Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking the Shelves Part II (October 25)

Stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared.

Book Stach GDFTB

‘What more books?’ I hear you cry.
I’m afraid so, because yesterday it was the annual Guide Dogs for the Blind Book Sale and if you saw how many books were there you’ll realise just how restrained I’ve been by spending a total of £9.50 of my (very) hard earned pennies on this beautiful lot. It’s ok, no need to panic, my friend has a stack to share too and my daughter, back on the island for this event for the first time since 2008 has also stocked up.

JGDFB book Sale

So what did I get? First up Other People’s Secrets by Louise Candlish. Louise Candlish is a an author I discovered earlier this year when I read The Sudden Departure of the Frasers and then followed this up with The Disappearance of Emily Marr.
Other People's Secrets


An enthralling tale of two families who meet on vacation, and the secrets that bind them
Ginny and Adam Trustlove arrive in Italy torn apart by personal tragedy. Two weeks in a boathouse on the edge of peaceful Lake Orta is exactly what they need to restore their faith in life—and each other. Twenty-four hours later, the silence is broken. The Sale family have arrived at the main villa: wealthy, high-flying Marty, his beautiful wife Bea, and their privileged, confident offspring. It doesn’t take long for Ginny and Adam to be drawn in, especially when the teenage Pippi introduces a new friend into the circle. For there is something about Zach that has everyone instantly beguiled, something that loosens old secrets—and creates shocking new ones. And, yet, not one of them suspects that his arrival in their lives might be anything other than accidental. Goodreads

As well as choosing much loved author’s books, I have used this opportunity to buy a copy of Sycamore Row by John Grisham because I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read a single book by this author – there were loads to choose from so I hoped I picked a good one and then got home and discovered this is a sequel to A Time To Die and I’d missed the great big writing on the cover telling me so! Oh well, hopefully it’ll be an ok read as a standalone.

Sycamore Row


Jake Brigance has never met Seth Hubbard, or even heard of him, until the old man’s suicide note names him attorney for his estate. The will is dynamite. Seth has left ninety per cent of his vast, secret fortune to his housemaid.
The vultures are circling even before the body is cold: the only subject more incendiary than money in Ford County is race, and this case has both.
AS the relatives contest the will, and unscrupulous lawyers hasten to benefit, Jake searches for answers to the many questions left by Seth Hubbard’s death:
What made him write that last-minute will leaving everything to a poor black woman named Lettie Lang?
Why did he choose to kill himself on the desolate piece of land known as Sycamore Row?
And what was it that Seth and his brother witnessed as children that, in his words, ‘no human should ever see’? Amazon

Another prolific but as yet new to me author is Linwood Barclay, so I picked up a copy of No Safe House

No Safe House


Seven years ago, Terry Archer and his family experienced a horrific ordeal which nearly cost them their lives. Today, the echoes of that fateful night are still audible. Terry’s wife, Cynthia, is living separate from her husband and daughter after her own personal demons threatened to ruin her relationship with them permanently. Their daughter, Grace, is rebelling against her parents’ seemingly needless overprotection. Terry is just trying to keep his family together. And the entire town is reeling from the senseless murder of two elderly locals.
But when Grace foolishly follows her delinquent boyfriend into a strange house, the Archers must do more than stay together. They must stay alive. Because now they have all been unwillingly drawn into the shadowy depths of their seemingly idyllic hometown.
For there, they will be reconnected with the man who saved their lives seven years ago, but who still remains a ruthless, unrepentant criminal. They will encounter killers for hire working all sides. And they will learn that there are some things people value much more than money, and will do anything to get it.
Caught in a labyrinth between family loyalty and ultimate betrayal, Terry must find a way to extricate his family from a lethal situation he still doesn’t fully comprehend. All he knows is that to live, he may have to do the unthinkable….Amazon

My next choice is a childhood favourite The Peppermint Pig by Nina Bawden, a book I loved from the very first paragraph (Maybe this indicates a gruesome nature even as a small child?) It was also the first book I remember sobbing over, it really is quite sad in places.

Old Granny Greengrass had her finger chopped off in the butcher’s when she was buying half a leg of lamb. She pointed to the place where she wanted the joint to be cut but then she decided she needed a bigger piece and pointed again. Unfortunately, Mr Grummett, the butcher, was already bringing his sharp chopper down. He chopped straight through her finger and it flew like a snapped twig into a pile of sawdust in the corner of the shop. It was hard to tell who was more surprised, Granny Greengrass or the butcher. But she didn’t blame him. She said, ‘I could never make up my mind and stick to it, Mr Grummett, that’s always been my trouble.’
and the copy I picked up is in perfect condition.

The Peppermint Pig

Johnnie was only the runt of the litter, a little peppermint pig. He’d cost Mother a shilling, but somehow his great naughtiness and cleverness kept Poll and Theo cheerful, even though it was one of the most difficult years of their lives. Amazon

The House at Sea’s End by Elly Griffiths is one from the series featuring Ruth Galloway that I haven’t ever read so in the bag it went!

The House At Seas End


A team of archaeologists, investigating coastal erosion on the north Norfolk coast, unearth six bodies buried at the foot of a cliff. How long have they been there? What could have happened to them? Forensics expert Ruth Galloway and DCI Nelson are drawn together again to unravel the past. Tests reveal that the bodies have lain, preserved in the sand, for sixty years. The mystery of their deaths stretches back to the Second World War, a time when Great Britain was threatened by invasion. But someone wants the truth of the past to stay buried, and will go to any lengths to keep it that way…even murder. Amazon

Having realised how much I love Sarah Waters’ books following her latest, The Paying Guests, I have had the urge to re-read the earlier ones so I also have a copy of Fingersmith to read.



Divided into three parts, the tale is narrated by two orphaned girls whose lives are inextricably linked. It begins in a grimy thieves kitchen in Borough, South London with 17-year-old orphan Susan Trinder. She has been raised by Mrs Sucksby, a cockney Ma Baker, in a household of fingersmiths (pickpockets), coiners and burglars. One evening Richard “Gentleman” Rivers, a handsome confidence man, arrives. He has an elaborate scheme to defraud Maud Lilly, a wealthy heiress. If Sue will help him she’ll get a share of the “shine”. Duly installed in the Lillys’ country house as Maud’s maid, Sue finds that her mistress is virtually a prisoner. Maud’s eccentric Uncle Christopher, an obsessive collector of erotica (loosely modelled on Henry Spenser Ashbee) controls every aspect of her life. Slowly a curious intimacy develops between the two girls and as Gentleman’s plans take shape, Sue begins to have doubts. The scheme is finally hatched but as Maud commences her narrative it suddenly becomes more than a tad difficult to tell quite who has double-crossed who. Amazon

An Experiment in Murder by Nicola Upson is a book by another author who I’ve meant to try for sometime, a bit of historical crime fiction is always enjoyable and for once I’ve managed to find the first in the series, bonus!

An Expert in Murder


An Expert in Murder is the first in a new series that features Golden Age crime writer Josephine Tey as its lead character, placing her in the richly-peopled world of 1930s theatre which formed the other half of her writing life. It’s March 1934, and Tey is travelling from Scotland to London to celebrate what should be the triumphant final week of her celebrated play, Richard of Bordeaux. However, a seemingly senseless murder puts her reputation, and even her life, under threat. An Expert in Murder is both a tribute to one of the most enduringly popular writers of crime and an atmospheric detective novel in its own right. Amazon

The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton has been on my wishlist for an absolute age so I was delighted to find a copy of this begging to be taken to a good home!

The Rehearsal


A high-school sex scandal jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own potency and power. The sudden and total publicity seems to turn every act into a performance and every platform into a stage. But when the local drama school decides to turn the scandal into a show, the real world and the world of the theatre are forced to meet, and soon the boundaries between private and public begin to dissolve. “The Rehearsal” is an exhilarating and provocative novel about the unsimple mess of human desire, at once a tender evocation of its young protagonists and a shrewd expose of emotional compromise. Amazon

I have been drooling over the display of British Library Crime Classics in our local store for some time but so far have limited myself to a single volume (as yet unread) so when I spied a copy of Mystery in White by J. Jefferson Farjeon it was a done deal!

Mystery in White


‘The horror on the train, great though it may turn out to be, will not compare with the horror that exists here, in this house.’ On Christmas Eve, heavy snowfall brings a train to a halt near the village of Hemmersby. Several passengers take shelter in a deserted country house, where the fire has been lit and the table laid for tea – but no one is at home. Trapped together for Christmas, the passengers are seeking to unravel the secrets of the empty house when a murderer strikes in their midst. Amazon

And last but in no means least, I have been searching at the book sale for at least four years for a decent copy of And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, this year I triumphed!
And then there were none


Agatha Christie’s world-famous mystery thriller, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers. Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide. The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again…and again…Amazon

So I’m off now to try and sort out a new home for these extra additions and I’ve decided that since I have so many books on the TBR I really need to catalogue them! Happy reading from one very contented bookworm!


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

48 thoughts on “Stacking the Shelves Part II (October 25)

  1. Wow You bought a lot of books and for a very good charity. A very nice lady a few doors away from me is blind and has a guide dog.


  2. Some good acquisitions there. I don’t know that particular John Grisham. His early ones were so good particularly The Pelican Brief and The Juror but he went a bit off the boil for me in recent years.


  3. Some great picks!
    Sycamore Row can be read as standalone but would be better if you’d read A Time to Kill first; not just for the back story but it’s a fab book.
    No Safe House – you really need to read No Time for Goodbye first as it follows a previous event.
    Enjoy your purchases 🙂


  4. See if you can get a copy of a A Time to Kill before you read Sycamore Row. It’s a good standalone, but I think you’d enjoy it a little more if you read Time to Kill First. It’s the best John Grisham book, in my opinion!! Enjoy all your books!!


  5. Great selection of books and some new authors to enjoy – look forward to hear what you think of Nicola Upson and Linwood Barclay (although I would agree with Bookboodle above that in this case the book does refer to past events – usually his novels are standalones).


  6. Such a lovely lot of books, Cleo! I really do hope you enjoy the Grisham; it’s a powerful book – it really is. And I see you have And Then There Were None, which is one of Christie’s really inventive and chilling stories, in my opinion. The Griffiths, too, is an excellent read, for my money. You’ve got some real treats in store.


  7. A great selection, happy reading. I agree with Lindsay’s comment about No Safe House, although you might be able to read it as a standalone,its best to read No Time for Goodbye first. I used to be huge fan of John Grisham years ago but haven’t picked up one of his for a long time.


    1. It is great to know that the consensus is that I need to read No Time For Goodbye first – See what a public service you book bloggers provide 🙂 I just think that being a crime reader I should read at least one – I tend to read far more British fiction as a rule.


  8. Now I want to get my hands on Other People’s Secrets! The Disappearance of Emily Mar and The Sudden Departure of the Frasers were so entertaining and engaging and a slight departure (for me) from the more gory/violent/creepy mysteries I had been reading. I look forward to your review!


  9. These all look amazing! I haven’t read Grisham in a while, so, of course, I missed Sycamore Row. It looks good! I guess I need to try some Linwood Barclay and Elly Griffiths, too. Thanks!


  10. BTW, I’d worry about the Peppermint Pig. All too often the piglet raised so loving by children ends up on the dinner table–and all in the argument of teaching children responsibility. Etc…


    1. I remember vividly what happened in The Peppermint Pig I cried (lots) and my younger brother got into trouble as my Mum was convinced he’d done something horrible to me – I didn’t disabuse her of that fact and have obviously felt guilty ever since!


  11. That looks like an amazing and huge booksale! Frankly, I’m impressed you didn’t buy more books 🙂 I’m not sure I could have restrained myself, particularly when I would have had the excuse that it was all for a good cause 🙂


    1. It is on every year and I’ve gone overboard so many times (my post on reading habits featured one such stack) and I still haven’t read all the finds from different forays – I tried to be more selective this year and even put some back!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ooh, such riches! I desperately want to read the Catton, too–I enjoyed The Luminaries, and I do love a good scandal in fiction. I also haven’t read any John Grisham, which is terrible as I grew up in Charlottesville, where he lives. He used to come into the independent bookshop where I worked to sign our stock! He’s very lovely–most unlike the criminals in his books…


    1. I’m surprised at how many of us haven’t read Grisham, how fascinating and good that he’s a nicer man than his criminals otherwise that would have been a bit scary! The Catton has been on my list for such a long time – I’m really pleased to find that one.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Interesting mix of books, Cleo! I tend to go overboard at fall book sales because I anticipate being snowed in soon. The Catton looks the most interesting to me in this bunch.


  14. What a great haul… So much restraint on your part!
    My sister and I once went to the last afternoon (‘everything must go’) of a library book clearance sale and I came away with a whole box of books for about £10. Regretted not getting their earlier as I really was just throwing books in the box by the end!


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