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A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village by Michelle Vernal #Review

  Michelle Vernal's A Christmas Miracle in the Little Irish Village was published on September 27th by Bookoutre . Ava Kelly loves returning to Emerald Bay for Christmas. Snowflakes fall on the green rolling hills and mulled wine fills The Shamrock Inn with the smell of winter spice. But this year, the Kelly family is hoping for a miracle… When twenty-four-year-old Ava Kelly and her adventurous twin Grace return home to The Shamrock Inn, their Ma’s favourite baubles bring back so many memories of Christmases past. They have always done everything together, even leaving their little Irish village for the excitement of London. But with the locket her handsome ex Shane gave her hanging just above her heart, Ava has just one wish this festive season… After a year stuck in a job she can’t stand and going on dreadful dates, Ava longs to be back with Shane. Curling up in front of the fire with him, the brooding fisherman everyone else sees melts away as his blue eyes meet hers.

Needle Song by Russell Day ** Blog Tour Review**

Today we are featuring Russell Day's Needle Song on the blog. If you enjoy crime fiction, this could be one for you!

Spending the night with a beautiful woman would be a good alibi, if the body in the next room wasn't her husband.

Doc Slidesmith has a habit of knowing things he shouldn’t. He knows the woman Chris Rudjer meets online is married. He knows the adult fun she’s looking for is likely to be short lived. And when her husband’s killed, he knows Chris Rudjer didn’t do it.

Only trouble is the police disagree and no one wants to waste time investigating an open and shut case.

No one except Doc.

Using lies, blackmail and a loaded pack of Tarot cards, Doc sets about looking for the truth - but the more truth he finds, the less he thinks his friend is going to like it.

My Thoughts

This is a crime novel with a distinctive tone. It feels relevant and up to date, partly because of the central figure of Doc Slidesmith who is not your everyday crime investigator. With a background in psychology, a tattoo shop and a pack of tarot cards, you come to see that his approach is going to catch people off balance. I particularly enjoyed it when he mapped out his thoughts and observations and talked his assistant, Yakky through them. You can see his line of logic and it is a reference back to the crime genre. He even has what he terms an 'Agatha Christie fetish' - wanting to know 'Why?' something happened as the key into solving a case.

    Told from Yakky's perspective, you get to observe Doc Slidesmith in action and to listen in as they talk through the evidence and tease out the clues. Yakky is more interested in the 'How?' rather than the 'Why?' but is a good foil. There are several classic crime memes within the story, echoing Agatha Christie herself, none more so than the exposition towards the end. It is an interestingly put together story and well worth a read.

In short: Crime with an edge. 

About the Author

Russell Day was born in 1966 and grew up in Harlesden, NW10 – a geographic region searching for an alibi. From an early age it was clear the only things he cared about were motorcycles, tattoos and writing. At a later stage he added family life to his list of interests and now lives with his wife and two children. He’s still in London, but has moved south of the river for the milder climate.

Although he only writes crime fiction Russ doesn’t consider his work restricted. ‘As long as there have been people there has been crime, as long as there are people there will be crime.’ That attitude leaves a lot of scope for settings and characters. One of the first short stories he had published, The Second Rat and the Automatic Nun, was a double-cross story set in a world where the church had taken over policing. In his first novel, Needle Song, an amateur detective employs logic, psychology and a loaded pack of tarot cards to investigate a death.

Russ often tells people he seldom smiles due to nerve damage, sustained when his jaw was broken. In fact, this is a total fabrication and his family will tell you he’s has always been a miserable bastard. 

You can follow Russell here: Twitter | Website 

Thanks to Russell Day, Fahrenheit Press and Emma of Damppebbles Blog Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the tour. 

Check out the rest of the tour!



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