Good afternoon, bookworm, it’s lovely to see you again! Do come in and have a seat. There seemed to be a lot of fuss in the media last month about there July bringing an extreme heatwave in the UK yet the only heat around here lately is the scorching plot in the book I’ve recently read called Sandraker by Heide Goody and Iain Grant. It’s the third in the Sam Applewhite series and I’m addicted to them! Here, have a slice of custard tart and a cappuccino while I tell you all about it.
Firstly, here’s the blurb:
The aristocracy abide by a different set of rules…
…or so it seems to Sam Applewhite when her job brings her to Candlebroke Hall, the stately home. The burglary definitely wasn’t what it appeared to be, and the subsequent accidents suggest that it’s a dangerous place to spend time.
Sam is caught up in events as she tries to protect the interests of young Hilde Odinson, part of the local viking family. The Odinsons insist on doing things their own way though, with scant regard for the law. In the meantime, Sam starts to understand that while many people would kill to live at Candlebroke Hall, maybe there are others who would kill to get away from it.
And here’s my review: I feel glum today. I’ve reached the end of the novels written so far in the Sam Applewhite series and it’s left me with a serious book hangover. I’ve recently read and reviewed Sealfinger and Doggerland, which you are welcome to read by clicking on the book names, so it will come as no surprise that I loved the third book, Sandraker, just as much.
I usually enjoy police procedurals and crime thrillers of a serious and gritty nature, whilst cosy murder mysteries make my eye twitch as if I’m surrounded by chintz. These novels need a category all of their own as the plot is always funny and twisty, with the reader knowing who the criminal is and watching as Sam stumbles upon the clues (quite literally at times!) until she pieces them together. The action is often madcap and I love Sam’s deadpan, sarcastic reaction to it.
I’ve mentioned before that the Odinsons are my favourite secondary characters (I group them together because they come as a viking hoard!), with Hilde calling to my inner feminist, especially the way she manages her farfar, Ragnar who is the leader of the clan. She’s at the centre of events in Sandraker as she is painted as the perpetrator in a theft at Candlebroke Hall, which Sam’s franchise branch of Defcon4 provides security for. The Odinsons continue to feature prominently with their social media campaign about their persecution following the confiscation of the viking longship (which lends it’s name to the novel) they built in Doggerland and I laughed out loud frequently as their antics played out.
Along with familiar characters from previous books, there are some we meet or get to know better in this one, such as actress Lady Kiki whose glory days are behind her, and Antoine de Winter, a show ‘psychic’ who has popped up in venues in previous adventures. It’s all about keeping up appearances with them as they try to pretend they’re not completely broke…
As much as I enjoyed the irritation ex boyfriend Rich brought Sam in the previous novels, it was good to see her get to know DC Camara better, especially after the dramatic climax of Doggerland. It would also be remiss of me not to mention Skegness itself as the backdrop for the series, since I have fond memories of visiting Butlins there when I was 10 and 12 years old, stocking up on as much tat from the souvenir shops and arcade tickets as I possibly could, whilst avoiding the plague of wasps which seemed to descend in one of the summers I was there!
I’m thrilled to have found this series and if you would like to try it for yourself, you can read any of the novels as a standalone in my opinion but if you start at the very beginning, to quote Julie Andrews, you’ll get to know and love the cast of characters with all their quirks. Just click on the book image above to go to the relevant page on Amazon to pre-order Sandraker which is released on 14th July 2021. A huge thank you to the authors, publishers and Rachel’s Random Resources for the gifted digital copy in return for my honest opinion – this has been without a doubt one of my favourite blog tours to be involved with and I can’t wait for the next installment!
Well bookworm, I must get back to my duties in the mystical library. But before I do, I’m going to have a wander amongst the bookshelves to see if I can find something to fill the void of my book hangover. Until next time, bookworm, farewell!