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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

New On My Shelf This Week

I would like to thank the lovely Francesca Poggi, representing publisher Austin Macauley, for sending me a complimentary paperback copy of this thriller for review. With its intense sounding storyline and featuring an interesting and intriguing new fictional Detective, I am certain I shall have some excellent excerpts and extracts to share over the coming weeks, including a Guest Post, which author Zoe Beesley is preparing as we speak.


Cover Image Of The Book 'A Sinner's Gift' By Zoe BeesleyAfter a decade of working in the darkened streets of London, Officer Fergus Toop is back in the Highlands of Scotland.

Standing in the dim light, with the clouds threatening to break over the hills, hopes of a fresh start are fast becoming a distant memory.

Death is a part of him. He can’t escape it.

The scene before him is haunting, beautiful somehow. The remnants of the day just gone still linger in the sky, offering a final breath of light before the corpse turns to black shadow and the landscape claims the soul of a broken man.

A textbook suicide.

The evidence is there in front of him. But as Toop digs deeper he finds himself caught in a web of buried truths.

Only one thing remains certain:

Not even the dead can keep their secrets.


Image Of Author Zoe Beesley

Zoë Beesley was born and raised in Scotland, and now lives in New Zealand. She has a Master’s degree in International Relations and Arabic and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education. A Sinner’s Gift is her first novel, and a book that has been inspired by her love of the mountains and their secrets.


Picture of an English red post boxis a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house during the last week. Be warned that Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home, where links may be added each week. So why not stop by, leave a link to your own Mailbox Monday post, oh! and don’t forget to leave a comment for our three new joint administrators, after all, we all like to receive them … Your Hosts for  ‘Mailbox Monday

Leslie of ‘Under My Apple Tree’

Serena of ‘Savvy Verse & Wit’

Martha of ‘Reviews By Martha’s Bookshelf’

This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… You never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • As I have a love of the Scottish Highlands and mountains in general I’ll keep an eye out for this one. My library doesn’t have it unfortunately. Will be interested to see what you think of it. Hope you’re having a nice Easter?

    • We have never actually visited the Scottish Highlands proper, The Trossachs region being about as far north as we ventured, but a trip is defintely on our bucket list, as we are never likely to have the chance to visit the author’s hills and mountains of New Zealand.

      Just lately, the libraries generally seem to be quite good at getting hold of recent publications and as this book was published back in the autumn of 2017, I am surprised that they can’t source a copy for you. I hope that you manage to pick one up at a reasonable price one day, as it really does sound good.

      Hope you had a good Easter, despite the rain!

      Happy Reading 🙂

    • Hi Mary,

      Yes! I definitely can’t go for too long without my fix of a good thriller and this one certainly sounds quite dark and haunting.

      Thanks for stopping by, I hope that you enjoyed your Easter weekend and Happy Reading 🙂

    • Hi Kathy,

      This definitely doesn’t sound as though it is going to be your usual murder / mystery, does it?

      Even the writing style of the premise, is somehow more literary and thought provoking than one might have expected.

      I am hoping for some good descriptive passages, with plenty of detail, alongside the obvious murder to be solved!

      Thanks for taking an interest in today’s post, I always value your comments 🙂

    • Hi Kelly,

      As usual, this police officer seems to have had a troubled and dysfunctional past, although there is as yet, no hint as to what that might be, only that he is hoping to make a fresh start.

      When the lines “Death is a part of him. He can’t escape it” are attributed in the premise alone, I’m sure that this is going to be, one troubled person.

      After working the streets of London, Toop must surely be relishing the thought of the open countryside and fresh air of the Scottish Highlands. The scenery is certainly breathtaking and the air clean and clear enough to blow away the cobwebs. But this story defintely sounds a little deep and dark, and altogether intriguing. Certainly different from any of my recent reads.

      I hope that author Zoe Beesley cmes through with her Guest Post very soon, as that may shed some light on the situation 🙂

    • Hi Christie,

      As a great reader of murder / mysteries and suspense / thrillers, I have to admit having a secret liking for a Scottish detective. They always seem a little more ‘gritty’ and ‘down to earth’, compared to their more southern, English counterparts.

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by. I hope that you enjoyed your Easter weekend and have a great rest of the week 🙂

    • Wow! Scotland seems to be just about everyone’s favourite location for a story – I guess you never really appreciate what is almost on your own doorstep!

      I could say, that down here in the south of England, we have all the most beautiful coastline and beaches, but that wouldn’t be strictly true, as Scotland has some pretty dramatic coastline of its own.

      I might also say that down here, we have more temperate weather conditions, but given the amount of rain which has fallen over the last couple of weeks and still is, even that is a dubious argument right now!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and enjoy the rest of your week 🙂

    • Hi Naida.

      You have some fantastic mountain scenery of your own in the US and it would be all too easy to assume that one landscape would be pretty much the same as another.

      However Scotland does boast some quite unique views, flora and fauna, exclusive to the area and very much in demand by tourists and offering an interesting backdrop to this rather dark sounding thriller.

      Thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading 🙂

    • Ah! but it is set in Scotland, Elizabeth. I thought that might have swayed you. It does sound quite intense however, unless of course, new author, Zoe Beesley, is just teasing us with that intriguing premise!

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that Easter was good for you. It was a very wet and soggy affair here, to say the least!

      ‘Happy Reading’ 🙂

    • I act mostly for smaller, independent publishers, so many of the books and authors I feature are new to the marketplace.

      Clearly, in this instance, publishers Austin Macauley are a much more recognised and established team, although Zoe Beesley is new to the world of fiction writing and ‘A Sinner’s Gift’ is her debut novel.

      The fun of the regular memes in which I participate, is that I never know what hidden gems of books I am going to discover and the excitement I feel in sharing some of my new finds with everyone.

      Thanks for continuing to co-host Mailbox Monday, life wouldn’t be the same without my regular fix 🙂

      • Dear Yvonne,
        I have just spent the weekend at a crime writing festival with lots of fabulous writers, getting advice on novel number two, doing a reading, and discussing ways in which the dark Scottish landscape is a character in itself. I was just wondering what your thoughts were regarding the more literary approach to crime fiction and the use of setting in A Sinner’s Gift? Thank you.

        • Hi Zoe,

          It is good to hear from you and to know that you are making progress with your second novel.

          Am I correct in assuming that Fergus Toop will also be at the centre of a new adventure, or are you embarking on a completely new path?

          Now I am into a game of ‘truth or dare’ and as I believe that honesty is always the best policy, I am going to come clean and admit that after the initial promotional posts I ran for A Sinner’s Gift, the book is still sat on the desk in front of me, in my TBR pile!

          Your email arrived at just the right time though, as I am almost done with my current book and I promise to move A Sinner’s Gift to the top of my list and read it next.

          The question you posed about using the landscape as a literary focus in fiction, almost as an additional character, is for me personally, like reviewing, a very subjective discussion about which no two people will probably agree 100%. I have looked at the reviews A Sinner’s Gift has received and they only served to reinforce that belief.

          From my own position, I think that a northern setting and character base, particularly Scottish Noir, always tends to lend itself more readily to a more descriptive narrative, as storylines tend to be more ‘earthy’ and ‘gritty’, almost by default. Scandi Crime and Nordic Noir offer a very similar proposition.

          I think that at the end of the day, an author needs to decide whereabouts in the marketplace they are hoping to place their book and the type of reading audience they are hoping to attract, as I can’t see that the writer can be all things to all people.

          Sorry if this seems a bit like me sitting on the fence. For me, a book can be as descriptive as you want, so long as the author doesn’t lose sight of the plot and how long it is taking to arrive at a final outcome, especially if you are talking about a thriller or other mainstream genre, rather than a work of pure literary fiction.

          I wish you all the best with your journey of discovery to find your own unique style and I will keep you in the loop with how I am getting along with reading A Sinner’s Gift.

          Best Wishes 🙂

Written by Yvonne