Showing posts from 2019

A Capital Death by Lindsey Davis, Book Review

Nobody brings ancient Romans to life like Lindsey Davis. I love her forgetful witnesses, dodgy tavern keepers, incompetent house slaves, shady temple augurs, corrupt Imperial transport managers, nosy housewives, hapless or brutal Praetorians, and finally, hard put-upon informers like Flavia Alba. 
Just when I thought I knew all there was to life in ancient Rome, Lindsey Davis introduces new topics such as the Imperial Triumph Procession and the people who produce the exorbitantly expensive purple dye for colouring the emperor’s special robes. I knew a bit about the Murex sea sails of which you needed hundreds of thousands to make a useful quantity of dye, but I didn’t know that the process would be so stinky and smelly. Crime fiction in 3 D, that’s what you get when you walk down a Roman street with Flavia Alba, or just Alba to her friends. 
And not every mystery, not even one set in ancient Rome can feature a murder which involves being pushed over the Tarpeian Rock! That’s a rocky …

Welcome to a sleeker, revamped Crime Warp

After a bit of time re-assessing the blog, with lots of coffee, a ton of biscuits, a few glasses (em, possibly bottles) of Prosecco, Toria and I have come up with a revamp for The Crime Warp. 
I hope you like it - we do. 

We thought it was perhaps time for us to re-introduce ourselves to you all, hence the rogues gallery at the beginning. 

We think it's sleeker, sexier and seductive.

You can connect with us via our facebook page : The Crime Warp Facebook

Twitter :                                                                  @LizMistryAuthor
Website :                                                                 Liz Mistry

Let us know what you think of our new look by leaving a comment below.
So, here's to The Crime Warp and all who visit her ... may she have many more years of celebrating crime fiction in all its forms....

Two Suggestions for September

The Other Mrs Miller by Allison Dickson
A well-received domestic thriller which is full of suspense and twists by the American author Allison Dickson. Do we judge children by the reputation of their parents? Are you ever free from the legacy of your parents? Is there an evil nasty gene that is passed on from one generation to the next? I certainly hope not, but some books make you think. A number of readers have described this as a darkly humorous book, especially the second part. If you are able to suspend your disbelief and find domestic treachery intriguing, you will find this novel hugely entertaining.
Published in trade paperback by Sphere in July 2019, £13.99

A Secret Life by Christobel Kent
I’ve always envied people who are not afraid to make mistakes. I’ve known people to take terrible risks and get away with it, yet, in a similar situation, I’m convinced I’d get into huge trouble. Responsibility weighs heavily on my shoulders and I feel like a stick in the mud until I read a …

Strange Tombs by Syd Moore, Book Review

My sister and I get on really well, in fact terrifically well. We never fight over anything, with one exception: The latest Essex Witch Museum Mystery. As I’m writing this review (and not her), you can tell that I got to read the book first, ha.
As always, Syd Moore is highly entertaining. Her charming and witty protagonist Rosie Strange is my favourite Essex girl and I adore her, even though we are worlds apart. Unlike Rosie, I don’t queue for manis and pedis, or fashionable clothes and I don’t travel with lots of make-up and hair kit. But like Rosie, I have a decent dose of common sense mixed with an innate curiosity.
Now that she and her colleague (and dare I say future lover?) Sam Stone are on the radar of MI5, they have been tasked to investigate strange happenings at a country house writer’s course. I won’t spoil the story, but I can say that Strange Tombs makes a nod to Agatha Christie and the country house classics where people are drinking cocktails in the drawing room one …

Drowned Lives by Stephen Booth, Book Review

Do you ever watch ‘Who do you think you are?’ Or have you ever wondered about your family history? Even if you have traced your line back as far as you can, turning up a few skeletons along the way, you probably didn’t consider genealogy a dangerous past-time. But then you haven’t read Stephen Booth’s Drowned Lives yet.
Take a loner who is awkward and a bit nerdy, with a passion for historic canals, in this case the long lost Ogley and Huddersfield Canal, and introduce him to another eccentric who is passionate about his own family history with its feuds and betrayals. Said eccentric is Samuel Longden who claims to be related to Chris Buckley, said loner who loves canals, but who isn’t interested in genealogy. Not until, that is, he finds out that Samuel has been killed in suspicious circumstances. Then he starts to take the documents Samuel has given him to research more seriously.
Imagine you think you are the last of a line and that you don’t really have any relatives. That’s wh…

I Am the Night, a stylish American Noir thriller series currently on Alibi

I love a mystery based on real life happenings. This stylish and dark series is inspired by the memoirs of Fauna Hodel, the granddaughter of the infamous George Hodel, suspect in the gruesome and unsolved Black Dahlia murder case of 1947.
Written by Sam Sheridan and starring Chris Pine as a veteran of the Korean war and now freelance journalist and India Eisley, who plays an adopted young girl who thinks she is of mixed-race parentage and is looking for her birth parents. The series is set in Los Angeles during the time of the Watts race riots and the Civil Rights Movement, and the setting oscillates between a poor black neighbourhood and the swish Californian surroundings of the privileged.

Fauna Hodel (Eisley) travels to Los Angeles in an attempt to track down her grandfather George Hodel, a wealthy doctor and art lover. Even though he says he wants to see her, she never manages to establish a meeting. His ex-wife tells the girl that she is in fact white, but she refuses to say any…

Careful, loving your children can leave you very vulnerable. A review of two thrillers, one American, one British.

What motivates humans to kill or to commit crimes? Greed, passion, hatred … Crime drama is therefore essentially about relationships and often about love. Loving someone, be it a partner, a child or a friend, it leaves us vulnerable. And crime seeks out victims who are vulnerable. Today I would like to bring two books to your attention which involve the love a mother has for her children. What is a mother’s worst nightmare? That her children are taken away, kidnapped or killed.
The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
Interesting premise: a few young mothers join together to form the May Mothers, a sort of friendship / support group, with the idea of meeting up with their babies. When they decide to go out for drinks one night, the baby of a single mother is kidnapped. Mayhem ensues, as the police bungle the case and the media lays bare the private lives of, first the mother, then all the mothers. Secrets, best hidden, are exposed, reputations and families destroyed. When all seems lost, th…

Der Pass (Pagan Peaks) TV Crime Thriller Series

I’m glad I waited until I’d seen all eight episodes of this German / Austrian co-production. Unlike the reviewer of a popular daily paper, I’m not going to write obvious lazy generalities, comparing it to the Bridge, the Tunnel and other programmes that deal with cross border police investigations. I think he even managed to bring Corbyn and Boris into his review, so I’m not sure we both watched the same series at all. Der Pass might resemble Scandi Noir in its atmosphere and pacing, but Wiedemann and Berg, producers of Dark and The Lives of Others have brought to screen a cracking story with unexpected twists and an outstanding Austrian / German cast. 
When a bizarrely staged frozen body is found on top of a snowy pass straddling the Austrian / German border (described by previously mentioned reviewer as the dullest pass in Europe, it is in fact not used in the winter due to the altitude and snow levels), teams from both countries are forced to work together to investigate this stra…

Book Review: Child's Play by Angela Marsons

Another brilliant offering by Angela Marsons. 

As an author Marsons goes from strength to strength. Each novel is so distinct from the others. Her storylines are always intriguing and Child's Play is no exception. 

I thought it would be difficult for Marsons to top the last Kim Stone novel, Dead Memories,  but I couldn't have been more wrong. Child's Play delves into family dynamics, explores how families faced with the extraordinary can react and takes us on a thrilling, time sensitive race to find a disturbed killer. 

Finally we’re playing a game. A game that I have chosen. I give one last push of the roundabout and stand back. ‘You really should have played with me,’ I tell her again although I know she can no longer hear. Late one summer evening, Detective Kim Stone arrives at Haden Hill Park to the scene of a horrific crime: a woman in her sixties tied to a swing with barbed wire and an X carved into the back of her neck. The victim, Belinda Evans, was a retired co…

Three British Mid Summer Reading Suggestions

Fall Down Dead by Stephen Booth
Some of you might enjoy walking holidays at the Peak District. Careful when the fog descends, all kinds of creepy things could happen, you could even die. DI Ben Cooper is suspicious when Faith Matthew falls to her death. Not only does he have to try to figure out if she was murdered, but there is an internal investigation involving DS Diane Fry which threatens Cooper himself. What will happen to the ever popular police duo? The internationally bestselling author Stephen Booth has won the CWA Dagger and the popular Cooper and Fry series is now in development for television. First published in August 2018 by Sphere.

The Death Knock by Elodie Harper
Some of you might enjoy weekend breaks in East Anglia, it’s on my bucket list. But what if you meet a serial killer, one that kidnaps people before murdering them? Ever wondered what it's like being held by a psychopath? The police refuse to face that possibility, but journalist Frances Latch, aka Frankie…

Book review: The Chain by Adrian McKinty

I read an interview given by the author Adrian McKinty telling the story behind The Chain  and was immediately intrigued. Chain letters were something that happened a lot when I was a kid too and I'm sure Agatha Chritie also used them as inspiration for a couple of her novels. Theri insidiosness, their anonymity plays on our frailties as human beings and can be very distressing. Of course social media has made the chain letter a thinng of the present in the form of those meassgaes asking us to share a message with our friends to show our comittment to or support of a particular cause. McKinty however takes the basic concept of the chain letter one humungous step further and much as I 'd like to believe that particular atrocity is confined to the pages of McKinty's novel, I can't let go of the thought that maybe ... just maybe .....

With that said, here's the blurb:



Author Interview: A.M. Peacock, author of the DCI Jack Lambert series.

Author A.M. Peacock has a busy time ahead of him for the next few weeks. With his second DCI Jack Lambert crime novel just released, he's now embarking on a series of book signings throughout the North of England. So, I'm doubly glad he's managed to squeeze in a wee jaunt to The Crime Warp - (and he brought biscuits - Hob Nobs - Chocolate Hob Nobs, so he can come again.) A very big welcome to Adam Peacock with whom I've had the very great pleasure of dancing to Proud Mary with. (Bet he wishes I'd kept that one a secret too) 

Tell us a bit about your current book release. This book is the second in the DCI Jack Lambert series, although it can be read as a standalone. Whereas the first novel involved a serial killer, and multiple plot threads, this one essentially flows from an initial murder, whereby a young, petty criminal is found tortured in a farmer’s field. What at first seems like a straightforward case for Jack and the team becomes anything but. As the story de…

Thriller suggestions for the holidays

Take Me In by Sabine Durrant From the author of Lie With Me another cracking thriller. If you read this on summer holiday, on the beach and if you have kids, watch them. Carefully. Tessa and Marcus are on holiday with their only son and this boy nearly drowns in the sea. He is rescued by a stranger, a disconcerting man who uses their gratitude to worm his way into their lives. But what does he want, what does he expect? The sense of foreboding is not misplaced. The best psychological thrillers involve misdirection and menace and here you get it in spades. Published in hardback, eBook and audio book by Mulholland Books in 2018.

How it Happened by Michael Koryta This is where police procedural meets cutting edge gritty hard core. FBI agent Rob Barrett interviews a drug addicted single mother with the reputation of being a liar and trouble maker who confesses to involvement in a series of gruesome murders. Apart from Barrett no one believes her, especially when they dredge the pond wher…

Winner of 2019 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Unmasked

Steve Cavanaghhas been unmasked as the winner of The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award for 2019. Now in its fifteenth year, the Award is considered the most coveted crime writing prizes in the country, and one that receives substantial interest from authors, publishers, book sellers and fans of the genre in equal measures. Thirteen is the Lisburn author’s fifth book in the Eddie Flynn series of crime thrillers, serving up a delicious twist to the traditional courtroom thriller, where in this instance the real killer is not the one on trial, but a member of the jury! Cavanaghwas presented the award by title sponsor Simon Theakston at the event hosted by broadcaster Mark Lawson at the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, staged by Harrogate International Festivals in the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate. Hewas one six shortlisted authors vying for the title from an original longlist of 18 crime novels, published by UK and Irish authors, available i…

The Bear Pit by S.G. MacLean, Book Review

You know that contented feeling you have after a delicious meal in good company? That’s how I felt after finishing The Bear Pit. In fact, I enjoyed this fourth book in the series as much as the first. (To read my review of the first, The Seeker, type this into the search bar on the top right of The Crime Warp blog page). I’m not that familiar with 17th English history, and as the author portraits this period with a lightness of touch and excellent historical writing skills, it’s an engaging way to find out about Royalist plotting, assassination attempts on Cromwell, the Lord Protector, and life in London during this post Civil War period. I particularly enjoy the intrigue – who is a spy, who might be a double agent, who might be persuaded to change allegiance - S.G. Maclean draws interesting characters.
I’ve noticed that she doesn’t ever reveal that much about Seeker himself, yet the fans of the series all seem to be intimately familiar with him, some even in love with him. This is t…

Book Review: The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths

I always get over excited at the prospect of a new Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway/Nelson novel. So giddy that I want to savour it ... don't want to rush it ... want to tease myself with the prosepect of reading it. So .. I have to plan. The time has to be just right, the mood just so ... PJ's, hot chocolate, a Caramel Log (or three) and i'm just about ready to begin ... so, just to tantalise you here's the blurb. 


DCI Nelson has been receiving threatening letters telling him to 'go to the stone circle and rescue the innocent who is buried there'. He is shaken, not only because children are very much on his mind, with Michelle's baby due to be born, but because although the letters are anonymous, they are somehow familiar. They read like the letters that first drew him into the case of The Crossing Places, and to Ruth. But the author of those letters is dead. Or are they? Meanwhile Ruth is working on a dig in the Saltmarsh - another henge, known by the…