My Week in Books – 7th July ‘19

MyWeekinBooks

New arrivals

Big SkyBig Sky (Jackson Brodie #5) by Kate Atkinson (audiobook)

Jackson Brodie, ex-military police, ex-Cambridge Constabulary, currently working as a private investigator, makes a highly anticipated return, nine years after the last Brodie, Started Early, Took My Dog.

Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son and an aging Labrador, both at the discretion of his ex-partner Julia. It’s picturesque, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes.

Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, is fairly standard-issue, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network – and back across the path of his old friend Reggie. Old secrets and new lies intersect in this breathtaking novel by one of the most dazzling and surprising writers at work today.

Kate Atkinson will be appearing at Henley Literary Festival 2019.

The Canary KeeperThe Canary Keeper by Clare Carson (proof copy courtesy of Nicola at Short Book & Scribes)

In the grey mist of the early morning a body is dumped on the shore of the Thames by a boatman in a metal canoe. The city is soon alive with talk of the savage Esquimaux stalking Victorian London and an eye witness who claims the killer had an accomplice: a tall woman dressed in widow’s weeds, with the telltale look of the degenerate Irish.

Branna ‘Birdie’ Quinn had no good reason to be by the river that morning, but she did not kill the man. She’d seen him first the day before, desperate to give her a message she refused to hear. And now the Filth will see her hang for his murder, just like her father.

To save her life, Birdie must trace the dead man’s footsteps. Back onto the ship that carried him to his death, back to cold isles of Orkney that sheltered him, and up to the far north, a harsh and lawless land which holds more answers than she looks to find…

Entertaining Mr PepysEntertaining Mr. Pepys by Deborah Swift (eARC, courtesy of the author)

London, 1666. Elizabeth ‘Bird’ Carpenter has a wonderful singing voice, and music is her chief passion. When her father persuades her to marry horse-dealer Christopher Knepp, she suspects she is marrying beneath her station, but nothing prepares her for the reality of life with Knepp. Her father has betrayed her trust, for Knepp cares only for his horses; he is a tyrant and a bully, and will allow Bird no life of her own.

When Knepp goes away, she grasps her chance and, encouraged by her maidservant Livvy, makes a secret visit to the theatre. Entranced by the music, the glitter and glamour of the surroundings, and the free and outspoken manner of the women on the stage, she falls in love with the theatre and is determined to forge a path of her own as an actress.

But life in the theatre was never going to be straightforward – for a jealous rival wants to spoil her plans, and worse, Knepp forbids it, and Bird must use all her wit and intelligence to change his mind.

Based on events depicted in the famous Diary of Samuel Pepys, this is a historical novel bringing London in the 17th Century to life. It includes the vibrant characters of the day including the diarist himself and actress Nell Gwynne, and features a dazzling and gripping finale during the Great Fire Of London.

UntitledUntitled: The Real Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor  by Anna Pasternak (ebook, courtesy of William Collins and NetGalley)

Who was the real Wallis: an opportunistic American social climber, a master manipulator or the true love of Edward’s life? Amid the cacophony of condemnation her story has become obfuscated. Untitled is an intimate biography of one of the most misunderstood women in British royal history.

His charisma and glamour ensured him the status of a rock star prince. Yet Edward gave up the British throne, the British Empire and his position as Emperor of India, to marry his true love, American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

So much gossip and innuendo has been levelled at Wallis Simpson that it has become nearly impossible to discern the real woman. Many have wondered why, when Edward could have had anyone he desired, he was smitten with this unusual American woman. As her friend Herman Rogers said to her in 1936 when news of her affair with Edward broke: ‘Much of what is being said concerns a woman who does not exist and never did exist.’

History is mostly perceived from the perspective of his-story. But what about her story? Anna Pasternak’s new book is the first ever to give Wallis a chance and a voice to show that she was a warm, loyal, intelligent woman adored by her friends, who was written off by cunning, influential Establishment men seeking to diminish her and destroy her reputation. As the author argues, far from being the villain of the abdication, she was the victim.

Anna Pasternak seeks to understand an unusual, deeply misunderstood woman, and the untenable situation she became embroiled in. Using testimony from their inner circle of friends, she presents a very different Wallis Simpson. With empathy, intimacy and thorough research, this book will make readers view her story as it has never been told before.

Anna Pasternak will be appearing at Henley Literary Festival 2019.

PaybackPayback (DI Charley Mann #1) by R.C. Bridgestock (proof copy courtesy of The Dome Press)

The brand new series from the storyline consultants to TV’s Happy Valley and Scott & Bailey and author of the DI Jack Dylan novels.

Charley Mann left Yorkshire for the Met and a fast-track career – but now she’s back, she’s in charge and the area’s first young, female DI. Her hometown, the Yorkshire countryside, and her old friends all seem unchanged, but appearances can be deceptive. When a brutal murder is discovered, Charley is forced to question everything, and the interest of her ex – reporter Danny Ray – doesn’t make it easier.


On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday – I published my review of memoir, Where The Hornbeam Grows by Beth Lynch.

Tuesday –  This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was Childhood Favourites.

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 shared my review of historical crime follow-up, Hudson’s Kill by Paddy Hirsch.

Friday – I selected my Five Favourite of the eleven books I read in June.

Saturday – I took part in the Six Degrees of Separation meme.

Sunday – I published my review of Train Man by Andrew Mulligan as part of the blog tour.

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

  • Top Ten Tuesday: Character Freebie
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Buchan of the Month: Introducing The Runagates Club by John Buchan
  • Henley Literary Festival 2019 Reading List
  • Book Review: The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle
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