31 Mar 2022


 One of several bloggers who over 5 days will be participating in this Blog Tour {the full schedule for which can be found at the bottom of the post}. Today {the 5th day of the Tour) its my pleasure to be sharing my thoughts on ...


Genre ... Crime fiction

Publication Date ... 10th January 2022

Standalone first book in the series

Estimated Page Count ... 316

Purchase Link ... https://www.amazon.co.uk/MURDER-OXFORD-LANE-gripping-suspense-ebook/dp/B09Q3L5YFT/

The peace of a Midlands village is upset when local businessman Harry Bowers doesn't return from choir practice. More concerned than the man's own wife, it would seem, investigating officer Detective Sergeant Sunita Roy becomes convinced he has met a sinister end.

There is no trace of the man - just a litany of evidence of an ailing marriage and a nose-diving business venture.

In charge of her first serious case, DS Roy will struggle to win the respect of her colleagues - in particular, her Brummie boss, DCI Gavin Roscoe. All that whilst fighting off the attentions of an increasingly desperate suitor.

Who had it in for the chorister? And is Roy tough enough to break down the defences and prejudices of Middle England?  MURDER ON OXFORD LANE is the first book in a series of crime fiction titles by Tony Bassett. ... Synopsis

It had been no surprise to Harry Bowers to learn someone was sleeping with his wife. ... First Sentence, Chapter 1

A glance through a gap in the venetian blinds was enough to confirm it. She immediately pressed the "Record" button on her phone and placed it on a small table in the hallway.

Then, bristling with indignation, she switched on the light and threw open the front door to find him smirking at her from behind his beard. ... Memorable Moment, Pgs 89/90

Ahhh! I've said it before and I'll no doubt say it again, one of the reasons I hate a star rating system is that all too often I find myself at odds with myself, wanting to rate one aspect of a book a certain number of stars and, other aspects of the book, a different number of stars, hence my hesitation in rating this, the first novel in a series of crime novels.

A good plot ... Opens with a character, Harry Bower, going missing on his way to, wait for it, choir practice of all places {So far so good, its certainly something a bit different}, that he's a property developer, well, nothing against property developers, but this alone opened up all kinds of possibilities.

That there are twists and turns aplenty; that it kept me guessing as to who the murderer was {YES! Always a plus when it comes to crime novels}.

A cast of characters with lots of potential ... That some of them were, what, odd? ... A little, err, unconventional? {Do you know what, odd sometimes does work}.

The first time that DCI Gavin Roscoe and DS Sunita Roy have worked together, I enjoyed seeing how their relationship developed throughout the book. 

That DS Roy has, err, issues. Hmm! There's very rarely a crime novel in which one of the 'good guys' doesn't but hers, well, they interested me.

An OK read, with all of the ingredients for a great crime novel, in many ways Murder On Oxford Lane did not disappoint. 

What alas let down the novel for me was the poor execution; the excessive descriptions, the amount of irrelevant details, the dialogue which felt a bit stilted, that DS Roy was repeatedly referred to as 'my dear' ... a small detail I know but the usage felt dated and, I admit, grated on me {probably more than it should have done}, that the DCI Roscoe, talk about playing 'good cop - bad cop', managed to do so all by himself, changing from overly brusque to avuncular at the drop of a hat so to speak 

To my mind {doubtlessly something others will disagree with, this is, after all, only my opinion} a thorough editing and this has the makings of a great mystery series that would be perfect for those looking for a read that whilst not a cosy mystery {at least not to my mind anyway} isn't overly violent.

ABOUT TONY BASSETT ... Tony Bassett, a former Fleet Street journalist, has written a gripping series of crime novels set in the Midlands.

The first book in the series is called Murder on Oxford Lane. Published by The Book Folks, it concerns the disappearance of a property tycoon from a sleepy Warwickshire village.

​Middle-aged DCI Gavin Roscoe and his relatively inexperienced sergeant, DS Sunita Roy, are confronted by suspicious deaths as they struggle to uncover what has happened to the businessman.

​The second book in this Midlands crime series, The Crossbow Stalker, will be released shortly.

​Tony decided to set this string of novels in Warwickshire and Worcestershire after spending many happy years working as a newspaper reporter in Worcester.

He first developed a love of writing at the age of nine when he and a friend produced a magazine called the Globe at their junior school in Sevenoaks, Kent.

​At Hull University, Tony was named student journalist of the year in 1971 in a competition run by Time-Life magazine and went onto become a national newspaper journalist, mainly working for the Sunday People in both its newsroom and investigations department.

​His very first book to be published, the crime novel Smile Of The Stowaway, was released in December 2018. It concerns a Kent couple who harbour a stowaway and then battle to clear his name when he is charged with murder.

Then, in March 2020, the spy novel The Lazarus Charter, was released. It involves foreign agents operating in the UK.

The book has kindly been endorsed by Marina Litvinenko, widow of the murdered Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, and by Stan and Caroline Sturgess, parents of the innocent mother-of-three poisoned with novichok in Salisbury in 2018.

​Tony, who has written at least four other novels which are as yet unpublished, has five grown-up children. He is a Life Member of the National Union of Journalists. He lives in South-East London with his partner Lin.

Follow Tony Bassett ... ~ Website ~ FaceBook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram

Blog Tour Schedule ... ~ 27th March: loopyloulaura ~ BooklyMatters ~ Northernreader ~  The Tami Journal / Tamis Reading Corner ~ The Magic Of Wor(l)ds ~ 28th March: The Divine Write ~ Scintilla.Info ~ wee_glasgow_bookworm ~ Buried under Books ~ @fantasybookcraz_mum ~ 29th March: @enjoyingbooksagain ~ Ginger Book Geek ~ readlaxation ~  Ceri's Little Blog ~ 30th March: Confessions of a Bookaholic ~ The Word Is Out - Alyson's Reviews ~ Chez Maximka ~ B for bookreview ~ mjporterauthor.blog ~ 31st March: Bibliophileverse ~ Peacock's Book Review ~ Felicity Grace Terry ~ Niki Preston ~  Reading Tonic


Nasreen said...

Sounds such a good story!

Tony Bassett said...

TONY BASSETT WRITES: Thank you for your review. By the way, the second book in the series, The Crossbow Stalker, is already out and available as an ebook or paperback on Amazon. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09RX282VM

Kelly said...

It sounds like an interesting story and I love the cover on the book. However, I'm struggling to keep from adding new series to my TBR!

Very good review, Felicity.

nightwingsraven said...

Although this sounds like a good
story. I am not certain about it.
But I will keep it in mind. And
thank you for your honest and
excellent review.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

I know exactly what you mean about rating, reviewing and recommending books - it really is so subjective, as what one person may like, another may not and of course, vice versa!

I read a book a few months ago, which I really felt I could only award 3 stars to, as even though the storyline and characters had potential, it really wasn't well executed from the perspective of the narrative and dialogue. I forewarned the publicist and offered to remove their name as promoters from my review, making it a purely personal post. I was therefore most surprised when they went absolutely mad and accused me of trying to stop the author selling books and wanted me not to review at all unless I would say only nice things about the book.

I thought that was really bad practice, as whilst I don't want to stop an author selling copy, I am not going to lie and have people who might act on my review spend good money on a bad writing. I always try to be honest and let the readers make their own mind up.

Sorry for the waffle, but I for one, thank you for your honest and thoughtful comments :)

Gina said...

Once upon a time, I read stories like this like they were going out of style...nowadays, not so much my chosen genre...but, from the sound of things, it would definitely be one for fans to pick up!