#GuestPost WRONG SORT OF GIRL by HELEN BRIDGETT #PublicationDay @ChocLituk



Hello and thanks for joining me at Books & Me today! And I’m very happy to be handing over the blog today  to the lovely Helen Bridgett to help celebrate publication day for WRONG SORT OF GIRL!!!  Go get your copy ASAP!!!

Over to you Helen….

Wrong Sort of Girl by Helen Bridgett

I read across many genres so it seemed fairly natural for me to write both rom-com and crime fiction. At the end of the day, both genres are often about a woman who finds herself in a difficult situation and has to work out how to deal with it. Whether you’re reading Serenity Bay or either of my Professor Maxie Reddick novels, I hope you can relate to the main protagonist and see yourself in some of their actions.

In my crime novels – One by One and Wrong Sort of Girl – the heroine isn’t a policewoman but she does work closely with them and knows their procedures. She’s a professor of Criminology and in each case used her knowledge of that subject to help identify the culprit. I have to confess that I have loved researching all of the topics that are covered in Criminology and there are days when I forget that I actually have to get on with writing the book itself!

In Wrong Sort of Girl, I cover a subject called unconscious bias – how we all make decisions about someone purely on their appearance and how this impacts the justice system. The missing girl in this novel – Kelly – loves to party. She’s wild, tattooed, pierced and simply wouldn’t look good on the front pages of the newspapers. But she’s also a loving, successful young woman and Professor Reddick is determined to remind the general public of this and equally determined to find her. It’s set in the week before Christmas and in researching the book, I was fascinated and horrified to find out how many people actually do go missing at this time of year.

Professor Reddick has a cast of characters helping her to find Kelly including Kelly’s gorgeous but fiery Spanish boyfriend. We also see the return of DS Andrew Dawson who tries to keep Professor Reddick out of trouble – good luck with that!

Wrong Sort of Girl will get you thinking and will keep you on your toes as, alongside the professor, you try to work out what has happened to Kelly.

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ABOUT THE BOOK

A young woman has gone missing. It’s nearly Christmas. Why does hardly anyone seem to care?

Kelly Ingles’ case should have been one to tug on the public’s heartstrings: a young woman missing in the run-up to Christmas.

But Kelly wasn’t perfect – she liked to party, enjoyed a drink, didn’t always make the best decisions. And when evidence of her drunken antics appears online, it becomes clear that Kelly might not just have been in the wrong place at the wrong time; she might also be the wrong sort of girl to encourage public sympathy.

It’s a case that’s right up Maxie Reddick’s street. As a criminology professor, she’s made it her mission to challenge unconscious biases within the criminal justice system – the sort of biases that cause girls like Kelly to slip through the cracks.

But can she get the police and public on board before it’s too late?

Buying links: 

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wrong-Sort-Girl-completely-Professor-ebook/dp/B09FM1GC4P 

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/wrong-sort-of-girl/id1584824924 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/wrong-sort-of-girl

 Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wrong-sort-of-girl-helen-bridgett/1140139387

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Helen Bridgett lives in the North East of England. Outside of writing feel good fiction, Helen loves the great outdoors and having a good laugh with friends over a glass of wine. Helen lives with her husband and their chocolate Labrador, Angus; all three can often be found walking the Northumberland coastline that inspired Summer at Serenity Bay.

Helen writes romantic comedies and chilling thrillers.

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#BookReview THE ANATOMY OF DESIRE by L.R.DORN #TheAnatomyOfDesire

ABOUT THE BOOK


A modern tale of American striving, social media stardom, a fatal love triangle, and a young woman on trial for murder—a mesmerizing reimagining of Theodore Dreiser’s classic novel of crime and punishment, An American Tragedy.

Claire Griffith seems to have it all, a thriving career, a gorgeous, successful boyfriend, a glamorous circle of friends. She always knew she was destined for more than the life her deeply conservative parents preached to her. Arriving in Los Angeles as a flat broke teenager, she has risen to become a popular fitness coach and social media influencer. Having rebranded herself as Cleo Ray, she stands on the threshold of achieving her most cherished dreams.

One summer day, Cleo and a young woman named Beck Alden set off in a canoe on a quiet, picture-perfect mountain lake. An hour later, Beck is found dead in the water, her face cut and bruised, and Cleo is missing. Authorities suspect foul play and news about Cleo’s involvement goes viral. Who was Beck and what was the nature of her and Cleo’s relationship? Was Beck an infatuated follower who took things too far? If Cleo is innocent, why did she run? Was it an accident? Or was it murder?

As evidence of Cleo’s secret life surfaces, the world begins to see just how hard she strived to get to the top— and how fast and far the fall is from celebrity to infamy.

L. R. Dorn’s reimagining of Theodore Dreiser’s novel, told in the form of a true crime docuseries a la Serial and The Jinx—with characters speaking through the “transcripts” of recorded interviews—The Anatomy of Desire exposes the ambition, sexual passion, and dark side of success that readers will find as achingly poignant as they did a century ago.


PUBLISHED BY ORION BOOKS


PURCHASE LINK


AMAZON

MY REVIEW


OOh this was a delicious read! It has it all! A real true crime feel, the impact of social media, tons of scandal and plenty of flawed characters!! I absolutely raced through it and didn’t want it to end!

Cleo is a fitness influencer! Living a seemingly charmed life online, all seems to be perfect in her world. That dream world soon becomes a nightmare when she is out in a canoe with a friend, the friend is later found dead and Cleo goes missing….. why did she run? What has she got to hide? What exactly did happen on that canoe?? You get to play along as you read trying to guess what did happen as it all plays out in the form of a true crime documentary and the book is based around the trial, alongside looking back at the build up to that day and what went on between Cleo and Rebecca.

When Cleo is found in the woods and arrested, the whole world gets interested in the case. She’s presumed guilty because she ran, and social media is a reflection of the clamour for this case and the trial to follow. But there’s more to this story than meets the eye, so be prepared for plenty of twists and turns!

The girls friendship, their families past, the current relationships – they are all explored and delved into via the trial. You really feel like you’re watching it on Court TV as new revelations are thrown into the mix that make you change your mind as to where you think the guilt lies! Utterly absorbing!!


★★★★★


My thanks to Alainna Georgiou for my advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BlogTour THE HARD WAY by DUNCAN BROCKWELL #BookReview @dcbrockwell1 #TheHardWay #ZooloosBookTours @Bloodhoundbook



Delighted to be joining you today as part of this wonderful Blog Tour for THE HARD WAY by DUNCAN BROCKWELL. My thanks to the author, publisher and Zoe of Zooloo’s Book Tours for letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK


When intruders enter a radio station and kill a famed presenter it sets in motion a chain of events that will push the Metropolitan Police to their limits. Officers Hayes and Miller are on the trail of a suspect and when Eric Helsey is detained, the police realise they have arrested the wrong man. As the case grows more complicated with each revelation, and the body count rises, they find themselves investigating a series of crimes all of which may be linked. But what ties the murder of the radio host with a Turkish casino owner and the killing of two employees at a valve factory? Hayes and Miller find themselves in a race against time to get to the truth before more people are hurt…

Published by Bloodhound Books


PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Duncan Brockwell is a full-time dental technician from West Sussex. Having completed his course at Lambeth College in 2018, he started writing in his spare time. An avid gardener and part-time mixologist, he loves nothing more than relaxing at home with his wife, Beks and pure white rescue cat, Milly. Since Duncan started writing in 2018, he has written thirteen novels, nine of which have been, or are in the process of being published. Unlike a lot of authors, Duncan feels he is a hobby writer, toiling away on his purple couch in front of the TV in the evenings and weekends. He wants nothing more than for readers to enjoy his various offerings, ranging from romantic comedy (under pseudonym Katie Simpkins) to hardcore blood and guts horror and everything in between (Under either DC Brockwell or Duncan Brockwell).
 Follow him at: Facebook: DC Brockwell Author Instagram: @dcbrockwell Twitter: @dcbrockwell1

MY REVIEW


From the brutal opening with the murder of 3 people at a radio station, you are quickly drawn into a dark world that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout!  It’s one of those books that takes you down one way of thinking, and then throws a spanner in the works and you’re left switching your mind as to what led up to the murders to begin with!
As the police investigation explores the victims, their families and their acquaintances, you are introduced in to some devious characters and dodgy dealings!  The first enquiry is to work out who the main target was at the radio station, and it seemed all the victims had some secrets to hide! That’s what I liked so much! All the secrecy being kept from their loved ones and the murky worlds they were caught up in!
It was full of action and was told at a great pace that kept everything moving along, and not going off on a tangent or overplaying things too much.  What becomes clear is that some people would go to extreme lengths for their own benefits and that dark element keeps the story and all the different threads nicely ticking along for your reading enjoyment!!
★★★★

#BlogTour THOSE WHO KNOW by ALIS HAWKINS @DomePress @Alis_Hawkins

A huge delight to be stop today for the fabulous Blog Tour for THOSE WHO KNOW by ALIS HAWKINS.  My thanks to Emily Glenister at Dome Press for putting this tour together and letting me be part of it all!  


ABOUT THE BOOK

Harry Probert-Lloyd has inherited the estate of Glanteifi and appointed his assistant John as under-steward. But his true vocation, to be coroner, is under threat. Against his natural instincts, Harry must campaign if he is to be voted as coroner permanently by the local people and politicking is not his strength.


On the hustings, Harry and John are called to examine the body of Nicholas Rowland, a radical and pioneering schoolteacher whose death may not be the accident it first appeared. What was Rowland’s real relationship with his eccentric patron, Miss Gwatkyn? And why does Harry’s rival for the post of coroner deny knowing him? Harry’s determination to uncover the truth threatens to undermine both his campaign and his future.

PUBLISHED BY DOME PRESS

PURCHASE LINKS

Publisher Website

hive.co.uk

blackwell’s

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alis Hawkins grew up on a dairy farm in Cardiganshire. After attending the local village primary school and Cardigan County Secondary school, she left West Wales to read English at Oxford. Subsequently, she has has done various things with her life, including becoming a speech and language therapist, bringing up two sons, selling burgers, working with homeless people, and helping families to understand their autistic children. And writing. Always. Nonfiction (autism related), plays (commissioned by heritage projects) and, of course, novels. Alis’s first novel, Testament, was published in 2008 by Macmillan and was translated into several languages. (It has recently been acquired for reissue, along with her medieval trilogy of psychological thrillers by Sapere Books). Her current historical crime series featuring blind investigator Harry Probert-Lloyd and his chippy assistant, John Davies, is set in Cardiganshire in the period immediately after the Rebecca Riots. As a sideeffect of setting her series there, instead of making research trips to sunny climes like more foresighted writers, she just drives up the M4 to see her family. Now living with her partner on the wrong side of the Welsh/English border (though she sneaks back over to work for the National Autistic Society in Monmouthshire) Alis speaks Welsh, collects rucksacks and can’t resist an interesting fact.

Social Media & Links 

Twitter: @Alis_Hawkins

 Website: http://www.alishawkins.co.uk

MY REVIEW

Book 3 in the series and Harry and John are back! And this time their cases prove to be more complex than ever.  Especially with Harry having his head turned by the lure of local politics.  He is aiming to be elected coroner full time, but it isn’t proving an easy task.

The death of a popular local teach has raised some alarm bells. He was found on the floor, seemingly having fallen out of a loft.  Did he fall or was he pushed?   And when the local magistrates want the case closed quickly, the irks Harry as he’s never one to just settle!  He wants to find out what really happened and if he has to ruffle some feathers to get to the truth, he doesn’t care!

As always, we have the alternating points of view of Harry and John which works so well for these characters as it gives you time with them both to watch things unfold.

The more they delve into the life of the deceased teacher, the darker the plot becomes. His aim was to prove how good small welsh schools could be, but many were against this, and they uncover family feuds too so the list of suspects begins to grow.  Despite their own battles personally, their focus rarely waivers from the case.

The sense of history surrounding the story is as strong as ever, showing up the treatment of women and how society expected them to behave was especially illuminating.

This is a story full of secrets and scandal, and I just loved how determined and clever Harry and John were in getting to the bottom of the mystery of just how the teacher died.  I also really appreciated the notes at the back of the book that gave more historical insight into the times when the book was set. 

A fantastic novel, and a series that I hope will carry on for some time to come!!

★★★★★

#BookReview SNOWBLIND by RAGNAR JONASSON #20BooksOfSummer20

ABOUT THE BOOK

Siglufjörður: an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland, where no one locks their doors – accessible only via a small mountain tunnel. Ari Thór Arason: a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavik – with a past that he’s unable to leave behind. When a young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed, elderly writer falls to his death in the local theatre, Ari is dragged straight into the heart of a community where he can trust no one, and secrets and lies are a way of life. An avalanche and unremitting snowstorms close the mountain pass, and the 24-hour darkness threatens to push Ari over the edge, as curtains begin to twitch, and his investigation becomes increasingly complex, chilling and personal. Past plays tag with the present and the claustrophobic tension mounts, while Ari is thrust ever deeper into his own darkness – blinded by snow, and with a killer on the loose.

PUBLISHED BY ORENDA BOOKS

MY REVIEW

Book 11 of my 20 Books of Summer 2020.

I find myself reading this series out of order, and it doesn’t diminish my enjoyment one bit!! It is one of those series that I find myself drawn to at odd times, and I find the darkness and twists and turns so compelling each time I start a new adventure!

The story flits between the past and present so we get little glimpses from the victim and their perspective of ‘that night’, alongside the aftermath where Ari is set to work on trying to solve a crime with no witnesses in a community that are very close and reluctant to share anything with this newcomer.

Ari has moved to the area alone, leaving his girlfriend behind and wondering if he has made the right decision. He seems to live permanently in a state of not believing in himself and never seeing things through. But there’s something about this case that irks him and he seems more reluctant to persue the crime than others around him. Maybe as a newcomer he doesn’t have that link with the locals so he can see them all a little clearer than those who have lived there a long time, and he starts to notice oddities in this case.

It’s not only the setting that is chilling, but the way the story is written. Ari is a complex character who doesn’t really let you connect with him personally, but the way he works is meticulous and compelling!

★★★★

#CoverReveal NOT THE DEATHS IMAGINED by ANNE PETTIGREW #NotTheDeathsImagined @pettigrew_anne @RingwoodPublish @damppebbles @DamppebblesBTs

EXCITED!!!! Time to be help reveal a fabulous cover!! Thanks to Emma at Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for letting me be part of it all!!

Here’s a little more about the book to get you in the mood…….

In a leafy Glasgow suburb, Dr Beth Semple is busy juggling motherhood and full-time GP work in the 90s NHS. But her life becomes even more problematic when she notices some odd deaths in her neighbourhood. Though Beth believes the stories don’t add up, the authorities remain stubbornly unconvinced.

Soon, Beth’s professional reputation is challenged. There follows a chilling campaign of harassment and she finds her professional reputation – and family – are put at risk.

Is a charming local GP actually a serial killer? Can Beth piece together the jigsaw of perplexing fatalities and perhaps save lives? And as events accelerate towards a dramatic conclusion, will the police intervene in time?

From the author of Not the Life Imagined, this slow-burning tartan noir novel from a Bloody Scotland Crime Spotlight author follows Beth on another quest for justice. Reflecting Pettigrew’s own medical expertise, Not The Deaths Imagined re-affirms the benefits of growing up in a loving family and the need for friends in hard times, while offering insight into the twisted development of a psychopathic mind.

About Anne Pettigrew

Glasgow-born, 31 years a Greenock GP, graduate of University of Glasgow (Medicine 1974) and Oxford (MSc Medical Anthropology 2004). Worked also in psychiatry, women’s health, and  journalism (Herald, Pulse, Doctor, Channel 4). In retirement took Creative Writing tuition at Glasgow University aiming to pen novels about women doctors (rare in literature except as pathologists or in Mills & Boon). Runner-up in SAW Constable Award 2018, chosen as a 2019 Bloody Scotland Crime Spotlight Author – ‘one to watch.’ Member of several writers’ groups and a short story competition winner, she lives in Ayrshire and enjoys good books, good wine, and good company.

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pettigrew_anne @pettigrew_anne

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annepettigrewauthor/

Website: http://www.annepettigrew.co.uk

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anne.pettigrew.author/

Blog: https://annepettigrew.literaryglobe.com/ & http://www.annepettigrew.co.uk

Not The Deaths Imagined

Paperback ISBN:                               978-1-901514-77-3

e-book:                                                978-1-901514-78-0

Ringwood Publishing                    

362pp                                                                   

Publication date Aug 1st 2020

Pre-order Links

Ringwood Publishing: https://bit.ly/2B0I0C2

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/31eOqIC

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2B4gMuk

SO HERE IT IS!! SAVING THE BEST TIL LAST!! Ready??!! 

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#BlogTour THE CURATOR by M.W.CRAVEN #BookReview MW Craven @MWCravenUK @LittleBrownUK @DavidHHeadley

Delighted to be the latest stop on the blog tour for the fabulous THE CURATOR by M.W.CRAVEN. My  thanks to the author, publisher and Beth Wright at Little Brown for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6. Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again…

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

Goldsboro Books – signed edition

hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW

They are back! And solving crimes better than ever!!! My favourite investigating team return with another grizzly case and an ending that left me truly shocked!! You know when you have to read the last few pages over and over a few times to let it all sink in… yeah that kind of ending!!

The combination of Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw works wonders again in this novel – their dynamics are more settled and understanding, but there is still that edge and unpredictability that I love about them.  So when body parts are discovered at certain locations with a single chilling message #BCS6 left with them, it is up to Poe and Bradshaw to put the pieces together and find out the victims and the perpitrator. And it’s not an easy hunt for them – why are these victims targeted? Is there a link between them? What is the significance of the message?  The tiniest little piece of information is often key to each investigation even more so when there is so very little evidence left behind by the serial killer in these instances.

When an FBI agent gets involved in the case and points out the similarities in a case involving The Curator the action really picks up, and the investigation gets more complex and more intriguing to follow.

It is a gruesome and shocking case that unfolds, but there are still moments of humour that lighten the darkness.  It’s another corker of a story from M.W.Craven and I’m already eagerly awaiting the next case that Washington and Tilly have to solve!!

★★★★★

#BookReview THE CREAK ON THE STAIRS by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir

ABOUT THE BOOK

When a body of a woman is discovered at a lighthouse in the Icelandic town of Akranes, it soon becomes clear that she’s no stranger to the area.

Chief Investigating Officer Elma, who has returned to Akranes following a failed relationship, and her collegues Sævar and Hörður, commence an uneasy investigation, which uncovers a shocking secret in the dead woman’s past that continues to reverberate in the present day …


But as Elma and her team make a series of discoveries, they bring to light a host of long-hidden crimes that shake the entire community. Sifting through the rubble of the townspeople’s shattered memories, they have to dodge increasingly serious threats, and find justice … before it’s too late.

PUBLISHED BY ORENDA BOOKS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon Kindle

Goldsboro Books – signed first edition

MY REVIEW

Wow! What a way to get a new crime series started off! I loved it so am already eagerly awaiting more from this series!

The mystery of the woman found dead by a ligthhouse – not the cheeriest subject to investigate, but for Elma who has recently moved back to the area after a split, it’s a case to sink her teeth into and she soon finds it is taking her to some very dark places and questioning motives and uncovering disturbing secrets about the past lives of the inhabitants of Akranes.

With the death of Elisabet throwing up more questions than answers, this book does a brilliant job of exploring the past of Elisbet, with flashbacks to 1989 when she was a small child growing up in the bleakest of households, whilst Elma is left to put the pieces together of the little information they do have on a woman who was very secretive, didn’t appear to have many friends and was always seen as odd and pitied because of her childhood.

I loved the character of Elma as she was obviously hurting from her previous relationship, so having to move home was the last thing she wanted to do, especially with certain memories that it brings back. And memories play a big part in this story as many of the characters with a link to Elisabet are often trying not to remember the past as it appears that things were not all as it seems behind closed doors.

The story of young Elisabet was heartbreaking and tragic. With the lookbacks to the past and what she faced as just a young child was harrowing, and the fact that there seemed to be nobody there to look out for her made it more shocking.

This was a quietly unsettling and dark story that had me totally engrossed from the start and I highly recommend it!!

★★★★★

#Blog Tour BLACK SUMMER by M.W.CRAVEN #BookReview @TheCrimeVault @MWCravenUK @bethwright26 #BlackSummer #TeamTilly

ABOUT THE BOOK

After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming . . .

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?


And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW

The wait is over for those of us who Loved  The Puppet Show and it’s just fabulous to have Poe and Tilly back once more, and this time the search for a murderer is a little too close for comfort for them and leads to some extremely  tense situations that had me holding my breath on a number of occasions!

In a case 6 years ago, Poe found the murderer of a young girl to be her father, a celebrity chef, which caused a huge fuss at the time.  What happens when the victim shows up seemingly alive and well 6 years later though?!  Poe is totally thrown and wondering just what he missed first time round that could have led him to make such a mistake.

His dogged determination is one of his main qualities and it’s needed now more than ever to help get to the bottom of this case, knowing that the father in jail will be out for revenge. But something isn’t adding up to Poe and who better to get back on his team than Tilly! Still as blunt as always, it’s fabulous to be back in her company and her analytical brain is put to good use with so many threads to look back over.

I loved the pace of this book – knowing that they were up against time restraints really puts them under pressure and as the truth of what exactly did happen 6 years ago becomes clearer, it was actually more horrific than could have been imagined.  The profiling and man hours that they put in really gets to show just how thorough that police work is to get to the truth – from video interviews, blood tests and inspecting the crime scene – and when the evidence starts pointing towards Poe himself being involved, it really gets gripping and twisted!  There is less of Tilly in this book, although she still plays a key role, but it’s right that the main focus is on Poe with all his troubles – past and present! – and the mix of tension, action and suspense was just perfect!

★★★★★

#BookReview The Dragon Lady by Louisa Treger

ABOUT THE BOOK

‘A daring blend of romance, crime and history, and an intelligent  exposé of the inherent injustice and consequences of all forms of oppression’ Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions

Opening with the shooting of Lady Virginia ‘Ginie’ Courtauld in her tranquil garden in 1950s Rhodesia, The Dragon Lady tells Ginie’s extraordinary story, so called for the exotic tattoo snaking up her leg. From the glamorous Italian Riviera before the Great War to the Art Deco glory of Eltham Palace in the thirties, and from the secluded Scottish Highlands to segregated Rhodesia in the fifties, the narrative spans enormous cultural and social change. Lady Virginia Courtauld was a boundary-breaking, colourful and unconventional person who rejected the submissive role women were expected to play.

Ostracised by society for being a foreign divorcée at the time of Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson, Ginie and her second husband ,Stephen Courtauld, leave the confines of post-war Britain to forge a new life in Rhodesia, only to find that being progressive liberals during segregation proves mortally dangerous. Many people had reason to dislike Ginie, but who had reason enough to pull the trigger?

Deeply evocative of time and place, The Dragon Lady subtly blends fact and fiction to paint the portrait of an extraordinary woman in an era of great social and cultural change.

published by Bloomsbury Caravel

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK  £13.46

hive.co.uk  £12.99

whsmith  £11.89

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born in London, Louisa Treger began her career as a classical violinist. She studied at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a freelance orchestral player and teacher.

Louisa subsequently turned to literature, gaining a First Class degree and a PhD in English at University College London, where she focused on early twentieth century women’s writing.

Married with three children, she lives in London.

Author Website

MY REVIEW

A sumptuous and scintillating story that has a wonderful mix of fiction and fact and allows you as a reader to get a fascinating glimpse at the lives of some extraordinary characters set over a number of years.

The Courtaulds did some amazing things in their lifetime so it was so interesting to get this part of their lives looked at more closely, especially the time they spent in Rhodesia and to see the turmoil that was around then – both socially and personally for them to deal with, just because they had a more liberal outlook on the world.

The story starts with Catherine in the 1990’s looking back at the time she first encountered the ‘Dragon Lady’ – a reference to Lady Virginia Courtauld who had become infamous for the rather outlandish tattoo on her leg. Very unbecoming for a lady of that time! But did she care?! Nope!

And with her husband Stephen, Lady Ginie had a life worth reading about! This story looks back at how they met, the standing they took in society, the royalty and famous people they became friends with, and what caused them to end up in Rhodesia in the first place. I loved the ever changing timelines which gave you insights into their lives at different points – so much history to look back on and changes in society for them to have witnessed.

Their time in London before moving abroad, meant time spent rebuilding Eltham Palace and the labour of love that became for them both and I’ve loved looking at things online since, seeing the impact they had on it and just imagining them living there along with their pet lemur!

But the story really comes alive when the author describes their time in Rhodesia – their exotic lifestyle in exquisite surroundings are vividly described and brought to life. How they tried to fit in with the other English families around at the time who stuffy, prejudiced views on the locals, and how the Courtaulds were just so different and were harrassed and threatened for trying to do the right thing and being inclusive. Many people would have crumbled under the provocation but they stayed true to their beliefs in very unpredictable times.

I raced through this book as I just became so wrapped up in the lives of these remarkable people and found the whole story beautifully written and a wonderful piece of historical fiction, mixed with romance and crime! A little bit of something for everyone!!

My thanks to the author for the copy in return for a fair and honest review.

★★★★★