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The Lost Queen by Carol McGrath #Review

  We travel back to the 12th Century for this gorgeous historical novel, The Lost Queen by Carol McGrath . It was published by Headline Accent on 18th July. 1191 and the Third Crusade is underway . .  It is 1191 and King Richard the Lionheart is on crusade to pitch battle against Saladin and liberate the city of Jerusalem and her lands. His mother, the formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine and his promised bride, Princess Berengaria of Navarre, make a perilous journey over the Alps in midwinter. They are to rendezvous with Richard in the Sicilian port of Messina. There are hazards along the way - vicious assassins, marauding pirates, violent storms and a shipwreck. Berengaria is as feisty as her foes and, surviving it all, she and Richard marry in Cyprus. England needs an heir. But first, Richard and his Queen must return home . . . The Lost Queen is a thrilling medieval story of high adventure, survival, friendship and the enduring love of a Queen for her King.   My Thoughts

Palm Beach Finland by Antti Tuomainen translated by David Hackston ** Blog Tour Review & Giveaway**

We're back on the Orenda  Blog Tour, this time for Palm Beach Finland by the King of Helsinki Noir, Antti Tuomainen. I also have a great International Giveaway- details on how to enter are at the foot of this post.

Sex, lies and ill-fitting swimwear … Sun Protection Factor 100

Jan Nyman, the ace detective of the covert operations unit of the National Central Police, is sent to a sleepy seaside town to investigate a mysterious death. Nyman arrives in the town dominated by a bizarre holiday village – the ‘hottest beach in Finland’. The suspect: Olivia Koski, who has only recently returned to her old hometown. The mission: find out what happened, by any means necessary. 

With a nod to Fargo, and the darkest noir, Palm Beach, Finland is both a page-turning thriller and a wicked black comedy about lust for money, fleeing dreams and people struggling at turning points in their lives … from the 'King of Helsinki Noir’. 

My Thoughts

The most striking thing about Palm Beach Finland has to be its tone. There is a seam of black humour which runs throughout, in stark contrast to the murder and mayhem which is happening. There are some genuinely funny moments and comedic characters who give the whole story colour and quirkiness. The story has an individuality which makes it a pleasure to read.

    All of the characters are at a stage of their lives where they are wanting more. They all have flaws and make mistakes but there is a hopeful air to the story as they are on the lookout for better things. It is clever to have an undercover policeman embedded into the community as he observes others trying to sort out the truth just as he is. You feel that you are there too, inside some of the characters' heads, especially Jan and Olivia. The incongruity of the Palm Beach Finland itself is not lost on the reader, a Finnish sleepy village with pretensions of being like the acid coloured resort of the real Palm Beach. 

In short: Black humour meets black noir crime.


About the Author

Finnish Antti Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My Brother’s Keeper was published two years later. In 2011, Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. Two years later, in 2013, the Finnish press crowned Tuomainen the ‘King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen was one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and his poignant, dark and hilarious The Man Who Died became an international bestseller, shortlisting for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards.

You can follow Antti here: Website   |  Twitter   |  Instagram
                                           | Facebook  

Book links: Amazon UK

Thanks to Antti Tuomainen, Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater of Orenda Books for a copy of the book and a place on the Blog Tour.
Check out these great bloggers! 
Giveaway (International)
To win a paperback copy of Palm Beach Finland, just follow and retweet the pinned Tweet at @bookslifethings.
 Closing date is 28th October 2018 and there is one winner.  



  1. Thanks, as always, for your amazing Blog Tour support Pam x


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