Posted in Books I want to Read

Books to be published in October 2013

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Now that September is drawing to a close I have been looking at the books due to be published in October, starting with The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton. This one looks seriously scary perfect for a cold evening in front of the fire.

Publisher: Pan  10 Oct 2013
Publisher: Pan
10 Oct 2013

Blurb

Reeve LeClaire was abducted when she was twelve years old and held in captivity for four years. Now, in her twenties, she has a fragile stability but with the help of her psychiatrist, she has started to build a life of independence. But she will never shake off the terror and memory of the monster she believes is behind bars. When Tilly Cavanaugh is rescued from a basement having suffered a similar experience, her parents call Reeve to ask for her help in helping their daughter rediscover a ‘normal’ life. But it is only when two other girls go missing that the police confirm the link and that there is a serial abductor in their midst. Reeve knows that she alone has the knowledge which will help to find the perpetrator – but can she overcome her demons to discover the truth? Amazon

I really hope Helen Fielding is still able to make me smile with Bridget Jones, Mad About The Boy

Publisher: Jonathan Cape  10 Oct 2013
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
10 Oct 2013

Blurb

With her hotly anticipated third instalment, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Fielding introduces us to a whole new enticing phase of Bridget’s life set in contemporary London, including the challenges of maintaining sex appeal as the years roll by and the nightmare of drunken texting, the skinny jean, the disastrous email cc, total lack of twitter followers, and TVs that need 90 buttons and three remotes to simply turn on. Amazon

Secrets from the past are always intriguing so Postcards From The Past by Marcia Willets looks like a must!

Publisher: Bantam Press 10 Oct 2013
Publisher: Bantam Press
10 Oct 2013

Blurb

Can you ever escape your family ties?
Siblings Billa and Ed share their beautiful, grand old childhood home in rural Cornwall. Their lives are uncomplicated. With family and friends nearby and their free and easy living arrangements, life seems as content as can be.
But when postcards start arriving from a sinister figure they thought belonged well and truly in their pasts, old memories are stirred. Why is he contacting them now? And what has he been hiding all these years?Amazon

I’m looking forward to seeing what Elizabeth Haynes will serve up in her fourth book, Under a Silent Moon but the blurb has meant that this one is on pre-order!

Publisher: Sphere 15 Oct 2013
Publisher: Sphere
15 Oct 2013

In the crisp early morning hours, the police are called to a suspected murder at a farm outside a small English village. A beautiful young woman has been found dead, blood all over the cottage she lived in. At the same time, police respond to a reported female suicide, where a car has fallen into a local quarry.

As DCI Louisa Smith and her team gather the evidence, they discover a link between these two women, a link which has sealed their dreadful fate one cold night, under a silent moon.

Told in a unique way, using source documents that allow readers to interpret the evidence alongside DCI Louisa Smith and her team, Under a Silent Moon is an unsettling and compulsively readable novel that will keep you gripped until the very last page. Amazon

I am also buying for the non-fiction Inconvenient People by Sarah Wise in paperback as this will go onto my bookshelf so that I can read all about the Victorian Lunatic Asylums.

3rd October
3rd October

Gaslight tales of rooftop escapes, men and women snatched in broad daylight, patients shut in coffins, a fanatical cult known as the Abode of Love.
The nineteenth century saw repeated panics about sane individuals being locked away in lunatic asylums. With the rise of the ‘mad-doctor’ profession, English liberty seemed to be threatened by a new generation of medical men willing to incarcerate difficult family members in return for the high fees paid by an unscrupulous spouse or friend.
Sarah Wise uncovers twelve shocking stories, untold for over a century and reveals the darker side of the Victorian upper and middle classes – their sexuality, fears of inherited madness, financial greed and fraudulence – and chillingly evoke the black motives at the heart of the phenomenon of the ‘inconvenient person’.Amazon

To read my review on Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield, click on the book cover.

Bellman & Black blue Bellman & Black is due to be published on 10 October 2013 by Orion.

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Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (September 18)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Shouldbereading.wordpress.com

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am reading Teatime for the Firefly by Shona Patel which is so much more than I ever expected. This is a tale set in a different time (1943), a different culture and has informed me so much of what World War II meant in India as well as including loads of information about the tea gardens of Assam.

Teatime for the Firefly

Blurb

My name is Layla and I was born under an unlucky star. For a young girl growing up in India, this is bad news. But everything began to change for me one spring day in 1943, when three unconnected incidents, like tiny droplets on a lily leaf, tipped and rolled into one. It was that tiny shift in the cosmos, I believe, that tipped us together-me and Manik Deb.

Layla Roy has defied the fates. Despite being born under an inauspicious horoscope, she is raised to be educated and independent minded by her eccentric Anglophile grandfather, Dadamoshai. And, by cleverly manipulating the hand fortune has dealt her, she has even found love with Manik Deb-a man betrothed to another. All were minor miracles in India that spring of 1943, when young women’s lives were predetermined-if not by the stars, then by centuries of family tradition and social order.

I have just finished Bellman & Black by Diane Settterfield
which is going to be published at the beginning of October

Bellman & Black blue
Click the book cover to see my review

Next on my list is The Bridesmaid by Jenny Scotti

Jenni Scott contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing this and I looked at the blurb and couldn’t resist (again) This looks like it has everything I will enjoy in a murder-mystery. It is set in England, the victim has secrets to be uncovered and best of all it has connections to the past.

Wedding Bouquet

  Blurb

Haddley, a quiet English village in the Midlands. Kelly Evans — a sixteen year old girl — is brutally murdered. Her body is discovered by a neighbour, and the police are called in to investigate. Kelly was young and beautiful, and her untimely death comes as a shock to all who knew her … or does it really?

The dark side of Kelly’s personality soon comes to light. She was ruthless and promiscuous, and stopped at nothing to get what she wanted, even if it meant wrecking other people’s lives. She made quite a few enemies, and among close friends and neighbours are some who might have had a very good reason for wanting to get rid of her.

The investigation takes a new and unexpected turn when a locket goes missing, and a connection is made with the twenty-year-old murder of a wartime movie star. As the police search the past for answers and gradually piece the mystery together, the respectable veneer starts cracking exposing a web of jealousy, sexual intrigue and deceit.
Goodreads

Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

Bellman & Black – Diane Setterfield

Ghost Story 4*'s
Ghost Story
4*’s

Blurb

As a boy, William Bellman commits one small cruel act that appears to have unforseen and terrible consequences. The killing of a rook with his catapult is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games. And by the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, he seems indeed, to be a man blessed by fortune.

Until tragedy strikes, and the stranger in black comes, and William Bellman starts to wonder if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed. Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, he enters into a bargain. A rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre business.

And Bellman & Black is born.

Having fallen in love with A Thirteenth Tale (you can see it is still on the bookshelf in my header), I have been eagerly watching out for Diane Setterfield’s next book. For a while Amazon said Untitled with a release date of 2012, then it went to 2013 so I was beginning to wonder whether it would ever happen. It did and the title was to be Bellman & Black.

Reviews began to pop up about this book, and if I’m honest most were lukewarm at best, so I lowered my expectations and realised that this was going to be a different reading experience to her first book.

I will now stop with the comparisons and review this book on its own merits.

The book itself bills this story as a ghost story. My initial impression on finishing it, was, that it reminded me in some elusive way of Charles Dickens book, A Christmas Carol, as it had that moralistic feel to it, although the moral appeared to be a more modern concept than the Victorian time period it is set in.

We first meet Bellman as a ten year old boy playing in the fields with his cousin Charles and friends Luke and Fred. He demonstrates his creativity in solving problems when he hits a rook off a branch killing it. The boys are both fascinated and horrified in the special way ten year olds can be, but they get on with the business of growing up. As the reader we meet them later on when they are all adults.

This isn’t a fast moving book, there is an awful lot about business. William is involved with the running of his uncle’s mill and he is clearly clever, good with figures and exceptionally good at solving problems and presenting viable solutions. I found this interesting, as I did the other informative parts of the book which include Victorian mourning rituals and facts about the crow family. I particularly liked these which are spread throughout the book as footnotes. Diane Setterfield clearly demonstrates her skill as a writer with some of the drier parts of this book, as if I’m honest, I kept waiting for something to happen but was entranced enough to keep reading without becoming too frustrated.

This isn’t going to be the book for you if you want action because even now I’ve turned the last page and reflected, not a great deal happened. I’m not sure what normal ghost stories are like as this isn’t a type of book I seek out but this didn’t scare me as I felt the worst had already happened to William,and that was life and not ghosts. This story is about love, loss and death but in a quite remote way as we see William’s reaction to these events as a spectator, I didn’t feel connected to him although I sympathised with him.

If you want to lose yourself in some authentic-feeling Victorian novel then try this. I found it more of an informative read than an entertaining read but one done with great style. I do love the cover which I know isn’t a reason to buy a book but it does help to wear a good jacket!

I received a copy of this book from the publishers in return for my opinion in this review.