Posted in Weekly Posts

Stacking the Shelves (March 19)

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.

Oh dear, oh dear… since I last did one of these posts I have quite a selection to share with you all this week, but I think you’ll agree they are all worthy additions to the stack!

First up the NetGalley offerings, in no particular order:

A timely addition given my fascination with Victorian poisoners illustrated in my reviews of Last Woman Hanged and Mrs Maybrick I now have a whole century of them in The Secret Poisoner by Linda Stratmann which will be published on 22 March 2016.

The Secret Poisoner


Murder by poison alarmed, enthralled, and in many ways encapsulated the Victorian age. Linda Stratmann’s dark and splendid social history reveals the nineteenth century as a gruesome battleground where poisoners went head-to-head with authorities who strove to detect poisons, control their availability, and bring the guilty to justice. She corrects many misconceptions about particular poisons and documents how the evolution of issues such as marital rights and the legal protection of children impacted poisonings. Combining archival research with a novelist’s eye, Stratmann charts the era’s inexorable rise of poison cases both shocking and sad. NetGalley

I have a psychological thriller in the shape of The Missing by C.L. Taylor, an author who has proved herself to me with The Accident and The Lie so my hopes are high for this addition out on 7 April 2016.

The Missing cl


You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them.
But should you…?
When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire, blames herself. She’s not the only one. There isn’t a single member of Billy’s family that doesn’t feel guilty. But the Wilkinson’s are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn’t until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.
Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.
A mother’s instinct is never wrong. Or is it?
Sometimes those closest to us are the ones with the most to hide… NetGalley

I have also been lucky enough to get a copy of Kindred by Steve Robinson, the author who created Jefferson Tayte, a genealogist who uncovers historical mysteries whilst often facing some level of danger in the present, this is his fifth outing. Kindred will be published on 12 April 2016



Jefferson Tayte is good at finding people who don’t want to be found. For years he has followed faint genealogical trails to reunite families—and uncover long-hidden secrets. But Tayte is a loner, a man with no ties of his own; his true identity is the most elusive case of his career.
But that could all be about to change. Now Tayte has in his possession the beginnings of a new trail—clues his late mentor had started to gather—that might at last lead to his own family. With Professor Jean Summer, his partner in genealogical sleuthing, he travels to Munich to pick up the scent. But the hunt takes them deep into dangerous territory: the sinister secrets of World War II Germany, and those who must keep them buried at any cost.
When their investigations threaten to undermine a fascist organisation, Tayte and Summer know time is running out. Can they find their way to the dark heart of a deadly history before they become its latest victims? NetGalley

Next up is an author whose first two books really impressed me; Mary Kubica’s third novel Don’t You Cry will be published on 12 May 2016.


In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew.
Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbour town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where 18 year old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister.
As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under the stranger’s spell, Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted rollercoaster ride that builds to a stunning conclusion. NetGalley

Lastly from NetGalley a book that I already have on pre-order, The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale, which I’m so excited about.

The Wicked Boy


Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, thirteen-year-old Robert Coombes and his twelve-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lord’s. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, the boys told their neighbours, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next ten days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents’ valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. But as the sun beat down on the Coombes house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building.
When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm, and Robert and Nattie were swept up in a criminal trial that echoed the outrageous plots of the ‘penny dreadful’ novels that Robert loved to read.
In The Wicked Boy, Kate Summerscale has uncovered a fascinating true story of murder and morality – it is not just a meticulous examination of a shocking Victorian case, but also a compelling account of its aftermath, and of man’s capacity to overcome the past. Amazon

Through the post from Penguin UK I got a copy of My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry which is to be published as an eBook on 26 May 2016 with the paperback following in August.

My Husband's Wife


It’s the perfect love story.
Lily meets Ed at a party, and on their second date, he proposes. She’s a lawyer, he’s an up-and-coming artist. They own a small but beautiful flat in London and mix with all the right people.
But Lily has a secret. Something from her past, that is soon to collide with her present. And she thinks her new husband is hiding something too…
The vows they made will soon be tested to the very limits.
‘Till death us do part…’
Perfect for readers of Liane Moriarty and Clare Mackintosh, lose yourself in the twist-filled story that everyone’s talking about. Goodreads

From Lovereading UK I was lucky enough to get another book by a favourite author who I discovered last year with The Sudden Departure of the Frasers; The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish will be published on 5 May 2016.

The Swimming Pool


In the heady swelter of a London summer, the Elm Hill lido opens.
For teacher Natalie Steele, the school holiday typically means weeks of carefully planned activities with her husband Ed and their daughter Molly. But not this year.
Despite Molly’s extreme phobia of the water, Natalie is drawn to the lido and its dazzling social scene, led by the glamorous Lara Channing. Soon Natalie is spending long, intoxicating days with Lara at the pool – and intimate evenings at her home. Natalie’s real life begins to feel very far away.
But is the new friendship everything it seems? Why is Natalie haunted by memories from another summer years ago? And, without realising, has she been swept dangerously out of her depth? Amazon

And if all of that wasn’t enough I bought a copy of Harriet Said by Beryl Bainbridge, a book that had been on wishlist for quite some time but this wonderful review by Heavenali (if you haven’t already checked out her wonderful blog, you’re missing out!) meant that I could no longer resist the pull.

Harriet Said


A girl returns from boarding school to her sleepy Merseyside hometown and waits to be reunited with her childhood friend, Harriet, chief architect of all their past mischief. She roams listlessly along the shoreline and the woods still pitted with wartime trenches, and encounters ‘the Tsar’ – almost old, unhappily married, both dangerously fascinating and repulsive.
Pretty, malevolent Harriet finally arrives – and over the course of the long holidays draws her friend into a scheme to beguile then humiliate the Tsar, with disastrous, shocking consequences. A gripping portrayal of adolescent transgression, Beryl Bainbridge’s classic first novel remains as subversive today as when it was written. Amazon

I’m so excited about all of these finds that I’m not at all sorry about what has happened to the poor old TBR – more books, more pleasure is the motto for this week!



PicMonkey Collage TBR

Since my last count I have read 6 books, and gained, 8, and DNF 1, so the total has increased overall by 1 giving a total of 172 books!
87 physical books
69 e-books
16 books on NetGalley


What have you found to read this week?


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

44 thoughts on “Stacking the Shelves (March 19)

    1. I have cut down enormously on NG this year because every time I decide not to look I imagine all sorts of treasures passing me by! I’m not too downhearted I’ve stayed about level since November – better than the pile growing exponentially as it was!!


  1. Wow, you’ve got lots of fab-sounding books this week! 🙂 I haven’t read the Beryl Bainbridge that you bought so I’m going to be looking out for a copy of that as I love her writing. I also hadn’t heard of The Wicked Boy but I’ve really enjoyed Kate Summerscale’s other books so this is another one going on my wishlist. Enjoy reading all of your new books! 🙂

    Here’s my Stacking the Shelves post:


  2. Oh, Cleo, you really do have some great selections there! The Stratmann looks fascinating! And I do like Steve Robinson’s Jefferson Tayte series, so that one caught my eye, too. Definitely intriguing!


    1. I have to confess I have already started The Secret Poisoner which is where I had the facts about the dogs from but I’m nowhere near finished yet. Like you I’m a huge JT fan so I was thrilled to hear there was another one out soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m jotting down almost all these titles, Cleo! You are a wonderful source of new titles for me. I am trying to avoid NG right now as I have 6 titles pending reading and review, but I’m always on the lookout for books to add to my wishlist for the library, used bookstore, or just buying my own e-books.

    Your TBR pile sounds…. big… but what a selection you have to choose from.


    1. Thank you Rita – NG is definitely my downfall because the more authors I discover the more follow-up books there are to read! I’m certain I could be on a desert island for quite a while (as long as my books were shipped with me!) I have a wishlist for second-hand books as we have a big booksale here on the island and it is always a bonus if I can pick up books I’ve wanted for a while.


  4. There was a good review of The Secret Poisoner in The Times last weekend; I really fancied it. Also with you on the Kate Summerscale – she’s an autobuy author for me! (And you, I bet!) Also have Don’t You Cry, The Missing, and My Husband’s Wife, as you could probably guess! I didn’t know you could advance order things on NetGalley – The Wicked Boy? Kindred looks just up my street too. I’ve never read Beryl Bainbridge – she’s never appealed to me, oddly!


    1. Haha I’m not really surprised we share most of this list. You can’t advance order on NetGalley, I pre-ordered it on Amazon which will stay as I want a copy for my bookshelf, it can sit next to The Suspicions of Mr Whicher!


  5. I want to read all of these. The Louise Candlish and Mary Kubica would be top of the list but all sound great and The Wicked Boys sounds fascinating.


  6. Gosh! The cover of that Bainbridge looks delectable. Never mind that she’s a wonderful writer and Ali has written a wonderful review – I would just want to gaze at that blaze of orange hues – not to mention go to the fair and sit on the roundabout horse!

    The Secret Poisoner looks fascinating too.

    I’ve succumbed to a lot of blandishments recently. Open Road Media sent me 2 emails asking if I would like to have 2 Alan Sillitoes and 2 Margery Sharps. Guess what I said? (+4) Then Vine offered me the new Lionel Shriver, and the new Dan Vyleta. (+2) Not to mention (this is disgusting and fascinating all in one) a book about deception and mimicry in the animal kingdom. The subject fascinates me but the disgusting is (eek) there is a lot about spiders, caterpillars, ants, beetles and LOTS OF PHOTOS. It gets my squeam rating sky high, so I’m permanently thinking ‘how fascinating’ and then looking at a close-up of a spider and whimpering unhappily.My eventual review might be interesting – giant pictures of PINK PRAYING MANTISES (screech!) or not


    1. I know the cover of the Beryl Bainbridge is particularly stunning!
      You have done well – I want to know more about the Lionel Shriver – I’m behind with my reviews for Vine so can’t take anything there at the moment. That book about the animal kingdom has given me the creeps just from your description, I really hate spiders and certainly don’t want a book of photos of them – I like how you are simultaneously disgusted and fascinated – please do the review minus the photos!


      1. I know. I’m rather thinking I shan’t be able to do my usual photos – perhaps safe pics like zebras (stripes make it harder for predators to work out the speed and direction of movement of the prey than, for example, a solid block of moving colour) I’ll probably stay with zebras, bird’s eggs camouflaged in nests on the grounds and such stuff rather than the disgust/fascinate mix!

        Liked by 1 person

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