"". October 2023 | Is This Mutton?

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Tuesday 31 October 2023

Dead Pretty by Joy Wood


Cover shot of book Dead Pretty by Joy Wood reviewed by Is This Mutton

Dear friends. Welcome to my spot on the Dead Pretty book blog tour. I really enjoyed this thriller, which showcases the lives of young nurses in the 70s. 


It's 1977 and six young women start their training to become nurses at Harlow Wood Orthopaedic Hospital. They are excited but nervous, and soon develop a strong friendship bond within their cohort.

But there is a predator amongst them. 

A man who takes great delight in killing young, pretty girls.

Graphic showing the blog tour dates in 2023 for Dead Pretty by Joy Wood

My Thoughts 

This book accomplishes a couple of difficult challenges: firstly building a strong narrative around the student nurses, so that we care about them, and secondly, running a parallel story about a serial killer who's obviously in their circle. He seems to know their movements and habits. 

I loved the nurses' chit chat, their excitement about dates and nights out, their backgrounds and how they interacted with their families.  This was after all my era: in 1979 I left school and became a trainee journalist.  

There are several possible suspects: a gardener, a handyman, a boyfriend who seemed too good to be true. I even suspected one of the doctors. But for a long time I didn't suspect the actual perpetrator! What a twist that is. 

The desperate battle to find one of the victims before time runs out,  near the end of the book, makes for gripping reading.

A corker of a tale and look forward to more from Joy Wood. 

Purchase Links

Amazon UK         Amazon.com

About the Author: Joy Wood 

Joy Wood has worked as a nurse most of her adult life and turned to writing six years ago to ‘see if she could.’ Her earlier work was adult romance and intrigue, but more recently she has switched genres to romance with a crime element. Joy lives in the seaside town of Cleethorpes in North East Lincolnshire and her writing ideas come from watching the tide turn daily, of course with the obligatory ice-cream – someone has to support the local economy!

Connect with Joy: Social Media Links 

Facebook   Website  


Many thanks to Rachel Gilbey from Rachel's Random Resources and the author for the advance copy of Dead Pretty in return for an honest review.

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October Books

Book Spotlight: The Raging Storm by Ann Cleeves 

Voices of Cancer by Lynda Wolters


Monday 30 October 2023

Jeans and Jewels

 Style Not Age Challenge

Dear friends. There's a great challenge in today's monthly Style Not Age with me, Anna, Hilda, Jacqui and Emma. 

It was Anna's turn and she came up with Jeans and Jewels.

The juxtaposition of denim with jewels is unexpected and creates an outfit which could take us anywhere. I automatically reached for my Georgian crystal necklaces, which I love to layer. I got the idea from Anna Wintour. 


Friday 27 October 2023

The Drowning Place by S W Kane


Blog tour dates for The Drowning Place by S W Kane

Dear friends.  Hold onto your hats, here's another thrilling read to get the heart racing! It's my turn on the blog tour for The Drowning Place by S W Kane. 


Wednesday 25 October 2023

Northern Lights Inspired

 And #WowOnWednesday

Recreating pink and yellow tones of the aurora borealis, Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon

Dear friends. Here's an unusual spin on fashion and colour.  The monthly challenge in the Kettlewell Colour Club is Aurora Borealis.  Yes, the Northern Lights.  You choose an inspiration pic and style an outfit using similar colours.


Monday 23 October 2023

The Puppet Maker by Jenny O'Brien


Promotional banner showing the cover and a one liner describing The Puppet Maker by Jenny O'Brien

Dear friends. Welcome to my date on the blog tour for The Puppet Maker by Jenny O'Brien.  This is an intriguing novel introducing a new detective series, with a creepy twist. 


Saturday 21 October 2023

Her Perfect Revenge by Lesley Sanderson

 Cover shot of psychological thriller Her Perfect Revenge by Lesley Sanderson, reviewed by Is This Mutton

Dear friends. I love a good psychological thriller with a twist at the ending, and today's book delivers in spades. It's my stop on the book blog tour organised by Bookouture for Her Perfect Revenge by Lesley Sanderson. 

Friday 20 October 2023

October Books {2023}


9 books read by book blogger Is This Mutton in October 2023, a mix of crime thrillers with non-fiction

Dear friends. It's been a busy month on the books front: 5 blog tours plus the reviews below. I'm going to cut back on the number of NetGalley reviews and blog tours for a while. It's good to support authors, but I feel under pressure to get through the books and process the reviews. 

I've caught up with the Goodreads Challenge and am on track again to reach my target of 100 by the end of the year. 


Thursday 19 October 2023

Tell Us About....Home Towns

 1930s art deco lido swimming pool on Plymouth Hoe. Copyright Is This Mutton.com

Dear friends. It's time for the monthly Tell Us About challenge. It was the turn of Marsha from Marsha in the Middle to choose the prompt, and she went with Home Towns  (or hometowns as our US friends prefer). 

My home town is Plymouth, in the south west of England. It's well known for a couple of historical facts:

  • The Pilgrim Fathers sailed from what we now call The Mayflower Steps in 1620. 
  • Sir Francis Drake, (now in the process of being cancelled)  was playing bowls on Plymouth Hoe in 1588 when he saw the Spanish Armada approaching.


Wednesday 18 October 2023

Best Face Forward

 & Wow On Wednesday 

Three women together. Photo by Jenna Smith for The Centre for Ageing Better

Dear friends. Older women's faces, made-up, natural and un-retouched, have been in the news this last couple of weeks. 


Monday 16 October 2023

Out of Sight by Anna Legat

 Blog tour banner promoting Out of Sight, a police procedural, by Anna Legat

Dear friends. Who doesn't love a good crime thriller? Particularly with a trucculent female DCI. Today is my stop on the blog tour for Out of Sight by Anna Legat.


Sunday 15 October 2023

Knowing What to Say to a Cancer Patient

Spotlight on Voices of Cancer by Lynda Wolters 

Dear friends. I'm sure you're aware that October is Cancer Awareness Month.  I'm afraid to say that I  usually skip past content on cancer, thinking "there but for the grace of God....".   I am also afraid of saying the wrong thing to a cancer patient.

Lynda Wolters was the same. When her cousin had cancer, she told her aunt to tell Joni that she would give her any help she needed. But the cousin never rang, and Lynda assumed she was OK.  Her cousin recovered, but Lynda discovered she had felt very alone during her treatment because so many people stopped contacting her.


Wednesday 11 October 2023

Perfect Cord Skirt with Cotton Traders

 & #WowOnWednesday

Over 60s style blog Is This Mutton on finding your best skirt neutrals for autumn and winter

Dear friends. Brown is one of my favourite neutrals for autumn and winter. It looks more contemporary than boring old black, and is a good foil for my warm and light coloured wardrobe. I was thrilled to find my perfect skirt at Cotton Traders, in their new Alex Jones collection.

Sisters Under the Rising Sun by Heather Morris

 Cover of the book Sisters Under the Rising Sun by Heather Morris

Dear friends. I'm thrilled to bring you a real block buster today. It's my date on the blog tour for New Zealand writer Heather Morris and her latest best seller, Sisters Under the Rising Sun.


Wednesday 4 October 2023

Cycling the Coast to Coast Challenge

 & #WowOnWednesday 

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton and husband at the Long Meg and Daughters Neolithic site

Dear friends. We've just completed a thrilling and challenging cycle ride, the Coast to Coast (C2C).  I literally got back this afternoon, which is why the Wednesday post is late. 

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