Murder on Board Blog Tour

Kitty Underhay is drowning… in murder.

Kitty Underhay hopes for plain sailing as she caters a 21st birthday party for the Chief Constable’s daughter aboard a luxury paddle steamer. So her heart sinks when she learns that the man her fiancé Matthew has been tailing on orders from Whitehall, Gunther Freiburg, is aboard. And she’s even more horrified when she steps below deck to discover Gunther, dead in the engine room. One of the Chief Constable’s party must be responsible for his demise, but who, and why?

And the evening is on course for further disaster. As the lights go out around the candlelit cake, a terrible scream rings out over the merry hubbub. A priceless diamond necklace has been snatched from around the birthday girl’s neck… Something fishy is going on, but is this the work of the same sailing assassin, or is it a red herring?

With the local inspector in deep water having to investigate his own boss, Kitty and Matt dive in to help. But when Kitty’s eavesdropping puts her in mortal danger, will everything turn out shipshape, or will it be her turn to go swimming with the fishes…?

A crime novel that features a paddle steamer, a party that turns murderous and a priceless diamond necklace to boot – I mean, what’s not to love? These were some of the many reasons that I was drawn to Murder On Board and why I’m so grateful to Noelle Holton & Bookouture for inviting me to participate in this blog tour – although this is the 10th Miss Underhay novel, you can absolutely read it as a stand-alone and I’m sure you’ll be off to look for the back catalogue once you’ve finished…

I love immersing myself in a setting and feeling like I’ve actually travelled back in time whilst I’m reading and this book really achieves this as you feel like you are there witnessing the events on board right there alongside Kitty & the other guests – I know it’s already been said plenty of times – But it really made me hopeful that this quaint and addictive read will be part of a series of books that I can enjoy on the screen shortly- I am already casting Kitty in my mind’s eye and think it would be a fab Sunday night series – All aboard for a cracking new instalment.

Because you’re definitely in a safe pair of hands, with a writer who clearly knows and loves her subject matter and can craft a perfect cosy crime tale,  you feel like you can totally surrender to this reading experience and spend a few days in the company of this eclectic and memorable cast of characters. I really felt like I could imagine the paddle steamer and so many of the characters – and I absolutely loved the 1930s setting, which was wonderfully recreated on the pages.

It was lovely to lose myself in this cosy crime read after a few months where I’ve been mostly reading contemporary writing and non-fiction.  It’s funny that I get into reading zones and I’m now on a real Crime Fiction mission and am looking forward to losing myself in another of my favourite era’s crime stories as soon as possible. I am trying not to give any spoilers at all as I do not want you to be able to guess what’s about to unfold for you once you open the covers of this wonderful take on cosy crime, but you should prepare to be absorbed, entertained and charmed by the idiosyncrasies of these characters and take note that sometimes the most surprising clues can turn out to be pivotal…

The host of engaging characters and their complementary character quirks in this charming and entertaining read allowed me to escape from everything that’s so frustrating in the modern world and just focus on the twists and turns of the mystery. The way that we get to see the ensuing complications of the case that Kitty and Matt attempt to unravel as they attempt to solve the mystery of Gunther’s demise was one of my favourite things about this book and it certainly does a fine job of not allowing you to put it down as it gives you a solid case of ‘one more chapter’ as you wonder whatever is going to happen next and how Kitty’s somewhat unorthodox crime-busting techniques will win the day.

This was the perfect October break read for me – and if you just want an escape from it all –  then this would be a perfect book to lose yourself in.  Fans of the cosy crime genre will have hours of entertainment trying to solve the mystery for themselves whilst managing to raise a smile and a theory or two themselves as they go.

If you love a humorous and intelligent read with memorable characters and a setting that you’ll absolutely fall for then this is the read for you. I definitely enjoyed this book just as much as I’d been expecting to and I’m sure that it would appeal to lots of my Book club readers too.  Treat yourself to a copy this week and enjoy this trip into the world of 1930s cosy crime for yourself

A totally cozy, absolutely gripping historical murder mystery! The perfect read for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss.

Readers love the Miss Underhay mysteries:

Five stars are not enough.’ Netgalley reviewer, 5 stars

‘This was excellent and I read it in one sitting, a page-turner I couldn’t put down.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘Fast, fun and utterly unputdownable… perfect for fans of Agatha Christie.’ Robin Loves Reading

What can I say? I loved it.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

Excellent cosy mystery! The story was gripping… I loved the character development with the little hint of romance and cannot wait for the next book.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘I love this series… The murder mystery itself was engrossing… It kept me guessing right until the final scene.’ Roberta Reads5 stars

‘I felt right at home the moment I started reading… It was a joy.’ Goodreads reviewer

This murder mystery is perfect… This story has it all. An absolute page-turner with characters to care about.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

My favourite cosy mystery series.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘A page-turner that will keep you guessing.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars


Moose Paradox

Insurance mathematician Henri Koskinen has finally restored order both to his life and to YouMeFun, the adventure park he now owns, when a man from the past appears – and turns everything upside down again. More problems arise when the park’s equipment supplier is taken over by a shady trio, with confusing demands. Why won’t Toy of Finland Ltd sell the new Moose Chute to Henri when he needs it as the park’s main attraction?

Meanwhile, Henri’s relationship with artist Laura has reached breaking point, and, in order to survive this new chaotic world, he must push every calculation to its limits, before it’s too late…

Absurdly funny, heart-stoppingly poignant and full of nail-biting suspense, The Moose Paradox is the second instalment in the critically acclaimed, pitch-perfect Rabbit Factor Trilogy and things are messier than ever…

‘Finnish crime maestro Antti Tuomainen is unique in the Scandi-crime genre, infusing his crime narratives with the darkest humour … [his] often hilarious, chaotic narrative never vitiates the novel’s nicely tuned tension’ Financial Times

What goes up, must come down – and that applies equally as well to your fortunes as well as the thrills and spills of life in an adventure park with a difference. The dichotomy is the source of the absolute genius here and even though people bandy around the idea that ‘you won’t have read anything else like it’ all the time – in this case it’s absolutely true!

I think that for a lot of people, they have a very rigid idea of what to expect when they order themselves a helping of ‘Scandi-Noir’ – this book subverts your expectations by taking you on a literal and metaphorical wild ride where youo have an actuary presiding over a world where things just don’t add up, a theme park like no other and a Moose Shute that just needs to be the main attraction.

Actuaries by their very nature crave order and predictability – that’s why they go into that kind of career. What they don’t crave is uncertainty, chaos and disorder, and it’s the contrast here that makes this series so enjoyable. Henri is still struggling to make YouMeFun a successful venture and his agile mind has a lot to contend with as he tries once again to impose order on chaos as he navigates the ins and outs of life as an eclectic entrepreneur in this second instament of the Rabbit Factor Trilogy

I have loved seeing how this quirky, funny and damn clever series has unfolded and loved witnessing the different ways that this book continues to subvert expectations. If you take all the various elements separately, then they might seem like they couldn’t possiby synthesise into a coherent book – but its very much like the cleverest recipe – it takes all of these diverse ingredients and converts them to something much much greater than the sum of its parts.

I also loved the colourful cavalcade of other characters that we come to know and love across the arc of the trilogy. Henri might prefer to put things in nice tidy boxes, but the characters here defy tidy descriptions.. Esa might be ‘only’ a security guard, but there can be fewer people in the world to ever have taken their job so seriously – and the way that this tale unfolds – and I’m determined to avoid spoilers – it’s a bloody good job that he does! I also loved the character of Laura and enjoyed the way that her freewheeling creative world view causes Henri to rethink some of the ways he looks at the world and start to loosen his necktie and embrace a less rigid and automated world view – it’s been great to see how their relationship has evolved and I can’t wait til the next instalment of their story in the final part of the trilogy…

If you are after something completely different then this is the Orentober read for you! All you need to know is that this is another five star winner from Antti – his sense of humour, originality and turn of phrase will ensure that this book stays with you for a long time after you finish reading it. Here’s to you enjoying the second slice of Henri’s adventures in themeparkland every bit as much as I did. If you are anything like me, you will be longing for the next instalment and looking forward to seeing where this wild and crazy adventure takes us.

Treat yourself to a copy for yourself and tell me that you’ve found a funnier, more original or cleverer read this month – I’ll wait!

So what are you waiting for? Get ordering your very own copy and see how all the statistics in this book mean that it adds up to being one of the most unforgettable reads of 2021

‘Finnish crime maestro Antti Tuomainen is unique in the Scandi-crime genre, infusing his crime narratives with the darkest humour … [his] often hilarious, chaotic narrative never vitiates the novel’s nicely tuned tension’ Financial Times

‘Enter hitmen, serendipity, offbeat comedy and the reappearance of literally the last person Henri expects to see … unlike anything else out there’ The Times

‘A thriller with black comedy worthy of Nabokov’ Telegraph Book of the Year

Praise for The Rabbit Factor Trilogy

**Shortlisted for the CWA Crime in Translation Dagger**
**Shortlisted for the Last Laugh Award**

‘The antic novels of Antti Tuomainen prove that comedy is not lost in translation …Tuomainen, like Carl Hiaasen before him, has the knack of combining slapstick with genuine emotion’ The Times

‘The funniest writer in Europe, and one of the very finest … original and brilliant story-telling’ Helen FitzGerald

‘British readers might think they know what to expect from Nordic noir: a tortured detective, a bleak setting, a brutal crime that shakes a small community. Finnish crime novelist Tuomainen turns all of this on its head … The ear of a giant plastic rabbit becomes a key weapon. It only gets darker and funnier’ Guardian

‘Dark, gripping and hilarious … Tuomainen is the Carl Hiaasen of the fjords’ Martyn Waites

‘A triumph, a joyous, feel-good antidote to troubled times’ Kevin Wignall

‘Finland’s greatest export’ M.J. Arlidge

‘You don’t expect to laugh when you’re reading about terrible crimes, but that’s what you’ll do when you pick up one of Tuomainen’s decidedly quirky thrillers’ New York Times

Writer On The Shelf

Antti Tuomainen was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author in 2013, the Finnish press crowned Tuomainen the ‘King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. With a piercing and evocative style,

Tuomainen was one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and his poignant, dark and hilarious The Man Who Died became an international bestseller, shortlisting for the Petrona and Last Laugh Awards. A TV adaptation is in the works, and Jussi Vatanen (Man In Room 301) has just been announced as a leading role.

Palm Beach Finland was an immense success, with Marcel Berlins (The Times) calling Tuomainen ‘the funniest writer in Europe’. His latest thriller, Little Siberia, was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger, the Amazon Publishing/Capital Crime Awards and the CrimeFest Last Laugh Award, and won the Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year. In total, Antti Tuomainen has been short- and longlisted for 12 UK awards.

Translator On The Shelf

David Hackston is a British translator of Finnish and Swedish literature and drama. Notable publications include The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy, Maria Peura’s coming-of-age novel At the Edge of Light, Johanna Sinisalo’s eco-thriller Birdbrain, two crime novels by Matti Joensuu and Kati Hiekkapelto’s Anna Fekete series (which currently includes The Hummingbird, The Defenceless and The Exiled, all published by Orenda Books). He also translates Antti Tuomainen’s stories. In 2007 he was awarded the Finnish State Prize for Translation. David is also a professional countertenor and a founding member of the English Vocal Consort of Helsinki.

Red as Blood Blog Tour

Áróra becomes involved in the search for an Icelandic woman who disappeared from her home while making dinner, as she continues to hunt for her missing sister. The second breathtaking instalment in the chilling, addictive An Áróra Investigation series…

When entrepreneur Flosi arrives home for dinner one night, he discovers that his house has been ransacked, and his wife Guðrún missing. A letter on the kitchen table confirms that she has been kidnapped. If Flosi doesn’t agree to pay an enormous ransom, Guðrún will be killed. Forbidden from contacting the police, he gets in touch with Áróra, who specialises in finding hidden assets, and she, alongside her detective friend Daníel, try to get to the bottom of the case without anyone catching on. Meanwhile, Áróra and Daníel continue the puzzling, devastating search for Áróra’s sister Ísafold, who disappeared without trace. As fog descends, in a cold and rainy Icelandic autumn, the investigation becomes increasingly dangerous, and confusing. Chilling, twisty and unbearably tense, Red as Blood is the second instalment in the riveting, addictive An Áróra Investigation series, and everything is at stake.

‘Lilja Sigurðardóttir doesn’t write cookie-cutter crime novels … Isn’t that what all crime writers should aim for?’ The Times

‘Lilja is a stand-out voice in Iceland Noir’ James Oswald

‘Sure to please Scandi noir fans’ Publishers Weekly

‘One of my new favourite series … Áróra’s brains and brawn, combined with the super-cool Icelandic setting, is a winning combination’ Michael J. Malone

‘So atmospheric’ Crime Monthly

‘Áróra is a wonderful character: unique, passionate, unpredictable and very real’ Michael Ridpath

Karen has done it again! Another amazing Orenda read…

Red as Blood is the second instalment in the An Áróra Investigation Series and I cannot wait to share my review! If you follow my blog, you’ll know that Cold as Hell absolutely blew me away – and I was actually nervous before reading Red as Blood as I was worried that it couldn’t possibly live up to the standard that was set in Lilja’s first instalment. Well, let me tell you, I needn’t have worried as if anything this was even better. I love Lilja’s writing and fell hard for her Reykjavik Noir Trilogy, and if you haven’t discovered her writing yet, you are in for an absolute treat.

Áróra is someone that you won’t easily forget and I loved how quickly I refamiliarised myself with her world. She’s a character that sears herself into your consciousness as she is an absolute individual who is not prepared to compromise on her world view. As before, I got completely drawn into her story because of her complexities and challenges and joined forces with her metaphorically to try and unravel the case of Guðrún‘s disappearance as well as the mystery of her sister Ísafold’d disappearance. Áróra is a woman who refuses to be cowed by obfuscation and disinformation, and I was absolutely gripped by her dogged determination to work through the half-truths and evasions and get to the heart of the matter- whatever the cost.

The fact that we share Áróra’s mistrust of the people who surround her brings a sense of being ‘in it together’ with her that was satisfyingly and had you reakky invested in the twists and turns of this intelligently constructed read. Through this story, we are trusted to work for the information we glean, we are not talked down to or patronised and this added real depth to this novel that made it stand out head and shoulders above its competition – I hate reading books where you are looking for the twist or where things are endlessly spelled out to you and this is what makes me such a fan of Lilja’s work.

Many novels in this genre are all plot and display a real disregard for the writing itself. Not so Lilja Sigurdardóttir, her writing is spare and atmospheric, even when she is talking about mundane things like a table setting or bread burning in the kitchen. It’s great to see Áróra back together with Daniel and I love seeing them work in tandem to try and get to the bottom of things. The translation from Quentin Bates is note perfect and it makes me vow as ever when I read Orenda books to read much much more in translated fiction. I couldn’t stop reading once I’d started and gulped this down in two instalments from my new home in Argyll. I loved following Áróra’s intelligent journey to find the truth and try and get to the bottom of all the secrecy and lies surrounding these disappearances as well as her determination not to be beaten down by the the corruption and deceit that are making it so difficult to make any headway

Sigurdardóttir is one of the Queens of the Icelandic crime genre and was the perfect companion for a week in the wilds of Argyll where I could really dedicate myself to my reading. I can’t wait for Mr OnTheShelf to finish reading it so we can chat about it as he loves discovering new crime writers that stand out from the crowd.

#TeamOrenda have rounded up a series of amazing bloggers for this Tour and I’m honoured to be part of it. Check out the #BlogTour poster to see who else is creating the buzz around Red as Blood this autumn. Thank you so much again to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for keeping my TBR and standards high and always providing me with excellent new countries to add to my crime fiction favourites.


“fans of Nordic noir will find plenty to like.” —Publishers Weekly on Trap

“[A] lively conclusion…Fans already invested in this Nordic crime series will race through the pages.”– Publishers Weekly on Cage

“A taut, gritty, thoroughly absorbing journey into Reykjavik’s underworld.” —Booklist on Snare

“Prime binge-reading.” —Booklist on Trap

“Sigurðardóttir knows how to ratchet up the tension…[Trap] is a worthy addition to the icy-cold crime genre popularized by Scandinavian noir novels.” —Foreword Reviews on Trap

“Thriller of the year.” —New York Journal of Books on Snare

“Tough, uncompromising and unsettling.” –Val McDermid

Writer on the Shelf

Lilja Sigurðard.

Lilja Sigurðardóttir is an Icelandic crime writer and playwright, born in 1972. She is the author of four crime novels, Steps (Spor), 2009, Forgiveness (Fyrirgefning), 2010, Snare (Gildran) 2015, Tangle (Netið) 2016 and Cage (Búrið) 2017.

Her debut stage play Big Babies (Stóru Börnin) was staged in the winter of 2013-2014, became critically acclaimed and won the Icelandic Theatre Prize Gríman as “Best play of the year.”

Follow her on Twitter @Lilja1972