Saturday, January 27, 2024

Review - Stolen Darlings

Title:   Stolen Darlings
Author: Helen Phifer
Series:  Detective Morgan Brookes #10
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   260
Date of Publication:   September 29, 2023
My Rating:   5 Stars 


The girl’s body is lying still and the crown of rare darling roses is perfectly positioned in her beautiful auburn hair. Morgan thinks she looks picture-perfect. Until she notices the blood dripping down one side of the boulder beneath her…

Following her colleague Ben up to Castlerigg Stone Circle, Detective Morgan Brookes is shocked at what she finds. A young woman has been killed, left on display at the top of the hill with a crown of roses on her head. As the team race to get the popular tourist spot cordoned off, Morgan hears the heartbroken sobs of the woman who found the body, as she identifies the victim as her best friend Cora Dalton.

Morgan can already see that Cora didn’t struggle when her throat was cut. There’s no blood on the beautiful white gown she was wearing, which means that Cora knew her killer. But everyone, including her boyfriend Jay, has an alibi. As a local shopkeeper, Cora was a huge part of the community, and her neighbours are devastated to lose such a sweet soul.

Then Morgan’s team discover that a local photographer had arranged to meet Cora, and it’s clear from his messages that he chose her elegant white dress. Could their photoshoot have taken a sinister turn?

But when another body is found at another stone circle, wearing an identical flower crown, while the photographer is in custody, Morgan loses the only lead she has. Tracking down the florist who made the crown, Morgan pores over their records and realises the killer purchased three circles of roses…

Certain another innocent life is at risk and with the killer already steps ahead, can Morgan find the connection between these girls before another life is stolen?

An unbelievably gripping new crime thriller in the Detective Morgan Brookes series.

Link to purchase the book


DC Morgan Brookes intends on participating a half-marathon with Cain so reluctantly training. However, while just about to start her run, she gets a call. A body has been found. As working cases and solving murders is Morgan‘s strong suit, her focus shifts from the marathon to the current murder. 

The woman that was found murdered was headed to a yoga session. Who is the killer? And was she specifically targeted? As the victim was found at a stone circle, in a flowing dress with a flower crown, her death appeared as if it were a human sacrifice. That was Morgan's initial thought. 

Morgan's inborn alarm system has lately been beginning to stress her out but she doesn’t want to worry Ben, her boss but also her boyfriend.

While the murder appeared rather gruesome and brutal, the victim, Cora, had no defensive wounds. Thus Morgan, Ben, Cain and the rest of the team begin to dig for answers. One powerful clue was the flower crown, a particular type of rose. As only so many of those roses might be available, Morgan is worried that yet another murder might take place.

Stolen Darlings was a truly gripping story. I had to sit down and devour it in one sitting. I have loved this series from the start and am thrilled that this is the tenth book. In fact, I am about to sit down and read the next in the series, Save Her Twice. Helen Phifer keeps this series going strong, with both the cases are always of great interest and Morgan is a wonderful protagonist and it has been a joy to get to know Morgan as the series has come along. 
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Helen Phifer is the Bestselling writer of the hugely popular Annie Graham, Lucy Harwin, Beth Adams and her current series featuring Detective Constable Morgan Brooks published by the fabulous Bookouture.

She lives in the busy town of Barrow-in-Furness surrounded by miles of coastline and a short drive from the glorious English Lake District.

Helen loves reading books that scare the heck out of her and is eternally grateful to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Herbert and Graham Masterton for scaring her senseless in her teenage years. Unable to find enough scary stories she decided to write her own and her debut novel The Ghost House released in October 2013 became a #1 Global Bestseller.

She has written over twenty books in various genres and you can follow her over on Instagram

Or find her over at

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