Added week ending 5 November 2016

Well, last week was a good one, so inevitably there was no way that was going to last over into this one. Another eclectic list of acquisitions to add to the pile.

Review Copies


Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land. Review copy courtesy of NetGalley and due for publication 12 Jan 2017. It is being heralded as “one of the most extraordinary, controversial and explosive debuts of 2017”. This means I’m either going to love it or hate it. As I don’t have a good track record with over hyped psychological thrillers I’m hoping that this time it lives up to it’s billing.


Annie’s mother is a serial killer.

The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police.

But out of sight is not out of mind.

As her mother’s trial looms, the secrets of her past won’t let Annie sleep, even with a new foster family and name – Milly.

A fresh start. Now, surely, she can be whoever she wants to be.

But Milly’s mother is a serial killer. And blood is thicker than water.

Good me, bad me.

She is, after all, her mother’s daughter…


miss-treadway-and-the-field-of-starsMiss Treadway and the Field of  Stars by Miranda Emmerson. Review copy courtesy of NetGalley and due to be published 12 January 2017. I loved the cover and the title and the blurb made it sound just the sort of quirkier read I’m increasingly drawn to.

How do you find a missing actress in a city where everyone’s playing a role?

A mystery, a love-story and a darkly beguiling tale of secrets and reinvention set in 1960s London.

Soho, 1965.

In a tiny two-bed flat above a Turkish café on Neal Street lives Anna Treadway, a young dresser at the Galaxy Theatre.

When the American actress Iolanthe Green disappears after an evening’s performance at the Galaxy, the newspapers are wild with speculation about her fate.

But as the news grows old and the case grows colder, it seems Anna is the only person left determined to find out the truth.

Her search for the missing actress will take her into an England she did not know existed: an England of jazz clubs and prison cells, backstreet doctors and seaside ghost towns, where her carefully calibrated existence will be upended by violence but also, perhaps, by love.

For in order to uncover Iolanthe’s secrets, Anna is going to have to face up to a few of her own…

Kindle Purchases


The Speech by Andrew Smith (99p)

The Speech is a gripping and challenging novel that will thrill readers of historical and political fiction – and provides a unique snapshot into a nation’s recent turbulent social history.

His words threatened rivers of blood…and they fought him with hope….

April 20th, 1968: Enoch Powell, MP for Wolverhampton South West, gives a speech that shakes a community — and Britain — to its very core. Words that provoke, that divide …. that profoundly affect the lives of those they touch.

Mrs. Georgina Verington-Delaunay is an administrator working in the Conservative riding office of Enoch Powell. Frank and Christine are art students inadvertently caught in an undercurrent of intolerance. Nelson and his Aunt Irene are Jamaican immigrants striving to make a life for themselves in a turbulent atmosphere.

In the shadow of Powell’s speech, a violent crime brings these disparate characters together as they struggle to find their places in the swiftly changing society of 1960s Britain. Set against a background of ‘subversive’ music, radical fashions, and profound change in ‘moral values’, they attempt against all odds to bring a fair conclusion to an unjust investigation. As they work together against murky elements of self-interest and bigotry, they’re forced to confront their own consciences and prejudices, and the reader is taken on a compelling journey into the beating heart of a community in turmoil.


One Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot (99p)

Ava and her best friend Debs arrive in Paris just as the snow starts to fall. The Eiffel Tower glitters gold, but all Ava can think about is Leo, her no-good, cheating ex.

Debs is on a mission to make Ava smile again, and as they tour the Christmas markets, and eat their body weight in pain-au-chocolat, Ava remembers there’s more to life than men… Until they cross paths with sizzling hot, oh-so-mysterious photographer Julien, with his French accent and hazelnut eyes that seem to see right inside her.

Ava can’t ignore the intense chemistry between them, but she can’t help but feel he’s hiding something. Her fingers have been burned before and she can’t forget it, especially when her ex, Leo, starts texting again. Can Ava really trust Julien – and what exactly is his secret?

Will Ava go home with a broken heart, or will she find true love in Paris?

Join Ava and Julien in the most romantic city in the world this Christmas, as they discover the importance of being true to themselves, and learn how to follow their hearts.


The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds by Selina Siak Chin Yoke (99p)

Facing challenges in an increasingly colonial world, Chye Hoon, a rebellious young girl, must learn to embrace her mixed Malayan-Chinese identity as a Nyonya—and her destiny as a cook, rather than following her first dream of attending school like her brother.

Amidst the smells of chillies and garlic frying, Chye Hoon begins to appreciate the richness of her traditions, eventually marrying Wong Peng Choon, a Chinese man. Together, they have ten children. At last, she can pass on the stories she has heard—magical tales of men from the sea—and her warrior’s courage, along with her wonderful kueh (cakes).

But the cultural shift towards the West has begun. Chye Hoon finds herself afraid of losing the heritage she so prizes as her children move more and more into the modernising Western world.



The Harbour Master by Daniel Pembrey (99p)

Henk van der Pol is a 30-year-term policeman, a few months off retirement. When he finds a woman’s body in Amsterdam Harbour, his detective instincts take over, even though it’s not his jurisdiction. Warned off investigating the case, Henk soon realises he can trust nobody, as his search for the killer leads him to discover the involvement of senior police officers, government corruption in the highest places, Hungarian people traffickers, and a deadly threat to his own family…

For fans of Euro Noir, John Harvey’s Charlie Resnick series and Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch, The Harbour Master is an action-packed detective investigation set in the evocative locale of Amsterdam. Delivering for Amsterdam what fans of Scandinavian fiction have come to love, this gripping novel shines a fascinating light on the dark side of a famously liberal society, combining vivid characterisation with ice-cold suspense.



Peloton of Two by Andrew Bowie (99p)

The surest way to know if you love someone or hate them is to travel with them … on a tandem.

Lifestyle journalist Catherine Pringle has no idea what she’s taking on when she says yes to a tandem cycling holiday with her boyfriend Nick. A complete cycling novice, Catherine sees the time alone with him as a much-needed opportunity to mend their troubled relationship. She even convinces her editor that it’s perfect material for a series of confessional articles and blog posts. But Nick is a goal-oriented adventure-travel expert who never does anything by halves, and Catherine soon finds herself committed to a summer-long 4,000-kilometre Tour de France.

The journey is barely under way when Nick injures his knee in a freak accident. Hoping for a quick recovery he persuades Catherine to keep the injury out of her column. One white lie leads to another and Catherine is soon spinning a complete fiction in print about the cycle tour. She writes nothing about the glacial pace of Nick’s recovery. And makes no mention of Steve Munro, an Australian traveller they depend on totally to keep the tour on the road.

Catherine thinks she knows what she wants from life. But the journey around France and the people she meets along the way make her question everything. As she waits for the lies she has written to be discovered, she is forced to confront a larger issue: Would she rather travel through life alone or as part of a Peloton of Two? And, if the latter is true, then who is her ideal tandem partner?


Born in a Burial Gown by Mike Craven (99p)

Detective Inspector Avison Fluke is a man on the edge. He has committed a crime to get back to work, concealed a debilitating illness and is about to be made homeless. Just as he thinks things can’t get any worse, the body of a young woman is found buried on a wet, Cumbrian building site.

Shot once in the back of the head, execution style, it is a cold, calculated murder. When the post-mortem reveals she has gone to significant expense in disguising her appearance, and the only clue to her identity is a strange series of numbers, Fluke knows this is no ordinary murder. With the help of a psychotic ex-Para, a gangland leader and a woman more interested in maggots than people, Fluke must find out who she was and why she was murdered before he can even think about finding her killer. As the body count rises and his investigation takes him from poverty stricken estates to picture perfect Lake District villages, he realises his troubles are only just beginning.

Because someone, somewhere has a plan and if Fluke can’t figure out what’s happening, he may just be next.


Giveaway/book wins


Ragdoll by Daniel Cole. Many thanks to Conville & Walsh for this giveaway. This is a draft copy as the book is not due for publication until Feb, but is another that is already garnering lots of of publicity and positive reviews.

Believe the hype. Sold in over 32 countries and counting, RAGDOLL is the standout thriller of the year. You will not be able to put this book down.

A body is discovered with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together, nicknamed by the press as the ‘Ragdoll’.

Assigned to the shocking case are Detective William ‘Wolf’ Fawkes, recently reinstated to the London Met, and his former partner Detective Emily Baxter.

The ‘Ragdoll Killer’ taunts the police by releasing a list of names to the media, and the dates on which he intends to murder them.

With six people to save, can Fawkes and Baxter catch a killer when the world is watching their every move?

Charity Shop Buys

Winter in Bloom by Tara Heavey

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Hothouse Flower by Lucinda Riley

Kindle Freebies (when I downloaded them)

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday by A L Michael

Forgotten by Heleyne Hammersley

Never Alone by Linn B Halton

The Ornament Box by Phillip Done


  1. You’ll be pleased to see that there are a few of yours that I also acquired this week. I’m tempted by The Harbour Master as I’m hearing a lot about it at the moment. I’ve read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I can’t remember much about it other than that it was good. I liked the film version too.

    Here are my purchases for the week (although perhaps I should be putting these on my own blog now!)
    The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick (Netgalley)
    Miss Treadway & the Field of Stars by Miranda Emmerson (Netgalley)
    Dark Angel by Geoffrey Archer (99p)
    The Speech by Andrew Smith (99p)
    Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land (Netgalley)
    The Cherry Tree Cafe by Heidi Swain (99p)
    Souper Mum by Kristen Bailey (£2.99)
    Where There’s A Will by Mary Malone (freebie)
    Dark Mirrors by Siobhain Bunni (freebie)
    Tattletale by Sarah J. Naughton (Amazon Vine)


  2. Good me Bad me sounds very interesting! I’m a little hesitant about books billed as the most this or most that of whatever year. I find that I often don’t end up liking them. But then again what if it’s true, and I miss out:) A book lover’s dilemma. I may check this one out


  3. I have The Speech too, to read for Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team. Wouldn’t have had you down as a lover or Christmas Chick Lit, but I suppose it’s a bit like me and my zombie fic… 😉


    • I’m not into all Christmas Chick Lit, indeed not even all Chick Lit, (which is a term I hate, though not sure that the recently spied ‘hen lit’ is any better). I think the recent Christmas list I produced (for my FB followers as much as anyone) also helped to suggest I’m more heavily into it than I am. With my purchase this week, it was Paris that for me was more of a draw if I’m honest. But I’m partial to the occasional foray into will they or won’t they misunderstanding strewn romance – it’s light relief after murder, mayhem and tension and it does lift the spirits. My conversion to the ‘Christmas’ theme is quite recent after one of the books I read and reviewed earlier this year had a sequel set at Christmas. I wanted to continue the story so was prepared to accept the Christmas element, which wasn’t as cheesy or contrived as I’d always imagined. So I guess it’s a bit like the never judge a book by it’s cover scenario, especially if it’s a genre you would otherwise enjoy. I guess zombies don’t ‘do’ Christmas or do they? ☺


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