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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

Mirror Image by Gunnar Staalesen translated by Don Bartlett #Review #Giveaway #VargVeumBook11



Today we have another in the brilliant Varg Veum series by Gunnar Staalesen, Mirror Image. Published  by Orenda Books on August 31st 2023, it is the winner of tethe prestigious Riverton Prize for Best Norwegian Crime Novel. I also have the chance for you to win a print copy of the book. Details on how to enter are at the foot of this post. 


Bergen Private Investigator Varg Veum is perplexed when two wildly different cases cross his desk at the same time. A lawyer, anxious to protect her privacy, asks Varg to find her sister, who has disappeared with her husband, seemingly without trace, while a ship carrying unknown cargo is heading towards the Norwegian coast, and the authorities need answers.
Varg immerses himself in the investigations, and it becomes clear that the two cases are linked, and have unsettling – and increasingly uncanny – similarities to events that took place thirty-six years earlier, when a woman and her saxophonist lover drove their car off a cliff, in an apparent double suicide.
As Varg is drawn into a complex case involving star-crossed lovers, toxic waste and illegal immigrants, history seems determined to repeat itself in perfect detail … and at terrifying cost...
A chilling, dark and twisting story of love and revenge, Mirror Image is Staalesen at his most thrilling, thought-provoking best. 

My Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed touching base with Varg Veum again. This lone wolf Private Investigator prowls through the story, doggedly investigating seemingly unconnected events and tracking down the guilty, clue by clue. Family relationships are far from simple and this leads you to feel unsure about what has been motivating the characters. Varg leads the way with his usual astute pondering. As the story evolves, you can only look in admiration at the author’s masterclass in plotting. Right up to the final pages, you find surprises and twists.

    You feel the story is imbued with the atmosphere of the Norwegian landscape. People seem self contained and somewhat suspicious of strangers. This natural reticence fits the novel entirely, adding to the mystery. Don Bartlett’s translation is as good as ever and never jars. The title is perfect, making total sense by the end of the story and leaving you with a satisfying final touch. 

In short: Nordic noir at its best 


About the Author

One of the fathers of Nordic Noir, Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway, in 1947. He made his debut at the age of twenty-two with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over twenty titles, which have been published in twenty-four countries and sold over four million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Espen Seim. Staalesen has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour) and Where Roses Never Die won the 2017 Petrona Award for Nordic Crime Fiction, and Big Sister was shortlisted in 2019. He lives with his wife in Bergen.

 You can read my review of Wolves in the Dark and read an author interview with Gunnar, here ,a review of Big Sister here , a review of Fallen Angels here and a review of Bitter Flowers here

  Book link: Amazon UK

Thanks to Gunnar Staalesen, 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 (UK only)


To win a print copy of Mirror Image just Follow and Retweet the pinned tweet at @bookslifethings
  Closing Date is 29th August 2023 and there is one winner.  Good luck!  
*Terms and Conditions – UK only.  The winner will be selected at random via a random retweet selector such as,Tweetdraw from all valid entries and will be notified by X (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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