Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (August 17)

This Week In Books

Lypsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

I have just started reading The Narrow Bed by Sophie Hannah which is book 10 in the Culver Valley Crime series

The Narrow Bed

Blurb

What if having a best friend was the most dangerous thing you could do?

A killer that the police are calling ‘Billy Dead Mates’ is murdering pairs of best friends, one by one.
Before they die, each victim is given a small white book…
For months, detectives have failed to catch Billy, or work out what the white books mean. And then a woman, scared by what she’s seen on the news, comes forward.
Stand-up comedian Kim Tribbeck has one of Billy’s peculiar little books. A stranger gave it to her at a gig she did a year ago. Was he Billy, and does he want to kill her? Kim has no friends and trusts no one, so how – and why – could she possibly be Billy Dead Mates’ next target? Amazon

I have just finished The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan

The Perfect Girl

You will find the synopsis and an excerpt in yesterday’s post.

Next up I plan to read The Chemistry of Death by Simon Beckett, another choice from my 20 Books of Summer challenge.

The Chemistry Of Death

Blurb

Three years ago, David Hunter moved to rural Norfolk to escape his life in London, his gritty work in forensics, and a tragedy that nearly destroyed him. Working as a simple country doctor, seeing his lost wife and daughter only in his dreams, David struggles to remain uninvolved when the corpse of a woman is found in the woods, a macabre sign from her killer decorating her body. In one horrifying instant, the quiet summer countryside that had been David’s refuge has turned malevolent—and suddenly there is no place to hide.
The village of Manham is tight-knit, far from the beaten path. As a newcomer, Dr. Hunter is immediately a suspect. Once an expert in analyzing human remains, he reluctantly joins the police investigation—and when another woman disappears, it soon becomes personal. Because this time she is someone David knows, someone who has managed to penetrate the icy barrier around his heart. With a killer’s bizarre and twisted methods screaming out to him, with a brooding countryside beset with suspicion, David can feel the darkness gathering around him. For as the clock ticks down on a young woman’s life, David must follow a macabre trail of clues—all the way to its final, horrifying conclusion. Amazon

What are you reading this week? Do share!

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (August 16)

First Chapter

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

This week my opener comes from The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan who wrote the amazing debut Burnt, Paper, Sky

The Perfect Girl

Blurb

To everyone who knows her now, Zoe Maisey – child genius, musical sensation – is perfect. Yet several years ago Zoe caused the death of three teenagers. She served her time, and now she’s free.
Her story begins with her giving the performance of her life.
By midnight, her mother is dead.
The Perfect Girl is an intricate exploration into the mind of a teenager burdened by brilliance, and a past that she cannot leave behind. Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

SUNDAY NIGHT

The Concert

ZOE

Before the concert begins, I stand inside the entrance to the church and look down at the nave. Shadows lurk in the ceiling vaults even though the light outside hasn’t dimmed yet, and behind e the large wooden doors have been pulled shut.
In front of me the last few members of the audience have just settled into their places. Almost ever seat is full. The sound of their talk is a medium-pitched rumble.
I shudder.

So not a lot to go on there but has it whetted your appetite? Do you want to know more? Let me know in the comments below.

Posted in #20 Books of Summer 2016, Book Review, Books I have read

You Should Have Known – Jean Hanff Korelitz #20booksofsummer

Book 11

Psychological Thriller 4*s
Psychological Thriller
4*s

Grace Sachs, a marriage counsellor has written a book to warn women to pay attention to the clues the men they meet give them. She loftily imagines that this book will change the lives of those women who read her book, far more than the most popular book on the self-help shelf labelled relationships. Grace’s book isn’t about keeping a man, it is about not choosing the wrong one. Written during her spare time from her work, the book has been bidded upon and Grace is appearing in magazines and been invited for a TV interview when one week, she isn’t able to get hold of her husband, Jonathan, a renowned pediatric oncologist.

As readers we don’t hear from Jonathan himself, all that we know about him is filtered through Grace’s eyes, and we know, because we’ve been told that she is an excellent judge of character. She needs to be, it’s her job to get to the root of the problem and point out to the warring couples in front of her that he told you that he didn’t respect women, or he showed you that he drank too much so there isn’t much point complaining five years down the road. In short Grace is a little bit full of herself.

Grace is busy, not only does she have her practice, she has a twelve-year-old son Henry, who she mollycoddles, a book to promote and a school fund-raising committee for the best private school in New York. She also has her weekly visits to her father and step-mother Eve, a woman who she’s never taken to and she certainly doesn’t like Eve’s two grown-up children. Having fallen out with her best friend soon after her wedding Grace and Jonathan don’t have an awful lot of friends and so when one week she isn’t sure exactly where Jonathan is when she can’t get hold of him, she doesn’t have anyone to lean on.

The book is quite a wordy one, but one of those books where the description of rooms, clothes and people do matter, we are being immersed in Grace’s life which is at times uncomfortable, because she does have fixed ideas and we all know that she’s going to get her comeuppance for being quite so judgemental about others!

When one of Grace’s fundraising committee members dies the community goes into overdrive from the moment the headmaster sends the first email hinting at a tragedy. The section where we watch the news spread through the parents is so accurate, if the subject matter wasn’t so serious it would be funny. The book scores highly at taking a look at a certain ‘type’ of parent, well mother, and whilst not actually parodying them, it comes close – again only funny while you forget that there really are people like this walking the earth, and you may well have met a local variation of them, worse still, you may have actually had to have a conversation with them.

Although the tension builds at a steady pace, this is by no means a thriller in the conventional sense. This is a book about a woman coming to terms with the fact that she ‘made a mistake’ and the resultant shame that she experiences because of that particularly because she stuck her head above the parapet and proclaimed that she knew best! Funnily enough I had a lot of sympathy for Grace, whilst not liking her particularly.

This book kept me interested, there were enough things to wonder about as Grace retraced her steps, and the decisions she’d made, during her life and if the end was a little too neatly sewn up, well that’s ok, sometimes we do want the character’s to be ok following a trauma, we can accept that in real-life scars would linger but hey this is fiction!

Published UK: 6 March 2014
Publisher: Faber & Faber
No of Pages: 448
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (August 14)

Weekly Wrap Up

Life in Jersey has continued apace over the last week with plenty of work, a mixture of weather and our very special Battle of Flowers which is like entering a bygone era and yet is an endearing event where we try to hold onto a tradition, that appears at best quaint. I have only once attended the daytime parade but have gone to the moonlight parade a few times which is finished off by a firework display but according to the BBC local news 13,000 people watched the floats decorated in flowers, the dancers, the bands and other similar attractions parade their splendour down the avenue this year.

battle of flowers float

Picture courtesy of Travel Jersey

Aside from that excitement, this time next week I will have seen my beautiful daughter get married and at the same time I will acquire the new moniker of mother-in-law #WatchingTheWeather so we are full pelt in the final preparations.

Last Week on the Blog

My week started with a review of a book featuring my ongoing obsession with poisoners, specifically historical ones, with Kate Colquhoun’s book about Florence Maybrick, Did She Kill Him?

On Tuesday my first paragraph post came from You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz which tells the story of Grace Sach’s a marriage counsellor who writes a book advising women to be aware of their instincts and not marry the wrong man. Just before publication her husband isn’t where he says he was and a whole chain of events is started.

Wednesday’s post, as usual featured the books I’m reading this week which included Lie In Wait by G.J. Minett

Thursday was a big day for me as Cleopatra Loves Books blog was three and I treated you all to another Book Spine Poetry effort!! Thank you all for the huge number of lovely comments which even included a poem, I was overwhelmed and if I haven’t replied yet, please don’t think I haven’t read the comment, tweet or Facebook message – I have, and I loved them all.

Friday saw me publish my review of the aforesaid Lie In Wait which I loved. The main protagonist really got under my skin and it’s one of those books that I haven’t quite got out of my head yet.

Stacking the Shelves

Somehow despite not having a moment to myself the books keep flowing in and this week I have added the following:

Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst, author of How I Lost You is out on 25 August 2016 and the synopsis sounds suitably intriguing for me to want to know more!

Before I Let You In

Blurb

If you don’t know who is walking through the door, how do you know if you should let them in?
Karen is meant to be the one who fixes problems.
It’s her job, as a psychiatrist – and it’s always been her role as a friend.
But Jessica is different. She should be the patient, the one that Karen helps.
But she knows things about Karen. Her friends, her personal life. Things no patient should know.
And Karen is starting to wonder if she should have let her in . . . NetGalley

I haven’t read anything by Val McDermid so her standalone novel Out of Bounds which is due to be published on 25 August 2016 caught my eye.

Out of Bounds

Blurb

‘There were a lot of things that ran in families, but murder wasn’t one of them . . .’
When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car, a routine DNA test could be the key to unlocking the mystery of a twenty-year-old murder inquiry. Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is an expert at solving the unsolvable. With each cold case closed, justice is served. So, finding the answer should be straightforward, but it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.
Meanwhile, Karen finds herself irresistibly drawn to another case, one that she has no business investigating. And as she pieces together decades-old evidence, Karen discovers the most dangerous kind of secrets. Secrets that someone is willing to kill for . . . NetGalley

and I have a copy of the hotly marketed My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood

My Sister's Bones

Blurb

Kate Rafter is a high-flying war reporter. She’s the strong one. The one who escaped their father. Her sister Sally didn’t. Instead, she drinks.
But when their mother dies, Kate is forced to return to the old family home. And on her very first night she is woken by a terrifying scream. At first she tells herself it’s just a nightmare, a legacy of her time in Syria.
But then she hears it again.
What secret is lurking in her mother’s garden? And can Kate get to the truth…before someone gets to her NetGalley

PicMonkey Collage TBR

TBR WATCH
Since my last post I have read 3 books, and gained 3 so the total is unsurprisingly exactly the same standing at 174 books!
85 physical books
68 e-books
21 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Lie In Wait – G.J. Minett

Psychological Thriller 5*s
Crime Thriller
5*s

There are times when I’m reading that I just know that I’m in a pair of safe hands and this is exactly what I felt when I opened the first page of Lie In Wait. That despite not really knowing at the start what this book was going to be about, I could immediately tell though, that this was a different type of book to this author’s debut novel The Hidden Legacy, despite sharing some of the same themes.

The book opens with Owen, our protagonist, clearly a young man who struggles with the social side of life, but is exceptionally good with numbers. Owen has met up with one of his fellow students from the days before he was removed from secondary school to be home-schooled by his mother. As I said, luckily I felt I was in a pair of safe hands because this tale doesn’t go in the same direction as you might expect from such a character. Yes the book is about Owen but there is a whole cast of others that all have pasts and presents that are full of colour and surprises.

Without giving too much away Owen is hired by his old schoolmate Abi to redesign her garden and it is Abi who is the main link to the web of characters that flesh out the storyline. Abi is married to her childhood sweetheart, Callum who is a highly professional networker, hence the ready funds to use on a fancy garden. But there is a twist, Callum and Owen have their own history and the discord runs deep. Despite being successful in his own right Callum appears slightly put out in the change in Owen in the intervening years now he is a tall, well-built owner of his own gardening business.

At its heart there is a straightforward mystery, someone is dead and the police are looking to find out who caused the death. Surrounding this obvious crime there are many smaller crimes being committed, with some dastardly characters some with good intentions, many not so. The reader meets diverse characters such as security guards in the local shopping centre, policemen and friends of the main characters. What you can be sure of is that all of these characters matter to the plot in one way or another, no pointless filling for this author! Each of the chapters is headed with the name of the character narrating and the time period that it covers – yes it is one of those books that keep you on your toes switching not only character but time period. Thankfully the author has managed to give each of the narrators a very distinctive voice so despite the complexity of construction, following the plot as a reader is easy.

The switch in characters definitely kept me hooked particularly when the author tantalisingly ends a chapter with a revelation that you just know is going to have massive consequences and then the time period switches away from that particular cliff-hanger to provide a separate clue or maybe a red-herring to excite you. But what makes this novel so particularly clever, is that yet again G.J. Minett has produced a book that isn’t all action, rather it is has the essence of a psychological thriller in the purest sense. Not everything is spelt out for the reader but as information is revealed be it directly or ‘between the lines’ the reader is invited to think about the background to some of the characters and really evaluate why they behave the way they do.

It is important to me to have a sense of not only the time and the characters but of place. This book is set around Chichester, not a place I’ve been, but I didn’t for a moment doubt that this place exists; with its fancy houses and back alleys, the busy road and its retail park as well as the cinema where Owen treats himself to a solitary film and the fish and chip shop, where he buys his treat for afterwards. is all evocatively described I can believe I’ve visited, more than once.

I’ll be honest there are some parts of the plot which seemed to stretch my credulity, if not to the limit, at least to ‘ooh that’s a bit tight’ point, but by this time I was invested in the story, I wanted to know what happened because like the characters or despise them, they had all become important to me. After all this is what good storytelling is all about!

All in all this was a deeply satisfying read which has real depth to it which despite a complex plot which has been thought out to the nth degree it is an easy and enjoyable read. As an aside the construction of this novel would lend itself very nicely for TV, I would watch it even now I know what happens at the end!!

I received an advance copy of this book from the publishers Bonnier Zaffre, and this review is my unbiased thanks to them and the author for a superb read. Lie In Wait will be published in eBook format on 25 August 2016 with the paperback coming out in November 2016.

Published UK eBook: 25 August 2016
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
No of Pages: 400
Genre: Crime Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Uncategorized

Cleopatra Loves Books is Three Today

Birthday Cake 3 Years

Yes that’s right, three whole candles on my birthday cake to celebrate Cleopatra Loves Books birth three whole years ago!

Who could have predicted that when I started uploading my reviews onto this blog that it, and of course all you lovely readers, would become such a huge part of my life. It is no exaggeration to state that blogging has been a focus during difficult times, and the enjoyment I get from the interaction with other book bloggers is enormous. So this post is my thanks to all of you – your support, encouragement, warm wishes and of course all those lovely book recommendations has been outstanding.

Book MountainBlogging has also allowed me to ‘meet’ some of my favourite authors on social media and I would like to thank them, and the PR companies that write me emails offering me books to read which I might never have discovered. My reading has been truly enriched by blogging and I have a TBR mountain to show for it!
slice of cake

Please all help yourself to a virtual slice of cake!!

When I wrote my post to celebrate my first birthday I listed seven bloggers who I particularly enjoyed interacting with and I’m delighted to say all except one blog, are still going strong and still providing wonderful posts to delight me. Were you on the list?

Of course there are many more blogs that I follow and love to read, these range from long-established blogs to newer additions and boy do you all test my willpower!

So now to the facts and figures:

This is my 1,016th post over the three-year, although it should be said that the posts that go back to the beginning of 2013 were those I’d previously posted on Amazon for that year having been reviewing on there since 2010. So I should by now, know what a good review consists of – I’m not sure that I do, but I have a lot of fun writing them and I do hope you enjoy reading them.

The top five reviews on my blog over its entire life are… dum dum dum… in reverse order:

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins from January 2015
Burnt Paper Sky Gillian Macmillan from August 2015
Disclaimer by Renee Knight from April 2015
Sleep Tight by Rachel Abbott from March 2014
The Book of You Claire Kendal from February 2014

The Book of You continues to get almost daily views and has clocked up nearly 850 in its  lifetime as can be seen in the next list

The top five reviews on my blog over the last year, again in reverse order are:

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard from April 2016
My Husband’s Son by Deborah O’Connor from June 2016
The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish from April 2016
Burnt Paper Sky by Gillian Macmillan from August 2015
The Book of You by Claire Kendal from February 2014

Of course I don’t just write reviews I participate in memes, tags and the yearly Reading Bingo in December where I look back over my books that have made an impact (or merely just fill one of the squares) which fear not, will be back again later this year.

One of the cleverest tags this year was the Book Spine Poetry which I found fiendishly difficult but I decided to have another stab at it. So I present a birthday poem for you all – thank you for being simply fabulous!

 

A Year of Wonders Spine Poetry

 

Year of Wonders

White Nights, plain truth,

Atonement

A fatal inversion

In the dark, raven black

Monday mourning

Hidden lives, bad blood.

Thank you all for making the decision to start this blog such a rewarding experience.

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (August 10)

This Week In Books

Lypsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

At the moment I’m reading Lie In Wait by G.J. Minett which is out in eBook format on 25 August 2016.

Lie In Wait

Blurb

Owen Hall has always been different. A big man with an unusual fixation, one who prefers to put his trust in number patterns rather than in people, it’s unsurprising that he’d draw the attention of a bully.
Or a murder investigation.
And, in the storm of emotions and accusations that erupts when a violent killing affects a small community, it soon becomes clear that a particularly clever murderer might just get away with it.
All they’d need is a likely suspect . . . Goodreads

That was after I finished Did She Kill Him?: A Victorian Tale of Deception, Adultery, and Arsenic by Kate Colquhoun

Did She Kill Him

Blurb

In the summer of 1889, young Southern belle Florence Maybrick stood trial for the alleged arsenic poisoning of her much older husband, Liverpool cotton merchant James Maybrick.
‘The Maybrick Mystery’ had all the makings of a sensation: a pretty, flirtatious young girl; resentful, gossiping servants; rumours of gambling and debt; and torrid mutual infidelity. The case cracked the varnish of Victorian respectability, shocking and exciting the public in equal measure as they clambered to read the latest revelations of Florence’s past and glimpse her likeness in Madame Tussaud’s.
Florence’s fate was fiercely debated in the courtroom, on the front pages of the newspapers and in parlours and backyards across the country. Did she poison her husband? Was her previous infidelity proof of murderous intentions? Was James’ own habit of self-medicating to blame for his demise?
Historian Kate Colquhoun recounts an utterly absorbing tale of addiction, deception and adultery that keeps you asking to the very last page, did she kill him? Goodreads

You can read my review of Did She Kill Him? here

Next I am going to be reading You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz, a psychological thriller about a marriage counsellor who doesn’t know where her husband is or what he may have done!

You Should Have Known

See yesterday’s post for the synopsis and an excerpt from this book

What are you reading this week? Please share in the comments envelope below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (August 9)

First Chapter

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

This week my opener comes from You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz, another read from my 20 Books of SummerYou Should Have Known

Blurb

Grace Sachs, a happily married therapist with a young son, thinks she knows everything about women, men and marriage. She is about to publish a book called You Should Have Known, based on her pet theory: women don’t value their intuition about what men are really like, leading to serious trouble later on.
But how well does Grace know her own husband? She is about to find out, and in the place of what she thought she knew, there will be a violent death, a missing husband, and a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a very public disaster, and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for herself and her child. Goodreads

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

CHAPTER ONE
YOU JUST KNOW

Usually people cried when they came here for the first time, and this girl looked as if she would be no exception. She walked in with a briefcase and a swagger and shook Grace’s hand like the cool professional she clearly was, or at least wished to be. Then she sat on the couch and crossed one long twill-encased leg over the other. And then, sort of abruptly, she seemed to register where she was, with a wallop.

So what do you think? This has mixed reviews and I’m desperately hoping I’m going to enjoy it.

Please leave your thoughts and links in the envelope below!

Posted in #20 Books of Summer 2016, Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Did She Kill Him? – Kate Colquhoun #20booksofsummer

Book 10

Non-Fiction 5*s
Non-Fiction
5*s

Florence Maybrick is fast becoming the specialist subject I  would choose for Mastermind as she has popped up in several of the books I’ve read about poisoners, during my current fascination with this method of murder, as well as on her own in Mrs Maybrick written by Victoria Blake.

For those who are less familiar with this Victorian lady living in Liverpool and tried for murder in August 1889, in fact I was reading this 127 years to the day the verdict was passed. Florence had publicly argued with her husband in the spring of 1889 and then almost immediately afterwards he fell ill, seemingly rallied and then died. Shortly before his death the first hint of poisoning being the cause of his malaise were whispered in the well-upholstered corridors of Battlecrease House in suburban Aigburth, the house the family rented in order to keep up a suitable presence amongst their peers.

Battlecrease house

Battlecrease House

With arsenic being the suspected poison much was made of a dish of fly-papers found soaking by the maid Bessie in Florence’s bedroom and this added to whispers about the appearance and smell of the food sent to the sick room altering whipped up a hotbed of suspicion in the household. When the nursery nurse the fabulously named Alice Yapp, on opening a letter written by Florence to another man decided to hand it to a family friend, the die was cast for Florence and James’s elder brother Michael was summoned home to take control in the last days of James’s life.

I really enjoyed Kate Coluhoun’s book about this interesting crime the mystery of whether Florence did kill James, something which I think is still in question today. She starts the book by building up Florence with a more sympathetic characterisation than some authors have treated her to, but more than that, by using her imagination against a backdrop of superb research, treats the reader to a version of what life was like for the twenty-six year old American woman living the life as a wife to a cotton trader.

In a while she would call Bessie to take it to the post. For the present her tapering fingers remained idle in the lap from which one of her three cats had lately jumped, bored by her failure to show it affection.

Today, the twenty-six year old was wonderfully put together her clothes painstakingly considered if a little over-fussed. Loose curls, dark blonde with a hint of auburn, were bundled up at the back of her head and fashionably frizzed across her full forehead.

Of course Kate Colquhoun can’t know for sure how Florence felt for sure but her account seemed as likely as any other to me, and by writing in this style the book is far more readable than one where we are just presented with the known facts. The backing up of her attestations with historical accuracy especially in respect to the change of heart that the nation had as the trial proceeded was fascinating. Many commentators were convinced of Florence’s guilt at the start of the trial but opinion in some quarters at least turned, and the talking point became less about Florence’s transgressions and more about the facts. To help the reader understand these fluctuations the change in attitudes is painted using the arts as a barometer with regular notes on the type of romantic fiction Florence herself read, as well as the still well-known contemporary fiction. Paintings of the time are also looked at with an eye on how women were viewed at this time and the hints of how things were changing. This after all was at the start of the suffragette movement and this caused alarm for those who held the ‘old’ social mores in high regard.

After starting in such a sympathetic manner to Florence the end of the book, by contrast then almost re-examines the evidence from another perspective, re-examining the questions that had been given a plausible answer earlier in the book. I found this intriguing and of course underlines the fact that no-one really knows whether the pretty young woman tried to kill off her husband or whether circumstances conspired against her to make it look as though she might have.

This was altogether an interesting and thoughtful look at the life of a middle-class wife in late Victorian England where times were just beginning to change but too late for those who were stuck with a role that didn’t provide them satisfaction in the narrow role they were forced to live.

I’ve heard great things about Kate Colquhoun’s previous book Mr Briggs’s Hat so you can expect to see that one appear on my bookshelf to read and review soon.

Published UK: 15 October 2014
Publisher: Overlook Press
No of Pages: 419
Genre: Historical True Crime
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (August 7)

Weekly Wrap Up

Nothing exciting to report from the ranch this week all fairly normal except I managed to smash my phone’s screen which resulted in it having to be fixed – this in turn meant that I was around less on social media than normal this week. But it’s all better now and normal life can resume once more.

Last Week on the Blog

On the blog last week I posted a review one of my favourite reads of the year so far; I See You by Clare Mackintosh meaning that with two five-star reads under her belt that she is now firmly on my ‘must-read’ list of authors. As in her first book, her twelve years in the police force, including a stint in CID adds to the realism of what was a very creepy book, albeit one with a beautiful cover!

My opening paragraph on Tuesday was from the Queen of Crime; Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, the review of this book was posted later in the same week!

Wednesday’s post featured the books I am reading this week, sadly I didn’t take to Eleanor Catton’s The Rehearsal at all and it is a DNF. It is a long time since I have tossed a book aside, I fear I wasn’t in the mood for the arty language and after struggling through the first few chapters have put this aside. I’m a bit disappointed as this was one of my 20 Books of Summer but since I was never going to get to number 20 anyway…

Following my review of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd the poll indicates that my readers favourite Agatha Christie novel is Murder on the Orient Express!

Friday found me talking/rambling about the fact that the end of a book is so important and yet, in order to avoid spoiling the book for other readers, is something I rarely emphasise in my reviews. I then went on to discuss the end of series which the common method for finishing seems to be the death of the protagonist.

Yesterday had me posting my review of Rat Run by Caro Ramsay a police procedural set in Scotland (I do seem to have read a far few Scottish crime novels lately) which has a definite bite to it!

Stacking the Shelves

I was contacted by Bonnier Zaffre to ask if I would like to read G.J. Minett’s second book Lie In Wait. This man’s debut novel The Hidden Legacy was an outstanding read, so after thinking for a millisecond, I swiftly said ‘yes please’ Lie In Wait will be published in eBook format on 25 August 2016.

Lie In Wait

Blurb

Owen Hall has always been different. A big man with an unusual fixation, one who prefers to put his trust in number patterns rather than in people, it’s unsurprising that he’d draw the attention of a bully.
Or a murder investigation.
And, in the storm of emotions and accusations that erupts when a violent killing affects a small community, it soon becomes clear that a particularly clever murderer might just get away with it. NetGalley
All they’d need is a likely suspect . . .

And Fiction Fan kindly let me know  that I’d missed the announcement of the Agatha Christie Blogathon organised by Christina Wehner for 16 to 18 September 2016. It is no secret that I am a huge fan of this author but the re-reads I have been doing over the last couple of years have always been the Poirot books, or standalones because I wasn’t a fan of Miss Marple. I am now biting the bullet and giving Miss Marple a chance, and to be scrupulously fair I researched to see what other readers thought the best one was. I am going to read and review The Murder at the Vicarage but of course in order to do so, I needed a copy of the book!

The Murder at the Vicarage

Blurb

Agatha Christie’s first ever Miss Marple mystery, reissued with a striking cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.
’Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe,’ declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, ‘would be doing the world at large a service!’
It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth. And one which was to come back and haunt the clergyman just a few hours later. From seven potential murderers, Miss Marple must seek out the suspect who has both motive and opportunity. Amazon

So that’s me, what have you found to read this week?

PicMonkey Collage TBR

TBR WATCH
Since my last post I have read 3 books, discarded 1 and gained 2 so the total this week is now standing at 174 books!
87 physical books
68 e-books
19 books on NetGalley