Lazy Sunday #2

I have discovered my new hob top kettle takes longer to boil than the old electric one but there is something exciting about hearing that whistle that signals coffee time has arrived.

This mornings brew is once more a double choca-mocha, one of my favourites but has been set aside for just a little while as I consumed my porridge. I am trying very hard at the minute to actually eat breakfast when I get up not an hour later, this is something I struggle with, I am not a morning person.

Breakfast eaten I put the empty pot to one side and begin reading blogs, mug in hand, I read, smile, hit the like button and begin the task of deciding which posts I shall share this week, I search through my inbox for the couple I spotted during the week that grabbed my attention and I marked with a star so I could find them again.

So let us begin with this weeks choices…

  1. I love photo blogs, they say a picture says a thousand words but it can also show a thousand worlds, places I will never travel to, moments that can never be reproduced. I will never go on a camel ride through the desert, that it not self pity or a complaint that finances will not allow but a reality that with my dodgy back, even if I won the lottery tomorrow (reminds me I must check last nights tickets lol) I could possibly manage to get on one and sit for a few minutes but never travel great distances, my back simply would not take it. I have ridden horses in my life time and would love to do that again but from people I know that have ridden on a camel the ride is a little bumpier and harder on the body, but there will always be a part of me that would like to imagine that journey across the desert, though of course the fell provisioned tourist experience not the starving explorer version. You can see some great photos here
  2. I want to wish the lovely Cara a happy blogiversary! Those of you who have followed me for a while know I do have a little bit of a naughty side, and though I could never write erotica I do read it occasionally and I love the way Cara writes, I only wish I could wave a magic wand and give her the confidence in her own work that the rest of us have in it, then maybe she would post the rest of the Hunter story I was loving that she suddenly stopped hint hint you can wish her a happy blogiversary here and explore her blog a little more if you enjoy writing that gets the blood pumping in more ways than one lol
  3. Next up is a blog post with a video embedded, if your coffee is running low you might want to go refill before you start on this post. Sandra’s enthusiasm is contagious, I have no idea how she manages to juggle so many things at the same time but this post focuses on one of aspect of her life and interests, asexuality. Until Sandra started talking about it I really did not get what they meant by asexuality and I will be honest I can not really comprehend not having those feelings (just consider my previous share) but as she says everyone in individual and I think part of that is accepting that we do not have to fully understand everyone else but we should respect their differences
  4. The next one is from my dear friend Rhonda, now she is lots of things, a great friend, hilariously funny at times but she has a way with words that can also evoke such deep feelings from within, I grew up thousands of miles away from the place she is describing but that nostalgia and feeling of being connected to a place resonates with me every time I take a trip back to the village I grew up in where my parents still live, if I had to pick a negative about Rhonda it would be that bloody woman just does not write enough and needs a kick up the butt to make her post more often lol
  5. I don’t always read the next blog in order and do occasionally wonder if I miss out not reading it that way but as it states the stories are disconnected so I don’t feel too bad dipping in and out and each is in a way its own little vignette, I love the fact the blog is both visual and imaginative and am awed by the talent of Cheryl
  6. Final one for today and if you have not already refilled your cup you will want to for this one, it is a flash fiction which leads you down a path but lets you chose which fork in the road you want to take at the end, I won’t say here which I took but if you want to come back in comments and tell me what you thought we can discuss it there

So my cup is empty and I need to wash it up before playing fetch with the dog in the garden for a while, I won’t let him bring his favourite ball in the house, it is a grubby leather football he has punctured a dozen times over but it is his favourite so I resist the urge to bin it for now. The I shall do a load of washing, tiddy the house a little before heading back here to the desk to write tomorrows blog post and do a little creating.

Enjoy your Sunday and please let me know if you enjoy these blogs I have shared with you xxx


Glossybox Review – February 2016

Finally I have caught up now with the reviews, and I have to say this is a very pretty box…

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Sadly for me the box proved to be too pretty and my daughter stole it, but she did allow me to take this photo and review one of the products she also had her eye on before she ran off with them.

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I was quite excited by all the products with the exception of the razor as it does not seem long since I received one of those previously however I shall get to the in a minute, in fact maybe that is the perfect place to start…

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Wilkinson Sword Intuition Razor

I have received one of these previously as I mentioned and do generally like them so I was disappointed to get another however there was one plus and one potential minus with this incarnation.

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As you can see the handle now has a rubberised grip, I do now really remember this previously and it certainly did feel more comfortable to grip than I remember, the soft rubber grip also makes it less likely to slip as you use it, now for the minus…

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I don’t know why but the soap seemed to look like it had gone off even though I know it hadn’t, and the razor seemed to clog with hairs very easily, this is not a problem I have had previously with this razor so I am not sure if it was more the blade I received that had issues or if they have gone downhill in quality, I will pick up some more blades and check but at £6.99 for the razor I will use it assuming that this is just a one off blade issue.

Next up…

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Browtician Love Skull Tweezers Limited Edition

As soon as I opened the box my daughter’s eyes zoomed in on these and I knew, like the Vintage Company ones I got a while ago, I would get no peace until she got her hands on them, so I opened them up to give them a quick trial before she snuck them in her handbag…

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I love the way these are presented in the case, and they cool design on them . On a functional level they are good tweezers, at £7.99 I will say there are lots of tweezers on the market at far cheaper prices that will work just as well and you are definitely paying for the design but if you are wanting something that looks good then why not, personally given how many times I lose tweezers I would probably not go out of my way to buy these but would have been happy to have them in my make up bag hand my daughter not claimed them.

Now for something for the hair…

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NAOBAY Protective Hair Mask Volume Conditioner

NAOBAY is a brand I discovered via Glossybox and I use a couple of their products on a daily basis, I had not tried any of their hair range so was really pleased to see this and though I have not used it enough to see long lasting results I have liked the way my hair felt afterwards. Because of all the colouring and bleaching my hair is quite dry but this certainly seemed to make it feel more silky and if the results continue to improve my hair I will be adding this to the list of regular products I use. At £10.64 it is a reasonable price for hair treatments and as you only use it once or twice a week should last a while, as things stand right now I will be buying this again and might even add it to the other NAOBAY products I subscribe to via Amazon to receive on a regular basis.

Two make-up product this month…

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Nicka K New York 24H Waterproof Eyeliner

I received this in brown which makes a nice change from always getting black, it is double ended with the pencil at one end and a smudger at the other..Personally I n

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Personally I never use the smudgers although I should probably try a little harder with this and experiment a little more, I did like the way this looked on and it lasted rather well, because I wear it on the waterline it took a couple of applications to really feel like it was staying and I have not tried it yet for a longer period of time than six hours so I cannot attest to the 24 hour claims, at £3.99 it is cheap enough to give it a go and see how you enjoy it, you can see me wearing it in the final photo of this post.

And the final product this month…

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MUA Power Pout Glaze Low Voltage Gloss

I received this in Spellbound, and it was a colour a chose from half a dozen options, this is one of those products that initially I found very disappointing but as you will see sometimes you have to try different things. The first hing I did not like was the ‘brush’…

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This product costs only £3.50 and the brush reflects how cheap this product actually it, thick plastic bristles that do nothing to aid in the application and remind you more of a child’s paint brush than a lip brush, as you can see the colour is intense but also quite a think consistency…

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I did this swatch onto the back of my hand using the gloss as it is and you can see just how thick and gloopy it is using the applicator…

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I was trying to show how thick it is but didn’t want to show the rest of my face as I had no make up on and was feeling like crap but I will say this is about the tenth picture of me trying to do the picture without smears and I had not re-applied the gloss during that process. I was almost at the point where I was going to throw the gloss into the make up I never use and leave it there but later as I was getting ready for work I decided to give it one more chance.

Rather than using the applicator I used one of my own lip brushes and applied a thin layer over a darker lip liner (bright red would not be suitable for work) and was pleasantly surprised by the results, I would certainly not use this if I was going out for a meal but could live with it on an evening out, however I would not buy it again.

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Lazy Sunday #1

I had decided to not blog on Sundays but I have changed my mind in a manner of speaking. Sunday is the day I frequently catch up on blog reading if I get behind during the week so I have decided to use Sunday’s as the perfect day to share some reading material with you guys, the blogs I read vary wildly from erotica to legal, fiction and craft, so each week I will create a post to share a few I have read during the week that have excited me one way or another.

So right now stop reading and go make yourself a nice cup of coffee, I have a nice frothy double choc-mocha in my hand (well on my desk can’t type and drink at the same time, well not safely anyway), I am drinking it from my colour changing TARDIS mug, maybe you can share your drink below.

Are you back? Sitting comfortably then let’s begin with this weeks hot half dozen…

  1. I picked this one as it is a fresh start in a new media, I love the spirit of this lady and the way despite going through some really tough times she still remains positive, plus she has a voice like honey, well you will see for your selves
  2. As we are having coffee here it would be rude not to share it with Willowdot
  3. Sacha Black organises the UK Blogger Bash as well as being a successful writer and blogger she has come up with some events for people in the UK to consider if they can get to any of them
  4. This is a name that will familiar from my book reviews, however his new release is a whole new genre and I am looking forward to reading this
  5. Now something a little deeper and more profound, some thing to ponder as you sip at your coffee
  6. The final one for this week may require a whole cup by itself and if you have not listened to Serial or Undisclosed may not seem interesting but if you have an interest in how they judicial system in the US fail to work and can be manipulated then maybe take a look and if it interests you take a look further into this case and the two pod-casts I just mentioned, personally I find this fascinating,

Let me know if you enjoyed any of these, I am going to be relaxing for the rest of the day, unless you count laundry, there is always laundry to do on a Sunday, school and work uniforms, I hope you enjoy your lazy Sunday too.

Glossybox Review – January 2016

January, start to a new year but a standard pink box to open, would much rather receive the different ones so initial thought was not too bad this month…

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I shall start off with the boring stuff so…

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Unani Dermo Defense  Face Mask

When you first put this on it does have a rather pleasant cooling effect on the skin, I have used it a few times but cannot say I have noticed a great difference but I have to say at the minute my skin is in quite good condition due to the other products I already use so it could be amazing and I might not see the benefits at £11.36 for the full size 100ml tube it is not badly priced as a little goes a long way, there is no fragrance as such and although I cannot say I will buy more I will certainly use this one up.

The next skin product…

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Madara Cellular Repair Serum

I quite like using serums when my skin is looking tired and needs an intensive pick me up so was happy to try this and it does give good results, however one thing I do not like about this is the smell. at a cost of £38 for the full size one I am not likely to buy this again as I can buy other serums just as good that don’t smell like off milk.

Next up…

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Glossybox Eyeshadow in Glossy Mauve

This is a weird one, it does look more of a mauve in real life than shows up in the photos, even opening it to take a photo did not help…

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I had high hopes when I went to swatch this but again the colour is not quite what I expected…

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I did consider it would work quite well as fancy dress make up if I wanted to do bruising, add a little touch of green and yellow and I would look like I had been assaulted but on a more serious note I think this will only get used as a crease transition colour or as a base for stronger colours, they put a price tag of £7.50 on it but generally Glossybox products are only available when they come in the box so probably just as well I did not love it.

Two to go…

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ANGELE Paris Red Nail Lacquer

My initial reaction was that this looked cheap, I had little  in the way of expectations but I was in for a shock. It covered far better than I expected and lasted rather well without chipping in the time I had it on. Unlike many red nail polishes it did not stain my nails which I was very happy about. At £6.32 it is reasonably priced and I would not mind trying more from this range.

The final item this month was…

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Teeez Cosmetics Oasis Gem Lipstick

I had only every heard of this brand when I received a brush by them in a previous Glossybox, I totally love their packaging and the actual print on the products, I was not sure about the colour when I first removed the top…

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It looked very much like an orangey red and I was not sure that it would suit me at all and the swatch on my hand added to my concern,

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However I have to say that when I actually put it on my lips I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was more of a coral colour than a red, my daughter was a little disappointed as she was hoping to run off with it but it was probably my favourite product from this months box in the end and priced at £11.93 this full size lipstick covered the cost of the box.

A mixed box but the two positives made up for disappointments with the other products and as always I look forward to the next box…

Television Tuesday – Getting Back To Routine

I have been very hit and miss blogging so far this year, not the sort of habits I want to get into so this week I am making an active effort to get back into the swing or scheduling and posting regularly, so what have I been watching…

Television & Youtube

I am totally obsessed with watching this, to the point where I subscribe to the Youtube channel and watch the clips as well as recording both the US and UK versions on my TiVo box

I decided to count it for both as I do watch it both ways, who ever came up with this idea is brilliant after all we have all pranced around at some point singing into a hairbrush or other object pretending to be someone famous, now we get to watch celebs do it as well, there have been so many clips that I could have chosen but I decided to just share a couple of my favourites.


I have not watched any films this week so instead I am going to leave you with my top three tracks from the Oasis greatest hits album that I have been listening to this week, peobebly not the ones you might be expecting…

Book Review – Whiter Than White By G G Carver

First a disclaimer, I actually won a signed copy of this book via my purchase of tickets for the Charity Masquerade Ball, part of the Leeds Author Event


So as usually we start with the Goodreads blurb…

Life is a rat race, and Elena White is stuck on the treadmill.
She’s been living on autopilot, a slave to the 9-5 routine – until a chance meeting with an old school friend serves as the catalyst that changes Elena’s life in a way she could never have imagined.

Dazzled by her friends self assured confidence, Elena makes an innocent attempt to break from the monotony, and the repercussions send her on a roller coaster of emotions, smashing predictability to pieces, leaving her life anything but predictable.

I have to say overall I was pleasantly surprised by this book, normally I have found that where the word erotic is used you get a very flimsy storyline fitted in around sex scenes this was more of a novel with a few steamy scenes, the sex scenes themselves were well written, it was fairly straightforward sex, nothing particularly kinky but very easy to relate to.

Overall the characters were well written, but there were a few points here I would like to have seen addressed more. First lets start with the positives, Jasmine reminded me of people I have actually known, not that they were put up in flats etc but the sort of person who wants a certain lifestyle and is quite happy to compromise their emotions to get it, likewise her dad, the sleazy Alan, I might not personally have known anyone that vicious but I have known a few with a similar attitude towards women and he was totally believable.  I don’t think it really is a spoiler to state there is of course a knight in shining amour, lets face it there always is, and I like this one, part of me almost wishes there had been a way to tell this story without him being uber rich but I do think for this story to have worked he needed a certain level of financial success, I will say though his back story was very interesting and it would have been nice to have seen that expanded more throughout the book.

This part does contain *SPOILERS* so if you want to avoid them jump to final paragraph!!!!!!!

Then we go onto Elena, I like Elena, I found myself rooting for her but the author has actually caused the issues I have by creating such a good character. I felt firstly we needed to know more about her, we learn about her childhood, her work experiences and her life now but there is a chunk missing, a chunk that in terms of the way she interacts with the other sex would have been useful to know. I totally get the doing something crazy out of character, and the spark between two people that means they cannot keep their hands off each other but I would have expected to see far more soul searching and, guilt possibly, from Elena regarding her forming a relationship with a married man, and I have to say it her clinginess and paranoid possessiveness was a little annoying without the context of, maybe a prior cheating boyfriend, or exploring her own self image issues further.My final issue was with one scene

The was one scene that I have to confess did take me completely out of the story and that was the sex scene in the department store. Had the author said that Conrad paid the woman, or sweet talked the woman into allowing them to be alone in the changing rooms I could have bought it but the idea they managed to have earth-moving sex without anyone noticing, sorry I just done buy it. I am not sure whether it is the because the author is male and has an idea of what women’s changing rooms are like based on films or if they think all of the stores have huge changing rooms but most of us have the experience of curtains that barely close properly, while they are getting better in terms of space for one person space for two? One of whom is a large muscular guy? Plus let me tell you those women watch you like hawks going in and out and they would have noticed that he had gone from that seat. As I say this was the only scene that reality pulled me right out of the story and luckily I was far enough in and felt enough for the characters to put it behind me and move on.


So in summary I did enjoy this and would certainly read more by this author, the parts I have picked out as criticisms are possibly nit picking but when you feel that a writer has the talent to go deeper and explore even more of the complexities beneath the surface of the characters they have created then hopefully they take that in the way it is intended, especially when I might actually meet the author at a later date lol but I do and have recommended this book to friends. So onto the final score, I did deliberate over this score between two star awards if I could I would have gone half way but as I always round up taking the positives over any negatives this book gets a 4.5 out of 5 star rating.

images 4.5

Glossy Box Review – The Rose Gold Edit – December 2015

As you can see I am a little behind on these so you are going to be getting one a week for the next few weeks, so lets begin…

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First thought was cool, what a pretty box then I opened it,

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I have to be honest my heart sank, this was the special festive box and instead I felt totally deflated by what was in there but as always I was determined to give it a fair trial so of course I tried everything.

First up…

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Etre Belle Golden Skin Caviar Eye Roll On

It says it is supposed to cool and hydrate tired looking eyes, now maybe my eyes were not tired, puffy or dehydrated enough but I did not see a difference, they charge £30.66 for this and it is not something I would buy again as things stand, I will try it again at some point possibly after a night out or when I have been ill and see if I can see a difference then, if I do I will get back to you. The one thing I will give it credit for is the cooling effect however I cannot say if this is as a result of the gel or the fact the roller ball is metal.

Next up…

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Essence Liquid Lipstick in Show Off

It claims that this gives you lipstick coverage with a gloss finish, personally I found it gave you an oil slick on your mouth. The colour was good and a true red but that is the best I can say for it, I am quite fussy with my lip glosses and hate that sticky feeling and this felt as cheap as the price tag, and that has to be taken into account, this only costs £2.50, maybe if I did not have better quality lip glosses and far too many products already I might experiment with it more but it reminded me very much of something you would find in a little girls play hand bag and I would not buy it again.

So far very disappointing but it was not all doom and gloom…

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Darphin 8 Flower Nectar Oil Cream

If you are thinking the packaging looks familiar it is, in fact it is almost identical to the moisturiser I fell in love with before

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The difference being that the moisturiser is in a blue/green glass tub rather than a yellow one but I loved this product almost as much as the other, in fact had this been cheaper I might have switched but at £65 for the full size it is the same price as the moisturiser so I will be sticking with that. The one thing I would say is that this would be one I would only use in winter as with my complexion it would make my skin a little too greasy in summer months, for someone with year round dry skin I would say it is worth a try though the price tag is rather prohibitive to just buy to try without knowing it will suit.

Next one is…

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Cheeky Chat Me Up Nail Paint

First thoughts were I was disappointed, it did not give the coverage I like and though it sparkled nicely it lacked a bit of a wow factor. Then I tried something different, I was putting on a dark purple polish I own that has a little sparkle but not much so I thought I will just try a coat of this over the top and see what happens and it looked fab (sadly I can’t find the photo now showing it) it did make the purple appear more of a dark violet but it sparkled and the iridescence really showed, I then tried it over different colours and it pretty much look stunning which ever colour I put it over, at £7 it is average price for a nail varnish and I will certainly go look at their website and consider ordering it again.

Almost done…

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So Susan Statement Highlighter Pencil

So Susan is an American brand I have only discovered due to  Glossybox an I have loved their stuff so much I have bought some of their Love Bags so when I saw this I was excited, I do not really like the pencil idea for cheekbone highlighting but I frequently use this on both my cupid’s bow and brow bone for highlights and love it, at £15 it is possibly a little on the expensive side although to be honest value for money wise it is a good investment as it will last forever. would I buy this again? Quite possibly although chances are this one will last me for ages.

And on to the final item which I save for last as the picture might be scary…

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Starskin Bio-Cellulose Second Skin Mask

Okay not that picture, the one I am going to share in a might, this was a bonus product and I got the one that is supposed to be used in preparation for a night out, now the first thing I have to say is generally I have about an hour to get ready when I decide to go out so taking twenty minutes to do a face mask is not in the equation but also I think of face masks more for relaxing in front of the TV possibly with a glass of something . However I have to say this certainly did give good results and I would imagine my make up might well have looked extra good if I had applied it after wearing this mask, but and there are actually three buts here, I honestly would not buy this again. First let me show you me wearing the mask…

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Firstly as you can see it does not fit particularly well, who ever they based this face shape on has serious issues, secondly the actual product on the mask is quite slimy which means that you get the mask into a position where it just about feels like it is in place then within a minute or two you feel it sliding down your face, in the end the only way I could keep it on for twenty minutes was to lay on the bed flat on my back, not very practical for getting ready to go out. Finally the price at £8.50 per mask it is nearly as cheap to book yourself in for a facial, the fact is I would use these again if I got another freebie but I can not justify spending that money on one when I know I can buy others that do the same job for a fraction of the price.

So despite inital fears there were a couple of things I really did love in this box.

Ask An Author: How do you deal with bad reviews?

Today I pop up on the lovely Heidi’s page discussing reviews

H.N. Sieverding


This is the first of my “Ask An Author” posts.  Today, I’ve asked my panel of published authors the question, “How do you deal with bad reviews?”. If you’re an author and want to participate, too, feel free to leave your answer in the comment section. We’d love to hear it!


The Answers

my lady valentine med

“Shrug my shoulders and continue to be a better writer. A review, even from a professional reviewer is an opinion. Everyone is entitled to theirs even if it disagrees with yours and other reviews.”

– Lindsay Downs


“I’ve come to realize the only way to deal with bad reviews is not to read them. (Something else that’s easier said than done). If that doesn’t work: ice cream or chocolate.”

– S.L. Stacy


“First, evaluate if the reviewer has a point.  We’ve all read things we didn’t like.  If that can be true for us, then it…

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Book Review – Moriarty By Anthony Horowitz

When I picked this up and began reading I did not realise it was the second book, coming after House of Silk however it works as a stand alone story and reviews I have read since all state that reading the first has no relevance on the ability to enjoy this one.


The Goodreads blurb says…

A delightfully fiendish crime thriller from the bestselling author of The House of Silk.

Sherlock Holmes is dead.

Days after Holmes and his arch-enemy Moriarty fall to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls, Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase arrives in Europe from New York. The death of Moriarty has created a poisonous vacuum which has been swiftly filled by a fiendish new criminal mastermind who has risen to take his place.

Ably assisted by Inspector Athelney Jones of Scotland Yard, a devoted student of Holmes’s methods of investigation and deduction, Frederick Chase must forge a path through the darkest corners of the capital to shine light on this shadowy figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, a man determined to engulf London in a tide of murder and menace.

I have to say I had a little trepidation at reading this, I love Sherlock Holmes and have read all the original stories, I knew that there would be an element of authenticity to these given they were commissioned by the involvement and sanctioning by the Conan Doyle Estate by never the less I began with an expectation of being disappointed.

I have to say though I did thoroughly enjoy this book, there is a huge twist and although I suspected it two thirds of the way through I was not sure until the reveal. I think the fact that this is not a story told by Watson helps the reader associate it with the Sherlock legacy without making direct comparisons with the originals and I will certainly look forward to exploring more in the series. The only let down for me was the ending, though it did tie up most loose ends it felt like a little bit of an anti-climax and although I am not sure how I would have preferred it to end I know I would have liked a little more drama on the final pages.

It is hard to do a review without giving away too many spoilers and the more I think about my issues with the ending the harder it gets as they are directly tied up with a plot point and the character of the main protagonist in the story, obviously my reviews are not in-depth academic style explorations of linguistic choices and devices used, they are my feelings and opinions as a reader not a writer so I do not want to ruin an otherwise good book for someone over an issue that may not be an issue for them as a reader. I am someone who has been put off reading a book by reading a review so I am very careful about not doing that unless a book is really bad and then I generally just don’t do a review, so I would recommend this book still if you like Victorian crime fiction and the Sherlock Holmes style genre, don’t expect copy cat Conan Doyle and if you do read it I would be interested to hear your opinion on the ending. I considered this score for a while before deciding on 4 out of 5 stars in the end.