A bad week this week (or a good one depending on your viewpoint) as my tbr is already set to outlive me, it probably counts as a bad one, with 24 titles added.
The Little French Guesthouse by Helen Pollard. Who could resist this cover, not me and combine that with an idyllic location and a promise of romance and I’m afraid I was clicking the NetGalley request button on one of my pre-approved publishers. Due for publication 28th April.
When Emmy Jamieson arrives at La Cour des Roses, a beautiful guesthouse in the French countryside, she can’t wait to spend two weeks relaxing with boyfriend Nathan. Their relationship needs a little TLC and Emmy is certain this holiday will do the trick. But they’ve barely unpacked before he scarpers with Gloria, the guesthouse owner’s cougar wife.
Rupert, the ailing guesthouse owner, is shell-shocked. Feeling somewhat responsible, and rather generous after a bottle (or so) of wine, heartbroken Emmy offers to help. Changing sheets in the gîtes will help keep her mind off her misery.
Thrust into the heart of the local community, Emmy suddenly finds herself surrounded by new friends. And with sizzling hot gardener Ryan and the infuriating (if gorgeous) accountant Alain providing welcome distractions, Nathan is fast becoming a distant memory.
Fresh coffee and croissants for breakfast, feeding the hens in the warm evening light; Emmy starts to feel quite at home. But it would be madness to walk away from her friends, family, and everything she’s ever worked for, to take a chance on a place she fell for on holiday – wouldn’t it?
Fans of Jenny Colgan, Lucy Diamond and Nick Alexander will want to join Emmy for a glass of wine as the sun sets on the terrace at La Cour des Roses.
The Wicked Boy : The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale. I don’t usually read real crime, but I was intrigued by the story and also because of the reputation of the author. A review copy via NetGalley.
Early in the morning of Monday 8 July 1895, thirteen-year-old Robert Coombes and his twelve-year-old brother Nattie set out from their small, yellow-brick terraced house in East London to watch a cricket match at Lord’s. Their father had gone to sea the previous Friday, the boys told their neighbours, and their mother was visiting her family in Liverpool. Over the next ten days Robert and Nattie spent extravagantly, pawning their parents’ valuables to fund trips to the theatre and the seaside. But as the sun beat down on the Coombes house, a strange smell began to emanate from the building.
When the police were finally called to investigate, the discovery they made sent the press into a frenzy of horror and alarm, and Robert and Nattie were swept up in a criminal trial that echoed the outrageous plots of the ‘penny dreadful’ novels that Robert loved to read.
In The Wicked Boy, Kate Summerscale has uncovered a fascinating true story of murder and morality – it is not just a meticulous examination of a shocking Victorian case, but also a compelling account of its aftermath, and of man’s capacity to overcome the past.
The Photographer’s Wife by Suzanne Joinson. Another review copy via NetGalley. I really enjoyed her first book, so looking forward to reading this. Due for publication 5th May.
Jerusalem, 1920: in an already fractured city, eleven-year-old Prudence feels the tension rising as her architect father launches an ambitious ? and wildly eccentric ? plan to redesign the Holy City by importing English parks to the desert. Prue, known as the ‘little witness’, eavesdrops underneath the tables of tearooms and behind the curtains of the dance-halls of the city’s elite, watching everything but rarely being watched herself. Around her, British colonials, exiled Armenians and German officials rub shoulders as they line up the pieces in a political game: a game destined to lead to disaster.
When Prue’s father employs a British pilot, William Harrington, to take aerial photographs of the city, Prue is uncomfortably aware of the attraction that sparks between him and Eleanora, the English wife of a famous Jerusalem photographer. And, after Harrington learns that Eleanora’s husband is a nationalist, intent on removing the British, those sparks are fanned dangerously into a flame.
Years later, in 1937, Prue is an artist living a reclusive life by the sea with her young son, when Harrington pays her a surprise visit. What he reveals unravels her world, and she must follow the threads that lead her back to secrets long-ago buried in Jerusalem. The Photographer’s Wife is a powerful story of betrayal: between father and daughter, between husband and wife, and between nations and people, set in the complex period between the two world wars.
The Games People Play by Owen Mullen. Having read a review by another blogger I was alerted to this which sounded just my sort of book. Kindle bargain as well 99p
On a warm summer’s evening thirteen month old Lily Hamilton is abducted from Ayr beach in Scotland, taken while her parents are yards away. Three days later, the distraught father turns up at Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron’s office and begs him to help. Mark Hamilton believes he knows who has stolen his daughter. And why.
Against his better judgement Charlie gets involved in a case he would be better off without. But when a child’s body is discovered on Fenwick Moor, then another in St Andrews, the awful truth dawns: there is a serial killer out there whose work has gone undetected for decades. Baby Lily may be the latest victim of a madman.
For Charlie it’s too late, he can’t let go. His demons won’t let him.
The stunning first novel featuring Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron. Games People Play will have the reader guessing to the very last page.
Bone by Bone by Sanjida Kay. A book I keep reading good things about and offered for 99p on Kindle so I’m afraid I had to buy it.
Laura loves her daughter more than anything in the world.
But nine-year-old daughter Autumn is being bullied. Laura feels helpless.
When Autumn fails to return home from school one day, Laura goes looking for her. She finds a crowd of older children taunting her little girl.
In the heat of the moment, Laura makes a terrible choice. A choice that will have devastating consequences for her and her daughter…
With the demise of the Nook, Barnes and Noble transferred existing books over to Sainsbury’s Entertainment. As a welcoming gesture they offered a £5 voucher to be spent. This luckily coincided with a 99 books for 99p Easter promotion so I’m afraid that was the following 5 books bought this week.
The Vintage Ice Cream Van Road Trip by Jenny Oliver
If you were to ask Holly Somers how life is going at the moment she wouldn’t have a clue how to answer you… On the one hand she’s embarking on a retro-fabulous road trip in her vintage ice cream van all the way from Cherry Pie Island to the South of France. Plus, she’s sharing the journey with Wilf Hunter-Brown (quite possibly the most attractive man she’s ever met!)
On the other? Well, apart from being unsure as to whether the rickety old ice cream van will actually make it to the Riviera, she and Wilf had a one-night fling a few weeks ago. Even worse, it seems there’s an unexpected little consequence of their impromptu night together. Life on Cherry Pie Island definitely hasn’t equipped Holly with knowledge of the best way to tell a super-rich entrepreneur with a womanising reputation that he’s about to become a Dad!
Despite the heat of the Provencal sunshine you’d think you’d be able to keep cool inside an ice cream van – but the temperature is definitely rising. And with time running out to tell Wilf the truth, Holly’s dream roadtrip is fast becoming a nightmare on wheels! There’s no denying that this will be a journey to remember. When it comes to sundaes, Holly has always been partial to the more traditional flavours – but something’s telling her that this could be the time to take a chance and try something new…
Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond, Cathy Bramley and Jenny Colgan
The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler
Ardent and Idealistic, Esme Garland has arrived in Manhattan with a scholarship to study art history at Columbia University. When she falls in love with New York blue-blood Mitchell van Leuven, with his penchant for all things erotic, life seems to be clear sailing, until a thin blue line signals stormy times ahead. Before she has a chance to tell Mitchell about her pregnancy, he abruptly declares their sex life is as exciting as a cup of tea, and ends it all.
Stubbornly determined to master everything from Degas to diapers, Esme starts work at a small West Side bookstore to make ends meet. The Owl is a shabby all-day, all-night haven for a colorful crew of characters, such as handsome and taciturn guitar player Luke and George, the owner, who lives on spirulina shakes and idealism. The Owl becomes a nexus of good in a difficult world for Esme-but will it be enough to sustain her when Mitchell, glittering with charm and danger, comes back on the scene?
The Bookstore is a celebration of books, of the shops where they are sold, and of the people who work, read, and live in them. The Bookstore is also a story about emotional discovery, the complex choices we all face, and the accidental inspirations that make a life worth the reading.
Whisky From Small Glasses by Denzil Meyrick
DCI Jim Daley is sent from the city to investigate a murder after the body of a woman is washed up on an idyllic beach on the West Coast of Scotland. Far away from urban resources, he finds himself a stranger in a close-knit community. Love, betrayal, fear and death stalk the small town, as Daley investigates a case that becomes more deadly than he could possibly imagine, in this compelling Scottish crime novel infused with intrigue and dark humour.
While My Eyes Were Closed by Linda Green
THE TOP TEN EBOOK BESTSELLER. ‘A beautifully crafted novel of knife-edge suspense’ #1 bestseller Amanda Prowse. A nail-biting psychological drama for fans of Room, Kathryn Croft and Clare Mackintosh.
One, two, three . . . Lisa Dale shuts her eyes and counts to one hundred during a game of hide-and-seek. When she opens them, her four-year-old daughter Ella is gone. Disappeared without a trace. The police, the media and Lisa’s family all think they know who snatched Ella. But what if the person who took her isn’t a stranger? What if they are convinced they are doing the right thing? And what if Lisa’s little girl is in danger of disappearing forever?
Elizabeth is Missing by Emmas Healey
Sunday Times Bestseller Elizabeth is Missing is the stunning, smash-hit debut novel from new author Emma Healey
Winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2014
Shortlisted for the National Book Awards Popular Fiction Book 2014
Shortlisted for the National Book Awards New Writer of the Year 2014
Longlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2015
Longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize 2014
Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn’t remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Sometimes her home is unrecognizable – or her daughter Helen seems a total stranger.
But there’s one thing Maud is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it.
Because somewhere in Maud’s damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about.
Everyone, except Maud . . .
The Dolocher by Caroline Barry. I read an interview with the author and it really whetted my appetite so when I discovered it was available on Kindle for 98p …
The Dolocher is stalking the alleyways of Dublin. Half man, half pig, this terrifying creature has unleashed panic on the streets. Can it really be the evil spirit of a murderer who has cheated the hangman’s noose by taking his own life in his prison cell, depriving the mob of their rightful revenge? Or is there some other strange supernatural explanation?
This terror has come at the perfect time for down-at-heel writer Solomon Fish. With his new broadsheet reporting ever more gruesome stories of the mysterious Dolocher, sales are growing daily and fuelling the city’s fear. But when the Dolocher starts killing and Solomon himself is set upon, he realises that there’s more to the story than he could ever have imagined.
With the help of his fearless landlady, ship’s surgeon-turned-apothecary Merriment O’Grady, Solomon goes after the Dolocher. Torn between reason and superstition, they must hold their nerve as everyone around them loses theirs. But are they hunting the Dolocher or is the Dolocher hunting them?
A round up of charity shop buys
Too Close to Home by Susan Lewis. Picked up in my favourite Charity shop for 20p
Heartstone by C J Sansom. Another charity shop buy for 20p. I have the first in the series to read on Kindle, but having read so many rave reviews about this historical series I’m picking up the rest of the series when I see them in anticipation.
A Week in Paris by Rachel Hore. One from my wishlist for 20p
This weeks round up of Kindle Freebies