Books First Monday Review

First Monday Crime Spotlight~ Vaseem Khan & Elodie Harper

Hi all,

So First Monday Crime is almost upon us again. Sadly, I have yet to make the pilgrimage to the UK for these events, but I have the pleasure of getting to shine a spotlight on a couple of the talented authors participating in next weeks First Monday!

If you want to go along on November 6th, just click the link below to be taken to the First Monday website where you can reserve your tickets to see Stuart McBride, Vaseem Khan, Elodie Harper, Simon Booker and moderator Barry Forshaw!

First Monday Crime Nov 6th 2017- Reserve your tickets HERE!

Make sure to check them out over on Twitter @1stMondayCrime to get up to the minute news on First Monday!

I had the pleasure of reading Vaseem Khan and Elodie Harper’s books for this post, and I’ve got a couple of mini-reviews for them too so you can get a flavour of what to expect!


Vaseem first saw an elephant lumbering down the middle of the road in 1997 when he arrived in India to work as a management consultant. It was the most unusual sight he had ever encountered and served as the inspiration for the Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series. The first book in the series, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra, was a Times bestseller, a Waterstones’ paperback of the year, and an Amazon Best Debut. The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown, the second in the series, was published in May 2016, and the third, The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star came out in May 2017. Vaseem returned to the UK in 2006 and has since worked at University College London for the Department of Security and Crime Science. Elephants are third on his list of passions, first and second being great literature and cricket, not always in that order.

For more information about the world of the series please visit where you can also keep abreast of Vaseem’s latest goings-on, competitions, events, and extracts from upcoming books via The Reading Elephant Book Club.

Check out his website at:

Although this is the second book in the Baby Ganesh Detecive Agency series, it can easily be read as a standalone book! In The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown, Chopra is tasked with finding out who stole the Koh-i-Noor diamond from the Crown Jewels, which were on display in Mumbai. Chopra himself was present at the time of the theft as he and his wife were attending the exhibition. Needless to say he is a little put out that it happened right under his nose!

I really enjoyed this book. Its got a very cosy crime feel to it, as its not gruesome or gory, but there is still plenty going on in the book to keep the reader interested. I loved the location descriptions as it painted a very vivid picture and it made it a much richer read. The characters are well-developed, and with the added bonus of a super cute baby elephant, it made it quite an unusual book!

I am definitely going to be reading the other books in the series (The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra and The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star) as it is such a welcome change of pace from my usual choices. Rich in descriptions, interesting characters and a brilliant heist-like plot made it a very engaging read! Recommended for sure! 

Click the link below to pick up your copy:

The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in The Crown by Vaseem Khan



Elodie Harper is a journalist and prize winning short story writer. Her story ‘Wild Swimming’ won the 2016 Bazaar of Bad Dreams short story competition, run by The Guardian and Hodder & Stoughton and judged by Stephen King. She is currently a reporter and presenter at ITV News Anglia, and before that worked as a producer for Channel 4 News.

Dr Janet Palmer is the new lead psychologist at HMP Halvergate in a remote, bleak area of Norfolk. At first, she was excited by the promotion. Then she starts to see how many secrets are hiding behind the high walls.

A string of inmates have committed suicide, leaving no reasons why, and her predecessor has disappeared – along with his notes. The staff are hostile, the threat of violence is ever-present, and there are rumours of an eyeless woman stalking the corridors, punishing the inmates for their sins.

Janet is determined to find out what is really going on. But the longer she stays and the deeper she digs, the more uncertain she feels.

Halvergate is haunted by something. But it may be a terror worse than ghosts.

The Binding Song is a creepy, gothic book that creates a sense of foreboding from the very beginning and doesn’t let up until the final pages. Dr Janet Palmer is the new psychologist at Halvergate Prison and it is clear from her first day that there is something sinister going on in the prison, and she wants to know why.

I don’t want to say much more about the story because the author has done a great job of creating a level of tension and suspense that she keeps up until the final pages. The characters are well-written, divisive and in some parts, downright chilling.  The plot is tightly woven and interspersed with pieces from  Janet’s past, all of this lends itself very well to the gothic vibe running through the book. I found myself feeling apprehensive to turn the pages more than once because I was afraid of what I would read. I was creeped out more than once reading The Binding Song.

An elegant, gothic and sinister debut, The Binding Song is a great example of a psychological thriller and definitely one to add to your reading lists! 

Click the link below to grab your copy:

The Binding Song by Elodie Harper


So, there you have it! Two great books to check out! Remember, if you want to head to First Monday Crime on November 6th, click the link below to reserve your tickets now!

First Monday Crime Nov 6th 2017- Reserve Your Tickets HERE!


Books First Monday

*First Monday Crime* Spotlight on Alex Marwood

Hi everyone,

Next Monday (December 5th), Goldsboro Books First Monday Crime *Christmas Cracker* is taking place in Browns – The Judges Court from 6.30 to 8.30 in the evening. The line up includes Mark “Dasher” Billingham, Yrsa “Dancer” Sigurdardottir, Alex “Prancer” Marwood, Paula “Vixen” Daly, Daniel “Donner” Pembrey and Corrie “Blitzen” Jackson are going to be in harness and event chair, Barry “Bad Santa” Forshaw at the helm of this sleighful of authors!

Tickets to see Bad Santa and his criminally good reindeer are available, as always, from Goldsboro Books for £7. At the time of writing this, the tickets are sold out but you can click HERE to find all the relevant information!

I’m shining the spotlight in “Prancer” aka Alex Marwood today and re-sharing my review for The Darkest Secret which I reviewed way back in January!

About the book:
When three-year-old identical twin Coco goes missing during a family celebration, there is a media frenzy. Her parents are rich and influential, as are the friends they were with at their holiday home by the sea.
But what really happened to Coco during her father’s 50th birthday weekend?

Set across two weekends – the first when Coco goes missing and the second, at the funeral of Coco’s father, where at last, the darkest of secrets will be revealed…

Click HERE


About the author:

Alex Marwood is the pseudonym of a journalist who has worked extensively across the British press. She is the author of the word-of-mouth sensation The Wicked Girls, which won a prestigious Edgar Award and The Killer Next Door, which won the coveted Macavity Award. She has also been shortlisted for numerous other crime writing awards and her first two novels have been optioned for the screen. Alex lives in south London.


My thoughts:

I don’t know where to start with this review. First off, I read this book in about four sittings over two days, which in itself is a good sign. I just feel a little unsure about it though.

It took me a while to get into the authors style of writing, as well as the chronology as it switched between characters and years which was confusing to me for the first quarter of the book.

The characters in The Darkest Secret are some of the most hate-inducing people I’ve read about in a while. Egotistical, narcissistic and scathing are just some of the words I would use to describe them. The only characters I actually felt any emotion for were Camilla and Ruby, two of Sean’s daughters. Sean being Coco’s dad and Ruby being her twin sister. Mila is one of his daughters from a previous marriage.

By telling the story of Coco’s disappearance, and Sean’s death years later, in alternating chapters, the reader gets to see the characters better and gauge how they have changed over the years.

This review is a bit disjointed as I don’t want to go into any detail about the plot. It’s hard to get some of my points across without revealing things the author skilfully reveals in the course of the novel.

The way Marwood has written this book, it unfurls slowly, like an animal stalking prey. It is definitely a great book, there’s no denying that fact. It left me feeling uncomfortable, angry, shocked and saddened in equal measure. Not many books evoke these sorts of feelings in me, I think that’s why I find this review hard to write. There’s a lot I want to say, but I can’t without spoiling some of the twists and turns.

Sufficed to say, Alex Marwood has the perfectly crafted novel, despicable characters written alongside innocent children, and the events that bring their worlds crumbling down around them.


Books First Monday

First Monday Crime: Spotlight on… Adam Hamdy

Hey everyone,

Next Monday (November 7th), Goldsboro Books First Monday Crime is taking place in Library Club from 6.30 to 7.30 in the evening. The line up includes Belinda Bauer, Cathi Unsworth, Jenny Blackhurst, Adam Hamdy and event chair, Barry Forshaw.

The event is a steal at £5! Honestly, if I lived nearer I would be at all of these! You can get your tickets at November First Monday Crime. Sponsored by Headline, it promises to be a brilliant event!

Anyway, seeing as how I’ve read and LOVED Pendulum by Adam Hamdy, I figured with publication day this week too, what better time to shine the spotlight on Adam! 🙂

About the author:

Adam Hamdy is the author of the forthcoming Pendulum trilogy, which will be published by Headline in November 2016. New York Times bestselling author, James Patterson, said: “I read Pendulum in one gloriously suspenseful weekend. Definitely one of the best thrillers of the year.”

As a screenwriter, Adam has worked with studios and production companies on both sides of the Atlantic, and is currently developing original TV dramas with networks in the UK and US.

In addition to his film and television work, Adam is building a reputation as an author. After garnering critical acclaim, Adam’s self-published second novel, Out of Reach, was republished by Endeavour Press in 2015.

Prior to embarking on his writing career, Adam was a strategy consultant and advised global businesses in the medical systems, robotics, technology and financial services sectors.

Adam has a degree in Law from Oxford University and a degree in Philosophy from the University of London. Adam is a seasoned skier, rock climber, CPSA marksman, and is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organisation, the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers Association, and the Writers Guild of Great Britain.


About the book:

You wake. Confused. Disorientated.
A noose is round your neck.
You are bound, standing on a chair.
All you can focus on is the man in the mask tightening the rope.
You are about to die.
John Wallace has no idea why he has been targeted. No idea who his attacker is. No idea how he will prevent the inevitable.
Then the pendulum of fate swings in his favour.
He has one chance to escape, find the truth and halt his destruction.
The momentum is in his favour for now.
But with a killer on his tail, everything can change with one swing of this deadly pendulum…


My thoughts:

I had seen Pendulum pop up on social media weeks ago, and that cover really caught my eye so when there was a proof up for grabs I immediately asked if I could read and review and I am SO glad I did!!!

Pendulum is a high-octane game of cat and mouse, stretching from the UK to the USA and back again. This transatlantic book is one of the most interesting crime novels I have had the pleasure of reading lately.

When we meet John Wallace, he is literally at the end of his rope. Put there by a masked and armoured man, he has no idea why he has been chosen and what is going to befall him. What follows is a pulse pounding rollercoaster filled with some very intriguing characters along the way.

I’m not going to dissect the book, but I will say this, Adam Hamdy has created a superb beginning to a series. It is full of mystery, action and it asks the reader so may questions along the way that it will make your head spin.

I loved Pendulum. I loved the characters, the way the story plays out, the interwoven threads that the author begins to unravel without the reader even noticing. So subtle, yet so brilliant and unexpected.

I may sound like a weirdo, but I loved the antagonist! The way Adam Hamdy has written the killer makes it possible to visualise them completely, and I have to say, if this was a movie it would be AMAZING to see the killer on-screen!

Pendulum is a promising beginning to this series, and I cannot wait to see what happens in the next one!!!! Highly, HIGHLY recommended!!!

Pre-order your copy here. Happy reading!🙂

So there you have it, all the info you could possible need! Just in case though, here’s the ticket link to get yours: First Monday Crime-November 7th


Books First Monday Q&A Review Saturday Series Spotlight Weekly Wrap Up

Weekly Wrap Up September 4th


So its September!!!! I don’t know about you, but I have NO IDEA where summer has gone. Our eldest started back to school this week so it’s been a busy time on the home front but I’m glad to be back in a routine if I’m honest!

I was away this week for a book launch so I am a bit behind with reviews BUT I did manage to post 7 times this week thanks to my being overly organised for once!!!

Anyway, less about me and more about the books! 🙂

Monday saw my blog tour for Graham Smith, with my review for Matching the Evidence going live. I had so much hassle with this post, it went up on 2 or 3 different occasions well before it should have! *shakes fist at WordPress* I got there eventually:

Matching The Evidence by Graham Smith Blog Tour


Next up was the blog tour for A Death in the Family by Michael Stanley. I had posted my review for this before but I got to reshare as part of the tour:

A Death in the Family by Michael Stanley Blog Tour


My FAVOURITE post also went up on September 1st, my monthly book haul. High seventies again for August. I swear these books just fall onto my kindle/into my trolley/through the letterbox. Think Harry’s persistent Hogwarts letters…. *ahem*

My name is Kate and I have  book-buying obsession and I’m not even sorry!!!!

August Book Haul


Next up, I was joined by Jane Corry in anticipation of First Monday Crime (taking place tomorrow) where she answered some questions:

First Monday Crime- Spotlight on Jane Corry


On Saturday, I had the Triple S post, and I had the lovely Mary-Jane Riley join me to talk about her Alex Devlin books:

Saturday Series Spotlight: Mary-Jane Riley

Also, my most favourite Icelander has a blog tour, so naturally I’m on it raving about his new book, Blackout. Catch my review of Ragnar Jónasson’s latest here:

Blackout by Ragnar Jónasson Blog Tour


Last, but by no means least, I was joined by Jackie Baldwin today as part of the blog tour for Dead Man’s Prayer:

Q&A With Jackie Baldwin


That’s been my week here at Bibliophile Book Club. Next week is quieter I think. I have Tom Bale’s All Fall Down blog tour, and you’ll remember I said I’m behind on reviews? I should have reviews for:

  • The Constant Soldier by William Ryan
  • The Truth About Julia by Anna Schaffner
  • Find Me by J. S. Monroe

And maybe a couple of more if I can read fast enough! 😉

How has your week been?! Let me know in the comments!


authors Books First Monday Q&A

First Monday Crime- Spotlight on Jane Corry

Hi everyone,

In anticipation of the forthcoming First Monday Crime night on September 5th, I’m thrilled to have a Q&A with one of it’s panel members today. Jane Corry is the author of My Husband’s Wife, an excellent debut that was released earlier this year. I read and really enjoyed it and you can read my review by clicking the link below:

My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

Click the link below to learn more about Goldsboro Books First Monday Crime and purchase a ticket:

First Monday Crime September 5th 2016

About Jane Corry:

Jane Corry is a writer and journalist who has written regularly for numerous newspapers and magazines including The Daily Telegraph Weekend section, the Mail on Sunday and Woman. She has spent time working as the writer-in-residence of a high security prison for men – an experience that helped inspire My Husband’s Wife, her début thriller. ‘I love twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the very end! My husband says I’m a nightmare to watch dramas with as I love to work out who did it before the final revelation!’

You can find Jane on Twitter at @JaneCorryAuthor and on Facebook at JaneCorryAuthor.

Jane runs regular writing workshops and speaks at literary festivals all over the world, including The Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera, Italy. Until her recent move to Devon, she was a tutor in creative writing at Oxford University. She is also an associate member of the Royal Literary Fund.

Many of Jane’s ideas come during her morning dog-jog along the beach followed by a dip in her wetsuit. (She’s an all-year-round swimmer provided the sea isn’t dangerous.) Jane also loves tennis, walking, reading, yoga, the ‘Quiet’ train carriage (a great ‘office’ for writing) and her family. She’s still coming to terms with being an empty-nester but makes up for it with lots of long-distance nagging! Jane’s second husband was a bachelor family friend who is also Godfather to her children. He makes her laugh every day although they can’t agree on how to load the dishwasher!

About the book:

It’s the perfect love story.

Lily meets Ed at a party, and on their second date, he proposes. She’s a lawyer, he’s an up-and-coming artist. They own a small but beautiful flat in London and mix with all the right people.

But Lily has a secret. Something from her past, that is soon to collide with her present. And she thinks her new husband is hiding something too…

The vows they made will soon be tested to the very limits.

‘Till death us do part…’

You can purchase a copy of My Husband’s Wife by clicking here.
Q&A with Jane…


1.Can you tell me a little about your journey to publication?
I started to write stories from a very early age. During my teens I wrote poetry and won a big competition when I was 17. I read English at university and then got a place as a graduate trainee on a major newspaper scheme. I worked for various women’s magazines and then turned freelance when my children were born. During that time I wrote a regular column for Woman magazine and the Daily Telegraph. Then I started to write novels. But it took a time to find my voice.

2.What made you choose to write a psychological thriller?
I’ve always loved twists and turns in plots After my first marriage ended, I took a job as a writer in residence at a high security male prison. It was a completely new world for me. Then I got married again. Both marriage and my experience in prison helped me come up with the idea for My Husband’s Wife.

3. How would you describe My Husband’s Wife to readers who have yet to pick it up?
It’s about marriage, murder  and prison. When I tell people that, they often say ‘What’s  the difference!’

4. What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

My favourite thing about being a writer is that you get to go into your own world every day. No one else can enter. It’s yours. After a morning swim in the sea followed by breakfast with my second husband, I go up to the top floor where I have a study and a sea view. My dog sits on the sofa and I write. Bliss. Then I go for a midday walk along the beach and come back to revise my chapter and check emails.

5. What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?
My least favourite thing about being a writer, is that some people don’t realise it’s actually full-time work. I’m often at my desk until midnight. My husband is brilliant at understanding.

6. What’s next for you?

I am currently writing my second book for Penguin.  It’s called Blood Sisters and is about three girls who set off to school one day. Only one makes it.

7. Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?
Our Island Story by HE Marshall
Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence
Gone with The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

8. Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?

I wish I’d written ‘After You’d Gone’ by Maggie O’Farrell. It’s been a while since I read it but it haunts me still. Also The Life  and Loves of a She-Devil by Fay Weldon, an inspiration and a friend

9. When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I’m not writing, I like to swim in the sea, walk the dog with my husband, play tennis and be with my new granddaughter. I’m a youngish grannie which is great. I’m sure she’s going to be a writer as she’s been looking at books since she was a week old.

10. Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?
See above. However I always get ideas while doing any of these.

11. What’s your favourite holiday destination?

I don’t have one favourite holiday destination. I’m lucky enough to have travelled to some amazing places when I wrote for The Daily Telegraph. We now live by the sea in Devon and I have to say that’s my favourite holiday destination.

13. Favourite food?

I haven’t eaten meat since 1997. However I do eat fish. My favourite food is my own fish pie. It’s one of my six dishes! And it never comes out the same way.  This isn’t always a good thing.

14. Favourite drink?

I used to love a gin and tonic. But I had to have an operation a few years ago and  the anaesthetic changed my tastebuds . As a result I can’t drink tea, coffee or anything alcoholic. I drink a lot of water. Sounds boring but it’s lovely.

Huge thanks to Jane Corry for joining me on the blog today! 🙂