#Bookreview The DC Harriet Taylor Series by Stewart Giles @stewartgiles @books_n_all #HarrietTaylor

Today I have decided to combine my reviews for the three DC Harriet Taylor books by Stewart Giles into one fantabulous blog post.

The three books in question are The Beekeeper (which was published by Joffe Books on the 22nd May 2017) The Perfect Murder (published by Joffe Books on the 14th November 2017) and The Backpacker, which was self-published on the 29th July 2018.

About the Books

The Beekeeper

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A shocking discovery starts a trail of mayhem on the Cornish coast.

Alice Green is a beekeeper in the small Cornish village of Polgarrow. She lives with her pet jackdaw in a beautiful cottage not far from the sea. One evening, Alice finds something strange under the hollyhock bush in her garden. The gruesome discovery will change everyone’s lives. And then Alice’s best friend Milly disappears . . .

Detective Harriet Taylor has just transferred to the area from Edinburgh. As she investigates a series of shocking crimes, she grows close to the old beekeeper and is determined to bring the criminals to justice. But who is really what they seem and who can she trust?

A crime mystery with a touch of black humour. You’ll enjoy this fast-paced and dark unearthing of the secrets of a sleepy Cornish village.

The Perfect Murder

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From #1 best-selling author Stewart Giles comes the new mystery set on the Cornish coast. Where the pretty villages and towns hold some very dark secrets.

COULD YOU COMMIT THE PERFECT MURDER?

Two cats are found mutilated in the same town. Detective Harriet Taylor is reluctant to investigate, but then one of their owners is killed a bizarre way that same day.

Harriet and the team step in. The dead woman has four words written on her neck — four very ambiguous words.

Then another body turns up with the same words written on it. Harriet fears the worst — a serial killer is on the loose in the small Cornish town of Trotterdown.

Can Harriet stop the murders and work out the connection to the local writing group who, conveniently enough, have been set the task of writing stories on the theme of “the perfect murder”?

A crime mystery with a touch of black humour. You’ll enjoy this fast-paced and dark unearthing of the secrets of a sleepy Cornish community.

The Backpacker

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From #1 best-selling author: Stewart Giles comes a new detective story set on the Cornish coast. Where the pretty villages and towns hold some very dark secrets.

WHAT IS THE SECRET AT LANDELL’S FARM?

A girl’s body is found hidden in a remote spot of a Cornish Farm. The same farm that a young girl ran towards to escape her pursuer many years before.  Detective Harriet Taylor has to abandon her day out to investigate.

As Littlemore and the forensics team get to work they uncover another mystery hidden among the rocks.

Who would kill a young backpacker who hurt nobody?  Is there a link between this and a mystery from many years ago?

As Harriet and the team get to work they find more questions than answers.  What secrets is the sleepy Cornish village hiding?

This is a fast-paced page-turner that has so many twists and turns it keeps the reader guessing right up to the shocking end.

 If you like Police Procedurals, then this is a series you won’t want to miss.

THE SETTING

Trotterdown and the surrounding villages is a fictional village in Cornwall.  It is typical of Cornish villages with remote farms and sleepy Cornish stone cottages.  However, the area is steeped in history and the residents of the quaint cottages have their share of myths and secrets making it the ideal setting for this series.

THE DETECTIVE

DC Harriet Taylor had only been married for 2 years when her philandering husband was killed in a car crash.  It is common knowledge around the station that the woman who died next to him was his latest lover.  Harriet transferred to Trotterdown to escape the gossip and sympathetic looks.  She is now finding her way around Cornwall and getting to know the other members of the team.

DC HARRIET TAYLOR SERIES

Book 1

The Beekeeper

Book 2

The Perfect Murder

Book 3

The Backpacker

DS JASON SMITH SERIES

Book 0.5

Phobia

Book 1

Smith

Book 2

Boomerang

Book 3

Ladybird

Book 4

Occam’s Razor

Book 5

Harlequin

Book 6

Selene

Book 7

Horsemen

Book 8

Unworthy

To purchase the books click on the title above

My Review

The Beekeeper

The book starts off great with a beekeeper called Alice and her friend finding her dead husband’s finger in her flower garden.  Instead of informing the police she convinces her friend that they need to hide it until the Monday as she doesn’t want to ruin a market at the weekend as she needs to sell her honey.   On the Saturday morning she turns up at the market but her friend doesn’t so Alice then phones the police regarding her disappearance but not about the dead husband.

Her friend’s car is then found in the sea after being driven off a cliff and the police suspect foul play.

The story then cuts between Alice and the police officer responsible for investigating her friend’s murder.

I felt the story flowed really well and it also didn’t feel rushed like some stories can.  The story also isn’t a gritty murder mystery more a light hearted story with people being killed along the way.  It definitely isn’t a whodunit as I worked it out very early on but more of a why they dunnit, if that is such a thing.

Overall I would give the book 5 stars as it is a brilliant dark-humoured book

The Perfect Murder

The Perfect Murder is a book written along a similar theme to The Beekeeper, where it is another brilliant dark book, which doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The start of the book is one of the best introductions I have read this year, with a man committing the perfect murder by drowning a lady in a bath tub, but all is not as it seems.

The story then progresses to a sleepy little village in Cornwall with the local police getting bored.  This is until two cats are left mutilated outside their respective owner’s houses.  When the police investigate they find a dead body in one of the owner’s garages so start to investigate this.

Shortly after this more dead bodies appear and the police have to start looking for their first ever serial killer.  Fortunately for them they have Harriet working for them, the same Harriet from book 1, who will not drop any case and follows it through to the very end and, as with book 1, the ending wasn’t that surprising.  The ending doesn’t take anything away from the fact that it is a great read.

If you liked the Beekeeper then you will love this book as well.  It is a brilliant darkly humoured book with lots of murders along the way.

The Backpacker

This is the third book in the series I have read and I have loved all of them.

The main difference between this one and the previous two is that this one seems to be taking itself a lot more seriously than the previous two, although not as serious as police books I have read recently.

The book starts off with a body being found at the edge of a farm so Harriet and her team go to investigate it.  Whilst there they discover another body, which has been there for a number of years.

The story concerns two separate timelines decades apart but both linked to the mystery of who killed both people.

Even though this didn’t have the dark humour of the previous books it was still a brilliant read and I really liked the way it cut between different periods in time throughout.  This was made easier by the fact that the year was written at the top of the chapter when going back to the 1990’s.

The story flowed really well throughout and I was left guessing and second guessing myself whilst reading to try and figure out the link and who the murderer was before the big reveal.  When the big reveal did arrive I was shocked by the answers but really liked the way the story ended.  I also really hope this isn’t the last we have seen of Harriet and her team.

About the Author

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After reading English & Drama at three different English Universities and graduating from none of them, I set off travelling and finally ended up in South Africa, where I still live. I enjoy the serene life running a boat shop on the banks of the Vaal Dam. I came up with the DS Jason Smith idea after my wife dropped a rather large speaker on my head. Whether it was intentional still remains a mystery. Smith, thefirst in the series was finished in September 2013 and was closely followed by Boomerang and Ladybird. Occam’s Razor, Harlequin and Phobia (a series of short stories detailing Smith’s early life) were all completed in one hazy 365 days and Selene was done and dusted a few months later.

Links

Website: www.stewartgiles.com

Twitter: @stewartgiles

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stewart.giles.33

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