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Author Profile

Heleen Kist – Profile

Heleen Kist

Heleen’s life of crime started when she was 8 in Mexico (a cigarette from her mother, if you must know). Several decades and continents later, she’s still not confessed and choses to incriminate other people in her novels.

A Dutch immigrant living with her husband and two kids in Glasgow, she was selected as a Crime in the Spotlight author at Bloody Scotland 2018 for her suspense debut ‘In Servitude’, which won the silver medal for best European fiction at the Independent Publishers Book Awards in the USA and was shortlisted for The Selfies at London Book Fair.

Her feminist corporate thriller ‘Stay Mad, Sweetheart’ was published by Red Dog Press. It was a finalist in the USA’s Next Generation Indie Books Awards 2020 and came third in the inaugural Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year award.

Read Heleen’s exclusive poem for Friends of the Bay members here.

Bibliography

Social Media

You can visit Heleen’s website at: https://www.heleenkist.com

Twitter: @hkist

Facebook: @heleenkistauthor

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Reviews

Seven Graves One Winter – Christoffer Petersen

Review by Gill Car

Seven Graves One Winter – Christoffer Petersen

I’ve always enjoyed my choice of holiday destination at the same temperature as my favourite crime novel locations: Cold. And it doesn’t come much colder than Greenland, the setting for Christoffer Petersen’s “Seven Graves, One Winter” the first in a series featuring Constable David Maratse. I discovered this author right at the beginning of Lockdown#1 and was immediately immersed in a world of not just a crime to be solved but also Greenlandic politics, language, traditions, fishing, hunting and sled dog wrangling along with all the other delights and hardships of living and working on a huge rock covered in ice and snow.

In Greenland graves are dug in summer in readiness for those who will die in the frozen winter months when the ground is unforgiving. Retired Constable Maratse is out fishing one day when he hooks the body of a teenage girl. Her mother is a prominent figure who hires the former police officer to investigate the circumstances of her daughter’s death. One of the seven prepared graves has now been filled. Will the case lead to more being used?

Maratse is taciturn by nature but I really enjoyed slowly getting to know about him and his previous history, and he contrasts well with his former police partner and friend Petra Jensen, who later gets her own “Greenland Missing Person” series. Petersen is a prolific author who has several series on the go at any one time. Characters cross between them and he enjoys messing with timelines. The author lived and worked in Greenland for several years and his voice and personal experience concerning daily life on the island feels lived and authentic. If you like your crime cold, laced with intrigue and political shenanigans then I hope, like me, you will be drawn into the world of Maratse and Jensen.

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Author Profile

Rob Parker – Profile

Rob Parker

Rob Parker is a married father of three, who lives in Warrington, UK. The author of the Ben Bracken thrillers and Crook’s Hollow, he enjoys a rural life on an old pig farm (now minus pigs), writing horrible things between school runs. Rob writes full time, attends various author events across the UK, and boxes regularly for charity.

He spends a lot of time in schools across the North, encouraging literacy, story-telling and creative-writing, and somehow squeezes in time to co-host the For Your Reconsideration film podcast, appear regularly on The Blood Brothers Crime Podcast, and is a member of the Northern Crime Syndicate.

Bibliography

Social Media

You can follow Rob on:

Twitter: @robparkerauthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robert.r.parker1

Visit his website at: https://robparkerauthor.com/

You can also find Rob appearing regularly on the following podcasts:

Northern Crime Syndicate: https://anchor.fm/adam-peacock

Boodbrothers: https://bloodbrotherspodcast.podbean.com/

For Your Reconsideration: https://shows.acast.com/for-your-reconsideration

Really, 007: https://shows.acast.com/really-007

To see Rob appearing in panel alongside Lesley Kara and Lauren North, you can find our Bay Tales Live #4 show here.

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Author Profile

Lesley Kara – Profile

Lesley Kara

Lesley Kara is the Sunday Times bestselling author of standalone psychological thrillers: The Rumour, Who Did You Tell and The Dare. 

The Rumour was the highest selling crime fiction debut of 2019 and a Kindle No.1 bestseller. It has sold in over 18 countries and been optioned for TV by Cuba Pictures.

Alongside fellow author, Lauren North, Lesley is the co-host of In Suspense, a pod/vodcast for fans and writers of crime fiction.
Born in Chelmsford, Essex, Lesley worked for many years as a lecturer and manager in a large college of further education in south east London.

Lesley is also an alumna of the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course. She now lives on the North Essex coast and writes full-time. 

Bibliography

Social Media

Website: https://www.lesleykara.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lesleykarawriter/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LesleyKara
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lesleykarawriter/
In addition to her personal online presence you can find follow Lesley and Lauren’s InSuspense on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/InSuspensePod
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insuspensepod/

You can see Lesley appearing on Bay Tales Live #4 here

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Uncategorized

Bay Tales Live #4: Recording

To celebrate our first birthday of live shows on April 1st, we’re making Bay Tales Live #4 available to all.

Enjoy what you see? Visit our Events page to see what else is coming up and register.

And to catch up on 60+ hours of Bay Tales Live & VNatB shows, consider joining Friends of the Bay, where you’ll also find fiction, non-fiction & more, updated every week.

Part 1:

April Book Previews, Linda Hill’s book review and Cate Quinn reads from her novel Black Widows. PLUS music from Martin Stephenson

Bay Tales Live #5 Part 1

Part 2:

Our in-depth interview where Vic Watson talks to Lesley Kara, Lauren North and Rob Parker

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Author Profile

BRM (Brian) Stewart

Brian Stewart
Brian Stewart

Brian was born in Glasgow and brought up in Grangemouth. After attending Glasgow University enough of the time to get a degree, he taught maths in Edinburgh for a couple of years before moving to Nairn in the Scottish Highlands, where he stayed for over forty years bringing up his family. His wife passed away in 2010. Brian has since remarried, and in 2017 they relocated to the Dundee area to be nearer his grown-up children and grandchildren.

Brian is retired from a life in education, both working and learning, and now focuses on his life-long passion – writing. He has published four books in the ‘Digital’ series, featuring computer entrepreneur Martin McGregor and DS Amanda Pitt (now invalided out) and an ensemble cast that includes young hacker Michael, Amanda’s colleague Pete McLeod, and PI Grant Cairns. The latest, ‘The CalDat Investigation’, has just been released in ebook format, with print to follow. He occasionally writes short fiction and a travel blog.

Brian’s interests are reading, tech, music, golf, and travel. He is an active member of his local Rotary, and also the Angus Writers’ Circle.

You can find out more about Brian, and buy his books on Amazon.

Social Media

Find Brian on Twitter at: @brmstewart

Visit Brian’s website at: https://www.brmstewart.co.uk

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Author Profile

Nikki Smith – Profile

Nikki Smith

Nikki Smith studied English Literature at Birmingham University, before pursuing a career in finance. Following a ‘now or never’ moment, she applied for a Curtis Brown Creative course where she started writing her debut novel, All In Her Head which was longlisted for the Guardian’s ‘Not The Booker’ prize and was described by Lesley Kara as ‘A clever and emotionally charged debut,’ and TM Logan as ‘Brilliantly written with plenty of surprises along the way.’

She lives near Guildford with her husband and two daughters and a cat called Saffi who thinks she’s a dog. Her second novel, Look What You Made Me Do will be published in hardback by Orion on 1 April 2021.

You can read about the inspiration behind Nikki’s first novel All In Her Head here

AND as a bonus, you can find a sneak peak preview of the prologue and the first two chapters of Look What You Made Me Do here (PDF reader required)

Bibliography

Look What You Made Me Do
All In Her Head

Social Media

Website: https://nikkismithauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mrssmithmunday

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nikkismithauthor

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Author Profile

James Burnett – Profile

James Burnett has been a professional writer all his life, the majority of it as a journalist. He worked for the BBC for 30 years as a documentary maker and news correspondent. Three years ago he took a sabbatical and cycled solo across the United States, sleeping each night in a tent, mostly in the Rocky Mountains.

He has always written fiction and while in America he decided to stop pretending to be a writer and be one.

He has recently started a novel writing course with Curtis Brown literary agency. 

Website

www.jamesburnettwriting.com

Categories
Reviews

Watching from the Dark – Gytha Lodge

Reviewed by Keith Young

You saw it happen.

 You said nothing.

 Who would trust you now?

My first book by Gytha Lodge and I was certainly not disappointed. Without giving any spoilers away…

The novel starts with a man; Aidan Poole, logging onto his laptop for a late night video call with his girlfriend, Zoe. We’re all getting used to online video calls during the last year (and no, this isn’t a Covid-set tale, don’t worry!) but this is a nightmare scenario: seeing that the person you’re calling is not alone; that there’s a stranger in their house and they’re not aware of it. All Aidan can do is watch…and, more specifically, listen to the sounds of a struggle and then…nothing.

What’s happened to Zoe?

And why doesn’t he call the police immediately?

Questions that DCI Jonah Sheens and his team must consider when they finally get involved in the case.

I saw Gytha reading from the opening of this book at an episode of Virtual Noir at the Bar last year and the book lived up to the intriguing open.

From the impressive DC Hanson who takes a leading role in the Investigations (and who deserves to be promoted!) to the range of featured characters in the story – making up a collective mix of clever, devious, pushy and quiet, it all adds up to a good, exciting story.

The plot is intriguing: is it a murder, or is it suicide?

If it is a murder, there are probably 8 or 10 potential candidates to be the murderer and from starting to read until very nearly the end we’re given a whole range of possibilities.

Some great writing and sub plots to keep the reader intrigued, this was a very hard down book down before it finishes.

I will certainly be reading more of her books.

Note: You can register for free at Gytha’s virtual launch party for her new novel Lie Beside Me

Register free here

Categories
Reviews

The Rosary Garden – Nicola White

Review by Rachel Sargeant

The Rosary Garden – Nicola White

The blurb:

It was Ali who found the body of a murdered newborn baby, hidden in the garden of her convent school. In an Ireland riven by battles of religion and reproduction, the case becomes
a media sensation, even as the church tries to suppress it. But this is not the first dead baby Ali has found.
“For Detectives Vincent Swan and Gina Considine, the pressure to discover the identity of the dead child is little help against a community with secrets to protect. Gina knows all too well how many of Ireland’s girls are forced to make difficult decisions in terrible circumstances, silenced by shame. Is Ali one of those girls? Because what evidence there is, points to Ali herself…”

The review:

On the surface this is a police procedural. Detective Inspector Swan and Detective Sergeant Considine investigate the murder of the three-day-old baby found in a garden shed at a private convent school in Dublin. However, like A Famished Heart, the first book in this excellent series, this novel is also a piece of quality literary fiction.

As well as chapters from Swan’s point of view, we hear from Ali, one of the two girls who find the child. This is a coming-of-age story for her as she strives to find her way as a young woman in a world that frowns on her wish for independence. She also revisits a secret from her family’s past that leads to a tragedy in the present.

The story is a reminder that 1950s attitudes to women, contraception and childbirth were alive and well in 1984, when this novel is set. (And, let’s face it, they’ve still not gone away in some quarters…) Even our trusty detectives are products of their times, and they subject Ali to obscene scrutiny.

It was first published as In a Rosary Garden by Cargo Publishing in 2013, when it won the Dundee International Book Prize, but was relaunched by Viper Books this January as the second in a new series featuring Swan and Considine. A Famished Heart was one of my Top Reads of 2020, and The Rosary Garden looks set to be high on my list this year.