Tag Archives: True Crime

**Blog tour** The Murder Of Harriet Monckton by Elizabeth Haynes @Elizjhaynes @MyriadEditions #HarrietMonckton #MustReads

Today I’m over the moon to be on The Murder Of Harriet Monckton by Elizabeth Haynes blog tour. From the award-winning and bestselling author of Into the Darkest Corner comes a delicious Victorian crime novel based on a true story that shocked and fascinated the nation. Before I share my review here’s the book description to pique your interest…..

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On 7th November 1843, Harriet Monckton, 23 years old and a woman of respectable parentage and religious habits, is found murdered in the privy behind the chapel she regularly attended in Bromley, Kent.

The community is appalled by her death, apparently as a result of swallowing a fatal dose of prussic acid, and even more so when the surgeon reports that Harriet was around six months pregnant.

Drawing on the coroner’s reports and witness testimonies, Elizabeth Haynes builds a compelling picture of Harriet’s final hours through the eyes of those closest to her and the last people to see her alive. Her fellow teacher and companion, her would-be fiancé, her seducer, her former lover—all are suspects; each has a reason to want her dead.

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I’m convinced I have just read a book that’s definitely going to be on my list of “top reads of 2018”of the year. I’m a huge fan of Elizabeth Haynes writing and I love a good crime thriller,  but until now I’ve always shied away from historical crime fiction I much prefer to read books written in the “here and now”. I’m thrilled that I decided to put my concerns to one side and pick up The Murder Of Harriet Monckton, what a fabulous book it turned out to be. I will never forget Harriet Monckton’s story as it’s based on fact. This novel is not only fascinating and beautifully written, it’s also one of the most compelling books I’ve read EVER.

Harriet was murdered in 1843 in Bromley, England. Elizabeth Haynes stumbled across some documents whilst researching another novel and this is Harriet’s enthralling story. I must applaud Elizabeth Haynes on her meticulous research into Harriet Monckton and Bromley as it was in 1843, as the reader you not only get a sense of time and place, but the claustrophobic feel of a town that has its fair share of narrow minded bigots.

Drawing on coroner’s reports and witness testimonies, the novel unfolds from the viewpoints of each of the main characters. The Murder Of Harriett Monckton has a rich array of characters, that all draw suspicion, you have Harriet’s fellow teacher and companion, her would-be fiancé, her seducer, her former lover, each one appears to have a very good reason for wanting her dead. Many are seen as upstanding pillars of the community but each and everyone comes under close scrutiny, vividly described by the author each character is brought to life. I found this novel fascinating especially the coroners investigation into Harriet’s death, everything about the investigation felt primitive but incredibly authentic.   

Harriet’s story made for an emotive read, here was a young girl naive in many ways who just happened to be led by her heart and the events that followed shaped her short and tragic life. Once I reached the afterword by the author I find myself becoming very emotional (ok I cried ugly tears), I had become so invested in Harriet’s story like Elizabeth Haynes I too wanted justice for her. To this day Harriet’s murder might remain unsolved, but the author’s gives a satisfying and entirely plausible explanation to her death.

Without a shadow of a doubt The Murder Of Harriet Monckton is a must read, the writing is sublime, the characters are wonderfully depicted, I’m sure Harriet’s story is one that will stay with me for a long time, it’s haunting and moving, and I would like to think Harriet is pleased her story has been told with such passion. In case you haven’t guessed I simply loved this book and I really can not recommend this novel highly enough.

This is going to come as no surprise but I’m giving  The Murder Of Harriet Monckton the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reached the very last page.

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  • Print Length: 437 pages
  • Publisher: Myriad Editions (28 Sept. 2018)

Buying links:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

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Elizabeth Haynes worked for many years as a police analyst. Her debut novel, Into the Darkest Corner, won Amazon’s Book of the Year in 2011 and Amazon’s Rising Star Award for debut novels.

Elizabeth grew up in Sussex and studied English, German and Art History at Leicester University. She is currently taking a career break having worked for the past seven years as a police intelligence analyst. Elizabeth now lives in Kent with her husband and son, and writes in coffee shops and a shed-office which takes up most of the garden. She is a regular participant in, and a Municipal Liaison for, National Novel Writing Month – an annual challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November.

If my review hasn’t convinced you to buy the book, you may want to read my fellow book bloggers fabulous reviews….

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The Crime Writer’s CaseBook by StephenWade and Stuart Gibbon #Bookreview #StraightforwardPublishing

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Book description

A Straightforward Guide to The Crime Writer’s Casebook is an essential research companion for all writers of crime fiction and non-fiction. The Crime Writer’s Casebook is unique in that it presents first-hand explanations by Stuart Gibbon, a seasoned London Metropolitan Police detective with over 30 years’ experience on the force, with additional commentary from Stephen Wade, a crime historian who has published more than 60 books. The authors work as consultants for crime writers and writing groups.

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Let me assure you before I begin my review “no” I won’t be writing or even attempting to write a crime thriller any time soon, I have neither the patience or the imagination! But as a huge crime thriller lover of both fact and fiction this book piqued my interest. The Crime Writer’s Casebook contains fourteen very interesting chapters examples being The Murder Victim And Crime Scenes, Murder Or Manslaughter? and Forensic Pathology to name but a few. The glossaries also provides an abundance of useful material for both fiction and non-fiction authors and readers, including police ranks, legal terms, and a history of modern police work.

The Crime Writer’s Casebook is unique in that it presents first-hand explanations by Stuart Gibbon, a seasoned London Metropolitan Police detective with additional commentary from Stephen Wade, a crime historian. Each chapter gives you an explanation, for instance The Murder Investigation explains how evidence is collected, where it is stored and numerous other intriguing facts, alongside relevant case studies from real crimes. The chapters also go into the history of policing, techniques and the changes in the law, so this book really does have a little bit of everything. This book is idea research material especially if you are looking to write a book based on a crime committed in the UK.

The Crime Writer’s Casebook is ideal for dipping in to as you can check the A-Z index and find the subject you want to read more on, without trawling through copious chapters. For such a short book a 160 pages to be precise the authors manage to pack an abundance of useful and informative information,It’s written in a straight forward and easy to understand manner, and although I’m not an author it made for a very intriguing read never the less. If I was an author this would be definitely a book I would have sat alongside whilst I was writing to check facts or just to add detail to my novel.

My thanks to Straightforward Publishing for my copy of The Crime Writer’s Casebook. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

Buying link:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧Print Length: 160 pages

Publisher: Straightforward Publishing (10 Dec. 2017)

About the authors

Stuart Gibbon is a former Metropolitan Police detective with 30 years experience in crime investigation. As a DCI he was in charge of murder cases and was an SIO on the East Midlands Special Operations Unit. He is now a writing consultant advising authors on police procedures.

Stephen Wade is the author of over 60 non-fiction books, many of them on crime history. His most recent works have included The Justice Women, No More Soldiering and The Girl who Lived on Air, all mainly concerned with legal issues in history. His book, Murder in Mind, was featured at the Ilkley Literature festival in 2017. Stuart and Stephen give talks to writing groups on crime past and present.

#TrueCrime I Will Find You by Joe Kenda @LtJoeKenda

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Book description

Detective Lt. Joe Kenda, star of Homicide Hunter, shares his deepest, darkest, and never before revealed case files from his 19 years as a homicide detective.

Are you horrified yet fascinated by abhorrent murders? Do you crave to know the gory details of these crimes, and do you seek comfort in the solving of the most gruesome?

Joe Kenda investigated 387 murder cases during his 23 years with the Colorado Springs Police Department and solved almost all of them. And he is ready to detail the cases that are too gruesome to air on television, cases that still haunt him, and the few cases where the killer got away. These cases are horrifyingly real, and the detail is so mesmerising you won’t be able to look away

The tales in I WILL FIND YOU will shock you like the best horror stories-divulging insights into the actions, motivations, and proclivities of nature’s most dangerous species.

My review

Considering I’m a huge true crime thriller fan it’s very rare these days that I watch any true crime series on the television, so unfortunately until I picked up I Will Find You I have never heard of Detective Lt. Joe Kenda, who is the star of Homicide Hunter. I must admit I did Google the series and so I’ve included more about the series at the end of my review.

In the introduction to I will Find You Joe Kenda quotes “if you don’t think you can handle the darkest aspects of human nature, then you might want to put this book down, because it will get real in a hurry” and I have to agree, it’s a true crime story at the end of the day, so yes at times it’s both graphic and disturbing. This book offers a candid and personal reflection and recollection of some of Joe Kenda’s most gruesome and disturbing cases.

From the book description I really thought this book would be a difficult read, but strangely enough thanks to the author’s dark humour, which he admits himself is a defence mechanism against the darkness he’s experienced it wasn’t as gruesome or as horrifying as I expected. Don’t get me wrong there are some seriously upsetting and tragic cases discussed in this book, so I’m not sure it’s a book suited to the more faint hearted. I will Find You is broken up into sections motives for murder, drugs and depravity and catching Killers to name but a few, each section gives you an insight into the victims, the perpetrators and their motives which I found extremely interesting.

The author is honest and forthcoming as he describes the toll the job took on his marriage, family and his own wellbeing. Part memoir and part true crime, I Will Find You can’t be described as a book I enjoyed, but it certainly made for a fascinating read, as it gives the reader a revealing and gritty insight into police work, the good, the bad and the damn right ugly.

About the author

Lt. Joe Kenda spent 23 years in the Colorado Springs Police Department, where he amassed a lifetime of memories catching killers and helping solve close to 400 homicide investigations. The vivid memories are brought back to life in this hour long series, as Kenda reopens his “Murder Books” for viewers — folders in which every detail of his murder cases is held — to revisit the most disturbing cases still haunting him today. As he details the process of how he solved the crimes, Kendra also embarks on a personal journey, coming to terms with long-suppressed nightmares. As he says, “I don’t want to tell these stories. I need to.”

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Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 288 pages

Publisher: Center Street (26 Sept. 2017)

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