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.
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Published by Sphere, 8
December 2016. ISBN 978-0-7515-4950-8
This is the
third book in the Parker Brothers series.Sam Parker is a detective constable with the Greater Manchester police
and his younger brother, Joe, is a criminal defence lawyer.
book begins with a brutal, cold-blooded murder being committed by a man who
didn’t know either the victim or understand why it was important that he should
Parker is called to the police station and learns that the man he is being
asked to represent is the man whom he believes had murdered his sister Ellie
seventeen years previously.The crime
was never solved and Joe is burdened with, and driven by, the guilty knowledge
that he could have saved Ellie. Indeed Joe had chosen to become a criminal
lawyer only in the hope that he would come across Ellie’s murderer whom he has
vowed to kill.
Joe is reeling with shock, his brother, DC Sam Parker, is trying to track the
killer of the victim from Chapter One, whom it transpires has himself recently
killed a schoolteacher.
two stories gradually merge. They take
the investigators into the murky world of men seeking sex from underage girls
via the Internet, and towards a warped killer who thrives on the misery his crimes
generate in the families of his victims.Gina Ross, an ex policewoman who investigated Ellie’s death, helps the
brothers with their efforts to catch the killer.
is a well-written, fast paced story in which tension builds from the first line
and there is a neat twist at the end that explains the enigma raised in Chapter
One. The narrative has a great sense of
place, and the personal relationships are skillfully described. Joe’s
relationship with the mother of one young girl provides interest to carry that
strand of the story forwards.
hadn’t read the first two books in the series, but this was not a problem. I thoroughly
the Domino Killer to anyone who enjoys a good thriller.
Reviewer: Angela Crowther
was born in 1965 in Mexborough, a small South Yorkshire mining town. The family
moved several times. Eventually Neil studied law and gained his law degree in
Preston. He is a criminal lawyer and a writer. During the day he goes to court.
At night he write’s crime fiction. He says ‘It is as simple as that.’
Angela Crowtheris a
retired scientist. She has published many scientific papers but, as yet,
no crime fiction. In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing
group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the
operas of Verdi and Wagner.
Published by British Library, 19 July 2016.
12.30 From Croydon is an inverted novel. This is a novel where the reader
follows the perpetrator as he or she conceives the idea of the crime, commits
it and then follows the course and outcome of the investigation. However
Chapter One is not in the viewpoint of the perpetrator, it is in the viewpoint
of young Rose Morley. Rose is accompanying her father, Peter Morley, and her
maternal grandfather, Andrew Crowther, and Crowther's manservant, Weatherup, on
an aeroplane journey to Paris to be at the bedside of Rose's mother, who has
been injured in an accident. In this skilful way the author manages to
introduce several details about the journey through the wondering eyes of a
child. However, because she is a child, Rose fails to comprehend the most
important thing of all: it is not until her father tells her afterwards that
she realises that her grandfather is dead.
In Chapter Two we go back to four
weeks before Andrew Crowther's death and follow Charles Swinburne, Andrew's
nephew, as it occurs to him that all his problems would be solved if his uncle
died. Charles owns and runs Crowther Electromotor Works, the firm set up by
Andrew Crowther and Charles' father. Now Andrew is retired and Charles' father
has died. Charles had run the firm well until the economic slump had damaged
his business. Charles knows that he is Andrew's co-heir, along with Andrew's
daughter, Peter's wife. He also knows that Andrew will not understand that the
current economic situation is responsible for Charles' failure and is unlikely
to lend Charles a suitable sum of money for the new machinery he needs. Even
worse, if he is disappointed in Charles he might well disinherit him. Charles
is appalled at the thought of laying off his men, knowing that they will
struggle to find new jobs and they and their families will suffer terrible
hardship. However, at the root of Charles decision is selfishness, partly
because he does not wish to lose the status being a successfully businessman
gives him, but mainly because he is in love with Una Mellor, a mercenary young
woman who would never marry a poor man.
The reader follows Charles as he
first thinks of killing his uncle, shies away from it and then embraces the
idea; and as he plans how to commit the crime. Having decided on poison he has
to work out how to acquire it in a way that won't lead to his detection, and
how to administer it. When the deed is done the reader observes his see-saw of
emotions – his worry at the start of the investigation, his relief when the
Coroner rules Andrew's death as suicide and his mounting fear as he realises
that the police are not satisfied with this verdict; his concern when he
realises that Peter Morley may be suspected of the crime; his second foray into
violence; and his emotions when the case is brought to court.
As well as the local police officers, Detective Inspector French, the author's
series' detective is on the case, and the final two chapters are devoted to
French explaining to a group of interested professionals his insights into the
The 12.30 From Croydon
is a skilfully crafted book, exploring in detail the mechanics of murder and
the emotions of the murderer. The author elicits some sympathy for Charles
without condoning the crime he commits. It is interesting to see Inspector
French from a criminal's point of view as 'a pleasant, rather kindly and
very ordinary man.' The pace of the book is measured and rather slow, which
gives the effect of a crime and investigation in real time, but the tension is
maintained and built up throughout the book, culminating in the final trial
scenes. French's exposition of what aroused his suspicions and how he built his
case is fascinating. If the style of The 12.30 From Croydon was an experiment
for Freeman Wills Crofts it should be counted as a successful one.
Freeman Wills Crofts (1879-1957)was one of the pre-eminent writers in the golden age
of British crime fiction. He was the author of more than thirty detective
novels, and was greatly acclaimed by peers such as Agatha Christie and Raymond
Carol Westronis a successful short
story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly
Dames.Her crime novels are set both in contemporary
and Victorian times.The Terminal
Velocity of Cats is the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published
July 2013. Her latest book The Fragility
of Poppies was published 10 June 2016.
by Head of Zeus, 8 September 2016. ISBN: 978-1-78497-151-9
Six stories take
us through through the career of Hong Kong detective Sonny Lok and his mentor,
Kwan Chun-Dok. The series begins with Inspector Lok bringing his suspects to
the hospital room of the dying Chun-Dok, the former commander of Crime
Intelligence Bureau, also known to his subordinates as the ‘Eye of Heaven’,
because of his genius in detection.
The stories then take us back through the way the men’s relationship has grown
over the years, as well as showing key moments of Chun-Dok’s career, and the
story of Hong Kong itself in the move away from Britain. Each story is a
carefully crafted classic crime, with the clues fairly presented, and a clever
twist to the solution. The plots include a Christie-style murder of a tycoon, a
war between Triad members, an escaped prisoner, the capture of that prisoner’s
brother in a bungled hostage situation, and the kidnapping of the son of a
British official involved in investigating corruption in the Hong Kong police.
The final story is told in the first person, by a young man who becomes
involved in foiling the schemes of a terrorist gang. The backwards-telling idea
is cleverly done, and it’s an interesting way of looking at Chun-Dok and Lok’s
careers. While these stories follow the police point of view, and give a full
picture of the Hong Kong police from the inside, Ho-Kei’s more like Christie or
Conan Doyle in their use of the detective figure than a modern police
stories also take us through the story of Hong Kong’s moves towards separation
from the British, from the initial demand for indepencence through the
negotiotions to the city as it is today. Each story is 80-90 hardback pages
long, and the book would be ideal for carrying for those moments when you don’t
want a full-length novel, but can’t be bothered with learning new characters
for each short story.
excellent read for classic crime fans, with the bonus of an interestingly
exotic background, both in police procedures and the politics of a city.
Chan Ho-Kei was raised in Hong Kong. He has won the
Mystery Writers of Taiwan Award for his short stories, and In 2011, his debut
novel The Man Who Sold the World won
the Soji Shimada, the biggest mystery award in the Chinese world.
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 e-zine.
Published by Headline, 22 September 2016. ISBN:978-0-7559-8080-0
World famous archaeologist Nina
Wilde, well known for discovering Atlantis some years before is now persuaded
along with her husband Eddie Chase to again try and find something that was
once believed to be a myth.
Her mother, also an archaeologist
had always maintained that the people of Atlantis had treasure hidden somewhere
in Nepal, but was killed before she could search for it. Eddie on a dive at the
site of Atlantis finds a Secret Codex seemingly pointing to the whereabouts of
the gold, they decide to go and find out more. Among others, one of the reasons
Nina wants to go is to prove her mother right. When her grandmother
unexpectedly turns up with copious notes of her mother’s it makes her even more
determined to find the truth.
Leaving their daughter Macy at
home in New York with a relative, they fly out to Nepal to a monastery thought
to be near the cave containing the gold. The monks agree to help them, however
someone else also knows about it and they have obviously followed Nina and
Now begins not only a desperate
fight not only to keep their secret hidden but to keep their lives. It's not
long before it becomes apparent that involved are not just greedy individuals
but even more greedy heads of countries determined to use the gold to control
the world. What follows is a frantic
struggle to keep one step ahead of people very determined to keep them quiet
Wow, what an exciting book, it
pulls the reader in and holds you with a stranglehold grip right from the
beginning. I think just about everyone is interested in the possible existence
of the much talked about Atlantis and this helps to bring the story alive.
I see this is Andy McDermott's
twelfth book involving Nina and Eddie and how Atlantis was discovered. I would
definitely like to read some of their earlier exploits.
I highly recommend The Midas Legacy for those who like
non-stop action that never lets up. What it says on the cover is what you get,
quote: “Action, Adventure and Mayhem Aplenty”!
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell
Andy McDermott was born in Halifax.He is the bestselling author of the Nina
Wilde/Eddie Chase series of adventure thrillers, which have been sold in over
30 countries and 20 languages. His debut novel, The Hunt For Atlantis, was published in the UK in 2008; on its US
publication the following year it became his first of several New York Times
bestsellers. He is also the author of the explosive spy thriller The Persona Protocol, and the first in a
planned series of short stories about celebrity sleuth Leviticus Gold. A former
journalist and movie critic, Andy was the editor of respected UK magazines like
DVD Review and the iconoclastic film publication Hotdog. He is now a full-time
author. He now lives in Bournemouth.
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.