Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (February 26)

Weekly Wrap Up

Another week and another the lovely Emma from damppebbles spotted my name in the paperback release of Little Bones by Sam Blake. There is something exceptionally thrilling to seeing your words quoted, so thank you Bonnier for picking my review!

little-bones-png

This Week on the Blog

A busy one with four reviews posted starting with my thoughts on My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon, the book that accompanied me on my travels a couple of weeks back.

My excerpt post this week was for  Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary, the fourth in the London Detective Inspector Marnie Rome series.

On Wednesday I outlined my fabulous line-up of books for the week which included Agatha Christie, Denise Mina and Jane Casey – if nothing else it has been a fantastic book week!

A tiger mum was the subject matter of my second review of the week in The Trophy Child by Paula Daly, although whichever subject she choses to spin a story around, this author is always a hit with me.

Then came a five star review for The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell, If you haven’t read this book, you really should which is definitely my best choice for the Mount TBR Challenge yet, although once again I am fighting the urge the second book she wrote to the TBR!

Last up review wise was my thoughts on The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie, a collection of linked short stories posed as a problem with Miss Marple. This was another book read as part of the TBR Challenge which is currently on track with 6 books read and reviewed by the end of February!

This Time Last Year…

I was reading a Non-Fiction book about the last woman hanged in New South Wales which sparked my interest in poisoning as a murder weapon. Last Woman Hanged by Caroline Overington wasn’t just about the crime and punishment though the links were made to the woman’s movement which was behind a valiant attempt to have Louisa Collin’s sentence commuted.

If you’d like to you can read my full review here or click on the book cover.

Last Woman Hanged

Blurb

Darlinghurst Gaol and the last woman hanged in New South Wales. Both of Louisa’s husbands had died suddenly and the Crown, convinced that Louisa poisoned them with arsenic, put her on trial an extraordinary four times in order to get a conviction, to the horror of many in the legal community. Louisa protested her innocence until the end.

Much of the evidence against Louisa was circumstantial. Some of the most important testimony was given by her only daughter, May, who was just 10-years-old when asked to take the stand. Louisa Collins was hanged at a time when women were in no sense equal under the law – except when it came to the gallows. They could not vote or stand for parliament – or sit on juries. Against this background, a small group of women rose up to try to save Louisa’s life, arguing that a legal system comprised only of men – male judges, all-male jury, male prosecutor, governor and Premier – could not with any integrity hang a woman. The tenacity of these women would not save Louisa but it would ultimately carry women from their homes all the way to Parliament House. Amazon

Stacking The Shelves

This week I have gained a copy of The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty which is already available in eBook but will be published in paperback on 9 March 2017.

the-housekeeper

Blurb

“I am the housekeeper, the hired help with a messy past who cleans up other people’s messy lives, the one who protects their messy little secrets.”

When Anne Morgan’s successful boyfriend, (who also happens to be her boss), leaves her for another woman, Anne finds herself in desperate need of a new job and a quiet place to recover. Meanwhile, her celebrity idol, Emma Helmsley, is in need of a housekeeper, an opportunity which seems too good to be true.

Through her books, website, and blog, Emma Helmsley advises her devoted followers on how to live a balanced life. Her husband, Rob, is a high profile academic and her children, Jake and Lily, are well-adjusted teenagers. On the surface, they are the perfect family. But Anne soon finds herself intimately ensconced in the Helmsley’s dirty laundry, both literally and figuratively. Underneath the dust, grime and whimsical clutter, everyone has a secret to hide and Anne’s own disturbing past threatens to unhinge everything.

For fans of Notes on a Scandal and The Woman Upstairs, The Housekeeper is a nuanced and nail-biting psychological thriller about the dark recesses of the human mind and the dangerous consequences of long-buried secrets. Amazon

I was also approved on NetGalley to read The Escape by C.L. Taylor which will be published on 23 March 2017. I have read all of this author’s previous books and I’m really looking forward to this one.

the-escape

Blurb

“Look after your daughter’s things. And your daughter…”

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t. The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her. No one believes that Elise is in danger.
But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN. NetGalley

I also already had, but hadn’t featured a copy of The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett which is out in April 2017.

the-people-at-number-9

Blurb

‘Have you met them yet, the new couple?’

When Gav and Lou move into the house next door, Sara spends days plucking up courage to say hello. The neighbours are glamorous, chaotic and just a little eccentric. They make the rest of Sara’s street seem dull by comparison.
When the hand of friendship is extended, Sara is delighted and flattered. Incredibly, Gav and Lou seem to see something in Sara and Neil that they admire too. In no time at all, the two couples are soulmates, sharing suppers, bottles of red wine and childcare, laughing and trading stories and secrets late into the night in one another’s houses.

And the more time Sara spends with Gav and Lou, the more she longs to make changes in her own life. But those changes will come at a price. Soon Gav and Lou will be asking things they’ve no right to ask of their neighbours, with shattering consequences for all of them… NetGalley

… and The Special Girls by Isabelle Grey, the third in the DI Grace Fisher series, also out in April 2017. I’m eager to read the follow up to  Good Girls Don’t Die and Shot Through The Heart

the-special-girls

Blurb

A case of historical child sex abuse by a famous doctor is linked to the murder of his young and popular colleague at a summer camp deep in the Essex woods.

A young psychiatric registrar is found beaten to death in the woods close to a summer camp for young patients suffering from eating disorders. It is run by the charismatic, world-renowned Professor Ned Chesham. DI Grace Fisher investigates, but it is not long before she is pulled from the case – to head up a Metropolitan Police review into a cold case involving Chesham himself.

Nearly twenty years ago, one of Chesham’s patients made allegations that he sexually assaulted her. The investigation at the time found no conclusive proof, but Grace soon discovers another victim, and a witness whose account never reached the police. Does this mean the original investigation was bungled? Scotland Yard would certainly like her to conclude otherwise.

As Grace uncovers the lies that led to the young doctor’s murder, she discovers the full extent of the damage done to Chesham’s ‘special girls’ – and the danger they are still in. NetGalley

and finally You Don’t Know Me by Imran Mahmood a book that captured my attention and my new found enjoyment in court room dramas. You Don’t Know Me is being published by Penguin on 4 May 2017.

you-dont-know-me

Blurb

An unnamed defendant stands accused of murder.

Just before the Closing Speeches, the young man sacks his lawyer, and decides to give his own defence speech. He tells us that his barrister told him to leave some things out. Sometimes, the truth can be too difficult to explain, or believe. But he thinks that if he’s going to go down for life, he might as well go down telling the truth. There are eight pieces of evidence against him. As he talks us through them one by one, his life is in our hands.

We, the reader – member of the jury – must keep an open mind till we hear the end of his story. His defence raises many questions… but at the end of the speeches, only one matters: Did he do it? NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read 3 books and gained just 2 – although I found a missing book from the TBR list while another 2 were discarded.. so the grand total is 189
Physical Books – 111
Kindle Books – 65
NetGalley Books – 13

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (February 22)

www.This Week In Books

Hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

I’ve just started The Long Drop by Denise Mina which is due to be published on 2 March 2017. The story is based upon Peter Manual, a killer in 1950’s Glasgow

the-long-drop

Blurb

William Watt wants answers about his family’s murder. Peter Manuel has them. But Peter Manuel is a liar.

William Watt is an ordinary businessman, a fool, a social climber.

Peter Manuel is a famous liar, a rapist, a criminal. He claims he can get hold of the

gun used to murder Watt’s family.

One December night in 1957, Watt meets Manuel in a Glasgow bar to find out what he knows.

Based on true events, The Long Drop is an extraordinarily unsettling, evocative and compelling novel from a writer at the height of her powers. NetGalley

I have just finished The Thirteen Problems by Agatha Christie another one to add to my Mount TBR Challenge as this story featuring Miss Marple was plucked from my own bookshelf.

the-thirteen-problems

Blurb

The Tuesday Night Club is a venue where locals challenge Miss Marple to solve recent crimes…
One Tuesday evening a group gathers at Miss Marple’s house and the conversation turns to unsolved crimes…
The case of the disappearing bloodstains; the thief who committed his crime twice over; the message on the death-bed of a poisoned man which read ‘heap of fish’; the strange case of the invisible will; a spiritualist who warned that ‘Blue Geranium’ meant death…
Now pit your wits against the powers of deduction of the ‘Tuesday Night Club’. Amazon

Next I’m planning to read Let The Dead Speak by Jane Casey which is going to be published on 9 March 2017 which seems to be a busy day in the world of book publishing.

let-the-dead-speak

Blurb

When eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home she finds her mother missing, the house covered in blood. Everything points to murder, except for one thing: there’s no sign of the body.

London detective Maeve Kerrigan and the homicide team turn their attention to the neighbours. The ultra-religious Norrises are acting suspiciously; their teenage daughter and Chloe Emery definitely have something to hide. Then there’s William Turner, once accused of stabbing a schoolmate and the neighborhood’s favorite criminal. Is he merely a scapegoat, or is there more behind the charismatic facade?

As a body fails to materialize, Maeve must piece together a patchwork of testimonies and accusations. Who is lying, and who is not? And soon Maeve starts to realize that not only will the answer lead to Kate Emery, but more lives may hang in the balance. Goodreads

Have you read any of these? Do you want to?

What are your reading this week? Do share!

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (February 21)

First Chapter
Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

My opening paragraph this week comes from an author whose books really do have their finger on the pulse of modern life while not forgetting that the reader needs to have more than an issue to hang their hat on – Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary.

quieter-than-killing

Blurb

Sometimes staying silent is the only way to survive.

You only ever ask that. Why did I do it? You never ask what they did.’
The winter cold is biting, and a series of assaults is pulling DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake out into the frosty, mean streets of London far more than they’d like. The attacks seem random, but when Marnie’s family home is ransacked, there are signs that the burglary can have only been committed by a child – and someone who knows all about her. It will take a prison visit to her foster brother, Stephen, to help Marnie see the connections – and to force both her and Noah to face the truth about the creeping, chilling reaches of a troubled upbringing. For how can a damaged child really leave their past behind them? NetGalley

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Six years ago

He’s washing the car – slapping water, sloppy. She’s in the kitchen, cutting. Not meat and not bread, something that chunks under the knife. Carrots, or onions. The sounds soak up through the house to where Stephen is sitting in the room with the red wall.

Her room. The shelf over the bed is full of her things. Books and pictures, and the dark blue box with its snarl of bracelets. His favourite is the horseshoe charm, silver, curved like a half-finished heart. He wears it under the sleeve of his pyjamas, in bed. They said they’d put her things away into the attic if he wanted but he said no, he didn’t mind. He likes looking at her things, it makes him feel safe. He sleeps with her books weighted around him like stones.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well I’m keen to know more – are you?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (February 19)

Weekly Wrap Up

I didn’t post a wrap up last week as I had gone away on a little jaunt, firstly to London where I met up with Bibliobeth to attend a Book Blogger event organised by Headline books – I had a great evening, had long chats with publicist Georgina Moore (Chief Communications Officer) and authors: Julia Crouch, Alison Weir, Colette McBeth, Amanda Reynolds and Adele Parks as well as some other bloggers – this goes some way to explaining some of the recent additions to my TBR. I had a fantastic evening.

From there I made a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon where unfortunately the great Bard was fairly silent but myself and my oldest (in that we’ve been friends the longest) friend had a wonderful weekend catching up and having fun. I then made a trip to Malvern to visit relatives before making it back to Jersey via a Post Office so I could send my books home as they wouldn’t fit in my carry-on case!

This Week on the Blog

Well I’m going back to the week before because I simply have to feature my review of He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly which is my favourite read of the year so far. A story of a coupling interrupted in 1999 leads to a court case with a young man charged with rape. What really happened on the day of the solar eclipse that day will have long lasting consequences for all involved.

My extract post this week was from The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir the first in the Children’s House Series.

My This Week in Books post featured among other’s The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell, another book to count towards my Mount TBR challenge.

On Thursday my first review of the week was for The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer which I enjoyed far more than I would have been expected since it contained strong supernatural elements.

On Friday I posted my review for Sewing the Shadows Together by Alison Baillie. This story of a past murder in Portobello, Edinburgh was then the subject of yesterday’s Put a Book on the Map feature written by Joanne of Portobello Book Blog and Alison Baillie. I’m really enjoying the posts that are the collaboration between the author and book bloggers which really add some context to the books being discussed.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett. This sliding doors novel which has three different versions of a life, kicked off by a student falling off her bike in 1958 was exceptionally well written and one of my favourite novels of last year. Each version of Eva and Jim’s life is full of minor details as well as the bigger events which steer them down different paths which made for a satisfying and enjoyable read.

If you click on the cover you can read my full review

The Versions of Us

Blurb

What if you had said yes . . . ?
Eva and Jim are nineteen, and students at Cambridge, when their paths first cross in 1958. Jim is walking along a lane when a woman approaching him on a bicycle swerves to avoid a dog. What happens next will determine the rest of their lives. We follow three different versions of their future – together, and apart – as their love story takes on different incarnations and twists and turns to the conclusion in the present day.
The Versions of Us is an outstanding debut novel about the choices we make and the different paths that our lives might follow. What if one small decision could change the rest of your life? Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

So back to the wonderful Headline Book Blogger event where I picked up a much wanted copy of An Act of Silence by Colette McBeth which is due out in June 2017,  which Colette kindly signed for me.

an-act-of-silence

Blurb

These are the facts I collect.

My son Gabriel met a woman called Mariela in a bar. She went home with him where they had sex. They next morning she was found in an allotment.

Mariela is dead.

Gabriel has been asked to report to Camden Police station in six hours for questioning
Linda Moscow: loving mother to Gabriel. Linda promised herself years ago that she would never let her son down again. Even if it means going against everything she believes in – she will do anything to protect him. She owes him that much.
Gabriel Miller: the prodigal son. He only ever wanted his mother’s love, but growing up he always seemed to do the wrong thing. If his mother could only see the bad in him – how could he possibly be good?
How far will a mother go to save her son? Linda’s decision might save Gabriel, but it will have a catastrophic impact on the lives of others. What would you do if faced with the same impossible choice? Amazon

After having a wonderful chat with Amanda Reynolds I was delighted that she signed my copy of Close to Me which will be out in April 2017.

close-to-me
Blurb

When Jo Harding falls down the stairs at home, she wakes up in hospital with partial amnesia – she’s lost a whole year of memories.
A lot can happen in a year. Was Jo having an affair? Lying to her family? Starting a new life?
She can’t remember what she did – or what happened the night she fell.
But she’s beginning to realise she might not be as good a wife and mother as she thought. Amazon

Bibliobeth bought me her spare copy of Girls On Fire by Robin Wasserman
which is due out in May 2017

girls-on-fire

Blurb

This is not a story of bad things happening to bad girls. I say this because I know you, Dex, and I know how you think.
I’m going to tell you a story, and this time, it will be the truth.
Hannah Dexter is a nobody, ridiculed and isolated at school by golden girl Nikki Drummond. But in their junior year of high school, Nikki’s boyfriend walks into the woods and shoots himself. In the wake of the suicide, Hannah befriends new girl Lacey and soon the pair are inseparable, bonded by their shared hatred of Nikki.
Lacey transforms good girl Hannah into Dex who is up for any challenge Lacey throws at her. The two girls bring their combined wills to bear on the community in which they live and think they are invulnerable.
But Lacey has a secret, about life before her better half, and it’s a secret that will change everything . . . Amazon

In the post I was delighted to receive Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton – one of my favourite authors which is being published on 20 April 2017.

dead-woman-walking

Blurb

Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.

She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.

Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all . . . Amazon

From NetGalley I was delighted to be given a copy of Let the Dead Speak by Jane Casey which is out next month – and it features Meave and Josh!!

 

let-the-dead-speak

Blurb

When an 18-year-old girl returns home to find her house covered in blood and her mother missing, Detective Maeve Kerrigan and the murder squad must navigate a web of lies to discover the truth…
When eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home she finds Kate, her mother, missing and the house covered in blood. There may not be a body, but everything else points to murder.
Maeve Kerrigan is young, ambitious and determined to prove she’s up to her new role as detective sergeant. In the absence of a body, she and maverick detective Josh Derwent turn their attention to the neighbours.
The ultra-religious Norrises are acting suspiciously; their teenage daughter definitely has something to hide. Then there’s William Turner, once accused of stabbing a schoolmate and the neighbourhood’s favourite criminal. Is he merely a scapegoat or is there more behind the charismatic façade? As the accusations fly, Maeve must piece together a patchwork of conflicting testimonies, none of which quite add up. Who is lying, who is not? The answer could lead them to the truth about Kate Emery, and save the life of someone else. NetGalley

Surprisingly I have more books added to the TBR which will be revealed next week…

What have you found to read this week?

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read 6 books and gained 10!! so the grand total is 192
Physical Books – 115
Kindle Books – 65
NetGalley Books – 12

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (February 15)

www.This Week In Books

Hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

My current read is The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths the ninth in the Dr Ruth Galloway Mystery series which will be published on 23 February 2017.

the-chalk-pit

Blurb

Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich’s web of underground tunnels. When Dr Ruth Galloway discovers they were recently buried, DCI Nelson has a murder enquiry on his hands. The boiling might have been just a medieval curiosity – now it suggests a much more sinister purpose.

Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper. The only trace of her is the rumour that she’s gone ‘underground’. This might be a figure of speech, but with the discovery of the bones and the rumours both Ruth and the police have heard that the network of old chalk-mining tunnels under Norwich is home to a vast community of rough sleepers, the clues point in only one direction. Local academic Martin Kellerman knows all about the tunnels and their history – but can his assertions of cannibalism and ritual killing possibly be true?

As the weather gets hotter, tensions rise. A local woman goes missing and the police are under attack. Ruth and Nelson must unravel the dark secrets of The Underground and discover just what gruesome secrets lurk at its heart – before it claims another victim. Amazon

I have recently finished The Trophy Child by Paula Daly

the-trophy-child

Blurb

A doting mother or a pushy parent?

Karen Bloom expects perfection. Her son, Ewan, has been something of a disappointment and she won’t be making the same mistake again with her beloved, talented child, Bronte.

Bronte’s every waking hour will be spent at music lessons and dance classes, doing extra schoolwork and whatever it takes to excel.

But as Karen pushes Bronte to the brink, the rest of the family crumbles. Karen’s husband, Noel, is losing himself in work, and his teenage daughter from his first marriage, Verity, is becoming ever more volatile. The family is dangerously near breaking point.

Karen would know when to stop . . . wouldn’t she?

Next up for my Mount TBR Challenge 2017 I am going to read The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

the-other-typist

Blurb

New York City, 1924: the height of Prohibition and the whole city swims in bathtub gin.
Rose Baker is an orphaned young woman working for her bread as a typist in a police precinct on the lower East Side. Every day Rose transcribes the confessions of the gangsters and murderers that pass through the precinct. While she may disapprove of the details, she prides herself on typing up the goriest of crimes without batting an eyelid.
But when the captivating Odalie begins work at the precinct Rose finds herself falling under the new typist’s spell. As do her bosses, the buttoned up Lieutenant Detective and the fatherly Sergeant. As the two girls’ friendship blossoms and they flit between the sparkling underworld of speakeasies by night, and their work at the precinct by day, it is not long before Rose’s fascination for her new colleague turns to obsession.
But just who is the real Odalie, and how far will Rose go to find out? Amazon

What are your reading this week? Do share!

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (February 14)

First Chapter
Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

Happy Valentines Day everyone I’m sending you all lots of book love!

My opening paragraph for this week comes from The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir which will be published in the UK on 23 March 2017.

the-legacy

Blurb

The murder was meant as a punishment – but what sin could justify the method?
The only person who might have answers is the victim’s seven-year-old daughter, found hiding in the room where her mother died. And she’s not talking.
Newly promoted, out of his depth, detective Huldar turns to Freyja and the Children’s House for their expertise with traumatised young people. Freyja, who distrusts the police in general and Huldar in particular, isn’t best pleased. But she’s determined to keep little Margret safe.
It may prove tricky. The killer is leaving them strange clues: warnings in text messages, sums scribbled on bits of paper, numbers broadcast on the radio. He’s telling a dark and secret story – but how can they crack the code? And if they do, will they be next? Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Chapter 1

Thursday

It takes Elisa a moment or two to work out where she is. She’s lying on her side, the duvet tangled between her legs, the pillow creased under her cheek. It’s dark in the room but through the gap in the curtains a star winks at her from the vastness of space. On the other side of the bed the duvet is smooth and flat, the pillow undented. The silence is alien too; for all the times it has kept her lying irritably awake she misses the sound of snoring. And she misses the warmth that radiates from her permanently superheated husband, which requires her to sleep with one leg sticking out of the covers.
Out of habit she’s adopted that position now, and she’s cold.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This is my first Yrsa Sigurdardottir book and having heard high praise of her books, I think I’m going to enjoy this one.

What do you think?

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (February 8)

www.This Week In Books

Hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

At the moment I am reading The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid, another for my Mount TBR Challenge, and also a series that I am reading in completely the wrong order! I read the fourth in the Katie Pirie series last year, Out of Bounds, and this is the third!

The Skeleton Road

Blurb

When a skeleton is discovered hidden at the top of a crumbling, gothic building in Edinburgh, Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is faced with the unenviable task of identifying the bones. As Karen’s investigation gathers momentum, she is drawn deeper into a dark world of intrigue and betrayal.

Meanwhile, someone is taking the law into their own hands in the name of justice and revenge — but when present resentment collides with secrets of the past, the truth is more shocking than anyone could have imagined . . . Amazon

Now I’ve been reading quite slowly this year, but as I’m off for a little bit of rest and relaxation for few days, I’m going to make up for it by posting two books that I hope to read while I’m away… The complex hand-luggage rules for the different airlines that will ferry me to and from the mainland mean that kindle reads are a must (although I have to find some space for a paperback just in case of electronic failure) if I want some clothes to wear. I then need to factor in the fact that most of my reading will happen whilst sitting at airports, on planes and trains means that reads that are engaging enough to drown out the other passengers, but still allow me to juggle the constant putting a book aside to queue, to watch various boards and to make sure I don’t miss my stop!

As you can imagine I’ve spent far too long pondering which books to choose but I’ve finally come up with a couple.

My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon looks like a fun read and perfect for journeys.

my-sweet-revenge

Blurb

I want to make my husband fall back in love with me.
Let me explain. This isn’t an exercise in 1950s wifeydom. I haven’t been reading articles in old women’s magazines. ‘Twenty ways to keep your man’. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
I want him to fall back in love with me so that when I tell him to get the hell out of my life he’ll care. He won’t just think, ‘Oh good’.
I want it to hurt.

Paula has had Robert’s back since they got together as drama students.
She gave up her dreams so he could make it.
Now he’s one of the nation’s most popular actors.
And Paula’s just discovered he’s having an affair.
She’s going to remind Robert just what he’s sacrificing.
And then she’s going to break his heart like he broke hers.
It will be her greatest acting role ever.
Revenge is sweet.
Isn’t it? Amazon

And if I have a chance Sewing The Shadows Together by Alison Baillie, the next book to star on Put A Book on the Map feature.

sewing-the-shadows-together

Blurb

Can you ever get over the death of your sister? Or of your best friend?

More than 30 years after 13-year-old Shona McIver was raped and murdered in Portobello, the seaside suburb of Edinburgh, the crime still casts a shadow over the lives of her brother Tom and her best friend Sarah.

“Shona had been gone for so long but the memories still came unexpectedly, sometimes like a video from the past, sometimes distorted dreams, but she was always there.”

When modern DNA evidence shows that the wrong man was convicted of the crime, the case is reopened. So who did kill Shona? Sarah and Tom are caught up in the search for Shona’s murderer, and suspicions fall on family and friends. The foundations of Sarah’s perfect family life begin to crumble as she realises that nothing is as it appears. Dark secrets from the past are uncovered, and there is another death, before the identity of the real killer is finally revealed…

Set in Edinburgh, the Outer Hebrides and South Africa, Sewing the Shadows Together is a thoroughly modern murder mystery that keeps the reader guessing to the end. Filled with characters who could easily be friends, family or people we work with, it asks the question:

Do we ever really know the people closest to us? Amazon

What are your reading this week? Do share!

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (February 7)

First Chapter
Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

This week I’m sharing the opening paragraph from The Trophy Child by Paula Daly, a favourite author of mine and in this book she’s sharing something that I find disquieting – the helicopter parent.

the-trophy-child

Blurb

A doting mother or a pushy parent?

Karen Bloom expects perfection. Her son, Ewan, has been something of a disappointment and she won’t be making the same mistake again with her beloved, talented child, Bronte.

Bronte’s every waking hour will be spent at music lessons and dance classes, doing extra schoolwork and whatever it takes to excel.

But as Karen pushes Bronte to the brink, the rest of the family crumbles. Karen’s husband, Noel, is losing himself in work, and his teenage daughter from his first marriage, Verity, is becoming ever more volatile. The family is dangerously near breaking point.

Karen would know when to stop . . . wouldn’t she? Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Part 1
1

Monday, September 21

The girls’ changing room smelled heavily of sweat, mud and a sickly-sweet deodorant that was beginning to irritate the back of her throat. She didn’t have a lot of enthusiasm for hockey. Not a lot of enthusiasm for school, full stop, now that she was on a probationary period. It was to be a period of indeterminate length, during which her behaviour would be monitored by a variety of well-meaning professionals.

Verity Bloom: not quite a lost cause.
Not yet.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I wonder what was behind the author’s choice to feature the ‘second’ child in this opening rather than Bronte – well whatever the reason, I’m strongly suspecting this will be a great read as long as Karen’s behaviour doesn’t annoy me too much!

What do you think? Have you read The Trophy Child? Do you want to?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (February 5)

Weekly Wrap Up

There really is no greater thrill for a book blogger than learning that your review has been quoted inside in a book you have loved. This week I hit the jackpot because I’m quoted inside the front cover of Lie In Wait by G.J. Minett alongside some of my favourite bloggers!! As you can see Lie In Wait is now out in paperback and comes highly recommended by yours truly!

lie-in-wait-inside-cover

I also have to ask, is anyone watching Unforgotten on ITV? Do you have a scenario which will work for the final on Thursday? All the ones I can come up with have massive flaws and I lay awake last night re-examining the evidence and still zilch!

This Week on the Blog

So I managed to post three reviews this week starting with After She Fell by Mary-Jane Riley in a tale of an apparent suicide in North Norfolk. This is the second in the Alex Devlin series and my review awarded it a well-deserved five stars.

On Tuesday my excerpt post was from The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths whose series featuring the forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway is one of my favourites.

This Week in Books detailed my reading plans, which I admit have been somewhat derailed, but I have now finished the magnificent He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly which I will be reviewing soon.

On Thursday I posted my review of Hannah Kent’s second book The Good People which transported me to a village steeped in superstition in early nineteenth century Ireland – the story told is all the more powerful as it is based on a true event.

My last review of this week was for The Cipher Garden by Martin Edwards which is the second in his Lake District Mystery series. This was a good puzzle, set in a beautiful location with historian Daniel Kind and DCI Hannah Scarlett investigating a cold case where a man murdered with his own scythe!

And yesterday Put A Book On The Map had its launch in East Anglia with Mary-Jane Riley talking about the settings for The Bad Things and After She Fell alongside Katherine Sunderland of Bibliomaniac. The piece looked amazing especially as they both generously contributed beautiful photos. Susan from The Book Trail drew up Book Trails for each book too.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading The Ex by Alafair Burke . This courtroom drama had me hooked with my sympathies for the characters swaying with each revelation. This author is a master of pace, and plotting. I really must keep my promise to myself and read some of her other works.
You can read my full review here or click on the book cover

The Ex

Blurb

DID HE, OR DIDN’T HE?
Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defence lawyers. When she gets a phone call informing her that her former fiancé has been arrested for a triple homicide there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him – and why?
For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, and the hurt she caused him, but as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. Amazon

Stacking The Shelves

Just one book this week courtesy of the lovely Margot Kinberg of Confessions of a Mystery Novelist who kindly posted What Remains Behind by Dorothy Fowler because I was struggling to find a copy. Margot’s blog really is the place to go to discover all things crime fiction and she featured this book in one of her ‘In The Spotlight’ posts. Do go and check out her blog although be warned, it has many, many tempting books featured.

what-remains-behind

Blurb

Everything leaves a trace. Chloe, a contract archaeologist, is excavating the site of a religious Kaipara Harbour community, which burnt to the ground in the 1880s. As the site is uncovered, what unpalatable truths will be revealed about the events on the night of the fire?

Chloe’s own family has farmed this land, and she is caught in the conflict as local resistance to the excavation mounts. When Chloe digs up more than shards of pottery, she realises that the site holds secrets that will not stay buried, and their effect on the present is devastating.

Moving between a diary written in the 1880s and the current day, this compelling novel has murder, mystery, love, lust – and archaeology. Goodreads

What have you found to read this week?

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read just 2 books but I only gained 1 new one, and I found a book lurking on the TBR which I’d read – so the grand total for the first weekend in February is a mere 188
Physical Books – 110
Kindle Books – 67
NetGalley Books – 11

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (February 1)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lipsyy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

Well January has passed in a flash so onto February’s reading!

I am currently reading the much-anticipated He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly and I’m glad to say I got that ‘I’m in a safe pair of hands’ feeling when I started this one, I’m really enjoying it. He Said/She Said will be published on 20 April 2017.

he-said-she-said

Blurb

In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack.
She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, it is not only the victim’s life that is changed forever.
Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear.
And while Laura knows she was right to speak out, the events that follow have taught her that you can never see the whole picture: something – and someone – is always in the dark… Amazon

I have just finished Rush of Blood by Mark Billingham a dark story about holiday friendships which despite being a standalone we do get a brief glimpse of DI Tom Thorne.
You can read an excerpt here
rush-of-blood

Blurb

Perfect strangers.
A perfect holiday.
The perfect murder…
Three couples meet around the pool on their Florida holiday and become fast friends. But on their last night, their perfect holiday takes a tragic twist: the teenage daughter of another holidaymaker goes missing, and her body is later found floating in the mangroves.
When the shocked couples return home, they remain in contact, and over the course of three increasingly fraught dinner parties they come to know one another better. But they don’t always like what they find: buried beneath these apparently normal exteriors are some dark secrets, hidden kinks, ugly vices… Amazon

Next up I will be reading Kate Hamer’s The Doll Funeral which is set in The Forest of Dean, where I grew up. The hardback will be published on 16 February 2017 but it is available for the kindle now.

the-doll-funeral

Blurb

My name is Ruby. I live with Barbara and Mick. They’re not my real parents, but they tell me what to do, and what to say. I’m supposed to say that the bruises on my arms and the black eye came from falling down the stairs.
But there are things I won’t say. I won’t tell them I’m going to hunt for my real parents. I don’t say a word about Shadow, who sits on the stairs, or the Wasp Lady I saw on the way to bed. Amazon

So what are you reading this week? Go on you know you want to share!