My Week in Books – 19th November 2017

MyWeekinBooks

New arrivals

Sweet Hollow WomenSweet Hollow Women by Holly Tierney-Bedord (ebook, free)

As part of a family where life happens to you, fifteen-year-old Carasine Busey is devastated but not surprised when her family drops everything in Sweet Hollow, Louisiana to follow her dad’s shaky career as a welder. It’s not especially shocking, either, when he abandons them all shortly after they settle into their new home in the city. Carasine, her mom Rhonda, and the rest of the Busey clan have adapted to roll with the punches. From Rhonda’s secret broken heart to Great-Great-Grandpa Jimbo’s eccentric failed dreams, Carasine and her family are used to disappointment. It’s not until Carasine gets a second chance with an unlikely pair of long-lost relatives that she realizes her path in life might be up to her to navigate. Being their flesh and blood convinces her that there may be some hope for her after all.

All the Beautiful GirlsAll the Beautiful Girls by Elizabeth J Church (eARC, NetGalley)

It was unimaginable. When she was eight years old, Lily Decker somehow survived the auto accident that killed her parents and sister, but neither her emotionally distant aunt nor her all-too-attentive uncle could ease her grief. Dancing proves to be Lily’s only solace, and eventually she receives a “scholarship” to a local dance academy—courtesy of a mysterious benefactor.

Grown and ready to leave home for good, Lily changes her name to Ruby Wilde and heads to Las Vegas to be a troupe dancer, but her sensual beauty and voluptuous figure land her work instead as a showgirl performing everywhere from Les Folies Bergere at the Tropicana to the Stardust’s Lido de Paris. Wearing costumes dripping with feathers and rhinestones, five-inch heels, and sky-high headdresses, Ruby may have all the looks of a Sin City success story, but she still must learn to navigate the world of men – and figure out what real love looks like.

CaligulaCaligula by Simon Turney (eARC, NetGalley)

Caligula: loving brother, reluctant Emperor and tortured soul.

The six children of Germanicus are cursed from birth. Father: believed poisoned by the Emperor Tiberius over the imperial succession. Mother and two brothers arrested and starved to death by Tiberius. One sister married off to an abusive husband. Only three are left: Caligula, in line for the imperial throne, and his two sisters, Drusilla and Livilla, who tells us this story.

The ascent of their family into the imperial dynasty forces Caligula to change from the fun-loving boy Livilla knew into a shrewd, wary and calculating young man. Tiberius’s sudden death allows Caligula to manhandle his way to power. With the bloodthirsty tyrant dead, it should be a golden age in Rome and, for a while, it is. But Caligula suffers emotional blow after emotional blow as political allies, friends, and finally family betray him and attempt to overthrow him, by poison, by the knife, by any means possible.  Little by little, Caligula becomes a bitter, resentful and vengeful Emperor, every shred of the boy he used to be eroded. As Caligula loses touch with reality, there is only one thing to be done before Rome is changed irrevocably. . .

The Moral CompassThe Moral Compass (Shaking the Tree #1) by K A Servian (ebook, review copy courtesy of HF Virtual Book Tours)

Florence has a charmed life. The filth and poverty of Victorian London are beyond her notice as she attends dinners, balls and parties. But when her father suffers a spectacular fall from grace, Florence’s world comes crashing down around her. She must abandon her life of luxury and sail to the far side of the world where compromise and suffering beyond anything she can imagine await her. When she is offered the opportunity to regain some of what she has lost, she takes it, but soon discovers that the offer is not all it seems. The choice she made has a high price attached and she must live with the heart-breaking consequences of her decision.

LionLion by Saroo Brierley (ebook, Kindle deal)

At only five years old, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India. Unable to read or write or recall the name of his hometown or even his own last name, he survived alone for weeks on the rough streets of Calcutta before ultimately being transferred to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia. Despite his gratitude, Brierley always wondered about his origins. Eventually, with the advent of Google Earth, he had the opportunity to look for the needle in a haystack he once called home, and pore over satellite images for landmarks he might recognize or mathematical equations that might further narrow down the labyrinthine map of India. One day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for and set off to find his family.

The Snow ChildThe Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (ebook, Kindle deal)

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart – he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm, she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning, the snow child is gone – but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

History of WovesHistory of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (ebook, Kindle deal)

How far would you go to belong? Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in an ex-commune beside a lake in the beautiful, austere backwoods of northern Minnesota. The other girls at school call Linda ‘Freak’, or ‘Commie’. Her parents mostly leave her to her own devices, whilst the other inhabitants have grown up and moved on. So when the perfect family – mother, father and their little boy, Paul – move into the cabin across the lake, Linda insinuates her way into their orbit. She begins to babysit Paul and feels welcome, that she finally has a place to belong. Yet something isn’t right. Drawn into secrets she doesn’t understand, Linda must make a choice. But how can a girl with no real knowledge of the world understand what the consequences will be?

On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday – I published an extract from Becoming Mrs. Smith by Tanya E Williams as part of the blog tour. I also shared my list for the latest Classics Club ‘Spin’.  For those not familiar with it, you pick 20 books still unread (plenty to choose from in my case) from your Classics Club list and arrange them in a numbered list. A number is picked at random and that’s the book you have to read by the end of December. (The result was announced on Friday – the number was 4 – so it’s The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck for me.)

Tuesday – I shared a guest post by Adam LeBor about the inspiration for his novel District VIII. I also published my review of a historical mystery set in turn-of-the-century Barcelona I really enjoyed, The Secret of Vesalius by Jordi Llobregat. The author was kind enough to share the review on Twitter and describe it as ‘marvellous’ (blush).

WWWWednesdaysWednesdayWWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just finished reading, what I’m reading now and what I’ll be reading next. I also published an extract from the debut novel by Pankaj Giri, The Fragile Thread of Hope.

TBR Challenge 2018Thursday – I can’t resist signing up for reading challenges, especially if they’re going to motivate me to reduce my groaning To-Be-Read pile. The wonderful blogger, RoofBeamReader (the brains behind The Classics Club) is hosting the 2018 TBR Pile Challenge. You list 12 books that have been in your TBR pile for over a year and commit to read them by the end of December 2018. There’s still time to participate – sign up here.

Friday – Talking of TBR piles, I made another assault on my To-Read shelf on Goodreads by going Down the TBR Hole, dumping seven out of ten books on this occasion. However, they were all part of a series so a slight cheat!

Saturday – As part of the blog tour, I shared my review of Illusion by Stephanie Elmas, an accomplished historical mystery set in Victorian London that has just a hint of magic.

Sunday – I took part in the blog tour for Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson, the latest in his Dark Iceland crime mystery series.

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge – 142 out of 156 books read, 4 more than last week
  • Classics Club Challenge – 5 out of 50 books reviewed, same as last week
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2017 (Gold) – 43 ARCs reviewed out of 50, 1 more than last week
  • From Page to Screen 2016/7– 7 book/film comparisons out of 12 completed, same as last week
  • From Page to Screen 2017/18 – 1 out of 3 completed, same as last week

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Review: A Pearl for my Mistress by Annabel Fielding
  • Review: Letting Go by Maria Thompson Corley
  • Review: Venetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City by Christine Evelyn Volker
  • Review: Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Next week, I shall also be celebrating the first blogiversary of What Cathy Read Next!  

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My Week in Books – 12th November ’17

MyWeekinBooks

New arrivals

Murder on the Orient ExpressMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (hardcover special edition, gift)

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer. Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.

The Marriage of Miss Jane AustenThe Marriage of Miss Jane Austen, Vol. 1 by Collins Hemingway (ebook, review copy courtesy of HF Virtual Book Tours)

Tradition holds that Jane Austen lived a prim and proper life as a single woman. But what if she wed a man as passionate and intelligent as she – and the marriage remained secret for 200 years? The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen is a trilogy that resolves the biggest mysteries of Austen’s life, the “lost years” of her twenties – a period of which historians know virtually nothing.

– Why the enduring rumours of a lost love or tragic affair?
– Why, afterward, did the vivacious Jane Austen prematurely put on “the cap of middle age” and shut herself away to write her books?
– Why, after her death, did her beloved sister destroy her letters, journals, and diaries from this period?

The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy presents an original love story, based on actual history, to put forth a believable, compelling, and plausible answer to Austen’s lost years. Go with Jane Austen as this thinking woman, and sensitive soul, seizes the opportunity for meaningful love with a man who inspires her and understands her independent spirit – the one man worthy of her mind, heart, and soul.


On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday – I shared my review of Zenka by Alison Brodie, a blackly comic crime caper with a touch of romance.

Tuesday – I featured an extract from In The Dark by Andreas Pflüger

Wednesday – My WWW Wednesday  post is the opportunity to share what I’ve just finished reading, what I’m reading now and what I’ll be reading next. I also published my interview with Gary Corbin, author of Lying in Vengeance, the follow-up to the courtroom drama, Lying in Judgment,

Thursday – I shared my review of Cuz by Danielle Allen, a moving memoir of her murdered cousin, Michael, but also a devastating analysis of the US justice and penal system.

Friday – I was delighted to take part in the spotlight tour for The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett.

Saturday – As part of the blog tour, I shared my review of Choosing Hope by Holly Kammier, an emotional story of infidelity, betrayal and self-discovery. I also published an interview with T.F. Jacobs, author of Untangling the Black Web, a political thriller set in the murky world of the U.S. health insurance system. There’s also a giveaway to win a copy of the book that runs until 19th November 2017.

Sunday – I took part in the blog tour for The Lido Girls by Allie Burns, sharing a fantastic interview with Allie all about the book and her research for it.

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge – 138 out of 156 books read, 4 more than last week
  • Classics Club Challenge – 5 out of 50 books reviewed, same as last week
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2017 (Gold) – 42 ARCs reviewed out of 50, 1 more than last week
  • From Page to Screen 2016/7– 7 book/film comparisons out of 12 completed, same as last week
  • From Page to Screen 2017/18 – 1 out of 3 completed, same as last week

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Review: The Secret of Vesalius by Jordi Llobregat
  • Blog Tour/Extract: Becoming Mrs. Smith by Tanya E Williams
  • Blog Tour/Guest Post: District VIII by Adam LeBor
  • Extract: The Fragile Thread of Hope by Pankaj Giri
  • Review: Letting Go by Maria Thompson Corley
  • Review: Venetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City by Christine Evelyn Volker
  • Blog Tour/Review: Illusion by Stephanie Elmas
  • Blog Tour/Review: Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson

My Week in Books – 5th November ’17

MyWeekinBooks

New arrivals

Oops, someone let me loose on NetGalley again…

The Wicked ComethThe Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin (eARC, NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton)

The year is 1831. Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and no one is willing to speak out on behalf of the city’s vulnerable poor as they disappear from the streets. Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible. When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock. But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations. Hester and Rebekah find themselves crossing every boundary they’ve ever known in pursuit of truth, redemption and passion. But their trust in each other will be tested as a web of deceit begins to unspool, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking . . .

Oliver LovingOliver Loving by Stefan Merrill Block (eARC, NetGalley & Atlantic Books)

One warm, West Texas November night, a shy boy named Oliver Loving joins his classmates at Bliss County Day School’s annual dance, hoping for a glimpse of the object of his unrequited affections, an enigmatic Junior named Rebekkah Sterling. But as the music plays, a troubled young man sneaks in through the school’s back door. The dire choices this man makes that evening —and the unspoken story he carries— will tear the town of Bliss, Texas apart.

Nearly ten years later, Oliver Loving still lies wordless and paralyzed at Crockett State Assisted Care Facility, the fate of his mind unclear. Orbiting the still point of Oliver’s hospital bed is a family transformed: Oliver’s mother, Eve, who keeps desperate vigil; Oliver’s brother, Charlie, who has fled for New York City only to discover he cannot escape the gravity of his shattered family; Oliver’s father, Jed, who tries to erase his memories with bourbon. And then there is Rebekkah Sterling, Oliver’s teenage love, who left Texas long ago and still refuses to speak about her own part in that tragic night. When a new medical test promises a key to unlock Oliver’s trapped mind, the town’s unanswered questions resurface with new urgency, as Oliver’s doctors and his family fight for a way for Oliver to finally communicate — and so also to tell the truth of what really happened that fateful night.

The Good Doctor of WarsawThe Good Doctor of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford (eARC, NetGalley and Atlantic Books)

Deeply in love and about to marry, students Misha and Sophia flee a Warsaw under Nazi occupation for a chance at freedom. Forced to return to the Warsaw ghetto, they help Misha’s mentor, Dr Korczak, care for the two hundred children in his orphanage. As Korczak struggles to uphold the rights of even the smallest child in the face of unimaginable conditions, he becomes a beacon of hope for the thousands who live behind the walls. As the noose tightens around the ghetto Misha and Sophia are torn from one another, forcing them to face their worst fears alone. They can only hope to find each other again one day… Meanwhile, refusing to leave the children unprotected, Korczak must confront a terrible darkness.  Half a million people lived in the Warsaw ghetto. Less than one percent survived to tell their story. This novel is based on the true accounts of Misha and Sophia, and on the life of one of Poland’s greatest men, Dr Janusz Korczak.

TreasonTreason by James Jackson (paperback, review copy courtesy of Bonnier Zaffre)

Behind the famous rhyme lies a murderous conspiracy that goes far beyond Guy Fawkes and his ill-fated Gunpowder Plot . . . In a desperate race against time, spy Christian Hardy must uncover a web of deceit that runs from the cock-fighting pits of Shoe Lane, to the tunnels beneath a bear-baiting arena in Southwark, and from the bad lands of Clerkenwell to a brutal fire fight in The Globe theatre.  But of the forces ranged against Hardy, all pale beside the renegade Spanish agent codenamed Realm.

Nucleus BookpostNucleus (Tom Wilde #2) by Rory Clements (uncorrected bound proof, courtesy of Bonnier Zaffre)

The eve of war: a secret so deadly, nothing and no one is safe…

June 1939. England is partying like there is no tomorrow, gas masks at the ready…but the good times won’t last. The Nazis have invaded Czechoslovakia, in Germany Jewish persecution is  widespread, and, closer to home,  the IRA has embarked on a  bombing campaign.  But perhaps the most far-reaching event of all goes largely unreported: in Germany, Otto Hahn has produced man-made fission.  An atomic bomb is now possible.  German High Command knows Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory is also close; they must discover its secrets before it is safe to wage war. When one of the Cavendish’s finest brains is murdered, Professor Tom Wilde is drawn in to the investigation.  In a conspiracy that stretches from Cambridge to Berlin, from the US to Ireland, the fate of the world comes to depend on the recovery of a kidnapped child.  Can Tom Wilde discover the truth before it is too late?

The Assassin of VeronaThe Assassin of Verona by Benet Brandreth (hardcover, review copy courtesy of Bonnier Zaffre)

All is not well in Venice. Threatened daily by Papal assassins, William Shakespeare and his close friends Oldcastle and Hemminges are increasingly isolated – the lies that have protected them so far beginning to wear thin. His companions want desperately to leave, but Will is tied to the city – his lover, the beautiful Isabella, is growing ever more sick. As tensions reach breaking point, their company is forced to split… Once more full of swaggering charm, breathless action and rapier-sharp dialogue, this is the second novel in Benet Brandreth’s highly acclaimed series reimagining the lost years of William Shakespeare.

The Tide Between UsThe Tide Between Us by Olive Collins (ebook, review copy courtesy of the author)

1821: After the landlord of Lugdale Estate in Kerry is assassinated, young Art O’Neill’s innocent father is hanged and Art is deported to the cane fields of Jamaica as an indentured servant. On Mangrove Plantation he gradually acclimatises to the exotic country and unfamiliar customs of the African slaves, and achieves a kind of contentment. Then the new heirs to the plantation arrive. His new owner is Colonel Stratford-Rice from Lugdale Estate, the man who hanged his father. Art must overcome his hatred to survive the harsh life of a slave and live to see the eventual emancipation which liberates his coloured children. Eventually he is promised seven gold coins when he finishes his service, but he doubts his master will part with the coins.

One hundred years later in Ireland, a skeleton is discovered beneath a fallen tree on the grounds of Lugdale Estate. By its side is a gold coin minted in 1870. Yseult, the owner of the estate, watches as events unfold, fearful of the long-buried truths that may emerge about her family’s past and its links to the slave trade. As the body gives up its secrets, Yseult realises she too can no longer hide.

Venetian BloodVenetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City by Christine Evelyn Volker (ebook)

Struggling to forget a crumbling marriage, forty-year-old Anna Lucia Lottol comes to Venice to visit an old friend–but instead of finding solace, she is dragged into the police station and accused of murdering a money-laundering count with whom she had a brief affair. A US Treasury officer with brains and athleticism, Anna fights to clear her name in a seductive city full of watery illusions. As she works to pry information from a cast of recalcitrant characters sometimes denying what she sees and hears, she succeeds in unleashing a powerful foe bent on destroying her. Will she save herself and vanquish her enemies, including her darkest fears? A captivating tapestry of murder, betrayal, and family, Venetian Blood is a story of one woman’s brave quest for the truth –before it’s too late.


On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday – I shared my review of Mr Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva, which being a lover of A Christmas Carol, I absolutely adored.

Tuesday – I featured a Q&A with Zoe Folbigg, author of the best-selling The Note. I also reviewed The Last Hours by Minette Walters, her first foray into historical fiction. Finally, I rounded up my top five favourite reads in October.

WednesdayWWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just finished reading, what I’m reading now and what I’ll be reading next. I also participated in the spotlight tour for the historical fiction novel, The Painter’s Apprentice by Laura Morelli

Thursday –I shared my review of the terrific Fires by Tom Ward to mark its publication day.

Friday – Another blog tour review, this time for The Other Life of Charlotte Evans by Louisa George.

Saturday – A busy day on the blog! First off I featured a Q&A with Rebecca Stonehill, author of the intriguing The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale, ahead of the book’s publication on 11th November. It being the eve of Bonfire Night, I published an extract from the exciting historical thriller, Treason by James Jackson, centred round the gunpowder plot. Finally, as part of the 1968 Club reading challenge, I shared my review of The Dance of the Happy Shades, a short story collection by Alice Munro first published in 1968 but which has definitely stood the test of time.

Sunday – I published my review of the CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour, edited by Martin Edwards, a terrific collection that will be loved by crime fiction fans.

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge – 134 out of 156 books read, 6 more than last week
  • Classics Club Challenge – 5 out of 50 books reviewed, same as last week
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2017 (Gold) – 53 ARCs reviewed out of 50, 1 more than last week
  • From Page to Screen 2016/7– 7 book/film comparisons out of 12 completed, same as last week
  • From Page to Screen 2017/18 – 1 out of 2 completed, same as last week

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Review: Zenka by Alison Brodie
  • Review: Cuz by Danielle Allen
  • Review: The Secret of Vesalius by Jordi Llobregat
  • Spotlight: The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett
  • Extract: Lying in Vengeance by Gary Corbin
  • Blog Tour/Review: Choosing Hope by Holly Kammier
  • Blog Tour/Q&A: Lido Girls by Allie Burns

My Week in Books – 29th October ’17

MyWeekinBooks

New arrivals

BrotherBrother by David Chariandy (eARC, NetGalley)

Michael and Francis are the bright, ambitious sons of Trinidadian immigrants. Coming of age in The Park, a cluster of houses and towers in the disparaged outskirts of a sprawling city, the brothers battle against the careless prejudices and low expectations that confront them on a daily basis. While Francis dreams of a future in music, Michael’s dreams are of Aisha, the smartest girl in their school, whose eyes are firmly set on a life elsewhere.

But the bright hopes of all three are violently, irrevocably thwarted by a tragic event.

The Secret Life of Alfred NightingaleThe Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale by Rebecca Stonehill (ebook, review copy courtesy of the author)

1967 – Handsome but troubled, Jim is almost 18 and he lives and breathes girls, trad jazz, Eel Pie Island and his best friend, Charles. One night, he hears rumours of a community of young people living in caves in Matala, Crete. Determined to escape his odious, bully of a father and repressed mother, Jim hitchhikes through Europe down to Matala. At first, it’s the paradise he dreamt it would be. But as things start to go wrong and his very notion of self unravels, the last thing Jim expects is for this journey of hundreds of miles to set in motion a passage of healing which will lead him back to the person he hates most in the world: his father.

The Tides BetweenThe Tides Between by Elizabeth Jane Corbett (ebook, review copy courtesy of the author)

In the year 1841, on the eve of her departure from London, Bridie’s mother demands she forget her dead father and prepare for a sensible adult life in Port Phillip. Desperate to save her childhood, fifteen-year-old Bridie is determined to smuggle a notebook filled with her father’s fairy tales to the far side of the world. When Rhys Bevan, a soft-voiced young storyteller and fellow traveller realises Bridie is hiding something, a magical friendship is born. But Rhys has his own secrets and the words written in Bridie’s notebook carry a dark double meaning. As they inch towards their destination, Rhys’s past returns to haunt him. Bridie grapples with the implications of her dad’s final message. The pair take refuge in fairy tales, little expecting the trouble it will cause.


On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday – I shared my review of The Summer Springsteen’s Songs Saved Me by Barbara Quinn, a fun summer romance with each chapter linked to a Bruce Springsteen song.

WednesdayWWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just finished reading, what I’m reading now and what I’ll be reading next. I also published my review of Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore, a dark atmospheric historical novel which sadly was her last book before her untimely death earlier this year.

Thursday – As part of the blog tour, I shared my review of A Sea of Sorrow by the H Team, a group of writers who have collaborated on fascinating stories based on characters mentioned in Homer’s The Odyssey.

Friday – I took part in the blog tour for The Murderer’s Maid by Erika Mailman, a fictionalised account of the Lizzie Borden case.

Saturday – I ventured Down the TBR Hole with a view to pruning my To-Read shelf on Goodreads of books I no longer desire (or can’t remember ever desiring in the first place).

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge – 128 out of 156 books read, 3 more than last week
  • Classics Club Challenge – 5 out of 50 books reviewed, same as last week
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2017 (Gold) – 52 ARCs reviewed out of 50, 1 more than last week
  • From Page to Screen 2016/7– 7 book/film comparisons out of 12 completed, same as last week
  • From Page to Screen 2017/18 – 1 out of 2 completed, same as last week

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Review: The Last Hours by Minette Walters
  • Review: Mr Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva
  • Blog Tour/Q&A: The Note by Zoe Folbigg
  • Review: Fires by Tom Ward
  • Review: Dance of the Happy Shades by Alice Munro
  • Blog Tour/Review: The Other Life of Charlotte Evans by Louisa George
  • Review: Cuz by Danielle Allen
  • Review: The Secret of Vesalius by Jordi Llobregat
  • Q&A: The Secret Life of Alfred Nightingale by Rebecca Stonehill
  • Blog Tour/Review: Mystery Tour, CWA Anthology of Short Stories, ed. Martin Edwards

My Week in Books – 22nd October ’17

MyWeekinBooks

New arrivals

DeathDescendsonSaturnVillaDeath Descends on Saturn Villa (The Gower Street Detective #3) by M R C Kasasian (ebook, Kindle deal)

Gower Street, London: 1883. March Middleton is the niece of London’s greatest (and most curmudgeonly) private detective, Sidney Grice. March has just discovered a wealthy long-lost relative she never knew she had. When this newest family member meets with a horrible death, March is in the frame for murder—and only Sidney Grice can prove her innocence. Grice agrees to investigate (for his usual fee) but warns that he is not entirely convinced of her innocence. If he were in her position, he might have been tempted. But the more he uncovers, the more all the clues point to Grice himself . . .

TheSecretsofGaslightLaneThe Secrets of Gaslight Lane (The Gower Street Detective #4) by M R C Kasasian (ebook, Kindle deal)

London, 1883: All is quiet at 125 Gower Street. Sidney Grice is swotting up on the anatomical structure of human hair whilst his ward, March Middleton, sneaks upstairs for her eighth secret cigarette of the day. The household is, perhaps, too quiet. So, when a beautiful young woman turns up at the door, imploring London’s foremost personal detective to solve the mystery of her father’s murder, Grice can barely disguise his glee. Mr Nathan Garstang was found slaughtered in his bed, but there is no trace of a weapon or intruder. A classic locked-room case. But what piques Grice’s interest is the crime’s link to one of London’s most notorious unsolved murders. Ten years ago, Nathan’s uncle aunt and servants were murdered in their sleep in the very same house. Now, it seems, the Garstang murderer is back…

True GrandeurTrue Grandeur by Cal R Barnes (ebook, review copy courtesy of the author)

True Grandeur is the tale of Conrad Arlington, a young man who moves to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a great artist. Within a few short years of his arrival, Conrad’s success as a writer brings him to the attention of Gracie Garrison, a beautiful and alluring socialite whose glamorous lifestyle is just as mysterious as the rumours that surround her. After spending a spirited and adventurous night on the town together – one fuelled by an excess of beautiful people, extravagant parties, gallery openings, and the madness of a fallen director – Conrad ultimately falls in love with her, believing them to be destined. However, when he awakes the next morning to find that Gracie is gone, he is distraught, and thus embarks on his relentless journey to find her, resulting in a tumultuous spiral of passion, art, and romance as he searches his soul to try and uncover the greatest mystery of all – true love.

TheFragileThreadofHopeThe Fragile Thread of Hope by Pankaj Giri (ebook, advance reader copy courtesy of the author)

In the autumn of 2012, destiny wreaks havoc on two unsuspecting people – Soham and Fiona. Although his devastating past involving his brother still haunted him, Soham had established a promising career for himself in Bangalore. After a difficult childhood, Fiona’s fortunes had finally taken a turn for the better. She had married her beloved, and her life was as perfect as she had ever imagined it to be. But when tragedy strikes them yet again, their fundamentally fragile lives threaten to fall apart. Can Fiona and Soham overcome their grief? Will the overwhelming pain destroy their lives? Seasoned with the flavours of exotic Nepalese traditions and set in the picturesque Indian hill station, Gangtok, The Fragile Thread of Hope explores the themes of spirituality, faith, alcoholism, love, and guilt while navigating the complex maze of familial relationships. Inspirational and heart-wrenchingly intimate, it urges you to wonder – does hope stand a chance in this travesty called life?

MysteryTour CWA AnthologyMystery Tour: CWA Anthology of Short Stories edited by Martin Edwards (eARC, courtesy of Orenda Books)

This exciting collection of short stories features crime writers working with a “mystery tour” or travel theme. Ann Cleeves on Tanzania, Vas Khan on Mumbai, and Marnie Riches on Holland. Other writers include Sarah Hilary, Alex Marwood, Cally Taylor, Elly Griffiths, Steph Broadribb, Johana Gustawsson, Liz Nugent, Steve Cavanagh, Cal Moriarty, Paul Hardisty, Mason Cross, Sharon Bolton, Vas Khan, Marnie Riches, Bill Ryan, Ian Rankin, Peter James, Kate Rhodes, Ragnar Jonasson, and Ann Cleeves.


On What Cathy Read Next last week

Blog posts

Monday – I shared my comparison of the book and film versions of A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman as part of my From Page to Screen reading challenge.

Tuesday – I welcomed Tom Ward, author of the soon to be published Fires, to talk about his book.

WednesdayWWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just finished reading, what I’m reading now and what I’ll be reading next. I had a really fun guest post by Alison Brodie about her forthcoming book, Zenka.

Thursday – I shared my review of thriller Monsoon Rising by David Lee Corley and my Throwback Thursday post was my review of historical romance, On the Edge of Sunrise by Cynthia Ripley Miller. (I reviewed book 2 of the series, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns last week.)

Friday – I featured a Q&A with actor, playwright and author, Gary Corbin, about his latest book, Lying in Vengeance.

Saturday – I published my review of New Boy by Tracy Chevalier. It’s a modern day retelling of Othello, part of the Hogarth Shakespeare project.

Sunday – I hosted a stop on the blog tour for Home Is Nearby by Magdalena McGuire and shared my thoughts on this fascinating novel set in 1980s Poland.

Challenge updates

  • Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge – 125 out of 156 books read, 2 more than last week
  • Classics Club Challenge – 5 out of 50 books reviewed, same as last week
  • NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2017 (Gold) – 51 ARCs reviewed out of 50, 1 more than last week
  • From Page to Screen 2016/7– 7 book/film comparisons out of 12 completed, same as last week
  • From Page to Screen 2017/18 – 1 out of 2 completed, 1 more than last week

On What Cathy Read Next this week

Currently reading

Planned posts

  • Review: The Last Hours by Minette Walters
  • Review: The Summer Springsteen’s Songs Saved Me by Barbara Quinn
  • Review: Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore
  • Blog Tour/Review: A Sea of Sorrow by David Blixt et al
  • Blog Tour/Review: The Murderer’s Maid by Erika Mailman
  • Review: Mr Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva