Posted in Writing


Charlotte waves at her mother across the crowded lawn. Little red boots on, cowboy hat crooked over her blonde pigtails, she’s been looking forward to this party for weeks. Moments later, she disappears without a trace…

Kathy Hamilton drives away from her sister-in-law’s pristine-white suburban house in Maple Falls certain she’s left her daughter in safe hands. On the hottest day of the year, a birthday is the perfect excuse to gather friends, family and neighbors around the pool for a barbecue. But when she returns hours later to find her little girl has vanished, her world shatters.

Nobody laughing and drinking in the garden that day saw anything unusual.

Kathy’s eldest daughter is anxious and hardly eating. Is she sick with worry for her sister, or hiding a terrible secret?

The phone rings and rings, but why can’t Kathy get hold of the babysitter?

And is she imagining it, or when her husband rushed from work to join the search, was he wearing a different shirt to the one she saw him leave the house in that morning?

As the temperature rises, and long-buried secrets begin to surface, it’s clear that even the most perfect families keep devastating secrets. But in a town as small as this, is there anyone you can trust?

A totally gripping and utterly addictive page-turner that will have you racing through and reeling at the twists. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Gone Girl and Teresa Driscoll, it will keep you up reading all night long!

Available on amazon, Kindle Unlimited and Audible.

Amazon link:

About the author

Wendy is a former coroner’s assistant turned crime writer who lives with her husband and 3 rescue cats.

Her first novel (The Girl Who Died, 2015) was longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition. Since then she has written two crime series – the latest follows Detective Madison Harper as she tries to reclaim her life after spending six years in prison for a murder she didn’t commit. Books 4 and 5 in this series will be published in 2022, along with the standalone crime thriller The Birthday Party.

Wendy is very active on social media, with updates about her books, her characters and her cats! You’ll find her here:


Twitter: @WendyDranfield

Facebook: Wendy Dranfield Author

Pinterest: Wendy Dranfield

Instagram: Wendy Dranfield Author


Wendy has given her Madison Harper series a rest and written a standalone psychological thriller. Set in the town of Maple Creek, it is an absorbing read which slowly unwraps secrets and lies within a well-heeled family.  A five-year-old child goes missing at a birthday party.  Who could have taken her and why? It is a parent’s worse nightmare. But scratch the surface and there are things about the feted Hamilton family the locals in Maple Creek know nothing about. The disappearance of Kathy Hamilton’s daughter Charlotte (Charley) is about to change all that, bringing some unwanted intrusions into the life of controlling matriarch Connie Hamilton.

Everyone is a suspect and detective Chase Cooper is caught in a race against time – tracking down the little girl’s abductor and locating her as soon as possible.

A worthy five star read…

My thanks to Wendy Dranfield, Bookouture and Netgalley for an ARC of The Birthday Party in exchange for an honest review.


Directs fictional destinies. Living on the edge of a wonderful Georgian city. Addicted to Arthurian legend, good wine, and rock music. Writes...mostly about love


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