Rewind, recap: Weekly Update W/E 19/12/21

Well … here we are. One step closer to Christmas (if that’s your bag) and, in my case, one week closer to a nice long break from work. CAnnot wait. It’s been a bit manic of late. Had a day off last week to go to afternoon tea with Mandie and our friend Kell, to commemorate Mandie’s birthday, then Saturday we took ourselves over to the Illuminated Arboretum at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas. Always a treat and we really missed it last year because of stupid tiers and travel bans and the general misery that was 2020. The site looked beautiful as always, in spite of the fog that was trying to settle, and the walk was lovely and very welcomed. Next stop Christmas I guess …

The Illuminated Arboretum at the National Memorial Arboretum
#WeWillRememberThem

It’s been an odd week book wise. I’ve not been in the right headspace or had the right energy levels to read too much. Nothing to do with the books – I really enjoyed them – I just felt so very tired that staying awake to even eat dinner (or make dinner most nights) was a challenge. Soooo looking forward to my break next week now. I really need it. Book buy wise, I purchased one book book, received a gifted book book and had one ARC through the post. Purchase wise I treated myself to Dolphin Junction by Mick Herron, a collection of short stories. Gifted was a biography of Robert De Niro by John Baxter, and the ARC was One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner from Penguin.

Three new Netgalley titles, One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner; Death in Disguise by Emma Davies and The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett.

Plus I received my signed and illustrated copy of Fall from Berts Books as part of my Orenda Subscription.

Books I have read

The Village by Caroline Mitchell

From the bestselling author of the DI Amy Winter series comes a thriller about a shocking disappearance—and the village that has conspired to keep the truth buried.

Ten years ago, the Harper family disappeared. Their deserted cottage was left with the water running, the television playing cartoons, the oven ready for baking. The doors were locked from the inside.

Overnight, the sleepy village of Nighbrook became notorious as the scene of the unsolved mystery of the decade, an epicentre for ghoulish media speculation.

For crime journalist Naomi, solving the case has turned into an obsession. So now, with Ivy Cottage finally listed for sale, it’s her chance to mount an investigation like no other. And her husband and stepdaughter don’t really need to know what happened in their new home… do they?

But Nighbrook isn’t quite the village she expected. No one wants to talk to her. No one will answer her questions. And as she becomes increasingly uneasy, it’s clear that the villagers are hiding something—that there is something very dark at the heart of this rural idyll. And the deeper she digs, the more it seems her investigation could be more dangerous than she ever imagined… In raking up the secrets of the past, has she made her own family the next target?


The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett

It’s time to solve the murder of the century…

Forty years ago, Steven Smith found a copy of a famous children’s book by disgraced author Edith Twyford, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. Wanting to know more, he took it to his English teacher Miss Iles, not realising the chain of events that he was setting in motion. Miss Iles became convinced that the book was the key to solving a puzzle, and that a message in secret code ran through all Twyford’s novels. Then Miss Iles disappeared on a class field trip, and Steven has no memory of what happened to her.

Now, out of prison after a long stretch, Steven decides to investigate the mystery that has haunted him for decades. Was Miss Iles murdered? Was she deluded? Or was she right about the code? And is it still in use today?

Desperate to recover his memories and find out what really happened to Miss Iles, Steven revisits the people and places of his childhood. But it soon becomes clear that Edith Twyford wasn’t just a writer of forgotten children’s stories. The Twyford Code has great power, and he isn’t the only one trying to solve it…

Perfect for fans of Richard Osman, Alex Pavesi and S.J. Bennett, The Twyford Code will keep you up puzzling late into the night.


And that’s my lot. Full week on the blog, entirely thanks to Mandie, plus all of my bookvent posts – countdown below:

#Review – Blackout – Ragnar Jónasson
#Bookvent 2021 – Day Thirteen – Dead Ground – MW Craven
#Review – Rupture – Ragnar Jónasson
#Bookvent 2021 – Day Fourteen – Unbury Our Dead With Song – Mukoma Wa Thiongo
#Review – Whiteout – Ragnar Jónasson
#Bookvent 2021 – Day Fifteen – The Dying Day – Vaseem Khan
#Review – Winterkill – Ragnar Jónasson
#Bookvent 2021 – Day Sixteen – True Crime Story – Joseph Knox
#Review – The Shadows of Men – Abir Mukherjee
#Bookvent 2021 – Day Seventeen – The Great Silence – Doug Johnstone
#Bookvent 2021 – Day Eighteen – The Dark Remains – Ian Rankin & William McIlvanney
#Bookvent 2021 – Day Nineteen – Five Minds – Guy Morpuss

And that’s your lot. I promise to try harder in the new year. I’ve been decidedly underwhelming and lack lustre in my posts of late. Blame circumstance, blame the new job, blame too much time spent in the house thanks to the virus that shall not be named. Whatever the excuse, it’s a shame for the blog. Five and a half years running and we should be getting better, not worse. Meh. Feeling more bah humbug about bloggism than Ebenezer Scrooge about Christmas right now.

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas, those of you that celebrate, and a lovely weekend for those who don’t. Fingers crossed I’ll be chomping down on the traditional Indian feast on Saturday, but who knows. It’s a long time until then. May or may not be back next. Monday with a round up, if only to wrap up the bookvent and the year, but don’t hold me to it. Depends how festive and full of good cheer I am feeling on Boxing day I guess🤨😉

Jen x