Book Review: ‘The Lost Inheritance Mystery’ by Ben Hammott

An enjoyable Victorian-style mystery story.

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Ben Hammott Lost Inheritance Mystery

This is an enjoyable gothic Victorian-style mystery story, fashioned in a manner that aims to emulate the style of Dickens’ portrayal of the people and society of the time. The writing and character development are infused with humour, and the story itself is interesting, although the pace of the story is at times a little slower than I would have preferred. The characters are likeable, even if their names are somewhat contrived, albeit in a humorous way. As the story draws to an end, Hammott delivers a series of clever twists that add to both the irony and the Dickensian humour of the book.

The final chapter, though, brought with it a complete change of pace, which I suspect the book may have been better off without – there is nothing wrong with this chapter in itself, but i think it may have served better as the first chapter of the next mystery misadventure for these characters.

Acorn Award III BronzeI did enjoy this book, although not as much as I have enjoyed others of Ben Hammott’s works, so I’m awarding it a Bronze Acorn.

Find ‘The Lost Inheritance Mystery’ on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘Hope’s Well’ by India Emerald

A mysterious and interesting short story.

‘Hope’s Well’ tells the tale of Verity Buckthorne and her fascination with a mysterious well near her home.

The reader develops quite an insight into the working of Verity’s mind by reading her diary entries, which makes the story interesting on a psychological level as well as a fictional one.

The tale is crafted cleverly, with a slow build toward the climax and suggestions of other mysteries along the way. It has a lovely reminiscent sense of times gone by and old-fashioned charm, achieved by the author’s development of both characters and setting.

‘Hope’s Well’ is a short but substantial read that will please lovers of mystery and speculative fiction.

Acorn Award I GoldenBook Squirrel has awarded Hope’s Well a Golden Acorn.

Find this book on Amazon.

Dec 11 ~ Featured Book: ‘Daisy Chain’ by Mark Montgomery

A powerful blend of mystery/thriller and erotica, ‘Daisy Chain’ is an adults-only trip back to the 1970s. 

Book Squirrel’s Advent Event featured book for December 11 is ‘Daisy Chain’ by Mark Montgomery

A powerful blend of mystery/thriller and erotica, ‘Daisy Chain’ is an adults-only trip back to the 1970s.

Mark Montgomery Daisy Chain

Alexandra ‘Alex’ Holman-Hunt and Dr Oliver Kane live in worlds, poles apart. Alex lives and breathes the new—fashion. She hopes to influence a modern generation of women. Help them shape the way they dress—a new look to take them away from the austerity of the Fifties and the excesses of the Sixties. A new look to better place them in a man’s world. Oliver Kane is very much buried in the past—the study of human history. He lives for what lies under the ground, sharing his passion with best friends; Linnet ‘Lunar’ Moon, a ‘hippy digger’, and a small black and white dog called Hector. He lives and works in academia, teaching his discipline, but also works with new enlightened Law and Order— new techniques to uncover bones and bodies—a new science; forensic archaeology.

Their story, set in Britain, France and West Germany, is played out to the rich sounds and sights of the Seventies; in a world shaped by a terrible world war, and a new world order dictated by new freedoms and new constraints, as communism and democracy fight a new cold war. The world holds its breath. London holds it breath too—a killer stalks, and Oliver is drawn into the intrigue surrounding a serial murderer. Alex is stalked too, by a shadow intent on harm. She fears for her life—who will help her? 

Five lives collide. Secrets are uncovered—death and discovery—murder and mutilation. A string of events unfold—a daisy chain.

Daisy Chain is a powerful, complex erotic thriller from the masterly pen of Mark Montgomery, author of the popular Borderer Chronicles. A tale full of rich characters, gripping story telling, profound thought and an affectionate nod to a different time—when innocence still existed in a pre-internet world. 

‘Daisy Chain’ is available at Amazon.

Book Review: ‘Bound’ by R.M Gauthier

The mystery surrounding Landon Miller builds to a heart-pounding crescendo in this fantastic sequel to ‘Control’.

R.M. Gauthier Bound
The mystery surrounding Landon Miller builds to a heart-pounding crescendo in this fantastic sequel to ‘Control’.
 The action is fast-paced and unpredictable, providing a really effective contrast between those moments of waiting and wondering that heighten the tension and intrigue even further.

Gauthier’s characters are for the well-written and believable, and the reader continues to build empathy with Lexi throughout the story. I felt involved in the story and shared in Lexi’s frustration and anger with various situations and other characters at various points of the plot. Gauthier very cleverly positions the reader to understand the central character so that her responses feel both reasonable and justified, even though the reader might not personally respond in the same ways. In all honesty, I know Lexi is much more brave than I am, even if her stubbornness is something I can totally relate to.

This was a great read that focused on the mystery and the chase, rather than the “underground lifestyle” portrayed in ‘Control’, which was really only alluded to in ‘Bound’.

Golden Acorns

‘Bound’ gets a lovely shiny Golden Acorn!

I’m really keen for the release of the third book in the series.

Book Review: ‘Michael’ by Valerie Albermarle

An interesting and enjoyable story.

One of the marks of a wonderful writer is that they are able to capture the reader’s imagination from the outset. When Michael wakes up to a clock that reads 15:74, the reader is drawn into the mind of Michael and into the world where he works so hard to make sense of things. So many questions are raised in both Michael’s mind and that of the reader, both directly and by inference, that one is keen to discover the answers.

Valerie Albermarle Michael

Albermarle’s writing is delightfully visual. “Out in the street a robust wind played with sparkling beads of the night’s rain.” It is images like this that make reading a book like ‘Michael’ so engrossing: the imagination is regularly fed a delicious morsel that keeps one hungering for more.

Michael is a complex and well developed character. By revealing different layers of his life and personality at different times, the author invites the reader into something of a relationship with the character, developing empathy with him as the story progresses. Quirky and thoughtful, Michael is a man to whom the reader warms very quickly.

The author often leads the reader to contemplate the significance of time, not just in terms of a rogue clock, but also in how we think about time and often disregard it. This adds a layer of reflection to one’s reading of the story, causing one to think about their own relationship with time and deadlines and further engaging them in the premise of the book.
“Round clock faces without beginning or end gave the illusion of infinite repetitions, infinite new chances, while digital clocks showed only how early or late you were for an event in your infinite life. But old instruments like sand or water clocks weren’t shy about telling people that the time runs out, and life together with it.”

At times the story picks up a new strand, which leaves the reader wondering but intrigued until, before long, things fall into place and the fabric of the story begins to be woven together from all those different threads.

The best way to experience this story is to not be set in one’s expectations of what it will be or what it will deliver. Allow the author to stimulate and lead your thinking. The structure of the story, and the story itself, are reminders that life is not predictable or set in stone. Approaching stories, or life itself, with an open mind provides endless possibilities, while closing doors leaves one alone with disappointed expectations.Silver Acorns

I very much enjoyed the journey that this story took me on. I’ve awarded it a Silver Acorn.

‘Michael’ by Valerie Albermarle is available on Amazon.

Book Review: Blessedly Bound by Lucretia Stanhope

This paranormal mystery is so bewitching,I found it hard to put down.

Lucretia Stanhope Blessedly Bound

‘Blessedly Bound’ is so bewitching,I found it hard to put down.

The central character, Gwen, is an enigma of strength and vulnerability combined, which makes her easy to empathise with: surely, when we are being honest, that is how we perceive ourselves?

The reader is also tantalised by the fact that the reader doesn’t ever really know who the good guys are – the candidates for Gwen’s “hero” are compelling blends of good and bad, so that one is never really sure which way each of them will turn out.

While the pivotal storyline of the book is brought to a satisfying resolution, there is still plenty of mystery and intrigue left for sequels as questions, doubts, and fears remain.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I’ll definitely be reading the sequel.
I’ve given this great paranormal mystery read five stars.

Blessedly Bound and other books by the same author are available on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘Leger – Cat Sleuth’ by Lacie Dearie

A delightfully feline short story.

‘Leger – Cat Sleuth’ is a delightful short story in which a cat takes on the role of detective to solve a mystery that unfolds very close to his home.

It’s written with good humor and clever characterization of the protagonist and his animal friends, feline and otherwise, who help him find the pieces of the puzzle and find the culprit he seeks. 
Suitable for any reader from young adult upwards, this story is a short read but contains enough charm and interest to engage a reader and entertain their imagination.

‘Leger – Cat Sleuth’ and others in the series are available on Amazon.