Book Haul – week ended 6th January 2018

Happy New Year and here’s hoping it’s a bumper reading year for all of us. Luckily I don’t make resolutions as one of them might have been to cut down on acquiring books, as this week shows, that is showing no signs of slowing down – but I live in hope!

 

Kindle Purchases

 

Date with DeathDate With Death by Julia Chapman

Samson O’Brien has been dismissed from the police force, and returns to his hometown of Bruncliffe in the Yorkshire Dales to set up the Dales Detective Agency while he fights to clear his name. However, the people of Bruncliffe aren’t that welcoming to a man they see as trouble.

Delilah Metcalfe, meanwhile, is struggling to keep her business, the Dales Dating Agency, afloat – as well as trying to control her wayward Weimaraner dog, Tolpuddle. Then when Samson gets his first case, investigating the supposed suicide of a local man, things take an unexpected turn, and soon he discovers a trail of deaths that lead back to the door of Delilah’s agency.

With suspicion hanging over someone they both care for, the two feuding neighbours soon realize that they need to work together to solve the mystery of the dating deaths. But working together is easier said than done . . .

 

LarkinlandLarkinland by Jonathan Tulloch

Arriving in 1950s Hull, Arthur Merryweather finds himself lodging with the landlady from hell, and falling in love with fellow librarian Niamh O’Leary. But just as their love threatens to bloom, the mystery of Mr Bleaney, the enigmatic insurance salesman who rented his room before him, threatens to pull the poet into disaster and cast him into the criminal hinterland of ‘fish town’, that sublimely banal Larkinland ‘beached on the mudflats at the end of the railway line, like a brick seal with a woodbine in its gob’.

Hilarious, hugely enjoyable and deeply moving, Larkinland is the most compelling love story, mystery and biographical novel you are likely to read.

A pitch-perfect realisation of Larkin’s poetic world, the author also cooks up his own set of moving misadventures, which reveal the loneliness, commonplaces, fears, lusts and hope we all must face. Drawing on meetings with the women in Larkin’s life, Larkinland casts startlingly fresh light on one of Britain’s greatest ever poets.

 

Lemon Tree CafeThe Lemon Tree Cafe by Cathy Bramley

When Rosie Featherstone finds herself unexpectedly jobless, the offer to help her beloved Italian grandmother out at the Lemon Tree Cafe – a little slice of Italy nestled in the rolling hills of Derbyshire – feels like the perfect way to keep busy.

Surrounded by the rich scent of espresso, delicious biscotti and juicy village gossip, Rosie soon finds herself falling for her new way of life. But she is haunted by a terrible secret, one that even the appearance of a handsome new face can’t quite help her move on from.

Then disaster looms and the cafe’s fortunes are threatened . . . and Rosie discovers that her nonna has been hiding a dark past of her own. With surprises, betrayal and more than one secret brewing, can she find a way to save the Lemon Tree Cafe and help both herself and Nonna achieve the happy endings they deserve?

 

See Me NotSee Me Not by Janelle Harris

How well do you really know your Facebook friends? 

My husband loves me. 
I love him. 
But, a secret is eating us alive. 

It’s not the one I keep from him. 
It’s not the one he couldn’t keep from me. 
And, someone knows everything. 

A stranger. A stalker. An online nightmare. 
I’ve got mail. 

 

Secrets Between UsThe Secrets Between Us by Laura Madeleine

High in the mountains in the South of France, eighteen-year-old Ceci Corvin is trying hard to carry on as normal. But in 1943, there is no such thing as normal; especially not for a young woman in love with the wrong person. Scandal, it would seem, can be more dangerous than war.

Fifty years later, Annie is looking for her long-lost grandmother. Armed with nothing more than a sheaf of papers, she travels from England to Paris in pursuit of the truth. But as she traces her grandmother’s story, Annie uncovers something she wasn’t expecting, something that changes everything she knew about her family – and everything she thought she knew about herself…

Dangerous CrossingDangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

England, September 1939
Lily Shepherd boards a cruise liner for a new life in Australia and is plunged into a world of cocktails, jazz and glamorous friends. But as the sun beats down, poisonous secrets begin to surface. Suddenly Lily finds herself trapped with nowhere to go …

Australia, six-weeks later
The world is at war, the cruise liner docks, and a beautiful young woman is escorted onto dry land in handcuffs.

What has she done?

 

Finding AlisonFinding Alison by Deirdre Eustace

Grief and guilt. Love and resentment. A community divided.

No one in Carniskey has ever truly understood what led Sean Delaney, a seasoned local fisherman, to risk his life in a high storm in the dead of night. Now, three years on from that tragic night, his wife Alison is still struggling with her unresolved grief and increasing financial worries.

After three difficult years, Alison has grown distant from her daughter and estranged from her friends and fellow villagers, particularly her best friend Kathleen who harbours a deeply guarded secret of her own. Isolated by its stunning yet often cruel surroundings, this is a community used to looking after its own but the arrival of an outsider – artist and lifelong nomad, William – offers Alison a new perspective on life and love that threatens to unearth the mysteries of the past.

 

BurningThe Burning by Jane Casey

The media call him The Burning Man, a brutal murderer who has beaten four young women to death, before setting their bodies ablaze in secluded areas of London’s parks. And now the fifth victim has been found…

Maeve Kerrigan is an ambitious detective constable, keen to make her mark on the murder task force. Her male colleagues believe Maeve’s empathy makes her weak, but the more she learns about the latest victim, Rebecca Haworth, from her grieving friends and family, the more determined Maeve becomes to bring her murderer to justice.

But how do you catch a killer no one has seen? And when so much of the evidence they leave behind has gone up in smoke?

 

Stranger You KnowThe Stranger You Know by Jane Casey

He meets women.
He gains their trust.
He kills them.

That’s all Maeve Kerrigan knows about the man she is hunting. Three women have been strangled in their homes by the same sadistic killer. With no sign of a break-in, every indication shows that they let him in.

But the evidence is pointing at a shocking suspect: DI Josh Derwent, Maeve’s colleague.

Maeve refuses to believe he could be involved, but how well does she really know him? Because this isn’t the first time Derwent’s been accused of murder…

 

Tehran MoonlightThe Tehran Moonlight by Azin Sametipour

Love, loyalty and identity collide in Azin Sametipour’s compelling debut novel, Tehran Moonlight. Vividly set in a country where women have no voice, one woman’s fight for love and her own identity result in unimaginable consequences.
She was 23, beautiful, a violinist in love with her passion. A rebel born into a conservative family where belief was everything and honor shackled women in place. Then she met Ashkan.
He was 27, gorgeous, born to an Iranian father in Boston. A successful architect in the States who had returned to Iran to find his past. Then he met Mahtab.
A heart wrenching tale of love, family and hope, Sametipour’s Tehran Moonlight ultimately demonstrates the power of love and redemption in the midst of brutal oppression.

 

Running Away to EuropeRunning Away to Europe by Nicolette Johnston

In this soul-searching story, Nicolette explores England and France. But her adventure quickly turns into a comedy of errors, leaving her trip to resemble nothing like the dream vacation she envisioned. She leaves her passport on a bus in England, gets pickpocketed in Paris, has a fender bender on a narrow village road in the Loire Valley, and realizes she is truly alone when she can’t communicate in French. Despite blogging her adventures to the world, she internally struggles with which direction in life to go next. Vowing to keep incoming communication to a minimum during her escape; she wanders thru parks, gardens, and the French country hoping to find inner peace. Yet, she knows her biggest struggle still lies ahead. Does she return to John in Florida? The kindest man she’s ever known despite his shortcomings, and why can’t she forget Jett? The man she told herself never to surrender her heart to. But first, she must remember why she ran away in the first place. 

With her vacation…err, ‘run’ coming to an end, the thought of figuring out the next chapter is nearly paralyzing, but she knows she can’t avoid facing her future forever.

 

Dancing Over the HillDancing Over the Hill by Cathy Hopkins

When a boxset of Broadchurch is more appealing than having sex with your husband, then perhaps it’s time to hide the remote…

Cait and Matt have been married for 30 years. They are rock solid. An inspiration to others. Stuck together like glue. But Cait can’t shake off the feeling that something is missing. The whole world should be their oyster now that Matt has retired, so why does she feel shut up like a clam?

Things get more complicated when Tom Lewis, the man who broke her heart at university, makes a reappearance – still as charming as ever. Her friends, widow Lorna and newly-single Debs, have their own views of what Cait should do – but she isn’t in the mood to listen.

When Tom makes Cait an unexpected offer, Cait feels the pull of a different life. Has she got the guts to take the plunge, or does it take more courage to give her marriage another chance?

 

Year of Surprising Acts of KindnessThe Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness by Laura Kemp

Sometimes all it takes to make the world a better place is a small act of kindness…

When Ceri Price arrives in the small seaside village in West Wales, she only means to stay for a couple of nights – long enough to scatter her mother’s ashes, and then go back to her life as a successful make-up entrepreneur.

But a case of mistaken identities means she lands a job as the barmaid in the local pub, she unexpectedly finds friendship, and wonders if love might follow… But when the plans for a new housing estate put the local woodland under threat, she fears the way of life here could disappear.

Then mysterious acts of kindness start springing up around the village – a string of bunting adorns the streets, a new village signpost appears out of nowhere and someone provides paint to spruce up the houses on the seafront. Who is behind these acts of kindness and can they help in the race to save the village from the faceless developers…?

Welcome to the Village of Love. Where friendship flourishes and love blossoms…

 

Paperbacks 

 

It's Who We AreIt’s Who We Are by Christine Webber – published 16 Jan

Five friends in their fifties find themselves dealing with unforeseen upheaval as they uncover long-hidden and devastating family secrets. Meanwhile, the world around them seems to be spinning out of control. 
The events of It’s Who We Are take place between October 2016 and June 2017, against a backdrop of all the political uncertainty and change in the UK, Europe and America. 
The story is set in East Anglia, London and Ireland, and is about friendship, kindness and identity. Most importantly, it highlights how vital it is to reach for what enhances rather than depletes you.

 

Hidden PastsHidden Pasts by Clio Gray – published 18th Jan

Hestan Island, marooned in the Solway Firth, tethered to the mainland at low tide by a causeway called The Rack; Hestan home to two men quietly living out their lives, until a boy is almost crushed to death in their tiny copper mine, when their shared past begins to unravel. Over at Balcary House, Brogar Finn and Sholto McKay arrive, and soon become involved in the affairs on Hestan, which in turn leads them back through the bloody wars of Crimea and the lands of the Tartars. 

The third in the Scottish Mysteries, Hidden Pasts is host to a complex plot that explores the history of a little known part of Scotland, and explores how small, seemingly insignificant, events can echo down the years, with deadly consequence.

 

House of Hopes and DreamsHouse of Hopes and Dreams by Trisha Ashley published 8 March

When Carey Revell unexpectedly becomes the heir to Mossby, his family’s ancestral home, it’s rather a mixed blessing. The house is large but rundown and comes with a pair of resentful relatives who can’t be asked to leave. 
Still, newly dumped by his girlfriend and also from his job as a TV interior designer, Carey needs somewhere to lick his wounds. And Mossby would be perfect for a renovation show. He already knows someone who could restore the stained glass windows in the older part of the house…

Angel Arrowsmith has spent the last ten years happily working and living with her artist mentor and partner. But suddenly bereaved, she finds herself heartbroken, without a home or a livelihood. Life will never be the same again – until old friend Carey Revell comes to the rescue.

They move in to Mossby with high hopes. But the house has a secret at its heart: an old legend concerning one of the famous windows. Will all their dreams for happiness be shattered? Or can Carey and Angel find a way to make this house a home?

 

Happy Reading!!

24 comments

  1. I snapped up Dangerous Crossing as well as I’d had that on my wishlist for a while. I’m tempted by Larkinland, haven’t come across that before, and by The Secrets Between Us, because I like the sound of the setting but I’m trying to be good and read what I’ve already got before I add too many more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha I don’t know what being good means! I’ve seen everyone raving about Dangerous Crossing so that was a must. Larkinland was a steal at 99p as it’s back to £5. It was reviewed by Karen at Booker Talk and caught my eye, not least because I’m from Hull. Now just need time and ability to read some.

      Liked by 1 person

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