Book Reviews Over 50s Lifestyle

What’s On Your Bookshelf? October Edition

October 21, 2022
What's On your Bookshelf?

I’m currently enjoying our first holiday in three years. Mike and I have always loved travelling but like everyone else, COVID stopped that. We are on a three week driving holiday around Tasmania in Australia. I’m one of those people who have travelled the world but not my own backyard. This is the first trip to rectify that.

I always load up books on my e-reader when I travel and during the month I still managed to read despite being on the road.

Are you a Procrastireader? I know I am but it is difficult to overcome when you just love the book you are reading isn’t it?

Reading for me in late September/October was a mixed bag really. (I’m currently on holidays in Tasmania so will fill you in next month on what I’ve been reading whilst exploring this beautiful State in Australia. ) I read or tried to read several books but they just didn’t do it for me. There were a couple that I actually didn’t finish. In the past I would have perservered but not these days. If it doesn’t grab me then I’m not going to waste time and effort on seeing if it gets better.

I did enjoy a couple of books which I rated between 3 and 4 stars.

The Nanny at Number 43 – Nicola Cassidy – My rating: ★★★★

This historical thriller held my attention throughout the book although I did feel the ending happened a little abruptly. William D. Thomas’ wife has died in childbirth and he is left with a newborn daughter to care for. An advertisement is placed in the local paper for a Nanny, however the Nanny is not who she seems to be.

A family who have recently moved to a home in the country make a grisly discovery when they are preparing the field for a new crop. Their son digs up the remains of two babies.

Is there a connection? The police open an investigation and the story of revenge and betrayal unfolds.

Murder at an Exhibition – Lisa M Lane – My rating: ★ ★★

Murder at an Exhibition

This book was sent to me as a free Advanced Reader Copy through Book Sirens. Set in 1863 London, a photographer is murdered at the Royal Academy Exhibition. His assistant, Bridget, is locked in the dark room and an art critic Giovanni Morelli is attacked. Is there a connection? If so, what is it? The police can’t find it. Bridget and her friend, Jo Harris and illustrator, work together to solve the case along with the help of flamboyant Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Their investigations lead them to art fraud and a photographic pornography ring.

I enjoy historical crime novels so I looked forward to reading Murder at an Exhibition. I found the book a little difficult to get into. There were so many characters being introduced which was confusing at times and it took quite some time for the murder to actually happen. Once into the book, though, I enjoyed the storyline and the characters. Jo is an independent woman who is feisty and doesn’t always conform to society’s expectations.

Despite the delay in ‘getting to the murder’ I enjoyed the book and will investigate other books written by Lisa M Lane.

Note: This book is not published yet.

Hattie goes to Hollywood – Caroline James – My rating: ★★★

I’ve read The Best Boomerville Hotel by Caroline James and enjoyed it very much. I then read Coffee, Tea, the Gypsy and Me which was an earlier book, and I the title should have told me that it would be a very ‘light’ book. Hattie goes to Hollywood is a cosy crime featuring one of Caroline James’ previous characters Hattie Mulberry.

Hattie has recently been widowed and moves to a cottage in Hollywood, Cumbria (no, not the Hollywood in L.A.) which she has inherited from her Aunt. Although she is looking forward to a retired life with her new friend Drake the Duck who seems to have adopted Hattie, she soon gets bored despite having major renovations done to her new home. When her neighbour, Marjorie asks Hattie to look into her husband’s suicide, Hattie embarks on a new adventure and a career as a Private Investigator.

She discovers 3 suicides in the small village and with the help of her police friend Harry the Helmet (yes that is what he is known as) Hattie soon uncovers the surprising truth.

This was a light read, and it kept my interest. I enjoyed the characters although at times I thought the storyline was a little far-fetched. I can see Hattie becoming a series of books. If you want a cosy crime and have an afternoon free to while away the hours this book will fit the bill nicely.

Book Club

“A good book is like a good friend. It will stay with you for the rest of your life. When you first get to know it, it will give you excitement and adventure, and years later it will provide you with comfort and familiarity. And best of all, you can share it with your children, grandchildren or anyone you love enough to let into it’s secrets”

Uncle Bertram, First Impressions A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love & Jane Austen by Charlie Lovett

We are drawing to a close with our Jane Austen books. This year we have read Persuasian, Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, our last book was Mansfield Park which I thoroughly enjoyed and have now moved to Northanger Abbey. Jane Austen completed Northanger Abbey in 1803 however it wasn’t published until after her death in 1817. I’ve just started and with one of our members currently in the UK (including exploring Austen and also Brontë country) we are waiting her return to meet and discuss the book.

Another of our group, Debbie from Deb’s World actually visited the Jane Austen Centre in Bath when she recently visited her daughter, SIL and adorable granddaughter, Dottie in August. It was a lovely surprise to receive a Jane Austen themed postcard in the mail. You can see Deb as Mr Darcy’s partner in her recent post Jane Austen is my new BFF #WOYBS – Deb’s World (

Jane Austen Postcard


Our dear friend Joanne Tracey’s latest book is now available. I reviewed Philly Barker Investigates last month in my What’s On Your Bookshelf? post and gave it a huge thumbs up. Here is my review in case you missed it:

If I could give it a 6-star rating I would. It is definitely a genre I enjoy and if you love Midsommer Murders and the like you will love this book. I’ve told Jo there is definitely a television series to be made.

‘Midsommer Murders meets ‘Escape to the Country’ meets ‘Antique Roadshow’.
I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of Philly Barker Investigates by Joanne Tracey. Jo is a friend of mine and I have enjoyed all of her books BUT Philly is her best! I’m delighted to see that Jo foray into cozy crime.

Set in the village of Chipwell, Philly Barker has an eye for antiques, the stories they tell and she doesn’t mind a good mystery to solve either. Working in the Chipwell Barn Antiques Centre along with 5 other dealers and her trusty canine side kick Balthazar, Philly turns investigator.

A delightful read, with fun characters who you love to sit with in Ginny’s cafe and enjoy a cuppa from some vintage china, whilst discussing and perusing the antique specialities on offer and their latest ‘find’.

It’s a 5-star rating from me. The story held my interest and I read the book in an afternoon. I love Philly and can’t wait for her next adventure. Will there also be a touch of romance for Philly???

We will have to wait and see.

Philly Barker investigates

What have you been reading lately? Why not join us at What’s On Your Bookshelf and share it with us? You can link up your post below.

What’s On Your Bookshelf is a monthly link-up co-hosted by Debbie (Deb’s World), Jo (And Anyways), Sue (Women Living Well After 50) and Donna (Retirement Reflections). #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

What's on your bookshelf?

Donna, Jo, Debbie and I are delighted to co-host What’s On Your Bookshelf? Link Up. To join us and share what you have been reading, you can share in the comments, pingback with your own post, or use the handy InLInkz bar below. Please be sure to tag #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge. We look forward to hearing your thoughts as well as your book suggestions!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Retirement Reflections October 21, 2022 at 06:55

    Hi, Sue – I am very impressed that you posted despite all of your current travels and adventures.
    I love that quote about a great book being like a great friend. I agree that the heart of great books do stay with us long after we have forgotten the surface details.
    Thank you for sharing these books with us. I look forward to catching up again soon. Safe travels!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric October 27, 2022 at 12:39

      Hi Donna, I love taking my e-reader loaded with books so I can read anywhere. Even if it is only a few pages a day, I love my reading!

  • Reply Debbie October 21, 2022 at 07:48

    Loved your post for this month’s WOYBS Sue and thanks so much for the mention and link to my post. Your selection of books sound very interesting and I’ll be adding them to my list. Keep enjoying your holidays and looking forward to catching up when you return home. xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric October 27, 2022 at 12:39

      Thanks Deb, I love this link up because of all the book recommendations – although my list is always growing!

  • Reply October 21, 2022 at 11:46

    Pinning your titles for suggestions with my book club. Can never have too many books on your to-read list. Excited to see Joanne’s new book. Philly sounds like my kind of character.

    Glad you and Mike are enjoying a road trip getaway. We are about to head off on a real vacation, too. I think the whole world was ready after Covid to run away somewhere. Probably during Covid, as well. We are going to Boston and NYC and then visit family. Hope to have a few quiet moments every day to read.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric October 27, 2022 at 12:38

      Hi Leslie, lovely of you to stop by. I hope you have a lovely time away. We enjoyed Boston and The Big Apple when we visited several years ago. x

  • Reply Denyse Whelan Blogs October 21, 2022 at 13:09

    Very pleasing to see your reading and recommendations. Great to see Jo’s latest too. Thank you for the link up, and keep enjoying that well-earner holiday.

    • Reply Janine October 21, 2022 at 21:06

      Hi wow – credit to you for posting whilst on the road. I love seeing your photos and posts on social media. The Nanny at No 43 sounds an intriguing read. I agree with your comments on Jo’s book too. Enjoy the rest of your travels

      • Reply Sue Loncaric October 27, 2022 at 12:36

        Hi Janine, I actually prepared this one earlier! The Nanny at No 43 was okay and kept my interest. We’ve had a wonderful time in Tassie – such a beautiful State with a lot to offer. x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric October 27, 2022 at 12:37

      Hi Denyse, I love this link up because there are always such a variety of reading recommendations. Thanks for joining us x.

  • Reply Carol October 21, 2022 at 18:30

    Procrastireading! Love it! Welcome to my life! 😂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric October 27, 2022 at 12:36

      I think there are a few of us around Carol! Procrastireaders unite LOL 🙂

  • Reply rawsonjl October 22, 2022 at 05:54

    I loved Joe’s latest book! I am definitely a procrastireader!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric October 27, 2022 at 12:34

      Me too! I love nothing more than relaxing with a good book.x

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee October 22, 2022 at 06:30

    The Hattie goes to Hollywood sounds like a fun one…maybe a good plane one..

    • Reply Sue Loncaric October 27, 2022 at 12:34

      It was an easy read Lydia and yes, perfect for a flight.

  • Reply Jennifer Jones October 22, 2022 at 12:08

    Hi Sue, I haven’t read either of my books but they sound interesting so are now on my list. I love the card that Deb sent. I went to the Jane Austen Centre many years ago. I have Jo’s new book on my kindle. Looking forward to it, especially after your comments.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric October 27, 2022 at 12:35

      I’m envious of both Deb and Jo who recently visited Bath but I’m also happy for them. Jo’s book is really good especially if you like a cosy crime. x

  • Reply Toni Pike October 23, 2022 at 14:43

    Great reads, Sue – I’ve just downloaded Jo’s book as it’s right up my alley (love cosy mysteries and the UK!)

    • Reply Sue Loncaric October 27, 2022 at 12:33

      Hi Toni, I really enjoyed Jo’s book and I think you will too. xx

  • Reply Alison October 27, 2022 at 23:04

    Some good ones here Sue I like the sound of The Nanny at No 43
    I also loved Tasmania when we visited last year. For such a small place there’s just so much to see

    • Reply Sue Loncaric October 28, 2022 at 08:50

      Yes Tassie was wonderful. It took me a long time to get there 65 years but it was so worth it! x

      • Reply Alison October 28, 2022 at 09:24

        We will definitely go back to see the places we missed

        • Reply Sue Loncaric October 28, 2022 at 09:26

          Yes so much to see. We saw a great deal but everywhere I wanted to stay longer! x

          • Alison October 28, 2022 at 15:29

            Yes same as us!

  • Reply Gail Is This Mutton October 30, 2022 at 17:26

    Interesting selections Sue, I’ll look at the Nanny book. I get disappointed when I like a sample, download the book and then stop reading it. I put them in a folder in the hope I might come back! I’ll be joining #WOYBS next month with a new monthly books post.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric October 31, 2022 at 06:39

      I know what you mean Gail. There have been several books lately that I just couldn’t finish and they were disappointing. Especially after they had been given quite good reviews. It’s a gamble sometimes isn’t it? I look forward to you joining us next month for WOYBS. xx

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