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The Murder Bag – Tony Parsons

Published March 3, 2015 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

The gripping first novel in an explosive new crime series by Tony Parsons, bestselling author of Man and Boy. If you like crime-novels by Ian Rankin and Peter James, you will love this.

Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter’s Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable.

Detective Max Wolfe has recently arrived in the Homicide division of London’s West End Central, 27 Savile Row.

Soon he is following the bloody trail from the back streets and bright lights of the city, to the darkest corners of the internet and all the way to the corridors of power.

As the bodies pile up, Max finds the killer’s reach getting closer to everything – and everyone – he loves.

Soon he is fighting not only for justice, but for his own life …

What did I think?:

The Murder Bag is novelist Tony Parsons first foray into the crime genre, having previous success with his novels that include Man and Boy, Man and Wife and The Family Way which focus on the relationship dramas of thirty-something men. He even coined the phrase “Lad Lit,” to describe what he writes as opposed to “Chick Lit.” I’ve read a couple of these books and did enjoy them but personally speaking, there was no huge “wow” factor for me. As a result, I was a little apprehensive when I saw that his first crime novel was featured on the Richard and Judy Spring Book Club here in the UK. Well, I need fear no longer, it seems that Tony Parsons has found his niche with a fantastic plot-line, brilliant male lead and exciting writing.

Our detective in this story is Max Wolfe, whom when the story begins has just started work in the Homicide Department based in London’s Savile Row. Max is a bit of an adrenalin junkie and doesn’t really play by the conventional rulebook after an incident where a man was killed led to him being transferred/promoted to Homicide run by Detective Chief Inspector Victor Mallory. On his first day on the job, he is introduced to an intriguing case where a banker has had his throat slit quite violently and very professionally. At first, his wife is the most immediate suspect as she had recently caught him being unfaithful but then the plot thickens. The victim had a photo on his desk of himself with friends during his school days at an exclusive private school, Potters Field. A chilling connection is then made when the other boys in the photo (now men) become targets for the murderer save one boy who had killed himself as a young man. So why are these particular men being targeted? What happened twenty years ago that was so horrific that someone may be looking for revenge? Max Wolfe has to unravel the very dangerous mystery behind the brutal killings, protect the men that are left and avoid becoming a target himself.

This is a fast-paced, thrilling and intriguing crime novel that I wasn’t expecting to enjoy as much as I actually did. At first glance, Max Wolfe seems to be your typical action-hero detective who throws himself into the case he is assigned, regardless of the danger to himself but Tony Parsons makes him believable and normal with the addition of small details about his personal life. In other words, he is a single father trying to care for his daughter in the best way that he can, he adores dogs and walking and he is not afraid to admit when he makes a mistake. I loved the mystery and the way that things were revealed piece by piece which led to a brilliant and explosive ending. My only criticism is that the female characters felt a little one-dimensional and it would have been nice to have a stronger female voice alongside the powerhouse that is Max Wolfe. If you’re looking for an action-packed read with some excellent twists and turns however, I definitely recommend this novel and look forward to the next instalment in the series.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

British Books Challenge 2015 – The Round Up

Published January 3, 2016 by bibliobeth

BBC pointed shaded

2015 was my third year of participating in the British Books Challenge and I’m absolutely loving finding new British authors and discovering old ones too. Here’s what I read in 2015, please click on the title to see my review:

The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Devil In The Marshalsea – Antonia Hodgson

Under A Mackerel Sky – Rick Stein

A Terribly Strange Bed – Wilkie Collins

Silver Bay – Jojo Moyes

The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton

Five Children and It – E. Nesbit

Elizabeth Is Missing – Emma Healey

Magpies – Lucy Wood

Honeymoon In Paris – Jojo Moyes

The Good Children – Roopa Farooki

Ironheart – Allan Boroughs

The Five Orange Pips – Arthur Conan Doyle

The Murder Bag – Tony Parsons

She Murdered Mortal He – Sarah Hall

Dangerous Boys – Abigail Haas

The Raven’s Head – Karen Maitland

The Long Shadow – Mark Mills

Miss Carter’s War – Sheila Hancock

Keeping Watch Over The Sheep – Jon McGregor

The Archduchess – Daphne du Maurier

The Oversoul – Graham Joyce

Plague Land – S.D. Sykes

A Colder War – Charles Cumming

Flour Babies – Anne Fine

The Summer We All Ran Away – Cassandra Parkin

Cellists – Kazuo Ishiguro

Mrs Hemingway – Naomi Wood

Us – David Nicholls

Gretel And The Dark – Eliza Granville

The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis

Frozen Charlotte – Alex Bell

Bloodsport – Tom Cain

The Lemon Grove – Helen Walsh

Kew Gardens – Virginia Woolf

Funny Girl – Nick Hornby

The Velveteen Rabbit – Margery Williams

No Other Darkness (Marnie Rome #2) – Sarah Hilary

The Giant’s Boneyard – Lucy Wood

Golden Boy – Abigail Tarttelin

A Want Of Kindness – Joanne Limburg

Gangsta Granny – David Walliams

Half Bad – Sally Green

The Man With The Twisted Lip – Arthur Conan Doyle

I Let You Go – Clare Mackintosh

The NightLong River – Sarah Hall

Knife Edge – Malorie Blackman

This Book Is Gay – James Dawson

She Is Not Invisible – Marcus Sedgwick

The Beloved – Alison Rattle

The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

Airshow – Jon McGregor

The Menace – Daphne du Maurier

A Song For Issy Bradley – Carys Bray

Candia – Graham Joyce

Night Music – JoJo Moyes

Extremes: Life, Death And The Limits Of The Human Body – Kevin Fong

Gingerbread – Robert Dinsdale

The Mistletoe Bride – Kate Mosse

The Taxidermist’s Daughter – Kate Mosse

More Than This – Patrick Ness

Watership Down – Richard Adams

The Rat In The Attic – Brian McGilloway

All The Birds, Singing – Evie Wyld

The Last Wild – Piers Torday

The Dark Wild – Piers Torday

The Wild Beyond – Piers Torday

How To Fly With Broken Wings – Jane Elson

Goodnight Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian

The Bees – Laline Paull

The Ice Twins – S.K. Tremayne

Beachcombing – Lucy Wood

House Of Windows – Alexia Casale

A Man And Two Women – Doris Lessing

The Ask And The Answer – Patrick Ness

The Class That Went Wild – Ruth Thomas

Life After You – Lucie Brownlee

A Wicked Old Woman – Ravinder Randhawa

The Adventure Of The Blue Carbuncle – Arthur Conan Doyle

Vuotjärvi – Sarah Hall

The Well – Catherine Chanter

So by my calculations that makes it 81 books read! Highlights for this year include my continuing love for Patrick Ness, the amazing House of Windows by Alexia Casale which absolutely floored me, the beauty that is Goodnight Mister Tom (why did I wait so long to read that?!) and All The Birds Singing by Evie Wyld which was just gorgeous. Looking forward to reading some more great British books in 2016.

Review Archive by Author (A-Z)

Published June 15, 2014 by bibliobeth

Welcome to my Review Archive!

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A

Abbott, Rachel – DCI Tom Douglas series

Abbott, Rachel

Acosta, Carlos – Pig’s Foot

Adam, Claire – Golden Child

Adams, Richard – Watership Down

Adebayo, Ayobami – Stay With Me

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi – Half Of A Yellow Sun

Adiga, Aravind –

Adjei-Brenyah, Nana Kwame – Friday Black (short story collection)

Adler-Olsen, Jussi – Disgrace (The Absent One)

Adragh, Arjuana – The Last Laugh

Aesop – Aesop’s Fables

Aiken, Joan – The Wolves Chronicles

Akkad, Omar El – American War

Albertalli, Becky – Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Alcock, Vivian – The Cuckoo Sister

Alcott, Louisa May – Little Women

Alexander, Aimee – The Accidental Life Of Greg Millar

Alexie, Sherman – The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part-Time Indian

Allan, Nina – The Dollmaker

Alper, Debi and Swingewood, Sally – Stories For Homes Volume Two

Amis, Martin – The Coincidence Of The Arts (short story)

Anaya, Rudolfo – Bless Me, Ultima

Andersen, Laura – The Boleyn King

Anderson, Laurie Halse –

Angelou, Maya – I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Anthony, Brian and Walker, Bill – Abe Lincoln On Acid

Anwar, Amer – Western Fringes

Appignanesi, Lisa – Fifty Shades Of Feminism

Arakawa, Hiromu and Watanabe, Akira – Full Metal Alchemist Volume One

Arden, Katherine – The Winternight Trilogy

Arimah, Nneka Lesley – What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky (short story collection)

Arlidge, M.J. – Eeny Meeny

Armitage, Simon – Walking Home

Arnold, Elizabeth Joy – The Book Of Secrets

Asher, Jay – Thirteen Reasons Why

Ashton, Brodi – The Everneath Series

Atkinson, Kate – Life After Life

Atwood, Margaret – The Positron Series

Atwood, Margaret – short story

Austen, Jane – graphic novels

Awad, Heather – The Girl With The Blue Umbrella

Ayrton, Lucy – One More Chance

B

Backman, Fredrik

Baker, Jo – Longbourn

Banville, John – Ancient Light

Barclay, Linwood – No Safe House

Bardugo, Leigh – The Grisha Series

Bardugo, Leigh – Six Of Crows series

Barnard, Joanna – Hush Little Baby

Barnes, Kim – In The Kingdom Of Men

Barnett, Laura – The Versions Of Us

Barrie, J.M, – Peter Pan

Barton, Fiona –

Bauer, Belinda – The Shut Eye

Baum, L. Frank – The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

Bawden, Nina – adult fiction

Bawden, Nina – children’s fiction

Baywood, Jamie – Getting Rooted In New Zealand

Beauman, Ned –

Bechdel, Alison – Fun Home

Beckerman, Hannah – If Only I Could Tell You

Beech, Louise –

Bell, Alex –

Benioff, David – City Of Thieves

Benjamin, Chloe – The Immortalists

Bennett, Ann – The Bamboo Trilogy

Benwell, Fox – The Last Leaves Falling

Bergen, David – Stranger

Berry, Lauren – Living The Dream

Beukes, Lauren –

Bilyeau, Nancy – The Crown

Bivald, Katarina – The Readers Of Broken Wheel Recommend

Bjørk, Samuel – I’m Travelling Alone

Black, Tony – Enough Of This Shit Already (short story)

Blackman, Malorie – Noughts & Crosses series

Blackman, Malorie – (standalone young adult fiction)

Blankman, Anne – Prisoner Of Night And Fog series

Blume, Judy –

Blyton, Enid – The Enchanted Wood (The Faraway Tree #1)

Boroughs, Allan – Ironheart

Bouchard, Roxanne – We Were The Salt Of The Sea

Bowen, Elizabeth – The Last September

Boyd, William – Sweet Caress

Boyne, John –

Bradley, Alan – Flavia de Luce series

Brannen, Sarah S. – Uncle Bobby’s Wedding

Bray, Carys – A Song For Issy Bradley

Brannon, Sandra – Noah’s Rainy Day

Briggs, Andy – The Inventory: Iron Fist (The Inventory #1)

Brockmeier, Kevin – Things That Fall From The Sky (short story collection)

Brookmyre, Chris – Fallen Angel

Brownlee, Lucie – Life After You

Burnett, Frances Hodgson

Burns, Catherine (editor) – The Moth

Burton, Jessie –

Burton, Jessie – children’s books

Busby, Siân – A Commonplace Killing

Butcher, Jim – The Dresden Files

Butler, Octavia E. – Kindred

Byatt, A.S. – Possession

Byers, Sam – Idiopathy

Byrne, Paula –

Byrne, Tanya –

C

Cain, Tom – Bloodsport (short story)

Camel, West – Attend

Campbell, Jen – The Beginning Of The World In The Middle Of The Night

Campbell, Ramsey – (short stories)

Cannon, Joanna –

Carey, M.R. – The Girl With All The Gifts

Cargill, C. Robert – Dreams & Shadows

Carr, J.L. – A Month In The Country

Carroll, Lewis

Carter, Angela –

Carter, Angela – short stories

Carter, M.J. – The Strangler Vine

Carroll, Emma –

Carver, Will – January David series

Carver, Will

Casale, Alexia –

Cassidy, Anne –

Celona, Marjorie – Y

Chambers, Becky – The Wayfarer series

Chang, Jung – Wild Swans

Chanter, Catherine – The Well

Chapman, Emma – How To Be A Good Wife

Chaudhuri, Maria – Beloved Strangers: A Memoir

Chbosky, Stephen – The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

Chekhov, Anton – The Student (short story)

Chevalier, Tracy – The Last Runaway

Child, Lee – The Midnight Line (Jack Reacher #22)

Choo, Yangsze –

Christie, Agatha – Death On The Nile

Christie, Michael – If I Fall, If I Die

Chu, Ben – Chinese Whispers

Clarke, Cat

Clarke, Georgina – Death And The Harlot

Clarke, Lucy – The Sea Sisters

Cleave, Chris – Gold

Clements, Katherine – The Coffin Path

Cline, Emma – The Girls

Cohen, Ariella – Sweet Breath Of Memory

Cohen, Julie –

Colbert, Brandy – Pointe

Coleman, Rowan – The Memory Book

Collins, Sara – The Confessions Of Frannie Langton

Collins, Suzanne – The Hunger Games Series

Collins, Wilkie – A Terribly Strange Bed (short story)

Conly, Jane Leslie – Crazy Lady

Connelly, Charlie – And Did Those Feet: Walking Through 2000 Years of British and Irish History

Cook, Robin – Crisis

Cooney, Caroline B. Point Horror series

Cooper, Natasha – The Common Enemy (short story)

Cooper, Nigel Jay – The Pursuit Of Ordinary

Copleton, Jackie – A Dictionary Of Mutual Understanding

Cormier, Robert –

Courcy, Anne de – The Fishing Fleet: Husband Hunting in the Raj

Cross, Gillian –

Cross, Mason – The Samaritan (Carter Blake #2)

Crossan, Sarah – One

Crowther, Peter – Ghosts With Teeth

Cumming, Charles – A Colder War

D

Dahl, Kjell Ola – The Courier

Dahl, Roald –

Daly, Paula – Just What Kind Of Mother Are You?

Davies, Elizabeth – The Spirit Guide

Davis, Ben – The Private Blog of Joe Cowley

Dawson, Juno

Day, Elizabeth – The Party

Dazieri, Sandrone – Kill The Father

Dean, Will – Tuva Moodyson Mysteries

Deering, Lawrence R – The Brotherhood

Dennard, Susan – Something Strange And Deadly Series

Demetrios, Heather – Something Real

DeStefano, Lauren – The Chemical Garden Series

DeStefano, Lauren – The Perfect Ruin Series

  • Perfect Ruin

Dexter, Colin – Mr E. Morse, BA OXon (Failed) (short story)

Diamond, Laura Nicole – Shelter Us

Dickens, Charles

Dicker, Joël – The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair (translated by Sam Taylor)

Dinesen, Isak – Out of Africa

Dinsdale, Robert – Gingerbread

Doherty, Paul – Roseblood

Dolamore, Jaclyn – Magic Under Glass

Donovan, Anne – Buddha Da

Doughty, Louise –

Douglas, Claire – Last Seen Alive

Doyle, Arthur Conan (Sherlock Holmes novellas)

Doyle, Arthur Conan -The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (short stories)

Drabble, Margaret – Faithful Lovers (short story)

Drvenkar, Zoran – You

Duchovny, David – Holy Cow

Dugard, Jaycee – A Stolen Life

Duff, Kat – The Secret Life Of Sleep

Dunmore, Helen – The Lie

Durrant, Sabine – Lie With Me

E

Easer, Katherine – Vicious Little Darlings

Eberlen, Kate – Miss You

Eclair, Jenny – Moving

Eddo-Lodge, Reni – Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race

Edwards, Frank J – It’ll Ease The Pain: Poems & Stories

Ekbäck, Cecilia – Wolf Winter

Ellis, Arun D. – Corpalism

Elson, Jane

Enders, Giulia – Gut: The Inside Story Of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ

Eng, Tan Twan – The Gift of Rain

Engel, Amy – The Roanoke Girls

Enger, Thomas – Killed

Englander, Nathan – What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank (short story collection)

Enright, Anne – The Green Road

Essbaum, Jill Alexander – Hausfrau

Etchison, Dennis – Tell Me I’ll See You Again (short story)

Evans, Harriet – The Wildflowers

Extence, Gavin – The Universe Versus Alex Woods

F

Faber, Michel –

Faber, Michel – The Apple: Crimson Petal Stories (short story collection)

Farnham, Dawn – The Red Thread (The Straits Quartet #1)

Farooki, Roopa – The Good Children

Fenton, Liz and Steinke, Lisa – Girls’ Night Out

Filer, Nathan – The Shock Of The Fall

Fine, Anne – Flour Babies

Fine, Cordelia – Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences

Finn, A.J. – The Woman In The Window

Finnigan, Judy – Eloise

Fitzgerald, F. Scott – The Great Gatsby

Fitzgerald, Helen – Worst Case Scenario

Fitzgerald, Zelda – Save Me The Waltz

Fletcher, Susan – Eve Green

Fletcher, Tom – The Creakers

Flynn, Gillian –

Flynn, Simon – The Science Magpie

Foer, Jonathan Safran – Eating Animals

Fong, Kevin – Extremes: Life, Death and The Limits Of The Human Body

Ford, Jamie – Songs of Willow Frost

Fort, Adrian – Nancy: The Story of Lady Astor

Fox, Essie – Elijah’s Mermaid

Frank, Anne – The Diary Of A Young Girl

Frank, Lone – The Neurotourist: Postcards From The Edge Of Brain Science

Frankel, Laurie – This Is How It Always Is

Frayn, Michael – Skios

Frazzetto, Giovanni – Joy, Guilt, Anger, Love: What Neuroscience Can And Can’t Tell Us About How We Feel

Freisenbruch, Annelise – Rivals Of The Republic (Blood Of Rome #1)

French, Dawn – According To Yes

French, Tana – Dublin Murder Squad series

Freudenberger, Nell – The Newlyweds

Friend, Natasha – Lush

Fry, Stephen – Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold

Fuller, Claire –

Furniss, Clare – How Not To Disappear

G

Gaiman, Neil –

Gaiman, Neil – graphic novels

Galbraith, Robert – The Cuckoo’s Calling

Gale, Patrick – A Place Called Winter

Garden, Nancy – Annie On My Mind

Gardner, Sally – Maggot Moon

Garland, Rosie – The Palace of Curiosities

Garnier, Pascal – The Panda Theory

George, Rose – Nine Pints: A Journey Through The Mysterious, Miraculous World Of Blood

Gerritsen, Tess – short stories

Gino, Alex – George

Goodwin, Daisy – The Fortune Hunter

Gordon, Bryony – Mad Girl

Gorham, Carl – The Owl At The Window

Grahame, Kenneth – The Wind in the Willows

Grant, Helen – The Forbidden Spaces Trilogy

Granville, Eliza – Gretel And The Dark

Graves, Robert – The Long Weekend, A Social History of Great Britain 1918-1939

Gray, Daniel – Scribbles In The Margins

Gray, Dianne – Manslaughter And Other Tears (short story collection)

Green, John

Green, Katie – Lighter Than My Shadow

Green, Linda – The Last Thing She Told Me

Green, Sally – The Half Bad Trilogy

Greene, Bette – Summer Of My German Soldier

Gregory, Philippa –

Gregson, Julia – Jasmine Nights

Griffiths, Elly – The Stranger Diaries

Grimwood, Jonathan – The Last Banquet

Grisham, John – Rogue Lawyer

Guskin, Sharon – The Forgetting Time

Gustawsson, Johana – Emily Roy and Alexis Castells

Gyasi, Yaa – Homegoing

H

Haas, Abigail –

Haddon, Mark – The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time

Hadley, Tessa – My Mother’s Wedding (short story)

Haig, Matt

Hall, Araminta – Our Kind Of Cruelty

Hall, Elizabeth J. – Love And Death In Shanghai

Hall, Sarah – The Beautiful Indifference (short story collection)

Hamer, Kate – The Girl In The Red Coat

Hamilton, Patrick – The Slaves of Solitude

Hancock, Sheila – Miss Carter’s War

Hand, Cynthia – Unearthly Series

Hand, Cynthia – The Last Time We Say Goodbye

Hand, Cynthia, Ashton, Brodi and Meadows, Jodi – My Lady Jane: The Not Entirely True Story

Hanks, Tom – Uncommon Type: Some Stories

Hannah, Kristin – The Nightingale

Hannah, Sophie – Did You See Melody?

Hardie, Mark – Burned And Broken

Hardinge, Frances – The Lie Tree

Hardy, Thomas – Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Hargrave, Kiran Millwood – The Girl Of Ink And Stars

Harkness, Deborah – All Souls Trilogy

Harman, Claire – Charlotte Bronte – A Life

Harper, Jane –

Harris, Charlaine – Dead Until Dark

Harris, Robert –

Harris, Robie H – It’s Perfectly Normal

Harris, Sarah J. – The Colour Of Bee Larkham’s Murder

Hart, Baylea – The Log House

Hartley, Lisa – Ask No Questions

Harvey, John – Ghosts

Hawkins, Paula – The Girl On The Train

Hawkins, Rachel – Rebel Belle

Hawley, Noah – The Good Father

Hay, L V – Do No Harm

Hayes, Antonia – Relativity

Hayes, Terry – I Am Pilgrim

Haywood, Sarah – The Cactus

Healey, Emma – Elizabeth Is Missing

Heathfield, Lisa – Paper Butterflies

Heller, Peter – The Dog Stars

Hendricks, Greer and Pekkanen, Sarah – The Wife Between Us

Henkes, Kevin – Olive’s Ocean

Henshaw, Mark – The Snow Kimono

Herthel, Jessica, Jennings, Jazz and McNicholas, Shelagh – I Am Jazz

Hewitt, Kate – This Fragile Life

Hewson, David – The Killing

Hickie, Amanda – Before This Is Over

Higgs, John – Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense Of The Twentieth Century

Hilary, Sarah – DI Marnie Rome series

Hill, Joe –

Hill Joe – 20th Century Ghosts (short story collection)

Hill, Mark – DI Ray Drake series

Hinton, S.E. Taming The Star Runner

Hislop, Victoria – Cartes Postales From Greece

Hodge, Brian – Roots And All (short story)

Hodgkin, Joanna – Tell Me Who I Am

Hodgson, Antonia – The Devil In The Marshalsea

Hodkin, Michelle – Mara Dyer Series

Hogan, Ruth – The Keeper Of Lost Things

Holborn, Stark – Nunslinger

Holness, Matthew – Possum (short story)

Holt, Anne – 1222

Homes, A.M. – May We Be Forgiven

Honeyman, Gail – Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Hooper, Emma – Etta And Otto And Russell And James

Hope, Anna – The Ballroom

Hopkins, Ellen – Crank

Hore, Rachel – Last Letter Home

Hornby, Nick – Funny Girl

Hosseini, Khaled

Howard, A.G. – Splintered series

Howells, Debbie – The Bones Of You

Huckerby, Mark and Ostler, Nick – Defender Of The Realm series

Hunter, Cara – DI Adam Fawley series

Hunter, Megan – The End We Start From

Hurwitz, Gregg – Orphan X

Huxley, Aldous – Brave New World

I

Isaac, Catherine – You Me Everything

Ishiguro, Kazuo – Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall (short story collection)

Ivey, Eowyn – The Snow Child

J

Jackson, Lisa – Close To Home

James, Henry – The Turn Of The Screw

James, Lauren – The Next Together series

James, Wendy – The Golden Child

Jameson, Hanna – The Last

Jefferies, Dinah –

Jeong, You-jeony –The Good Son

Jewell, Lisa –

Johnstone, Doug – Fault Lines

Jones, Lloyd – Hand Me Down World

Jordan, Hillary – When She Woke

Joyce, Graham – Tales for a Dark Evening (short story collection)

Joyce, Rachel – The Love Song Of Miss Queenie Hennessy (Harold Fry #2)

Judge, Andrew and Chris – Create Your Own Spy Mission

Juster, Norton – The Phantom Tollbooth

K

Kalanithi, Paul – When Breath Becomes Air

Kanon, Joseph – Leaving Berlin

Kaufman, Andrew – Born Weird

Kaur, Rupi –

Kay, Adam – This Is Going To Hurt: Secret Diaries Of A Junior Doctor

Kean, Sam –

Kelly, Erin – He Said/She Said

Kelley, William Melvin – A Different Drummer

Kendal, Claire – The Book Of You

Kent, Christobel – The Loving Husband

Kent, Gabrielle – Alfie Bloom series

Kent, Hannah – Burial Rites

Kepler, Lans – The Nightmare

Kerley, J.A. – Little Girls Lost

Khan, Joshua – Shadow Magic series

Kidman, Fiona – All Day At The Movies

Kiernan, Caitlin R. – Charcloth, Firesteel and Flint (short story)

Kinney, Jeff – Diary Of A Wimpy Kid

King, Clive – Stig Of The Dump

King, Stephen (novels)

King, Stephen (Bill Hodges trilogy)

King, Stephen – Dark Tower series

King, Stephen – Skeleton Crew (short story collection)

King, Stephen – Other works

Kingsley, Charles – The Water Babies

Kingsolver, Barbara – Flight Behaviour

Kipling, Rudyard – Short stories

Kist, Heleen – In Servitude

Klause, Annette Curtis – Blood And Chocolate

Klaussmann, Liza – Tigers in Red Weather

Knight, Renée – Disclaimer

Ko, Lisa – The Leavers

Koomson, Dorothy –

Kubica, Mary – The Good Girl

Kuenzler, Lou – Bella Broomstick (Bella Broomstick #1)

Kuklin, Susan – Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out

Kwon, R.O. – The Incendiaries

L

Laar, Arnold van de – Under The Knife: The History Of Surgery in 28 Remarkable Operations

Lafaye, Vanessa – Summertime

Laidlaw, Charlie –

Lalli, Sonya – The Arrangement

Lamb, Cathy – If You Could See What I See

Lanagan, Margo – Tender Morsels

Land, Ali – Good Me Bad Me

Land, Stephanie – Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay And A Mother’s Will To Survive

Langdale, Kay – The Way Back To Us

Lapena, Shari – The Couple Next Door

Lasdun, James – short story

Lauraine, Antoine – The President’s Hat

Lauren, Ruth – The Prisoner Of Ice And Snow

Lawson, Jenny – Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things

Lee, Harper – To Kill A Mockingbird

Lee, M. Jonathan –

L’Engle, Madeleine – A Wrinkle In Time

Lelic, Simon –

Lem, Stanislaw – Solaris

Lennon, J. Robert – Broken River

Leroux, Gaston – The Phantom of the Opera

Lessing, Doris – (short stories)

Lester, Jem – Shtum

Letts, Elizabeth – Finding Dorothy

Leuschel, H.A. –

Levack, Simon – Four Hundred Rabbits (short story)

Levinson, David Samuel – Antonia Lively Breaks The Silence

Lewis, C.S. – The Chronicles of Narnia

Limburg, Joanne – A Want Of Kindness

Lindqvist, John Ajvide – short stories

Lister, Ashley – Doll House

Lister, S.E. –

Lloyd, Amy – The Innocent Wife

Lloyd, Natalie – A Snicker Of Magic

Locurto, Michael – To Sea

Logan, Kirsty – The Gracekeepers

London, Jack – White Fang

Louatah, Sabri – Savages: The Wedding

Lovecraft, H.P. – The Definitive H.P. Lovecraft (short story collection)

Lovelace, Amanda – The Princess Saves Herself In This One

Lowry, Lois – The Giver Quartet

Lowry, Lois

Lotz, Sarah – The Three duology

Lotz, Sarah – The White Road

Lu, Marie – The Legend Series

Lupton, Rosamund – The Quality Of Silence

Lynch, Seth – A Dead American In Paris

M

Maas, Sarah J. – The Throne Of Glass series

MacBride, Stuart

Mackie, Emily – In Search Of Solace

Mackintosh, Clare –

Mackler, Carolyn – The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things

Macdonald, Helen – H Is For Hawk

MacLean, Rory – Gift Of Time: A Family’s Diary Of Cancer

MacLean, S.G, – The Redemption of Alexander Seaton

MacMahon, Kathleen – This Is How It Ends

MacMillan, Margaret – Women Of The Raj

Maddox, Brenda – Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA

Mafi, Tahereh – Shatter Me Series

Magnusson, Sally – The Sealwoman’s Gift

Magonet, Jonathan – Netsuke Nation: Tales From Another Japan

Magorian, Michelle – Goodnight, Mister Tom

Maher, Kevin – The Fields

Maitland, Barry – The Blood Pearl (short story)

Maitland, Karen –

Maitland, Sara – Seeing Double (short story)

Mallon, M.J. – The Curse Of Time (Bloodstone #1)

Malone, Michael J. – After He Died

Mandel, Emily St John – Station Eleven

Mangan, Christine – Tangerine

Mangan, Lucy – Bookworm: A Memoir Of Childhood Reading

Mansfield, Katherine – Letters and Journals

Mansfield, Katherine – (short stories)

Mantel, Hilary – Beyond Black

Mark, David – The Dark Winter

Marriott, Zoe –

Marryat, Frederick – The Children of the New Forest

Marsh, Henry –

Marsh, Katie – This Beautiful Life

Marston, Edward – Hogmanay Homicide (short story)

Martel, Yann – Life of Pi

Martin, Hemmie – Garlic And Gauloises

Martinez, Agustin – Village Of The Lost Girls

Masterman, Becky – Rage Against The Dying

Maugham, W. Somerset –

Maurier, Daphne Du – novels

Maurier, Daphne Du – The Breaking Point (short story collection)

Maurier, Daphne Du – The Birds And Other Stories (short story collection)

Mawer, Simon

May, Peter – The Lewis Trilogy

May, Peter – Entry Island

McBeth, Colette – An Act Of Silence

McCarthy, Morgan – Strange Girls And Ordinary Women

McCullers, Carson – The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

McEwan, Ian – The Children Act

McGilloway, Brian – The Rat In The Attic

McGrann, Molly – The Ladies Of The House

McGregor, Jon – This Isn’t The Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You (short story collection)

McHugh, Steve – Crimes Against Magic (The Hellequin Chronicles #1)

McInerney, Lisa – The Glorious Heresies

McKay, Hilary – Saffy’s Angel

McKenzie, Sophie – Close My Eyes

McLain, Paula – Circling The Sun

McNamara, Michelle – I’ll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search For The Golden State Killer

McPartlin, Anna – The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes

McVeigh, Jennifer –

Melamed, Jennie – Gather The Daughers

Merullo, Roland – Vatican Waltz

Meyer, Marissa – The Lunar Chronicles

Meyer, Stephenie – Twilight

Miller, Madeline – The Song of Achilles

Mills, Mark – The Long Shadow

Moggach, Deborah –

Moggach, Lottie – Kiss Me First

Monro, Mary – Stranger In My Heart

Montgomery, L.M, –

Moore, Liz – The Unseen World

Moran, Caitlin – How To Build A Girl

Moriarty, Liane –

Moriarty, Sinead – Mad About You

Morris, Heather – The Tattooist Of Auschwitz

Morrison, Arthur – A Child of The Jago

Morrison, Toni –

Mortimer, Charlie and Roger – Dear Lupin: Letters to a Wayward Son

Mosby, Steve – Fruits (short story)

Moss, Sarah – The Tidal Zone

Mosse, Kate – The Mistletoe Bride And Other Haunting Tales (short story collection)

Mosse, Kate – novels

Moyes, Jojo

Mozley, Fiona – Elmet

Munro, Alice – Too Much Happiness  (short story collection)

Munro, Alice – The Moons Of Jupiter (short story)

Murakami, Haruki – 1Q84 trilogy

Murdoch, Emily – If You Find Me

Murphy, Yannick – This Is The Water

Myracle, Lauren – ttyl

N

Navin, Rhiannon – Only Child

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds – The Agony Of Alice

Neill, Fiona – The Betrayals

Nesbit, Edith –

Nesbo, Jo

Ness, Patrick – The Chaos Walking Series

Ness, Patrick – (novels, other works)

Neuhaus, Nele – Snow White Must Die

Neuvel, Sylvain – The Themis Files

Neville, Stuart – Those We Left Behind

Ng, Celeste – Little Fires Everywhere

Nicholas, Douglas – Something Red

Nicholls, David – Us

Nicholson, Virginia – Among The Bohemians: Experiments In Living 1900-1939

Niffenegger, Audrey – The Time Traveler’s Wife

Nijkamp, Marieke – This Is Where It Ends

Noble, Elizabeth – Love, Iris

Norman, Charity – After The Fall

North, Claire – The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

Norton, Mary – The Borrowers

Norton, Graham – Holding

Nugent, Liz – Lying In Wait

Nutting, Alissa – Tampa

O

O’Connell, Jennifer et al – Everything I Needed To Know About Being A Girl I Learned From Judy Blume

O’Farrell, Maggie – novels

O’Farrell, Maggie – non-fiction

O’Leary, Beth – The Flatshare

O’Neill, Louise –

O’Sullivan, Suzanne – It’s All In Your Head: True Stories Of Imaginary Illness

O’Toole, Emer – Girls Will Be Girls: Dressing Up, Playing Parts And Daring To Act Differently

Oliver, Lauren – Delirium Series

Oliver, Reggie – The Child’s Problem (short story)

Orringer, Julie – How To Breathe Underwater (short story collection)

Osborne, Abigail – The Puppet Master

Osborne, Frances – The Bolter: Edwardian Heartbreak and High Society Scandal in Kenya

Orwell, George – 1984

Oswald, James – Inspector McLean series

Oswald, James – The Ballad Of Sir Benfro series

Ouellette, Jennifer – Me, Myself And Why: Searching For The Science Of Self

Overton, Hollie – Baby Doll

Owens, Delia – Where The Crawdads Sing

Oyeyemi, Helen – short stories

P

Palahniuk, Chuck – Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread

Palund, Linda – The Little Black Dress

Parajuly, Prajwal – Land Where I Flee

Parameswaran, Rajesh – I Am An Executioner (short story collection)

Paris, B.A. – Behind Closed Doors

Park, Yeonmi and Vollers, Maryanne – In Order To Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey To Freedom

Parker, Dorothy – A Telephone Call (short story)

Parkin, Cassandra – The Summer We All Ran Away

Parks, Adele – The Stranger In My Home

Parsons, Tony – The Murder Bag

Pascoe, Sara – Animal: The Autobiography Of A Female Body

Paterson, Katherine – Bridge To Terabithia

Paull, Laline – The Bees

Pearce, A.J. – Dear Mrs Bird

Pearson, Mary. E – The Remnant Chronicles

Peet, Mal – Tamar

Penney, Stef – Under A Pole Star

Perks, Heidi – Now You See Her

Perry, Sarah – The Essex Serpent

Pessl, Marisha – Night Film

Phillips, Melanie – The Ascent of Woman

Picoult, Jodi –

Pines, T – Thirteen Tales Of Horror

Plath, Sylvia – The Bell Jar

Plum, Amy – The Revenants series

Poe, Edgar Allan – The Best Short Stories Of Edgar Allan Poe

Porter, Eleanor H. – Pollyanna

Porter, Jason – Why Are You So Sad?

Portman, Guy – Necropolis

Potts, Jenny Morton – Piano From A 4th Storey Window

Prowse, Amanda – The Art Of Hiding

Pulley, Natasha – The Watchmaker Of Filigree Street

Pullman, Phillip – His Dark Materials Series

Purshouse, Emma and Moore, Catherine Pascall – I Once Knew A Poem Who Wore A Hat

Q

Quinn, Kate – The Empress Of Rome series

Quinn, Kate Karyus – Another Little Piece

Quintana, Jenny – The Missing Girl

R

Randall, Bonnie – Divinity And The Python

Randhawa, Ravinder

Ransome, Arthur – Swallows And Amazons

Rattle, Alison –

Rees, Celia – Witch Child

Reeve, Alex – The House On Half Moon Street

Reid, Carmen – Cross My Heart: And Hope to Live

Reid, Taylor Jenkins –

Rentzenbrink, Cathy – The Last Act Of Love

Reynolds, Amanda – Close To Me

Reynolds, Marilyn – Detour For Emmy

Rhoades, Joy – The Woolgrower’s Companion

Rhys, Jean – Voyage In The Dark

Rhys, Rachel – A Dangerous Crossing

Richardson, Justin and Parnell, Peter – And Tango Makes Three

Richmond, Michelle – The Marriage Pact

Riggs, Ransom – Miss Peregrine’s Home For Children series

Riordan, Rick – Percy Jackson And The Olympians series

Robb, J.D. – Echoes In Death

Roberts, Nora –

Robertson, Mark – Off Key

Roble, M.L. – The Hidden Gifted series

Rogers, Chauncey – Happily

Rowland, Amy – The Transcriptionist

Rowling, J.K, – The Casual Vacancy

Rose, Barbara Wade – The Priest, The Witch & The Poltergeist

Rose, M.J. – Seduction

Ross, Elizabeth – Belle Epoque

Rossi, Veronica – Under The Never Sky series

Rossiter, Joanna – The Sea Change

Rostain, Michel – The Son

Roth, Veronica – Divergent Series

Rothfuss, Patrick – The Kingkiller Chronicles

Rundell, Katherine – Rooftoppers

Ruskovich, Emily – Idaho

Russell, Craig –

Russell, Karen – Vampires in the Lemon Grove (short story collection)

Russell, Mary Doria – The Sparrow

Ryan, Donal – The Spinning Heart 

S

Sabral, Jody – I Never Lie

Sacks, Oliver – The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat And Other Clinical Tales

Sanderson, Brandon – The Rithmatist

Sanghera, Sathnam – Marriage Material

Sarginson, Saskia – The Twins

Satrapi, Marjane – The Complete Persepolis

Schwartz, Alvin – In A Dark, Dark Room And Other Scary Stories

Schmidt, Sarah – See What I Have Done

Schutt, Bill – Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History

Scott, Nikola –

Scott, Paul – The Jewel in The Crown

Scudiere, A.J. – Under Dark Skies

Sedgwick, Marcus –

See, Lisa – Snow Flower And The Secret Fan

Selasi, Taiye – Ghana Must Go

Selby Jr, Hubert – The Willow Tree

Sendker, Jan-Philipp – The Art Of Hearing Heartbeats

Seskis, Tina – One Step Too Far

Shakespeare, William – The Comedy of Errors

Shanor, Karen and Kanwal, Jagmeet – Bats Sing, Mice Giggle: The Surprising Science Of Animals’ Inner Lives

Sharp, Andrew J.H. – Fortunate

Shearman, Robert – Alice Through The Plastic Sheet (short story)

Sheehan, Nikki – Who Framed Klaris Cliff?

Shelley, Mary – Frankenstein

Shemilt, Jane – Daughter

Shriver, Lionel – The Post-Birthday World

Shusterman, Neal – Arc Of A Scythe series

Shusterman, Neal and Jarrod

Silvera, Adam – More Happy Than Not

Simpson, Helen – Charm For A Friend With A Lump (short story)

Simpson, Virginia A. – The Space Between: A Memoir Of Mother-Daughter Love At The End Of Life

Simsion, Graeme – The Rosie Project

Sittenfeld, Curtis – Sisterland

Slatter, Angela – Sourdough And Other Stories (short story collection)

Slatter, Angela – (short stories)

Slimani Leïla – Lullaby (The Perfect Nanny)

Slaughter, Karin – (Grant County/Will Trent novels)

Slaughter, Karin – (stand-alone novels)

Slaughter, Karin – (short stories/novellas)

Smaill, Anna – The Chimes

Smith, Ali – How To Be Both

Smith, Jeff – Bone, Volume 1 (Issues 1-6)

Smith, Tom Rob – The Farm

Smith, Zadie – NW

Snicket, Lemony – The Unfortunate Series Of Events series

Sones, Sonya – What My Mother Doesn’t Know

Spain, Jo – Dirty Little Secrets

Spark, Muriel – The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Spotswood, Jessica – The Cahill Witch Chronicles

Spyri, Johanna – Heidi

Starkman, Monica – The End Of Miracles

Starr, Jason –

Stead, C.K, – Mansfield

Stedman, M.L, – The Light Between Oceans

Stein, Rick – Under A Mackerel Sky

Steinbeck, John –

Steiner, Susie – DS Manon series

Stevens, Robin – Murder Most Unladylike

Stevenson, Noelle – Nimona

Stine – R.L. – Point Horror series

Stirling, Joss – Storm and Stone

Stone, Tanya Lee – A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl

Stratton, Allan – The Resurrection Of Mary Mabel McTavish

Streatfeild, Noel – Ballet Shoes

Strout, Elizabeth – My Name Is Lucy Barton

Stuart, Keith –

Summerscale, Kate – Mrs Robinsons Disgrace: The Private Diary Of A Victorian Lady

Swanson, Peter – The Kind Worth Killing

Swarup, Vikas – The Accidental Apprentice

Sykes, S.D. – Plague Land

T

Taguchi, Randy – Fujisan (short story collection)

Talbot, Mary. M and Talbot, Bryan – Dotter Of Her Father’s Eyes

Talbot, Mary. M, Talbot, Bryan and Charlesworth, Kate – Sally Heathcote: Suffragette

Talty, Stephan – Hangman

Takami, Koushun – Battle Royale

Tartt, Donna

Tarttelin, Abigail – Golden Boy

Taylor, Laini – Daughter Of Smoke And Bone

Taylor, Mildred D. – Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry

Telgemeier, Raina – Drama

Thomas, Ruth – The Class That Went Wild

Thomas, Scarlett – Bright Young Things

Thomason, Dustin – 12.21

Thompson, Alice – The Book Collector

Thompson, Craig – Habibi

Thompson, Kate – Down Among The Gods

Thornton, Rosy – Sandlands (short story collection)

Thurlbourn, Cara – Fire Lines

Tilton, Eliza – Broken Forest

Tinti, Hannah – The Twelve Lives Of Samuel Hawley

Tolstoy, Leo – Anna Karenina 

Torday, Piers – The Last Wild Series

Torjussen, Mary – Gone Without A Trace

Tovar, Virgie – You Have The Right To Remain Fat

Toye, Richard – Churchill’s Empire: The World That Made Him And The World He Made

Treloar, Lucy – Salt Creek

Tremayne, S.K. – The Ice Twins

Tucker, Heather – The Clay Girl

Tuomainen, Antti – Palm Beach, Finland

Turton, Stuart – The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle

Tuttle, Lisa – The Man In The Ditch (short story)

Twardowski, Kristen – When We Go Missing

Tyler, Anne – A Spool Of Blue Thread

U

Underdown, Beth – The Witchfinder’s Sister

V

Valente, Catherynne M. – Deathless (Leningrad Diptych #1)

VanderMeer, Jeff – Annihilation (Southern Reach #1)

Vaughan, Brian E and Staples, Fiona –

Vaughan, Sarah – Anatomy Of A Scandal

Velton, Sonia – Blackberry And Wild Rose

Vizzini, Ned – It’s Kind Of A Funny Story

Vowler, Tom – That Dark Remembered Day

W

Wallace, Danny – F*** You Very Much: The Surprising Truth About Why People Are So Rude

Walliams, David

Walls, Jeannette – The Glass Castle

Walsh, Helen – The Lemon Grove

Walton, Jo – Among Others

Walton, Leslye – The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender

Ward, Annie – Beautiful Bad

Ward, Jacqueline – Random Acts Of Unkindness

Ward, Jesmyn – Salvage The Bones

Ward, Rachel – The Drowning

Ware, Ruth – In A Dark, Dark Wood

Warner, Sylvia Townsend – Lolly Willowes

Wasserman, Robin – Girls On Fire

Waters, Sarah – The Paying Guests

Watkins, Claire Vaye – Gold Fame Citrus

Waugh, Carolyn – The Oasis Of Time

Waugh, Evelyn – Black Mischief

Wax, Ruby – How To Be Human: The Manual

Weaver, Tim – Never Coming Back

Webster, Jean – Daddy Long Legs

Wein, Elizabeth – Code Name Verity

Weir, Alison – Six Tudor Queens series

Weir, Andy – The Martian

Welford, Ross – Time Travelling With A Hamster

Wells, H.G, – The Time Machine

Welsh, Kaite – The Wages Of Sin

Wesolowski, Matt – Six Stories series

Westerfeld, Scott – Uglies Series

Westover, Tara – Educated: A Memoir

Whaley, John Corey – Highly Illogical Behaviour

Wharton, Edith – The Age Of Innocence

White, E.B, – Charlotte’s Web

Whitehouse, Lucie – Before We Met

Whyman, Matt – The Savages

Wignall, Kevin – A Place For Violence (short story)

Wilby, Rosie – Is Monogamy Dead?

Wilde, Oscar – plays

Wilde, Oscar – short stories

Wilks, Haydn – The Death Of Danny Daggers

Williams, Ian – The Bad Doctor

Williams, Margery – The Velveteen Rabbit

Williams, Robert – Into The Trees

Williams, Tennessee – The Glass Menagerie

Williamson, Lara – The Boy Who Sailed The Ocean In An Armchair

Williamson, Lisa – The Art Of Being Normal

Wilson, D.W, – Ballistics

Winman, Sarah –

Winter, Jeanette – Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story From Afghanistan

Wood, Charlotte – The Natural Way Of Things

Wood, Lucy – Diving Belles (short story collection)

Wood, Maryrose – The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children Of Ashton Place #1)

Wood, Naomi – Mrs Hemingway

Woodhead, Lindy – Shopping, Seduction and Mr Selfridge

Woods, Elizabeth – Choker

Woolf, Leonard – The Village In The Jungle

Woolf, Virginia – Kew Gardens (short story)

Worsley, Lucy – Jane Austen At Home: A Biography

Worth, Shawn – Trudge On

Wyant, Chandi – Return To Glow: A Pilgrimage Of Transformation In Italy

Wyld, Evie – All The Birds, Singing

Wyss, Johann David – The Swiss Family Robinson

Y

Yan, Mo – Big Breasts and Wide Hips

Yanagihara, Hanya –

Yates, Richard – A Convalescent Ego (short story)

Young, David – Karin Müller series

Young, Louisa – My Dear I Wanted To Tell You

Young, Natalie – Season To Taste Or How To Eat Your Husband

Young, Suzanne – The Program

Younge, Gary – Another Day In The Death Of America

Z

Zail, Suzy – The Wrong Boy

Zailckas, Koren – Mother, Mother

Zan, Koethi – The Never List

Zappia, Francesca – Made You Up

Ziegesar, Cecily von – Gossip Girl

Zusak, Markus – I Am The Messenger

RICHARD AND JUDY SPRING READS 2019

Published January 5, 2013 by bibliobeth

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Check out the latest Spring 2019 book club reads from Richard and Judy:

The Burning Chambers – Kate Mosse

The Last Thing She Told Me – Linda Green

Nine Perfect Strangers – Liane Moriarty

Now You See Her – Heidi Perks

Vox – Christina Dalcher

Somebody I Used To Know – Wendy Mitchell

It’s time for another batch of books from Richard and Judy to take us through the cold, wintry period:

The Woman In The Window – A.J. Finn

Let Me Lie – Clare Mackintosh

Love, Iris – Elizabeth Noble

Dear Mrs Bird – AJ Pearce

The Colour Of Bee Larkham’s Murder – Sarah J. Harris

The House On Half Moon Street – Alex Reeve

 

Time for one of my favourite seasons – AUTUMN and here are the six books that Richard and Judy have chosen this season:

The Tattooist Of Auschwitz – Heather Morris

The Innocent Wife – Amy Lloyd

Anatomy Of A Scandal – Sarah Vaughan

Uncommon Type: Some Stories – Tom Hanks

Only Child – Rhiannon Navin

The Cactus – Sarah Haywood

I don’t remember Richard and Judy ever doing this before but they’ve released a list of six books to celebrate late summer – hooray!

Last Letter Home – Rachel Hore

End Game – David Baldacci – (DID NOT FINISH)

You, Me, Everything – Catherine Isaac

The Wife Between Us – Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Three Things About Elsie – Joanna Cannon

Lullaby – Leila Slimani

Summer will be upon us before we know it and here’s the latest reads from Richard and Judy to take us through it!

The Midnight Line – Lee Child

He Said She Said – Erin Kelly

The Wildflowers – Harriet Evans

The Sapphire Widow – Dinah Jefferies

Little Fires Everywhere – Celeste Ng

Persons Unknown – Susie Steiner

Together – Julie Cohen

The Party – Elizabeth Day

Here are the latest reads from Richard and Judy to celebrate Spring 2018!

Then She Was Gone – Lisa Jewell

The Thirst – Jo Nesbo

How To Stop Time – Matt Haig

The Child – Fiona Barton

The Marriage Pact – Michelle Richmond

The Heart’s Invisible Furies – John Boyne

The Witch Finder’s Sister – Beth Underdown

Close To Home – Cara Hunter

Autumn already? Here’s eight more reads from Richard and Judy to soften the blow!

Cartes Postales From Greece – Victoria Hislop

Good Me Bad Me – Ali Land

The Betrayals – Fiona Neill

Kill The Father – Sandrone Dazieri

The Roanoke Girls – Amy Engel

A Dangerous Crossing – Rachel Rhys

Under A Pole Star – Stef Penney

The Keeper Of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan

Can’t wait for summer? The new lot of books from the Richard and Judy book club should see you through!

Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult

The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena

This Must Be The Place – Maggie O’Farrell

I See You – Clare Mackintosh

Conclave – Robert Harris

The Essex Serpent – Sarah Perry

Miss You – Kate Eberlen

The Trespasser – Tana French

It’s a new year and time for another great batch of books chosen by Richard and Judy!:

The Muse – Jessie Burton

I’m Travelling Alone – Samuel Bjork

Baby Doll – Hollie Overton

The Trouble With Goats And Sheep – Joanna Cannon

Mad Girl – Bryony Gordon

Lie With Me – Sabine Durrant

A Boy Made Of Blocks – Keith Stuart

Lying In Wait – Liz Nugent

Oh well…summer is nearly over…but look what Richard and Judy have on their list this Autumn!

Orphan X – Gregg Hurwitz

The Widow – Fiona Barton

Missing, Presumed – Susie Steiner

Circling The Sun – Paula McLain

The Forgetting Time – Sharon Guskin

The Readers Of Broken Wheel Recommend – Katarina Bivald

The Loving Husband – Christobel Kent

The Ballroom – Anna Hope

Summer is just around the corner and here’s what Richard and Judy have in store for us this time around:

The Girl On The Train – Paula Hawkins

Rogue Lawyer – John Grisham

According To Yes – Dawn French

Those We Left Behind – Stuart Neville

Sweet Caress – William Boyd

The Girls – Lisa Jewell

A Dictionary Of Mutual Understanding – Jackie Copleton

The Last Act Of Love – Cathy Rentzenbrink

It’s the start of a new year for the Richard and Judy book club and here are the chosen titles:

The Versions Of Us – Laura Barnett

The Quality Of Silence – Rosamund Lupton

In A Dark Dark Wood – Ruth Ware

The Samaritan – Mason Cross

Moving – Jenny Eclair

A Year Of Marvellous Ways – Sarah Winman

Our Endless Numbered Days – Claire Fuller

The Bones Of You – Debbie Howells

Can you believe it’s Autumn already? Here are the eight books picked by R&J for this season.

The Taxidermist’s Daughter – Kate Mosse

The Kind Worth Killing – Peter Swanson

A Spool Of Blue Thread – Anne Tyler

The Tea Planter’s Wife – Dinah Jefferies

The Ice Twins – S.K. Tremayne

Life After You – Lucie Brownlee

The Well – Catherine Chanter

Leaving Berlin – Joseph Kanon

HOORAY FOR SUMMER! Here are the titles for the Richard and Judy Book Club – looks like some great reads here.

Us – David Nicholls

The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair – Joel Dicker

Funny Girl – Nick Hornby

No Safe House – Linwood Barclay

A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman

Summertime – Vanessa Lafaye

I Let You Go – Clare Mackintosh

A Song For Issy Bradley – Carys Bray

Welcome to a New Year of the Richard and Judy Book Club! Here are the titles for Spring 2015.

The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton

The Book Of You – Claire Kendal

Elizabeth Is Missing – Emma Healey

The Murder Bag – Tony Parsons

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes – Anna McPartlin

Miss Carter’s War – Sheila Hancock

A Colder War – Charles Cumming

Mrs Hemingway – Naomi Wood

Is it Autumn already? Richard and Judy seem to think so and here are their titles for Autumn 2014!

Daughter – Jane Shemilt

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – Claire North

The Fortune Hunter – Daisy Goodwin

The Martian – Andy Weir

Someone Else’s Skin – Sarah Hilary

The Memory Book – Rowan Coleman

The Devil in The Marshalsea – Antonia Hodgson

Under A Mackerel Sky – Rick Stein

Richard and Judy return again for their Summer 2014 Book Club. And here are the choice of titles…

And The Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini

I Am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes

An Officer And A Spy – Robert Harris

The Lie – Helen Dunmore

Eeny Meeny – M.J. Arlidge

Dear Thing – Julie Cohen

Before We Met – Lucie Whitehouse

Mad About You – Sinead Moriarty

Richard and Judy are back for Spring 2014 with eight new titles for their Book Club. Looks like some great choices that I can’t wait to start:

The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult

Apple Tree Yard – Louise Doughty

A Commonplace Killing – Sian Busby

The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion

The Never List – Koethi Zan

Sisterland – Curtis Sittenfeld

Longbourn – Jo Baker

Rage Against The Dying – Becky Masterman

Richard and Judy are back for the Autumn with eight new titles for the Book Club. I always enjoy seeing what they have to offer, and again there’s a great selection:

The Shining Girls – Lauren Beukes

Instructions For A Heatwave – Maggie O’Farrell

Heartbreak Hotel – Deborah Moggach

Never Coming Back – Tim Weaver

The Last Runaway – Tracy Chevalier

The Twins – Saskia Sarginson

The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty

Snow White Must Die – Nele Neuhaus

 THE WINNER OF THE RICHARD AND JUDY AUTUMN BOOKCLUB 2013 WAS THE HUSBAND’S SECRET BY LIANE MORIARTY

 Richard and Judy have just announced their Summer 2013 list and it looks like some more good ‘uns! I’ve already read The Age of Miracles pre-blog days, and The Universe Versus Alex Woods fairly recently but I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of them.

TIGERS IN RED WEATHER – Lisa Klaussman

THE AGE OF MIRACLES – Karen Thompson Walker

CLOSE MY EYES – Sophie McKenzie

THIS IS HOW IT ENDS – Kathleen MacMahon

NATURAL CAUSES – James Oswald

THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS – M.L. Stedman

THE SEA CHANGE – Joanna Rossiter

THE UNIVERSE VERSUS ALEX WOODS – Gavin Extence

THE GIRL WHO FELL FROM THE SKY – Simon Mawer

THE SEA SISTERS – Lucy Clarke

The winner of the Richard and Judy Summer Reads 2013 was…….

NATURAL CAUSES by James Oswald.

RICHARD AND JUDY SPRING READS 2013

Yaaay, the Richard and Judy Spring Reads are here! This selection has a mixture of everything so there’s something there for everyone. Please see the selection and my reviews below:

THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY – Rachel Joyce

GONE GIRL – Gillian Flynn

GOLD –Chris Cleave

JASMINE NIGHTS – Julia Gregson

THE DARK WINTER – David Mark

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS – John Green

THE GOOD FATHER – Noah Hawley

THE LAND OF DECORATION – Grace McCleen

AFTER THE FALL – Charity Norman

THE FEVER TREE – Jennifer McVeigh

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Land of Decoration have not been reviewed as I read them before my blogging days. However, I highly recommend both books as brilliant reads.

ChrissiReads is reading along with me, so check out her reviews here:

THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY – Rachel Joyce

GONE GIRL – Gillian Flynn

GOLD – Chris Cleave

JASMINE NIGHTS – Julia Gregson

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS – John Green

THE GOOD FATHER – Noah Hawley

AFTER THE FALL – Charity Norman

The winner of the Richard and Judy Spring Reads 2013 was……. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green.

 

 

My Non-Fiction November TBR

Published November 1, 2018 by bibliobeth

Hello everyone and welcome to a very exciting month ahead – Nonfiction November! I really wanted to take part in this last year but had so many commitments for review copies that I just couldn’t fit it in but this year I’m determined. I still have a few ARC’s to read in November so I won’t be reading solely non-fiction but I’m hoping the majority of my reading will fall into that genre.

First, a little bit about Nonfiction November – it’s hosted by Katie of Doing Dewey, Kim of Sophisticated Dorkiness, Rennie of What’s Nonfiction, Julz of JulzReads, and Sarah of Sarah’s Bookshelves. Each week of the month there will be a discussion question and link up related to non-fiction on one of the host’s blogs above and I can’t wait to join in! There is also an Instagram challenge going on starting today with various prompts for each day of the month and I’m going to attempt to join in with as many as I can (bibliobeth on Instagram if you fancy giving me a follow). I can’t promise the world’s most beautiful pictures but I can promise some interesting non-fiction recommendations for sure! The Instagram challenge is co-hosted by Kim (@kimthedork) and Leann (@Shelf_Aware_). and if you’d like to join in, they’d love to see your pictures using the hashtag #NonficNov.

But back to today’s post. I thought that today I’d talk about my Nonfiction November TBR or what I HOPE to be getting to this month. I’ve chosen eight books, which is quite optimistic considering the other fiction books I’ve promised to read so perhaps I won’t get to all of these but I’m going to give it a good go. Any that I don’t read will be read soon enough as I often read a non-fiction book alongside my current fiction read and an old favourite.

Here we go!

1.) The Diary Of A Bookseller – Shaun Bythell

What’s it all about?:

Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown – Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover’s paradise? Well, almost … In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.

Why do I want to read it?:

I’ve heard SO much about this book and now I just can’t help myself, I have to submit. It sounds cosy, amusing, interesting and is a book about books. What could be better for a bibliophile like myself?

2.) The Education Of A Coroner: Lessons In Investigating Death – John Bateson

What’s it all about?:

An “entertaining” (Booklist) account of the mysterious, hair-raising, and heartbreaking cases handled by the coroner of Marin County, California throughout his four decades on the job—from high-profile deaths and serial killers to inmate murders and Golden Gate Bridge suicides.

Marin County, California is a study in contradictions. Its natural beauty attracts celebrity residents and thousands of visitors every year, yet the county also is home to San Quentin Prison, one of the oldest and largest penitentiaries in the United States. Marin ranks in the top one percent of counties nationwide in terms of affluence and overall health, yet it is far above the norm in drug overdoses and alcoholism, not to mention the large percentage of suicides that occur on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Ken Holmes worked in the Marin County Coroner’s Office for thirty-six years, starting as a death investigator and ending as the three-term, elected coroner. As he grew into the job—one that is far different from the forensics we see on television—Holmes learned a variety of skills, from finding hidden clues at death scenes, interviewing witnesses effectively, managing bystanders and reporters, and preparing testimony for court to how to notify families of a death with sensitivity and compassion. He also learned about different kinds of firearms, all types of drugs—prescription and illegal—and about certain unexpected and potentially fatal phenomena, such as autoeroticism.

Why do I want to read it?:

This book appeals to the morbid, scientific side of me. I was always intrigued by forensics and this book came up on my recommendations when I bought another book on this Nonfiction November list. Of course as soon as I read the synopsis I couldn’t resist buying it!

3.) The Secret Lives Of Colour – Kassia St. Clair

What’s it all about?:

The Secret Lives of Colour tells the unusual stories of seventy-five fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso’s blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history.

In this book, Kassia St. Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colours and where they come from (whether Van Gogh’s chrome yellow sunflowers or punk’s fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilization. Across fashion and politics, art and war, the secret lives of colour tell the vivid story of our culture.

Why do I want to read it?:

This book was taunting me from bookshops for months. I used to always see it as I walked past a particular bookshop in London Waterloo station where it held a very prominent position and I was instantly entranced by the cover. I eventually pre-ordered it in paperback and it’s just as gorgeous, with rainbow coloured pages to illustrate the particular colour being talked about. I’m intrigued – particularly with the historical information behind the colours.

4.) Dark Banquet: Blood And The Curious Lives Of Blood-Feeding Creatures – Bill Schutt

What’s it all about?:

For centuries, blood feeders have inhabited our nightmares and horror stories, as well as the shadowy realms of scientific knowledge. In Dark Banquet, zoologist Bill Schutt takes readers on an entertaining voyage into the world of some of nature’s strangest creatures—the sanguivores. Using a sharp eye and mordant wit, Schutt makes a remarkably persuasive case that vampire bats, leeches, ticks, bed bugs, and other vampires are as deserving of our curiosity as warmer and fuzzier species are—and that many of them are even ­worthy of conservation.
Schutt takes us from rural Trinidad to the jungles of Brazil to learn about some of the most reviled, misunderstood, and marvelously evolved animals on our planet: vampire bats. Only recently has fact begun to disentangle itself from fiction concerning these remarkable animals, and Schutt delves into the myths and misconceptions surrounding them.

Examining the substance that sustains nature’s vampires, Schutt reveals just how little we actually knew about blood until well into the twentieth century. We revisit George Washington on his deathbed to learn how ideas about blood and the supposedly therapeutic value of bloodletting, first devised by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, survived into relatively modern times. Schutt also tracks the history of medicinal leech use. Once employed by the tens of millions to drain perceived excesses of blood, today the market for these ancient creatures is booming once again—but for very different reasons.

Among the other blood feeders we meet in these pages are bed bugs, or “ninja insects,” which are making a creepy resurgence in posh hotels and well-kept homes near you. In addition, Dark Banquet details our dangerous and sometimes deadly encounters with ticks, chiggers, and mites (the ­latter implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder—currently devastating honey bees worldwide). Then there are the truly weird—vampire finches. And if you thought piranha were scary, some people believe that the candiru (or willy fish) is the best reason to avoid swimming in the Amazon.

Enlightening, alarming, and appealing to our delight in the bizarre, Dark Banquet peers into a part of the natural world to which we are, through our blood, inextricably linked.

Why do I want to read it?:

I read Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History, Bill Schutt’s second non-fiction book as a buddy read with Stuart from Always Trust In Books and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. As a result, I was determined to read his first book which sounds just as fascinating and of course, Nonfiction November is the perfect time to get down to reading it!

5.) The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life In Death, Decay & Disaster – Sarah Krasnostein

What’s it all about?:

Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things: husband and father, drag queen, gender reassignment patient, sex worker, small businesswoman, trophy wife…

But as a little boy, raised in violence and excluded from the family home, she just wanted to belong. Now she believes her clients deserve no less.

A woman who sleeps among garbage she has not put out for forty years. A man who bled quietly to death in his loungeroom. A woman who lives with rats, random debris and terrified delusion. The still life of a home vacated by accidental overdose.

Sarah Krasnostein has watched the extraordinary Sandra Pankhurst bring order and care to these, the living and the dead—and the book she has written is equally extraordinary. Not just the compelling story of a fascinating life among lives of desperation, but an affirmation that, as isolated as we may feel, we are all in this together.

I call my dad from the car and ask him about his morning, tell him about mine.
‘What kind of hoarder was she?’ he asks.
‘Books and cats, mainly,’ I tell the man who loves his cats and who I know is now actively considering his extensive book collection.
‘What’s the difference between a private library and a book hoarder?’ he wonders.
We are both silent before we laugh and answer in unison: ‘Faeces.’

But the difference is this phone call. And the others like it I could make—and how strong we are when we are loved
.

Sarah Krasnostein was born in America, studied in Melbourne and has lived and worked in both countries. Earning her doctorate in criminal law, she is a law lecturer and researcher. Her essay, ‘The Secret Life of a Crime Scene Cleaner’, was published on Longreads and listed in Narratively’s Top 10 Stories for 2014. She lives in Melbourne, and spends part of the year working in New York City. The Trauma Cleaner is her first book.

Why do I want to read it?:

The Trauma Cleaner was the book that prompted me to buy The Education Of A Coroner earlier on this list. It’s my fascination with the forensic world again that makes me want to pick up this book but also I like that it has a transgender element which I’m also interested to read and learn more about.

6.) Animals Strike Curious Poses – Elena Passarello

What’s it all about?:

Beginning with Yuka, a 39,000-year-old mummified woolly mammoth recently found in the Siberian permafrost, each of the sixteen essays in Animals Strike Curious Poses investigates a different famous animal named and immortalised by humans. Here are the starling that inspired Mozart with its song, Darwin’s tortoise Harriet, and in an extraordinary essay, Jumbo the elephant (and how they tried to electrocute him). Modelled loosely on a medieval bestiary, these witty , playful, provocative essays traverse history, myth, science and more, introducing a stunning new writer to British readers.

Why do I want to read it?:

Along with science, nature writing (particularly anything that involves animals) is something I love to read about and this book looked too good to pass up. I love that it’s a series of essays and I adore that it follows “famous” animals. I’ve got high hopes for this one!

7.) When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi

What’s it all about?:

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.

When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity – the brain – and finally into a patient and a new father.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away?

Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.

Why do I want to read it?:

Similar to the next book coming up on my Nonfiction November TBR, this is one of the books that has been on my shelves the longest. Everyone keeps telling me how great it is (and I LOVE reading about neurosurgery/the brain) but this one also has a bitter-sweet emotional aspect that I wasn’t sure I was in the right place to read about in the past eighteen months or so. Now however, I am stronger and I am ready! This WILL happen.

8.) Bad Science – Ben Goldacre

What’s it all about?:

Have you ever wondered how one day the media can assert that alcohol is bad for us and the next unashamedly run a story touting the benefits of daily alcohol consumption? Or how a drug that is pulled off the market for causing heart attacks ever got approved in the first place? How can average readers, who aren’t medical doctors or Ph.D.s in biochemistry, tell what they should be paying attention to and what’s, well, just more bullshit?

Ben Goldacre has made a point of exposing quack doctors and nutritionists, bogus credentialing programs, and biased scientific studies. He has also taken the media to task for its willingness to throw facts and proof out the window. But he’s not here just to tell you what’s wrong. Goldacre is here to teach you how to evaluate placebo effects, double-blind studies, and sample sizes, so that you can recognize bad science when you see it. You’re about to feel a whole lot better.

Why do I want to read it?:

I think this is probably a work of non-fiction that I’ve had the longest. As a scientist in my daily life, I really need to get round to reading this – it’s a travesty I haven’t read it before now!

 

So, there we have it! My TBR for Nonfiction November has been revealed. What I’d love to hear from you guys is if you’ve read (or want to read) any of these books and what you thought? Let me know if you’re participating in Nonfiction November and what you’ll be reading – links welcome down below in the comments. 

COMING UP TOMORROW ON bibliobeth – Nonfiction November Week 1: My Year In Nonfiction. 

 

Mini Pin-It Reviews #22 – Four YA Novels

Published July 15, 2018 by bibliobeth

Hello everyone and welcome to another mini pin-it reviews post! I have a massive backlog of reviews and this is my way of trying to get on top of things a bit. This isn’t to say I didn’t like some of these books – my star rating is a more accurate reflection of this, but this is a great, snappy way of getting my thoughts across and decreasing my backlog a bit. This time I’ve got four YA books for you – please see my pin-it thoughts below!

1.) The Swan Kingdom – Zoe Marriott

What’s it all about?:

Shadows have fallen across the beautiful and lush Kingdom. The queen was attacked by an unnatural beast, and the healing skills of her daughter, Alexandra, cannot save her. Too soon the widowed king is spellbound by a frightening stranger – a woman whose eyes reflect no light. In a terrifying moment, all Alexandra knows disappears, including her beloved brothers, leaving her banished to a barren land unlike her own.

Alexandra has more gifts than even she realizes as she is confronted with magic, murder, and the strongest of evil forces. She is unflinchly brave and clever as she struggles to reclaim what she knows is rightfully hers.

This new voice in fantasy weaves a tale rich in visual detail, peppered with a formidable destructive force, and sweetened with familial and romantic love.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

2.) The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children Of Ashton Place #1) – Maryrose Wood

What’s it all about?:

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place are no ordinary children, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess, and mysteries abound in this first volume in a new series for ages 9+.

Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.

Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.

But mysteries abound at Ashton Place: Who are these three wild creatures, and how did they come to live in the vast forests of the estate? Why does Old Timothy, the coachman, lurk around every corner? Will Penelope be able to teach the Incorrigibles table manners and socially useful phrases in time for Lady Constance’s holiday ball? And what on earth is a schottische?

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

3-5-stars

3.) The Drowning (The Drowning #1) – Rachel Ward

What’s it all about?:

What happens if you’ve done something terrible? But you can’t remember what. And you don’t know how to put it right …When Carl opens his eyes on the banks of a lake, his brother is being zipped into a body bag. What happened in the water? He can’t remember And when he glimpses a beautiful girl he thinks he recognizes, she runs away. Suddenly he knows he must find her – because together they must face the truth before it drowns them.

Would I recommend it?:

Probably!

Star rating (out of 5):

3 Star Rating Clip Art

4.) Follow Me Down – Tanya Byrne

What’s it all about?:

The sensationally good Tanya Byrne returns with her new novel – a dark, compulsive tale of obsession and betrayal.

When sixteen-year-old Adamma Okomma, a Nigerian diplomat’s daughter, arrives at exclusive Crofton College in Wiltshire, she is immediately drawn to beautiful, tempestuous, unpredictable Scarlett Chiltern. Adamma and Scarlett become inseparable – until they fall for the same guy. Soon the battle lines are drawn and Adamma is shunned by Scarlett and her privileged peers. But then Scarlett goes missing and everything takes a darker turn. Adamma always knew that Scarlett had her secrets, but some secrets are too big to keep and this one will change all of their lives for ever.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

3-5-stars

COMING UP NEXT TIME ON MINI-PIN IT REVIEWS: Four Graphic Novels.

 

Nunslinger – Stark Holborn

Published March 24, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

The year is 1864. Sister Thomas Josephine, an innocent Visitantine nun from St Louis, Missouri, is making her way west to the promise of a new life in Sacramento, California. When an attack on her wagon train leaves her stranded in Wyoming, Thomas Josephine finds her faith tested and her heart torn between Lt. Theodore F. Carthy, a man too beautiful to be true, and the mysterious grifter Abraham C. Muir. Falsely accused of murder she goes on the run, all the while being hunted by a man who has become dangerously obsessed with her.

What did I think?:

I’m not a big Western fan. I don’t really enjoy any films I’ve seen or read much literature around that genre. In fact, if anything came on the television vaguely resembling a Western (and I remember it usually being boring Sunday afternoons, when you were dreading the week ahead), I would switch off immediately or groan loudly, especially as a child. So why, you might ask was I drawn to a Western novel? Firstly, I read The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt a few years ago now, in fact it was the only other Western I have ever read. I ADORED it. With Nunslinger, I was anticipating a similar kind of thing and when I saw that gorgeous cover art and read that it followed a “gun toting nun” of all people, I couldn’t help but covet it. A huge thank you to the publisher, Hodder Books and Book Bridgr for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review when my curiosity finally got the better of me.

Was it worth it? Yes, yes, yes. Nunslinger is a fast-paced, dramatic and exciting tale that was exactly what I was looking for. It’s the story of Sister Thomas Josephine whom in the late 1800’s, travels to California from her convent in Missouri in order to carry on the Lord’s work. However, her life is changed forever when the wagon she is travelling in is attacked and she is abducted by deserter and outlaw, Abraham Muir. As they journey together and develop an uneasy, bordering on courteous relationship, our female protagonist is accused of murder, has a bounty put on her head, is chased by a number of unsavoury types across the desert and earns quite a reputation for herself as the “Six Gun Sister.” The narrative follows Josephine as she struggles to complete her mission alive, fights to clear her name and discovers a whole lot more about herself, her capabilities, her strengths and indeed, her weaknesses as a woman and as a person under the most dangerous of circumstances.

After I finished this novel, I read a little more into it, which I like to do if a book has had a profound effect on me. The author is quite an enigma, we don’t know if they are male or female or anything about their life and the whole anonymity of this just serves to make me more intrigued, why all the secrecy? Putting this to one side and no matter who the author is it doesn’t change the fact that this is one rollicking ride of a novel. It was originally made up of twelve novellas which were released separately and in hindsight, I’m quite glad I read it in its entirety. I’m quite an impatient person and you can tell where each novella originally ended, there is an enormous cliffhanger, presumably to keep the reader on tenterhooks awaiting the next instalment. I’ve seen some reviewers complain about this – comparing it to the over-dramatic tensions at the end of each chapter of a James Patterson novel but I have to disagree. There are quite a few cliffhangers (well, eleven of them to be precise as each novella ended) but I can see why this was done if each section was released in this way, maybe it was a good way to make sure the readers came back for more? Personally, it didn’t bother me at all and I quite enjoyed feeling like I was on a knife edge and the absurdity of the constant drama, but I suppose I can see why it might not please other readers.

With all this heightened tension and a plot that moves at the speed of light you might not think that this novel has anything to commend it all if you want a good literary narrative. However, you’d be surprised at the depths this story reaches in darkness, clever twists and wry humour. Perhaps not all the characters are developed as fully as I would have liked them to be but the character of our nun, Josephine more than makes up for that. She is kind, caring, intelligent but completely badass and very capable of taking care of herself and I loved the way she approached life and did what she had to do whilst trying to cause minimal damage to those around her. It made me slightly crazy how she could keep her faith and justify certain things she did to God (not being a particularly religious person myself) but she was such a fascinating person to follow, I could forgive her anything. There’s only one warning I should give for anyone reading this far and still interested – if you’re not a big fan of violence/gore this might not be the book for you, it has it in spades and doesn’t shy away from full, graphic details. In the same vein, if you’re like me and don’t think a Western would really be your bag, I urge you, don’t completely write this one off just yet. Nunslinger surprised me, shocked me and made me zip through the pages so quickly, you could almost believe it was half the number of pages it actually is. Why not give it a try?

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie (Flavia de Luce #1) – Alan Bradley

Published March 18, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.

For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”

What did I think?:

I have to admit I was first attracted to this novel by the extremely quirky title and the promise of a precocious and determined female protagonist. Essentially, The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie provided me with exactly this but I was delighted to get so much more besides. This novel is like a hot water bottle in your bed on a freezing night and the cosiness of the narrative is perfectly complimented with our wonderful female lead, whose endearing qualities and dogged stubbornness to root out the truth is both charming and heart-warming.

Our setting is 1950’s England, where eleven year old Flavia de Luce lives with her father and two older sisters, Ophelia and Daphne. Flavia has a thirst for knowledge and a keen mind, being particularly interested in chemistry and the possibility of incorporating poison ivy into her older sister’s lipstick when she annoys her!

If Feely only knew that lipstick was made from fish scales, I thought, she might be a little less eager to slather the stuff all over her mouth. I must remember to tell her. I grinned. Later.

However, Flavia’s mind is about to be thoroughly tested after a number of strange occurrences. First, she finds a dead bird with a postage stamp attached to its beak and then a little later, she finds a strange man dying in the cucumber patch in her garden. Rather than being terrified, Flavia becomes set on discovering what has happened to the stranger, why it happened and who is responsible. As a result, her amateur detective skills and intelligent ponderings lead her right into the heart of a rather sinister mystery where she will not rest until it is resolved.

I’ve read quite mixed reviews of this novel on Goodreads, particularly about the character of Flavia who seems to be a bit of a “marmite” individual for various reviewers. I can completely understand this, Flavia can be incredibly annoying, nosey and stubborn and I can see why she might frustrate some readers. However, I adored her. Her sense of humour (as illustrated in the above quote) was so engaging and I loved all the opportunities Alan Bradley took in the novel to make me smile, they were so numerous. If I had to describe this novel to anyone interested in reading it, I would perhaps talk about a miniature, female Sherlock Holmes with the wit of the very best stand up comedian in a setting Agatha Christie would be proud of.

It’s a real feel-good story and although the mystery isn’t difficult to unravel for the reader and in fact, I did guess what was going on fairly quickly, it doesn’t matter in the slightest. The beauty of this book for me is to be had in the character of Flavia and the way she unpicks a very mysterious murder. I can only imagine growing to love this character more and more as the series continues and I simply must make time for the second book, which also has another fantastic title – The Weed That Strings The Hangman’s Bag.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

Bluestocking Bookshop Tours – A Review

Published February 1, 2018 by bibliobeth

Hello everyone and welcome to a very special post on my blog. I’m here to today to talk about the Bluestocking Bookshop Tours, organised by the lovely Lauren, “a classically trained librarian with an extroverted twist.” I was lucky enough to be part of one of her “Special Saturday” tours, we met at 11:00 and the tour lasted for about two and a half hours, visiting five bookshops along the way and having a wonderful time.

Lauren says on her website www.bluestockingbooks.co.uk that:

“there is no shushing here, we are more liable to lead in the laughter.”

Let me assure you, this is definitely the case. Lauren was warm and friendly, very interested in all her clients (where they came from, what they did for work) and most importantly of course, what they liked to read! I instantly felt comfortable with her and the rest of the group and was bowled over by the variety of bookshops we visited and the wealth of information we were given both by her and the fantastic booksellers we encountered.

Part of the joy of the Bluestocking Bookshop Tours is that you don’t really know where you’re going so I’m not going to tell you everywhere we went so as not to spoil the surprise. However, I’d like to focus on two shops in particular that really made my day special.

The first shop was in London’s amazing Cecil Court (note to reader: if you haven’t been here before, you really must!).

Tim Bryars, owner of Bryars & Bryars bookshop

The owner, Tim Bryars has a particular interest in maps and collectable, antiquarian books and this really comes across when you enter his shop. It had the most wonderful smell of old books and some of the treasures he was kind enough to show us were truly gorgeous and very precious, especially the books/pamphlets that had dedications or messages in them that you’re never going to find anywhere else. He also showed us one of his favourite items, the first London Underground map, published in 1933 and on sale for a cool £2500.

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of this – the words ring so true!

These are some of the antiquarian books that Tim has in his shop, including a tome written in Greek from the 1500’s.

After another few amazing bookshops we headed to our last stop for the day, Maison Assouline which I couldn’t resist but tell you about as both the interior of it and the collection they hold absolutely astounded me. The company was created to be a “luxury brand on culture….to supply everything for a contemporary library.” This includes scented candles, bags that look like books to the casual observer, beautiful prints and the most gorgeous (and largest!) books that I have ever seen, the most expensive topping the scale at about £3000. It’s a bit specialist in subject, tending to focus on fashion, design, art architecture and travel but the books are so stunning I think any book lover would be impressed, no matter where your interests tend to lie.

Our group was lucky enough to be given a tour of the private room upstairs which not only housed some beautiful books but some gorgeous objects too and I have to say, we were all a bit lost for words at how stunning the setting was.

Mmmmmm…..massive books by a fireplace. I must be in bookworm heaven!

Our guide also told us some very interesting stories about some of the objects in the room, particularly a legend about these two vases from Sicily. I won’t spoil it for anyone who goes but it involves murder and some very “green fingers.” Say no more!

I had such a fantastic time on the Bluestocking Bookshop tour and I would recommend it to anyone who might be interested. It’s an absolute bargain at £10 per person and you get to visit such a variety of bookshops with insider knowledge that you wouldn’t normally get on an ordinary tour that I really believe it’s worth every penny. The beauty of these tours is that Lauren gives you about 15-20 minutes inside each bookshop to browse, explore and buy books at your own pace and I managed to find several very tempting things.

There are three separate tours currently available on Lauren’s website, these are Magic, Medicine and Esoteria, Shoreditch Creative and Comics: Journey into Adventure. These tours normally start at 2PM and finish at 430PM, visit 4-6 bookshops, involves perhaps 30-40 minutes of walking and sightseeing and will always start and end near an underground station, purely for convenience.

I’d like to thank Lauren so much for inviting me on one of her tours and heartily recommend that if you’re in London, near London or planning to visit London in the near future, you go ahead and book one of her tours. She’s a fantastic tour guide and it was a delightfully bookish experience perfect for any bibliophile!

Visit Lauren on her website HERE.

The Thirst – Jo Nesbo

Published January 13, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

The murder victim, a self-declared Tinder addict. The one solid clue—fragments of rust and paint in her wounds—leaves the investigating team baffled.
Two days later, there’s a second murder: a woman of the same age, a Tinder user, an eerily similar scene.
The chief of police knows there’s only one man for this case. But Harry Hole is no longer with the force. He promised the woman he loves, and he promised himself, that he’d never go back: not after his last case, which put the people closest to him in grave danger.
But there’s something about these murders that catches his attention, something in the details that the investigators have missed. For Harry, it’s like hearing “the voice of a man he was trying not to remember.” Now, despite his promises, despite everything he risks, Harry throws himself back into the hunt for a figure who haunts him, the monster who got away.

What did I think?:

The Thirst is the second book in the Richard and Judy Spring Reads 2018 book club and how happy am I that they’ve picked this book?! Well, very happy I’ll tell you. I do love a bit of Jo Nesbo and have previously enjoyed a number of books in the Harry Hole series in my pre blogging days including The Redbreast, The Snowman and The Leopard. However, I’ve kind of got out of sync with the series and haven’t read any for the longest time. I’m a bit of a stickler for wanting to read things like this in order, as you might know but when Richard and Judy chose Jo Nesbo’s latest book featuring the stalwart and determined detective Harry Hole, I thought I would loosen my rules and regulations slightly and give it a go. I have to admit, I was a bit dubious at the start, especially as it has a certain “vampirish” element which isn’t really my bag (I was expecting some Twilight-esque horrors!) but after a mere fifty pages – WOW. I slipped right back into the author’s characteristic and entertaining writing style, was bowled over by the characters and plot and am determined to go back and re-visit the series, including any books I’ve missed along the way.

As with most thrillers, it would be giving too much away to tell you everything but if you’ve never come across Harry Hole before, you’re in for a treat. At the time of the story, he is working as a lecturer to young, keen, up and coming police officers and is called back into the force when a case arises that he may have a personal invested interest in. The one that got away. The murderer that continues to haunt his dreams is back and has a score to settle. The perp has a very peculiar M.O. that involves Tinder users and a pair of specially made, deadly iron teeth. The investigating detectives must use all the skills and prior knowledge from Harry Hole if they are to catch a vicious predator that puts a whole new spin on the word “psychopath.”

Jo Nesbo is one of the very few authors for me who writes characters that really get under your skin. Of course, I have an especially soft spot for our main man, Harry but he seems to have also developed his female characters wonderfully, including the lead detective on the case, Katrine Bratt and can I just take a moment to applaud the construction of his villain? Sadistic, twisted, terrifying – this is one man it would be quite easy to have a nightmare about when you finish reading this novel! Even the background characters that have less of a prominent role are drawn to perfection, all have distinct personalities and all of them feel incredibly authentic.

Now I want to talk about the plot (and also tell myself off a little bit for being so SMUG). I thought I knew where this book was going. In fact, I was so sure that I knew who the villain was and their motive that I was actually going to reduce my rating of this book by half a star as I thought I had it all worked out! Shame on me because I actually didn’t and I was completely taken back and delighted to be proved wrong. I was also left reeling by all the twists and turns, which were numerous and completely unexpected but so intricate and obviously beautifully planned by the author. The sign of a good book in my mind is when you keep thinking about it when you’re not reading it and can’t wait to return to it. This is how I felt whilst reading The Thirst. It’s a bit of a beast at just over 600 pages but every single page is worth your effort, I promise. I couldn’t get the story or the characters out of my head and I cannot give it any less than the full five stars. If you’ve never read any Jo Nesbo before, this can definitely be read as a stand alone although I would always suggest starting from the beginning of the series (in this case, The Bat) to get the full flavour of Harry’s back story. However, if you’ve read and loved Jo Nesbo before, what are you waiting for?!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

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The Thirst by Jo Nesbo is the second book in my quest to conquer Mount Everest in The Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2018!