Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (September 17)

I decided to treat myself to something that wasn’t books this week, an unusual occurrence indeed but I simply couldn’t resist this box of postcards featuring the original Puffin covers.

The idea was that I would use these as cards when I post gifts to friends but the ones below hold such fond memories for me that I doubt whether I will ever part with them, or quite a few of the others in the box.

These are an illustration of my childhood, indeed to this day I can’t iron without thinking about Lily Rose and the day she damaged the silk petticoat in The Family From One End Street.  I received The Hundred and One Dalmatians after going to the cinema to watch the film and I remember my copy (which must have been my mother’s) was old and had yellowing pages but it stayed on my bookshelf until the day I left home. Charlotte’s Web was a big hit although it didn’t cure me of my phobia of spiders as much as I loved Charlotte’s story  and I had the whole set of the C.S. Lewis books all in a slip-case, sadly the postcards don’t include my favourite The Magician’s Nephew but through these I travelled to strange lands in my imagination and was caught climbing into my Grandfather’s wardrobe to see if I could find Narnia; I didn’t but I did get a sound telling off!

Each of the postcards has the date of the cover on them although I dispute that James and the Giant Peach only was given this cover in 1980 as I distinctly remember reading it through some childhood illness before we moved at the end of 1979, but I won’t quibble.

A brilliant gift for someone you love – as you can see I chose myself but with covers spanning from the original Worzel Gummidge in 1941 to the more recent ones I’m sure most booklovers will find a Puffin cover that has a fond memory attached to it.

This Week on the Blog

The week on the blog started with a review of Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner, her second book in the Manon Bradshaw series.

My excerpt post this week was taken from Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves, a book that has sat on my kindle for an astonishing five plus years.

This Week in Books had me featuring the authors Mel Sherratt, Jane Robins and David Hastings.

My second review of the week was for a book I read back in June – my reviews are a little out of order still(!) – the psychological thriller, Never Alone by Elizabeth Haynes

On Friday I was delighted to feature an author post from Caimh McDonnell to celebrate the publication of Angels in the Moonlight, the prequel to the Dublin series, a brilliant mixture of humour and crime. Caimh’s posts are always well received, he really is a very funny man, unsurprisingly as he has made his living as a stand-up comedian. I wrote a review for the book too (even if it was overshadowed by Caimh)

And I finished up yesterday with my review of White Bodies by Jane Robins. This psychological thriller is being published in the US on 19 September 2017 – UK readers have a little longer to wait for this book which I awarded the full five stars to.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Murder at the Vicarage to celebrate Agatha Christie’s birthday which is on 15 September. As a recognition of this special day I chose to try Miss Marple after falling in love with Hercule Poirot in my youth, and deciding that she simply wasn’t my cup of tea. Well guess what, now I am a little more mature, I discovered I loved her and this review is amongst one of the favourite of all that I’ve written.

You can read my thoughts on Murder at the Vicarage here or click on the book cover


Agatha Christie’s first ever Miss Marple mystery, reissued with a striking cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.

’Anyone who murdered Colonel Protheroe,’ declared the parson, brandishing a carving knife above a joint of roast beef, ‘would be doing the world at large a service!’

It was a careless remark for a man of the cloth. And one which was to come back and haunt the clergyman just a few hours later. From seven potential murderers, Miss Marple must seek out the suspect who has both motive and opportunity. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

I started this post by saying I hadn’t treated myself to any books this week, and that is true but it appears my finger did request, and gratefully received, a couple of books from NetGalley.

The first book I needed as we are already in September and I haven’t yet got around to reading any short stories and then I saw The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth by William Boyd which took my fancy. The collection, some of which have been published elsewhere, will be published on 2 November 2017.


A philandering art dealer tries to give up casual love affairs – seeking only passionate kisses as a substitute.
A man recounts his personal history through the things he has stolen from others throughout his life.
A couple chart the journey of their five year relationship backwards, from awkward reunion to lovelorn first encounter.

And, at the heart of the book, a 24-year old young woman, Bethany Mellmoth, embarks on a year-long journey of wishful and tentative self-discovery.

The Dreams of Bethany Mellmoth depicts the random encounters that bring the past bubbling to the surface; the impulsive decisions that irrevocably shape a life; and the endless hesitations and loss-of-nerve that wickedly complicate it. These funny, surprising and moving stories are a resounding confirmation of Boyd’s powers as one of our most original and compelling storytellers. NetGalley

I’ve also received a copy of The Fourteenth Letter by Claire Evans which was published in the UK back in April but is due out in the US on 21 September 2017.

A mysterious keepsake, a murdered bride, a legacy of secrets…

One balmy June evening in 1881, Phoebe Stanbury stands before the guests at her engagement party: this is her moment, when she will join the renowned Raycraft family and ascend to polite society.

As she takes her fiancé’s hand, a stranger brandishing a knife steps forward and ends the poor girl’s life. Amid the tumult, he turns to her aristocratic groom and mouths: ‘I promised I would save you.’

The following morning, just a few miles away, timid young legal clerk William Lamb meets a reclusive client, whom he was never meant to meet. He finds the old man terrified and in desperate need of aid: William must keep safe a small casket of yellowing papers, and deliver an enigmatic message: The Finder knows. NetGalley

And unbidden, but hugely welcome, Death in the Stars by Frances Brody arrived on my doormat. I loved getting to know Kate Shackleton in Death at the Seaside last year so I’m looking forward to an update from 1927. Death in the Stars will be published on 5 October 2017.


Yorkshire, 1927. Eclipse fever grips the nation, and when beloved theatre star Selina Fellini approaches trusted sleuth Kate Shackleton to accompany her to a viewing party at Giggleswick School Chapel, Kate suspects an ulterior motive.

During the eclipse, Selina’s friend and co-star Billy Moffatt disappears and is later found dead in the chapel grounds. Kate can’t help but dig deeper and soon learns that two other members of the theatre troupe died in similarly mysterious circumstances in the past year. With the help of Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden, Kate sets about investigating the deaths – and whether there is a murderer in the company.

When Selina’s elusive husband Jarrod, injured in the war and subject to violent mood swings, comes back on the scene, Kate begins to imagine something far deadlier at play, and wonders just who will be next to pay the ultimate price for fame . . Amazon

What have you found to read this week? Any of these take your fancy?


Since my last post I’ve read 3 books, and gained 3
So basically I’m standing still with the total of 179
Physical Books – 101
Kindle Books – 60
NetGalley Books – 18


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

38 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap Up (September 17)

  1. I will have to look for the postcards. I had quite a few of those and they were favourites. Mr Fox, Charlottes Web and Necklace of Raindrops. I also had a Narnia box set.


  2. Hi Cleo,

    This really is a coincidence, as this week in the charity shop, we had donated in your postcard gift set’s twin, for ‘Ladybird’ books. They too were lovely and I had thought about buying them for myself. However, given recent conversations we have had at home about me clearing my office of books, stationery, jigsaws and knitting wool, I thought I hadn’t better push my luck, so I put them away in one of our Christmas gift boxes – So I do have another chance to reconsider in a month or so 🙂

    I’m so pleased that you reconsidered your opinion about Miss Marple and I love the revamped cover art. Hercule Poirot will always slightly have the edge for me, but anything Agatha Christie can’t be bad in my opinion!

    Thanks for sharing and enjoy your Sunday 🙂



    1. I saw they did the ladybird ones and I actually made a big effort when my children were small to get the same covers for them via secondhand shops etc. it worked quite well – I wouldn’t have been able to resist the set.
      Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comments.


  3. Oh, so many fond memories of Puffin book covers! Yes to the Narnia box set – that must have been the defining collection of our generation. And I liked the Susie Steiner as well, lots of good books in your mountain of boks there!


  4. Those vintage postcards with some of our favourite stories and fairy tales are marvellous, and would make a really nice gifts, especially for book lovers. We have a collection of old Nestle photos and pictures of all sorts of celebrities from sports to films.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the postcards and someone has suggested putting some in a frame which I think would look exceptionally good in my book area!
      You’re right all those vintage looks are lovely in their own right and have a strong whiff of nostalgia about them.


  5. Oh,, those postcards are great, Cleo! I’m so glad you got them for yourself. And you’ve got some good reads, too. You know, I’ve caught my finger pushing that ‘purchase’ button, too, a few times. Sometimes they cannot be trusted! 😉


  6. I love those postcards. I bought a box of the Penguin ones the other year to send out with books and whilst there are some covers that I was unfamiliar with, there were many that I just couldn’t part with. I might have to treat myself to the Puffin ones too!


  7. I’m guilty too of buying things that I think will make lovely gifts. The idea is to keep the, in the cupboard in case I forget a birthday or just don’t have a chance to go shopping. But then when it comes to th moment I find I like the items too much to part with them


      1. Oh my goodness! I wasn’t going to admit it, but there is a third set I want (need!?) I don’t know if your familiar with the Peter and Jane Learn to Read books plus a lot of the Fairytale books all by Ladybird? Took me right back to pre school!! So nostalgic and despite having 200 postcards I feel I could do with another 100!


  8. I have the Bethany Mellmoth book too – I frequently love Boyd (and occasionally don’t love him much at all! 😉 ) but I’ve never seen him do short stories. I suspect it might end up feeling like a novel…

    Maybe Puffin had sent you an ARC of James and the Giant peach… 😉


    1. I have read a couple of Boyd’s previous books and was intrigued by this one…
      The James and the Giant Peach cover is bugging me because I definitely remember the illness and the book in the bedroom before we moved in the December of 1979 – somehow I think the ARC idea is unlikely although it would have saved money – I had every childhood illness going and got a new book each time 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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