Category: Lady Detective Fiction

#PubDay Book Review | “Chai Another Day” (Book Four: The Spice Shop Mysteries) by Leslie Budewitz a cosy mystery series by one of my favourite crime publishers Seventh Street Books!

Posted Tuesday, 11 June, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Books By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction.

However, their imprints Seventh Street Books & Pyr were merged into Start Publishing in [2019] – wherein I had the pleasure of being approached by their new publicity team via Kaye Publicity this Spring wherein I was first introduced to the Spice Shop Mysteries as I was told about a forthcoming release this June – “Chai Another Day” for which I am receiving for review consideration. I decided to back-read the series as this marks the fourth in an on-going series. Uniquely enough, the first three were published by Berkley Prime Crime and the fourth installment is being published by Seventh Street Books.

I borrowed the first three novels in the Spice Shop Mysteries “Assault and Pepper”, “Guilty as Cinnamon” and “Killing Thyme” in paperback from my local library via inter-library loan through the consortium of libraries within my state. I was not obligated to post a review as I am doing so for my own edification as a reader who loves to share her readerly life. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

I received a complimentary copy of “Chai Another Day” direct from Seventh Street Books in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

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on why i was drawn into the spice shop mysteries:

You could say it felt like a homage to what I personally loved about being in the Pacific Northwest when I was eighteen – I had the chance to visit Seattle and Pike’s Place Market – it was a trip which left quite the impression on me. For starters, my aversion to sunshine was no longer an issue and my entire spirit soared without the oppressively volcanic presence of the Sun. The glare was gone being that I traded regions to where even sunlight filtered through clouds at a different angle than what I had become accustomed too. The whole setting in the West is uniquely different from other parts of the States – yet, it was the vibe of Pike’s Place which left the strongest impression.

Thereby, when I first learnt of the Spice Shop Mysteries – my heart hungered to read them, as any excuse to re-visit my memories spent walking through the marketplace would be a lovely excursion to take as it marked a moment in my life where I loved being in a walkable downtown which was vibrantly alive with merchants and artisans who were both approachable and hilarious to speak too.

Yes, I even saw the infamous fishmongers happily throwing their fish and trying to get everyone to celebrate the spontaneous joy in our lives. It was the blueberry vendors who struck a chord with my foodie heart – from their oils to their wines and how the magic shoppe and the Hollywood memorabilia shoppe left strong impressions due to the beauty of conversing with people with like-minded interests. The market itself had everything you needed for your basket and then some, replete with fresh cut flowers and other knicks or knacks you might not expect to find. Always a kind smile, a hearty laugh and loads of healthy sampling to see what your palette might appreciate eating.

I could see how a spice shop would thrive here – the downtown corridor in and round the marketplace itself had heaps of hills and it was definitely walkable as the traffic wasn’t (at the time) like other cities where pedestrians might struggle against the heavy flow and constant shifting of cars. After reading the author’s notes on behalf of the market today compared to the market I once knew myself – my memories are as old as Sleepless in Seattle as Pike’s Place then was most comparable to the one I saw IRL. I’m certain that the lay of the land now is quite uniquely different – from what she mentioned of the change in structures and buildings – not to mention the relocation of a highway! Laughs. I still remember how lovely it was to just be in a place where independent businesses were thriving and where it was possible to have personable conversations with the growers of the local produce, fruit, flowers, cheese and artisan goods. The concept is much more transparent nowadays across large and small cities alike but back then it was quite the extraordinary concept!

Now, if only spice shoppes and markets had caught-on in the slow food movement and were readily accessible as health food stores, now that would be progress I’d appreciate seeing come full circle into our everyday lives!

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Mostly though – what intrigued me the most is the publisher I know for publishing wicked good dramatic Crime Fiction was now enticing me to try their Cosy side of the ledger! I will also say, as the publisher changed hands – when the book arrived I wasn’t sure if there would be a change in style and format for the finished copies, as previously I had mostly received their (print) ARCs with a few finished copies here or there for Seventh Street Books.

Chai Another Day was happily a wider trade paperback edition – where you could easily open the pages, see the layout and even the font was easier on the eyes – if you directly compared this fourth installment to the previous three when the series was with Berkley. However, in regards to previous Seventh Street Books releases – the format was refreshingly new as they were the more standard version of the trade paperback than this particular one where it felt more akin to a 5×7 size than the regular versions your used to holding in your hands. I honestly preferred it for this Cosy as it made reading it quite the ease and after so many migraines plaguing me recently, ease of reading a story was priority one!

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#PubDay Book Review | “Chai Another Day” (Book Four: The Spice Shop Mysteries) by Leslie Budewitz a cosy mystery series by one of my favourite crime publishers Seventh Street Books!Assault and Pepper
Subtitle: A Spice Shop Mystery
by Leslie Budewitz
Source: Borrowed from local library (ILL)

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780425271780

Genres: Cosy Mystery, Amateur Detective, Crime Fiction


Setting: Pike's Place Market, Seattle Washington


Published by Berkley Prime Crime, Seventh Street Books

on 3rd March, 2015

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Pages: 289

Published By: Berkley Prime Crime (@BerkleyMystery)

imprint of Berkley Publishing (@BerkleyPub)

via Penguin Random House (@penguinrandom)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

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Initially, I had planned to read the first *three!* novels in this series, however, after five migraines this past May, I decided to simply focus on “Assault & Pepper” as I couldn’t listen to the audiobooks either due to time constraints and the after effects of my migraines. As you will see, the first novel in the series held my interest at first but that interest waned a bit once I was settled inside it. I decided to forego the first novel, as I had a proper sense of the setting & the way in which Ms Budewitz wanted us to feel a part of this world to where I moved directly into “Chai Another Day”. I think you might be pleasantly surprised by what I found inside the fourth novel,..

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my review of assault and pepper:

I could immediately relate to two things: temperatures below seventy-five and smelling Autumn through a palette of spices and herbs! There is something to be said for calmer climes and the foods which speak to our souls during the different seasons of the year. For me, I could skip over a volcanic Summer and a nausating Spring full of allergens in exchange for a calmer cloudy and grey environment wherein the air is crisper, the produce is healthier and your sense of season was a gentler influence than an abrasive and blundering thundercloud of insanity. Already, as soon as I started reading Assault and Pepper, I was clued into how much angst I have living where I do.

The irony of course, is they are lamenting about the uses of spice for fish and meat; something which would never interest me (save the odd scallops here or there) as I’m a veghead vegan in the making! I’d rather know how you could grill, roast, saute and otherwise dress your veg and fruits than know about the dry rubs you need for a carnivore. Despite that – the aromas and aromatics they are inviting into my sensory memories reflects my own spicy life as a home cook as I have the tendency of appreciating the warmer spices throughout the year. It isn’t that I don’t like lighter foods but my wheelhouse always includes the posher spices of India or the flavourings of the Mediterranean. You can do loads with those spices – they indulge your creativity – especially once you master Garam Marsala and Turmeric!

The specialty tea blends, ah, now your talking! I love loose teas but I have to be careful with them as sometimes I opt instead for the bags as the loose varieties can be a bit strong even if your a careful steeper! The interesting bit is that I’ve learnt recently how you can cook or bake with tea blends – something I hadn’t realised in the past and I’m keen to explore it in the future.

I could definitely relate to Reed – I have a penchant for finding new ways to incorporate curry (the spice) into a lot of what I’m choosing to cook. By the time they were contemplating what to do with roasted squash and how to spice up their oatmeal, I had heard enough to know I wished this shoppe was a viable one in our own reality! Definitely keen on how I’m not the sole home cook who likes to switch things up in her saute pan, too! I also had a mad hankering for their tea samplers as although I prefer the warmer teas (full-on spices) there are a few floral teas I don’t mind though nothing overtly fruity as that’s just wrong.

Pepper’s ex-husband reminds me of why I enjoy the Coffeehouse Mysteries – these two series share that in common; where the ex-wives have moved forward with their lives but their exes haven’t quite caught on to the fact that some woman really do not want to reconcile the marriage they’ve divorced. Tag seemed to be the kind of bloke who liked to flirt no matter what his ex felt about him; almost as if it was its own inside tongue-and-cheek game between them – even if of course, from Pepper’s perspective it wasn’t likely to progress past the playful exchanges. On her end of it though, I sensed she liked her independence and enjoyed being single – or maybe, I was picking up on the fact she was thankful she was no longer married to Tag. It could swing either way – still too early-on to know what drew them apart to begin with and what led to the divorce. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 11 June, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Amateur Detective, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, Lady Detective Fiction, Modern Day, Pike's Place Market, Seattle, Washington, West Coast USA

Book Blitz w/ Notes during #HistoricalMondays | Celebrating “The Golden Hour” (The Lady Evelyn Mysteries, Book Four) by Malia Zaidi

Posted Monday, 8 April, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Why I am spotlighting this during #Historical Mondays:

You might be curious why I hosting a book blitz rather than a book review during my feature for showcasing Historical narratives on Mondays? The keen reason for this today is the fact when I read the premise of this Cosy Historical Mystery series – I had a feeling I had stumbled across my next #mustread Cosy series and I wanted to take the chance to feature it during a #HistoricalMondays celebration ahead of being able to read it myself! A bit similar in a way to spotlighting and/or discussing books during #WaitingOnWednesday but this is strictly for the Historical narratives across genre which speak to my readerly heart and are the kinds of stories I am wicked thankful are being published for readers like me who can’t devour enough #HistFic!

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Book Blitz w/ Notes during #HistoricalMondays | Celebrating “The Golden Hour” (The  Lady Evelyn Mysteries, Book Four) by Malia ZaidiThe Golden Hour (Spotlight)
by Malia Zaidi

Lady Evelyn Carlisle has barely arrived in London when familial duty calls her away again. Her cousin Gemma is desperate for help with her ailing mother before her imminent wedding, which Evelyn knew nothing about! Aunt Agnes in tow, she journeys to Scotland, expecting to find Malmo Manor in turmoil. To her surprise, her Scottish family has been keeping far more secrets than the troubled state of their matriarch.

Adding to the tension in the house a neighbor has opened his home, Elderbrooke Park, as a retreat for artistic veterans of the Great War. This development does not sit well with everyone in the community. Is the suspicion towards the residents a catalyst for murder? A tragedy at Elderbrooke Park’s May Day celebration awakens Evelyn’s sleuthing instinct, which is strengthened when the story of another unsolved death emerges, connected to her own family.

What she uncovers on her quest to expose the truth will change several lives forever, including her own. With the shadow of history looming over her, Evelyn must trust in her instinct and ability to comb through the past to understand the present, before the murderer can stop her and tragedy strikes again.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1543959499

Genres: Amateur Detective, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Self Published

on 26th March, 2019

This is a self-published series through BookBaby!

Lady Evelyn Mysteries series banner provided by HFVBTs

A Poisonous Journey (book one)

A Darker Shore (book two)

The Study of Silence (book three)

The Golden Hour (book four)

Converse via: #LadyEvelynMysteries + #HistoricalMysteries
as well as #CosyMysteries and #HistoricalFiction

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

I was overjoyed seeing this is a self-published series through Book Baby as I used to participate in the Book Baby Twitter chats about self-publishing through their platform. It was one of the platforms I felt next to LuLu which worked well for authors and over the years, I’ve been blessed to read a few releases by Book Baby. I was first introduced to Book Baby though through my admiration and love of #CDBaby which is part of the parent company.

About Malia Zaidi

Malia Zaidi

Malia Zaidi is the author of The Lady Evelyn Mysteries. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.

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Posted Monday, 8 April, 2019 by jorielov in #HistoricalMondays, 20th Century, Amateur Detective, Blog Tour Host, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, the Nineteen Hundreds, the Roaring Twenties

Audiobook Review | “Bridge to Burn” (Book Seven: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison Campbell

Posted Wednesday, 20 February, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

Similar to the blog tour for the sixth novel of the #KayHunter series, the blog tour review copies are being provided directly by the author off-site from Audible. The key reason I decided to not accept the review copies from “Gone to Ground” and “Bridge to Burn” is because the new format is mostly directed for mobile listeners and I do not listen to audiobooks in that style of format. However, this time round as I switched my subscription from Audible to Scribd, I did not yet have the chance to purchase my copy of “Bridge to Burn” – which I shall be doing eventually as I want to have a full set of all the Kay Hunter installments – I was able to join this lovely blog tour because the audiobooks are readily available via Scribd! For which, I am especially grateful as I can continue to listen to one of my beloved and favourite Crime Drama series!

Thereby my copy of “Bridge to Burn” is self-provided through my subscription to Scribd rather than being provided with a complimentary copy of the story. Thereby, I am choosing to participate on the audiobook tour, sharing my ruminations with my readers for my own edification but also, as a continuation of a reader’s love for a dramatic crime serial. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What held me in the throes of “Gone to Ground” and why I was itching for the next novel:

Kay’s team has a few growing pains coming to it as with Kay’s recent promotion, the rest of the team remains a bit lopsided. Her first pick to gain a promotion soon after her was Barnes; unfortunately for Kay, Barnes was comfortable in the role he was already employed. She had to respect his choice even if it confused her why he wouldn’t want to rise in the ranks. Barnes was her right hand man on the team, a person she could trust without blinking and know he would have her back.

You can observe her own growth as a person finding traction in front of cameras whereas only a year prior being the lead spokesperson for the unit would have put her in a bit of a tailspin of anxiety. Now, she is shining as a voice for the police and hoped the words she spoke would encourage new leads to come forward after the report went out on the newscast. The case itself was perplexing – they had a clue towards what the crime involved but without ‘more evidence’ they could only speculate which was the one thing they didn’t want anyone to do. It would only lead to heartache for everyone involved.

I was definitely curious about how Larch decided to take early retirement and moved off into the Midlands as a result. This left an open space in the team and unit Kay was now overseeing alongside with the guidance of Sharpe. With Sharper in the overseeing role for the team, you start to see how the new dynamics are forming and keeping each of the team members a tightly knit team who know they can rely on each other. What was lovely though is how Kay is open to having her fellow detectives (including the junior ones) have equal respect in the bull room so to speak – to speak their theories and to explore (as a team) what they feel might be motive and opportunity. Even if they fall a bit short of a solid lead, it helps build their foundation as a team who everyone feels comfortable being an active part of growing into a well-oiled machine of efficiency.

At the morgue we get a keen insight into the gloom and the heart-wrenching cases the ME has to sort through when the caseload becomes unbearingly brutal with cases which are harder to reconcile than usual. I think any case that goes through the morgue which deals with children and youth, has to be the cases they struggle with the most to ‘let go’ once they’ve done all they can to determine the cause of death. Medical examiners don’t get a enough credit for how strong of mind and heart they have to be to constantly do their job and remain emotionally disconnected.

One of my favourite revelations was not even related to the case, it was about Adam’s inheritance, how horses played a keen role in his award and how the friendship he had with an older lady who wanted a guardian for her horses was the key to how Adam and Kay lived rather comfortably.

Outside of focusing on Kay and Adam at home and out about in their community, there were loads of cheeky humour sequences and workplace camaraderie which I love so much in this series! It helps re-affirm who these people are and how they interact with each other. When you listening to different installments of the series and a bit of time goes by – seeing how they react to each other is another way of re-aligning you right back into the dialogue from whence you had left off in the last installment.

Seeing Kay develop her confidence in her new position is a joy – each day she’s on the job, the more she becomes a confident leader. The irony of course, their current case involves team building exercises where their potential victim was spending time – the random joy for Kay is finding that her unit works well without the benefit of an official ‘time away’ from the office to come together as a united front.

When it is known what the title refers to ‘gone to ground’ – everything seemed to make better sense about the structure of this particular case. The key focus on the team and how they interact with each other has become the new standard of the series – as originally, when the series first began we would shift between the detectives and the one(s) they were pursuing – giving us a dual perspective from two different sides of every investigation.

In this particular instance – it proves how frustrating detectives become when they don’t have enough to guide them forward. I was hoping this particular case might have a decidedly brilliant wench in the wheel of the investigation and I must admit, Amphlett definitely gave us one!! It has to do with who you think is the person of interest and who the truer culprit turnt out to be – the curious bit here is how Amphlett constantly brings the sociological side of sleuthing into her stories. She focuses on the psychological and the sociological – of easing you through the hardest bits by re-focusing on the reasons ‘why’ certain behaviours are being explored and why some characters have more guilt within them than others. Sometimes your not even sure where a confession is going to lead you or if the confession your hearing is the right one for the case at hand.

I must admit, the crime(s) involved in this installment are really difficult to get through – although, I do credit Ms Amphlett for not making it worse than it was – she definitely pulls back when I have witnessed other authors who don’t have as much self-control as she does. This is a credit to her for giving us a chillingly suspenseful read but without ensuring we’ll have nightmares afterwards! You want to feel the suspense – similar to watching your favourite Hitchcock film but without feeling as if you can’t properly recover afterwards! Hitchcock and Amphlett both found the sweet spot in Suspense where they can give you chills but allow you the grace to know you can handle where the stories will lead.

-quoted from my review of Gone to Ground

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I can’t believe I’ve been outside this world since last [September]!

After finishing Gone to Ground, I was truly thankful there was a bit of a ‘gap’ between books six and seven as I felt I needed to put some distance between myself and Kay Hunter. This is a series I truly felt captivated to listen to throughout [2018] however, it is a very emotionally jarring series – you don’t realise how attached your going to become to the series until your in the throes of it and by then, your heart is gone. You are so intricately immersed inside this authentically writ world by Ms Amphlett and the heart-pulsing high octane paced narration styling of Ms Campbell – you simply can’t disconnect your ears from listening to the series once you’ve become smitten with the world, the characters and journey Kay Hunter is taking both personally and professionally.

This is why I was thankful the blog tour was in early [2019] as it gave me the distance and the breathier I need from the last installment before I entered the seventh story. I knew a few stories back this series was making a twist of a turn for being a bit more hard-boiled than most Thrillers and Suspense novels I’m reading but at the heart of the series is Kay, her team and the life she shares with Adam. I wrestled with feeling if I could continue to listen to the series and go forward with her on this journey or if I might one day need to back-out as the growing series was expounding on the grim sides of her job whilst it was also tucking us closer into her private world.

There are so many lovely layers of this series, in the end, I opted to ‘stay invested’ in the series and I credit that first and foremost to the author Ms Amphlett for how dedicated she is not to :push: the line too far afield to where I can’t get through the novels and to Ms Campbell for her passionate portrayal of Kay and how she intuitively hugs us back inside Kay’s world. The two of them together is why this increasingly dramatic crime series is dearly beloved by me – it might be on the upper tier of what I can consider reading and/or listening too – but I love the continuity, the layered insight into the life of these characters and the fact that I can trust the author for giving me an edgy read without making me feel as if I couldn’t survive it afterwards.

This is why I was wicked excited about finding the latest audiobook via Scribd as it was coordinated in such a way (ie. released to subscribers) to where I could join the blog tour – continue sharing my ruminations alongside my fellow enthused audiobook readers in the book blogosphere and tuck closer to Kay to see where we are on her personal journey whilst finding myself enchanted once more by Ms Campbell’s approach at giving me a new visitation with the whole cast of characters within the Kay Hunter series! This is definitely one that grabs you rather immediately and before you realise you’ve become addicted to hearing the stories, your already progressing through your seventh volume!

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Audiobook Review | “Bridge to Burn” (Book Seven: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison CampbellBridge to Burn
Subtitle: A Detective Kay Hunter novel
by Rachel Amphlett
Source: Scribd | Subscription
Narrator: Alison Campbell

When a mummified body is found in a renovated building, the gruesome discovery leads Detective Kay Hunter and her team into a complex murder investigation.

The subsequent police inquiry exposes corruption, lies and organised crime within the tight-knit community – and Kay’s determination to seek justice for the young murder victim could ruin the reputations of men who will do anything to protect their business interests.

But as Kay closes in on the killer, tragedy strikes closer to home in an event that will send a shockwave through her personal life and make her question everything she values.

Can Kay keep her private and professional life under control while she tries to unravel one of the strangest murder cases of her career?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-9993683-3-3

Also by this author: Scared to Death, Will to Live, One to Watch, Hell to Pay, Call to Arms, Author Inteview: Rachel Amphlett (Gone to Ground), Gone to Ground, Cradle to Grave

Also in this series: Scared to Death, Will to Live, One to Watch, Hell to Pay, Call to Arms, Gone to Ground, Cradle to Grave


Genres: Crime Fiction, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Police Procedural, Thriller


Published by Saxon Publishing

on 13th January, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 6 hours, 39 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Saxon Publishing

Audiobooks by: Audiobook Factory (@audiofactoryuk)

Order of the Kay Hunter Detective series:
Scared to Death | Book One (see also Review)
Will to Live | Book Two (see also Review)
One to Watch | Book Three (see also Review)
Hell to Pay | Book Four (see also Review)
Call to Arms | Book Five (see also Review)
Gone to Ground | Book Six (see also Review)
Bridge to Burn | Book Seven

About Rachel Amphlett

Rachel Amphlettt

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore's TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 20 February, 2019 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), British Literature, Crime Fiction, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Detective Fiction, England, Good vs. Evil, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Mental Health, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Psychological Suspense, Realistic Fiction, Sociological Behavior, True Crime

Audiobook Review | “Lost in the Light” (Book One: The Dori O Paranormal Mysteries) written and narrated by the author Mary Castillo

Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Lost in the Light” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions in exchange for an honest review. This complimentary copy I received is part of the ‘Adopt an Audiobook’ programme where reviewers are given a 90 day window to listen and review the book. I received this audiobook in December, 2018 wherein I had planned to listen to this before the close of the year, however, with a five week virus I had to wait til I recovered my energies to hear the story this January, 2019. This differs from a blog tour which has a more set schedule of posting. The audiobooks are offered to ‘adopt’ for review consideration and are given to readers to gauge their opinions, impressions and insight into how the audiobook is resonating with listeners. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What drew me to listening to this particular audiobook:

I’ve been seeking out different kinds of Mysteries for most of [2018] – including at tailend of the year, wherein I scouted out such lovelies as Joy Avon’s In Peppermint Peril; David Rosenfelt’s Deck the Hounds; Maia Chance’s Naughty on Ice; as well as the latest Claire Chase Thriller Death on the River, M.B. Shaw’s Murder at the Mill and Vivian Conroy’s The Butterfly Conspiracy – of which I am still continuing to listen and/or read as I lost the hours to enjoy them fully due to being ill before, during and after Christmas! 

I love Mysteries, Thrillers and novels of Suspense but what made each of these quite uniquely lovely is how uniquely individual they are as ‘stories within their own series’. I had hoped by January I could dig back inside my beloved #LoveINSPIRED Suspense novels – those lovely page-turners I share a passion of reading with my Mum but suffice it to say, most of January was either spent recovering my energy and stamina lost during the virus to end all viruses; transitioning through two migraines (blessedly one low grade and one slightly supernova) and at least three severe allergy attacks – to the brink that January just felt muddled.

I had such a lovely outline of what I wanted to accomplish via LibraryThing and I was adding to that revolving list of #nextreads with what I wanted to be listening too throughout the month as I am still attempting to offset what I read in print with what I listen to as an #AudioReads as I’m striving towards a spilt of 70/40 between both formats. I finally had to realise somewhere along the route of the month, resting and being offline was just a better course of action for my own self-care than to attempt to read the stories which were keenly interesting me to seek out. Thereby, it became one of the least read months I’ve had as a book blogger but the stories I was able to listen to or read were rather enjoyable.

Which brings me to this adopted audiobook – I was dearly curious about what I would inside as I do have a particular eye on serial fiction – especially when it comes to Crime Fiction as there is something intriguing about getting to re-visit a series vs reading a one-off. Since this one is a merger of the Paranormal with the Investigative – it was a story I was curiously happy to finally get a chance to settle inside and soak in the story-line!

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Audiobook Review | “Lost in the Light” (Book One: The Dori O Paranormal Mysteries) written and narrated by the author Mary CastilloLost in the Light
by Mary Castillo
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Mary Castillo

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B01N37B8CH

Genres: Amateur Detective, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction


Published by Reina Books

on 27th January, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 8 hours, 52 minutes (unabridged)

Published By: Reina Books

Mary Castillo | Site | LibraryThing | GoodReads | @MCastilloWrites

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 30 January, 2019 by jorielov in Amateur Detective, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction

A #cloakanddaggerchristmas Book Review | “In Peppermint Peril” (Book One: A Tea and Read Mysteries) by Joy Avon

Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I often cross paths with writers in the twitterverse, as I’m a social reader who likes to engage directly with fellow book bloggers, readers, reviewers and writers. I talk with writers who are in the process of launching their writing careers inasmuch as established writers who have quite a few releases out for us to discover. The blissitude of finding this author is the fact she writes under two separate names (Vivian Conroy for Cosy Historical Mysteries; Joy Avon for the Book Tea Shop Mysteries) whilst she hosts a weekly Historical Fiction Twitter Chat I am in love with attending inasmuch as the quarterly #HistoricalFix; as you see, #HistFicChat brings all of us together who love devouring Historical stories across genres and eras of interest. It is a conversational meet-up featuring today’s Historical authors – from all gambits of the umbrella in which you could find a writer writing a Historical novel!

Due to her encouragement, I reached out to her publisher Crooked Lane Books to see if I could receive two of her novels for review – “The Butterfly Conspiracy” and “In Peppermint Peril”. I was happily surprised to receive both and this marks the first of two reviews featuring my first introductions to her characters. I elected to share both during my personal readathon within the hours of the #cloakanddaggerchristmas readathon happening between #booktube and the book blogosphere! I was unfortunately delayed until Christmas Week to begin my readings due to a bad Winter virus and am overjoyed I can finally read the stories I’ve been keenly interested in discovering!

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “In Peppermint Peril” direct from the publisher Crooked Lane Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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The reasons why I was dearly keen on discovering

this new Cosy Mystery series:

(as much as an explanation of how I’m connected to the author)

It might not be a very well known fact – as throughout the past five years as a book blogger, I’ve been focusing on so many different genres of entrance, I am never quite sure if any of my dear hearted visitors & readers know what my top favourite genres are to explore? Ever since I met Miss Marple I have had a penchant for Cosy Mysteries; from that day forward, I also adopted a British affinity for writing them in the Brit fashion rather than the American. It felt only right being that Dame Christie is who endeavoured to inspire a lifelong passion for the genre!

Over the years, I am thankful if I can find a new author (singular) or a new series (if they prefer a serial over a one-off) within the Cosy umbrella of stories. It is a hard call really – how to find an author who is writing the kind of stories I want to be seeking out & which series therein are being written in a style that I can sink my literary teeth into with the cosy comforting joy of feeling as if I’ve entered a world I would love to reside inside for quite a long time afterwards!

Reading Cosy Mysteries has been quite a luxury – a pleasurable exploration of Crime Fiction due to how soft & gentle the writers take us into the minds of their criminals & their sleuths. It is a lighter & fluffier side to Mysteries, Suspense & Thrillers – for the most part – as sometimes Cosies can broker a fine line between Noir, Cosy & Hard-Boiled.

I have such an attachment to Cosy Historical Mysteries that I oft-time have to remind myself to seek out a Contemporary Cosy – as a book blogger I sort of side-lined my adventures into the Lady Emily series, the Mary Russell series & the Aunt Diminty series – all of which are part of my #beatthebacklist for 2019 reading challenge – however, prior to sorting out where I am traversing in Cosies for 2019, I was thankful I crossed paths with Ms Conroy (Avon) as through the conversations we’ve shared on Twitter during her chat #HistFicChat I found a like-minded spirit – someone who is as giddy happy over these Cosies as I am myself – and her readerly habits are a mirror of my own, dear hearts!

We oft find ourselves musefully talking about the same takeaways & insights into the Mysteries & Historical stories we are discussing – in that regard, it has been a benefit of minds to have met each other in the twitterverse! As how lovely is it when you find a fellow bookish soul who reads the stories you want to be seeking out yourself to read?

So, imagine my joyfulness in being able to read two of her lovely releases as typically her stories are *not released!* into print – their Digital First. I am thankful to have found an author out there who appreciates what I do in Crime Fiction and I couldn’t wait to get invested into her stories – seeing how she set the tone for her series & which of her characters would win me over the most!

Truly though – it boiled down to this: I drink copious amounts of tea, I’m in love with chai and I could literally spend a lifetime inside a library and a book shoppe without the need to exit! Combing a love of books and the art of tea into a Cosy series? The premise of that potential surely secured my interest! 

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A #cloakanddaggerchristmas Book Review | “In Peppermint Peril” (Book One: A Tea and Read Mysteries) by Joy AvonIn Peppermint Peril
Subtitle: A Book Tea Shop Mystery
by Joy Avon
Source: Direct from Publisher

This Christmas, Callie Aspen returns to her childhood hideout Heart's Harbour, Maine, where her great-aunt runs Book Tea, a vintage tearoom where every sweet treat contains a bookish clue. Upon arrival in the fairy-tale snowy town, Callie is drawn into the preparations for a special tea party at Haywood Hall, the rambling house of Heart's Harbour's oldest resident, rich but lonely widow Dorothea Finster, who invited her estranged relatives, old friends, and the elite of the town to make a mysterious announcement about her will.

Believing they can touch a part of her fortune, everybody is determined to come, despite not liking each other or even their hostess. And Callie's old friend Sheila complicates things by using the tea party to announce her daughter's engagement, even though her daughter isn't sure she's in love with the young lawyer her mother thinks is so perfect for her.

Catering to people who each have their own agenda isn't easy for the Book Tea crew, especially once the valuable engagement ring goes missing and a dead body turns up in the conservatory. Can Callie and her great-aunt use their love of clues to dig into the crimes and show their unhappy hostess and squabbling guests the true Christmas spirit?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781683317937

Genres: Amateur Detective, Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Cookery, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction


Setting: Heart's Harbour, Maine


Published by Crooked Lane Books

on 13th November, 2018

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 288

Christmas Cosy Mystery Book Icon made by Jorie in Canva.ARC Review Icon made by Jorie in Canva.Amateur Detective Icon made by Jorie in Canva.

Published By: Crooked Lane Books (@crookedlanebks)

A Tea and Read Mysteries:

(I was rather partial to the original title of the series “A Book Tea Shop Mystery”)

In Peppermint Peril (book one)

→ Sweet Tea & Secrets (book two) *forthcoming, 11th June, 2019!

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #Conroy10, #CosyMystery + #TeaAndReadMysteries

About Joy Avon

Having spent many afternoons as a teen on the Nile with Poirot or confronting sinister spinsters in sleepy English towns with Miss Marple, it was only natural Joy Avon would start writing mysteries of her own. Besides writing, Joy enjoys hiking, collecting stationery, and trying new desserts, especially if chocolate is involved.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 26 December, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Amateur Detective, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Cookery, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Lady Detective Fiction, Modern Day, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event