#BookReview - A Pearl for My Mistress by Annabel Fielding

A story of class, scandal and forbidden passions in the shadow of war. Perfect for fans of Iona Grey, Gill Paul and Downton Abbey.

England, 1934. Hester Blake, an ambitious girl from an industrial Northern town, finds a job as a lady's maid in a small aristocratic household.
Despite their impressive title and glorious past, the Fitzmartins are crumbling under the pressures of the new century. And in the cold isolation of these new surroundings, Hester ends up hopelessly besotted with her young mistress, Lady Lucy.
Accompanying Lucy on her London Season, Hester is plunged into a heady and decadent world. But hushed whispers of another war swirl beneath the capital... and soon, Hester finds herself the keeper of some of society's most dangerous secrets...

The years leading up to the Second World War are one of my favourite periods to read about so I was delighted when Annabel Fielding contacted me to ask if I'd be interested in reviewing A Pearl for My Mistress. Many thanks to …

Book Review- Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey


In the chilling new crime novel from award-winning author Jane Casey, Detective Maeve Kerrigan and the murder squad must navigate a web of lies to discover the truth…

A murder without a body
Eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home one day to find the house covered in blood and Kate, her mother, gone. There may not be a body, but everything else points to murder.

A girl too scared to talk
Maeve Kerrigan is young, ambitious and determined to prove she’s up to her new role as detective sergeant. She suspects Chloe is holding something back, but best friend Bethany Norris won’t let Maeve get close. What exactly is Bethany protecting Chloe from?

A detective with everything to prove
As the team dig deeper into the residents of Valerian Road, no one is above suspicion. All Maeve needs is one person to talk, but that’s not going to happen. Because even in a case of murder, some secrets are too terrible to share.

Let the Dead Speak is actually the seventh Maeve Kerrigan book, and true to form the first I have read. Thankfully it mostly works well as a stand alone book but I did feel I would have benefitted from knowing more about the history of Maeve and her fellow officers, particularly Josh Derwent, so if possible I would recommend reading the books in order if you can. However, this is still a fantastically gripping novel and has persuaded me to read the rest of the series.
The mystery itself rests on the copious amount of blood discovered by Chloe Emery in her home. The police quickly determine that this much blood loss has to mean a murder, and yet there is no body. Chloe's mum, Kate is missing so is she the victim and how are the police going to investigate when it seems that everybody they speak to is holding something back? Let the Dead Speak is a terrific police procedural for anybody who enjoys a thriller with a compelling mystery. It combines a strong plot with complex and well-drawn characters - the investigators and those under suspicion. Although the story has an intriguing premise it is this sharp characterisation that for me really made the story. The intricacies of the various relationships in the book give it a real heart. Some of the characters are immensely unlikeable but nevertheless still interesting, and even those who are more sympathetic are still flawed and  multidimensional. Some of my suspicions were realised but part of the fun of reading a thriller is being proven right and there were still plenty of twists I was surprised by. I'm delighted to have been introduced to Maeve Kerrigan and knowing I now have six more books featuring her is an extra treat.
Many thanks to the publishers, Harper Collins UK for my advance copy received from Netgalley in return for this review.

Let the Dead Speak will be on sale in the UK from 9th March 2017.


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