroine in Phyllida Bright, fictional housekeeper for none other than famed mystery novelist Agatha Christie. When a dead body is found during a house party at the home of Agatha Christie and her husband Max Mallowan, it’s up to famous author’s head of household, Phyllida Bright, to investigate…

Tucked away among Devon’s rolling green hills, Mallowan Hall combines the best of English tradition with the modern conveniences of 1930. Housekeeper Phyllida Bright, as efficient as she is personable, manages the large household with an iron fist in her very elegant glove. In one respect, however, Mallowan Hall stands far apart from other picturesque country houses…

The manor is home to archaeologist Max Mallowan and his famous wife, Agatha Christie. Phyllida is both loyal to and protective of the crime writer, who is as much friend as employer. An aficionado of detective fiction, Phyllida has yet to find a gentleman in real life half as fascinating as Mrs. Agatha’s Belgian hero, Hercule Poirot. But though accustomed to murder and its methods as frequent topics of conversation, Phyllida is unprepared for the sight of a very real, very dead body on the library floor…

A former Army nurse, Phyllida reacts with practical common sense–and a great deal of curiosity. It soon becomes clear that the victim arrived at Mallowan Hall under false pretenses during a weekend party. Now, Phyllida not only has a houseful of demanding guests on her hands–along with a distracted, anxious staff–but hordes of reporters camping outside. When another dead body is discovered–this time, one of her housemaids–Phyllida decides to follow in M. Poirot’s footsteps to determine which of the Mallowans’ guests is the killer. With help from the village’s handsome physician, Dr. Bhatt, Mr. Dobble, the butler, along with other household staff, Phyllida assembles the clues. Yet, she is all too aware that the killer must still be close at hand and poised to strike again. And only Phyllida’s wits will prevent her own story from coming to an abrupt end…

 

This novel will be available on October 26, 2021.

Preorder now from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links!

            

 

 

And now in honour of Agatha Christie’s birthday

a little word by Colleen Cambridge:

 

I was a voracious reader growing up (still am, to be honest), and mysteries like Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were my favorites. But it wasn’t until I discovered the magic of Agatha Christie that I realized how well-crafted a murder mystery could be.

I immediately fell for Hercule Poirot, and today, he remains my absolute favorite Christie character. M. Poirot is not only a gentleman, but a romantic at heart, as well as being brilliant and determined to see justice.

Another favorite is the mysterious Mr. Quin, who appeals to my love of paranormal elements. And of course, there are Tommy and Tuppence Beresford for the more action-oriented side of the mystery genre. I love that Ms. Christie created a strong female character who keeps pace with her male counterpart from the beginning.

Of course, And Then There Were None, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and Murder on the Orient Express are masterpieces. Those stories have stuck with me for decades because of their stunning solutions.

These are all reasons I’m so delighted to be writing a series that can give so many winks and nods (and an excuse to re-read all her works!) to this brilliant writer. I have had great fun creating Phyllida Bright and developing her relationship with Agatha Christie. I hope you enjoy reading Murder at Mallowan Hall as much as I did writing it!

Colleen Cambridge

 

 

About Colleen Cambridge

Colleen Cambridge is a pseudonym for a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than eight languages. She lives in the Midwest and is hard at work on her next novel.

#BookReview Runner (Cass Raines #4) by Tracy Clark @tracypc6161 @KayePublicity @KensingtonBooks #Runner #TracyClark #CassRaines

#BookReview Runner (Cass Raines #4) by Tracy Clark @tracypc6161 @KayePublicity @KensingtonBooks #Runner #TracyClark #CassRaines Title: Runner

Author: Tracy Clark

Series: Cass Raines #4

Published by: Kensington Books on Jun. 29, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Kaye Publicity

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Chicago in the dead of winter can be brutal, especially when you’re scouring the frigid streets for a missing girl. Fifteen-year-old Ramona Titus has run away from her foster home. Her biological mother, Leesa Evans, is a recovering addict who admits she failed Ramona often in the past. But now she’s clean. And she’s determined to make up for her mistakes—if Cass can only help her find her daughter.

Cass visits Ramona’s foster mother, Deloris Poole, who is also desperate to bring the girl home. Ramona came to Deloris six months ago, angry and distrustful, but was slowly opening up. The police are on the search, but Cass has sources closer to the streets, and a network of savvy allies. Yet it seems Ramona doesn’t want to be found. And Cass soon begins to understand why.

Ramona is holding secrets dark enough to kill for, and anyone who helps her may be fair game. And if Ramona can’t run fast enough and hide well enough to keep the truth safe, she and Cass may both be out of time.


Review:

Gritty, engaging, and propulsive!

In this engrossing fourth instalment in the Cass Raines series, Runner, Clark has written a fast-paced thrill ride that takes us into the life of the tenacious PI Cassandra Raines as she takes on a new case to find a fifteen-year-old foster care runaway who seems to have a lot of concerned people out on the icy Chicago streets looking for her, but as clues start to surface, and motivations don’t seem to be quite as altruistic as they first appeared, it will quickly become a race against time to find and protect Ramona from those who supposedly care.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are raw, vulnerable, and resourceful. And the plot unravels quickly into a suspenseful mix of twists, turns, manipulation, familial drama, lies, secrets, corruption, coercion, violence, and murder.

Overall, Runner is a fast-paced, tortuous, complex tale by Clark that does an exceptional job of reminding us that money and greed can easily sway perspective and is, in fact, often the root of all evil.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to Kaye Publicity & Kensington Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Tracy Clark

Tracy Clark is the author of the highly acclaimed Chicago Mystery Series featuring ex-homicide cop turned PI Cassandra Raines, a hard-driving, African-American protagonist who works the mean streets of the Windy City dodging cops, cons, killers, and thugs. She received Anthony Award and Lefty Award nominations for her series debut, Broken Places, which was also shortlisted for the American Library Association’s RUSA Reading List, named a CrimeReads Best New PI Book of 2018, a Midwest Connections Pick, and a Library Journal Best Books of the Year. In addition to her Cass Raines novels, Tracy’s short story “For Services Rendered,” appears in the anthology Shades of Black: Crime and Mystery Stories by African-American Authors. A native of Chicago, she works as an editor in the newspaper industry and roots for the Cubs, Sox, Bulls, Bears, and Blackhawks equally. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, PI Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a Mystery Writers of America Midwest board member.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview All Our Summers by Holly Chamberlin @HollyChamberlin @KensingtonBooks #AllOursummers

#BookReview All Our Summers by Holly Chamberlin @HollyChamberlin @KensingtonBooks #AllOursummers Title: All Our Summers

Author: Holly Chamberlin

on Jun. 30, 2020

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Kensington Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7/10

Against the picturesque coastal Maine setting that she evokes so well, bestselling author Holly Chamberlin creates a heartfelt story of family bonds and new beginnings . . .
 
It came as no surprise to anyone in Yorktide when glamorous Carol Ascher fled the little Maine town for New York City. While Carol found success as an interior designer, her younger sister, Bonnie, stayed behind, embracing marriage and motherhood. She even agreed to take in Carol’s teenage daughter during a tumultuous patch. Now both their girls are grown and Bonnie, recently widowed, is anticipating the day she’ll retire to Ferndean House, the nineteenth-century family home on the rocky Maine coast.
 
But forty-five years after leaving Yorktide, Carol suddenly announces that she’s moving back—into Ferndean. Bonnie is indignant. She’s the one who kept the homestead in order and tended to their dying mother. Now Carol expects to simply buy her out? As far as Bonnie is concerned, Ferndean is part of their heritage—not just another of Carol’s improvement projects, to be torn apart and remade according to her whim.
 
The entire Ascher family is in flux, uncovering secrets that upend their relationships. Carol’s longing to be welcomed home is fueled by a painful truth she’s carried for years. It will take an extraordinary
summer—in a remarkable place—to lead these women back to each other, buoyed by the tides of friendship and forgiveness.


Review:

Nostalgic, tender, and optimistic!

All Our Summers is a compelling, heartfelt tale that sweeps you away to Yorktide, Maine and immerses you into the lives of the Ascher family complete with all the heartbreak, secrets, smiles, tears, strength, loyalty, resentments, and compassion that surround them.

The writing is smooth and light. The characters are complex, hurt, and vulnerable. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel into an uplifting tale about life, love, loss, family, friendship, parenthood, infidelity, and the complex relationship that exists between sisters.

All Our Summers is a sentimental, warm, touching, family saga by Chamberlin that drags slightly in parts but overall does a lovely job of reminding us of what’s truly important in life.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

 

Thank you to Kensington Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Holly Chamberlin

Holly Chamberlin was born and raised in New York City. After earning a Master’s degree in English Literature from New York University and working as an editor in the publishing industry for ten years, she moved to Boston, married and became a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband now live in downtown Portland, Maine, in a restored mid-nineteenth-century brick townhouse with Betty, the most athletic, beautiful and intelligent cat in the world.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview You Will Pay by Lisa Jackson @readlisajackson @KensingtonBooks

#BookReview You Will Pay by Lisa Jackson @readlisajackson @KensingtonBooks Title: You Will Pay

Author: Lisa Jackson

on May 30, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Kensington Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7/10

In a fast-paced, brilliantly twisted novel of suspense from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson, the deadly secrets of a long-ago summer stir to life once more.

It starts as a prank a way to blow off steam after a long summer at Camp Horseshoe. Among the teen counselors, tensions and hormones are running high. No wonder the others agree when Jo-Beth Chancellor suggests they scare Monica O Neal a little or a lot. Monica has it coming, and no one will really get hurt. What could go wrong?

Everything.

Twenty years later, Lucas Dalton, a senior detective with the sheriff s department, is investigating the discovery of human remains in a cavern at what used to be Camp Horseshoe. Lucas knows the spot well. His father, a preacher, ran the camp, and Lucas worked there that infamous summer when two girls went missing. One is believed to have been killed by a convict on the loose. Monica O Neal is thought to have drowned and been washed out to sea.

Lucas knows he should step down from such a personal case. He s already jeopardized his career by removing evidence of his involvement. But maybe it s time to uncover the whole truth at last. That s why five former female counselors are coming back to the small Oregon town among them, Bernadette Warden, the woman Lucas has never forgotten. Each one knows something about that terrible night. Each promised not to tell. And as they reunite, a new horror unfolds. First come notes containing a personal memento and a simple, terrifying message: You will pay. Then, the murders begin.

It started years ago. But it will end here as a web of lust, greed, and betrayal is untangled to reveal a killer waiting to enact the perfect revenge.


Review:

Dark, complex, and extremely suspenseful!

This is an action-packed novel that delves into how manipulative, oppressive and malicious teens can truly be and the extent to which they will go to try to fit in.

It is, ultimately, a story about secrets, friendship, coming-of-age, obsession, jealousy, adultery and murder.

The writing is well done. The characters are cunning, selfish and deceptive. And the plot is written in an alluring past/present, back-and-forth style that unravels piece-by piece all the personalities, relationships, motivations and actions within it.

When it comes to writing thrilling mysteries Lisa Jackson is one of the best. However, I do have to admit that even though I enjoyed this story and the surprise ending, I did find the characters to be somewhat unsympathetic and the plot to have a little too many twists and turns for me to fully connect and completely love it.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Kensington Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson is the number-one New York Times bestselling author of more than 85 novels, including Afraid to Die, Tell Me, You Don’t Want to Know, Running Scared, Without Mercy, Malice, and Shiver. She is also the co-author of the Colony Series, co-written with her sister, Nancy Bush. There are over 20 million copies of Lisa Jackson’s books in print in twenty languages.

Before she became a nationally bestselling author, Lisa Jackson was a mother struggling to keep food on the table by writing novels, hoping against hope that someone would pay her for them. Today, neck deep in murder, her books appear on The New York Times, the USA Today, and the Publishers Weekly national bestseller lists.

With over thirty bestsellers to her name, Lisa Jackson is a master of taking readers to the edge of sanity – and back – in novels that buzz with dangerous secrets and deadly passions. She continues to be fascinated by the minds and motives of both her killers and their pursuers—the personal, the professional and downright twisted. As she builds the puzzle of relationships, actions, clues, lies and personal histories that haunt her protagonists, she must also confront the fear and terror faced by her victims, and the harsh and enduring truth that, in the real world, terror and madness touch far too many lives and families.

#BookReview The Magdalen Girls by V. S. Alexander

#BookReview The Magdalen Girls by V. S. Alexander Title: The Magdalen Girls

Author: V.S. Alexander

on Dec. 27, 2016

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 294

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Kensington Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

Dublin, 1962. Within the gated grounds of the convent of The Sisters of the Holy Redemption lies one of the city’s Magdalen Laundries. Once places of refuge, the laundries have evolved into grim workhouses. Some inmates are “fallen” women—unwed mothers, prostitutes, or petty criminals. Most are ordinary girls whose only sin lies in being too pretty, too independent, or tempting the wrong man. Among them is sixteen-year-old Teagan Tiernan, sent by her family when her beauty provokes a lustful revelation from a young priest.

Teagan soon befriends Nora Craven, a new arrival who thought nothing could be worse than living in a squalid tenement flat. Stripped of their freedom and dignity, the girls are given new names and denied contact with the outside world. The Mother Superior, Sister Anne, who has secrets of her own, inflicts cruel, dehumanizing punishments—but always in the name of love. Finally, Nora and Teagan find an ally in the reclusive Lea, who helps them endure—and plot an escape. But as they will discover, the outside world has dangers too, especially for young women with soiled reputations.

Told with candor, compassion, and vivid historical detail, The Magdalen Girls is a masterfully written novel of life within the era’s notorious institutions—and an inspiring story of friendship, hope, and unyielding courage.


Review:

Harrowing, poignant, and deeply moving!

This novel brings to light and reminds us of the abhorrent institutions known as “laundries” where women who were supposedly fallen were sent for treatment, often for trivial reasons, only to endure emotional and physical abuse, excessive workloads, meagre basic necessities and often vicious, sadistic punishments.

The story follows the lives of three different girls, Teagan, Nora and Lea, and reflects on the different spirits, strength, and resilience each uses to survive in such demeaning environments. 

The prose is sophisticated and descriptive. The characters are multi-layered, dejected, and strong. And the plot is a good mix of historical fact and intriguing fiction.

I have to say I did not know much about these so-called “laundries” before I read this novel and I am touched and appalled to think of all the women who lived and suffered in these horrific institutions and continued to do so late in the 20th century, with the last one only closing in 1996.

Overall, this is definitely an enlightening, heartrending novel that is well researched, well written and extremely impactful.

This book is due to be published on December 27, 2016. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaKoboBook Depository

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Kensington Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview After She’s Gone by Lisa Jackson @readlisajackson

#BookReview After She’s Gone by Lisa Jackson @readlisajackson Title: After She's Gone

Author: Lisa Jackson

Series: Northwest #3

Published by: Kensington Books on Dec. 29, 2015

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, eBook

Source: Kensington Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7.5/10

In this explosive new thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson delves into the deep bond between two sisters and their shared dream that becomes a harrowing nightmare of madness, hatred and jealousy…

Cassie Kramer and her younger sister, Allie, learned the hazards of fame long ago. Together, they’d survived the horror of a crazed fan who nearly killed their mother, former Hollywood actress Jenna Hughes. Still, Cassie moved to L.A., urging Allie to follow. As a team, they’d take the town by storm. But Allie, finally free of small-town Oregon, and just that little bit more beautiful, also proved to be more talented—and driven. Where Cassie got bit parts, Allie rose to stardom. But now her body double has been shot on the set of her latest movie—and Allie is missing.

Police discover that the last call to Allie’s phone came from Cassie, though she has no recollection of making it. Instead of looking like a concerned relative, Cassie is starting to look like a suspect—the jealous sister who finally grew sick of playing a supporting role. As the tabloids go into a frenzy, Cassie ends up on a Portland psych ward. Is she just imagining the sinister figure who comes to her bedside, whispering about Allie—a visitor of whom there is no record? Is someone trying to help—or drive her mad? 

Convinced she’s the only one who can find Allie, Cassie checks herself out of the hospital. But a sudden slew of macabre murders— each victim masked with a likeness of a member of Cassie’s family—makes Cassie fear for her safety and her sanity. The only way to end the nightmare is to find out what really happened to Allie. And with each discovery, Cassie realizes that no one can be trusted to keep her safe—least of all herself…


Review:

This book takes you on a roller coaster ride of murder, mystery, jealousy, revenge, and familial secrets.

The first half of the story, for me, started off a little slowly, and seemed to drag just a little bit. 

However, the second half of the novel was much more action-packed, suspenseful and the twists and turns were definitely captivating.

There is a reason that Lisa Jackson is a best seller in this genre, and even though I don’t think this was her best, the writing is well done, the characters are strong, complex, and flawed, and overall it was still an enjoyable read.

This is the third book in the Northwest series, and although it can definitely be read as a standalone novel, we were introduced to some of the characters in the first book of the Northwest series, Deep Freeze.

 

This book is due to be published on July 26, 2016.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on Lisa Jackson, visit her website at: lisajackson.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @readlisajackson

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Kensington Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview No Breaking My Heart by Kate Angell

#BookReview No Breaking My Heart by Kate Angell Title: No Breaking My Heart

Author: Kate Angell

Series: Barefoot William Beach #5

Published by: Kensington Books on Jul. 26, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 288

Format: ARC, eBook

Source: Kensington Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

Relationship Status: Complicated

Professional baseball player Halo Todd doesn’t like failure, but he can never turn down a challenge. Especially when there’s a pretty woman involved. How else would he end up dressed as a rooster, helping a complete stranger compete on a wacky game show? Even when they’re eliminated after the first round, Halo isn’t about to lose the girl… 

Alyn is stunned when gorgeous, generous Halo whisks her off for a dream vacation to the beach–she’s been let down by friends and even family so many times, she’s lost count. Later, he offers to lend a hand getting her vintage shop up and running. But his constant–and ridiculous–purchases are the last thing she needs. How can she convince the stubborn man that she doesn’t need his help–not when all she wants is his heart…


Review:

Flirty, charming, and fun!

This has everything you look for in a good contemporary romance novel. It has interesting, witty, sexy characters. The prose is funny and precise. And the plot is full of chemistry, humour, romance, and a little baseball.

If you are looking for a light-hearted, sweet, easy read then this is the book for you.

 

This novel is due to be published on July 26, 2016.

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Kensington Books, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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