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Key Guide

CTM = Crime, Thriller, Mystery Genre Authors

ROF = Romance and Other Fiction Authors

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  1. RC Bridgestock

    Synopsis: “Boss, we’ve got a body”.

    Hardly what Detective Inspector Jack Dylan needs to hear on his day off, especially as he’s in the middle of house-hunting with his wife Jen.

    Detective Sergeant Vicky Hardacre greets him at the scene, but what awaits them behind the blood red door of Colonial House is undoubtedly a murder. The approach identifies several prime suspects. But who is telling the truth; and who is lying?

    Before the killer can be caught, another body is discovered, this time in a putrefying mixture of mud and slime, lain among the remnants of decaying food within a waste-bin shelter. Now it’s the task of the man in charge to make the call. 

    Are the two murders connected? 

    There’s only one way to find out, and that’s by working long hours, within strict budgets, and the usual pressure from above to obtain quick results. 

    However, Dylan is distracted by personal matters, with Jen being keen to seal the deal on a renovation project. He suggests they delay finalising the purchase; until he discovers the significance of the house, and that it’s about to be demolished.

    In his absence, Jen’s pleas for help from his estranged siblings are answered, resulting in hidden secrets coming to light, as Dylan continues, through a twisting and turning plot, to ensure justice is done in respect of the murder victims, whose bright hopes for the future were cruelly snatched away.

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

  2. Milly Johnson The Barn on Half Moon Hill Synopsis: Cariad Williams has been writing to Franco Mezzaluna since they were kids. But he has never written back. And now he has become a famous film star. What's more, he is due to visit Winterworld, the Christmas theme park where Cariad works. The only problem is that she has boasted to her friends that he is her boyfriend and now everyone will find out about her lie...
    An exclusive short story from Milly Johnson to raise funds for the Care for Claire charity.

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    Kat's Review: I'm not that much of a fan of short stories as no sooner have I got into the story it's finishing. However with this book being part of a charity to raise funds for the Car for Claire Charity I figured it was a good enough reason to read it.

    As usual Milly Johnson manages to createe characters I like instantly and Cariad is no different. A lady that spent years writing to Franco Mezzaluna her childhood friend. The only problem is he has never written back and has now become a famous film star.

    With the imminent arrival of Franco to the town where Cariad lives her tension mounts and she has no idea what to expect. A lovely short story with a lovely ending albeit a story I could have continued reading about as I would have loved to have known what happened next for all the characters involved. Although short stories aren't really my thing this was for a great cause and Milly's writing does just the thing and this 80 page treat was perfect to cheer me up one lunch break!

  3. RC Bridgestock when the killing starts Synopsis: Crime is a way of life for the Devlin brothers. Groomed at an early age and trained as criminals by local gangsters, the Devlin brothers get their thrill out of creating fear among their victims. They have a macabre pact; not to be arrested or caged. Brutality hits the town of Harrowfield when the scourge of the community is found dead, his companion slaughtered. The locals react with praise for the killers. The same day firefighters respond to a fire but lose the fight to save Merton Manor. Among the debris two bodies are discovered; executed. As Dylan struggles to cope with the pressure, armed officers await his judgement call. Can he remain professional or will he release his anger?

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    Kat's Review: I came to the party late with this series and as such the first book in the series I read was the last one which was book 6. I struggled with it a little but only due to the fact that I had no history with these characters (proof enough of why I like to start a series at the beginning). Going in to book 7 I was instantly drawn to the story from the very first page. It was incredibly graphic and violent very early on in the book, and yes I know many people may not like that but I was truly gripped and horrified in equeal measure and for me that's a winning formula. 

    I don't want to delve too much into the storyline as I fear it would spoil the book for somebody new to the book or series. However it results in DI Jack Dylan looking for the person responsible for the murders that occur in the rather grand home that was once Merton Manor. In addition to that Jack and his team are dealing with the death of a local hooligan and although the community aren't sorry the bloke is dead Jack needs to ensure this crime is solved too. There is certainly a lot going on in Jack's career and the book holds a lot of pace very early on. Jack and his team are all incredubly readable and there is a real sense of cameraderie between them. The storyline has plenty of action and a has a true police procedural feel to it. 

    What I loved about this book was the depth we see Jack and his wife Jen's personal situation develop. Although a truly terrible time that Jack and Jen are having, the situations the book touches on are done with sensitivity and I felt incredibly drawn to them as characters. I have to be honest and say I was a little blown away with this book. The reason being I just wasn't expecting it to be as good as this (meant in a non-rude way). Where I struggled to connect in the last (and my first) book in the series this book made up for all of that and some more on top!

    The fact that both the writers (RC Bridgestock are a husband and wife writing team) have 50 years experince between them on the Force is blatantly obvious. The book is done incredibly well with the finer details looked at when it comes to Police work and less of the dramatic and flair we sometimes see in fiction (nowt wrong with that either just pointing out what I see). I can truly say I was thrilled with this book and even more so because I stupidly made the assumption I would struggle with it. This is now a series I would love to keep up with! Luckily for me book 8 is ready to go and for the rest of you book 8 is due for release Thursday 19th October 2017!

  4. Sue Watson Snowflakes Iced CakesSynopsis: Escape to the cosy little village of Appledore for hot chocolate with extra marshmallows and a second chance at love. Will this Christmas prove that miracles really can happen?

    A year after she separated from her husband, Gianni, on Christmas day, Chloe’s heart is finally on the mend as she unpacks the decorations for her first ever festive holiday alone. That is, until the phone rings…

    It’s the manager of Gianni’s new seaside restaurant in Appledore, begging for Chloe’s help. Equally famous for his gold-leaf Christmas puddings and his explosive temper, Gianni has been really stirring up a sensation with the locals – and not in a good way! It’s the last thing she wants to do, but Chloe knows she is the only one that can help.

    As pans fly and the temperature in the kitchen rises, Chloe’s calming influence and magic touch might just get critics back on side in time to save the restaurant from sinking like a sad soufflé. But as Chloe’s eyes meet Gianni’s as they tussle over a plate of turkey tartlets, could there also be a chance for new romance on the menu? 

    Kat's Rating: 5/5

  5. Anna Smith - The HitSynopsis: Rosie Gilmour is hot on the trail of a ring of baby-sellers and people-traffickers. The problem is, her main suspect is a dead man. Or is he?

    A money-laundering accountant disappears in Romania. The hitman hired to disappear him is found dead in a Glasgow flat. And the owner of the flat, the accountant's widow, claims she knows nothing about it.

    Crime reporter Rosie Gilmour isn't convinced by Helen Lewis's innocent facade - she is convinced Helen was the one who ordered the hit on her husband, and she's going to prove it. But when she discovers that Helen's husband worked for a ring of gangsters selling babies from Romanian orphanages, her focus shifts. Now she has two sets of criminals to bring to justice - she'd better pray they don't catch up with her first.

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

  6. Matt Hilton Worst Fear  Synopsis: Private investigator Tess Grey discovers that someone from her past is pursuing a deadly vendetta and she could be the next to die.

    "If I?m dead, contact Teresa Grey at Cumberland County Sheriff's Dept. Tell her"

    When the body of a young woman is found on a rocky Maine beach, having fallen from the cliffs above, the initial verdict is suicide. But hidden on the dead woman's social network page is a post requesting that Tess Grey be informed in the event of her death. And why would Chelsea Grace, who was terrified of heights, have chosen to end her life in a way that invoked her very worst fear?

    Having not seen Chelsea for years, Tess has no idea why her old university roommate would leave such a message. But, determined to find out what really happened to her, Tess and her partner Po discover that Chelsea isn't the first of her old university friends to suffer ? and she won't be the last. It would appear that someone is holding a deadly grudge: could Tess herself be a target?

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

  7. Jenny Hale Well Always Have Xmas Synopsis: Christmas has always been a special time for Noelle Parker. Winter evenings spent with family and friends, drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies at her family’s cozy bakery have shaped her love for all things festive. But this year everything is changing…

    The beloved bakery is facing closure and Noelle needs a miracle to save Christmas.

    Determined to raise funds for the family business, Noelle sets about revamping the bakery while juggling a surprise new job, caring for the elderly and cantankerous William Harrington in his luxurious, sprawling mansion.

    As Noelle melts the frostiness of the house with cake baking, snowball fights and glittering decorations, she helps William to reconnect with a romance that has spanned decades and unexpectedly finds herself falling for his grandson - the gorgeous but mysterious Alexander Harrington

    In the countdown to Christmas, can Noelle save the bakery, reunite a family andcreate some magical memories of her own along the way?

    Kat's Rating: 5/5

  8. Tilly Tennant A Very Vintage ChristmasSynopsis: The fairy lights are up and shoppers are flooding the snowy seaside promenade. It’s going to be a busy month at Forget-Me-Not Vintage, a magical shop with a warm heart where every item has a story to be told. 


    With bright red hair and an infectious smile, Dodie is a hopeless romantic and absolutely one of a kind, just like the pieces in her shop. 

    When Dodie finds a love letter in the pocket of an old woollen coat, she makes it her mission to deliver it to its rightful owner. Following the address, she manages to persuade the handsome but reluctant new tenant, Edward, to help her with her search. 

    As the story of the letter unfolds, Dodie is there, as always, to pick up the pieces and make things right. But who will be there for her when her own love story needs a helping hand? 

    Is it too much to dream of a happy ending like the ones in the black and white movies she adores? 

    Kat’s Rating: 4/5