Rewind, Recap: Weekly Update W/E 19/03/23

And another week has vanished into thin air. What is happening to this year? I swear it was only Christmas a few days ago and now we are a gnat’s nuts away from Easter! Of course, I am secretly wishing Easter to arrive a tad sooner as I gave up caffeine for lent in support of a colleague who has given up sweets, and I am constantly finding myself craving Irn Bru. Coffee, I’m not so fussed, but I miss the orange bubble fest sooooo much. Just over two weeks. I can make it …

How are we all? I’ve done not a lot again this week. Met Abbie Osborne for breakfast on my Friday off last week, other than that is was all ‘Jen Torrence’ for me i.e it was all work and no play, and I am a very dull girl. barely even made it out for some walkies as the weather was a bit naff. Have managed to cook a few things in the recently purchased multi-cooker without killing myself, and that’s about as interesting as my week got. Living it up, aren’t I?

Scooby Two sitting in judgment of my lack of activity and/or adventure this week.

Book wise, I have had a very good week. Some book post – love that – and some purchases. Less so than recent weeks, but then I do need to actually read some of those first, right? Meh. Maybe. I also had a couple (lots) of goodies off Netgalley so that was all good.

First the book post – a copy of The Lazarus Solution by Kjell Ola Dahl (27 April), courtesy of Orenda Books. Happy bunny here, thank you very much. I also received my Orenda Books subscription from Bert’s Books. this months offerings were The Space Between Us by Doug Johnstone and Beautiful Shining People by Michael Grothaus. Both absolutely stunning books and both available now. And I’m quoted in both of them too! Love that.

L-R: The Lazarus Solution; The Space Between Us; Beautiful Shining People

I’ve place a few preorders this week. Only one has had a cover reveal so far, so I can’t share them, but I can tell you what they are. All Orenda Books, all sound marvellous: The Murmurs by Michael J Malone (14 September); Mirror Image by Gunnar Staalesen (31 August); Someone Like Her by Awais Khan (17 August); One by Eve Smith (20 July); You Can’t See Me by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir (06 July) and Halfway House by Helen Fitzgerald (14 September). Somewhere along the line I appear to have missed notifying you all of my preorder of the next Richard Osman book, The Last Devil To Die (14 September). So now you know.

One by Eve Smith

When I said I had a couple of Netgalley, I kind of under exaggerated. I actually had a few invites to read books, as well as a couple via auto-approval, and a couple of books I really, really, want to read. Invites were for The Seventh Victim by Michael Wood (30 May); Black Thorn by Sarah Hilary (13 July), and The Vanishing of Class 3B by Jackie Kabler (11 May). My auto approval’s were The Fallen by John Sutherland (08 June) and The Devil’s Playground by Craig Russell (08 June). My indulgences, thankfully encouraged by the publishers, were Voices Of the Dead by Ambrose Parry (15 June), and Zero Kill by MK Hill (06 July). My thanks to One More Chapter, Canongate, Orion, Pan Macmillan, Little Brown and Aries fiction for the opportunity for an early read of all of the above.

Top L-R: The Seventh Victim; Black Thorn; The Vanishing of Class 3B
Bottom L-R: The Devil’s Playground; Voices of the Dead; Zero Kill

And that’s my lot. More than enough, don’t you think?

Books I have read

The Last Dance by Mark Billingham

Meet Detective Miller: unique, unconventional, and criminally underestimated…

He’s a detective, a dancer, he has no respect for authority ­- and he’s the best hope Blackpool has for keeping criminals off the streets. Meet Detective Declan Miller.

A double murder in a seaside hotel sees a grieving Miller return to work to solve what appears to be a case of mistaken identity. Just why were two completely unconnected men taken out?

Despite a somewhat dubious relationship with both reality and his new partner, can the eccentric, offbeat Miller find answers where his colleagues have found only an impossible puzzle?

Skin Deep by Antonia Lassa, translated by Jacky Collins

When police arrest eccentric loner Émile Gassiat for the murder of a wealthy woman in a shabby seaside apartment in Biarritz, Inspector Canonne is certain he has put the killer behind bars.

Now he just needs to prove it.

But he hasn’t reckoned with the young man’s friends, who bring in lawyer-turned-investigator Larten to head for the desolate out-of-season south-west of France to dig deep into what really happened.

Larten’s hunt for the truth takes him back to the bustle of Paris as he seeks to demonstrate that the man in prison is innocent, despite all the evidence – and to uncover the true killer behind a series of bizarre murders.

Skin Deep is Antonia Lassa’s first novel to appear in English.

Dust Child by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

In 1969, two sisters from rural Việt Nam leave their parents’ home and travel to the bustling city of Sài Gòn. Soon their lives are swept up in the unstoppable flames of a war that is blazing through their country. They begin working as ‘bar girls’ in one of the drinking dens frequented by American GIs, forced to accept that survival now might mean compromising the values they once treasured.

Decades later, two men wander through the streets and marketplaces of a very different Sài Gòn: modern, forward-looking, healing. Phong – the son of a Black American soldier and a Vietnamese woman – embarks on a search to find his parents and a way out of Việt Nam, while Dan, a war veteran, hopes that retracing the steps of his youth will ease the PTSD that has plagued him for decades.

When the lives of these unforgettable characters converge, each is forced to reckon with the explosive events of history that still ripple through their lives. Now they must work out what it takes to move forward in this richly poetic saga from Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai at her very best.

Only three this week, but I have been working, catching up on reviews, and I have technically read half of another book and some of a novella so it’s still pretty good. Can see my reading slowing down quite a lot over coming weeks to be fair, but if I can maintain 2-3 books a week, I’ll be happy with that. I apparently have over 26,000 pages of books already planned into the blog, so should keep me happy for a while. Busy enough on the blog last week too – recap below:

#Review – Where Demons Hide – Douglas Skelton
#Review – Unlawful Killings – Her Honour Wendy Joseph QC
#Review – The Space Between Us – Doug Johnstone
#Review – Whisper of the Seals – Roxanne Bouchard
#Review – Dark Deeds Down Under – Edited by Craig Sisterson

#Grace Series 3 Preview

Just the one blog tour again this week – Beautiful Shining People by Michael Grothaus. Loved this and cannot wait to share my thoughts.

Beautiful Shining People

And that is me done. Back to alternating working and reading. have a nice treat planned at the end of the week – afternoon tea at a local Cat Cafe! Cannot wait. Hopefully some lovely kitty pics for you next week. I know. I spoil you …

Have a lovely bookish week all.

Jen x

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