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David Fennell

My Books of 2021

For me, this year has seen some amazing additions to existing series from some of my favourite authors. There have also been some great debuts from authors who I cannot wait to see what they write next.

In no particular order…

The Appeal by Janice Hallett

I was a bit late to the party with this one but it was definitely worth the wait! Told through a series of emails and text messages, this totally immersive book invites the reader to solve the crime. I can see why this has been a best seller.


The Devil’s Advocate by Steve Cavanagh

The latest in the Eddie Flynn series is another fantastic read, this time dealing with a potential miscarriage of justice and some of the most corrupt authority figures you’re likely to come across!


The Art of Death by David Fennell

A gripping serial killer book with more than a touch of the macabre. This is the first in the series, the second, See No Evil, is due to be published in April 2022.

Darkness Falls by Robert Bryndza

The third in the Kate Marshall series is probably my favourite to date. A serial killer has been operating for a number of years but nobody has made the connection until the private detectives are asked to investigate the disappearance of a journalist.


Stolen Ones by Angela Marsons

Another fantastic read from one of my favourite authors. Kim Stone has to keep her frustrations in check when a child goes missing and a man turns up at the police station knowing more about it than he is letting on.


When the Evil Waits by M J Lee

After the ending of the previous book in the series, I couldn’t wait to read this one and I was not disappointed! Ridpath finds himself investigating the case of a child killer while having to come to terms with major events in his own life.


Twisted Lies by Angela Marsons

A particularly gruesome addition to the Kim Stone series sees the detective investigating the murder of a tortured man and the disappearance of his family.


Lying Ways by Rachel Lynch

Easily my favourite of the series so far, this explosive fast-paced plot had me on the edge of my seat. If you haven’t read any of the Kelly Porter books yet, I highly recommend them.


The Foundlings by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

The latest in the Morton Farrier series sees the forensic genealogist investigating a case very close to home. I loved the use of DNA evidence to solve the case.


The Bodies at Westgrave Hall by Nick Louth

I like a locked room mystery and this murder is the ultimate example of this! A murder takes place but CCTV evidence shows that no one entered the room and no one left.


Have any of these featured on your list?




**BLOG TOUR** The Art of Death by David Fennell

When an art installation appears in Trafalgar Square, everyone is horrified to discover that the contents of the three glass cases are the preserved bodies of three missing homeless men. Purporting to be the work of an artist known only as @nonymous, the police know they need to act quickly as more gruesome pieces of art are promised very soon. As Detective Inspector Grace Archer and Detective Sergeant Harry Quinn discover the whereabouts of more bodies and the online videos accompanying the deaths, there is a realisation that someone close to them may have something to hide. With Grace being in the killer’s sights, will they be able to apprehend @nonymous before she becomes part of his ultimate art installation?

As soon as I heard about this book, I knew that this would definite be one for me and I was so right! From the off, we are drawn straight into the macabre plot when the bodies of three homeless men are discovered displayed as a piece of public artwork. The shadowy artist has left no trace of who they are, and any clues that the police do find soon lead to dead ends. I love a book that grabs me straight away and The Art of Death definitely did this, holding my attention to the very last page as more bodies are found in the most grisly of circumstances.

I have read many crime books where the internet is involved and The Art of Death serves as a reminder to be careful what we share online. I’m sure most of us have looked at the Facebook accounts of people we are not ‘friends’ with but certainly not for the same reason as our killer! We see our unknown ‘artist’ monitoring the pages of his prospective victims, in some cases befriending them to get the information he requires. We see how easy this is to do and is particularly unnerving when we witness him sitting in the same cafe as the women he is watching, knowing the fate that is about to befall them.

I quickly warmed to Detective Inspector Grace Archer, a woman with a past which I am sure will rear its head in any further books. The whole investigation team, I felt, was very balanced from the affable Detective Sergeant Harry Quinn to the icy DCI Clare Pierce and Klara, the intelligent tech expert. They are all characters I would love to see develop and so I hope that the author is planning a series!

The lead up to the denouement is tense and thrilling, and when we reach the end, we are left with a situation that threatens to remain in Grace’s thoughts and, again, could certainly reappear in future books. (Can you tell that I am hoping for more?!) This is a fantastic debut and one that I hope will be a huge success. Even this early on in the year, I am already convinced that this will be one of my favourites of 2021!

With thanks to Zaffre Books and Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for my ARC and for my spot on the blog tour.

Monthly Round Up – January 2021

January is over and we’re still stuck in the middle of a pandemic. I’m finding it’s taking me quite a while to read books at the moment so I’ve been trying to focus on some of the books I am reading for blog tours. Luckily, they are all books that I’ve been looking forward to reading!

Books I Have Read

Inside 10 Rillington Place by Peter Thorley

I have always been interested in the Christie/Evans murders that took place at 10 Rillington Place and this book gives a great insight into what went on at this house of horrors. Written by the brother of Beryl Evans, one of the victims, I found this a fascinating recount of the events and one that certainly gave me food for thought.

Silent Voices by Patricia Gibney

The ninth book in the Lottie Parker series sees the detective taking on one of her most complex murder cases to date whilst also having to contend with her upcoming nuptials to her colleague, Boyd. My review will feature as part of the blog tour.

The Art of Death by David Fennell

It may only be January but I think that this may feature on my favourites list at the end of the year. An ‘artist’ is displaying his work in London, but this is no ordinary exhibition: the installations feature the bodies of dead people. My review will feature as part of the upcoming blog tour.


The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths

Thirteen books in and this series is still one of my favourites! Forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway is back at the university but it’s not long before she is called upon by Nelson to help with the discovery of a body on the beach. Just what links the archaeologist group known as the Night Hawks to the death and is there really any truth in the local legend of the Black Shuck? Ruth Galloway at her best!


Hammer Blow by John Nixon

The latest in the Madeleine Porter series sees the genealogist taking on a case on behalf of a local solicitor, opening a can of worms when she reveals that a long-lost relative has left a client a sizable amount of money. With someone determined to avenge the past, can Madeleine help to close the case before they get their wish?


Books I Have Acquired

The sudden appearance of a man’s booted feet had Addis snapping her mouth shut. Screaming, she kicked out at the tall, muscular guy as he dragged her from beneath the desk…

It was a scene from a horror movie; Gabriel Kensington and his wife Lydia found, brutally slain in their luxurious home in New Mexico. The frantic, whispered phone call from their teenage daughter Addis, spending the evening with best friend Emerson, quickly alerts the authorities to the killings – and worse, that the killer is still inside the house.

But when detective Alyssa Wyatt and the squad appear at the house, the unthinkable has happened – the girls are nowhere to be found.

Waking up in a dilapidated cabin, nestled high in the woods north of Albuquerque, the girls find themselves at the mercy of a brutal stranger who could take their life at any moment. While they fight for survival, it’s up to Alyssa Wyatt and her partner Cord to discover just why the Kensingtons have been targeted – and fast.

Because for Addis and Emerson, solving this mystery might just mean the difference between survival – or an unthinkable death…


On a quiet street, one house is burning to the ground…

By the time sign language interpreter Paige Northwood arrives, flames have engulfed her client’s home. Though Lukas is safe, his wife is still inside. But she was dead before the fire started…

Lukas signs to Paige that he knows who killed his wife. But then he goes silent – even when the police arrest him on suspicion of murder.

Is he guilty, or afraid? Only Paige can help him now…




 A large country mansion. A locked room. A gruesome murder.

Russian oligarch Alexander Volkov has invited 1000 guests to a party at his palatial Surrey residence, Westgrave Hall. But while giving a private tour of the library, a gunman kills Volkov, wounding his ex-wife and slaying her new beau.

Nothing makes sense to DCI Craig Gillard. In the blood-spattered crime scene there are no forensic traces of anyone else involved, CCTV shows no one entered or left the library, and everyone seems to have an alibi.

Is it a crime of revenge, the squaring of a love triangle, or a Russian government operation? Could the victims have simply shot each other? Gillard’s eventual discovery is shocking even to him.


My current read is Alone in the Woods by Charly Cox. I’ve loved the previous two books in the series and this one is shaping up to be just as good!


Monthly Round Up: November 2020

With the end of the year drawing ever near, I was glad to read one of my most anticipated books of the year this month – Shadow Sands by Robert Bryndza.

Books I Have Read

The Searcher by Tana French

This slow-paced novel is a superb look at the relationship between two characters when one seeks the help of the other to find their missing brother. A perfect look at how many secrets a village can hide…

Deadly Cry by Angela Marsons

The thirteenth in the Kim Stone series sees the team taking on a case that confuses them from the outset. Why would someone kill a woman whilst out shopping with their young daughter? When the killer makes contact with Kim, she knows that she must solve the case before a little boy becomes the next victim.

How Love Actually Ruined Christmas by Gary Raymond

A witty synopsis of the famous film, full of astute observations that will make you watch with a different perspective. I’m still a huge fan of the film though!

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

This classic tale of the relationship between a boy and his horse during World War One has been adapted by the author for younger readers with amazing illustrations that will appeal to old and young alike.

Shadow Sands by Robert Bryndza

The second in the Kate Marshall series was definitely worth the wait as Kate and her researcher Tristan investigate the strange deaths at the Shadow Lands reservoir.

Books I Have Acquired

Welcome to The Island.

Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re becoming a reality.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.

Who will make it off the island alive?

London’s latest art installation is a real killer . . .

An underground artist leaves three glass cabinets in Trafalgar Square that contain a gruesome installation: the corpses of three homeless men.

With the artist promising more to follow, newly-promoted Detective Inspector Grace Archer and her caustic DS, Harry Quinn, must race against time to follow what few clues have been left by a savvy killer.

As more bodies are exhibited at London landmarks and live streamed on social media, Archer and Quinn’s pursuit of the elusive killer becomes a desperate search.

But when Archer discovers that the killer might be closer than she originally thought – she realises that he has his sights set firmly on her . . .

He is creating a masterpiece. And she will be the star of his show.

Time to start compiling my list of favourite books of 2020!

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