Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 23/06/19

Only a day late this week. That has to be an improvement, right? I’m not sure what compared to but it beats three weeks I guess …

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

I’d have been on time for my typical Monday slot but I a) already had a review planned in, and, b) was having too much fun reading this weekend to do anything as mundane as stop and do blogmin. Now reading may not seem like a big deal to you all, but I have been struggling this year and so the fact that I managed to read three books, a short story and half of a novella between around lunchtime on Saturday and ten pm on Sunday I’m taking as a very big deal. I’m not saying my blogging mojo has returned, or my reading mojo, but it was a very healthy weekend and I am happy.

Perhaps it is because not a single book that I read was for a tour … Not one.

There is wisdom in there somewhere, and a lesson to be learned. It is also why you’ll see a bit less of the blog tours on the blog from July onwards, and maybe a few less posts in general. Do not panic – I am not giving up. Unless that was wishful thinking on your part, in which case, tough tits. Something else I have realised lately is that I am coming to hate reading books. Not because I hate books, far from it, but because I want to be writing them myself. I’ve put it off for far too long and now I think until I bash some words out of my very own, however awful they might be, I won’t settle.

So there you go. It’s out there.

Monday afternoon saw me hop on a (very slow) train to London to attend the launch of Capital Crime, London’s very own Crime Literature Festival. The brainchild of David Headley of DHH Literary Agency and Goldsboro Books fame (love that shop) and Adam Hamdy (Pendulum Series), this year is the inaugural festival and the line up looks amazing. Taking place over the 26th-28th September, there is something for everyone so if you fancy a weekend of bookish talk with some very lovely (and only occasionally scary) crime writers, you can pick up tickets here.

I think a fun night was had by all and thank you to David, Adam and Midas PR for the invitation and the hospitality. Speaking of scary though, I think I probably scared the bejesus out of Adam Hamdy when we discovered, by freakish accident, that he lives only about five minutes walk from my house!!! I’ve reassured him there is absolutely no need to get a restraining order or lock his front gate as I only stalk people via social media and if he sees me walk by I am, genuinely, just going for a walk. I do that some times. And, after all, I’m not a complete psycho.

A relatively quiet week for me book wise. One little bit of book post which was Sinner by Jacqui Rose, from Avon Books. I also received an advance e-copy of Jack Steele’s next Joe Stone book, Dark Secrets, which is out in late July. Looking forward to that one. One audible purchase, The Closer I Get by Paul Burston, one preorder, Bury Them Deep by James Oswald, and one purchase, Death House by Paul Finch and that was my Amazon lot. And no Netgalley books. I know right? Quiet week.

Books I have read

The Missing Wife – Sam Carrington

You think you know those closest to you. You are wrong…

A sleep-deprived new mother approaching her fortieth birthday, the very last thing Louisa wants to do is celebrate.

But when her friend Tiff organises a surprise party, inviting the entire list of Louisa’s Facebook friends, Louisa is faced with a room full of people she hasn’t spoken to in years – including someone she neverexpected to see again: her ex-boyfriend, Oliver Dunmore.
When Oliver’s wife Melissa goes missing after the party, everyone remembers the night differently. Someone knows what happened to Melissa, and Louisa is determined to find them. But the truth could be closer, and the deception more devastating, than she’d ever imagined…

A gripping psychological suspense novel, perfect for fans of Samantha Downing’s My Lovely Wife, Lucy Clarke’s You Let Me In and Linda Green’s The Last Thing She Told Me.

Then She Vanishes – Claire Douglas

Everything changed the night Flora Powell disappeared.

Heather and Jess were best friends – until the night Heather’s sister vanished.

Jess has never forgiven herself for the lie she told that night. Nor has Heather.

But now Heather is accused of an awful crime.

And Jess is forced to return to the sleepy seaside town where they grew up, to ask the question she’s avoided for so long:

What really happened the night Flora disappeared?

What Lies Buried – Margaret Kirk


A missing child. A seventy-year-old murder. And a killer who’s still on the loose.

Ten year-old Erin is missing; taken in broad daylight during a friend’s birthday party. With no witnesses and no leads, DI Lukas Mahler races against time to find her. But is it already too late for Erin – and will her abductor stop at one stolen child?

And the discovery of human remains on a construction site near Inverness confronts Mahler’s team with a cold case from the 1940s. Was Aeneas Grant’s murder linked to a nearby POW camp, or is there an even darker story to be uncovered?

With his team stretched to the limit, Mahler’s hunt for Erin’s abductor takes him from Inverness to the Lake District. And decades-old family secrets link both cases in a shocking final twist.

Black Summer – M.W.Craven

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

Death House – Paul Finch

A new short story from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Strangers, with an exclusive first look at the next book in the series, Stolen!

Scraps, fragments. Sad reminders of a life now ended … and maybe other lives too.
DC Lucy Clayburn is asked to attend a rundown council house in Manchester, where a uniformed officer has been dealing with a sudden death. There are no suspicious circumstances, and the deceased OAP has now been removed.

However, the uniform has discovered something that he finds alarming. And when Lucy looks at it, she finds it alarming too.

It’s an old scrapbook … filled with atrocious material.

Something terrible once happened in this neighbourhood, and maybe in this ordinary-looking house. The question is, could it still be ongoing?

Last Victim of the Monsoon Express – Vaseem Khan

A new novella in the charming Baby Ganesh Agency series.

In a symbolic journey of reconciliation, the Monsoon Express is travelling between hostile neighbours India and Pakistan. The passenger list includes politicians, celebrities, former Mumbai policeman Inspector Chopra and his baby elephant ward Ganesha.

Then a senior diplomat is found murdered in his cabin. Accusations fly, tensions rise, and an international incident seems certain. But is the murder political – or personal?

Tasked to investigate, Chopra has just hours before the train reaches its destination and the news goes public. He must unmask the killer quickly if he’s to stop the last journey of the Monsoon Express going entirely off the rails…

That’s it for my reading but I’m very proud. Recap of last weeks blogging efforts below:

Wolves at the Door – Gunnar Staalesen

The Whisper Man – Alex North

It’s Not You It’s Him – Sophie Ranald

A Random Act of Kindness – Sophie Jenkins

Sinner – Jacqui Rose

I also had an old, but moderately funny post appear on my Facebook timeline this weekend which I reshared. Ahhhh. The memories 😉

Once Upon a Time … The Girl Called Jen

The week ahead is peppered with tours and reviews and whatever I can be arsed to post. Yesterday was the blog tour review of Clare Chase’s Murder in the Fens from Mandie, then we have Cold As The Grave by James Oswald, Forget Me Not by Claire Allan and The Missing Wife by Sam Carrington.

Whatever you are doing, have a fabulous week all. As you read this I will either be on a train to London or consuming my first coffee (or one hundredth) of the day. Can’t wait.

See you next week.


7 thoughts on “Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 23/06/19

  1. I’m doing the same, regarding book tours, no intention of writing a book. I’m really looking forward to reading a book by choice without feeling guilty.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It makes such a difference. I think it’s just knowing you can walk away from it for a while and knowing it doesn’t matter. And you can just enjoy the book without worrying about reviewing or the pressure of ‘needing’ to like it.

      Liked by 1 person

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