As the Sun Breaks Through by Ellie Dean #BookReview #BlogTour

Cliffehaven, June 1944

As the planes continue to circle over Cliffehaven, Peggy Reilly’s sister Doris must seek refuge after a V-1 blast destroys her home. Rita, Sarah and the other residents at Beach View Boarding House quickly find their peace disturbed and it’s not long before even Peggy loses her patience. But with more bad news to come, will Doris finally be forced to swallow her pride?
Meanwhile Peggy’s father-in-law Ron Reilly is delighted when his sweetheart Rosie returns home. Until a heart-breaking confession suggests things may never be the same between them.
With loved ones scattered far and wide across the globe, and tensions running high, the end of the war feels somehow further than ever. And yet with the long-awaited Allied invasion in sight, a glimmer of light is starting to break through...

I'm delighted to be hosting the first stop on the blog tour for As the Sun Breaks Through by Ellie Dean today. Many thanks to the author and Becky McCarthy from Penguin Random Ho…

#BlogTour #BookReview - Fatal Masquerade (A Lady Alkmene mystery) by Vivian Conroy



Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois are back in a gripping new adventure facing dangerous opponents at a masked ball in the countryside.

Masked danger…
Lady Alkmene Callender has always loved grand parties, but when she receives an invitation to a masked ball thrown by Franklin Hargrove – oil magnate, aviation enthusiast and father of her best friend, Denise – she’s never seen such luxury. The estate is lit up with Chinese lanterns in the gardens, boats operated by footmen float across the pond and the guest list features the distinguished, rich and powerful!

But below the glamour, evil is lurking. When a dead body is discovered, it forces Lady Alkmene to throw off her mask and attempt to find the true killer before Denise’s family are accused. If only her partner, Jake Dubois, weren’t hiding something from her…

This case might just be more dangerous than either of them could have imagined.

It's my pleasure to host the blog tour for Fatal Masquerade today, many thanks to Vivian Conroy for inviting me on to the tour and to the publishers for my advance copy, received through Netgalley in return for my honest review.
Fatal Masquerade is the fourth Lady Alkmene book but the first I have read and can be enjoyed as a standalone. Most of the crime books I read tend to be quite dark but now and again I like to mix it up with a cosy mystery and Fatal Masquerade certainly fits the bill. I love the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries TV series and this is very much in the same vein. The setting for the book will also invite comparisons with Downton Abbey. It's the sort of book where you just have to allow yourself to be swept away by the glamour of the Roaring Twenties.
 Lady Alkmene has been invited to a lavish ball by her best friend, Denise Hargrove. As soon as she arrives it's apparent that this is a house of secrets. Denise and her young stepmother argue bitterly, the staff seem to be behaving oddly, and as the guests start to arrive it seems more than one of them is concealing something. A dinner party discussion about a recent murder case causes upset and is ended abruptly by Mrs Hargrove.  Lady Alkmene is also confused by the appearance of her sometime crime-fighting partner, Jake Dubois. This isn't the sort of social circle he usually mixes in and she recognises immediately that his reason for being there is a cover story. She's infuriated when he refuses to tell her the truth behind his appearance but before long she has something much more important to occupy her, when she finds a body on the night of the party. Although the police suggest that the victim may have been the victim of a bodged break in, Lady Alkmene suspects it's far more likely the perpetrator is a guest at the party.
What follows is a deliciously fun closed circle mystery with all the expected ingredients in place -  the wrong-footed police investigation meaning Lady Alkmene is forced to conduct her own enquiries, the innocent person wrongly accused, a list of suspects who all seem to have their dreadful secrets, blackmail, red herrings and an exciting denouement as the killer is finally unmasked.
To be honest, I'd worked out who the murderer was before the reveal but it didn't matter, I still enjoyed the cast of quirky characters, the relationship between Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois and the escapism of this glitzy setting.  Although the murder is solved, the book finishes on a bit of a cliffhanger and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next!

Fatal Masquerade is published an an ebook by HQ Digital and is available to buy now. Don't miss the rest of the blog tour. Details are below.


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