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St Andrews, 1583. The young King James VI is confined at Falkland Palace, plotting his escape. Dissension rages between Kirk and Crown, the King and his lord enterprises, and between the separate factions of the church. In St Andrews Castle, a bishop in decline plays out his darkest fantasies, while Hew and his friend Giles investigate the true source of his sickness, uncovering corruption at his heart.  The death of a young soldier, implicating Hew’s sister and Gile’s wife Meg, leads Hew to an astonishing discovery, and towards his blackest hour, his fortunes inextricable from those of James himself. This is  the fourth Hew Cullan mystery and with each book, Shirley Mckay’s series gets stronger. Meticulously researched, and with a real sense of the time without sounding dated, the Hew Cullan mysteries are fast paced thrillers perfect for all fans of CJ Sansom, Hilary Mantel and Cadfael.

Also available by Shirley McKay

Hue and Cry [ the first Hew Cullan Mystery ]

Time & Tide [ the second Hew Cullan mystery]

Fate & Fortune [ the third in the Hew Cullan mystery series ]

Friend & Foe is the fourth Hew Cullan mystery published 6th May 2014 Published by Polygon

My review A gripping mystery that holds the reader to the very last page, and a marvellous portrait of St Andrews in the sixteenth century.




How do you solve a mystery when you can’t remember the clues.?

Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn’t remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Back home she  finds the place horribly unrecognizable Just like sometimes she thinks her daughter Helen is a stranger.

But there’s one thing Maud is sure of her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so.And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it.

Because somewhere in Maud’s damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about. Everyone except Maud.

The thing is I try to be systematic, try to write everything down. Elizabeth is missing and I must do something to find out what happened. But I’m so muddled I can’t be sure about when I last saw her or what I discovered. I’ve phoned and there’s no answer. I haven’t seen her, I think. She hasn’t been here and I haven’t been there. What next? I suppose I should go to the house. Search for clues. And whatever I find I will write it down. I must put pens in my handbag now. The thing is to be systematic. I’ve written that down for.

My review

Maud can’t remember a lot of things, but she knows her friend Elizabeth is missing.

For Maud the only way to remember things is to write them down. It appears that for Maud, Elizabeth is the only friend she has left. It is very sad for Maud as all Maud’s other friends are in homes or in graves. Maud knows the day is thursday and she usually visits her friend Elizabeth on a Thursday, but there is one small problem they don’t seem to have made any arrangements and Elizabeth has not phoned Maud. If Elizabeth had of phoned Maud, she would have written it down what time Maud would be going to see her friend as Maud writes everything down. There are bits of paper all over the house that is called paper memory.  Maud writes down her shopping list, telephone numbers and appointments. So if Elizabeth had phoned Maud she would have a note, but there is a note  tucked into Maud’s sleeve that says No word from Elizabeth. Now Maud has this horrible feeling that something has happened to her friend. Maud remembers that something was on the news about an old woman. Something unpleasant. And now Elizabeth has disappeared. This story of Elizabeth Is Missing holds some wonderful writing. I was totally blown away the original of its narration.  The rollercoaster of Maud forgetting things and having to write them down I thought was rather emotional. Another brilliant novel published by penguin.









As the court inquest into the death of Benjamin Blaine continues his son Adam struggles to suture the deep wounds – both within his family and himself – torn open by the suspicious and much – publicised tragedy. With suspicion still rife that Adam’s father was murdered by of his kin Adam finds his sternest test to be his proximity to Carla Pacelli – his late father’s mistress. Although pivotal to his family’s plight Adam finds himself increasingly drawn to the beautiful and mysterious Carla. The closer he gets to her the further Adam feels from his troubles, and the nearer he comes to revealing the secrets he’s strived so hard to conceal. Is Adam risking condemning the people he’s fought so hard to protect.

Published by Quercus 6th March 2014

My review

Forgive me please! I do not know where I been but I have only just recently come across New York Times best-selling author Richard North Patterson. Well better late than never as the saying goes. I am incredibly stunned at the twenty-one books that Richard has written. Eden In Winter is Richard’s twenty-second novel. With my love of books just like some of my blog followers, I am always shopping and researching for new authors or authors like Richard that I have not heard of before. Richard North Patterson Eden In Winter is a fast-paced court room thriller. Threshing insights into the Blaine family with lavishing high drama. The Blaine family Benjamin Blaine, his wife Clarice,Adam and Teddy live in Martha’s Vineyard in a rambling white house that was once owned by Clarice parents. Drama unfolds as Benjamin a womanizer has his mistress Carla Pacelli an actress living in the Martha’s Vineyard guesthouse behind the Blaines family house.  Carla career collapsed through alcohol and drugs and she is now trying to build a foundation for a new and different life. The plot hots up Clara is expecting Ben’s baby. Ben knows he is going to die and decides to change his will. The worst nightmare  is uncovered Ben falls from the cliff at the Martha’s Vineyard or was it murder?. With a high-profile death the media pressure from a reporter working for theNational Enqurier is on the Blaine families tail wanting statements and sets to question the mistress Carla. It seems that the reporter from the Enquirer gleefully knows something. Adam who works in Afghanistan is home to all to this horror of his father’s death and gives his family each an alibi to keep to when they go to Dukes Country courthouse. I was glued to Eden In Winter  all day Good Friday reading it in my pyjamas. Sensational story highly recommend. I hope many readers enjoy reading Eden In Winter by Richard North Patterson as much as I have.





9781846689659 You can’t choose your family, but they can make choices for you. Huge, life-altering choices. As a child, Rosemary never stopped talking, so why, now she’s a young woman at college, doesn’t she talk very much at all?. She used to have a sister, Fern, the same age as her, and an older brother, Lowell.  She loved both fiercely but they have vanished from her life, for reasons she can’t face, and no one could guess. She may be quite in person but on paper she’s still as exuberant as she was in childhood. So here is Rosemary’s story, utterlycaptivating , it’s funny, clever and swirls with ideas that will come back and bite you.

published by serpentstail

Full credit to Karen Fowler writing a story that is so different that the plot stands out. I have never read a story like this before. I became attached to Rosemary telling the story.Rosemary retells the story through from the age of being five up to the present day. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is in a way packed with facts and fiction. Wild, and destructive Rosemary as a child never stopped talking and now as a woman at college Rosemary does not talk that much at all. A campus policeman arrives at lunch time to Rosemary and her psycho friend arresting them of smashing glasses and throwing chairs during their lunch break. . It appears that Rosemary has been through quite some upset throughout her life her sister Fern and her brother Lowell both vanished from her life Through the emotional journey that Rosemary has experienced this clearly is a pin point that has triggered off some wild behaviour. We Are Completely Beside Ourselves explores the different levels of stories of families who have had chimpanzees. Some very small  parts of this story is sad about the research projects that Chimpanzees are put through. At the back of the book there are references for books for further reading on chimps/apes and wesites to to explore. This story certainly has its originality. I think all people who love all kinds of animals will love this story. It is a very educational read. I have one more job to do and that is to thank the author Karen Joy Fowler for a wonderful story. 

My review






Prosperous, and the secret that hides beneath its ruins. The community of Prosperous, Maine has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children’s future secure.  It shuns outsiders. It guards its own.  And at the heart of Prosperous lies the ruins of an ancient church, transported stone by stone from England centuries earlier by the founders of the town. But the death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to  Prosperous. Parker is a dangerous man, driven by compassion, by rage,  and by desire for vengeance.  In him the town and its protectors sense a threat graver than any they have faced in their long history and in the comfortable, sheltered inhabitants of a small Maine town, Parker will encounter his most vicious opponents yet. Charlie Parker has been marked to die so that Prosperous may survive. published 10th April by Hodder My review A Charlie Parker thriller scourge of evil. Last hope of the lost.

Published 10th April 2014 by Hodder

My review

This is my first crime book by the famous writer John Connolly. Wow!  I totally lost my myself for hours with this terrifying thriller. Some authors stand out from the crowd and John Connolly has done this with The Wolf In Winter. The story has such a scale of great detail in Prosperous a small town a homeless man Jude who lives on the streets. In winter he would seek a bed at Oxford Street shelter. Jude’s wife died hating him because he left her and his child. With Jude’s life on the streets he was well-known to his fellow street people and the law. Jude was always a law- abiding man. It soon appears that Jude finds out that his daughter is now living and working at Tender House that catered for women victims of domestic and sexual abuse, runaways and women who simply needed a place to stay for a while. Sadly Jude hangs himself without being reunited with his daughter. It will move you tears as Jude daughter is shot in the chest and dies. Lots of discoveries and pain throught this fast- paced thriller. I highly recommend The Wolf in Winter a Charlie Parker thriller it is going to be a big seller. Every women and men readers will recognize the dilemmas of secrets life and death and murder!.







Natty and Sean Wainwright are happily married. Rock solid in fact. So when Natty oldest friend, Eve Dalladay, appears just as their daughter collapse on a school trip in France Natty has no qualms about leaving Eve with Sean to help out at home. Two weeks later and Natty finds Eve has slotted into family life too well. Natty’s husband has fallen in love with Eve. He’s sorry, he tells her, but their marriage is over. With no option but to put a brave face on things for the sake of the children, Natty embarks on building a new life for herself. And then she receives the note. Eve has done this before, more than once, and with fatal consequences.

Published by Bantam 27th March 2014

My review

I wanted to read Keep Your Friends Close as I enjoyed reading Just What Kind Of Mother Are You? I just could not put Keep your Friends Close down. Paula Daly has such an incredible ability to make skeleton’s come out of the closet. The story had me ultimately craving for more to find out what was going to happen next.
Keep Your Friends Close is seasoned with Natty and Sean Wainwright who are blissfully happy together with their two children, a lavish big house and owning their own hotel. Out the blue One of the Wainwrights daughter’s unfortunately is taken ill to a hospital while she is in France on a school trip. Natty asks her best Eve if she would help look after Sean her husband and Alice her younger daughter. For Natty her main concern is that she stays with her daughter in france until she is well to come home. As Natty and Eve have best of friends for may years sharing secrets and trust each other fully Eve is absolutely.the appropriate friend to help as Eve has watched Natty’s and Sean’s girls grow up. But how well does Natty know Eve after all these years being best friends? .When Natty returns home her life is shattered as Eve has stolen her husband. So much more destruction adapts for the Wainwright family.
I strongly nominate Paula Daly’s Keep your Friends Close and What Kind of Mother Are You? to every woman reader. I hope that all readers will totally love this story as much as I have.



9780593068182 I believe, from what I can hear, that either my daughter or my wife has just been attacked. I don’t know the outcome. The house is silent. Fourteen years ago two teenager lovers were brutally murdered in a patch of remote woodland. The prime suspect confessed to the crimes and was imprisoned. One family is still trying to put the memory of the killings behind them.  But at their isolated hilltop house, the nightmare is about to return.

Published by Bantam 24TH APRIL 2014.

My review

The reason I wanted to read Wolf is because I read the fantastic novel Hanging hill by Mo Hayder. Once readers find that an author has the gift to put pen to paper to make extremely nail-biting thrillers, readers come whizzing back for more. Mo Hayder has delivered a knock out thriller Wolf. We are introduced to The Anchor-Ferrers Oliver who is a scientist is being keep alive by a foreign piece flesh flickering inside his heart. Matilda Anchor-Ferrers wife believes the house is haunted. Lucia who has a little dog for comfort is still trying to recover after fourteen years ago her boyfriend was murdered by Minnet Kable in a remote woodland. The Anchor-Ferrers are staying at their remote holiday home The Turrets that is far away from any houses. Through the Anchor-Ferrers own trauma the Turrets are very security conscious locking windows with a high structure of electric gates at the end of their drive way.. The atmosphere in the Turrets is just not quite right as they realize the phone line is dead. Two men who claim to be police come to visit the Anchor- Ferrers. A trail of destruction is committed these two men hold the Anchor-Ferrers family hostage, hauling them one by one and tying them up and torturing them. The Anchor-Ferrer’s have no idea why they are being held hostage and what these wicked men want .Wolf is a story that delivers chills it quite painful and frightening. Wolf has been adapted for men and women who are inspired reading thriller novels. I hope readers have a thrilling time reading Wolf as much as I have. review by

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