Book reviews, Classic Fiction, Historical fiction

A Shot In The Dark by Neil Richards and Matthew Costello – Book Review



Sussex, England, 1929.

Mydworth is a sleepy English market town just 50 miles from London. But things are about to liven up there considerably, when young Sir Harry Mortimer returns home from his government posting in Cairo, with his unconventional American wife – Kat Reilly.

No sooner have the two arrived, when a jewel robbery occurs at Harry’s aunt’s home – Mydworth Manor – ending in one of the thieves being shot…and killed.

The local police are baffled by the case. But Harry and Kat have an edge in the hunt for the second thief: not only do they have certain useful “skills” they’ve both picked up in service of King, President and Country, they also have access to parts of English high society that your average bobby can’t reach.

Because this Shot in the Dark…could have come from anywhere.



#1 of the Mydworth Mysteries series

Lord Harry Mortimer and his new wife, Kat have just arrived in England, when Harry is called to Whitehall on urgent business. So Kat decides to drive herself to their new home, in his beloved Alvis….

Eventually, she arrives at Dower House, but it’s all locked up, so she walks to nearby Mydworth Manor, home to Harry aunt, Lady Lavinia. But, as she arrives she hears gunshots, a man falls from a window and more shots are fired in her direction…..What a welcome!

Harry arrives and they search the body and find jewellery in his pockets…..who is this man? And how did he know where to find these jewels?

Kat and Harry put their skills and knowledge to use to find out….

All set in 1920’s England amongst the upper classes, this is a marvellously fun crime thriller from a simpler time. It reminded me of the novels of Josephine Tey and is a must for readers of a classic style mystery. A quick read but packs a lot in. I loved it.

Thank you to Red Dog Press for the opportunity to read this for free and this is my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here




Co-authors Neil Richards (based in the UK) and Matthew Costello (based in the US), have been writing together since the mid-90s, creating innovative television, games and best-selling books. Together, they have worked on major projects for the BBC, PBS, Disney Channel, Sony, ABC, Eidos, and Nintendo to name but a few.

Their transatlantic collaboration led to the globally best-selling mystery series, Cherringham, which has also been a top-seller as audiobooks read by Neil Dudgeon.

Mydworth Mysteries is their brand new series, set in 1929 Sussex, England, which takes readers back to a world where solving crimes was more difficult — but also sometimes a lot more fun.

Book reviews, Police procedural

Cause And Effect by Pete Adams – Book Review



A self-labelled enigma, Detective Inspector Jack Austin is at once miserable and amusing, melancholy and motivated. Running the Community Police Unit from his deck chair, D.I. Austin is known for his ability to solve crimes out of the blue.

Trying to work cases while struggling with his mental issues, Austin deals with a variety of major crimes, including bicycle theft. But when the case of an executed police officer lands on his desk, he accidentally uncovers a malevolent scheme.

Can he discover who is behind it all – and keep what’s left of his sanity?



This is #1 in the Kind Hearts and Martinets series featuring DI Jack Austin.

The prologue has four seemingly unrelated events, a street battle, Chas in the bike shop, Osama’s son is missing and a woman is murdered, her hidden daughter has witnessed it.

Then we meet Jack and his team and for a little while I was unsure how this was going to read, with the constant nicknames and bizarre randomness, but it then starts to come together.

Jack’s constant juvenile humour really builds a sense of this melancholic man, he’s still grieving for his wife and hides this with his sense of fun. For all that Jack is an astute and almost uncanny detective, which his insights and ability to stay one step ahead.

The crimes he and the Community Police unit are investigating are violent and brutal and this humour helps them all deal with it and builds a rare camaraderie. Will they solve their investigation? Will Jack survive? Will he dance again?

A fast paced, violent and dark police procedural with a difference, a main character with a sense of humour that just will not stop….I’ll be looking out for the next in the series that’s for sure.

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours 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. 


About Pete Adams:

Pete Adams is an architect with a practice in Portsmouth, UK, and from there he has, over forty years, designed and built buildings across England and Wales. Pete took up writing after listening to a radio interview of the writer Michael Connolly whilst driving home from Leeds. A passionate reader, the notion of writing his own novel was compelling, but he had always been told you must have a mind map for the book; Jeez, he could never get that. 

Et Voila, Connolly responding to a question, said he never can plan a book, and starts with an idea for chapter one and looks forward to seeing where it would lead. Job done, and that evening Pete started writing and the series, Kind Hearts and Martinets, was on the starting blocks. That was some eight years ago, and hardly a day has passed where Pete has not worked on his writing, and currently, is halfway through his tenth book, has a growing number of short stories, one, critically acclaimed and published by Bloodhound, and has written and illustrated a series of historical nonsense stories called, Whopping Tales.

Pete describes himself as an inveterate daydreamer, and escapes into those dreams by writing crime thrillers with a thoughtful dash of social commentary. He has a writing style shaped by his formative years on an estate that re-housed London families after WWII, and his books have been likened to the writing of Tom Sharpe; his most cherished review, “made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think”.

Pete lives in Southsea with his partner, and Charlie the star-struck Border terrier, the children having flown the coop, and has 3 beautiful granddaughters who will play with him so long as he promises not to be silly.



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