Monday, 27 March 2017

Sometimes I Lie - Alice Feeney



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The Idea Of You - Amanda Prowse



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Saturday, 25 March 2017

Let The Dead Speak - Jane Casey



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In the chilling new crime novel from award-winning author Jane Casey, Detective Maeve Kerrigan and the murder squad must navigate a web of lies to discover the truth…
A murder without a body
Eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home one day to find the house covered in blood and Kate, her mother, gone. There may not be a body, but everything else points to murder.
A girl too scared to talk
Maeve Kerrigan is young, ambitious and determined to prove she’s up to her new role as detective sergeant. She suspects Chloe is holding something back, but best friend Bethany Norris won’t let Maeve get close. What exactly is Bethany protecting Chloe from?
A detective with everything to prove
As the team dig deeper into the residents of Valerian Road, no one is above suspicion. All Maeve needs is one person to talk, but that’s not going to happen. Because even in a case of murder, some secrets are too terrible to share…

Review

This is the first Maeve Kerrigan story I have read and I hadn't realised that there were six previous books in this series. The book can however be read as a standalone as the story is completely contained within this book. The only thing I feel I missed out on is some of the history between two of the characters - but it didn't affect my enjoyment of the book. I don't do spoilers so it's difficult to comment on the storyline without giving too much away. 

I am always amazed at how writers come up with such good complex and compelling storylines - which this certainly is. I read it in two sittings as I just had to know what on earth was going on. It was also a very easy book to read - the writing is so good that was just effortless to read.

The book begins with Chloe arriving unexpectedly back at her home to find her mother gone, but lots of blood everywhere. I loved the strong Dectective character of Maeve Kerrigan and her new sidekick Georgia - a very entertaining side story running alongside the murder enquiry.

As the story unfolded there were so many twists and turns - at one point I thought it was all done and dusted but saw that there was still plenty of pages to read, and then it began again, more twists and turns - absolutely enthralling.

If this is the standard of Jane Casey's novels then I think I need to read the previous six as this is one of the best crime novels I have ever read.

I'm giving this book 5 out of 5 and my thanks go to Netgalley for an advance copy of the book for review.

Friday, 24 March 2017

The Bookshop Detective - Jan Ellis

The Bookshop Detective (The Bookshop by the Sea) by [Ellis, Jan]

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The Bookshop Detective – in which Eleanor ends up doing some sleuthing from her quiet corner of rural England.

Review
I first met Eleanor the owner of the Combemouth bookshop in Jan's book A Summer of Surprises and I was keen to find out what she was now up to. Although this book is a follow on you could easily read it without having any prior knowledge of Eleanor.

I read so many books and so it was no surprise that I didn't immediately remember everything about Eleanor and Combemouth, until Freya turned up - the ex-wife. I think Jan must have painted a very good picture of her, because I was instantly transported to the first book and how I saw her in my minds eye.

I loved getting back into the bookshop - my idea of heaven and it's beside the sea - idyllic. What I do like about Jan's writing is that she doesn't make Eleanor someone who knows everyone in the village, even though she has lived there for a few years. Why do some books make it sound like living in a village is one big family? So this is where the detective part comes in as Eleanor pieces together a story from an old newspaper with clues around the village.

I really got into this book, and was pleased I half guessed what was happening! - but not the biggest secret at all.

I'm giving this lovely book 5 out of 5. My thanks to Jan for an advance copy for review.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Paper Hearts & Summer Kisses - Carole Matthews



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Christie Chapman is a single working mother who spends her days commuting to her secretarial job in London and looking after her teenage son, Finn. It can be tough just getting through the day but Christie has always found comfort in her love of crafting and any spare time she has is spent in her parents' summerhouse working on her beautiful creations. From intricately designed birthday cards to personalised gifts, Christie's flair for the handmade knows no bounds and it's not long before opportunity comes knocking. All of a sudden Christie sees a different future for her and Finn - one full of hope and possibility, and if the handsome Max Alexander is to be believed, one full of love too. It's all there for the taking.
And then, all of sudden, Christie's world is turned upside down.
Christie knows that something has to give, but what will she choose? Will she give up her dreams and the chance of real love? What price will she pay for doing the right thing? Can Christie find her happy ending in . . . Paper Hearts and Summer Kisses.

Review

I've read quite a few of Carole's books now and for me this is the best one yet. It could be because I also love craft, have met the muse of the book Christine Emberson and regularly follow her blog. So a lot of the story line rang so true for me as most of it had been told by Christine on her blog as it happened. Carole has obviously embellished the story a little as she states at the beginning of the book.

Carole herself is a crafter and also consulted Christine. This comes across strongly, in what could otherwise have been a book where you realise someone is writing about something they know nothing about. I chuckled to myself at quite a few of the crafting references as they rang a bell with me. I loved visualising all the craft supplies arriving and could just imagine the emotions as I would have been going through them myself.  I also have one of those heated blanket things - oh dear could it be because I am a fan of shopping telly?

I loved the characters they were so well written - Brian who Christie meets on her daily commute, Robyn her boss in the office. Christie's parents - who I wish would adopt me! But most of all her son Finn - Carole managed to capture that teenager speak so well and I loved the relationship between him and his Mum.

Then there is Max - Christie's crafting boss - I went through so many emotions over this character as I decided he was wonderful/despicable/a chancer - he really did spring to life from the pages.

It's not all craft related, there is also a heart breaking side to the story. I really felt for the characters as this part of the book played out - it was very emotional. Although even at the worst of it the characters still rallied round and had the odd cheerful word and quip to make.

I could write so much more about the book as it really gripped me,  but I don't want this to be like one of those film trailers where you feel its not worth watching the film because you just about seen it all! I was hanging in there hoping for an happy ending. I'm not going to spoil it for you - but I was sooo happy with the ending of the book.

I'm giving this book 5 out of 5 stars.



Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Really Quite Good British Cookbook




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Review

I just love the photography in this Cookbook. It's always good to be able to see how exactly the dish is going to look, not only so you know how to present it, but whether you are visually attracted to it. 

I only got a couple of pages in and I was hooked with the Brioche French toast which has banana and bacon ingredients. I have tried these flavours together before and loved them, so I am looking forward to creating this dish.

It's true to say that a lot of the recipes are probably going to push the average cook out of their comfort zone flavour wise. However, if you are more of the Heston school then this will be right up your street. One of the less appetising recipes for me was the Nettles on Toast with  pollack and wild garlic and poached egg. I also wasn't too keen on the Happy Fish pie from Jamie Oliver, which shows the tail of the fish peeking from the pie - not sure the fish is really that happy!

There are however on balance lots of recipes I would love to try and it was nice to be able to put a face to those contributors who are a little less famous and to read about them.

I've already earmarked to make the Cherry Clafoutis - one of my fav desserts. This recipe also comes with some extra tips to know when it is cooked which is useful.  I'm also drawn to the fig leaf and cherry brulee - however unlike the creator of the recipe, I do not know of any local fig trees. You will have no trouble sourcing the ingredients for Nigella's Chocolate Guiness cake though.

I think this would be a book perfect for any foodie - anyone wanting to stretch their cooking a little further and to leave on the coffee table for people to just drool over the sumptuous photographs within its pages. 

I'm giving this book 4 out of 5 stars. My thanks go to Netgalley for a review copy of the book.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Blue Light Yokohoma - Nicolás Obregón



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Thursday, 16 March 2017

The Deadline - Jackie Kabler

The Deadline (The Cora Baxter Mysteries Book 2) by [Kabler, Jackie]
Description
Cora Baxter is back - and this time, she's facing the most important deadline of her career…

When TV reporter Cora Baxter attends the scene of a murder in a London park, she's horrified to discover the victim is someone she knows – and devastated when one of her best friends is charged with the crime. Suddenly the fun-filled life of Cora and her eccentric camera crew takes a darker turn. Cora is convinced that her friend is innocent, but with seemingly solid evidence, the police investigation team – reluctantly led by Cora's boyfriend DCI Adam Bradberry – believe the case is closed. With a trail of clues that leads all the way to New York, can Cora find out the truth before the trial begins – or is it already too late?

The Deadline is the second in the hugely popular Cora Baxter Mysteries series by acclaimed broadcaster Jackie Kabler.

Review

Not too long ago I got around to reading my first Jackie Kabler novel - Dead Dog Day which I reviewed hereI enjoyed it so much that I didn't want to wait so long to read her follow up novel The Deadline. I wasn't disappointed in this second novel either.

We are back with Cora Baxter and although it follows on from the first novel, it also completely readable as a stand alone novel if this is your first encounter with Cora. This time Cora finds that one of her friends from the TV station is accused of a murder, and the evidence is so stacked against her that really she must have done it, but Cora knows her friend and won't accept the cast iron evidence.

Cora works in the world of TV and as we know Jackie Kabler knows a lot about this subject, so you can read in the complete comfort of knowing its going to be accurate and believable and I really enjoyed this aspect of the book. 

At first I didn't think there was as many twists and turns as the first book, however, this was more than made up for later on in the book where it felt like you were going fast down a hairpin bend road in an open top car! I don't do spoilers, so you need to read it for yourself, but Jackie really pulled off a fabulous plot.

Of course now I have read both of Jackie's books I have a wait for the next one - which I hope there will be. I really enjoy her writing style - so easy to read.

I'm giving this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The Woman In Cabin 10 - Ruth Ware



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Monday, 13 March 2017

Paris for One and other stories - Jojo Moyes



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Review

Short stories by their very nature can be hard to get into - just as you feel you are relating to the characters it ends. I think that Jojo Moyes has made these stories the perfect length, each one just right. I felt I did get to know the characters and will definitely be re reading these stories again.

Some are very short and sweet and others are like novellas such as the story of Nell alone in Paris as her boyfriend fails to show up. Also there is a story that covers two timelines one in 1912 and one in 2002. Initially I thought I had slipped into another story as the other story suddenly began to be told leaving the first one unfinished. It was clever the way the two stories mirrored each other over the decades.  

All the stories feature women as the main character and a glimpse into their lives. They are not chick lit - but real life stories and not all good times along the way. One is sweet and heartwarming called the Blue Coat. 

I felt transported to Paris by these stories - although short they are memorable.

I'm giving this book 4 out of 5 stars. My thanks go to Netgalley for an advance copy of the book for review.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Everything But the Truth - Gillian McAllister



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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Year of no Clutter - Eve O. Schaub



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