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 Matador, 28th
May 2018. ISBN: 978-1-78803375-6 (PB)
Detective Sergeant Jack Todd is called to the murder
of Terry Dehavilland, a newspaper reporter who had been jailed previously for
phone hacking a Government Minister's telephone and had recently been released.
His boss then gives him Terry's address and instructs him to go and have a look
He breaks in the back door, finds a
computer, and when he turns it on sees it contains Terry's journal. It has
details of how he started digging the dirt on well-known people, some high up
in the government. One particular article describes famous men involved in
child abuse cases mainly concerning a home called Knoxley Hall. While he is reading this, a Lucy Mainwaring, a
journalist comes in, and says she has been sent to confront him with an
accusation that he preys on women, which he vehemently denies. It is obvious to
him that they have both been set up, but why? Lucy takes some convincing but
finally comes around to his way of thinking.
Todd decides to follow up some of
the leads in Terry's journal. He reads that a Lord Warrington is one of the men
involved together with two bent policemen, Norcross and Barrowclough and a
Bishop Frobisher another well-known figure. However, he does not realise what
dangerous enemies he is making, delving into their lives, as he finds to his
Then the laptop is stolen, but
Lucy, now helping Todd has managed to scan the contents onto her phone. She is
determined not only to expose the child abusers but also to make a big name for
herself as the person who helped bring them all to book. Even when it seems her
own father is involved.
However, the men in high places
have other ideas and are just as determined to stop anyone exposing their
identities and all activities both past and present, with dire consequences.
Quite a thought provoking subject
which has many parallels to the recent scandals involving names at Westminster
suspected of child abuse. In fact, in the Postscript at the back of the book,
there is mention of a paedophile ring associated with Elm Guest house in the
1980's and how the scandal was hushed up and that enquiries since have really
not achieved anything at all.
Recommended reading for those
interested in government 'cover ups'.
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 Hope Road
Publishing, 16 March 2018. ISBN: 978-1-908446-59-6 (PB)
Syed Qais, known as Cash, is a Karachi-based insurance
adjuster. He is widowed with a daughter Shereen. He is a Muslim but moderately
so. For instance, he drinks but not before sunset. Except this once, which is
what, he tells us at the outset, got him into trouble when his former lover
Sonia appears with a commission for him – to deal with an insurance problem
arising from the burning down of a warehouse (also known as a ‘go-down’) and
its contents, a large amount of cigarettes. The contents of the warehouse had
been insured under a complex series of insurance and reinsurance arrangements
but there is a problem: the ultimate client, a transporter named Malik Awan
should claim on the insurance and he won’t because after his son was killed in
a drone strike he has become fundoo,
ie a fundamentalist, and such transactions are contrary to his religious
So, Sonia has
arranged for Cash to persuade Malik to take the money. There is a generous
commission and Cash is tempted; his daughter wants to go to university and in
present-day Pakistan money unlocks doors even in the academic world and he
would like to buy a better flat for his widowed but formidable mother. And he
still has feelings for Sonia – although a Catholic marriage between the two of
them would be unthinkable but all the same . . . And the commission is really
generous . . .But the warehouse is in Waziristan
where the ruthless Taliban has taken control and the Pakistan Army (also pretty
ruthless) is fighting to regain control with the aid of U.S. airpower. So,
Cash, against his better judgement, agrees and finds himself in a maelstrom of
danger and betrayal.
Although the author
now lives in the U.S.A. he was born in Karachi. When he spoke at the 2018
Bristol Crimefest he told us that he had even been to the troubled province of
Waziristan. This gives his writing a sense of deep authenticity which other
writers who choose to set novels in such locales after only a brief visit or a
trip around the internet do not have. He is also writing about a society which
he knows well, and this again adds to the authenticity of his writing. Cash is
an attractive protagonist who doesn’t take himself too seriously. I enjoyed
this book although, not knowing how big insurance contracts operate, I had to
concentrate sorting out the insurance difficulties which are the trigger for
Reviewer: Radmila May
S.S. Mausoofwas born in
Karachi, educated in the US, and is currently residing in San Francisco. He is
a writer-filmmaker with multiple IMDB credits and
an active fan base build upon noir films like Kala Pul and Absolutionand a
much-acclaimed documentary on the Indus valley civilization calledIn Search of Meluhha: The Story of Mohenjodaro, and he is an active member of Friends of South Asia (FOSA) an organization that works to promote peace and
harmony in South Asia, a board member of the Third I South Asian film festival and a frequent commentator for KPFA radio
station on events concerning Pakistan. The
Warehouse is his first novel inspired by relief work in the region.
born in the U.S. but has lived in the U.K. since she was seven apart from seven
years in The Hague. She read law at university but did not go into practice.
Instead she worked for many years for a firm of law publishers and still does occasional
work for them including taking part in a substantial revision and updating of
her late husband’s legal practitioners’ work on Criminal Evidence published
late 2015. She has also contributed short stories with a distinctly criminal
flavour to two of the Oxford Stories anthologies published by Oxpens Press – a
third story is to be published shortly in another Oxford Stories anthology –
and is now concentrating on her own writing.
by Constable, 26 April 2018. ISBN: 978-1-47211736-6 (PB)
is the latest in the long running Agatha Raison series of books. It is, as all
are, set in the beautiful Cotswolds.
one begins on a deeply foggy Autumnal evening as the local vicar Rory Devere along
with his wife, drive slowly home from a night at friends. As they strain to see
the road in front of them in the severe weather conditions, they pull up
sharply in front of a tree that has been struck by lightning. On closer
inspection they see a body is hanging from the tree. The body belongs to a
local spinster from the village, Margaret Darby.
Raison is a PI, and of late has had nothing but lost cats and mischievous
husbands to keep her in business. She is delighted when the local vicar calls
on her to help solve the murder.
inhabitants of the village of Sumpton Harcart seem to be very private people
and are not taking well to Agatha’s interference. Then two further murders
occur. Agatha realises that she herself is in mortal danger when she uncovers
the fact the fact that this village has a covert of witches.
one would expect with any Agatha Raison mystery this book is light-hearted and
pure fun. Her relationship with Charles features, as ever, and adds to make the
story pure escapism.
not her best Agatha Raison outing. But with such sharply observed and well-
drawn characters, and the setting a village we could only dream to live in, it
is always a joy to journey through her adventures. And with the holiday season right
here, what better a time than now to lie in the garden and do just that. Agatha
Raison books are on radio, and television and have sold in millions.
M.C. Beatonwas born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1936 and
started her first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department in
John Smith & Sons Ltd. While bookselling, by chance, she got an offer from
the Scottish Daily Mail
to review variety shows and quickly rose to be their theatre critic. She left
Smith’s to join Scottish Field
magazine as a secretary in the advertising department, without any shorthand or
typing, but quickly got the job of fashion editor instead. She then moved
to the Scottish Daily Express where she reported mostly on crime. This was
followed by a move to Fleet Street to the Daily Express where she became
chief woman reporter. After marrying Harry Scott Gibbons and having a son,
Charles, Marion went to the United States where Harry had been offered the job
of editor of the Oyster Bay Guardian. When that didn’t work out, they went to
Virginia and Marion worked as a waitress in a greasy spoon on the Jefferson
Davies in Alexandria while Harry washed the dishes. Both then got jobs on
Rupert Murdoch’s new tabloid, The Star, and moved to New York. Anxious to spend
more time at home with her small son, Marion, urged by her husband, started to
write Regency romances. After she had written over 100 of them under her maiden
name of Marion Chesney and getting fed up with 1811 to 1820, she began to write
detectives stories. On a trip from the States to Sutherland on holiday, a
course at a fishing school inspired the first Hamish Macbeth story.
They returned to Britain and bought a croft house and croft in Sutherland where
Harry reared a flock of black sheep. But Charles was at school, in London so
when he finished and both tired of the long commute to the north of Scotland,
they moved to the Cotswolds where Agatha Raisin was created.
Linda Reganis the
author of six police procedural crime novels. She is also an actress. She holds
a masters degree in critical writing and journalism, and writes a regular
column, including book reviews, for three magazines. She also presents the
book-club spot on BBC Radio Kent. She is an avid reader and welcomes
the chance to read new writers.
To read a review of Linda's most recent book Sisterhoods
click on the title.