crime · mystery · Short Stories · suspense · thriller

The Dark Meadow – Andrea Maria Schenkel ★★★★

Blurb; Bavaria, Germany, 1947

At the end of the war, Afra Zauner returns to her parents’ cottage on the edge of Mauther Forest. Unmarried, and pregnant. As she struggles to raise her child, her father’s shame, her mother’s fury and the loud whispers of the neighbours begin to weigh upon her. She doesn’t believe in her sin. But everyone else does.

And someone brings judgement down upon her.
Many years later, Hermann Müller is throwing a drunk out of his tavern. A traveller, who won’t stop ranting about a murder left unsolved, about police who never investigated. Out of curiousity, the file is reopened. And in the cold light of hindsight, a chilling realisation creeps upon the community.
No-one ever atoned for Afra’s death. But her story is waiting to be told.

My Review; This is one I picked up from my library mystery book shelf. I picked up a short one just incase as I didn’t know what I would get and boy I got a good one! I love finding new authors I normally wouldn’t come across or pick up personally.

The Dark Meadow is German Noir and beautifully translated by Anthea Bell. It is a short story at just 135 pages, so it can be read in one sitting. Contains short chapters, so an easy read.

I can’t say much about this story without giving it away with it being a short story but I will say don’t believe everything. A real shocker of an outcome at the end I did not expect. My heart was with Afra and her life boy throughout. Times, views and opinions were diffferent back then (1940s) and Afra just wanted the best for herself and her child against all the odds.

I enjoyed it. Mysterious. Thrilling. Dark. A well deserved four stars from me. Highly recommend. I’ve learnt not to jugde a book by its cover and to try something different.

Amazon Link UK

Amazon Link US

chick-lit · Short Stories

*BLOG TOUR* The Weekend Spa Break – Anne John-Ligali ★★★★

Blurb; After finally meeting in person at the publishing party of the season, Constance and Estelle are determined not to let their friendship return to mere virtual champagne bottles and uploaded pictures of food.
It’s been a busy year, and Constance feels it’s time to reward herself with the spa break Estelle gave her for Christmas. Naturally, Constance wouldn’t dream of taking anyone other than Estelle, and this will provide the perfect opportunity to bond with her new chum.
As the excited pair spend some quality time together, they realise it’s not just writing books they have in common, but something that goes much deeper. After a few Jacuzzi sessions, facials, pedicures, and a massage by sexy Senior Therapist, Julio, everything seems to be peachy until an unexpected visitor turns Constance’s weekend of bliss … on its head.

A two-day spa break.

Sparkling water on tap.

And the perfect massage.

But who’s rubbing who up the wrong way?

My Review; Happy Publication Day! The Weekend Spa Break is part two of the Friendships online series and is best read in order, read The Big Event first! Brilliant to be back with familiar characters and in a relaxed setting of a spa! Fancy.

This is the perfect bite sized chick-lit story for readers who love short stories. I loved seeing Constance’s and Estelle’s relationship grow within the spa break! There is still the message highlighting how social media can affect families and friends within this story, which I agree with.

This story is easy to read and can be finished within an hour! I enjoyed reading this one and love the cover. I look forward to reading more by this author in the future.

Amazon Link UK

To mark the release of part two in the friendships series, I’m giving away a Sanctuary Spa gift set and a signed printed and binded copy of The Weekend Spa Break to one lucky winner. At present, there are no physical copies of The Weekend Spa Break available, so this is a treat.
To enter you only have to do is visit my Twitter page https://twitter.com/AnneJohnLigali and retweet the pinned tweet showing this GIVEAWAY.
A winner will be chosen at random by Tweet Draw and announced on Saturday the 19th of May at 20:00hrs.
Competition is open worldwide.
Good luck!

crime · Detective · mystery · Short Stories · suspense · thriller

Long Sleep – Malcolm Hollingdrake ★★★★★

My Review:
Long sleep is the perfect short story for readers who have enjoyed the DCI Cyril Bennett series. It is perfect until the next book is released and will keep you wanting more for just a little bit longer. Long Sleep is written well, easy to read and will not take you long to finish. I enjoyed this bite size story and would highly recommend you all take five minutes to read it. A well deserved five stars from me.

If you’re an arty type Malcolm is currently asking for designs for the cover of this short story, if you’re lucky your design could be the future book cover of Long Sleep. All details and the story is available to read over on:
Emma’s Blog (Emmathelittlebookworm)