Author: Stuart Turton

Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Raven Books (8 Feb. 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1408889560
ISBN-13: 978-1408889565

The Blurb:

‘Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder and so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.’

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…

My Review:

I read about this book on another blog, Jera’s Jamboree, and I was intrigued. Having recently found a love of murder mystery thrillers, my former love was science fiction and it was mentioned that this book had an edge of sci-fi.

Starting the book it was just like you’d expect, a murder to be solved, a manor full of interesting characters, lots of clues to be solved. The main character has eight days to solve the murder, but each day is spent in a different guest. But…it’s not as simple as that as he flips from guest to guest, simply because one guest has fallen asleep, or been knocked out or even murdered.

A complete tangle is formed but the author never make you feel any more lost than the main character. As you approach the end the murder is solved and you are waiting to find out what happens next, all the time with niggling unanswered questions in your mind.

You are not left feeling baffled though, everything is explained, all questions answered, all puzzles solved. It just might not be what you were expecting.

I loved this book and find it difficult to believe it’s a debut novel as it’s so well written. Each character comes to life and is so different from any other character. Blackheath Manor is described so well you could imagine you are visiting it yourself. This book is full of emotion that will take you on a roller coaster ride of suspense, horror and tension. There may even be a love story or two but that would be telling.

I’d recommend this to anyone who loves a good read with lots of twists and turns but a satisfying conclusion.

cover art for the seven deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle


Audible is now my most favourite way of digesting a book and I bought The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle with my monthly free credit. I always listen to a sample first to make sure I like the sound of the narrator. It’s not easy to listen to a book if the narrator irritates you. Thankfully you can listen to samples on Audible and most narrators are really great at the job.

You can buy The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle on Audible here, or just listen to an extract.


Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.


Ash and Sabrina

We’ve introduced our new kitten to our old cat and it hasn’t gone too bad so far. First we bought Ash, the kitten, down in his cat carrier and although Sabrina wasn’t overly concerned about him she did give him a little sniff. Once loose, Ash started following Sabrina around, he seemed so keen to be friends. Unfortunately, Sabrina was not so keen and did hiss at him. They’ve been in the same room together a few times now and although the hissing has continued, she hasn’t really got any worse towards him. They have even touched noses without incidence.

Ash is a loveable little fella though and I’m sure he’ll win Sabrina over eventually. He is very interested in being friends with her, but he doesn’t pester her constantly.

He’s a lot like having a new baby, he’s kept me awake at night a few times now, and he craves attention all the time. I don’t mind though, he’s so adorable.

The Birthday Bash

It was my brother’s birthday on Friday and we all went out for a meal. It was great catching up with family and having a couple of drinks. I decided to take my sticks and walk in the pub restaurant, the wheelchair was in the boot just in case though. I thought we might need it when we couldn’t find a place in the car park close to the pub. My walking is very restricted so it has to be only a short distance. Then we spotted a place on the road right by the entrance. So, I walked in, much to the surprise of my family inside. The only problem was, they had sat the furthest away from the disabled loos, so I couldn’t drink too much!

The kids enjoyed playing outside and the adults did a lot of catching up. I made my brother’s birthday card myself and I was a bit worried as making cards is something new to me. He loved it though, so I was relieved. I drew a picture of him out with his pug and his drone. If you knew him, you’d know this was exactly him!


Home Education

The Little Man is doing well with his home education and his folders are already filling up. It’s hard to get him started and it’s hard to keep him going for very long, but in between the hard parts he’s working well. I do actually enjoy teaching him but I do miss having time to myself. Even teaching him for three hours a day is a massive chunk of my time. I do hope we will find a nice school for him soon, or for September when the new school year starts.

Mc Donalds Saves the Day

As I said, we went out on Friday and I did have a couple of vodkas, okay, double vodkas. I didn’t feel drunk, even tipsy, I even managed to walk out of the pub, which is more than I can say for some. I only drink vodka because I have never had a hangover with it. So, imagine my surprise when I woke up Saturday morning with what felt like a massive hangover. I had a headache, felt sick and was even more wobbly than usual. I didn’t feel any better as the day wore on but I tried to hide it as I knew Graham was going out on Saturday night and I didn’t want him to feel he had to stay in because I was hungover.

Unlike a hangover, I got worse and worse as the day wore on and when it came to dinner time, Graham had already left, and I felt awful. My eldest said that he’d buy us a take out to save me cooking, which was great, but I usually still end up cooking for the kids as the only take out’s they’ll eat are ones that you have to pick up, Mc Donalds, KFC, chips shop, and Graham had the car. Then I remembered a flyer that had been put through the door that said our local Mc Donalds now delivers. So I put an order in for the kids and 20 mins later the kids were tucking into their Happy Meals, while the grown ups enjoyed a Chinese.

After dinner I had an early night, going to bed the same time as the kids.

Sunday morning, I woke up still feeling ill, so it wasn’t a hangover after all. I had a restful day and, thankfully, by Monday morning I was feeling okay again.


Debs Random Writings

Happy Birthday Big Brother!

It was my big brother’s birthday on Friday and we all went out for a meal. It’s always good catching up with family, we all had a great time.

My brother was already a teenager when I was born, in fact I had two teenage brothers who were both married by the time I was seven. I also had a younger brother, so I was one of four with a big age gap.

My eldest brother had two children with his first wife, a boy and a girl. They were both teenagers before he had his third child with his second wife.. He went on to have another little girl.

I had two children with my first husband, a boy and a girl. They were both teenagers before I had my third child with my second husband, a little girl. I then had another girl and finally a boy.

Do you see the pattern?

If I’d stopped at the two girls I’d have exactly the same pattern of children as my brother, and only a slightly different pattern to our Mother.

Back to the Birthday Bash, as you can see, the kids had fun too!

Oh Dear! I just remembered that last week I promised a photo of our new family member! Well, okay, I don’t want to disappoint. Say hello to Ash, our new kitten. when he grows up he wants to be a tiger!



Sunday Snap


Forest School Adventure cover art

Author : Naomi Walmsley & Dan Westall
ISBN13 : 9781784944032
Binding : PB with flaps
Pages : 176
Photographs : 250 photographs
Quick Find Code : 28384

The Blurb

Learn how to light a fire without matches, build a shelter to sleep in, cook on a fire, hunt for bugs and much more. From essential bushcraft basics and Stone Age survival skill to joyful outdoor play, this book is packed with ideas to bring children close to nature an all its magical offerings.

Young children will be immersed in imaginative, gloriously mess play and crafts, while older ones can get to grips with more complex activities like stone tool making and sourcing water.

The book is split into four main sections, Nature Awareness, Bushcraft, Wild Food and Games. Entertaining stories from the authors’ own experience of surviving int eh wild can be read aloud to children, bringing to life the thrilling reality of sleeping in a cave or savouring your first ever foraged meal.

Whether in an organized setting, a group of friends or a family outing, the fun-filled exercises, crafts and games will build confidence and result in happy and energized children.

First Impressions

This is a lovely book jam packed with lots of fantastic photography. It’s printed on thick paper and the pages turn easy. It’s a good quality book that would last being taken on an outdoor adventure.

The book is divided into sections which are easy to find. And there is so much to discover inside.

The authors are from Shropshire, UK and specialise in bushcraft and Stone Age Skills. They provide unique experience for school children and teach them how to connect to nature. Together they undertook a five month Stone Age immersion experience in the US, living in the wilderness without any modern equipment, which has profoundly influenced their lives and teaching. You can read more about them on their website

My Review

This book is for anyone who wants to teach their children about the great outdoors and nature. The first section is split in two. Nature Awareness begins with lots of crafts like building a bug hotel, leaf collages, goblin villages, nests and leaf printing. Skills and Learning helps your child learn about nature and how to detect and observe our natural surrounding.

pages from the book showing how to make leaf print pictures

The Second section is Bushcraft and has many chapters which include making nots, building dens, making fire, collecting water and many primitive schools. By the time you have worked through this section your child will certainly know how to survive in the wild.

pages from the book showing how to collect water

The third sections is all about food. You can teach your child how to forage for food and medicinal plants. It begins with the laws and considerations which everyone should follow, then there is a detailed photographic section on things that should be easy to forage and finally a recipe guide. It also shows you how to teach your children to cook outside.

pages from the book showing how to make syrup from dandelions

The last section is all about games which are claimed to be excellent ways for children to start moving their bodies, get their senses tuned in and get in touch with the environment. As well as being a perfect excuse to be silly and have some fun. You can learn how to play Ninja Stick, Blind Fetch, Tail Grab and Hunt the Humless to name a few. I’ve not heard of most of these games before so it’s a thrill to find new ones to play.

pages from the book showing games for children.


We all know how important it is for children to play outside. When I was a child we would often spend hours in the local hills or over the fields. My favourite place was the Bluebell woods where we would build dens and swings and play for hours.

This book is a great encouragement to get outside and try some of the activities. It’s time to drag the kids away from their screens and get them out to discover all that nature has to offer.

From bushcraft and survival skills, to making primitive tools and learning about what is edible, this book has it all. Presented in an easy to understand text with plenty of photographic directions. And for those days when venturing far is not going to happen then the kids can get stuck in to making the crafts, most of the stuff for these can be found in a back garden or park.

If you are ever stuck outside with a load of kids you can get them to join in the fun games. Kids love playing together and these games are lots of fun while learning about thier surroundings.

I’ve come to love this book and I think it will be a useful resource for a long time.

You can buy this book for £16.99 here

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review for free. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Laura's Lovely Blog


My word of the week has to be kitten.

We adopted Ash on Monday and he’s been a big hit for such a tiny little kitten. At just over six weeks old he is small enough to fit in the palms of my hands. But his paws are big, so I don’t think he’ll be small for long. We may have a little tiger on our hands.

He was the only boy in the litter with four sisters. We were looking for a male cat so he was the obvious choice despite his sisters also being incredibly cute.

He’s a bit shy and at the moment and he’s living in my bedroom. It’s the safest place for him for now but he’s certainly making himself at home. He loves the cat condo we bought him even though it took a while to get him to come out of a cardboard box. The first night he climbed up onto the bed and slept with me. I’m not one that normally allows pets on the bed but he’s still a baby so I let him off. I think my snoring comforted him haha.

We have always had cats and for 16 years we have had more than one cat at a time. We lost three cats over the past three years and our one remaining cat, Sabrina, was feeling a bit lonely. Fingers crossed that she gets on with our new addition once we are ready to introduce them. I think she already has a hint that there is another cat in the house. I’ve found her sniffing around outside my bedroom. We also fuss her after being in with Ash so the scent of each cat is shared.

The kids adore him and love playing with him. He’s getting used to us all already, although we try not to crowd him by going in one or two at a time.  He’s a bit awkward to get photos of because he doesn’t like it when we get our phones out, it must be pretty scary for him. I’m sure as time goes by we’ll end up with hundreds of pics of him though.


The Reading Residence