Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Buy a Book for Christmas #Mysteries and #Satire – Anita Dawes, Christoph Fischer, Sue Hampton, Allan Hudson and Ian Hutson

Welcome to another of the Christmas book promotions and the next book is for those in your close circle who enjoy paranormal thrillers. Anita Dawes and Secrets.

About Secrets

and some are about someone who is already dead.
A mother must find the truth before the secrets destroy her family…

One of the recent reviews for the book

Aug 29, 2018 Lizzie Chantree rated it 5 stars

I have had this book on my kindle for a while, but just found some spare time to pick it up. I read it over a day and it’s a really thought provoking book. The relationships between the child, Danny, and his invisible ‘friend’, kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen next. The characters are really well written and although I have read other books by this author, they’ve all been completely different. This story is full of suspense and you might need to read this story during the day and not before going to sleep 

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A selection of other books by Anita Dawes

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Now time for the second book in a murder mystery series from Christoph Fischer – Over my Dead Body: Murder at Eurovision – A Bebe Bollinger Murder Mystery.

About the book

On her return from a cruise ship gig Bebe Bollinger learns that fellow Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler has decided to enter a European Song comptition for the UK. While Bebe jealously watches the pre-publicity trail for ‘Eurovision’ in Malmö, a string of ‘odd accidents’ endangers several participants of the competition. This stirs her desire for playing detective again but also a curiosity to check out the suitability of Eurovision for her own career.
Follow Bebe’s continued search for fame and a comeback before it’s too late, step into the weird world that is Eurovision fandom and see how Bebe gets on with her naughty daughter and deals with those evil TV presenters.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Singer BeBe Bollinger is back to work, professionally and in her new found talent—as amateur detective. And I’m delighted to see her back as I read through the pages of this entertaining story. The story begins with a singing contest and murder, with a billion people watching. It then moves to six weeks earlier with BeBe coming off a job from a cruise ship and having just bought an expensive sports car. We are introduced to the well-cast characters: Beth the not-so talented detective from an earlier crime that BeBe helped solve, Fred BeBe’s agent and lesbian Beth’s ex-lover, the daughter with few boundaries, Helena, and Tom a Danish friend from the cruise ship.

As the beginning scenes unfold, BeBe’s attention goes to Eurovision contest and the upcoming competition. When a mysterious “accident” occurs BeBe catches wind from Tom that it might be more devious than just an accidental mishap. When he convinces her to enter, she decides it would be a good opportunity to gain some attention with the press coverage already focusing on the event and to put her detective skills to use. It would be a good way to heighten her comeback. I love the set-up and want to know how the story will unfold, a sign of a well-crafted mystery novel. No spoilers here but suffice it to say that it’s well worth the read to follow the delightfully written twists and turns as BeBe does it again! It’s rare I leave a read smiling but that’s exactly what this character does to me. Grab a copy and enjoy. 

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A  small selection of other books by Christoph Fischer.

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The next author today with a mystery series is Sue Hampton for The Lucy Wilson Mysteries – Avatars of the Intelligence.

About the Book

Threatened by an old enemy, Lucy must step into her grandfather’s shoes. But in her new hometown, who can she trust?

Lucy Wilson doesn’t want to move from London to sleepy south Wales. But when she arrives at her new seaside home, it doesn’t appear to be as boring as she expected.

Ogmore-by-Sea seems to be under the control of a mysterious and powerful force. But why is Lucy its target? And why, when students at her new school start to disappear, does no one seem to care?

With the help of her new friend Hobo, Lucy Wilson must assume the mantle of her grandfather, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, and defeat an invisible enemy before it’s too late.

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries is a Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off adventure and features licensed characters created for Doctor Who by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln.

One of the reviews for the book

AlaranTop Contributor: Doctor Who TOP 1000 REVIEWER 4.0 out of 5 stars Lethbridge-Stewart: The Next Generation 12 June 2018

With the ongoing publication of Lethbridge-Stewart novels as well as the Brigadier’s daughter, Kate, now a recurring character in onscreen Doctor Who and his genetic grandfather, Archie, making an appearance in ‘Twice Upon a Time’, the Lethbridge-Stewart extended family has been quite prominent in the last few years. Now his granddaughter receives her own spinoff series of novels.

Clearly this is intended to be a children’s or young adult novel. However, it seems more likely that its primary market will be adults who have been following the Lethbridge-Stewart series of novels. It is independent enough from those, though, that it will hopefully attract a young fan base new, perhaps, to the Brigadier and maybe even Doctor Who.

The character of Lucy Wilson really began life in a short story named after her by the same author. This established the close connection between her and her grandfather. ‘Avatars of the Intelligence’ is set several years later. Her grandfather has sadly passed on and she is determined to follow in his footsteps.

With her parents moving the family out of London to the coastal Welsh town of Ogmore-by-Sea, the story is initially concerned with young teenage worries of being uprooted and having to start a new school and make new friends.

However, Lucy almost immediately picks up her own ‘companion’ in the form of Hobo. He is an intriguing and enigmatic character who looks likely to become her investigating sidekick. Together they are soon thrown into a mystery of disappearing children. It is not too much of a mystery though as they don’t exactly have time to solve it before events move on ahead of them and they embark on a trip to London to celebrate the life of Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart.

Although this is yet another clash with the Great Intelligence, it makes sense that the first Lucy Wilson novel puts her up against the foe that the Lethbridge-Stewart family has faced for several generations. Setting the story in the modern day means that the Intelligence can operate in a way it wasn’t able to during the time-period of the main Lethbridge-Stewart books and exercise its influence through the technology of mobiles, tablets, etc. Thus, the Intelligence is utilising a similar medium to that which it does ‘In the Bells of St. John’.

I wonder what Nicholas Courtney would think about all this. I’m sure that, like the Brigadier, he would be pleased with Lucy Wilson adopting the Lethbridge-Stewart mantle.

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A small selection of other books by Sue Hampton

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Now for an adventure series that will take you out of your comfort zone, Allan Hudson’s  Wall of War: A Drake Alexander Adventure Book Two.

About the book

Deep in the wilderness of the Peruvian Andes lies a monument hidden for centuries. Who were the builders? Why was it abandoned? What secrets will it reveal?

In 1953, an amateur rock climber makes a startling discovery. He decides to report his findings as soon as he returns from climbing the mountain. It will take another fifty years before anyone reads his findings.

In 2004 when Drake Alexander hears of the strange discovery, he and those dear to him are plunged into a nightmare of avarice, impairment and death. Using his skills as an ex-soldier, can he and his accomplices save his tormented friends from the raiders that thirst for the secret lying within the mountains?

One of the reviews for the book

Mar 30, 2018 L. rated it it was amazing

Thrilling, action-packed adventure!

A magnificent discovery leads Drake Alexander and his team to follow a trail of greed and murder in this excellent crime-solving novel. Kudos to Allan Hudson for a fast-paced, intriguing page turner.

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Also by Allan Hudson

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Ian Hutson recently released a satirical look at our current establishment… Cheerio, and thanks for the apocalypse. Many of you will already be familiar with Ian’s entertaining and occasionally hair-raising stories of life on his Narrow Boat

About the book

It is seven disconnected tales of self-indulgent, self-deprecating, self-referencing woe, woe and thrice woe, Petunia, filling the pages in a most seriously unserious giggle-fest. Atom bombs rain down, there is some confusion as to who ought to be within the insane asylums and who ought to be without, and England’s pensioners are treated quite implausibly dreadfully. Life never ends, death isn’t forever and the afterlife, such as it is, is in chaos. The greatest thinkers of our time think awe-inspiringly vast, modern thoughts – and their dog makes them look like intellectual minnows swimming with intellectual sharks. This is not entirely unexpected though, since the dog in question, based upon a real-life dog of the author’s real-life experience, put Genghis Khan in the shade and was apt to make Charles Darwin spin in his grave, embarrassed by his demonstrably flawed theories.

England is neither Heaven nor Hell, but both are English Empire territories and you can see both from the White Cliffs of Dover without using binoculars. God often pokes an eyeball down through the clouds and the Devil is apt to leave hoof-marks in the lawns. The politicians in this book, all delicious one-hundred and twenty-six thousand calories each, are not loved and respected as are all politicians in real life, but are here portrayed simply as two-dimensional lying, self-serving, ignorant, shameless mediocrities. Further, the reader must be warned that London, the centre of the universe and beloved by one and all, the only portion of England that truly matters, is …brace yourself …reduced to black, powdery ashes. No, seriously, you ought not to laugh at that. Whatever would we do with the country’s tax income if London were not there to soak it all up?

Is ‘Cheerio, and thanks for the apocalypse’ a book of its time? Well, the author reckons that he’s caught the essential flavour of the present Establishment and of the rank and file, and caught it just moments before we all climb back into the trees and forget how to read and write, too. That much he claims as a success.

What then of the book’s failures? The author is, as are we all, a prisoner of his own constitution and can no more change his ways than fly. Flies are particularly known to not change their ways. The author hasn’t changed his ways since Poonah, in forty-three or forty-four, although it must be said that the charges were dropped then, and an out-of-court-martial settlement reached. Consequently, this book is old-fashioned, it’s verbose, and it’s certainly not subtle. It features strong male leads, mild political incorrectness, wilfully woefully little to no diversity, and yet, the author hopes, a laugh or three. The author, ever the optimist, ever the fool, casts this literary pearl before his readership*.

*Yes, we thought that too, but the man’s both desperate and unstable, so it’s best to just smile, nod, and hurry into your bomb-shelter.

An extract from a recent review for the book

Bazza, Gazza, Shazza, Tom, Dick and Harry – The end of civilisation, the nobility, and most of London at any rate, takes a direct hit from Europe’s nuclear temper and the 4 minute warning sees the dithery PM saved in the nick of time by the proximity of No 10’s very own nuclear bunker. Her only companions other than Boris Da Silva Spoone and Right Honourable Tony Lyrelyre-PantsonFyre (ex-Prime Minister) and a handful of other Honourables, is the common people serving her at the time, notably Bazza (of the Police Special Protection Unit), Gazza (a plumber), Shazza (the tea-lady), Tom (the Government Duty Nutritionists), Dick (an aide-de-camp) and Harry (the Prime Minister’s hairdresser). In this not too complimentary look at British Politics (or what’s left of it after a severely hissed off Europe lets rip) leaves the PM worrying about her majority in a post-Apocalyptic England; can she rebuild a stable government with a mismatched bunch of disparate people? With the door to No 10 still standing and the downstairs toilet intact, but still blocked, it looks promising at least; only time will tell as they set out into the radioactive wasteland of England as described excellently as usual with a lack of finesse and in a total irreverent fashion by the author. It’s not so much an adaptation of ‘Ten Little Indians’, as a medley of pork recipes for healthy eating – naughty but nice!

Ian Hutson writes with an excellence that I find breath-taking, his knowledge alone of British society, politics, history, human relations, Royalty and theological teachings is exceptional and only surpassed by the humour and wit they come wrapped in. At times I do wonder when his descriptive prose peaks (like in the last of these short stories) whether there is a serious storyteller imprisoned, like his genie, condemned by a curse and wanting to be freed. For my first, second and third wish I request it be set free – ‘let it be so!’ Pat McDonald British Crime Author.

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A selection of books by Ian Hutson

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Thank you for visiting today and I hope that you have enjoyed the selection.. Thanks Sally.


Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore- Buy a Book for Christmas #Mystery Series – Mary Anne Edwards, Diana J. Febry, Judy Penz Sheluk and Toni Pike

Time for some more book gift ideas from the Cafe and Bookstore and here is a selection of novels that any book lover would enjoy. As always when there is a series I will share book one and that is the case for the first author Mary Anne Edwards and The Charlie McLung Mysteries... Here is the first book in the series – Brilliant Disguise.

About the book

Are you sure you could tell the difference between murder and suicide?

Having had more than enough of the big city, Detective Charlie McClung moves to a small town looking for a simpler life. Turns out his first case is the most complicated of his career.

A young woman is found shot and while everyone is telling him suicide, his gut, and the dead woman’s beautiful neighbor, are telling him something quite different.

How far can he dig before he uncovers secrets never meant to be unearthed? Throw in a shady police chief and an unexpected love interest and McClung quickly finds himself with more trouble than he ever imagined.

One of the 100 reviews for the book

This story has it all. Murder, mystery, crime, drama, love and a great whodunit. I absolutely love reading a great whodunit and Mary Anne has achieved that in this book. This is a clean murder mystery with romance. I enjoyed reading about the main characters Charlie and Marian. They are characters both in their 40s. Charlie is a big city detective that moves to a small Georgia town to find solace and relax. There he meets Marian. Marian is a widow. Charlie investigates the death of Marian’s neighbor which looks to be apparent suicide. I loved this cozy mystery. I read it all in one evening.

This story was so intriguing. I couldn’t stop reading. This is a must read. Mary Anne did a great job keeping me guessing. This book contained twists and turns, suspense and kept me wanting to read until I was finished. It was refreshing to read a book that I could relate to. I loved watching Moonlighting, Remington Steele and Scarecrow and Mrs. King. This story reminded me of those TV programs. I’m a huge mystery buff. I laughed, was puzzled, cheered on Charlie and Marian and can’t wait to read the next book in this series. If you enjoy a good whodunit, mystery, suspense, touch of romance, clean read, you’ll absolutely love this mystery. Kudos to Mary Anne and her brilliant storytelling!

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Other books in the series

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The next author is Diana J. Febry with the first book in her DCI Peter Hatherall Mysteries – The Skeletons of Birkbury again perfect for mystery lovers this Christmas.

About the book

When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in Birkbury, the villagers close ranks. Gossip turns to fear and suspicion as they realize the killer is one of them and is prepared to kill again.

DCI Peter Hatherall must fight his past and class divisions to find the killer.
All must decide which secrets are worth dying for.

A recent review for the book

A good mystery  on 20 September 2018

The novel is a cold case detective story focusing on a dead girl who vanished twenty years earlier. This lends the story a slower pace than if it had been a recent murder, but that’s okay. In the small, slightly suffocating, rural community, we have plenty of suspects, and you’ll take against one or two right from the off. We certainly get a lot of detail about each character, possibly to make them all seem important (and therefore worthy of our suspicion), and we hop between points of view, even within a scene. The detectives work well together, although their off-topic back stories occasionally took centre stage, which may not suit an impatient mystery fan. All in all, a good mystery that keeps you guessing until the end.

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The other books in the DCI Peter Hatherall series


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The next author with books in a series is Judy Penz Sheluk and here is book one of The Marketville Mysteries – Skeletons in the Attic. Some of the books have been re-released with new covers.

About the book

Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house in the town of Marketville—a house she didn’t know he had. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.

Callie’s not keen on dredging up a thirty-year-old mystery, but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who hopes to expose the Barnstable family secrets herself. Determined to thwart Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic?

One of the reviews for the book

As an (ignorant) American, I hadn’t realized that Canada had tried the Prohibition experiment too, and earlier than the U.S. Just a throwaway comment grousing about the government-run liquor stores made me take a second to check Wikipedia. That this well-written tale of a missing mother made me think and learn beyond following the clues was my own first clue that this was going to be an extra-enjoyable read–or, listen, in this case, as I allowed narrator Claira Jordyn to read aloud while I enjoyed breakfast and other otherwise non-brain activities. Intriguing premise, logical clue-following research (including hours in the library), and a surprise ending.

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A selection of other books by Judy Penz Sheluk including Past & Present the second book in the series that I have read and reviewed.

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A note in from Judy

Thanks so much Sally! This is such great timing as The Hanged Man’s Noose is now on for just .99 on Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Google Play and Apple Book — until Dec. 13 and then $4.99 again. It’s the first book in the Glass Dolphin series. ALSO for your UK Audible listeners, I have 5 Free UK Audible codes available for each of my four books (no US codes), so if there’s any Audible UK listeners reading this, please email me a judy at judypenzsheluk dot com with your audible profile (I just have to be sure that you aren’t a scammer…)

And the final author today with books in a series is Toni Pike and The Magus Covenant: The secret that will change the world (The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series Book 1)


About the book


A long-forgotten sect, a deadly brotherhood, a billionaire who trades in relics and a race across Europe in pursuit of a killer.

Jotham Fletcher is in Rome to give a lecture about Simon Magus at the church where he fell to his death beside the Roman Forum. Magus was a cult leader mentioned in the Bible and his libertine sect disappeared by 400 AD.

But did it really die out?

A robed man is pushed from the bell tower of the church at midnight and Jotham becomes the prime suspect. His lover Antonella, an expert on ancient documents, has a shocking secret. Rumours fly about a papyrus scroll. A ruthless Catholic Brotherhood will stop at nothing in their hunt for a hidden sect. And a reclusive billionaire has the chance of a lifetime to get his revenge.

Jotham is kidnapped, tortured and on the run. He races from Italy to England to Sweden. But the body count continues to rise and so does the heat in this non-stop thriller that will leave you breathless.

FEATURING: a fast-paced and gripping plot, chase sequences, Italian police, mysterious historical events and an ending that you won’t see coming.

Don’t miss this action-packed thriller! Discover the secret that will change the world.

There are three other books in this series – enjoy Jotham Fletcher’s continuing story.
Book 2: THE ROCK OF MAGUS – Code Red in the Vatican
Book 3: THE MAGUS EPIPHANY – Ancient treasures and a new revelation
Book 4: HOLY SPEAR OF MAGUS – The covenant will be fulfilled

One of the reviews for the book

Anglican Priest Jotham Fletcher is due to give a lecture about Simon Magnus at the church in Rome where Magnus died. Magnus was the leader of a religious cult that is thought to have vanished around 400 AD. When a mysterious robed man is found murdered at the church not long before the lecture, Jotham becomes the main suspect.

As rumours surface about a papyrus scroll mentioning Magnus, things get worse and more dead bodies start to appear. Jotham gets kidnapped and tortured and ends up on the run, a journey that takes him across Europe. Meanwhile his Lover Antonella might know more about what is going on than she admits.

It’s up to Jotham to fit the pieces of the puzzle together and find out what the Brotherhood, a religious order that will stop at nothing to protect their beliefs, has to do with it all? And did the Simonean Sect really cease to exist or are they somehow also involved? And can Iago Visser, the rich reclusive billionaire friend of Antonella, be trusted or does he have his own agenda?

This is a thoroughly enjoyable story full of action and adventure. The plot is well developed, gripping, fast-paced and suspenseful with unexpected twists and turns. The characters were interesting, not superhuman as in some action and adventure stories and all the more realistic because of it.

The book fits into the same genre as Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” or “Angels and Demons”. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read a good action and adventure novel.

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The other books in the series and other books by Toni Pike

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Thank you for dropping in today and if you love mysteries, I am sure you will find a book for a gift for yourself or someone else. Thanks Sally