Book reviews

Hate Bale by Stephanie Dagg – Book Review



Grumbling guests and escaping piglets are precisely what Martha doesn’t need. She’s already struggling to run a holiday cottage and a rather large smallholding single-handedly. Since her husband Mark died, three years ago, her rural property in France, beautiful as it is, has become an increasingly heavy millstone around her neck.

So whilst she’s horrified to stumble across a corpse at the local farm supplies shop, it does at least distract her from her own woes. Best friend Lottie, the cheese to Martha’s chalk, swoops in to offer moral support, and encourages Martha to join her in some unofficial sleuthing. Meanwhile, police officer Philippe Prudhomme, a former fellow chess-player of Mark’s, undertakes a rather more
professional investigation.

However, despite everyone’s efforts the killer remains at large. And when more bodies (one and a bit, to be precise) come Martha’s way, it definitely feels like he’s closing in on her…

There’s suspense, humour and excitement in this entertaining cosy mystery set in the French countryside.




Hate Bale by Stephanie Dagg is a cozy mystery, set on a farm full of various animals, idyllic if not a little chaotic at times.

But  then Martha discovers a couple of dead bodies and body parts! so she and her friend Lottie start some amateur detective work of their own…in a humorous double act…that will definitely make you smile…even though the subject is quite grim….I love the relationship between these two friends….and the lovely descriptions of rural France….a lovely cozy mystery…I hope there are more adventures for these two.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

Purchase Link –

Author Bio –


I’m an English expat living in France, having moved here with my family in 2006 after fourteen years as an expat in Ireland. Taking on seventy-five acres with three lakes, two hovels and one cathedral-sized barn, not to mention an ever increasing menagerie of animals, has made for exciting times.

The current array of creatures ranges from alpacas to zebra finches, with pretty much everything in-between! Before we came to France all we had was a dog and two chickens, so it’s been a steep learning curve.

I’m married to Chris and we have three bilingual TCKs (third culture kids) who are resilient and resourceful and generally wonderful.
I’m a traditionally-published author of many children’s books, and am now self-publishing too. As well as being an author, I’m also a part-time editor and, with Chris, manager of three carp fishing lakes. My hobbies are cycling, geocaching, knitting and sewing.

Social Media Links – @llamamum

Book reviews

The Detective, The Woman and the Pirates Bounty by Amy Thomas – Book Review



Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler retrace the steps of pirates as they uncover a conspiracy at the heart of Florida’s islands. Death threats and gangsters are not enough to stop the pair as they meet new friends and enemies while seeking pirate treasure and preserving law and order.
Amy Thomas is one of the Baker Street Babes, the world’s most popular Sherlock Holmes podcast. The Detective, The Woman and The Pirate’s Bounty is Amy’s fourth Holmes and Adler novel – The Detective and The Woman, and The Detective and The Woman and the Winking Tree, and The Detective and The Woman and The Silent Hive have sold worldwide with wonderful reviews with the first book available in audio format as well.



Sherlock Holmes is travelling to Florida, to find or disprove the existence of pirate treasure. He’s in the company of The Woman, Irene Adler…..who is assisting him and honing her observation skills…

Dr Watson, is left in London, courting Holmes’ ex-housekeeper….

Written in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle, this is a new adventure with the associated perils and deductions…just who is the Baron? And will they both survive?

A lovely, well written return to a classic, much loved, detective in a new tale by Amy Thomas. An immensely enjoyable read….

My thanks to Caroline Vincent at Bits about Books for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my free ebook which I received in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


About the author


Amy Thomas is a freelance writer, editor, and podcaster from south Florida.
In addition to her Sherlock Holmes novels, her nonfiction essays have been published in About Sixty: Why Every Holmes Story is the Best, Femme Friday: Celebrating Women in Sherlock Holmes Canon and Transformative Works, and other anthologies. Additionally, her short fiction and poetry have been featured in The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories.

As a member of the Baker Street Babes Podcast, an all-female group of Sherlock Holmes fans, dedicated to approach the fandom from a feminine point of view, Amy has served as a panellist for 221b Con and had the honour of being a finalist in the Podcaster category of the Shorty Awards.

She hones her crime writing acumen as a legal proofreader and connects with her readers via her blog, Girl Meets Sherlock.

Amy Thomas on Social Media

Author Website: ​
Twitter  Baker Street Babes:
FB Page Baker Street Babes:

Book Info
ISBN 9781787054141
16th April 2019
MX Publishing
Price £9.99, €12.99, $14.95
Pages 176