Life continues at a pace here in Jersey with normal everyday life taking up far too much reading time – but I had a free slot on Monday which I’d jealously guarded when my lovely daughter decided that was the night she was going to publish her wedding photos on Facebook – the free time disappeared oohing and ahhing lost in the memories of that fabulous day.
So… I now present Cleo from Cleopatra Loves Books in her gigantic hat – the only time I have ever blocked anyone’s view of anything! I promise that this is the last ever post about the wedding now!
On the Blog
I have been playing a minor supporting role in Lipsyy Lost and Found to publicise her Flash Fiction competition for Horror October – the voting closed at 8pm on 28 October 2016 and she has now crowned the very deserving winner – you can read their entry here. A huge thank you to all of those who voted.
Monday had my review of the fifth in the DI Kim Stone Series, Blood Lines by Angela Marsons, one of my favourite new crime series and an exceptionally compulsive read.
On Tuesday my excerpt came from Nuala Ellwood’s My Sister’s Bones which was a far more intelligent and meaningful read than I expected, my review will follow soon.
My this week in books indicated my intention to read The Museum of You by Carys Bray – I started this one, but I’m not very far through yet…
My second review of the week was for The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths which transported me neatly back to the run up to the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 with Edgar Stephens & Max Mephisto on a secret mission – a wonderful read.
Friday I tackled The 100 Book Tag which had me perusing my various lists of books and dreaming how to spend £100 on books!
This Time Last Year…
I was reading The Shadow Year by Hannah Richell, a book set in the Peak District with a story line split between the 1980s and the present day. A wonderful read which has lingered on in my mind over the last year. I had a check to see if the author has written anything else since this book, but sadly it doesn’t seem so.
1980. On a hot summer’s day five friends stumble upon an abandoned cottage hidden deep in the English countryside. Isolated and run-down, it offers a retreat, somewhere they can escape from the world. But as the seasons change, tensions begin to rise…
Three decades later, Lila arrives at the remote cottage. Bruised from a tragic accident and with her marriage in crisis, she finds renovating the tumbledown house gives her a renewed sense of purpose. But why did the cottage’s previous inhabitants leave their belongings behind? And why can’t she shake the feeling that someone is watching her? Amazon
Stacking the Shelves
I would like to start this part by stating that however gratefully I received this selection, I didn’t actively seek out any of them… well except one!
I received a copy of A Motif of Seasons by Edward Glover, a very smart looking edition for my bookshelf (which is incredibly overcrowded) which will be published on 18 November 2016.
Two powerful 19th-century English and Prussian families are still riven by the consequences of an ancestral marriage – one that bequeathed venomous division, rivalry and hatred. Three beautiful women – each ambitious and musically gifted – seek to break these inherited shackles of betrayal, revenge and cruelty in their pursuit of sexual freedom and love. But the past proves a formidable and vicious opponent. Set against the backdrop of Europe’s inexorable slide towards the First World War, the final resolution of this ancient and destructive quarrel hangs by a thread – and with it the fate of an 18th-century music book full of secrets. The last volume in the thrilling Herzberg trilogy, A Motif of Seasons finally solves the intriguing mystery at the heart of the series – in a definitive and surprising way. Amazon
I won a copy of the two books by Tony Black from Black & White Publishing:
Artefacts of the Dead
It s a dead man . . . Can t you see someone’s put a bloody great spike through him? The discovery of a dead banker sends shock waves through the sleepy coastal town of Ayr. And it s up to DI Bob Valentine recently back on the force after his near-fatal stabbing to find the killer. But leads are hard to find and the pressure is on from an anxious Chief Superintendent who is being hounded by the media and still has serious concerns about her DI’s mental health. And as it becomes clear that there’s a serial killer on the loose, Bob Valentine must battle the demons of his post-traumatic stress, an investigation team that’s leaking like a sieve and frightening visions that might just be the key to unlocking the mystery. Valentine is close to breaking point, but can he crack the case before he cracks up? Goodreads
A Taste of Ashes
When DI Bob Valentine returns to duty after a narrow escape with death, he is faced with the discovery of a corpse on a kitchen table with a horrific neck wound and a mystery surrounding the victim’s missing partner and her daughter. It’s all too close to his own near-fatal stabbing.
When the murder investigation begins to reveal a tragic family drama, Bob Valentine struggles to deal with the rapidly unfolding events and the terrifying visions that haunt him. As he starts to uncover the illicit secrets of the family’s past, can he keep a grip on the case and on his own sanity before the body count starts to rise? Goodreads
Gerta from Open Road Media had noted that I’m interested in the recent editions they’d posted on NetGalley for readers from other territories to enjoy Beryl Bainbridge and offered me a copy of Sweet William
Romantic comedy meets social satire in this delirious novel about sexual freedom versus British tradition in swinging 1960s London.
When dull professor Gerald leaves London for the United States, his fiancée, Ann, is a bit afraid and sad to see him go—never has he looked so handsome and masculine as when he’s about to board the plane. But a few days later at a religious service, Ann is beckoned to sit next to a stranger with yellow curls and a nose like a prizefighter’s. Her heart inexplicably begins to race; she feels like she has the flu. This stranger, William McClusky, tells Ann in his Scottish accent that he is a playwright who will be interviewed on TV the very next day. Furthermore, he promises to have a television dropped by her house so she can watch him! From this first bizarre seduction, Ann is infatuated, and in the days following, William begins to take over her life.
In the throes of the affair, Ann gives up her BBC job, helps a friend get an abortion, encourages adultery, and writes a break-up letter to her fiancé. Her engagement to Gerald had been rushed, after all, and was designed to serve her mother’s desires more than her own. With William, on the other hand, everything feels different. But is this new man really who he says he is? Is he a genius or a fraud, a compassionate soul or a cheater? Perhaps William is simply a means by which Ann can play out her dangerous fantasies and finally take part in the swinging sixties. Only one thing is certain: Now that she’s with him, there’s no turning back.
An ironic investigation into the art of self-deception and the repercussions of sexual freedom, this blend of black comedy and social satire showcases the wit of award-winning author Beryl Bainbridge, and affirms her status as a mainstay in twentieth-century British literature. NetGalley
And lastly… FictionFan cracked the obvious iron willpower that I possess by tempting me with Black River Road by Debra Komar with this excellent review.
In 1869, in the woods just outside of the bustling port city of Saint John, a group of teenaged berry pickers discovered several badly decomposed bodies. The authorities suspected foul play, but the identities of the victims were as mysterious as that of the perpetrator. From the twists and turns of a coroner’s inquest, an unlikely suspect emerged to stand trial for murder: John Munroe, a renowned architect, well-heeled family man, and pillar of the community. Munroe was arguably the first in Canada’s fledgling judicial system to actively defend himself. His lawyer’s strategy was as simple as it was revolutionary: Munroe’s wealth, education, and exemplary character made him incapable of murder. The press and Saint John’s elite vocally supported Munroe, sparking a debate about character and murder that continues to this day. In re-examining a precedent-setting historical crime with fresh eyes, Komar addresses questions that still echo through the halls of justice more than a century later: is everyone capable of murder, and should character be treated as evidence in homicide trials? Goodreads
Since my last post I have read 4 books but managed to gain 5 and so my TBR has reached the second weekly new high of 183 books!
96 physical books
18 books on NetGalley
What have you found to read this week?