Posts Tagged ‘Kate Ellis’

The Mermaid's Scream (Wesley Peterson Book 21)

Famous author Wynn Staniland became a recluse and stopped writing after the tragic suicide of his wife.  He now lives in seclusion with his step daughter Perdita.  Then young writer, Zac Wilkinson, announces he is writing Staniland’s biography and hopes to reveal some startling secrets.  But Zac is found murdered before the book can be completed.

Inevitably the murder investigation uncovers secrets which more people that Wynn want kept hidden.  The modern murder is linked in all sorts of sinister ways with a famous local murder in the eighteen eighties which involved among other things a macabre collection of puppets which can re-enact notorious murders.

DI Wesley Peterson finds he is involved with the case in a more personal way than he might have expected when his son, Michael, gets in with the wrong crowd.  His boss – Gerry – has his own problems which have come back to haunt him.  I enjoyed this well written mystery which skilfully blends past and present and produces a very sinister tale indeed.

I have enjoyed all this series and I think the author is one of the best mystery writers blending past and present.  The device can become hackneyed in the hands of less skilful authors but Kate Ellis brings both past and present to life.

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A High Mortality of Doves

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review.

A murder is committed in the small village of Wenfield in Derbyshire.  A woman is found stabbed in woods just outside the village with a dead dove stuffed into her mouth.   The local police are puzzled and call in Scotland Yard when a second identical murder takes place.  Inspector Albert Lincoln – disfigured in World War I, with an arid marriage and a wife who has never recovered from losing their only son in the flu epidemic – is sent to investigate.

The events take place in 1919 when everyone in Wenfield has lost someone in the carnage of World War I.  Part of it is narrated by the doctor’s daughter – Flora and the rest is told from the point of view of Inspector Lincoln.  The book is well written and does evoke the atmosphere of the country after the end of World War I and the devastating flu epidemic.

I didn’t work out who the murderer was or why the murders were being committed so when it was revealed it was a shock.  Looking back over the book, the clues were there but I didn’t place the right importance on them.  I recommend this book if you enjoy reading crime stories with a historical setting.

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The House of Eyes (Wesley Peterson)

Leanne Hatman disappears from her job at a local health spa and hotel – Eyecliffe Castle.  She has been keen to get into modelling and everyone thinks she has gone to London to try and get some modelling work.  Her father Darren is concerned for her safety as he claims someone was stalking her.  Wesley Peterson is puzzled by the case because there seems to be no sign of the girl at all.  He starts to see connections when his archaeologist friend Neil Watson returns from a dig in Sicily and tells Wesley that he met Leanne’s supposed stalker there.

When Neil makes some interesting discoveries on a dig near Eyecliffe Castle, Wesley starts to see connections which his boss, Gerry, thinks he is imagining.  But is Wesley really on the right track or is he just trying to distract himself with a wild goose chase to take his mind off his own worries?

This is an exciting and well written mystery story and every bit as good as the other books in this fascinating series which blends past and present with an expert hand.  I loved the way the various strands of the story are carefully interwoven to make a satisfying whole.  The themes of this story are really quite sinister and I found some scenes sent shivers down my spine as I was reading.

I have enjoyed all the books in this series but I think this is one of the best so far.  I recommend this book and this series to anyone who likes their crime stories with an historical element.  I think the series is best read in order of publication but the books can be read as standalone novels.


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Walking by Night: A Joe Plantagenet Police Procedural (A Joe Plantagenet Mystery)

DI Joe Plantagenet comes across a disturbance in a city pub where a young girl claims to have stumbled across a corpse.  Joe is off duty but he talks to the girl and believes she is telling the truth and not hallucinating or making it up.  When the alleyway in which she saw the body is searched there is no sign of a body.  It does however reappear a short distance away in some abbey ruins a few hours later.  What follows is a sinister, frog-shrouded mystery featuring ghosts, artists, a clairvoyant, a long missing small child and tensions and feuds between actors in one of the city’s theatres which is currently home to a production of the play ‘The Devils’.

I found this story gripping reading and it is every bit as good as the previous books in this well written crime series with its hints of the supernatural.  I love the setting – the fictional Eborby which many will recognise as York.  I like Joe as a character and his boss, Emily and they work well together though they do not always see eye to eye.  Joe himself has a troubled and difficult past with which he is struggling to come to terms with but it does not dominate the books.

If you want something a bit different in the crime and mystery genre then try this series.  They can be read as standalone novels.  I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes.


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The Death Season: Number 19 in series (Wesley Peterson)

I enjoy crime and mystery stories with a mix of past and present and this one was no exception.  I have read all the previous Wesley Peterson novels but I did not feel I needed to know anything about previous books to enjoy this one.  A man is found dead in his hotel room and at first it appears he could have committed suicide but closer inspection reveals he was stabbed.  DI Wesley Peterson and his boss, Gerry Heffernan are soon on the case and they find it has links to at least one cold case – the murder of a child at a holiday camp some years ago.

As is usual with this series, Neil Watson, Wesley’s friend from university days when they were both studying archaeology is involved in a local dig and discovers human remains.  I enjoyed the way the various cases involved were carefully linked between past and present and I didn’t work out who was behind present day murder at all until almost the end of the book.  The finale is nail bitingly tense.

I didn’t think this book held my attention as much as some of the previous books in the series but it definitely was worth reading and I think I may find that a second reading brings out things I missed in this first reading.  If you like past and present murders in the same book then you may enjoy this well written series with its likeable characters.

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The Shroud Maker (Wesley Peterson) by Kate Ellis

There is a festival going on in Tradmouth and the place is packed with festival goers.  A year ago a young woman, Jenny Bercival, disappeared and her mother has returned to the area to try and trace her daughter because she has been receiving anonymous letters saying Jenny is still alive.  A body is found floating in the harbour dressed in Medieval costume.  The young woman has been strangled.  Wesley Peterson and his boss are investigating the case and the anonymous letters about Jenny.


Wesley’s friend, Neil – an archaeologist – is conducting a dig at a property which is about to be renovated by a local businessman, Chris Butcher when a skeleton is found.  Ancient or modern?  Could it be the missing girl from a year ago?  Missing people in the twenty first century, Medieval goings on and a Victorian historian whose private life seems a little odd – not to speak of a suspicious website which has a large cult following – provide plenty of mysteries for the reader of this latest offering in the Wesley Peterson series.


I enjoyed reading this book but I had the feeling that there were just too many strands in the mysteries and the ending was a little rushed as though the book should have been longer – which is why I have not given it five stars.  It is well written and the main characters are well drawn but there were too many characters which remained undeveloped – or that is how I felt about the book.  It has not put me off the series but I felt a little disappointed by this book.

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Go to "The Shadow Collector (Wesley Peterson)" page

A convicted murderer is released from prison on licence and returns to the scene of the murders.  Nearby a television company is filming a new reality series on a farm when an unknown young woman is found dead in a field on the farm.  Neil Watson – the archaeologist and friend of Wesley Peterson – is observing a house restoration and making some interesting finds one of which seems to be having an evil influence on him.


This is a well written mystery which links the distant past – seventeenth century; the less distant past – eighteen years ago and the present.  All are interlinked and influencing present day events.  There are elements of police procedural and elements of archaeology in this atmospheric crime novel.


All this fascinating series have interesting backgrounds and the series characters are developing well.  I do like the way all the police characters get on well together – which makes a change when compared with many police series.

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