This is another one of those classic cases where I’ve read a book and thought, I must review this book for my Thriller Novel Nerd Blog. Alas, several months later, I’m now getting around to writing the review for The Cleaner by Mark Dawson. The reason I wanted to write this review was twofold. First, I loved it. The book was unexpected deep, sad, and emotional. Second, the book was written by a successful self-published author. It’s my intention to review both sides of the publishing world, traditional and self-published or indie authors. Well, the best of both worlds.
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A Body is on the Lawn, and a Killer is on the Loose
When Will Thatcher, doesn’t show up for work, James Lalonde is forced to attend an afternoon tea with Alistair Carmichael in his place. The lovely autumn afternoon tea comes to an abrupt end when a body turns up on the lawn of the Carmichael Estate with strange markings on his neck.
But, something is missing, a priceless painting is off the wall. However, it’s no ordinary painting, it’s a Van Gogh purchased in an auction a few months ago. After discovering fresh tracks, most likely left by the murderer James realises the murder is still in the estate.
Can James figure out who the thief and murderer are before he or Alistair is next?
A Murdered Judge. A Dark Secret Silenced.
Rookie reporter James Lalonde is bored. And, he isn’t a journalist. He’s an all-round dogs-body, to editor-in-chief, Rhys Kelly. But, his luck has finally changed. After eavesdropping in on the morning editorial meeting, James learns he has his first-ever story. There’s one catch. If the story gets too complicated, it will be taken away from him and given to another journalist with more experience. Sure it’s a boring interview with the soon-to-be sworn-in magistrate, Albert Harrington, but it finally gets him out of his six-month slump as an editorial research assistant.
The following day, James turns up to his interview with Albert to discover a trail of blood smeared through Albert’s house, an empty safe, the murder weapon on the floor, but no body. Detective Anwar Khan turns up at the crime scene, puts two and two together, and believes James murdered the controversial magistrate. Can James clear his name and write his first-ever story before his editor takes it away from him?
Excalibur is Missing. A Killer is on the Loose. One Reporter is Determined to Uncover the Truth.
James has a nose for trouble. But that’s nothing new. This time, things are different–his life is on the line. James is the chief editor of a small newspaper. It’s hardly captivating work. He’s bored. But all of that is about to change.
Late one evening, he returns home to discover his long-time girlfriend and journalist, Valentine, has left. Early the next morning, James fails to reallocate her assigned story. To avoid blank space in the culture section and losing his job, he decides to write the story on the local museum’s latest acquisition, Excalibur. But, there’s one thing he didn’t count on–Excalibur is missing, and a dead body is at the crime scene.
If you love gripping cloak-and-dagger mysteries with twists and turns, then you’ll love this first instalment in the James Lalonde Amateur Sleuth Mystery series. Get it now.
A Murdered Professor. A Priceless Manuscript Stolen.
Moments after James discovers a secret code on the pages of the manuscript, a hooded figure murders a professor and steals the manuscript from Oxford University.
While James is receiving medical attention, he discovers a secret about his past that he was never supposed to know. Instead of staying on bed rest, James decides to leave town and uncover the truth. But, the police put a hold on his passport, believing he organised the murder and theft. Before James leaves for New York, he must investigate the truth behind the lab break-in. As his investigation digs deeper, James discovers everyone has means, motive, opportunity and something to hide.
With an endless list of possible suspects, James must clear his name, find the manuscript, and identify the murderer before they strike again.
Duplicity is the second novel in A D Hay’s gripping amateur sleuth mystery series. If you like cloak and dagger mysteries filled with twists and turns, you’ll love this instalment from the series.
One Locked Room. A Dead Body. Five Suspects
It’s the opening of Clovervale Hall, an exquisite bed-and-breakfast in Oxfordshire, owned and operated by Professor Xavier Watson and his wife, Flora. And James Lalonde can’t believe his luck—he gets an all-expenses paid trip.
And he gets to write a story about the opening of the bed-and-breakfast for the Northampton Tribune. It’s going to be the easiest weekend of his life. Unfortunately, the weather is scorching hot, and a cyclonic storm sets in, trapping him and the guests inside the manor house.
But, there’s one thing he didn’t count on—a killer is on the loose, roaming the halls of Clovervale Hall. While cyclonic weather conditions rage on outside, James hunts down the killer. Lurking behind every corner, he discovers secrets and lies. But his investigations haven’t gone unnoticed. The killer has a watchful eye on James.
Can James solve the murder before the bodies start to pile up?
What I’m Writing!
6,430 of 60,000 Words
I’ve decided to add an extra book between the second book and the start of the byline series, where James arrives in New York. Book Three will be set in a 24-hour period in London. This novel will be available in ebook on all major ebook retailers by the end of 2023. And the paperback editions soon after. I will be making this novel available for free to my James Lalonde Insiders reader club. You can become an insider here.
112,960 of 99,000 Words
Book Four in the James Lalonde series needs one final round of revisions before I can hand it off to my editor. This longer novel will be published on all major ebook retailers in early 2023. And the paperback editions soon after. I will be making this novel available for free to my James Lalonde Insiders reader club. You can become an insider here.