New Books: April & May 2019

Hello my fellow bookworms, it has been a while since I did one of these posts, because I have been resisting the urge to buy any new books. However I have received a few review copies, which are free…so totally okay, right? Here’s the goodies I’ve got over the last two months:

Her Kind by Niamh Boyce

Radioactive Evolution by Richard Hummel

Back in April, I received two new books from two new authors. First, I was kindly sent a copy of the new historical fiction, Her Kind from the publisher Penguin. It is said to be a ‘vivid re-imagining of the events leading up to the Kilkenny Witch Trial’, so I am super excited about it!

Then I also happily accepted a review copy of Radioactive Evolution, a new science fiction and fantasy cross-genre, from the publicist, after it was described as a collision of Hunger Games, Ready Player One and Game of Thrones.

Caitlin’s Son by John A. Heldt

The Comedy Club by Peter Bartram

While in May, I received two review copies from authors I have enjoyed before. First Heldt’s new time-travel novel, Caitlin’s Son, which is the fourth book in his Carson Chronicles series. I have previously enjoyed several books from Heldt’s earlier American Journey series, so I look forward to trying more.

Then The Comedy Club is the third book in Bartram’s nostalgic, murder mystery series. Having already enjoyed Headline Murder and Stop Press Murder from the series, I am looking forward to more adventures with ace crime reporter, Colin Crampton in 1960’s Brighton.

Do you fancy any of these? What new books have you got recently?

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Top Ten Tuesday: My Top 10… New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018

Last year, I was again blessed to read and enjoy many new-to-me authors, especially through my church’s book club. Here are the ten new-to-me authors I liked the most from the year:

  1. Anne Brontë – Anne’s beautifully written The Tenant of Wildfell Hall showed me that she is a worthy equal to her older, better known sisters.
  2. Nabeel Qureshi – My first read of the year for my church’s book club was his eye-opening, international bestseller, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus.
  3. Brother Andrew – While my May read for my church’s book club was Andrew’s truly inspiring and thrilling memoir, God’s Smuggler.
  4. Snorri Kristjansson – Perfect for the darker, cooler days of autumn was Kristjansson’s excellent, debut Viking murder mystery, Kin.
  5. Peter Bartram – I loved escaping back into Bartram’s nostalgic mysteries, Headline Murder and Stop Press Murder set in 1960’s Brighton.
  6. Michael R. Miller – More fun, escapist reading came in The Reborn King and Veiled Intentions, from the epic fantasy series, The Dragon’s Blade.
  7. Mingmei Yip – While I travelled back in time to China of the 1900s, with Yip’s exotic, historical fiction, Peach Blossom Pavilion.
  8. Lee Strobel – My church’s book club read for February was Strobel’s The Case for Grace, a compelling collection of inspiring stories.
  9. Christopher Nicole – The first book in Nicole’s historical saga, Eleanor of Aquitaine was a gripping historical soap opera for the start of summer.
  10. John Bunyan – It might have been hard going at times, but Bunyan’s classic allegorical novel, The Pilgrim’s Progress was a rewarding read.

Have you read any of my choices? What new-to-you authors did you read in 2018? Also, please link in the comments below if you have taken part in this week’s TTT topic too.

New Books: September – November 2018

Hello my fellow bookworms, it has been a while but as I have been so good and only picked up one or two new books a month, I decided to wait and combine my post for September, October and November. So here are the goodies I have added to my Kindle and shelves over the last three months:

Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley

The Master of Verona by David Blixt

First, I eagerly snapped up bargain copies of non-fiction Jane Austen at Home by one of my favourite historians, Lucy Worsley and historical fiction The Master of Verona by new-to-me author, David Blixt, from smile.amazon (UK). I have previously enjoyed Worsley’s A Very British Murder and David Blixt was recommended to me by another blogger.

The Hairy Dieters (6) Make It Easy by Si King & Dave Myers

Next, on a recent trip to The Works, I was thrilled to find Make It Easy, the newest Hairy Dieters’ cookbook by the nation’s favourites, The Hairy Bikers: Si King & Dave Myers. I have been keeping my eyes peeled for this, because I have loved all of their previous Dieter cookbooks. I have already started reading it and marked more healthy, down-to-earth recipes to try.

The Favourite by Ophelia Field

Also, I requested a copy of non-fiction The Favourite (The Life of Sarah Churchill) by new-to-me author, Ophelia Field, from Netgalley (UK). I have never heard of this author before, but the gorgeous cover and intriguing subject immediately drew me to it.

Front Page Murder by Peter Bartram

The Mother’s Day Mystery by Peter Bartram

Finally, I was contacted by Peter Bartram and accepted copies of Front Page Murder and The Mother’s Day Mystery, the next two books in Bartram’s nostalgic, murder mystery series. Having enjoyed the previous books in the series: Headline Murder and Stop Press Murder, I am looking forward to more adventures with ace crime reporter, Colin Crampton in 1960’s Brighton.

Do you fancy any of these? What new books have you got recently?

Challenge: R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XIII (End)

Having said goodbye to October, we also have to say goodbye to the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XIII reading event, hosted this year by Heather of My Capricious Life. Here’s what I managed to read:

  1. Cauldstane by Linda Gillard – A book with all the things I love: mystery; romance; history; a big, old house and a touch of the paranormal.
  2. Stop Press Murder by Peter Bartram – A page-turning, nostalgic murder mystery, with ace crime reporter, Colin Crampton in 1960’s Brighton.
  3. Kin by Snorri Kristjansson –  A dark, intense Viking murder mystery, which is the first book in a planned series, so I look forward to more!
  4. A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King – The third nostalgic and thrilling Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mystery for me.

As I signed up for Peril the First level, I was aiming to read four books, so… nailed it! Although I do have a couple of reviews to catch up with, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Did you take part in this event? Have you been reading anything dark, creepy or mysterious recently?

New Read: Stop Press Murder

It may have taken me a while to get to it, but after really enjoying Headline Murder earlier this year, I didn’t wait long to pick up Stop Press Murder by Peter Bartram. Which is the second book in Bartram’s comforting, crime series, Crampton of The Chronicle.

We re-join Colin Crampton, ace crime reporter for the Brighton Evening Chronicle, in the summer of 1963, almost a year after solving the murder of crazy-golf owner, Arnold Trumper and having his Aussie girlfriend, Shirley walk out on him. But there is no time for heartache with two juicy crimes having been committed on Brighton s Palace Pier. First, the theft of a saucy film from a ‘What the Butler Saw’ machine. Second, the murder of Fred Snout, the pier s night-watchman, who is found bludgeoned in the coconut shy! And even though he is ridiculed, Crampton is convinced that these two crimes are some how linked.

We follow all the fast-paced action, as his investigation spirals out of control, through the eyes of our protagonist, Colin Crampton, a dedicated – if a little cocky – local reporter. Who again is willing to go the miles, even risking life and limb to finally solve this mystery, get his story and prove the scoffers wrong! I have definitely grown rather fond of our reporter, especially seeing him get up to all kinds of mischief and scrapes. His cheeky, chappy personality also lends a lighter tone to the darker, edgier elements of murder and crime.

So what we get is a very British murder mystery, with twists, turns, colourful characters and a good dash of humour too. But there is no gratuitous blood or gore, which makes this perfect for those, like me, who prefer lighter murder mysteries. Then we have the setting of Brighton in the swinging sixties, that Bartram has brilliant evoked with its classic cars, well-cut suits, pop music, food and smoky pubs! All of which reminded me of my two favourite crime dramas, Endeavour and Inspector George Gently.

What impressed me so much about both books is how Bartram has been able to realistically describe the world of 1960s crime reporting. With the smoky, bustling newsroom, ringing phones and clicking typewriters, and, in an age without computers or mobile phones, everything has to be done the good, old-fashioned way with leg work and trips down to the archive office. In this book, Bartram also introduced me to the seedy world of the adult film industry in the roaring twenties, through the theft of a saucy film, entitled ‘Milady’s Bath Night’! Which Crampton is convinced has led to the subsequent pier murder.

Overall, I thought Stop Press Murder was another good, page-turning murder mystery, with a likeable protagonist and great setting. I would very much like to read more from this series. Good read.

Thank you to the author for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Have you read this? Or any other mysteries set in the colourful Brighton?

This was also my second read towards the R.eaders I.mbibing Peril reading event.

Goodbye September, Hello October 2018

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are well? In the last week, our Indian summer ended and it has really started to feel like autumn now. So I have dug out my cosy boots, woolly tights and extensive scarf collection. I have also made a good start at my new job and I enjoyed seeing historian Lucy Worsley do a fascinating talk on Queen Victoria. During the month, here is what I managed to read:

Fiction: 2          Non-Fiction: 1

I got the month and the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril reading event off to a great start with the spooky Cauldstane by Linda Gillard, which swept me off to Scottish Highlands for romance, drama, mystery and ghouls! I can’t believe I have waited this long to read this! Then I continued my R.I.P reading with another nostalgic mystery, Stop Press Murder by Peter Bartram, the second book to follow journalist Colin Crampton’s investigations back in 1960s Brighton. Alongside these fictions, I also re-read Christian non-fiction, The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri J.M. Nouwen in preparation for my church’s book club meeting, later this week.

Pick of the Month: Cauldstane

Altogether that is three books finished, which is sadly half of what I read in August. However it is probably a good thing when it comes to my reviews, as I am still behind! So my full thoughts on all of my reads this month are still to be posted about. I am also very close to finishing a re-read of Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, the second book in her thrilling YA trilogy.

In October, I look forward to going to see TV presenter Neil Oliver do a talk on the story of the British Isles and a belated birthday trip to Warner Bros, Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter. As well as continuing my R.I.P reading whilst snuggled up in a blanket with copious amounts of hot chocolate as the nights draw in.

What did you do and read in September? What are your plans for October?

New Books: July & August 2018

Hello my fellow bookworms, I have another combined post here for you. Over the last month and a half, here are the new books I have got my hands on:

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

In July, at the end of the school year, I helped to re-organise and clear out the school library. Where sadly there were too many sets of older books, which have either been dropped out of the curriculum or there just isn’t enough time in the year to fit in. So I snuffled up a copy of The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, a book I haven’t read since I was in school, before it was thrown out!

Stop Press Murder by Peter Bartram

Earlier this year, I enjoyed Bartram’s nostalgic murder mystery, Headline Murder, so I was thrilled to be contacted by the author and offered a copy of the next book in the series, Stop Press Murder.

The Carnival of Florence by Marjorie Bowen

Finally, through Endeavour Press’ weekly e-newsletter, I got a free copy of historical fiction The Carnival of Florence by Marjorie Bowen, an author I haven’t read but who I have heard very good things about.

Do you fancy any of these? What new books have you got recently?