Review of Living Candles by Teodora Matei






Living Candles is the Debut Novel by Teodora Matei and also the first of her work to be translated into English.



Review of Living Candles by Teodora Matei

This is a relatively short book that can easily be read in one sitting ( I know this because I actually did). Set in Bucharest, you are drawn away from the sights and sounds of the typical tourist attractions into the areas unseen by the travelling eyes.

This was written as you would imagine a normal police investigation would be. Well, it was how I would imagine it to be normal anyway. None of your Hollywood car chases and gunfights can be found here. Which was a breath of fresh air! This was just everyday average police officers trying to solve an attempted murder with little to go on.

I enjoyed how Teodora imagined her characters. The main protagonist Police Commissioner Anton Iordon, is average at best, with family and marital issues just making it by. His colleague Chief Inspector Matache in stark contrast, is a young, ambitious bachelor who is trying to make his mark in the force and prove himself. Both were completely relatable.

The plot was really good and had you looking at the main suspect the entire way through until right at the end when the twist appeared.

This is definitely a must read for any Mystery/Thriller fans and I can not wait for the 2nd book in the series to be released.

I received Living Candles by Teodora Matei for free in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour for Love Books Tours please see the links below.



About the Book 

The discovery of a woman close to death in a city basement sends Bucharest police officers Anton Iordan and Sorin Matache on a complex chase through the city as they seek to identify the victim. As they try to track down the would-be murderer, they find a macabre trail of missing women and they realise that this isn’t the first time the killer has struck. Iordan and Matache hit one dead end after another, until they decide they’ll have to take a chance that could prove deadly.



Author Bio

Teodora Matei comes from Ploiesti, on the outskirts of Bucharest and by day works at a design institute. Her first novel The Master of the Castle appeared in 2012. Followed by the steampunk-crime novel The Butterfly Man in 2015, written with SF/Romance/Thriller author Lucian-Dragos Bogdan.

Teodora has moved between fantasy, romance and crime- and back again, with the 


romantic All the Time in the World, SF novels The-One-That-Feels, Fathers Wings, The Master of the Castle and One Night at the Castle. She has also contributed to the Bucharest Noir, Gastro Noir and Timisoara Noir collections edited by Bogdan Hrib and Daniel Timariu.

Her Debut crime novel Living Candles, published by Corylus Books in 2019, featuring Bucharest Police Commissioner Anton Iordon is her first work to be translated into English.

A second Novel in the Bucharest Noir series Domestic Affair is on the way.



Corylus Books

Corylus Book is a new venture aiming to publish fiction translated into English. The people behind the company have very different backgrounds, but what brings them together is a deep appreciation of crime fiction and a strong interest in books from countries that have been under-represented in English.

It took a while before it turned out that everyone’s thoughts had been on similar lines – that they wanted to take a chance on presenting some of the great European crime fiction that wouldn’t normally make its way into English. With a mixture of language, translation and other skills between the four of them, it seemed the logical next step to take.

The first Corylus books are a pair of Romanian crime novellas, Living Candles by Teodora Matei and Zodiac 

by Anamaria Ionescu. You can find my review of Zodiac here.

There’s more to come in 2020 – starting with Romanian novelist’s Bogdan Teodorescu’s Sword, a powerful political thriller that has already been a bestseller in Romania and in its French translation. Sword will be available in May and will be followed la

ter in the year by the first of two books by Icelandic crime writer Sólveig Pálsdóttir. The Fox will be available in the second half of this year, followed by Shackles in 2021.

And there’s more to come, with a novel by Bogdan Hrib set partly in Romania and partly in the north-east of England, a second novel from Teodora Matei, and we’re talking to more exciting writers from across Europe about what we can do together……



Links and Information

Paperback Publication date: 15th April 2020
ISBN: 978-1-9163797–8
This is available to purchase now on Amazon
Follow Teodara Matei on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Follow Love Books Group via their Website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
Follow Corylus Books via their Website, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook



Thank you for taking the time to read my Review of Living Candles by Teodora Matei


  1. I think it’s really interesting reading translated book, gives you an opportunity to explore things from a new perspective… Particularly in genres that are so oversaturated like thrillers. Love the review! 📚💃

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