Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (November 19)

Last Sunday we managed to have a family trip to watch Murder on the Orient Express and although we weren’t completely convinced by some of the attempt to inject some fast-moving action into the story-line, a good time was had by all. Kenneth Branagh’s moustache was especially impressive.

The week finished with my annual visit to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Book Sale with a dear friend. The consequence of helping her find some great books to read is that I have a nice pile of new (second-hand) books.

This Week on the Blog

My first review this week was of The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst, an exciting read which despite the supernatural bent I still enjoyed despite normally avoiding books that bend in that direction.

My excerpt post was for an upcoming read The Dress Thief by Natalie Meg Evans, historical fiction which I hope will make me feel more elegant by default.

My This Week in Books post featured authors Gillian McAllister and Nicci French and a whole heap of others (what is a collection of authors called?) in the CWA Short Story Anthology: Mystery Tour which is edited by Martin Edwards.

My second review of the week was for The Scandal by Fredrik Backman, a book that totally won me over despite my doubts at the beginning of the read. I’m was so impressed I know this needs to be in the top ten reads of 2017.

And then I reviewed Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister which has also contributed to the now total confusion of what my best reads of 2017 are going to be – I’ve never had quite so many late contenders!

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Out of Bounds by Val McDermid, a story where the past doesn’t merely collide but crashes into the present. With the present part of the story feeling right on the button with a strand that explores the needs of Syrian refugees which was sensitively explored without the need for the author to over state her views on the subject. With an equally enthralling past mystery, or two this was a welcome reminder of just how skilled this author is.

You can read my full review here or click on the book cover.


‘There are lots of things that ran in families, but murder wasn’t one of them . . .’

When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test could be the key to unlocking the mystery of a twenty-year-old murder inquiry. Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is an expert at solving the unsolvable. With each cold case closed, justice is served. So, finding the answer should be straightforward, but it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.

Meanwhile Karen finds herself irresistibly drawn to another case, one that she has no business investigating. And as she pieces together decades-old evidence, Karen discovers the most dangerous kinds of secrets. Secrets that someone is willing to kill for . . . Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Well apart from the Eleven books I picked up at the books sale which include three Reginald Hills, two Agatha Christies, Anne Cleeves, Kate Atkinson & Beryl Bainbidge amongst others, I also have added The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton which will be published in February 2018.



‘Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder and so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.’

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.
But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.
The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath… NetGalley

And Fiction Fan has started her annual awards and given that she awarded The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes her winning entry for the Vintage Crime Fiction/Thriller 2017 award despite having Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate on the list meant I have to try it for myself.


The Buntings are an elderly London couple who have fallen on hard times. They take in a lodger with the strange name of Mr. Sleuth, who pays handsomely for their shabby rooms. He seems to be a perfect gentleman but none the less they begin to suspect that he may be the Jack-the-Ripper-like serial killer known in the press as ‘The Avenger’. As the number of murders in the city begins to mount, and Mr. Bunting’s teenage daughter from an earlier marriage comes to stay, the couple must decide what to do about the man in their upstairs rooms. An early example of a psychological suspense story and a brilliant evocation of the fog-bound and gaslit streets of late Victorian London, The Lodger is still a wonderfully compelling thriller. Amazon

Finally I have a copy of The Image of You by Adele Parks from Headline Review which will be published in paperback on 22 February 2018 although if you can’t wait it is available for the kindle now.


When all you can see is what they want you to see… Can you ever trust someone you meet online?

Anna and Zoe are twins. Identical in appearance, utterly different in personality, they share a bond so close that nothing – or no one – can rip them apart.

Until Anna meets charismatic Nick.

Anna is trusting, romantic and hopeful; she thinks Nick is perfect.

Zoe is daring, dangerous and extreme; she thinks Nick is a liar.

Zoe has seen Anna betrayed by men before. She’ll stop at nothing to discover if Nick is as good as he seems. Amazon


All of those books mean that despite reading 4 DNF 1, having gained just a few more than that, my TBR now has stands at a total of 180
Physical Books – 108
Kindle Books – 55
NetGalley Books – 17


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

34 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap Up (November 19)

  1. That is a quality book sale, clearly. Life After Life, Affinity, Master Georgie – yum, yum. And of course it’s perfectly OK because it’s for a good cause. At least, that’s what I tell myself whenever I come back with a stack of books from my local Oxfam bookshop…


  2. Book sales are so much fun, aren’t they, Cleo? And you got some great ones there! I love it. I hope you’ll enjoy The Lodger, it really is a creepy story, and has a great London atmosphere. And I’ve heard that the Turton is terrific; I’ll be looking forward to your review of that one.


    1. This one was later than usual so it the anticipation was high and I did so well – especially with the Reginald Hills which include A Clubbable Woman and I’d been after a copy for ages. I was interested to see The Lodger is marketed as ‘Gaslight’ fiction which I’d not heard of before but guess it will work for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great haul at the book sale Cleo! I have had a copy of Atkinson’s “Life after life” on my bookshelf for several years now and haven’t had a chance to get to it. Sadly (or happily?), my shelves are packed with potential gems that I haven’t yet read.


    1. Haha funny when I was telling my daughter what I’d picked up she said ‘I’ve got a copy of Life After Life’ on my bookshelf – oh well! I like knowing that I have some books I’m really looking forward to reading on my own shelf and next year I intend cutting back on the review copies to enjoy more of them.


  4. Such a great post! Hurrah for The Lodger – can’t wait to hear what you think of it! Hurrah for THREE Reginald Hills – love Child’s Play and I’m a big fan of the Joe Sixsmith series. (What’s the middle one? I can’t make out the title in the pic.) And hurrah, hurrah! Your TBR is on the way back up again!! 🤣

    A conspiracy of authors? 😉


  5. Great book haul! You have many delightful reads ahead. While I love Kate Atkinson’s books for the most part, Life After Life just didn’t do it for me. Others seem to love it, though; enjoy!

    I am definitely curious about The Foster Child.

    While I enjoyed seeing Murder on the Orient Express, I was not in the best frame of mind to watch it…and it was later in the afternoon, so I was very tired. I will need to see it again under better circumstances.

    Enjoy your week, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES


    1. I read all her early books and then didn’t – sometimes this happens and then I saw this one and my friend picked up One Good Turn so we will do a swap once we’ve read them.
      I do hope The Foster Child makes it to the US before too long.
      I hope you enjoy Murder on the Orient Express more next time around – thanks for visiting and leaving your link.


  6. You’re right – that is quite a moustache (just for Movember?). I read The Foster Child too this week but couldn’t get away with Imogen. I still keep thinking about it and just can’t decide how I feel exactly. Have a good week x


  7. Sounds like you had a great week reading! The Foster Child looks good and I do plan to see the movie…..some time!


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