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A Girl Called Justice

A Girl Called Justice: The Ghost in the Garden by Elly Griffiths

A new girl arrives at Highbury House School for the Daughters of Gentlefolk. She’s never been to school before and seems to take great delight in breaking all the rules yet the teachers don’t seem to care. The mischief becomes more serious, however, when one of the girls disappears and a ransom for her return is delivered. With a ghost spotted in the garden and threatening notes being written on the pages of one of her mother’s books, amateur sleuth Justice Jones, has another case on her hands.

Despite being ‘slightly’ older than the intended audience, this is a series that I am loving! Growing up, my favourite books were Enid Blyton’s Five Find Outers series and I have always loved the idea of children becoming amateur sleuths, something that I probably secretly longed to be myself! In Justice Jones, we have a strong, likeable character, one who would not be out of place in any of Blyton’s boarding school books. The supporting cast are just as good, and I particularly like the relationship Justice has with one of the maids, highlighting the class inequality that existed at the time.

This is a well-written mystery story with clues revealed throughout the book, even though you don’t know it at the time. I liked how even what seemed like a throwaway comment ended up forming part of the plot, making you suspicious of everyone and everything!

I’m a huge fan of Elly Griffiths’ Brighton Mysteries and her Ruth Galloway series, and this is another one that has got me hooked!

Monthly Round Up – June 2021

Another month over and I’ve read a range of books during June. Net Galley has been utilised quite a bot and I have been pleased to be able to get some books by some of my favourite authors.

Books I Have Read

The Family Tree by Steph Mullin and Nicole Mabry

When Liz Catalano discovers that she has been adopted, she is more that shocked to discover that she is related biologically to a serial killer who has evaded capture for decades. Part genealogical fiction, part serial killer novel, I really enjoyed how this story unfolded.



The Weeping Lady Conspiracy by Alexandra Walsh

A novella that follows on from the Marquess House saga. After a storm uncovers some interesting finds, sisters Piper and Perdita Rivers investigate an age-old ghost story. A great bonus story in a series that I love.



Hunt by Leona Deakin

The third in the Dr Augusta Bloom series is my favourite to date. When she is tasked by the foreign secretary to investigate a shady feminist organisation, Augusta finds herself undercover in what she suspects is a cult. Just how much danger has she put herself in? Review to follow.


Killing for Company by Brian Masters

The book that the TV series Des was based on is a detailed description of the life and crimes of one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers, Dennis Nilsen. The audiobook, read by the actor Jason Watkins, is enthralling and horrific in equal measures. A great read.


The Rule by David Jackson

David Jackson’s latest standalone is full of the dark humour and fantastic characters that I have grown to expect. Telling the story of how a law-abiding person can become embroiled in the world of crime, this unexpected plot is fast paced and incredibly readable.



The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood

Vanessa loves taking on the persona of someone else, looking around upmarket houses that she has no intention of buying. Until one of the householders is murdered and she is the prime suspect… This multi-faceted book was a joy to read and deals with some very serious subjects. Review to follow.


Books I Have Acquired

A dangerous American is in town, but is he really responsible for a deadly crime spree in Leeds?

Leeds, June 1913. Deputy Chief Constable Tom Harper is a busy man. He’s overseeing a national suffragist pilgrimage due in Leeds that his wife Annabelle intends to join, and his daughter Mary has exciting plans of her own. Then a letter arrives from police in New York: Davey Mullen, an American gangster born in Leeds, is on his way back to the city, fleeing a bloody gang war.

Despite Tom’s best efforts to keep an eye on him, Davey’s arrival triggers a series of chilling events in the city. Is he responsible for the sudden surge in crime, violence and murder on Leeds’s streets? Facing a mounting workload, Tom must hunt down a cold-blooded killer while also confronting danger and tragedy close to home.




They’re in your house.

They want your life.

And now, they have your baby.

To the world, I’m @HappyWife. Online, people only see my picture-perfect home, my handsome husband, Nick, and my beautiful baby, Thomas.

They don’t see the real Gemma Adams. They don’t see my past, the dark secrets I’m hiding in my marriage. They don’t see the fear I live in every single day.

But I know someone is watching me. And now, they’ve taken Thomas.

I just don’t know why.

But I’m going to stop at nothing to get my baby back.

Even if it destroys everything I’ve got to find him.


My name is Alice. I’m a police officer.
I’m trying to solve a murder on a psychiatric ward.
But I’m also a patient…

They were meant to be safe on Fleet Ward: psychiatric patients monitored, treated, cared for. But now one of their number is found murdered, and the accusations begin to fly.

Was it one of his fellow patients? A member of staff? Or did someone come in from the outside?

DC Alice Armitage is methodical, tireless, and she’s quickly on the trail of the killer.

The only problem is, Alice is a patient too.


It was an ‘open and shut’ case. Hawley Harvey Crippen, an American quack doctor, had murdered his wife, the music hall performer Belle Elmore, and buried parts of her body in the coal cellar of their North London home. But by the time the remains were discovered he had fled the country with his mistress disguised as his son. After a thrilling chase across the ocean he was caught, returned to England, tried and hanged, remembered forever after as the quintessential domestic murderer.

But if it was as straightforward as the prosecution alleged, why did he leave only some of the body in his house, when he had successfully disposed of the head, limbs and bones elsewhere? Why did he stick so doggedly to a plea of complete innocence, when he might have made a sympathetic case for manslaughter? Why did he make no effort to cover his tracks if he really had been planning a murder? These and other questions remained tantalising mysteries for almost a century, until new DNA tests conducted in America exploded everything we thought we knew for sure about the story.

This book, the first to make full use of this astonishing new evidence, considers its implications for our understanding of the case, and suggests where the real truth might lie.


A DEADLY PROSECUTOR

They call him the King of Death Row. Randal Korn has sent more men to their deaths than any district attorney in the history of the United States.

A TWISTED RITUALISTIC KILLING

When a young woman, Skylar Edwards, is found murdered in Buckstown, Alabama, a corrupt sheriff arrests the last person to see her alive, Andy Dubois. It doesn’t seem to matter to anyone that Andy is innocent.

A SMALL TOWN BOILING WITH RAGE

Everyone in Buckstown believes Andy is guilty. He has no hope of a fair trial. And the local defense attorney assigned to represent him has disappeared.

A FORMER CON-ARTIST

Hot shot New York lawyer Eddie Flynn travels south to fight fire with fire. He plans to destroy the prosecutors case, find the real killer and save Andy from the electric chair.

But the murders are just beginning.

Is Eddie Flynn next?

The world is at war. And time is running out…

London, 1940. Britain is gripped by the terror of the Blitz, forcing Nell Spelman to flee the capital with her young daughter – leaving behind her husband, Arthur, the clockmaker who keeps Big Ben chiming. 

When Arthur disappears, Nell is desperate to find him. But her search will lead her into far darker places than she ever imagined… 

New York, Present Day. When Ellie discovers a beautiful watch that had once belonged to a grandmother she never knew, she becomes determined to find out what happened to her. But as she pieces together the fragments of her grandmother’s life, she begins to wonder if the past is better left forgotten… 


Justice Jones, super-smart super-sleuth, is back for her third spine-tingling adventure! For fans of Robin Stevens, Katherine Woodfine and Enid Blyton.

Justice and her friends are third years now and there’s an intriguing new girl in Barnowls. Letitia has never been to school before and doesn’t care for the rules – and the teachers don’t seem to mind! She decides that Justice is her particular friend, much to Stella and Dorothy’s distress. But Letitia just isn’t the kind of girl you say no to.

Then, after a midnight feast in the barn, and a terrifying ghost-sighting in the garden, a girl disappears. Soon ransom notes appear, and they’re torn from the pages of a crime novel.

Where is the schoolgirl and who has taken her? It will take all of Justice’s sleuthing to unravel this mystery!


Every family has their secrets…

Windsor, England, 2019

Amelia Prentice is recovering from the worst two years of her life. First her daughter and then her parents have died, leaving her without any surviving relatives. As she gets ready to put the family home, a vast Victorian house in Windsor, on the market, she fulfils her mother’s last request to clear out the attic, and she discovers a strange box of Victorian photographs.

The photographs are of a large estate in Pembrokeshire called Cliffside, and they feature the Attwater family. When Amelia uncovers the diaries of Osyth Attwater, she realises the family had tragedies of their own…

Pembrokeshire, Wales, 1883

Every summer the Attwater family gather at Cliffside to tell each other stories. The youngest in the house is Osyth, a dreamer and writer who waits eagerly every year for the wind chime in the garden to signal the arrival of her relatives. But her happiness is shattered when she overhears a conversation that tears her world apart.

Raised by her grandparents, she believed her mother, Eudora, had died. But it seems that may not be the case. Desperate to find out the truth, Osyth decides to unravel her family’s secrets. But what she discovers will shock her to her core…

What did Amelia’s mother want her to find out about the Attwater family? Who is Eudora, and what really happened to her?

And how is Amelia connected to it all…?



A good mix there – I can’t wait to find the time to read them all!

A Girl Called Justice by Elly Griffiths

After the death of her mother, Justice Jones is packed off to Highbury House Boarding School for the Daughters of Gentlefolk. It doesn’t take the young sleuth long to realise that something strange is underfoot. Rumours circulate about the suspicious death of a former maid so when a teacher is also found dead, Justice embarks on a mission to solve the crimes. Putting her own life at risk in the process, will she manage to prevent further tragedies from occurring?

Elly Griffiths is one of my favourite authors and I am a huge fan of both her Ruth Galloway and Stephens & Mephisto series. Some time ago, I bought A Girl Called Justice as a prize for a girl in my class (she’s a fellow crime fiction fan!) and she has since declared it her favourite book and urged me to read it. After letting me borrow her copy, I can see why she enjoyed it so much!

Set in pre-war England, A Girl Called Justice took me right back to my childhood, with memories of Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers series mixed with her Five Find Outers books. Justice is a great character: despite the tragic reasons for her being at the boarding school, her tenacity shines through from the second she discovers that something is afoot at Highbury House. I liked how she didn’t really fit in with the rest of the girls, breaking the rules to befriend one of the maids instead, although I was pleased when she found a kindred spirit amongst the other girls in her dorm.

The mystery is well-paced with enough gruesomeness to keep children enthralled without ever being too scary. This is exactly the sort of book I would have loved when I was a child, and I am looking forward to reading the follow-up, The Smugglers’ Secret. My pupil has already told me that this is on her reading list!

 

Monthly Round Up – May 2020

I hope you are all well and keeping safe during these strange times. This month, all of my reads have been crime/mystery related although as well as fiction, I’ve read a non-fiction book and also one for younger readers – all brilliant!

Books I Have Read

Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh

When two sisters both blame each other of murder and there is no way of determining which one actually did it, there is only one thing to do: put them both on trial. This is the fifth Eddie Flynn book in a series that is going from strength to strength.

 

Buried Angels by Patricia Gibney

This is the most complex plot to date for Patricia Gibney, in a story which sees Detective Lottie Parker investigating multiple murders spanning several decades. This is a series that I am still really enjoying.

 

The Glass House by Eve Chase

This captivating story of a dysfunctional family is one of my favourite reads of the year so far. A character-driven novel with death, mystery and intrigue makes this a perfect book to lose yourself in!

 

Poisoned at the Priory by Antony M Brown

This, the fourth book in the Cold Case Jury series, investigates the death of Victorian gentleman, Charles Bravo. Was it suicide or murder? If it was murder, who was the culprit? These are questions you must ask yourself as the evidence is presented to you. A great read for fans of true crime.

 

The Toybox by Charly Cox

This, the second in the Alyssa Wyatt series, is another great read after I thoroughly enjoyed the first one last year. A gripping tale of abduction and sex trafficking, this is a series not to be missed. My review will be published on June 6th as part of the blog tour.

 

A Girl Called Justice by Elly Griffiths

This may be a child’s book, but it’s a great mystery story from one of my favourite authors. When Justice Jones starts at a boarding school, she soon realises that strange things are happening. Just how did Mary the maid die and why are so many people creeping around at night? Another death confirms is – there is a killer on the loose. Review to follow.

 

Books I Have Acquired

The Kendrick family have been making world-famous dolls since the early 1800s. But their dolls aren’t coveted for the craftmanship alone. Each one has a specific emotion laid on it by its creator. A magic that can make you feel bucolic bliss or consuming paranoia at a single touch. Though founded by sisters, now only men may know the secrets of the workshop.

Persephone Kendrick longs to break tradition and learn the family craft, and when a handsome stranger arrives claiming doll-making talent and a blood tie to the Kendricks, she sees a chance to grasp all she desires.

But then, one night, the family’s most valuable doll is stolen. Only someone with knowledge of magic could have taken her. Only a Kendrick could have committed this crime…

 

DCI Jude Satterthwaite doesn’t get off to a great start with resentful Cody Wilder, who’s visiting Grasmere to present her latest research on Wordsworth. With some of the villagers unhappy about her visit, it’s up to DCI Satterthwaite to protect her – especially when her assistant is found hanging in the kitchen of their shared cottage.

With a constant flock of tourists and the local hippies welcoming in all who cross their paths, Jude’s home in the Lake District isn’t short of strangers. But with the ability to make enemies wherever she goes, the violence that follows in Cody’s wake leads DCI Satterthwaite’s investigation down the hidden paths of those he knows, and those he never knew even existed.

 

Would you forgive your child anything?

The murder of a young girl found barefoot in a country park and the re-emergence of shoes from the victims of a serial killer from over forty years ago. A coincidence or a connection?
Will Blake is determined to find out, but as he unearths the past, questions are raised about the original investigations and it becomes clear that The Wirral has a killer on the loose once again.

Victor Hunt, the father of the last dead girl from the original case, lies in a hospice with weeks to live. The truth lies hidden in Hunt’s tangled family tree, and the actions of his wayward daughter. Time is against Blake and his fractious team. If they don’t get to the root of past crimes, then innocent blood will flow again.

 

Derbyshire, England, 1603
Elizabeth I is dead and the Tudor reign is over. As the men in power decide to pass the throne to the Scottish King James, one woman debates changing the course of history.

Two Tudor heirs have been covered up for decades, and with a foreign king threatening the stability of England it could be time to bring the truth to the fore.

But there are reasons the Tudor children were put into hiding and exposing them would put not only their lives in danger, but the lives of many others as well…

Marquess House, Pembrokeshire, 2019

Dr Perdita Rivers and her sister Piper have returned to their ancestral home. But the ancient walls still contain riddles which the twins need to solve.

Perdita and Piper have already discovered earth-shattering secrets which will change the course of English history forever. But they are missing one vital piece of the puzzle.

Two Tudor rings have led them to cover-ups at the Tudor court, but now they must track down a missing silver locket to slot the final parts of the mystery together.

And just when it seems they could be ready to expose the centuries-old conspiracy, old enemies resurface to put their very lives at risk…

 

What happens on the pitch is only half the story.

Being a footballer is not just kicking a ball about with twenty-one other people on a big grass rectangle. Sometimes being a footballer is about accidentally becoming best mates with Mickey Rourke, or understanding why spitting is considered football’s most heinous crime.

In How to be a Footballer, Peter Crouch took us into a world of bad tattoos and even worse haircuts, a world where you’re on the pitch one minute, spending too much money on a personalised number plate the next. In I, Robot, he lifts the lid even further on the beautiful game. We will learn about Gareth Bale’s magic beans, the Golden Rhombus of Saturday night entertainment, and why Crouchy’s dad walks his dog wearing an England tracksuit from 2005.

‘Whether you’re an armchair expert, or out in the stands every Saturday, crazy for five-a-side or haven’t put on a pair of boots since school, this is the real inside story of how to be a footballer.’

 

A mixed bag of books to read! Do any of these look like something you’d enjoy?

 

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