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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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 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!
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!
‘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
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!