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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

His Favourite Graves by Paul Cleave #Extract


I am delighted to have an extract for you today from Paul Cleave's latest electrifying thriller.  His Favourite Graves was published by Orenda on November 9th. I also have a great giveaway with the chance to win a print copy of His Favourite Graves. Details on how to enter are at the foot of this post.

First, a little about the book:


To catch a killer…

Maybe you've got to be one…

Acacia Pines, USA. Sheriff Cohen's life is falling apart – his father accidentally burned down the retirement home, his wife has moved out, and his son is bullying other kids at school.

When high-school student, Lucas Connor, is abducted, Cohen sees a chance to get his life back on track – to win back his wife and scoop the reward money offered for Lucas's safe return.

But as the body count rises, it becomes clear that Cohen's going to have to make the kind of decision from which there's no coming back … a decision with deadly consequences…

A furiously paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller exposing the dark underbelly of small-town life, His Favourite Graves is also a twisted and twisty story of father-and-son relationships, and the one last gamble of a desperate man to save everything…



I head out to the street. My police cruiser is parked outside a bar. The cruiser is a white SUV with a strip of lights on the roof and a bull bar on the front, Acacia Sheriff ’s Department in blocky blue letters running down the side. I’m unlocking it when I look up at the bar. I could go in there and find a dark corner to drown my sorrows. The problem is I’d probably fall asleep. That’s the problem when you’re a borderline insomniac – it’s hard to sleep at nights but easy to nod off when you’re not meant to. My lawyer summed things up well when he said it’s a shitty situation. My dad spent his entire working life as a chef, and from the age of forty even owned his own restaurant. He got worried a few years ago when he started to forget the simplest of things, and remember things that never happened. There was paranoia and mood swings, and then he started saying some very cruel things to my mother, which she would have taken offence to if it wasn’t for the fact she died ten years ago. What followed was a diagnosis – my dad had Alzheimer’s. Things spiralled fast for him, and last year he moved into a care home. The problem is he had fifty years’ worth of muscle memory driving him to cook, which is exactly what he tried to do at three in the morning at the start of this year. He ended up burning down the entire care home, and now he lives with me and, every second week, me and my son, Nathan. Cassandra moved out two months after my dad moved in. It was hard for her to stay, with my dad calling her the worst of names every day.


I don’t give into the temptation of the bar, but I do pop a couple of pills to perk me up. My doctor prescribed me Adderall a few months back. I went from trying to not rely on it, to needing it every day, to having to up the dosage. I’m not proud of it, but it helps.


I drive home, picturing the cold beers in the fridge. The moment I pull up in the driveway, the front door opens and Deborah, my dad’s nurse-slash-caretaker, comes hurrying out. Deborah is in her mid-sixties, warm, compassionate, and went through with her own parents what I’m going through with Dad.


‘Everything okay?’ I ask.

‘Everything is fine, I’m just running late is all,’ she says.

‘I have a date,’ she adds, grinning at me.

‘Who’s the lucky guy?’

‘Somebody I met online. I still can’t believe that’s how it’s done these days. Can you imagine the action I would have been getting forty years ago if this had been a thing?’

‘I’d rather not.’

She laughs. ‘Your dad had a good day,’ she says.

‘Thanks, Deborah. Have fun.’

‘I intend to.’


She drives away and I head inside. My dad is standing in front of the TV, watching a guy with veins sticking out of his arms pitching a piece of gym equipment that will get your own veins sticking out too if you’re willing to give it three minutes a day.


‘Hey, Dad, how was your day?’

Dad doesn’t answer.

‘Can I get you something? A drink maybe?’


Still no answer. I move him to the couch and sit him down, and I’m not sure he knows I’m here. I can hear gunfire and explosions coming from Nathan’s bedroom as he plays whatever the hell it is he plays on his computer.


I knock on Nathan’s door and open it.

There’s an annoyed-sounding ‘what?’, and then I step in.

‘Just letting you know I’m home.’


About the Author

Paul is Christchurch born and raised, and other than a couple of years when he was living in London and bouncing around Europe a little, he’s always lived there. Paul wanted to write horror, and it was a few years in when he realised that crime – real life crime – is horror. When he made that connection, he turned to writing dark crime fiction, writing first The Killing Hour, and then The Cleaner, in his mid-twenties. Not long after that Paul sold his house and lived with his parents so he could write full time – a gamble that paid off a few years later when Random House signed him up. From that point on he’s written his dark tales set in his home city, introducing Joe Middleton – the Christchurch Carver, and Melissa, and Theodore Tate, and Schroder, and Jerry Gray, among others to the world.

You can follow Paul here: Twitter  |  Website 

Book link: Amazon UK

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

Check out these great bloggers!

Giveaway (UK only)


To win a print copy of His Favourite Graves just Follow and Retweet the pinned tweet at @bookslifethings and good luck!
Closing date is 20th November 2023 and there is one winner.    
*Terms and Conditions – UK only.  The winner will be selected at random via a random retweet selector 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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