Friday Finds (October 24)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS

This week I was thrilled to receive a copy of A Meditation On Murder by Robert Thorogood, the creator of the BBC One TV series Death in Paradise which I love as much for the beautiful scenery as the clever murder mysteries. The author read his first Agatha Christie aged ten and has been in love with the murder mystery genre ever since.

A Meditation on Murder

Blurb

Aslan Kennedy has an idyllic life: Leader of a Spiritual Retreat for wealthy holidaymakers on one of the Caribbean’s most unspoilt islands, Saint Marie.
Until he’s murdered, that is. The case seems open and shut: when Aslan was killed he was inside a locked room with only five other people, one of whom has already confessed to the murder.
Detective Inspector Richard Poole is hot, bothered, and fed up with talking to witnesses who’d rather discuss his ‘aura’ than their whereabouts at the time of the murder. But he also knows that the facts of the case don’t quite stack up. In fact, he’s convinced that the person who’s just confessed to the murder is the one person who couldn’t have done it. Determined to track down the real killer, DI Poole is soon on the trail, and no stone will be left unturned. Goodreads

The annual Guide Dogs for the Blind big book sale was on last weekend, not to be confused with the smaller fundraiser for Hardback books or even the fundraiser for the paperback books which I’ve also visited this year. After allegedly choosing too many books at the last sale I was incredibly restrained and only picked a few books this time…

JGDFB book Sale

The Colour Purple by Alice Walker that I read many moons ago…

The Colour Purple

Blurb

Set in the deep American south between the wars, this is the classic tale of Celie, a young poor black girl. Raped repeatedly by her father, she loses two children and then is married off to a man who treats her no better than a slave. She is separated from her sister Nettie and dreams of becoming like the glamorous Shug Avery, a singer and rebellious black woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the support of women that enables her to leave the past behind and begin a new life. Goodreads

Atonement by Ian McEwan which is one of my favourite books of all time but appears to have grown a pair of legs and moved across the water to England with my daughter and never returned.

Atonement

Blurb

Ian McEwan’s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose.
On a hot summer day in 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia’s childhood friend. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives—together with her precocious literary gifts—brings about a crime that will change all their lives. As it follows that crime’s repercussions through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century, Atonement engages the reader on every conceivable level, with an ease and authority that mark it as a genuine masterpiece. Goodreads

Those two clearly don’t count as they are simply replacements for lost books!

So the counting only begins here with  a copy of A Capital Crime by Laura Wilson

A Capital Crime
Blurb

It is winter, 1950 in a dingy part of London. John Davies confesses to strangling his wife and baby daughter, and for DI Ted Stratton of West End Central, it promises to be a straightforward case. When Davies recants, blaming respectable neighbour Norman Backhouse for the crimes, nobody, including Stratton, sees any reason to believe him. Davies is convicted and hanged, but later, after a series of gruesome discoveries, Stratton begins to suspect that there has been a terrible miscarriage of justice.
Her marriage in tatters, ex-MI5 agent Diana Calthrop is determined to start a new life, but, despite a promising beginning, she soon finds herself in trouble both financially and emotionally. And with a seemingly unstoppable killer of women on the loose, she is very vulnerable indeed. Amazon

Having been seduced by the mentions of Phryne Fisher on Confessions of a Mystery Novelist blog which if you haven’t visited yet, you really must. Margot Kinberg dreams up titles linked to songs and then uses this subject to write a post that discusses a number of books. Absolutely ingenious. Anyway I’d not read any books featuring Phryne Fisher so I pounced upon a copy of Urn Burial (the 8th in the series) by Kerry Greenwood.

Urn Burial

Blurb

The redoubtable Phryne Fisher is holidaying at Cave House, a Gothic mansion in the heart of Australias Victorian mountain country. But the peaceful surroundings mask danger. Her host is receiving death threats, lethal traps are set without explanation, and the parlour maid is found strangled to death. What with the reappearance of mysterious funerary urns, a pair of young lovers, an extremely eccentric swagman, an angry outcast heir, and the luscious Lin Chung, Phrynes attention has definitely been caught. Her search for answers takes her deep into the dungeons of the house and into the limestone Buchan caves. What will she find this time? Goodreads

And I found some more Agatha Christie novels starting with her first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles
The Mysterious Affair at Styles

Blurb

Captain Hastings, wounded at the Front, is recuperating at Styles Court in Essex. The house belongs to the Inglethorpe family, friends from his childhood. When Emily Inglethorpe is found poisoned, it is fortunate for Hastings that he bumps into his old friend Hercule Poirot, who can help to solve this horrible murder. When the evidence seems to point to one particular family member it is up to Poirot, through his methodical investigation, to prove the real murderer is someone else entirely. Amazon

Murder on the Links, the second Poirot novel.

Murder on the Links

Blurb

On a French golf course, a millionaire is found stabbed in the back…
An urgent cry for help brings Poirot to France. But he arrives too late to save his client, whose brutally stabbed body now lies face downwards in a shallow grave on a golf course.
But why is the dead man wearing his son’s overcoat? And who was the impassioned love-letter in the pocket for? Before Poirot can answer these questions, the case is turned upside down by the discovery of a second, identically murdered corpse… Amazon

 

and finally I have found a Tommy and Tuppence novel in deference to my blogging friend Fiction Fan, another blog full of excellent and honest reviews on a wide range of subjects, who has urged me to try one.

The Secret Adversary

The Secret Adversary

Blurb

Tommy and Tuppence, two young people short of money and restless for excitement, embark on a daring business scheme – Young Adventurers Ltd. Their advertisement says they are ‘willing to do anything, go anywhere’. But their first assignment, for the sinister Mr Whittington means Tuppence Beresford poses as an American-but she and Tommy will have to play detective when her fake identity results in a real threat to her life. Goodreads

So I think I did really well this week and my £8 went towards to the total of £19,656.05 which was raised.

What have you found to read this week?

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The Whispers – Lisa Unger

Novella  4*'s

Novella
4*’s

I normally shy away from books which have a supernatural theme but when I saw the first part of a novella trilogy, written by the author of In The Blood, a psychological thriller which I really enjoyed, as much for the fact that this was a book that gave me many different issues to think about whilst being a cracking good read. So I decided to unstick my feet from the mud and give this a go!

Lisa Unger wastes no time in revealing her chief protagonist, Eloise to her readers, a likeable character who has a husband who cherishes his family, an awkward elder daughter, Emily, as well as Amanda the youngest daughter who shares her mother’s outlook on life. All too soon this picture is smashed to pieces as Alfie and Emily die in a car crash. This awful event causes Eloise to have psychic visions that she doesn’t want, like or know how to react to but the visions she has can’t be ignored and Eloise needs to act, fast.

I loved the writing and I was so totally engaged in this short story that I was completely ok with the psychic parts, helped in no small part that these were linked to a mystery and the fact that Eloise was more sceptical of them herself. Lisa Unger is careful to keep the threads running through the book so Eloise is supporting Amanda while she comes to terms with the awful tragedy as well as suffering from grief herself. I found all the interactions from the beginning where a typical family was getting ready for work and school to those after the car crash perfectly pitched. The pace of this novella was good although the end came far too soon for my liking and I will need to pick up the next in the series, The Burning Girl, to find out what happens to Eloise next.
So, not only did I read a novella, the first one this year, but it also had spooky stuff in it and I liked it confirming that Lisa Unger is a truly talented writer indeed.

I’d like to thank the publishers Gallery for my copy of this novella that is due out on 27 October 2014, although in the UK Simon & Schuster have a publication date of 4 December 2014, in return for my honest review.

My review of In The Blood

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Deutschland – Martin Wagner

Contemporary Fiction 3*'s

Contemporary Fiction
3*’s

This is a strangely disturbing book about three generations of a family who each have a member that has caused psychological or physical pain to someone else and perhaps, although I’m not sure a hint at what they might have learned from the experience.

This is an atmospheric book with the description of Richard and Suzannah’s house which is close to the sea is easily imagined, especially Richard’s study where he entertains Suzannah’s grandchildren, Tony, Sam and Jeff when they are not off completing dares that the eldest Tony sets. With Sam the middle child and only girl striving not to back down while protecting five year old Jeff from the worst of the excesses of Tony’s imagination on one journey through the woods they come across a disused power station which only gives rise to more potential danger.
Meanwhile Kate who is Suzannah’s daughter and aunt to the three children, goes on holiday to Germany to visit her mother’s birthplace. She appears on edge because of the atrocities her Jewish mother suffered and then decides to set her boyfriend a bizarre challenge.

Kindly Richard also has a secret which is based upon a long ago act, keeping this secret is of upmost importance to him but he is just as keen to revisit the event.

Although the tales link, this did feel like reading three entirely different accounts and I’m still not entirely sure what to make of the book. It is clever although I knew the event that Richard finally revealed which unfortunately meant that for me the power of this revelation was much reduced. This book is also well-written, especially the scenes featuring the children but I found Kate’s story a little too contrived and forced.

A short book of approximately 150 pages I think this is a book I will ponder over for some time.

I received this book from Amazon Vine in return for an honest review. Deutschland was published on 31 August 2013.

 

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WWW Wednesday (October 22)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading Soul of Discretion by Susan Hill which is the eighth book in the Simon Serrailler series.

The Soul of Discretion

Blurb

The cathedral town of Lafferton seems idyllic, but in many ways it is just like any other place. As part of the same rapidly changing world, it shares the same hopes and fears, and the same kinds of crime, as any number of towns up and down the land.
When one day DC Simon Serrailler is called in by Lafferton’s new Chief Constable, Kieron Bright, he is met by four plainclothes officers. He is asked to take the lead role in a complex, potentially dangerous undercover operation and must leave town immediately, without telling anyone – not even his girlfriend Rachel, who has only just moved in with him.
Meanwhile, Simon’s sister Cat is facing difficult choices at work that will test her dedication to the NHS. But an urgent call about her and Simon’s father, Richard, soon presents her with a far greater challenge much closer to home.
To complete his special op, Simon must inhabit the mind of the worst kind of criminal. As the op unfolds, Lafferton is dragged into the sort of case every town dreads. And Simon faces the fight of his life. Amazon

I have just finished the novella The Whispers by Lisa Unger which tells the tale of Eloise Montgomery who develops psychic powers following the death of her husband and eldest daughter. This is the first part of a three part series which are being published a month apart.
My review will follow shortly…

The Whispers

Next I am going to read The Night Hunter by Caro Ramsay

The Night Hunter

Blurb

Elvie McCulloch’s sister Sophie has been missing for 57 days. She went out for a run – and never came home. Several young woman in the area have disappeared in similar circumstances, and Elvie’s family fears the worst.
As Elvie is driving to her new job late at night, the naked, emaciated body of a young woman crashes from high above onto an oncoming car. Elvie recognises her as Lorna Lennox, who has been missing for weeks. But why was she up there? Where had she been all this time? And why was she running for her life?
Teaming up with retired detective Billy Hopkirk, who has been retained by the mother of one of the missing girls to find her daughter, Elvie determines to find out the truth. But as the pair alternately collaborate with and infuriate investigating police detectives Anderson and Costello, they find themselves up against a terrifying enemy. Someone who has killed before. Someone who will kill again, for pure enjoyment. Someone they call The Night Hunter. NetGalley

What are you reading this week?

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Teaser Tuesday (October 21)

Kindle,jpg

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week is from The Whispers by Lisa Unger

The Whispers

Blurb

It’s a day like any other for Eloise Montgomery–until tragedy strikes. While she is recovering from a horrible accident that takes the lives of her husband and oldest daughter, and as she works to help her younger daughter move forward, Eloise experiences her first psychic vision. Though she struggles to understand her newfound gifts, Eloise finds a way use them to save lost women and girls–for whom her help may be the only way out…Amazon

My Teaser

“How are my beautiful girls this morning,” said Alfie,” entering the room like sunlight. And, each of them like heliotropes, turned to face him with a smile.
Alfie was the favourite parent and always had been. He was the tree-climber, the player of “dangerous tricks,” the storyteller, the tear dryer, the bear-hugger. He was the nightmare slayer, the surprise party thrower Oh how they all adored him.

Taken from just a couple of pages into the story, what do you think? Want to know more?

Please share your teasers in the comments box below!

 

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The Twilight Hour – Nicci Gerrard

Contemporary Fiction 4*'s

Contemporary Fiction
4*’s

This is a thoughtful and well-written departure from the crime fiction that Nicci Gerrard normally writes as part of her partnership with Sean French, under the pen name Nicci French. In The Twilight Hour we meet Eleanor Lee, an elderly blind woman of ninety-four coming to terms with the fact that her life is nearly over she doesn’t want her papers, of which there are lots to be sorted out by her children. She is so concerned that they will learn more about her than she wishes that she attempts to burn the evidence, an act that causes her children to take a stand and insist that she move from her isolated house. Eleanor decides that before she goes someone independent should sort through all her possessions and Peter is employed to carry out the task. Peter is taken into her confidence as he catalogues her books, her photos and her private papers while her children organise the distribution of the larger items.

Ultimately the core of the book is the secrets that Eleanor doesn’t want revealed, even after she has gone but there is so much more to this book than that with themes of guilt, loss and love vying with the trusting and very touching relationship that builds between Eleanor and her keeper of secrets, Peter. Peter is a young man just starting out in life whilst Eleanor looks back over her life wishing that it had been different despite to all outward appearances it having been a good life; she had a loving marriage, four children and now there is a large collection of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her secret dates back to the days leading up to WWII when Eleanor was a young teacher, soon to be waving off her charges on a train to wherever they were being evacuated to and I was eager to find out what had happened that caused such an impact even over seventy years later.

Nicci Gerrard paints a picture of a wonderful large and shabby house full to the brim with relics from Eleanor’s life, the rocking horse and dolls house vying for attention alongside the grandfather clock and the piano. Eleanor herself dresses up in vintage clothes each day, not realising that the velvet skirt has worn patches or that the hem is crusted with dirt from her beloved garden. The method of revealing what actually happened all those years before is done using flashbacks as Eleanor recounts her story to Peter. The pace is perfect with the breaks in the story being supplemented with more perfectly observed details about Eleanor’s life and the relationships she has with various other family members. Aside from the touching relationship that grows between Eleanor and Peter, the supporting characters are well-defined despite the fact that in keeping with the novel, they are the background to the main events.

A delightful story, brilliantly told starring a fantastic cast of characters, if you love tales of passion betrayals and consequences, try this one.

I’d like to thank the publishers Penguin Books (UK) for allowing me to read this book in return for this honest review. The Twilight Hours will be published on 23 October 2014.

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Victorian Murderesses – Mary S. Hartman

Historical Crime 5*'s

Historical Crime
5*’s

There is something quite fascinating about women who murder, and judging by the amount of contemporary reporting of the details about the cases featured in this book, nothing much has changed over time. In this book the author has selected an Englishwoman and a Frenchwoman for each chapter based upon the circumstances, rather than the method of their crimes. All the women featured are from the middle-classes and a certain amount of conjecture is used to paint a picture of this class of women from the details of their cases the reasoning of the author being that these women’s lives weren’t documented or studied in the way of the lower classes and so using these cause celebres can give us a glimpse behind the drawing room curtains of their lives. I’m not completely convinced by this argument but for some of the broader details it works, for instance the chapters that touch upon contraceptive gives us an idea of how widespread or acceptable this was in Victorian England for the middle-classes.

The beauty of this book is threefold; the details of the crimes committed the resulting investigation and if appropriate trial, the popular opinion at the time of the guilt or innocence of those accused using contemporary media and lastly the particular social issues that may have led these women to act outside the law and kill another person. Each case presented was interesting and appeared to be well-researched, although one of the downsides of reading this kind of book on the kindle is that following the notes as you go along is very time-consuming so I tended to wait until I’d finished a chapter to catch-up on these. The fact that there were two women per chapter means that the reader does need to concentrate once the initial setting of the scene has happened, as the author switches between the two subjects to compare and contrast the difference between the two societies in a number of different spheres, including popular opinion and expectations.

The author states in the preface:

These accused daughters, wives and mothers have little to teach any would-be twentieth-century practitioner about the art of murder; nearly all of them bungled badly in the ac, and those who got away with it relied upon methods that required special circumstances and relations between the sexes which no longer obtain.

And that is precisely what makes this study so interesting, women can no longer act coy in the witness box, but they could, and were expected to, in Victorian England and so many of the more salacious details are hinted at rather than baldly stated both at the trial and the resultant reporting.

The cases cover the years 1840-1890’s and the subjects covered are:
Marie Lafarge and Euphemie Lacoste which covers the use of arsenic in matriomony
Madeline Smith and Angelina Lemoine who were both between school and marriage when they were accused of killing their lovers
Celestine Doudet and Constance Kent who were both spinsters when they murdered
Florence Bravo and Henriette Francey the so called new women who were defying the old order of society
Gabrielle Fenayrou and Adelaide Bartlett both wives of shopkeepers who were reported to have committed adultery
Florence Maybrick and Claire Reymond who were allegedly victims of the double standards held at the time.

I found this book both interesting and informative although the language at time is quite dry, this is a study rather than a book for entertainment but one that I will be seeking a physical copy of on my bookshelf to supplement my Victorian crime selection.

This book was originally published back in 1976 but has been re-released in 2014 for a new generation of readers by Dover Publications who were kind enough to give me a copy of this book in return for my honest review.

My recommended further reading:

The Suspicion of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale – Constance Kent is the chief suspect in the The Murder at Road Hill House and features in chapter three of this book.
Death at the Priory by James Ruddick – The murder of Charles Bravo is the subject of this non-fiction book which explores all the possible culprits to this horrific murder by poison. (chapter four in this book)
A Very British Murder by Lucy Worsley – an excellent look at the fascination that we have with a ‘good murder’ and the reporting that fed this desire.

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The Lost Empress – Steve Robinson

Mystery (Genealogical) 5*'s

Mystery (Genealogical)
5*’s

On 29 May 1914 having left Quebec for Liverpool, the Empress of Ireland, an ocean liner sank following a collision with SS Storstad, a Norwegian collier. Of the 1,477 people on board that night 1,012 people died, the largest Canadian maritime loss of life in peacetime, one hundred years later Jefferson Tayte is trying to track down the true fate of Alice Stillwell a second class passenger on the liner.

Empress of Ireland

The Lost Empress is the fourth in the Jefferson Tayte series where the affable genealogist who is more prone to taking on more dangerous assignments than is surely normal for a profession, has an assignment that takes him across the Atlantic to England in search of the truth about the Admiral’s daughter. Armed with a locket in possession of a descendent of an Alice Dixon living in the US who has a strong suspicion that Alice didn’t die on 29 May 1914 as the records indicate but if not why does no-one know?

I have enjoyed all the stories featuring JT, he is a likeable man who has turned to making genealogy a business despite not knowing his own birth family, this story arc continues in this episode but otherwise each book can be read as a stand-alone with each book concerning a different period of history and its own dangerous adventure it finding the truth. This book is no different, within hours of landing in England, JT is turned away by the first name on his list, the descendent of Alice Stillwell, leaving only slightly perturbed, he is used to this kind of behaviour, he is nearly run off the road in a seemingly calculated move. When he gets to the next name on his list he finds that the man has been recently murdered but all is not lost the friendly policeman agrees to let JT help with the investigation in case it is related to the one hundred year old mystery.

JT’s investigation leads him into many areas including spies during WWI and those tasked to catch them, the Secret Service Bureau. Spying was dangerous, if caught it was a matter of high treason and the sentence was to be shot by firing squad at the Tower of London. Steve Robinson adds colour to JT’s tale by alternating chapters from Alice Stillwell with his present day investigation, a device that has worked well in all these books and lifts the subjects from pure research into a character that the reader can relate to.

Another fantastic episode and once again an informative and well-researched read especially as it details activities that were never mentioned as part of the history of WWI I learnt at school!

I’d like to thank the publishers Amazon Publishing for my copy of this book which I received in return for this honest review. The Lost Empress will be published on 21 October 2014

Previous books by Steve Robinson featuring Jefferson Tayte:

In The Blood
Two hundred years ago a loyalist family fled to England to escape the American War of Independence and seemingly vanished into thin air. American genealogist Jefferson Tayte is hired to find out what happened, but it soon becomes apparent that a calculated killer is out to stop him.
In the Blood combines a centuries-old mystery with a present-day thriller that brings two people from opposite sides of the Atlantic together to uncover a series of carefully hidden crimes. Tayte’s research centres around the tragic life of a young Cornish girl, a writing box, and the discovery of a dark secret that he believes will lead him to the family he is looking for. Trouble is, someone else is looking for the same answers and will stop at nothing to find them.

To The Grave
A curiously dated child’s suitcase arrives, unannounced and unexplained, in a modern-day Washington suburb. A week later, American genealogist Jefferson Tayte is sitting in an English hotel room, staring at the wrong end of a loaded gun.
In his latest journey into the past, Tayte lands in wartime Leicestershire, England. The genealogist had hoped simply to reunite his client with the birth mother she had never met, having no idea she had been adopted. Instead, he uncovers the tale of a young girl and an American serviceman from the US 82nd Airborne, and a stolen wartime love affair that went tragically wrong.

The Last Queen of England
While on a visit to London, American genealogist Jefferson Tayte’s old friend and colleague dies in his arms. Before long, Tayte and a truth-seeking historian, Professor Jean Summer, find themselves following a corpse-ridden trail that takes them to the Royal Society of London, circa 1708.
What to make of the story of five men of science, colleagues of Isaac Newton and Christopher Wren, who were mysteriously hanged for high treason?
As they edge closer to the truth, Tayte and the professor find that death is once again in season. A new killer, bent on restoring what he sees as the true, royal bloodline, is on the loose…as is a Machiavellian heir-hunter who senses that the latest round of murder, kidnapping, and scandal represents an unmissable business opportunity.

I wrote a post last year about the rise of a genre in response to those of us who are interested in genealogy which you can read here which includes brief reviews for the previous JT books.

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Friday Finds (October 17)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS

This week I have two novella’s by Lisa Unger, first up is The Whispers

The Whispers
Blurb

It’s a day like any other for Eloise Montgomery—until tragedy strikes. While she is recovering from a horrible accident that takes the lives of her husband and oldest daughter, and as she works to help her younger daughter move forward, Eloise experiences her first psychic vision. Though she struggles to understand her newfound gifts, Eloise finds a way use them to save lost women and girls—for whom her help may be the only way out…NetGalley

and the second being The Burning Girl

The Burning Girl

Blurb

Ten years after Eloise Montgomery discovers her psychic abilities, she is a full-fledged working psychic, with a partner and a business. Now, in The Burning Girl, she’s discovering some disturbing things: secrets about her genealogy that are, perhaps, best left in the past; that her granddaughter Finley has powers of her own; and that not all of Eloise’s visitors actually want to be helped. Some of them are just looking for trouble… NetGalley

I also have a copy of The Soul of Discretion by Susan Hill which is the eighth in the Simon Serrailler series, I think I read one and two some years ago! I know I swore I wouldn’t join series part-way in but I weakened…

The Soul of Discretion

I’ve also got a copy of The Heart of Winter by Emma Hannigan after enjoying the author’s previous book The Summer Guest which I read earlier this year.

 

The Heart of Winter

Blurb

Holly Craig’s family have lived happily in Huntersbrook for generations but when times grow hard, even she must admit defeat and sell off their once-successful stables.
The three Craig children, Lainey, Joey and Pippa find themselves locked in a fight to keep their beloved Huntersbrook; dare they transform it into one of Ireland’s most sought after countryside venues?
Renovation work is well underway when life rears its ugly head and everything stops in its tracks. The Craig family is forced to reassess what matters and although they no longer live at Huntersbrook, can the house work its magic even so … and lead them into the light once more? Goodreads

and lastly I have a copy of Interlude by Rupert Smith

Interlude

Blurb

A compelling examination of how secrets can tear one family apart; the tale moves from the repressed society of 1930s England where the consequences of two men s actions still reverberate through their families in the present day. Bored housewife and mother Helen has always known her grandfather Edward was a famous author, but her parents had severed connection with him whilst she was still young, refusing to discuss the matter. After embarking on a whirlwind affair with her writing tutor, Helen decides to visit her reclusive grandfather and discover more about the identity of the mysterious Rose in his most famous novel, Interlude, who has baffled critics for years. Their brief meeting reveals little but when her grandfather dies and makes Helen his executor, she discovers a stash of his diaries and an unpublished manuscript. They reveal a long hidden secret and a forbidden love affair with devastating consequences for her whole family. Helen s journey is interspersed with Edward’s works which slowly reveal the ambiguity of truth and the depth of deception that permeates the family.
A stirring look at not just the treachery of family secrets but of how truth can be buried within a text and how society imposes limits on love. Amazon

What have you found to read this week?

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WWW Wednesday (October 15)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading The Lost Empress by Steve Robinson, the latest from the genealogical mystery series featuring Jefferson Tate

The Lost Empress

Blurb

On a foggy night in 1914, the ocean liner Empress of Ireland sank en route to England and now lies at the bottom of Canada’s St Lawrence River. The disaster saw a loss of life comparable to the Titanic and the Lusitania, and yet her tragedy has been forgotten. When genealogist Jefferson Tayte is shown a locket belonging to one of the Empress’s victims, a British admiral’s daughter named Alice Stilwell, he must travel to England to understand the course of events that led to her death. Tayte is expert in tracking killers across centuries. In The Lost Empress, his unique talents draw him to one of the greatest tragedies in maritime history as he unravels the truth behind Alice’s death amidst a backdrop of pre-WWI espionage. NetGalley

I have recently finished a truly chilling tale, The Cold Cold Sea by Linda Huber, where a young child, Olivia goes missing on a beach. Olivia’s mother refuses to leave the holiday cottage desperate to know what happened to her daughter. Another mother is getting her daughter ready for her first day at school but the teacher soon realises that there is something wrong with Hailey…

Click on the book cover for my review

The Cold Cold Sea

Next I am going to read The Twilight Hour by Nicci Gerrard, one half of the author team Nicci French.

The Twilight Hour

Blurb

Eleanor Lee is fiercely independent. She has lived alone well into her nineties, despite her now near-total blindness. Now, finally, she has been persuaded by her children to move into a home.
She employs Peter, a recent graduate nursing a broken heart, to spend the summer sorting through her attic – papers, photographs, books and letters – ahead of the move.
These fragments of her own history unleash in Eleanor a long-concealed story of forbidden love, betrayal, passion, grief and self-sacrifice; and in their unlikely friendship, something is unlocked in Peter’s heart, too. NetGalley

What are you reading this week? Do share!

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