Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (January 20)

Well here we are the 20th January and my reading and blogging mojo has remained intact, much to my relief. To celebrate I have a stack of new books to look forward to.

This Week on the Blog

My week started with a review of an audiobook which is set around a true crime TV series; Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea which was both a great structure for listening to and introduced me to a new author via the wonderful book blogging community.

My excerpt post was taken from The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths which will be published by Quercus on 7 February 2019.

This Week in Books featured the authors Alex & Marcus Lewis, Truman Capote and Victoria Helen Stone

The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg got a very positive review from this reader for the brilliant portrayal of a life as witnessed with people those she has met along the way. Now all too often the names scored through in ninety-six year old Doris’s address book and the word ‘dead’ written beside them.

On Friday I explained via my review how the fictionalised version of the Forest of Dean worked against my full immersion in A Place to Lie by Rebecca Griffiths even though it is entirely fitting with this very creepy book.

I finished the week by determinedly ignoring the political news of the week and concentrated on a post about bookshelves as a response to Marie Kondo’s alleged assertion that 30 books is the maximum any house should hold.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading A Patient Fury by Sarah Ward and I was exceptionally lucky to be able to read it in its home setting in the Peak District while on a weekend break in Leek.

A Patient Fury is the third in the series featuring DC Childs and it is a solid police procedural but in addition Sarah Ward gives us a plot that is both credible and yet audacious. The lines of enquiry are followed but there is more beneath the surface than trying to find the answer to the three main questions: means, motive and opportunity; the lid is also lifted on family life, the parts that we often don’t want to acknowledge.

The writing is both clear and compelling. As the author has allowed one of her detectives to move to another Police Authority it has allowed a new character to step into the team mixing up the dynamics most satisfactorily and will hopefully allow the series to continue to grow and delight for many more books yet.

If you haven’t read this series and you love well-written crime fiction, I suggest you add them all to your bookshelf.

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


When Detective Constable Connie Childs is dragged from her bed to the fire-wrecked property on Cross Farm Lane she knows as she steps from the car that this house contains death.

Three bodies discovered – a family obliterated – their deaths all seem to point to one conclusion: One mother, one murderer.

But D.C. Childs, determined as ever to discover the truth behind the tragedy, realises it is the fourth body – the one they cannot find – that holds the key to the mystery at Cross Farm Lane.
What Connie Childs fails to spot is that her determination to unmask the real murderer might cost her more than her health – this time she could lose the thing she cares about most: her career.

Stacking the Shelves

As I said earlier there have been more additions to the bookshelves in their various forms this week and I have some older acquisitions still to share. It therefore seems sensible to split them between formats again this week.

From NetGalley I am delighted to have received a copy of My Life as a Rat by Joyce Carol Oates who is one of those authors whose books I either love or occasionally hate. In other words someone whose novels provoke strong emotions! This book isn’t due to be published until 6 June 2019 though.


A brilliant and thought-provoking novel about family, loyalty and betrayal

Once I’d been Daddy’s favourite. Before something terrible happened.

Violet Rue is the baby of the seven Kerrigan children and adores her big brothers. What’s more, she knows that a family protects its own. To go outside the family – to betray the family – is unforgiveable. So when she overhears a conversation not meant for her ears and discovers that her brothers have committed a heinous crime, she is torn between her loyalty to her family and her sense of justice. The decision she takes will change her life for ever.

Exploring racism, misogyny, community, family, loyalty, sexuality and identity, this is a dark story with a tense and propulsive atmosphere – Joyce Carol Oates at her very best. NetGalley

For my kindle I have purchased a copy of For Reasons Unknown by Michael Wood.

This is a police procedural set in the UK and recommended by a Canadian Blogger. this was the winner in her survey on which UK Police Procedural series she should start first and is now endorsed by one of my most trusted book bloggers Fictionphile. If you haven’t visited her blog and been wowed by her Cover Love, I really do urge you to hop on over and pay her a visit. I can guarantee you will get a warm welcome.


DCI Matilda Darke has returned to work after a nine month absence. A shadow of her former self, she is tasked with re-opening a cold case: the terrifyingly brutal murders of Miranda and Stefan Harkness.

The only witness was their eleven-year-old son, Jonathan, who was too deeply traumatized to speak a word.

Then a dead body is discovered, and the investigation leads back to Matilda’s case. Suddenly the past and present converge, and it seems a killer may have come back for more… Amazon

My audio selection is More from Marple’s Casebook by Agatha Christie this Radio 4 dramatisation of seven of the Miss Marple stories was chosen shortly before the demise of the leading lady June Whitfield.


June Whitfield stars as Miss Marple in seven suspenseful full-cast radio dramatisation

These BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations, based on four novels and three short stories by Agatha Christie, showcase seven of Miss Marple’s most ingenious mysteries.

The Moving Finger, They Do It With Mirrors, Nemesis and Sleeping Murder dramatised by Michael Bakewell and directed by Enyd Williams

Tape-Measure Murder, The Case of the Perfect Maid and Sanctuary dramatised by Joy Wilkinson and directed by Gemma Jenkins. Amazon

I was hugely lucky to receive some physical books as gifts for Christmas and one that I am very eager to read is Peter Swanson’s All the Beautiful Lies, given that his previous books delighted me the synopsis for this one sounds equally appealing.


On the eve of his college graduation, Harry is called home by his step-mother Alice, to their house on the Maine coast, following the unexpected death of his father.

But who really is Alice, his father’s much younger second wife? In a brilliant split narrative, Peter Swanson teases out the stories and damage that lie in her past. And as her story entwines with Harry’s in the present, things grow increasingly dark and threatening – will Harry be able to see any of it clearly through his own confused feelings? Amazon

tbr-watchI haven’t cleared any books out of the TBR this week except for the 3 I have read.

With a few acquisitions the total this week is 174

Physical Books – 115
Kindle Books – 35
NetGalley Books –20
Audio Books –5


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

20 thoughts on “Weekly Wrap Up (January 20)

  1. I haven’t read that Peter Swanson book yet either and he has new one coming out before long. I loved a couple of his earlier books. And I keep meaning to begin Sarah Ward’s series. I need to do that before it gets too long – ha! Have a good week, Cleo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😊 I remember when I used to anxiously await my favourite author’s new books – since book blogging I have so many favourite authors that I’m playing catch-up! Sarah Ward’s books are great though #justsaying


  2. I’m so glad you like Sarah Ward’s work as much as you do, Cleo. I think she’s very talented. And you’ve got some great-sounding new books here. I’m especially interested in the Wood. I do like novels where secrets from the past haunt characters in the present; that story line can be compelling!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow Cleo! I am humbled by your warm endorsement and your kind words. I hope you like “For Reasons Unknown ” as much as I did. I haven’t yet read any of Sarah Ward’s novels. I think she will feature prominently in poll #3.
    I remember trying Joyce Carol Oates years ago and not liking it. Perhaps I started with the wrong title?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, yay, a new Joyce Carol Oates book! Like you, I find that some of them are more loved than others…but this one does sound good.

    I am loving The Red Address Book, which I hope to finish today. I have had various address books over the years, but nothing that triggers the memories like those of Doris, the MC in this book. Hers sounds like a journal, and I would love to have something like that.

    Enjoy your week, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooh, I fancy that Miss Marple audiobook! I listened to one or two of them when they originally appeared on Radio 4 and thought June Whitfield was excellent as Miss M. Enjoy!


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