Book reviews

SPRING PROMOTION for One Last Summer by Victoria Connelly

Book Description:

They have the whole summer ahead of them. Is it enough to rekindle the friendship they once shared?

Harriet Greenleaf dreams of spending the summer in a beautiful ancient priory on the Somerset coast with her two best friends—but her dream is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s a chance to reconnect three lives that have drifted apart; on the other, she has a devastating secret to share that will change everything between them forever.

First to arrive is Audrey—the workaholic who’s heading for a heart attack unless she slows down and makes time for herself. Then Lisa, the happy-go-lucky flirt who’s always struggled to commit to anyone—or anything. Ever the optimist, can Harriet remind them of the joy in their lives and the importance of celebrating good friendship before it’s gone?

Through the highs and lows of a long, glorious summer, these three women will rediscover what it means to be there for each other—before they face the hardest of goodbyes.




Purchase Links:

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Amazon Australia:


Author bio:


Victoria Connelly studied English literature at Worcester University, got married in a medieval castle in the Yorkshire Dales and now lives in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a young springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens.

She is the author of two bestselling series, Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in 2008 by Ziegler films in Germany. The Runaway Actress was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Comedy Novel award.

Ms Connelly loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden with either a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.



Twitter: @VictoriaDarcy

Goodreads Author Page:

Instagram: @VictoriaConnellyAuthor


Book reviews

Searching For Sylvia by Joanna Stephen-Ward – Book Review



Sylvia has been missing for thirty years. Will her daughters ever find her?
Tordorrach is 70,000 acres of drought stricken land in the Australian outback. Why do a group of wealthy people from London want to buy it?

Seamus, the owner of Tordorrach, lives in poverty. His homestead is derelict and he is heavily in debt. The new owners run Outback Experience holidays on Tordorrach. Seamus becomes one of the gardeners, and he and his wife Mary move to a comfortable cabin on the property. Why does he hate the new owners so much that he plans to murder one of them?

The idyllic life of the new owners is shattered when the body of a woman is found buried on Tordorrach. Forensics find a bullet in her body. Who was she? And who murdered her?




Set in Australia, this is a family drama with a twist…

It starts with Paul, a solicitor who comes home to his wife how tells hims she is leaving him for someone else….leaving her boring life and boring husband…..He decides it’s time for a new life and leaves Sydney for a small, remote town of Cobar.

He continues to work as a solicitor and loves his new life….then comes a mystery buyer of the near derelict homestead, Tordorrach. The current owner, Seamus is reluctant to sell to the English despite being heavily in debt, but eventually sells. Seamus is a nasty, belligerent piece of work and alienates everyone around him including his long suffering wife, Mary.

The new buyers are all related, and lived at Tordorrach many years before and are still troubled by the sudden disappearance of Sylvia, mother to Grace and Juliet at the time. They employed a private detective, but unfortunately nothing could be found….

They also find an old journal written by an ancestor, which adds a little history to the family.

A lot of this story is about the renovation of Tordorrach and the setting up of a new business, from the cabin fittings to menu’s, which helps builds a wonderful picture of the estate, the new owners and their relationships amongst themselves and those around them.

A body is then found, buried a long time ago……murdered… this Sylvia? And just who In this small town knows what happened?

All is revealed in an emotion packed confession, will this be the end of it now ? ….

A slowly paced but totally immersive read from start to finish….I really enjoyed it.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)


Joanna Stephen-Ward was born in the Australian outback, and grew up in Melbourne. Her school days were spent dreaming about being an opera singer or a writer. To the exasperation of her parents and teachers she spent her final year sitting at the back of the classroom writing a novel set in WW2.

When she left school she went to an opera school where she was taught drama, movement and language pronunciation and had small roles in the workshop productions. She was not good enough to become a professional opera singer, but the seeds of her novel Vissi d’arte were sown.

She left Australia and spent a year travelling around Europe and the UK. While working in outpatients for the NHS she met Peter and they married in 1985. They lived in Richmond Surrey and she worked at The National Archives, an enthralling place for anyone interested in history or crime.

Having been brought up as a lonely only child, she was astonished to discover in 2010 that she was one of eight children. She and her sister had last been together on a verandah in the outback when they were babies. They had a joyous reunion in Cornwall in 2012.

Joanna has written seven novels and is working on her eighth.

Author Links :

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Historical fiction

The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry – Book Review



A vivid and gripping historical crime novel set in 19th century Edinburgh,
by bestselling author Chris Brookmyre and consultant anaesthetist Dr Marisa Haetzman.

In Edinburgh, 1847. Will Raven is a medical student, apprenticing for the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson. Sarah Fisher is Simpson’s housemaid, and has all of Raven’s intelligence but none of his privileges. As bodies begin to appear across the Old Town, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld. And if either of them are to make it out alive, they will have to work together to find out who’s responsible for the gruesome deaths.

– The Way of All Flesh is the first in a series of historical crime novels. It will appeal to fans of C.J. Sansom, S.J. Parris and historical crime fiction, as well of fans of Brookmyre’s own writing.

– The Way of All Flesh contains real life characters and events including:
▪ Dr James Simpson, pioneer of chloroform
▪ The invention of anaesthesia and its early use in obstetric procedures
▪ The influence of the newly established Free Church of Scotland
▪ The work of photography pioneers David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson

– It has already been optioned by SunnyMarch for Film/TV and has sold into seven territories to date.

– Chris Brookmyre is an international bestselling and multi-award-winning author whose books have sold over one million copies. Marisa Haetzman is a consultant anaesthetist of 20 years’ experience, with a Master’s in the history of Medicine which formed the research for this book.

Raven and Fisher will return in The Art of Dying,
publishing in hardback 29.08.19.



Will Raven is an apprentice ‘midwife’ to Dr Simpson a kind, generous doctor with an interest in anaesthesia. Raven owes money to violent ‘loan sharks’ after borrowing to lend money to his friend,  who is then found dead. He feels this was murder, then there are further women found dead with the same contorted bodies.

Sarah is a housemaid, who also works for Dr Simpson, part time, in his surgery helping with patients and clearing up. She has a thirst for medical knowledge and reads medical books avidly but as a women in these times, is disregarded.

Sarah and Raven do not get on initially, but they begin to investigate the deaths of the women and a little romance begins.

There’s a lot of medical information given and about the new fangled use of anaesthesia in medicine and surgery in the 1840’s and it reminds you just how far medicine has advanced. Thank goodness.

Ambrose Parry,  the authors have clearly done a lot of research and while this includes a lot of details in the tale it is not confusing but just reinforces the story and gives background to medicine of the time.

This is a great, wonderfully eloquent tale of historical medical drama, romance and a murder mystery.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.



Ambrose Parry is a pseudonym for a collaboration between Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman. The couple are married and live in Scotland. Chris Brookmyre is the international bestselling and multi-award-winning author of over twenty novels, including Black Widow, winner of both the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Dr Marisa Haetzman is a consultant anaesthetist of twenty years’ experience, whose research for her Master’s degree in the History of Medicine uncovered the material upon which this novel was based. The Way of All Flesh is the first book in the series. @ambroseparry


‘Menacing, witty and ingeniously plotted, Ambrose Parry’s debut draws you into the dark heart of nineteenth-century Edinburgh and won’t let you go until the final page’

‘Utterly compelling, this tale of Old Edinburgh is so full of characters
and startling incident that I never wanted it to end’

‘Parry’s Victorian Edinburgh comes vividly alive – and it’s a world of pain’

‘Pretty damn exceptional’

‘A dynamic new arrival in this niche category of writers. Ambrose Parry’s The Way of All Flesh leads the reader down dark alleys, through aristocratic parlours and prostitutes’ bedrooms, into secret worlds’

‘An astonishing debut. The dark and dangerous past is brought thrillingly to life. I can’t wait to read more.’​

‘The city of Burke & Hare has found a new classic murder. The Way of All Flesh is a darkly, stylish mystery underpinned by hard facts and expert research. A hugely enjoyable debut’

‘Everything you could possibly want in a historical crime fiction novel with extra thrills and chills on the side’

‘Fascinating, informative and intriguing. Old Edinburgh brought to life and death within these pages’

‘A terrific read – Victorian Edinburgh’s medical world resurrected, and brought vividly to life’

‘I adored this atmospheric, enthralling novel. Victorian Edinburgh comes thrillingly to life’

‘A thoroughly entertaining tale of murder and misadventure in 1840s Edinburgh.’
Sunday Times

‘An enjoyable, dark-edged romp through Victorian Edinburgh . . . The Way of All Flesh is a treat. The historical setting is fascinating, and all of Brookmyre’s wit and storytelling verve are evident in this tale of scalpels and secrets.’
The Times