Book Review: The Man Who was Death by Pat Herbert

Dave Allison is a man with a secret, several secrets, none of them pleasant.

The year is 1968. The Reverend Paltoquet takes on the handsome Dave as his gardener to tend the graveyard as well as the vicarage gardens, and very soon he has the female population in a tizzy, not least among them the vicar’s usually imperturbable housekeeper, Mrs Harper. To outward appearances, he has everything going for him, but there is a dark side to his character. He has the ability to see people’s auras, and whenever he sees a black one around a person’s head, he knows that person will die.

Four years prior to working for the vicar of St Stephen’s in the borough of Wandsworth, he was employed as gardener to Lord and Lady Mountjoy at Mountjoy Court in a small Kent village. Following the demise of the lord of the manor in suspicious circumstances and the equally suspicious death of Lady Mountjoy’s lover, Paul Brierley, Dave is forced to leave and pick up any odd jobs he can to survive.

So, with his new family, he sets up home in Tooting and is soon working in and around the area, and this is when he comes to the attention of Bernard Paltoquet who is looking to replace his old gardener who is well past retirement age.

Dave is popular everywhere he goes, especially with the women, but he is a married man now with a little boy on whom he dotes. But back into his life comes Lady Mountjoy and with her his sordid past rears its ugly head.

Dr Robbie MacTavish, Bernard’s close friend, falls for the charms of Lady Mountjoy when she appears on the scene, unaware that she is a cold-blooded killer.

Slowly the story of Dave and Lady Mountjoy unravels, culminating in both getting their just desserts.

Titles in the Reverend Paltoquet Mystery Series are:

The Bockhampton Road Murders
Haunted Christmas
The Possession of November Jones
The Witches of Wandsworth
So Long at the Fair
The Man Who Was Death
The Dark Side of the Mirror 

Amazon.UK * Amazon.com

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This is the sixth book in the Reverend Paltoquet series. I’ve read them all and enjoy them. They have a bit of a dark side and a touch of paranormal along with some quirky regular characters. The other characters in The Man Who Was Death are rather pitiful.

The regulars: Bernie (Reverend Paltoquet) can be a bit selfish, but he usually realizes that and tries to change and be more Christian-like. Robbie is a good doctor and believes himself to be a ladies’ man. My favorite recurring character is Mrs. Aitch. She seems cantankerous, but those close to her know that she’s got a big heart. I love that she speaks her mind no matter the consequences.

The other characters in The Man Who Was Death include Lord Mountjoy, his wife, his housekeeper, and his gardener. Theirs is a tragic story but it was hard for me to feel sorry the Mountjoys. They not only ruin their lives but the lives of the housekeeper and gardener as well. The gardener, Jed, is the one to pity the most. He is a good man, but death is always nearby. He loses his parents at a young age, and that’s just the beginning of his grief. What makes it worse is that he can see a black aura around someone if they’re going to die.

The ending was quite a surprise although it was the right ending for this book. I definitely recommend the Reverend Paltoquet books. They do stand alone but I enjoy them even more because I feel like I know the main characters well.

Book Review & Giveaway: The Nutcracker Conspiracy by Lauren Carr

“Lauren Carr definitely has a winner here! In her new Thorny Rose series, Kill and Run steps up several levels into an exciting category all its own. It’s thriller, cold case, mystery suspense, and police procedural, all rolled into one exciting novel. Set amidst the political drama that comes with Washington DC and the Pentagon, a current multiple murder becomes a search years in the past. With a young, hot lieutenant assigned to NCIS, and his beautiful new wife, you have all the makings of a bestseller.” – Reviewer: Merry Citarella, Mystery Suspense Reviews

Book Title:  The Nutcracker Conspiracy (A Thorny Rose Mystery #4) by Lauren Carr
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  388 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Publisher:  Acorn Book Services
Release date:   January 30, 2020

Content Rating:  PG-13 (Lauren Carr’s books are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!

Book Description

Three years ago, the nation gasped in horror when the President of the United States barely escaped an assassination attempt that left two dead—the vice president’s wife and the attempted assassin.  Even after numerous investigations proved otherwise, conspiracy theorists argue that the assassin was acting on orders from the CIA, FBI, and every federal agency within a hundred miles of the capital.

Aspiring Author Dean Conway is the last person Lieutenant Commander Murphy Thornton wants to spend his Saturday afternoon when they end up at the same wedding reception table. While their wives tend to bridesmaid duties, Murphy is trapped listening to Dean’s latest work-in-project—completing the manuscript of an investigative journalist who’d disappeared months earlier.

“She was number twelve,” Dean says.

“Twelve?” Murphy asks.

“Twelve witnesses connected to or investigating The Nutcracker shooting have died either in an accident or suicide.”

Two days later, Dean dies suddenly―but not before sending a text message to Murphy:

 “13”

Buy the Book:
Pre-Order Your Copy Today!
Scheduled release date is Jan 30, 2020!
Amazon.com 

BookBub ~ Add to Goodreads

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have read several of Lauren Carr’s books, and I always enjoy them, but this is my favorite so far. I like her humor, and I usually smile or giggle several times when reading one of her books, but The Nutcracker Conspiracy made me actually laugh out loud several times. While there was humor, there was plenty of mystery and drama with several twists.

The book starts with an assassination attempt of the president gone wrong. According to the Nutcracker Conspiracy, several people wanted the president dead so the vice president could take over and the FBI, CIA, and other government agencies were in on it. But the vice president’s wife is the one who ends up dead. When 12 other people end up dead, several supposedly in accidents, it looks like maybe the Nutcracker Conspiracy is true…or is there more to it? Murphy ends up investigating the deaths and what a ride!

I definitely recommend The Nutcracker Conspiracy. It does stand alone but I got more out of it having read previous books in the this series and other series in which the characters cross over.

About the Author

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

​A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram

Giveaway

Prize: ​ $50 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Lauren Carr, author of THE NUTCRACKER CONSPIRACY  (ends March 6)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/518e728427/?

Book Review: Rough Way to the High Way by Kelly Mack McCoy

Pastor turned long-haul trucker, Mack, struggles with grief and perceived failures as a minister while he is confronted with a mysterious hitchhiker, smugglers, and a determined killer. After an unbearable tragedy strikes his life, he sells everything he owns and buys a new Peterbilt truck, returning to the trade he learned decades earlier.

Hoping for some windshield therapy and peace of mind behind the wheel of his new rig, Mack gets neither after God nudges him to pick up a hitchhiker near the Jordan State Prison outside Mack’s childhood home of Pampa, Texas.

When his world is ripped apart, he seeks to run away from it all, going as far as to cut off communication with all but a handful of people. But he is pursued by God, who will not let him go. Unbeknownst to Mack, God is equipping His servant with tools to handle events his past education and experience could never have prepared him for.

The story unfolds as the hitchhiker enters Mack’s Peterbilt. The man reminds Mack of his father, a hard living, hard drinking oilfield roughneck who died in prison. God begins to do a work in Mack’s heart while Mack seeks to minister to his new passenger. But Mack soon rues the day he let the hitchhiker into his truck.

His old life in ruins now, Mack learns he has angered a new enemy who threatens to destroy his life on the road as well. Mack suspects he is being followed and is in the sights of a killer who plots a revenge no one could have seen coming.

God works His mysterious way in Mack’s life steamroller-style all the way to an ending that will leave the reader thinking about it long after reading The End at the bottom of the last page.

Rough Way to the High Way is the first of a series of novels about Mack’s adventures on the road as lives are transformed through his new ministry. The first life to be transformed as Rough Way to the High Way develops appears to be that of the hitchhiker. But God is working in Mack’s life all along, preparing him for a new ministry that will transform lives across the country.

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the author through Book Sirens. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Mack has decided he needs some “windshield time” after he loses his wife. He’s told it was suicide, but he’s convinced it was murder. The former pastor still lets God guide him through life, which is more than evident throughout his story. No matter what curve ball is thrown at him, Mack is able to handle it through faith and determination. He’s able to analyze events and is often one stop ahead of the authorities. It’s a good thing he’s working with them.

I enjoyed the names that Mack gives various people he comes across: Officer Pipe Cleaner, G-man, Officer Smiley, Mr. Tire Man, etc. I also liked the author’s writing style. It was fast reading with constant action. The one thing that irritated me was that everyone called him “driver.”

If you’re looking for a book that is good for your soul, look no further. This is a good first novel by the author, and I look forward to reading more of his work.

About the Author

Kelly Mack McCoy is a semi (pun intended) retired truck driver turned author. He spent most of his career behind the wheel of an eighteen-wheeler traveling extensively through forty-eight states gathering a lifetime of material for his books. Rough Way to the High Way is his first novel and the first in a series of novels about the adventures of trucker turned pastor turned trucker Mack McClain.

Book Review: Hidden by Pat Herbert

The year is 1935. Art connoisseur-cum-private investigator Felix Underwood is asked to find out what happened to Reggie Soper, a young solicitor who disappeared without trace 15 years previously.

Determined to help Charlotte Soper find her missing father, his investigations take him from the comfort of his Bond Street art emporium to the wilds of Yorkshire where he finds his presence among the village locals not entirely welcome.

Undaunted by the wall of silence surrounding him, he continues his search, finding a friend and help meet in Mavis, the landlady of the inn where he lodges. Together, they uncover a nightmare; the full horror of which nothing has prepared them for.

Amazon

My Review

I have read several of Pat Herbert’s books but this one is my favorite so far.

Poor Reggie Soper has a run of bad luck once he meets Charlie Feathers, scoundrel, liar, and cheater. Reggie has every reason to dislike the man but has no idea how bad of a person Charlie truly is. I was horrified at how far things progressed because of Charlie.

It’s a shame that Elsa doesn’t have more faith in her husband, especially since she knows how he feels about his daughter. Elsa is one of those characters you can’t help but dislike. She could have prevented the horrific events that would take place.

Years later, when Reggie’s daughter Charlotte begins looking for him, it’s amazing how quickly things come together after she hires Felix Underwood. Given the darkness that reigned throughout the book, I was more than satisfied with the ending. This is definitely a book I recommend.

About the Author

Pat Herbert lives in London, England and works as an administrator and receptionist at a private health clinic. She worked previously as PA to the Managing Director of Thomson Books before they were taken over by Penguin. This is her 17th novel. In her novels, Pat likes to include all the hallmarks of British suspense thrillers including unpredictable characters, dark deeds, misdirection and misunderstandings, and at times, a touch of the mysterious.

New Releases

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We’ll help you achieve a better understanding of how to fuel your body, train smarter and get into the best shape of your life!

About the Author

Scott is a fully qualified Personal Trainer and a nutrition and fitness professional who has transformed thousands of people’s lives from all over the world through his incredible programme.  He is a proud dad to two young children and is a loving husband.  Scott is also a Black Belt Karate Instructor and has competed at a National Level, whilst training adults and children, both beginners and experienced to a high standard of technical ability.  His experience includes training celebrities, to inspiring young children in schools through his SPR Juniors programme. 

Scott is sending shockwaves through the world of fitness, nutrition and health as his programme continues to impact so many people’s lives.  You will hear many participants say, “It’s so much more than a six pack.”  The programme has transformed so many, not only are they looking fabulous, they also have the added benefit of healthy body and mind.  The programme has also shown to alleviate so many debilitating illnesses and conditions.

Scott is a major advocate for unmeasurable benefits of health and fitness. He inspires, motivates and encourages thousands all over the planet to strive to be the best person they can be, both physically and mentally.  There is nothing he enjoys more than impacting people’s lives positively and helping them push to achieve more than they themselves could ever imagine.

Scott is the Founder of The Six Pack Revolution fitness programme.  See:

www.thesixpackrevolution.com

Review on Amazon:

Wordly Traveller

5.0 out of 5 stars 

“A book about how to eat well, keep fit & feel energised

I loved this book!  I feel more upbeat, stronger, in control of my life and that I’m moving in the right direction having tried out some of Scott’s healthy & delicious recipes.

This cookbook also has really useful nutritional advice to help raise your energy levels & improve your fitness.  It talks about the foods we should eat and when we should eat them.  It breaks food down into the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and offers useful guidance and practical tips, along with healthy recipes for readers to cook themselves into fitness which involves having the correct balance of nutrition, the proper mindset and approach to healthy eating, and the right workout programme.

Staying healthy is all about how much you eat, when you eat, the quality of what you eat, and understanding and putting into practice the nutritional and culinary expertise provided in this useful book.

I’d recommend this book to anyone, not just couch potatoes, as it improves both your self-confidence as well as your physique.  It’s certainly livened up my life in more ways than one!”

Eat Your Way To A Six Pack:  Recipes from The Six Pack Revolution by Scott Harrison is available in paperback at:

www.thesixpackrevolution.com/product/spr-recipe-book

This book can also be downloaded from Amazon at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eat-Your-Way-Six-Pack/dp/1786236702

Press/Media Contact Details:

Darin Jewell (Scott Harrison’s Literary Agent)
Managing Director
The Inspira Group literary agency
E-mail: darin@theinspiragroup.com

************************************************************************

The year is 1935. Art connoisseur-cum-private investigator Felix Underwood is asked to find out what happened to Reggie Soper, a young solicitor who disappeared without trace 15 years previously.

Determined to help Charlotte Soper find her missing father, his investigations take him from the comfort of his Bond Street art emporium to the wilds of Yorkshire where he finds his presence among the village locals not entirely welcome.

Undaunted by the wall of silence surrounding him, he continues his search, finding a friend and helpmeet in Mavis, the landlady of the inn where he lodges. Together, they uncover a nightmare; the full horror of which nothing has prepared them for.

About the Author

Pat Herbert lives in London, England and works as an administrator and receptionist at a private health clinic. She worked previously as PA to the Managing Director of Thomson Books before they were taken over by Penguin. This is her 17th novel. In her novels, Pat likes to include all the hallmarks of British suspense thrillers including unpredictable characters, dark deeds, misdirection and misunderstandings, and at times, a touch of the mysterious.

Review on Amazon:

5.0 out of 5 stars  Unputdownable

30 November 2019

Verified Purchase

“I thoroughly enjoyed this if enjoy is the right word. It is very sad and quite horrifying really but brilliantly written. Full of twists and turns, I found I could not stop reading it until I knew the outcome. The author always makes her novels so readable. You start to feel you really know the characters. The story for me really highlights how a simple lie can cause ripples in peoples’ lives and no man is an island. I did think about karma with certain characters. I disliked Elsa intensely what an awful woman. I really liked Reggie’s character he came over as a lovely man. If looking for a good gripping read I would highly recommend this book.”

“HIDDEN” by Pat Herbert is available in paperback from Amazon at:

This suspenseful mystery novel can also be downloaded in e-book format from:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Darin Jewell (Pat Herbert’s Literary Agent)
Managing Director
The Inspira Group Literary Agency
E-mail: darin@theinspiragroup.com

Book Review & Giveaway: Dangerous Questions by Joyce T. Strand

NEW RELEASE….

Murder or deception? Despite repeated warnings to back off, Emily Lazzaro asks some dangerous questions about the disappearance of her employee from the Mane Stay B&B that she manages. When a body is discovered at a new winery opened by a friend, she fears the worst. Her single-mindedness turns into a compulsion and threatens her relationship with her potential husband. Nonetheless, she vows to get answers.

Available to buy from……
Amazon Barnes and Noble Paperback

About Emily Lazzaro

Emily Lazzaro is the daughter of Wayne Lazzaro, the winemaker for the Hilltop Sunset winery in the previously published three Brynn Bancroft mysteries. She moved with her fiancé to Ramona, Calif., a rural community near San Diego, following graduation from college with a degree in hospitality. Her fiancé was eager to purchase a vineyard and develop a winery in the up and coming Ramona wine region, which suited Emily’s goals.

However, after moving to Ramona, it becomes apparent to Emily that she is not a good match for her fiancé. She discovers that he does not respect her opinions and insists on making decisions without her input. So she breaks off the engagement.

She decides to remain in Ramona despite her fiancé living there with his new vineyard. She appreciates the unique rocky terrain and proximity to the ocean and San Diego, along with the mixture of fine wineries, artists, and equestrian activities. She makes her living doing people’s taxes, and when Dangerous Changes opens, we discover she is looking to make a career change.

My Review

I read Dangerous Changes and Dangerous Delays and I’ve been looking forward to the next book in the Emily Lazzaro series.

Emily has her dream job running a B&B and things are going well until an employee goes missing. When she finds out she was murdered, Emily becomes obsessed with finding her killer. Everyone close to her is concerned that she’s going to bring danger to her and her loved ones.

All of a sudden, Emily has a lot on her plate. Along with one of her employees being murdered, she has a group of guests staying at the B&B for at least two weeks and some of them seem a little shady to her. Her good friend that runs the winery nearby is acting stranger and stranger and then she goes missing. I was impressed with how well Emily was able to deal with everything.

Emily and her boyfriend Jackson continue to get closer but he doesn’t handle her obsession well. I love the relationship that his brother Harry has with his new wife Linda. Although Harry has some mental problems from an accident years ago, he and Linda work together to communicate and overcome any issues.

Dangerous Questions is a page-turner with each chapter seeming to bring a new obstacle for Emily to overcome. Even though this is the third book in the series, it does stand on its own.

Also available: Dangerous Changes (An Emily Lazzaro Mystery)

A series of events rattle Emily Lazzaro: a near-death encounter with a pickup on a narrow mountain road, the murder of a would-be client, and an ex-fiancé who won’t let go. Can she survive a police investigation, pressure from her ex’s company, and the suspicions of a possible new love-interest—so that she can make the changes to create a meaningful new life in a special town in southern California? 

 

Available to buy from……
Amazon Barnes and Noble Paperback

Dangerous Delays (An Emily Lazzaro Mystery)

Finding a corpse buried with Native American artifacts wasn’t the first delay of the renovation Emily faced. But she was not prepared for what followed. A murder investigation, excavation to uncover more artifacts, and drug dealers looking for missing product further delay the mansion’s restoration into an iconic B&B. While facing these setbacks, Emily is also realizing her growing attraction to a local chef, a man who believes a relationship isn’t possible due to his commitment to care for his brain-injured brother. 

Available to buy from……
Amazon Barnes and Noble Paperback

Book Review: A Christmas to Purr About by Patricia Fry

The Ivey family and friends agree to serve the hungry during the holidays, but not without serious consequences that require a little feline and equine intervention. Detective Craig goes missing, Rags is accused of grand theft and malicious mischief, Savannah is harassed and nearly arrested, Michael has a surprise reunion to beat all reunions, and Peaches facilitates a Christmas miracle. If you were touched by A Picture-Purrfect Christmas, you’re going to adore this story of struggle, strife, and fear overcome in the most unusual and loving fashion

Amazon

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This is the second Klepto Cat Mystery I’ve read. I recently read A Picture-Purrfect Christmas, and I plan on reading one more Christmas story about the Iveys, A Very Meowy Christmas, before December 25th. Each of these books stand on their own, but the more of them I read, the more I get to know the characters.

There’s a lot going on in A Christmas to Purr About! Detective Craig goes missing, and just when Savannah needs him the most. No matter where she turns, she’s being accused by crazy women for doing things she didn’t do. She’s being sued and harassed all while trying to get ready for Christmas. Oh, and she’s pregnant!

Although Savannah has a lot on her plate, she has family, friends, and pets to comfort her; although, I’m not sure how much comfort her cat Rags is. He’s always getting into mischief, but I think that’s because he’s so smart!

I enjoyed this Christmas story, which has a nice surprise at the end, and I look forward to reading the next one. I’m curious what mischief Rags can get into next time.

About the Author

Patricia has been writing for publication for over 40 years, having been fortunate enough to establish a career doing what she loves. Hundreds–maybe thousands–of her articles have appeared in over 500 different publications and she has published books on a variety of topics–grandparenting, local history, youth mentoring, journaling and many aspects of publishing and book promotion. After years of writing nonfiction, in 2012, she decided to branch out and try writing fiction and the Klepto Cat Mysteries were created.
The Klepto Cat Mysteries feature Rags, an ordinary cat with a most extraordinary habit–he’s a kleptomaniac. Currently, Patricia is producing anywhere from three to five books per year in both ebook format and in print. Read the Klepto Cat Mysteries and you’ll laugh, you’ll sit on the edge of your chair in suspense, and you’ll smile at the good-feeling you’re left with when you finish each book in the series. 

Website: http://www.KleptoCatMysteries.com