Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (September 26)

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 my opener is from Give Me The Child by Mel McGrath a psychological thriller which was published in July 2017.

Blurb

An unexpected visitor.

Dr Cat Lupo aches for another child, despite the psychosis which marked her first pregnancy. So when Ruby Winter, a small girl in need of help, arrives in the middle of the night, it seems like fate.

A devastating secret.

But as the events behind Ruby’s arrival emerge – her mother’s death, her connection to Cat – Cat questions whether her decision to help Ruby has put her own daughter at risk.

Do we get the children we deserve?

Cat’s research tells her there’s no such thing as evil. Her history tells her she’s paranoid. But her instincts tell her different. And as the police fight to control a sudden spate of riots raging across the capital, Cat faces a race against time of her own… Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

PART ONE

24 July

CHAPTER ONE

My first thought when the doorbell woke me was that someone had died. Most likely Michael Walsh. I turned onto my side, pulled at the outer corners of my eyes to rid them of the residue of sleep and blinked myself awake. It was impossible to tell if it was late or early. Though the bedroom was as hot and muggy as it had been when Tome and I had gone to bed, Tom was no longer beside me. Now I was alone.

~ ~ ~

Well I don’t know about you but I have quite a few questions just from that first paragraph.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (September 24)

Last Sunday we had a family trip to the cinema to watch Victoria and Abdul, a fascinating film but one that turned my stomach early on in the scenes of Dame Judi Dench wolfing the food down at a banquet.

On Monday I managed to take part in the Book Fairies and Goodreads #hideabookday and left four books at key places in St Helier at 9 am. When I went to check at lunchtime all had been picked up so I’m hoping the finders enjoyed them.

This Week on the Blog

My week started with a Question and Answer session with Ray Britain the pen name for a former Police Officer who has turned his hand to writing crime fiction. His first book The Last Thread was published last Sunday, 17 September 2017.

On Tuesday She Did It by Mel Sherratt was published and my review was posted the same day to mark publication of this psychological thriller.

My This Week in Books featured the authors Helen FitzGerald, Dee Gordon and Kate Moretti 

I was delighted to finally publish my review of fellow blogger, Margot Kinberg’s book Past Tense which I actually read in June. Margot’s incredible knowledge of crime fiction translates into being able to write a fine mystery too.

My review of My Last Confession by Helen FitzGerald was posted on Friday taking my Mount TBR up to 24 books read and reviewed that were bought prior to 1 January 2017.

It was a huge honour to be asked to contribute to the blog tour to celebrate the 2017 Ngaio Marsh Awards with my review of David Hastings non-fiction book The Many Deaths of Mary Dobie, a true-crime book that also examines the politics between the Maori tribes and the settles in 1880 New Zealand.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading the second in Sarah Ward’s Francis Sadler series, A Deadly Thaw, set in the fictional town of Bampton in Derbyshire. Her trademark easy to read yet fiendishly complex plots are a delight and this book has us meeting a woman convicted of the murder of her husband, in the marital bed no less, only for him to turn up alive following her release from prison twelve years later! The author isn’t content to provide a brilliant plot, she also creates realistic characters no matter whether they are a main mover and shaker or provide a supporting role. As I write this short summary, I’m getting more impatient to read my copy of the third in the series, A Patient Fury which was recently published.

You can read my full review of A Deadly Thaw here or click on the book cover.

Blurb

Autumn 2004
In Bampton, Derbyshire, Lena Fisher is arrested for suffocating her husband, Andrew.

Spring 2016

A year after Lena’s release from prison, Andrew is found dead in a disused mortuary.
Who was the man Lena killed twelve years ago, and who committed the second murder? When Lena disappears, her sister, Kat, sets out to follow a trail of clues delivered by a mysterious teenage boy. Kat must uncover the truth – before there’s another death . . . Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Three-Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell has been on my wishlist since I fell in love with The Other Typist earlier this year and so when it was offered at a bargain price my resolve melted away like the ice in a nice martini!

Blurb

Back in those days My Old Man was king of what they called the three-martini lunch. This meant that in dimly lit steakhouses all over Manhattan my father made bold, impetuous deals over gin and oysters. That was how it was done.

Cliff Nelson, the privileged son of a New York publishing house editor, is slumming it around Greenwich village in 1958, enjoying the booze, drugs and the idea that he’s the next Kerouac.

Fresh-faced Eden Katz arrives in New York with the ultimate ambition to become an editor, but she’s shocked at the stumbling blocks she encounters.

Miles Tillman, a black publishing house messenger boy, is an aspiring writer who feels he straddles various worlds and belongs to none.

Their choices, concealments and betrayals ripple outwards leaving none of them unchanged. Amazon

NetGalley provided temptation with the proven skills of Elly Griffiths and her latest in the Stephens and Mephisto mystery series – The Vanishing Box



Blurb

What do a murdered Brighton flowerseller, the death of Cleopatra and a nude tableau show have in common? One thing’s for sure – it could be the most dangerous case yet for Stephens and Mephisto.

Christmas 1953. Max Mephisto and his daughter Ruby are headlining Brighton Hippodrome, an achievement only slightly marred by the less-than-savoury support act: a tableau show of naked ‘living statues’. This might appear to have nothing in common with DI Edgar Stephens’ investigation into the death of a quiet flowerseller, but if there’s one thing the old comrades have learned it’s that, in Brighton, the line between art and life – and death – is all too easily blurred…

The fourth book in the Stephens and Mephisto mystery from the author of the bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway series. NetGalley

I was also lucky to be approved for Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate, A British Library Crime Classic published by Poisoned Pen Press. which I have been eying up ever since seeing it feature on other blogs – what can my willpower is weak!

Blurb

A woman is on trial for her life, accused of murder. The twelve members of the jury each carry their own secret burden of guilt and prejudice which could affect the outcome.

In this extraordinary crime novel, we follow the trial through the eyes of the jurors as they hear the evidence and try to reach a unanimous verdict. Will they find the defendant guilty, or not guilty? And will the jurors’ decision be the correct one?

Since its first publication in 1940, Verdict of Twelve has been widely hailed as a classic of British crime writing. This edition offers a new generation of readers the chance to find out why so many leading commentators have admired the novel for so long. NetGalley

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

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read 2 books, and gained 3
So I now have a total of 180
Physical Books – 100
Kindle Books – 60
NetGalley Books – 20

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (September 20)

This Week In Books
Hosted by Lipsy 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 Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti, a tale which starts with birds falling from the sky, this along with the feathers that accompanied the book makes me incredibly glad that I don’t have this particular phobia.

Blurb

Where did they come from? Why did they fall?

In a ​quie​t​ town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community. Beloved coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alecia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the​ ​reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a student, Lucia Hamm. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are ​having an affair, throwing the town into an uproar and leaving Alecia to wonder if her husband has a second life. And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only have one suspect: Nate.

Nate​’​s coworker, Bridget Harris, is determined to prove his innocence. Bridget knows the key to Nate​’​s exoneration and the truth of Lucia​’​s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of ​t​h​e missing girl’s journal.

The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti​’​s signature chillingly satisfying twists and turns.Where did they come from? Why did they fall?

In a ​quie​t​ town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community. Beloved coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alecia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the​ ​reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a student, Lucia Hamm. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are ​having an affair, throwing the town into an uproar and leaving Alecia to wonder if her husband has a second life. And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only have one suspect: Nate.

Nate​’​s coworker, Bridget Harris, is determined to prove his innocence. Bridget knows the key to Nate​’​s exoneration and the truth of Lucia​’​s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of ​t​h​e missing girl’s journal.

The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti​’​s signature chillingly satisfying twists and turns. Amazon

The last book I read was Helen FitzGerald’s My Last Confession – a psychological thriller with a Probation Officer and a murder as the two main protagonists.

Blurb

When she starts her new job as a parole officer, Krissie is happy and in love. Then she meets convicted murderer Jeremy, and begins to believe he may be innocent. Her growing obsession with his case threatens to jeopardise everything – her job, her relationship and her life.

Perfect for fans of Julia Crouch, Sophie Hannah and Laura Lippman, My Last Confession is a dark and compelling psychological thriller that traces a young parole officer and her dangerous obsession with a convicted murderer. Amazon

Next I will be reading Bad Girls from History: Wicked or Misunderstood? by Dee Gordon.

Blurb

You wont be familiar with every one of the huge array of women featured in these pages, but all, familiar or not, leave unanswered questions behind them. The range is extensive, as was the research, with its insight into the lives and minds of women in different centuries, different countries, with diverse cultures and backgrounds, from the poverty stricken to royalty. Mistresses, murderers, smugglers, pirates, prostitutes and fanatics with hearts and souls that feature every shade of black (and grey!).

From Cleopatra to Ruth Ellis, from Boudicca to Bonnie Parker, from Lady Caroline Lamb to Moll Cutpurse, from Jezebel to Ava Gardner. Less familiar names include Mary Jeffries, the Victorian brothel-keeper, Belle Starr, the American gambler and horse thief, La Voisin, the seventeenth-century Queen of all Witches in France but these are random names, to illustrate the variety of the content in store for all those interested in women who defy law and order, for whatever reason. The risque, the adventurous and the outrageous, the downright nasty and the downright desperate all human (female!) life is here. From the lower stratas of society to the aristocracy, class is not a common denominator.

Wicked? Misunderstood? Nave? Foolish? Predatory? Manipulative? Or just out of their time?

Read and decide. Amazon

What do you think? Any of these take your fancy? Please do leave your thoughts in the comments box below.

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

Blurb

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.

Blurb

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.

Blurb

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?

tbr-watch

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

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (September 13)

This Week In Books
Hosted by Lipsy 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 She Did It by Mel Sherratt, her new standalone psychological thriller which will be published on 19 September 2017.

Blurb

A successful businesswoman, Tamara enjoys her champagne lifestyle to the full. At least, that is the front she displays to the world. As well as being lonely, she’s running out of money. A promising new member of staff brings the injection of fresh blood needed to win the contract that will turn things around.

Working for Tamara is a perfect ruse for Esther. But, along with fake references and qualifications, she also has a plan for revenge. Sensing Tamara’s vulnerability, Esther uses their acquaintance as a way of getting close to someone who hurt her in the past.

Tamara is keeping things secret. Esther has a dark side she is trying to hide. For both of them, lying is a habit. But when mistakes begin to catch up with Esther, and people start dying, Tamara realises she’s chosen the wrong person to trust as a friend. Amazon

I have recently finished White Bodies by Jane Robins, a stunning psychological thriller which is also out on the 19 September 2017 in the US but UK readers need to wait until 28 December 2017 before they can read it.

Blurb

Sometimes we love too much

Callie loves Tilda. She’s her sister, after all. And she’s beautiful and successful.

Tilda loves Felix. He’s her husband. Successful and charismatic, he is also controlling, suspicious and, possibly, dangerous. Still, Tilda loves Felix.

And Callie loves Tilda. Very, very much.

So she’s determined to save her. But the cost could destroy them all… Amazon

Next I plan to read The Many Deaths of Mary Dobie by David Hastings which is one of the finalists in the Ngaio Marsh Award for the best Crime Novel.



Blurb

Dreadful murder at Opunake’, said the Taranaki Herald, ‘Shocking outrage’, cried the Evening Post in Wellington when they learned in November 1880 that a young woman called Mary Dobie had been found lying under a flax bush near Opunake on the Taranaki coast with her throat cut so deep her head was almost severed. In the midst of tensions between Maori and Pakeha, the murder ignited questions: Pakeha feared it was an act of political terrorism in response to the state’s determination to take the land of the tribes in the region. Maori thought it would be the cue for the state to use force against them, especially the pacifist settlement at Parihaka. Was it rape or robbery, was the killer Maori or Pakeha? In this book, David Hastings takes us back to that lonely road on the Taranaki coast in nineteenth-century New Zealand to unravels the many deaths of Mary Dobie – the murder, the social tensions in Taranaki, the hunt for the killer and the lessons that Maori and Pakeha learnt about the murder and about themselves. Amazon

What do you think? Any of these take your fancy? Please do leave your thoughts in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (September 12)

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 my opening paragraph comes from a book I purchased way back in May 2012 – yes it’s been sat on my kindle for over five years – who is this little known author? I hear you ask – It’s Ann Cleeves with her fourth Vera Stanhope book Silent Voices.



Blurb

When DI Vera Stanhope finds the body of a woman in the sauna room of her local gym, she wonders briefly if, for once in her life, she’s uncovered a simple death from natural causes. Then Vera spots ligature marks around the victim’s throat – death is never that simple . . .

Vera revels being back in charge of an investigation again, working with Sergeant Joe Ashworth to find a motive. While Joe struggles to reconcile his home life with the demands of the case, death has never made Vera feel so alive.

The duo investigates the victim’s past and discovers a shocking case, involving a young child. Probing the secretive community, they try to stop a killer in the present who can’t seem to let go of the past . . . Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

Chapter One

Vera swam slowly. An elderly man with a bathing hat pulled like a fully stretched condom over his head went passed her. He wasn’t a strong swimmer, but he was faster than she was. She was the sloth of the swimming world. But still she was almost faint with the effort of moving, with pulling the bulk of her body through the water.
She hated the sensation of water on her face – one splash and she imagined she was drowning – so she did a slow breaststroke with her chin a couple of inches from the surface of the pool. Looking she suspected, like a giant turtle.
She managed to raise her head a little further to look at the clock on the wall. Nearly midday. Soon the fit and fabulous elderly would appear for aqua-aerobics. The women with painted toe-nails, floral bathing costumes and the smug realisation that they’d be the last generation to retire early in some comfort.

~ ~ ~

Well I know I’m going to enjoy this one and I have some sympathy with Vera not being overly fond of getting my face wet either…

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (September 10)

 

Sadly no cute cat photos to lure you in this week as my time has been taken up by work and sleep with of course some obligatory reading squeezed into any spare time.

This Week on the Blog

My week started with my review of One Day in December by Shari Low, a very enjoyable story about four people and the events that changed everything in just 24 hours.

My excerpt post came from My Last Confession by Helen FitzGerald which is about a Parole Officer and a murderer.

This Week in Books featured the authors Caimh O’Donnell, Susie Steiner and Chris Curran.

On Thursday I reviewed the psychological thriller Lost in the Lake by A.J. Waines on its publication day. This compelling tale features some musicians, an accident, a psychotherapist and a lost memory.

My review on Friday was for The Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis, one of my holiday reads from back in June – I awarded this original story of the search for a dead woman’s identity, the full five stars.

It was back to a psychological thriller for my final review of the week; Her Deadly Secret by Chris Curran, proved to be a five star read involving a missing child.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading The Trespasser by Tana French, the sixth in the Dublin Series by this oh so talented author. Each book in this series can be read as a standalone as unlike many crime fiction series there isn’t a single story arc, or indeed a chief protagonist. Instead one of the characters from earlier in the series may feature in a later book.
The centre of the plot of The Trespasser is about the murder of Aislinn Murray a young woman, identikit to the numerous other women with straight blonde hair and a pout to match, who has had her head bashed in. There is no forced entry to the house and the table is set for two. All the detectives need to do is find the dinner date!

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

Blurb

You can beat one killer. Beating your own squad is a whole other thing.

Being on the Dublin Murder squad is nothing like Detective Antoinette Conway dreamed. Her working life is a stream of thankless cases and harassment. Antoinette is tough, but she’s getting close to the breaking point.
The new case looks like a regular lovers’ quarrel gone bad. Aislinn Murray is blond, pretty and lying dead next to a table set for a romantic dinner. There’s nothing unusual about her – except that Antoinette has seen her somewhere before.

And her death won’t stay neat. Other detectives want her to arrest Aislinn’s boyfriend, fast. There’s a shadowy figure at the end of Antoinette’s road. And everything they find out about Aislinn takes her further from the simple woman she seemed to be.

Antoinette knows the harassment has turned her paranoid, but she can’t tell just how far gone she is. Is this the case that will make her career – or break it? Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

I was lucky to receive a copy of The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti complete with black feathers that scared me half to death when I stuck my hand in the envelope! This book will be published on 26 September 2017.

Blurb

Where did they come from? Why did they fall?

In a ​quie​t​ town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community. Beloved coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alecia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the​ ​reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a student, Lucia Hamm. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are ​having an affair, throwing the town into an uproar and leaving Alecia to wonder if her husband has a second life. And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only have one suspect: Nate.

Nate​’​s coworker, Bridget Harris, is determined to prove his innocence. Bridget knows the key to Nate​’​s exoneration and the truth of Lucia​’​s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of ​t​h​e missing girl’s journal.

The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti​’​s signature chillingly satisfying twists and turns. Amazon

I was contacted by the author of a new crime fiction series and despite repeatedly reminding myself that I don’t need to add any more of these to the burgeoning pile, I couldn’t resist his kind offer as an ARC. The Last Thread by Ray Britain will be published on 1 October 2017.

Blurb

Accused of pushing a boy to his death in a failed suicide intervention, DCI Doug Stirling is suspended from duty. Attacked in the media and haunted by the boy’s smile as he let go of Stirling’s hand, he must look on helplessly as an incompetent colleague intent on destroying him investigates the boy’s death, supported by the vindictive Deputy Chief Constable, McDonald.

Weeks later, an anonymous call leads the police to a remote location and the discovery of a burnt out car containing the body of an unidentified man who has been savagely murdered. Short of experienced senior investigators, ACC Steph Tanner has no choice but to take a professional risk. Throwing Stirling the lifeline he needs to restore his reputation, Tanner appoints him as SIO to lead the investigation.

But with no witnesses, no forensic evidence and more theories than investigators, Stirling’s investigation has far too many ‘loose threads’ as he uncovers a complex, interwoven history of deception, betrayal and sadistic relationships. Was the victim connected to the crime scene? Is the murder as complex as it appears? Or is there a simpler explanation?
Still traumatised by the boy’s death and with time the enemy, does Stirling still have what it takes to bring the killer, or killers, to justice before McDonald intervenes?

Things are already difficult enough when DC Helen Williams joins the investigation, a determined woman who seems intent on rekindling their past relationship. And is Ayesha, the beautiful lawyer Stirling has grown fond of, connected to the murder somehow? Amazon

I was also the proud recipient of The Frozen Woman by Jon Michelet with the book named Norway’s Best Crime Novel which has been translated into English for the first time and will be published on 21 September 2017.

Blurb

A FROZEN BODY
A MURDERED BIKER
A RADICAL LAWYER WITH A MURKY PAST

In the depths of the Norwegian winter, the corpse of a woman is discovered in the garden of a notorious left-wing lawyer, Vilhelm Thygesen. She has been stabbed to death.

A young biker, a member of a gang once represented by Thygesen, dies in suspicious circumstances.

As Thygesen receives anonymous threats, investigating detectives Stribolt and Vaage uncover a web of crime and violence extending far beyond Norway’s borders.

Does the frozen woman hold the key? Amazon

And if that wasn’t enough I had to buy a copy of A Patient Fury by Sarah Ward which was published on 7 September 2017 having fallen in love with this DC Childs series (In Bitter Chill and A Deadly Thaw)



Blurb

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. Amazon

And I also had to buy a copy of The New Mrs Clifton by Elizabeth Buchan after reading so many great reviews from around the blogosphere of this book

(here’s just one to wet your appetite)

Blurb

‘Wrapped in the roots of the sycamore was a skeleton; the remains of a woman, between twenty-five and thirty. She had carried a child . . .’

At the close of the Second World War, Intelligence Officer Gus Clifton returns to London. On his arm is Krista, the German wife he married secretly in Berlin. For his sisters, this broken woman is nothing more than the enemy. For Nella, Gus’s loyal fiancée, it is a terrible betrayal. These three friends wonder what hold Krista has over decent, honourable Gus. And, they ask themselves, how far will they have to go to permanently get her out of their home, their future, their England? Amazon

 

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

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read 3 books, discarded 1 and gained 5
Making a Grand Total of 179
Physical Books – 100
Kindle Books – 62
NetGalley Books – 17

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (September 6)

This Week In Books
Hosted by Lipsy 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 am currently reading Angels in the Moonlight by Caimh McDonnell which is a prequel to A Man With One of Those Faces and The Day that Never Comes which was published on 26 August 2017.



Blurb

For Detective Bunny McGarry, life is complicated, and it is about to get more so.

It’s 1999 and his hard won reputation amongst Dublin’s criminal fraternity, for being a massive pain in the backside, is unfortunately shared by his bosses. His partner has a career-threatening gambling problem and, oh yeah, Bunny’s finally been given a crack at the big time. He’s set the task of bringing down the most skilled and ruthless armed robbery gang in Irish history. So the last thing he needs in his life is yet another complication.

Her name is Simone. She is smart, funny, talented and, well, complicated. When her shocking past turns up to threaten her and Bunny’s chance at a future, things get very complicated indeed. If the choice is upholding the law or protecting those he loves, which way will the big fella turn? Amazon

I recently finished Her Deadly Secret by Chris Curran which had something fresh to offer in the missing child scenario.

Blurb

THE SECRET YOU CAN’T FORGET

A young girl has been taken. Abducted, never to be seen again.

Joe and Hannah, her traumatized parents, are consumed by grief. But all is not as it seems behind the curtains of their suburban home.

Loretta, the Family Liaison Officer, is sure Hannah is hiding something – a dark and twisted secret from deep in her past.

This terrible memory could be the key to the murder of another girl fifteen years ago. And as links between the two victims emerge, Joe and Hannah learn that in a family built on lies, the truth can destroy everything… NetGalley

Next up I will be reading Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner, the following up to Missing, Presumed, both featuring Manon Bradshaw.

 

Blurb

Manon Bradshaw is back.

As dusk falls a young man staggers through a park, far from home, bleeding from a stab wound. He dies where he falls; cradled by a stranger, a woman’s name on his lips in his last seconds of life.

DI Manon Bradshaw can’t help taking an interest – these days she only handles cold cases, but the man died just yards from the police station where she works.

She’s horrified to discover that both victim and prime suspect are more closely linked to her than she could have imagined. And as the Cambridgeshire police force closes ranks against her, she is forced to contemplate the unthinkable.

How well does she know her loved ones, and are they capable of murder? Amazon

What do you think? Any of these take your fancy? Please do leave your thoughts in the comments box below.

 

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (September 5)

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 my opening paragraph comes from an author who has delighted me from every subject she tackles, from mothers, to old age and a bit of viral action in between. In My Last Confession by Helen FitzGerald main protagonist is a parole officer.

Blurb

When she starts her new job as a parole officer, Krissie is happy and in love. Then she meets convicted murderer Jeremy, and begins to believe he may be innocent. Her growing obsession with his case threatens to jeopardise everything – her job, her relationship and her life.

Perfect for fans of Julia Crouch, Sophie Hannah and Laura Lippman, My Last Confession is a dark and compelling psychological thriller that traces a young parole officer and her dangerous obsession with a convicted murderer. Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

1

Tips for parole officers:

1 Don’t smuggle heroin into prison.
2 Don’t drink vodka to relieve stress.
3 Don’t French-kiss a colleague to get your boyfriend jealous.
4 Don’t snort speed.
5 Don’t spend more time with murderers than with your son.
6 Don’t invite crack-head clients to your party.

Maybe if they’d had some kind of induction then my wedding day would have been the most wonderful day of my life.

~ ~ ~

As I love this author’s writing, I’m sure this one will be a great read.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (September 3)

My time looking after Bertie is coming to an end as my daughter returns from her holidays later today. As you can see he has thrived under my tender care and I have quite fallen in love with this beautiful tom cat. When sending the latest picture to my daughter and informing her that I was tempted to keep him I got the response “I’m sure I gave strict instructions not to love him too much as I know how adorable he is” Indeed she did, I had a whole A4 sheet of paper of instructions on how to care for Bertie which finished with “Don’t fall in love with him”

This Week on the Blog

It’s been a busy old week beginning with my review of The Judge’s Wife by Ann O’Loughlin, a book set in Ireland split between the 1950s and the 1980s with one of the settings being an asylum.

My excerpt post was for One Day in December by Shari Low which was published on 1 September 2017.

My review of a non-fiction book; Stranger in the House by Julie Summers was a fascinating account of the way lives changed at the end of the Second World War when the men returned. With many perspectives and experiences this made for superb reading.

On Thursday I reviewed Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch, the third book I’ve read by this author and by a whisker possibly my favourite of the bunch.

Friday saw me reviewing my last book for the 20 Books of Summer 2017; The Summer House by Santa Montefiore which was a light read set amongst the upper classes.

This was followed by my review of Wendy Percival’s novella, Death of a Cuckoo which has convinced me to give the genealogist Esme Quentin series a go.

As a bonus post because I am so chuffed that I finished the 20 Books of Summer Challenge this year I sorted these twenty books into categories for a round-up post with a few facts and figures.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe an intriguing psychological thriller that is set in Sweden. Told by three narrators; Emma Boham a sales assistant, a Policeman Peter, and a Henne a psychologist. All three have issues but they are determined to find the killer of a young woman and to discover if the similarity to a crime committed ten years previously or not. This is an example of character led crime fiction at its best and I was instantly drawn into the story.

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



Blurb

A young woman is found beheaded in an infamous business tycoon’s marble-lined hallway.

The businessman, scandal-ridden CEO of the retail chain Clothes & More, is missing without a trace.

But who is the dead woman? And who is the brutal killer who wielded the machete?

Rewind two months earlier to meet Emma Bohman, a sales assistant for Clothes & More, whose life is turned upside down by a chance encounter with Jesper Orre. Insisting that their love affair is kept secret, he shakes Emma’s world a second time when he suddenly leaves her with no explanation.

As frightening things begin to happen to Emma, she suspects Jesper is responsible. But why does he want to hurt her? And how far would he go to silence his secret lover? Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

I was delighted to receive a copy of the psychological thriller White Bodies by Jane Robins courtesy of my wish being granted on NetGalley. I have been eyeing this novel up ever since I first heard about it having thoroughly enjoyed this author’s non-fiction books The Magnificent Spilsbury and the Case of the Brides in the Bath and The Curious Habits of Dr Adams. This book is being published in the US on 19 September 2017 but UK readers will have to wait until 28 December for a copy.

Blurb

Sometimes we love too much

Callie loves Tilda. She’s her sister, after all. And she’s beautiful and successful.
Tilda loves Felix. He’s her husband. Successful and charismatic, he is also controlling, suspicious and, possibly, dangerous. Still, Tilda loves Felix.
And Callie loves Tilda. Very, very much.
So she’s determined to save her. But the cost could destroy them all… Amazon

After seeing And The Birds Kept On Singing by Simon Bourke on What Cathy Read’s WWW post, I couldn’t resist buying a copy for myself. I’m a huge fan of writers that can pull off alternative versions of the same premise.

Blurb

Pregnant at seventeen, Sinéad McLoughlin does the only thing she can; she runs away from home. She will go to England and put her child up for adoption. But when she lays eyes on it for the first time, lays eyes on him, she knows she can never let him go.

Just one problem. He’s already been promised to someone else.

A tale of love and loss, remorse and redemption, And the birds kept on singing tells two stories, both about the same boy. In one Sinéad keeps her son and returns home to her parents, to nineteen-eighties Ireland and life as a single mother. In the other she gives him away, to the Philliskirks, Malcolm and Margaret, knowing that they can give him the kind of life she never could.

As her son progresses through childhood and becomes a young man, Sinéad is forced to face the consequences of her decision. Did she do the right thing? Should she have kept him, or given him away? And will she spend the rest of her life regretting the choices she has made? Amazon

I was also lucky enough to be asked by Anne Cater to review The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler which will be published on 5 October 2017 – after all what book lover can resist a book about books? Having read the foreword I know I’m going to love this book, the tone is just right!

Blurb

Absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. It makes people think you’re dead.

So begins Christopher Fowler’s foray into the back catalogues and backstories of 99 authors who, once hugely popular, have all but disappeared from our shelves.

Whether male or female, domestic or international, flash-in-the-pan or prolific, mega-seller or prize-winner – no author, it seems, can ever be fully immune from the fate of being forgotten. And Fowler, as well as remembering their careers, lifts the lid on their lives, and why they often stopped writing or disappeared from the public eye.

These 99 journeys are punctuated by 12 short essays about faded once-favourites: including the now-vanished novels Walt Disney brought to the screen, the contemporary rivals of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie who did not stand the test of time, and the women who introduced us to psychological suspense many decades before it conquered the world.

This is a book about books and their authors. It is for book lovers, and is written by one who could not be a more enthusiastic, enlightening and entertaining guide. Amazon

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

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read 4 books, discarded 2 and gained 3
Making a Grand Total of 178
Physical Books – 100
Kindle Books – 69
NetGalley Books – 18