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A Year at the French Farmhouse by Gillian Harvey #Review

  Today I have another warm, uplifting read by Gillian Harvey . A Year at the French Farmhouse was publlished by Boldwood Books on 22nd September. Escape to France with this warm, witty romantic read. After ten years of loyal service Daisy Butterworth has been made redundant. Like any clever woman, she knows the cure to redundancy is a little too much wine and her best friend. Only the next morning, Daisy has more than a hangover . . . she has a whole new house – in France! Seeing this as an opportunity instead of a disaster, she’s excited about finally moving to France, just as she and her husband always dreamed of. However, Daisy is in for another surprise. Despite planning to move there for over 20 years, her husband never actually intended to go. So begins a year in France, alone, renovating the gorgeous old farmhouse that is held together by wallpaper and wishes. Will a year at the French farmhouse be just what Daisy needs? Or could it be the previous owner, Frederiq

Banana Devil Cake by Susan A King #Review


We are off to cozy crime genre for Susan A. King's latest in her Beattie Bramshaw mysteries, Banana Devil Cake.  

With the murder of last year’s fête judge now but a hazy memory, the village of Elmesbury has retired to its former tranquil existence. That is, until a mysterious newcomer sets in motion a series of events that will see members of the W.I. crossing wooden spoons at dawn.

In the midst of preparing for her long-awaited engagement party, redoubtable village busybody Beattie Bramshaw not only finds herself embroiled in a one-woman campaign to save the elm tree from which the village gets its name, but having to contend with an outbreak of unrest within her beloved W.I. group. Rivalry to win favour with the judge of this year’s fête has fuelled dissent within the ranks and, when two members are found dead in mysterious circumstances, suspicions run rife.

Confident the devil is not only in the cake but in the detail, Beattie determines to uncover the clues that will ultimately lead to the killer’s conviction. But can she solve the mystery before another member of the W.I. is picked off?

Banana Devil Cake is a comedy crime caper in the spirit of Agatha Raisin and one that is guaranteed to lift your spirits. Prepare yourself for a tale of tea, cake and riotous goings-on from the author of Marrow Jam.

 My Thoughts

This is certainly a lot of fun as you follow Beattie Bramshaw as she turns her attention to mysterious events in her sleepy village of Elmesbury. This has all the attributes of a cozy crime story, from the plot to the cast of characters who we are introduced to. There may be deaths and dastardly deeds but you are always safe in the knowledge that there are no graphic violent bits coming up. You can relax and enjoy the mystery.

    Full of humour which is derived from the larger than life characters and the petty jealousies which the WI competitions seem to breed, you see the villagers warts and all. Beattie is certainly a determined sleuth, a faintly eccentric characters who observes life around her. This is a thoroughly enjoyable read- just perfect to pass a weekend with.

In short:  Watch out, Beattie's about!  

About the Author

Susan A. King lives with her husband in a quiet suburb in Hampshire. Between them they have four grown-up sons.

The inspiration for her Beattie Bramshaw novels comes from her long experience and observation of competitors at the local Romsey Show, where she regularly aspires to win Best in Show with her floral arrangements.

You can follow Susan here: Twitter |  Instagram 

Book links: Amazon UK  |  Amazon US 

Thanks to Susan A King, Lightning Books and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the tour. 

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