Thursday, April 13, 2017

Fatal Music by Peter Morfoot (Guest Post)

Welcome to another exciting Always Trust In Books guest post. Today's post is part of a brilliant blog tour hosted by Titan Books:

My guest post was written by Peter Morfoot himself and it is focused on his experiences in writing the Captain Darac Mystery series. I have not had the chance to read Fatal Music yet but I have heard great things about the book. 

I will share with you the synopsis of Fatal Music, then a few details about Peter Morfoot himself and finally I will share with you the guest post he has written for this occasion. 

Book Synopsis: Captain Paul Darac of the Brigade Criminelle is called to a potential crime scene – an elderly woman found dead in her hot tub. At first it’s assumed that she died of natural causes, but a surprising link with Darac’s own life leads him to dig deeper. In doing so he uncovers disturbing proof that there may have been a motive to murder the woman, and there is no shortage of suspects.

The investigation leads him from the world of fine art to the desperate poverty of the city’s high-rises. But it is among the winding streets of his own neighbourhood in Nice’s old town, the Babazouk, that Darac faces his severest test yet.

Author Bio: Peter Morfoot has written a number of plays and sketch shows for BBC radio and TV and is the author of the acclaimed satirical novel, Burksey. He has lectured in film, holds a PhD in Art History, and has spent thirty years exploring the life, art and restaurant tables of the French Riviera, the setting for his series of crime novels featuring Captain Paul Darac of Nice's Brigade Criminelle. He lives in Cambridge.

Pick up a copy of Impure Blood (Captain Darac Book 1) here: Titan Books 
Pick up a copy of Fatal Music (Captain Darac Book 2) here: Titan Books

Fatal Music Blog Tour 2017 - Writing the Captain Darac Mysteries #Guestpost

The foundations are laid. I have my location – the flawed paradise that is the Côte d’Azur. I have my jazz-playing central character – the quick-thinking, warm-hearted but combustible ‘Poète Policier’ Captain Paul Darac. I’ve also lined up a cast of supporting players, starting with Darac’s colleagues at his home station, the Caserne Auvare. I’ve portrayed each as an individual but also stress that together, with a few notable exceptions, they form a bonded group in which camaraderie, rather than dysfunctionality, is the norm.

Roll call: First, Darac’s revered boss and mentor, Commissaire Agnès Dantier. Next, his lieutenants: the meticulous, mountainous curmudgeon Roland Granot; the twinkle-eyed, foxy Alejo “Bonbon” Busquet. Introduced in Fatal Music, Lieutenant Intern Christian Malraux, an ex-riot policeman from Paris. The junior officers: Yvonne Flaco, an impressive, no-nonsense young woman from Guadeloupe, and the lanky smart-mouthed Max Perand. Also featured are Darac’s soul mate and ex-partner in Homicide, Vice Squad Captain Frankie Lejeune, and the sharp-dressing Drug Squad chief “Armani” Tardelli. Then we have members of the technical teams with whom Darac works: chain-smoking chief pathologist Professor Deanna Bianchi, actor-ish crime scene analyst Raul “R.O.” Ormans, and coltish I.T. specialist Erica Lamarthe.

And I have the characters who frequent Darac’s other “home station,” the Blue Devil Jazz Club. Prominent here are its owner, the venerable black New Yorker, “Ridge” Clay, and members of Darac’s group, the Didier Musso Quintet. Of course, dramatis personae without a drama to animate them are nothing but a list of names and I’m aware that the finished novels could read that way too, unless I imbue them with life, energy and depth.  Even so, I realise it might challenge the reader of a new series to be presented with a layered and detailed, multi-character story world. My belief, though, is that such an approach offers the most rewarding, immersive reading experience in the long run. 

Before a word goes on the page, I turn to my story notes, all of which were made in situ.  A possible plot strand for the first Darac novel, Impure Blood, occurs to me when I join the crowds gathered on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais to watch the Tour de France hurtle past. Later, in the heart of the city, I witness a spectacle of an entirely different pace and character: worshippers praying on the street outside a Muslim prayer room. And then I see something else. Now what would happen, I wonder, if..?

The plotlines for my second Darac story, Fatal Music, are prompted by visits to locations at the opposite ends of the Côte d’Azur’s social spectrum: the belle époque Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a museum on the glitzily gorgeous peninsula of nearby Cap Ferrat; and the edgy, subsided housing blocks of L’Ariane in the north of the city. And then I see something else. Now, what would happen, I wonder, if..?

In April 2018, Titan Books will publish the third Darac Mystery, Box of Bones. The seed of this story is planted as I mingle with revellers at Nice’s annual carnival, the largest in France. I discover some fascinating info. And then I see something else. Now what... You get the idea.

I’m writing the fourth Darac story at the moment but back to Day One, Book One. I set up the title page of Impure Blood. Before typing the words that both excite and terrify me - Chapter One - I reflect that for the foreseeable future, I’ll be living and breathing these stories. I run an eye over said title page. It reads: “Impute Blood by Pet Mofo.” Close enough for jazz? No. Definitely not!

Thank you Peter Morfoot for those insights into his experiences, challenges and enjoyment of writing his brilliant mystery series. There are plenty more blogs sharing reviews, interviews, extracts and guest posts about Peter's work. See below for more details and check them out!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The Vanishing - Sophia Tobin ~Book Review~

Sent to me by the Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 12/01/17

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

ISBN:  978-1471151606

Format: Hardback, 390pp

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 4.5/5

Summed up in a word:

First Impressions: At first I was concerned that The Vanishing was going to fall flat and that I wouldn't make it to the end. The first act didn't really set up the rest of the book as well as it could have. After reaching the second act I was blown away by Tobin's complete change of pace, tone and writing style. All the rules went out the window and The Vanishing shifted into a completely different book. Annaleigh completely blew me away, she is a testament to the ferocity of a mother's love. What began as a worryingly 'by the numbers' plot-line turned into a brilliant and meaningful novel. Simon & Schuster have a lot in-store for us in 2017. Check out what they have to offer at

Monday, April 03, 2017

The Magician's Lie - Greer Macallister

Sent to me by the Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: 03/04/17

Publisher: Legend Press

ISBN:  978-1787199972

Format: E-Book, 288pp

Genre: Mystery/Crime

Rating: 4/5

Summed up in a word:

Thank you for visiting Always Trust In Books for the first stop on Legend Press' The Magician's Lie blog tour. I am honoured to be the first in a long line of (awesome) book bloggers to support this brilliant book. I have a review to share with you today. I hope you go and check out The Magician's Lie as soon as you can.

First Impressions: Legend Press are consistently bringing us great fiction titles and The Magician's Lie is no exception. Thank you to Lucy for sending me a e-copy for review. 2017 continues to be a great year for books, TML has a perfect balance of mystery, potent backstory, deceit and graphic imagery. The Amazing Arden didn't obtain her position as the leading female illusionist of the early 20th century without breaking rules and herself in the process. The Magician's Lie has romance, mystery and adventure... but it also has violence, terror and a heavy dose of paralysing fear too... so be warned.