Because of You by Dawn French @Dawn_French @PenguinUKBooks @MichaelJBooks #NetGalley #BecauseOfYou #BookReview #NewRelease


ick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock . . . midnight.

The old millennium turns into the new.

In the same hospital, two very different women give birth to two very similar daughters.

Hope leaves with a beautiful baby girl.

Anna leaves with empty arms.

Seventeen years later, the gods who keep watch over broken-hearted mothers wreak mighty revenge, and the truth starts rolling, terrible and deep, toward them all.

The power of mother-love will be tested to its limits.

Perhaps beyond . . .

Because Of You is Dawn French’s stunning new novel, told with her signature humour, warmth and so much love.


Because of You 


There are two very different couples on the maternity ward as the new millennium begins. Anna Lindon-Clarke and her black Tory MP husband Julius have just become first-time parents to Florence while in a room just down the hall Hope Parker and her African partner Isaac are heartbroken first-time parents to still-born Mini. Both babies are beautiful.

When Anna and Julius catch up on sleep while they can, Hope and Isaac get ready to leave the hospital empty-handed, that is until Isaac goes to fetch the car while and Hope makes her way steadily along the corridor, where she sees baby Florence. She just wants to peep at her, then hold her and before she can think she slips her into her bag. Her thought is if she doesn’t cry then the baby wants to be with her. Not a sound does she make.

Oh boy, I have cried so many tears already in this story, having said my own goodbyes to our sleeping grandson born six years ago. I can still remember the feel of him and how perfect he looked. My heart broke for Hope and Isaac and then again for Anna and even the obnoxious Julius who would take 5 mins of TV fame if it meant increasing his status politically.

The story jumps 17 years where it becomes a huge tear-jerker again. Dawn French really knows how to connect her characters to readers, get you involved and seeing the points of view from every possible angle. There is something mentioned at the beginning of the book that sits in your mind, something that Hope is not aware of. It niggled me. Mini, as Florence had always been known, is a truly colourful character, confident and happy with who she is or until now who she thought she was.

This is an incredible story that doesn’t have right or wrong answers it has reasons, it has love, forgiveness and sacrifices. The ending just took my feet when I thought that this book had already given everything. Superb!

I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.



Dawn French has been making people laugh for thirty years. On purpose.

As a writer, comedian and actor, she has appeared in some of the
UK’s most long running, cherished and celebrated shows, including
French and Saunders, The Comic Strip Presents …, Murder Most Horrid,
The Vicar of Dibley, Jam and Jerusalem, Lark Rise to Candleford, and more
recently, Roger and Val Have Just Got In.

Twitter: @Dawn_French

Stranded by Stuart James @StuartJames73 @BOTBSPublicity #BlogTour #NewRelease #Stranded

Firstly I wish to thank Sarah Hardy of Book on the Bright Side Publicity & Promo for inviting me on the Blog Tour for Stranded by Stuart James.


What could be more innocent than going on a family holiday?

As a family drive along a quiet country lane on their way to the airport, they meet a stranger standing alone in the middle of the road.

Steering them along another path, he tells the driver, Ben, that a tree has fallen and there’s no way through.

But as they make their way along the diverted route, they come across a coach blocking the road.

Getting out of the car Ben goes to investigate and is horrified to find the passengers tied to their seats.

Then a discarded phone starts to ring…

If Ben calls the police, everyone on board will die.

Let the horrific game begin…




You wouldn’t think that a book could be this good with such a limited number of characters in the story but it doesn’t just hold your attention, it is one of those rabbit in the headlight moments where I just couldn’t drag my eyes from the continuous turning pages.

There is no settling into the story you begin reading and you are there before you can take a breath. A coach is in the way and it has already reached its final destination. The coach is literally full of stories of the lives of these people. Best mates, devoted couples and happily family units, all pawn pieces in play.

The caller has his own story but it is a vicious circle of being victim and perpetrator for him. As each person tells their own story every chapter holds its own horrors, all very different and yet equally intense and breathtaking. It makes you look at your own moral judgements, what would you do?

The saying it’s not over till the fat lady sings came to mind when I finished this book. Brilliant ending, made me shiver!

I wish to thank Sarah Hardy of Book on the Bright Side Publicity & Promo for an e-copy of this book, which I have reviewed honestly.


I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.

There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.

I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns.

My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.

This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I started writing three years ago, penning The House On Rectory Lane which has just won The International Book Award in horror fiction. I got the idea from something that has often seemed scary to me. I know that a terrifying story has to be something that you’re frightened of doing, something that makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, something that fills you with dread, yet also with excitement.

To me, the thought of going to a house in the middle of nowhere, upping and leaving a busy town and moving to the country is something that scares lots of people and me: the seclusion, the quiet, the darkness. That’s what inspired me to write my first novel.

My second thriller is called Turn The Other Way, which was a world wide number 1 best seller and stayed at number 1 for 19 weeks in the US.

I have multiple stories running, past and present. A family who want answers from the surgeon responsible for their daughter’s death. A young woman looking for her parents after they go missing from a party. A couple driving home and hearing screams for help from the back of the van in front of them. A serial killer on the loose in North London, dragging victims off the street.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.

My third thriller, Apartment Six, was published in January of this year and was a number 1 hot new release on Amazon for 4 weeks.

Stranded goes on pre-order Monday October 12th on Amazon and is released October 19th.

I’m 47, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing. I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true.


Two Murders Too Many by Bluette Matthey @HardyDurkin #BookReview #NewRelease

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Barn burning in a sleepy farming community is a serious enough matter, but a grisly murder or two in a small midwest town is a showstopper. Throw in a serial blackmailer who has his claws in some of the town’s leading citizens and you have one big recipe for disaster. Charlie Simmons, newly sworn in as Shannon’s policeman, takes on the challenge of investigating this cauldron of crimes in stride, untangling one thread after another from the fabric of the town of Shannon to find the simple truth.


Amazon: Two Murders Too Many



Barnes & Noble:


Two Murders Too Man is a step away from the Hardy Durkin series and opens in a small mid-west town as the first few chapters set the scene and introduce the new characters. The town is a place where everyone knows everybody and their business but someone knows more than they should. When a barn burns down, a woman goes missing and a body is discovered the towns police department becomes a hive of activity and the key players begin to stand out of the story.

Charlie Simmons steps up to the mark as he begins to dig into the town’s folk affairs. I really took to Charlie who doesn’t take things at face value, he is methodical, trusted and doesn’t jump to conclusions. The story is set in the 1950’s so it is a more hands-on type of policing than today. There is a lot of leg work and treks to farms, banks and dropping in on people. Not everything is done strictly by the book but results are gotten.

The momentum builds gradually throughout the story and the real detective work began with me as well as Charlie. I love a book that develops into a whodunnit for me to get involved with too. There are some shocking discoveries and a brilliant ending after I thought that it was all winding up. It certainly spiked my adrenalin. I really enjoyed this book and I hope to see more of these characters in the future.


Bluette Matthey is a third-generation Swiss American, an avid lover of Europe and its cultures, and a keen reader of mysteries. Her love of travel is shared by her husband, who formerly owned a tour outfitter business in Europe. Bluette maintains a mental list of hikes and pilgrimages she still wants to do throughout Europe. She currently lives in Beziers, France, with her husband and pair of loving cats.


Twitter: @HardyDurkin

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Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten @nholten40 @0nemorechapter_ @HarperCollinsUK #BookReview #NetGalley #NewRelease #DeadPerfect #OrganizedCrime

Dead Perfect: An absolutely gripping crime thriller with dark and jaw-dropping twists (Maggie Jamieson thriller, Book 3) by [Noelle Holten]


A murdered woman…

When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer.  The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else.  Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.

A determined detective…

Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger.  Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls? 

Can Maggie find the depraved killer?  Or will Kate become his next living doll?


Dead Perfect


I have read the first book in this series, somehow missed the second and picked up on book three, which is just being released. The second book had finished on a bit of a cliff hanger but it was really easy to put the missing pieces in place seamlessly. This story is based around Dr Kate Moloney, who has appeared in all three books.

DC Maggie Jamieson has over time developed a friendship with Moloney but it does seem to be very one-sided, with Moloney not quite wanting the intensity that Jamieson would like. Moloney is quite a closed book where her past is concerned and not some-one that will open up to people. I loved her individuality, her confidence and style, she is quite a mystery.

There is a killer on the loose who is on a mission and the local population is on a sharp decline as he increases his need to achieve perfection while keeping his eyes on the main prize. The chapters that he appears in are disturbing as he definitely sees the scenes in front of him very differently to the true reality. A very memorable character yet one that blends in society without being noticed.

Jamieson is definitely walking a fine line where work ethics and friendship are concerned. Being emotionally involved fuzzes her thinking at times. Just how far will she go?

I really enjoyed this story, I felt connected to how the characters were feeling, even the killer. It also made me think about just how far the ripple of something like this can go, affecting so many lives than just those physically involved.

I wish to thank the publisher and NetGalley for a copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Noelle Holten

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog.

Twitter: @nholten40

Dead Perfect: An absolutely gripping crime thriller with dark and jaw-dropping twists (Maggie Jamieson thriller, Book 3) by [Noelle Holten]

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow @AlixEHarrow @LittleBrownUK @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BlogTour #NetGalley #TheOnceAndFutureWitches

Firstly I wish to thank Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me on the Blog Tour of The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow.

The Once and Future Witches by [Alix E. Harrow]


The Once and Future Witches is a gorgeous and thrilling paean to the ferocious power of women’ Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author of Strange the Dreamer

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.

But when the three Eastwood sisters join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote – and perhaps not even to live – the sisters must delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.

There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.


The Once and Future Witches


This is a huge story in every sense of the word. At over 500 pages it has that slow burn feel about it but the text had me transfixed on the characters and my apprehension grew in each chapter with the story building to an outstanding breathtaking conclusion. Emotional, exhilarating and thrilling.

The story is set in 1893 and revolves around the three Eastwood sisters, Agnes Amaranth, Beatrice Belladonna and James Juniper as they come together after being estranged for many years. Their mother had died, after the birth of Juniper and her two older siblings left home and abusive father as soon as they could. Years later, Juniper is on the run for a crime she has committed and the three of them all end up in New Salem. They find themselves being drawn together and attempt to bring all the women’s causes that are being separately fought together and band them with the ladies suffragists of New Salem. With some, it is like trying to mix oil with water.

It had been a long time since the word ‘witch’ was bantered around and the last trials and burnings were just tales now. The sisters were intent in stirring up a bit of a frenzy among the women of New Salem with the ladies who were used to keeping their family secrets well hidden in fables and rhymes that had been passed down from mother to daughter.

The style of writing is pure perfection to the era it is set in with the author creating very visual places that are full of wonder and solid characters that I felt could do anything as long as I believed in them. The last few chapters were ones that I had to kept reminding myself to breathe. What a climactic ending it is. I loved how the author wove together historical events with her own magic and made this into an alternative but what if this had happened twist. Highly recommended!

I wish to thank the publisher and NetGalley for a copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Alix E. Harrow

I’ve been a student and a teacher, a farm-worker and a cashier, an ice-cream-scooper and a 9-to-5 office-dweller. I’ve lived in tents and cars, cramped city apartments and lonely cabins, and spent a summer in a really sweet ’79 VW Vanagon. I have library cards in at least five states.

Now I’m a full-time writer living in with my husband and two semi-feral kids in Berea, Kentucky. It is, I’m very sure, the best of all possible worlds.

Twitter: @AlixEHarrow

Contempt by Michael Cordell @TCKPublishing #Contempt #LegalThriller #KindleUnlimited #Bookreview

First I would like to thank Maria Into of TCK Publishing for inviting me to read and review this book.

Contempt: A Legal Thriller by [Michael Cordell]


Playing by the rules landed him on death row. Now he’ll have to break all the rules to survive.

After spending five years in jail for a murder he didn’t commit, lawyer Thane Banning agrees to take on a case defending a former inmate against the same DA who put Thane behind bars.

Thane is besieged by death threats from the alleged victim’s father and a tidal wave of public outrage following his release, not to mention the corrupt DA who has a grudge to settle. But he doesn’t have much time to think about his personal problems because the case is turning into a nasty fight.

Luckily, prison taught Thane a thing or two about survival in a world full of criminals. The last time he played by the rules in court, he landed on death row. This time he’ll have to break more than a few rules to come out of this battle unscathed.

With help from an ex-inmate and an ambitious law student, Thane will do everything in his power to make sure another innocent man isn’t locked up. But will they be able to uncover the truth in time and convince the jury before the gavel drops for the last time?

Fans of An Innocent Client by Scott Pratt, The Neon Lawyer by Victor Methos, Time of Justice by Robin James, and Hard Evidence by John Lescroart will love this book.


Contempt: A Legal Thriller


This is a little beauty if you enjoy legal thrillers. Thane Banning had served 5 years for a murder he didn’t commit but prison has changed him, he is not the man he used to be. The law firm where he used to work offers him his job back as a real estate lawyer and his wife shelves the new relationship she has to give their marriage ago.

You realise just what a tough time Thane has had in prison with how he reacts to situations on the outside. He has a quick temper, that he has trouble controlling. This puts more strain on the already rocky relationship he has with his wife.

Although he isn’t a criminal lawyer it isn’t long before he has a case that he wants to take on. A former prisoner is accused of murder and wants Thane to defend him. If he is found guilty he won’t get any more chances inside prison, he will face the death sentence. This will put Thane up against the DA who sent him to prison 5 years ago.

A third-year law student is eager to help with research and another ex-con and friend Gideon is to be his second in court. Inside the court is sizzling with tension. There are some humdinger battles, with Thane not always running to courtroom protocol.

Thane is at the same time trying to find who murdered the reporter that he had been set up to take the fall for. It is the only way that people will put their trust back into him a hundred percent. I certainly didn’t guess the outcome. Brilliant storyline.

The emotions run high with so many characters in this story. Hope there will be a second book with this dynamic trio in court again soon.


Michael Cordell

Michael Cordell is a novelist, playwright and produced screenwriter. He has sold three screenplays to Hollywood, including Beeper, an action-thriller starring Harvey Keitel and Joey Lauren Adams. Michael currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he has taught screenwriting for over fifteen years.

And here is the author’s website:

Here is our website link:

Contempt: A Legal Thriller by [Michael Cordell]

This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik @Ayisha_Malik @Tr4cyF3nt0n @ZaffreBooks #BlogTour #ThisGreenAndPleasantLand #NetGalley

Firstly I wish to thank Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me on the Blog Tour for This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik

This Green and Pleasant Land: Shortlisted for The Diverse Book Awards 2020 by [Ayisha Malik]


‘Tender, challenging and as warm as it was razor-sharp’ Beth O’Leary
‘If you’ve read Joanna Cannon I think you’ll love this’ Simon Savidge
‘A sublimely witty and touching story’ Jonathan Coe

The standout new novel by acclaimed author Ayisha Malik – perfect for fans of David Nicholls and Candice Carty-Williams.

In the sleepy village of Babel’s End, trouble is brewing.

Bilal Hasham is having a mid-life crisis. His mother has just died, and he finds peace lying in a grave he’s dug in the garden. His elderly Auntie Rukhsana has come to live with him, and forged an unlikely friendship with village busybody, Shelley Hawking. His wife Mariam is distant and distracted, and his stepson Haaris is spending more time with his real father.

Bilal’s mother’s dying wish was to build a mosque in Babel’s End, but when Shelley gets wind of this scheme, she unleashes the forces of hell. Will Bilal’s mosque project bring his family and his beloved village together again, or drive them apart?

Warm, wise and laugh-out-loud funny, This Green and Pleasant Land is a life-affirming look at love, faith and the meaning of home.


This Green and Pleasant Land: Shortlisted for The Diverse Book Awards 2020


Bilal Hasham, or Bill as he is called locally, thought of himself as one of the community where he and his family have lived in Babbel’s End for the last eight years. He has been involved with village projects, being part of the church and even a member of the parish council but now he is doubting what true acceptance really means. Have the people that he has called his friends really felt the same as he has over the years or was it just for show.

Bilal is just one of the nicest guys you could wish to meet but when he is at his mother’s bedside in Birmingham, her last wish is for him to build a mosque for her back at Babbel’s End, something the village committee and residents are appalled at! People who he had called friends turn on him, while others take up a cowards way to show their disapproval. What is the true cost of the mosque going to be for Bilal and his family and the village where they live?

There are some cracking characters in this story, people that I had to smile about that I could ‘recognise in my own village. There is nothing like village life, which is the total opposite of town life where people walk on by. Being part of a village is knowing everyone’s routines, quirks and schedules. Life revolves around the village hall and church. Poor Bilal’s confidence in himself had been shattered but he gets a determination and strength in him that had never stirred before.

I felt so saddened for him, defensive for some of the villagers, disgusted by others and loved how language didn’t have to be a barrier where friendship is concerned. The story made me laugh out at parts so many times but it made me think too. It is a story that gets a message over about what is truly important. I loved the build-up and the ending of the story. A cracking way to round it all up.

I wish to thank the publisher and NetGalley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.



Ayisha Malik is a writer and editor, living in South London. She holds a BA in English Literature and a First Class MA in Creative Writing. Her novels Sofia Khan is Not Obliged and The Other Half of Happiness, starring ‘the Muslim Bridget Jones’, were met with great critical acclaim, and Sofia Khan is Not Obliged was chosen as 2019’s Cityread book. Ayisha was a WHSmith Fresh Talent Pick, shortlisted for the Asian Women of Achievement Award and Marie Claire’s Future Shapers Awards. Ayisha is also the ghost writer for The Great British Bake Off winner, Nadiya Hussain. This Green and Pleasant Land is her latest novel.

Twitter: @Ayisha_Malik

Silence in the Shadows by Darcy Coates (Black Winter Book 4) @darcyauthor @Sourcebooks @midaspr @amberachoudhary #BookReview #KindleUnlimted #BlogTour

Firstly I wish to thank Amber Choudhary of Midas Public Relations for inviting me on the Blog Tour for Silence in the Shadows (Black Winter 4) by Darcy Coates

Silence in the Shadows (Black Winter Book 4) by [Darcy Coates]


The stark world continues to change. Each passing day twists it further, pushing the surviving humans closer to the brink of extinction. But, for the first time, there is hope.

Clare and Dorran have set their sights on returning home to Winterbourne Hall. It’s a daunting journey, but vital. Humanity needs more refuges—safe areas where food can be grown without attracting the attention of the hollow ones—and the old gothic manor is their best bet.

But their home is no longer a sanctuary. It’s become a trap: carefully crafted for them, lying in wait for their return. By the time they realize just how dangerous Winterbourne has become, it’s already too late.

The fight for survival is far from over.


Silence in the Shadows (Black Winter Book 4)


This is book four and the final part of this awesome series. Clare and Dorran have said their goodbyes to newly made friends and are setting off back towards Winterbourne Hall. They decide that they could do with a few essential supplies to see them through their first few weeks until the crops are restored back to health.

The journey should be easier this time around but they will encounter more than their fair share of dangers on the road home from hollows and survivors alike. Every encounter is new and every monster unique, bigger, smarter and faster than I have read about before. What the author does is bring them to life with awesome details of their looks and the way they move. There hasn’t been two the same yet.

New and old characters are easily remembered because they all come with their unique stories of survival. Even the ones that haven’t been infected have had to evolve in order to survive. Every one of them has developed some sort of skill that has value within a group. Sometimes that is all they have to trade.

The conclusion of the story is heart-pounding stuff. I kept thinking, well that’s the end and it kept going it really is a mint series. A great round-up with no loose ends left undone. Brilliant. This is a series that I will read again and again over the years. It would make a perfect tv series.


Darcy is the USA Today Bestselling author of Hunted, The Haunting of Ashburn House, Craven Manor, and more than a dozen horror and suspense titles.

She lives on the Central Coast of Australia with her family, cats, and a garden full of herbs and vegetables.

Darcy loves forests, especially old-growth forests where the trees dwarf anyone who steps between them. Wherever she lives, she tries to have a mountain range close by.

Twitter: @darcyauthor

The Postscript Murders (Harbinder Kaur #2) by Elly Griffiths @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks #Thriller #BookReview #NetGalley #ThePostscriptMurders


The ultimate gripping murder mystery from the bestselling author of The Stranger Diaries and the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries

PS: Thanks for the murders.

The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka’s account of Peggy Smith’s death.

But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her…

And that Peggy Smith had been a ‘murder consultant’ who plotted deaths for authors, and knew more about murder than anyone has any right to…

And when clearing out Peggy’s flat ends in Natalka being held at gunpoint by a masked figure…

Well then DS Harbinder Kaur thinks that maybe there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all.

From the sleepy seaside town of Shoreham to the granite streets of Aberdeen, The Postscript Murders is a literary mystery for fans of Anthony Horowitz, Agatha Christie and anyone who’s ever wondered just how authors think up such realistic crimes…

PS: Trust no one


The Postscript Murders


What a brilliant read this is. It is a rather gentle murder mystery to solve with a band of wannabe super sleuths who are entertaining in their own right. When 90-year-old Peggy is found dead by her carer it seems that the old lady had just simply come to the end of her life but something just doesn’t feel right about it all, especially when a postcard is found.

I was in my element reading this story as it revolved around the world of authors, book signings and crime festivals, as well as solving the crime of course. Peggy has quite a collection of books that have some rather unusual dedications in them to her. It is Peggy’s carer that feels there is something more to her death.

This is the second book in the DS Harbinder Kaur series, who is a 36-year-old gay Sikh who lives with her parents. They don’t know that she is gay and it isn’t something she feels she can talk to them about. She is more than happy to come home to still be pampered, she is definitely not someone that likes cleaning or cooking.

The motley crew of carer, ex-monk and elderly resident that lives in the same sheltered accommodation and was a good friend of Peggy’s, take a trip northwards to do a little more digging. Much to the horror of DS Harbinder, it isn’t long before the murders grow in number, with the same peoples’ names entwining time and time again as well as an identical postcard that they have all received.

Brilliant characters, great storyline and a joy to read.

I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Elly Griffiths

Thank you for visiting my Amazon author page! I’m the author of two crime series, the Dr Ruth Galloway books and the Brighton Mysteries. Last year I also published a stand-alone, The Stranger Diaries, and a children’s book, A Girl Called Justice. I have previously written books under my real name, Domenica de Rosa (I know it sounds made up).

The Ruth books are set in Norfolk, a place I know well from childhood. It was a chance remark of my husband’s that gave me the idea for the first in the series, The Crossing Places. We were crossing Titchwell Marsh in North Norfolk when Andy (an archaeologist) mentioned that prehistoric people thought that marshland was sacred ground. Because it’s neither land nor sea, but something in-between, they saw it as a bridge to the afterlife; neither land nor sea, neither life nor death. In that moment, I saw Dr Ruth Galloway walking towards me out of the mist…

I live near Brighton with Andy. We have two grown-up children. I write in a garden shed accompanied by my cat, Gus.

How to Make a Life by Florence Reiss Kraut @SmithPublicity #HowToMakeALife #HistoricalFiction #BookReveiw #BlogTour

Firstly I wish to thank Andrea Thatcher of Smith Publicity for inviting me on the Blog Tour for How to Make a Life by Florence Reiss Kraut.

How to Make a Life: A Novel by [Florence Reiss Kraut]


When Ida and her daughter Bessie flee a catastrophic pogrom in Ukraine for America in 1905, they believe their emigration will ensure that their children and grandchildren will be safe from harm. But choices and decisions made by one generation have ripple effects on those who come later—and in the decades that follow, family secrets, betrayals, and mistakes made in the name of love threaten the survival of the family: Bessie and Abe Weissman’s children struggle with the shattering effects of daughter Ruby’s mental illness, of Jenny’s love affair with her brother-in-law, of the disappearance of Ruby’s daughter as she flees her mother’s legacy, and of the accidental deaths of Irene’s husband and granddaughter.

A sweeping saga that follows three generations from the tenements of Brooklyn through WWII, from Woodstock to India, and from Spain to Israel, How to Make a Life is the story of a family who must learn to accept each other’s differences—or risk cutting ties with the very people who anchor their place in the world.


How to Make a Life: A Novel 


From the very first sentence, everything around me just faded until all that was left was the book in my hand and the desperation of Chaya Amdur her terrified ten-year-old daughter Beilah and her sleeping 3-month-old baby, Feige. My heart was racing because it was obvious something unthinkable had happened. When they climbed out of the cellar what they found was horrific. They had lost their world. It was 1905 and they had to flee the pogrom that was sweeping through Ukraine. They gathered as much as they could, they had not been poor and left for America onboard a ship.

This incredible story continues through the generations until it concludes in 2012. One hundred and seven years of family tragedies and there were so many of them, the joys, the fallouts and the love. Chaya had changed their names when they arrived in America and they became Ida, Bessie and Fanny but tragedy was just waiting for them around the corner. For the second time tears blurred every word that I was reading.

Each chapter centres around one of the family members, either born into the family or married into it. In the front of the book is a family tree, which I found tremendously helpful to keep track of which line they were descending from. As in every family, each person is very different. Ruby is a colourful character that suffers from mental illness all of her life. I saw her through the eyes of others but also from inside her too.

Their stories took me from Brooklyn around the world. I laughed with them, cried so many times and saw some of them grow old, while others weren’t so lucky. Tragedies pulled them together and at times drove them apart. Religion was always there, stronger with some than with others. This is an outstanding story told with raw emotions. I didn’t want it to end but I loved how it ended.

Highly recommended. Unforgettable!! My top read of this year.

I wish to thank Andrea Thatcher of Smith Publicity for a copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Florence Reiss Kraut is a native New Yorker, raised and educated in four of the five boroughs of New York City. She holds a BA in English and a master’s in social work. She worked for thirty years as a clinician, a family therapist, and the CEO of a family service agency before retiring to write and travel widely. She has published personal essays for The New York Times and her fiction has appeared in journals including The Evening Street Press, SNReview, The Westchester Review, and others. She has three married children and nine grandchildren and lives with her husband in Rye, New York. –This text refers to the paperback edition.