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Murder in an Irish Castle, by Verity Bright

Heading to her Irish estate for the first time since inheriting, Lady Eleanor Swifts discovers a body in the middle of the road. Not quite dead, she and her butler rush the man to a nearby abbey. However he soon dies and Ellie suspects everyone from the mother superior to the doctor to the policeman…
Murder in an Irish Castle is the 12th cosy murder mystery to feature Lady Eleanor Swift and her indefatiguable butler Clifford.
Ellie is convinced that foul play is involved in the death of the man they tried to save. Her suspicions are focused on almost all of the locals and she needs to unpick the motive and opportunity for each person. Every suspect is acting in a peculiar way so Ellie needs to work out whether their behaviour relates to the death or not.
The pace of the progress in the investigation is a little slow but there is plenty of action as Ellie frequently puts herself in danger in order to find the truth. Clifford frequently despairs despite his unflappable demeanour.
I enjoyed this book and the effort that Clifford goes to in order to protect his mistress. There is a fair amount of humour from this angle of the plot. Indeed, his loyalty is stretched almost to breaking point by the escapades needed to investigate the case. However, I did miss the other staff and Ellie’s love interest, Hugh.
Murder in an Irish Castle is an intriguing mystery in this well established series.
Murder in an Irish Castle book cover
Book Description:
Irish whiskey, rolling green hills, a traditional Christmas feast and… a murder? Lady Swift will need the luck of the Irish to survive this holiday season!
Christmas, 1923. Lady Eleanor Swift has received a rather unexpected invitation to the village Christmas party in the tiny, rural hamlet of Derrydee in the west of Ireland. Eleanor is thrilled about exploring her ancestral roots at her late uncle’s estate and spending the festive season in a castle. Packing Gladstone the bulldog’s coziest Christmas jumper, they set off to the Emerald Isle with her butler Clifford in tow.
Arriving late at night, Eleanor and Clifford are shocked when they find a body sprawled in the snow on the winding country lane outside the estate. The local constable is immediately suspicious and all but accuses the pair of murder. This isn’t the warm Irish welcome Eleanor imagined!
Clifford is certain he recognises the poor fellow from the funeral of Eleanor’s uncle – but what was their connection? Undeterred by the villagers’ lack of gossip on the matter, Eleanor is determined to get justice for the victim. The man’s pockets are suspiciously empty of personal effects, but closer inspection reveals an old key hidden in the heel of his boot. Could this unlock more than one mystery for Eleanor?
But when a fire breaks out at the castle on Christmas Eve, an even bigger question looms: is someone out to ensure the family line dies with Lady Swift? And will Eleanor’s first Irish Christmas be her last?
An utterly addictive festive whodunnit set in Ireland, brimming with mystery, intrigue and wit. Sure to delight fans of T E Kinsey, Agatha Christie and Rhys Bowen.

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Author Bio:
Verity Bright is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing partnership that has spanned a quarter of a century. Starting out writing high-end travel articles and books, they published everything from self-improvement to humour, before embarking on their first historical mystery. They are the authors of the fabulous Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series, set in the 1920s.
Sign up to be the first to hear about new releases from Verity Bright here: https://www.bookouture.com/verity-bright/
Buy Link:
Amazon:  https://geni.us/B0BB76VJDHsocial
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Paris At First Light, by Amanda Lees

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1944, a secret plot to kill Eisenhower and Churchill. Their only chance of survival depends on a small band of spies. But Juliette’s focus may be threatened by fear when her children are kidnapped…
Paris At First Light is the second book in a WW2 series about the Resistance. There are mentions of events and outsomes from the previous book, The Silence Before Dawn, so I would advise reading the books in order to avoid spoilers.
Most of the book is written from Juliette’s first person perspective so we see her passion and determination. She has fallen in love with her fellow spy but her violent ex threatens her happiness when he steals her children.
We also see the viewpoints of the other spies as they attempt to thwart the assassination plot. It really is the extraordinary strength of four women that underpins the plot and I loved their subversion and undermining of traditional social norms.
There is violence in this book and danger is never very far away. Juliette never shies away from action and is prepared to kill when required. The plot races along at quite a pace and there is plenty of action. Passion and personal power play contrast with the international politics of WW2.
Paris At First Light is a fast moving and intense historical novel.

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Media Pack
Author:     AMANDA LEES
Publication Day:  NOVEMBER 23RD 2022
Buy link(s)
UK: http://ow.ly/9wxW50Lt0xr
US: http://ow.ly/HiJ450Lt0xs
Listen here: http://ow.ly/jGuA50Lt0xp
Paris, 1944secret agent Juliette is on her most dangerous mission of the war so far. But then her children are kidnapped, and to get them back she may have to commit the ultimate betrayal – that of France itself…
Four years ago, when France fell to the Nazis, Juliette made the ultimate sacrifice, leaving behind her two precious children to join the Resistance and defend her country. Now a spy in Paris, she must work with Captain Daniel Diaz – an American agent she’s taken an instant dislike to – on a dangerous mission to uncover a deadly Nazi plot.
As the pair play their parts, Juliette begins to see another side to Daniel, and their feelings for each other start to grow. But just as love blossoms, Juliette receives a ransom note that changes everything. Someone in Paris knows who she is. And they’ve kidnapped her little son and daughter. The message is clear: betray your country, or you’ll never see your children alive again.
Juliette has sworn a sacred oath to save France at all costs, but she could never sacrifice her children. So, against all the odds, she decides to attempt the impossible: rescue her children and continue her dangerous work fighting the Nazi threat.
But as the mission forces Juliette and Daniel to the very brink, will they succeed on all fronts? And if not, will France pay the ultimate price, or will Juliette?
A completely gripping and heart-wrenching historical novel about hope, betrayal and one mother’s limitless courage. Perfect for fans of The Alice NetworkThe Nightingale and My Name is Eva, this epic story will leave you breathless.
Author Bio:
Amanda was born in Hong Kong and survived both a convent boarding school and a Jesuit boys’ school before being summarily ejected from the latter. She gets her thirst for adventure from her parents who met in the jungle in Borneo where her mother had set up a hospital and her father, a former Gurkha Intelligence officer and Oxford-educated spy, was probably up to no good.
She is the author of the bestselling satirical novels Selling Out and Secret Admirer (published by Pan) which have both received critical acclaim and have been translated into several languages. Her major YA thriller trilogy, Kumari, Goddess of Gotham, was written as a tribute to her mum, who died a couple of months before Amanda got the idea for a series which would reflect her own exotic childhood. Kumari was nominated for the Guardian Children’s Book Prize and the Doncaster Book Award. It featured as Redhouse Book Of The Month and Lovereading4kids Book Of The Month.
A broadcaster as well as an actress and novelist, Amanda appears regularly on BBC radio and LBC and was a contracted writer to the hit series Weekending on Radio 4. She researched and edited the leading directory for banks, The Banker’s Almanac, for Euromoney publications while also covering stories of shady dealings in the City for them. She has written for, or contributed to, The Evening Standard, The Times, New Woman, US Cosmopolitan, Bulgaria’s Vagabond and Company Magazine as well as numerous online publications and has two non-fiction books published under a pen name.
Amanda has conducted a love coaching phone-in from the sofa of Richard & Judy and wooed the viewers on Channel 5 Live. She won an award at the Hungarian Gyor Film Festival for a short film she produced, a psychological thriller called Pros and Cons.
Her book, From Aconite to the Zodiac Killer: The Dictionary of Crime, was published by Robinson/Little Brown in July 2020 to excellent reviews. It was published in the US by Ulysses Press in May 2021. She has just completed the first in a romantic thriller series set at the end of WW2.
Author Social Media Links
Website: amandalees.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AmandaLeesAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amandalees
Bookouture Email Sign Up: https://www.bookouture.com/amanda-lees/

#Project365 2022 week 47

Day 325: well, at least the dogs were happy to be out for a walk!

Day 326:  apologies for how awful I look before 7am in the rain but I couldn’t resist a run!

Day 327: first England match of the World Cup

Day 328: Anya having her first hairdresser hairwash

Day 329: and the final hair cut result!

Day 330: the class bear has been replaced by a poetry bag. Watercolours were included, oh joy…


Day 331: pretty pleased with my French progress. I have definitely remembered more than I expected!

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Let’s Not Be Friends, by Phoebe MacLeod

Let's Not Be Friends book cover

Sophie catches her husband in flagrante and walks out. She gives him a second chance but another incident makes her seek a divorce. Can she start again and find someone to heal her heart…?
Let’s Not Be Friends is a wonderful mix of female strength, friendship, and a second chance at romance. It is the first book I have read by this author and I can’t wait to read more!
Sophie is betrayed and humiliated. I was absolutely incandescent with rage at Sophie’s feckless cheating husband and his vile mother. Their behaviour towards her is appalling and I was firmly on her side throughout the book, bristling with indignation every time they appeared.
Luckily, Sophie has her family and her own sense of self worth to make her stand up for her rights. She makes a fresh start and I was cheering her along every step of the way. Halfway through we are introduced to a character and I kept my fingers crossed that a new romance would ensue.
The style of writing is light hearted although the infidelity was despicable but handled well as Sophie attempts to move on. I loved her integrity in her personal and professional decisions and wanted her to find happiness. The ending was a little abrupt but I didn’t want the book to end! It finished on a note of hope which gave an appropriate sense of closure.
Let’s Not Be Friends is an completely captivating modern novel with a strong lead character who I deeply cared about.

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Let’s Not Be Friends
Perfect for fans of Jo Watson, Mhairi McFarlane and Portia MacIntosh.
City girl Sophie has married the prince (or landed gentry – close enough), moved to his pile (which is more accurate a description than she’d anticipated) and is set to live happily ever after – until she finds the other half of her perfect life in the stables with the stable girl, and they’re definitely not grooming the horses.
Shocked and appalled, Sophie’s no happier to learn that she’s supposed to ‘just get on with it’. After all, according to her mother-in-law, she got the title . . . they even overlooked her family’s ‘new money’ status.
What a lovely family she’s married into! But what’s a girl to do when she’s still in love? Make it work or leg it as fast as she can? Either way, the mother-in-law will not be coming to tea!
What readers are saying about Phoebe MacLeod:
‘A perfect love story’
‘Humorous, light and romantic!’
‘I absolutely loved it. Heart-warming, just perfect!’
 ‘I loved every minute reading this book, light hearted and fun, finished in a day!’
‘I smiled so much’
‘What a wonderful book’
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3KelOne

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Author Bio –
Phoebe MacLeod is the author of several popular laugh-out-loud romantic comedies. She mainly sets her books in her home county of Kent and her first new title for Boldwood will be published in November 2022. They will also be republishing her existing titles from August this year.
Social Media Links
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PhoebeMacleodAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/macleod_phoebe
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/phoebemacleod21/
Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/PhoebeMacLeodNews
Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/phoebe-macleod