Posted in Blog Tour

When A Killer Strikes by R.C. Bridgestock #blogtour #AuthorPost

I was thrilled to be asked to be part of the blog tour to celebrate the publication of the eighth in the DI Dylan series: When A Killer Strikes by R.C. Bridgestock which was published on 19 October 2017.

One half of RC Bridgestock, Carol agreed to share with me the important books that shaped her childhood and I hope you’ll agree it’s a fascinating, and for me, full of familiar and much-loved books.

One of my earliest memories is sitting on the woollen carpet, in the Children’s Corner at King Cross Library. It was to the right, inside the door but was cut off from the rest of the library by open book shelves that even I could see over for that reassuring smile from my mum choosing her own library books. I remember feeling safe and warm, those big cast iron radiators the colour of the mahogany woodwork didn’t half blast out some heat! Many-a-time, after a long day at school and the walk from school I recall laying on my tummy on the floor, the smell of old books that I’d pulled from the shelves to surround me and the quietness, the solitude would nearly lull me to sleep. The little solid, wooden chairs that slid underneath a child sized dark wooden table were always shiny and clean. I hung onto my library cards, with pride. The librarian had put my name on them, they belonged to me. I think I loved the books from the library more than I loved the books my mum and dad bought for me. Library time, was my time and space to explore and dream, sitting on that old, worn carpet… I loved the fact that the corners of the books pages were worn and thin from being thumbed so much. The books were alive to me, and the proof was the marks left on them by those who had read the books before me. I could feel in them the time that had passed since they’d read them. And now it was my turn.

             King Cross Library – Source Calderdale Libraries

 

My mother loved reading, still does, although her eyes are failing – thank goodness for technology, her iPad her best friend. It was on her knee that I recall being read the Five Little Kittens. I loved that book. I don’t forget the books I read when I was a child. They are burned in my brain, and each has its own scent, its rhythm and beat, which has stayed with me all that time. I remember where and when I read them, their shape, their thickness of the paper, the picture on the cover, if there was one. I even remember if the pages had come loose, or had been torn out and mended by the concerned, diligent librarian, the healer and surgeon of tattered books, it told me it was a much loved story book and one I knew I wanted to read. I even loved the yellowing pages and the stains, but most of all, I loved the notes written in the margins in many strange and different hands, and the drawings, and pictures – they made me smile. I could well imagine a few cross words from mum if I’d have done that. Last year I purchased an original copy of Five Little Kittens, which is in our bookcase and I now read it to our grandchildren.

 

It’s a simple storyline, mother cat goes to town to do some shopping whilst the kittens try to help clear up at home. It all goes terribly wrong but everything works out fine in the end. It’s beautifully illustrated and the pictures alone tell the story for me without the need for words, although it does have them.

Yes, I had a copy of this book with the self-same cover.

I learnt to read with the help of the Janet and John books, at Warley Road Infant School. Our teacher was a little old lady, who tied her grey hair up in a bun that sat in the nape of her neck. I can’t recall her name but what I do remember was that she was as round as she was tall. If we did well at reading she would let us choose a treat from her rusty old tin, that she kept in the right hand drawer of her desk. A sugar coated pineapple cube, a pear drop, a mint, or a thrupenny bit… What fun!

Your teacher sounds wonderful Carol my learn-to-read gurus were Peter and Jane.

Famous ‘Five On Treasure Island’: This was the book that lured me hook, line and sinker into the reading world. I still remember it like yesterday; my mum, dad, brother and I had just moved south. Away from my all friends, and my grandparents… I was eight, I was lonely. We lived near the sea, a harbour and I could see the Isle of Wight across The Solent. Little did I know that nearly forty years later the Island that I had called my ‘Treasure Island’ would become our home. Ah, the mysterious world of Julian, Anne, Dick and my favourite George made me forget my loneliness, and soon I made new friends and we had our own little adventures. Thank you Enid Blyton for bringing me to a world of limitless imagination.

Yes, another snap I credit the entire Famous Five series for my enduring love of crime fiction which may well be why I’m currently reading When A Killer Strikes.

The book from childhood that had the greatest impact on my life was The Diary of Anne Frank. This diary of a truly courageous young woman. Born June 12, 1929, was a German-Jewish teenager who was forced to go into hiding during the Holocaust. She and her family, along with four others, spent 25 months during World War II in an annex of rooms above her father’s office in Amsterdam. After being betrayed to the Nazis, Anne, her family, and the others living were arrested and deported to Nazi concentration camps. In March of 1945, nine months after she was arrested, Anne Frank died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen. She was fifteen years old – the same age as me. Her diary was saved by one of the people who helped the family. It made me feel very lucky, and grateful for all I had, and thankful that I was living in the now, not then.

And another yes! When I read this book I was aware of my Jewish ancestors, my immediate family having moved to the East End of London from Amsterdam. Much later I visited the Anne Frank Museum and found many of the family names in their book of those who were sent to concentration camps from the city.

The book I love reading to my grandchildren is, ‘Guess How Much I Love You?’ (Little Nutbrown Hare)

I think that this is one of the greatest books ever written. If it were required reading for all, the world would be a much better place!

I don’t have any grandchildren yet but when I do this book will also go on my bookshelf.

When A Killer Strikes by R.C. Bridgestock 

Blurb

“Boss, we’ve got a body”.
Detective Sergeant Vicky Hardacre, greets him at the scene, but what awaits them behind the blood red door of Colonial House is undoubtedly a murder. The approach identifies several prime suspects. But who is telling the truth; and who is lying?
Before the killer can be caught, another body is discovered, this time in a putrefying mixture of mud and slime, lain among the remnants of decaying food within a waste-bin shelter. Now it’s the task of the man in charge to make the call.
Are the two murders connected?
There’s only one way to find out, and that’s by working long hours, within strict budgets, and the usual pressure from above to obtain quick results.
However, Dylan is distracted by personal matters, with Jen being keen to seal the deal on a renovation project. He suggests they delay finalising the purchase; until he discovers the significance of the house, and that it’s about to be demolished.
In his absence, Jen’s pleas for help from his estranged siblings are answered, resulting in hidden secrets coming to light, as Dylan continues, through a twisting and turning plot, to ensure justice is done in respect of the murder victims, whose bright hopes for the future were cruelly snatched away. Amazon

Sounds good doesn’t it? My review will be up shortly but you can buy your own copy from:

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

Monday Musings (September 30)

Hosted by Should Be Readingmusingmondays51

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits. • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s). • What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! • Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it. • Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us! • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My Musing is going to be My Life In Books

The earliest memory I have of reading or being read to is with Topsy and Tim Go On Holiday.

Topsy and Tim go on holiday

This looks identical to the copy I had as a child in the early 70’s and the image of the inside page has bought a lump to my throat

Inside Topsy and Tim large

I think this was the only Topsy and Tim I owned although I borrowed others from the library in High Wycombe whilst my mother did her shopping and left me to browse the books.  I clearly remember Topsy and Tim At School as well as one about their birthday party which of course because they were twins was a joint one.

Topsy and Tim Start School

Topsy and Tim acquired a sister Tansy at some point too.  Apart from the wonderful illustrations to these books written by Jean and Gareth Anderson my favourite part was the back cover which had miniature covers of the other Topsy and Tim books, I can picture myself making mental lists right back then of those that I wanted to read!

I also had a large hardback copy of The Very Hungary Caterpillar bought for me by my Uncle for my third birthday. This book survived my childhood of poking fingers through the holes, more or less intact, and my own children were able to do this too with the very same copy years later.

The Very Hungary caterpiller holesThe Very Hungary Caterpiller

I had lots of the ladybird fairy tales which I adored with the writing on one side, the picture opposite.  I can still remember the poor princess from the Princess and the Pea standing outside the castle door drenched in rain asking for a bed for the night!

Ladybird Fairy Tales

I was one of those children who ‘Listened with Mother’ (although I suspect mother found other things to do while this was on) and this introduced me to my Naughty Little Sister amongst other favourite tales.  Click on the picture below to see some available stories – I’m debating whether I can justify a purchase for pure nostalgia… probably not but it is a great find!

Listen with Mother

Hand in hand with the stories went the nursery rhymes. I had several books of these including the ladybird version with the Dish running away with the Spoon (again I can still see the illustration to that one in my minds eye) My Grandmother had a beautiful old nursery rhyme book with fantastic pictures with some different rhymes including the days of the week where I learnt I was a Thursday’s child and full of woe….

Nursery rhymes

These early stories, along with no doubt many others that are lost in the midst of time, gave me a love of books that has never waned.

My next musing will move on from picture books to the stories which enchanted and entertained me through my next stage of book loving, to when I could read for myself, which was the opening of a magical door.

Posted in Books I have read

Books Are My Bag (September 14)

Books Are My Bag

Picture courtesy of http://bibliobeth.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/books-are-my-bag-my-bookish-life-so-far/

Books Are My Bag is a nationwide celebration of bookshops, calling on all bookworms to purchase a book from their local bookshop on Saturday 14th September. After dropping my youngest at the airport to start his second year at uni this morning I drove into town and visited Waterstones. I wanted a birthday gift for a 10 year old girl (a couple of One Direction Books) and one for the hospitalised 12 year old, I selected Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman.

Noughts and Crosses
Blurb

Two young people are forced to make a stand in this thought-provoking look at racism and prejudice in an alternate society.
Sephy is a Cross — a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought — a ” colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum — a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?
In this gripping, stimulating and totally absorbing novel, black and white are right and wrong. Goodreads

I selected this as my daughter loved it and it is quite a big book perfect for when you are confined to bed, I do hope she enjoys it.

While I was there I also bought a couple of books for the primary school my children attended for their library.

My first was Stig of the Dump by Clive King I was read this at school and promptly secured myself my own copy as I loved it so much. A great story, reading the beginning with a cup of coffee today bought back great memories.

The cover I remember
The cover I remember

Blurb

Barney is a solitary eight-year-old, given to wandering off by himself. One day he is lying on the edge of disused chalk-pit when he tumbles over, lands in a sort of cave, and meets’ somebody with a lot of shaggy hair and two bright black eyes’ – wearing a rabbit-skin and speaking in grunts. He names him Stig. They learn to understand one another, and together they raid the rubbish dump at the bottom of the pit, improve Stig’s cave dwelling, and enjoy a series of adventures that are sometimes wildly improbably and sometimes extremely practical. Goodreads

Lastly I bought a book that I haven’t read, The School for Good and Evil

The School of Good and Evil

Blurb

A dark and enchanting fantasy adventure perfect for girls who prefer their fairytales with a twist.

Every four years, two girls are kidnapped from the village of Gavaldon. Legend has it these lost children are sent to the School for Good and Evil, the fabled institution where they become fairytale heroes or villains.

Sophie, the most beautiful girl in town, has always dreamed of her place at the School for Good while her friend Agatha, with her dark disposition seems destined for the School for Evil. But when the two are kidnapped they find their fortunes reversed…