#BlogTour: THE BONE SHARD DAUGHTER by Andrea Stewart @AndreaGStewart @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Publication: 10th September 2020 – Orbit

The Sukai Dynasty has ruled the Phoenix Empire for over a century, their mastery of bone shard magic powering the monstrous constructs that maintain law and order. But now the emperor’s rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the Emperor’s daughter, but a mysterious illness has stolen her childhood memories and her status as heir to the empire. Trapped in a palace of locked doors and old secrets, Lin vows to reclaim her birthright by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

But the mysteries behind such power are dark and deep, and wielding her family’s magic carries a great cost. When the revolution reaches the gates of the palace itself, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her throne – and save her people.

The Bone Shard Daughter is an unmissable fantasy debut for 2020 – a captivating tale of magic, revolution and mystery, where a young woman’s sense of identity will make or break an empire.




I am delighted to welcome you on my stop for the blog tour of The Bone Shard Daughter, the fantastic debut novel by Andrea Stewart.

The Bone Shard Daughter is set in a world where the emperor controls his people through the use of constructs, creatures created from the parts of animals and the bone shards extracted from the bodies of children who sacrifice themselves for the good of the empire. The emperor’s daughter and adoptive son are learning to use the bone shard magic and they are in competition for the throne. One day, only one of them will take his place. In the meantime, there are people who wants to put an end to the empire, overthrow the emperor, and put an end to the sacrifice of children.

The Bone Shard Daughter is told from different points of views which was very well executed. It starts with Lin, the emperor’s daughter. Lin has lost her memories and she is constantly trying to prove to her father that she could be a worthy successor. I really liked this character because she has a very gripping storyline, with her secrets, her deception, and her spying, and I think that she has the greatest twist in the story. My other favourite character is Jovis. He is a smuggler with a conscience. His endless search for his wife, who mysteriously disappeared seven years earlier, is often interrupted by his involuntary rescue of children. I loved his sarcasm and the way he always manages to get out of dangerous situations, but, above all, I enjoyed his relationship with Mephi, the magical creature that he rescued during one of his escapes from trouble.

The other points of views are Phalue and Ranami. They are in love, but their different upbringing and ideals often puts a strain in their relationship. Phalue is the governor’s daughter convinced that everything will be fine once she takes her father’s place. Ranami is the orphan who grew up poor and alone and who wants to change the world. Lastly but not least, there is Sand. Sand is on a island picking up mangoes all day long. Like the other people on the island, she has no memory of her past, until, one day, she starts questioning her life: why can’t she remember her past life? How did she get on the island?

The Bone Shard is really a superb debut. The characters are easy to love and very well-crafted. The world building is incredible and gorgeous and the plot is intricate and carefully-planned. This is a novel that fantasy readers and non will fall in love with and I can’t wait to read the sequel. Highly recommended!

A huge thank you to Tracy and Orbit for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of the novel.


Follow the rest of the blog tour:

Andrea Stewart is the Chinese American daughter of immigrants, and was raised in a number of places across the United States. When her (admittedly ambitious) dreams of becoming a dragon slayer didn’t pan out, she instead turned to writing books. She now lives in sunny California.

#BookReview: THE MINUTE I SAW YOU by Paige Toon @PaigeToonAuthor @simonschusterUK @TeamBATC

Publication: 6th August 2020 – Simon and Schuster UK

When Hannah meets Sonny, she’s irresistibly drawn to him: he’s sexy and confident, but only in town on holiday. That’s fine with Hannah – she doesn’t do long-term relationships. And luckily for her, neither does Sonny. But before they can even so much as kiss, Sonny receives some shocking news and commits to making serious life changes – ones that can’t and won’t include romance.

With even a short fling now off the cards, Hannah and Sonny settle for being friends. But as summer hots up and their chemistry shows no signs of cooling, they start to question their reasons for shutting each other out.

Are they both too broken to find love? And if they tear down the walls between them, will they still like what’s on the other side?




WOW!!! Another ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC and INCREDIBLE novel by Paige Toon has arrived and, once again, I found myself hooked from the very beginning.

It’s been a very long wait for the new novel by Paige Toon (or, at least, it seemed very long), but it was well worth it. The Minute I Saw You is a splendid and unforgettable novel that gripped me and didn’t let me go. It’s been a few days since I finished reading it and I am still thinking about it, about its protagonist, Hannah and Sonny, and their beautiful and emotional story.

I quickly fell in love with the characters of Hannah and Sonny. They are authentic and engaging. Hannah and Sonny also are damaged, they have demons and secrets from their past that they still need to face, so they decide that the best thing for both is to be just friend. Of course, that it is easier said than done and the more time they spend together the harder it is for them to stay away from each other. The chemistry between Hannah and Sonny was electrical, you could feel it through the pages, and I loved how their relationship evolved. Their stories are moving and my heart broke and it warmed for them at the same time.

Paige Toon is one of my favourite authors. Her novels always capture my heart and I enjoy rereading them over and over again. The Minute I Saw You quickly became one of my favourite novels, it is romantic, immersive, and poignant with beautiful and evocative descriptions of Cambridge that made me wish I was there. If you are looking for something special, then The Minute I Saw You is the right read!

#BlogTour: DON’T WORRY EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE AMAZING by Billy Moran @SauceMaterials

Publication: 15th September 2020 – Sauce Materials Books


Chris Pringle: simpleton, casualty or local hero?

Propped up by biscuits, benefits and a baffling faith in his plan, he lives in a world where every day is obsessively the same: wedged in his recliner, watching murder mysteries, taking notes. Until the day a serious and peculiar crime stumps the local police – and Chris announces he can solve it.

Accompanied by a loyal crew of chancers, committed to making amends, and pursued by a depressed Detective Inspector, trying to join the dots, Chris heads back to the raves of his past, where a heartbreaking personal tragedy lies abandoned. But what exactly is Chris Pringle looking for? Has he really worked out the way to find it? And what will happen if he does?

A quirky, nostalgic, heart-warming mystery for fans of Gail Honeyman, Agatha Christie, Jennifer Egan, Ian Rankin, Matt Haig, Irvine Welsh, Ben Aaronovitch, Dave Eggers, Jon Niven, John Kennedy Toole, Belinda Bauer and Harland Miller.






Welcome to my stop on the blog tour of Don’t Worry, Everything Is Going To Be Amazing, the brilliant new novel by Billy Moran.

I really enjoyed Don’t Worry, Everything Is Going To Be Amazing. The plot is bizarre and intriguing and the characters are unique, funny, and likable, especially the protagonist, Chris Pringle. A suspicious death leads DI Graham Kaye to reopen a 1990s case and to question Chris Pringle, a man that many consider a simpleton and never take seriously, and to involve him in the case. Chris Pringle watches many crime TV shows and fancies himself a detective. Will his chaotic and simple mind solve the case?

Don’t Worry, Everything Is Going To Be Amazing is told from different points of views and on different timelines, but it is easy to follow. Well-written and highly entertaining, Don’t Worry, Everything Is Going To Be Amazing is a story of family and friendship, loss and mental health, with a murder mystery full of surprises and revelations. It was not at all what I expected, in a very good way. It made me laugh, it moved me, and I enjoyed every single page of it.

A huge thank you to Sauce Materials Books for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of the novel.



Billy Moran is an award-winning television writer for shows including Horrible Histories. He grew up in the West Country, where his teenage years were rudely interrupted by the Second Summer of Love. Since then he has been embracing mysteries, craving solutions and writing lots of lists. He lives in London and has two children, two cats, one football team and several favourite detectives. Don’t Worry, Everything Is Going To Be Amazing is his debut novel.


‘Edgy, buzzing and pulsing with life – if this doesn’t take you back, nothing will.’


‘Fills in, most entertainingly, the missing link between Poirot’s little grey cells and the battered brain chemistry of an ex-raver.’


‘An absolute blast – a riveting mystery that will satisfy any crime buff.’


#BlogTour: YOU CAN TRUST ME by Emma Rowley @emma_rowley @orionbooks @alexxlayt

Publication: 3rd September 2020 – Orion

You can trust me.

But can I trust you? 

Olivia is the domestic goddess who has won millions of followers by sharing her picture-perfect life online. And now she’s releasing her tell-all autobiography.

For professional ghostwriter Nicky it’s the biggest job of her career. But as she delves deeper into Olivia’s life, cracks begin to appear in the glamorous façade. From the strained relationship with her handsome husband, to murky details of a tragic family death in her childhood, the truth belies Olivia’s perfect public image.

But why is Olivia so desperate to leave an old tragedy well alone? And how far will she go to keep Nicky from the truth?




Good morning everyone and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for You Can Trust Me, the thrilling new novel by Emma Rowley. A huge thank you to Alex and Orion for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of the novel.

Unreliable characters are my favorite kind of characters in psychological thrillers. You can’t trust them, you can’t believe what they say, and they keep you wondering and on edge the entire time. The protagonists of the new novel by Emma Rowley are unreliable. Nicky Wilson is a ghost-writer, she writes books for famous people who then passes it as their own. She enters their lives, she asks questions about their past, their present, their hopes, and their dreams. They tell her what they want the public to know, keeping hidden their dirty secrets, but Nicky doesn’t care. She is paid to do a job and she does it. Until she stumbles upon Olivia Hayes. She is an influencer with millions of followers and sponsors who pay her to promote their products. She lives in the beautiful Annersley House, in Cheshire, with her handsome husband and their adorable three-year-old daughter. Online, Olivia’s life is perfect and that’s how she wants to appear on the book. However, Nicky knows that she is hiding something and, while Olivia wants the past to stay in the past, Nicky is looking for the truth and she becomes obsessed with Olivia’s house and its secrets.

The story is told by two different points of views. The first half of the story is told from Nicky’s perspective and it is slow-paced and it builds the suspense until you arrive in the middle of the book and a shocking twist takes you completely by surprise. The story changes to Olivia’s point of view and, from there, the twists just keep coming and the suspense keeps rising as the truth slowly unravels.

I really did enjoy You Can Trust Me. The author’s writing style is clear and vivid, the characters are very well-drawn and I like how, even though the story is told in first person, they manage to keep things from the reader. Annersley House is a character itself, a mansion at the center of a past tragedy, secrets, and mystery. The plot is dark and compelling and I enjoyed how the story developed and ended. You Can Trust Me is the thrilling novel by Emma Rowley, an author I will definitely keep reading.


Emma Rowley is a writer, ghostwriter and editor with a background in newspaper journalism. She is currently a Contributing Editor at Grazia and formerly of the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph. A graduate in Classics and English at Oxford University, she trained as a journalist on the prestigious City University course. Emma has spent considerable time in the courts and covering major crime stories. She lives in London

#BlogTour: THE SEARCH PARTY by Simon Lelic @Simon_Lelic @VikingBooksUK @EllieeHud

Publication: 20th August 2020 – Viking

16-year-old Sadie Saunders is missing. One of the UK’s biggest missing persons searches is taking place. But Sadie’s friends don’t think the police are looking in the right place. Telling no one, they set out into the woods to find her. The trouble is, each of the five friends has a secret.  Each of them is a suspect.  And not everyone will make it home alive.

In his spine-chilling new thriller, Simon Lelic introduces Detective Inspector Fleet, back in the run-down town that he never planned to return to, where time is running out on what could be the biggest case of his career.

The Hunting Party meets The Chalk Man in Simon Lelic’s spine-chilling, twisty new thriller




Delighted to welcome you all on my stop for the blog tour of The Search Party, the new novel by Simon Lelic.

I LOVED this novel. I really did love it. I was so engrossed in the story, its characters, and the claustrophobic atmosphere that I stayed up late at night to finish reading, I simply couldn’t go to sleep without knowing how it ended. It’s a story of secrets, resentment, and betrayal that slowly all come to light.

At the center of the story is Sadie Saunders, a 16-year-old who went missing. The author describes the character of Sadie through the testimonies of her friends, so we have a mixed picture of this character: some friends loved her, some friends not so much. Despite their mixed feelings toward her, her friends want to find her and they organize their own search party. But something goes wrong and one of them ends up dead.

In the meantime, DI Robin Fleet, at the head of the massive search organized by the police, is back to the place he left when he was 17 years old. As public pressure and political plays pressure him in solving Sadie’s disappearance, he has to face a past that still haunts him.

The story is told from different perspectives. One of them is DI Fleet, whose personal life mixes with the professional one. He is smart, intuitive and very good at his job. He knows there is more to the story than the teenagers are saying and he’s not afraid to stand up to his boss to prove it. I also enjoyed his easy relationship with DC Nicky Collins and their friendly banter. The other points of views are the transcripts and the interviews from Sadie’s friends. Each of them is hiding something and they blame each other for what happened in the woods. I loved how the author perfectly captures their feelings, fears, and DI Fleet doubts. Who, among them, is telling the truth? And what really happened to Sadie?

If I had to describe The Search Party with three adjectives, I would use: UNPUTDOWNABLE, TWISTY, and ADDICTIVE. I would also add riveting, compelling, and haunting. Full of twists and shocking surprises, The Search Party is one of the best crime books that I read this year and I am really looking forward to read more of this series.

A huge thank you to Ellie and Viking for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a beautiful copy of this amazing novel.


Simon Lelic is the author of five previous novels: Rupture (winner of a Betty Trask Award and shortlisted for the John Creasy Debut Dagger), The Facility, The Child Who (longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger and CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger 2012), The House and The Liar’s Room. He lives in Brighton, UK.

#BlogTour: AN INCONVENIENT WOMAN by Stéphanie Buelens @buelenswrites @QuercusBooks @ellapatel__

Publication: 3rd September 2020 – Quercus

When Claire Fontaine learns that her ex-husband Simon is marrying again, to a woman with a teenage daughter, her blood runs cold. She is sure that years ago Simon molested her own daughter and was responsible for her mysterious death. She can’t let him get away with it a second time. Vandalism, harassment; whatever it takes, Claire will expose him.

Simon doesn’t know where Claire got this delusion from; her daughter’s death was ruled a suicide, but she has always blamed herself – is she just lashing out? Wanting to protect his new fiancee, he hires Sloane Wilson, an ex-cop turned ‘sin-eater’, whose job it is to handle delicate cases without getting the police involved, to get Claire off his back.

Sloane must navigate the wreckage of Claire and Simon’s marriage to discover the truth. Two people with conflicting stories and a whole lot of reasons to want to hurt each other. Is she crazy or is he manipulative? And can Sloane stay clear-headed enough to figure it out?




Delighted to take part in the media blast for An Inconvenient Woman, the superb new novel by Stéphanie Buelens.

The story is told from two perspectives. The first point of view is from Claire Fontaine a woman in her forties who lives in Los Angeles. She lives alone, she works as a French teacher, and, in her spare time, she mentor a young woman who used to live on the street and now is trying to get her life back on track. Claire Fontaine is obsessed and her obsession is her ex-husband Simon, a superstar lawyer, who is about to marry again. Claire can’t let that happen because the future wife has a ten-year-old daughter who looks like Melody, her own daughter, and Claire is sure that Melody’s death was caused by Simon, even though it was ruled as an accident.

The second point of view is from Sloan Wilson. Sloan is an ex LAPD detective who left the force when the job became too much and she turned into a sin eater, the person high-profile people hire to clean up their mess. And now Simon needs Sloan to free him of Claire once and for all.

What can I tell you about An Inconvenient Woman? It is gripping, intense, and engrossing. I read it in one day and not because the story is just a little more than 300 pages, but because I needed to see how the story evolved and how it would end. Is Claire telling the truth? Did Simon really molest Melody? Or is he as innocent as he claims to be? Claire is clearly paranoid, but is she also delusional? I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading.

I loved how the multi-layered characters evolved in the story. Claire and Sloan are similar characters. They are strong and clever and they both have past family drama and a complicated father-daughter relationship that has its own plot in the novel.

An Inconvenient Woman is very well-written and cleverly plotted. The ending is fantastic and explosive and it wraps up the story perfectly. This is a terrific thriller that I highly recommend.

A huge thank you to Ella and Quercus for inviting me to join the media blast and providing me with a copy of the novel.


Stéphanie Buelens was born in Belgium and educated in France. She has traveled to more than thirty countries. For the last twenty years, she has lived between Paris and Los Angeles. She has worked as an actress, interpreter, translator, business consultant, French media coach, and language instructor. She currently lives in Belgium. AN INCONVENIENT WOMAN is her first novel.

#BookReview: FIFTY-FIFTY by Steve Cavanagh @SSCav @orionbooks

Publication: 3rd September 2020 – Orion

Two sisters on trial for murder. They accuse each other.
Who do YOU believe?

‘911 what’s your emergency?’

‘My dad’s dead. My sister Sofia killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’

‘My dad’s dead. My sister Alexandra killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’

One of them is a liar and a killer.

But which one?




Oh, I have been waiting for this book for so long… or so it seemed. I am a huge fan of the Eddie Flynn series and I was so excited for this fifth novel that I read it in one day.

I really like the character of Eddie Flynn. An ex con turned into a lawyer who would do anything to defend his client, he is smart, resourceful, and really good at his job. He defends only people he is certain they are innocent, and he usually can figure this out in the first minutes of meeting them. His new client is Sofia Avellino. Her father, Frank Avellino, ex mayor of New York, was stabbed 53 times in his home, and his two daughters, Sofia and Alexandra, accuse each other of the murder. While Eddie Flynn represents Sofia, Kate Brooks, a young lawyer who has to prove herself constantly to her male colleagues and her creepy boss, defends Alexandra. One of them is telling the truth, the other is lying, but which one?

Fifty-Fifty is fast-paced, twisty, and highly suspenseful. The story is told from three different point of views. Eddie Flynn, sure of Sofia’s innocence, needs to figure out the truth about the two sisters. Kate Brooks, on the other hand, is sure that Alexandra is the sister telling the truth and needs to prove it. And then there is “She”. “She” is the killer. We don’t know which of the sisters she is, the author never gives it away, but we follow her as, in cold blood, she gets rid of any proof that could lead to her.

Easily read as a stand-alone – although I highly recommend the first four books in the series – Fifty-Fifty is another powerful, gripping, and compelling page-turner by the master of twists-that-you-won’t-see-coming Steve Cavanagh. I am a huge fan of all his novels, but the Eddie Flynn series is my favourite and Fifty-Fifty is his best so far.

A huge thank you to Orion and NetGallley for providing me with a copy of the novel.

#BookReview: THE INHERITANCE GAMES by Jennifer Lynn Barnes @jenlynnbarnes @PenguinUKBooks

Publication: 3rd September 2020 – Penguin Books UK

An utterly addictive and twisty thriller, full of dark family secrets and deadly stakes. Perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying and Knives Out.

She came from nothing.

Avery has a plan: keep her head down, work hard for a better future.

Then an eccentric billionaire dies, leaving her almost his entire fortune. And no one, least of all Avery, knows why.

They had everything.

Now she must move into the mansion she’s inherited.

It’s filled with secrets and codes, and the old man’s surviving relatives – a family hell-bent on discovering why Avery got ‘their’ money.

Now there’s only one rule: winner takes all.

Soon she is caught in a deadly game that everyone in this strange family is playing.
But just how far will they go to keep their fortune.




What would you do if you were told that one of richest man in America has left all his money to you?

Avery Grambs is a teenager living in her car. Her mother died two years earlier, her father is AWOL, and her stepsister lives with her abusive boyfriend. All Avery wants is getting a scholarship to a college and study something that will allow her to travel around the world. One day, she is informed that she’s been included in the will of billionaire Tobias Hawthorne. He is the ninth richest man in America, but Avery has no idea who he is or why he would mention her in his will. At the reading, she is is shocked to find out that Tobias Hawthorne has left most of his enormous fortune to her and, to benefit from it, she must live at least one year to Hawthorne Castle along with his family – two daughters and four handsome and mysterious grandsons – who, of course, is none too happy to have been left out of the inheritance. Why did Tobias leave everything to Avery? And can she trust the four Hawthorne brothers?

I really enjoyed The Inheritance Games. Avery Grambs is an excellent protagonist. A teenager who had to grow up too fast too soon, she is highly intelligent, strong and bold. She spends most of her time in the company of the Hawthorne brothers who are intriguing and engaging, each has a different personality and each is hiding something.

The story is addictive and fast-paced and I read it in two days. There are riddle and puzzles to solve, secrets to unveil, and love triangles to untangle. Initially, I was confused by the ending because it left me with many unresolved questions, but then I found out that The Inheritance Games is the first book in a series and I was thrilled. I can’t wait to see what happens next and I am really looking forward to book number 2!

A huge thank you to Penguin Random House Children’s for providing me with a copy of the novel.

#BlogTour: THE QUALITY OF MERCY (A Lady Evelyn Mystery #5) by Malia Zaidi @MaliaZaidi @damppebbles #TheQualityOfMercy #LadyEvelynMysteries #damppebblesblogtours

Publication: 25th August 2020 – BookBaby

After years spent away, Lady Evelyn is at long last back in her home city of London and she has returned with a rather controversial plan. The Carlisle Detective Agency is born, and it does not take long for the bodies… ahem, cases, to start piling up. With her friend and assistant Hugh, Evelyn embarks on the quest to solve the crimes. Yet the London she encounters is not the London of her coddled youth, and she is forced to learn that there is more to discover than the identity of a murderer. It isn’t only her city which reveals it is not what she always believed it to be, but the people she encounters as well. Secrets are revealed that have her thinking twice about everything she thought she knew about the society in which she grew up.

Evelyn’s love for her hard-won independence confronts her with yet another mystery, whether she is ready or willing to give up any of it for marriage. And then there is the arrival of rather a familiar face in London, one Daniel is none to pleased to see. Evelyn must find not one but two murderers, as well as make a decision that could determine her future. From the mansions of Mayfair to the dark alleys of Whitechapel, can Evelyn catch the killers before another life is taken.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3iGhzli

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3iDHDh8

Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/2Fvi5ED

Book Depository: https://bit.ly/3iPf9RJ


Delighted to kick off the blog tour for The Quality of Mercy and welcome you on my stop for this wonderful new novel by Malia Zaidi.

The Quality of Mercy is the fifth novel in the Lady Evelyn Carlisle Mystery series. Set in London in 1920s, this series follows young Evelyn as she finds herself involved in murder cases, usually by discovering the dead body and then by conducting her own investigation. It is her propensity to find dead bodies that leads her to open her own investigative agency in this fifth book.

In The Quality of Mercy, Evelyn has just opened her investigative agency together with her friend Hugh. Of course, her first case is a murder case, a murder that she has discovered herself. The victim is the father of a childhood friend and the list of suspects is very long. As she investigates, another murder catches her attention and she finds herself investigating two cases. On the personal side, she is soon going to be married to Daniel, but she is trying to avoid the double wedding that her aunt Agnes has proposed.

I really like the character of Lady Evelyn. She is ahead of her time, looking for independence and freedom to do whatever she wants. She has bought her own flat, but she spends most of her nights at her fiancé’s mansion, even though they are not married yet, she has a degree and she works, even though that is not something that a lady of her class would do. She is smart, funny, and brave and I am already looking forward to her next adventure.

The characters are engaging and mostly likable, the story is well-written and historically accurate, and the plot is twisty, entertaining, and engrossing. If you love cozy mysteries, this is a series to follow. In The Quality of Mercy the author uses two different murders to address the differences between the upper class and the servant class while the effects of World War I still loom. This is an highly enjoyable and thrilling story to not miss.

A huge thank you to Emma for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of the novel.


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Malia Zaidi is the author of the Lady Evelyn Mysteries. She studied at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Oxford.

Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides vicariously (if temporarily) in countries around the world.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaliaZaidi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maliazaidiauthor/

Website: https://www.maliazaidi.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maliazaidi/  

#BlogTour: THE OCTOPUS by Tess Little @tessmslittle @HodderBooks @Stevie_Coops #TheOctopusBook

Publication: 20th August 2020 – Hodder & Stoughton

There’s more than one way to capture a life.

When Elspeth arrives at her ex-husband’s LA mansion for his 50th birthday party, she’s expecting a crowd for the British film director. Instead, there are just seven other guests and Richard’s pet octopus, Persephone, watching over them from her tank.

Come morning, Richard is dead.

In the weeks that follow, each of the guests come under suspicion: the school friend, the studio producer, the actress, the actor, the new boyfriend, the manager, the cinematographer and the ex-wife, Elspeth herself. As stories of Richard’s past surface, colliding with Elspeth’s memories of their marriage, she begins to question not just who killed Richard, but why these eight guests were invited, and what sort of man would want to trap this mysterious, intelligent creature.

From the LA hills to the Norfolk marshes, The Octopus is a stylish exploration of power: the power of memory, the power of perception, the power of one person over another.




Welcome to my stop for the blog tour of The Octopus, the brand new novel by Tess Little.

Elspeth flew all the way from New York to attend her ex-husband’s fiftieth birthday party at his LA mansion, Sedwick. Elspeth hasn’t seen Richard in ten years and she doesn’t want to go to the party, but she is reassured by the knowledge her daughter Lillie will be there and the many other guests that will probably attend the party. When she arrives to the party, she finds out that it isn’t going to be the big party she expected, but, besides her and the birthday boy, there are only seven more guests and the octopus Persephone who watches them from the aquarium. This will be a night they will never forget because the next morning, Richard is found dead and the police suspects that one of the guest at his party murdered him.

“We believed he had died from an overdose. There was no reason to suspect otherwise.”

Why did Richard invite only these eight people to his party? And who, amongst them, wanted him dead? Narrated through Elspeth’s voice, the story alternates between the night of the party and the aftermath of Richard’s death as the police questions the guests. Each guest had a reason to want Richard dead, including Elspeth.

The Octopus is not simply a mystery crime story about a suspicious death. It’s also a story of abuse, a story of power and control, a story of secrets. Elspeth is anxious and insecure. She lies about her marriage, she lies about Richard’s true character. You don’t know which of her memories are real and which memories she has created to protect herself and her daughter. Like Persephone in the aquarium, Elspeth tried to escape from her marriage, she tried to escape from Richard’s party, but she couldn’t:

“I imagined the house as an enormous aquarium. A brilliant display in the dull twilight. The bright clothes, sparkling jewellery; a tank shelved on the hillside. It was enchanting, if I let it be so.”

The Octopus is a brilliant, current, very well-written novel and I’d like to thank Steve Cooper and Hodder & Stoughton for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of this fantastic novel.


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