#Bookvent 2017: The countdown begins … my favourite reads of 2017 + Giveaway


Last year I decided that it was far too difficult to choose a top ten books of 2016 because I had read so many which were worthy of a little more book love. This year has been just as rewarding and just as difficult, so much so that I’ve even struggled to pick a top twenty five!!!

I have to keep my choices quite strict and so to appear in my top books countdown the book needs to have been published in 2017, I have to have reviewed it this year  and awarded it five stars on Amazon or Good Reads (as I no longer give stars on my reviews on the blog). Oh, and my Red Hot Reads automatically receive a place in the countdown. As I only started my red hot read award later in the year after I stopped giving stars, I have had to use a little poetic licence on books read in the first quarter and try and work out which ones I would have awarded it to, had they been released a little later in the year.


So … how did the books of 2017 fare? Well we will find out tomorrow when I begin the countdown. There is no particular order to my countdown, they are more or less in the order I read them throughout the year. However, last year I did name one book, Chris Whitaker’s Tall Oaks, my book of the year.  As this is now an official CWA Dagger award winning novel, I like to think my judgment is fairly sound … However, I am having a real struggle this year in choosing just one book to take top spot and will be holding a few titles back a while to give me more thinking time. Watch this space …

Actually – to give you an idea of what might be in the running for my book of the year, I’ve decided to run a little giveaway, open to entrants from the UK. To be in with a chance of winning a selection of my favourite reads of this year and some scrummy chocolate, all you need to do is tell me which one of the following books you think deserves the extra recognition by commenting below, and then head over to my competition page to confirm your entry. For a bonus chance, you can also enter the poll over on my Facebook page here. If none of these options float your boat, then tell me which book you think should be in my bookvent countdown and why you think I should read it. After all, it’s all about the book love.



However, as it is Christmas and I am allegedly nice, I am also running a giveaway which is open worldwide. You can win a book of your choice from the list below and a selection of my favourite chocolate. Once you have told me which book should be my book of the year for 2017, just head over to my competition page to confirm your entry right here.


The books in the running are (in no particular order)

The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen

Now We Are Dead by Stuart MacBride

All The Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker

Follow You by Richard Parker

High Force by LJ Ross

Block 46 by Johana Gostawsson

Broken Bones by Angela Marsons

Rattle by Fiona Cummins


Good luck everyone. The competition is open until midnight on 22nd December so you have plenty of time to think about your answers.

Have a fabulous bookvent season.


#FestiveReads: Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost @crookedlanebks

Today I’m continuing my #festivereads feature by sharing my review of Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost, a lovely cosy Christmas murder mystery. I’ll tell you my thoughts on the book as soon as we’ve taken a look at what it’s all about.

TSOCThe Official Book Blurb

When Holly White’s fiancé cancels their Christmas Eve wedding with less than two weeks to go, Holly heads home with a broken heart. Lucky for her, home in historic Mistletoe, Maine is magical during Christmastime—exactly what the doctor prescribed. Except her plan to drown her troubles in peppermints and snickerdoodles is upended when local grouch and president of the Mistletoe Historical Society Margaret Fenwick is bludgeoned and left in the sleigh display at Reindeer Games, Holly’s family tree farm.

When the murder weapon is revealed as one of the wooden stakes used to identify trees on the farm, Sheriff Evan Grey turns to Holly’s father, Bud, and the Reindeer Games staff. And it doesn’t help that Bud and the reindeer keeper were each seen arguing with Margaret just before her death. But Holly knows her father, and is determined to exonerate him.The jingle bells are ringing, the clock is ticking, and if Holly doesn’t watch out, she’ll end up on Santa’s naughty list in Twelve Slays of Christmas, Jacqueline Frost’s jolly series debut.

Continue reading “#FestiveReads: Twelve Slays of Christmas by Jacqueline Frost @crookedlanebks”

#FirstMonday: Q&A with Louise Jensen @Fab_fiction @LittleBrownUK @Bookouture @1stMondayCrime

This is my fourth and final post in the run up to next weeks First Monday Crime panel event at City University in London. It is the final event for 2017 but promises to be a brilliant evening with not only the usual collection of top authors in discussion, but also a post panel ‘Pitch the Audience’ event which promises to be a lot of fun. With free wine and a ‘Secret Santa’ book swap, what more could you ask for? I am totally looking forward to the evening and it’s been my pleasure to be involved in the pre-event publicity as part of the blogging team.

Another bonus of being involved is the opportunity to interview some absolutely cracking authors. Today’s guest is no exception and it’s my great pleasure to welcome author Louise Jensen to Jen Med’s to answer a few of my questions. Louise has released three books with Bookouture, the first two of which, The Sister and The Gift have recently been released in paperback by Sphere.  Continue reading “#FirstMonday: Q&A with Louise Jensen @Fab_fiction @LittleBrownUK @Bookouture @1stMondayCrime”

#Blogtour: The Last Post by BK Duncan @bkduncanwriter @Bloodhoundbook

Today I’m delighted to be joining the blog blitz for The Last Post by BK Duncan. My thanks to Sarah Hardy from Bloodhound books for including me on the tour. I’ll let you know my thoughts in just a moment, once we’ve taken a look at what the book is about.

The last post 2.1 final.jpgThe Official Book Blurb

It is April 1918. May Keaps is a twenty year old ambulance driver stationed at The Front. As if transporting hideously wounded soldiers, sleep deprivation and constant shell bombardment weren’t enough, she becomes unwittingly entangled in the untimely death of a young captain, Tobias Fairfax.

Newly-arrived in Northern France he was found with a discharged pistol by his side; rumours on the battlefield were that it wasn’t an accident and he had taken the coward’s way out, committing suicide.

Whatever the explanation, Tobias left a dangerous legacy that puts May in the line of fire. But she is not the only one with a reason to want to uncover the truth. And in a world where life can be extinguished in the blink of an eye, May might regret her search for answers…

The Last Post is the haunting introduction to the May Keaps series. 

Continue reading “#Blogtour: The Last Post by BK Duncan @bkduncanwriter @Bloodhoundbook”

#FirstMonday: Q&A with Chris Whitaker @WhittyAuthor @BonnierZaffre @1stMondayCrime

I’m not going to lie. I am very much looking forward to December’s First Monday Crime panel. It looks set to be a brilliantly fun evening, and if you don’t know why then go and check out the First Monday website. Not only is there a brilliant panel, but some post panel high-jinx are also guaranteed. I am delighted to be one of the bloggers for the events and even more delighted because this month I get to do a Q&A with the author of my favourite book of 2016, Tall Oaks, Mr Chris Whitaker.


Before we find out what Chris thinks of Jaffa Cakes, let’s take a look at what his books are all about.

TOTall Oaks


Tall Oaks is an idyllic small town, until the disappearance of a young child throws the tight-knit community into crisis.

Jess Monroe, the boy’s distraught mother, is simultaneously leading the search and battling her own grief and self-destructive behaviour. Her neighbours watch on, their sympathy masking a string of dark secrets.

This is a small town where nothing is as it seems, and everyone has something to hide. And as the investigation draws towards a climax, prepare for a devastating final twist . . .

Dark, full of suspense and packed with twists, this brilliant new thriller is like nothing you’ve read before. 

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Kobo | Waterstones

ATWGAll The Wicked Girls

For fans of Lisa Jewell, Holly Seddon and Local Girl Missing, All the Wicked Girls is a gripping thriller with a huge heart from an exceptional talent.

Everyone loves Summer Ryan. A model student and musical prodigy, she’s a ray of light in the struggling small town of Grace – especially compared to her troubled sister, Raine. Then Summer vanishes.

Raine throws herself into the investigation, aided by a most unlikely ally, but the closer she gets to the truth, the more dangerous her search becomes.

And perhaps there was always more to Summer than met the eye . . .

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Kobo | Waterstones

Continue reading “#FirstMonday: Q&A with Chris Whitaker @WhittyAuthor @BonnierZaffre @1stMondayCrime”