Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (December 4)

Weekly Wrap Up

The start of advent has ushered in that time of year where all of sudden there appears to be no free time at all but on the plus side the snow has been turned on by WordPress! Sadly, I have only managed read two books this week but I did manage to post four reviews, so without further ado…

This Week on the Blog

My first review of the week was for one of the books I chose for my 20 Books of Summer (yes, I am that much behind!): They Did It With Love by Kate Morganroth is best described as a mixture of Desperate Housewives and a mystery novel with references to Agatha Christie! A real fun read.

My Tuesday excerpt came from The Silent Hours by Cesca Major, a book that is narrated by three different characters in an epic wartime drama with a true story at its core.

My This Week in Books post detailed my reading for the week that took in the world of fostering, war and The Blood Wedding by Pierre Lemaitre.

On Thursday I posted my review The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley, a strong novel that I awarded the full five stars to. I was especially gratified that the lovely author stated that I had really ‘got’ her book!

Another five star review followed on Friday, and this is me being stricter with the stars, for The House of Birds by Morgan McCarthy, a brilliant dual time-line story of a young woman living in Oxford in the 1920s and in the modern day a man who is deciding on his future. With a hidden diary and a dispute over inheritance, I was utterly captivated by this novel that was informative as well as entertaining.

Lastly I finally got around to reading and reviewing  the first of Martin Edwards’ The Lake District Mysteries, please note that I can start at the beginning of a series, sometimes: The Coffin Trail is a traditional police procedural with a straightforward time-line set in a small community.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading This House of Grief by Helen Garner which follows the murder trial of Robert Farquharson, an Australian man on trial for killing his three sons. Helen Garner doesn’t just report on the facts but recreates the atmosphere in the court as the prosecution and defence make their case.  You can read my review of one of my favourite non-fiction reads of 2015 here

This House of Grief


On the evening of September 4th 2005, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother, Cindy, when his car left the road and plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven and two, all drowned. Was this an act of revenge or a tragic accident? In a tale reminiscent of In Cold Blood (1966), Helen Garner decided to reveal every aspect of this complicated and highly emotional case.

The case became Garner’s obsession; she followed it on its protracted course until the final verdict was delivered, and attended every day of the trial (and subsequent retrial). She was there alongside countless journalists and family members – exposing with great compassion the emotional complexity of a case that gripped the nation.

In this utterly compelling book, Helen Garner tells the story of a man with a broken life – she presents the courtroom as a theatre with its actors and audience, all gathered for the purpose of bearing witness to an often uncomfortable truth. Amazon

Stacking The Shelves

Those Amazon deals are still proving extremely difficult to resist, particularly as they keep featuring books on my wishlist but I have confined myself to just one this week but first up, we couldn’t have a month in 2016 that didn’t feature a poisoner, and I have a whole gallery of them! A Gallery of Poisoners by Adrian Vincent was published by Endeavour Press on 25 November 2016.



Here are thirteen cases of fatal passions, unfortunate acquaintances and gruesome endings.

Presenting infamous cases ranging from 1857 – 1972, Adrian Vincent revisits the lives of some of the most notorious killers ever to be brought to justice.
What drives someone to specialise in devising agonising death for their victims?
Vincent reveals the lure of money, lust and deviancy as they manifest in pure evil — lurking beneath the surface of domestic bliss and professional respectability.

Wives despatching husbands for their cash.
Lovers killing for passion.
The infamous Mary Ann Cotton, who poisoned three husbands and eleven of her children.
Graham Young, who was fascinated by poisons from the age of twelve and given to administering lethal concoctions — just to see what would happen.
Obsessive poisoners like Tillie Gburek, a middle-aged woman who found a taste for making deadly soups — and got through a series of husbands …
There’s the voyeuristic ménage à trois where a husband enjoyed his wife taking a lover which had dire consequences …
While the so-called Angel of Death, Nurse Waddington, ran her own nursing home.
Killers who specialized in devising agonizing death for their victims.

A Gallery of Poisoners is classic true crime at its best — thrilling and disturbing in equal measure. NetGalley

My kindle bargain was for this week was Flowers for the Dead by Barbara Copperthwaite which came to my attention via the sheer number of outstanding reviews it received from fellow bloggers.



Adam Bourne is a serial killer who thinks he is a saviour. When he murders young women and cuts off their lips, he believes he has done it to make them happy.
How did he become warped from the sensitive four-year-old who adored his gran and the fairy tales she read to him? What turned him into a monster who stalks his victims? And what is he trying to say with the bouquets he sends?
When he meets Laura Weir, Adam weaves a fairy tale romance around them. A tale she has no idea she is part of. As he hatches his twisted plan for their fairy tale ending, can anyone stop him before he creates the ultimate sacrifice to love? Amazon

PicMonkey Collage TBR


Since my last post I have read 2 books and gave my Son-in-Law one unsolicited ARC that I really didn’t think I’d read – he claims he’ll give me a review but we will see – and I gained 2 so this week my TBR has rapidly reduced to 177 books!

92 physical books
71 e-books
14 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

26 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap Up (December 4)

  1. I’ve been reading memoirs recently, Jeanette Winterson’s Why Be Happy When You can Be Normal and Jeremy Gavron’s A Woman on the Edge of Time, I seem to be in a bit of a non fiction phase, also reading books of a more spiritually inspired nature by Colette Baron Reid, Cristiane Northrup, Kyle Gray, the antidote to a few challenges we’ve been facing.


  2. This week #amreading Norah Webster by Colm Toibin. I don’t find all of his books particularly accessible but this one seems to be in the vein of Brooklyn which I loved. The film wasn’t half bad either!


  3. May have to investigate They Did it with Love ( I loved Desperate Housewives). Glad to see your getting the family in on the reviewing act. I’m sure he’ll produce a review, your knowledge of poisons is a good incentive !☺ I managed to get my OH to write his first review recently so I’d best watch my back! On a trivial note – do I need to turn on my snow, or can I just not see it because it knows it’s my site?


    1. It was one of those finds that I couldn’t remember why I chose it, but I’m so glad I did! For the snow you go to site settings and under time zone there is a tickbox for holiday snow – I ticked it last year and the snow just appeared on 1 December this time around!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I won a copy of This House of Grief over on Kim’s Reading Matters blog but haven’t got round to it yet. I feel that I will need to be in the right frame of mind for it. I’m also looking at my Christmas to-do list and wondering if I’ll have any time for reading at all!


    1. Yes it isn’t something to pick up if you’re not prepared to read it but it was a fascinating book. We’re only on day four and I’ve already got no time and I don’t have small children to contend with – I always feel it’s best to accept that until it’s over reading will be a little hit and miss.


  5. Ah, you’ve reminded me that I still need to read This House of Grief, Cleo, and I’m glad you did. I want to read that very much. That aside, you’ve had a good week of reading, and I’m glad for you. And I know just what you mean about being super-busy at this time of year…


  6. Those Amazon deals always pop up when I feel vulnerable and I can’t find the will to resist 🙂 I got 5 books this week! I also read two books, including Louise Jensen’s The Gift that I devoured in 24h! I hope the story will be enough to kick out the reading slump that was slowly creeping in. This House of Grief sounds powerful and fascinating! I need to get it too, oops! 🙂


    1. I know I haven’t opened the daily deal emails for an age because it got out of hand but I keep seeing posts on twitter and facebook of books I want for ridiculously low prices. I can’t recommend This House of Grief highly enough although it is a sad read it is also fascinating to get a view of a trial with all the minutia included.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m about halfway through Out of Bounds by Val McDermid which I’m really enjoying and also started The Ice Princess on audio by Camilla Lackberg and I can tell I’ve got a new favorite series to catch up on with her books…love it so far. I’m really intrigued by The House of Birds so adding that to my TBR and with everyone raving about Flowers For the Dead I must add that also:)


    1. Oh I’m so pleased you’re enjoying Out of Bounds and Camilla Lackberg’s series is a winner with me. I was far more impressed with The House of Birds than I expected to be as I have really high expectations for tales of this nature. Your TBR is certainly growing!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This House of Grief still haunts me… Such a sad, terrible story, so well written by Garner.
    I’m seeing out the year with outstanding ARCs (nothing go get excited about at this stage).


  9. I’m terribly sorry but 177 simply isn’t good enough! My title as Queen of Willpower is safe for another week… *smug smile* Though I must admit these Kindle bargains are just about killing me! I keep having to remind myself there’s no point buying them if I don’t have time to read them…


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