Posts Tagged ‘book review’

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


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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** 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 **


A page-turning thriller about secrets and revenge, told from the perspectives of a husband and wife who are the most perfect, and the most dangerous, match for each other.

Rebecca didn’t know love was possible until she met Paul, a man with a past as dark as her own. Their demons drew them together, but twenty years later, the damage and secrets that ignited their love begin to consume their marriage.

When Paul catches the attention of the police after two women go missing, Rebecca discovers his elaborate plot to build a new life without her. And though Rebecca is quickly spiralling out of control, it doesn’t stop her from coming up with her own devastating plan for revenge… they made a promise to each other, afterall.

Til death do us part.

My Thoughts:

Life seems to be perfect for Rebecca; a good job, a husband she loves and a healthy saving account balance … as long as you over look her dipping into the drug samples she’s supposed to be handing out and life unravelling around her.

With narration that switches between different voices and time frames throughout, readers are able to experience events through the eyes of Rebecca, her husband Paul, Paul’s once mistress Sheila and the detectives investigating the disappearance of two women. In doing so, readers get a glimpse into the twisted and dark mindsets of some truly dysfunctional characters. Watching the plot unravel and seeing the events unfold makes for an interesting and often gripping read, it’s the sort of read that you start trying to guess ahead and don’t quite know where it will end up.

As far as plot goes, there’s so much happening in 300 ish pages, almost like a wee whirlwind rampaging and taking you along for the ride. But for me the exploration of drug dependency and relationships was one of the key areas of interest whilst reading. As readers watch Rebecca slowly losing her grasp on reality and questioning things around her, her suspicions and paranoia feel real, and I found that I wanted to find out how much of it was the drugs or whether her suspicions were right, and someone was messing with her.

It’s fair to say that the majority of the characters are flawed, their unreliability leads to a narrative that twists and weaves around, leaving readers wondering what and who they can trust.

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Author: Frances Brody

Published: 6th October 2016
Reviewed: 6th October 2016

Copy supplied by Piatkus / Little, Brown Book Group in return for an honest review



Nothing ever happens in August, and tenacious sleuth Kate Shackleton feels like she deserves a break. Heading off for a long-overdue holiday to Whitby, she visits her school friend Alma who works as a fortune teller there.

Kate had been looking forward to a relaxing seaside sojourn, but upon arrival discovers that Alma’s daughter Felicity has disappeared, leaving her mother a note and the pawn ticket for their only asset: a watch-guard. What makes this more intriguing is the jeweller who advanced Felicity the thirty shillings is Jack Phillips, Alma’s current gentleman friend.

Kate can’t help but become involved, and goes to the jeweller’s shop to get some answers. When she makes a horrifying discovery in the back room, it soon becomes clear that her services are needed. Met by a wall of silence by town officials, keen to maintain Whitby’s idyllic façade, it’s up to Kate – ably assisted by Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden – to discover the truth behind Felicity’s disappearance.

And they say nothing happens in August . . .

My Thoughts & Review:

When I think of cozy mystery novels I instantly think of the work of Agatha Christie and her endearing creation Miss Marple.  So when I encountered this book I was inquisitive to see what sort of detective Kate Shackleton would turn out to be.  The idea of the story being set in the 1920s in Whitby was another factor in my interest in this book.

Kate Shackleton heads to Whitby for a well deserved break, but as is the case for most private investigators, trouble is never far away.  Not long after arriving Mrs Shackleton pulls on her investigating hat and begins to look into the disappearance of her god-daughter Felicity, which subsequently leads her to the discovery of a dead body in the local jeweller’s shop.

This being the first encounter I’ve had with this character I was intrigued to see how her investigations would progress, what methods she would employ to get to the truth as well as how the limitations of the era for females would impact upon her.  Death at the Seaside is the eighth outing for Kate Shackleton, and I would be quite keen to catch up with her in one of the earlier books to see how she has progressed but also to enjoy this style of mystery again.
Cozy mysteries may not be for everyone, some people might prefer their crime thrillers to be fast paced, action packed and highly dangerous, but despite not being any of those things, this book is still very good.  The mystery element is engaging, the story itself is well written, the characters are incredibly well created and interesting and the pace is steady.

An enjoyable change of pace, and a lovely easy read.

You can buy a copy of Death at the Seaside here.



About The Author:

Frances Brody is the author of the Kate Shackleton mysteries, as well as many stories and plays for BBC Radio, scripts for television and four sagas, one of which won the HarperCollins Elizabeth Elgin Award. Her stage plays have been toured by several theatre companies and produced at Manchester Library Theatre, the Gate and Nottingham Playhouse, and Jehad was nominated for a Time Out Award.


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