Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (August 23)

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 the last in my 20 Books of Summer 2017 Challenge; The Summer House by Santa Montefiore. So I’ve just got to catch up with all the reviews after this one…

Blurb

Antoinette’s world has fallen apart: her husband, the man she has loved for as long as she can remember, has died tragically in an accident. He was her rock, the man she turned to for love and support, the man she knew better than she knew herself. Or at least so she thought…

For as she arrives at the familiar old stone church for George’s funeral, she sees a woman she has never met before.
Phaedra loved George too, and she could not bear to stay away from his funeral. But as she sits before his wife, she knows that what she is about to reveal will change all their lives forever.

This book is published in the US under the title The Girl From Paris Amazon

I have just finished Dear Mr M by Herman Koch, another book by this author which has the kind of darkness that makes you feel like you shouldn’t be reading… but I couldn’t help myself!

Blurb

Dear Mr. M,
I’d like to start by telling you that I’m doing better now. I do so because you probably have no idea that I was ever doing worse. Much worse, in fact, but I’ll get to that later on.

Mr. M is being watched. As a famous writer, he is no stranger to the limelight, although interest in his work has been dwindling of late. His print runs are smaller than they used to be, as are the crowds at his bookshop signings . . . Our narrator clearly takes a keen interest in M.’s work, and indeed in every aspect of his life. But what exactly are his intentions? And to what does Mr. M owe the honour of his undivided attention?

Our narrator seems to be no stranger to murder, while his own story appears to bear more than a passing resemblance to the plot of Mr. M’s most famous novel: a teacher has an affair with a student, only to be brutally murdered by the girl and her teenage boyfriend. The body is never found.

That’s the problem with fiction: in real life, bodies have an awkward habit of turning up. Mr. M has used some artistic licence, and our narrator is not pleased, not pleased at all. And just before he fades into obscurity, he’s prepared to give Mr. M one last review. And it’s unlikely to be a rave. Amazon

Next I am planning on reading Lost in the Lake by A.J. Waines which will be published on 7 September 2017.

Blurb

She came at first for answers…now she’s back for you

Amateur viola player Rosie Chandler is the sole survivor of a crash which sends members of a string quartet plunging into a lake. Convinced the ‘accident’ was deliberate, but unable to recall what happened, she is determined to recover her lost memories and seeks out clinical psychologist, Dr Samantha Willerby.

But Rosie is hiding something…

Sam is immediately drawn to the tragic Rosie and as she helps her piece the fragments together, the police find disturbing new evidence which raises further questions. Why is Rosie so desperate to recover her worthless viola? And what happened to the violin lost in the crash, worth over £2m?

When Rosie insists they return to the lake to relive the fatal incident, the truth about Rosie finally creeps up on Sam – but by now, she’s seriously out of her depth…

A stand alone novel (and the second book in the Dr Samantha Willerby series), Lost in the Lake is a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat Psychological Thriller that will leave you glancing over your shoulder. Amazon

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

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (August 20)

Weekly Wrap Up

A year on from my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding which has seen them become proud home-owners and cat guardians, they are off on holiday which means I am in charge of Bertie who truth be told has turned out to be a total scardey cat and needy to boot. Not that my daughter minds as she is totally besotted, she even forgave him when he didn’t like the latest in a long line of catty presents! This photo came with the message, “I don’t think Bertie likes his bow-tie”, but you’ll note as any self-respecting cat he understands that he must have his photo taken before it could be removed! Poor Bertie and poor me because I fear the enormous responsibility ahead!

It’s also meant that I had a hasty message saying she needed some books to read on holiday and then proceeded to quiz me on why I only have book number x in this series and why this book isn’t shelved over there by that one… she clearly takes after her mother though as she’s taken ten and is sacrificing clothes for book room in the suitcase. So by rights I currently don’t own a fair few that I will include in my TBR count at the end of this post!

This Week on the Blog

I’ve been finally writing some of the (very) outstanding reviews in my bid to have all my 20 books read and reviewed by the deadline for 20 Books of Summer Challenge, which is two weeks today, but I started the week with my review for Sophie Hannah’s latest book Did You See Melody? which will be published on Thursday 24 August 2017.

On Tuesday my excerpt post was from Each Little Lie by Tom Bale which I hope to get around to reading very soon.

This Week in Books saw me highlighting books that were all set, at least in part, in the past and included the authors; Eve Chase, Julie Summers and Ann O’Loughlin.

On Thursday I reviewed the first of two non-fiction true crime books, The Spider and the Fly by Claudia Rowe. This book features a serial killer in prison who corresponds with a journalist and is part true-crime/part memoir.

Thursday was also the day I appeared on Christine’s blog, Northern Crime, with my choice of summer crime read – you can read all about my choice here.  This series of posts is wonderful as bloggers have come up with a wide variety of choices which goes some way in making up for the amount of rain that has poured from the sky lately! If you haven’t already done so do check out Top Crime Bloggers recommend summer #crime reads 2017

On Friday my review of The Ripper of Waterloo Road by Jan Bondeson took me further back in time to 1838 (fifty years before Jack the Ripper) featuring the murder of Eliza Grimwood which despite the New Police’s best efforts was never solved.

Yesterday I reviewed Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie, it now being a tradition to have a least one of  The Queen of Crime’s books in the challenge. To my delight I didn’t remember anything about this book at all so needless to say, I didn’t solve the puzzle.

This Time Last Year…

Well in truth I probably had no time to be reading but the spreadsheet tells me that the last book I finished before the wedding was You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz and it’s a book I’m even fonder of in retrospect, being a clever look at those people who think they know best! In short Grace Sachs is a marriage counsellor who thinks that women shouldn’t hook up with unsuitable men and so has written a book telling them how to spot them – far better than turning to her years down the line and complaining when the clues were already there. And then Grace finds out her husband Jonathan isn’t exactly who she thought he was… A book full of observations and frighteningly accurate characterisation.

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

Blurb

Grace Sachs, a happily married therapist with a young son, thinks she knows everything about women, men and marriage. She is about to publish a book called You Should Have Known, based on her pet theory: women don’t value their intuition about what men are really like, leading to serious trouble later on.
But how well does Grace know her own husband? She is about to find out, and in the place of what she thought she knew, there will be a violent death, a missing husband, and a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a very public disaster, and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for herself and her child. Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

 

I was hugely grateful to receive a copy of Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister having enjoyed Everything But the Truth by this author earlier this year. Anything You Do Say will be published on 25 January 2018.

Blurb

Gone Girl meets Sliding Doors in this edge-of-your-seat thriller.
Joanna is an avoider. So far she has spent her adult life hiding bank statements and changing career aspirations weekly. But then one night Joanna hears footsteps on the way home.
Is she being followed? She is sure it’s him; the man from the bar who wouldn’t leave her alone.
Hearing the steps speed up, Joanna turns and pushes with all of her might, sending her pursuer tumbling down the steps to lie motionless on the floor. Now Joanna has to make a decision: Fight or flight? Truth or lie? Right or wrong? NetGalley

Emma from damppebbles is a truly wonderful woman and she posted me a duplicate copy of The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrère which was published back in July – this sounds brilliant and I can’t wait to read it.

Blurb

ON THE SATURDAY MORNING OF JANUARY 9, 1993, WHILE JEAN CLAUDE ROMAND WAS KILLING HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN, I WAS WITH MINE IN A PARENT-TEACHER MEETING…

With these chilling first words, acclaimed master of psychological suspense, Emmanuel Carrère, begins his exploration of the double life of a respectable doctor, eighteen years of lies, five murders, and the extremes to which ordinary people can go.

‘As a writer, Carrère is straight berserk; as a storyteller he is so freakishly talented, so unassuming in grace and power that you only realize the hold he’s got on you when you attempt to pull away… You say: True crime and literature? I don’t believe it. I say: Believe it’ Junot Díaz Amazon

From Amazon Vine I have a copy of One Bad Turn by Sinéad Crowley which is the third in the DS Claire Boyle series, having loved the first Can Anybody Help Me? I now really need to purchase the second book, Are You Watching Me?, so expect to see that here soon!


Blurb
girl.
What happened between Eileen and Heather to make Eileen so determined to ruin her old friend? Claire Boyle must dig up the secrets from their pasts to find out – and quickly, because Leah is still missing, and time is running out to save her. Amazon

I’m ending my stacking the shelves on a high this week with The Many Deaths of Mary Dobie by David Hastings which is courtesy of Ngaio Marsh Awards in New Zealand – they have asked little old me to be part of their blog tour to highlight the finalists. To say I was thrilled was an understatement and even better the book they matched me with is true crime (my current reading obsession) which is absolutely perfect. Craig Sisterson you made my week!!

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 have you added to your shelves this week? What do you think of my finds?

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read 3 books and gained 6!
The current total is therefore hurtling in an upwards direction to 182
Physical Books – 101
Kindle Books – 62
NetGalley Books – 19

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (August 16)

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 (about to start) reading The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde by Eve Chase, published last month this tale set in the Cotswolds in 1959 and promises mystery aplenty.

Blurb

Nineteen fifty-nine. The four Wilde sisters, Isla, Violet, Maggie and Dot, are spending the summer in the Cotswolds, at Applecote Manor. Affectionately called the Wildlings, the sisters are exceptionally close, yet this year there’s a sense of nostalgia. Things are changing.

Except for Applecote itself, a house that seems frozen in time. The sisters haven’t been there in five years; not since their cousin Audrey mysteriously vanished.

But as they discover Applecote’s dark secrets and new temptations, the sisters begin to grow apart. Until the night everything spirals out of control and the Wildlings form a bond far thicker than blood . . . NetGalley

I have just finished another historical novel also set in the 1950s this time Dublin is the setting for The Judge’s Wife by Ann O’Loughlin.

Blurb

Can a love last forever?
When Emma returns to Dublin to put her estranged father’s affairs in order, she begins to piece together the story of his life and that of Grace, the mother she never knew. She knows her father as the judge – as stern and distant at home as he was in the courtroom. But as she goes through his personal effects, Emma begins to find clues about her mother that shock her profoundly.
A tale of enduring love and scandal that begins in 1950s Dublin and unravels across decades and continents, digging up long-buried family secrets along the way, The Judge’s Wife asks whether love really can last forever. Amazon

Next up I’m moving a little further back in time with the non-fiction book Stranger in the House by Julie Summers

Blurb

From 1945, more than four million British servicemen were demobbed and sent home after the most destructive war in history. Damaged by fighting, imprisonment or simply separation from their loved ones, these men returned to a Britain that had changed in their absence.

In Stranger in the House, Julie Summers tells the women’s story, interviewing over a hundred women who were on the receiving end of demobilisation: the mothers, wives, sisters, who had to deal with an injured, emotionally-damaged relative; those who assumed their fiancés had died only to find them reappearing after they had married another; women who had illegitimate children following a wartime affair as well as those whose steadfast optimism was rewarded with a delightful reunion.

Many of the tales are moving, some are desperately sad, others are full of humour but all provide a fascinating account of how war altered ordinary women’s lives forever. Amazon

I’m not quite sure how I have such history orientated reading this week – poor spreadsheet planning methinks but I do spy some crime coming up after this little lot!

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 (August 13)

Weekly Wrap Up

No domestic goddess this week I’m afraid – in fact not a great deal of anything by way of other news so I’ll crack on with the book news.

This Week on the Blog

The week started with my review of The House by Simon Lelic which was awarded the full five stars and is one of my favourite books of the year so far.

My excerpt post came from The Lying Game by Ruth Ware, one of the many books that I’ve failed to get to yet!

This Week in Books featured the authors Sophie Hannah, John Boyne and Margaret Atwood.

My second review of the week was for The Island by Victoria Hislop which is mainly set on the island of Spinalonga, a former leper colony.

On Friday I celebrated my fourth blog birthday which just served to remind me how fast time can pass by when you’re having fun!

I finished off the week with my review of Broken Heart by Tim Weaver which should be read with the understanding that I read this book when times were really tough but that didn’t stop the author’s fine writing shining through.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading Did She Kill Him? by Kate Colquhoun which recreates the story of Florence Maybrick, a Liverpool lady who in 1889 who was suspected of poisoning her husband. The first portion of the book gives a sympathetic portrait of Florence Maybrick backed up with historical documents but it was the switch at the end when the evidence is examined from another perspective which most impressed me. Did Florence murder her husband? Well you need to read this book and see what you think.

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

Blurb

In the summer of 1889, young Southern belle Florence Maybrick stood trial for the alleged arsenic poisoning of her much older husband, Liverpool cotton merchant James Maybrick.

‘The Maybrick Mystery’ had all the makings of a sensation: a pretty, flirtatious young girl; resentful, gossiping servants; rumours of gambling and debt; and torrid mutual infidelity. The case cracked the varnish of Victorian respectability, shocking and exciting the public in equal measure as they clambered to read the latest revelations of Florence’s past and glimpse her likeness in Madame Tussaud’s.

Florence’s fate was fiercely debated in the courtroom, on the front pages of the newspapers and in parlours and backyards across the country. Did she poison her husband? Was her previous infidelity proof of murderous intentions? Was James’ own habit of self-medicating to blame for his demise?

Historian Kate Colquhoun recounts an utterly absorbing tale of addiction, deception and adultery that keeps you asking to the very last page, did she kill him? Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

I’m very excited to have been given a copy of Angels in the Moonlight by Caimh McDonnell which will be published on 30 August 2017. This is the prequel to the trilogy the author’s Dublin trilogy.

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 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? http://whitehairedirishman.com

I have a copy of Give Me the Child by Mel McGrath which was published on 27 July 2017 and the reviews I’ve read are great.

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… NetGalley

And as a huge surprise I have been granted my wish to receive a copy of Bad Girls from History by Dee Gordon which will be published on 30 September 2017.

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. NetGalley

And I have bought a copy of Trial of Passion by William Deverell after reading the fantastic Spotlight Post by one of my trusted book advisors, Margot of Confessions of a Mystery Novelist… If you haven’t visited Margot’s blog I highly recommend it.

Blurb

Arthur Beauchamp, one of Vancouver’s most heralded criminal lawyers, has moved to a quiet island off the British Columbia coast. He’s trying to recover from a marriage gone sour, but his retirement is interrupted by his former law partners — they want Arthur to take charge of the defence trial of Jonathan O’Donnell, the acting dean of the law school.

O’Donnell has been accused of rape by one of his students, Kimberley Martin, a smart but arrogant woman who is engaged to a rich businessman. If convicted, O’Donnell understands that his career will implode; he believes that only Arthur Beauchamp can save his professional life. After much pleading, Beauchamp agrees to handle the case. He is drawn into a complex legal situation dealing with gender and sex, while his personal life takes a provocative turn as well.

A courtroom drama ensues, with unpredictable twists and bizarre events. Amazon

tbr-watch

What have you added to your shelves this week? What do you think of my finds?

Since my last post I’ve read 3 books and gained 4!
The current total is therefore 179
Physical Books – 101
Kindle Books – 61
NetGalley Books – 17

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (August 9)

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 really need to ramp up my reading (and reviewing) to try and complete the 20 Books of Summer 2017 before the deadline – it’s going to be tight!!

At the moment I a reading Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah a favourite author of mine and whose books never fail to surprise me. Did You See Melody? will be published on 24 August 2017.



Blurb

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

I’ve just finished The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne which was a brilliant read and one from my list of books that have been sat on the TBR for what seems like forever.

‘Some things are just sitting there, minding their own business, waiting to be discovered. Like America. And other things are probably better off left alone’

Nine-year-old Bruno has a lot of things on his mind. Who is the ‘Fury’? Why did he make them leave their nice home in Berlin to go to ‘Out-With’ ? And who are all the sad people in striped pyjamas on the other side of the fence? The grown-ups won’t explain so Bruno decides there is only one thing for it – he will have to explore this place alone. What he discovers is a new friend. A boy with the very same birthday. A boy in striped pyjamas. But why can’t they ever play together? Amazon

Next up I am going to read Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood which although I’m really looking forward to reading it, I am wondering why or how I managed to pick books with so many pages for the reading challenge – deep breath for what promises to be 560 pages of pure joy!

Blurb

Sometimes I whisper it over to myself: Murderess. Murderess. It rustles, like a taffeta skirt along the floor.’
Grace Marks. Female fiend? Femme fatale? Or weak and unwilling victim?
Around the true story of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the 1840s, Margaret Atwood has created an extraordinarily potent tale of sexuality, cruelty and mystery. Amazon

So that’s my reading week – What are you reading? Do share in the comments box below!

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (August 6)

Weekly Wrap Up

With another exceptionally busy week on the work front I decided that I would reinvent myself as a bit of a domestic goddess this weekend, so chose the most important area to keep spick and span, yes you’ve guessed it, the bookcases. I can now confirm that the excel spreadsheet is up to date and complete and there are no longer random piles of books strategically placed throughout the house.

              Bookshelf and cupboard where the TBR lives

I then turned my hand to making some chutney and now have a stack of bramley apple and walnut chutney which tastes divine and should be even better once it has sat a while – if it lasts that long!

This Week on the Blog

The week got off to a cracking start when I took my turn on the blog tour with my review for Death Knocks Twice by Robert Thorogood, the third in the Death in Paradise series.

My extract post was from The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham which was published on 11 July 2017.

This Week in Books featured the authors Agatha Christie, Simon Lelic and Peter Robinson.

On Thursday I published my review of Shelter by Sarah Franklin set in The Forest of Dean (where I grew up) during World War II – I was really taken with this story, the setting was lovingly recreated and the story of the lumberjill’s a piece of history that is a little known one.

I moved further south when I reviewed the seventh book in my 20 Books of Summer challenge, That Girl from Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson

And then I changed continents for my review of the non-fiction book, Midnight in Peking by Paul French. This true crime story not only took me across the world but back in time to 1937 when Pamela Werner was killed and mutilated.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie the book that is considered by many people as one of the best of the Queen of Crimes books, and I certainly can’t disagree. Poor old Roger Ackroyd was stabbed quite literally in the back, and that was how our narrator, Doctor James Shepard found him in the locked room of his study.

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

Blurb

Agatha Christie’s most daring crime mystery – an early and particularly brilliant outing of Hercule Poirot, ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’, with its legendary twist, changed the detective fiction genre for ever.

Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Now, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with a drug overdose.

But the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information. Unfortunately, before he could finish the letter, he was stabbed to death… Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

With life here still difficult I decided I needed something a little bit lighter for relief and was approved for One Day in December by Shari Low which seems to fit the bill perfectly.

Blurb

By the stroke of midnight, a heart would be broken, a cruel truth revealed, a devastating secret shared, and a love betrayed. Four lives would be changed forever, One Day in December.
One morning in December…
Caro set off on a quest to find out if her relationship with her father had been based on a lifetime of lies.
Lila decided today would be the day that she told her lover’s wife of their secret affair.
Cammy was on the way to pick up the ring for the surprise proposal to the woman he loved.
And Bernadette vowed that this was the day she would walk away from her controlling husband of 30 years and never look back.

One day, four lives on a collision course with destiny… NetGalley

I made a purchase of Death of a Cuckoo by Wendy Percival which is a short story featuring genealogist Esme Quentin who has her own series…

Blurb

A letter. A photograph. A devastating truth.

When Gina Vincent receives a letter of condolence from a stranger following her mother’s death, a photograph slipped inside reveals a disturbing truth – everything she’s ever known is based on a lie. Shocked and disorientated, she engages genealogy detective Esme Quentin to help search for answers.

The trail leads to an isolated and abandoned property on the edge of Exmoor, once the home of a strict Victorian institution called The House of Mercy and its enigmatic founder, whose influence seems to linger still in the fabric of the derelict building.

As they dig deeper, Esme realises that the house itself hides a dark and chilling secret, one which must be exposed to unravel the mystery behind Gina’s past.

But someone is intent on keeping the secret hidden. Whatever it takes. Amazon

I was also forced to purchase a copy of The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books by Martin Edwards, because Fiction Fan featured this in her Bookish Selfie post last week. I’ve been steadfastly resisting the British Library Crime Classics series as I knew I could easily end up acquiring the whole set and so I fear this book will open the floodgates.

Blurb

The main aim of detective stories is to entertain, but the best cast a light on human behaviour, and display both literary ambition and accomplishment. Even unpretentious detective stories, written for unashamedly commercial reasons, can give us clues to the past, and give us insight into a long-vanished world that, for all its imperfections, continues to fascinate.

This book, written by award-winning crime writer and president of the Detection Club, Martin Edwards, serves as a companion to the British Library’s internationally acclaimed series of Crime Classics. Long-forgotten stories republished in the series have won a devoted new readership, with several titles entering the bestseller charts and sales outstripping those of highly acclaimed contemporary thrillers. Amazon

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read 3 books and gained 3 plus I found a couple of books to remove and a few more to add to the spreadsheet!

The current total is therefore 178
Physical Books – 103
Kindle Books – 16
NetGalley Books – 15

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (August 2)

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 have just started The House by Simon Lelic which will be published on 17 August 2017.

Blurb

Whose story do YOU believe?

Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.
So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.
Because someone has just been murdered outside their back door. And now the police are watching them.

THIS STORY IS THEIR CHANCE…
TO PROVE THEY’RE INNOCENT.
OR TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER. Amazon

I have just finished Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie which was my thirteenth read for 20 Books of Summer 2017  (yes, for those of you keeping up, this is just how far I am with my review writing!!)

Blurb

Luke Fitzwilliam could not believe Miss Pinkerton’s wild allegation that a multiple murderer was at work in the quiet English village of Wychwood – or her speculation that the local doctor was next in line.

But within hours, Miss Pinkerton had been killed in a hit-and-run car accident. Mere coincidence? Luke was inclined to think so – until he read in The Times of the unexpected demise of Dr Humbleby… Amazon

Up next is Before the Poison by Peter Robison from my 20 Books of Summer Challenge

Blurb

After years of Hollywood success composer Chris Lowndes wanted only one thing: to take his beloved wife home to the Yorkshire Dales.
But Laura is gone, and Chris is on his own.
He welcomes the isolation of Kilnsgate House, and the beauty of the dale. And it doesn’t surprise him that a man died there, sixty years ago.
That his wife was convicted of murder.
That something is pulling him deeper and deeper into the story of Grace Elizabeth Fox, who was hanged by the neck until she was dead . . . Amazon

So that’s my reading week – What are you reading? Do share in the comments box below

Posted in Weekly Posts

Weekly Wrap Up (July 30)

Weekly Wrap Up

The end of an exceptionally busy week catching up on all I missed during my absence with work, friends and family. Sadly my phone didn’t like the Spanish  which is making the sharing of posts etc. more problematic than I would like, so please bear with me until it is fixed.

I have however managed to read three books this week which is causing its own problems as I’ve still got stacks of reviews to write from June and my sketchy notes are not really providing as much assistance as I need!

On a more personal front I’ve received a couple of photo albums that my Grandmother kept complete with her annotations and just had to share this one for the summer – My Grandmother is the stylish lady on the right!

 

Modern Girls & their ‘Modern’ Bathing Suits on Clapham Sands circa 1930

It’s taking a long time to decode some of these and although I’m fairly sure the writing says Clapham Sands I’m not really sure if that is correct or not – there’s definitely sand in the picture, but in Clapham?

This Week on the Blog

The week started with me publishing the planned second set of my 20 Books of Summer Challenge – I’ve got just over a month to read these and once again, I’m not entirely sure I’m going to make it but I will give it my best shot!

On that note, I reviewed book 6 of the selection, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and kind commenters have pointed me in the direction of a couple of films to check out linked to that stunning read.

In This Week in Books I shared my reading by authors: Robert Thorogood, Sarah Franklin and Isabel Ashdown.

My second review of the week was for Lisa Jewell’s latest novel, her darkest yet, Then She Was Gone which was awarded the full five stars by Cleopatra Loves Books

On Friday I reviewed Little Sister by Isabel Ashdown which was published on 27 July 2017 an excellent read which also received five stars.

My week was rounded up with my Six in Six -2017 Edition categorising my favourite reads of the first half of  the year under six different headings.

This Time Last Year…

I was reading I See You by Claire Mackintosh a chilling story set on the London Tube – my review for this starts with memories of travelling on the tube with my beloved Grandmother sans fetching bathing suit, it being a good forty plus years after the photo above was taken and not really tube travelling attire!

Claire Mackintosh has really produced a fantastically scary yet all too believable story with all the characters lifelike enough that you feel you know them warts and all.

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

Blurb

When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.

Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . Amazon

Stacking the Shelves

I was absolutely thrilled to be approved for a copy of Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan which I’ve had my eye on since I first saw it mentioned on social media – it isn’t out until January 2018 but I doubt whether I will be able to wait until then to read it.

Blurb

Part courtroom thriller; part portrait of a marriage; part exploration of how our memories still haunt us, Anatomy of a Scandal is a disarming and provocative psychological drama.

Sophie’s husband, James, is a loving father and a successful public figure. Yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to engulf him. She’s kept his darkest secret ever since they were first lovers, at Oxford. And if she stood by him then, she can do it now.

Kate is the barrister prosecuting his case. She’s certain that James is guilty and determined he should pay. No stranger to suffering herself, she doesn’t flinch from posing the questions few want to hear. About what happens between a man a woman when they’re alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in a lift . . .

Is James the victim of an unfortunate misunderstanding or the perpetrator of something sinister? Who is right: Sophie or Kate? This scandal – which forces Sophie to appraise her marriage and Kate her demons – will have far-reaching consequences for them all. NetGalley

I also have a copy of The Foster Child by Jenny Blackhurst, another win as I really enjoyed this author’s previous two books How I Lost You and Before I Let You In . The Foster Child will be published on 16 November 2017.

Blurb

When child psychologist Imogen Reid takes on the case of 11-year-old Ellie Atkinson, she refuses to listen to warnings that the girl is dangerous.

Ellie was the only survivor of a fire that killed her family. Imogen is convinced she’s just a sad and angry child struggling to cope with her loss.

But Ellie’s foster parents and teachers are starting to fear her. When she gets upset, bad things seem to happen. And as Imogen gets closer to Ellie, she may be putting herself in danger… NetGalley

And finally while I was away I received Need to Know by Karen Cleveland which looks to be a hot release for 2018!

Blurb

Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counter-intelligence analyst assigned to uncover Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she’s developed a system for identifying Russian agents – seemingly normal people living in plain sight.

After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America’s borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her is threatened – her job, her husband, even her four children.

Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust? Amazon

tbr-watch

Since my last post I’ve read 3 books and gained 2

The current total is therefore 176
Physical Books – 102
Kindle Books – 59
NetGalley Books – 15

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (July 26)

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 Little Sister by Isabelle Ashdown ahead of publication of tomorrow!

Blurb


A missing child. A broken mother. A sister who doesn’t remember a thing.

After sixteen years apart sisters Jessica and Emily are reunited. With the past now behind them, the warmth they once shared quickly returns and before long Jess has moved into Emily’s comfortable island home. Life couldn’t be better. But when baby Daisy disappears while in Jess’s care, the perfect life Emily has so carefully built starts to fall apart.

Was Emily right to trust her sister after everything that happened before? NetGalley

I have recently finished the third book which accompanies the TV series ‘Death in Paradise’ – Death Knocks Twice by Robert Thorogood is a classic locked mystery set on the island of Saint-Marie and will be published tomorrow.



Blurb

Two dead bodies. A family of suspects. One grumpy detective.
Reluctantly stationed on the sweltering Caribbean island of Saint-Marie, Detective Inspector Richard Poole dreams of cold winds, drizzly rain and a pint in his local pub.
Just as he is feeling as fed up as can be, a mysterious vagrant is found dead in the grounds of the historic Beaumont plantation. Immediately assumed to be suicide, DI Poole is not so convinced and determined to prove otherwise. Never mind that the only fingerprints on the murder weapon belong to the victim. Or that the room was locked from the inside.
Before long, death knocks twice and a second body turns up. The hunt is on to solve the case – despite the best efforts of the enigmatic Beaumont family… Amazon

And I thought I may as well go for the hat-trick on publication dates so next I will be reading Shelter by Sarah Franklin which is also going to be published on 27 July 2017.

Blurb

Early spring 1944. Connie Granger has escaped her bombed-out city home, finding refuge in the Women’s Timber Corps. For her, this remote community must now serve a secret purpose.

Seppe, an Italian prisoner of war, is haunted by his memories. In the forest camp, he finds a strange kind of freedom.

Their meeting signals new beginnings. But as they are drawn together, the world outside their forest haven is being torn apart. Old certainties are crumbling, and both must now make a life-defining choice.

What price will they pay for freedom? What will they fight to protect?

A captivating and tender novel about love, hope and how we find solace in the most troubled times. Amazon

What do you think? Have you read any of these books? Do you want to?


What are you reading this week? Do share in the comments box below.

Posted in #20 Books of Summer 2017

20 Books of Summer 2017 – Part 2 #20booksofsummer

Cathy at Cathy 746 has a yearly challenge to read twenty books over the summer months starting on 1 June 2017 and running until 3 September 2017, and once again I’ve decided to join her.

My aim this year was to read all twenty books in the allotted time span but the plan has been somewhat disrupted, however despite only posting reviews for books 1 – 5 of the challenge (you can see the original list the master page here) I have actually finished reading the first set of 10 with reviews to follow,  and so it’s time to choose the next set in the hope I will magically get these read before the cut-off date!

The links below will take you to the Goodreads description

The Ripper of Waterloo Road by Jan Bondeson

The Spider and the Fly by Claudia Rowe

Dear Mr M by Herman Koch

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Stranger in the House by Julie Summers

Before the Poison by Peter Robinson

The Summer House by Santa Montefiore

The Judges Wife by Ann O’Loughlin

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

Murder is Easy by Agatha Christie

My original second list looked a wee bit on the bleak side so I chose some cheerier books to break it up but never fear there is plenty of murder to get me through August!


I will continue to tweet my way through the challenge using the hashtag #20booksofsummer to demonstrate when one of my reads is part of this challenge!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I seem to have a big pile of books to read!

Any of these take your fancy?