A book the teems with potential - an academic setting within a gothic museum, an unreliable narrator, intense relationships within the scholars, murder, tarot - and yet it somehow fell a little flat and slow.
Another slippery little thriller with everything you would expect from Janice Hallett: an epistolary format using messages, emails, transcripts and, here, extracts from fictionalised accounts of events; vivid characters brought to life through their own (unreliable) voices, a twisty plot. A great, fun read to see the new year in with.
A cosy series that just seems to get cosier and more tightly plotted with each entry: the warm and close world of Cooper's Chase and its inhabitants is as charming as ever; the vagaries of old age and dementia is explored with tenderness and insight; the decade old murder that propels this novel and the underworld that complicates it are all well balanced, and charming.
Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village in North Yorkshire, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son Nathan and ageing Labrador Dido, both at the discretion of his former partner Julia. It’s a picturesque setting, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes.Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband… Continue reading Book Review: Big Sky, Kate Atkinson
Liesl Weiss long ago learned to be content working behind the scenes in the distinguished rare books department of a large university, managing details and working behind the scenes to make the head of the department look good. But when her boss has a stroke and she's left to run things, she discovers that the… Continue reading Book Review: Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Eva Jurczyk
Meet Felix Pink. The most unlikely murderer you'll ever have the good fortune to spend time with.When Felix lets himself in to Number 3 Black Lane, he's there to perform an act of charity: to keep a dying man company as he takes his final breath . . .But just fifteen minutes later Felix is… Continue reading Book Review: Exit, Belinder Bauer
Forty years ago, Steven Smith found a copy of a famous children's book by disgraced author Edith Twyford, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. Wanting to know more, he took it to his English teacher Miss Iles, not realising the chain of events that he was setting in motion. Miss Iles became convinced… Continue reading Book Review: The Twyford Code, Janice Hallett
Simon Serrailler finds himself in devastating new territory as a sophisticated drugs network sets its sights on Lafferton and the surrounding villagesDCS Simon Serrailler has long regarded drugs ops in the Lafferton area as a waste of time. Small-time dealers are picked up outside the local secondary school, they're given a fine or a suspended… Continue reading Book Review: A Change of Circumstance, Susan Hill
Pip Fitz-Amobi is haunted by the way her last investigation ended. Soon she’ll be leaving for Cambridge University but then another case finds her . . . and this time it’s all about Pip. Pip is used to online death threats, but there’s one that catches her eye, someone who keeps asking: who will look for you… Continue reading Book Review: As Good As Dead, Holly Jackson
Dear Reader - enclosed are all the documents you need to solve a case. It starts with the arrival of two mysterious newcomers to the small town of Lockwood, and ends with a tragic death.Someone has already been convicted of this brutal murder and is currently in prison, but we suspect they are innocent. What's… Continue reading Book Review: The Appeal, Janice Hallett
Synopsis It's the following Thursday.Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He's made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce,… Continue reading Book Review: The Man Who Died Twice, Richard Osman
My husband Matthew died on an unseasonably chilly August day at dinner time. We had been together for just over ten years, married for five, and yes, we did love each other. But love changes over time, and in those final moments when I knew he was dying, well, I must confess that through the… Continue reading Book Review: The Dinner Guest, B. P. Walter
“How strange a thing it was to be here, animate and conscious, on this ball of mud and brine as it whirled through the illimitable depths of space.” John Banville has been writing crime novels under the pen name of Benjamin Black for some years - since Christine Falls in 2007 - and with Snow… Continue reading Book Review: Snow, John Banville
“Are they supposed to be happy or sad? I mean, is it a celebration of the people who made it, or a memorial to the ones who didn't?” One thing that Jane Harper can do extraordinarily well is to create a sense of place in her writing: her settings, whether they be the oppressive heat… Continue reading Book Review: The Survivors, Jane Harper
‘What would one call a group of Mitfords?’ asked Nancy, her tiny waist beautifully shown off in its tailored jacket of black and white dogtooth check. She sat by a round table, a glass of sherry at her hand. ‘A haven? A giggle?’‘A swarm,’ said Tom, taking a long draught of ale. Once upon a… Continue reading Book Review: The Mitford Trial, Jessica Fellowes
“What do you do when the things that are supposed to protect you, fail you like that” A Good Girl's Guide to Murder seemed to explode over my social media last year - and it warranted the press and publicity once I got round to reading it. Pip Fitz-Amobi's investigation into Andie Bell's disappearance and… Continue reading Book Review: Good Girl, Bad Blood, Holly Jackson
“'My mum.’ The images of death are involuntary and relentless: crushed snail shells, veins in meat, vampire teeth, soil filling a mouth.” The year's end is always a great time to read a chilling novel: I remember finishing 2018 with Melmoth by Sarah Perry; 2019 with Starve Acre by Andrew Michael Hurley; and now 2020… Continue reading Book Review: Pine, Francine Toon
“They don’t disappear, the dead. It’d be easier if they did. I can see her so clearly. If she walked up those steps now, part of me wouldn’t be surprised. She was such a vivid person.” This fifth installment of Robert Galbraith's - yes, we all know it is J. K. Rowling - offers up… Continue reading Book Review: Troubled Blood, Robert Galbraith
I’m hoping it will not be the essay I proposed to Mrs Morgan. I’m hoping it will be the truth. What really happened to Andie Bell on the 20th April 2012? And – as my instincts tell me – if Salil ‘Sal’ Singh is not guilty, then who killed her? How would a community react… Continue reading The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder
“The morning has turned lavishly beautiful. The autumn sun gave the greens of the fields an impossible, mythic radiance and transformed the back roads into light-muddled paths where a goblin with a fiddle, or a pretty maiden with a basket, could be waiting around every game and-bramble bend. Cal is in no mood to appreciate… Continue reading The Searcher, Tana French
A very quick post just to squeeeee a little bit over the two most recent approvals from NetGalley, both character-driven crime novels. The Searcher, Tana French Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a bucolic Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force and a bruising divorce, he just… Continue reading ARC Book Haul
“In life you have to learn to count the good days. You have to tuck them in your pocket and carry them around with you. So I’m putting today in my pocket and I’m off to bed.” Oh this was a delightful little book! The cosiest of cosy detective stories! Wrapped up in the warm… Continue reading The Thursday Murder Club, Richard Osman
Love the idea of this Survey, from Jamie’s End of Year Book Survey and having read a few, thought I'd (perhaps a little belatedly) upload my own. **2019 READING STATS** Number Of Books You Read: 40Number of Re-Reads: 0Genre You Read The Most From: Crime, Fantasy and Literary 1. Best Book You Read In 2019? The… Continue reading 2019 Book Survey
One problem I have - and it perhaps says more about me than anything else! - is that I tend to rely on familiar authors so in crime I have been reliant on Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series, Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler series, Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie novels and a few others: Anthony Horowitz,… Continue reading Blood Wedding, Pierre Lemaitre