On What Cathy Read Next last week
Tuesday – This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was a Freebie so I shared a list of ten Books I’ll Be Reading Soon.
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 shared my review of the fabulous Miss Graham’s Cold War Cookbook by Celia Rees as part of the blog tour.
Thursday – I published my review of Belladonna by Anbara Salam.
Friday – I shared my review of my Buchan of the Month for July – The Gap in the Curtain by John Buchan.
Saturday – The first Saturday of a new month means 6 Degrees of Separation. My bookish chain took me from How To Do Nothing to The Illumination of Ursula Flight.
As always, thanks to everyone who has liked, commented on or so generously shared my blog posts on social media this week.
The Warlow Experiment by Alix Nathan (audio book)
Herbert Powyss lives in an estate in the Welsh Marches, with enough time and income to pursue a gentleman’s fashionable investigations and experiments in botany. But he longs to make his mark in the field of science – something consequential enough to present to the Royal Society in London.
He hits on a radical experiment in isolation. For seven years a subject will inhabit three rooms in the basement of the manor house, fitted out with rugs, books, paintings, and even a chamber organ. Meals will arrive thrice daily via a dumb waiter. The solitude will be totally unrelieved by any social contact whatsoever; the subject will keep a diary of his daily thoughts and actions. The pay: fifty pounds per annum, for life.
Only one man is desperate to apply for the job: John Warlow, a semi-literate labourer with a wife and six children to provide for. The experiment, a classic Enlightenment exercise gone more than a little mad, will have unforeseen consequences for all involved.
Skelton’s Guide to Domestic Poisons by David Stafford (eARC, courtesy of Allison & Busby via NetGalley)
Unassuming Yorkshireman, Arthur Skelton, is one of the most celebrated and recognisable barristers in the land. His success in the high-profile Dryden case – ‘the scandal of 1929’ – catapulted him to the front pages of the national newspapers. His services are now much in demand and, after careful consideration, he agrees to defend Mary Dutton. Dubbed ‘The Collingford Poisoner’ by the press, Mary is accused of poisoning her husband after years of abuse. Together with his trusted assistant, Skelton digs deeper and discovers that secrets and lies run deep in the Dutton family and all is not as it appears.
The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks (eARC, courtesy of Doubleday via NetGalley)
Freya Lyell is struggling to move on from her sister Stella’s suicide five years ago. Visiting the bewitching Byrne Hall, only a few miles from the scene of the tragedy, she discovers a portrait of Stella – a portrait she had no idea existed, in a house Stella never set foot in. Or so she thought.
Driven to find out more about her sister’s secrets, Freya is drawn into the world of Byrne Hall and its owners: charismatic artist Cory and his sinister, watchful mother. But as Freya’s relationship with Cory crosses the line into obsession, the darkness behind the locked doors of Byrne Hall threatens to spill out.
Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce (hardcover, signed)
Margery Benson’s life ended the day her father walked out of his study and never came back. Forty years later, abandoning a dull job, she advertises for an assistant. The successful candidate is to accompany Margery on an expedition to the other side of the world to search for a beetle that may or may not exist. Enid Pretty is not who she had in mind. But together they will find themselves drawn into an adventure that exceeds all Margery’s expectations, eventually finding new life at the top of a red mountain.
This is a story that is less about what can be found than the belief it might be found; it is an intoxicating adventure story and it is also a tender exploration of a friendship between two unforgettable women that defies all boundaries.
A Little London Scandal by Miranda Emmerson (eARC, courtesy of 4th Estate and William Collins via NetGalley)
Nik felt the mistake in his bones. The man in the snakeskin suit reached down towards him and pulled Nik upright by the collar of his coat. Nik didn’t see what happened next but he felt the wall. He cried out and then someone hit him and he closed his eyes and waited for it to be over.
London, 1967. Nik Christou has been a rent boy since he was 15. He knows the ins and outs of Piccadilly Circus, how to spot a pretty policeman and to interpret a fleeting glance. One summer night his life is turned upside down, first by violence and then by an accusation of murder.
Anna Treadway, fleeing the ghosts of her past, works as a dresser in Soho’s Galaxy theatre. She has learned never to place too much trust in the long arm of the law and, convinced Nik is innocent she determines to find him an alibi.
Merrian Wallis, devoted wife to an MP with a tarnished reputation, just wants proof that her husband couldn’t have been involved.
But how do you recognise the truth when everyone around you is playing a role – and when any spark of scandal is quickly snuffed out by those with power? As Anna searches for clues amongst a cast of MPs, actors, members of gentlemen’s clubs and a hundred different nightly clients, will anyone be willing to come forward and save Nik from his fate?
On What Cathy Read Next this week
- Book Review: The Housing Lark by Sam Selvon
- Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Colours In Their Titles
- Waiting on Wednesday
- Blog Tour/Book Review: The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks
- Blog Tour/Book Review: The Borrowed Boy by Deborah Klee
- My Five Favourite July Reads