Book Review,  Reviews

Death or Ice Cream? – Gareth P Jones

Larkin Mills: The Birthplace of Death!
Larkin Mills is no ordinary town. It’s a place of contradictions and enigma, of secrets and mysteries. A place with an exquisite ice cream parlour, and an awful lot of death. 

An extraordinary mystery in Larkin Mills is beginning to take shape. First we meet the apparently healthy Albert Dance, although he’s always been called a sickly child, and he’s been booked into Larkin Mills’ Hospital for Specially Ill Children. Then there’s his neighbour Ivor, who observes strange goings-on, and begins his own investigations into why his uncle disappeared all those years ago. Next we meet Young Olive, who is given a battered accordion by her father, and unwittingly strikes a dreadful deal with an instrument repair man.

Make sure you keep an eye on Mr Morricone, the town ice-cream seller, who has queues snaking around the block for his legendary ice cream flavours Summer Fruits Suicide and The Christmas Massacre. And Mr Milkwell, the undertaker, who has some very dodgy secrets locked up in his hearse. Because if you can piece together what all these strange folks have to do with one another . . . well, you’ll have begun to unlock the dark secrets that keep the little world of Larkin Mills spinning . . .


Larkin Mills is a town like no other and this book is a book like no other. I loved every page, every new character I met. There were so many little stories and I loved how they were all connected. There were mysteries and I’m still not 100% on everything that happened, but I still loved it. 

Gareth P Jones writes amazing stories which are filled with mysteries and brilliant characters so I wasn’t surprised to see this in Death or Ice Cream?  I think my favourite was Park, closely followed by the Salesman who I was so intrigued by and the little boy, Oscar, because I could tell so much about how he was feeling. I really hope the clip clomping creature went passed him and his dads car but who knows… 

I loved the back ground story, The Soothsayer and the Dwarf. It transforms the reader back in time to when Larkin Mills didn’t have a name. And it was awesome to read about, especially with the story before it setting up the egg. The egg of the dead fascinated me too, as I’m sure it will most people. 

As Death or Ice Cream? is aimed at around 9 to 12 year olds, its not scary as so much. It just alludes to thing. There’s the occasional shark bite and a lot of death, as the name suggests. But there’s nothing nightmare-inducing really. It’s probably been one of my favourite books to read this year because it was so fun and exciting the entire way through, even when Oscar was sat in a cupboard!I definitely recommend it, especially if you have a pre teen you are buying books for this Christmas! 

Death or Ice Cream? Was published in January 2016 by Hot Key Books. My copy was sent to me in exchange for an honest review by the publisher – sorry it took so long!

For more information or to buy the book, please visit:

Amazon (affiliate link) | Hive | Goodreads | Hot Key Books

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