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The 6pm Frazzled Mums' Club by Nina Manning #Review

I am delighted to be part of the celebrations for the publication of Nina Manning's The 6pm Frazzled Mums' Club . It was published by Boldwood Books on September 26th.     Whatever the question, the answer is wine! They’ve swapped the dark and lonely baby days for school gate chaos, but Aisha, Sophy and Mel are discovering that there are new parenting pitfalls just waiting for them… Influencer Sophy, is trying to keep on top of home and work life but is finding it all a bit tough! Everyone thinks she’s living her best life, but the pressure to maintain perfection at the school gates when all she wants to do is cry, is taking its toll on Sophy. Aisha doesn’t know what to do with all her spare time now her twins are at school. Maybe it’s time to focus on herself and the dreams she’s put on hold? But when her mum suddenly begins to feel unwell, Aisha has to rethink everything. And when Mel is offered a chance to live her dream, she grabs it with both hands. But there’

The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone #Review #Giveaway

We are returning to Doug Johnstone's Skelf family for The Big Chill. This intriguing family first appeared in his crime novel, A Dark Matter, which was one of the most read posts on my blog when I reviewed it. You can check out my review here.
I also have the chance for you to win a digital copy of The Big Chill. Details on how to enter this International Giveaway are at the foot of this post.  
Haunted by their past, the Skelf women are hoping for a quieter life. But running both a funeral directors’ and a private investigation business means trouble is never far away, and when a car crashes into the open grave at a funeral Dorothy is conducting, she can’t help looking into the dead driver’s shadowy life. 
While Dorothy uncovers a dark truth at the heart of Edinburgh society, her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah have their own struggles. Jenny’s ex-husband Craig is making plans that could shatter the Skelf women’s lives, and the increasingly obsessive Hannah has formed a friendship with an elderly professor that is fast turning deadly. 
But something even more sinister emerges when a drumming student of Dorothy’s disappears, and suspicion falls on her parents. The Skelf women find themselves immersed in an unbearable darkness – but could the real threat be to themselves?
Fast-paced, darkly funny, yet touching and tender, the Skelf family series is a welcome reboot to the classic PI novel, whilst also asking deeper questions about family, society and grief. 
My Thoughts
I didn't think that a book could top the first in this series, but actually, I was wrong, This one did! I loved how the three generations came together to solve the differences and how complicated this novel felt and yet at the same time, how  it became simplified if you looked at it through the eyes of the family members. There is certainly a lot to keep up with in this novel but I loved the black humour which was there and also the relationships between the family members. 
    The whole premise is very clever. An undertaker gives you plenty of opportunity to reach out to any situations which are bereaved and this always puts an element of doubt in our mind. This is a story which shocks and at the same time, shows you that what is shown on the surface might not always be the truth. It has humour, it has some dark moments, but above all, it is readable. 
In short: An enjoyable dip into the dark side.   
About the Author

Doug Johnstone is the author of ten novels, most recently Breakers (2018), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also playermanager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.

You can follow Doug here: Twitter   |  Website 

 Book link: Amazon UK ( Published on August 2020, you can pre-order here).
 Thanks to Doug Johnstone, Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater of Orenda Books for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

Don't forget these other great bloggers!
Giveaway ( International)  
To win an e- copy of The Big Chill, just Follow and Retweet the pinned tweet at @bookslifethings and good luck!
Closing date is  13th August 2020 and there is one winner.    
*Terms and Conditions –  International.  The winner will be selected at random via Tweetdraw from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.



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