BLOG TOUR WRAP UP – Play Dead (Sam Clayton #3) by Anne Penketh #CrimeFiction #Detective #netgalley #PlayDead @joffebooks

Anne, Joffe Books and I would like to say a massive THANK YOU to all the wonderful bloggers, reviewers and readers who helped with the promotion of PLAY DEAD by Anne Penketh. Your help is very much appreciated x

What the reviewers and bloggers thought

Linda Strong Book Reviews

This small picturesque village is known for its lack of crime and friendly residents. DI Clayton and his colleagues have their hands with suspects. Trying to find a motive is almost impossible when it seems everyone has secrets that they will kill to protect. The serial killer they are looking for is smart, and conniving.  Read more here 

The Word is Out

The suspense over the identity of the killer was maintained almost to the end, and there was still a shocking turn of events thrown in that was hard to see coming. I shall now go back and enjoy the first two books in this series and await more of DI Clayton and his team in the future. Read more here

Donna’s Book Blog

#guestreview by Sarah Lizzibeth 

Loopy Laura

Play Dead was an excellent police procedural novel. The police team is at the heart of the book and their investigation takes place before our eyes. There is humour and banter as you would expect from a team and this gives a degree of realism without the hierarchical tensions that are often rife in police books. Read more here

Robin Loves Reading

I found the drama and the intrigue to be equally compelling and I did enjoy the fact that I was left guessing. This really was a great read, and I was able to devour it in one sitting, in part, because I really wanted to know who the killer was. In addition to that, this was a very well-written and engaging story. I look forward to continuing this series as future titles are released. Read more here

Sharon Rimmelzwaan

I thoroughly enjoyed this, it held me well enough and I found it a compelling story too. Had all the wrong turns as you expect with mystery stories, highly recommended. Read more here 

By the Letter Book Reviews


Joanna Larum’s Reviews

This is the third in a new series but I must admit to not having read the first two. I can say, with confidence, that it is possible to read it and enjoy it without knowing the background to the series. I will be working back and reading the first two now that I know what a good story this lady writes. Read more here 

On The Shelf Reviews

Play Dead a fast paced and gripping police procedural with plenty of clues and red herrings for you to figure out along the way.  Read more here 

Herding Cats


Black Books Blog

I am really enjoying the team and how they work together to solve the nysteries, and was hooked on this one as i thought i knew who ot was but, as usual, i was wrong so kept double guessing myself throughout the book.  Read more here

Turn The Page Blog
Alison’s Catty Book Corner
Ginger Book Geek
Susan Angela Wallace

Play Dead (Detective Sam Clayton #3) by Anne Penketh



Detective Inspector Sam Clayton is called in to investigate three victims with ties to the Norfolk Festival Orchestra. 

Musician Kristina Manning is impaled by her cello spike

The disgraced conductor is found with his head stuffed into a piano. He’s on the brink of death. 

A trumpeter dies, poisoned by his mouthpiece.

Will Clayton’s new girlfriend, Melissa, a singer in the NFO, be next on the murderer’s list? 

Is there a serial killer with a musical edge on the loose? 

What does the disappearance of former orchestra member Lauren Garner have to do with it?


PLAY DEAD is the third in a new series of page-turning crime thrillers set in an atmospheric part of Norfolk. Perfect for fans of LJ Ross, Mel Sherratt, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.

My Review

This is book 3 in the Detective Sam Clayton series but the books work perfectly as stand alone.

Why are members of an orchestra dying, seemingly at the hands of their instruments?  That is the question Sam and his team have to find the answer to.  But as more members die the team are struggling to find a motive or a viable suspect.

I loved learning more about the characters and I especially like how Sam’s ex plays a small part bringing a sense of reality to the story and characters.

The story itself is unique I have never read anything quite like this one and I say that in a good way.  Given the number of crime books I read it is rare that I don’t work out who the murderer is but in this book I can honestly say I didn’t have a clue.  I loved the twists and turns and red herrings that ran all the way through the book making for a fast paced read that kept the pages turning all the way to the shocking ending. 

A brilliant read I am looking forward to more in this series

What readers are saying about ANNE PENKETH

“Five out of five stars!” Michelle K

“I had a hard job putting this one down as it had me fully engaged and wanting more.” Dawn J

“This book was brilliant from start to finish, it was totally gripping from the first page. I read this book in one sitting, it was so good I didn’t want to put it down.” Lynn G

“Great book to read on holiday with a satisfyingly twisting storyline.” CH

“A real page turner.” Barb D

“It had many twists which kept me guessing. I would never have worked out the ending.” Shamiela A

“Riveting read.” Penny B

“Sam Clayton is not your average hard-boiled detective. He has problems of his own as he sets out to find a serial killer.” Meg B


Detective Inspector Sam Clayton leads the investigation into the North Norfolk murders, joined the police straight from school as a beat bobby in Manchester before rising through the ranks of the CID. He was transferred to Norwich after being promoted to DI following a high-profile case investigated by Lancashire Constabulary.

Detective Sergeant Julie Everett is an intuitive officer who was promoted to detective sergeant from her home town of Ipswich where she had a background in child protection. She is discreet about her personal life among colleagues, particularly about the tragedy which haunts her. She has to deal with a high-pressure job while raising her child who moved with her to Norwich.


Anne Penketh – Author Bio

I’m a Lancashire lass but for most of my career, I’ve been a foreign correspondent. I’ve reported from all over the world on some of the most cataclysmic events of our time, including the Egyptian revolution and the collapse of the Berlin wall.

While in London I was diplomatic editor of The Independent, but these days I’m based in Paris and concentrating on fiction writing. The third in a series of crime novels featuring Detective Inspector Sam Clayton, Play Dead, is out now. My first novel, Food Fight, was published in 2015.

I’ve reported from Paris mainly for The Independent and The Guardian, but I also contributed to France24 television and Monocle radio.  As a freelancer, I’ve written for The New Zealand Herald and The National (Abu Dhabi), as well as the LA Times, the New York Times, the Radio Times, the Oldie, Monocle magazine, Quartz, and Spark News.

Between 2009 and 2012, I headed the Washington office of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC), a trans-Atlantic NGO focused on nuclear disarmament.

During my ten-year stint on The Independent I was one of the few journalists to report from Iran, North Korea and Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, I was a staff foreign correspondent with the French news agency, AFP, which posted me to Moscow during the incredible Gorbachev years. I also reported for AFP from France, and New York where I covered the United Nations.

I started my journalistic career in Canada, arriving with two suitcases to seek my fortune in Montreal, from where I reported for British newspapers before getting a job on the Montreal Gazette.

Before that, I was a postgraduate student at University College London whose French department nurtured my lifelong love of French literature and culture.




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