I’m so happy to be asked to join in the blog tour for Vivian Conroy – I ‘met’ Vivian as part of a Twitter hour for authors (which you are very welcome to attend!) #TheAuthorHour and first read her Lady Alkmene books set in the 1920’s.
You can find out more about Vivian as part of our regular author interview series…
Rubies in the Roses is the second Cornish Castle mystery, and although you don’t need to have read the first book to enjoy it – I liked the feeling of familiarity when meeting the main characters again, and I enjoyed having a sense of knowing the surroundings already. The main characters were developed further with great success and you can start to understand more about their backgrounds and the impact of that on their current situations, as well as explaining more about why they respond and react the way they do.
Choosing such an interesting island setting with a castle and all the historical stories that are possible is a stroke of genius – the Rose and Stars goblet is entirely plausible and the hunt for artefacts in the grounds is exactly what would happen (and I’m sure often does) when an intriguing find looks likely. It is also a brilliant observation of the motivation and behaviour of people when money, history, family and affection all start to rub together.
Dolly the dog still steals the show, but the real mastery is in the careful writing and clever plot. There are more red-herrings and cul-de-sacs with a triumphant ending so well crafted that I can’t wait to read the third book! They are just 99p currently, which is such a good deal for a fun scamper around a Cornish castle. Conroy has been compared to Agatha Christie, but there is much more humour in these series and so I think I may even prefer them…
I received my copy of Rubies in the Roses as a member of NetGalley.
Dangerous Cargo by J M Shorney
There is just something for everyone here – a mystery to solve, a bit of sex (but not too much!), intrigue, thrills, danger, shooting, gangsters and undercover shenanigans. The story is part of a series, and although I was aware of that, it didn’t affect the enjoyment or understanding of Dangerous Cargo. I do now feel the urge to start the series with book one, to find out what other situations Aidan has managed to get himself into – he’s a likeable rouge.
In this story he has no option but to go undercover and discover the reason his old colleague was shot in the street, right in front of him. As a genuine ex-con he has all the right credentials to infiltrate a crime family and reveal their secrets – some of which are most unexpected.
The book is just the right length, and has a good pace. The characters are easy to imagine and there are enough to keep the story detailed but not confusing. There are a few moments where it feels a little contrived, but I like it even more for that, it was everything a crime drama should be without the need for excessively graphic violence (although a lot of people do get killed…).
This would make a good holiday read, and you could even work your way through the whole series, as I have a feeling they are a bit addictive. If you like things a little darker, you can try J.M Shorney’s gothic horror Night of All Evil.
Hello! J M Shorney
5 Questions to Know You Better…
Perhaps most important – tea or coffee, or maybe hot chocolate?
Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite?
It has to be Aidan McRaney!
Do you have a particular place where you write – can you show us a picture?
I have an office in my spare bedroom where I can focus, relax and write.
Where do you find your inspiration and ideas?
Sometimes I’ll see a snippet in a newspaper that will inspire me. I once penned an entire novel on the strength of a headline in a Sunday newspaper! Occasionally a book title will inspire me to write my own work, or even a painting. The series I’m currently writing is inspired by Poldark and its actor Aidan Turner. A mural on a wall in Whitechapel, London inspired a scene in my novel ‘Night Of All Evil’ too.
What are you working on currently, and when can we expect to read it?
As so much has happened in my life my son suggested I should write my memoirs, which I am currently working on! I’m also writing a Historical Romance, ‘Gallows Hill’, about a young law student in London, summoned home to find his father dying and his house and lands forfeit to his unscrupulous cousin in a card game. When the young man attempts to reclaim his home he is beaten to within an inch of his life. Found by a notorious highwayman, he enlists his help in reclaiming his home.
The books are still being written and edited, so more details will be revealed soon!