Just finished reading The Thief Taker by CS Quinn

A breath-taking evocation of plague-ridden London of 1665. Thief taker Charlie Tuesday is a fascinating character as is Maria who pleads with him to investigate the gruesome murder of her sister. Charlie realises that the death is part of some horrific master plan to destroy London and sets out to solve the mystery before further deaths occur. But he himself becomes implicated and danger, chases and escapes follow at a wild pace while the plague spreads alarmingly quickly street by street and district by district. Charlie’s pursuit of the truth about the devilish murderer dressed as a plague doctor with beaked mask and heavy black cloak is shrouded by the fear of witchcraft, magic and the mystery of Charlie’s own dark past. His chase leads him into the heart of the dark underbelly of old London town, while he wears the talisman (or foreboding mark?) of the sealed knot around his neck.

The novel flowed and it was well written with a nicely worked narrative structure. Mystery, love story, history, horrors; it’s all there. I was captivated by this story. But sadly the ending seemed rushed and unsatisfactory with mysteries still remaining unresolved; what a pity. A sequel planned, perhaps?

Writing one novel is hard but how do you write a series?

This post really had me thinking – and I enjoyed writing it … in anticipation of my Drumbeats trilogy. How am I crafting the series? Have I got a plan for all three books? How do they follow on from each other? How do I remember details through all three books and not make any dreadful errors?

Drumbeats starts the trilogy with eighteen year old Jess flying off from England to Africa (Ghana) for her gap year in 1965 – growing up, facing adult decisions and trying to find her way in the world. Tagged as “about confronting challenges and looking beyond what we know”, “thought-provoking”, “totally invested in Jess’s life now”, “a story that will stay in my mind”, “I can’t wait to continue Jess’s journey”, “wonderful quality of writing”, “a brilliantly crafted book”,  “a brilliant read” …

Walking in the Rain continues Jess’s story back in England – marriage to the love of her life and an unimaginable situation to face. It’s been tagged as “heart warming”, “the triumph of the human spirit over adversity”. Due out next summer.

Before I Die sees Jess struggling to pick up the pieces of her life and make something positive of it, persuaded by her best friend to draw up a “bucket list”. Is a return to Ghana on her to-do list? Tagged as “a feel-good read”.


Why did I set Drumbeats in the 1960s?

Guest post today – find out why I loved setting my novel Drumbeats in the 1960s. What was it about that time that intrigued me and made me choose 1965-6 as my context for the book? What was happening then? What was Jess’s mind-set? Why was West Africa in turmoil?



Another brilliant review today on my book tour!


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First can I say many thanks to the author for sending me  a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest  review as part of the Drumbeats Book Tour

My Review 

Reading the synopsis for Drumbeats my first thought was that this is not my usual choice of book. However although I have definite preferences when I’m buying, I’m generally pretty eclectic in my taste and can very often be persuaded to step outside my comfort zone and try something completely different. If anything drew me to this novel it had to be the beautiful cover and I do think if I was not doing a professional review it probably would have played a big part in influencing me to buy.

The synopsis for Drumbeats gave all the indications of an interesting read. What I had not anticipated, however, was the wonderful quality of the writing.  It’s a brilliantly crafted book where sights…

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Goodreads giveaway 4 copies of Drumbeats to be won!

Get your skates on! 90 something people have already registered for a free giveaway copy of Drumbeats on Goodreads. Don’t miss out, go to the link below and request a copy. I just ask that you write a brief review if possible on Goodreads and/or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com . That would be brilliant! Thank you. Please also feel free to get in touch with me via this website with any comments on my latest novel. It’s my debut novel, although I’ve written lots before but not published a novel until now. I already know some bits that I could have improved – oh dear, I’m such a self-critic! See what you think …



Drumbeats launch tour

Starting today for two weeks the chance to read reviews, guest blogs, interviews about my new book Drumbeats which is shortlisted for the Romance Readers’ Awards at the Festival of Romantic Fiction.

There are giveaways too: a copy of my book, pens, keyrings, etc, so have a go: enter the Rafflecopter giveaway competition.



Breaking news from Romance Readers’ Awards

So thrilled that Drumbeats is shortlisted for the awards, and especially because Sarah Taylor, the awards organiser, says this:

“With the highest number of entries the awards have had in their four year history, the standard this year was exceptionally high with many highly rated novels not making the shortlists. The breath and depth of quality writing in romantic fiction should be celebrated and that’s what these awards are all about.”

I’m honoured.


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