October Book Haul

So the thing is, last month I said I’d be keeping my purchasing in check, because it’s no secret that I’ve got more books, than years left to read them in. I started this month quite well and was very frugal – and then I wasn’t! The thing is I don’t really care. I’m not going to apologise anymore for buying things I know I won’t read. I don’t spend a lot on books – I buy the bulk of them as Kindle offers anyway. But the thing is, buying them helps put a few pennies in the pockets of an author, and the possible exposure provided my monthly hauls might help promote a few more titles. So my monthly expenditure, small though it might be, helps to fund more writing and that can never be a bad thing. 

 

Kindle Purchases

 

CitadelCitadel by Kate Mosse

1942, Nazi-occupied France. Sandrine, a spirited and courageous nineteen-year-old, finds herself drawn into a Resistance group in Carcassonne – codenamed ‘Citadel’ – made up of ordinary women who are prepared to risk everything for what is right.

And when she meets Raoul, they discover a shared passion for the cause, for their homeland, and for each other.

But in a world where the enemy now lies in every shadow – where neighbour informs on neighbour; where friends disappear without warning and often without trace – love can demand the highest price of all…

 

The Madonna of The MountainsThe Madonna of the Mountains by Elise Valmorbida

1923
Maria Vittoria is embroidering a sheet for her dowry trunk.

Her father has gone to find her a husband. He’s taken his mule, a photograph and a pack of food: home-made sopressa sausage, cold polenta, a little flask of wine – no need to take water – the world is full of water.

There are no eligible men in this valley or the next one, and her father will not let her marry just anyone, and now, despite Maria’s years, she is still healthy. Her betrothed will see all that. He’ll be looking for a woman who can do the work.

Maria can do the work. Everyone in the contrà says that.

And the Lord knows Maria will need to be able to work. Fascism blooms as crops ripen, the state craves babies just as the babies cry for food. Maria faces a stony path, but one she will surely climb to the summit.

In this sumptuous and elegant novel you will taste the bigoli co l’arna, touch the mulberry leaves cut finer than organdie, and feel the strain of one woman attempting to keep her family safe in the most dangerous of times.

 

The Diary of Two NobodiesThe Diary of Two Nobodies by Giles Wood and Mary Killen

Everybody is a somebody.

Giles is a countryman who relishes solitude. His wife Mary thrives in company and enjoys frequent escapes to London.

After thirty years in a marriage of opposites, Giles and Mary have adapted to a life of domestic misunderstandings within comical misadventures.

In The Diary of Two Nobodies, you will have the unique opportunity to discover, first hand, what occurs when a man who sees himself as a cross between Mr Bean and Basil Fawlty shares his life with a woman who identifies closely with the Queen.

Featuring original illustrations by the artist Giles, himself.

 

The Memory CollectorThe Memory Collector by Fiona Harper

Heather Lucas lives her life through other people’s memories.

Heather doesn’t want to remember her childhood, not when her mother’s extreme hoarding cast her family life into disarray.

For Heather’s mother, every possession was intimately connected to a memory, so when Heather uncovers a secret about her past that could reveal why her mother never let anything go, she knows there’s only one place she’ll find answers – behind the locked door of her spare room, where the remains of her mother’s hoard lie hidden.

As Heather uncovers both objects and memories, will the truth set her free? Or will she discover she’s more like her mother than she ever thought possible?

A powerful, uplifting story about love, loss and the things we leave behind, perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Keeper of Lost Things.

 

The Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement VillageThe Single Ladies of Jacaranda Retirement Village by Joanna Nell

It’s never too late to grow old disgracefully…

The life of 79-year-old pensioner Peggy Smart is as beige as the décor in her retirement village. Her week revolves around aqua aerobics and appointments with her doctor. The highlight of Peggy’s day is watching her neighbour Brian head out for his morning swim.

Peggy dreams of inviting the handsome widower – treasurer of the Residents’ Committee and one of the few eligible men in the village – to an intimate dinner. But why would an educated man like Brian, a chartered accountant no less, look twice at Peggy? As a woman of a certain age, she fears she has become invisible, even to men in their eighties.

But a chance encounter with an old school friend she hasn’t seen in five decades – the glamorous fashionista Angie Valentine – sets Peggy on an unexpected journey of self-discovery.

Can she channel her ‘inner Helen Mirren’ and find love and friendship in her twilight years?

 

The Secret OrphanThe Secret Orphan by Glynis Peters (Pre-order due 9 November)

Keep her secret  

Keep her safe

On the 14th November 1940, Hitler’s bombs rain down on Coventry. From the rubble of a bombed-out family home, a young girl is saved … but at what cost?

As the Nazis’ relentless bombs fall during the Blitz of Coventry, six-year-old Rose Sherbourne finds herself orphaned and under the guardianship of a Cornish farmer’s daughter, Elenor Cardew.

Elenor knows that the only way to protect spirited Rose is to leave the city and make a new life for themselves away from harm. But soon Elenor discovers that Hitler’s firestorm is not the only thing she must fear when she learns a devastating secret about Rose…

With Rose’s life in imminent danger, Elenor turns to the only person she can trust to keep the deadly secret, heroic Canadian pilot, Jackson St John. And amidst the destruction of war, an unlikely romance blossoms as they find a way to protect the child they have both grown to love…and each other.

 

The Shape of UsThe Shape of Us by Drew Davies (Pre-order due 27 November)

One day in London…

Daisy is rushing to work when a stranger on a bicycle almost knocks her over – and asks for her number.

A week later, Daisy and Chris are both exactly twelve minutes late for their first date. After recovering from the shock that Chris is allergic to cats, they drink mojitos, hold hands along the River Thames, whizz through the city in a black cab, and dance till the early hours of the morning.

Finally, this is the start of Daisy’s big love story. Except… Chris is hiding a secret. Daisy makes a mistake. And somewhere, along the way, things go very wrong.

Across town, a wife in her sixties is trying to win her beloved husband back from his mistress. A young man has lost his job and is living a lie. A teenage boy leaves his house for the first time in months, desperate to save the love of his life.

In a city of 8 million people, life can be surprisingly lonely. If you let happiness slip through your fingers, what are the chances of finding it again? Or is love always waiting just around the corner?

 

The Lost DaughterThe Lost Daughter by Gill Paul

1918
With the country they once ruled turned against them, the future of Russia’s imperial family hangs in the balance. When middle daughter Maria Romanova captivates two of the guards, it will lead to a fateful choice between right and wrong.

Fifty-five years later . . .
Val rushes to her father’s side when she hears of his troubling end-of-life confession: ‘I didn’t want to kill her.’ As she unravels the secrets behind her mother’s disappearance when she was twelve years old, she finds herself caught up in one of the world’s greatest mysteries.

 

Meet me at the MuseumMeet me at the Museum by Anne Youngson

Please be aware I am writing to you to make sense of myself …

When the curator of a Danish museum responds to a query about ancient exhibits, he doesn’t expect a reply.

When Tina Hopgood first wrote it, nor did she …

Professor Anders Larsen, an urbane man of facts, has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. He does not know that a query from a Mrs Tina Hopgood about a world-famous antiquity in his museum is about to alter the course of his life.

Oceans apart, an unexpected correspondence flourishes as they discover shared passions: for history and nature; for useless objects left behind by loved ones; for the ancient and modern world, what is lost in time, what is gained and what has stayed the same. Through intimate stories of joy, anguish, and discovery, each one bares their soul to the other. But when Tina’s letters suddenly cease, Anders is thrown into despair. Can this unlikely friendship survive?

 

Summer Holidays Survival GuideThe Summer Holidays Survival Guide by Jon Rance

A comedy for every parent who has survived the school summer holidays

Two parents. Three children. One senile grandad. Six weeks. How bad could it possibly be?

For teacher, Ben Robinson, the school summer holidays mean one thing – spending six weeks with his kids. This year, however, he also has his father and one very angry wife to contend with. The name of the game is simple: survive.

Ben embarks on a summer of self-discovery that includes, amongst other things, becoming besotted by a beautiful Australian backpacker, an accidental Brexit march and a road rage attack. There’s also the matter of saving his marriage, which is proving harder than he imagined, mainly due to an unfortunate pyramid scheme and one quite large bottom.

But when Ben learns his father has a secret, it takes the whole family on a trip to Scotland that will make or break their summer – and perhaps Ben’s life.

 

The Silent Woman

The Silent Woman by Terry Lynn Thomas

Would you sell your secrets?

Catherine Carlisle is trapped in a loveless marriage and the threat of World War Two is looming. She sees no way out… that is until a trusted friend asks her to switch her husband’s papers in a desperate bid to confuse the Germans.

Soon Catherine finds herself caught up in a deadly mixture of espionage and murder. Someone is selling secrets to the other side, and the evidence seems to point right at her.

Can she clear her name before it’s too late?

 

Then She Was GoneThen She was Gone by Luca Veste

Tim Johnson took his baby daughter out for a walk and she never made it home. Johnson claims he was assaulted and the girl was snatched. The police see a different crime, with Johnson their only suspect.

A year later, Sam Bryne is on course to be elected as one of the youngest MPs in Westminster. He’s tipped for the very top … until he vanishes.

Detectives Murphy and Rossi are tasked with discovering what has happened to the popular politician – and in doing so, they unearth a trail that stretches into the past, and crimes that someone is hell-bent on avenging.

 

Keep You By My SideKeep You by my Side by Callie Langridge

Are family secrets the ties that bind or the lies that divide?

The secrets of one family live in the walls of a cottage perched high on a Dorset cliff. But secrets can only be kept for so long.

Follow three generations of a family from war-torn London, to the permissive 60s and liberated 80s. Gertie, Rose and Abi live through joy, tragedy and heartache as they navigate complicated mother-daughter relationships and learn the importance of friends and finding love. When circumstances force them under the same roof, secrets begin to unravel and promises made in love threaten to tear them apart.

How far would you go to protect the people you love?

 

Dying in the DarkDying in the Dark by Noelle Holten (pre-order due 31/5/19)

When two domestic abuse offenders are found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who supervises two of the victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a third domestic abuser is brutally murdered. And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the finger of suspicion points at Lucy and the police are running out of time. Can Maggie and her team solve the murders before another person dies? And is Lucy really a cold-blooded killer?

 

Sunrise at Butterfly CoveSunrise at Butterfly Cove by Sarah Bennett

A year of taking chances…

After a nightmare year, Mia Sutherland is hoping for a fresh start! She’s putting the past behind her and pouring all her savings into renovating a crumbling guesthouse in peaceful Butterfly Cove. Nothing will distract her from achieving her dreams!

That is, until her very first guest, Daniel Fitzwilliam arrives – quite possibly, the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen. He’s only here for a week, but already Daniel has turned her world upside-down. And as the tide turns, it’s clear that Butterfly Cove has more than one surprise in store for Mia…

 

Her Shadows StandHer Shadows Stand by Billie Erin

What really happened to Sadie Montgomery…?

Somebody is digging into Sadie’s death. But as more details emerge, the truth seems further away.

Where did she get the money? Why did she leave for New York?

And who is it that’s devoting their life to this sinister investigation?

What are they really hoping to uncover?

 

The Murder of Harriet MoncktonThe Murder of Harriet Monckton by Elizabeth Haynes

From the award-winning and bestselling author of Into the Darkest Corner comes a delicious Victorian crime novel based on a true story that shocked and fascinated the nation.

On 7th November 1843, Harriet Monckton, 23 years old and a woman of respectable parentage and religious habits, is found murdered in the privy behind the chapel she regularly attended in Bromley, Kent.

The community is appalled by her death, apparently as a result of swallowing a fatal dose of prussic acid, and even more so when the surgeon reports that Harriet was around six months pregnant.

Drawing on the coroner’s reports and witness testimonies, Elizabeth Haynes builds a compelling picture of Harriet’s final hours through the eyes of those closest to her and the last people to see her alive. Her fellow teacher and companion, her would-be fiancé, her seducer, her former lover—all are suspects; each has a reason to want her dead.

A Ration Book ChristmasA Ration Book Christmas by Jean Fullerton

In the darkest days of the Blitz, Christmas is more important than ever.

With Christmas approaching, the Brogan family of London’s East End are braving the horrors of the Blitz. With the men away fighting for King and Country and the ever-present dangers of the German Luftwaffe’s nightly reign of death and destruction, the family must do all they can to keep a stiff upper lip.

For Jo, the youngest of the Brogan sisters, the perils of war also offer a new-found freedom. Jo falls in love with Tommy, a man known for his dangerous reputation as much as his charm. But as the falling bombs devastate their neighbourhood and rationing begins to bite, will the Brogans manage to pull together a traditional family Christmas? And will Jo find the love and security she seeks in a time of such grave peril?

 

The List That Changed My LifeThe List that Changed my Life by Olivia Beirne (pre-order due 22 Nov)

Georgia loves wine, reality TV and sitting on the sofa after work. She does not love heights, looking at her bank account, going on dates, or activities that involve a sports bra. And she will never, ever take a risk.

That is, until her braver, bolder, big sister finds out that she won’t be able to tick off the things she wanted to do before turning thirty, and turns to Georgia to help her finish her list.

With the birthday just months away, Georgia suddenly has a deadline to learn to grab life with both hands. Could she be brave enough to take the leap, for her sister?

And how might her own life change if she did?

 

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy BakerThe Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker by Jenni Keer (pre-order due 10 Jan 2019)

Meet Lucy, aged 25, and Brenda, aged 79. Neighbours, and unlikely friends.

Lucy Baker is not your usual 25-year-old. She is more at home reading and knitting in her cluttered little flat than going out partying and socialising.

79-year-old Brenda is full of wise and wonderful advice, but when she’s diagnosed with dementia her life begins to change. Before her memories slip away for ever, Brenda is desperate to fulfil one last wish – to see Lucy happy.

Gifting Lucy the locket that helped Brenda find her own true love, she hopes to push her reticent neighbour in the right direction. But is Lucy Baker ready for the opportunities and heartbreaks of the real world? It’s about time she put her knitting needles aside and found out…

 

A Jarful of MoondreamsA Jarful of Moondreams by Chrissie Bradshaw

Shocking secrets are about to spill out of the moondream jar this summer. A modern family saga that starts in Northumberland and takes the reader on holiday to Italy and Egypt. The Egyptian jar is where the Moon family, Teri, Cleo and Alex, keep their special memories and dreams for the future but it also holds the secrets of Teri’s past. Is this the summer where her daughters, Cleo and Alex, learn to get along? Who will find love? Will their dreams come true ? A page turner with drama and romance. An uplifting read.

 

SnowflakeSnowflake by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

Lori Belkin has been dumped. By her parents.
They moved out while she was away on holiday, and now, at the tender age of twenty-five, she must stand on her own two feet.
While she’s getting to grips with basic adulting, Lori magically brings to life the super-sexy man she created from celebrity photos as a teenager.
Lori learns very quickly that having your ideal man is not as satisfying as it ought to be and that being an adult is far harder than it looks.
Snowflake is a story about prehistoric pets, delinquent donkeys and becoming the person you want to be, not the person everyone else expects you to be.

 

TERMINUS

Terminus by Pete Brassett

Detective Munro is on the back foot when a dangerous killer always seems to be one step ahead.

Having been the victim of a hit and run accident, and despite being black and blue, DI Munro wastes no time in trying to find out the identity of the perpetrator.

In the meantime, a junior detective receives a call from a concerned member of the public, worried that a recently deceased friend’s will had been unlawfully changed.

What connects these two events will be crucial to the detective’s investigation. But when prime witnesses turn up dead, they’ll discover they have a more serious case on their hands. With attempted murder upgraded to a full-scale murder investigation, can the police close in on a mysterious killer or will Munro be finally outwitted?

 

The AccidentThe Accident by Dawn Goodwin

Veronica Pullman‘s comfortable suburban life comes to a shuddering halt when her young daughter, Grace, tragically dies in a car accident.

Months later, unable to come to terms with her daughter’s death, detached from her husband and alienated from her friends and family, a chance encounter on a rainy street pushes her into an unlikely new friendship.

Scarlet is everything Veronica could’ve been: feisty, adventurous, unpredictable. But as she approaches what would have been Grace’s 10th birthday, it becomes clear to Veronica that the friendship she thought was saving her life could be costing her everything.

Consumed by grief and left questioning her own sanity, is there anyone she can really trust or is someone out to torment her as part of their twisted game?

 

FINAL BREATHFinal Breath by Robert F Barker

Eighteen months on from the case that nearly cost him his life, only DCI Jamie Carver knows the incredible extent of the Worshipper Killer’s network of depravity – and the storm that will hit when others learn of it. They include those who walk Whitehall’s corridors of power, as well as others in high office, and even, maybe, the upper echelons of the Police Service itself. When former members of that network start dying, Carver suspects that someone is out to make sure that their involvement at least, remains hidden -and will stop at nothing to do so. Needing information, fast , but right now chained to a desk, his only recourse is the person who, after last time, he vowed to never have contact with again – the extraordinary and dangerously-seductive dominatrix, Megan Crane.

 

Hush HushHush Hush by Mel Sherratt

A killer is on the loose, attacking people in places they feel most safe: their workplaces, their homes. It’s up to DS Grace Allendale to stop the murders, and prove herself to her new team.

All clues lead to local crime family the Steeles, but that’s where things get complicated. Because the Steeles aren’t just any family, they’re Grace’s family. Two brothers and two sisters, connected by the violent father only Grace and her mother escaped.

To catch the killer, Grace will have to choose between her team and her blood. But who do you trust, when both sides are out to get you?

 

Luigi's Freedom RideLuigi’s Freedom Ride by Alan Murray 

Luigi is a young Italian boy growing up in tuscany in the 1920s, dreaming of cowboys and adventure, when a young Englishman, passing through on his way to Rome, gives him his first bicycle, thus sparking a lifelong passion. When World War II begins, Luigi enlists with the Bersaglieri, the Italian Army Cycling Corps (naturally), before unexpectedly finding himself fighting alongside the Partisans. Despite encountering great sorrow and tragedy, Luigi’s zest for life remains undiminished, and his next adventure sees him cycling through the Holy Land, turkey and Sri Lanka before finding an unexpected home – and an extraordinary surprise – in Australia. An irrepressibly optimistic, sweetly funny story, Luigi’s Freedom Ride is about life, bicycles and the joy of the journey – showing how even a small life, lived in the shadow of great events, can be rich in contentment and spirit.

 

Last Woman HangedLast Woman Hanged by Caroline Overington

Two husbands, four trials and one bloody execution: Winner of the 2015 Davitt Award for Best Crime Book (Non-fiction) — the terrible true story of Louisa Collins.

In January 1889, Louisa Collins, a 41-year-old mother of ten children, became the first woman hanged at Darlinghurst Gaol and the last woman hanged in New South Wales. Both of Louisa’s husbands had died suddenly and the Crown, convinced that Louisa poisoned them with arsenic, put her on trial an extraordinary four times in order to get a conviction, to the horror of many in the legal community. Louisa protested her innocence until the end.

Much of the evidence against Louisa was circumstantial. Some of the most important testimony was given by her only daughter, May, who was just 10-years-old when asked to take the stand. Louisa Collins was hanged at a time when women were in no sense equal under the law — except when it came to the gallows. They could not vote or stand for parliament — or sit on juries. Against this background, a small group of women rose up to try to save Louisa’s life, arguing that a legal system comprised only of men — male judges, all-male jury, male prosecutor, governor and Premier — could not with any integrity hang a woman. The tenacity of these women would not save Louisa but it would ultimately carry women from their homes all the way to Parliament House.

 

The Lightkeeper's DaughtersThe Lightkeeper’s Daughters by Jean Pendziwol

Elizabeth grew up in a lighthouse, inseparable from her enigmatic twin sister Emily. Their father, the lightkeeper, kept a journal of his observations and their daily life. When those journals are discovered on a shipwrecked boat, many decades later, Elizabeth is living in a retirement home and her eyesight is failing.

She enlists the help of a troubled teenager, Morgan, to read to her, and an unlikely friendship grows between the two. But as Morgan reads on, Elizabeth discovers that the past revealed is not as she remembers it, and that the journal may contain answers to unexplained events that have haunted her all her life . . .

 

My Reign in SpainMy Reign in Spain by Rich Bradwell

When Rich Bradwell was told he had to give his best man’s speech in Spanish, he did the only thing he could think of: he went to Spain. Despite a near-zero knowledge of the language, he had three months to learn. No problem, or so Rich kept telling himself.

Rich dives in at the deep end by moving in with an unintelligible Spanish landlady, and a German roommate, Nils, who insists on being called by his Spanish name, “Miguel”. Unsurprisingly, Miguel can only take Rich’s Spanish so far. Instead, Rich takes his chances on a journey across Spain.

Follow Rich on a hilarious, life-changing trip as he learns about the history, traditions and culture of this fascinating country. He travels through the vineyards of La Rioja, surfs in the Basque Country and frantically tries to speak Spanish at anyone he can find. In Granada, the last outpost of the Muslim Moors in Spain, Rich’s moment finally arrives. The microphone is on and the audience is ready, but is he?

 

The Almost WifeThe Almost Wife by Jade Beer

Helen knows exactly how many stitches to hem a gown, the best type of silk for summer and how to make any woman look beautiful… but she doesn’t know how to fix her own broken heart.

Helen Whittaker’s beloved husband died three years ago. She misses him every moment of every day. The only thing that eases her pain is her job at the White Gallery – a gorgeous boutique tucked away in her tumbledown, wisteria-covered cottage in the English countryside.

Helen doesn’t know how to ask for help – not even from her own daughter, who feels so distant since it happened. Helen doesn’t even know she needs saving… but everything is about to change

Sometimes life’s unexpected twists can change everything in a moment. Sometimes heartbreak is the only way you can begin to heal. And sometimes second chances can be found in the most unlikely of places.

 

GoddessGoddess by Kelly Gardiner

A sparkling, witty and compelling novel based on the tragic rise and fall of the beautiful seventeenth century swordswoman and opera singer, Julie d’Aubigny (also known as La Maupin), a woman whose story is too remarkable to be true – and yet it is.

Versailles, 1686: Julie d’Aubigny, a striking young girl taught to fence and fight in the court of the Sun King, is taken as mistress by the King’s Master of Horse. tempestuous, swashbuckling and volatile, within two years she has run away with her fencing master, fallen in love with a nun and is hiding from the authorities, sentenced to be burnt at the stake. Within another year, she has become a beloved star at the famed Paris Opera. Her lovers include some of Europe’s most powerful men and France’s most beautiful women. Yet Julie is destined to die alone in a convent at the age of 33. Based on an extraordinary true story, this is an original, dazzling and witty novel – a compelling portrait of an unforgettable woman.

 

Scream Blue MurderScream Blue Murder by Tony J Forder

Mike Lynch is going through hard times. But things get much worse when he witnesses a murder in a lay-by. Snatching the victim’s car in order to get away, Mike soon makes a shocking discovery – the victim’s young daughter and her nanny are hiding in the rear footwell. This is when the real trouble begins.

Mike wants to go to the police, but the nanny, Melissa, wants to delay until the daughter, Charlie, is somewhere safe. Mike agrees to this request before finding out the seriousness of the situation, and just how much danger they are really in.

Who exactly was the man he saw murdered? And who is the man he saw pulling the trigger?

In a situation where nothing is what it seems, Mike will have to fight for his life to protect a woman and a child he doesn’t know. And when the death count rises, he will discover what kind of man he really is.

When you can’t identify the victim, how can you find the killer?

 

Cold Winter SunCold Winter Sun by Tony J Forder (published 1st Nov)

A missing man. A determined hunter. A deadly case.

When Mike Lynch is contacted by his ex-wife about the missing nephew of her new husband, he offers to help find the young man with the help of his friend Terry Cochran.

Arriving in LA to try and track down the young man, the pair are immediately torn away when the missing man’s car shows up, abandoned on the side of a deserted road in New Mexico.

When two fake police officers cross their path, Terry and Mike know there is more to the case than meets the eye, and soon they find themselves asking exactly who it is they are really looking for…

 

My Perfect StrangerMy Perfect Stranger by Kat French

***Previously published as The Piano Man Project***

Finding love isn’t always black and white… Full of laughs, heart-stopping romance and a hero to die for, this book is the only love story you need to take on holiday with you!

You: kind, piano-playing sex god
Me: hopelessly romantic charity shop manager

Honeysuckle Jones has a problem, and her best friends Nell and Tash are on a mission to help her solve it. She needs a man – a caring, intelligent, funny man. But most importantly, a man who’s good with his hands…

Luckily Honey’s new neighbour – moody, antisocial ex-chef Hal – fails on almost every count. Even though the chemistry between them is electric, he’s obviously wrong for her in every way.

But when Honey discovers the devastating reason for his moods she decides to give him another chance. And discovers that the best songs aren’t always in tune…

 

The Alone AlternativeThe Alone Alternative by Linda MacDonald 

Former classmates Edward and Marianne, now fifty-five, have experienced a turbulent few years having lost contact with each other and suffered painful disruption to their home lives. Reunited again, this time through Twitter, they set about a search for personal fulfilment, but once again there are obstacles in the way – not least in the form of twice-widowed Jessica, Edward’s neighbour, who threatens to destroy their pursuit of happiness and whose behaviour has alarming consequences.

The extraordinary weather conditions prompt Edward and a former colleague to resurrect an idea for a documentary series that sets to challenge consumerist lifestyles. The Isles of Scilly become a model for sustainability and a filming trip to the islands provides an idyllic backdrop to the unfolding romantic tensions.

Set in 2012, the year of the London Olympics, the action alternates between Broadclyst and Beckenham and examines the difficult issues faced in committing to a new relationship in midlife. Could being alone be a preferable alternative?

 

A Meeting of a Different KindA Meeting of a Different Kind by Linda MacDonald

When archaeologist Edward Harvey’s wife Felicity inherits almost a million, she gives up her job, buys a restaurant and, as a devotee of Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, starts turning their home into a small eco-farm. Edward is not happy, not least because she seems to be losing interest in him. Taryn is a borderline manic-depressive, a scheming minx, a seductress and user of men. Edward and Taryn don’t know each other but they both know Marianne. To Edward, Marianne is a former classmate who sends him crazy emails. She is Taryn’s best friend, and when Marianne meets Edward, she tells Taryn how wonderful he is and that he is not the philandering type. Taryn sees a challenge and concocts a devious plan to meet him during a series of lectures he is giving at the British Museum. When Edward and Taryn’s paths cross, questions of friendship, loyalty and betrayal are played out against a backdrop of mental fragility and the destabilising effects of a large inheritance… Set in Broadclyst and Beckenham, with a chapter on the Isles of Scilly, A Meeting of a Different Kind is the stand-alone sequel to Meeting Lydia, continuing the story from the perspectives of two very different characters. Like its prequel, it will appeal to fans of adult fiction, especially those interested in the psychology of relationships.

 

Unspoken TruthsUnspoken Truths by Liz Mistry

DI Gus McGuire and his team navigate a complex web of intrigue, espionage, and murder. In Bradford, Manchester and on Saddleworth Moor, Gus will be pushed to his physical and psychological limits.

First, a train between Manchester and Bradford is deliberately derailed by a vehicle carrying drugs, then a woman’s tortured body is discovered in Keighley. But when Gus’ brother-in-law goes missing, the investigation becomes personal.

As he battles against the storms of the Beast from the East, Gus must uncover the links between the crimes.  as well as the reason behind the disappearance of his brother in law. With the body count increasing, Gus sets his team loose on the Dark Web but how will Gus react when he discovers that things are not as they seem?

Meanwhile, DS Alice Cooper faces extreme danger in prison and, as the evidence mounts against her, Gus and his team’s loyalties are pushed to the limit.

Can Gus stop the blueprint for a deadly bioweapon from falling into the wrong hands? Can he solve a series of murders and track down a psychotic killer?

Never before has Gus faced a test as demanding as this….

 

Book of LoveThe Book of Love by Fionnuala Kearney

One love. Two people. Twenty Years.

From the moment they met, Erin and Dom loved each other too much, too quickly. Everyone said it wouldn’t last. But they knew differently.

A wedding present, a notebook, brings them together through the good times and the bad. On the blank pages of their love story, they write down everything they can’t always say – the secrets, the heartbreak, the highs and lows. It’s where they see the best and worst of each other.

Falling in love is easy but staying in love is where the story begins…

 

Tale of a ToothTale of a Tooth by Allie Rogers

Four-year-old Danny lives with his mother, Natalie, in a small Sussex town. Life is a struggle and when they are threatened with a benefits sanction, salvation appears in the form of a Job Centre employee called Karen. But Karen’s impact is to reach far beyond this one generous gesture, as she and Natalie embark on an intense relationship.

Told in the voice of an intelligent, passionate and unusual child, Tale of a Tooth is an immersive and compelling look at the impact of domestic abuse on a vulnerable family unit.

 

Book Giveaways and Wins

 

Staying OnStaying On by C M Taylor – giveaway courtesy of Duckworth Publishers

A geriatric coming-of-age story …

Retired expat, Tony Metcalfe, is going through a three-quarter-life crisis. Viva España, his bar in a mountain village beyond Spain’s Costa Blanca, is failing. Tony started the bar for the English post-war babies who retired early on good pensions – the por favors, as the Spanish call them – flocking to the dream of wine, rest and sun around the pool. But now their retirement paradise is shadowed by Brexit: the pound has fallen, pensions are frozen and the property crash happened long ago.

Tony wants to move back to enjoy the remainder of his life in his childhood home, but his tenacious wife Laney wants to stay in the happy valley and forget about England and the dark, unresolved feelings it provokes in their marriage. Sod it – he couldn’t go home even if he tried; nobody would buy an ailing bar during a recession.

But Tony’s luck is about to change when his son Nick arrives for a surprise visit with his self-possessed wife

 

The CorsetThe Corset by Laura Purcell (Giveaway courtesy of Amanda over at Bookish Chat blog)

Is prisoner Ruth Butterham mad or a murderer? Victim or villain?

Dorothea and Ruth.

Prison visitor and prisoner. Powerful and powerless.

Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder.

When Dorothea’s charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted to have the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person’s skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.

The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations “of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses” will shake Dorothea’s belief in rationality, and the power of redemption.

Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?

 

Book Purchases

 

Way of All FleshThe Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry (a beautiful, signed, hardback edition bought at East Riding Festival of Words)

Edinburgh, 1847. City of Medicine, Money, Murder.

In Edinburgh’s Old Town young women are being found dead, all having suffered similarly gruesome ends. Across the city in the New Town, medical student Will Raven is about to start his apprenticeship with the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson.

Simpson’s patients range from the richest to the poorest of this divided city. His house is like no other, full of visiting luminaries and daring experiments in the new medical frontier of anaesthesia. It is here that Raven meets housemaid Sarah Fisher, who recognises trouble when she sees it and takes an immediate dislike to him. She has all of Raven’s intelligence but none of his privileges, in particular his medical education.

With each having their own motive to look deeper into these deaths, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld, where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to make it out alive.

 

Reading in Heels October Book Subscription

 

SympathySympathy by Olivia Sudjic

An electrifying novel of blood ties, online identities, and our tormented efforts to connect in the digital age

At twenty-three, Alice Hare leaves England for New York. She falls in love with Manhattan, and becomes fixated on Mizuko Himura, an intriguing Japanese writer whose life has strange parallels to her own.

As Alice closes in on Mizuko, her ‘internet twin’, realities multiply and fact and fiction begin to blur. The relationship between the two women exposes a tangle of lies and sexual encounters. Three families collide as Alice learns that the swiftest answer to an ancient question – where do we come from? – can now be found online.

 

Unbound Reading Club October Subscription

 

DistortionDistortion by Gautam Malkani

Meet Dillon, a high-functioning mess with a rather inconvenient foot fetish, who has been keeping some very big secrets from his girlfriend Ramona.

Also, meet Dhilan, a young carer caught in an endless loop of pre-bereavement bereavement for his dying mother.

And then there is Dylan. The less said about him the better.

These three very separate identities for the same young man have been growing dangerously hardwired thanks to the self-reinforcing effects of social media and search engines, and the uncanny predictive capabilities of his smartphones.

When two creepy old dudes threaten to expose Dillon/Dhilan/Dylan, he is forced to unravel a gut-wrenching mystery that he would rather leave well alone.

Set in a strange greyscape between the digital world and the messy realm of the body, Distortion asks timely questions about what happens when our digital data doesn’t just filter our view of the world, but also our view of ourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 comments

    • These are what I’ve bought, not read Martie so no favourites as such yet. But I’m really looking forward to reading The Way of all Flesh. It was on my wish list before I heard the authors talk about it and so bought it at the event.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well, just looking at those covers makes me feel happy and I hope it does you too. I said ‘Snap’ with quite a few of them. Can definitely recommend Meet Me at the Museum which I read recently. I also had the pleasure of briefly meeting its author, Anne Youngson, at Henley Literary Festival.

    Liked by 1 person

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