The Killer In The Choir by Simon Brett – First Monday Crime.

About The Book

When Jude joins the Fethering community choir, she discovers that at least one of her fellow choristers is hiding a deadly secret.

Although she hadn’t known Leonard Mallett very well, nor liked him particularly, Carole Seddon feels duty bound to attend her fellow committee member’s funeral. As she suspected, the hymns, readings and sermon are all very predictable – not unlike Leonard himself. What she couldn’t have predicted was that the deceased’s daughter would use the occasion to publicly accuse her stepmother of murder. 

Did Heather Mallett really kill her husband, as many Fethering residents believe? Deciding to get to the heart of the matter, Carole’s neighbour Jude joins the new community choir – and discovers that amidst the clashing egos and petty resentments lurk some decidedly false notes. At least one chorister would appear to be hiding a deadly secret – and it’s up to Carole and Jude to unearth the truth.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. This was the first book I have read in this series but I had no problems getting to know the characters. Cosy crime and village life, its just like Midsomer Murders and Miss Marple. Where life is ruled by gossip and not always revealing the truth. If your neighbour didn’t know everything about you they were invent something and convince everybody that it was the truth.

Carole and Jude, the two amateur sleuths were like chalk and cheese. Carole was reclusive, tetchy and judgemental. Jude was more tolerant, likeable and approachable. How their friendship worked was slightly baffling but they did seem fairly close. Especially over a glass or two of Sauvignon Blanc.

Like many cosy crime novels you couldn’t take it seriously, but its part of the attraction. Total escapism. I had a lot of fun trying to work out who the murderer was. I will dip into this series again.

Simon Brett is one of the authors who will be appearing at First Monday Crome on Monday 2nd December. Details can be found at https://www.firstmondaycrime.com/

The Tin God by Chris Nickson – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

When Superintendent Tom Harper’s wife is threatened during an election campaign, the hunt for the attacker turns personal.
Leeds, England. October, 1897. Superintendent Harper is proud of his wife Annabelle. She’s one of seven women selected to stand for election as a Poor Law Guardian. But even as the campaign begins, Annabelle and the other female candidates start to receive anonymous letters from someone who believes a woman’s place lies firmly in the home.

The threats escalate into outright violence when an explosion rips through the church hall where Annabelle is due to hold a meeting – with fatal consequences. The only piece of evidence Harper has is a scrap of paper left at the scene containing a fragment from an old folk song. But what is its significance?

As polling day approaches and the attacks increase in menace and intensity, Harper knows he’s in a race against time to uncover the culprit before more deaths follow. With the lives of his wife and daughter at risk, the political becomes cruelly personal …

My Review

With thanks to the author for the copy received.
Even though this book features characters from a series, I read it as a standalone novel easily. There are two investigations that are taking place, the one which I preferred is set in Leeds. A series of violent attacks against women who are standing for election to become a Poor Law Guardian is too close to home for Tom Harper. One of the women is his wife Annabelle. With the centenary of the women’s right to vote and the dedication at the beginning I felt that this storyline covered a very important time in our history. The author shows how attitudes were very different at the time and how hard the women fought.
The other investigation concerned a smuggling ring in Whitby. Whilst this was also good, and it served as an introduction to what I may have missed in the other novels it didn’t interest me as much as the other.
I liked Annabelle’s determination and resolve not to give in to threat. She definitely hated having to abide by her husband’s wishes in having an officer with her at all times. I also liked Tom, with him, I did wonder about the storylines I had missed but with no spoilers in the novel I can easily catch up with the other books.
I enjoyed reading about Leeds, an industrial city that was growing but everywhere affected by the pollutants from the factories. It did feel slightly strange reading about the area in which my family came from.
The narrative flowed easily and it was a nicely paced read. There were no sudden shocks or cliff hangers, it almost felt like cosy crime. I will read more by this author.

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