Hello bookish friends and welcome to the penultimate day of #R3COMM3ND3D2021. It feels like only yesterday we launched the series with three cracking books. Now, fifty-two days and forty-seven posts later, we’ve amassed 124 individual recommendations across multiple genres, written by a bevy of brilliant authors! What a blast it’s been. But it’s not over just yet! We still have three recommended reads to discover from today’s guest (and three more tomorrow!)…
Joining me today to share their three #R3COMM3ND3D2021 picks is a brilliant book blogger turned awesome author, it’s the very lovely Joy Kluver. Joy writes the fantastic DI Bernadette Noel series published by Bookouture. Currently there are two books available (Last Seen and Broken Girls) with the third book in the series, Left for Dead, set to be published on 10th January 2022. I am a huge fan of Joy’s writing. If you’re a crime fiction fan, this is a series not to be missed!
So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2021? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors, book bloggers and bookstagrammers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2021. To make things interesting there are a couple of teeny, tiny rules; 1) the book must have FIRST been published in 2021 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes 😉
Here are the three books Joy recommends…
Black Reed Bay by Rod Reynolds
I’ve loved all of Rod Reynolds books but there’s something particularly special about Black Reed Bay and it’s Detective Casey Wray. After reading only a few chapters, I felt as though I’d known Casey all my life. Tough but empathetic, Reynolds puts her through the wringer in this book but somehow she’s still standing at the end.
Joy’s Review of Black Reed Bay
The Colours of Death by Patricia Marques
This is my favourite debut for 2021. Set in Lisbon, we follow Inspector Isabel Reis as she investigates the death of a high-ranking official. But Isabel is no ordinary detective. She’s Gifted. The Gifted are a group of people who have extraordinary powers – either telepathy or telekinesis. Perhaps not surprisingly, they are viewed with suspicion by Regulars or ordinary people. When I first heard about this aspect of the book, I wasn’t too sure whether it would work. But it does and brilliantly so. By the end of the novel, it felt completely natural to have the Gifted around. It’s a very clever way to look at prejudice and stigma and how fear propels control.
Joy’s Review of The Colours of Death
Daughters of Night by Laura Shepherd-Robinson
I loved Laura Shepherd-Robinson’s debut Blood & Sugar and Daughters of Night is even better. Laura’s depth of research comes across well and I felt completely submerged into Georgian London. But if you’re expecting a Jane Austen Georgian view, then think again. Yes, we have the aristocracy and the wealthy but we also have the underbelly of London’s streets. There are three main narrators – Caroline Corsham, wife of Harry Corsham from Blood & Sugar; Peregrine ‘Perry’ Child, former magistrate now turned thieftaker; and Pamela, a young maid who wants more out of life so decides to auction her virtue to the highest bidder. Definitely not Jane Austen!
Joy’s Review of Daughters of Night
All three are going to the top of the wish list! Thanks so much, Joy, for sharing these fabulous books 😍
About the Detective Bernadette Noel Series by Joy Kluver:
Last Seen (book #1)
I can see her, laughing as she swings as high as she can, her beautiful blonde curls flying out behind her. My little girl. If only I’d listened to my gut. Then maybe she’d be safe here with me…
When five-year-old Molly Reynolds is snatched from the park in the small village of Otterfield, Detective Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Noel throws herself into the search, sick with worry for the quiet, sensitive little girl and her distraught mother.
Wasting no time, Bernie finds a small green cardigan under a bush in the park. It still has the smiley face sticker Molly won that week at school. It’s the first in a chain of clues – and Bernie can’t shake the feeling that it was left deliberately, as a message.
But Bernie encounters a wall of silence. Otterfield is a close-knit community, yet no one in the village has anything to say about the missing child. And Bernie is sure there is something Molly’s mother isn’t telling her either. Why?
And then she makes a chilling discovery: twenty-five years ago, another little girl went missing from the area. Her name was Sophie, and all they ever found of her was her teddy bear, hidden under a bush, just the same as Molly’s cardigan. Now Bernie knows she’s in a race against time to save Molly’s life.
Bernie’s team work round the clock to find a connection between the two girls – but when they find their proof it comes at the price of a shocking tragedy that strikes right at the heart of the case. Molly’s family have been hiding a secret, and now their little girl is in greater danger than ever.
Then Bernie makes one deadly mistake that places her right in the hands of the most dangerous criminal she’s ever faced. She was willing to go to any lengths to solve the case – but will she stay alive long enough to do it?
A completely addictive crime thriller with mind-blowing twists that will have you reading late into the night. If you like Val McDermid, D.S. Butler or Angela Marsons, you’ll love Joy Kluver.
Broken Girls (book #2)
Brambles catch her dress, scratch her legs, pierce her feet. To escape, she’d had no option but to go barefoot. They’d been laughing together a few minutes before, but things can change in the blink of an eye…
The woman is dark-haired and young, judging by the short red dress. Any other signs of her identity have been erased during her long wait to be found, but it’s clear she was strangled: this was a passionate and personal murder.
D.I. Bernadette Noel knows that every second counts if she is to catch this killer, but she has no leads – until the discovery that the dead woman’s rings match a stolen property report, and the rings’ owner mentions Rosa, her missing nanny.
Just when Bernie and her team think they’re getting somewhere, a shocking discovery about Rosa – and the news that another young girl has been abducted – changes everything the team thought they knew about the case.
Laura is only twelve, and her parents are beside themselves with worry – but Bernie has an additional fear. Laura’s home is right next to the woods where their murder victim was found: are the cases connected?
When Bernie notices similarities between descriptions of the man last seen with Rosa and someone Laura was messaging online, these fears grow stronger. But they still have no clear leads as to the identity of the culprit.
With few options left, and time running out, she makes a desperate plan to trap the predator. But any mistakes will mean another innocent life lost…
A gripping crime thriller with a nail-biting climax. If you like Angela Marsons, Val McDermid or Cara Hunter, you’ll love Joy Kluver.
Left for Dead (book #3)
The sun is rising over the deserted park. Spring shoots have burst through the frozen ground, framing the woman’s broken body in green and gold. Their surge of relief at finding her alive quickly dissolves into fear: the man who did this is still out there. His next victim might not be so lucky…
The first time Detective Bernadette Noel sees Keira Howard, she is lying in a hospital bed fighting for her life. The police assume that she has become the latest victim in a series of brutal attacks, and after weeks of fruitless searching, they think the evidence found in Keira’s case will finally lead them to their man.
When a suspect is caught the case looks closed, but Bernie isn’t convinced. Keira may have the same markings as the other women, but she doesn’t meet the profile – the random attacker let his victims go. Keira’s attacker had intended to kill. The witnesses – Keira’s closest friends – are all telling different stories, and the discovery that Keira was hiding a secret pregnancy suddenly makes everything a lot more complicated.
When a crucial witness goes missing, Bernie’s gut instinct is proven right – so why won’t her superiors let her investigate? They may have caught a guilty man, but a potential murderer still walks free. Then when their prime suspect is suddenly killed on police watch, Bernie’s situation becomes much more dangerous.
The closer Bernie comes to discovering the truth, the more she is putting her life at risk. And the only people she can rely on to make it out alive might be those she can no longer trust.
An utterly compelling crime thriller full of twists and suspense, perfect for fans of Val McDermid, Angela Marsons and Cara Hunter.
About Joy Kluver:
Escaping the madness of motherhood through writing crime novels. Author of the DI Bernadette (Bernie) Noel series set in Wiltshire – Last Seen and Broken Girls with book 3 coming January 2022.
Sadly submissions for #R3COMM3D3D2021 are now closed (posts will be running until just before Christmas so we’re not quite done yet). Shortly after the last post I will be inviting you all to attend the virtual after-show party, which should be a giggle, where we can cast our eyes over the marvellous and majestic beauty of 2021’s books. We will also crown 2021’s winner (or joint winners, if that’s the case). So I expect it to be a jolly good ol’ knees up! Until then stay tuned as we have lots more bookish loveliness heading your way ❤