Tuesday, 29 September 2015

REVIEW - Murder on Sea by Julie Wassmer

Title: Murder on Sea (Whitstable Pearl #2)

Author: Julie Wassmer

Publisher: Constable

Release Date: Paperback 1st October 2015

Source: ARC

The festive month is kicking off in style and Pearl is rushed off her feet with her restaurant, The Whitstable Pearl. She's also busy planning her own family Christmas and providing mulled wine for a charity church fundraiser when Christmas cards begin arriving all over town - filled with spiteful messages from an anonymous writer.

Pearl's curiosity is piqued but having pledged not to take on a case at her detective agency before Christmas, she reluctantly agrees that Canterbury's DCI Mike McGuire should take over; poisoned pen cards are after all a matter for the police. And with only the church fundraiser now between Pearl and Christmas, she invites McGuire along as her guest. 

The event appears to be a great success; St Alfred's church hall is packed and Pearl happily finds herself standing close to McGuire beneath some mistletoe . . . but then a guest suddenly collapses. Too much of Pearl's delicious mulled wine - or could it be something more sinister?

The last thing Pearl expects for Christmas is murder but soon the bodies are piling up. Can Pearl possibly solve the mystery in time to make 25th December an unforgettable day - or will the murderer contrive to ensure her goose is well and truly cooked before then?

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I really enjoyed my read of the first book in this series, The Whitstable Pearl Mystery, and I was excited to get my mitts on the next book in the series Murder on Sea!

I loved this story, first of all it is set at my favourite time of the year, Christmas time, it is also set in the seaside town of Whitstable in Kent (England - I have been there!!) and there is plenty of foodies descriptions and a nice dollop of cosy romance, oh and murder!

Pearl Nolan is getting ready for Christmas, her successful seafood restaurant is still busy and she is excited for her son coming home for Christmas.  Her private detective business is ticking over nicely but with Christmas on the way family and work take priority until....

Her friends start to visit her with cards they have received, each of them with hateful messages inside that they want Pearl to get to the bottom of but she feels it is a job for the police and that means her friend in the force DCI Mike McGuire.

McGuire is a good cop but he lost someone he loved and now after finally coming to terms with it, he is seeing single mother Pearl in a new light, the pair of them have many "moments" together but when she invites him to the church fundraiser their moment under the mistletoe is interrupted by the collapse of one of the locals, a lady called Diana.

Without giving too much away, Diana unfortunately does not survive and it looks like she was poisoned, the question is by who? Is it linked to the poison pen letters or could it be the grievance she had with her neighbours?  But with Pearl and McGuire both witnesses to Diana's demise it is guaranteed they will get to the bottom of it.

I loved this book, it could have been the festive atmosphere, it could be because I had already met the characters in the first book and was comfortable around them or it could be that this was just a constant enjoyable read from start to finish.

I like hearing a bit more about McGuire's background and the chemistry between him and Pearl was certainly getting sparkier.  There is also plenty of other supporting character such as her mother Dolly and her friend Nathan who give a wonderful light hearted aspect to the story.

This is cosy crime with a little dark streak, perfect and just the way I like it!  I hope to be back to Whitstable again soon!


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BIZARRE BOOKS #2 - Old Tractors and the Men Who Love Them by Roger Welsch

Whilst looking through the many, many, many books on Amazon I discovered some hidden gems, books that maybe have been overshadowed and have not had the credit they deserve.

They may be a little bizarre, they may be unintentionally funny or they may just be a total WTF!!! book.

This weekly post is a tribute to these hidden gems and to be honest some of them are worth looking at for their reviews alone!

Finally the book you have been waiting for - yes you can learn how to love your tractor and your family.

It has wonderful reviews on Amazon, this could be the book that will not only help you with all of your agricultural woes, it will help you with family trouble too!

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Monday, 28 September 2015

REVIEW - The Whitstable Pearl Mystery by Julie Wassmer

Title: The Whitstable Pearl Mystery

Author: Julie Wassmer

Publisher: Constable

Release Date: Paperback 1st October 2015

Source: ARC

Pearl Nolan always wanted to be a detective but life, and a teenage pregnancy, got in the way of a police career.

She has built up a successful seafood restaurant in her coastal home town of Whitstable - famous for its native oysters.

Now, at 39, and with son Charlie away at university, Pearl finds herself suffering from empty nest syndrome . . . until she discovers the drowned body of local oyster fisherman Vinnie Rowe, weighted down with an anchor chain, on the eve of Whitstable's annual oyster festival.

Is it a tragic accident, suicide - or murder?

Pearl seizes the opportunity to prove her detection skills and discover the truth but she soon finds herself in conflict with Canterbury city police detective, Chief Inspector Mike McGuire. Then another body is discovered - and Pearl finds herself trawling the past for clues, triggering memories of another emotional summer more than twenty years ago . .

Bit of useless information first, I have actually been to Whitstable, I love this fact because it is nice to read a book and think "hey, I have been there!", told you it was useless!! 

For my readers outside the UK, Whistable is a town in the south of England and it is the perfect setting for this enjoyable crime read.  The aptly named Pearl is a single mother happily living in the town running her successful seafood restaurant with a little help from her mum.

Having her son at a young age she had to put her dream of becoming a police woman on hold, she loves her restaurant and prides herself in her local produce but when one of her locals turns up dead at the end of a heavy anchor chain she decides to turn detective and find out what happened to him.

The local police don't appreciate her help, in fact to begin with they consider her a suspect as she found the body.  She is determined to find out who the murderer is but when another body turns up she needs to use all her talents to find the killer.

I really enjoyed this book, first of all for the food, I always love a book with a good foodies descriptions and this certainly had plenty.  The characters in this book are wonderfully real, you could imagine going in to Pearl's restaurant and having a nice meal with her and her mum, who is a darling by the way.

For fans of cosy crime and not so cosy crime, you will enjoy this, I certainly did!

Thanks to Constable and Robinson for providing me with a copy


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Sunday, 27 September 2015

The Sunday Post #19 - 27th September 2015

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

I'm gonna recap my week and give you an idea of what I have coming up plus anything else newsworthy!

But where is Liz Lemon, she is taking a week off! Big Jack is here and considering my awesome new haircut (which is taking a bit of getting used to - in a good way) I thought it was appropriate!

Anyway how are you guys? First of all I am so sorry I didn't get round as many Sunday Posts and blog posts in general this week, time just got away from me.

I had great fun at the trade fair on Sunday, it was so nice going to the event as a visitor rather than an exhibitor as I have been in the past.  Afterwards we did a spot of shopping in Glasgow city centre followed by a lovely Italian meal.

This week I have been doing lots of reading and I am loving it, plus I have got my NetGalley feedback up a whole 1 percent!!

I started a new weekly post all about Bizarre books that I feel need to be brought to the world's attention and there are loads so prepare to fill your TBR piles with some utter gems!

Oh and whilst I remember new Doctor Who - have we enjoyed the last two episodes? I love Peter Capaldi but I'm a little bit meh about it so far.

This week was also sad as the legend that is Jackie Collins passed away, she leaves behind a massive body of work which I am sure will be enjoyed by readers for years to come.

Have a great week everyone.

I have slacked but I can say there are a lot of good books out there and I need to read them now - you all need to stop writing your tempting reviews now!!

This is on British tv this week, it has a cracking cast including Rob Lowe and Megan Mulally, I can't wait!

I have received physical and e-copies of some fab books this week, thank you to all the publishers for sending them! Also, some of them are my own purchases, the pics link to Goodreads for you to find out more!


NOTHING!!!!!!!!! (Well I did buy a Photoshop CS3 classroom book but that is for work!!)





Let me know if you have read any of them!

Happy Sunday!

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Saturday, 26 September 2015

The A to Z of Dystopia #11 - K is for Kit

Hey! Welcome to week 11 of my A to Z of Dystopia!

If this is your first week I better tell what I am trying to do!

I am going to pick one subject from the Dystopian genre, it may be a person, it may be an event, it may be something useful, but it will relate to dystopian books that I have been inspired by.

So each week I shall ramble on and on and on, you can view what I have covered so far here.

This week I am taking on.....

So I am sure all skilled survival experts pre-apocalypse will have some sort of amazing organised kit bag ready to go.  

Click the pic to see this on Cafepress
Now if I was one of those organised types my kit bag would also be packed and read to go, I had better pack the following.

Lady Products
Torch and Batteries
Loo Roll
Clean Drinking Water
First Aid Kit
Lots of food
Swiss Army Knife
Sleeping bag

I think that should be enough, that is what a sensible person would take.  

I am not sensible, first of all sod the rucksack or knapsack let's get Hermione''s magic bag!

So the end of the world has came, I have minutes to clear out of my house, what am I going to grab (my husband, kids and dog are already out of the house and prepared)?

This is what I would go for, my total end of the world kit!

Lady Products

Yes I know its the same but hold on there is more

My kindle - there will be electricity to recharge it right?

The complete Lord of the Rings - its not heavy, it will be fine.

All the jelly beans I can carry - fruit flavours count as one of your five a day?

iPhone and charger - of course there will be electricty.

More books - just in case there is not electricity and I finish LOTR.

At least 24 loo rolls, actually make it 48 just to be on the safe side.

Will I need a handbag? Which one will go with my end of the world outfit?

I'll need coffee, that means I'll need a kettle - I wasn't kidding about the electricity.

Could I fit Bear Grylls in there too?

Joking aside, I wouldn't have a clue what to grab, I would probably pick up useless things that I wouldn't need, I overpack going on holiday never mind running from nuclear bombs or rabid zombie hordes.  

Thankfully good old Google is a wealth of knowledge and the well prepared kit contains all manner of wonderful survival goodies.

So this weeks question, you have five minutes to go - what would you take (remember just for you, all loved ones and furry creatures are prepared already)!?

Next week - L!

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