Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (July 15)

Another long week at work broken up on Wednesday to watch the football as a neighbourhood in our front garden complete with a delicious lasagne and garlic bread. Shame we didn’t win but it was fun to get together.

This Week on the Blog

The first of four reviews this week was for the non-fiction book Wedlock by Wendy Moore which was one of my 20 Books of Summer 2018 Challenge.

My excerpt post was from an upcoming read, Open Your Eyes by Paula Daly which will be published later this month.

Next I reviewed the gripping court drama No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister.

Lisa Jewell’s latest novel Watching You was published on 12 July 2018 and my review for this dark outing  went up on the same day.

My final review of the week was for the second in the Adam Fawley series In the Dark by Cara Hunter.

Yesterday it was time for the annual Six in Six post which had me deciding six categories to sort my books into – great fun and a good way to remind myself of the excellent books I have read so far in 2018.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading The Spider and the Fly by Claudia Rowe. This exceptional book is a blend of crime fiction and memoir. Claudia Rowe who, with almost a sense of shame, initially sets out to write a journalistic piece on the serial killer, Kendall Francoise, who murdered eight women in Poughkeepsie, New York and kept their bodies in his parent’s loft.

Alongside the author’s correspondence with the killer and what that does, or doesn’t reveal is Claudia’s examination of her own life, although I found her quest far more nebulous. She seems to be persistently concerned about her obsession with Kendall whilst continuing the correspondence.

An interesting take on true crime and perhaps gives us some insight into the authors who choose to tell the tales from behind the prison walls.

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


In this superb work of literary true crime–a spellbinding combination of memoir and psychological suspense–a female journalist chronicles her unusual connection with a convicted serial killer and her search to understand the darkness inside us.

“Well, well, Claudia. Can I call you Claudia? I’ll have to give it to you, when confronted at least you’re honest, as honest as any reporter. . . . You want to go into the depths of my mind and into my past. I want a peek into yours. It is only fair, isn’t it?”–Kendall Francois

In September 1998, young reporter Claudia Rowe was working as a stringer for the New York Times in Poughkeepsie, New York, when local police discovered the bodies of eight women stashed in the attic and basement of the small colonial home that Kendall Francois, a painfully polite twenty-seven-year-old community college student, shared with his parents and sister.

Growing up amid the safe, bourgeois affluence of New York City, Rowe had always been secretly fascinated by the darkness, and soon became obsessed with the story and with Francois. She was consumed with the desire to understand just how a man could abduct and strangle eight women–and how a family could live for two years, seemingly unaware, in a house with the victims’ rotting corpses. She also hoped to uncover what humanity, if any, a murderer could maintain in the wake of such monstrous evil.

Reaching out after Francois was arrested, Rowe and the serial killer began a dizzying four-year conversation about cruelty, compassion, and control; an unusual and provocative relationship that would eventually lead her to the abyss, forcing her to clearly see herself and her own past–and why she was drawn to danger. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

I was thrilled to receive this wonderful prize from the very generous Nikki Moore to celebrate Picnics in Hyde Park being published by HarperCollins IT. This book is part of the Love London series.

The question posed was where is your favourite place in London? There was no hesitation in my mind and so I shared my memories of my dear Grandmother taking me to Cleopatra’s Needle on the embankment with the words ‘Lets go and visit your needle and have our sandwiches, shall we?’ There we’d sit eat the sandwiches wrapped in greaseproof paper and drink orange squash with me safe in the knowledge that none of the other grandchildren got to share that particular treat because they didn’t have needles! It went some way towards not being able to choose tat from gift shops with my name on too!



Hot summer romance…or cold revenge?

Super nanny, Zoe Harper is mad! It was bad enough discovering her ex-fiancé Greg cheating on her just weeks before their wedding. But now she’s returned home to London to find her younger sister Melody has been left jobless, homeless, broke and dumped.

Zoe is determined to get revenge on the infamous Reilly brothers for her sister’s heartbreak. So when an unexpected opportunity gives Zoe a way in to uncaring—and dizzyingly gorgeous!—successful music producer Matt Reilly’s world, she jumps at the chance to make him pay.

But living with Matt as nanny to his two adorable, but complicated children, Zoe soon begins to suspect that not everything is as it seems… Matt insists on pushing everyone away including his children, but why? And if his delicious summer kisses are anything to go by, he can’t be that bad surely?

Can Zoe convince Matt to open up a little and help fix this family before she leaves…or worse, before Matt learns who she really is? Amazon

Although I have one ARC it’s a secret so as I’ll be sharing that one later, I thought I’d show you some of the books recently acquired that got missed in the avalanche…

I have a copy of The Golden Child by Wendy James courtesy of Amazon Vine.


When teenage bullying spirals out of control who is to blame?

Blogger Lizzy’s life is shiny, happy, normal. Two gorgeous children, a handsome husband, destiny under control. For her real-life alter-ego Beth, things are unravelling. Tensions simmer with her husband, mother-in-law, her own mother. Her daughters, once the objects of her existence, have moved into teenage-hood, their lives -­ at school, home and online – increasingly mysterious to her.

Then a fellow student is callously bullied and the finger of blame pointed at one of Beth’s girls. As an innocent child lies suspended between life and death, two families are forced to question everything they believe about their children, and the answers are terrifying.

As unsettling as it is compelling, The Golden Child asks: how well can you know anyone in the digital age?

A potent story with shades of The Party and Mary Kubica.

Two families must grapple with the tragic fallout of cyberbullying. Amazon

I received a copy of Burning Secret by Stefan Zweig for my birthday.


BURNING SECRET is set in an Austrian sanatorium in the 1920’s. A lonely twelve-year-old boy is befriended and becomes infatuated by a suave and mysterious baron who heartlessly brushes him aside to turn his seductive attentions to the boy’s mother. Stefan Zweig, the author of Beware of Pity and Confusion provides the reader, in this newly available translation, with a study of childhood on the brink of adolescence and a boy’s uncontrollable jealousy and feelings of betrayal. Amazon

What have you found to read this week? Do share!


Once again I have only managed to read 2 books this week but fortunately I only added two so no change on the TBR 172!
Physical Books – 112
Kindle Books – 42
NetGalley Books –17
Audio Books –1

One of this week’s reviews was for a book I own book, so I’ve added another 1/3 of a token. I’m now 2 1/3 books in credit, having bought no new books.


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

13 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap Up (July 15)

  1. I’ve added so many books to my TBR I’m afraid to count how many novels are waiting for me,haha! You’ve had a busy and interesting bookish week! I’ve read No Further Question too but I still have to write my review. My mojo seems to be on holiday, though!
    I obviously watched the football game after watching so many other games during my time in England and I really wanted a France/England big finale … Next time!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your lasagne dinner sounds wonderful, Cleo, and I’m glad you had a good time, win or no. Congratulations on your own win! What a lovely prize. And thank you for sharing your memories of visiting Cleopatra’s Needle. Lucky you that you have those fond memories. I’ll be especially interested in what you think of The Golden Child. Wendy James is one of my top authors, and I’m really hoping you’ll enjoy this one.


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