Publisher: Pan Macmillan

#BookReview The Lost Lover by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheLostLover #TheWildIsleSeries #KarenSwan #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Lost Lover by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheLostLover #TheWildIsleSeries #KarenSwan #PGCBooks Title: The Lost Lover

Author: Karen Swan

Series: The Wild Isle #3

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 1, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

The third epic and spellbinding historical romance in The Wild Isle series from Globe and Mail and Toronto Star bestseller Karen Swan.

Young Flora MacQueen has always dreamed of more than a hard life on the small Scottish island of St Kilda. And when she catches the eye of visiting adventurer and wealthy businessman James Callaghan her future seems brighter.

Only, as the islanders prepare to leave their homes for the final time, Flora finds her dreams shattered. With her beauty her only currency she must step forward in ways that would have been unthinkable back home in order to support her family. Soon Flora is the toast of glamorous Paris. Fame and fortune are hers for the taking but she knows only too well by now that rich men make empty promises.

But then a secret comes to light that will change everything…

Following The Last Summer and The Stolen Hours, The Lost Lover is the third book in Karen Swan’s bestselling Wild Isle series, loosely based upon the dramatic evacuation of Scottish island St Kilda in the summer of 1930.


Review:

Beguiling, atmospheric, and consuming!

The Lost Lover is a dramatic, passionate tale that takes you back to 1929 and into the life of Flora MacQueen, a St. Kilda beauty who, after falling for a visiting explorer and agreeing to marriage, discovers upon the island’s evacuation that things have not unfolded as initially planned and she will have to make some of the hardest decisions of her life in order to secure a future for her family and herself in a world where money talks and fame and fortune can be alluring yet fleeting.

The writing is vivid and sentimental. The characters are determined, dependable, and selfless. And the plot is a captivating tale of life, loss, friendship, family, intrigue, temptation, responsibilities, attraction, community, sacrifice, romance, and enduring love.

Overall, The Lost Lover is an enchanting, heart-tugging, beautiful tale by Swan that I absolutely adored and which has left me counting down the days until the fourth and final novel in this series becomes available so I can discover how this compelling, must-read, historical saga will finally come to an end.

This book is available now.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen Swan

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest outside Sussex, England, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs.

An internationally bestselling author, her numerous books include The Rome Affair, The Paris Secret, Christmas Under the Stars, and The Christmas Secret. 

Photograph by Alexander James

#BookReview They Thought I Was Dead: Sandy’s Story by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #PeterJames #TheyThoughtIWasDead #RoyGrace #PGCBooks

#BookReview They Thought I Was Dead: Sandy’s Story by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #PeterJames #TheyThoughtIWasDead #RoyGrace #PGCBooks Title: They Thought I Was Dead: Sandy's Story

Author: Peter James

Series: Roy Grace #20

Published by: Pan Macmillan on May 23, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 400

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Peter James, international bestselling author of the Roy Grace series, returns with a standalone novel revealing the truth behind Sandy Grace’s dramatic disappearance.

Some will know how it begins.

Her name is Sandy. You might know her as the loving wife of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. But there’s more to her than meets the eye. A woman with a dubious past, a complicated present and an uncertain future. Then she was gone.

Some will know how it ends.

Her disappearance caused a nationwide search. Even the best detective on the force couldn’t find her. They thought she was dead.

But nobody knows this…

Where did she go? Why did she run? What would cause a woman to leave her whole life behind and simply vanish? For the first time, award-winning crime writer Peter James lays bare what really happened to Sandy Grace. They Thought I Was Dead will thrill fans and new readers alike with its gripping story of a woman on the run. This is Sandy’s story.


Review:

Tense, menacing, and gritty!

They Thought I Was Dead is a clever, captivating mystery that takes us back to the beginning and into the life of Sandy Grace, the elusive first wife of Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, whose reckless behaviour leaves his world irrevocably turned upside down and hers on a fast road to ruin.

The writing is brisk and tight. The characters are multilayered, vulnerable, and impulsive. And the plot is a sinister tale full of twists, turns, deception, mayhem, lies, secrets, suspicious personalities, revelations, addiction, and murder.

I have to say that die-hard fans of the Roy Grace series will be absolutely thrilled with this latest outing by James. They Thought I Was Dead is an ominous, sophisticated, entertaining tale that finally gives readers the insight and answers they’ve been waiting for.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Peter James

Peter James is the international bestselling author of many award-winning novels. His Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series, set in Brighton, has been translated into thirty-seven languages with worldwide sales of over eighteen million copies, and has given him eleven consecutive Sunday Times number ones. In 2015 WHSmith customers publicly voted him the Greatest Crime Author of All Time and in 2016 he became the recipient of the coveted CWA Diamond Dagger lifetime achievement award for sustained excellence. Peter has also written a short story collection, A Twist of the Knife, and his standalone titles include Perfect People and The House on Cold Hill. He has also co-written a non-fiction account of Brighton’s toughest cases with former detective Graham Bartlett entitled Death Comes Knocking. The Perfect Murder, Dead Simple and Not Dead Enough have all been turned into smash-hit stage plays. All his novels reflect his deep interest in the world of the police. Three of his novels have been filmed and before becoming a full-time author he produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. He divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London and near Brighton in Sussex.

#BookReview Death on the Lusitania by R. L. Graham @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #DeathOnTheLusitania #RLGraham #PGCBooks

#BookReview Death on the Lusitania by R. L. Graham @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #DeathOnTheLusitania #RLGraham #PGCBooks Title: Death on the Lusitania

Author: R. L. Graham

Series: Patrick Gallagher #1

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Apr. 2, 2024

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Welcome on board the Lusitania’s final voyage . . .

New York, 1915. RMS Lusitania, one of the world’s most luxurious trans-Atlantic liners, departs for Liverpool and war-torn Europe. Among those on board is Patrick Gallagher, a civil servant in Her Majesty’s government tasked with discreetly escorting a British diplomat back to England in relation to charges of suspected treason.

When a fellow passenger, Jimmy Dowrich, is found shot to death in his cabin, the captain asks Gallagher to investigate. Knowing something of the man’s past, Gallagher realizes that the problem will not be simple; and also, the body was discovered in a locked cabin with the key inside and no gun to be found.

Gallagher believes that one of his fellow passengers is a deadly killer. But many of those on board are harbouring secrets of their own, and his questioning reveals that several had a motive for ending Dowrich’s life. He fears that the killer could strike again to protect their true reasons for being on board and all the while, the ship sails on towards Europe, where deadly submarines patrol the war zone . . .


Review:

Mysterious, captivating, and atmospheric!

Death on the Lusitania is an Agatha Christie-like murder mystery set during 1915 on the infamous HMS Lusitania that features the savvy Patrick Gallagher who, when shortly after departure from New York, one of the travellers winds up dead in a locked cabin with no murder weapon in sight, endeavours to a find the murderer onboard amongst a passenger list riddled with secrets, deception, and ulterior motives.

The prose is descriptive and light. The characters are multi-layered, intriguing, and secretive. And the plot is a well-paced, locked-door style whodunit full of red herrings, suspects, amateur sleuthing, deduction, danger and, of course, a touch of the unexpected.

Overall, Death on the Lusitania is the first book in the Patrick Gallagher series, and if you love historical mysteries, this one won’t disappoint. It’s an entertaining, cosy, satisfying debut by the writing duo of Graham, and I can only hope, even with the tragic loss of one half of this dynamic team, that there is still more to come.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

  

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About R. L. Graham

R. L. Graham is a husband-and-wife team of historians and writers with a broad range of interests in many periods of history, including the belle époque and the tumultuous years leading up to the First World War and the post-war re-ordering of the world.

They are very much drawn to the shadowy world of crime, espionage and political intrigue. They are particularly fascinated by historical mysteries: things which have happened but have no apparent explanation. Originally from Canada, they now live in a small village in Devon. Marilyn Livingstone, one half of R. L. Graham, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer while this book was being written. She passed away in September 2023.

#BookReview The Escape by Ruth Kelly @ruthywriter @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheEscape #RuthKelly #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Escape by Ruth Kelly @ruthywriter @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #TheEscape #RuthKelly #PGCBooks Title: The Escape

Author: Ruth Kelly

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jan. 23, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

The grander the house. The darker the secrets.

From bestselling author Ruth Kelly, The Escape is an electrifying winter read for fans of Lisa Jewell and Sarah Pearse.

The Perfect Escape

When struggling influencer couple Adele and Jack post a crowdfunding video online, they’re amazed when a mysterious benefactor offers to buy them an idyllic 17th century French château. It’s the lifeline they need to leave all their troubles behind and patch up their relationship after a rocky period.

The Influencer

For Adele, it’s a dream come true. She will post videos from the fairy tale setting, renovating the grand building as thousands of online subscribers follow their journey. But the château is not all it seems and the local community is far from welcoming.

The Sister

Then Adele’s videos suddenly stop. Her sister Erin travels to France to make sure she’s okay but the couple have vanished. Between the obsession of Adele’s fans, the unsettling history of the building and the claustrophobic secrecy of the nearby town, Erin must unravel the shocking truth behind why the anonymous investor gifted Adele and Jack their dream home in the first place . . .


Review:

Dark, ominous, and unnerving!

The Escape is an intense, well-crafted tale that takes us into the life of Erin, a young woman who, after her social media influencer sister vanishes without a trace, travels to France to uncover what truly happened inside the run-down French chateau she was gifted to renovate by a mysterious benefactor.

The writing is sharp and menacing. The characters are self-involved, adventurous, and exposed. And the plot is an intricate, tension-filled tall full of mischief, mayhem, secrets, deception, manipulation, shocking revelations, lies, indulgence, depravity, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Escape is a sinister, atmospheric, twisty whodunit by Kelly that does a splendid job of highlighting just how vulnerable and susceptible technology and social media makes us and reminds us just how far some people are willing to go to protect the ability to keep their deviant proclivities consistently available and hidden from normal society.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

  

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ruth Kelly

Ruth Kelly is an award-winning journalist who has ghosted a string of Sunday Times top ten bestsellers - most recently The Prison Doctor, which sold over 250,000 copies, and The Governor, which went straight in at number one on the Amazon charts and number five in the Sunday Times bestseller list. The Villa is Ruth's debut thriller. She's drawn inspiration from her years working as a reporter for national newspapers as well as her experience writing for TV shows, most notably with Endemol, the creators of the original reality show Big Brother.

#BookReview How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage by Dr Amir Khan @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #DrAmirKhan #PGCBooks #HowNotToHaveAnArrangedMarriage

#BookReview How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage by Dr Amir Khan @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #DrAmirKhan #PGCBooks #HowNotToHaveAnArrangedMarriage Title: How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage

Author: Dr. Amir Khan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Jan. 9, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 480

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A debut novel following the adventures of a young Muslim student doctor torn between his traditional family and his heart.

He’s the perfect catch (according to his mother).

Yousef is the golden child to his strict, Pakistani parents, overshadowing his younger sister, Rehana. As he finishes his medical degree in London, Yousef’s life appears to be mapped out for him: become a doctor, marry a suitable girl of his parents’ choosing and, above all, make his family proud. Then Yosef meets Jess.

A fellow medical student, Jess presents a complication to the plan. Suddenly, Yousef finds himself torn between two worlds – keeping each a secret from the other.

And as graduation day looms, Yousef’s mother informs him that she’s started looking for his wife.

Amir Khan’s How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage is a timely, heartfelt novel which looks at all aspects of modern arranged marriages.


Review:

Astute, passionate, and compelling!

How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage is a fresh, heartwarming tale that takes you into the life of Yousef Ahmed, a hardworking Muslim young man, as he struggles to juggle a demanding career, a whole slew of familial expectations, and a deep, everlasting love for a woman his family will never approve of.

The prose is heartfelt and light. The characters are kind, independent, and intelligent. And the plot is a push-pull tale of familial responsibility, intrusive parents, witty banter, tender moments, goals, expectations, secrets, friendship, chemistry, introspection, honesty, and love.

Overall, How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage has everything you look for in a rom-com novel, as well as the added bonus of a touch of culture, traditions, parental pressures, and timely issues.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

  

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Dr. Amir Khan

Author Photo - Dr. Amir Khan

Dr Amir Khan is a full-time GP and best selling author working in inner city Bradford.

Amir is a resident doctor for ITV’s Lorraine and Good Morning Britain and has recently been seen hosting Dr Amir’s Sugar Crash (Channel 5) and You Are What You Eat (Channel 5) with Trisha Goddard.

Amir is president of the RSPB, vice president of The Wildlife Trusts and an ambassador for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and Butterfly Conservation, working closely with them to ensure access to green spaces for inner-city children and spreading the word on how being outside with nature is good for health. When he is not in surgery or on TV, Amir spends his time gardening, baking, running and supporting wildlife conservation.

He is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Doctor Will See You Now. How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage is his first novel.

#BookReview Nanny Wanted by Lizzy Barber @ByLizzyBarber @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #NannyWanted #LizzyBarber #PGCBooks

#BookReview Nanny Wanted by Lizzy Barber @ByLizzyBarber @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #NannyWanted #LizzyBarber #PGCBooks Title: Nanny Wanted

Author: Lizzy Barber

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Oct. 31, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

A remote Cornish mansion. The perfect couple. And the deadly secrets that bind them.

When Lily finally leaves her toxic relationship, a job as a nanny at Kewney Manor seems like the perfect solution. There, she can cut herself off from her old life, and never have to see him again.

The Rowes seem like a model family, and Lily falls instantly in love with her new home. But she can’t help feeling that something isn’t quite right. Why will nobody tell her about the nanny before? Where does Laurie go at night? And what does Charles really want?

As Lily becomes increasingly entangled in the Rowes’ lives, she realizes that the perfect family may not be all that they seem. And as that as much as she fears the past she is running from, perhaps the present is where the real danger lies. . .


Review:

Simmering, gripping, and claustrophobic!

Nanny Wanted is an ominous, character-driven thriller that introduces us to Lily, a young woman who, after fleeing London for a quieter existence and a place to hide, quickly discovers that everything is not as perfect as it seems in the affluent home of the Rowes family she’s employed by, relationships seem to be strained, everyone has a secret to hide, and danger potentially lurks around every corner.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are anxious, flawed, and vulnerable. And the plot is a darkly menacing tale full of twists, turns, revelations, insecurities, lies, manipulation, isolation, domestic abuse, familial dysfunction, and troubled pasts.

Overall, Nanny Wanted is a taut, atmospheric, unnerving tale by Barber that is deliciously relentless, surprising, deceptive, and bursting with eeriness.

 

This book is available now.

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

        

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lizzy Barber

Lizzy Barber studied English at Corpus Christ College, Cambridge University. After 'previous lives' acting and working in film development, she has spent the last ten years as Head of Brand and Marketing for The Hush Collection, a boutique group of restaurants founded by her brother, Jamie.

Her debut novel, MY NAME IS ANNA, is the winner of the Daily Mail First Novel Competition, and was published in 2019 in the UK by Penguin Random House, by Mira/Harper Collins in the US and by Albatros in Slovakia.

OUT OF HER DEPTH was published in 2022 by Pan Macmillan in the UK and Harper Collins in the US and was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick. The TV rights have been optioned by Sony.

Her third novel, GIRLS LIKE THAT, will be published in 2023 by Pan Macmillan.

Lizzy lives in London with her husband, George, a food writer and strategy consultant, and their son, Marlowe.

#BookReview Stop Them Dead by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #PeterJames #StopThemDead #RoyGrace #PGCBooks

#BookReview Stop Them Dead by Peter James @peterjamesuk @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #PeterJames #StopThemDead #RoyGrace #PGCBooks Title: Stop Them Dead

Author: Peter James

Series: Roy Grace #19

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Oct. 10, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace’s emotions are pushed to the limit in the nineteenth series installment of Peter James’ bestselling and award-winning series.

Now a major TV drama on Britbox, Grace stars John Simm as the titular character.

When a young farmer confronts intruders in the middle of the night he has no idea that just minutes later he will be left dying in a pool of blood. What’s more chilling is what the perpetrators were willing to kill for.

At the scene of the crime, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace soon realizes this is no isolated robbery gone wrong but the tip of the iceberg of a nationwide crime wave, in which ruthless organized gangs are making more money from the illegal trade in dogs than drugs. A trade which pits him against some ruthless people who will kill anyone who gets in their way, because where there is greed, there is murder.

In Stop Them Dead, a dead body, a missing woman, and the discovery of an illegal puppy farm converge to give Roy Grace one of the most challenging and emotional cases to solve yet.


Review:

Engrossing, intricate, and perfectly paced!

Stop Them Dead is an eerie, sinuous thrill ride that takes us back to Sussex, England, where Detective Superintendent Roy Grace and his team now find themselves tangled up in a murder investigation that, at first glance, seems to be the senseless murder of a local farmer turned breeder, but as the case unfolds and information starts to trickle in it quickly becomes apparent that something a lot more complex, sinister, and lucrative is definitely underway.

The writing is insightful and clever. The characters are multifaceted, ruthless, and elusive. And the plot is an ominous, compelling mix of twists, turns, red herrings, secrets, deduction, mayhem, manipulation, malicious intentions, illegal trafficking, violence, and murder.

Overall, Stop Them Dead is a highly entertaining, disturbing, edgy thriller by James that once again highlights his exceptional ability to write police procedurals that have well-drawn characters and timely storylines. It is the nineteenth novel in the Roy Grace series and definitely one of my new all-time favourites.

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Peter James

Peter James is the international bestselling author of many award-winning novels. His Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series, set in Brighton, has been translated into thirty-seven languages with worldwide sales of over eighteen million copies, and has given him eleven consecutive Sunday Times number ones. In 2015 WHSmith customers publicly voted him the Greatest Crime Author of All Time and in 2016 he became the recipient of the coveted CWA Diamond Dagger lifetime achievement award for sustained excellence. Peter has also written a short story collection, A Twist of the Knife, and his standalone titles include Perfect People and The House on Cold Hill. He has also co-written a non-fiction account of Brighton’s toughest cases with former detective Graham Bartlett entitled Death Comes Knocking. The Perfect Murder, Dead Simple and Not Dead Enough have all been turned into smash-hit stage plays. All his novels reflect his deep interest in the world of the police. Three of his novels have been filmed and before becoming a full-time author he produced numerous films, including The Merchant of Venice, starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. He divides his time between his homes in Notting Hill, London and near Brighton in Sussex.

#BookReview The Wild Coast by Lin Anderson @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #RhonaMacLeod #LinAnderson #TheWildCoast #PGCBooks

#BookReview The Wild Coast by Lin Anderson @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #RhonaMacLeod #LinAnderson #TheWildCoast #PGCBooks Title: The Wild Coast

Author: Lin Anderson

Series: Rhona MacLeod #17

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Oct. 10, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller, Police Procedural

Pages: 480

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

A remote shoreline. A lethal killer. As lone visitors disappear from the rural northwest of Scotland, campsites become crime scenes in the seventeenth Rhona MacLeod thriller from Lin Anderson.

When forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is brought in to analyze a shallow grave on Scotland’s west coast, she is disturbed by a bundle of twigs crafted into a stickman and left in the victim’s mouth.

Then, when a young woman is reported missing from a nearby campsite with another sinister figurine left in her van, it seems that someone is targeting wild campers. An idyllic coastline known for providing peace and serenity, now the area is a hunting ground.

As her investigation proceeds, Rhona is forced to reconsider her closest bonds. Rumours of sexual assault offences by serving police officers are circling in Glasgow, which may include her trusted colleague DS Michael McNab. Could it be true, or is someone looking to put him out of action?

All the while a young woman’s life is on the line and the clock is ticking.


Review:

Chilling, dark, and skillfully crafted!

In this seventeenth instalment in the Rhona MacLeod series, The Wild Coast, Anderson has written a gritty police procedural that sees forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod and her team tangled up in an inquiry that seems at first glance to be an isolated, missing person case, but which quickly unfolds into something a lot more sinister involving at least one killer with a penchant for confinement, torture, and murder and a strange fascination with figures made of sticks.

The writing is seamless and tight. The characters are multilayered, diligent, and persistent. And the plot is an engrossing, suspenseful tale full of twists, turns, secrets, lies, deception, familial drama, emotional entanglements, depravity, mayhem, and murder.

Overall, The Wild Coast is another thrilling, addictive, propulsive addition to a series that, with its flawed characters, great pace, and constant sense of urgency, is still one of my all-time favourites.

 

This book is available now.

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

           

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lin Anderson

Lin Anderson is a Scottish author and screenwriter known for her bestselling crime series featuring forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod. Four of her novels have been longlisted for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year, with Follow the Dead being a 2018 finalist. Her short film River Child won both a Scottish BAFTA for Best Fiction and the Celtic Film Festival’s Best Drama award and has now been viewed more than one million times on YouTube. Lin is also the co-founder of the international crime writing festival Bloody Scotland, which takes place annually in Stirling.

#FeaturePost Black Thorn by Sarah Hilary @sarah_hilary @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #BlackThorn #SarahHilary #PGCBooks

#FeaturePost Black Thorn by Sarah Hilary @sarah_hilary @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #BlackThorn #SarahHilary #PGCBooks Title: Black Thorn

Author: Sarah Hilary

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Sep. 19, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Blackthorn Ashes was meant to be their forever home. For the first six families moving into the exclusive new housing development, it was a chance to live a peaceful life on the cliffs overlooking the Cornish sea, safe in the knowledge that it had been created just for them.

But six weeks later, paradise is lost. Six people are dead. And Blackthorn Ashes is left abandoned and unfinished, its dark shadows hiding all manner of secrets.

One of its surviving residents, Agnes Gale, is determined to find out the truth about what happened. Even if that truth is deadlier than she could have ever believed possible . . .

 

This book is available now.

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

     

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarah Hilary

Sarah Hilary’s debut, Someone Else's Skin, won the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year and was a World Book Night selection, a Richard & Judy Book Club pick, and a Silver Falchion and Macavity Award finalist in the US. No Other Darkness, the second in the series, was shortlisted for a Barry Award. Her DI Marnie Rome series continued with Tastes Like Fear, Quieter Than Killing, Come and Find Me, and Never Be Broken. Black Thorn is her second standalone novel, following Fragile.

Photo by Matthew Andrews.

#BookReview Christmas by Candlelight by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #ChristmasbyCandlelight #KarenSwan #PGCBooks

#BookReview Christmas by Candlelight by Karen Swan @KarenSwan1 @PGCBooks @panmacmillan #ChristmasbyCandlelight #KarenSwan #PGCBooks Title: Christmas by Candlelight

Author: Karen Swan

Published by: Pan Macmillan on Oct. 17, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 416

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Snowed in for the holidays…

It’s three days before Christmas and just starting to snow… Against her better judgement, Libby Pugh has been persuaded by her best friend to stop in on their university reunion on her way back from a wedding in North Yorkshire with her boyfriend, Max.

The host is Archie Templeton, the playboy of their group, who has finally inherited his father’s title and estate – even if the latter is more stately heap than palace. Libby is surprised at how good it feels to catch up with old. The night is a great success but when they come to leave, the road is now impassable and she and Max are given a bed for the night.

At first being snowed in with old friends is rather lovely – they spend he next day is spent in high spirits as they wait for the local farmer to clear the snow. But as the hours pass and he doesn’t come, everyone grows restless. Christmas is two days away and everyone has plans, other places to be. Then the power goes out . . .

By the fireside and by candlelight, the old friends must hunker down together as they await help. They reminisce about times past, good and bad. But as the cracks in their relationships, old and new, start to show, Libby is confronted with a truth she has long tried to deny . . .


Review:

Quaint, mysterious, and heartfelt!

Christmas by Candlelight is an alluring, compelling tale that takes you into the life of Libby Pugh, a young, successful lawyer who, after keeping a distance from her university roommates for the past nine years, excepts an invitation for a brief reunion-like dinner at Archie’s isolated country estate only to find herself snowed in shortly after she arrives with no power, no connection with the outside world, and a few days with nothing to do but confront secrets and hurts from the past, and finally acknowledge and accept the feelings that have been brewing for years.

The prose is vivid and expressive. The characters are flawed, witty, and intelligent. And the plot, using flashbacks and a back-and-forth style, is an enticingly nostalgic tale full of secrets, lies, friendship, tension, chemistry, attraction, tender moments, strong emotions, self-reflection, relationship dynamics, and love.

Overall, Christmas by Candlelight is another absorbing, uplifting, festive tale by Swan that does a brilliant job of highlighting her exceptional ability to create endearing, multilayered characters, idyllic wintery settings, and engaging storylines that thoroughly captivate from start to finish.

 

This novel is available now.

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

         

 

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Karen Swan

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest outside Sussex, England, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs.

An internationally bestselling author, her numerous books include The Rome Affair, The Paris Secret, Christmas Under the Stars, and The Christmas Secret. 

Photograph by Alexander James