Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (March 15)

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 am currently reading another book for my Mount TBR Challenge which I’m pleased to say is still on track! I purchased A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie by Kathryn Harkup on 8 September 2016 and I’m working my way through all the poisons with delight!

Blurb

Agatha Christie revelled in the use of poison to kill off unfortunate victims in her books; indeed, she employed it more than any other murder method, with the poison itself often being a central part of the novel. Her choice of deadly substances was far from random – the characteristics of each often provide vital clues to the discovery of the murderer. With gunshots or stabbings the cause of death is obvious, but this is not the case with poisons. How is it that some compounds prove so deadly, and in such tiny amounts?

Christie’s extensive chemical knowledge provides the backdrop for A is for Arsenic, in which Kathryn Harkup investigates the poisons used by the murderer in fourteen classic Agatha Christie mysteries. It looks at why certain chemicals kill, how they interact with the body, the cases that may have inspired Christie, and the feasibility of obtaining, administering and detecting these poisons, both at the time the novel was written and today. A is for Arsenic is a celebration of the use of science by the undisputed Queen of Crime. Amazon

Before that I finished Boundary by Andrée A. Michaud which will be published on 23 March 2017.

Blurb

It’s the Summer of 1967. The sun shines brightly over Boundary lake, a holiday haven on the US-Canadian border. Families relax in the heat, happy and carefree. Hours tick away to the sound of radios playing ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ and ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’. Children run along the beach as the heady smell of barbecues fills the air. Zaza Mulligan and Sissy Morgan, with their long, tanned legs and silky hair, relish their growing reputation as the red and blond Lolitas. Life seems idyllic.

But then Zaza disappears, and the skies begin to cloud over… Amazon

Next up is A Life Between Us by Louise Walters whose debut novel Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase wowed me.

Blurb

Tina Thornton’s twin sister Meg died in a childhood accident, but for almost forty years Tina has secretly blamed herself for her sister’s death. During a visit to her aging Uncle Edward and his sister Lucia, who both harbour dark secrets of their own, Tina makes a discovery that forces her to finally question her memories of the day her sister died. Who, if anyone, did kill Meg?

As Tina finds the courage to face the past, she unravels the tangled family mysteries of her estranged parents, her beautiful French Aunt Simone, the fading, compassionate Uncle Edward, and above all, the cold, bitter Aunt Lucia, whose spectral presence casts a long shadow over them all.
A Life Between Us is a beautifully evocative story of a family torn apart at the seams, which will appeal to readers who enjoy family sagas and modern-day mysteries. Amazon

What are you reading? Do share!

Posted in Weekly Posts

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (March 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 my book choice is A Life Between Us by Louise Walters, author of Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase which was a huge hit with me. A Life Between Us will be published on 28 March 2017.

a-life-between-us

Blurb

Tina Thornton’s twin sister Meg died in a childhood accident, but for almost forty years Tina has secretly blamed herself for her sister’s death. During a visit to her aging Uncle Edward and his sister Lucia, who both harbour dark secrets of their own, Tina makes a discovery that forces her to finally question her memories of the day her sister died.

Who, if anyone, did kill Meg? As Tina finds the courage to face the past, she unravels the tangled family mysteries of her estranged parents, her beautiful French Aunt Simone, the fading, compassionate Uncle Edward, and above all, the cold, bitter Aunt Lucia, whose spectral presence casts a long shadow over them all.

A Life Between Us is a beautifully evocative story of a family torn apart at the seams, which will appeal to readers who enjoy family sagas and modern-day mysteries. Amazon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph ~ Intro

PROLOGUE

JULY 2014

Lucie wandered from room to empty room. The house whispered to her, echoing with the sounds and colours of days gone by. The removal men hovered outside. The taxi she’d booked had arrived, and the driver tapped his steering wheel, looking hopefully at the house, the engine of his car ticking over. They could all wait. In the small bedroom at the back of the house she gazed for the last time at the green fields, the clouds gathering in the distance, the summer hedges in full flow. The cows grazed as they had always grazed, the sun shone over the fields like it had always shone and always would. She crept into the room that had once been her parents’, then her mother’s, then for many years her brother’s. It was a particularly barren room, scarred by the removal of its furniture. The wallpaper had faded to a forgettable off-white, where it had once been a rich cream scattered with tiny rosebuds. This was a house that breathed its history; it sighed and whispered of those tragedies, of which there had been two. Unforgivable events that could not be undone, like all tragedies. But Lucie hoped they could now, at last, be forgotten.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I don’t usually choose my excerpt from the prologue but I think this one gives us a real flavour of what brought us to this point and if I’m honest it was hard to put this aside and read the book currently on the go.

Would you keep reading?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (November 7)

Weekly Wrap Up

Well the wind and rain has started here so all the more excuse to tuck myself up and enjoy some good books.

This Week on the Blog

My week started with a five star review of My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood which reflected my pleasant surprise at how the author’s decision to feature the main protagonist as a war reporter was used in such an intelligent way. This book was just full of surprises.

Tuesday had me featuring the opening paragraph from While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft, her latest psychological thriller where we meet a married woman who wakes up naked in bed next to her neighbour, only to realise he’s been murdered. I’ve finished this read now, and my review will follow shortly.

My weekly This Week in Books post indicted that my next read would be Great Small Things by Jodi Picoult which I’m currently immersed in.

Another review on Thursday, this time for Cut to the Bone by Alex Caan which featured the world of vloggers amongst many other things, in this exciting, high action thriller.

On Friday I reviewed For All Our Sins by T.M.E. Walsh, the first in a series featuring DCI Claire Winters. There was a lot to enjoy in this debut and enough to ensure that the next book has made it to the wishlist…

Which brings me neatly to my re-visit of the TBR Book Tag in which I first counted and confronted my TBR on 6 November 2015 – see how my TBR fared over the year here.

This Time Last Year

I read one of the books that made it to my Top Ten list for 2015 – The Hidden Legacy by G.J. Minett which absolutely wowed me. On the surface this is a book with a truly shocking opening and a woman who inherits a house and doesn’t understand why. On a deeper level the reader is challenged to question whether right and wrong is as black and white as we would like it to be.  See my review here

The Hidden Legacy Cover Reveal

Ellen has received a life-changing inheritance. If only she knew who had left it to her . . .

1966. A horrifying crime at a secondary school, with devastating consequences for all involved.

2008. A life-changing gift, if only the recipient can work out why . . .

Recently divorced and with two young children, Ellen Sutherland is up to her elbows in professional and personal stress. When she’s invited to travel all the way to Cheltenham to hear the content of an old woman’s will, she’s far from convinced the journey will be worthwhile.

But when she arrives, the news is astounding. Eudora Nash has left Ellen a beautiful cottage worth an amount of money that could turn her life around. There’s just one problem – Ellen has never even heard of Eudora Nash.

Her curiosity piqued, Ellen and her friend Kate travel to the West Country in search of answers. But they are not the only ones interested in the cottage, and Ellen little imagines how much she has to learn about her past . . . Amazon


Stacking the Shelves

As anyone who read yesterday’s post will know, I need to seriously cut down on the number of books I acquire so be warned, this may be the last bumper post for a while…

From NetGalley I have been lucky enough to receive a copy of Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land, I just can’t resist the early hype for this psychological thriller which will be published on 12 January 2017.

good-me-bad-me

Blurb

‘NEW N A M E . NEW F A M I LY. S H I N Y. NEW. ME .
‘ Annie’s mother is a serial killer. The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police. But out of sight is not out of mind. As her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of her past won’t let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name – Milly. A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be. But Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water.
Good me, bad me. She is, after all, her mother’s daughter…

I saw a wonderful review for The House of Birds by Morgan McCarthy on The Quiet Knitter’s Blog and was delighted to be approved a copy too. The House of Birds was published on 3 November 2016.

house-of-birds

Blurb

Oliver has spent years trying to convince himself that he’s suited to a life of money making in the city, and that he doesn’t miss a childhood spent in pursuit of mystery, when he cycled around the cobbled lanes of Oxford, exploring its most intriguing corners.
When his girlfriend Kate inherits a derelict house – and a fierce family feud – she’s determined to strip it, sell it and move on. For Oliver though, the house has an allure, and amongst the shelves of discarded, leather bound and gilded volumes, he discovers one that conceals a hidden diary from the 1920s.
So begins a quest: to discover the identity of the author, Sophia Louis. It is a portrait of war and marriage, isolation and longing and a story that will shape the future of the abandoned house – and of Oliver – forever. NetGalley

My pre-ordered copy of fellow blogger, Margot Kinberg’s book Past Tense dutifully arrived on my kindle on publication day 1 November 2016. If you haven’t visited Margot, I can’t recommend her blog highly enough, here is her publication day post

past-tense

Blurb

A long-buried set of remains…a decades-old mystery

Past and present meet on the quiet campus of Tilton University when construction workers unearth a set of unidentified bones.
For former police detective-turned-professor Joel Williams, it’s a typical Final Exams week – until a set of bones is discovered on a construction site…

When the remains are linked to a missing person case from 1974, Williams and the Tilton, Pennsylvania police go back to the past. And they uncover some truths that have been kept hidden for a long time.

How much do people really need to know?

It’s 1974, and twenty-year-old Bryan Roades is swept up in the excitement of the decade. He’s a reporter for the Tilton University newspaper, The Real Story, and is determined to have a career as an investigative journalist, just like his idols, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. He plans to start with an exposé article about life on the campus of Tilton University. But does everything need to be exposed? And what are the consequences for people whose lives could be turned upside down if their stories are printed? As it turns out, Bryan’s ambition carries a very high price. And someone is determined not to let the truth out. Amazon

I have also been lucky enough to receive a proof copy of A Life Between Us by Louise Walters which came with a lovely handwritten note from this author who delighted me with her earlier novel Mrs Sinclair’s Suitcase. A Life Between Us will be published on 28 March 2017.

a-life-between-us

Blurb

Tina’s sister Meg died in a childhood accident, but for almost forty years Tina has secretly blamed herself for her twin’s death. During a visit to her Uncle Edward and his sister Lucia, who both harbour dark secrets of their own, Tina makes a discovery that forces her to question her memories of the day Meg died.

As Tina finds the courage to face the past, she unravels the mysteries of her estranged parents, her beautiful Aunt Simone, the fading, compassionate Uncle Edward, and above all, the cold, bitter Aunt Lucia, whose spectral presence casts a long shadow over them all.

The second novel from the author of MRS SINCLAIR’S SUITCASE is a gripping tale of a family’s disintegration and eventual redemption. Goodreads

I also was posted a copy of A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys, again with a lovely message which made my day. A Dangerous Crossing will be published in April 2017.

dangerous-crossing

Blurb

It was a first class deception that would change her life forever
1939, Europe on the brink of war. Lily Shepherd leaves England on an ocean liner for Australia, escaping her life of drudgery for new horizons. She is instantly seduced by the world onboard: cocktails, black-tie balls and beautiful sunsets. Suddenly, Lily finds herself mingling with people who would otherwise never give her the time of day.
But soon she realizes her glamorous new friends are not what they seem. The rich and hedonistic Max and Eliza Campbell, mysterious and flirtatious Edward, and fascist George are all running away from tragedy and scandal even greater than her own.
By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and life will never be the same again. Goodreads

PicMonkey Collage TBR

TBR WATCH

Since my last post I have read 3 books, discarded two part-read books that I’m not going to pick up again, and managed to gain 5 and so my TBR is standing at 181 books!

95 physical books
68 e-books
18 books on NetGalley

What have you found to read this week?