Review

***Blog Tour*** Death in Shanghai by M J LEE

 

Tour banner M J LEE for JENNY

Today I very delighted to be part of the Death in Shanghai  Blog Tour

Guest Post by MJ Lee

I remember one evening going for a walk in Shanghai behind the Bund. It was one of those cold December evenings when there’s the scent of roasting sweet potatoes and chestnuts in the air. I was living and working there at the time and had grown to love the city.

 

I had been walking for ten minutes when suddenly I reached a small square which I had never visited before. At each corner of the square, four art deco buildings towered over me, virtually unchanged from the 1930s when they were built. I closed my eyes and suddenly was transported back to that era; the syncopated sounds of jazz music, the muffled roar of Studebakers, the rattle of old trolley cars, the cries of the street hawkers,  and the hustle and bustle of a multi-cultural city filled the air.

 

It was at that moment I decided there would be no better location for a series of detective novels than old Shanghai, the city of Joy, Gin and Jazz. The Inspector Danilov novels were born.

 

But before they could actually reach the page, an immense amount of research was needed. Visits to the police museum and the old Shanghai Municipal Council archives gave me a background to the organisation of the city. It was divided into three sections; the International Settlement, the French Concession and the Old Chinese city, all established by the treaty of 1861. What was the city like? Old tourist guides and memoirs provided some insight. But talking to two old residents of the city gave a much stronger feel for day to day life. Finally, I walked the city time and time again, poking my nose into old forgotten neighbourhoods and lost alleys. I was lucky, whilst much of the city has been destroyed to make way for skyscrapers in the last 20 years, large parts remain as they were back in the 1930s.

 

The character of Danilov took longer to realise. My breakthrough came when I was reading a police memoir of the time. This ex-sergeant stated that when they were really stuck  with a case, both the Shanghai Police and the French Gendarmes turned to their White Russian detectives. Inspector Danilov and his sidekick, Detective Sergeant Strachan quickly took shape.

 

‘Death in Shanghai’ is the first novel in the series. It’s 1928, a murdered blonde is found on the ‘Beach of Dead Babies’ with a Chinese character carved into the body. Inspector Danilov, a White Russian in the Shanghai Police, is called in to investigate.

 

Danilov is under pressure to solve the case quickly but he has his own problems. He is still searching for his wife and children, separated from him when they fled Russia. While inside the police force, jealousy of his success has created conflict with his colleagues. The opium pipe offers him his only escape.

 

More bodies are discovered, each with a different Chinese character carved into their corpses. Danilov is now in a race against time, struggling with his own personal demons and with the devil that is haunting the streets of Shanghai.

 

The second book in the series, ‘City of Shadows’ will be published in March 2016 and is available for pre-order on Amazon now. Martin can be contacted at his website writermjlee.com, on Facebook at writermjlee or on twitter at, you guessed it, writermjlee.

 

MIJ LEE

Death in Shanghai by M.J Lee 

Blurb

Shanghai, 1928. The body of a blonde is washed up on the Beach of Dead Babies, in the heart of the smog-filled city. Seemingly a suicide, a closer inspection reveals a darker motive: the corpse has been weighed down, it’s lower half mutilated…and the Chinese character for ‘justice’ carved into the chest.
The moment Inspector Danilov lays eyes on the dismembered body, he realises that he has an exceptional case on his hands. And when the first body is followed by another, and another, each displaying a new, bloody message, he has no option but face the truth. He is dealing with the worst kind of criminal; someone determined, twisted…and vengeful.

Someone who must be caught….whatever the cost.

Death in Shanghai is the first novel in M J Lee’s Inspector Danilov series, perfect for fans of Philip Kerr.

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25679475-death-in-shanghai?ac=1&from_search=1#other_reviews

 

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Shanghai-Inspector-Danilov-Book-ebook/dp/B00WKMG54G/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1447339815&sr=1-1&keywords=death+in+shanghai

 

About the author:

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Martin has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a University researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, tv commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflake packets and hotel websites.
He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the North of England. In London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and London Festivals, and the United Nations.
Whilst working in Shanghai, he loved walking through the old quarter of that amazing city, developing the idea behind a series of crime novels featuring Inspector Pyotr Danilov, set in 1920s and 30s.
When he’s not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, practicing downhill ironing, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.

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Review

**Blog Tour Straight to Hell by Michelle Scott**

 

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Today on the Blog I am part of the straight to Hell blog tour and the author Michelle Scott talks about what she loves about writing.

What I Love About Writing

I’ll let you in on a little secret…every time I write, I become deeply involved with my characters.  In Straight to Hell, this was particularly true.  I loved everyone.  Even the baddies.  Maybe even especially the baddies.

I’ll start with Lilith.  She’s smart, she’s snarky, and she has a lot of the same problems I have, such as What Do I Fix for Dinner?  Or Why Did My Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Grandmother Make a Deal With the Devil?  Okay, maybe not that one.  But we do understand each other.  Even though Lilith is a succubus and works for the devil, she still struggles with life in the mundane world.  Like a lot of us, she’s juggling kids, household chores, an evil ex-husband, and an even more evil boss.  She’s a person I can relate to, and one that I’d love to share a glass of wine with some day.

Next comes William Benedict.  He’s the uber-sexy incubus who rocks Lilith’s world.  William is bad boy with a heart of gold.  Someone who pretends that love is a joke even though he’s a romantic through and through.  He’s maintained the charade forever, but Lilith sees past that to the real, human William who hides behind the immortal (and immoral) being.  Together, William and Lilith pair up to thwart their evil boss’s evil plans.

And speaking of evil bosses, my next favorite character is the cruel, devilish Helen Spry who loves to make Lilith’s life a living hell.  Helen, who dresses like my all-time favorite movie star Katherine Hepburn, is a no-nonsense, don’t you dare defy me, overbearing boss.  I think the reason I like her so much is because she doesn’t put up with any crap from her workers.  I wouldn’t want to work for her, but I understand her frustrations!

Let’s not forget the sweet-spirited, free spirit Tommy Lefevre.  Tommy is a modern-day guru who manages to stay at peace with himself and the world.  Tommy is the one that Lilith looks to for advice.  He keeps her grounded, and he looks out for her.  He’s harboring a crush, but is too honorable to give into temptation.  He doesn’t know that Lilith is really a succubus, but he does fall for her charms.

There are many more characters as well, including a troubled eleven-year-old girl and a cat named Drinking Tea who’s smart enough to recognized that Lilith is no longer human.  All of them mean something to me, and I can’t wait to find out what they’ll be up to next!

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Michelle Scott has been a fiction junkie all of her life.  Although she’ll read everything from literature to mystery to modern classics, she has a special penchant for urban fantasy. She is also a huge nerd and an unapologetic Doctor Who fan, preferring Tom Baker above all others.

In college, Michelle earned her BA in psychology and met the guy of her dreams. Thirty years later, she has never once used her psychology degree, but is still married to Mr. Right which proves that a good college education is worth every penny.

Currently, she is a straight-laced community college English teacher by day, while at night, she stalks supernatural beings in her hometown of Detroit. Michelle lives with her husband and three children, all of whom are addicted to Doctor. Who (and urban fantasy) as much as she.

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Straight to Hell, book one of the Lilith Straight series, is available on Amazon.uk.

Buy link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Straight-to-Hell-ebook/dp/B00F462CNS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1381264114&sr=1-1&keywords=straight+to+hell%2C+michelle

My website: www.mscottfiction.com

My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MichelleScottsFiction/

Find me on Twitter: @mscottwriter

straight to hell

Here is the blurb: I, Lilith Straight, was the woman you always wanted to be. I was married to someone better looking than your husband, we lived in that house you always wanted. Within a year, however, all of that changed. My marriage dissolved, my house burned down, and my job hardly paid the bills. So when I was hit by a car and died, I thought my life couldn’t get any worse. Boy, was I wrong.

Hell was not the place I imagined. It was worse. During my brief stay, I learned some disturbing truths about my family. Most worryingly my ancestor’s deal with the devil promising him every female descendent as a succubus.

So these were my options: Life on earth as a soul-sucking seductress. Or death and pass the succubus baton to my sweet little daughter. There was no choice. Welcome to hell on earth, Lilith. Mother, teacher, wanton she-demon.

Here are the buy links: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Straight-Hell-Lilith-Book-ebook/dp/B00F462CNS Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Straight-Hell-Lilith-Book-ebook/dp/B00F462CNS

About the author: Maybe it’s because of my Halloween birthday, but I’ve always been attracted to scary stories. On the other hand, I love romances as well. Once I discovered that these two genres existed side-by-side in urban fantasy novels, I was in heaven! Urban fantasy is like chocolate and peanut butter: a perfect, to-die-for combination that I can never get enough of. I’ve been writing since childhood, but earned my bachelor’s degree in psychology and my master’s in English literature. When I’m not writing, I’m a straight-laced English teacher at a two-year college in Detroit. I’ve been married to Mr. Right for over twenty-five years. I also have three teenaged children: a boy and two girls, all of whom have threatened to never speak to me again if I turn them into characters and put them into my books. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2896599.Michelle_Scott Website: http://www.mscottfiction.com/ Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/urban_fae

Review

Review The Girls from See Saw Lane by Sandy Taylor

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Blurb 

Brighton 1963. Mary Pickles and I walked along the street with our arms linked, looking in shop windows. We were best friends and together we were invincible.

Dottie and Mary forged a friendship over a bag of penny sweets when they were eight years old. They’ve shared everything together since then – the highs and lows of school, family dramas, hopes and dreams and now, at seventeen, they’re both shop girls, working at Woolworths.

As they go out in the world in pursuit of love and happiness, the simplicity of their childhood dissolves as life becomes more complicated. The heady excitement of first love will consume them both, but the pain of unintentional betrayal will test their friendship in ways neither of them could ever imagine

my review

Wow this book had me laughing out loud one minute and bursting into tears the next. Sandy Taylors writing was strong throughout and completely drew me into Dottie’s and Mary’s story.  I adored Sandy Taylors writing style it was so easy to read which made this book a massive page turner

I loved the setting and the descriptions of life in the 60’s I actually felt as though I  was living on See Saw Lane watching this story unfold in front of my eyes.

There are some major plot twists throughout the book which will leave you speechless and will keep you turning those pages

An unputdownable book of friendship and I cannot wait for the sequel

5 of 5 stars