Well we made it out the other side. Christmas 2020, done and dusted. I hope you all managed to have a good day, however you had to adapt your plans. I had my now traditional Christmas curry which was lush, followed by a lovely walk after lunch. Aside from that my time has been spent mostly reading, with a little bit of catching up on reviews too. It’s been a couple of weeks since I last did an update so I’ve a few snaps to share of what I’ve been up to – bear with me.
It’s not been a bad week or two as far as books go. The other week I treated myself to the Waterstones special edition of Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell and The Crime At Black Dudley by Marjorie Allingham. I received a lovely copy of The Princess Bride by William Goldman from mandie for Jolabokaflod, and my copy of Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten arrived. I was also gifted a few arc – What I Did by Kate Bradley from Zaffre and Hotel Cartagena by Simone Buchholz; Everything Happens For A Reason by Katie Allen and The Source by Sarah Sultoon from Orenda Books. Oh and Mandie bought me a lovely Moomin tote bag too!
Orders wise I placed a couple. As you do. A Cut For A Cut – preorder of the second Kate young book by Carol Wyer which is out in June; Written in Bone audiobook by Professor Sue Black; A History of British Serial Killing by Professor David Wilson; Signs of Murder audiobook by Professor David Wilson; The Glass House by Eve Chase and Shallow Ground by Andy Maslen.
Books I have read
I saw something out of the corner of my eye as I was leaving, and you know what that means. It’s never good news when I see something out of the corner of my eye…
With enough rooms to fill a Cluedo board several times over, Montague House has often been the subject of rumour and gossip. Tales of strange goings on, an owner who disappeared one day and was never seen again, not to mention the treasure that rumour has it lies at its heart… But now the present owner has died and the house is to be sold. Has the opportunity come to finally settle the stories once and for all?
Clodagh Wynter doesn’t believe in ghostly goings on and tall tales of secrets. She has her feet very firmly on the ground and, tasked with the job of valuing and cataloguing the house and all its contents, she’s simply looking forward to working in such a glorious setting. And if she happens across a priceless painting, well, that’s just icing on the cake.
Andie Summer is a self-styled Finder of Things (dead bodies mostly), and looking for hidden treasure sounds right up her street, even if there was something very fishy about the mysterious Mr Mayfair who hired her. Because it’s just like she said to her faithful basset hound, Hamish; I saw something out of the corner of my eye as I was leaving, and you know what that means. It’s never good news when I see something out of the corner of my eye…
As the unlikely pair are thrown together, it soon becomes very clear that they are not the only ones searching for the treasure. And they’re going to need all their ingenuity and resourcefulness if they’re ever going to untangle the web of secrets that surrounds Montague House. One that reaches even further than they ever thought possible…
From the #1 International bestselling author comes a new series of cosy murder mysteries introducing the indomitable Andie Summer and Clodagh Wynter, and of course Hamish, everyone’s favourite basset hound. Perfect for fans of Faith Martin, Clare Chase and Anthony Horowitz.
My Mother’s Secret by Julia Roberts
‘They told me he died, but I never believed them. I’d have known,’ she says, her voice little more than a whisper and her eyes searching mine. ‘A mother would know if her child died, wouldn’t she?’
The phone call comes in the middle of the night, rousing Danni from her safe, warm bed. The police have found her mother Diana wandering along the main road, miles from her house, confused and lost.
Danni races to her mother’s side, but when she arrives, as always, her mother doesn’t seem to care. ‘Go away, Danni,’ she says. ‘I don’t want you.’
When she was a child, Danni would lie awake at night wondering what she had done to make her mother so cold. Now she is determined to put the past behind them and make Diana as happy as she can in the time they have left.
But as some of Diana’s memories are slipping away, others are forcing their way to the surface. One night Diana breaks down in tears and reveals her heartbreaking secret. Years before Danni was born, there was another baby who never got to see the world. Now there is one last thing Danni can do for her mother. She will find her brother’s resting place, and bring Diana some peace.
But good intentions can have unexpected consequences, and soon Danni’s life will be changed forever. Are some secrets best left buried?
A completely heartbreaking and compelling story of families, secrets, and the fierce love between mothers and children. Fans of Amanda Prowse, Ali Mercer and Jodi Picoult will smile through their tears.
Twenty-five years ago my brother was murdered in my family home.
I was sent to a psychiatric unit for killing him.
The truth is, I didn’t do it.
The whole world believed nine-year-old Cara killed her younger brother on that fateful night. But she blamed it on a paranormal entity she swears was haunting her house.
No one believed her and after two years of treatment in a psychiatric unit for delusional disorder, Cara was shunned by her remaining family and put into foster care.
Now she’s being forced to return to the family home for the first time since her brother’s death, but what if she’s about to re-discover the evil that was lurking inside its walls?
A SECRET KEPT FOR A THOUSAND YEARS…
After the dramatic theft of a priceless artefact from Durham Cathedral, the rest of the world believes that DCI Ryan and his team were able to recover and return St. Cuthbert’s cross to its rightful home. But Ryan knows the cross he recovered was a fake—far from being over, their problems are only just beginning…
Just as Ryan and his team begin to unravel the truth behind the spate of mysterious thefts, something even more priceless is stolen—something that can never be replaced.
As the nationwide manhunt continues without success, Ryan is thrust into despair—until he realises the answer lies not in modern policing but in an age-old secret known only to a chosen few. To recover what’s been lost, he must first crack ‘Cuthbert’s Code’, following the trail of a long-dead saint across the wild, unpredictable hills and valleys of the borderlands.
Can Ryan find what he’s looking for, before it’s too late?
He’s going to need a miracle…
Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.
An Eye For An Eye by Carol Wyer
A killer running rings around the police. A detective spiralling out of control.
DI Kate Young is on leave. She’s the force’s best detective, but her bosses know she’s under pressure, on medication and overcoming trauma. So after her bad judgement call leads to a narrowly averted public disaster, they’re sure all she needs is a rest.
But when Staffordshire Police summon her back to work on a murder case, it’s a harder, more suspicious Kate Young who returns. With a new ruthlessness, she sets about tracking down a clinical, calculating serial killer who is torturing victims and leaving clues to taunt the police. Spurred on by her reporter husband, Young begins to suspect that the murderer might be closer than she ever imagined.
As she works to uncover the truth, Young unravels a network of secrets and lies, with even those closest to her having something to hide. But with her own competence—and her grip on reality—called into question, can she unmask the killer before they strike again?
A cryptic murder resurrects dark memories of past atrocities in this latest mystery from the master of Norwegian crime writing.
Award-winning author K. O. Dahl received international acclaim for his gripping debut thriller, The Fourth Man, which introduced readers to Detective Inspector Frank Frølich and Detective Chief Inspector Gunnarstranda. Now the Oslo detectives are back.
It’s Friday the thirteenth, the Norwegian capital is enveloped in freezing cold, and Reidar Folke Jespersen passes what will be the last day of his life.
The aging antique dealer leaves home and takes a taxi to a nearby café. A few hours later, through the window of the café, he watches his wife enter the door to a flat on the other side of the street, where her lover lives.
In the early hours of the following morning, Jespersen is found stabbed to death, sitting naked in an armchair in the display window of his antique shop.
Detectives Frølich and Gunnarstranda are called to the scene. Their only clues are a numerical combination written in ink on the body of the dead man, a red string tied around his neck, a few missing World War II objects, and a number of people extremely satisfied with the news of the man’s death. Questions of love and betrayal, loyalty and guilt consume the investigation, just as they fill the private lives of the investigators.
K. O. Dahl’s dark and poetic writing moves through the shadows of one country’s history—a country where victims, perpetrators, and even police officers are haunted by the past, still trying to cope with dark memories of the Nazi occupation. The Man in the Window, the second installment in Dahl’s Oslo police mysteries, is an intricate and chilling detective story about love, revenge, and the inescapable past.
It’s been a good couple of weeks on the blog, plenty to catch up on so I won’t delay – recap below:
#Review – A Year of Orenda – The Creak On The Stairs – Eva Björg Ægisdottir
#Bookvent – Day 14 – The Tattoo Thief – Alison Belsham
#Bookvent – Day 14 – The Last Days Of Disco – David F. Ross
#Review – The Goodbye Man – Jeffery Deaver
#Review – End Game – Carol Wyer
#Bookvent – Day 15 – The Home – Sarah Stovell
#Review – Good Girl – Mel Sherratt
#Bookvent – Day 16 – The Other People – CJ Tudor
#Review – The Spiral – Iain Ryan
#Bookvent – Day 17 – Beast – Matt Wesolowski
#Review – A Year of Orenda – The Old You – Louise Voss
Mandie’s Top Reads for 2020
#Bookvent – Day 18 – Death Deserved – Thomas Enger & Jørn Lier Horst
Guest Post – On Turning 50 in a Turbulent Year
#Bookvent – Day 19 – Black River – Will Dean
#Bookvent – Day 20 – I Am Dust – Louise Beech
A Year of Orenda – The First Quarter
#Bookvent – Day 21 – The Curator – MW Craven
A Year of Orenda – The Second Quarter
#Bookvent – Day 22 – Watch Him Die – Craig Robertson
A Year of orenda – The Third Quarter
#Bookvent – Day 23 – A Song of Isolation – Michael J. Malone
A Year of Orenda – the Final Quarter
#Bookvent – Day 24 – Part 1 – Hinton Hollow Death Trip – Will Carver
#Bookvent – Day 24 – Part 2 – Ash Mountain – Helen Fitzgerald
#Bookvent – My 2020 Book of the Year – We Begin At The End – Chris Whitaker
So that was it. My christmas fortnight in review. This week I’ll be taking it easy and just taking a look back at all the books I’ve managed to read this past year, as well as getting myself ready for what already promises to be a very busy January. I’m back to the books now to see how many more I can squeeze in before we bid adieu to 2020 and welcome in what we can only hope will be a much more positive and hopeful 2021.
Have a brilliant week, stay safe and see you all next year. Hopefully, in some cases, that will finally be in person again!