The Murder Club (Miller Hatcher, #2) by Nikki Crutchley #RBRT #BookReview @NikkiCAuthor

Cover: The Murder Club
(Miller Hatcher, #2)
by Nikki Crutchley

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

A dead body. An anonymous letter. This is only the beginning.

‘Not all evil, on the surface, is ugly and menacing. It doesn’t always lurk in city centres after dark. It mows your lawns, frequents your local pub, takes its kids to school and contributes to communities.’

When the first letter arrives saying that ‘tonight it begins’, journalist Miller Hatcher ignores it. But then the body of a murdered woman is discovered, strangled, a scarf around her neck.

Cassie Hughes has always vowed to find the man who murdered her mother. Cassie knows he’s out there and wants him to pay, and Miller agrees to bring the cold case back into the public’s eye.

Logan Dodds has been obsessed with true crime ever since his sister was murdered thirty years ago. He has turned his obsession into a career and has created the True Crime Enthusiasts Club and his newest venture, True Crime Tours.

The lives of Miller, Cassie and Logan – all affected differently by murder – become entwined as The Scarf Killer, desperate for infamy, and Miller’s attention, makes his mark on the small town of Lentford.

 

Genre(s): > International Mystery & Crime (Kindle Store)
> International Mystery & Crime (Books)
> Women Sleuths (Kindle Store)
Series: Miller Hatcher, #2
File size: 304 pages
Release date: >>> 2020-08-31 <<<

 

Teaser


Kahu nodded ‘What’s up?’

Miller withdrew the two letters from her bag. She’d already been home to get the other one she’d received on Friday.

‘Take a look at these. That first one I opened on Friday night, but it’s dated the day before. I didn’t really think much of it. Just another crazy. This one here,’ she said, handing over the other envelope, ‘was hand-delivered to the office by the looks of it. Not sure when. Probably last night when the office was closed or early this morning. I guess It could’ve been delivered over the weekend.’


My Opinion

This book reintroduces you to Miller Hatcher, a young journalist who moved back to her deceased mother’s house; sober for quite a while and working at the local newspaper, she starts receiving anonymous letters.

With “The Murder Club” (2nd in the Miller Hatcher series), Nikki Crutchley has created another gripping as well as a chilling story with a plot that keeps its promises. It is a plot that kept me glued to my eReader, drawing me very close to Miller and to Kahu. Nikki Crutchley created a well-elaborated suspense story with a complex and likeable heroine – as well as a colourful variety of further important characters. Miller and the others are believable, complemented by the aptly written plot. There is a lot more to the story than simply good versus bad; there are some insights into the human behaviour that will make you wonder. It is a highly enjoyable read with authentic characters, interesting turns, and a great flow. A memorable book to read again, written by a new author to watch out for!

This is a book for you if you like intriguing suspense, feisty heroines, believable characters, and if you appreciate cleverly elaborated stories.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳  (some mild swearwords)
Violence 😳  (some violence)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (some activities without details)

 

About the author

After seven years of working as a librarian in New Zealand and overseas, Nikki now works as a freelance proofreader and copy editor. She lives in the small Waikato town of Cambridge in New Zealand with her husband and two girls.

Nikki has been writing on and off her whole life and recently has had success in flash fiction. She has been published in Flash Frontier, Flash Fiction Magazine and Mayhem Literary Journal. Crime/thriller/mystery novels are her passion. Nothing Bad Happens Here is her first novel (but hopefully not her last), set on the Coromandel Coast of New Zealand.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “The Murder Club”?  Or – if you did not yet read “The Murder Club” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

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The Girl Who Wasn’t There #RBRT #BookReview @NickClausen9

Cover: The Girl Who Wasn’t There
by Nick Clausen

The author sent me an ARC (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5  stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

A young girl disappears without a trace.
The police have no clue as to what might have happened.
The severed family is thrown into despair as weeks go by, and still no sign of her.
The girl’s older brother begins looking for her on his own.
Soon he becomes convinced that a supernatural being has taken her.
Unfortunately, it turns out he’s right …

The Girl Who Wasn’t There is a gripping supernatural thriller.

Genre(s): > Teen & Young Adult Monster Fiction eBooks
> Teen & Young Adult Ghost Stories eBooks
> Teen & Young Adult Mythical Creatures eBooks
Series: n.a.
Length: 292 pages
Release date: 2020-04-01

Teaser


Lisa says something.

Andy opens the book.

>fight back<

Andy is very surprised by Lisa’s answer. “What do you mean, should I … shove her back? No, I can’t. She’s a girl.”

>bring her here>

Andy bursts into laughter at how unexpected the line is, then he looks around guiltily. Luckily, no one is around to hear him.

“Why would I bring her here? What would you do to her if I did? Beat her up? You’re only a ghost, remember?”


My Opinion

The story starts when Andy leaves his little sister outside the library. When he returns some minutes later – she is gone.

With The Girl Who Wasn’t There”, Nick Clausen has created an intriguing plot about a boy who wants to save his sister; he is soon convinced that she has been abducted, and luckily gets unexpected advice at his favourite location. “The Girl Who Wasn’t There” comprises authentic characters with sufficient depth; I got very close to Andy and his mindset. Nick Clausen introduces his characters with care. I had a great time reading – this is a very compelling read; I was drawn into the story right away, close to Andy and his allies. The plot offers food for thought, still keeps me thinking. There were some surprising turns, and I was fascinated to see in what manner Nick Clausen’s story reaches the finishing line.

The cover is great – perfect for this story.

This is for you if you like thought-provoking stories and teen and young adult horror and mystery.

A remarkable story to read again.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (some mild swearwords)
Violence 😳 – 😡  (some violence that might be disturbing)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (n.a.)

About the author

I write chilling horror and apocalyptic tales so that I don’t need to work a real job. I grew up reading Stephen King and still haven’t fully recovered. My books have been published in four different languages, and I’m currently working on ending the world in my zombie series Dead Meat.

I was born in a small country far, far away where people eat a lot of rye bread and are generally suspicious of success. I learned English thanks to Netflix and audiobooks. Originally, I wrote in my native tongue, but I switched to English in 2018 to reach more readers.

I married my public-school sweetheart and we recently had a son who looks so much like me I fear he’ll never get a date, the poor guy. My stories are fast-paced and thrilling and hopefully never boring. You should check them out, if you haven’t already.

Connect with the Author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about The Girl Who Wasn’t There”?  Or – if you did not yet read The Girl Who Wasn’t There”  – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

Odd Numbers by JJ Marsh #RBRT #BookReview @JJMarsh1

Cover: Odd Numbers
by JJ Marsh

 

The author sent me an ARC (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4  stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

The Guilty Party meets The Secret History

Can you forgive a friend?

Strange things bring people together. Like a tragic death.

Over two decades, five friends reunite every other New Year. They celebrate, grieve and heal. Memories grow dusty and the nightmare starts to fade.

On the 20th anniversary, in a remote snowy chalet, old doubts surface.
Wounds reopen and morality comes into question.

Is friendship a safety net or a tie that hobbles to the past?

They thought they knew each other’s secrets.
Did they miss the biggest one of all?

When history is rewritten, they must act to preserve the future.
A fatal decision means this reunion will be their last.

A psychological drama with beautifully portrayed characters and an intricately woven plot. The suspense emerges between the lines, grabs you softly but never lets go.

Genre(s): > Contemporary British Fiction
> Action & Adventure Literary Fiction
> Psychological Literary Fiction
Series: n.a.
Length: 199 pages
Release date: 2020-05-01

Teaser


“I still cannot believe it will be twenty years,” said Lovisa, her gaze on the mountains across the water.

Of all of us, Lovisa was the one who wanted to talk about it the most.

“I know. Weird how it turned out that the first time I got to organise was the twentieth anniversary.” I paused, thinking back to 2009 in Mallorca, one of the happiest reunions we’d had. “Twenty years. Sometimes it’s like a bad dream.”

She looked at me, her eyes the colour of the bottle of Bombay Sapphire. “I’ve been seeing a counsellor again. First time in fifteen years I felt the need.”


My Opinion

The story starts in 1999 when six friends (Clark, Dhan, Gael, Lovisa, Mika, and Simone) want to celebrate the Millenium close to Prague at a cabin by a lake.

With Odd Numbers”, JJ Marsh has created an expertly woven plot, an intriguing novel of five friends who cope with the death of the sixth friend. “Odd Numbers” comprises authentic characters with sufficient depth; Gael is the one I took to the most; my sympathies for her friends underwent slight changes as the story evolved. JJ Marsh delicately introduces her characters. I had a great time reading – this is a very compelling read; I was drawn into the story right away, close to Gael and her friends. The plot offers food for thought, still keeps me thinking. Even if I anticipated some outcomes, I was intrigued by the way JJ Marsh directs her readers there.

I could imagine this a perfect plot for the “Fantasy Film Festivals” (they are known for unusual stories).

The cover is great – perfect for this story.

This is for you if you like thought-provoking stories and psychological fiction.

A remarkable story to read again.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV First person – present/past tense (character-depending)
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence :mrgreen:  (none to speak of)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (some clear mentions, not too many details)

About the author

Jill grew up in Wales, Africa and the Middle East, where her curiosity for culture took root and triggered an urge to write. After graduating in English Literature and Theatre Studies, she worked as an actor, teacher, writer, director, editor, journalist and cultural trainer all over Europe.

Now in Switzerland, she writes crime and literary fiction to entertain readers with enthralling stories and endearing characters.

Her Beatrice Stubbs crime series topped the Amazon best sellers in “International Mystery & Crime” in Australia, Canada, the UK and the US.

Connect with the Author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Odd Numbers”?  Or – if you did not yet read Odd Numbers”  – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

Running Haunted by Effrosyni Moschoudi #BookReview @FrostieMoss

Cover: Running Haunted
by Effrosyni Moschoudi

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Kelly ran a marathon… and wound up running a house. With a ghost in it.

Kelly Mellios is a stunning, athletic woman, who has learned—the hard way—to value herself. Having just finished her first marathon in the alluring Greek town of Nafplio, she bumps into Alex, a gorgeous widower with three underage children, who is desperately looking for a housekeeper.

The timing seems perfect, seeing that Kelly aches to start a new life, and Nafplio seems like the ideal place to settle down. She accepts the position on the spot, but little does she know that Alex’s house has an extra inhabitant that not even the family knows about…

The house is haunted by Alex’s late wife, who has unfinished business to tend to. By using the family pet, a quirky pug named Charlie, the ghost is able to communicate with Kelly and asks her for help. She claims she wants to ensure her loved ones are happy before she departs, but offers very little information about her plans.

Kelly freaks out at first but gradually finds herself itching to help. It is evident there’s room for improvement in this family… Plus, her growing attraction towards Alex is overpowering…

Will Kelly do the ghost’s bidding? How will it affect her? And just how strange is this pug?

Genre(s): > Paranormal Ghost Romance
> Women’s Humorous Fiction
> Greek & Roman Literature
Series: n.a.
Length: 373 pages
Release date: 2020-05-18

 

Teaser


She opened her door halfway, about to leave the room, when she noticed a scarf on the foot of her bed. What’s that doing here? Her mind went numb when she recalled Charlie’s short visit in the middle of the night. He jumped on the bed… Did he leave this here?

A split second later, she heard a door creak open down the hall. She guessed the noise had come from Tommy’s room because the pug materialized at her door a few moments later. In his mouth, he carried a string of pearls.

‘Oh no! No, you don’t -‘ she burst out as soon as the pug rushed past her to leave the necklace on the floor before her bed. He turned around, raising his head slowly, and looked deeply into her eyes. It was such an intelligent look as if he were human and about to speak.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Kelly who dreams of living in a quiet town like Nafplio and – quite coincidentally gets a job there as a housekeeper.

With Running Haunted”, Effrosyni Moschoudi has created a highly enjoyable story of a woman who is warm-hearted and caring and currently facing some challenges. It is a very captivating read, keeping you glued to Kelly’s story. Kelly is believable and complex; the other characters are of sufficient depth for their respective impact. Effrosyni Moschoudi’s story develops at a steady pace, drawing you closer to Kelly, Alex, his sons, Charlie the dog, and everything that happens. This heart-warming and fun story is thought-provoking and has a great flow. I had a great time reading this memorable book, thoroughly enjoying it from beginning to end.

This is a book for you if you like excellent story-telling i.e. well-told and thoughtful stories with more than a little paranormal touch.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Thoughtful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence :mrgreen:  (n.a.)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (some kissing)

 

About the author

Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. As a child, she loved to sit alone in her garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies and ants. Today, she writes stories for the romantic at heart.

Her debut novel, The Necklace of Goddess Athena, has won a silver medal in the 2017 book awards of Readers’ Favorite. Her historical romance, The Ebb, is an ABNA Q-Finalist.
Effrosyni’s novels are Amazon bestsellers, having hit #1 several times.

She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her husband Andy and a ridiculous amount of books and DVDs.

Connect with the author:

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Running Haunted”?  Or – if you did not yet read Running Haunted” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

 

 

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Countdown Cafe by Kristi Helvig #BookReview @KristiHelvig

Cover: Countdown Cafe
by Kristi Helvig

I could not resist – had to get this book (epub format) after reading the blurb.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

In this speculative fiction short story, a teenager grieving the death of her twin sister stumbles across an unusual coffee shop only to discover that its inhabitants aren’t quite who they seem. It is a contemporary tale with a twist, reminiscent of The Twilight Zone. This story is from the award-winning anthology, Tick Tock: 7 Tales of Time, which was named a Finalist for the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award in the Anthology category.

Genre(s): > One-Hour Literature & Fiction Short Reads
> Magical Realism
> One-Hour Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Reads
Series: n.a.
Length: 43 pages
Release date: 2017-07-15

 

Teaser


The opaque, frosted glass window is etched with a steaming cup of coffee next to a croissant. An intricately carved wooden sign hangs over the door saying Café au Lait in fancy cursive writing. Sophie would have loved this place. I don’t understand how I missed this shop before; however, judging by the sparsely populated parking lot, it must go unnoticed by many. It bothers me that I can’t see through the window.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to to a teenager who lost her twin nearly a year ago.

With Countdown Café”, Kristi Helvig has created a tenderly narrated and thought-provoking story that kept me glued to my Kindle. Kristi Helvig gets you very close to the main character as the story proceeds; I felt with her right from the start. The story is about bereavement and how a teenager handles the loss of her twin sister. The story has a good flow; it certainly will not leave you unaffected as it is touching and has a fabulous paranormal touch.

This is a book for you if you like well-told unusual stories, psychology, and food for thought.

Highly recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (appropriate)
Violence :mrgreen:  (none to speak of)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (none)

 

About the author

Kristi Helvig is a Ph.D. clinical psychologist turned sci-fi/fantasy author. Her debut sci-fi novel, BURN OUT (Egmont USA/Lerner Publishing), was called “a scorching series opener not to be missed” by Kirkus Reviews. Her latest book, KILLER POINTE (Dark Edge Publishing) is an urban fantasy involving a teen who plans to fund her dreams of Juilliard School for dance in this world by serving as an assassin in a parallel fairy tale world. Kristi muses about Star Trek, space monkeys, and other assorted topics at http://www.kristihelvig.com and on Twitter (@KristiHelvig). Kristi resides in sunny Colorado with her hubby, two kiddos, and behaviorally-challenged dogs.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “Countdown Café”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Countdown Café” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

 

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