The first update is for Lucy Brazier with the second PorterGirl novel, The Vanishing Lord which was released on June 10th 2017.
About the book
There’s nothing quite so annoying as having the police arrive when you are trying to cover up a crime that may or may not have happened.
Lord Bernard has died unexpectedly. Is Deputy Head Porter being framed? Head Porter just wants to be kept out of the picture.
In this fast-paced whimsical British romp, a priceless work of art – the portrait of Old College founding father Lord Arthur Layton – has gone missing and with the death of Lord Bernard, the Master of arch rivals Hawkins College, there is nothing for it but for our heroine to don her trusty bowler hat and embark upon another eccentric investigation.
In this sequel to the debut PorterGirl novel, First Lady of The Keys, Old College’s first and only female Porter must find the portrait or it will be her that is flat on the canvas and framed like a kipper.
Tenacious detectives, ill-advised disguises, saucy medieval literature and Russian spies conspire to confuse matters further in this entertaining escapade.
An early review
The latest review for the book on Goodreads
Really enjoyed this so much!
I’ve had PorterGirl on my must read radar for some time. For three reasons, one it’s set in Cambridge, (and I live in Cambridge too,) and two I have enjoyed reading Lucy’s blog Porter Girl and following her.
Also, my youngest daughter works part-time as a waitress in one of the colleges in Cambridge so I hear all about college life from her, and all about the sumptuous food….
So my impressions of PorterGirl… I really enjoyed PG. It’s one of those books that lifts your spirits up and puts you in a fantastic mood. It prompts you to put the kettle on and eat lots of forbidden biscuits! Lol… Porter G’s experience as the first female porter of a prestigious Cambridge University college is a lively riot from start to finish, full of humour, tea, and jokes about eating fabulous food when and wherever PorterGirl can… Being a foodie, this constant ambition to raid the fridges and steal food from under her colleagues’ hungry noses had me in stitches, as did crazy but ever so serious tasks such as PorterGirl rescuing a most important College cat via a precarious punting escapade. There’s never a dull moment, but a dollop of rising fear ensues as PorterGirl discovers murders are being committed in Old College. She begins to fear for her life, but PorterGirl is no coward, (a former copper,) she manages to keep herself safe, until…. it gets a bit hot under the bowler hat. Even so, her bowler hat remains proudly on top of her head, never to be removed not even in the most dire, calamitous of circumstance!
My recommendation: 4 stars. A favourite read that will make you smile a lot – and smiling is one of my favourite pastimes. Lucy has a pleasing writing style that makes you feel as if you know her personally. But, this novel should come with a health warning: This will make you laugh so much that you will splutter out your tea and biscuits! I reckon our friends across the water will find the copious amount of tea drinking that is a signature style of PorterGirl exceedingly amusing!
Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/PorterGirl-First-Lady-Lucy-Brazier-ebook/dp/B01JT0F9QQ
Read other reviews and find out more about Lucy Brazier by following her on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14129066.Lucy_Brazier
Connect to Lucy via her website: https://portergirl.com/
Now for an update for Colleen Chesebro whose book The Swamp Fairy was reviewed by Robbie Cheadle on her blog.
Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.
Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.
But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.
As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.
Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?
Robbie Cheadle’s Review: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2017/06/10/my-review-of-the-heart-stone-chronicles/
This book contained absolutely everything I could wish for in a book including an orphan girl, a trained guide dog, horses, wonderful friends, a kind and loving Aunt and, best of all, fairies. The main character is an fourteen year old orphan girl, Abby, who moves to Florida to live with her unmarried and childless Aunt after living her entire life in the city of Chicago.
Abby has an unusual gift in that she can hear and communicate with all forms of animals and insects and, as she discovers soon into her new life, the ability to see and talk to fairies. Abby relocates with very little to her name other than a calcite pendant that is given to her just before she leaves Chicago by her Mother’s best friend and the papers to a piece of land that has been in her Mother’s family for generations. Abby soon discovers that this piece of swamp land, while seeming to be of little financial value in its current state, is the home to a clan of nymphs who play a vital role in ensuring the continued ability of humanity of fight diseases with medicinal plants. The land is, however, very enticing to an unethical and greedy land developer who seems determined to get his hands on Abby’s swamp regardless of anything and anyone standing in his way.
Abby gradually comes to realise that her gifts come with a great responsibility and that it is her destiny to protect the fairy clan that live in the swamp from the current threat.
The book contains some beautiful haikus and descriptive passages. It is not very often in modern books that you get to enjoy language that brings into play all of the senses in such a delightful way. A few of the passages that particularly enchanted me are as follows:
“Her heart beat rapidly in her chest when she glimpsed the butterflies and the resplendent dragonflies. She was ready for the cacophony of sound that vibrated inside her head. These were the communications of those who shared the swamp with her. And, yet, the acoustics overwhelmed her.”
“The late afternoon was hot, and the air felt thick. The smell of ripe grasses filled her nose. She spotted blue and red dragonflies darting in the field. Their wings sparkled in the sunlight as they perched on the wire fence sunning themselves.
I would recommend this book for children, particularly girls, from the ages of 11 years to 111.
Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Stone-Chronicles-Swamp-Fairy-ebook/dp/B01MU69MXT
Find out more about Colleen Chesebro, read more reviews and follow on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16254415.Colleen_M_Chesebro
Connect to Colleen via her website: https://colleenchesebro.com/
The next author for an update is Christoph Fischer with his murder/mystery The Body in the Snow.
Fading celebrity Bebe Bollinger is on the wrong side of fifty and dreaming of a return to the limelight. When a TV show offers the chance of a comeback, Bebe grabs it with both hands – not even a lazy agent, her embarrassing daughter, irritating neighbours or a catastrophic snowfall will derail her moment of glory. But when a body is found in her sleepy Welsh hamlet, scandal threatens. Detective Sergeant Beth Cooper has a string of unsolved cases to her name. Her girlfriend left her and she’s a fish out of water in rural West Wales. Things couldn’t get much worse – until the case of the Body in The Snow lands in her lap. Can Beth solve the case and save her career and can Bebe make her comeback? All will be revealed in this light-hearted, cosy murder mystery by best-selling and award winning historical and crime fiction novelist Christoph Fischer.
The two latest reviews on Amazon
I have to admit that I’d never actually read a who-done-it, but having read most of Christoph Fischer’s earlier books, I just had to take the plunge. And though I’ve nothing in the genre to compare it with, I was not disappointed. I especially like the setting; the description of the Welsh countryside–where the author now resides–made me feel I a was there. As a permanently transplanted Floridian, I haven’t seen (nor wanted to see) snow in 15 years, but Fischer’s depiction brought me back to the specter of a New England winter with a shudder. There is quite a bit of backstory surrounding the characters, so by the time you learn the truth you know them very well. Or think you know them…
I’ve read few cozy mysteries so I won’t address if or how well “The Body In The Snow” fits that category. And due to personal time constraints, the time it took me to read the book reflects only on my circumstances, not the book.
I will say I always looked forward to reading the next snippet of story I sneaked in at bed before no longer pretending I could still see the print well enough to read (smiles). The leisurely style of the story plus the relatively short chapters did make it easier to pace myself reading. My only regret was that the story finished; I hope the author does create a series (as indicated by the title).
I enjoy shifting points of view and each chapter rotated through an increasingly more interesting cast of characters. Pacing as I mentioned was steady yet with moments of acceleration. Descriptions were crisp and clean adding punch and clarity.
This was a fun read. My solid 4.5 for this story easily rounded to a five.
My short and minor wish list includes a desire for a few well placed metaphors or similes. Like a spritz of lemon or sprinkle of herbs on fresh cooked vegetables, short emotional extensions of a description or the garnishing of a stream of consciousness, would have I think widened my imagination.
Beyong that, I thought the third person deep povs worked really well. It made relating to – and suspecting – nearly every character in the book easy (smiles). Surprisingly, the mystery of identifying the opening scene’s murder victim mid-book layered the mystery-level as a whole to an even more tangled level.
And finally, not meeting Beth, the protagonist, till well past the beginning of the book, created such a sense of relief and footing, I don’t know how else this potentially first in a series could have been written. In other words, the story unfolded naturally and unforced. An easy to read yet complex tale. Highly recommend.
Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Body-Snow-Bollinger-Murder-Mystery/dp/1537329766
A selection of books also by Christoph Fischer.
Read all the reviews and buy the books: http://www.amazon.com/Christoph-Fischer/e/B00CLO9VMQ
Read more reviews and follow Christoph on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6590171.Christoph_Fischer
Connect to Christoph via his website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/
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