Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (June 4)

Weekly Wrap Up

Well the hectic nature of my life is continuing resulting in only two books read since last week! For the good news we’ve had some beautiful weather and my sunflower is continuing to grow at a pace!

This Week on the Blog

I started this week with my review of All The Good Things by Clare Fisher which tells the story of Bethany, aged twenty-one and in prison, the story is how she came to be there reaching back through a life in the care system. A thought-provoking debut novel.

My excerpt post came from Jane Corry’s second novel Blood Sisters which definitely sounds like a thrilling psychological novel

This Week in Books featured the authors Mark Billingham, Dorothy Fowler and Fiona Barton.

Thursday was the start of summer on the blog with my post of the first 10 books I will be reading for the 20 Books of Summer 2017! Challenge which I’m making a concerted effort to finish within the allotted time period this year – the trick obviously is not to have accepted or requested too many review copies for the same period, unsurprisingly the planning has not gone well!

My final review for the week was the five star read that was Greatest Hits by Laura Barnett, a rich novel about a singer songwriter with music as the backdrop.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Bloody Women by Helen Fitzgerald in her story set in the world of the television interior designer, do you remember the endless shows that made-over someone’s house in no time at all? This is Cat’s career until she finds herself in prison arrested for murder. This author is the mistress of black comedy and she throws a few mental illnesses into the mix and stirs it all up with a few dashes of heartbreak. In other words this isn’t a straightforward mystery, although that element is there too but more a look at life for someone who doesn’t fit into what’s expected.

You can find my original review here or click on the book cover


Bloody Women is delicious, ingenious, inventive and mordantly funny.
Helen FitzGerald has a real skill for making the totally absurd and goofy, thoroughly logical and reasonable’ – Big Beat from Badsville Returning to Scotland to organise her wedding, Catriona is overcome with the jitters. She decides to tie up loose ends before settling permanently in Tuscany, and seeks out her ex-boyfriends. Only problem is, they all end up dead and Catriona is the prime suspect. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

Just the one book this week, but it is by one of my favourite authors, Sophie Hannah. I was lucky enough to be offered her latest novel, Did You See Melody? by Amazon Vine.


Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can’t afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied – by a man and a teenage girl.

A simple mistake on the part of the hotel receptionist – but Cara’s fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can’t possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving life sentences for her murder.

Cara doesn’t know what to trust: everything she’s read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life? Amazon

Did You See Melody? will be published on 24 August 2017 and I have it on very good authority (my daughter who is delighting in reading all my books before me while she’s living with us) that it is very good indeed!

Do let me know what you’ve found to read this week?


Since my last post I’ve read just 2 books but I’ve only gained 1.

The current total is therefore 182
Physical Books – 108
Kindle Books – 62
NetGalley Books – 12

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Bloody Women – Helen Fitzgerald

Psychological Thriller 4*s
Psychological Thriller

Helen Fitzgerald’s novel Bloody Women is told in three parts, and for anyone who has read any of her other books will already know that they should expect the unexpected and that the tale being told is a commentary on a world far wider than the characters that inhabit the small one inside its pages.

In a tiny prison cell sits a young woman who didn’t get married because she was arrested for murder on the morning of her wedding. Not just one murder, three. And these were murders with a particularly spiteful twist, each of the men were missing a vital appendage! The three men were exes of Catriona’s, men she met in the week before her wedding whilst coming to terms with the fact that her home would soon be Italy with Joe and not Scotland where she has been a TV celebratory on an interior design show. So now Catriona sits at the mercy of the prison guard she names ‘The Freak’ awaiting trial and hoping her fiancé Joe will come to visit.

We learn all about this crime through Catriona Marsden own view of events as well as one of those hastily written, sensation seeking biographies that spring up around certain true crimes. Catriona, her mother and her best friend Anna were all interviewed for the book but Cat can’t see any of her words amongst the pages.

This novel shows Helen Fitzgerald’s ability to write black comedy that doesn’t let up but nor does it become in any way predictable. At the time the book was published, 2009, British TV was just coming out of the surfeit of design shows like the one that Cat presented – her comments about the rooms she made-over and her ‘clients’ were absolutely spot-on. She also taps into the culture of the Scots and the Italians, throws a few mental illnesses into the mix and stirs it all up with a few dashes of heartbreak. In other words this isn’t a straightforward mystery, although that element is there too but more a look at life for someone who doesn’t fit into what’s expected.

As the book moves from part to part the change of time and circumstance allows the reader to fill in the gaps with the new knowledge revealed. This is a refreshing type of device, although it took me a couple of pages to find my bearings at each swap point, it served to up the feeling of unease which pervades throughout the book. What happens is there are more people to worry about, because although I didn’t ‘take’ to Cat, or any of the other characters if I’m honest, I did sympathise with her. It takes a stone-hearted soul that doesn’t feel something for a young woman who has lost her way, as so many of Helen Fitzgerald’s female characters have.

I really enjoy the writing style characterisation and pace and this has only confirmed to me that this is an author with a huge amount of talent!

This book has been on my kindle since February 2014 and is the fourth of this author’s books I’ve read. Bloody Women was published by Polygon in 2009.

Other Brilliant Books by Helen FitzGerald

The Cry

When a baby goes missing on a lonely roadside in Australia, it sets off a police investigation that will become a media sensation and dinner-table talk across the world.

The Exit

82 year old Rose, is convinced that something sinister is going on in Room 7 and that her own life is under threat. But Rose has dementia – so what does she actually know, and who would believe her anyway? As Catherine starts investigating Rose’s allegations, terrible revelations surface about everyone involved. Can Catherine find out what’s really going on?


A steamy video taken in Magaluf of young Sue Oliphant-Brotheridge while she was holidaying with her sister Leah, it’s upload to the internet causes Sue to hide away. This is a book about far more than a seedy holiday and the internet, a book that explores far more issues than the title would lead you to believe.

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (June 1)

This Week In Books

Lypsyy 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 it’s June 1 2016 which can mean only one thing; I am starting my month of reading books from my own bookshelves, including some that I’ve picked for 20 Books of Summer 2016

So I’m about to start The Poison Principle by Gail Bell as recommended to me by Hayley of Rather Too Fond of Books following this year’s random interest in poisoners!

The Poison Principle


When Dr William Macbeth poisoned two of his sons in 1927, his wife and sister hid the murders in the intensely private realm of family secrets. Like the famous poisoner Dr Crippen, Macbeth behaved as if he were immune to consequences; unlike Crippen, he avoided detection and punishment. Or did he?
As time passed, the story of Dr William Macbeth, well-dressed poisoner, haunted and divided his descendants. Macbeth’s granddaughter Gail Bell, who grew up with the story, spent ten years reading the literature of poisoning in order to understand Macbeth’s life. A chemist herself, she listened for echoes in the great cases of the 19th and 20th centuries, in myths, fiction and poison lore.
This intricate story, with a moving twist at the end, is a book about family guilt and secrets, and also an exploration of the nature of death itself – as Bell turns to her grandfather’s poisonous predecessors, from Cleopatra, Madame Bovary and Napoleon, as well as looking at Harold Shipman. Amazon

I have just finished My Husband’s Son by Deborah O’Connor, a psychological thriller, that thrills!

My Husband's Son

You can read the synopsis and a couple of excerpts in yesterday’s post

Next up.. and I hope you appreciate how difficult this post is to write, as I haven’t scheduled my choices as normal, the spreadsheet is still there but it simply has a list of books so chaos and disorder reign… will be Bloody Women by the wonderful Helen FitzGerald. Bloody Women has been on my kindle since February 2014 so it deserves to be read especially as I’ve enjoyed the three books I’ve already read by this author; The Cry, The Exit and Viral

Bloody Women


Returning to Scotland to organise her wedding, Catriona is overcome with the jitters.
She decides to tie up loose ends before settling permanently in Tuscany, and seeks out her ex-boyfriends.
Only problem is, they’re all dead. Goodreads

What are you reading this week? Do share in the comments envelope below!