My Week in Books – 2nd December ‘18


New arrivals

The Phoenix of FlorenceThe Phoenix of Florence by Philip Kazan (proof copy, courtesy of Allison & Busby)

Fifteenth century Italy, deep in the Tuscan countryside, adolescent Onoria is the sole survivor of a family massacre. Abandoned and alone in the forest, she meets the leader of a fierce band of soldiers who, mistaking her for a boy, takes her under his wing. Determined never to be vulnerable ever again, Onoria reinvents herself as a mercenary, leaving behind the identity one man saw fit to soil and discovering soldier Celavini along the way.

In Florence, ex-soldier now government law enforcer Celavini investigates two brutal murders that on first look seem to be crimes of passion. Convinced this hides a more sinister truth, Celavini digs further and is perturbed to discover a family heirloom from his past and a man using his dead brother’s name.

When it becomes clear that behind the murders lurks a menacing conspiracy, Celavini must revisit the turbulent past he shares with Onoria, reconciling himself to her so, together, they can lay the ghosts of their shared history to rest.

Pre-order The Phoenix of Florence from Amazon UK

The Night TigerThe Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo (eARC, courtesy of Quercus and NetGalley)

They say a tiger that devours too many humans can take the form of a man and walk amongst us…

In 1930s colonial Malaya, a dissolute British doctor receives a surprise gift of an eleven-year-old Chinese houseboy. Sent as a bequest from an old friend, young Ren has a mission: to find his dead master’s severed finger and reunite it with his body. Ren has forty-nine days, or else his master’s soul will roam the earth forever.

Ji Lin, an apprentice dressmaker, moonlights as a dancehall girl to pay her mother’s debts. One night, Ji Lin’s dance partner leaves her with a gruesome souvenir that leads her on a crooked, dark trail.

As time runs out for Ren’s mission, a series of unexplained deaths occur amid rumours of tigers who turn into men. In their journey to keep a promise and discover the truth, Ren and Ji Lin’s paths will cross in ways they will never forget.

Pre-order The Night Tiger from Amazon UK

A River in the TreesA River in the Trees by Jacqueline O’Mahony  (eARC, courtesy of Quercus and NetGalley)

Two women. Two stories. One hundred years of secrets.

1919 – Hannah is nineteen years old and living on her family’s farm in West Cork. Her peaceful world is shattered forever by the eruption of the War of Independence, Ireland’s bid for freedom from Britain. Hannah’s family hide rebel soldiers in their attic, putting them in great danger from the Black and Tans who roam the countryside. An immediate connection between Hannah and O’Riada, the leader of this band of rebels, will change her life and that of her family forever.

2019 – Ellen is at a crossroads in her life: her marriage is in trouble, her career is over and she’s grieving the loss of a baby. After years in London, she decides to come home to Ireland to face the past she has always tried to escape. Her journey centres on an old house in the countryside, a house that used to belong to her family. Reaching into the past, she feels a connection to her aunt, the mysterious Hannah O’Donovan. But why won’t anyone in her family talk about Hannah? And how can this journey help Ellen put her life back together?

Pre-order A River in the Trees from Amazon UK

(Gorgeous covers or what?)

On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Tuesday –  The Top Ten Tuesday topic was Platonic Relationships in Books and my list included siblings and friends.  I also hosted a slot on the blog tour for A Light of Her Own by Carrie Callaghan, sharing my review of this historical novel about the 17th century Dutch artist, Judith Leyster.  I also shared my review of memoir, Song of Praise for a Flower by Fengxian Chu and Charlene Chu, a book I read for Nonfiction November and that had been languishing on my author review pile for far too long.

WednesdayWWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just read, what I’m currently reading and what I plan to read next…and have a good nose around to see what other bloggers are reading.

Thursday – I published my review of my Buchan of the Month, John Buchan’s autobiography Memory Hold-the-Door.  This was another book I read as part of Nonfiction November.

Friday – To mark publication day, I shared my review of The Wooden Hill by Jamie Guiney, an imaginative collection of short stories connected by the theme of the different stages in life.

Saturday – Being the first Saturday of the month, I took part in the Six Degrees of Separation meme creating a chain that stretched from traditional favourite, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, to recently published historical crime novel, None So Blind by Alis Hawkins.   I also shared my Five Favourite November Reads.

As always, thanks to everyone who has liked, commented on or shared my blog posts on social media this week.

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Book Review: Sugar in the Blood by Andrea Stuart
  • Blog Tour/Book Review: Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield
  • Book Review: The Cold North Sea by Jeff Dawson
  • Blog Tour/Q&A: Triumph in Dust by Ian Ross
  • Blog Tour/Book Review: The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau
  • Book Review: Christmas at War by Caroline Taggart
  • Book Review: Paris Echo by Sebastian Faulks

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