Yes folks. Like a large proportion of the country I got snowed in on Sunday. Yippee. At least for Sunday as I could stay snuggled under a blanket reading. Less yippee if this is what I am faced with trying to get to work on Monday … by the time you read this I’ll either have made it or not. We shall see.
Better week this week. Dragged myself down to London on Monday and attended the final First Monday Crime panel of the year which was a fun and moderately festive affair. So great hear from the panel of Louise Jensen, Mel McGrath, Susi Holliday and Chris Whitaker alongside chair Claire McGowan. This was followed by some top (?) crime writers pitching their slightly unusual story ideas to the audience. It was … an experience. I’m hoping none make it into print …
It was great to be able to get to the pub afterward and catch up with a few bookish folk including Jacob, Victoria, Joy, Amer, Tracy, Gabriela, Alex, Keshini, Roz, Vaseem, Linda, Katherine, Graham, Susi and Mel, as well as Mr Whitaker who was handing out hugs left right and centre. I’m sure I’ve probably missed scores of folk for which I apologise but it was a very busy night and I had to leave in a rush to catch my train or I’d be stranded in London all night. It was a bit like Cinderella only older, fatter, no fairy support and I managed to keep hold of both of my shoes …
I did pick up a couple of books on the day. One was a purchase from Waterstones, a signed copy of Robert Bryndza’s The Girl In The Ice. Seemed rude not to as I was in London. I also couldn’t resist grabbing a copy of All The Wicked Girls while I was at the panel and forcing Mr W to sign it. Cause, ya know, he’s so backward in coming forward … 😉
Book post wise this was an epic week. First up my two outstanding purchases from Goldsboro turn up. Yay. They were the CWA Anthology (Signed) and my signed copy of Whiteout by Ragnar Jonasson. I’m even quoteed in Whiteout so this is a super smiley book for me. On top of these I received arcs of Games with the Dead by James Nally; The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor; Fault Lines by Doug Johnstone; Blue Night by Simone Buccholz; and Kiss Me, Kill Me by James Carol.
E-book wise I was sent a new novella from Julia Roberts, Christmas at Carol’s which I’ll be reviewing this week.
I also got a couple of books on Netgalley – Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh and We Own The Sky by Luke Allnut.
Not a bad bookhaul of a week I guess. Reading wise I finished two books and two novellas so I’ll take that.
Books I have Read
My Sweet Friend by H.A. Leuschel
A stand-alone novella from the author of Manipulated Lives
A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?
Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships.
But is Alexa all she claims to be?
As her life intertwines with Rosie and Jack’s, they must all decide what separates truth from fiction. Will the stories that unfold unite or divide them? Can first impressions ever be trusted?
In this original novella, H.A. Leuschel evokes the powerful hold of appearances and what a person is prepared to do to keep up the facade. If you like thought-provoking and compelling reads with intriguing characters, My Sweet Friend is for you.
A really interesting and quick read, this book looks at the power of friendship and what happens when one of a pair uses manipulation to get what they want from life. I don’t want to give away too much more about the book as it’s only around 100 pages, but you can read my full review here and buy the book here
A Game Of Ghosts by John Connolly
It is deep winter. The darkness is unending.
The private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished, and Charlie Parker is dispatched to track him down. Parker’s employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found.
Eklund is no ordinary investigator. He is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker will be drawn into Eklund’s world, a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts . . .
Finally!!! I am a very bad blogger. Should have read this months and months and moths ago but I never quite made it. Would never have forgiven myself if it had come to year end and it was still outstanding. Charlie Parker back at it;s thrilling and supernatural best this has a wonderful blend of the brilliant storyline and also emotional moments which make me very very happy. My review will be posted this week but you can buy a copy of the book here.
Christmas at Carol’s by Julia Roberts
An uplifting tale of people’s desire to help each other in the season of goodwill – a romantic comedy with a twist in the tale.
Carol fell in love with Wisteria Cottage the moment she laid eyes on it and moved in two weeks before Christmas hoping it would be start of a new more positive period in her life.
On her first night in her new home she discovers an old Christmas card to someone called Annie with a heart-breaking message inside from Jake.
Although she doesn’t know them, and despite being on a self-imposed dating break herself, Carol begins planning how she can bring them together, while her new neighbour, Sally, is attempting a bit of matchmaking of her own.
What a wonderfully uplifting novella. Very festive and very romantic I’ll be sharing my thoughts with everyone later this week. This is the perfect story of family, friendships, love lost and love found, just set to get you in the mood for Christmas. You can pre-order a copy of the book here.
Foul Trade by B.K.Duncan
It is March 1920. May Keaps, the Poplar Coroner’s Officer, has never failed to provide a jury with sufficient evidence to arrive at a just verdict.
The poverty, drunken fights between visiting sailors, drug trafficking, and criminal gangs, haunting the shadows of the busiest docks in the world, mean that the Coroner sees more than its fair share of sudden and unnatural deaths.
May relishes the responsibility placed upon her but there are many who believe it’s an unsuitable job for a woman. Even May begins to wonder if that is the case when the discovery of a young man’s body, in a Limehouse alley, plunges her into an underworld of opium dens, gambling, turf wars, protection rackets and murder.
As her investigations draw her into danger, it becomes increasingly clear that whoever is responsible intends to avoid the hangman’s noose by arranging to have May laid out on one of her own mortuary slabs.
I read the prequel novella for this series a few weeks ago and I knew then that May Keaps was going to be quite an intrepid kind of gal. I wasn’t wrong. An intriguing mystery led by May who works as a Coroner’s Officer, she is quite relentless in her pursuit of the truth and a key example of an early version of girl power. My review will be up tomorrow and you can order your own copy of the book right here.
That was it reading wise, and to be fair I’ve not been much busier on the blog with a handful of reviews and a lot of #bookvent.
The #Bookvent Calendar 2017: Day 4
The #Bookvent Calendar 2017: Day 5
The #Bookvent Calendar 2017: Day 6
The #Bookvent Calendar 2017: Day 7
#BlogTour: Anything for Her by G.J. Minett
The #Bookvent Calendar 2017: Day 8
Review: My Sweet Friend by H.A. Leuschel
The #Bookvent Calendar 2017: Day 9
The #Bookvent Calendar 2017: Day 10
Review: Dark Skies by LJ Ross @LJRoss_author
The week ahead is equally laid back I’ve blog tour reviews today for Carol Wyer’s The Silent Children, and tomorrow for Angelina Kerner’s Follow The Snowflakes and BK Duncan’s Foul Trade, plus Rachel Sargeant’s The Perfect Neighbours this weekend. Alongside that will be the next seven days in my #bookvent countdown.
Hope you all have a warm and book filled week. I’m off to Dublin again on Wednesday for the final time this year so plenty of reading time for me. See you next time.