A body in the cottage by P.F. Ford

Released: 3rd October, 2023

Genre: Mystery, crime

Score: 9/10

A body in the cottage was a thoroughly good read. Available from, it is a police procedural novel set in West Wales, in the UK. The town where the police are based is Llangwelli, which is a quiet, rural place to live but has its fair share of murders!

We follow Detective Sergeant Normal and the rest of the team as they solve a crime. A woman’s body is found in a derelict miners cottage on a building site that is soon to be demolished.

The characters are very likeable and realistic and the plot has quite a few twists and turns along the way, much like the winding country lanes of Llangwelli.

A body in the cottage was an enjoyable book and I really connected with old-fashioned DS Norman and DI Southall and the rest of their team. A great read.


Not My Child by Jane E. James

Released: 12th September, 2023

Genre: Mystery, Crime

Score: 10/10

The front cover of this book

WARNING: This book may be a trigger to people who have suffered abuse.

Not My Child by Jane E. James is a superb, fast-paced and thrilling book to read. From the very first chapter, I was hooked and wanted to know what had happened and what was going to happen.

Not My Child centers around Tara, a mum and wife, and the extraordinary circumstances she finds herself in. It is mainly told from the points-of-view of married couple, Tara and Dino. During her childhood, Tara has suffered trauma from her mother and brothers that leads to a life-changing event. She retells the story from her past throughout the book.

Dino’s story is told in the recent past and present and involves the police and an investigation. Tara gave birth to a child when she was young and was forced to give him up for adoption. She dreams about him finding her and wanting to meet her when he turns 18, but things don’t go quite as she imagined.

This is a fast, edge-of-your-seat, compelling read set in Peterborough, England. I really felt strongly that I liked the main characters and felt their pain as events of the story unfolded. Jane E. Smith is a great writer with an ease of phrasing and writing dialogue that feels very real. I highly recommend this book and give it 10 points out of a maximum 10! Available through the always amazing


A Killer App by Linda Lovely

Publishing date: 7th November, 2023

Genre: Cosy (Cozy) Mystery, Crime

Score: 8/10

A Killer App by Linda Lovely is a fast-paced, enjoyable book. Set in the USA, it follows ex-Coast Guard investigator, Kylee Kane, and her family and friends as she solves mysterious crimes.

The main premise of this book, and main plot, is all centered around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and deepfake technology. These areas of the technological world are right on-the-money with where technology is today and where it is heading. With the prolific use of chatGPT in the past 12 months, AI is a talking point online and in newspapers and magazines. A Killer App takes the potential for use that AI has and twists it into an evil, murderous tool.

It is this ultra-modern idea that sets this book apart from most other contemporary crime novels. It is on the border of science fiction, but based in technological fact. This aspect of the book really appealed to me and I found the brief, non-technical explanations of AI very interesting. The deepfake technology is manipulated to groom members of the public remotely, online into becoming crazed killers of specific targets that the master manipulator behind the crimes wants to be rid of.

The characters are vivid and lifelike and I really felt myself warming to Kylee, her mum, Myrtle, her partner, Ted, and his son, Grant along with a handful of other likeable characters. The book is written in the first person format and in present tense. That, coupled with a hefty amount of dialogue from the characters, made A Killer App flow very easily and made the book a very quick and fast-paced read. I honestly found myself turning page after page rather than putting the book down for a break.

The novel was definitely a Cosy (Cozy) Mystery story but a little more adult and serious than I had encountered before from this genre by other authors. Having said that, there was a lot of fun in the book too, especially with Kylee’s thoughts on conversations and situations.

I really enjoyed reading A Killer App and I will definitely look out for more books by Linda Lovely in the future. It’s an intriguing subject matter for a crime story with vivid, likeable characters. Great stuff!


Always in safe hands with DCI Barnaby

As with all the novels in the Midsomer Murders series by Caroline Graham, A Place Of Safety moves at a brisk pace and provides a lot of satisfaction. Set in the Midsomer village of Fern Bassett, this story unfolds dramatically as soon as the pages are opened. Has there been a crime committed? We will have to read on to see.

DCI Tom Barnaby and DS Gavin Troy once again take the reigns of the investigation into a vicious murder in the village. Through dogged police work and quick thinking, they put clues together as they interview many colourful characters. The quaint English setting of the book, with its diorama of unusual people, provides many amusing moments along with the more tense forwarding of the main plot.

Retired vicar, Lionel, takes in disadvantaged youths who have fallen foul of the judicial system. Is he wise to? Will it spell the end of life as he knows it? The characters in A Place Of Safety are vivid and real, revealing clues to solve the dreadful murder slowly, but surely.

Tom Barnaby races against time, lies and subterfuge to solve the case. This is a truly satisfying and enjoyable read and, even if you’ve never watched the television series of Midsomer Murders, you will fall in love with this book as much as I have. Keenly written and brimming with English charm.

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