#WWWWednesday – 8th July 2020


Hosted by Taking on a World of Words, this meme is all about the three Ws:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Why not join in too?  Leave a comment with your link at Taking on a World of Words and then go blog hopping!

Currently reading

A book for a blog tour and a book from my TBR pile 

WaltScott_The HorsemanThe Horseman (West Country Trilogy #1) by Tim Pears (ebook)

Somerset, 1911. The forces of war are building across Europe, but this pocket of England, where the rhythms of lives are dictated by the seasons and the land, remains untouched.

Albert Sercombe is a farmer on Lord Prideaux’s estate and his eldest son, Sid, is underkeeper to the head gamekeeper. His son, Leo, a talented rider, grows up alongside the master’s spirited daughter, Charlotte–a girl who shoots and rides, much to the surprise of the locals.

In beautiful, pastoral writing, The Horseman tells the story of a family, a community, and the landscape they come from.

Rags of Time Final CoverRags of Time by Michael Ward (ebook, courtesy of the author)

London, 1639. Spice merchant Thomas Tallant returns from India to find his city in turmoil – overcrowded, ravaged by crime and seething with sedition. A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament as England slides into civil war.

A wealthy merchant is savagely killed; then his partner plunges to his death in the Tallant household. Suspicion falls on Tom, who soon finds himself being sucked into London’s turbulence. As he struggles to clear his name, he becomes entranced by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables. Can her brilliance untangle the web of deceit that threatens to drag Tom under?

A thrilling murder mystery set in the murky streets of Stuart London, Rags of Time is an intriguing tale of murder, suspicion and the search for enlightenment that will keep you guessing until the final dramatic scene.

Recently finished

Links from the title will take you to my review or the book’s entry on Goodreads

EXu9kKLWAAMtUAnA Quiet Death in Italy by Tom Benjamin (ebook, courtesy of Constable and Rachel’s Random Resources)

Bologna: city of secrets, suspicion . . . and murder.

When the body of a radical protestor is found floating in one of Bologna’s underground canals, it seems that most of the city is ready to blame the usual suspects: the police.

But when private investigator Daniel Leicester, son-in-law to a former chief of police, receives a call from the dead man’s lover, he follows a trail that begins in the 1970s and leads all the way to the rotten heart of the present-day political establishment.

Beneath the beauty of the city, Bologna has a dark underside, and English detective Daniel must unravel a web of secrets, deceit and corruption – before he is caught in it himself.

9781838931391The Englishman (Raglan #1) by David Gilman (proof copy, courtesy of Head of Zeus)

A clandestine war on the desert border of Mali and Algeria; murder and kidnap on the suburban streets of West London; a Moscow CID police inspector investigating the assassination of four of her fellow officers by the Russian mafia; a young MI6 officer facing the possibility that a long-running operation has been fatally compromised: connecting them all is the Englishman – Dan Raglan, outsider, exile, one-time member of the French Foreign Legion, fully trained killer.

Raglan’s quest for answers will become a quest for vengeance. It will lead him to the winter-ravaged wasteland of the Sverdlovskaya Oblast and Penal Colony #74, a place that holds Russia’s most brutal murderers. A place of death and retribution.

How will he get in? More importantly, how will he get out? (Review to follow 9th July for blog tour)

61fg+BR7jTL._SX342_The Time Machine by H G Wells (audiobook)

When a Victorian scientist propels himself into the year 802,701 AD, he is initially delighted to find that suffering has been replaced by beauty, contentment and peace. Entranced at first by the Eloi, an elfin species descended from man, he soon realises that this beautiful people are simply remnants of a once-great culture – now weak and childishly afraid of the dark. But they have every reason to be afraid: in deep tunnels beneath their paradise lurks another race descended from humanity – the sinister Morlocks.

And when the scientist’s time machine vanishes, it becomes clear he must search these tunnels, if he is ever to return to his own era. (Review to follow)

What Cathy (will) Read Next

Paris SavagesParis Savages by Katherine Johnson (eARC, courtesy of Allison & Busby)

Fraser Island, 1882. The population of the Badtjala people is in sharp decline following a run of brutal massacres. When German scientist Louis Muller offers to sail three Badtjala people – Bonny, Jurano and Dorondera – to Europe to perform to huge crowds, the proud and headstrong Bonny agrees, hoping to bring his people’s plight to the Queen of England.

Accompanied by Muller’s bright, grieving daughter, Hilda, the group begins their journey to belle-epoque Europe to perform in Hamburg, Berlin, Paris and eventually London. While crowds in Europe are enthusiastic to see the unique dances, singing, fights and pole climbing from the oldest culture in the world, the attention is relentless, and the fascination of scientists intrusive. When disaster strikes, Bonny must find a way to return home.

#TopTenTuesday The Author I’ve Read The Most Books By

Top Ten Tuesday newTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

The rules are simple:

Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post. Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists. Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.

John BuchanThis week’s topic is Authors I’ve Read The Most Books By. Regular followers of this blog will have no trouble guessing the author I’ll be featuring. Yes, it’s John Buchan. You can find out more about my Buchan of the Month reading project here. Although most well-known as the author of the adventure story The Thirty-Nine Steps, John Buchan wrote many other books in a variety of genres – novels, short stories, poetry and biographies.

Here are ten facts about his life and works, followed by ten of my personal favourites from his many books.

  • He was a correspondent for The Times on the Western Front in 1915
  • He was appointed Director of Intelligence in the Ministry of Information in 1918
  • His Oxfordshire country home, Elsfield, was in earlier times visited by Dr. Samuel Johnson
  • He was created Baron Tweedsmuir of Elsfield in 1935
  • He was appointed Governor-General of Canada the same year
  • In the above capacity, he signed Canada’s declaration of war on Germany
  • He was a friend of T. E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) who visited Elsfield
  • Buchan is reported to have remarked that Alfred Hitchcock’s film version of The Thirty-Nine Steps was an improvement on his book
  • His sister, Anna, was the novelist O. Douglas
  • Buchan’s memoir Memory Hold-The-Door was a favourite book of US President, John F Kennedy
John Buchan books
My John Buchan Bookcase

Ten Favourite John Buchan Books

The Power House – adventure featuring lawyer, Sir Edward Leithen

The Thirty-Nine Steps – adventure featuring Richard Hannay

Greenmantle – adventure featuring Richard Hannay

Mr. Standfast – adventure featuring Richard Hannay

Witch Wood – historical fiction set in 17th century Scotland

A Book of Escapes and Hurried Journeys – daring escapes and epic journeys from history

A Prince of the Captivity – globe-trotting adventure

The Blanket of the Dark – historical fiction set in the reign of Henry VIII

Memory Hold-The-Door – memoir

Sick Heart River – Buchan’s last novel, adventure featuring Sir Edward Leithen