My Week in Books – 2nd May 2021

MyWeekinBooks

On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday – I published my review of Charity by Madeline Dewhurst as part of the blog tour.

Tuesday This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic was Animals From Books and I went on a bookish safari to round up some titles from my bookshelves.  I also shared my review of The Ice House by Laura Lee Smith.

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 to have a good nose around what others are reading.  

Thursday – I shared my review of To The Fair Land by Lucienne Boyce as part of the blog tour.  

Friday – I joined the blog tour for The Ends of the Earth with a wonderful guest post from its author, Abbie Greaves

Saturday – The first Saturday of the month means it’s time for the #6Degrees of Separation meme.  

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


New arrivals

Is it a bad sign when even your postman asks whether you really need more books?  

The Serpent KingThe Serpent King (The Whale Road Chronicles #4) by Tim Hodkinson (eARC, courtesy of Head of Zeus via NetGalley) 

The fight for vengeance has no victors…

AD 936. The great warrior, Einar Unnsson, wants revenge. His mother’s assassin has stolen her severed head and Einar is hungry for his blood. Only one thing holds him back. He is a newly sworn in Wolf Coat, and must accompany them on their latest quest.

The Wolf Coats are a band of fearsome bloodthirsty warriors, who roam the seas, killing any enemies who get in their way. Now they’re determined to destroy their biggest enemy, King Eirik, as he attempts to take the throne of Norway.

Yet, for Einar, the urge to return to Iceland is growing every day. Only there, in his homeland, can he avenge his mother and salve his grief. But what Einar doesn’t know is that this is where an old enemy lurks, and his thirst for vengeance equals Einar’s…

The WOlf DenThe Wolf Den by Elodie Harper (eARC, courtesy of Head of Zeus via NetGalley) 

Sold by her mother. Enslaved in Pompeii’s brothel. Determined to survive. Her name is Amara. Welcome to the Wolf Den…

Amara was once a beloved daughter, until her father’s death plunged her family into penury. Now she is a slave in Pompeii’s infamous brothel, owned by a man she despises. Sharp, clever and resourceful, Amara is forced to hide her talents. For as a she-wolf, her only value lies in the desire she can stir in others.

But Amara’s spirit is far from broken.

By day, she walks the streets with her fellow she-wolves, finding comfort in the laughter and dreams they share. For the streets of Pompeii are alive with opportunity. Out here, even the lowest slave can secure a reversal in fortune. Amara has learnt that everything in this city has its price. But how much is her freedom going to cost her?

The Distant DeadThe Distant Dead (The Detective’s Daughter #8) by Lesley Thomson (eARC, courtesy of Head of Zeus via NetGalley)

London, 1940. A woman lies dead in a bombed-out house. It looks like she’s another tragic casualty of the Blitz, until police pathologist Aleck Northcote proves she was strangled and placed at the scene. But Northcote himself has something to hide. And when his past catches up with him, he too is murdered.

Tewkesbury, 2020. Beneath the vast stone arches of Tewkesbury Abbey, a man has been fatally stabbed. He is Roddy March, an investigative journalist for a podcast series uncovering miscarriages of justice. He was looking into the murder of police pathologist Dr Aleck Northcote – and was certain he had uncovered Northcote’s real killer.

Stella Darnell used to run a detective agency alongside her cleaning business. She’s moved to Tewkesbury to escape from death, not to court it – but Roddy died in her arms, and Stella is someone impelled to root out evil when she finds it. Now she is determined to hunt down Roddy’s killer – but then she finds another body…

Two Women In RomeTwo Women in Rome by Elizabeth Buchan (eARC, courtesy of Corvus via NetGalley)

In the Eternal City, no secret stays hidden forever…

Lottie Archer arrives in Rome excited to begin her new job as an archivist. When she discovers a valuable fifteenth-century painting, she is drawn to find out more about the woman who left it behind, Nina Lawrence.

Nina seems to have led a rewarding and useful life, restoring Italian gardens to their full glory following the destruction of World War Two. So why did no one attend her funeral in 1978?

In exploring Nina’s past, Lottie unravels a tragic love story beset by the political turmoil of post-war Italy. And as she edges closer to understanding Nina, she begins to confront the losses in her own life.

The Wrecking StormThe Wrecking Storm (Thomas Tallant Mysteries #2) by Michael Ward (eARC, courtesy of the author)

London, 1641. The poisonous dispute pushing King Charles and Parliament towards Civil War is reaching the point of no return. Law and order in the city are collapsing as Puritan radicals demand more concessions from the King. Bishops and lords are attacked in the streets as the Apprentice Boys run amok. Criminal gangs use the disorder to mask their activities while the people of London lock their doors and pray for deliverance.

No one is immune from the contagion. Two Jesuit priests are discovered in hiding and brutally executed – and soon the family of spice merchant Thomas Tallant is drawn into the spiral of violence. Tallant’s home is ransacked, his warehouse raided and his sister seized by kidnappers.

Thomas struggles to discover who is responsible, aided by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, a devotee of science, maths and tobacco in equal measure. Together they enter a murky world of court politics, street violence, secret codes and poisoned letters, and confront a vicious gang leader who will stop at nothing to satisfy his greed.

Can Elizabeth use her skills to unpick the mass of contradictory evidence before the Tallants are ruined – both as a business and a family?

And as the fight for London between King and Parliament hurtles to its dramatic conclusion, can the Tallants survive the personal and political maelstrom?

Everyday MagicEveryday Magic by Charlie Laidlaw (eARC, courtesy of the author)

Carole Gunn leads an unfulfilled life and knows it. She’s married to someone who may, or may not, be in New York on business and, to make things worse, the family’s deaf cat has been run over by an electric car.

But something has been changing in Carole’s mind. She’s decided to revisit places that hold special significance for her. She wants to better understand herself, and whether the person she is now is simply an older version of the person she once was.

Instead, she’s taken on an unlikely journey to confront her past, present and future.

The Dictionary of Lost WordsThe Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams (audiobook)

In 1901, the word ‘Bondmaid’ was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the story of the girl who stole it.

Esme is born into a world of words. Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the ‘Scriptorium’, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day a slip of paper containing the word ‘bondmaid’ flutters to the floor. Esme rescues the slip and stashes it in an old wooden case that belongs to her friend, Lizzie, a young servant in the big house. Esme begins to collect other words from the Scriptorium that are misplaced, discarded or have been neglected by the dictionary men. They help her make sense of the world.

Over time, Esme realizes that some words are considered more important than others, and that words and meanings relating to women’s experiences often go unrecorded. While she dedicates her life to the Oxford English Dictionary, secretly, she begins to collect words for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words.

The Ends of the EarthThe Ends of the Earth by Abbie Greaves (review copy, courtesy of Century)

Mary O’Connor has been keeping a vigil for her first love for the past seven years.

Every evening without fail, Mary arrives at Ealing Broadway station and sets herself up among the commuters. In her hands Mary holds a sign which bears the words: ‘Come Home Jim.’

Call her mad, call her a nuisance, call her a drain on society – Mary isn’t going anywhere.

That is, until an unexpected call turns her world on its head. In spite of all her efforts, Mary can no longer find the strength to hold herself together. She must finally face what happened all those years ago, and answer the question – where on earth is Jim?


On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Blog Tour/Book Review: The Heretic’s Mark by S. W. Perry
  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Blog Tour/Book Review: Ariadne by Jennifer Saint
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • My Five Favourite April Reads
  • Blog Tour/Book Review: Wayward Voyage by Anna M. Holmes
  • Book Review: My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • Blog Tour/Book Review: A Ration Book Daughter by Jean Fullerton

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