Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 23/05/21

I have no idea what happened to this week – not sure I want to think about it. Mandie has been stuck in isolation all week after a very tenuous covid contact trace, and aside from taking the cats to the vets for the annual jabaroo and dropping off some care packages to the (not even the remotest hint of) plague den, I’ve done bugger all. Naff weather means that I’ve not a managed many daily walks this week either. To be fair, this is not a bad thing as I’ve been absolutely knackered, in bed by 9pm most nights, and so the lie in until 06:30 instead of 05:15 has been very welcome. I was awake by five every day, regardless, but not having to get up, or at least being able to go back to bed after feeding the kitties, does make a lot of difference. Oh, and the blog turned five yesterday, so that’s something big that happened I guess.

12 cygnets! Amazing.

So I had quite an epic week when it comes to book post. At least, by my standards I did. It started well with my purchased finished copy of The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl from Bert’s Books. I’m quoted inside AND on the cover and I have to be honest, I bloody loved this one. You can find out how much this week as my review is up tomorrow. Then I received some expected and some very unexpected post. Expected was Reputation by Lex Croucher courtesy of Zaffre, which I’m reviewing next month. Unexpected, but very, very welcome, was a proof of Bad Apples. by Will Dean, the brand new Tuva Moodyson thriller out later this year. and #gifted by the lovely folk at Point Blank Crime. Whoop whoop. To top it all off, I got two more parcels containing three (well technically five) more books on Friday. First was a copy of Knock Knock by Anders Roslund, gifted by Vintage and FMcM Associates – I’ll be on the tour in a few weeks so best get reading! But happiest of happy days came with the delivery of two of each of The Rabbit Factor by Antti Tuomainen and The Beresford. by Will Carver from the lovely Karen at Orenda Books. One for me, one for the isolator. I could hear her squeal from seven miles away …

One Netgalley – ironically Reputation by Lex Croucher – now I have many choices of how to read it lol. Which I have btw. One new book buy and one audiobook. Audio was the brilliant Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby. I have the book but thought I could listen at ‘work’. I also got The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson. Well, I’ve read their second collaboration so it seemed rude not to while it was on offer. One super pre-order – a hard copy of The Dying Day by Vaseem Khan from Goldsboro Books.

Books I have read

Dark Suits and Sad Songs by Denzil Meyrick

When a senior Edinburgh civil servant spectacularly takes his own life in Kinloch harbour, DCI Jim Daley comes face to face with the murky world of politics. To add to his woes, two local drug dealers lie dead, ritually assassinated. It’s clear that dark forces are at work in the town.

With his boss under investigation, his marriage hanging on by a thread, and his sidekick DS Scott wrestling with his own demons, Daley’s world is in meltdown. When strange lights appear in the sky over Kinloch, it becomes clear that the townsfolk are not the only people at risk. The fate of nations is at stake. Jim Daley must face his worst fears as tragedy strikes. This is not just about a successful investigation, it’s about survival.

The Dying Day by Vaseem Khan

A priceless manuscript. A missing scholar. A trail of riddles.
For over a century, one of the world’s great treasures, a six-hundred-year-old copy of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, has been safely housed at Bombay’s Asiatic Society. But when it vanishes, together with the man charged with its care, British scholar and war hero, John Healy, the case lands on Inspector Persis Wadia’s desk.

Uncovering a series of complex riddles written in verse, Persis – together with English forensic scientist Archie Blackfinch – is soon on the trail. But then they discover the first body.

As the death toll mounts it becomes evident that someone else is also pursuing this priceless artefact and will stop at nothing to possess it . . .

Harking back to an era of darkness, this second thriller in the Malabar House series pits Persis, once again, against her peers, a changing India, and an evil of limitless intent.

Gripping, immersive, and full of Vaseem Khan’s trademark wit, this is historical fiction at its finest. Book one in this series, Midnight at Malabar House, was shortlisted for the CWA Sapere Books Historical Dagger and is an international ebook bestseller.

Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby

“Bug” Montage: honest mechanic, loving family man. He’s no longer the criminal he was – the sharpest wheelman east of the Mississippi.

But when his respectable life crumbles, a shady associate comes calling with a one-time job promising a huge payout. Inexorably drawn to the driver’s seat – and haunted by the ghost of his outlaw father – Bug is yanked back into a savage world of bullets and betrayal.

Like Breaking Bad in a high-speed collision with Drive, this dazzling novel holds up a cracked mirror to the American Dream – and tells the story of one man pushed to his limits by poverty, race and a self-destructive masculinity.

Mimic by Daniel Cole

In life she was his muse . . .
In death she’ll be his masterpiece

1989: DS Benjamin Chambers and DC Adam Winters are on the trail of a serial killer with a twisted passion for recreating the world’s greatest works of art through the bodies of his victims. After Chambers nearly loses his life, the case goes cold due to lack of evidence. The killer lies dormant, his collection unfinished.

2006: DS Marshall has excelled through the ranks of the Metropolitan Police Service, despite being haunted by the case that defined her teenage years. Having obtained new evidence, she joins Chambers and Winters to reopen the case. However, their resurrected investigation brings about a fresh reign of terror, the team treading a fine line between delivering justice and becoming vigilantes in their pursuit of a monster far more dangerous and intelligent than any of them had anticipated…

Reputation by Lex Croucher

The hilarious debut novel from Lex Croucher. A classic romcom with a Regency-era twist, for fans of Mean Girls, Bridgerton and Jane Austen.

Abandoned by her parents, middle-class Georgiana Ellers has moved to a new town to live with her dreary aunt and uncle. At a particularly dull party, she meets the enigmatic Frances Campbell, a wealthy member of the in-crowd who lives a life Georgiana couldn’t have imagined in her wildest dreams.

Lonely and vulnerable, Georgiana falls in with Frances and her unfathomably rich, deeply improper friends. Georgiana is introduced to a new world: drunken debauchery, mysterious young men with strangely arresting hands, and the upper echelons of Regency society.

But the price of entry to high society might just be higher than Georgiana is willing to pay . . .

This witty romcom about status, friendship, and first loves explores sex and consent in a time when reputation was absolutely everything, and feminism in a time when women’s rights were a completely different story. It’s full of lavish parties, handsome men on horseback and a sense of humour that would have given Austen herself a chuckle.

The Beresford by Will Carver

Everything stays the same for the tenants of The Beresford, a grand old apartment building just outside the city … until the doorbell rings… Will Carver returns with an eerie, deliciously and uncomfortably dark standalone thriller.


Just outside the city – any city, every city – is a grand, spacious but affordable apartment building called The Beresford.

There’s a routine at The Beresford.

For Mrs May, every day’s the same: a cup of cold, black coffee in the morning, pruning roses, checking on her tenants, wine, prayer and an afternoon nap. She never leaves the building.

Abe Schwartz also lives at The Beresford. His housemate, Sythe, no longer does. Because Abe just killed him. 

In exactly sixty seconds, Blair Conroy will ring the doorbell to her new home and Abe will answer the door. They will become friends. Perhaps lovers.

And, when the time comes for one of them to die, as is always the case at The Beresford, there will be sixty seconds to move the body before the next unknowing soul arrives at the door.

Because nothing changes at The Beresford, until the doorbell rings…

Eerie, dark, superbly twisted and majestically plotted, The Beresford is the stunning standalone thriller from one of crime fiction’s most exciting names.

Another amazing reading week, helped significantly by a) listening to three audio books which means that my work hours are not wasted (you know what I mean …) and b) the fact that I had six absolutely cracking books at my disposal. That makes 19 books read now in May. 19! One was a short story but still, it’s shaping up to be another amazing month of book love. Last week was a pretty full blog week – recap below:

#Year Of Orenda – Celebrating Orenda’s Norwegian Authors
#Review – Signs of Murder – David Wilson
#Review – The Consorts of Death – Gunnar Staalesen
#Review reports – Two Wrongs – Mel McGrath – First Monday Crime (Event is tonight 7:30 on FMC Facebook page)
#Review – Pathfinders – Cecil Lewis
#Review – Sister – Kjell Ola Dahl
#Review – The Final Twist – Jeffery Deaver
#Jen Med’s Turns Five! Blogiversary post.

Well, for a week of not much, we sure seem to have done quite a lot! 😋 The week ahead sees us reading and reviewing a few more books (just for a change) including blog tours posts for The Assistant by Kjell Ola Dahl and The Pact by Sharon Bolton. Two very excellent books.

Hope you have a fabulous book filled week. I’m off to write up the last of my reviews – six of ten left to write, the only downside of being so productive on the reading front – then I need to see what I can achieve whilst doing precisely nothing this week, Wish me luck.

Stay safe all

Jen x