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

From rural England to Sydney, Australia.
It’s intrigue all the way!
Mailbox Monday / New on my shelf

Image of a red letter box set in a wall. Featured image for Mailbox Monday meme

I have two new additions to my virtual library this week, both very different, yet both equally intriguing!

For the first book, I have to thank author Rachel Amphlett, who continues to have enough faith in me to make contact whenever she has a new title to share with the reading/blogging community. Her review copies are distributed by BookFunnel, who make downloads seamless to complete.

My second new find comes courtesy of James at Henry Roi – PR, who have kindly chosen Fiction Books twice now, to help promote and review books by some of their many authors. Long may our association continue!

Picture of an English red post box - generic image to link to the mailbox Monday meme

NONE THE WISER – Detective Mark Turpin – Book #1

Cover Image of the book 'None The Wiser' by author Rachel AmphlettWhen a parish priest is brutally murdered in cold blood, a rural community is left in shock – and fear.

New to the Vale of the White Horse, Detective Sergeant Mark Turpin discovers the murder bears the hallmark of a vicious killer who shows no remorse for his victim, and leaves no trace behind.

After a second priest is killed, his broken body bearing similar ritualistic abuse, the police are confronted by a horrifying truth – there is a serial killer at large with a disturbing vendetta.

As fear grips the once tranquil countryside, Mark and his team race to uncover a tangle of dark secrets and lies before the killer strikes again.

In doing so, Mark finds out that the truth is more twisted than he could ever have imagined…


Image Of Author Rachel AmphlettBefore turning to writing, Rachel played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the ‘Dan Taylor’ espionage novels and the ‘Detective Kay Hunter’ series.

Having spent 13 years based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel recently returned to the UK. She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, and cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum…

Rachel has both EU and Australian citizenship and remains a keen traveller at heart.

Catch up with all the latest news at Rachel’s website

Follow Rachel on Twitter

Follow Rachel on Instagram

Connect with Rachel on Facebook

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Cover image of the book 'Grasping At Watr' by the author Carmel BendonWhen a young, unidentified woman is pulled alive and well from Sydney Harbour in 2013, the connections to another woman – found in similar circumstances forty years earlier – present psychiatrist Kathryn Brookley with a terrible decision as the events of the present and past begin to mirror each other and the gap between truth and illusion shrinks.

When the young woman goes further and declares that she has lived continuously since coming to ‘understanding’ in the 14th century, her vivid accounts of life, love, childbirth, and loss in the Middle Ages seem so authentic that they test Kathryn’s scientific objectivity to the limit.

As Kathryn delves she discovers that she is not the only one whose habitual assumptions about life have been torn asunder by an apparent experience of the miraculous in connection with the mystery woman.


Image of author Carmel BendonCarmel is a writer and presenter on “all things medieval” to academic and general audiences. She has a PhD in Medieval Literature and a 1st Class Honours in Early English, both degrees from Macquarie University where she lectured in English Literature and Medieval Studies.

Her specialist research field is Medieval Mystics and this was the basis of her successful non-fiction book Mysticism and Space. Other academic publications include chapters and articles on St Augustine, Julian of Norwich, and Hildegard of Bingen, and on anchorites and the practice of immurement.

More generally, she has published on Geoffrey Chaucer, Jorge Luis Borges, and Oscar Wilde, and has been a contributor to the International Dictionary of Literary Biography.

She is now concentrating on writing fiction and Grasping at Water is her debut novel.

Carmel lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, a faithful dog, and a wild garden, and is the proud mother of three adult daughters.

Visit Carmel at her website 

Follow Carmel on Twitter

Picture of an English red post box - generic image to link to the mailbox Monday meme

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share links to the books that came into their house during the last week. This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well, after all you never know where that next “must read” book will come from.

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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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  • While both sound interesting, the plot from Grasping at Water piques my curiosity the most. The author’s writing background fascinates me and I can’t help but feel it would really add to the novel. I look forward to hearing more about it!

    • I have several of Rachel Amphlett’s previous books, sat on my Kindle waiting to be read. ‘None The Wiser’ is however, the first book in a brand new series, so I am hoping to be good and start this one at the beginning, although Rachel is a very prolific writer, so she will probably overtake me quite quickly!

      I am assuming that ‘Grasping At Water’, will have much of its fiction based on facts and will have been well researched, so I am quite looking forward to the challenge of trying something new which is going to take me outside my comfort zone. I think this might be one you would be interested in!

      Take care and thanks for stopping by 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by, Martha.

      I couldn’t get over the fact that both these review requests came independently and 48 hours apart, yet both were linked to Australia, (author Rachel Amphlett just having returned from a 13 year stay in the country and having both UK and Australian citizenship), when I don’t actually read that much Australian fiction!

      Both sound good in their individual ways, so all in all, a good mailbox for me leading up to Christmas 🙂

    • I am drawn to the first book because it is set in an area of the country I know well and it is a traditional crime thriller. However I am intrigued by ‘Grasping At Water’ because of the academic background of its author, which knowledge she has blended into her debut fiction storyline.

      There will certainly be no point in trying to compare one with the other, as they are both so fundamentally different.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I always appreciate the support of my fellow bloggers 🙂

    • I’m always happy when I have a stack of thrillers to read!
      Thanks for visiting today and enjoy the rest of your week 🙂

  • There seems to be quite a trend for priests in thrillers recently; either as murderers or murder victims. Of the two books you feature here it is None The Wiser that appeals most to me though I’d also happily read your Grasping At Water.

    • Hi Felicity,

      I haven’t really noticed that priests are trending in thrillers right now, I’ll have to look out for that! LOL

      ‘None The Wiser’ is a bit more of a traditional thriller, but I do like to push the boundaries sometimes, so as long as ‘Grasping At Water’ isn’t too couched in historical facts as to make it read more like a non fiction book, then it should be a good little challenge for me in the New Year!

      Thanks for visiting and Happy Reading 🙂

  • I love a good countryside mystery so will investigate None the Wiser later, on Goodreads. It sounds good. Grasping at Water sounds excellent too, very intriguing with the character who has lived since the 14th. century. I do enjoy that kind of weirdness I must admit.

    • Hi Cath,

      I thought the historical aspects of ‘Grasping At Water’, might pique your interest and as Carmel is such an expert in the subject on which she has written, the intrigue is only heightened!

      I have been following Rachel’s writing from its early days, however ‘None The Wiser’ has quite a lot going for it, apart from the intriguing premise. The story is set in The Vale of the White Horse, on the edge of The Cotswolds and near to where we spent the early years of our married life. Having recently returned from Australia, Rachel now calls Dorset her home, which is literally on the doorstep of where we live now. Finally and perhaps most importantly given my previous series reading track record, this is the first book in a brand new series, so now is my chance to get ahead of the game – or at least keep up with it!!!

      Thanks for the support and for taking the time to comment 🙂

    • Aw! thank you so much for those lovely words, Kathy I couldn’t carry on without the support of my fellow bloggers like yourself, so your comments are always much appreciated 🙂

      It is obvious that I will always enjoy one book more than another, however I don’t think I have ever had a book that I could not finish, so I am looking forward to the challenge of ‘Grasping At Water’!

      Enjoy your reading this week 🙂

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      Thank you so very much for your kind words, they mean a lot to me. However none of this would be possible without the support of my fellow blogging friends, such as yourself and your continued friendship is much appreciated. 🙂

      I do have a small catalogue of authors who maintain regular contact with their blogging/reviewing community, however Rachel is definitely the most prolific of those authors and it is always a joy when I spot an email come in from her.

      Are you over in London for business or pleasure, I wonder? We very seldom go up West these days, having become much more suburban creatures, but if you ever get the chance to visit outside of the city, then give me a shout, as I would love to meet you in person one day. Until then I guess we will have to stick to the virtual ‘wave’!

      If I don’t get the chance to chat with you again before Christmas, I hope that you have a peaceful season 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      There can be some very strange goings on in these small country villages!

      But seriously, these days The Cotswolds region as a whole, is so commercialised and tourist focused for its income generation, that finding a quiet secluded spot is only really possible out of season. The streets were just never made for the volume of cars and infill housing is running riot, which is such a shame, but a necessary evil to keep any kind of village life alive and thriving!

      We do visit our old haunts from time to time and it is always good to go back, so I am looking forward to reading ‘None The Wiser’.

      Have a lovely New Year and thanks for visiting 🙂

Written by Yvonne