My Week in Books – 26th November ’17


New arrivals

Magician and FoolMagician and Fool by Susan Wands (ebook, review copy courtesy of the author)

In Magician and Fool, Pamela Colman Smith begins her career as an artist at the end of the Victorian Age at the Lyceum Theatre, where she grows from innocent empath to seer and channeller; creating her now world-famous deck of tarot cards. Introduced to The Golden Dawn cult by Bram Stoker, the second in command at the Lyceum Theatre, she is commissioned to create a tarot deck for the members to use in their quest for magic. Golden Dawn’s most evil member, Aleister Crowley, becomes obsessed with unlocking the mysteries of the Tarot. His obsession peaks when he sees the power of her deck and realizes he can create a rival deck, leading him to manifest magical power to harm Pamela’s incarnates of her cards.

The German MessengerThe German Messenger by David Malcolm (ebook, review copy courtesy of Crime Wave Press)

A gripping and sombre tale of a daring attempt by British and German spies to stop the gratuitous bloodletting of WWI. British secret agent and cosmopolitan man of violence, Harry Draffen, journeys from the slums of East London to an Oxford college, from the trenches on the Western Front to an isolated house on the Scottish coast, on to a bloody showdown in the North of England, to chase a phantom and elusive German messenger.

Dead Men Do Come BackDead Men Do Come Back by Steven C. Levi (ebook, review copy courtesy of Crime Wave Press)

Why would someone kill a miner, freeze his body solid on a glacier and then drop it alongside the Juneau wharf, the one place where United States Marshal Gordon Whitford would be sure to find it? Does it have anything to do with the 250 pounds of gold that have just been extracted from the Alaska Gastineau Mine? And how were both the frozen body and the gold able to disappear off a steamship that made no stops between Juneau and Seattle? Now there is another shipment of 250 pounds of gold bound for Seattle – along with the miner’s frozen body that has been recovered – again – floating just south of Juneau. Will Marshal Whitford be able to solve the murder and the robbery before the next shipment of gold vanishes into thin air? A riveting historical thriller set in 1910 during the Alaska gold rush.

A Madras MiasmaA Madras Miasma (Superintendent Le Fanu Mystery #1) by Brian Stoddart (ebook, review copy courtesy of Crime Wave Press)

Madras in the 1920s. The British are slowly losing the grip on the subcontinent. The end of the colonial enterprise is in sight and the city on India’s east coast is teeming with intrigue. A grisly murder takes place against the backdrop of political tension and Superintendent Le Fanu, a man of impeccable investigative methods, is called in to find out who killed a respectable young British girl and dumped her in a canal, her veins clogged with morphine. As Le Fanu, a man forced to keep his own personal relationship a secret for fear of scandal in the face British moral standards, begins to investigate, he quickly slips into a quagmire of Raj politics, rebellion and nefarious criminal activities that threaten not just to bury his case but the fearless detective himself. The first Detective Le Fanu Adventure, A Madras Miasma, tells a classic tale of murder, corruption and intrigue with a sharp eye on British colonial politics and race relations. It is a story that, like its main protagonist, has its heart firmly in the right place.

Tuscan RootsTuscan Roots by Angela Petch (ebook, free)

In 1943, in occupied Italy, Ines Santini’s sheltered existence is turned upside down when she meets Norman, an escaped British POW.

In 1999, Anna Swilland, their daughter, starts to unravel accounts from diaries left to her after her mother’s death. She travels to the breathtakingly beautiful Tuscan Apennines, where the story unfolds. In researching her parents’ past, she will discover secrets about the war, her parents and herself, which will change her life forever…

On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday – I published my review of A Pearl for My Mistress by Annabel Fielding, a story of love and betrayal set against the background of the turbulent politics of 1930s London.

Tuesday – I shared my review of a murder mystery set in Venice, Venetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City by Christine Evelyn Volker.

WednesdayWWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just finished reading, what I’m reading now and what I’ll be reading next.

Thursday – As part of the Throwback Thursday meme I published my review of Letting Go by Maria Thompson Corley. I’m ashamed how long this has been languishing on my review pile however the author was very gracious about the time it’s taken for me to review her book (which I really enjoyed).

Friday – A red letter day, as it marked the first blogiversary of What Cathy Read Next. I used the occasion to thank the many people who have supported me during my first year of blogging.

Saturday –I shared my review of one of the books of the moment, despite being published over 70 years ago – Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. I’m off to see the latest film version on 7th December at Reading Film Theatre, the President of which just happens to be…the multi-talented Sir Kenneth Branagh (born in Reading). I harbour the outlandish and very unlikely fantasy that he will turn up for the screening.

Sunday – I published a review of The Ice by Laline Paull, an eco-thriller/murder mystery set in a near future where global warming has wrought havoc on the Arctic environment.

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge – 147 out of 156 books read, 5 more than last week
  • Classics Club Challenge – 5 out of 50 books reviewed, same as last week
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2017 (Gold) – 44 ARCs reviewed out of 50, 1 more than last week
  • From Page to Screen 2016/7– 7 book/film comparisons out of 12 completed, same as last week
  • From Page to Screen 2017/18 – 1 out of 3 completed, same as last week

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

    • Review: The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman
    • Review: The Sixth Man by Rupert Colley
    • Review: The Existence of Pity by Jeannie Zokan
    • My 5 Favourite November Reads