Delighted to be a part of the #BlogTour for #TheWitchesofMoonshyneManor by Bianca Marais #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours

The Blurb

A coven of modern-day witches. A magical heist-gone-wrong. A looming threat.

Five octogenarian witches gather as an angry mob threatens to demolish Moonshyne Manor. All eyes turn to the witch in charge, Queenie, who confesses they’ve fallen far behind on their mortgage payments. Still, there’s hope, since the imminent return of Ruby—one of the sisterhood who’s been gone for thirty-three years—will surely be their salvation.

But the mob is only the start of their troubles. One man is hellbent on avenging his family for the theft of a legacy he claims was rightfully his. In an act of desperation, Queenie makes a bargain with an evil far more powerful than anything they’ve ever faced. Then things take a turn for the worse when Ruby’s homecoming reveals a seemingly insurmountable obstacle instead of the solution to all their problems.

The witches are determined to save their home and themselves, but their aging powers are no match for increasingly malicious threats. Thankfully, they get a bit of help from Persephone, a feisty ‘TikToker’ eager to smash the patriarchy. As the deadline to save the manor approaches, fractures among the sisterhood are revealed, and long-held secrets are exposed, culminating in a fiery confrontation with their enemies.

The Blog Tour

My thoughts…

This is a story of witches, in particular: a clairvoyant witch, a seductress, a botanist, one agoraphobe and an inventor… oh, there’s a missing witch as well, who’s rather outlandish – and so ‘The Witches of Moonshyne Manor’ begins… and with a rather abrupt start to the day. It’s this abrupt knocking that starts the battle for the Manor against an angry mob and man determined to regain his perceived inheritance.

Firstly, this book is littered with delightful and entertaining witches’ recipes from ‘Ivy’s Elixir of Life, Smoothies for Seniors’ to ‘Jezebel’s Full Bush Care’ – lol! They serve as great little break-up moments interspersed throughout the narrative and are very entertaining.

‘The Witches of Moonshyne Manor’ was written during once of the pandemic lock downs, in a ‘cold and dark’ Toronto and the author states that spending time with the Moonshine Manor Sisterhood was like ‘holding my hands up to a roaring fire’ and the sense of warmth does permeate in this book. What also strongly resonates is the issue of aging – and as I approach my 50th year, it’s certainly often in my thoughts… how can this be! Particularly as I’m still 18 in my mind – lol! Aging also releases the ‘I don’t give a ***k’ and this is another theme throughout the book and how women unite together to survive the ups and downs of the aging process! A friend told me recently that I’m too preoccupied with getting older, and I’ve thought a lot about that. He was right, I absolutely do and after reading this book, I’m going to focus more on living and laughing.

So, ‘The Witches of Moonshyne Manor’ actually seemed a very long book and I did drift at times, but the fun dialogue and witches’ shenanigans kept me coming back for more – it’s coming into the perfect time for this book, as nights draw in darker and fires are lit. There are links to Salem, secrets to unfold and a battle to be won by midnight on All Hallow’s Eve.

With themes of ageism, female empowerment, and the special nature of female friendship, do check out ‘The Witches of Moonshyne Manor’.

Please buy from Independents if you can xx

The Author – Bianca Marais

Bianca Marais is the author of the beloved Hum If You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh (Putnam, 2017 and 2019). She teaches at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies where she was awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award for Creative Writing in 2021.
A believer in the power of storytelling in advancing social justice, Marais runs the Eunice Ngogodo Own Voices Initiative to empower young Black women in Africa to write and publish their own stories, and is
constantly fundraising to assist grandmothers in Soweto with caring for children who have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. In 2020, Marais started the popular podcast, The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, which is aimed at helping emerging writers become published.

It’s my turn on the #BlogTour for #KeepingaChristmasPromise by Jo Thomas – with thanks to @PenguinUKBooks @TransworldBooks @jo_thomas01 and #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours

Published 13th October 2022

The Blurb

A Christmas to remember for a friend they’ll never forget

Four friends

Twenty-five years ago, Freya and her three best friends created a bucket list. The future seemed bright, full of hope and most importantly guaranteed . . .

One promise

Now they are travelling to Iceland in memory of the friend they’ve lost, determined to fulfil her dream of seeing the Northern Lights at Christmas.

A life-changing adventure

They didn’t count on an avalanche leaving them stranded! Handsome local, Pétur, comes to the rescue, showing them how the community survives the hard winter. With Christmas approaching, Freya and her friends throw themselves into the festivities, decorating and cooking for the villagers using delicious local ingredients.

But will the Northern Lights appear so they can honour their friend’s wish? And can Freya’s own dreams come true, this Christmas?

The Blog Tour

My thoughts

Firstly, the setting for ‘Keeping a Christmas Promise is so atmospheric and it was great to disappear into the pages and escape into remote Iceland. Nordic, culture, food, community, grief and friendship are at the heart of this delightful and emotional winter read. A setting that perfectly holds up the dramas of this thoroughly enjoyable Christmas themed book. Yes, I know… I mentioned the Christmas word in December 😉

There are some great hooks as a group of friends make an emotive trip to see the Northern Lights and honour their lost friend on her 40th birthday. This is another aspect of ‘Keeping a Christmas Promise’ I loved – the balance and a heartfelt depth that can sometimes be missing in these reads.

As you spend the bulk of this book in a cold, isolated setting – you might want to consider sitting by an open fire, if you can. I certainly lit my first fire of the year and poured a hot chocolate for a bit of a mood read. At the heart of this isolated community is a great host of minor characters that make up this Icelandic community and our male-interest Petur is at the heart of our community focus and builds in the customs, farming life and, well perspective.

I’d happily recommend this book, it’s emotional at times, but also draws our attention on the important things in life… about taking a breath and seizing opportunities, being brave, accepting, letting go and taking risks.

Listen to our hearts‘ resonates after you close the final page.

It’s fabulous to be a part of the #BlogTour for the brilliant #ThePartyHouse #ThePartyHouseBook by @Lin_Anderson @panmacmillan @RandomTTours with thanks x

I’ve been going through a bit of a reading slump recently – too many distractions thinking about my career changes; coming out of Covid and completely changing direction, ending a business established in the late 1990s; a divorce, securing a home, dealing with my daughter leaving home, caring for a relative with dementia with the daily impact on the family, and finally dealing with palliative care for my beautiful dog, the most loyal and loving of companions. I thought living alone would result in extra reading time but found that I just couldn’t focus on my books. Books have always been my therapy, escapism, my adventures, and discoveries. So, finding I was too distracted to focus was so frustrating. Time passed and I tried not to worry and do other things; I’d started to settle again, dipping in and out of my favourite books, and suddenly there’s a book that comes along and just drags you back in, fuelling that reading passion – ‘The Party House’ was that book for me.

Thank you to Lin Anderson for coming my way at the right time. Do please keep scrolling for some more book chat…

The Blurb

Devastated by a recent pandemic brought in by outsiders, the villagers of Blackrig in the Scottish Highlands are outraged when they find that the nearby estate plans to reopen its luxury ‘party house’ to tourists.

As animosity sparks amongst the locals, part of the property is damaged and, in the ensuing chaos, the body of a young girl is found in the wreck. Seventeen-year-old Ailsa Cummings went missing five years ago, never to be seen again – until now.

The excavation of Ailsa’s remains ignites old suspicions cast on the men of this small community, including Greg, the estate’s gamekeeper. At the beginning of a burgeoning relationship with a new lover, Joanne, Greg is loath to discuss old wounds. Frightened by Greg’s reaction to the missing girl’s discovery, Joanne begins to doubt how well she knows this new man in her life. Then again, he’s not the only one with secrets in their volatile relationship . . .



My Thoughts

Ian Rankin said, ‘The Party House is a real page-turner’ and I must completely agree. This was a one sitting read (albeit with a few snack breaks for stamina and energy) and I kept reading until the early hours and the final page. It was worth the lack of sleep.

Admittedly, I’d blocked out the plot and the guilty pretty much in my head quite early on, (over 35 years reading is a huge part of that) however, it didn’t matter at all; I enjoyed the journey so much. I loved Anderson’s choppy chapter structure and alternative point of views. This really drove the narrative pace and make the “oh, just one more chapter” a breeze – lol!

I’m always a fan of thriller reads set around unusual houses or wild locations and ‘The Party House’ is a great setting for the mysteries, the dramas, and relationships: both locals and outsiders. The setting is the Scottish Highlands – perfect for wilds, mountains, lakes and deep forests plus, there’s a kilt or two along the way!

There’s also a psychological spiral running through the central murder mystery and this relationship really hooked me in. With layers of grief, animosity, tempers, power, trust and relationships – both damaged and complex; I’d highly recommend ‘The Party House’ as a small community is unwrapped in the midst of a new relationship. Buried secrets are raised when a past mystery is shockingly revealed.

I’m off to buy more novels by Lin Anderson…

The Blog Tour

Lin Anderson

Lin Anderson is best known as the creator of the forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod series of crime thriller novels, and for her part in founding the annual ‘Bloody Scotland’ crime writing festival.

‘The Party House’, published on 4th August 2022.

There are 16 novels and one novella in Lin Anderson’s Forensic Scientist Rhona MacLeod Series – follow the below Amazon link for more purchasing information.

Please buy from Independents if you can XX

It’s great to be a part of the #BlogTour for #QuartertoMidnight by @KarenRoseBooks @Headlinepg with thanks to @RandomTTours

Only a secret witness could catch this killer…

A ‘Quarter to Midnight’ is the first book in a new series by Karen Rose and features the Burke Broussard Private Investigation Agency. Rose has many successful published novels: the Baltimore Novels, beginning with ‘You Belong to Me’; the Cincinnati novels, that open with ‘Closer than you Think’ and the Sacramento novels, starting with ‘Say You’re Sorry’. ‘Quarter to Midnight’ begins the New Orleans series. Many thanks for the tour invite, it’s great to be joining this tour today.

The Blurb

Rocky Hebert walks into his death at quarter to midnight one New Orleans night. His son Gabe cannot accept the official verdict of suicide and enlists the help of the Burke Broussard Private Investigation Agency to discover the real cause of death.
PI Molly Sutton knows what it’s like to lose a father in tragic circumstances and will go to any lengths to crack the investigation, as she tries to fight off her growing feelings for Gabe.
They soon realise Rocky was working on an investigation of his own; one that threatened to expose the deep corruption going all the way to the top of the police department. And that the key to the puzzle lies with a young witness to a murder that happened years earlier: Xavier Morrow.

Just what did Rocky know? And who might have shut him up?
As they get closer and closer to the truth, they realise that the killer is not going to stop at Rocky. And that Xavier is in very real danger. Someone will go to any lengths to protect what he witnessed that night coming out…

My Thoughts…

This is the first book in Karen Rose’s New Orleans series set from the Burke Broussard Private Investigation agency and focuses on one particular employee Molly Sutton, an investigator and past US Marine, so not someone to be underestimated. She is tasked to Gabe Hebert – pronounced “Ay-bear” in the New Orleans way and the suspicious death of his father. Firstly, this is a big book (not uncommon for Karen Rose novels), my review copy is 591 pages – but don’t let that dissuade you from picking it up – once you begin, you don’t really notice (a few drops in pace maybe could have been avoided by tightening up, just my opinion) and the pages do turn swiftly.

The prologue introduces us to our victim and we’re into the drama when the smell of ‘death’ alerts us that something significant is going on and Rocky Hebert (Gabe’s father) is in deep, deep trouble. Rocky has recently retired from the New Orleans police department, but his retirement is not going well, but he’s planning ahead in the event of the worst-case scenario.

The central story is about the corruption that lies with power and links to an old murder case, where a witness still needs silencing. Molly Sutton is soon hooked into the case and is trying to deal with the attraction she feels towards Gabe as they try and uncover what really happened to Rocky. This leads them into very dangerous territories where knowing who to trust is hard and dangerous.

I love the setting of the atmospheric city of New Orleans with its vibrancy, flavours and people, but there’s also the swampland that lurks and lures around the edges. At the heart of this story is how corruption bleeds into the city and lives of its people. How people will abuse power for control and riches, but this is balanced by those who are out for truth and justice. As with other Karen Rose reads this is a mystery, suspense romance read and the relationship between Molly and Gabe grows within the emotional drama of the investigation.

A recommended read from me for those who enjoy a modern romance mystery with depth.

The Blog Tour

The Author

Karen Rose


Karen Rose was introduced to suspense and horror at the tender age of eight when she accidentally read Poe’s The Pit and The Pendulum and was afraid to go to sleep for years. She now enjoys writing books that make other people afraid to go to sleep.
Karen lives in Florida with her family, their cat, Bella, and two dogs, Loki and Freya. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, and her new hobby – knitting.

Please buy from Independents in you can XX

Absolutely delighted to be a part of the #BlogTour for #ColdColdBones by @KathyReichs @simonschuster – with thanks to @RandomTTours #readers #newbook #TemperanceBrennan 

THE BLURB

Sometimes, revisiting the past is the only way to rescue the present . . .


Winter has come to North Carolina and, with it, a drop in crime. For a while, temporarily idle forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan is content to dote on her daughter Katy, finally returned to civilian life from the army. But when mother and daughter meet at Tempe’s place one night for dinner, they find a box on the back porch. Inside: a very fresh human eyeball.

GPS coordinates etched into the eyeball lead to a Benedictine Monastery where an equally macabre discovery awaits. Soon after, Tempe examines a mummified corpse in a state park, and her anxiety deepens.

There seems to be no pattern to these random killings, except that each mimics in some way a killing that a younger Tempe witnessed, analysed, or barely escaped.


Who or what is targeting her, and why?


Helping Tempe discover the answers is Detective Erskine ‘Skinny’ Slidell, retired but still volunteering with the CMPD cold case unit – and still displaying his gallows humour. But as the two infiltrate a bizarre survivalist’s lair, even Skinny’s mood darkens.


And then Tempe’s daughter Katy disappears.


Electrifying, heart-stopping and compulsive, this is Tempe’s most personal and dangerous case yet …

Publishing 21st July, 2022

MY THOUGHTS

Temperance Brennan ‘Tempe’ is back in Kathy Reich’s latest crime thriller novel, ‘Cold, Cold Bones’.

I’ve been reading this series since the release of ‘Deja Dead’ back in 1997, so the anticipation was high for this latest outing with the Brennan, our forensic anthropologist, and the team.

This is an atmospheric read that immerses the reader, not only in the investigation, but into life in North Carolina during a frigid winter. Once again, Brennan is dragged up front and centre into the crime via a shocking discovery – actually on her doorstep this time. It’s, as usual, a gruesome discovery – a fresh human eyeball! But this eyeball houses a further mystery etched into it: the co-ordinates to a Benedictine Monastery and another shocking discovery.

Reich’s always plots meticulously, with creativity, and rather a lot of drama. There’re several crime threads that are worked into the overarching narrative, and it’s fun piecing all the layers together.

What you also always get with Reichs is Tempe’s family life and relationship dramas added to the mix and in her true style there is someone close to Brennan at risk in ‘Cold, Cold Bones’. Brennan’s daughter Katy is a part of the mystery and eventually dragged completely into danger! The race to find answers speeds up the pace into the final pages.

It’s great to see new characters and, of course, characters than have been with us throughout the series. One of my favourites is Ryan, now long-term boyfriend of Brennan. He’s a great ‘other-half’ both in terms of the investigation, but also in terms of their relationship and it’s development through the books.

As always, I do recommend this series for those who enjoy a good thriller and crime mystery read with drama!

BLOG TOUR

Kathy Reichs

About the Author

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead, published in 1997, won the Ellis Award for Best First
Novel and was an international bestseller. Kathy was also a producer of Fox Television’s
longest running scripted drama Bones, which is based on her work and her novels. Kathy
uses her own dramatic experiences as a forensic anthropologist to bring her mesmerizing
thrillers to life. One of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of
Forensic Anthropology, Kathy divides her time between Charlotte,
North Carolina, and Montreal, Québec.

Please buy from Independents if you can XX

It’s lovely to be on the #BlogTour for #LastTimeWeMet by #EmilyHoughton @penguinrandom with thanks to @RandomTTours #readers #newbook

The Blurb

ONE PROMISE
Aged thirteen, best friends Eleanor and Fin are inseparable. They are convinced that it will always be this way. But to be sure, they make a pact to always be there for each other. And of course, they’ll get married if they’re both 35 and single.

TWO DECADES
Eleanor and Fin haven’t spoken in fifteen years. They live on different continents, but more than an ocean separates them. Everything has changed since the last time they met.

CAN THEY STILL KEEP THEIR WORD?
So, when newly single Fin reappears, there’s no way they can keep their promise. Is there?

My Thoughts…

The ‘Last Time We Me Met’ makes an enduring, emotional and entertaining read from the pen of Emily Houghton. It’s a contemporary romance using the trope of friends to lovers and centres on Eleanor and Finley.

Characters drive this novel, and the lives of our characters is built over the pages, back and forth through the timeline and across differing points of view. I really enjoyed this shifting of time and perspective from Houghton. From their days as youngsters to adulthood, wishes and pacts are not fulfilled; life wasn’t as either expected and the reader is drawn into how things change, why they do and how people can reconnect through the challenges life throws at them. The supporting characters are carefully drawn and work well to bolster the narrative and its themes.

I found this book emotional at times, and I connected with the dementia storyline. Its themes of friendship, misunderstandings, alcoholism, grief and love merge into an enjoyable read. Yes, it may be predictable – but it’s as it should be.

I’d happily recommend this book to people who enjoy this genre.

Check out the fabulous bloggers on this tour:

The Author – Emily Houghton

Emily Houghton

EMILY HOUGHTON is the author of Before I Saw You. She is an Essex girl at heart, but now spends most of her time between London and Suffolk. Emily worked in digital product management at Tesco and Barclays for seven years, and it was during a sabbatical from work, travelling around India, that her first book was born; the first draft is still written on her phone!

After a whirlwind few months, Emily quit her corporate job to live her dream of writing full-time. A true Gemini at heart, she’s got many interests and is a trained spin and yoga teacher. She has a curiosity for life and a passion for all things well-being, one day hoping to create her own retreat space with a lot of dogs! Her writing, while centering around love stories, often touches on deeper emotional themes such as self-love, healing and the power of finding yourself.

Emily says: “Last Time We Met is a story of love, loss and enduring friendship. How sometimes the things that aren’t said are the words we need to hear the most; and how forgiving others is nowhere near as important as forgiving ourselves.”

Please buy from Independents if you can XX

It’s a pleasure to be on the #BlogTour for #TheBay by @AuthorAllieR @headlinepg @RandomTTours with thanks.

The Blurb

The waves are to die for. It’s a paradise they’d kill to keep.

There’s a darkness inside all of us and The Bay has a way of bringing it out. Everyone here has their secrets but we don’t go looking for them. Because sometimes it’s better not to know.


Kenna arrives in Sydney to surprise her best friend, shocked to hear she’s going to marry a guy she’s only just met. But Mikki and her fiancé Jack are about to head away on a trip, so Kenna finds herself tagging along for the ride.

Sorrow Bay is beautiful, wild and dangerous. A remote surfing spot with waves to die for, cut off from the rest of the world. Here Kenna meets the mysterious group of people who will do anything to keep their paradise a secret. Sky, Ryan, Clemente and Victor have come to ride the waves and disappear from life. How will they feel about Kenna turning up unannounced?

As Kenna gets drawn into their world, she sees the extremes they are prepared to go to for the next thrill. And everyone seems to be hiding something. What has her best friend got involved in and how can she get her away? But one thing is rapidly becoming clear about The Bay: nobody ever leaves.

My thoughts…

‘Sorrow Bay’ is the setting for Allie Reynold’s new novel and it’s an atmospheric one. Reynold’s debut novel ‘Shiver’ was another thriller steeped in atmosphere, although a frosty setting high in the French Alps and a deserted lodge mystery. ‘The Bay’ shifts to a tropical paradise and a surfing backdrop to the mystery and dangers in this new driven read.

The thriller focuses on Kenna, who arrives in Australia to surprise her bestie – however she soon becomes embroiled with a group of people with secrets, deceptions and manipulations. Can she trust anyone?

Reynold’s has structured the narrative to drip feed information about the events, introduce mysteries and draw the threads together into a surprising climax. There’re not many likeable characters in the book, people disappear and a gang of arrogant, adrenaline searching and aggressive people lead the reader into their world – the backdrop of the missing rising ominously in the background.

Kenna leads the novel and it’s mainly told from her perspective, sometimes others interject at times; I really enjoyed this structure. Kenna does become a little irritating, but her loyalty and fear for her friend helps the reader stay connected to her and the story.

Reynold’s writing is atmospheric, from the bay to the storm; I enjoyed the setting and how it served as a backdrop to the characters moods and finally their realisation and reckoning.

It’s an enjoyable read with zest that I’d recommend to thriller/mystery readers.

The Blog Tour

Check out all the fab bloggers on the tour.

The Author

Born and raised in Lincoln, England, Allie moved to Gold Coast, Australia in 2004. She lives near the beach with her two young boys.

Many years ago she competed at snowboard halfpipe. She spent five winters in the mountains of France, Switzerland, Austria and Canada. These days she sticks to surfing – water doesn’t hurt as much as ice when you fall on it.

Her first ever job was a Saturday job in a bookstore, at age 14. She taught English for many years and became a full-time writer in 2018.

You can find her on:

http://www.twitter.com/AuthorAllieR

http://www.instagram.com/authorallier

#blogtour #TheSpanishPrincess #BeaGreen @RandomTTours @TheConradPress

It’s a pleasure to be a part of the Blog Tour for Bea Green’s crime thriller novel, ‘Stealing the Spanish Princess’. Firstly, an apology, as my review is not ready to post. It’s the first time I’ve failed to get my review complete for blog tour day and for that I am awfully sorry. For now, please check out the blurb and some of the fabulous bloggers who have posted their reviews already; my review will be up very soon.

The Blurb

In this captivating and dazzling art crime mystery, eccentric detective Richard Langley hunts for a 16th-century masterpiece by the artist El Greco. The thief stole the priceless painting from an apartment in Kensington, London, and in the process knifed to death a Russian woman. 


DCI Richard Langley from Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiquities Unit joins colleagues from Homicide as they pursue a trail that leads them to St Petersburg and then to Madrid. Following closely in their footsteps is a maverick private investigator hired by the painting’s owner. Knowing how hard it is to sell on stolen artworks of that calibre, Richard wonders what the motive behind its theft might be. 


The answer, when it comes, takes everyone by surprise.

My thoughts

Coming shortly…

The Blog Tour

The Author

Bea Green

Bea Green has had a somewhat roving life as the daughter of a British diplomat. Her mother is Spanish and growing up Bea spent every summer at her grandfather’s olive tree farm in Andalusia. This olive tree farm was the inspiration for her contemporary romance book, La Finca.

Bea studied Art throughout school and then did Art History for two of her four years at St Andrews University, where she met her husband. She graduated with an MA in English Literature.

Her interest in art was fostered by her father and her Spanish grandmother. Her Spanish grandmother accompanied her to many of Madrid’s art galleries and several of El Prado’s paintings are fondly remembered in Bea’s art crime book, Stealing the Spanish Princess.

Stealing the Spanish Princess was inspired by a Spanish painting, Lady in a Fur Wrap, at Pollok House, Glasgow. When Bea wrote Stealing the Spanish Princess there was a huge debate among art experts about the painting, with some claiming it was painted by El Greco. Some experts thought the painting was of Princess Catalina Micaela, daughter of the Spanish King, Philip II.

Bea Green has lived in Edinburgh since leaving St Andrews University, with her Glaswegian husband and two daughters. She also maintains close links with her family in Spain.

#BlogTour #TheBoneCode by @KathyReichs @simonschusterUK @RandomTTours

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for ‘The Bone Code‘, the latest Temperance Brennan novel (book 20) by Kathy Reichs. With thanks to Anne of Random Things Tours for the invite.

Number One bestselling author Kathy Reichs returns with her twentieth edge-of-your seat
thriller featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan.

The Blurb

A storm has hit South Carolina, dredging up crimes of the past. En route to Isle of Palms, a barrier island off the South Carolina coast, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan receives a call from the Charleston coroner. During the storm, a medical waste container has washed up on the beach. Inside are two decomposed bodies wrapped in plastic sheeting and bound with electrical wire. Chillingly, Tempe recognises many details as identical to those of an unsolved case she handled in Quebec fifteen years earlier. With a growing sense of foreboding, she flies to Montreal to gather evidence and convince her boss Pierre LaManch to reopen the cold case. She also seeks the advice—and comfort—of her longtime beau Andrew Ryan.


Meanwhile, a storm of a different type gathers force in South Carolina. The citizens of Charleston are struck by capnocytophaga, a bacterium that, at its worst, can eat human flesh. Thousands panic and test themselves for a rare genetic mutation that may have rendered them vulnerable.


Shockingly, Tempe eventually deduces not only that the victims in both grisly murder cases are related, but that the murders and the disease outbreak also have a common cause . . .

A container with two bodies washes ashore…

My thoughts…

I remember first reading the first Temperance Brennan novel back in the late 1990s. It was called Déjà Dead and I can see it sitting on one of my bookcases as I type. Déjà Dead introduced a new star into the mystery thriller world, but there was a difference. The character of a passionate and dedicated forensic anthropologist was created by the pen of an actual forensic anthropologist – this became the key for complex detailed narratives, where the application of forensic science structured the layers of the mystery. Reich’s doesn’t seem to hold back on the expertise and language of forensic work and it makes for some truly complex, layered and addictive mysteries. Alongside this, are character driven investigations led by fully rounded and solidly built characters.

I must admit, I hadn’t picked up a Temperance Brennan novel in a while, so when I got the opportunity to read and review Reich’s latest book, I was thrilled. I’m probably about 8 books behind – blame the constant TBR pile of review reads! It actually didn’t matter at all. The book is neatly structured and there’s enough character background information to hardly notice this is the twentieth book in a series.

The Bone Code begins with a category three storm and Brennan, as always, is staring at bone x-rays to find the stories and truths than lie within them. Like most of the previous books, there’s always more than one investigation and an awareness of the backlog of work that comes with such a career. In this book, there’s a cold case to be reopened, a nasty disease on the move and a container washed ashore providing the central case for Brennan as she uncovers secrets hidden in the remains of the two bodies found inside.

As with all series, relationships have been developing for a long while, and this is very true for Brennan’s love interest Andrew Ryan, who is now a private investigator (not sure how he changed careers, so I might need to complete some back reading to fill in the gaps) and his life with Brennan is now at full swing and they share a home together. Again, if you’re a newbie to the series, I don’t think it’ll matter that you haven’t got all the back stories in place. The crime and subsequent investigation is fresh and pulls you in, as you try and tie all the threads together.

This is a book I’d definitely recommend for readers who enjoy a clever, intelligent thriller with the bonus of a back catalogue of 19 books to read through. Smart, layered and character driven right up to the thrilling climax!

THE BLOG TOUR

About the author – Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead was a number one bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. The Bone Code is Kathy’s twentieth entry in her series featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Kathy was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

Dr. Reichs is one of very few forensic anthropologists certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and as a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada.

Delighted to be taking part in the #BlogTour for #TheFavour by @LVaughanwrites and published by @CorvusBooks with thanks to Anne of @RandomTTours

How far would you go to fit in?

The blurb…

Fortune favours the fraud…

When she was thirteen years old, Ada Howell lost not just her father, but the life she felt she was destined to lead. Now, at eighteen, Ada is given a second chance when her wealthy godmother gifts her with an extravagant art history trip to Italy.
In the palazzos of Venice, the cathedrals of Florence and the villas of Rome, she finally finds herself among the kind of people she aspires to be: sophisticated, cultured, privileged. Ada does everything in her power to prove she is one of them. And when a member of the group dies in suspicious circumstances, she seizes the opportunity to permanently bind herself to this gilded set.
But everything hidden must eventually surface, and when it does, Ada discovers she’s been keeping a far darker secret than she could ever have imagined…

My thoughts…

‘The Favour’ includes a recreation and modernisation of the ‘Grand Tour’, which I’ve read about several times in other books; for those who are not aware, it’s a trip where privileged young men during the 17th and 18th centuries would travel throughout Europe, where Rome was often an ultimate destination. The aim was to finish an upper-class male’s education but often became synonymous with drinking, gaming and romantic escapades! These tours could take years, but in ‘The Favour’ our principle character has booked on a shorter, recreation of the tour: an art history trip to Italy. The lead, Ada Howell is experiencing great change in her life; she has recently moved away from her family home after the death of her father and feels very adrift. The opportunity to travel and explore Italy calls out to her and this is where we find the story begins to shift.

I enjoyed the detailed and atmospheric art history detail throughout the story and with themes of deception, connections, the other, friendship, obsession and desperation, this is certainly a layered novel. The characters are, for the most part, quite unlikeable and evoke questions of privilege and power.

I enjoyed the more sinister underscore and the clever build-up of tension and shade within the narrative. The misdirection and plotting were well executed and I loved the reading experience of uncertainty and considerable questioning. A book that hooks you in and pulls you along mercilessly into its clever close.

The author – Laura Vaughan

Laura Vaughan grew up in rural Wales and studied Art History in Italy and Classics at Bristol and Oxford. She got her first book deal aged twenty-two and went on to write eleven books for children and young adults. is her first novel for adults. She lives in
South London with her husband and two children.

Laura Vaughan

Please buy from independents if you can XX