Posted in Challenge

My Name In Books

I saw this tag on many blogger’s sites in the summer and decided to have a go for myself – I decided to pick favourite reads of all time – I confess, my biggest problem was finding four books that started with the letter O, but I finally located those that deserved a place!

So without further ado I give you CLEOPATRA LOVES BOOKS, in books

Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

One of my favourite books from childhood

Little Lies – Liane Moriarty

My favourite read by this author who injects so much humour into this dark tale

Emil and the Detectives – Erich Kastner

Possibly my very first introduction to crime fiction where Emil and his friends catch a thief

Out of the Silence – Wendy James

A fantastic combination of fact and a historical crime

Precious Thing – Colette McBeth

One of those books I simply couldn’t stop reading

A Judgement in Stone – Ruth Rendell

The best opening line – “Eunice Parchman killed the Coverdale family because she could not read or write“.

Thursday’s Child – Noel Streatfeild

My favourite book from childhood – Margaret was my heroine, I read this book hundred’s of time although it sadly out of print now.

Rubbernecker – Belinda Bauer

A sensitive piece of crime fiction featuring a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome

Asta’s Book – Barbara Vine

My favourite of the psychological fiction books written by Ruth Rendell under the name of Barbara Vine which depicts Asta’s life from the turn of the twentieth century.



Like This Forever – S.J. Bolton

The third in the brilliant Lacey Flint series

Only the Innocent – Rachel Abbot

A relatively new addition to my must read list of authors and a fellow channel islander, this is the author’s first novel

Victorian Murderesses – Mary S Hartman

Although published in 1976, this is a fascinating look at the social lives of women during the late nineteenth, early twentieth century as well as detailing some historical crimes.

Evil Games – Andrea Marsons

A fabulous new series which has a complex plot and is backed up by well-formed characters.

Shadow Baby – Margaret Forster

Probably the book I have re-read most as an adult, a well told dual time-line tale, well researched and totally captivating.


Burnt Paper Sky – Gillian McMillan

A fresh and innovative debut

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe – Agatha Christie

There simply can’t be a list which doesn’t feature the amazing Agatha Christie so while this isn’t her best novel, it did start with an O

One Last Dance – Judith Lennox

A historical saga set during the First World War, this is a story of sibling rivalry and a grand house.

Keep Your Friends Close – Paula Daly

Domestic noir at its best

Someone Else’s Skin – Sarah Hilary

There aren’t enough adjectives to describe the sheer brilliance of this book


Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe – Agatha Christie

Mystery  4*s

The Queen of Crime surpasses herself on the sheer ingenuity of the mystery in this book, one which I don’t remember reading before, with a closed house murder set at the dentist’s office.

As well as an inspired setting of a dentist practice with only one entrance where everyone is admitted by the slightly goofy doorman with a penchant for American detective stories the author also provides us with a good selection of easily identifiable characters. There are the two dentists, Mr Morely who is shot dead, initially a possible suicide and Mr Reilly who has a drink problem but appears to have an affable nature. With Poirot’s teeth fixed he leaves the house and passes Mrs Sainsbury Seale who loses the buckle of her shoe when exiting the car, she goes into the house. Apart from her there is the mysterious Greek Amberiotis and the brilliant banker Alistair Blunt.

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe features the wonderful Inspector Japp who is called in when Mr Morely’s body is found and soon discovers that his secretary Gladys Neville was called away to visit a sick aunt on a false pretext, the telegram she received was a hoax.

This is quite a political novel with Alistair Blunt standing for the old order where overspending is frowned upon and his careful management of the country’s money seemingly vital but there are many who want to try a new way, those that believe that the conservative old guard are stopping the country from moving forward, the American Howard Raikes being one of them. Howard Raikes despises Blunt’s policies but he does like his niece Jane Olivera. Another body is found and Poirot is persuaded that Blunt is the target, something backed up when unsuccessful attempts are made on his life.

As is often the case in an Agatha Christie novel we are presented with many pieces of the puzzle as the characters and the lives they lead are revealed but it takes a better reader than me to fit them into any semblance of order and find out whodunit. This is another spectacular ending, not quite as ingenious as Murder on the Orient Express, but not far off.

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe was first published in 1940 and is one of my favourite sets of Agatha Christie Novels, those that feature the line of a nursery rhyme.

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (December 10)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading

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 currently reading The Missing One by Lucy Atkins which was selected for me on the reader’s poll on 21 November 2014 The Missing One The Blurb

The loss of her mother has left Kali McKenzie with too many unanswered questions. But while clearing out Elena’s art studio, she finds a drawer packed with postcards, each bearing an identical one-line message a Canadian gallery owner called Susannah Gillespie: thinking of you. Who is this woman and what does she know about Elena’s hidden past? Desperate to find out, Kali travels with her toddler, Finn, to Susannah’s isolated home on a remote British Columbian island, a place of killer whales and storms. But as bad weather closes in, Kali quickly realises she has made a big mistake. The handsome and enigmatic Susannah refuses to talk about the past, and as Kali struggles to piece together what happened back in the 1970s, Susannah’s behaviour grows more and more erratic. Most worrying of all, Susannah is becoming increasingly preoccupied with little Finn . . . A tense, thrilling novel about a family divided by secrets, and the lengths a mother will go to protect her child. Amazon

I have just finished One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie. In my mind you can’t beat a little bit of Poirot with his little grey cells. My review will follow shortly One Two Buckle My Shoe Next I am planning on losing myself in the 500+ pages of  The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters The Paying Guests Blurb

It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in the south of the city, on genteel Champion Hill, in a hushed Camberwell villa still recovering from the devastating losses of the First World War, life is about to be transformed. Widowed Mrs Wray and her daughter, Frances – an unmarried woman with an interesting past, now on her way to becoming a spinster – find themselves obliged to take in lodgers. The arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the ‘clerk class’, brings unsettling things with it: gramophone music, colour, fun. Open doors offer Frances glimpses of the newcomers’ habits, sounds travel from their rooms to hers, and the staircase and landing have never seemed to her so busy. As she and Lilian are drawn into an unexpected friendship, loyalties begin to shift. Secrets are confessed, dangerous desires admitted; the most ordinary of lives, it seems, can explode into passion and drama. And in the house on Champion Hill, no one can foresee just how far the disturbances will reach. A love story that is also a crime story, this is vintage Sarah Waters: nail-biting tension, real tenderness, believable characters, and surprises. It is above all a wonderful, compelling tale. Amazon

What are you reading this week?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Teaser Tuesday (December 9)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week is from One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie

One Two Buckle My Shoe


A dentist lies murdered at his Harley Street practice…
The dentist was found with a blackened hole below his right temple. A pistol lay on the floor near his outflung right hand. Later, one of his patients was found dead from a lethal dose of local anaesthetic. A clear case of murder and suicide. But why would a dentist commit a crime in the middle of a busy day of appointments?
A shoe buckle holds the key to the mystery. Now – in the words of the rhyme – can Poirot pick up the sticks and lay them straight? Amazon

My Teaser 

“Now this morning, I’ve got a most important man coming – Alistair Blunt!”
Poirot, prohibited from speech by several rolls of cotton wool and a glass tube that gurgled under his tongue, made an indeterminate noise.

Not a lot to go on this week but it does illustrate that dentists have persisted talking to their patients through the decades.
Please share your teasers in the comments box below.