Posted in 5 Of the Best

Five of the Best (March 2011 to 2015)

5 Star Reads

As I have now been reviewing for over five years I thought I’d highlight my favourite book for each month from 2011 until 2015 to remind myself of the good ones. When we are talking five years ago, they must be good if I still remember them! Here is January’s and February’s top five, but onto March!


The Book of Lies by Mary Horlock was one of my first reads through the Amazon Vine program, a book that I couldn’t resist as it is set in Guernsey – I do wonder why there are no similar books set in Jersey, it seems unfair that being smaller they get all the good books written about them including a recent favourite The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Schaffer & Annie Burrows

The Book of Lies


Life on the tiny island of Guernsey has just become a whole lot harder for fifteen-year-old Cat Rozier. She’s gone from model pupil to murderer, but she swears it’s not her fault. Apparently it’s all the fault of history.
A new arrival at Cat’s high school in 1984, the beautiful and instantly popular Nicolette inexplicably takes Cat under her wing. The two become inseparable–going to parties together, checking out boys, and drinking whatever liquor they can shoplift. But a perceived betrayal sends them spinning apart, and Nic responds with cruel, over-the-top retribution.
Cat’s recently deceased father, Emile, dedicated his adult life to uncovering the truth about the Nazi occupation of Guernsey–from Churchill’s abandonment of the island to the stories of those who resisted–in hopes of repairing the reputation of his older brother, Charlie. Through Emile’s letters and Charlie’s words–recorded on tapes before his own death– a “confession” takes shape, revealing the secrets deeply woven into the fabric of the island . . . and into the Rozier family story. Goodreads

2012 yr

Another Vine offering in March 2012 introduced me to Camilla Läckberg, an author who is now one of my favourites with the sixth in the Patrick Hedstrom and Erika Falck series; The Drowning

The Drowning

Christian Thydell’s dream has come true: his debut novel, The Mermaid, is published to rave reviews. So why is he as distant and unhappy as ever?
When crime writer Erica Falck, who discovered Christian’s talents, learns he has been receiving anonymous threats, she investigates not just the messages but also the author’s mysterious past…
Meanwhile, one of Christian’s closest friends is missing. Erica’s husband, Detective Patrik Hedström, has his worst suspicions confirmed as the mind-games aimed at Christian and those around him become a disturbing reality.
But, with the victims themselves concealing evidence, the investigation is going nowhere. Is their silence driven by fear or guilt? And what is the secret they would rather die to protect than live to see revealed? Amazon


In March 2013 I found an another now must-read author, Louise Phillips who wowed me with Red Ribbons

Click on the book cover to read my review
Red Ribbons


When the body of a missing schoolgirl is found buried in the Dublin Mountains, her hands clasped together in prayer, two red ribbons in her hair, the hunt for her killer reaches epic proportion with the discovery of a second girl’s body 24 hours later.
Desperate to find the murderer, police call in criminal psychologist Kate Pearson, to get inside the mind of the serial killer before he strikes again. But the more Kate discovers about the killings, the more it all begins to feel terrifyingly familiar as her own past threatens to cloud her investigations.
Ellie Brady has been institutionalised for 15 years, for the killing of her twelve-year-old daughter, Amy. After all this time, does Ellie hold the key to finding the killer of the Dublin schoolgirls?
What would you do if you were accused of killing your own daughter? What if those closest to you turned their back on you? And when everyone stopped listening, what next, when even you believe you’re guilty?


March 2014 was a bumper month for 5 star reads but I chose Precious Thing by Colette McBeth for the sheer addictiveness that caused me to try and cook and read which was an epic fail!

Click on the book cover to read my review

Precious Thing

Remember the person you sat next to on your first day at school? Still your best friend? Or disappeared from your life for good?
Some friendships fizzle out. Rachel and Clara promised theirs would last for ever.
They met when Rachel was the new girl in class and Clara was the friend everyone wanted. Now in their late twenties Rachel has everything while Clara’s life is spiralling further out of control. Then Clara vanishes.
Imagine discovering something about your oldest friend that forces you to question everything you’ve shared together. The truth is always there. But only if you choose to see it. Goodreads


The best book for March this year has to go to a book I’ve been waiting an age for; Humber Boy B by Ruth Dugdall which deals with a difficult subject in an intelligent and sensitive way, definitely a book to make you think!

Click on the book cover to read my review

Humber Boy B

A blur in the sky, a brick no, a trainer, red falls to the water… There seems to be a scuffle… a hand grabbing at the dangling child. Then, with the awfulness of inevitability, the hanging child drops, gravity takes him. A child is killed after falling from the Humber Bridge. Despite fleeing the scene, two young brothers are found guilty and sent to prison. Upon their release they are granted one privilege only, their anonymity. Probation officer Cate Austin is responsible for Humber Boy B s reintegration into society. But the general public s anger is steadily growing, and those around her are wondering if the secret of his identity is one he actually deserves to keep. Cate s loyalty is challenged when she begins to discover the truth of the crime. She must ask herself if a child is capable of premeditated murder. Or is there a greater evil at play? Amazon


A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

28 thoughts on “Five of the Best (March 2011 to 2015)

  1. Oh, you’ve got some great reads here, Cleo. I like the Camilla Läckberg series quite a lot. And I keep hearing good things about the Dugdall, too. One I may very well put on my list…


  2. No crossover this month – I haven’t read any of these! It’s like a trip back to the glory days of Vine reading your choices – even though I haven’t read them, I remember discussions going on about some of your early choices. And it was indirectly via Vine that I eventually got round to reading Camilla Lackberg, though I’ve still got to catch up on that series…

    These posts are going to be killers for the TBR…


  3. Oh, I love this feature that you do. And, in fact, check out my blog on Thursday for my own “version” of this (in which I give you partial credit). 🙂

    OK, I don’t know about that first book, but Guernsey and secrets and letters and murder. Yes, please. I have that Red Ribbons book on my shelf right now. Obviously need to pull it out and read it. I discovered Camilla Lackberg this year and need to read book #2. Bought the Humber Boy book recently. And had not heard of Precious Thing, but will also check that out. Sigh. I should just call my TBR list “Cleo’s blog”. LOL


    1. Oh Kay, I’m so glad you’ve decided to do your own version, I will be popping by to check it out. You made me chuckle with the TBR comment, and you really must pull that Red Ribbons off the shelf.


  4. I always enjoy Lackberg! I still haven’t finished Humber Boy B–I’m so nervous about how it will turn out. The tension makes me keep putting down. I really need to finish it!


  5. I’ve only read the Lackberg of these…and am very tempted by the rest (though will probably skip the Louise Phillips as I’ve sworn of serial killers, though I did enjoy the one book of hers I’ve read).

    Agree with Sarah this is a great series of posts…though bad enough to get tempted by everyone’s current reading, let alone temptations from the past 🙂


  6. Is The Drowning the sixth in the series?? I keep seeing them in charity shops and buying them; I really should read them sometime! The first book I don’t know at all! And I’m looking forward to Number Boy B. Great list. And I love harrowing! Makes real life like the Sound of Music! Must check out FF’s 5 of the best!


    1. Yes, I’m afraid so – it starts with The Ice Princess which I went back to read after this one – I think I missed number four out but then got up to date until the last one (book 8) Buried Angels. I do think that’s partly why I read harrowing, the same reason as programs like ‘how clean is your house?’ etc are appealing! 😉


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