Review – Dead Flowers by Nicola Monaghan @Verve_Books #DeadFlowers


She doesn’t trust the police. She used to be one of them.

Hardened by ten years on the murder squad, DNA analyst Doctor Sian Love has seen it all. So when she finds human remains in the basement of her new home, she knows the drill.

Except this time it’s different. This time, it’s personal…

A page-turning cold case investigation, Dead Flowers is an intriguing, multi-layered story perfect for fans of Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories and British crime dramas like Line of Duty and Unforgotten.

Shortlisted for the UEA Crime Fiction Award 2019

Thrilled to be included in this blog tour and thanks to Verve books via NetGalley for my ARC copy


This is the first book I’ve read from this author and what a wonderful premise for a book series. Dr Sian Love is a former high ranking police officer, now a DNA analyst with a retired cadaver finding German Shepherd police dog called Elvis.

The Holy Grail for crime fiction fans maybe.

Apart from some minor issues that didn’t sit well with me, I found this book to be an interesting read switching between two time periods the 1970’s and present day.

One of my pet subjects within the crime fiction and non fiction true crime genre, is the investigation of cold case murders

Dr Sian Love inherits an old pub called The Loggerheads from her uncle.

Unfortunately, or fortunately which ever way you look at it, her dog Elvia detects the smell of a cadaver in the pub basement. Sian rips away an old boarded up panel down there and two long dead bodies are discovered. One more recently deceased than the other. From then on the mystery and investigation into their identities is taken over by an investigating police team and cold case forensics and pathologists.

Links to Sian’s own family history are uncovered along the way, with Sian trying to stay one step ahead of the investigation herself.

If you like the sound of this one then fill your boots. It’s a great read and a series I will definitely be following from now on


Nicola Monaghan won a Betty Trask Award, the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and the Waverton Good Read for her first novel, The Killing Jar. Her latest book is The Troll: The Boy with the Sliver of Ice in his Heart and is the first in a trilogy. She also wrote The Night Lingers and other stories, Starfishing and The Okinawa Dragon and has been published widely in newspapers, magazines and anthologies. She writes for screen too and is working on her first feature. She teaches Creative Writing at De Montfort University, as well as online at 

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