As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
New reviews are posted daily, but to search for earlier reviews please click on the Mystery People link below and select 'reviews' from the welcome page. This will display an alphabetic option for you to find the review you would like to read
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Published by Abacus
(Little Brown), 5 November 2015. ISBN: 978-0-349-14118-3
The Hunter of the Dark is a priest named Marcus who belongs to ancient
Italian team within the Vatican called the Penienzieri. They are trained in
detecting evil that no one else can see.
A murderer is at large in Rome who kills couples and
subjects them to strange rituals bordering on the occult.
Sandra is a police photographer and she teams up with
Marcus whom she knew previously to set about catching the “Monster” as the
killer becomes known.
Investigations lead them back many years to an
Institute for children who had committed terrible crimes. There then begins the
job of tracing all the children and staff , leading them into many narrow
escapes as they unveil the evil character responsible for the ritual killings.
Also what is the meaning of the image of a man with a
wolf's head which appears at the scene of some of the murders?
Just as they think they are getting nearer the truth,
something leads them in another direction, making for a gripping read which
races along at a break neck speed. Also running parallel with the main story is
the mystery of the discovery of the dismembered body of a nun in the Vatican
garden a year earlier. Marcus found her body and is determined to find the
killer and wonders if it is at all connected to the later murders.
What a great book, I had real trouble putting it down.
The pace never lets up and one surprise after another actually made me gasp out
loud. I love Rome and was transported there so good is the description.
Very interesting is the Author's note at the back. The
penitenziere does actually exist and subjects mentioned in the book were based
on reality. Although, obviously as he says Donato Carrisi “took liberties” with
them to produce a story. A really fantastic read.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell
Donato Carrisi was
born in 1973 and studied law and criminology. Since 1999 he has been working as
a TV screenwriter. The Whisperer, Carrisi's
first novel, won five international literary prizes, has been sold in nearly
twenty countries, and has been translated into languages as varied as French,
Danish, Hebrew and Vietnamese. Carrisi lives in Rome.
I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I
play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love
is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for
plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots
of great new authors.
Published by Allison & Busby, 18
February 2016. ISBN: 978-0-74901-986-0
The village of West Wittering was burying
the last of the Paghams, afamily,
the rector said had for centuries been significant landowners in the area. That
the family fortunes had in recent years declined through gambling, drinking and
bribery, he glossed over. Robin Pagham had met a tragic end when out sailing.
“Probably drunk” mused the congregation.However, it appeared that Robin’s fiancée Catrina did not share the
general view, as just as they were all ready to take their leave of the church
and head for refreshment at the wake, Catrina lifted her veil and surveying the
congregation declared: ‘One of you bastards murdered Robin, and I’m going to
have your arse.’
At the wake Ethelred Tressidor funds himself buttonholed by Catrina to
find out who killed Robin, but he politely refuses. However, when taxed by
journalist Tom Gittings, who reveals that his family and the Paghams have lived
side by side as it were for centuries, and asks Ethelred to look into the
murder of his ancestor John Gittings, he is intrigued. After all, there might
be a book in it.
When Ethelred’s former agent Elsie Thirkettlegets wind of a possible murder investigation
in the village of West Wittering, she wastes no time in scheduling a visit.
While Elthelred proceeds to investigate the murder of John Gittings, Elsie
pursues her own investigations, with comic results.
Despite their current estrangement it was joy to visit again with
Elthelred and Elsie. An intriguing murder, interspersed with the life of a
literary agent.All those rejection
letters to write, to point budding authors in the right direction with
encouragement and kindness. And to help one’s PA to understand irony.
I loved this book. And heartily recommend it.
L. C. Tylerwas born in Southend, Essex, and educated at
Southend High School for Boys, Jesus College Oxford and City University London.
After university he joined the Civil Service and worked at the Department of
the Environment in London and Hong Kong. He then moved to the British Council,
where his postings included Malaysia, Thailand, Sudan and Denmark.
returning to the UK he has lived in Sussex and London, and was Chief Executive
of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health for eleven years. He is
now a full time writer. His first novel, The
Herring Seller's Apprentice, was published by Macmillan in 2007, followed by A Very Persistent Illusion, Ten Little
Herrings, The Herring in the Library and Herring on the Nile. The first book in a new historical series, A Cruel Necessity, was published by
Constable and Robinson in November 2014. The follow up is A Masterpiece of Corruption and was published in January 2016.
by Allen & Unwin, 3 March 2016. ISBN: 978-0-92526-681-8
manufacturing illegal drugs, car chases: typical ingredients of a fast-paced
thriller, wouldn’t you say?
How about knitting, cooking,
bridge and the cutest, best-behaved baby that ever drew breath?
In Hester and Harriet,
Hilary Spiers manages to include all of
the above, with hardly a policeman in sight, give or take the odd village bobby
and a raid on a cannabis farm that takes place off-stage. The eponymous
characters are sisters, both widowed, formerly a senior local government
officer and comprehensive school teacher, enjoying a peaceful retirement in a
rural village; the most excitement in their lives is the occasional skirmish
with another vehicle on account of Harriet’s terrible driving.
Then one Christmas they find
themselves rescuing Daria, a young eastern European woman, and her baby Milo,
who they discover sleeping in a bus shelter. Shortly afterwards Ben, their
teenage nephew, arrives on the doorstep in search of sanctuary from his
over-protective parents – and Hester and Harriet’s quiet existence is set to
become a lot more interesting.
As Daria’s unfortunate story
unfolds, village life goes on, though not quite as normal. There’s gossip over
an afternoon of bridge regarding a dispute between a snooty neighbour and the
local philanderer turned property developer. Finbar the highly educated tramp
finds himself involved in a dispute with a shady character. The vicar’s wife
starts behaving quite out of character. And Ben, a typical fifteen-year-old,
acne-ridden, school-phobic and welded to his mobile phone, reveals hidden
Hester, Harriet, Daria and
Ben are rounded, believable characters: ordinary people caught up in
extraordinary circumstances. Both the village background and the supporting
characters are two-dimensional and just a little larger than life: do-gooders
Isabelle and George, opinionated Peggy, wide-boy Teddy, a tweedy solicitor,
an avuncular desk sergeant, a distinctly seedy private detective. There’s even
a martinet of a hospital sister for good measure – but it all works in the
context of a gentle, humorous narrative in which two ladies of a certain age
discover that there’s a big, bad world outside their cosy sitting room, and
that they quite enjoy the stimulation it provides. And of course it all turns
out fine in the end.
The result is an easy read,
comforting in the face of the real big, bad world, beautifully written and perfectly
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Hilary Spiers is a novelist, award-winning short story writer and
playwright. She enjoys writing about ordinary women in extraordinary
circumstances. Hilary lives in the finest stone town in England, with her
husband and their neurotic cat Lola. When she isn't writing (which she is most
of the time), she is directing, performing or cooking up a storm. Pies are a
Lynne Patrick has been a writer
ever since she could pick up a pen, and has enjoyed success with short stories,
reviews and feature journalism, but never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to
the dark side to become a publisher for a few years, and is proud to have
launched several careers which are now burgeoning. She lives on the edge of
rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with books, about half of them crime
by Pocket Essentials, 21 April 2016. ISBN: 978-1-84344-640-8
Forshaw has followed his previous
Nordic Noir and Euro Noir with this similar format volume on British crime. This
handy book is subtitled “A definitive investigation of the contemporary crime
field”, and that’s a well-earned description. In his introduction, Forshaw
speaks of a ‘new Golden Age’ of crime, and the variety of genres, detectives,
themes and authors he then gives details of certainly bear that out. He’s
interpreted ‘noir’ loosely to include contemporary writers he feels meet his
criteria of the key four elements: strong plotting, literate, adroit writing,
complex characterisation and vividly evoked locales. This means non-noir
writers like McCall Smith and other ‘cosies’ are included, so it is a real
snapshot of crime writing in Britain today. The only crime genre not included
is historical crime, although a number of writers who are usually historical are
included for their contemporary novels.
guide is roughly organised by region, so if you enjoy researching your favoured
holiday spot with a look at their crime scene, you can do that. However, as
Forshaw points out, writers like McDermid and Cleeves are known for several
locations, so the easiest way to find a particular author is through the index.
All our favourites are here, along with many less well-known (I’m honoured to
be included). Each author is then given a paragraph describing the work, the
series detective, locale, writing strengths, and a recommendation of a
representative book. These paragraphs are descriptions, rather than reviews, as
Forshaw points out in his introduction, but he can’t help his enthusiasm
breaking through when he talks of his particular favourites. England is divided
into regions, with Wales and the Borders part of this section, and Scotland and
Ireland each have a section of their own. The Irish section includes the whole
of Ireland, because, as Forshaw says, he wanted to celebrate as many
interesting and talented writers as he could. This is followedby ‘A World Elsewhere’, with British writers
who set their novels abroad. Finally, there’s a list of films and TV series,
with a paragraph of description of each.
must-have for crime fans: for reminding yourself about old favourites, for
finding new authors, and for that ‘What shall we watch?’ moment as you
contemplate settling down on the sofa for an exciting evening of TV. Highly
Barry Forshaw'slatest books are
Crime Film and Death in a Cold Climate: A Guide to Scandinavian Crime Fiction.
Other work includes British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia, The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction
and Guns for Hire: The Modern Adventure Thriller, along with books on
Italian cinema and the first biography of Stieg Larsson. His next books are British
Gothic Cinema and a study of Thomas Harris and The Silence of the Lambs.
He writes for various newspapers, edits Crime Time, and broadcasts for ITV and
BBC TV documentaries. He has been Vice Chair of the Crime Writers' Association.
Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a
newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's
scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a
qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published
plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage
in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht,
and an active member of her local drama group.Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People