It Ends at Midnight By Harriet Tyce: Review/Giveaway/Interview

Mar 4, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kathleen Costa

This week we have a review of It Ends at Midnight by Harriet Tyce along with an interesting interview with Harriet. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.

It Ends at Midnight by Harriet Tyce
Review by Kathleen Costa

Hogmanay. Tragic. Two dead. It ends at midnight.

Sylvie is quite driven and actively pursuing her goal to one day be a Crown Court judge. She has an broad-ranging case load perfect for the application with sixteen years as a barrister and a part time assignment as a Deputy district judge in Highbury Youth Court. She has a new boyfriend willing to be a confidante, as well as an excellent chef and inventive lover. However, the current case, a robbery with three young defendants, over which she is presiding has dredged up long-ago memories, and her close friend has become obsessed with the desire to make good with the past. Keeping one’s promise to her friend challenges Sylvie’s hopes to keep the past at bay.

Tess has been Sylvie’s friend for ages, but her demeanor has changed and her twenty-year marriage is failing. When Sylvie shares her news of a new beau, Tess is distracted and instead drops more than one bombshell: she’s been diagnosed with a serious illness, and, therefore, is determined to reconcile with the past. She wants a marriage vow renewal ceremony on Hogmanay (Scottish New Year), ignoring, it seems, that the original wedding had issues Sylvie is reluctant to relive. But, what concerns Sylvie the most is the fact that Tess wants to bring up the past, reconnect with a long-ago classmate, and address some difficult truths. Sylvie fears it would expose their youthful indiscretions tainted by alcohol, drugs, and sex, that lead to a homicide.

It Ends at Midnight Earns 5+/5 Judge Robes … Couldn’t Put Down Gem!
Sylvie wants the past buried deep, and Tess wants to reconcile with it, so whose body is impaled on the railing? Harriet Tyce has won the case with her latest crime fiction novel It Ends at Midnight. There’s the past, one decades spent forgetting, another past, one where secrets are hidden, there’s the present, one that exposes lies and reveals truth, and there’s the future where retribution is exacted. The complicated time line is easy to follow with details of an upcoming tragedy woven together with the present and past all meant to reveal the truth.

Tyce keeps some details hidden, doling them out slowly about events leading to a homicide twenty-five years ago and the continued angst that bubbles up to the surface to challenge friendships, reignite emotions, and create a powder keg that ends with a shocking, even karmic, conclusion. Sylvie also finds herself a victim of an accusation of impropriety that threatens her reputation and career and sets up a spiraling of emotions contributing to the anguish. The characters were just as absorbing, realistic, and compelling as the challenges they face, and the novel was intense with several adult themes. As truths are closely scrutinized, it caused for me to have several “Oh, my-s!” and literal gasps. And the verdict is … Brilliant! Definitely a contender for “Best of 2023.”

Check it out! Harriett Tyce joined Kings River Life with a guest post: Mysteries Set in Edinburgh. She offered fascinating insights into hers and other works set in this historic city highlighting the light and dark of the city.

Harriet Tyce Novels
Blood Orange (2019)
The Lies I Told (2020)
It Ends at Midnight (2023)

Be a Big Harriet Tyce Fan!
Harriet Tyce was born and grew up in Edinburgh, graduated from Oxford University, and after passing required requisites, she worked as a criminal barrister for nearly ten years. Her second chapter in life, however, was writing crime fiction novels: Blood Orange, The Lies You Told, and It Ends At Midnight with a fourth book currently in the works.

Website: Harriet Tyce, Author
Facebook: Author Harriet Tyce

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying year 2 of retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband of 26+ years.

Interview with Harriet Tyce:

KRL: How long have you been writing?

Harriet: I wrote poetry when I was a teenager but stopped after my English teacher told me it was too self-indulgent, and he was right! I started again when I was 39, so have been writing seriously for 11 years.

KRL: When did your first novel come out, what was it called, and would you tell us a little about it?

Harriet: My first novel Blood Orange was published in February 2019. It’s about a criminal lawyer whose career is going brilliantly as she takes on her first murder case but whose personal life is spinning out of control.

Harriet Tyce

KRL: Have you always written mysteries/suspense and if not, what else have you written?

Harriet: Yes, they’re the books I most like to read.

KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series?

Harriet: I was born and brought up in Edinburgh so it’s a setting that means a lot to me. In terms of the characters, I wanted to explore a toxic friendship between two women who have known each other for decades so that presented itself perfectly for the two main characters.

KRL: Do you write to entertain or is there something more you want the readers to experience from your work?

Harriet: My first novel explored issues in relation to domestic violence and coercive control, and my second the dangers of overly competitive and pressurizing parenting.

This third novel was more personal, and I guess I wanted to look at the way that decisions we make as teenagers can leak out into our future lives in ways that we could never predict. Primarily, though, I want to entertain as if there isn’t a good story to it, no one will have any interest in what you might have to say.

KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just work whenever you can?

Harriet: I try to write in a professional day so every day between 9-5 but life often gets in the way and the words get sticky. Routine is best though, ideally.

KRL: What is your ideal time to write?

Harriet: In the morning but in reality, whenever I can.

KRL: Do you outline? If not, do you have some other interesting way that you keep track of what’s going on, or what needs to happen in your book when you are writing it?

Harriet: I outline but the first draft never sticks to it. I tend to blast through the first draft as fast as I can, working out the plot as I go along, then nail it into shape through the process of editing.

KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?

Harriet: I found it very difficult to get an agent. That took me about seven years and many, many rejections, but once I was able to get an agent, I had a publishing deal within 6 months. I was very lucky indeed.

KRL: Do you have a great rejection/critique or acceptance story you’d like to share?

Harriet: I’m afraid that all of my rejection stories are very standard – they hurt, but I was able to move on. No one was especially nasty or brutal to me. Again, I know this is very lucky – I have heard some terrible stories from friends about ways in which they’ve been mistreated.

KRL: Most interesting book signing story-in a bookstore or other venue?

Harriet: Sorry there really isn’t one – my readers seem to be very nice and no weirdness.

KRL: What are your future writing goals?

Harriet: I would like to keep being published, basically. I’m a Sunday Times bestselling author in the UK so it would be fantastic one day to be a NY Times bestseller!

KRL: Who are your writing heroes?

Harriet: Tana French, Gillian Flynn, Donna Tartt, Barbara Vine.

KRL: What kind of research do you do?

Harriet: As little as possible! That’s why so many of my characters are lawyers, because I used to be a criminal-defense lawyer. I rely heavily on Google!

KRL: What do you like to read?

Harriet: Mysteries, psychological thrillers, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, classics. Anything and everything, to be honest.

KRL: What are your favorite TV shows or movies?

Harriet: I’ve recently very much enjoyed The Bear and also Mare of Easttown.

KRL: Have you any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?

Harriet: Just keep going. Don’t be afraid to start something new. Rejection hurts, but you have to keep going.

KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Harriet: I get very easily scared! I often have to read the end of books because I can’t deal with suspense and there’s no way I can watch any kind of horror show on television.

KRL: Do you have any pets?

Harriet: I have an 11-year-old labradoodle called Coco and a one-year-old Golden Retriever called Isla. They are both adorable.

KRL: Is there anything you would like to add?

Harriet: It’s been great fun answering these questions – thanks for the opportunity!

To enter to win a copy of It Ends at Midnight, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “midnight,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 11, 2023. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the Amazon link. You can also click here to purchase the book.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Sometimes the past should stay there.
    Sounds like a good read. thanks

  2. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  3. It Ends at Midnight by Harriet Tyce sounds like an exciting book that will keep me reading until midnight!

    • Another new author to me. You really do your work finding them. I would love to win and read this one. The author sounds thoroughly enchanting and her book mysterious.

  4. New author to me. Would really like to read the book.

  5. We have a winner!


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