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Visiting Lilly

(Jake Talbot Investigates #1)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Why should a man at a Surrey police station go ballistic because someone tries to visit Lilly, his elderly grandmother?

Detective Inspector Jake Talbot is intrigued, and this little puzzle might serve to distract him from sorrows of a Christmas past. Soon he is entangled with Frankie, an odd young man who claims to have met Lilly in her youth.

Talbot dismisses the notion o
Paperback, 296 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Booktrope Editions (first published September 1st 2014)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  145 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Frankie stood in the rain. It had started out mild, but a driving wind had kicked up, and nowhe was freezing cold. He stared at the building, looked up and across the windows, wondering which room she was in. He'd rehearsed what to say one hundred times over, but that had been in his head, in his imagination. The nursing home had been built in the sixties, straight lined, pebble dashed - no character. In the rain the building looked grim. The idea of going inside was daunting, and for t ...more
As editor of this book (with a royalty share), I can only say that Toni is a pleasure to work with; I'm looking forward to her next venture!
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was not my normal style but decided to go for and and I was glad I did.

I have not read anything else from this author, but could well be looking into her in the future.

This is a book full of secrets, never quite believing either side but wanting to at the same time. There are many layers to the story and as they unfold I was captivated and could not wait to find the truth at the end. This is where everything has been explained.

The characters in this book are not only believable but als
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What's the expression? You had me from hello? The front cover drew me in almost subliminally but this book had me from its teaser pages & it did not disappoint. Beautifully crafted & well-written with a plausible, intelligent, original plot & naturally flowing dialogue from real people - the author's characters are alive & all too human - i devoured page after page, swept along with complex unpredictable scenarios, all clearly, satisfyingly & credibly resolved. Highly recommended. I'm really loo ...more
Lynda Kelly
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very different but fascinating story.....not my usual sort of thing and I'm not sure now how I spotted it. It was a free download so probably via a helpful Bookbub email, I expect. I'm going to definitely buy the next one in the series as I see it not only features Jake but Frankie, too, so that's a clear bonus for me as I liked their relationship so much. I could've done with less of Frankie crying and weeping quite as much as he does but aside from that, they're two nice guys and qu ...more
Lis Carey
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, f-sf, mystery
Detective Inspector Jake Talbot has been having a bad year. He's spent most of it investigating a truly horrendous crime. It's finally resolved, but during it, his significant other, Claire, got tired of it and him and moved out, taking not just all her own things, but gifts she'd given him. It's now nearly Christmas, always a bad time of year for him because of a past family tragedy--but worse than ever this year, because of the Lassiter case and Claire's departure.

Not wanting to take his boss'
Eliza Leone
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
A romantic film noir style detective story with a modern twist!

Recommendation: Noir buffs and mystery readers alike will find something to enjoy in Visiting Lilly. ROmance readers may find they enjoy the more abstract romantic aspect, and paranormal readers will eat it up. A great read with tons of character and a wealth of keep you guessing moments.

Jake Talbot is a lonely, depressed cop with little to live for except his precious antiques and his job as an investigator. When the complaints of a
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Visiting Lilly

Time travel in a whole different light than most time travel novels. But that is the basic premise of this story. Throw in a missing person, possibly a murder victim or maybe trapped in another time. Someone has to unravel the mysteries and this author has presented the story in such a way that the reader feels involved, feels like actually being a part of the story and trying to solve the crime. Keeps the reader on the edge of your seat all the way to the end of the last page.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED IT! It has been such a long while since I have been so invested in a proper mystery book, and this book had an amazing paranormal twist. I mean seriously I can't stop gushing. I need more in this series!!

When I think about it, it has been a while since I loved a Paranormal book as much as I loved this one.

Great book, absolutely loved it!
Yvonne Davies
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-read
I downloaded this book on Kindle unlimited.
When DI Jake Talbot overhears Peter Charteris putting a complaint in about Frankie Hayward harassing his grandma. DI Talbot was intrigued and volunteered to look into the case. Thinking this case would be a distraction from his Christmas memories, he was curious to find out why a young man like Frankie is interested in a 90yr old woman. A simple case of harassment quickly becomes complex involving the MOD, astral projection, past meetings and a missing
Annette Spratte
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: simply-good
Visiting Lilly is not your average whodunit, which is to be expected when there is no body and the person accused of murder dabbles in astral travel.
So, is there a murder? While some people are deeply convinced there is, DI Jake Talbot starts snooping around and soon bumps into restrictions. Not one to be told off, he only digs harder. And what he uncovers is a plot bordering on the supernatural.
Rarely have I met a character in a book who gave me so much food for thought. He is not easily plac
Janet Cardillo
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truth or fiction

I enjoyed the story of finding lily, the goal appeared to be the actual visit. But what I enjoyed more was the building of the relationship between the 2 main characters. The tension between them, the fractures in the budding relationship were portrayed so realistically as realistic as the loving friendship that followed, beneficial to both. I wanted the book to go on and felt ambivalent over the ending. I have always toyed with the idea of time travel and this book didnt .disapp
Shannon Davison
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this book, but wow, I was sucked in right away. I couldn't put it down, I had to find out what happened. This was definitely a book worth reading. I voluntarily reviewed a copy via Quirky Blind Date with a Book.
Mistee  Lemaster
May 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book hooked me right from the get go! I loved that I would think I knew what was going on, just to be stumped again!!! Great book about life, love, mystery, and drama!!!
Sandra Olson
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Fantastic story. I had a devil of a time putting it down each time I had to stop reading. It grabs you from the start and marks you believe anything is possible.
Lesley Annette jones
A very good Story

I couldn’t put this down it’s not the sort of books I usually read but I thoroughly enjoyed it and will wait for further books by Author
Kathy Barr
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Unique ,suspenseful, lovable characters

Just had to finish this book. Such a great and original premise. Lives up to its potential! I loved Frankie and Detective Talbott.
Trisha Kelly
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating storyline

This book really drew me into the story. Very well thought out it gives you good for thought. Talbot comes across as an old school type, always the best.
Y. Correa
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I was given this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Let me start with this ... I have always been a fan of Ms. Allen's writing. She is an amazing story teller, and Visiting Lilly is no exception. Kudos on the spectacular work Ms. Allen.

Visiting Lilly is the story of Detective Inspector Jake Talbot and Francis "Frankie" Hayward--a man that claims he's traveled through time, but more than that, during his time travel he met and fell in love with a woman by the name of
Lilac Reviews
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries
The story is set in London. If you like Inspector Morse, I think you will like this novel by Toni Allen also. There are some superficial similarities. Morse loves beer and music. Talbot drinks a lot of tea and likes art and antiques. But what most struck me was how both of these men dislike a wrong being covered up by politics or by what club one belongs to (academic or financial). Talbot believes in fairness.

He has some tragedy in his life that causes some around him to discount him. He become
A kindle freebie crime fiction with a time travel /paranormal twist.
Susan Barton
When DI Jake Talbot learns there’s a complaint against a young man for simply attempting to visit an elderly nursing home resident, he’s intrigued. Why would Peter Charteris be so opposed to allowing Frankie Hayward to visit his elderly grandmother, Lilly? Jake Talbot soon finds there’s much more to the story than what appears on the surface. He’s thrust into the middle of a case that involves secrets, betrayal and quite possibly murder. Can he get to the bottom of it all before it’s too late fo ...more
John Naylor
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free via Goodreads First Reads.

I went into this book with no expectations and I was a little intrigued by the blurb. The story is set in the leafy suburbs of Surrey. The author's love of the area and local knowledge is apparent throughout the book.

The book is mostly a police story centring on Detective Inspector Jake Talbot. There is an important element in the book that is to do with astral projection which is something I have studied in the past and the author has exp
Catriona Macgregor
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Good debut for a crime story.
Lori Montgomery
Jul 25, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Profanity and obscenity

If there had been a warning, or review mentioning this, I wouldn’t have started the book. There are multiple cases of both profanity and obscenity. I’m sure some others would want to know that the book takes the Lord’s name in vain and there are instances of anti Christian sentiment. Unfortunately, I was already caught up in the story. It was very well written and I would like to read more about Frankie and Jake, but I won’t due to offensive language.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
2.5-3 stars. Started off enjoying it but then it just started to irritate me. Too fantastical and I felt I was going to drown in the amount of sobbing & tears flowing. Whilst I appreciate it's fiction, I found it hard to suspend belief and just go with it. I won't be reading any more by this author if they're in the same vein as this one. ...more
May 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-action
Different from the books that I normally read, but still good.
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the character, plot and style of writing of this new author for me. However, several times during reading Visiting Lilly by Toni Allen I felt confused about a character or their relation to other characters or the plot. Cannot really put my finger on it but this does not usually happen. Regardless, it does not greatly change my rating. I am definitely going to read another book by this author.
Annette Jordan
A strange combination of police procedural and paranormal phenomenon, this book was definitely a different reading experience, but one I did enjoy. I did feel however that it somehow fell slightly between two stools, as the paranormal time travel side of the story could have done with some expansion.
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time deciding on a star rating for this book. I loved the idea and I loved some of the execution, but their were parts that I felt dragged on that just should not of. I also had a hard time with some of the language, though I am not sure if this was because I am from the US and this took place in the UK. I have read other books that were in the UK and didn't struggle with the words as much as I did this one.

I really loved the story and how I was surprised of the twists in the book.
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Toni Allen is the author of the Jake Talbot Investigates mystery series, which began with Visiting Lilly (2014) and continues with Saving Anna (2015). She is currently working on the third book, Finding Louisa, due out in 2017.

As a photographer of note, a columnist, and an acclaimed tarot reader and astrologer, Toni draws on her extensive experience as a psychic to bring personal awareness of the

Other books in the series

Jake Talbot Investigates (2 books)
  • Saving Anna

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