Book Review

Miniskirts Are Murder – Des Burkinshaw

Today I join the blog tour for Miniskirts Are Murder, the second in the Porter and The Gliss series by Des Burkinshaw. You can read my review of book one, Dead & Talking, here. Many thanks to Des for providing me with a copy of the book, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of the tour.

BLURB:

Porter Norton, his friends and his sarcastic spirit guide, The Gliss, are on the trail of a young actress who went missing in Soho, London, in the Swinging Sixties. Still recovering from their last adventure in the battlefields of WW1, the gang are confronted by a transatlantic conspiracy.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Miniskirts Front Cover

REVIEW:

Since reading Dead and Talking back in 2019, I have been eagerly awaiting the return of Porter Norton, his spirit guide, The Gliss, and their quirky Scooby gang of Namita, Feng and Karin. I love the different dynamics in play among the group as they continue to get to know each other.

Although Miniskirts Are Murder is the second book in a series, it recaps the events of Dead and Talking sufficiently that it would read well as a standalone, although I think you would be missing out if you didn’t read Dead and Talking as well.

In the historic cases that Porter, somewhat unwillingly, finds himself investigating, Des Burkinshaw isn’t scared to tackle difficult subjects. I don’t want to say too much about the discoveries made in Miniskirts Are Murder because it is hard to do so without giving away the story, but it certainly doesn’t shy away from the seedier side of 1960s Soho. At times, the writing is a little heavy on telling rather than showing, but I think Burkinshaw gets away with it as it means we learn the history as our heroes do, and this is also countered with flashbacks to the scarily naive Ursa, Rose and Bella. Seeing Soho through their eyes really brought it to life for me.

Despite the truly horrific deeds that are uncovered over the course of the book, this still somehow manages to be a fun read, purely because of the wonderful characters that Burkinshaw has created rather than because he has made light of the situation which he most definitely has not. The dry humour that I so enjoyed in the interactions between Porter and his friends, particularly The Gliss, provides a much needed light relief to what would otherwise be very difficult subject matter to digest.

With so many periods of history to explore, and with Porter needing to atone for so much damage caused by his ancestors, this is a series that could run and run, and I really hope it does (I also think it would make a fantastic television series, just in case any TV folk happen to see this!).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

DES DARKDes, 52, is a former Times journalist/BBC TV producer. Miniskirts are Murder is the second in the Porter and The Gliss Investigations series, following Dead & Talking in 2019. Des likes to live out as much of the stories as possible and spent 3 months in the US researching this novel. He runs a film school in London and has just been commissioned to write a limited season TV series intended for Netflix. He is also a keen musician and through work has jammed with people like Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson and Jeff Lynne. He is married with 1 daughter.

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Book Review

Silent Cry – Jenny O’Brien

Back in July last year, I reviewed a great crime thriller by the name of Missing in Wales by Jenny O’Brien. This book has undergone something of a face lift and earlier this year was republished under the new title of Silent Cry. Below is a reminder of the blurb, and you can read my original review here.

BLURB:

Alys is fine. Don’t try to find us.

Five years ago, Izzy Grant’s boyfriend Charlie took their newborn daughter Alys out for a drive.

They never came back.

After years of waiting, Izzy has almost given up hoping that they’re still alive – until a note is pushed through her door telling her they’re fine, not to look for them. Suddenly the case is top priority again, and Izzy is swarmed with faces from the past: the detective who was first on the scene to help; an old friend who vanished not long after Alys and Charlie.

Izzy doesn’t know who she can trust, who is sending her notes, where Charlie and Alys might be. Her only ally is DC Gabriella Darin, recently transferred from Cardiff and fleeing a painful past of her own.

Gaby knows something doesn’t fit with the case, and she knows Izzy won’t rest until she finds out what really happened to her daughter. Could someone she knew and trusted really have taken Alys from her?

Wherever Alys and Charlie are, Gaby is determined to find them, no matter what it takes. Somewhere in Izzy’s past is a clue, if Gaby can only find it…

A gripping and unputdownable thriller for fans of Patricia Gibney, LJ Ross and Angela Marsons.

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Book Review

Hunter’s Blood – Val Penny

Val Penny makes a welcome return today as I join the blog tour for Hunter’s Blood, the latest book in the Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series. Many thanks to Val, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to be a part of the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

DI Hunter Wilson never has just one problem to solve.

Three elderly women he knows have died in mysterious circumstances. Hunter appears to be the only link.

A little girl goes missing on a cold winter’s night. When his team discovers cocaine hidden at the farm where she was living, the search becomes even more urgent.

Why did the women die? And what did the child witness?

Hunter must find the answers to these questions to ensure his family and his city are safe.

Hunters Blood Cover

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

REVIEW:

I always jump at the chance to read the latest story about my favourite Scottish detective, Hunter Wilson, and Hunter’s Blood, the fourth book in the Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series fully lived up to my possible excessive expectations.

As with the previous books in the series, I was pleased to see that Hunter’s team remain united, and I enjoyed getting to know them in a more social setting at the start of this book. It added an extra dimension and depth to each of their characters that you don’t always get to see when they are focused on an investigation.

There is always a sense of inevitably with Jamie and Frankie that whatever they get involved with is going to get them in some sort of trouble, but I love that about them. No matter what comes their way, they seem to happily bumble through life, and as long as the twins are smiling and there is beer in the fridge, they are satisfied. They have found themselves a very firm place in my heart, and I would be disappointed to read a Hunter Wilson book where they didn’t feature.

Hunter’s Blood is less action-packed that previous books in the series, but feels a lot more emotional. So many of the characters had a personal link to the events of this book, and the vested interest they each had in the case altered the dynamics of the team. Moving towards a story showing the vulnerabilities of the characters rather than their investigative skills could have been a risky move, but it really worked. Even elements of the case itself went deeper than previous books in the series, and although it was brutal at times, there were also aspects that were truly heartbreaking.

Another cracking book, and I look forward to the next one!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Hunters Blood -Val Penny 2Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However, she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her crime novels, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ Hunter’s Revenge, Hunter’s Force and Hunter’s Blood are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The fifth book in the series, Hunter’s Secret, follows shortly.

Hunters - Edinburgh Crime Mysteries 4

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Don’t forget to have a look at the other great blogs taking part in this tour.

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