The Olive Garden Choir by Leah Fleming (e-book, courtesy of Head of Zeus and NetGalley)
On the beautiful island of Santaniki, close to Crete, it’s not all white sands and sunshine. When retired bookseller Ariadne Blunt suggests the English residents form a choir, there are groans of resistance. After a little persuasion, the group gather in Ariadne’s olive garden to rehearse for a seasonal concert, but each member of this choir has their own anxieties and secrets.
Ariadne’s partner, Hebe, is in failing health. Clive struggles to accept the loss of his wife while Natalie hides her shameful secret in baking for comfort. Della, the Pilates teacher drinks too much and Chloe, Queen Bee of the village society, faces a family dilemma. Then there is Mel, the real songbird amongst them, English wife of a taverna owner who hides her talent until the choir inspires her to raise her voice once more.
In this tiny community, the choir brings the residents together like never before in a bittersweet tale of love and loss – and how life can begin again when you let go of the past.
Things in Jars by Jess Kidd (eARC courtesy of Vintage and NetGalley)
London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist.
As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may well prove the most remarkable spectacle London has ever seen.
Things in Jars is an enchanting Victorian detective novel that explores what it is to be human in inhumane times.
The Parisian by Isabella Hammad (eARC courtesy of Canongate and NetGalley)
As the First World War shatters families, destroys friendships and kills lovers, a young Palestinian dreamer sets out to find himself.
Midhat Kamal picks his way across a fractured world, from the shifting politics of the Middle East to the dinner tables of Montpellier and a newly tumultuous Paris. He discovers that everything is fragile: love turns to loss, friends become enemies and everyone is looking for a place to belong.
Isabella Hammad delicately unpicks the tangled politics and personal tragedies of a turbulent era – the Palestinian struggle for independence, the strife of the early twentieth century and the looming shadow of the Second World War. An intensely human story amidst a global conflict, The Parisian is historical fiction with a remarkable contemporary voice.
Dark Sky Island by Lara Dearman (e-book courtesy of Orion and NetGalley)
An inspector and journalist join forces to uncover long-buried secrets, simmering resentments, and a chilling murder in a tiny, remote island in the English Channel.
The tiny island of Sark lies isolated in the dark waters of the Channel Islands. No cars are allowed. No streetlamps light its paths. It is the world’s only Dark Sky Island. This breathtaking patch of land seems the picture of tranquility—but at its heart lies a web of murder, deceit, and hidden danger.
When bones are discovered on Derrible Bay and an elderly resident is violently murdered, DCI Michael Gilbert from the nearby island of Guernsey is called in to tackle the case. With his department under fire, he needs to find the killer—and fast. Joining him is newspaper reporter Jennifer Dorey, whose father died in a mysterious drowning off the island. As Michael struggles to crack the case and Jennifer launches her own investigation, the island’s residents are left reeling and soon, their dark secrets begin to unravel threatening everything.
On an island steeped in superstition, where tales of hauntings and devil craft abound, Michael and Jenny race to discover the truth in Dark Sky Island, the second tantalizing installment of Lara Dearman’s Jennifer Dorey mysteries.
On What Cathy Read Next last week
Monday – I went Down the TBR Hole in an attempt to reduce the number of books on my To-Read shelf on Goodreads. Success? Hmm…
Tuesday – I published my review of A Killer’s Alibi by William L. Myers, Jr., the third in the author’s Philadelphia Legal crime thriller series which is due to be published in a few weeks’ time. I also shared my top five January reads.
Wednesday – WWW 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. I also published my review of The Sewing Machine by Natalie Fergie as part of the blog tour to mark publication of the book in paperback.
Thursday – I hosted a slot on the blog tour for Coming Home to Holly Close Farm by Julie Houston. Julie wrote a lovely guest post about her approach to creating characters.
Friday – I shared a list of books set in or about the lovely island of Barbados where I’m currently on holiday.
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
- Blog Tour/Q&A: Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman
- Waiting on Wednesday
- Throwback Thursday: The Last Day by Claire Dyer
- Book Review: The Phoenix of Florence by Philip Kazan
- Buchan of the Month: Introducing Salute to Adventurers by John Buchan