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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

Hotel Cartagena by Simone Buchholz translated by Rachel Ward #Review #Giveaway #ChastityRileySeriesBook4


My thanks go out to Orenda Books for the chance to be on the blog tour for Simone Buchholtz's Hotel Cartagena. This is her latest book featuring Chastity Riley. You can read my reviews of Blue Night here  Beton Rouge here and Mexico Street here.

I also have a great giveaway with the chance to win a print copy of Hotel Cartagena. Details on how to enter are at the foot of this post. 

  Twenty floors above the shimmering lights of the Hamburg docks, Public Prosecutor Chastity Riley is celebrating a birthday with friends in a hotel bar when twelve heavily armed men pull out guns, and take everyone hostage. Among the hostages is Konrad Hoogsmart, the hotel owner, who is being targeted by a young man whose life –and family –have been destroyed by Hoogsmart’s actions.

With the police looking on from outside –their colleagues’ lives at stake –and Chastity on the inside, increasingly ill from an unexpected case of sepsis, the stage is set for a dramatic confrontation ... and a devastating outcome for the team ... all live streamed in a terrifying bid for revenge.

Crackling with energy and populated by a cast of unforgettable characters, Hotel Cartagena is a searing, stunning thriller that will leave you breathless.

My Thoughts

The majority of the novel takes place in the confined space of a high class bar above a German hotel where Chastity  Riley and her colleagues are celebrating a birthday. Once again, you see the surroundings through Chastity's detached eyes and as she slowly succumbs to a case of sepsis, there are lucid moments which pepper the scene and give you an insight into what she is thinking. Chastity seems to be unsure as to where her personal life is going next as she considers the men she has become involved with.

At first, you do not understand the reason for the hostage taking but as the novel progresses, you are given more information about past events. I enjoyed the contrast between the claustrophobic situation in the bar and the flashback scenes set far away. There is a real feeling that global crime has led to the events in one room in Hamburg. Simone Buchholz's writing style is as distinctive as ever. This is crime writing with a literary flair. Special mention must also be made of Rachel Ward's translation. This is a series which shows no sign of flagging.

In short: More Chastity Riley please! 

About the Author

Simone Buchholz was born in Hanau in 1972. At university, she studied Philosophy and Literature, worked as a waitress and a columnist, and trained to be a journalist at the prestigious Henri-Nannen-School in Hamburg. In 2016, Simone Buchholz was awarded the Crime Cologne Award, and second place in the German Crime Fiction Prize, for Blue Night, which was number one on the KrimiZEIT Best of Crime List for months. She lives in Sankt Pauli, in the heart of Hamburg, with her husband and son.

You can follow Simone here: Website   |  Twitter

Book links:  Amazon UK 

Thanks to Simone, Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater of Orenda Books for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

Check out these brilliant bloggers!
 Giveaway (UK only)

To win a print copy of Hotel Cartagena, just Follow and Retweet the pinned Tweet at @bookslifethings and good luck!

 Closing Date is 20th March 2021 and there is one winner.

*Terms and Conditions – UK only.  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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