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

New On My Shelf This Week

This week’s new addition to my shelf, was an ebook download win, from a giveaway competition hosted by the lovely Jo, over at ‘Writers and Authors’.

Whilst I have yet to read any books by this author, hers is a name which has been on my list for some time, so this win will certainly encourage me to make a start.

Similarly, whilst this particular book comes in mid-way through the popular ‘Lake District Mystery’ series, it is almost certain that the stories work well as stand alones, so I shall have no worries on that score and not feel the need to become locked into starting a lengthy series – although I might well want to 🙂


Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and business at Persimmon “Simmy” Brown’s flower shop is booming. But when Simmy fulfills a string of anonymous delivery orders, she is startled to realize that each contains a secretly menacing message for the recipients. When one of the people who receives a bouquet disappears, it seems that her worst fears have been confirmed.

As if that isn’t enough, Simmy’s friend Kathy turns up, on the trail of her wayward daughter Joanna, who she fears has grown too close to one of her university tutors. When Kathy attempts to reason with her daughter she finds that Joanna’s older lover may be even more dangerous than she had imagined. With both Kathy and Joanna in peril, Simmy and her friends find themselves caught up in a web of deception, blackmail and murder . . .


Image Of Author Rebecca Tope

Rebecca Tope was born in the Midlands, raised in Cheshire, then moved to Devon with her farming family. The farming life with its cruelty, death, frustration alternated with idyllic summer days, the teamwork of the harvest and the delight of the young animals, made for the powerful experiences that inspired her to write her first novel.

The books are set in real villages, in and around the lovely Cotswold area, where Rebecca uses a kind of “anti research”, avoiding discussion with any of the villagers, but does walk along the footpaths and visits most of the village pubs.

Before becoming a fully fledged author Rebecca held a wide variety of jobs, including prenatal instructor, marriage counselor, and funeral director, all of which taught her a great deal about human nature and social experiences, which she puts to good use in her books.

In 1992, she founded Praxis books, a small British press and currently lives in rural Herefordshire, on a smallholding near to the Black Mountains, where she raises Cotswold sheep and rare breed pigs.

Rachel’s hobbies include spinning, knitting and weaving wool from her own sheep. She has also discovered an enthusiasm for antique auctions and car boot selling, which has re-awakened one of her passions from long ago, that of stamp collecting.

Check out all the latest news and updates at Rebecca’s website

Follow Rebecca on Twitter

Picture of an English red post boxMailbox Monday is 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’

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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  • Another novel with “messages through flowers”! It sounds quite good. I’ll wait and see how it works for you as a stand-alone before making any decisions to read it. Like you, I’m not up to beginning another series right now.

    • Hi Kelly,

      Rebecca has written two prominent series amongst her many titles..

      The Lake District Mysteries have as their main protagonist, florist Persimmon “Simmy” Brown. Whereas in her series of mysteries set in the Cotswold towns and villages, Thea Osborne is a house sitter.

      I am hoping that the storylines won’t be too “cozy” and will also work okay as stand alone stories, which at first glance is looking good on both counts. I probably won’t ever be able to catch up with either series completely, as all the books come in at well over the 300 page count, but to dip in and out occasionally would be quite nice.

      Thanks for visiting, I always appreciate your comments 🙂

    • Hi Tracy,

      Given the choice, I would probably have elected to begin my journey with this author, through her second major series ‘Thea Osborne’, where the mysteries are set in an area of the country I know very well, The Cotswolds.

      However, we have also visited and enjoyed the beauty of the Lake District, so I’m sure I shan’t be disappointed.

      Commenters and reviewers have remarked on several occasions about Rebecca’s attention to detail and descriptive style of writing, about the area where her crimes take place, so I don’t think there is anything to worry about there either.

      Thanks for stopping by. It is good to hear from you and I hope that you have enjoyed your weekend 🙂

  • Sounds like one you’ll enjoy, Yvonne. Nice win! I like the setting, having read a couple of women’s fiction novels that take place there.

  • Happy reading Yvonne. This does sound like an interesting mystery. I like that the author sets her stories in real villages. I wish I had my own sheep to weave wool from to crochet with! One can only dream Happy Monday and why does the weekend fly by so fast?

    • Hi Naida,

      Cotswold sheep are a long-wooled breed, bred for both their wool and meat and now classified as a ‘minority’ breed by ‘The Rare Breeds Survival Trust’.

      Just think of all the wool you could spin from these little beauties! …


      In fact, there are quite a few rare breed animal farms in the Cotswold area, so there would be no shortage of different yarns for you to experiment with 🙂

      Like yourself, I am really pleased that Rebecca writes stories based on the places she visits and the people she meets along the way. It must surely make the stories more credible and realistic – perhaps even a little larger than life!

      I don’t really know the Lake District, however the Cotswolds is our old stamping ground from the early days of our marriage, so I shall hopefully be able to relate to places if I decide to expand my reading of her books.

      Thanks for taking the time to read this week’s post and I hope that Rebecca’s writing will interest you, as I reveal more about the storyline in future promotional posts 🙂

  • I appreciate the warning about toppling TBR piles, but it’s too late. Mine is about two or three years long. The book I’m reading right now is being featured on my blog…which is really odd because I’m not usually that fast on the turn around. I love the premise for your current read!

    • Hi Crystal,

      Thank you for stopping by Fiction Books this week. I love meeting new people, so your visits and comments will always be welcome 🙂

      Just because I am featuring ‘The Coniston Case’, doesn’t mean to say I am going to be reading it any time soon. Like yourself, I am way behind in tackling my TBR pile, so I generally end up by publishing a series of promotional posts for the authors I agree to feature, whilst the full review usually comes much later.

      In fact, I am getting so far behind, that I am seriously considering the future of my review and blogging policy, but that is a step that I don’t really want to take, as I do enjoy my reading and blogging and have made some great friends along the way.

      Rebecca Tope is an author I have been wanting to try for some time now, although there is no review pressure attached to this particular book.

      ‘Happy Reading’ 🙂

    • Hi Serena,

      I have read another book where the sending of messages through flowers formed the premise of the story. However that was a psychological thriller and much more sinister in its nature. By comparison, ‘The Coniston Case’, might almost be classed as a cozy mystery, so I am expecting an entirely alternative experience of ‘saying it with flowers’

      Many years ago, I trained as a florist, but had to give it up when I got married to a serviceman and we moved away before my training was complete. So I shall be interested in seeing just how accurately ‘Simmy’s’ business is represented.

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your reading this week 🙂

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      Rebecca’s books are almost veering on the side of the cozy mystery, nothing too heavy going or psychological, just good solid police procedural, English style!

      Rebecca has two major series on the go right now, which reflect totally diverse regions of England, the Lake District and the Cotswolds, the latter of which I know very well, as we used to live there.

      If you have the time to check out the link to her Fantastic Fiction page, you will see that the book covers tend to reflect the area she is writing about and Coniston is the name of a Lake District town.


      Thanks for raising some interesting points in your comment and I hope that all is well with you 🙂

    • Hi Cheryl,

      I’m fast coming to the conclusion that Goodreads having a ‘Want To Read’ list, is a huge mistake for people like me! It is just so easy to click and add another title or author, which is all well and good, but add that to the many other physical books I have sat on shelves all over the house and the hundreds of pages of author review titles I have on my Kindle and you can see how the problem spirals out of control!

      Oh Well! – Surely one more book won’t hurt? 🙂 🙂

Written by Yvonne
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