Reading my Collection

2017 – WHOLE year without buying books

Glass, Steele, Poison and Love.

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The whole crew is back; India, Matthew, Sheriff Payne and Letty. India is closer than ever to telling Matt her true feelings, Matt is frustrated that Chronos cannot be found and Sheriff Payne is after Matt. Letty hasn’t given up on marrying Matthew to the most appropriate eligible young lady, but he still is resisting. Willy, Duke and Cyclops play their part as always but nowhere near as much as they have before.

Still living in the glory of solving the mapmakers apprentice murder, Glass and Steele are after Chronos. Matt’s watch is still working but it doesn’t last nearly as long s it used to.  Again they are called upon to look at a mysterious death, this time an apothecary outside the guild.  Dr Hayle is in the paper for magically bringing back the dead. But did he really? India wants to solve this one as this time it is Matt in the firing line. Why would anyone think Matt killed this Dr?


It is quickly realised the Dr has been poisoned, our heroes have their lives threatened on multiple occasions and Letty finds her voice.  I like these two but some of the subplots surrounding them are distracting. I am bored of Letty and her matchmaking,  I do agree with keeping the books in-keeping with the time period but the whole high class proposals for business just don’t seem to fit with the ‘working’ level of the main plots.

Dear reader, this series is keeping me coming back. I like the magical elements, I like the mystery around Chronos and I want to know more but I think sticking with Duke, Cyclops and Willy is the better side of the stories. I like the humour and I love the chemistry between them, although the tension is just as fun. I am looking forward to seeing where it goes. I want to see what happens…If you haven’t started already. Read this book.

So dear Reader, it is time for me to sign off…no it wont be so long until the next one.

Dear Reader. A letter to you…

Good afternoon Dear Reader,

forgive me it has been a month since my last blog. I’m terrible at this. The truth is I have missed it, I have missed writing to strangers and apparently pouring out my life on a page, much like the author I have so much time for.

I could make a hundred excuses why I haven’t written about the books I have read this month. The truth is a mix of lack of time and severe lack of energy, although I love my job it is draining. The commute can be miserable, one night I left Marble Arch at 5:15 pm and didn’t get out of London until just after 8, not getting home until about quarter past nine. I am aware that this is a project for me and the fact that anyone takes time out of their day to read my random ranting is wonderful.

I thank you, its a kind of therapy and I have started to enjoy this bit nearly as much as the reading (and listening). So on that note I have a review or 2 to give you. I have been reading, just not as much as I would like. I have been listening (as I still can’t read on the bus) but I am after your input. Books recommendations please.

So until next time (soon I promise),


Battle of the ‘Beauty Queens’…


Firstly an apology… I called her Ida May, she is actually Ida Belle. I was obviously and appropriately excited about the first book and may have gotten this wrong in my haste. So just in case Jana DeLeon ever reads this (I appreciate that is highly unlikely) and for reasons of accuracy, she is in fact, Ida Belle.

Moving swiftly on, I know that you know that I finished this book a while ago, but I feel I had to break up the cheese with something a little bit more intellectual. The time has come though, to tell you all about ‘Lethal Bayou Beauty’ by Jana DeLeon, the second ‘Miss Fortune Mystery’ and it’s just as funny, ridiculous and enjoyable as the first one.

For anyone that knows me or has a vague impression of what I am like in real life, they will understand that the idea of a beauty pageant is horrific. I don’t like make-up or being the centre of attention and Fortune is very similar. Due to her cover as Sandy Sue, former beauty queen turned librarian, she has been roped in to helping arrange a junior pageant.  As if this wasn’t enough to contend with, she has to cooperate with Pansy, Celia’s prodigal daughter.


That is until someone kills her.

Just Fortune’s luck, in her second week in the Bayou when she is trying to lay low, she is being framed for murder.  Can the Sinful Ladies get her out of this one? Can she keep her director in the dark or will her cover be blown? How many times will Carter see her in a state of undress this time?

More Ida Belle and Gertie hilarity, there’s more of Ali’s cakes and despite the mournful tone of the subject matter it is funny! Marie is back and as panicky as ever. The character development of Walter is wonderful and again I just lapped it up. It easy to listen to; fun to be part of and just a bit of silly escapism in a world for of really serious stuff. Somehow during this investigation Fortune finds time to educate herself on some ‘cultural’ references… i mean who knew Lady Gaga wasn’t royalty?!

Dear Reader I have already finished book 3 but I am keeping that in my back pocket for another day. These books make me laugh out loud on my commute which I am not sure is appreciated by all but I think they are classic ‘beach books’. I should really be reading as its lunch time and I have borrowed something completely different (so far S&M, kidnapping and assassins) so until next time… Happy Reading.

Max, Matthew and maps…

So I can’t help but think it’s all over. That this is it, this is the last St Mary’s book.  The last chance we have to see Max watch the world go white.

The blurb of this book says ‘She’s no safer at St. Mary’s. Tragedy strikes not once but several times, and with no Leon, no Markham, and no Peterson at her side, Max’s personal life slowly begins to unravel. From the Egyptian desert to the Battle of Hastings, and from Bayeux Cathedral to the Sack of Constantinople, Max must race through time to save the ones she loves’. 

Whats brilliant Dear Reader, is that although I have listened to 7 of these full stories and several, erm…let’s call them novellas, I honestly thought his name was Malcolm, not Markham… the disadvantages to listening to a book rather than reading it I suppose. I have to say that all those years ago I might have had deliberations of how to pronounce Hermione Grangers name, so the written word isn’t always clearer.


It was fantastic… Ronan, Max and Peterson where in fact amazing. I missed certain dynamics that had changed and I like this new side of Max. We’ve seen her as a student, adjust to responsibility and grow in strength, we seen her love and survive loss and we’ve seen her as a wife. Now we see her as a Mother… a hopeless, lost, confused but wonderful mother. A strong, faithful and dedicated mother and it was brilliant.

The history was still there, the humour was still there and Jodi Taylor captured the magic of the earlier books. I was reminded of adventures with Kal, it had some of the early carefree jumping but equally the ‘new’ historians kept things interesting. Matthew seemed to fit right in and it was bizarre that i forgot he was a child sometimes.

Did I miss Leon? Kind of. but I love, LOVE LOVED!!! that this was focussed on Max. Everything from the jumps, to pods antics and worry to the tears, joy and anger throughout. It was amazing.

I should say that as much as this is probably FULL of spoilers, it is book 8 in the Chronicles of St Mary’s series and if you haven’t read them, (or listened) you should.
I have 2 more reviews to write so I’m off. Happy Reading!

Black magic in the strangest of places…

1560312 It feels like an age that I have been reading this. It was an adventure and a talking point.

I have really enjoyed this series so far, ‘The Rogue’ by Trudi Canavan picks up a matter of weeks after the last one finished. Sonea is working with Cery to find the Rogue magician known as Skellin, Lorkin is living with the Traitors and Dannyl is off on another adventure.

This is about magic stones, jealousy and family. It was easy to read, the story flowed and I couldn’t help rotting for the characters all over again. The Naki subplot was not enough to keep Sonea busy. Lorkin was always on her mind, plus the arrival Dorrien and his family might have confused her a bit. The Guild are adapting to Black Magic, rebellions within and the what to do with a murderous teenager?

I liked the development of Anyi in this story and how her relationship with Cery is developing. The stone making and history elements of Lorkin and Dannyl were possibly my favourites.

As I was looking for my pictures for this I came across this alt cover and loved it. I just wanted to share it with you Dear Reader. I hope they make more of them for all countries.


Happy Reading!

Absences snd guilty pleasures…

BOOK-FEELINGS: Hello Dear Reader, I appreciate it has been a while. I have just completed week 4 of my new job and finally have a rhythm to my day and naturally to my reading opportunities.  I am still making the most of my 2 hours on a bus everyday with an audiobook or two but am yet to master the art of actual reading… to be honest with you I try my best to sleep when I can. This leads to many missed chapters and subsequent the confusion but the ability to do my job and make attempts at conversation when i get home!



REVIEW: So its review time, and as the title might give away I have been listening to some easy listening “trash”. I mean its not a rubbish story and for the most part the characters are well rounded and show signs of growth and development. I simply mean it would be a beach book, that’s right Dear Reader, I have indulged in a guilty pleasure. I’m not only talking about the book(s) but also the fact the sun is out and I’m sitting typing this in the garden with a chilled diet coke!

This book involves no thinking, long southern accents and the feistiest pensioners you are every likely to meet. ‘Louisiana Longshot’ by Jana Deleon is the first of the ‘Miss Fortune Mystery’ series and it really sets the scene. Fortune is in trouble, she is in the CIA and has just killed the brother of an International Drug Lord. Her boss has sent her to the bayou to pretend to be his niece, an ex beauty queen turned librarian. For those of you that have seen Miss Congeniality (this blog is full of guilty pleasures) you can imagine the picture of her I built up in my head. She has long blonde extensions glued to her shaved head and is under strict instructions to keep a long profile in the sleepy town of Sinful.


It turns out the town is anything but sleepy, Sinful by name and sinful by nature. On her first night of being ‘Sunny Sue’ her lacklustre dog Bones digs up a human shin bone in her back garden bank of the bayou. She is roped in to competing for Banana pudding and she is befriended for better or worse by the ‘Sinful Ladies’ founders, Ida May and Gurdy.  She has a ropey start with town deputy Carter and soon realises that keeping a low profile in this town just isn’t going to happen.

Can they work out who framed Marie for the murder of her husband? Will Fortune keep her true identity safe? and who will win the banana pudding next Sunday? This is a silly story, I can quite happily put my hands up and say it, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. Vietnam vets, Alligators and hidden identity, what more could you want? I loved the narration, the silliness and the characters.

In fact I loved them so much as soon as I finished this I downloaded the second one! Review coming shortly but until then Happy Reading!


Dilemma Time…


That’s right! 

BOOK-FEELINGS: I have an issue and I need your help. Last time I posted something like this… I might have to buy books for work. If I buy one is it against the rules? Should I ask work to buy them… for anyone that only reads occasionally I started a new job about 2 weeks ago.

There are several books I could get most of which is online, but some of it would be useful to have for reference. HELP ME READERS!!

Maps, Magic and Marriage prospects…

So I started this as soon as I finished book 1. I couldn’t help it… I needed more. India Steele and Mr Matthew Glass…. what trouble are they up to now? As it happens Dear Reader, they have been recruited by Commissioner Munroe to find his illegitimate son, Daniel.

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So Daniel is arrogant, the Mapmaker Guildmaster’s apprentice and his is missing. Kidnapped, killed or has he just run away to make his fortune? The magic is back in various forms, as is Aunt Letitia. She has Matthew’s future in her sights… how many of London’s finest (and their daughters) will come visiting?  Matthew seems less than impressed by all of this as does India. Is Letty missing something? are we?

This story revolves around the missing apprentice but shades of the Watchmakers Daughter is there. The Guild are still after India, Matthew is still after Chronos and India wants to know all Matt’s secrets. I liked this story for the influence of magic, the strong-willed India getting her way and getting into far too much trouble. Apparently she wants to prove herself, which indeed is wonderful! In so many way this reminds me of Gail Carriger and the Parasol Protectorate.

The Guild don’t want Daniel to keep showing off his map-making talents, mainly because his magic can be used against him. There is a treasure hunter, a Roman coin horde and a missing map maker. Strangely, or not as the case may be they are in fact linked…

This is fast paced, over lapping and full of steam punk references.  I need the next instalment, which obviously isn’t out on audiobook yet. Luckily I have a few to keep me going!

Happy Reading.

Bus journeys, watches and Americans…


Dear Reader, I know I am useless.

I am sorry. I started a new job this week and in reality finished this book on Thursday morning but I got home from work and went to type but actually just slept. I have been getting up at 5am and getting home at 8pm. I think once I’m in a routine I might blog at lunchtime from work and you WILL GET MORE REVIEWS!!

So here it is. I started listening to ‘The Watchmakers Daughter’ by C.J Archer. Meeting Miss India Steele, was different. She isn’t the weak, feeble, lady of leisure we are used to. She’s a shop keepers daughter in the late 1800’s. She wants to run her father’s shop, she is glad that her former fiancee Eddie Hardacre doesn’t want her. She is out spoken, adventurous and far too curious!

The story is that of India and Mr Matthew Glass on the hunt for Chronos, an old watchmaker who helped saved Matt’s life. He is over from the States with his cousin Willie, a fierce hustler who smokes a pipe and kills at poker, who doesn’t want to conform by wearing aTheWatchmakersDaughter_ebook_Final_small1 skirt. Duke, his butler/cook/best friend and Cyclops the one-eyed coachman. Miss Letitia Glass, Matt’s spinster aunt is very excited about his return to the Uk and is trying her best to set him up with an intelligent lady of social standing.

This is wonderfully narrated (more on that later), fast paced and full of the unexpected. The purple glow will fill you with joy and so many questions. I enjoyed the pace, the turns in the story and the strong characters.

This was easy to listen to, the narrator was amazing and really understood the differences in tone and pace of each.

I have started the next one in the series and although the story is wonderful, the narrator has change and this makes me a little sad. This book and series in magical. Happy Reading!

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