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Celebrating Indie Publishing today sees The Quiet Knitter link up with Random Things Tours and Orenda Books, joining the blog tour for the latest publication by the indie publisher. Beton Rouge is the second book in the Chastity Riley series by Simone Buchholz and was published in ebook in December 2018, paperback publication is set for February 2019.

** My thanks to Orenda Books for my review copy of this book, and Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour **

Description:

On a warm September morning, an unconscious man is found in a cage at the entrance to the offices of one of Germany’s biggest magazines. He’s soon identified as a manager of the company, and he’s been tortured. Three days later, another manager appears in a similar way.

Chastity Riley and her new colleague Ivo Stepanovic are tasked with uncovering the truth behind the attacks, an investigation that goes far beyond the revenge they first suspect … to the dubious past shared by both victims. Travelling to the south of Germany, they step into the hothouse world of boarding schools, where secrets are currency, and monsters are bred … monsters who will stop at nothing to protect themselves.

A smart, dark, probing thriller, full of all the hard-boiled poetry and acerbic wit of the very best noir, Beton Rouge is both a classic whodunit and a scintillating expose of society, by one of the most exciting names in crime fiction.

My Thoughts:

Following the success of book one of the series, Dark Night, Simone Buchholz is back with the second offering in the German Noir series. Translation by Rachel Ward is once again on top form, none of the nuances of the German language feel that they have been lost in translation, making this feel like a wonderful cultural exploration as well as gritty crime thriller.

So Chastity Riley is back, and I am thrilled to see that she hasn’t changed between the books. There’s something so rich and entertaining about this character, her acerbic wit and and sharp tongue making for some wonderful exchanges between characters and internal monologues.

Not only is characterisation strong in this book, the plotting is superb. Buchholz leads her on a journey through the pages that twists and weaves expertly into the darkness of an individual who is hellbent on making a point with the torture and caging of two men. What is the motive behind these disturbing actions? Who is the unknown assailant carrying out these acts? What connects the victims? And how does it all tie in with the hit and run that Chastity Riley discovers in the opening chapter of the book?
The way that the strands of the plot pull together, coupled with short chapters and punchy writing, makes this a quick read. I found that I read this in one evening, racing through the pages to make connections and find out the links between the cases and the identity of the of the menacing figure obscured by the shadows.

Dark Night, the first book of the series was published in 2018. For those who are new to the series, you could read this straightaway, but I do think to get a better grasp of the protagonist and her motivations, her relationships with some of the characters, this is a series that merits being read in order. The writing is vividly detailed, readers can “see” the scenes that Chastity and partner Ivo witness, they get a great sense of the emotions that Chastity experiences, and feel immersed fully in the story.
The cover image of the book is simple but effective, giving readers a fantastic visual prompt, just such a powerful image and one that works perfectly with the writing.

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As it’s #Fahrenbruary in the land of social media, I wanted to take a wee moment to share some reviews of Fahrenheit Press books that I’ve read.

So which review to share first? How do I pick which of the books I’ve read and enjoyed from this publisher to share … there’s the fantastic Danny Bird series from Derek Farrell, there’s the Sam Batford series from Ian Patrick, there’s the Charlie and Rose investigations from Jo Perry to name but a few. All of the books from Fahrenheit Press are available to purchase direct from their website or your choice of retailer.

So, the reviews.
I’ve decided to group the links for the reviews in one easy place for reading, make it easier if any one wants to revisit any of reviews or indeed author features that I’ve hosted. Some of the Fahrenheit authors have been great sports and taken part in Celebrating Indie Publishing before so I’ve added links to these posts too.

Death of a Devil by Derek Farrell  – Review

Rubicon by Ian Patrick – Review

The TV Detective by Simon Hall – Review

The River Runs Red by Ally Rose – Review

Stoned Love by Ian Patrick – Celebrating Indie Publishing feature

The Tainted Vintage by Clare Blanchard – Review

Celebrating Indie Publishing with Sara Viola

Celebrating Indie Publishing with Derek Farrell

Celebrating Indie Publishing with Ian Patrick

So there you have it, my contribution to to #Fahrenbruary, not a huge post but still a wee celebration of some great books and their brilliant authors.


If you want to find out more about this publisher, their books or indeed the #Fahrenbruary thing, pop over to Twitter and search for #Fahrenbruary. I would also recommend checking out Mart on Twitter, he’s one of the guys behind this and his blog is Beardy Book Blogger, the other brain behind this is Matt Keyes, his blog is It’s An Indie Book Blog.


** My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book and to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to take part in the blog tour **

Description:

ALICIA
Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.

Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.

THEO
Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.

And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

My Thoughts:

Doesn’t that description grab you and have you wondering? It immediately caught my attention and when I got the chance to read an early copy, I jumped at the opportunity!

With such a promising premise for a plot, I feel that it would be doing it an injustice to say very much about it, that and I would inadvertently give something away if I were to attempt to recount details of the goings on in this book. So instead, I want to focus on the characters that Michaelides has crafted.

Theo is a character that readers will be intrigued by, both in his role as a forensic psychotherapist, and in his idea that he can get through to Alicia Berenson. He feels that he is the one that will break through her silence and help her find her voice again. His narration provides great insight into parts of his history and motivations, but as always in thrillers such as this, nothing is ever as clear as you might suspect. Michaelides slowly reveals more about Theo’s backstory, giving details about his childhood, his parents and his path to his chosen career. A glimpse into his relationship with is wife gives readers a different view of Theo, showing off the multifaceted character well.
Using diary entries, readers get to know more about Alicia. They find out about events leading up to the murder of her husband Gabriel, witness her mental state and watch as she becomes more erratic. Her worries about sharing her thoughts with her husband make for a creeping and intriguing read. Her fears at times seem heightened by events around her, and her own backstory is one that I felt was quite fascinating and as more detail emerged it became enthralling reading.

With such dominant characters taking centre stage, they need to have a spark about them, a something special that makes them stand out. The scenes that feature both Alicia and Theo are filled with tension, there’s a chemistry of sorts between them that needs to be explored and watching Theo trying to draw out Alicia’s voice gives a real feeling of unease. Silence can be creepy sometimes and Alicia’s lack of response really does add a something chilly to their meetings.

An interesting thriller that has many people talking and one that seems to be winning many fans!

Welcome along to another Friday here on The Quiet Knitter, and I am delighted to share an author feature with you! The author in the spotlight today is the lovely Roz White, so grab a cuppa and join us for a wee chat!

Roz has written several books, including a Steampunk Phantasy (book two is currently in progress) and the Sisterhood series which follows the lives of five transwomen. The Sisterhood is the first book of the series and was published in 2015, you can purchase a digital copy via Amazon UK.


Author image & bio from Amazon

Author Feature:

I’ve been writing stories since my earliest memories: my first masterpiece was two pages of foolscap – with illustrations – about a television programme of the time, and contained more uses of the word “then” than any other. I’d like to think I’ve improved just a little since then; after all, I was only about five.
So, where to really begin? I’m already in my fifties, although I’ve no idea when that happened! I’m British, English by birth and currently Scottish by residence: I’ve been here for over fourteen years now. Until the start of 2018 I lived on a remote island that requires me to commute by ferry for the day job – one of the best journeys to and from work in the world, surely! My output over the last twenty years or so has included over a dozen novels and a handful of non-fiction texts, the latter being well-known in their academic field – something of a boasting point, I’m afraid! There have also been magazine articles and short stories scattered here and there. Some are on here under the pen-name of H. A. Douglas.
Now, I live in Invergordon, and work out of Inverness. I have lost my ferry-time along with a great deal else (long story, but it’ll make it into a book one day), so now Sunday tends to be Writing Day, and I can take all day, too.
However… if you look for some of these other books under my name, you won’t find them, and here we come to the part of this biography that, for all my years of dealing with it, I still don’t seem to have any proper sort of handle on.
I am transgendered. There, I said it! I am biologically male, psychologically feeling more and more female (whatever that means, but it feels that way to me) as the years go by. My writing allows me a useful window to explore this side of me, and undoubtedly helps keep me close to some semblance of sanity. My family (I’m married with children) are aware of this side of me, and have accepted it without question since the Great Secret coming out – for which I am incredibly, totally, grateful.
I have been full-time and in transition since March 2017. It’s a long process with a lot of waiting and far too much NHS Gate-keeping, Jumping Through Hoops and so forth.

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?
Telling stories! It’s something I’ve always done, ever since my earliest years – even pre-school. My second favourite thing is the assembling of all the separate chapters and seeing the whole thing finally come together.

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?  
Not making any money from it! In all seriousness, that’s the Big Thing: I’d love to make a living doing this, and it hurts like anything that I don’t seem able to. On a good month, my royalties from my 20+ books might, if I’m lucky, buy me a bottle of cheap plonk…

If you could have written any book what would it be and why? 
Ooh, tricky! The thing is, if I had written them, then they wouldn’t be that book anymore, would they! Films are worse: I often sit watching them and think “it’s not what I’d have put in – what about this, or that, that’s barely even touched on?”

How do you spend your time when you’re not writing? 
Well there’s a mortgage to pay… so I work full-time, which after nearly a year involuntarily unemployed, is a relief – the bills are getting attended to again! Hobby-wise, I have too many: model railways in a number of scales and styles, wargaming and figure-painting… I love cooking, and used to brew beer too. I might get back into that if I ever have the money!

Do you have a set routine for writing?  Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc. 
Not really… I find silence disturbing these days, so the radio is usually on. My current circumstances have dictated that Sundays have become Writing Days, which is a luxury in itself; over Christmas, I had nearly two weeks in the family home (I am forced to live away in order to earn a living) with no real calls on my energies, and I got so much done on the current WIP!

What’s on the horizon? 
Well, my Sisterhood series rumbles on, and I am in the middle of the seventh full novel; I have a novella to revisit in the same series, and that might well grow into another novel. I am concentrating on the second in my Steampunk series right now, since in theory that’s due out first; oh, and my alter-ego H.A. Douglas, who is responsible for the Historical Fiction output, is likely to be busy this year too!

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be? 
Be open-minded. Try not to judge, or if you find that you have to judge, judge kindly. My Sisterhood  books deal with transgender characters (I am trans myself), and I would hope if anything that they help understand the condition a little better for those on the outside looking in

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?  How would you describe it and why should we go read it? 

Well… The Challenge of Lady Ghast is my second foray into Steampunk Victoriana, and is due out this year – a mad romp through Vaguely Victorian England! The latest Sisterhood novel, Changes, follows my group of five transwomen as they forge friendships and try to help each other through life’s trials. Gritty, realistic, character-driven fiction that has been very well received by all its readers so far!

A huge thank you to Roz for joining me today for a chat, it’s always an honour to welcome indie authors to share something about their writing, their habits or a sneaky glimpse into their upcoming projects! I have to admit that before today I had never heard of Steampunk Phantasy as a genre, but looking up Roz’s books has me keen to find out more and I’ve bought book one of the series for my Kindle to read soon!

As Roz mentioned above, she also writes under the name H. A. Douglas, these books are Viking based fiction, the series is The Wirhalh Trilogy, and a must read for fans of Viking era tales!

To find out more about Roz and her books, check out her author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Roz-White-1567046250194474/

** my thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book **

Description:

How do you find a killer when you’re surrounded by madness?

1935. As Europe prepares itself for a calamitous war, six homicidal lunatics – the so-called ‘Devil’s Six’ – are confined in a remote castle asylum in rural Czechoslovakia. Each patient has their own dark story to tell and Dr Viktor Kosárek, a young psychiatrist using revolutionary techniques, is tasked with unlocking their murderous secrets.

At the same time, a terrifying killer known as ‘Leather Apron’ is butchering victims across Prague. Successfully eluding capture, it would seem his depraved crimes are committed by the Devil himself.
Maybe they are… and what links him with the insane inmates of the Castle of the Eagles?

Only the Devil knows. And it is up to Viktor to find out.


My Thoughts:

One read of that description was enough to hook my intrigue, historical fiction set in one of the periods I find most interesting, crime thriller, and exploration of the dark recesses of the human mind – what more could I want?!

If you want a read brimming with superb characterisation, gothic darkness and excellent writing, then this is the book for you. Craig Russell has crafted a fantastic character in Viktor Kosárek, and with narration from this perspective, readers get a glimpse into the mind of a young doctor trying to push the boundaries of treatment within the field of psychiatry.

Craig Russell sets the scene of 1930s Czechoslovakia and Prague perfectly, he captures the unrest prevalent in that time and uses this well to add to the tension rife in the plot. The chilling atmospheric details are superb, they enable the reader to see the settings, to feel the hypnotic unease that leeches from the mists that swirl through the streets and villages.
The streets of Prague are unsafe, a crazed killer roams, picking off unsuspecting victims and leaving the police clueless about his identity. Dubbed ‘Leather Apron’, he savagely murders his female victims, leaving little evidence behind and it’s the job of Kapitan Lukas Smolak to piece together the little information they have in an effort to catch him.
This arc of the plot runs alongside that of psychiatrist Viktor Kosárek as he takes up a post at Hrad Orlu Asylum. The asylum houses six of the most notorious serial killers in Europe, aptly named the ‘Devil’s Six’. The nearby villagers are less than happy about the asylum, folklore tells of dark and dangerous happenings in the castle that houses the asylum, and despite assurances that the security measures in place render the castle impenetrable, they are not convinced.

Russell weaves a tale so vivid and complex, pulling together strands of folklore, mythology, psychology and sociology to create a fascinating and enthralling read. The whole time I was reading this, I could almost feel the unease, the dread that characters were experiencing. I desperately wanted to piece together the scant clues that Kapitan Lukas Smolak had, but no matter how hard I tried, I was entirely in the dark. Intelligent writing, that renders the reader equal parts terrified and fascinated.


** my thanks to Orenda Books for my copy of this and to Random Things Tours for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

Description:

What turns a boy into a killer?

When the high school in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim becomes a murder scene, the finger is soon pointed at seventeen-year-old Even. As the investigation closes in, social media is ablaze with accusations, rumours and even threats, and Even finds himself the subject of an online trial as well as being in the dock … for murder?

Even pores over his memories of the months leading up to the crime, and it becomes clear that more than one villager was acting suspiciously … and secrets are simmering beneath the calm surface of this close-knit community.  As events from the past play tag with the present, he’s forced to question everything he thought he knew. Was the death of his father in a car crash a decade earlier really accidental? Has a relationship stirred up something that someone is prepared to kill to protect?

It seems that there may be no one that Even can trust.

But can we trust him?

A taut, moving and chilling thriller, Inborn examines the very nature of evil, and asks the questions: How well do we really know our families? How well do we know ourselves?

My Thoughts:

When I heard that Thomas Enger had another book coming out I was eager to see if he could craft another character that would grab my attention as fully as Henning Juul and he has. In his latest thriller, Enger has brought a whole cast of characters that will haunt readers, that will get under the skin of readers and leave them questioning their motives and actions.

With a timeline that jumps between “then” and “now”, readers witness events in the small Norwegian village of Fredheim, and uncover secrets and suspicion rife in the community. A complex plot coupled with intelligent writing makes this an enthralling read and one that will pull readers in, tempting them to read another chapter, seducing them with the idea that knowledge about the dark secrets lies just ahead.
An atmospheric and often dark setting, Inborn is the sort of book that really has that something extra, that something you can’t quite put your finger on but it works so well.

The characters in this are multidimensional and whilst not always likeable, there is no denying there is a certain magnetism that emanates from them. It is impossible to read this without feeling some form of pull, needing to know more about their pasts, to know what drives them. The style of narration, hearing the voice of Even as he tries to make sense of events past and present, keeps readers on the edge of their seats.
It’s also quite interesting seeing things from the perspective of the investigating police officer, exploring the details of his private life as well as in a professional light. Without a doubt, he’s a character I would love to encounter in another book.
This all culminates in a truly thought provoking read that poses many questions to the reader, asking them what they believe, who they believe and how inexplicably connected the lives of the villagers are.

Follow the blog tour!
** our thanks to Piccadilly Press for our copy of this book **

Description:

When young Anna inherits a dilapidated once-grand hotel from her Great Aunt Mathilde, she’s determined to restore it to its former glory. But this is no ordinary hotel – all of her staff and guests are animals! Anna soon rises to the challenge. Whether it’s a flamingo, a penguin or a hippo knocking at the door, Anna is ready to welcome them all – with the help of her trusty sidekicks T. Bear the doorman, Squeak the friendly elevator mouse, and Lemmy the lemur receptionist … As she soon finds out, though, running an animal hotel is no easy task. Can Anna make Hotel Flamingo a success once more?

Our Thoughts:

With a beautifully bright cover festooned with images of the some of the characters who appear in the book.
Anna inherits a ramshackle hotel from her great aunt, and the first time she sets eyes on Hotel Flamingo she is dismayed at the state of disrepair that it has fallen into. And she is even more surprised to find that despite the hotel appearing empty, there are members of staff still at their posts; a doorman named T. Bear and a receptionist named Lemmy.

The madcap adventures to set the hotel back to the days of former glory are wonderfully exciting, the animals Anna and her team meet along the way are truly fantastic characters. From a giraffe who carries out repairs on the hotel, a mouse who operates the elevator, a skilled chef who happens to be a pig and hippo with a nose for dust.

All of the wonderful characters are very realistic and make this such an exciting read. The illustrations are charming and bring the story to life, we loved seeing how certain events played out through the artwork. Simple colouring used in the images makes them standout and were a talking point between us as we read. We loved getting to know the characters and watching events unfold, it’s an exciting read and we cannot wait to see what the next trip to Hotel Flamingo brings! Although, I don’t think we’re in any hurry to try lettuce soup …

Today I am thrilled to be able to share a review of a book that has recently been republished by Bloodhound Books. The book in question is A Fractured Winter by the lovely Alison Baillie, a chilling and menacing thriller that utterly grabs the reader from the outset and doesn’t let go!

** my thanks to the author and publisher for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

Description:
When someone is out to get you, is there anywhere you can hide?
From the outside, Olivia seems to lead an idyllic existence with her husband and children. But when she starts receiving notes, she knows her perfect life is under threat.
She thought she’d managed to put the past behind her, but someone seems determined to reveal her secret.
Meanwhile, girls are vanishing in the area and Olivia fears for her family’s safety.
Has someone discovered the real reason she left Scotland all those years ago?
And does her secret have links to the recent disappearances?
When someone is out to get you, is there anywhere you can hide?

Fractured Winter is a compelling and suspenseful psychosocial mystery it will appeal to fans of authors like LJ Ross, Lesley Kara and Faith Martin

My Thoughts:

There are books that you start reading and hate to put down, and then there are the books that that you will read whilst cooking supper and risk burning everything because you are totally entranced by the story.

This is a tense and clever thriller that leeches a menacing chill, and that’s not just from the crisp vivid Swiss setting.
Olivia on the face of things seems to have it all, the perfect family, the perfect home, but the appearance of a sinister note on day starts a catastrophic spiral that leaves her feeling like she’s lost control of her life.  The note hints that someone knows about her past, knows the real reason she left Scotland a decade ago, and Olivia cannot bear to face that.  If this wasn’t enough, the safety of her Swiss mountain is challenged when a young girl goes missing, Sandra,  is the best friend of her young daughter which makes Olivia feel so much more connected to the disappearance.

The way that Alison Baillie writes about Olivia’s emotions makes them so tangible, as a mother I could appreciate how our main character wanted to protect her children, no matter their age, from the dangers of the world.  I could sympathise with the way that she was distressed at Sandra’s disappearance, and how it left her fraught with anxiety and drove her to be cautious about her children’s travels to and from school etc. Olivia’s worries about the sinister notes and her past are wonderfully written, readers cannot quite “see” the full details yet, but nonetheless they know that something menacing lurks in the shadows. And as we get to know Olivia more, we can understand her actions and begin to see how she has ended up in this position.

The tale of Olivia and her life in Switzerland is superbly told along side stories of two other females, Marie and Lucy.  Both Marie and Lucy have their troubles and hardships, and it’s hard not to feel some sympathy towards them when you discover the lives they lead.  Indeed, I found at one point that I was holding my breath in shock at the events as they unfolded in their stories.
Shrewdly, the way that their lives unfolded raised the question of whether it’s nature or nurture that impacts more on a person.

I have to raise my hat to Alison Baillie, A Fractured Winter really caught me off guard, there were so many different characters that I wanted to suspect, something about them just screamed untrustworthy, shifty or sneaky but I had nothing concrete to back up my suspicions … Baillie ensuring that I could not preempt where she would lead me, before revealing the moment where I gasped in shock and wanted to applaud her.

It’s fair to say that Alison Baillie has firmly taken a place on my list of authors to watch out for, and I cannot wait to see what she writes next!!

2019 sees the return of First Monday Crime, the first event taking place on 4th February 2019 at the usual place with a line up that spoils crime fans!

The Important Details
Date: 4th February 2019

Time 6.30pm

Location: College Building, Room A130, City University London

Tickets are free, but you must book so that the organisers can ensure they have enough seats for everyone.

Reserve your seat here

Moderating the evening/making sure the panelists are on their best behaviour is Barry Forshaw.

Barry is one of the UK’s leading experts on crime fiction and film. Barry’s books include American Noir, Nordic Noir, Sex and Film and The Rough Guide to Crime Fiction. Other work includes Death in a Cold Climate, British Gothic Cinema, Euro Noir and the Keating Award-winners Brit Noir and British Crime Writing Encyclopaedia. He writes for various papers and edits Crime Time  (www.crimetime.co.uk).

Will Dean – Red Snow

Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying law at the LSE, and working many varied jobs in London, he settled in rural Sweden with his wife. He built a wooden house in a boggy forest clearing and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes. He is the author of 2018 bestseller Dark Pines, selected for the Zoe Ball Book Club on ITV. Dark Pines was shortlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize, the Dead Good Readers Awards, the Hearst Big Book Awards, and the National Book Awards.

Christopher Fowler – The Lonely Hour

Christopher Fowler is the multi award-winning author of 45 novels and story collections, and the author of 17 Bryant & May mysteries. His novels include ‘Roofworld’, ‘Spanky’, ‘Psychoville’, ‘Calabash’ and two volumes of memoirs, the award-winning ‘Paperboy’ and ‘Film Freak’. In 2015 he won the CWA Dagger In The Library for his body of work. His latest novel is ‘Bryant & May: The Lonely Hour’.

Gytha Lodge – She Lies in Wait

Gytha Lodge is a writer and multi-award-winning playwright who lives in Cambridge. After studying creative writing at UEA, she was shortlisted for the Yeovil Literary Prize and the Arts’ Council England fiction awards, and developed a large online following for her young adult and children’s writing, with over five million reads accrued on platform Wattpad. She Lies in Wait is her debut novel.

Lucy Foley – The Hunting Party

Lucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time. The Hunting Party is her debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination.

Lucy is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen languages. Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and more. She has taken part in literary festivals across the country including Greenwich, Chichester, Isle of Wight and Wilderness Festival.

** My thanks to the publisher for our copy of this book **

Description:

At the annual Cloud Summit in The Mopery, there s a dastardly plot afoot to snatch the North Star and stop its return to the North Pole. If the plan succeeds then the world will darken and Christmas won’t happen. Accompanied by a snow goose in pink wellies and an award winning super-dog, will Badger and his new friends survive The Bobsleigh Burrow and the Panic Station and manage to rescue the star before the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve? And will Badger really abandon his grumpy cloud friend Nippy Nimbus once and for all, to save Christmas? With so much at stake, the Mystical Mutt needs his haphazard spells to work more than ever.

Our Thoughts:
Although this was the first of the series that we’d read, I think it’s fair to say we will be buying a few more of the books to enjoy!
The writing is exciting and snappy, meaning that younger readers aren’t getting bogged down with too many words while waiting for the next thrilling event in the narrative. We found that part the way through reading we’d pause to speak about the descriptions of things – asking my daughter to tell me what she thought Nippy Nimbus looked like and she would happily grab her pencil case to try drawing her version of the cloud.
Equally, for grown ups reading the book (along with the child, or on their own), there is wit and humour sprinkled in the narrative, but be warned, you may end up having to explain why you’re giggling to a younger one who may not have got the joke.

The adventures and laughter start at the opening pages of this book, and you find that it’s definitely one of those that falls into the category of “one more chapter”, and soon you’re so hooked that you don’t want to put it down! We ended up changing this from a bedtime reading book to an afternoon treat as it was almost too exciting to read before my daughter went to bed! There’s plenty to make you think when reading this, important topics such as friendship, trust and love appear and make a good starting point for conversation or help the intended age range understand a wee bit better.


A really fun book (& series) aimed at ages 5-9, but enjoyable for all readers!

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