Can you believe it? One week gone in August already. Where does the time go? It has disappeared in a flash, but possibly because this week I actually did something!!! Yes, this past week I ventured north of the border to the wonderful festival that is Bute Noir. Held in the lovely town of Rothesay on the Island of Bute, this is one of our favourite festivals, partly because it is such an intimate affair, must mostly because this is such a beautiful location and the residents have always been so warm and welcoming. If you can only attend one festival in a year, I would always heartily recommend this one.
We attended quite a few panels over the three days of the festival featuring a whole array of authors from Val McDermid, to Mark Billingham, Doug Johnstone, Douglas Skelton, MW Craven, Susi Holliday, Fiona Cummins, Luca Veste, Denise Mina, Chris Brookmyre, Johanna Gustawsson, Ambrose Parry, Stuart MacBride, Clare Mackintosh, Alex Gray, Tony Kent, Helen Fields, Mark Edwards, Tariq Ashkanani and Alex Knight all telling us about their work and, on occasion, setting the world to rights. Plus there was Bute Noir’s equivalent to Room 101 and a panel show style event that in no way shape of form bore any resemblance to ‘Would I Lie To You’. At least we all now know that Alan Parks has not been to school in Poland (just in case you were curious). Plus there was a full gig by the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers who were, as always, fluffing marvellous. (No swearing allowed – it was in a church …)
A huge thank you to Craig Robertson, Print Point, the organising committee, volunteers and sponsors who all made this such a wonderful return to the island and another absolutely cracking festival. We will most definitely be back.
All this having fun and frolicking has meant I have done next to no reading this week. Whoops. I have bought a few books though (no shocks there). From the festival – Rizzio by Denise Mina, The Murder Book by Mark Billingham, Where Demon’s Hide by Douglas Skelton, The Cliff House by Chris Brookmyre, You Never Said Goodbye by Luca Veste, Welcome to Cooper by Tariq Ashkanani, Dark Deeds Down Under edited by Craig Sisterson, Darkness Falls by Alex Knight and No Place to Run by Mark Edwards.
Other purchases (or preorders) in the week were The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh, Night Shadows by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir and Outside by Ragnar Jonasson. Preorders have also gone in for Angela Marsons upcoming Kim Stone book, Hidden Scars, the final Sandy Haynes novella from Denzil Meyrick, Ghosts in the Gloaming, the new Carol Wyer standalone, Behind Closed Doors and I took advantage of the Amazon Firsts offer to get a copy of The Secret of Elephants by Vasundra Tailor, which also happens to be the only book I have read this week … 1 new NetGalley title, Death On The Menu by Emma Davies.
Books I have read
The Secret of Elephants by Vasundra Tailor
Navsari, India. Penniless and trapped in a loveless marriage, Nirmala spends her days anxiously caring for her sick young son, Varun. Looming over Nirmala’s impoverished home is an imposing mansion built by her grandfather, and from its balcony her cruel aunt scorns them, refusing to help in any way.
But when a mysterious letter addressed to her long-dead father arrives from Zimbabwe, it opens a door to a past Nirmala never knew existed and a future she never imagined possible. If the contents of the letter can be believed, not only does she have family in Africa, but they might also hold the answers to a family mystery that spans three generations.
While travelling to Zimbabwe might lead to a brighter future for Nirmala and her son, it could also reignite the bitter family feud that condemned her family to poverty. Nirmala is ready to risk it all to uncover the truth, but how will she cope when this journey changes her life forever?
We had a full on week on the blog with reviews all week and a couple of bonus cover reveals.
#Review – The Girl In The Photo – Heidi Amsinck
#Review – The Art of Death – David Fennell
#Review – The Last Party – Clare Mackintosh
#CoverReveal – Ghost In The Gloaming – Denzil Meyrick
#CoverReveal – Behind Closed Doors – Carol Wyer
#Review – A Silent Truth – Rachel Amphlett
#Review – Prayer for the Dead – James Oswald
That’s our lot this week. I have a huge amount of reading to catch up on but it’s been worth it. No blog tours in the week ahead – who knew that was possible – but we’ll have a good few reviews to keep you entertained. Or send you to sleep. One of those two.
Have a fabulous week. Next weeks post will hopefully have more ‘reads’ but a lot less interesting pictures. Them’s the breaks.