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: ★ ★★
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.
“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 (debs-world.com)
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.
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.
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!