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Reviews Written by
Cathy "Cathy" (UK)

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Death Is Overrated, a mystery novel
Death Is Overrated, a mystery novel
Price: £2.00

4.0 out of 5 stars An ideal holiday read, 15 Dec 2014
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There is a dramatic opening scene where the main character, Professor Thomas Paine, is falsely identified as a corpse and has great difficulty proving his identity to the police. The situation is made more complex as Thomas is a visiting American Professor and the police force are in Wales.
An emerging romance between the Chief Inspector's daughter, Terri, and Thomas is thwarted at every turn by a conspiracy of competing interests including other academics and Thomas' own father.
Moving rapidly between Wales, Ireland and Scotland Thomas is determined to re-establish himself and find out the truth behind the allegations.
This is good escapist fiction ideal for holiday reading or whenever you want to get lost in a long, convoluted plot in which all the threads are skilfully tied up by the end.
I really enjoyed the author's descriptions of the various locations visited in the course of the story. I also liked the juxtaposition of the Welsh voices of some of the characters with the American English of Thomas and the narrator which gives the novel an interesting writing style which is sustained throughout the book.


Maureen's Christmas Carol
Maureen's Christmas Carol
Price: £0.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maureen's been at the sherry again!, 8 Dec 2014
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Fans of Jonathan Hill's "Maureen" will be delighted to have another opportunity to read about her exploits in Maureen's Christmas Carol.
As the title suggests Maureen is preparing to celebrate Christmas. Since losing Roy she has evolved into a thwarted and Scrooge-like character in her attitude to the Festive Season.
This latest novella from Jonathan Hill is a Maureen-specific take on the classic Dickens version of "A Christmas Carol" although the ending is rather less happy-ever-after than the original.
Maureen's lusty, sherry-fuelled encounter with Tiny Tim, the heating engineer, is Maureen at her hilarious, foot-in-mouth best.
The visits of the Three Spirits are three short stories worked into the structure of the novella. They reflect Jonathan Hill's masterly ability with the short story form that was demonstrated so well in Eclectic and Beyond Eclectic.
Maureen's Christmas Carol is very engaging and readable. I got it as a free download so many thanks to Jonathan Hill for a generous pre-Christmas present.


Miss Peach's Dream: Short Stories (Quick coffee break read Book 5)
Miss Peach's Dream: Short Stories (Quick coffee break read Book 5)
Price: £0.77

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy your coffee more with these charming short stories, 6 Dec 2014
Three more charming short stories from Jenny Worstall. I was just going to read one when I had a few minutes to spare but enjoyed the first one so much made a coffee and read the others.


Accursed Women
Accursed Women
Price: £1.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptations written with flair and originality., 2 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Accursed Women (Kindle Edition)
All the stories are well written and packed with information. They are highly readable and entertaining. I'm sure if school Classics lessons had been this interesting I would have paid more attention. A really enjoyable collection and excellent adaptations written with flair and originality.


Faust 2.0 (Morton & Mitchell Book 1)
Faust 2.0 (Morton & Mitchell Book 1)
Price: £1.82

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent fantasy thriller, 19 Nov 2014
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I really enjoyed reading Faust 2.0. It's set in a high-tech world far outside my personal experience but it's been written about so well that it's comprehensible and plausible.
What Michael Brookes does so well is give you a proposition in the opening of the book which is off the scale of fantastical in such a way that you totally believe it.
I read Faust 2.0 more-or-less straight through in one go. The plot moves forward strongly and the reader is rapidly page-turning to find out what's coming next. There are some unexpected developments and at times the suspense level is very high.
Faust 2.0 is a great start to the series and the ending is left wide open for the next book which I'm looking forward to reading when it appears.


Whom Evil Touches
Whom Evil Touches
Price: £7.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Page turning plot with plenty of twists and turns, 14 Nov 2014
This review is from: Whom Evil Touches (Kindle Edition)
Whom Evil Touches is a well-constructed murder mystery novel with a page turning plot and plenty of twists and turns.
The reader is kept in suspense as to who the perpetrator actually is right until the end when all is suddenly revealed and an action packed, exciting final scene brings the story to a satisfying conclusion.
The characters in Whom Evil Touches are very convincing. The web of deceit and betrayal that permeates the plot brings out some of the worst aspects of human behaviour, not just by the murderer. Every character has an interesting back-story which is explored as the novel unfolds. Contrasting with this is a romantic sub-plot which weaves in and out of the main plot enriching and complicating the accused husband's side of the story.
The police procedures are realistic and authentic and the police characters are interesting and engaging. Dialogue is sharp and focussed driving the plot forward and making the novel real and convincing. I thought Whom Evil Touches was an interesting and original take on a novel which is a good example of the genre and I enjoyed reading it very much.


Spirits of Vengeance: The Stone of Spirits
Spirits of Vengeance: The Stone of Spirits
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A truly epic fantasy, 14 Nov 2014
This really is an epic novel, almost five hundred Kindle pages in length, which stretches over land, sea and air in a totally imagined world on a huge scale.
The story centres around two tree elves, Kamina and Kaedin, who join up with the Ishkava Ranger, Callaghan Tor, in a quest to find the ancient Stone of Spirits and use its power to prevent the total destruction planned by the zealous Malenek and his spirit army.
The plot is complex and there are a considerable number of subsidiary characters. All the characters have invented names, as do the various locations in which the story is set, but they are not difficult to remember. This is one of the strengths of the book and comes about because Andrew John Rainnie has written the book in a very visual style. Consequently the reader encounters new characters and destinations with explanations and descriptions that work well to create images that ensure they are fixed in the reader's imagination.
In addition to the heroic elf-girl, Kamina Elloeth, there are other strong female characters in Spirits of Vengeance: The Stone of Spirits. I particularly liked the "princess" Jazintha and her idiosyncratic way of speaking.
The narrative voice has an olde worlde, timeless feel which is often poetic and lyrical and draws the reader subtly into this other world where there are two suns and two moons and a complete acceptance that it should be no other way.
The ending of the book is very well constructed bringing resolution and closure to the story but opening out naturally into a sequel.
Author Andrew John Rainnie offered me a pre-release review copy of Spirits of Vengeance: The Stone of Spirits and my comments are based on the version I received before publication which contained a number of typographical errors. The author assures me that these have been rectified and therefore I have no hesitation in giving the book four stars. Overall I really enjoyed reading Spirits of Vengeance: The Stone of Spirits and would recommend it to any readers who enjoy epic fantasy novels.


The Funny Business of Life: Mozart, Messiah and Murder (Sing with the Choir Book 2)
The Funny Business of Life: Mozart, Messiah and Murder (Sing with the Choir Book 2)
Price: £1.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual, original and well worth reading, 11 Nov 2014
The Funny Business of Life is a lovely, charming, easy-to-read novel that draws the reader into several interconnected plot elements most of which have a romantic aspect.
At the heart of the novel is Miriam's Story and about three quarters of the way through you have a fairly clear idea of where it's going but you can't quite fathom out how the author is going to get there!
As the story evolves Miriam and all the other characters are skilfully and subtly developed to become real and engaging.
The author handles the deeper, more poignant aspects of the novel really well exploring illness, death and tragedy with sensitivity but without sentimentality. I don't want to reveal the plot but I felt really moved by Brunhilda and Harry.
I really enjoyed the references to wonderful music that occur throughout the novel. From the name of the school at the centre of the book - St. Cecilia's - to the names of some of the characters, the descriptions of instrumental lessons and concerts and the idiosyncrasies of the teachers, music in one way or another appears on just about every page. "All musicians love Bach, don't they?" says one of the characters and I imagine that all music teachers will love this book. I thought The Funny Business of Life was really enjoyable. It's unusual and original and well worth reading.


Hocus Pocus '14 - Spooky Tales with a Twist: Short stories from best sellers, award winners and new voices for Hallowe'en
Hocus Pocus '14 - Spooky Tales with a Twist: Short stories from best sellers, award winners and new voices for Hallowe'en
Price: £0.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Non-stop spooky entertainment, 3 Nov 2014
The book is light-hearted and easy to read and it kept this reader interested and engaged for a couple of hours of non-stop spooky entertainment. The book description says "Spooky rather than gory" and that's accurate, thankfully. A couple of the stories are specifically about Hallowe'en; the others are just generally spooky. They’re all well written but some appealed more to my taste than others. A very enjoyable compilation for any time of the year and a great introduction to some authors I haven't read before.


Dance with the Enemy (The Enemy Series Book 1)
Dance with the Enemy (The Enemy Series Book 1)
Price: £1.19

5.0 out of 5 stars A "can't put-down" thriller, 20 Oct 2014
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Dance with the Enemy is certainly a page-turner and it's been written with a strong, fast pace that keeps the plot moving along from one exciting incident to the next. Some of the plot elements are predictable but there are good twists as the story evolves.
The main character, Carl Logan, has been a cold and calculating secret agent until his imprisonment has exposed his softer side. He is trying to get back on track with the agency and needs to demonstrate he still has what it takes. These two contrasting sides of his personality contribute greatly to making the book interesting and credible.
Author Rob Sinclair set himself the task of writing a "can't put-down" thriller and I thought he did just that.


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