The case of the Missing bride blog tour

It’s my privilege to bring you some content for the case of the missing bride blog tour, a new release from Bloodhound books

In The Beginning Was A Word…

By Carmen Radtke

Or rather, when it comes to ‘The Case of the Missing Bride’, it started with two words.

‘Imported brides’ had popped into my mind for no apparent reason at all, and with my daughter at school and the cat asleep on my bed, I could idle away my time on Google (note to writers and readers alike: in our case, it’s never wasting time or procrastination; it’s always research. Always. Bear that in mind.).

Two hours later my jaw dropped, my blood pressure rose, and I startled the cat by thumping my fist on the table. Something had hit a raw nerve.

This something consisted of one meagre paragraph. In 1862, twenty-two girls, poor, all alone in the world, had set sail from Melbourne, Australia, to be married off to Canadians. They never arrived, last seen when the ship stopped over in San Francisco.

One paragraph, in an old newspaper. That was all I could find. One lousy paragraph, to bear testimony that they ever existed.

First I felt pity and sorrow, and then anger. Anger at a world where you don’t matter if you’re the wrong class, gender, skin colour … not that a lot has changed through the ages, which makes it even harder to swallow.

There it was, the germ of an idea. I let it stay in the back of my mind, but the girls would not allow themselves to take a place in the side-lines. They grew, and their identities formed. Then, through a stroke of luck, I got the next piece of the jigsaw – a book with letters from Melbourne, dating from the exact period my girls would have grown up there. Now I could see their world.

But I needed more research; into the voyage itself. What I discovered was a mix of ocean-going sailing ships, early steam ships, expedition vessels… I’d found the ‘Artemis’Delight’, which combined all these things.

Great. I had the characters, the setting, and I had the means to save these poor girls. Well, not all of them, obviously, but most. More than 150 years after their disappearance I could bring them back to life, and give them hope, and friendship, and the hope for a happy ending, if only on the page.

I typed the first sentence. The next. Until I had a finished draft. I suffered with them through a storm, got outraged with Alyssa about the shackles inflicted upon women (the outrage is still there, only now under the surface), and I watched them put on a brave face in every kind of situation.

And what a situation it was. Canada, back then, had only begun with railroad-building. Travels happened by boat, or on horseback. Something remotely resembling a police force was in its infancy. Most settlers, hunters, and goldminers tried to keep peace with the First Nations, but not all of them did so. And there was gold! So much gold.

The Canadians did their best to keep out the rowdiest people from the other side of the border, where the War between the States, as the Civil War was known as back then, embroiled big parts of the country in bitter strife.

My girls wouldn’t have known much about it, but how unsettling that must have been, going into the unknown, with no hope of turning back.

I can only imagine what awaited them when they disappeared into the San Francisco fog. I don’t even know their names; only who they became in my account. But at least they will be remembered. This book is for them.

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Untainted blood by Liz Mistry

Today I am on the blog tour for Untainted blood by Liz Mistry the third in the DS Gus Maguire series.

The Story:

In a city that is already volatile, tensions mount  after a Tory MP in Bradford Central is discredited leaving the door open for the extreme right-wing candidate, Graeme Weston, to stand in the resultant by-election.

However, Graeme Weston is not what he appears to be and with secrets jeopardising his political career, he must tread very carefully.

Meanwhile, a serial killer targets Asian men who lead alternatives lifestyles and metes out his own form of torture.

As DI Gus McGuire’s team close in, the deranged killer begins to unravel and in an unexpected twist the stakes are raised for Gus.

Are the murders linked to the political scandals or is there another motive behind them?

DI Gus McGuire and his team are back and this might be their toughest case yet.

My thoughts:

Liz’s bio describes Liz as an ex teacher who has taught in inner city Bradford schools for over twenty years.  Her husband of nearly 30 years is Indian and they have three children.  They live in inner city Bradford and Liz likes to use the rich tapestry of her life in Bradford, combined with her Scottish heritage, in her writing. This knowledge of Bradford clearly shines through in Liz’s book and if like me you eagerly follow her release day pictures you get a real flavour of the city. In fact I really enjoy how Liz shows Bradford for the warts and all vibrant place it can be, unlike other novels I have read set in the city.

I particularly enjoy the ongoing character development and the richness of the characters beyond just the main protagonist, I am genuinely interested in catching up with Mo and Gus’s family as much as I am in what Gus is doing himself. As ever with Liz’s books this latest one contains everything you want from a crime novel, a great plot, well developed characters, a believable solution and detection, and enough darkness to keep you on edge without being gratuitous.

These novels are really classily written modern police procedurals that truly reflect on the multicultural nature of our British cities.  I find them hard to put down once i start reading for me Liz Mistry is cementing herself as one of my favourite crime writers, and I hope to be reading the continuing saga of Gus for many years to come – A 5* +BLOG TOUR (5).png read for me

 

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the queen of new beginnings blog tour

In a change of pace for me I am on a blog tour for Bombshell books today – sister to bloodhound and with a new author to me.

the queen of new beginnings:

Kajsa lives in a large house in Stockholm along with her three children and their dog. Since coming clean about lying on her popular blog she no longer has any work. Not only that but she has kicked her husband out because of his sex addiction.

While her husband is in rehab trying to fix his little problem, Kajsa’s mother in law is thrown out of her retirement home and comes to live with her daughter in law.

Then Kajsa receives an unexpected offer to move to a fashionable part of London. But having to look after her mother in law makes life complicated.

can Kajsa rid herself of her baggage and make a fresh start with her children in England?

This laugh-out-loud comedy looks at the daily struggles we all face with our families and asks if starting again is ever really possible.

my thoughts:

I have heard this described as similar to Bridget jones which I don’t think quite does this book justice. This is a follow up to the Queen of Blogging which introduces us to Kasja and her family, although this could probably be read as a standalone.

I find Kasja appealing as she is a very real woman – struggling with relatively realistic problems. This book is engaging and easy to read and the character of Kasjas mother in law is particularly endearing.

if you want a light easy travel read than this is a book for you – its a fun humorous light hearted read. I would read more from this author, a solid 4* read for meBlog Tour (14).

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Strategy blog tour

Today I have the good fortune of being on the Strategy blog tour – Anita waller is one of my favourite bloodhound authors. Strategy is the follow up to 34 days.

the novel:

How much can one family take? 

Jenny Carbrook murdered three people to make it look as though there was a serial killer at work in Lincoln, when the only person she wanted to kill was Ray Carbrook, her father-in-law, who had raped her the week before her marriage to Mark, Ray’s son. 

Jenny wrote letters detailing her crimes in order to protect everyone she loved, but was forced to go into hiding before retrieving the evidence against her.  Not only did she leave the letters behind but also her young daughter, Grace. 

Now Jenny has a plan, a strategy, to get the letters back. But it’s not only the letters that Jenny has in her sights

my thoughts: I read 34 days before this and while I enjoyed the premise of how an ordinary person can be driven to evil acts, I didn’t feel like it reflected Anita at her best it was a good read but I wasn’t as emotionally drawn in as I have been with her other novels.

however Strategy remedies this. You are hooked from page 1 of this fantastic thriller and it helps that you know the characters from 34 days as you feel more connected with them from the very beginning. There were several points in this book where I had tears running down my face as I read and this is Anita’s real writing skill. She can draw you in emotionally to a book in a way few other authors do for me. I can think of few other authors who deliver this type of domestic Noir as well as Anita Waller.

for an outstanding read look no further, this receives a solid 5* from me.

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Till the dust settles by Pat young

my turn today on the Till the dust settles blog tour. This is Pat young’s debut novel with bloodhound and an intriguing read.

the story:

The lives of two women who never meet are about to collide.

Lucie married young. Her husband has become abusive, controlling and violent.  Having lost everything as a result of the marriage, Lucie decides it is time to walk away.

As she leaves the house on the morning of September 11th, heading to a job interview at the World Trade Centre and the promise of a new life, the unthinkable happens.

On a street in New York, choking on the dust, Lucie stumbles upon an opportunity for a new life.

She thought the grass would be greener. But starting again is never that simple…

Sometimes, what lies ahead is even more deadly

My thoughts:

This is a really interesting novel with a fresh approach. I think the idea of a doppelganger is something slightly underused (and yes i know i may have used the term wrongly but i’m trying not to give away spoilers) and this does it in a fascinating manner.

it also deals sensitively with the 9/11 attacks which although horrifying are handled well in this work of fiction. I found the characters engaging and well developed and you found yourself really rooting for the protagonist.

however the ending spoiled it slightly for me as it felt just a little too farfetched. However this is a solid 4* read for me from a new author discovery and will definitely not the be the last book i read from this author.BLOG TOUR (9).png

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The second captive by Maggie James

This is another rerelease of Maggie Jame’s work since she became the latest star author to be signed by Bloodhound books. I am a huge fan of Maggie’s work and this story is no exception

the story:

Eighteen-year-old Beth Sutton is abducted and held prisoner in a basement. Dependent on her captor for everything, Beth slowly starts to build a relationship with the man responsible for her imprisonment.

But her abductor is guilty of more than just kidnap  and she has the evidence to prove it.

When she escapes from the basement Beth’s toughest  challenge will be dealing with her memories.

Will Beth ever overcome her trauma?

And what is the relationship between love and fear?

My thoughts:

This novel is outstanding, it grabs you from the very first pages and never lets you go, it even keeps you thinking after the novel has finished. I loved the way you saw how Beth’s thoughts changed as she spent longer in captivity. The whole concept of this story was fascinating and I found the standard of writing to be breathtaking if you haven’t discovered Maggie James yet where have you been. I can’t find the words to express how much I enjoyed this novel, it’s a 5** + read for me.BLOG TOUR (5)-2.png

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Poor Hands by Oliver Tidy

It feels like i’ve been waiting a long time for the third instalment in the Booker and Cash Series by Oliver Tidy. This is his newest release with Bloodhound books, it follows the lives of Booker and Cash a secondhand bookstore/cafe owner and private detective respectively.

the story:

In a big old building on the south coast of Kent, David Booker runs a book-themed coffee shop and Jo Cash operates a private investigation business. They live there, too. But not like that.

Jo needs help with tracing a mystery client’s living relatives. David needs help with his staffing problems.  Will they both get what they are looking for?

Sometimes two heads are better than one. Sometimes a poor hand is better than none. But not always…

My thoughts:

I have always been a fan of this series and this is a good addition to the trilogy. The book could be read as a standalone but if you have not read booker and cash before you would be better starting at the beginning. It follows to semi intertwining stories of a young girl in trouble and a family history conundrum. Once again the quality of writing, strength of characters and the authors clear knowledge of romney marsh shine through. I loved the clues set in cash’s investigation and found this a real sleep stealer of a novel. It was hard to put down and full of Oliver’s trademark humour. A real 5* read for me

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