Rewind, recap; Weekly update w/e 26/11/17


Well … not the best week to be fair, for many reasons and none of the them related to books. But you don’t want to hear about that. For one thing, it is boring and for for another, if I don’t commit it to a web page I can deny all knowledge if I fainlly snap and commit some form of criminal offence … Highly unlikely but you never know how far your patience can be stretched before you snap.

Anyway – back to the books. Mixed week there too to be fair. I kind of had a bit of a random one to be fair, neither good nor bad. After last week, it was all rather pedestrian. I was at home all week, but was probably less productive than ever when it came to the blog. Funny how that goes isn’t it? By less productive, I mean I read less. I actually managed to prepare ten blog posts yesterday so it’s not all bad. Sort of …

Bookvent 2

Part of my post prep has been the collation of my bookvent list for 2017. This is where I try in vain to narrow down my favourite reads of the year to a managable list that can be conveyed over the 24 days leading up to Christmas. It has been really hard this year as, with the blog being more established, I have been really lucky to be given the opportunity to read some absolutely stonking titles, many of which would probably have passed me by otherwise. Ive got through 193 books so far this year (18 Mr Men I hasten to add) so how do you narrow that down to a top ten?

The answer is – you don’t. Mine is going to be a top 25/27 or so 🙂 My blog – my rules. Get over it ;p

Book post wise – I had a couple of lovely little packages through my door this week from Avon. First up – Perfect Death by Helen Fields. Can’t wait to get stuck in, but I may have to re-gift the red wine that came with it as I’m tee-total. I also received a copy of The Cover Up by Marnie Riches. Loved Born Bad so I can’t wait to see what Paddy, Sheila, Conky and co have been up to.

Purchase wise I’ve been very good. To my knowledge. I always say that then take a look at Amazon and realise what a complete lie that is. Turns out this week, it is actually true. Go figure. I really am having a slow book week. I pre-ordered The Collector by Fiona Cummins. High on my tbr this one, I have a physical copy from Harrogate, but needed a copy for the kindle too … I also ordered The Crime Writer’s Casebook. Saying nothing in the hope you don’t spot this … And finally I pre-ordered Last Cry by Anna-Lou Weatherley. I like a good pre-order, me.

NetGalley wise it was just the one –  While You Sleep by Stephanie Merritt. It’s not out until March so there is even a small chance I’ll have read it by publication date 🙂 IN my defence it did sound really good…


No new audio. I know – I’m slipping. But I did promise myself a bit of an end of year wind down so I guess this is the start of it right here.

Reading wise, a bit of a mixed bag. Finished an audio bookHe I had started a few weeks back and read three new books. Not my greatest week, but not the worst either.

Books I have read

HBFHer Best Friend by Sarah Wray

You couldn’t have done anything to save her.
Or could you?

Sylvie Armstrong has been running from her past for twenty years – until her mother’s death forces her to return to her home town, along with her newborn daughter.

Overwhelmed by grief in her childhood home, Sylvie tries to block out the memories that surround her – but then someone leaves a gift on her doorstep: a gold necklace with a heart-shaped locket.

This locket belonged to Sylvie’s best friend, Victoria Preston – and she was wearing it the night she died. Now it’s back in Sylvie’s life…and it soon becomes clear that somebody knows what really happened to Victoria.

Sylvie has to know the truth. But is she in terrible danger?

An intriguing and engrossing psychological thriller which sees Sylvie faced with a few terrible home truths when she returns to the town in which she grew up, the one where her best friend Victoria lost her life. I’ll be sharing my full thoughts on the book as part of the blog blitz tomorrow, but you can order a copy of the book here.


WTWithout Trace by Simon Booker

YOUR DAUGHTER IS MISSING. WHO CAN YOU TRUST? A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Tom Bale, Harlan Coben and Angela Marsons.

Morgan Vine has devoted her years of her life to campaigning for Danny Kilcannon’s release, after his dubious conviction for his wife’s murder. 

At long last, he’s released.

With nowhere to go, Danny comes to rely on Morgan and her impetuous teenage daughter, Lissa.

Then Lissa goes missing.

When it’s your own child on the line, who can you trust?

This is my token audio book fo the week. This is quite an addictive story, where you never know quite who to trust and, in fairness, will be completely blindsided by what comes to pass. It wasn’t as I was expected at all, and I must have goen through a dozen possible scenarios of what had happened before finally discovering the truth. No wonder Morgan didn’t know who to trust. I had no scooby either. I’ll be sharing my review very soon, but in the meantime you can order a copy of the book here.


CCCold Christmas by Alastair Gunn

In the small village of Cold Christmas there’s a church that faces the wrong way . . . What has it to do with the three dead men found in a London flat?

DCI Antonia Hawkins has a killer to catch. Only she can’t predict what is waiting for her at the end of the chase. 

Nobody remembers the young men entering the abandoned London flat a few weeks ago. Nobody cares if they left.

Until the unbearable smell of decay.

DCI Antonia Hawkins is called in to view the dead men; three, lying neat in a row. There’s no damage to the bodies, no obvious cause of death. Is this a suicide pact? Or is that just how it’s meant to look?

If there is a link between the three very different men then Hawkins needs to find it, and fast. Because unless she does, more are going to die. And they might not all be strangers.

No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. Gah. This book! That ending. Just no. Argh. Faced with a potential triple homicide with no clear cause of death, DCi Antonia Hawkins is faced with her toughest case yet, one which will push her, and her relationship with Mike Maguire, to their limits. Drugs or something worse, this is just another reason for Hawkins to hate the festive season. I’ll be sharing my thoughts at the end of the week but you can buy your own copy here.


TUSThe Usual Santas – Short Story Collection

Finally: the perfect stocking stuffer for the crime fiction lover in your life! With a foreword by CWA Diamond Award-winner Peter Lovesey, these eighteen delightful holiday stories by your favorite Soho Crime authors contain laughs, murders, and plenty more.

This captivating collection, which features bestselling and award-winning authors, contains laughs aplenty, the most hardboiled of holiday noir, and heartwarming  reminders of the spirit of the season.

Nine mall Santas must find the imposter among them. An elderly lady seeks peace from her murderously loud neighbors at Christmastime. A young woman receives a mysterious invitation to Christmas dinner with a stranger. Niccolò Machiavelli sets out to save an Italian city. Sherlock Holmes’s one-time nemesis Irene Adler finds herself in an unexpected tangle in Paris while on a routine espionage assignment. Jane Austen searches for the Dowager Duchess of Wilborough’s stolen diamonds. These and other adventures in this delectable volume will whisk readers away to Christmases around the globe, from a Korean War POW camp to a Copenhagen refugee squat, from a palatial hotel in 1920s Bombay to a crumbling mansion in Havana.

Includes Stories By (In Order of Appearance):
Helene Tursten, Mick Herron, Martin Limón, Timothy Hallinan, Teresa Dovalpage, Mette Ivie Harrison, Colin Cotterill, Ed Lin, Stuart Neville, Tod Goldberg, Henry Chang, James R. Benn, Lene Kaaberbøl & Agnete Friis, Sujata Massey, Gary Corby, Cara Black, Stephanie Barron and a Foreword and story by Peter Lovesey.

A perfect collection of festive crime short stories. Some of these stories really did make me chuckle, especailly Mick Herron’s short story, The Usual Santas. That one had me chuckling so hard on my flight to Dublin, I’m sure I saw the woman next to be shuffling away in her seat. I’ll be reviewing very soon but you can bag a copy of the book right here.


That’s it. Not too shabby but not too clever either. Blog wise, it was another busy ish week with posts every day. You can catch up on the links below.

#BlogTour: Hell To Pay by Rachel Amphlett

#BlogTour: The Perfect Victim by Corrie Jackson

#FestiveReads: The Advent Killer by Alastair Gunn

#BlogTour: CWA Short Story Anthology – Mystery Tour

#BookLove: Jill Culiner

#Review: Give Me The Child by Mel McGrath

#FestiveReads: The Deaths of December by Susi Holliday

The week ahead is equally busy. Blog tours through until Wednesday for Kierney Scott’s Now You See Me, Sarah Wray’s Her Best Friend and BK Duncan’s The Last Post. I also have a Q&A’s with Chris Whitaker and Louise Jensen in the countdown to December’s First Monday Crime panel and the start of my #bookvent countdown. I can’t wait.

There will be less reviews from me over December as I’m planning a little bit of a slow down and catch up with real life. That doesn’t mean I won’t be around as I’ve some fabulous blog tours planned, as well as my #bookvent countdown. And keep your eyes peeled later this week for a special Christmas competition. Even when I’m on a go slow, I can’t quite stop. It’s genetic I think …

Have a fabulous week of reading all. I’m going to go and lie in a darkened room. Well … at least until Wednesday. I’m off to a Christmas market on Wednesday. Go figure …


2 thoughts on “Rewind, recap; Weekly update w/e 26/11/17

  1. As usual Jen, a great haul! “While you sleep” by Stephanie Merritt DOES sound FAB! I went on NetGalley to find it – only to find that it must be UK NetGalley only as it doesn’t even display on my NetGalley. I’m trying to look upon this as a good thing, so I can continue to work at getting my feedback ratio up…
    The blurb hooked me with “isolated corner of a remote Scottish island”

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