Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Meme: International Crime

Hi, everyone.
I am starting a new meme, INTERNATIONAL CRIME, featuring four crime authors from one country every month.
Starting with French crime, this July I am reviewing four books:

You can join me by sharing your favorite #FrenchCrimeAuthors. I would love to hear about your favorite crime authors from France.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Book review:Evil Games by Angela Marsons

The greater the Evil, the more deadly the game…
When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work.

With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment.

Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time - it’s personal.

Ok, I must admit! With every other book, Angela Marsons' writing goes better and better. I am getting more and more hooked as I read her stories. This author became one of my favorites right after her first book. And with the second, she literally overcame herself. She really deserves the place among the top crime writer ever.

This time, D.I.Kim Stone is facing a very hard and emotional case that includes molesting children. Dealing with children that have been abused is hard and requires patience and bravery. And courage not to kill the bastard responsible for hurting the kids. It requires emotional distance in order to catch the real culprit and make sure he/she pays for what he/she did. But the hardest thing of all is helping those kids to go on with their lives and forget the scars that physically and emotionally damaged them.

On the other side, there are different kinds of criminals. The ones who do the bad job and the ones who make others  to do their job. The ones who leave their fingerprints on the crime scene and the ones who don't. D-r Alexandra is a psychologist. She considers herself as an explorer, a scientist. She studies human will, human fear, human reactions of certain things. She plants ideas in her patient's minds, she encourages them to do the things they want, but the things that are bad. She lies, she fakes emotions, she is incapable to feel, to love, to hate, to cry. It's in her blood. It's all fake. She is the mastermind, she doesn't leave fingerprints,  she can not be responsible for anything, no one can connect her with certain crimes. 

D-r Alexandra is incapable to feel, just like Kim. She is smart, so is Kim. She has built walls around her, just like Kim. She lies about her feelings, just like Kim. Maybe that's why Kim is the only one that senses something wrong around her. Maybe that's why Kim is the only one that can not close the case of the raped woman who kills her rapist. Kim's sixth sense is never wrong. 

This time, Kim Stone is more than an anti-hero. We can peek in her past and see why is she the way she is. We can see the reasons that made her built the walls around her, but in the same time we can see those walls breaking. But the disappearance of the walls doesn't make her vulnerable as she thinks. No, it makes her more human, it finally brings her emotions on the surface. In the first book, the author added a child with illness. This time, she added a dog. Man's best friend. Someone who is always there, who never asks questions and gives unconditional love. A small add that brings emotions to the whole story full of  tension and hard feelings. 

Alex and Kim are total opposites in the story. Very same, but also very different. Both are very intelligent and brave, both hide their feelings. Total opposites, but complete match. Like Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty. Their development as characters goes slowly, step by step, which makes you more and more hooked to the story. There are moments when you can not be certain who is the good one, and who is the bad one.  Together, they create a perfect balance. 

Evil Games is a masterpiece made from the creative pen of Angela Marsons. Second in the series, hope not the last. Nail-biting to the last page, it will make you turn the pages like there's nothing else out there in the world. Totally recommended! 

My opinion: 5 / 5.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Book Review: Mayhem in Margaux by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noel Balen

It s summer in Bordeaux. There s a heat wave, the vineyards are suffering, vintners are on edge, and wine expert Benjamin Cooker s daughter is visiting. A tragic car accident draws the Winemaker Detective and his assistant Virgile into a case where the stakes are very personal, and they uncover some dirty secrets hiding behind the robe of some of Bordeaux s finest grand cru classe wines from Margaux."

*Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *

France, wine and summer. A perfect recipe for pure joy! And when you add mystery to it! It is an absolute divine!

Let me introduce you with the plot. The main character is Benjamin Cooker, a famous winemaker in Margaux, France. His lovely daughter, Margaux, who is a student, visits him for the summer. She is a lovely and beautiful young woman, and men are interested in her, especially Antoine Rinetti, the new manager of Gayraud-Valrose chateau. Margaux and Antoine go for a trip by car and they have an accident that almost kills them. Like every concerned father, Benjamin is very worried about his daughter, especially after he hears that the car has been sabotaged. He has been helping the police before, and this time he uses his detective skills to find the culprit behind the car accident.

I loved Benjamin Cooker as a main character. He is old-fashioned husband and father, an excellent winemaker and true noir detective. Like every father, he sees his daughter as a little girl, even if she is woman, and acts very protective. He is suspicious for every man around her. As a winemaker, he has an excellent taste and works very hard to make the best wine he can. And as a detective, he has very old-fashioned skills that always work. He doesn't need modern technology to find out what he wants to know. He is not a real detective, but his style reminds me of the very famous Hercules Poirot.

It seems that even the wineyards aren't safe these days. But with winemakers like Benjamin, we can all feel little bit safer. And with a glass of wine, you can enjoy this interesting cozy mystery, perfect for this summer.

My opinion: 4 / 5.  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Book Review: The Anti-Aging of Harmony Richards by Fiona Jane Collins

*Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

Harmony Richards is forty-five years old. A forty-five wife and mother of three. A loving wife and devoted mother. But forty-five, just five years off fifty??? No, she can't bear it. She was young just ten minutes ago. She can't face it. Getting old is definitely not her style.

There is one thing you can be sure about Harmony. She loves her family more than anything in the world. So when her husband's old flame shows up in the radar, she decides to take the things in her own hands. Melissa might be thirty-something beautiful blonde, but Harmony is the one who loves Tom and who has devoted her life to be amazing mum and wife. Her spying on Melissa puts her in very ridiculous and silly situations. And with her efforts to stay young and beautiful, she is so funny and charming.

At first I didn't like Harmony as a main character. Frightened of aging, she sees wrinkles everywhere even if they don't really exist. She feels so sorry for herself, almost pathetic. But then she finds about Melissa and the story goes into another direction. Harmony focuses on her own life, not just her family's. And suddenly the desperate housewife becomes a confident woman with goals. Just like the one she used to be so many years ago. The one that her husband Tom fell in love with. The one that Tom married.

„The Anti-Aging of Harmony Richards" is a wonderful romcom story about aging, marriage and „the other woman“. In a humorous way, the author writes about middle-aged crisis, setting goals in life and feeling young again. With so many laugh-out-loud moments and silly situations, we follow Harmony on her spying mission in order to save her marriage and bring back the time when she was young and beautiful. She is a lousy detective and acting undercover is not her best skill, but that just makes the story more interesting. Harmony grows up as a character, and she is not getting older! I definitely enjoyed her story and will look the books from this author in future.

My opinion: 4 / 5.

Link to The Anti-Aging of Harmony Richards  on Amazon:

@FionaJaneBooks on Twitter

Monday, May 25, 2015

Book Review: Pretty Shore by Carla Caruso

*Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

The summer is around the corner and all I want is to sit down in a comfortable chair on the beach and read. And what's better read than easy summer chick lit with a mystery in it? Pretty Shore is exactly that. It has a beach, a cat and a mystery to solve, perfect for relaxation.

Let me tell you something about the plot. Celeste has started her own business as a professional organizer. Working with her assistant Filippa, or Flip, they are hired by famous fashion designer Sabine Cloud to organize her apartment on the beach. Celeste decides to kill two birds with one shot and organizes a vacation with her boyfriend, and her cat too. She and Flip suppose to finish the work for a week and then continue with the vacation on the beach.

Sabine Cloud's apartment belonged to her daughter Romy, a famous model-in-rise who recently killed herself. But Romy's friend Blaise is absolutely sure that she would never ever kill herself. And there is no harm in doing a little bit of research, right?

Things never turn out as you've planned to, and Celeste and Flip go from professional organizing to amateur investigating. Because something here is wrong, very wrong.

It is hard to say who is the main character here in the story, because there is more about Flip and Blaise than Celeste herself. Celeste is really nice as a person and a good boss, but she is little bit afraid of life, according to me. It is her first vacation with her boyfriend Lenny, and her nerves are on the edge all the time, afraid that she is out of his league and doing the wrong things. But there are no right and wrong things when two people are in love , right?

Flip is such an adorable character, much younger that Celeste, but so mature for her age. And she has an attitude! She knows what she wants and she won't accept being somebody's second choice.

I also admire Blaise as a character. A son of a famous music star who always had on plate everything he ever wanted. But he decides not to live on his father's fame and his father's money and do something by himself. He finds out that he really likes black-and-white movies and wants to produce documentaries. He meets Romy and she is the only one who sees real him, who believes in him. And now she is dead.

Overall, „Pretty Shore“ is a lovely beach read perfect for having fun under the sun. Light, enjoyable and mysterious in the same time, will relax you after a hard working day.

My opinion: 3,5/5

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Book review: Don't Turn Around by Caroline Mitchell

*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

DC Jennifer Knight faces with the most intriguing thing in her police career while interviewing a suspect. The voice of the man sitting in front of her changes, his accent changes, the way he talks to her changes.Is he acting or is there a personality disorder? Or maybe is there something else? That prisoner she interviews mentions her mother. He mentions things that there is no way of knowing about. Something isn't right here.

This prisoner kills himself later in the prison cell. Another prisoner dies in a fire right after he is released from custody. They both seem to have personality disorder. But, what's bothering Jennifer, is THE VOICE. Each one of them was speaking with two different voices, one common for both of them.

What people don't know about Jennifer is that she hears voices. Real ones, when she comes home in an empty house. She is not crazy! Voices are real. Like the one coming from the bodies of the two people she interviewed in prison.

Jennifer herself has a very poor social and family life. She has a sister and two adorable niece and nephew that she loves to the bits. But her sister doesn't remember the death of their mother or their abusive father. All she wants is a normal life. Jennifer had to grow up very early in order to protect her sibling from the hell they were living in.

Jennifer will have to prove her love one more time.

Mrs. Mitchell wrote a story that made my hair stand on end. I was expecting a red-blooded thriller but I got a mystery that could make cold-blooded serial killers look like cute kittens. I am not really into paranormal stuff, but this story kept me awake until I finished reading the very last page. What I loved was the absence of predictability, the real ending versus my expectations. I love when the story goes into unexpected way. Mrs. Mitchell writes in a unique way, keeping your nerves on the edge with so many turn-overs until finishing the last page.

Even if I am not fan of paranormal stuff, not anymore, I enjoyed the gripping mystery. I liked Jennifer as a main character with all of her skeletons locked in the closet. She is an excellent detective and I hope I'll see her in another criminal case in book two. There's gonna be book two, right?

My opinion: 4 / 5.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Book review: Ever After by Anya Wilde

„And they all lived happily ever after!“

Every little girl is a princess. Every little girl dreams of Prince Charming. Every single day she expects her „ever after'.

Anya Wylde this time steps up from her usual middle-age regency romcoms and dives into a different world. This time she writes a real-life-fairytale and shows up a different kind of princess, a real woman. A princess is waiting for her Prince Charming, he comes along with all the bells and whistles and woos her, she falls in love and marries him. But, „happily ever after“ never comes. Prince Charming turns into a frog. His real face shows up, the fairytale turns up into a nightmare. The princess becomes a servant, a slave, a cook, a cleaner, a victim of abuse and violence.

But every woman is a princess. Every victim can arise from his/her hell and start living again. She can be princess again. Every woman can find her inner strength and write her own fairytale, her own „happily ever after“.

I've read Anya Wylde's previous regency romances and must say this is quite different from her usual work. This time she writes in a humorous way about a real life Princess, real life Prince Charming, real life castle. Her humorous, or should I say, satiric way, of describing the real life will make you think about the great expectations from love, dreams and hopes of young girls and facing the reality of mature women. But every woman should wear her own princess' tiara and never give up from her „ever after“.

My opinion: 3 / 5.

You cah buy the book here:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Meet Angela Marsons!

Angela Marsons is the brand new name in the Thriller section. She recently published her first book "SILENT SCREAM", under the wing of Bookouture, and it is currently N.1 Best Seller in Police Procedurals on You can read the review for SILENT SCREAM here
Today, I have the pleasure to welcome Angela on the blog.

  1. Silent Scream is your first novel and it is amazing! What triggered you to start writing? And why thrillers? Do you have a special addiction for mystery and crime?
Thank you so much. I started writing very young but like most writers my ramblings were placed in a dark drawer. When I was in my early teens my English teacher told me she thought I had a gift. The very notion stunned me. Girls in my street didn’t have gifts, we learned to type and got a nice office job. Which I did. But I carried on writing anyway. I started writing relationship based novels but my reading passion is crime and psychological books. I had been scared of trying because I didn’t think I could do it but I just had to give it a try.
  1. Writing about murders and police procedures takes a lot of effort and knowledge. Where did you learn about police procedures?
Reading, reading and a bit more reading. I love research because I love to learn. The only problem is not putting everything I’ve learned into the books!
  1. The main character, Kim, is so intriguing as a character. She is so tough, but also very soft from inside. But she also has a wild side. Is she little bit you?
I think there are elements of me in there but I do know how to say please and thank you. I worked as a Security Manager for a number of years and when you’re working with a diverse group of people you have to develop certain skills. I did ride a moped for 18 years but I decided to give Kim a ‘real’ bike.
  1. If Silent Scream goes on screen, who do you want to see in the main role as Kim?
My dream actress for Kim would be Kate Beckinsale. Also, just to mention, I would choose Bradley Walsh for Bryant.

  1. Lucy's disease brings a very emotional touch to the whole story. Did you do a lot of research about her condition?
Yes I spent a great deal of time researching Muscular Dystrophy as I wanted to treat the subject with respect and sensitivity. I find it frustrating when people with challenges are dismissed and so purposely had Kim do that so she would learn from it. Also, I wanted to highlight Lucy’s spirit, that she is a fighter not a victim.
  1. Silent Scream is the book that everyone is talking about lately. Is there going to be a sequel or book two in the series?
Oh yes. Evil Games is being released at the end of May and follows Kim as she plays cat and mouse with a female Sociopath.
  1. Murder scenes are very vividly described in your book. Where do you find the inspiration?
I just close my eyes and try to imagine what I would like to read in this situation. I like to add a personal touch if I can. I like the reader to know just a little something about the victim before they die. To actually write them I ask myself what is now a common question “What would Kim do?”
  1. What are the best (and the worst) comments about your book?
I’ve had so many wonderful comments and messages but there is one that will stay with me for a long time. I received a message from a man in his sixties who grew up in the care system. It was a beautiful heartfelt message stating that he’d been inspired by the character I’d created and the way she’d been portrayed. There were goosebumps and tears, I can tell you. The worst, for me, is a review on Amazon because the person can’t exit the screen.
  1. Who is your favourite author? Do you compare yourself with your idol?
My favourite author is Karin Slaughter. No, I don’t compare myself with my idol but I do aspire to grip readers the way her books grip me. But ultimately I just want to write books that people enjoy.
10. Beside writing, recently, what do you do for living? Do you have a daily job? Is there one Angie who goes to work every day and another Angie who writes when coming home?
Yes, I currently have a day job, or in my case it’s a night job. I work 12 hour night shifts as a control room supervisor so I can normally be found checking Twitter and Facebook in my 2am lunch break.
11. What do you do when not writing? Tell us something about Angie herself.
You know I’m going to say reading! Other than that I love nothing more than to gather up my long-suffering partner and just drive. We love to discover new landscapes and breath-taking scenery which isn’t as plentiful in the Black Country as I would like. It’s like hitting the refresh button on my inner keyboard.
12. What can we expect from you next?
Oh, definitely lots more Kim Stone. If people want to read about her then I’ll keep offering her my pencil as a voice. And, my goodness, does she have a lot to say.

Thank you so much for inviting me to answer these questions. I’ve really enjoyed doing it.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Ninja Book Swap

Yesterday morning, my cat was meowing at the front door , demanding his breakfast. As I opened the front door, I saw a package left on the floor. Pleasantly surprised, I opened the package and found the most beautifully wrapped presents from a fellow blogger from USA. I absolutely adore the books, the bracelet, and the clips are so cute! The chocolate was so delicious!

Thank you so much, Sarah (@SarahSaysRead) !
You should check out her awesome blog .
Thank you Ninja Book Swap Team for organizing book swap all around the world!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Book Review : No Place to Die by Clare Donoghue

*Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Last year, I won on a giveaway the debut book of Clare Donoghue, Never Look Back. And I was hooked. Now, when the second books is published, I couldn't wait until I put my hands on it. This time, the author has written even more gripping and dark story that made my worse nightmares come true.

What are you afraid of? Is it the dark? Or the tight space? Or the lack of air?

What if you wake up in a tight space under the ground with air enough for couple of hours?

Can you scream? Who can hear you?

Can you panic? Who will notice?

Can you escape? The lack of air makes you drowsy and sleepy.

Can you be saved? No one knows.

Creepy enough, exactly this happens to Maggie, college student. One day she goes on a date, and next thing she remembers is that is in a tight space, it is hard to move, no light, no fresh air. What the hell happened?

D.S. Jane Bennett receives a phone call from a family friend telling her that her husband is missing. Mark is a former policeman, now retired, and his wife has found blood stains in the kitchen. Jane finds out that Mark hasn't recovered after his last case when a young woman went missing. When another body shows up, buried alive in an underground shallow case and left to die with no air, Jane and her partner Mike find similarities between this creepy murder and the last case of missing Mark. Are there any connections? Is Mark another victim of the same killer? Who kills so cruelly?

Clare Donoghue writes so gripping stories that will make your hair stand on end. It happened to me. First, she did it with Never Look Back, now with No Place To Die. Her writing gets better and better with every next book. This one is far more better than the previous one. She tells the story also from Maggie's point of view, she made me feel the fear to be trapped inside the case and not being able to escape. To balance the creepiness of the story, she shows the softer side of the detectives. Jane has an autistic son, and Mike has an autistic brother. The author also shows the everyday problems that families with autistis members are coping with. Back to the mystery part, the end literally blew me away. I never expected that. So many turn-overs, so many gripping edges, and BAM! Totally blown away!

Must-read for 2015!

My opinion: 5 / 5.

You can pre-order the book on and buy on