BLOG TOUR WRAP UP: Martha’s Revenge (Chronicles of the Coleman Family #3) by Joanna Larum. #bookreview #newrelease #historicalfiction @jolarum

Joanna Larum and I would like to say a massive THANK YOU to the wonderful Bloggers who helped with the launch and promotion of MARTHA’S REVENGE.  Your help is very much appreciated.  Jill & Jo x

What the bloggers thought:

Penny Buxton

This was an amazing read I had eagerly awaited the next part and was not disappointed with the outcome, it had me turning page after page and the way the characters developed was great, it has some turns in it that shocked me into “wow I did not see that coming!” Read more here

Black Books Blog

I really loved how the book is setup and the extremes that Martha is willing to go to in order to get her fix for murder as she really thrives off the adrenaline of it all. As I neared the end of the book I flew through it to find out what was going to happen as it was so engrossing and riveting.  Read more here

On the Shelf Reviews

#GuestPost Q&A with Joanna Larum

Daisy White’s Wicked Words

Turn the Page Blog

This is historical fiction set in Middlesbrough at the time of WW1.  It is a gripping story that takes the reader back to the difficulties of life in that period.  An enjoyable read.  Read more here

Ginger Book Geek


Martha’s Revenge (Chronicles of the Coleman Family #3) by Joanna Larum

Available from AMAZON

Martha’s Revenge begins where Martha is pretending to have lost her memory after Dolly attacked her. She is finding playing the ‘angelic younger sister’ a strain but this is compensated by the adrenaline rush that she gets when she murders her next victim, Mrs Browne. This is so addictive she looks out for another victim and settles on Mr Gray, the inoffensive but rather weak printer who made such a mess of her advertising leaflets.

Martha and Daniel’s mother, Edith, falls ill as she pays for all the years she spent working in the damp laundry in the cold and wet. She dies and her husband Bob is devastated, as is Daniel. Martha doesn’t feel anything at the loss of her mother other than irritation at her failure to protect her children from the cruelty of their grandparents.

Georgie hero worships Daniel who rescued him from the work house and has been almost a father figure to him since he came to live in York Street with them. Dolly, a fat and unattractive older woman, was also taken in by Daniel and she adores him for being so kind to her. Her head is stuffed with Irish folk tales which she learnt from her Irish grandmother, as well as the conviction that she can see the kindness or cruelty in other people’s auras. Daniel is the innocent in this, as he believes that Martha has reformed and is the delightful sister he always hoped she was.

Both Georgie and Dolly want to protect Daniel as they know he would be devastated by proof of Martha’s wickedness and they both know that he won’t help them to trap her. When the printer dies, strangled during the night by an ‘unknown’ killer, they realise that they could be next on her list and start to plan how they are going to trap her.

Daniel finds Frank Jackson, a twelve-year-old boy who has an alcoholic mother and younger siblings and has lost his father to the War, who is taken on as a shop boy to help Martha. Frank initially thinks that Martha is a wonderful person but, the more he sees of her behaviour in the shop, the more he realises how wicked and cruel she actually is. He mentions his concerns over Martha’s behaviour to Dolly and she recruits him as a spy in the shop. Martha moves on to another victim, murdering old Mrs Jessop in her own kitchen. Frank is now frightened of Martha and glad that he took his concerns to Dolly.

Lucy Renwick, who Martha blackmailed over her affair with the married David Dundas, has sunk very low in the world. Jobless and living in one room which she can’t afford, she spends her days looking for work, walking up to Normanby every day and then home again, still jobless. Mr Wilfred Chambers owns the manor house which faces Normanby Road and he watches Lucy every day. He has been invalided out of the Army and he wants to open a market garden on the land which surrounds his house, so that he can provide work and wages for those soldiers who have lost limbs to the War, or to the families of those soldiers who gave their lives in service to their country. He goes to the Baptist Chapel one Sunday morning and sees Lucy and offers her the job of housekeeper and overseer of the garden. He has admired the way that she has never given in or up, despite losing everything and wearing out her shoes walking the streets looking for work. She accepts the job and moves into the manor house where she loses her high-handed attitude and is genuinely loved by the garden workers and their families and the staff of the manor house.

Martha writes a letter to Lucy, admitting to being the person who tried to have her framed for burglary in the pawnbroker’s shop. Lucy comes to the shop to see Martha and they make friends – genuine on Lucy’s part but false on Martha’s part. Frank is told to go home but he is frightened of Martha’s mood and reports to Georgie and Dolly. They decide to keep watch on Martha, even if that means taking turns at staying awake all night in order to see what she does.
Martha has been invited to a garden party at the manor house where she decides to make a play for Mr Chambers, but he has eyes only for Lucy.

Meanwhile, Daniel has fallen in love with Bob Prosser’s daughter and is devastated to learn that Bob is also his father. Their relationship is forbidden which plunges Daniel into a deep depression which worries Georgie and Dolly even more. Daniel is oblivious of all that is happening around him as he is so concerned about his love for Grace.

While at the garden party, Martha took the opportunity of taking an impression of the back door key in order to have it copied. Frank, Dolly and Georgie are convinced by Martha’s behaviour that she has planned on killing Lucy as retribution for the times that Lucy was rude to her in Reed’s shop. That night, when Martha sets off to storm the manor house, Georgie and Dolly follow her, unaware that Frank is following all three of them. Martha is also unaware that Mr Chambers has proposed to Lucy, although Lucy has to decline his offer as she is still married to her husband, the one who threw her out when he learnt of her adultery.

Martha reaches Lucy’s bedroom but doesn’t find Lucy as she is in her parlour next door to her bedroom, reliving Mr Chamber’s proposal. A storm arrives and lightning hits the barns which house the tender plants as well as one of them being a dormitory for the workers. Chaos ensues as they all try to extinguish the fires which result from the lightning strike but the water in the pump runs dry and Lucy goes to try and find an old well at the bottom of the manor’s garden. Martha accosts her there, away from anyone else and attempts to strangle her. SPOILER ALERT – Frank pushes Martha down the well and saves Lucy’s life.

Once the fire has been extinguished, Frank explains everything that happened and produces Martha’s suitcase which she had hidden in the garden. She intended killing Lucy and then escaping to London. She has a letter in the suitcase, stamped and addressed to Daniel which Georgie opens. It contains her confession of Lucy’s (and other) murders and explains she is going to move to a city. She has taken all the money she amassed with her blackmailing.

Lucy, Mr Chambers, Georgie and Dolly decide to use the money to rebuild the barns and extend the garden. They tip the detritus from the fires down the well and then seal it, so Martha’s body is never discovered and they all keep the secret of who killed Martha. The rest of the world, including Daniel, believes that Martha has moved to a big city, so no-one misses her.

Also by Joanna Larum:

Chronicles of the Coleman Family

Book 1 – Something Wicked This Way Comes:  Read more here

Book 2 – Martha’s Secrets: Read more here

Book 3 – Martha’s Revenge: Read more here


My Review


Author Bio

I only went to school to learn to read. At age 6, I decided I COULD read and promptly left, by the school gate, the same gate which my mother marched me back through 10 minutes later. So I had to spend the next 12 years at school, learning lots of different things, none of which lived up to the excitement of reading. Wanting to be a writer was a natural progression, because there is nothing as exciting as inventing the story yourself. But it’s taken over 50 years before I dared to present my stories for other people to read. So, here they are! I’ll just creep behind the sofa.

#BlogTour Martha’s Revenge by Joanna Larum @jolarum @books_n_all #Historical #fiction

black books blog

Today I am very excited to be on the blog tour for Joanna Larum’s latest book Martha’s Revenge book 3 in the series.

About the Book

The third in a trilogy of books about the Coleman family. Daniel and Martha continue to run their own businesses during the Great War but Martha discovers that she is addicted to the sensations she experiences when she murders her victims. Lucy Renwick is still on her list as a potential victim and this book sees her come ever closer to her desire. Daniel is falling in love with a girl who is forbidden to him when he discovers their real relationship. Will Lucy survive and will Daniel understand that he has to stop playing with fire?

My Review

This is the third book in the trilogy, after ‘Something Wicked this way comes’ and ‘Martha’s Secret’ and is a brilliant conclusion to a fabulous…

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BLOG TOUR: The Secrets by Jane Adams #TheSecrets #PoliceProcedural #TeamJoffeBooks #Detective @joffebooks

Today it is my pleasure to share with you my review of THE SECRETS (Mike Croft #2) as part of the Blog Tour

The Secrets (Detective Mike Croft #2) by Jane Adams

Available from Amazon

DISCOVER A CRIME THRILLER THAT WILL KEEP YOU HOLDING YOUR BREATH UNTIL THE VERY LAST PAGE

Please note this book was first published as “Cast The First Stone.”

WHAT DOES HE KNOW?
Threatening phone calls, smashed windows, physical intimidation. Eric Pearson and his family have only just moved into a new home in a sleepy cul-de-sac, but they already have dangerous enemies. How could a respectable family become the focus of such hatred?

Detective Inspector Mike Croft knows the Pearson family well. Eric Pearson claims to own a journal which gives evidence of a horrifying ring of abusers. If true, it would be a high stakes case for DI Croft, and expose awful secrets that the town has buried deep.

But no one wants to believe the dark conspiracies of this friendless and bitter man.

Then a body is found on the edge of Bright’s Wood, wrapped in a black bag.

DI Croft must confront evil which threatens to rip apart everyone in the community.

EVERYONE HAS SECRETS. BUT SOME ARE SO DARK THAT PEOPLE WILL KILL TO KEEP THEM.

Praise for JANE ADAMS, author of the sensational best seller THE GREENWAY.

“Few debut novels achieve this level of suspense. The Greenway lingered in my mind for days. It takes the psychological suspense novel into new realms of mystery.” Val McDermid, Manchester Evening News

“A haunting debut.” Minette Walters

“Compellingly told and rich with psychological insight.” Independent

“Nail-biting stuff.” Ms London

“An assured first novel, with a strong cast and a plot which twists and turns without a glitch.” Yorkshire Evening Post

“Adams has a distinctive voice, which I predict will be heard by the majority of mystery fans.”

DETECTIVE MIKE CROFT SERIES
Book 1: The Greenway
Book 2: The Secrets


My Review

This is book 2 in the Mike Croft series but does work well as stand-alone.

An old case comes back to haunt Mike as he is asked to investigate the Fletcher case. Fletcher was imprisoned several years ago but many involved went free amid rumours of police corruption.

This is a fast paced thriller with child paedophile rings being the main part but many side stories are running in tandem before all linking together in an edge-of-your-seat ending you will not anticipate.

The case is difficult for Mike as it brings back memories of his lost son but that makes him even more determined to get justice for the abused and murdered children.

I like how Mike’s character is developing and the insight into his personal life. I also love Price I think the two make up a very effective team and I love the humour Price brings to the book.

An excellent read and I love this series already – next book please


Jane Adams Author Bio

Why do I write?

Like most writers, it’s a kind of compulsion. The stories are there and I have to try and grab hold of them and pin them onto the page. Most of the time, I enjoy the process; sometimes, I’d rather be doing just about anything else, up to and including the ironing – and I hate ironing.

I started writing when my youngest child went to school. I was incredibly lucky and my first novel, The Greenway, was picked up by Macmillan in 1994 and published in 1995.

I currently write two series; Naomi Blake and Rina Martin. Rina was a character I’d had in mind for years before committing her to paper. An elderly, ex thespian who had played the part of a popular TV detective, she had retired to the seaside and bought a boarding house for other ex performers. Rina’s feisty, no nonsense character is, I suppose, based on the rather powerful and opinionated ladies I grew up surrounded by – mother, teachers in the all girls school I attended, aunts and pseudo aunts, all of whom had opinions about everything and made sure these were unstintingly shared.

Naomi Blake, on the other hand, was the brainchild of my late agent, Bob Tanner at International Scripts. ‘You should write a blind detective,’ he said ‘ and she needs a big, black guidedog, called Napoleon’.

I thought it was a daft idea, and told him so. I just couldn’t see how to do it. But, like a lot of seemingly daft ideas, this one wormed its was into my brain and I realised he was right. It could work and so, the Naomi Blake series came into being.

I have always written in other genres too, short stories in the SF, Fantasy and Gothic Horror genre, and am working on longer projects when time allows. I also teach Creative Writing and have had the great priviligde of being a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at three different universities.

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