#BookReview: THE MAN WHO DIED TWICE by Richard Osman @richardosman @VikingBooksUK

Publication: 16th September 2021

It’s the following Thursday.

Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.

As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn’t that be a bonus?

But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn’t bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can the Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?



The gang is back! There is never a dull moment at Cooper’s Chase, Britain’s First Luxury Retirement Village, as the Thursday Murder Club finds itself, once again, in the middle of an investigation. This time, it involves spies, stolen diamonds, and, of course, murder.

Elizabeth’s past resurfaces as an old friend and colleague asks for her help to protect him. And then, there is a murder and Elizabeth and her friends need to stop a killer and find some stolen diamonds.

The Man Who Died Twice is the second book in the Thursday Murder Club series and it is as brilliant and engrossing as the first novel. It can easily be read as a stand-alone, but, if you still haven’t read it, I highly recommend you read The Thursday Murder Club first for a fantastic introduction to these incredible characters: Elizabeth, a former spy full of surprises and tricks; Joyce, a former nurse who is not as innocent as she looks; Ron, a former Labour Unionist who is not afraid to go under cover; Ibrahim, a retired psychologist who is also very good with technology; and let’s not forget police detectives Donna De Frietas and Chris Hudson who, somehow and sometimes against their will, find themselves involved in the cases of the Thursday Murder Club.

The Man Who Died Twice is a thrilling, immersive, and very well-written novel. It is told from many perspectives and I especially adore Joyce’s diary which is always a fun and entertaining read. We learn more about Elizabeth’s secret past and we get a more insightful glimpse into the personal lives of the two police detectives. Full of surprises and twists, this is a book I won’t stop recommending while waiting to see what’s up next for these fantastic characters!

A huge thank you to Viking Books and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of this novel.

Richard Osman is an author, producer and television presenter. His first novel, The Thursday Murder Club, was a million-copy bestseller. Critics have already described The Man Who Died Twice as ‘his second novel’.

This review was featured on Twinkl as part of their Literary Lovers campaign.

#BookReview: THE GILDED CAGE by Lynette Noni @LynetteNoni @hodderscape @HodderBooks

Publication: 7th October 2021 – Hodder & Stoughton

The magical and exciting sequel to The Prison Healer from Australia’s #1 YA author Lynette Noni.

Kiva Meridan is a survivor.

She survived not only Zalindov prison, but also the deadly Trial by Ordeal. Now Kiva’s purpose goes beyond survival to vengeance. For the past ten years, her only goal has been to reunite with her family and destroy the people responsible for ruining their lives. But now that she has escaped Zalindov, her mission has become more complicated than ever.

As Kiva settles into her new life in the capital, she discovers she wasn’t the only one who suffered while she was in Zalindov-her siblings and their beliefs have changed too. Soon it’s not just her enemies she’s keeping secrets from, but her own family as well.

Outside the city walls, tensions are brewing from the rebels, along with whispers of a growing threat from the northern kingdoms. Kiva’s allegiances are more important than ever, but she’s beginning to question where they truly lie. To survive this time, she’ll have to navigate a complicated web of lies before both sides of the battle turn against her and she loses everything.



I read The Prison Healer twice in a few months, completely addicted to the story of Kiva Meridan, how she ended up, at seven years of age, in the prison of Zalandov, how she became the prison healer, how she met Tipp, Jaren, and Naari and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. So when Hodder & Stoughton accepted my request for the proof of The Gilded Cage (thank you so much!) I read it straight away. After reading the reactions of those who have already read The Gilded Cage, I went into it both excited and scared and, after finishing reading it, I can say I was right and to say that I ADORED The Gilded Cage is to say little.

Kiva is torn between her loyalty towards her own family and her mixed feelings for the family she’s hated for the last ten years and who she blames for the death of some members of her family. However, she slowly starts realizing that the truth is not at all what she thought, and she feels more and more guilty for the lies and secrets that she keeps both from Jaren and from her siblings.

The Gilded Cage is brilliantly written and once I started reading it was very difficult to put it down. I love the characters: Kiva, the heroine torn between her loyalty to her family and her growing feelings toward her enemy; Jaren, the handsome prince who, I have to say, is too good to be true; the adorable Tipp, who’s become like a younger brother to Kiva; Caldon, the funny and smarter-than-he-looks cousin of the prince; and Naari, the loyal guard who’s become friend to Kiva.

I am dying to get my hands on the third book, The Blood Traitor, especially after yet another shocking ending, full of surprises and revelations that I didn’t see coming and that kept me on the edge of my seat. The Gilded Cage is an immersive, intriguing, and superb story of revenge, loyalties, and magic and, together with its prequel The Prison Healer, is at the top of my list of favourite books of the year.

Australian author LYNETTE NONI studied journalism, academic writing, and human behavior at university before venturing into the world of fiction. She is now a full-time writer and the #1 best-selling and award-winning author of The Medoran Chronicles, The Whisper duology, and The Prison Healer.

#BlogTour: THE WINTER GARDEN by Alexandra Bell @Alex_Bell86 @DelReyUK

Publication: 2nd September 2021 – DelRey

Welcome to the Winter Garden. Open only at 13 o’clock.

You are invited to enter an unusual competition.

I am looking for the most magical, spectacular, remarkable pleasure garden this world has to offer.

On the night her mother dies, 8-year-old Beatrice receives an invitation to the mysterious Winter Garden. A place of wonder and magic, filled with all manner of strange and spectacular flora and fauna, the garden is her solace every night for seven days. But when the garden disappears, and no one believes her story, Beatrice is left to wonder if it were truly real.

Eighteen years later, on the eve of her wedding to a man her late father approved of but she does not love, Beatrice makes the decision to throw off the expectations of Victorian English society and search for the garden. But when both she and her closest friend, Rosa, receive invitations to compete to create spectacular pleasure gardens – with the prize being one wish from the last of the Winter Garden’s magic – she realises she may be closer to finding it than she ever imagined.

Now all she has to do is win.



I am delighted to welcome you on my stop for the blog tour of The Winter Garden, the fantastic new novel by Alex Bell which is out today (happy pubblication day!)

“You’ll never find it in one place for long. It goes where it is needed, appearing from nothing and vanishing just as quickly.”

Who wouldn’t want to visit the Winter Garden? “A place of wonder and magic”, full of impossible flowers, mushrooms that dance, strange birds, fairies, and trees that whisper secrets. The Winter Garden belongs to the Spider Queen and it appears to people during their darkest and bleakest moments. It first appeared to Beatrice Sitwell when she was eight years old and, since then, she’s been obsessed with finding it again. Her friend Rosa is also looking for the Winter Garden to wish back the thing that she loves most in the world.

Beatrice and Rosa are best friend and yet, they couldn’t be more different. Daughter of Lord Sitwell and owner of Half Moon House, Beatrice is expected to marry well and become the obedient wife of a man who will take everything she owns. However, against society’s expectations and much to her aunt’s dismay, Beatrice wants to be independent, free to travel around the world and discover strange and magical plants and animals. On the other hand, Rosa is an American heiress. She dreams to marry an Englishman and acquire a title and a family while she builds incredible clockwork. Both women realize their dreams, but their friendship is tested when they are invited to take part in a competition to create a magnificent garden that will win one of them a wish.

I really enjoyed The Winter Garden and I liked the characters of Beatrice and Rosa. The author describes an accurate Victorian England in which women are expected to marry and take care of their husband, without having any ambition or independence. However, Beatrice and Rosa are different. Beatrice shocks society be traveling around the world (or also on the streets of London) alone and without a chaperone (which was unheard of!). And, when she is refused entrance to a renowned scientific society to present her unique findings because of her gender, she doesn’t give up. Rosa is forced to turn her fortune to her husband at their wedding, but she cleverly manages to keep control of their relationship and to defend herself when necessary.

The Winter Garden is a fantastic, entertaining, and engrossing novel full of magical elements and emotional and compelling storylines and it’s out now, so don’t miss it!

A huge thank you to Alice and DelRey for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a proof of the novel.

Alexandra Bell was born in 1986. She studied Law at university and signed her first book deal at nineteen. Since then, she has written books for both adults and young people, including the Zoella Bookclub pick, Frozen Charlotte, and The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club series, under the name Alex Bell. She lives in Hampshire in a house ruled by Siamese cats.

#BlogTour: CODENAME FIREFLY by C. J. Daugherty @CJ_Daugherty @midaspr @moonflowerbooks #CodenameFirefly

Publication: 2nd September 2021 – Moonflower Books

Assassins are hunting the daughter of the Prime Minister… How long will she hide before it’s time to fight back? The thrilling sequel to Number 10, which was named a YA Book of the Year by the Independent and FT.

Gray Langtry is on the run. As the only child of the British Prime Minister, Gray’s life has been in turmoil ever since her mother was chosen to lead the country. Both she and her mother are targets of a Russian assassination plot. And what’s worse, members of her mother’s own cabinet are involved. A team of bodyguards never leaves her side. The press attention is relentless. And then there are the death threats.

Now, after an attempt on Gray’s life, she has been moved to an elite boarding school in the British countryside. Shielded by high walls and locked gates, Gray finally feels safe, but the plotters are still hunting, and soon they will find her. Gray’s personal bodyguard, Julia, and the school’s young headmistress are determined to protect her. They both know how dangerous things are. The assassins searching for Gray are highly trained. And when they arrive they will aim to kill. Dylan, a mysterious American student, seems to know more than he should – but he’s always there when Gray needs him. Can she trust him? Can she trust anyone?

As winter closes in and darkness falls, Gray will have to think fast.

The hunters are coming.



I am delighted to welcome you on my stop for the blog tour of Codename Firefly, the brand new novel by C. J. Daughterty.

Unless it’s fantasy, I don’t usually read much YA novels, but last year I took part in the blog tour for Number 10, the first book of this wonderful series, initially simply because I love the author’s adult novels (written under the name Christi Daugherty). As I expected, I also enjoyed her YA novel, so when I was asked if I wanted to take part in the blog tour for the sequel, Codename Firefly, I didn’t think twice before gladly accepting.

The protagonist of this series is Gray Langtry. She is a sixteen-year-old girl, but she is not any normal girl. She is the only daughter of England’s Prime Minister. In Number 10, she barely survived a terrorist attack so now she is attending Cimmeria Academy where it is believed she will be safe. However, a terrorist group is still after her to get to her mother and they are ready to do anything to get their hands on her. The security at the school is high and Gray’s own bodyguards are more than capable, so how do intruders keep getting into the school?

Gray is a fantastic well-drawn character and I really like her. She wishes for a normal life of school and going out with friends, but, as the Prime Minister’s daughter, she knows she will never have one. She is struggling with her fears following the events in Number 10, however she’s is determined to not let the bad guys win. So, after a slightly rough beginning at Cimmeria Academy, we see Gray make a few friends, make an enemy out of the most popular student, growing a crush on another student, sneak out of the school in the middle of the night for a small adventure… essentially trying to have a kind of regular life, even if this means having a team of bodyguards around her.

The story is intriguing and suspenseful, and I love the English college life with which I fell in love when I was younger and reading Harry Potter (although here there are dangerous men with guns and knives and not wands). I really enjoyed Codename Firefly and I am already looking forward to the sequel to see what happens next.

A huge thank you to Sofia and Midas PR for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a proof of this captivating novel.

A former crime reporter and accidental civil servant, C.J. Daugherty began writing the Night School series while working as a communications consultant for the Home Office. The young adult series was published by Little Brown and went on to sell over a million and a half copies worldwide. A web series inspired by the books clocked up well over a million views. In 2020, the books were optioned for television. She later wrote The Echo Killing series, published by St Martin’s Press, and co-wrote the fantasy series, The Secret Fire, with French author Carina Rosenfeld.

While working as a civil servant, she had meetings at Number 10 Downing Street, and saw people disappearing through a small door leading to a staircase heading below ground level. This visit became the inspiration for Number 10.  FYI: She still doesn’t know if there are tunnels below Number 10. But she hopes there are.

Her books have been translated into 24 languages and been bestsellers in multiple countries. She lives with her husband, the BAFTA nominated filmmaker, Jack Jewers. 

#BlogTour: FOR YOUR OWN GOOD by Samantha Downing @smariedowning @michaeljbooks #foryourowngood #samanthadowning

Publication: 19th August 2021 – Michael Joseph

Teddy Crutcher has just won Teacher of the Year at the prestigious Belmont Academy, home exclusively to the brightest and the best.

He says his wife couldn’t be more proud – though no-one has seen her in a while.

He’s deeply committed to improving his students. And well aware which ones need improving.

And all he wants is for his colleagues – and the endlessly interfering parents – to stay out of his way.

Oddly, not everyone agrees that Teddy has their best interests at heart.

But will that change when someone receives a lesson to die for…?



Good morning and welcome on my stop for the blog tour for For Your Own Good, the thrilling new novel by Samantha Downing.

Belmont Academy is an exclusive school where wealthy parents send their children in the hope they can get in the best universities and where teachers seem eager for their students to succeed. Teddy Crutcher has been named Teacher of the Year and he has a plaque on the wall of his class that reminds it to everyone. Teddy thinks he deserves the plaque even though he is not like the other teachers who are mostly former students of the academy. He wasn’t a spoiled and entitled student like the children at Belmont so he enjoys punishing them with extra work. He dislikes the students, their parents, and the other teachers, he is jealous and vindictive and arrogant, so, of course, something bad is bound to happen… and then another, and then another. Is anyone safe at Belmont Academy?

After reading a few fantasy books, I needed a change of genre and a good thriller was the right fit. Slow-burning and engrossing, I read For Your Own Good in one night, in one sitting, staying up late to finish it because I needed to see how it would end (thankfully I was off work so I didn’t need to get up early in the morning).

The plot is clever and intriguing with a constant sense of dread that something bad is about to happen – and it usually does. The story is told from different narrators, starting from Teddy who, in an arrogant and narcissistic way, tries to justify to the reader his behaviour. There are other characters who play a part in Teddy’s twisted narrative: the teacher who befriends the students, the student who is pressured by his parents to be the best, the former student on a revenge path, the math teacher on the verge of a mental breakdown… quite a cast of complex characters!

I found For Your Own Good impossible to put down: lies, revenge, obsession, and murder, multi-layered characters, twists and turns every few pages… what more do you want?

A huge thank you to Kallie and Michael Joseph for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of this incredible novel.

Samantha Downing lives in New Orleans. Her debut novel, My Lovely Wife, was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and has been published in thirty languages. It won a Dead Good Reader Award, and was shortlisted for four other major awards: The CWA John Creasey Dagger, The Edgar Award for Best First Novel, The ITW Thriller Award for Best First Novel and The Macavity Award for Best First Mystery. There will also be a forthcoming film adaptation, produced by Nicole Kidman. Her second novel, He Started It, was also a Sunday Times bestseller.

#BlogTour: THE DARK by Emma Haughton @Emma_Haughton @HodderBooks @JennyPlatt90

Publication: 19th August 2021 – Hodder & Stoughton



In the most inhospitable environment – cut off from the rest of the world – there’s a killer on the loose.
A&E doctor Kate North has been knocked out of her orbit by a personal tragedy. So when she’s offered the chance to be an emergency replacement at the UN research station in Antarctica, she jumps at the chance.
The previous doctor, Jean-Luc, died in a tragic accident out on the ice.

The move seems an ideal solution for Kate: no one knows about her past; no one is checking up on her. But as total darkness descends for the winter, she begins to suspect that Jean-Luc’s death wasn’t accidental at all. And the more questions she asks, the more dangerous it becomes for them all…



I am delighted to welcome you on my stop on the blog tour for The Dark, the thrilling new novel by Emma Haughton.

A&E doctor Kate North thought that accepting the position of doctor in a research station in the Antarctica would mean a fresh start, a way to forget about her problems and the past few months of her life. However, imagine finding yourself in one of the coldest places on the planet, living together with a group of strangers, a place where your daily and familiar comforts are missing, with little communications to the outside world, and, when winter comes, complete darkness 24/7. It’s certainly not an easy living situation. Tempers run high, paranoia starts spreading, trust is tested, and Kate starts to suspect that the death of the former doctor of the base was not an accident.

The story is told from Kate North’s perspective. This character feels realistic and she is also flawed and unreliable. She took the job to leave her old life behind and try to forget the tragic accident that changed her life. However, she can’t control her addiction to painkillers and she can’t shake the feeling that something suspicious is going on at the base. Is there really a killer on the loose at the base? Who can she trust?

I think that the author made a clever and original choice choosing Antarctica as the setting for this gripping and engrossing thriller. Antarctica is a dangerous and unforgiving place, the constant darkness, cold, and isolation can affect even the strongest minds.

The Dark is intense and suspenseful and very well-written. The darkness surrounding the base, the sense of dread and suspicion that increased as I turned each page gave me the chills despite the heat wave. A must-read thriller!!!

A huge thank you to Jenny and Hodder & Stoughton for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of this fantastic novel.

Emma Haughton grew up in Sussex, studied English at Oxford, and worked as a freelance journalist for a number of national newspapers, including the Times Travel section. She has written several non-fiction books for schools, as well as three young adult thrillers. The Dark is her first crime novel.

#BookReview: 56 DAYS by Catherine Ryan Howard @cathryanhoward @CorvusBooks

Publication: 19th August 2021 – Corvus

No one even knew they were together. Now one of them is dead.

Ciara and Oliver meet in a supermarket queue in Dublin and start dating the same week COVID-19 reaches Irish shores.

When lockdown threatens to keep them apart, Oliver suggests they move in together. Ciara sees a unique opportunity for a relationship to flourish without the scrutiny of family and friends. Oliver sees a chance to hide who – and what – he really is.

Detectives arrive at Oliver’s apartment to discover a decomposing body inside.

Can they determine what really happened, or has lockdown created an opportunity for someone to commit the perfect crime?



In March 2020 the entire world went into lockdown. Shops were closed, streets were empty, and people stayed safe in their own houses. In Dublin, Ciara and Oliver had met two weeks earlier and, not wanting to spend the lockdown separated, Ciara moves into Oliver’s apartment so they can be together. It sounds like the beginning of a beautiful love story, right?! Instead, it is a story of secrets, revenge, and murder.

In the present day, a fire alarm goes off in a residential building. When officers arrive on the scene, they find a body decomposing in one of the apartments, so DI Leah Riordan and DS Karl Connolly try to figure out if it was an accident or if it was murder. Fifty-six days earlier, Ciara and Oliver met in a supermarket queue, bonding over their passion for space. However, was their encounter a mere coincidence?

WOW…what a rollercoaster of a read!!! The author cleverly created a compelling and gripping story that alternates between different timelines and told from different perspectives, full of twists and surprises, and a suspense palpable from the first to the last page.

The tension is kept high by the intriguing and well-developed characters created by the author. Ciara and Oliver are multi-layered characters full of secrets whose past is slowly unraveled keeping me deeply engrossed in the story. On the other hand, Detectives Leah and Karl – or Lee and Karly – are entertaining characters. I enjoyed their easy and witty banter that gave a bit of levity to the story.

I became a fan Catherine Ryan Howard after reading The Nothing Man, but 56 Days makes her my must-read author. Highly recommended!

A huge thank you to Corvus and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.

Catherine Ryan Howard is the bestselling author of The Nothing Man, which shot straight to the top of the Irish bestseller charts on publication and was a Kindle No. 1 bestseller in the UK. Her work has been shortlisted for the CWA/John Creasey New Blood Dagger, the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best Novel, and for the Irish Crime Novel of the Year several times. Her third novel, Rewind, is currently being developed for television. She lives in Dublin.

#BookReview: MIMIC by Daniel Cole @DanielColeBooks @orionbooks

Publication: 19th August 2021 – Orion

DS Benjamin Chambers and DC Adam Winter are on the trail of a twisted serial killer with a passion for recreating the world’s greatest works of art through the bodies of his victims. But after Chambers almost loses his life, the case goes cold – their killer lying dormant, his collection unfinished.

Jordan Marshall has excelled within the Metropolitan Police Service, fuelled by a loss that defined her teenage years. Obsessed, she manages to obtain new evidence, convincing both Chambers and Winter to revisit the case. However, their resurrected investigation brings about a fresh reign of terror, the team treading a fine line between police officers and vigilantes in their pursuit of a monster far more dangerous and intelligent than any of them had anticipated…



I adored Daniel Cole’s Ragdoll series so I have been looking forward to his new project with some trepidation and excitement and I wasn’t disappointed.

The first part of Mimic is set in 1989. DS Benjamin Chambers arrives on the scene of a murder in Hyde Park where the victim has been set up as a statue. DC Adam Winter is the first officer on the scene and, when another murder occurs, the two pair up to find a serial killer who seems to recreate famous works of art with his victims. Despite getting very close to catching the killer, things go very wrong. Jump forward to 1996 and Chambers and Winter have been trying to forget all about the case until they are called back to action by trainee narcotics officer Jordan Marshall who has been investigating the case during her free time. Jordan has her demons to face and her personal reasons for investigating. When the murders start again, Chambers, Winter, and Marshall team up to stop the killer once and for all.

How can one not enjoy a novel that is both dark and entertaining? A story that is full both of suspense and humor? Mimic is all of this and more. The characters are intriguing, entertaining, and very likable and I enjoyed the twisty and chilling plot accompanied by the witty dialogues that made me laugh out aloud on more than one occasion and a clever writing style that keeps me glued to the pages. Riveting, original, and engrossing, Mimic is another must-read by Daniel Cole and I highly recommend you give it a try (together with the Ragdoll series)!

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

Daniel Cole is the Sunday Times bestselling author of the RAGDOLL series, with over half a million copies sold worldwide in 35 territories. Daniel has worked as a paramedic, an RSPCA officer and the RNLI, and now writes full-time.

To learn more about Daniel visit his twitter page @DanielColeBooks

#BlogTour: THE HEIGHTS by Louise Candlish @louise_candlish @simonschusterUK @TeamBATC @jessbarratt88 #TheHeights

Publication: 5th August 2021 – Simon & Schuster UK

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building amongst the warehouses of Shad Thames, its roof terrace so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed at all, if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognise anywhere.

He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him. Which makes no sense at all, since he’s been dead for over two years. You know this for a fact.

Because you’re the one who killed him.



Here is the brilliant trailer for The Heightshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POgEEzRROV4

I am delighted to welcome you on my stop for the blog tour of The Heights, the thrilling new novel by Louise Candlish.

I have been reading Louise Candlish’s novels for a few years now, since I first read Our House, and every time she manages to make it impossible to put the book down and to make me gasp in surprise with her twisty and shocking endings. The Heights is her latest gripping novel and, once again, I found myself completely engrossed in the story, the characters, and the twists.

The protagonist of The Heights is Ellen Saint, a mother, a wife, and a woman with a big secret. A few years ago, Kieran Watts entered her life leading to a series of events and choices that changed her life and that of her family. She thought she had got rid of Kieran once and for all, but then she sees him again, on top of The Heights, the new apartment building on Shad Thames, and the nightmare begins again.

One of the things that I love about Louise Candlish’s novels is that she creates characters that are multi-layered and well-developed, but also unlikable and unreliable, although, at times, I also feel a bit of pity and sympathy for them. Ellen Saint is one of these characters. When she first meets Kieran, she instantly dislikes him and she doesn’t trust him. However, we only see Kieran through Ellen’s eyes, through her narrative of the events, so I couldn’t help wondering: is Kieran really dangerous and reckless as Ellen claims or is she simply an overprotective and over-worried mother?

The Heights is a gripping and intense story of revenge and obsession, a story of family drama, grief, and secrets. The suspense and the tension will keep you on the edge of your seat from the first to the last page and the twists will keep you guessing until the very last line. Highly recommended!

A huge thank you to Jess and Simon & Schuster for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of this incredible book.

Louise Candlish is the Sunday Times bestselling author of fifteen novels. Her 2018 thriller OUR HOUSE, which has sold over 250,000 copies in the UK to date, was a #1 bestseller in paperback, ebook and audiobook and winner of the Crime & Thriller Book of the Year at the 2019 British Book Awards. It is soon to be a major ITV drama series made by Death in Paradise producers Red Planet Pictures. THOSE PEOPLE (2019) was a #2 Sunday Times bestseller in paperback and is in development for TV by Company Pictures. THE OTHER PASSENGER (2020) is a Sunday Times bestseller in paperback and under option for a feature film with Moving Image Productions. Louise lives in South London with her husband and daughter.

#BookReview: LOCH DOWN ABBEY by Beth Cowan-Erskine @HodderBooks

Publication: 10th June 2021 – Hodder & Stoughton

It’s the 1930s and a mysterious illness is spreading over Scotland. But the noble and ancient family of Inverkillen, residents of Loch Down Abbey, are much more concerned with dwindling toilet roll supplies and who will look after the children now that Nanny has regretfully (and most inconveniently) departed this life.

Then Lord Inverkillen, Earl and head of the family, is found dead in mysterious circumstances. The inspector declares it an accident but Mrs MacBain, the head housekeeper, isn’t so convinced. As no one is allowed in or out because of the illness, the residents of the house – both upstairs and downstairs – are the only suspects. With the Earl’s own family too busy doing what can only be described as nothing, she decides to do some digging – in between chores, of course – and in doing so uncovers a whole host of long-hidden secrets, lies and betrayals that will alter the dynamics of the household for ever.

Perfect for fans of Downton Abbey, Agatha Christie and Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club, LOCH DOWN ABBEY is a playful, humorous mystery that will keep you glued to the page!



Loch Down Abbey was such a fun read. It is set in Scotland in the 1930s where a pandemic is making more and more people sick, many are dying, shops are closing, and people are staying inside. Everyone is scared, except the noble Inverkillen family, safe in the ancient home of Loch Down Abbey with its 125 rooms – not counting the servant rooms – of which only six are used. The entire Inverkillen family is in the Abbey, starting from the matriarch Lady Georgina to her children, her grandchildren, and her great grandchildren. Entitled and self-absorbed, when Nanny suddenly dies their only worry is: who is going to look after the children? The death of Hamish, the head of the family, only affects them regarding what he left them in their will, while Mrs. MacBain, the head housekeeper, wonders if his death was really an accident or if he was killed.

And as shortages force them to cut down from six to three cakes and to share toilet paper, they barely notice that their servants are also getting sick until they are asked to dress themselves and make their own beds.

After a slow start during which it took me a while to figure out who was who (despite the characters list at the beginning of the novel 😅), I found myself completely absorbed in this novel. Mysteries, secrets, and drama make for an entertaining and thrilling read and Loch Down Abbey is a fantastic setting with its many many rooms, its locked offices, and the secret tunnels in which the children keep disappearing.

The characters are very well-crafted and intriguing. Lady Georgina is a force to be reckoned with while Mrs. MacBain somehow manages to keep everyone in line, servants and family members alike.

If you are looking for a fun, gripping read full of wit, humor, and strong characters, then I highly recommend you give Loch Down Abbey a read… you won’t regret it!

A huge thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the novel.

Beth Cowan Erskine is an American expat who married into a mad Scottish family with their own tartan and family tree older than her home country. Using them as inspiration, she wrote her first novel during the coronavirus lockdown, hoping it would be enough to get her dis-invited from the annual family walking holiday. Sadly, it backfired and led to long discussions of who will play whom in the film. When not writing features for The American Magazine, she owns an interior architecture and design studio in the Cotswolds.