Murder In Little Shendon – A. H. Richardson

I received a free signed first edition copy of this book from the author and publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of this edition.

A murder takes place in the small little village of Shendon. There is something that you should know about his murder that will make solving this crime just that little bit harder for the police trying to solve this murder; nobody liked the victim. This leave practically everyone in “Little Shendon” has a suspect, including the two tourists who are only visiting the town.

It was this concept that I loved when I was approached about reading and reviewing this book. I love murder mysteries. The joy of trying to solve and uncover the killer before they’re revealed. The adrenaline. I love it, and the fact that this book had so many possible killers with so many possible motives, giving more back stories as we were going along, just added to it all. The way that the plot was brought together, all lined up perfectly and I didn’t see it coming. I love it when a book takes me completely by surprise and I haven’t been able to guess the ending, the killer and so on. Then, when looking back on hindsight, you kick yourself not seeing how you didn’t see it coming.

My copy was only 248 pages long and for a book that wasn’t that long, there were a little too many characters introduced into this book. They weren’t all able to stay with me and I wasn’t able to remember each of them specifically, which was disappointing because I felt like I wasn’t giving them each their due respect. I know that this is meant to represent a small village, but some of the characters, including the main ones, just got lost for me possibly because of the vast amount of other characters. But, if you were to take out and reduce some of the characters, or spend some extra time building up and introducing the main characters, possibly making this book about 50 pages longer minimum, there would have been time for there to have been some great character development.

There were some editing mistakes in the copy that I received, that were present in the entirety of the book. Simple things like missing speak bubbles, simple spelling mistakes and other things, that over time did start to annoy me. There is one in particular spelling mistake that does stick out for me as it was then emphasised further by being put into italics. But when an author is so close with their work, things like these are often missed and it is understandable.

Each chapter has their own title name, which gives you a little hint at to what each chapter is going to be about. This could be a little temptation if you were going to end on that chapter, or, if you want to have a little flip through and see what Chapter the killer is going to be revealed in. Not that you would read that Chapter before it’s time, of course, but it’s still nice knowing how long you have left until all is revealed. I will admit though that this story did drag a little bit for me and I was tempted to skip to that chapter entitled “And the killer is…” Maybe it was because I was nowhere near guessing who the killer was and wanted to know who it the murder was.

So, I did enjoy the story, but it could have done with being longer to have developed more of the characters. I defiantly like the idea and the concept behind it and would have loved a whole Murder on the Orient Express ending, that’s here my head was going when I was reading the book. I loved that idea. How it was all brought together in the end was so good and clever and I’m gutted I that I missed it. I wish I could’ve rated it higher, but I’m defiantly giving it a strong 3 stars out of 5!

3 Stars

Teaser Tuesday 23/1/2018

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme that is currently being hosted by @Books and a Beat. All are welcome to participate😀

Rules:
●Grab your current read.

●Open to a random page.
●Share two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page.
●BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (You don’t want to give too much away so as to not ruin the book for others!)
●Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers

Murder In Little Shendon – A.H. Richardson

Page 3: “Blood flew everywhere, seeping into the dark wood of the desk and into some papers and puddling onto the floor.

Mr Bartholomew Finches, open-mouthed and eyes glazed, his hands futilely clutching at the air, slumped over the side of his chair and onto the floor… very very dead.”

Book Description:

Nobody in Little Shendon particularly liked Mr. Finches. Thereforw, when he is murdered in a rather gruesome manner, the suspect list grows quite long – and includes everyone from his housekeeper to Lady Armstrong and her household staff, the shy librarian, a feisty major, the charming post mistress, owners of the town pub, even the vicar and the pair of American tourists. To aid the investigation, Inspector Stanley Burgess calls on his old friend, Sir Victor Hazlitt, and a new friend, the noted Shakespearean actor Beresford Brandon. The three sift methodically through the alibis and life stories of the suspects until they uncover…

What are you currently reading?

The Art Of Going Home – Nicole Sorrell

The Art Of Going Home.jpgI received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review of the book and as part of a Goodreads Bookclub.

When Maddie Chandler was ten years old, her twin sister, Angeline, was murdered. Her mother then goes insane, being placed into an institution and with her father being who he is, Maddie is placed into the care of Aunt Ceci, who then raises and treats Maddie as though she is her own daughter. Maddie goes through high school being blamed for her sisters death, also for being constantly told that and therefore believing that wrong sister died. So, Maddie leaves this town as soon as she’s able and leaves for college. It takes her ten years before she comes back to her home town, but sadly, she only come back to attend the funeral of her beloved Aunt Ceci. But as soon as she is back, she is forced to face her troubled past that she has hidden even from herself. There is some happiness, in the form of her old high school crush Zac, her friends and her home made family. Will she find the truth behind the murder of her sister? Is she going insane or is she really seeing her sisters ghost?

I was genuinely shocked that I enjoyed this book as much as I did, simply because I thought that I thought I wasn’t going to, I put off reading it until the last minute it had to be read for the bookclub on Goodreads. There are so many topics in this book, which was surprising as it isn’t that big of a book, such as; Mystery, Romance, Crime, Death, Paranormal, that I wasn’t sure which was the main theme of the book. There is another topic/theme, but I didn’t want to include it above, as it will give away one of the main surprises to the plot of this book, but it may be a trigger warning for some.

Some of the characters did have some strong developments, and I did like the relationship between Maddie and Zac. I even liked the relationship, or lack there of, between Maddie and her father. Even the writing was good and easy to follow and once I started reading it, it took me less than 2 days to finish it. There were so many questions left unanswered when I finished this book, which left me wanting answers and unsatisfied. On saying that, there is going to be another book coming out, so maybe that’s why there were things left unanswered, as they will be included in it’s sequel, but this book didn’t leave me wanting more and I wouldn’t rush out to buy it. So for that reason, I had to give it 2.5/3 stars out of 5.

Now if you like mysteries you may like this one. It keeps you guessing right up until the last page, with constant twists and turns. If you’ve read this book, let me know what you thought of this book. Do you agree or disagree with my rating?

2.5 Stars

To Be Read: April 2017

I failed my TBR last month so I may be a little bit more cautious when selecting how many and what books I will choose to read for the month of April. I was sad to not read any Harry Potter books last month, especially considering I am in the middle of rereading the Harry Potter series. So my goal this month is to definitely include and to hopefully read at least two Harry Potter books. So let’s see what books I’m hoping to read during April…

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, #3 – J.K. Rowling

Of course I’m including the book I sadly failed to read last month, the first being the third book in the Harry Potter series. I can’t wait to reread them all in the correct order this time.

Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transportation for the stranded witch or wizard. Just stick out your wand hand, step on board and we can take you anywhere you want to go.”

When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it’s the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run – and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry’s tea leaves… But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss…”

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, #4 – J.K. Rowling

This is the other book that I sadly failed to read last month, even though it was on my TBR list. But, if I’m being honest, I didn’t think I would actually read and finish this book during March, but hopefully April will be different.

“There will be three tasks, spaced throughout the school year, and they will test the champions in many different ways… their magical prowess – their daring – their powers of deduction – and, of course, their ability to cope with danger.”

The Triwizard Tournament is to be held at Hogwarts. Only wizards who are over seventeen are allowed to enter – but that doesn’t stop Harry dreaming that he will win the competition. Then at Hallowe’en, when the Goblet of Fire makes its selection, Harry is amazed to find his name is one of those that the magical cup picks out. He will face death-defying tasks, dragons and Dark wizards, but with the help of his best friends, Ron and Hermione, he might just make it through – alive!”

The Judas Game.jpgThe Judas Game, #4 – Ethan Cross

The Shepherd series is one of my favourite murder, thriller series and I just love it! This is the fourth book in the series, plus there’s even a prequel novella. The best part about this series, for me anyway, is the villain. Is that wrong? This series has the most amazing villain I have ever read. I have been waiting so long for this sequel to come out and now I can’t wait to read it.

“When a correctional officer climbs to the top of his watchtower and opens fire on the inmates and guards, federal investigator Marcus Williams and serial killer Francis Ackerman Jr. mustjoin forces again to unearth the truth behind the incident. What they find is a serial killer using the prison as his hunting grounds. But the Judas Killer’s ambitions don’t end with a fewmurders. He wants to go down in history and has no reason left to live. With Ackerman undercover among the inmates and Marcus tracking down the mastermind on the outside, the team must learn the identity of the Judas Killer and stop a full-scale uprisingthat he’s orchestrated. But the more they learn about what’s happening at the prison and why the more enemies they must face. From inside the overrun facility, Marcus and Ackermanmust save the hostages and stop an elaborate escape attempt while trying to determine how a rival corporation, the leader of one of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations, andan inmate with no identity only known as Demon fit into the Judas Killer’s plans. Launching a bold new cycle of novels featuring The Shepherd Organization, The Judas Game is searing, mesmerizing fiction it’s Ethan Cross at his very best.”

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.jpgMe & Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews

I’ve had this book for a while, and I keep telling myself that I’m going to read it but other books keep getting in the way. So now I’m putting it down so I will have to read it, especially as it’s meant to be a good read as well. Sad and emotional, but funny as well.

“Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.”

April TBR.jpgI’m going to play it safe and leave it at just those four as the books I plan on reading during the month of April, considering last months lack of reading, and if I read anything extra then that’s a bonus. I think I’m the most excited about this months TBR and can’t wait to get started on them. Bring on the books 😀

What are you planning on reading during April? What is your biggest TBR book you currently own but haven’t read?

Book Review: The Girl On A Train – Paula Hawkins

the-girl-on-the-trainI have recently read this book, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t own this little title for a while now. I bought this book when it become the big phenomenon that The Girl On a Train had become, with the intention of reading it straight away to discover what the big fuss was about, but as usual, I got a little distracted, probably by a different book. But now with the release of the movie onto DVD (well in my country) it really got me excited for this book again, so of course I had to read it. Now how to explain this book without giving away too many spoilers, because I personal hate it when that happens, so I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone else.

This book is told between three women’s perspective; Rachel, Anna and Megan. Rachel rides the train everyday, or every weekday, with every other commuter who is going back and fore to work and back. She loves the train. She knows everything about it. Every stop, every signal. Every house it passes, the people in those houses. At least the lives she makes up for those people in her head. She always sees her favourite couple, Jess and Jason, although that’s not their real names of course. She fantasies about their perfect relationship. That is until one day she sees “Jess” kissing someone who isn’t “Jason” and she get’s angry. But, Rachel has a secrets also. One of those secrets is that Rachel is an alcoholic who sometimes blacks out. And when she blackouts this time, “Jess” a.k.a Megan is missing, and Rachel has woken up at home in bed hurt and covered in blood, with no idea what’s happened.

I will start off by saying that I was really disappointed and massively let down with this book. I don’t even think it has anything to do with the anticipation and build up of waiting to read it and then finally doing so after so much time, that it just let it all down. I just personally think that it wasn’t as good as what it could have been. There was definitely story there with the potential for it be great, but the way it was written and executed, I think was poorly managed. The way that it was setup and organized, Morning  and Evening, was a good idea when it came to Rachels’ character because of the train and how she spent majority of her days on the train, but I don’t think this needed to be carried on indefinitely. Those two are not the only times of the day.

I couldn’t really connect to any of the characters, and when you think that you are starting to, they say or do something that just pushed you further away from them. I don’t know if this was done intentionally or not, but this even included Rachel and Megan. Then you have Anna, who I think I disliked the most out of them all. Even when it came to the other character’s, such as Tom and Scott. I will admit that I did guess the ending. It wasn’t to difficult to work it out as it was all PLAINLY laid out in front of you. I actually said to myself very early on that it couldn’t be that simple or easy, but yepp.

I think why I’m so frustrated when it comes to this book, is because the story is there for it to have been so great. The whole idea of it and the story is, without a doubt my favourite part, but you have to forgive, or rather I have to forgive some major parts to accept that, such as the writing. For a book to have had such a massive hype that this book has had, I honestly did expect it to be better than what I read.

I wouldn’t recommend this book, purely on the fact of how disappointed I was when I finished it, plus the fact that I would NOT re-read this book again. But if you are going to read this book, please go into it not expecting great things, at least that way, it may turn out a little better than expected.

2-stars