Book Review

Red House – Joss Stirling

I am returning to Oxford today as I review Red House, the third book in the fab Jess Bridges series by Joss Stirling. As always, many thanks to Joss and One More Chapter for providing me with a copy of the book, which I received via NetGalley.

BLURB:

The compelling new mystery featuring Bridges and George has them taking on a haunting new case that will leave them doubting their judgement, and even their own eyes and ears …

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REVIEW:

My three day Joss Stirling review bonanza ends today with Red House, the third book in the Jess Bridges series. Now, the blurb for this one doesn’t give much away, so I went into it knowing that I loved the character, but without much clue as to what they were getting themselves into this time. I was particularly interested to see how Jess and Leo’s paths would cross, and luckily I didn’t have to wait to find out.

Red House finds Jess house-sitting in, you’ve guessed it, a mysterious red house. I must confess that Joss Stirling’s descriptions of this house made it sound far too creepy to be somewhere that I would willingly stay, but I am a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, so I would love to explore the garden attached to the house.

I think of the three Jess Bridges mysteries so far, Red House is my favourite, partly because of the completely baffling crimes that are uncovered, but mainly because this time around we find out more about the backgrounds of Jess, Michael and Leo, discovering more about each of their pasts. It felt like we were getting to them all more personally now that the previous books and thoroughly introduced them on a professional level, and I loved this.

I am so in love with this series, and I really hope we won’t have to wait too long for book four!

Book Review

White Horse – Joss Stirling

Let’s give a very warm welcome back to Joss Stirling, as today I am reviewing White Horse, the second book in her Jess Bridges series. Many thanks to Joss, and to One More Chapter, for my copy of the book, which I received via NetGalley. If you didn’t see yesterday’s review of book one in the series, Black River, you can read it HERE.

BLURB:

A thrilling new whodunnit series, fast-paced and funny, featuring a detective as sharp as his suits and a heroine who’s trouble.  

3000 years ago Iron Age people carved a White Horse on the Downs near Uffington Castle and now someone has dumped a body there. Laid out like a ceremonial killing, Detective Inspector Leo George isn’t convinced that the murder is what it appears.

He suspects the young female victim may have been a member of the Children of the White Horse, a secretive valley commune, but none of the cult members are talking. That is until he discovers his friend, Jess Bridges, is undercover in the commune, attempting to persuade a wayward young woman to leave the cult.

Leo is confronted by the fact that Jess is heading right into the heart of a mystery that has less to do with ancient gods than it does modern vices, and there is nothing old about spilling blood…

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REVIEW:

White Horse picks up just shortly after the events of Black River, and see Jess heading to a village next to the Uffington White Horse and Wayland’s Smithy, two places I have always wanted to visit – by the end of this series, I can see that I will have quite the road trip planned.

Although I had expected Leo George to appear in this book, I was pleased to see Michael making a return as well. I love his and Jess’s dynamic, and seeing their interactions in this book really made me smile. Watching Jess and Leo’s friendship develop over the course of the book was really lovely too, and I can’t wait for what I suspect is to come.

White Horse is focused around commune living at the foot of the eponymous white horse, and I found the dynamics within this group fascinating. It was obvious that there was more to them than met the eye, but I will confess that it took me a long time to work out what that was. As a former Religious Studies student, I can quite understand Michael’s desire to study them and other communes and cults of a similar nature.

When a series starts with a book as good as Black River, there is always the concern that the rest of the series won’t live up to expectations, but that certainly isn’t the case with White Horse. Come back tomorrow when I will be talking about Red House, the third book in the series.

Book Review

Black River – Joss Stirling

Earlier this year, I took part in the One More Chapter readalong, for Black River, the first book in the exciting new Jess Bridges Mystery series by Joss Stirling. Today I am sharing my review of this great book with you all. Many thanks to Joss, and to One More Chapter, for my copy of the book, which I received via NetGalley.

BLURB:

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REVIEW:

Black River is a book that makes me very happy indeed! I love a good crime series, and as I read this book, I knew that I had found a brand new one to immerse myself in. In fact, as soon as I had finished reading this book, I leapt straight into the next two (so glad they were released so close together as I am not a patient person when it comes to waiting for books!)

Jess Bridges is quite simply a brilliant character. She is chaotic and headstrong, and throws herself into her work wholeheartedly – although sometimes without fully thinking about the consequences. I love her dry, often self-deprecating humour, and her unconventional relationships with her exes and/or their families.

Jess has various men in her life for one reason or another, and whilst I liked each of these characters, it was Leo George who stole my heart. He is exactly the kind of policeman that you would want investigating if you were the victim of a crime. His garden sounds idyllic, and I loved that Joss Stirling included this to give us a glimpse of the man behind the uniform, so to speak.

Black River is a book that makes me long to visit Oxford again to explore its streets and investigate some of the locations described in the book, although the chances of you catching me wild swimming are very slim!

I absolutely loved this book, and the two that follow it – I will be reviewing both of these in the coming days, so watch this space!