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Book Review: One Dark Lie, by Clare Chase.

Book Review: One Dark Lie, by Clare Chase.

Clare Chase is one of those writers, that when she writes a new book, I know I’m going to love it, without even reading the blurb. So, when One Dark Lie came out, I wanted to grab a copy straight away. After getting my copy, (and reading the blurb), I was excited to see that it followed on from her previous book involving Ruby and Nate. I thought Ruby was a brilliantly inquisitive character in the last book ‘A Stranger’s House’, so was looking forward to seeing what she had gotten up to next.  (My review of ‘A Stranger’s House’ is HERE)

I was very honoured to have my quote published on a postcard for ‘A Stranger’s  House’

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Description:

The truth can hurt, and sometimes it leads to murder

After becoming embroiled in a murder investigation, Nate Bastable and Ruby Fawcett have decided to opt for the quiet life. But crime has a habit of following them around.
When her work dries up, Ruby finds herself accepting a job researching and writing about Diana Patrick-John, a colourful and enigmatic Cambridge academic. Simple enough. But then there’s the small fact that Diana was found dead in suspicious circumstances in her home – the very place where Ruby has now been invited to stay.
As she begins to uncover Diana’s secret life, Ruby’s sleuthing instinct kicks in, leaving her open to danger and retribution. But can she rely on Nate to support her? Especially when his behaviour has become increasingly distant and strange, almost as though he had something to hide

 

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Published December 13th 2016 by Choc Lit

My Thoughts:

This book can be read as a standalone, although I recommend that you read A Stranger’s House first. 

One Dark Lie tells the story of the very inquisitive Ruby Fawcett, who is an Author. Ruby is asked to write a biography of a recently murdered woman Diana Patrick-John. However Diana’s brother doesn’t want Ruby to concentrate on the demise of Diana, he wants her to write about her brilliance as an academia and what a success she was. He also wants her to stay in Diana’s room in his house! As you can imagine, Nate (Ruby’s boyfriend) is not so keen on this idea.

Ruby is a brilliantly rounded character that I could see has developed since the first book, and continues to develop throughout this book. The chapters alternate between Ruby and Nate. I liked this touch as we could understand how each of them felt, and see the story from both sides. (I liked and agreed with Ruby!, although I did think her rather crazy at times!

“OK, so I know you think I work to the Famous Five school of detection..”

Ruby is inquisitively wonderful, but I often felt her too impulsive at times. I think the Author gave a good impression of the characters’ journalistic instincts and hotheadedness to get the scoop and find out what is going on, just as Ruby was in the other books. Although this makes her love-able, it also made me want to yell, ‘Ruby, use your sensible head!’ She does, however come up with some very clever thoughts, and this is one I will keep in mind:

“Recognising something as precious shouldn’t be a cause for anxiety; not unless you know it’s under threat”.

Ruby pulls out all the stops to find out as much as she can about the work she wants to write about. This involves meeting other people which are small characters in the book, but add a lot to the overall impression we get of Ruby. She is great at giving advice, and shows us the strong independent woman that she is:

“….you can make a great future, but because of who you are inside, not because of whether someone else believes in you”

I had mentioned in my review of the Author’s previous book that Ruby’s best friend could be better and more supportive,  and this time she was much better and I grew to like Steph much more than I did before.

Cambridge, where the book is based, seems like a lovely place with a lot of hidden secrets and gems. as the Author has mentioned in one of her interviews, Cambridge is a great setting for a murder mystery. I would very much like to visit one day, and on that day, I would be thinking about Clare Chase and her stories.

One Dark Lie is not a hard dark murder, it is more of a steadily paced sleuthing mystery, it kept me gripped, but wont give you nightmares – unless you decide to stay in a house which has had a murder in it!

I totally recommend One Dark Lie, and will again be reaching for Clare Chase’s next book, again without needing to read the blurb. I just know it will be brilliant!

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Links:

Goodreads.

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Twitter/ClareChase_

Clarechase.com

 

 

 
12 Comments

Posted by on June 3, 2017 in Books

 

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Interview with Clare Chase. Author of A Stranger’s House.

Interview with Clare Chase. Author of A Stranger’s House.

I have been a fan of Clare Chase since I read her first book ‘You Think You Know Me’ back in 2014. So I was very pleased to hear that Clare had written another book ‘A Stranger’s House‘ which has just been published in paperback. (February 7th 2017). I reviewed this book previously and you can read my review HERE!

Today, I have the honour of asking the very talented Clare a few questions. So I cordially introduce to the the wonderful Clare Chase, Author of You Think You Know Me. A Stranger’s House and One Dark Lie.  

Check out these other blogs on the book tour.

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Hi Clare, Can you tell us a little about your book ‘A Stranger’s House’?

Hi Amanda – thanks so much for having me on your blog today!

A Stranger’s House opens just after the heroine, Ruby, has walked out on her unfaithful partner. With nowhere else to go, the house-sitting job she’s offered in Cambridge seems like a godsend: a way to escape the gossips in her village and earn some extra cash at the same time. But it’s not long before she starts to feel uneasy. The signs of the absent-owner’s dysfunctional life are everywhere, from the unsettling paintings on his bedroom wall, to the bloodstain on the rug in his sitting room. As Ruby pieces together clues from his home, she feels closer and closer to a man she’s never met, and would rather be distanced from.

In an effort to take control, she starts to dig for information, but Nate, who owns the house-sitting business, is dead against her sleuthing.  It leaves Ruby wondering what he has to hide. When she finally unearths his secret, it knocks her for six.

Where did your inspiration come from for the plot and characters? Did you take inspiration for characters from anyone you know?

I’ve always been fascinated by what you can glean about people from looking at their home environment, and it was this that gave me the idea for the book.

When creating characters I sometimes pinch aspects of people I know, but in the main they develop inside my head and are almost entirely made up!

 

 

Do you have a favourite place to write? And is it tidy or a mess of papers?

 I’m happy to write pretty much anywhere, and have a nice, light laptop with good battery life! When I’m at home I frequently avoid our study (which is messy and currently home to things like an old chemistry set, some woodwork tools and a cuckoo clock, all waiting to be freecycled)! My favourite place to work is the kitchen, which is nice and light with a view of the back garden.

I don’t tend to have too many papers around since I mainly work on my computer, after an initial stage of scribbling ideas into notebooks.

 

Did you have to do much research for this book? Do you have any amusing tales of while you were ‘researching’? 

A lot the background knowledge that went into A Stranger’s House was gleaned through living in Cambridge for over twenty years, so effectively I’ve been absorbing information as I go along. I find it’s the perfect setting for crime fiction. Despite being a city, it’s fairly small, so inequalities are concentrated.  You get millionaire Nobel laureates living cheek-by-jowl with squatters, and while there are college choirs singing Elizabethan madrigals by the river, there are also drunks dealing drugs on the commons. The contrasts can be stark and I imagine life must seem very unjust to some of the city’s residents. Cambridge’s size means news travels fast, too. A high proportion of the locals work for the university, and if you want to keep a secret you have to be careful who you talk to! And then there are the rivalries which abound in both academia and industry, which can lead to tensions too. The stakes are high, and when people have a lot to lose, there’s potential for conflict.

I used to work at the university and also one of its colleges, and I’ve overheard some interesting things, but I probably shouldn’t repeat them here!

 

 You have two great characters, I found Ruby to be so developed in your writing that I could understand her thoughts and actions. Did you know the characters Ruby and Nate before you wrote them or did they develop as the book did?

Thanks, Amanda! I did a lot of thinking about both Ruby and Nate’s back stories before I started writing, and that dictated their main character traits. So I feel I knew them pretty well before I began the book. Having said that, each time they were faced with a new situation I got to know them that bit better as I realised exactly how they’d react in that particular circumstance.

 

Were there any ‘deleted scenes’ that we might be intrigued about?

In the original version of A Stranger’s House, Ruby was pregnant. As you can imagine, the reworked version involved quite a few tweaks!

What book are you reading now and who are your favourite Authors?

I’ve just started The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths, which is the first in her Stephens and Mephisto series set in Brighton in 1950. I’m a massive fan of her Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries, and having read them all I’m delighted there’s another set of books to immerse myself in! As for my favourite authors, I could list hundreds! Can I cop out and tell you my main influences instead? Alongside Elly Griffiths, these would be Liane Moriarty, Kate Atkinson and Sophie Hannah! 

A Stranger’s House by Clare Chase is now available to purchase in paperback. Click here for buying options: http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/a-strangers-house/

 

strangers house

About the book: 

What if you were powerless to protect the person you cared about most?

When Ruby finds out that her partner has done the unforgivable, she has no option but to move out of their home. With nowhere else to go, a job house-sitting in Cambridge seems like the perfect solution.

But it’s soon clear the absent owner hurts everyone he gets close to, and Ruby’s faced with the fallout. As violent repercussions unfold, her instinct is to investigate: it’s a matter of self-preservation. And besides, she’s curious…

But Ruby’s new boss, Nate Bastable, has his eye on her and seems determined to put a stop to her sleuthing. Is he simply worried for the welfare of a member of staff, or is there something altogether more complicated – and potentially dangerous – at play?

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About the Author:

Clare Chase writes women sleuth mysteries set in London and Cambridge. She fell in love with the capital as a student, living in the rather cushy surroundings of Hampstead in what was then a campus college of London University.

After graduating in English Literature, she moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She’s fascinated by the city’s contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of a Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies presents a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.

She lives with her husband and teenage children, and currently works at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

 

Here is where you can buy A Strangers House and find out more about Author Clare Chase:

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Any good bookshop!

Here is where you can find Clare:

Twitter/@ClareChase_

ClareChase.com

 

 
9 Comments

Posted by on February 12, 2017 in author interviews, Books

 

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My Top Books of 2016.

My Top Books of 2016.

top-ten-2016

This is a post I have been thinking about for a few weeks. I have read a lot of good books over the past year, and to list my top ten is a good reminder to me how much I enjoyed them. It is also a nice way to thank the Authors for their talent. 

I met my Goodreads challenge of reading 40 books this year. I know this is not a huge amount compared to other bookbloggers, but its good for me. I prefer to read my books slower and more thoroughly so I really enjoy them and soak up the story that it is telling me. 

These books are in no particular order, but all are 5 stars worth brilliant. I have linked my review to each one, incase you want to read my thoughts on them. The links for each book will be in the review post.

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TOP TEN BOOKS OF 2016 BY CHOCOLATEPAGES.

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Cut Throat Defence by Olly Jarvis. A brilliant gripping crime thriller based in the UK. Olly Jarvis is my favourite legal thriller Author as his knowledge flows brilliantly into his fictional characters drawing me right into the gritty underground and clever legal cases. You can read my review and more about it HERE!

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out of darkness

Out of the Darkness by Katy Hogan, was a wonderful uplifting spiritual story. This book has stayed with me and brings hope and appreciation to its readers.  I always think of this book as I go on my walks and pass the boats. You can read more about my thoughts HERE!

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sw19 club

The SW19 Club by Nicola May. I only discovered this Author this year and have been missing out. I have read 3 of her books, but The SW19 Club was my favourite as it was therapeutic, brilliant and made me laugh and cry. You can read more about it HERE!

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strangers house

A Stranger’s House by Clare Chase. This was a twisty turny suspence which is just the kind of book I love. Clare Chase is a wonder at writing these kinds of novels. I have her next one on my kindle ready to go. You can read more about A Stranger’s House and my thoughts HERE!

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coffe tea carib

Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me by Caroline James. I have read all of the Coffee, Tea books that Caroline has written and I just love her main characters Jo and Hattie. The tales are heartwarming while making me laugh, feel hungry for the delicious cakes they eat and go into a whole bookish world of Caroline’s imagination. You can read more about my thoughts HERE! 

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novelista girl

Novelista Girl by Meredith Schorr. In my review of this book, I gave the Author the huge compliment of saying that I loved the main character Kim Long as much as I love Sophie Kinsella’s Becky Brandon. This book was pure chick lit at its very best. It was perfect! You can read more about my thoughts HERE!

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daisy

Daisy In Chains by Sharon Bolton was a brilliant book with a really interesting storyline. It spoke of prison wives and fan clubs of convicted murderers. The end was so fantastic and so much of a twist, I loved it. You can read more about my thoughts HERE!

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Boyfriend By Book Repaired Master Font II

Boyfriend by the Book by Laura Briggs. This was an indulgent chick lit easy read. It was frivolous and complete fun. Perfect for cosy days where you want to go to a bookish world of imagination. You can read more about my thoughts HERE!

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death

 

The Death of Anyone by DJ Swykert. This was another gripping crime thriller and it had the unique points within the tale about ethics of using familial DNA as evidence. Really interesting while being a fantastic crime thriller. You can read more about my thoughts HERE! 

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before-gg

 

Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson. This was a wonderful surprise of a book, as I didn’t know there was an Anne Shirley book that I hadn’t read, then I got this! It is a really nice prequel where we can see how Anne got to Green Gables. Although it is by a different Author to the original Green Gables books, it was written with a real insight into the original books by LM Montgomery to celebrate 100 years of Green Gables. You can read more about my thoughts HERE!

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So, there are my Top Ten Books of 2016. I hope that 2017 will be full of plenty more, I’m quite sure it will be as I already have a full ‘to be read’ pile. 

Have you read any of these? What were your best reads of the year, link your posts here and I will take a look at yours too. 

Until next time, Happy Reading! 

 
25 Comments

Posted by on January 8, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: A Stranger’s House by Clare Chase.

Book Review: A Stranger’s House by Clare Chase.

‘A Stranger’s House is Clare Chase’s second novel. I was very happy when I heard that it had been published, as I really loved her first one. Therefore setting the scale of my hopes for her second! Clare’s first book ‘So You Think You Know Me’ was brilliant. You can read my review of it HERE!

But now for my thoughts on her latest release…..I loved it. 

 

strangers house

Description:

What if you were powerless to protect the person you cared about most?

When Ruby finds out that her partner has done the unforgivable, she has no option but to move out of their home. With nowhere else to go, a job house-sitting in Cambridge seems like the perfect solution.

But it’s soon clear the absent owner hurts everyone he gets close to, and Ruby’s faced with the fallout. As violent repercussions unfold, her instinct is to investigate: it’s a matter of self-preservation. And besides, she’s curious…

But Ruby’s new boss, Nate Bastable, has his eye on her and seems determined to put a stop to her sleuthing. Is he simply worried for the welfare of a member of staff, or is there something altogether more complicated – and potentially dangerous – at play?

Publisher: Choc Lit (12 Feb. 2016)

 

My Thoughts:

The lead character in this book is Ruby, after splitting with her partner finds herself in a difficult situation with nowhere to go. She takes on a job as a house sitter. I have often thought a house sitter would be a great job – paid for living and keeping an eye on a house that you don’t have to pay any bills for, and usually really nice houses! After reading this book, I am a bit more sceptical! This house led to a lot of stressful encounters for Ruby. Great idea for a crime mystery though! 

This book leads us through Ruby and Nate’s point of view. Ruby is a great character, the Author has put enough detail and thought into Ruby that I could understand her thoughts and movements. Ruby is a writer and her investigations about her books show through in her interest into the mysteries she encounters in A Stranger’s House. She is brave yet emotional. If she weren’t emotional after all she had been through, the character wouldn’t have worked I think.  

Nate is a great character too, I didn’t understand him as easily as I did Ruby. I think the Author did this on purpose so that we are left guessing throughout the story. A side line character is Ruby’s friend Steph. I wasn’t as keen on her. I don’t think she was there for Ruby as much as she should have been. But as a side line character maybe we were only supposed to see glimpses of her?

I like that this story was based in Cambridge, you can tell the the Author is writing where she knows very well. I haven’t ever been to Cambridge, but I would re read this book if I were to visit. Although I enjoy crime books set in America, I always find the British based ones that tiny bit more relate-able.

There were twists and turns of suspense throughout this novel. It is a page turner to make me suspect everyone. But I didn’t guess until the last few chapters, just before Nate and Ruby. However, I had the insight of hearing the surrounding story which Nate and Ruby did not, despite Ruby’s investigating. As I think back over the book there are clue’s throughout, which made the ‘light bulb’s’ go on in my head as I considered them.

The Author’s imagination to create full rounded characters and great plot lines is what will keep me reading Clare Chase’s books even without knowing the synopsis. The expectations are set high for your third book Clare! Keep writing please!

 

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Links:

GOODREADS

AMAZON.COM

AMAZON.CO.UK

Twitter/ClareChase_

ClareChase.com

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
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Posted by on May 7, 2016 in Books

 

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Book Review: ‘You Think You Know Me’ by Clare Chase.

Book Review: ‘You Think You Know Me’ by Clare Chase.

you think you know me

Description

Sometimes its not easy to tell the good guys from the bad….

Freelance journalist, Anna Morris, is struggling to make a name for herself, so she’s delighted to attend a launch event for a hip, young artist at her friend Seb’s gallery.

But an exclusive interview isn’t all Anna comes away with. After an encounter with the enigmatic Darrick Farron, she is flung into the shady underground of the art scene – a world of underhand dealings, missing paintings and mysterious deaths …

Seb is intent on convincing Anna that Darrick is up to no good but, try as she might, she can’t seem to keep away from him. And as she becomes further embroiled, Anna begins to wonder – can Seb’s behaviour be explained away as the well-intentioned concern of an old friend, or does he have something to hide?

My Thoughts:

First off, I LOVED THIS BOOK! I read the synopsis and thought it sounded good, but actually the description doesn’t do it enough justice. This book is filled with mystery and intrigue right from the beginning, all the way through to the end.

It begins with Anna attending an art gallery launch belonging to an old university friend. Anna had lost contact with Seb, but their relationship soon gets back on track. At this same event, Anna meets a stranger who we learn is called Darrick. Anna can’t stop thinking about him, despite many people warning her off him.

We know there is a bad guy somewhere within this story, but we don’t know who it is or what exactly they have done or are still going to do…..

Anna has to think who she should trust! The storyline made me wonder what I would do!! Would I follow my heart and my lust and keep seeing the new man? Or would I trust the opinions of an old friend, who I haven’t seen for years, but when we were friends, we were good friends. The title is a great title for this book, its very appropriate.

“You Think You Know Me”…….. do you really???? Its so good.

Throughout the book, I suspected everybody. I even suspected Sally and Alicia at points!! They are Anna’s housemates. Sally loves to talk and share with Anna, and Alicia is Anna’s cousin. She is rather bossy and likes to think she is keeping Anna on the right tracks and giving her all the advice that she thinks Anna should be taking!

Anna is a great lead character. She is a free lance journalist, and has a journalistic mind wanting to explore the information that she sees as possible evidence. She wants to find out the truth before making any decisions. Despite everybody telling her what she should be doing or what she should be thinking, she wants to find out for herself.

The author keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat right til the last chapter. The end of this book is fantastic, I loved the ending and when I got close, I couldn’t put it down.

I love this author after reading this one book, and hope there is lots more coming from Clare Chase’s imagination.

You can buy this book on Amazon now.

Publisher: Choc Lit, December 2014.

If you have read or intend to read this book, I would love to hear from you.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 24, 2015 in Books

 

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