Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Liar’s Diary – Patty Francis

Psychological Thriller 2*'s
Psychological Thriller

Well I’m having a bit of a problem reviewing this book because the notes I scribbled on holiday about this one weren’t comprehensive and mainly point to the fact I found it a disappointing read. I now realise how disappointing because I am struggling to remember what happened.

Jeanne Cross is a school secretary with a teenage son, Jamie and wife of respected doctor Gavin. Despite being obese and having learning opportunities Jamie is popular and well-liked. Jeanne, by her own admission hasn’t had a friend since becoming an adult but clearly Jamie got his skills from somewhere although probably not his father, who is quite critical of Jeanne’s parenting abilities.

Ali Mather is the new music teacher at the same school, married to the most forgiving man she has not so secret affairs with at least two men in the town. One day Ali asks Jeanne for a lift to school and they become friends, despite barely talking on the first few trips and their friendship is unlike any I have seen before.
Ali’s house keeps being broken into with odd things taken but not her very expensive violin or anything else of value. Ali becomes frightened and confides in Jeanne who by this time is living the most awful life imaginable.
There are lots of twists and turns to this book, but unfortunately they all seem to lead to the same destination which I fully expected to be ‘they all woke up and it was a dream’ but no, the twist was completely unsupported by any of the facts that I’d trudged through before.

The actual underlying plot wasn’t too bad but with unbelievable characters that frankly behaved in unlikely ways I simply became disenchanted with this book.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (January 31)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

Well… I have lots more finds this week to add to my TBR so I have decided that I will need to invoke a resolution for February and stop acquiring new books at a faster rate than I can read them (that should leave a little room for manoeuvre)

First up this week is  The Lady kindly sent to me, and signed, by the author Judy Higgins after I commented on her interview celebrating her debut novel  BOOKTALK WITH EILEEN

The Lady


South Georgia, 1956.
When sixteen-year-old Quincy Bruce goes to live with her Aunt Addy, she has no idea that what happened thirteen years earlier in wartime London can destroy her future. Her parents have gone to Africa as missionaries, leaving Quincy with her free-spirited and lively aunt, a war widow, and the only person who supports Quincy’s ambition to become a musician. When another aunt accuses Addy of having been the inspiration for the adulterous woman in Nathan Waterstone’s infamous wartime novel, The Lady, Quincy vows to prove her wrong. As Quincy settles into her new life with Addy, she sets about unraveling the secrets of Addy’s life, and of Nathan’s, in an effort to discover the true identity of the Lady. When she makes a discovery of a different type, Quincy’s dreams of becoming a pianist come crashing down.

Eileen is a wonderful fellow blogger, we have had off-line conversations about where we live, have visited etc. and has a wide range of authors visiting her blog. This book particularly caught my attention because of the historical mystery.
The author Judy Higgins gave some really good answers to Eileen’s questions which gives more of a hint about some of the themes in this book so I am really looking forward to seeing what this book has in store for poor Quincy.

I treated myself (yes I know!) to The Liar’s Diary by Patry Francis which was published in 2007, so this is a real book too!  I have a little confession in that I have been campaigning for a new bookcase for some time and piling up real books serves two purposes – the good news is we went and looked in the furniture shop last week….

The Liar's Diary


A seductive psychological thriller about a woman facing the dark truths at the heart of her family Jeanne Cross’s contented suburban life gets a jolt of energy from the arrival of Ali Mather, the stunning new music teacher at the local high school. With a magnetic personality and looks to match, Ali draws attention from all quarters, including Jeanne’s husband and son. Nonetheless, Jeanne and Ali develop a deep friendship based on their mutual vulnerabilities and long-held secrets that Ali has been recording in her diary. The diary also holds a key to something darker: Ali’s suspicion that someone has been entering her house when she is not at home. Soon their friendship will be shattered by violence-and Jeanne will find herself facing impossible choices in order to protect the people she loves Goodreads

In addition FictionFan wrote another great review, this one is for The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths which not only features a fictional baby farmer but her body was found at Norwich Castle which I visited soon after my son started university there!

Another aside, Norwich Castle is the place to go for the most random collection of teapots you are ever likely to encounter, they have over 3,000 teapots there!

Back to the book I went and looked at Quercus the publishers on NetGalley and bagged myself a copy.  This wasn’t sensible as I haven’t read all of the series so I am now going to read out of sequence too!

The Outcast Dead

I suggest you read FictionFan’s review


Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway has excavated a body from the  grounds of Norwich Castle, a forbidding edifice that was once a prison.
She believes the body may be that of infamous Victorian murderess Jemima  Green. Called Mother Hook for her claw-like hand, Jemima was hanged in  1867 for the murder of five children in her care.
DCI Harry Nelson  has no time for long-dead killers. Immersed in the case of three infants found dead, one after the other, in their King’s Lynn home, he’s  convinced that a family member is responsible, though others on his team think differently.
Then a child goes missing. Could the abduction  be linked to the long-dead Mother Hook? Ruth is pulled into the case,  and back towards Nelson. NetGalley

And finally to my favourite of this week! I spotted a piece on this book in the Mail Online (I do like to read the comments posted but rarely do you find articles about books) Murder Houses of London by Jan Bondeson which will look perfect next to my A Very British Murder and Silent Witnesses books don’t you think?

Murder Houses of London

In that stately Fitzrovia house, the butler was murdered by a disgruntled pantry-boy; in that one, a king s housekeeper lost her life. In that Kensington flat, a demented playboy murdered a prostitute for kicks; in that Gloucester Road basement, Acid Bath Haigh was busy digesting the bodies of his victims. In those two elegant Chelsea houses, located in peaceful garden squares, a clergyman and his housekeeper were brutally done to death in 1870. In that peaceful little house, not far from Camden Road Station, a woman murdered her rival, dismembered the body, and disposed of it using an old-fashioned perambulator. In that peaceful pub near the Thames, the landlady was murdered in 1920, and the killer was never found. In one Islington house, George Joseph Smith disposed of one of his Brides in the Bath; in another, Annie Walters, the notorious baby-farmer, was plying her deadly trade; in a third, a brilliant playwright was brutally murdered by his homosexual lover. This book deals with Central London s architecture of capital crime: houses inside which celebrated murders have been committed. Pursue Lord Lucan as he escapes from his elegant Belgravia house, leaving the dead nanny in the basement; prowl the Soho streets once haunted by an elusive serial killer; and follow in the murderous footsteps of the Blackout Ripper and the serial killer Patrick Mackay. And read about London s many forgotten murders, where only the murder houses remain to tell a tale. Goodreads

This was a gift from my OH who after seeing my tweet, treated me (a bit of a tongue twister there) and it arrived today. Looking at the introduction this is the first of two planned volumes, covering seven areas of London. It has some wonderful pictures from the contemporary media as well as pictures of the houses still standing where these historical murders took place. This is another book that features a baby-farmer too!

What have you all found this week?