Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (July 23)

Weekly Wrap Up

Well the last time I posted a weekly wrap up was 11 June 2017 and I want to thank all of you for bearing with you through my erratic posting. The brief story is that I went on holiday to Kos where I planned a funeral for Mum, we returned to Jersey following the funeral in the UK. Meanwhile my partner’s father was admitted to hospital in Spain where he lives and subsequently intensive care so I ended up making an unscheduled dash there; happily he is very slowly recovering and I am now home again.

My sunflower went to stay with my daughter & son-in-law in their new home, she moved out of our home the weekend before we departed for Kos and once more I have an empty nest! What we hadn’t considered that it would grow so much that we couldn’t get it in the car to bring it home so I now have visiting rights. The new home has a new addition to the family, Bertie the rescue cat who can be seen here with my fabulous sunflower!

Bertie and the Sunflower

This Week on the Blog

Wednesday featured an author post by Chris Curran entitled Ideas and Where They Come From. Chris Curran’s latest book Her Deadly Secret was published on 21 July 2017.
As you can imagine my reading over the last six weeks or so has been somewhat erratic but I but I have read a fair few books so the week ended with a run of three reviews from my backlog…

They All Fall Down by Tammy Cohen
Not A Sound by Heather Gudenkauf
An Act of Silence by Colette McBeth

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane by Paul Thomas Murphy a non-fiction book about the historical true crime committed against Jane Coulson in 1871 in Greenwich, London. The author’s expert research uncovers not only the details of the crime but that of the subsequent trial including contemporary news reports. With a conclusion that you may or may not agree with this book paints a vivid picture of the life and times of victim and perpetrator.

You can read my full review here or by clicking on the book cover


In April 1871, a constable walking a beat near Greenwich found a girl dying in the mud – her face cruelly slashed and her brains protruding from her skull.

The girl was Maria Jane Clouson, a maid for the respectable Pook family, and who was pregnant at the time of her death. When the blood-spattered clothes of the 20-year-old Edmund Pook, alleged father of the dead girl’s unborn child, were discovered, the matter seemed open and shut. Yet there followed a remarkable legal odyssey full of unexpected twists as the police struggled to build a case.

Paul Thomas Murphy recreated the drama of an extraordinary murder case and conclusively identifies the killer’s true identity. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

So despite not being at home very much at all some books have still managed to find there way into my house – I am sharing a small selection here!

From NetGalley I was lucky enough to be approved for Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict which will be published in January 2018.


In the industrial 1860s at the dawn of the Carnegie empire, Irish immigrant Clara Kelly finds herself in desperate circumstances.  Looking for a way out, she seeks employment as a lady’s maid in the home of the prominent businessman Andrew Carnegie.  Soon, the bond between Clara and her employer deepens into love. But when Clara goes missing, Carnegie’s search for her unearths secrets and revelations that lay the foundation for his lasting legacy.

With capturing insight and sunning heart, Carnegie’s Maid tells the story of one lost woman who may have spurred Andrew Carnegie’s transformation from ruthless industrialist into the world’s first true philanthropist.  NetGalley

I also was delighted with my copy of Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre after being blown away by Blood Wedding which I read last year. Three Days and a Life was published on 13 July 2017.


In 1999, in the small provincial town of Beauval, France, twelve-year-old Antoine Courtin accidentally kills a young neighbour boy in the woods near his home. Panicked, he conceals the body and to his relief–and ongoing shame–he is never suspected of any connection to the child’s disappearance.
But the boy’s death continues to haunt him, shaping his life in unseen ways. More than a decade later, Antoine is living in Paris, now a young doctor with a fiancée and a promising future. On a rare trip home to the town he hates and fears, Antoine thoughtlessly sleeps with a beautiful young woman from his past. She shows up pregnant at his doorstep in Paris a few months later, insisting that they marry, but Antoine refuses.

Meanwhile, the newly discovered body of Antoine’s childhood victim means that the case has been reopened, and all of his old fears rush back. Then the young woman’s father threatens Antoine with a paternity test–which would almost certainly match the DNA found on the dead child’s body. Will Antoine finally be forced to confront his crime? And what is he prepared to do to keep his secrets buried in the past? NetGalley

I received a copy of Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood earlier this month for my birthday – the present giver cleverly knowing that I haven’t ever got around to reading this book since publication in 2009. As this is going to be a Netflix series soon I can now avoid the shame of confessing I haven’t read it every time someone asks!


Sometimes I whisper it over to myself: Murderess. Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt along the floor.’ Grace Marks. Female fiend? Femme fatale? Or weak and unwilling victim? Around the true story of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the 1840s, Margaret Atwood has created an extraordinarily potent tale of sexuality, cruelty and mystery. Amazon

I was thrilled to receive a copy of the winner of Richard and Judy’s Search for a Bestseller launched by Bonnier Zaffre – Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear was published on 29 June 2017.



In 1998, Maryanne Doyle disappeared and Dad knew something about it?
Maryanne Doyle was never seen again.


In 1998, Dad lied about knowing Maryanne Doyle.
Alice Lapaine has been found strangled near Dad’s pub.
Dad was in the local area for both Maryanne Doyle’s disappearance and Alice Lapaine’s murder – FACT

Trust cuts both ways . . . what do you do when it’s gone? Amazon

And most recently I received a copy of Good Friday by Lynda La Plante which is the third book in the Tennison series, the first having recently shown on TV under the name Prime Suspect which I thoroughly enjoyed. Good Friday will be published on 24 August 2017.


During 1974 and 1975 the IRA subjected London to a terrifying bombing campaign. In one day alone, they planted seven bombs at locations across central London. Some were defused – some were not.

Jane Tennison is now a fully-fledged detective. On the way to court one morning, Jane passes through Covent Garden Underground station and is caught up in a bomb blast that leaves several people dead, and many horribly injured. Jane is a key witness, but is adamant that she can’t identify the bomber. When a photograph appears in the newspapers, showing Jane assisting the injured at the scene, it puts her and her family at risk from IRA retaliation.

‘Good Friday’ is the eagerly awaited date of the annual formal CID dinner, due to take place at St Ermin’s Hotel. Hundreds of detectives and their wives will be there. It’s the perfect target. As Jane arrives for the evening, she realises that she recognises the parking attendant as the bomber from Covent Garden. Can she convince her senior officers in time, or will another bomb destroy London’s entire detective force? Amazon


Since my last post I’ve read loads of books and it would appear gained even more!! The spreadsheet is out of control but my best guess at the current figures is:

Physical Books – 103
Kindle Books – 59
NetGalley Books – 15
The current total is therefore 177


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

28 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap Up (July 23)

  1. Very sorry that you have had such a bad few weeks Cleo. Hope things settle down now. On a different note Alias Grace is a brilliant book, my favourite Margaret Atwood.


  2. I’m sorry to read you’ve had such a difficult time. I hope things settle down and some sun and positivity can come your way ❤
    Quite a nice book haul you have here! I've been a good girl and haven't gotten any new books, I'm waiting to buy my mandatory books for the publishing degree! 🙂


  3. Oh, Cleo, I am so sorry you’ve such a bad time of it lately. I hope things settle down and life gets more peaceful. That sunflower is absolutely gorgeous – I’m glad you have visiting rights. Sweet Little Lies looks intriguing. I’ll be interested in what you think of that one. In the meantime….rest up!


    1. Thank you Margot – I love my sunflower 🙂
      I’m trying to get some R&R but of course there is a backlog of work, appointments to reschedule and people to see but I’m sure it’ll all come right in the end – at least I have some great looking books for when I get a little time!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Huh! I bet you’re using the spreadsheet as an excuse to disguise the fact that the total has gone over 200! Tuppence says Bertie is gorgeous and she’s an excellent judge of tomcat beefcake… 😉 Make me squeal with delight by telling me he’s called after Bertie Wooster…

    Good to have your Sunday posts back – I’ve missed them!


    1. Haha you could be right – I need far longer to update it properly 😏

      There’s quite a story to Bertie as she’s wanted a cat since she was 4 but Owen was allergic and she was repeatedly told when you’re grown-up you can have as many cats as you want and then she married someone who’s not keen! The aim was Bertie (named for Wooster) to have ginger bits and ‘Robert’ was in the animal shelter so it was if it was meant to be. Fortunately husband, Rob, has bonded with him too!

      Thank you, hopefully I’ll get into a proper routine again now!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry for your loss and difficult past few weeks. Hopefully things will settle down for you. I’ve also had Alias Grace in my TBR pile for awhile and the Netflix series will be just what I need to pick it up too. I’m actually really looking forward to it!


  6. Hi Cleo,

    I know exactly what you are going through, having lost my own dad back in April and still being mid-process of clearing and selling the house, now that both he and mum are gone!

    At the same time we are trying to help hubbie’s 86 year old mother, who is caring for his 92 year old father who has long term dimentia issues.

    To be honest, I’m not sure which scenario is the worst, but I do know which is the more difficult to deal with!

    On a slightly happier note, you have featured some great sounding books, such as ‘Sweet Little Lies’ and ‘Good Friday’. I am also tempted by ‘Three Days And a Life’, although ratings and reviews for this one have been a little mixed.

    I would die for book stats like yours, but unfortunately my TBR pile will never be below head height and my virtual shelf is threatening to run out of memory 🙂



    1. Oh Yvonne I am sorry it is so difficult particularly when there are so many competing issues. It has been one very hard year so far and as much as I keep trying to stay positive, it has been a challenge.

      Haha loving your final paragraph – the one good thing about all the goings on is that I haven’t asked for or bought any books so surely the pile must decrease a little bit!!


  7. Thinking of you as you go through your loss…and also as your nest empties again. An empty nest can be a good thing, too, as I’ve discovered. I had the kind of empty nest that was more like a revolving door, as grown kids returned, over and over. Now they are truly gone. I think. I love visiting them, though.

    Great sunflower!

    So many tempting books it would be impossible to pick just one. I am especially drawn to Sweet Little Lies. And I haven’t read Alias Grace, but now I want to add it to my list.


  8. I’m sorry it’s been difficult with the elders in your family; I’m sorry for your loss also. What a green thumb you have with that sunflower! How straight and strong it stands. The first two books sound interesting; what a cover for that first one! My gosh, that is certainly a way to catch the eyes of a murder mystery fan.


  9. I’m sorry for your rough time lately. Amazing that you’ve been able to read at all with all that’s happened. Hoping you and yours are all well and things settle down soon. Thanks for sharing the sunflower and kitty pic, it’s lovely. Also, Alias Grace is a brilliant book, so I hope you enjoy it!


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