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Death at Lovers Leap by Catherine Coles #Review#PublicationDay

    Today I am featuring the third in a cozy crime series by Catherine Coles , The Martha Miller Mysteries . Death at Lovers' Leap is published today, on February 16th by Boldwood Books .You can read my review of the first in the series, Poison at the Village Show   here amd the second, Death at the Country Fair   here .     Westleham Village 1948 As Valentine's Day rolls around, Martha Miller finds herself unusually melancholy at the state of her own love life. With husband Stan still missing and with her growing feelings for Vicar Luke still shrouded in secrecy, there’s only one place Martha can go - famous local beauty spot, Lovers' Leap. Legend has it that those with a broken heart throw themselves off the bridge that spans the river, but Martha is certainly not about to do such a thing! But it looks like someone else has had other ideas…. Because there in the river, Martha finds a body. But is this misadventure, a moment of lovesick madness, or is foul play a

Mrs P's Book of Secrets by Lorna Gray Review #30DaysofBookBlogs

I am delighted to be starting the New Year as part of Lorna Gray's celebration for her literary historical novel, Mrs P's Book of Secrets and I was thrilled to be asked to take part in her #30DaysofBookBlogs
The Cotswolds, Christmastime 1946

A young widow leaves behind the tragedy of her wartime life, and returns home to her ageing aunt and uncle. For Lucy – known as Mrs P – and the people who raised her, the books that line the walls of the family publishing business bring comfort and the promise of new beginnings.

But the kind and reserved new editor at the Kershaw and Kathay Book Press is a former prisoner of war, and he has his own shadows to bear. And when the old secrets of a little girl’s abandonment are uncovered within the pages of Robert Underhills’s latest project, Lucy must work quickly if she is to understand the truth behind his frequent trips away.

For a ghost dwells in the record of an orphan girl’s last days. And even as Lucy dares to risk her heart, the grief of her own past seems to be whispering a warning of fresh loss…

Mrs P’s Book of Secrets will be published in the US as The Book Ghost.

My Thoughts

Mrs P's House of Secrets has a distinct voice which puts you in mind of some earlier Gothic novels. It is restrained, stylised and quietly layers the story with secrets from the past. You are never quite sure what is actually happening and what is in Lucy's mind and it is certainly hard to second guess. Lucy has returned to her childhood home where she was brought up by her aunt and uncle. As she edits a would-be account of a local Family and their imposing mansion, she identifies with the seemingly ignored child who lived there. 

    Both Lucy and Robert have suffered loss and trauma during the recent war, and are looking for some hope and purpose in their post-war lives. You feel for Lucy in particular who as a young widow, has to stand aside for the returning men, despite her war work and experience. In addition to the literary tone, books fill all parts of the story. You can almost smell the printing ink and feel the paper. In addition to the relationships which are growing, there is a mystery to solve and the element of the supernatural which you are never sure is there. You follow the story through Lucy's first person account which puts you right in the centre of the narrative. 

    This is a gently paced story of love and acceptance which has some surprising twists along the way.

In short: Well researched period detail underpins this story of love and acceptance. 

About the Author

 Lorna Gray is passionate about understanding the past and takes much of her research from spoken history. She loves the fact that writing gives her the excuse to ask people about their memories, and treasures the unique little insights that every new conversation has to offer.

She writes post-WWII fiction and is published by an imprint of Harper Collins. Her titles are In the Shadow of Winter, The War Widow, The Antique Dealer's Daughter and newest release Mrs P's Book of Secrets.

She is also a published illustrator and her work has featured in a number of archaeological reports, children's books and non-fiction titles.

Above all, Lorna loves a good adventure. She doesn't mind whether it comes in the form of a good book, a film or rambling about the ruins of a castle as long as it is guaranteed to have a happy ending. She is married and lives in the Cotswolds, UK. She is very active on Facebook and would be delighted to meet you there. 

You can follow Lorna here: Twitter   |  Facebook   |  Instagram 

Book link: Amazon UK   |  Amazon US The Book Ghost 

Thanks to Lorna Gray, One More Chapter for a copy of the book and a place on the event.

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