The Key in the Lock by Beth Underdown – review

Published by Viking Books Publication date – 13 January 2022 Source – review copy ‘I still dream, every night, of Polneath on fire…’ By day, Ivy Boscawen mourns the loss of her son Tim in the Great War. But by night she mourns another boy – one whose death decades ago haunts her still. For…

B: A Year in Plagues and Pencils by Edward Carey – review

Published by Gallic Books Publication date – 4 November 2021 Source – review copy ‘I blame the pencil. I hadn’t meant to do it. I wasn’t thinking. It just happened that way.’ In March 2020, as lockdowns were imposed around the world, author and illustrator Edward Carey published a sketch on social media, with a…

Murder by the Book – edited by Martin Edwards – review

Published by the British Library Publication date – 10 August 2021 Source – review copy A bookish puzzle threatens an eagerly awaited inheritance; a submission to a publisher recounts a murder that seems increasingly to be a work of nonfiction; an irate novelist puts a grisly end to the source of his writer’s block. There…

The Christmas Murder Game by Alexandra Benedict – review

Published by Zaffre Publication date – 30 September 2021 Source – review copy Twelve clues. Twelve keys. Twelve days of Christmas. But who will survive until Twelfth Night? Lily Armitage never intended to return to Endgame House – the grand family home where her mother died twenty-one Christmases ago. Until she receives a letter from…

Should I Tell You? by Jill Mansell – review

Published by Headline Publication date – 20 January 2022 Source – review copy Amber, Lachlan and Raffaele met as teenagers in the seaside home of kind-hearted foster parents. Arriving in glorious Cornwall was the best thing that ever happened to them – and now, as adults, their bond is stronger than ever. But Amber has…

These Names Make Clues by E C R Lorac – review

Published by The British Library Publication date – 10 September 2021 Source – review copy Chief Inspector Macdonald has been invited to a treasure hunt party at the house of Graham Coombe, the celebrated publisher of Murder by Mesmerism. Despite a handful of misgivings, the inspector joins a guest list of novelists and thriller writers disguised…

A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa – review

Published by Tramp Press Publication date – 28 October 2021 Source – review copy ‘When we first met, I was a child, and she had been dead for centuries. I am eleven, a dark-haired child given to staring out window … Her voice makes it 1773, a fine day in May, and puts English soldiers…

Sally on the Rocks by Winifred Boggs – review

Published by The British Library Publication date – 16 September 2021 Source – review copy When her bohemian life in Paris falls flat at the beginning of the First World War, Sally Lunton returns to the care of her guardian in Little Crampton to find a husband. With some encouragement from the local busybody, she…

The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie – review

Published by Fontana Publication date – 1975 Source – own copy ’Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe,’ declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, ‘would be doing the world at large a service!’ It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth. And one which was to come…