Reading my Collection

2017 – WHOLE year without buying books

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!

109 Days, Magicians and Audiobooks…


BOOK FEELINGS FIRST: Big news Dear Reader, I have a job so I have few more hours of my day commuting so plenty of reading and time to review! I have downloaded a few ready for the 2 hours each way on the bus. I struggle to read on the bus so I am going for audiobooks until I can train myself to do that. I have really enjoyed the past few months of getting friends recommendations and taking the time to relax and reset before starting a new job.

I am 109 days clean! I haven’t bought myself a book, I’m strangely get more picky about the books I’m reading. I have realised I have a lot of books in similar genres so as I’m starting to slow down with the reading a bit. Until this one… I started reading the Trudi Canavan books the year before last. The first 2 of the Magicians Guild trilogy, I got through super fast but the final one took me ages to get into, because of that I was a little reluctant to start this trilogy ‘Traitor Spy’.


REVIEW TIME:  I got into this super quick because I know most of the characters. It was easy to follow the story, I enjoyed the grown-up Sonea, she is feisty and still has the charm she had a child. Now the most feared Black Magician she is trying to do the best for her son.

Lorkin, on the other hand wants to get out from her grasp and heads off to be Ambassador Dannyl’s assistant. His companion Tayend is particularly shocked that  Dannyl doesn’t want him there, but Lorkin jumps on the opportunity to look into lost magic. They head off despite Sonea trying to stop him. Although missing him, Sonea is kept busy in the hospices, realising that the Roet addiction is getting out of control. Are the Theives involved? Is Cery?

Cery’s family both blood and Thief are in danger and he’s going to find out why. Lorkin is thinking about trading the secret of magic healing for secrets of Magic past. Sonea is finding her voice.

With kidnap, murder and missing artefacts, this book flows easily, the Traitors are running and the magic is subtle. I like this trilogy so much more so far. I’m going to get back to it. Happy Reading.

She wont bite, or will she?…

The_Girl_with_All_the_GiftsJust WOW.

If I could leave a review there I would but I feel I would be short changing you, Dear Reader.

Melanie is eight, super intelligent and will eat you given half the chance. This book is HER story, the journey from school to captive to freedom. Finding herself, realising the truth and changing the future.

Her companions are Sergeant Eddie Parks, a grumpy scarred and seasoned soldier, Miss Helen Justineau, the teacher that cares too much, Private Gallagher, a young man that has no memory of how the world used to be and finally Dr Caroline Caldwell, who constantly clicks her pen and wants to dissect…everyone.

The story starts at Hotel Echo, a military base where Melanie is the most intelligent in her class and wishes she was called Pandora. Sgt Parks doesn’t like that  Helen is willing to treat them like ‘real’ children and Dr Caldwell doesn’t want anything to happen to specimen number 1. Shortly after we meet out protagonists the camp is attacked and they realise they are dead unless they move out. Follow their adventures of dangers of canned food, the trials of being hunted and the personal cost to each and every one of them.

The writing is fantastic, the story is dauntingly possible and the voice of Melanie could so easily be any of us. Will they do enough to survive? Is Melanie the only one that can learn? Will this be our dystopian future? I was emotionally attached to all these characters and naturally I am now filled with scepticism about the upcoming adaptation. M R Carey has written the screenplay so hopefully the fun, suspense and character driven plot won’t be lost. Oh and Glenn Close as Dr Caldwell, that I will pay to see.1390464124_The-Girl-With-All-The-Gif

I loved this book, it was recommended to me by a friend in publishing as was in fact a Christmas present from my girlfriend, turns out I should listen to her more often.

So the sun is still out and I’m feeling literate so let the next book commence, Happy Reading!

A painter, a florist and a secret agent…

My Dearest readers, I have returned complete with review and another nearly complete. I know I have apologised for my lack of reviews in March and April I WILL BE BETTER. So it begins here, with ‘A Little Murder’ by Suzette A. Hill, 17917948._UY400_SS400_in which Marcia Beasley of St John’s Wood is found in her home naked, shot in the head and covered with a coal scuttle. Detective Sergeant Greenleaf is tasked with unraveling the layers of Marcia’s life to bring meaning to her gruesome death. While the Police investigation plods on, Marcia’s niece Rosy finds herself unwittingly drawn into a family mystery involving espionage and foreign intrigue.

Rosy is the character you route for the entire way through. Will the stories from Felix, Estranged Uncle Donald and the limping Frenchman Sabatier help her uncover the truth? Is it only in death she will know and understand her Aunt?

The painter Clovis, the awfully mysterious Vera and nosy neighbours The Gills, all play their part in peaking Rosy’s interest into the investigation. A fur coat, a lawnmower and of course the square handled coal scuttle all add twists turns and intrigue to the mystery.

I found the first half very easy to read and flew though it, the second bit felt dragged out and yet the final chapters concluded everything a little too quickly and easily. Adding depth to some of the sub plots and exploring the post WW2 London links would have been rather enjoyable. I liked the SOE and secret agent twists and thought more time could have been dedicated to the papers in question.

It was an amusing and light hearted read, it was easy and fun and just what I needed to feel ready to ready ad write again after a tricky month. In other news I have just completed another month of no book purchases. I AM A QUARTER WAY THROUGH THE YEAR!!

I was away for 4 days in France visiting friends so caught up with my reading on the plane and have nearly finished ‘Girl with all the Gifts’ and on that it coffee and book time. Catch up with you very soon Dear Reader.

Happy Reading!

Back on the book train…

So it’s one of my favourite days of the year, Super Saturday. 3 games of Rugby back to back, Cider, snacks to last the day and it is wonderful. Yet, I have the urge to tell you about the book I have finally finished. ‘Dear Amy’ by Helen Callaghan, has been a wonderful read, despite it seeming to have been forever since I started it.


I got into it very quickly, an agony Aunt (Dear Amy) was getting letters from Bethan Avery, a girl who went missing over 20 years ago, apparently prompted by the latest disappearance.  Margot Lewis; School teacher, Agony aunt, estranged wife, has no idea how to deal with these letters. What will the Police say? What will they think? What can she do?

This story follows her pursuit to find both missing girls. I found myself laughing, crying and being genuinely scared throughout this book. The villain is wonderfully written, very complex and so real. I found myself checking to see if I was being followed a little more often. Some of the supporting cast could be more likeable or prominent to make the story flow a little better but Margot has a strong voice that you find yourself getting swept away with. Martin, Greta and Lily all play their part. Katie and Eddie have a wonderful presence and really make you feel the plot.

Margot is followed, abused and doubted but she still pushes through.  In this quest she finally loses her useless husband, finds herself and uncovers the biggest mystery of all. What happened to Bethan Avery? Read it.. Dear reader and find out!

Happy Reading!

My turn to write, not read…

Dear reader, I have written something a little different today. I have a review coming and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the book  as much as I have but fro this is it.



A fast serve, fear hurtling towards stress,

it bounced back from the solid surface,

a little less daunting, slower, manageable.

THWACK 15 – 0

Another gut shot, a fast ball, a blow causing dented pride.

A long thoughtful return taking the edge off,

cruising with hope and strength.

SMASH 30-0

Surprise consequences, the fall falls from beneath,

depression rushing forward.

A quick exchange that takes the edge off,

anxiety eased and tears have ceased.

ACE 40-0

Winning by wearing this opponent down, being fitter and manipulative.

The quick harsh return, now on the back foot,

a slide, a trip and finally a stumble.



Those of you that have been keeping up, life has been crazy and hard and daunting for a little while and today I wanted to thank the one that makes it easier. Being stuck in a hard place is better when you are my rock.

Until next time…Happy Reading!




End of an Era, in more ways than one…


So this is it… The Parasol Protectorate Book the Fifth. I have reached the end; the end of Alexia and Connall shouting at each other, the end of the Tunstell’s and their acting troupe, the end of Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akledama.

The end of the protectorate series was indeed wonderful, so many things I had been hoping for happened. Madame Lefoux is back, the infant inconvenience is quite frankly anything but, and Biffy has found his place in the pack. It might not be place ANYONE was expecting but its his place. The return of Doove and Alpha, Lady Kingair adds more depth and subplot than we have seen before. The link to Alessandro and all previous ‘villians’ was nicely tied up with a character twist that was just wonderful.


Lady Maccon has a new Parasol and she means to use it. When the abomination is invited to an Egyptian Hive, Alexia cannot very well send her shapeshifting  toddler alone. There has to be a reason that the world’s oldest vampire needs to meet Akeldama’s adoptive daughter. He is suspicious of his creators intentions but reluctantly lets them go. There wasn’t enough of ‘Dama in this book for me but I understand the development of other characters in the role he normally provides.

This has all the elements of a true adventure action novel; a chase across the country, a kidnapping, a plague and tiny vampire causing havoc. The airsick Lord Macoon, falls out with his wife again as the truth about Lyall comes to light and who would have thought Ivy Tunstall finds motherhood as exciting as she does. As usual Madame LeFoux is up to something but at last this time she’s on the right side of the investigation.

Alexia was in wonderful form throughout and even fainted, a first for her but wonderful all the same. All her theories about Preternatural’s came to pass and after the last Mummy incident I was surprised but elated she wanted to head to Egypt. The links to cultural references we all understand about Alexandria and the myths and legends of the Pharaohs was charming. Primrose and Percy were useless for most of the book and simply provided contrast to ‘Dama’s wigglepuff, but additionally they helped with Ivy’s newest issue.

All the happenings and developments at home with the pack vs the Egypt expedition was a interlinked story full of adventure, romance and supernatural politics. I loved it. It was a fitting ending to a wonderful series. 1200x630bf

BOOK- FEELINGS: The end was bittersweet, not because of the plot but because as with any good series, I wasn’t ready for it to be over. As the final chapter was echoing round my car and I had explained the plot of the whole series to my other half as they were driving I realised how much I had enjoyed it. For anyone that is interested I have the story of Prudence and her adventures when she’s grown up to read later in the year. As much as I loved it, I want a break, a chance to enjoy this story. A chance to say goodbye to Alexia, Connall and Biffy before they are forgotten.

Equally for you dear reader, I wanted to say I am back. I have had a few busy weeks with my course and last week the only thing I really read was job descriptions, now I feel like I had a nice break and I’m back. We will hopefully go back to 3ish blogs a week and when the job hunt is resolved I will work out a new routine to keep you captivated. until then…Happy Reading!

Ghostly threats, Swarming Hives and Giant Octopi…


So in my last blog I told you I started writing a review… well this is it, with a mildly amusing title and token book cover.

The Parasol Protectorate Book the fourth, picks up 5 months after the debacle with Connall and the God-Breaker Plague. A very pregnant Alexia is trying to build her relationship with Madame LeFoux after the incident with  formally Angelique and work out how to stop the Vampires trying to kill her.

Luckily for the Woolsey Pack they are not about to lose the Alpha’s wife, as Beta Randolph Lyle has a plan. It’s another of his very clever, almost devious plans. Lord Akeldama will play a key role and young Biffy, might find his place.

Acting upon a apparition in which THE QUEEN is threatened, Alexia as reinstated Muhjah and Lord Akeldama as Potentate are bound by duty to investigate. The BUR are also stumped…to add insult to injury Darling Felicity Loontwill wants to come and stay. Between visiting Ivy in Soho and stopping the vampires from taking her life, her baby and her sister she is battling Connall on everything. She simply doesn’t understand why insists she slows down she is after all only 8 and 1/2 months pregnant.

The threat to The Queen isn’t all it seems and the streets of London are full of private dirigibles and very strange porcupines. Biffy, Boots and formally Lefoux are all key players in this dangerous chase across London.

In this part of the series we lose a parasol, gain a suffragette, and witness labour in a giant octopus. What more could you want? Well we learn more about how Connall got to Woolsey, the impending madness of an Alpha and exactly how long you can ignore contractions for! I for one am looking forward to how Prudence Alessandra Maccoon Akeldama gets on in the world…so Book 5 here we come.

Happy Reading!


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