Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Loose Lips - Rae Davies

Loose lips by Ray Davies
I stumbled across the Dusty Deals mystery series a couple of years ago now, after reading all of the titles already released, I've been waiting for the next book in the series, so I was very excited when Loose Lips came out. The series follows Lucy, owner of the antique shop Dusty Deals, who has an uncanny knack of falling over the recently deceased. In a 'serious' mystery series, I think that the amount of dead people she seems to find would be hard to believe at the very least, but in this light-hearted and fun series, it only adds to the humour. 

Lucy never really solves these mysteries, so much as stumbles around the clues, revealing what has happened more often by accident than design, but really that's part of its charm. With the help of her Alaskan Malamute (not a husky!) Kiska,

This time, Lucy's boyfriend, Peter, detective at the local police department is on her side and advising her against the new detective in the police station, who is a little more suspicious of Lucy's involvement in the mystery.

After a new coffee shop opens, run by coffee 'cuties' who seem to have a little side business running and have upset many of the local women, while the men seem very keen to take their custom there. Lucy decides to find out more about the appeal of this new business and in the process discovers the owner dead. Has long standing coffee shop taken the competition a little too seriously, or is something else going on?

The dusty deals series is a great, light-hearted read, when you're looking for something a little less serious. Although it does have the odd dead body, it doesn't have the dark overtones that some mystery books have. If you're looking for a fun read, then I'd highly recommend this series.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Made to be broken - Rebecca Bradley

Made to be Broken is the second in the DI Hannah Robbins series. Having read the first book, Shallow Waters earlier this year, and having really enjoyed it, I jumped at the chance of reading a pre-release copy of this new book. I wasn't disappointed.

DI Hannah Robbins is dealing with the aftermath of the previous story and since then hasn't really had a tough case to get her teeth into. A young mother is found dead, with no clear signs of what could have caused it. It soon becomes clear though, that she is just the first in a spate of poison victims, who seem to have no connection with one another. What begins as a seemingly straight forward case, quickly becomes something far more wide ranging and part of a much bigger and more disturbing picture. Suddenly this is something much bigger than anyone else first thought and Hannah finds herself at the centre of hysteria, panic and a race to catch the killer before there are yet more victims. 

The short chapters and changes of point of view, seeing the events unfold from Hannah, the victims' and the killer's point of view, makes for a gripping, fast moving story. There isn't a mystery to piece together, for us at least, but we follow Hannah as she attempts to find out just what it going on here and why.

Overall I loved the book and I'm looking forward to reading more about Hannah Robbins in the future. I also love the fact that it's set in Nottingham, somewhere that I know, at least a little, being near to my own home town. If you're looking for a gripping read, then you can't really go wrong with Made to be Broken. Due for release on 30th June.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

The Heart Goes Last - Margaret Atwood

The heart goes last by Margaret Atwood
I have been known, on a number of occasions, to credit Margaret Atwood with my love of reading. This isn't actually true, I'd developed a love of books long before I discovered her works. Having said that, A Handmaids Tale, was on of the first 'literary' books that I really, really enjoyed and re-read many times. Or at least, it's one of the first that stands out in my mind. I was in the lower sixth when I first came across it and read it while doing A level English Lit. There had been other books, other plays, that I had enjoyed and read more than once, but for some reason there was something about Atwood's work that really spoke to me.

Over the next couple of years I devoured everything else she'd written, finding other author's that I loved along the way. I've read everything that's she's published since, so when The Heart Goes Last came out, I knew that I had to read it.

There was a slight difference though with this one though; although I'd eagerly read the Oryx and Crake books as soon as they came out and other earlier works, I was a little reticent with this new book. A few years ago now, Atwood started to release a story in a series of instalments. Known as the Positron series, these small ebooks told the story of Stan and his wife Charmaine, who had signed up to live in social experiment, living half the time in a closed housing scheme where work is provided and the other half of the time in prison. After four episodes had been released, the publisher went out of business and the next episode never arrived. The Heart Goes Last is a rewritten (and now completed) novel version of the world and characters introduced to us in the Positron ebooks. I was a little reluctant to start again, albeit in a rewritten version.

All the same, I decided it give it a go. We join Stan and Charmaine before they enter Consilience, the spending half your time in prison experiment. Society, outside of the walls of this project, has fallen apart and people have lost everything, so prison, for half the time and the chance of food, a real house and safety seems like an ideal alternative. While the serial version introduced us straight to their life in Consilience, this book builds up the back story and their previous life first. This did make it a little slow to start, perhaps because having already read the serial version, I knew where this was going? Once we did finally get into Consilience and the 'real' story, the pace picked up a little. 

It's an interesting idea, trading your freedom for safety and security, because of course once our characters are in the experiment, both halves of their life are a prison, it's just that one looks like the traditional version of a prison and the other doesn't. Atwood is very skilled at showing us a vision of a future dystopia and how our current actions could lead us there, but while The Handmaids Tale and The Maddaddam trilogy show us a frightening picture of what the future could hold, the picture painted in the Positron/Consilience is just a little too silly, a little too far fetched. 

I don't dislike the Heart Goes Last, but I don't love it earlier. Somehow it just misses the mark in a way that her other books don't. I'm not sure if this was intended as a more comic and light hearted look at the future, but somehow it just doesn't quite make it for me. It didn't leave me with that uncomfortable feeling that the other worlds do. If you haven't read a Margaret Atwood book before, then don't start with this one, but if you are already a fan, by all means give it a go, just expect something a little different, a little odder and a little more bizarre than her usual work.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Absence of You - Sarah Elle Emm

Absence of You
by Sarah Elle Emm
Released on 17th May, 2016

About the Book:

Absence of You, a collection of poems, takes you through stages of love, from the first moments of falling, to heartache, to healing and growing. With Sarah Elle Emm’s simple, yet powerful, words and rhythm, venture through the ups and downs on this heartfelt journey.

Book Links:

About the Author:

Sarah Elle Emm is the author of ABSENCE OF YOU, LAST VACATION, the HARMONY RUN SERIES, and MARRYING MISSY. She has lived in Germany, England, Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and traveled extensively beyond. Her writing cave is currently located in the Outer Banks. When she’s not leading kitchen dance parties with her daughters, she writes poetry and fiction.

Stalk the Author:

This Feature is a part of the Blogger Outreach Program by b00k r3vi3w Tours