It’s my turn on the blog tour for Book 3 in The London Murder Mysteries Series by Alice Castle which is called Calamity in Camberwell. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’S Random Resources for the opportunity. make sure you scroll down to enter the giveaway for a signed copy of the book.
“Beth Haldane, SE21’s answer to Miss Marple, worries she is losing a kindred spirit when her friend Jen, the only other single mum in the playground, suddenly gets married and moves to Camberwell.
Soon Beth has to face much more pressing fears. Has something gone horribly wrong with Jen’s marriage? What is her husband really up to? Why is her daughter leading Beth’s son astray? And where on earth IS Jen anyway?
As Beth’s friends push her to start dating again, Beth turns to Met Police DI Harry York for help. But will they solve the mystery in time, or will it turn out that in south east London, not everyone gets to live happily ever after?”
My second review of the day is another crime novel but is a total contrast to the first one, so hopefully all crime fans will find something they will enjoy in today’s reviews. This book would be categorised as ‘cosy crime’ with a much more gentle and light-hearted approach than the grittiness of the first book and would appeal to fans of Miss Marple, Agatha Raisin and Midsomer Murders.
This is Book 3 in The London Murder Mysteries series but the first one I have read. It works well as a standalone but I think I would have got even more out of it had I read the first two and be more familiar with the build up of Beth’s character and her back story. I also got the feeling that there were some spoilers in here for Book 2 The Girl in the Gallery so it would probably be better to read them in order. I definitely intend to go back and read the first two in the series.
The central character in the book, Beth, is just an ordinary woman. Widow and mum, I found her a novel choice for a sleuth and the whole aspect of her trying to juggle parenthood and singled with crime solving leant a new and interesting twist to a crowded genre and it really held my interest. On the flip side of this, there was more emphasis in this book on Beth’s personal life outside of the crime investigation than you would usually find in a book of this type. Whether that is a positive or negative will be down to reader preference. I personally enjoyed it and Beth’s forays back into the world of dating and her single mum angst about this was funny and very relatable to me as a single mum myself.
On the crime front, this was a compelling mystery that explored one of the taboo subjects of today, domestic abuse. I guess this could trigger some people with sensitivities in this area so bear this in mind when picking it up but the issue is handled very adroitly. The book starts with a slow burn as we see Beth become suspicious of her friend Jen’s new marriage and we see the contrast between the public facade of a relationship and what can happen behind closed doors. We are then drawn into the mystery of where this leads and held through the twists and turns of the book. There were lots of clues and red herrings scattered throughout the book and I truly did not see where this was going to end up, so it was very successful from this perspective for me.
The relationship between Beth and DI Harry York is joyful. I really warmed to him and would love to see how this develops. The focus on romance in this book may be off-putting for people who are not interested in this topic and just want a focus on the crime but I think it was a nice balance and I really like to see the human side of sleuths and police, it makes the story more honest, no matter how ludicrous the storyline, which these are if you really think about it. After all, how many murders do the yummy mummies of affluent south London really stumble across? But suspend your disbelief and you will find yourself drawn in by the charm and intriguing plot of the book.
I really enjoyed this book, it was a nice, light, easy crime story which was a beautiful contrast to the darkness of my previous read. This author is a talent I will watch out for and I look forward to going back and reading the previous two books, as well as whatever comes next. Fans of cosy crime would do well to pick up the books by this author, they definitely won’t disappoint.
Calamity in Camberwell is out now and you can buy a copy here. If you would like to catch up on the first two books in The London Murder Mysteries series, they are Death in Dulwich and The Girl in the Gallery.
To win a signed copy of Calamity in Camberwell, please click on the Rafflecopter link below:
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
If you would like to follow the blog tour, the details are below:
About the Author
Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European hit and sold out in two weeks.
Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, Canada, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, will be published this summer, with Homicide in Herne Hill due to follow in early 2019. Alice is currently working on the fifth London Murder Mystery adventure. Once again, it will feature Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.
Connect with Alice:
Facebook: Alice Castle Author
Goodreads: Alice Castle