Category Archives: Blog Tours

Clink Street Blogival: Soho Honey by A. W. Rock

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Clink Street Blogival: Soho Honey by A. W. Rock Soho Honey by A.W. Rock
Published by Clink Street Publishing on May 5, 2016
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 356
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This contemporary crime story takes place over three weeks in November and unfolds against the multi-cultural backdrop of Soho, London. Branen had to leave the UK six years before to escape his complex clandestine history and the consequences of a crime that achieved worldwide notoriety. When his daughter is brutally murdered in Soho he believes that he could be the reason. He returns to his old hunting grounds to find the killer. His search brings him into conflict with the British Secret Service and Soho's underworld. He is forced to flee Soho again after a tragic meeting with his ex-wife. His past has caught up with him and the hunter becomes the hunted. Now forty years old Branen wants to stop running and to remove forever the continuing threat to his life. In an effort to get rid of his pursuers he is faced with the prospect that his only chance of survival could lead to his death.

Read a couple excerpts:

#1 Having just returned to Soho Costas has recommended a cheap hotel for Branen to stay in on his first night…

Hotel California had a small entrance in Tisbury Court, a paved alleyway between Wardour and Rupert Street.

The frosted glass door had a red glow behind it; the kind that brothels have. He mentally thanked Costas and tried the door, noticing it swung both ways, he suspected like some of the guests, and making it easier to eject unwanted customers.

The reception area was particularly attractive. On the right-hand side there was a desk, resembling a cheap pulpit. Behind it sat a tabloid newspaper which didn’t reveal its reader.

“I need a room,” he said. The newspaper seemed to be studiously ignoring him. “Have you got a room?”

The newspaper lowered revealing a shabby, unshaven man with a thick neck and the shoulders of a wrestler. Without looking up he pushed the register across the desk and the movement of his paper wafted fumes towards Branen; the man had been drinking and hadn’t been washing.

“How much?”

He examined Branen then looked past him. Branen followed his gaze and was met by an apparition in black leather sitting on an orange plastic sofa. She returned his stare and smiled from underneath her maquillage. She had a kind face, or was it desperation? The melamine table lamp had an orange shade and the walls needed another coat of maroon paint. He had no idea why red was considered sexy in this environment; it did nothing for her complexion or the view up her skirt.

He could have waited an hour for his answer.

Eventually the owner asked, “Fer ‘ow long?”

“A couple of weeks.”

“Fifty quid.. cash.. a day.”

Before Branen could answer he pulled back the register and returned to his newspaper.

#2 Branen returns to one of his old haunts after being away for eight years… 

A few months into the new job, whilst he was back in London to photograph an anti-government demo, Branen decided to drop in on the Empire Room in Dean Street.

He was familiar with the club from his early days in Soho and he wanted to catch up with the owner, Ayo Wood.

“Look who we’ve got here, darlings…” said Ayo, as Branen hesitated in the doorway. “…My God man, come in… where have you been?”

There was the sharp smell of spirits mixed with stale cigarette smoke.

A punter sitting at the bar turned to look and fell off his stool.

Branen squeezed in and put his camera on the bar.

“What can I get you, Ben?” asked Ayo, who only knew him by his real name.

“Give me a whisky and water and get yourself a drink… how’s tricks?”

“Same as ever… same old faces, hiding from reality, not wanting to go home. I hate ’em and love ’em… and they pay the rent,” said Ayo, turning to the man who had struggled back onto his stool. “Time to face the real world, Nigel.”

“The real world is an illusion… reality is here in the bottom of my glass…” said Nigel as he tried to stand up. “…Fuck the real world…” He smashed his glass down onto the bar. “…I want love.”

Ayo showed him the door. “I don’t want you kissing my customers again… be careful on your way down the stairs.”

Nigel descended the stairs one by one swearing revenge at every step.

About A.W. Rock

Based in London AW.Rock has been a regular on the Soho scene since the 1960’s working in various sectors of the entertainment industry.

All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco

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All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco

All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco All Signs Point to Murder by Connie Di Marco
Series: Zodiac Mystery #2
Published by Midnight Ink on August 8, 2017
Source: Partners in Crime Tours
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
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Julia Bonatti is alarmed by the astrological signs looming over Geneva Leary's wedding day, but nobody asked Julia's opinion and being a bridesmaid means supporting the bride no matter what. Even with the foreboding Moon-Mars-Pluto lineup in the heavens, no one's prepared for the catastrophes that strike: a no-show sister, a passed-out wedding planner, and a lethal shooting in the dead of night.

With anger and grief threatening to tear the Leary family apart, Julia is determined to understand how such a terrible tragedy could have occurred. As she digs deeper into the family's secrets, her astrological insights lead her to some rather unexpected conclusions.

First off, I did not read the first in the series, but I’m pretty sure I know what happened in it based on some of the conversations Julia has in this one. Second, I’m not a believer in astrology, but you really don’t have to be to enjoy this book. Yes, Julia’s an astrologer, and yes that plays into how she goes about solving the mystery, but she would have found the same solution eventually even without consulting her charts. I like Julia. She cares about people, she’s smart, and she’s definitely persistent. She has some great friends too. I’d like to hang out with them. And maybe have her read my chart.

As far as the mystery goes, I though overall it was well-done. I thought I knew who the killer was, then I wasn’t sure, then I thought I knew. It turned out that I was right but hadn’t guessed the whole motive. There were plenty of suspects and clues and well-done red herring or two.

Overall, it was a fun mystery and a quick read.

Read an excerpt:

The building on Guerrero was a once proud Victorian with bow front windows. It had since been broken up into six small units and fallen into disrepair. I drove around the block several times before I managed to find a parking spot a few doors down. The shops on the main street were long closed and the streets deserted. I shivered and let the car heater run another minute to warm up before I left the comfort of my little metal box. There was something about this chore that made my stomach go into knots. Rummaging through a dead woman’s possessions was bad enough, but what if I found something that implicated Moira in a crime? Should I remove it and risk the police finding out?

I climbed out of the car, careful to lock it and approached the long stairway leading to the front door. The wind had died down and now fog danced around the streetlights. It was eerily quiet. No lights shone from any of the windows. I hoped all the residents were safely tucked up in their beds by now. I climbed the cracked granite stairs to the entrance. The weathered door stood ajar, listing slightly on its hinges. I grasped the handle and twisted it, but the lock mechanism was out of commission. Inside, a bare overhead light bulb hung from a chain. It cast a meager glow down the long corridor, cannibalized from a once grand entryway. The hallway smelled of dirty cat litter, moldy vegetables and cigarette smoke. I followed the corridor to the end, and stopped at the last door on the right.

I slipped the key into the lock. It offered no resistance. The door opened immediately. Had it not been locked? I caught a slight scuffling sound and cringed. I hoped no furry long-tailed creatures were waiting inside for me. I reached around the doorway and felt along the wall. My fingers hit the switch. A rusting chandelier with two bulbs missing illuminated the one large room that was both Moira’s living room and bedroom. I tested the key with the door open, locking and then unlocking it. Now I felt the resistance. The door had definitely been unlocked. I stepped inside and shut it behind me, making sure the lock was secure. Was it possible someone had been here before me and left without locking the door? Or had Moira simply been careless?

I had to make sure I was alone in the apartment. There were no hiding places in this sparsely furnished room. I checked under the bed just to be sure and opened the closet, terrified that someone or something might jump out at me. The closet was narrow, filled with a jumble of clothing, half on the floor. I walked into the kitchenette and spotted a doorway that led to the back stairs and the yard. I tested the handle on the door. Locked. I checked the space between the refrigerator and the wall, and then the shower stall in the bathroom. I was alone. I had been holding my breath and finally let it out in a great sigh.

I started with the drawers in the kitchen and checked the counter, looking for any notes with names or phone numbers. There was nothing. The kitchen was surprisingly clean, as if Moira had never used the room. Inside the refrigerator were a few condiments, a half-eaten unwrapped apple and a loaf of whole wheat bread. I quickly rummaged through the drawers and the freezer to make sure there were no bundles of cash disguised as frozen meat.

The main room housed a collection of hand-me-downs and broken furniture, ripped curtains and piles of clothing in various spots around the floor. Had she really lived like this? I heaved up the mattress, first on one side and then the other, making sure nothing was hidden between it and the box spring. Under the bed, I spotted only dust bunnies. I pulled open each of the bureau drawers, checked their contents and pulled them all the way out to make sure nothing was behind them. I opened a small drawer in the bedside stand. Amid a loose pile of clutter was a dark blue velvet box embossed with the letter “R” in cursive gold script. Could this be from Rochecault? I was fairly certain it was. Rochecault is an infamously expensive jeweler on Maiden Lane downtown. How could Moira have shopped there? Was this what Geneva had meant when she said her sister seemed to have a lot of money to spend?

I opened the box and gasped. An amazing bracelet heavy with blue stones in varying colors rested inside. The setting had the slightly matte industrial sheen of platinum. Moira couldn’t possibly have afforded this. Shoving the box into a side pocket of my purse, I decided I was definitely not leaving this for the police to find, and slid the drawer shut.

I scanned the room. Moira hadn’t been much of a housekeeper and it didn’t appear as if there were many hiding spots. I headed for the desk, a rickety affair with two drawers and a monitor on top. I clicked on the hard drive and waited a moment. The monitor came to life and asked for a password. It would take someone much more talented than I to unearth its secrets. Under a jumble of papers and unopened bills, my eye caught a small black notebook. This looked promising. Perhaps it was an address book that would give us all of Moira’s contacts. I dropped my purse on the floor and reached for the book. A searing pain shot through my skull. Blinded, I fell to the floor.

***

Excerpt from All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco. Copyright © 2017 by Connie di Marco. Reproduced with permission from Connie di Marco. All rights reserved.

 

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Connie di Marco. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card AND 2 winners of one (1) eBook copy of All Signs Point to Murder. The giveaway begins on July 21 and runs through August 24, 2017.

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Tour Participants:

Visit the other tour stops for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, features, & giveaways!

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About Connie Di Marco

Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink, featuring San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti. The first in the series, The Madness of Mercury, was released in June 2016 and the second, All Signs Point to Murder was released on August 8, 2017.

Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. Some of her favorite recipes can be found in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

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Book Blast: Audition for Murder by P. M. Carlson

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Book Blast: Audition for Murder by P. M. Carlson

Book Blast: Audition for Murder by P. M. CarlsonAudition for Murder by P.M. Carlson
Series: Maggie Ryan #1
Published by Mystery Company on September 28, 2012 (first published May 1985)
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 236
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Nick and Lisette O’Connor need a change. They leave New York City for a semester as artists-in-residence at a college upstate, professional leads in a campus production of Hamlet. Threats and accidents follow Lisette, and Nick worries it might be more than just petty jealousy. Maggie Ryan, a student running lights for the show, helps investigate a mystery steeped in the turmoil of 1967 America.

Hear More About AUDITION FOR MURDER:

Read an excerpt:

Lisette stumbled on the way to the car, and Nick caught her elbow to steady her. Rob had unlocked the back door, and Nick helped her in while Rob let Maggie into the front passenger seat and then went around to the driver’s side. There were a few snowflakes blowing in the wind, and his pale hair licked about his forehead like little flames. He sat down, closed the door, and stared at the wheel a minute.

“God,” he said. “I’m stoned. A little.”

“Do you want someone else to drive?” asked Maggie.

“No. I’ll be fine.” He raised a dramatic finger and declaimed, “Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used.”

“Every inordinate cup is unblessed,” countered Nick, who had maybe had a drop too much himself.

“I’ll be extremely careful,” Rob promised. He turned the key and started out of the lot. Lisette lurched against Nick as they rounded the corner onto the highway.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

“Very tired,” she said.

Nick tipped her chin up and studied her a minute in the headlights of the car behind them. “You look bad,” he said, concerned. He could see her honey-brown eyes in the wavering light. The pupils were tiny. “Do you feel sick?”

“M’all right,” she said. The eyes closed. Nick leaned forward.

“Rob, she looks bad.. Could we get her to a hospital, do you think?” Maggie turned to look at Lisette.

“She says she’s all right,” objected Rob. “Are you sick, Lisette?”

She made an effort. “Just tired. Bed.”

“I’ll just take you home,” said Rob soothingly.

“Home,” murmured Lisette. Her cheek was cold and damp. Nick felt panic rising.

“Rob, please!” he said.

“Come on, Nick,” said Rob. He had stopped at a stoplight, and turned to look back at them, the red glow making his hair shine like embers. “The hospital is miles away, and she says she’s just tired. I believe her. I’m tired too.”

“Nick’s right,” said Maggie suddenly. “She’s not just tired.”

“Jus’ tired,” repeated Lisette.

“See?” said Rob. “You two alarmists are interfering with her rest.”

Maggie leaned across Rob, switched off the ignition with one hand, and opened his door with the other. “Out, Rob,” she said.

“What?”

“Out. Get out. Now.”

“You’re crazy!” He stared at her unbelievingly. The light blinked to green.

“Sorry, kid,” she said, leaning back against her door and placing an elegant French boot, still muddy, against his thigh.

“My God! My coat!” Shocked, he flinched away from the boot. She shoved, and he suddenly found himself outside, arms flailing for balance. Maggie slid smoothly into the driver’s seat and turned the ignition. The car moved forward and left Rob on the pavement, staggering. When they were clear of him Maggie pulled the door closed and made a rapid U-turn, then pressed the accelerator. The car vaulted up the hill toward the hospital.

By the time they had run their third red light, a patrol car was chasing them. Lisette was slumped against Nick, and he braced himself to keep them both from ricocheting around the back seat as Maggie traced a complex, competent line through the other traffic. He was dimly aware of the flashing lights from behind intersecting the rapid flow of the light from street lamps. She did not slow, and the sirens and lights behind them got other traffic out of the way. When she turned into the hospital driveway the patrol car seemed to relax a little. She skidded to a halt in front of the emergency room and was out opening Nick’s door instantly.

“Need help?”

“She’s not heavy,” he said. Lisette was unconscious.

“I’ll follow when I’ve talked to the officers.” She made sure the emergency door was open and then walked toward the patrol car. Nick carried the limp body into the emergency room.

Excerpt from Audition for Murder by P.M. Carlson. Copyright © 2017 by P.M. Carlson. Reproduced with permission from P.M. Carlson. All rights reserved.


Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for P.M. Carlson. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on August 1 and runs through August 8, 2017.
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Tour Participants:

Visit the other stops on this tour!

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

About P.M. Carlson

P. M. Carlson taught psychology and statistics at Cornell University before deciding that mystery writing was more fun. She has published twelve mystery novels and a collection of mystery short stories. Her novels have been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Macavity Award, and twice for the Anthony Awards given at the World Mystery Convention (Bouchercon). Two short stories were finalists for the Agatha Christie award. She edited the Mystery Writers Annual for Mystery Writers of America for several years, and served as President of the international organization Sisters in Crime. She lived in southern Indiana for seven years. Besides reading mysteries, she enjoys working on her Victorian house and traveling. Currently she lives in New York with her husband and a Belgian sheepdog named Nero Wolfe.

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