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Murder By The Minster By Helen Cox

Murder By The Minster‘Murder By The Minster’ is the latest book by Helen Cox.

It’s a perfectly normal day for Kitt Hartley at her job at the University of the Vale of York library, until Detective Inspector Halloran arrives at her desk to tell her that her best friend, Evie Bowes, is under suspicion of murder. Evie’s ex-boyfriend Owen has been found dead – with a fountain pen stabbed through his heart – and all the evidence points to her. Kitt knows there is no way Evie could murder anyone – let alone Owen, who she adored. Horrified that the police could have got it so wrong, Kitt decides there’s only one thing to do: she’s going to investigate Owen’s murder herself. She’s read hundreds of mystery novels – how hard can it be?
With the help of her assistant Grace, and the occasional hindrance of the library’s eccentric regulars, Kitt summons up all her investigative powers (absorbed over years of reading everything from Agatha Christie to Ian Rankin) and gets to work. She soon discovers that down the quaint streets and snickelways of York lie darker doings than she’d ever dreamed, but she needs to watch her step: the murderer is watching her. And they haven’t finished killing yet…

I spent my Sunday curled up with this book and I couldn’t put it down until I reached the final page. The first book in the new Kitt Hartley Yorkshire Mystery series is a fantastic introduction to a new mystery series and one that I wholeheartedly hope there will be more books to come.

The story is seen solely through the narrative of librarian Kitt Hartley, who finds herself using her own investigative skills to solve a murder of her best friend’s Evie’s ex boyfriend. As Evie finds herself the prime suspect in the murder, Kitt is determined to solve the crime using her own wit and the skills she has learned from her love of Agatha Christie novels. But as Kitt delves deeper into the crime and the bodies pile up much to the disgruntlement of the Yorkshire police, particularly a handsome detective called Halloran.

I loved the characters in this book, particularly Kitt and her librarian assistant Grace as the pair piece together the evidence and clues they have gathered along the way. They are a comical duo who make for entertaining reading with their banter. Throughout the story, there are many suspicious characters that leave you wondering if they are the murderers.

Gripping from the first page, this cleverly written book is perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Miss Marple. Set in a sleepy village with a pair of witty and cunning librarians at the centre of the drama, ‘Murder By The Minster’ is an exciting new series that is riddled with mystery and drama throughout.

You can buy ‘Murder By The Minster’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Cover Reveal – Secrets And Fries At The Starlight Diner By Helen Cox

Secrets And Fries At The Starlight DinerHelen Cox is back with the second book in her ‘Starlight Diner’ series called ‘Secrets And Fries At The Starlight Diner’.

The story of ‘Secrets And Fries At The Starlight Diner’ is –

What brings Bonnie Brooks to The Starlight Diner? And why is she on the run?

As the front-woman in a band, Bonnie is used to being in the spotlight, but now she must hide in the shadows.

Bonnie only has one person who she can turn to: her friend Esther Knight, who waitresses at the Fifties-themed diner. There, retro songs play on the jukebox as fries and sundaes are served to satisfied customers. But where has Esther gone?

Alone in New York City, Bonnie breaks down in front of arrogant news reporter, and diner regular, Jimmy Boyle. Jimmy offers to help her. Can she trust him?

When the kindly owner of the Starlight Diner offers Bonnie work, and she meets charming security officer Nick Moloney, she dares to hope that her luck has changed. Is there a blossoming romance on the cards? And can Bonnie rebuild her life with the help of her Starlight Diner friends?

For those who loved the first book in the series ‘Milkshakes and Heartbreaks At The Starlight Diner’, this book will answer all the questions after the cliffhanger of an ending.

You can pre-order Secrets and Fries at the Starlight Diner from Amazon and will be available to buy from Amazon from 16th December 2016.

Book Tour – Extract Milkshakes And Heartbreaks At The Starlight Diner By Helen Cox

Milkshakes And Heartbreaks At The Starlight DinerToday on the book tour for Helen Cox’s new book ‘Milkshakes And Heartbreaks At The Starlight Diner’, I’ve an extract from the first chapter of the sweet tale.

You wouldn’t have guessed I’d been mugged – unless you looked too close at my safety-pinned uniform or spotted the electric blue plaster peeping out from under my fringe. Ever-willing to prove myself the mistress of covering things up, I poured out morning coffee like it was any other day. Flitting across the red and white chequered lino, I delivered slices of blueberry pie and stacks of waffles with extra syrup.

‘The frowner at the counter wants his cheque; it’s number twenty-seven. I gotta get four breakfasts to fourteen. Can you sort that for me, honey?’ Mona asked, juggling many more plates than she had hands.

‘Sure,’ I said, picking up the correct cheque off the pinboard.

‘Here’s your cheque, sir. Hope everything was OK,’ I recited the standard line and offered a measured smile.

‘It was just what I needed, thanks,’ the frowner said in a familiar accent. He’d clocked my accent too: there was an expectant sparkle in his blue eyes.

Further diluting my smile, I turned to walk away before anything concerning – like a conversation – could take place.

‘You’re from England, aren’t you?’ he asked.

I dropped my shoulders and turned back to face him.

‘Yes,’ I replied in the most monotone manner I could muster. My absolute lack of interest would surely signal I didn’t want to spew my origin story over the counter to some stranger in a theatrical downtown diner.

‘I’m from Putney, in West London. You?’

‘London too.’ Insert awkward pause. This was the point in the exchange where I was supposed to ask him something. What brought him to New York? How long would he be staying? Etcetera. But he was a ghost from a past life. A patriot of a place I’d done all I could to distance myself from. Inviting though his smile was, I wouldn’t go back. For anyone.

‘Excuse me.’ A woman much younger than the frowner and I, sporting a cropped, neon-yellow blazer, stepped forward. ‘Could I get your autograph?’ I looked at the bronzed beauty holding out a napkin and a biro, skewing her head to one side the way exotic birds do when they’re trying to make sense of the world, and then looked again at the man. He nodded at her request. He pushed a hand through his thick, black hair which fell long around the ears but showed signs of receding at the hairline.

On closer inspection, his face did look sort of familiar. I thought I’d seen it on a billboard in Times Square but minus the beard, which was peppered with grey at the edges.

‘You could add your number, if you wanted.’ The woman put a hand on his shoulder now. Her long hair, crimped from root to tip, spilled over him as she leaned in close. I rolled my eyes, took the opportunity to exit the conversation and went to speak to Walt, a man of seventy-seven who ate breakfast, lunch and dinner with us every day.

‘You want your usual or do you feel like a change this morning?’ Walt spent most mornings engrossed in his paper but, as had become the daily ritual between us, cast a stern look at me over his glasses.

‘You only ask me that to torment me, don’t ya?’ His freckled face scrunched in irritation.

‘Maybe. But I wouldn’t want to be presumptuous, Walt.’ I grinned.

‘Be as presumptuous as you like. Whaddo I care? It’s only food.’ He waved a hand in my direction as though he were shooing a pigeon.

‘The way you embrace life so whole-heartedly is an inspiration to us all.’ Walt put down his paper and his face scrunched even tighter. ‘Alright, alright,’ I said. ‘Mushroom omelette it is.’

‘Excuse me?’

Oh great, the frowner had returned. He stood right in my way. Blocking my route to the kitchen.
‘Yes sir, is there a problem?’

‘Er. No, of course not. I … we were just interrupted.’ Though his arms were folded loose across his body, the skin around his eyes was taut with confusion. What did this guy want from me? He’d already picked up a brunette this morning. Did he really need to add a blonde to his collection?

‘Oh, I have to get Walt’s breakfast now,’ I said.

‘I can wait.’ Walt again waved his hand. I glared at him. He smirked, lowering his eyes back to the paper. Sighing, I turned to the frowner; I raised both eyebrows and tilted my head, signposting to this socially blunt individual that if he had something to say, he should say it now.

Wasn’t that a nice taster from the first book in ‘The Starlight Diner’ series?

You can buy Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner: a fresh, retro read with a compelling plot (The Starlight Diner Series, Book 1) from Amazon and is available for your Kindle now.

Cover Reveal – Milkshakes And Heartbreaks At The Starlight Diner By Helen Cox

Milkshakes And Heartbreaks At The Starlight DinerI’m excited to reveal the quirky cover to Helen Cox’s new book, ‘Milkshakes And Heartbreaks At The Starlight Diner’.

The story of ‘Milkshakes And Heartbreaks At The Starlight Diner’ is –

Next time you’re in New York, take a turn off Broadway into East Houston Street.

There, you’ll see it. The Starlight Diner. A retro eatery curious enough to delight tourists and locals alike. Fifties tunes stream out of the jukebox long into the night, and it serves the tastiest milkshakes in the five boroughs.

Esther Knight waitresses at The Starlight Diner. She’s sharp, sarcastic, and she’s hiding something. Nobody at the diner knows why she left London for New York – or why she repeatedly resists the charms of their newest regular, actor Jack Faber.

Esther is desperate to start a new life in the land of the free but despite the warm welcome from the close-knit diner crowd, something from her past is holding her back. Can she ever learn to love and live again?

At only 99p, this is the first book in ‘The Starlight Diner’ series and sounds like a sweetheart of a tale.

You can pre-order Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner: a fresh, retro read with a compelling plot (The Starlight Diner Series, Book 1) from Amazon and will be available for your Kindle from 4th July 2016.