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Reading my Collection

2017 – WHOLE year without buying books

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Driving

A different type of pet detective!

 

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BOOK FEELINGS: This was a new release on Audible (other audiobook providers are available) and as I like mysteries, I thought it was a little bit different and I’d give it a go!

So when we meet Susie, she’s getting to know ‘Sittup’ and his family, when an old family friend is mysteriously heard dying in a graveyard. Susie stays with his wife, Diana and finds herself in the depths of a murder investigation. It is during this adventure she meets the cute, dependable medical examiner Toby and the charmingly dashing professor Henry. We learn a bit about Susie’s family, a lot about Diana’s staff and not enough about poor Alexander.

I really enjoyed the colour descriptions, the way Ali Carter describes things is just beautiful and although it is a gritty thriller it is a cozy mystery. It is soft and enjoyable and a very easy read.

 

Iron Age Norfolk with a modern mystery

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I had 2 credits sitting in my audio account, a rare and brilliant occurrence. I wanted something new, a series and something I had a connection with. I love the Jack Paralabane series because they make me laugh, I love Katy Reiches because I see Bones from the TV and I like finding a narrator who has good character awareness.

Brief pause while I rescue the pink mouse from under sofa because my cat is walking across my laptop until she gets the pink mouse back.

I downloaded ‘The Crossing Places’ after checking out the sample, and instantly I was transported back to my childhood. I grew up very near the Norfolk Broads, so many of the places mentioned I know and understand. The introduction of Dr. Ruth Galloway was brilliant. She was instantly relatable and I couldn’t wait to find out more.

Dr. Ruth gets a visit from a northern DCI, working out of Kings Lynn. They have found some bones, DCI Harry Nelson is desperate for Ruth to date them, could they be the answer he has been waiting 10 years for? Within 10 minutes I was hooked and as we met Eric ‘the Viking’ who had been Ruth’s mentor at University, David the head of the Bird sanctuary that Ruth lives near and SParky and Flint her adorable felines, I knew this was a story and series I wanted to devour.

We learn about Ruth’s parents, her ex-husband and Harry Nelson’s perfect family, all through anecdotes that are weaved into the plot. Is the latest missing girl linked with the case that has plagued Harry for years?

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The plot is a mix of a modern murder mystery, an archaeological dig, and an English lesson on referencing. We learn about Norse folk law, hear a fair few bible references and who knew Norfolk had druids? The history of the henge, the accuracy of the digs and the very intricate plot is gripping. I want to know more. I want to hear more.

The resolution of the main plot was unexpected, the affairs were not altogether predictable and 2 senseless murders later I was invested in Ruth’s world. I have already downloaded the second book, knowing there are 10 in the series I feel like Ruth’s world is only going to get more exciting.

So on that note, time to get on the bus home and listen to some more. Happy Reading!

On your marks, Get set, Sue…

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Those of you with good memories are aware that I was listening to ‘Spectacles’ by Sue Perkins with my partner (if not, this is a shameless plug to prior wit), and as such I had to wait until we were together to finish it.  We are mid road-trip from the deepest darkest depths of Cornwall (St Kew) to somewhere in the Essex off the A12. So here we sit in Costa, (a standard writing location for me), sat side by side taping away on laptop keys, I am writing to you Dear Reader, she is looking at statistics.

So the scene is set, now for the review. I think it is safe to say,  we laughed so much we cried (and nearly crashed the car).  As much as it was written as book, which I think I would have probably read in her voice too, it felt like Sue was talking to us directly, not like it had be written for mass reviews or audience. It was funny, brutal, honest and all together heart-warming. From meeting her famous partner in Comedy Mel, to her long romance with Kate and the beginning, the middle and the end of poor Pickle.

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Yes the truth about Sue was wonderful, the ‘gastric gymnastics’ of Parker was not but the best thing about this book was that I got to share it. I have bored my friends, partner and family with recommendations of books, stories and series of great adventures so the fact I got to enjoy this one with someone was great.

It was a refreshingly honest memoir, I liked that she wasn’t afraid to talk about difficult things or share embarrassing stories of childhood or drunken mishaps. I related to so much of it, it gave me hope. The truth behind Light Lunch, the Great British Bake Off and I’m now itching to see ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Roads’ just to Sue and Lisa cover a small child in poo…(Spoiler).

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I just included this picture because the hypnotherapy stories were hilarious! I loved this book and know everyone that loves comedy, Bake Off or Sue MUST read it.

Happy Reading!

 

P.S Dear Reader, I am back home and have wifi so posts will be coming thick and fast!

 

 

Another library adventure…

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This is Book 3 of ‘The Invisible Library Series’ and I loved it. Irene Winters, Kai Strongrock and Peregrine Vale are at it again, Alberic is out to ruin the Library once more and the Dragons can’t get involved.

The concept of the adventures of a librarian rescuing limited edition, rare and unique books from alternate realities is too much to pass up.  Take Victorian England, Fae culture and then add Dragon Hierarchy and an immortal psychopathic ‘Language’ villain and you get this series. Discover the secrets and idiosyncrasies of each world, and the characters that you find there.

Irene is a strong-willed Librarian on probation (See Book 2), who is fed up of unnecessarily dull assignments from her mentor Capalia, when Alberic threatens the Library, her Family and her Life. Kai is her librarian ward,  a Water Dragon Prince and will do anything to save Irene from everything, mainly herself.

These stories flow seamlessly from world to world, whether its werewolf attacks, Bears guarding St Petersburg or the Flight of a Dragon. Irene changes her surroundings, manipulates an Empress and does her best to avoid Hornets, Spiders and falling bookshelves.

I got into this series last year and I like the way it is progressing, it doesn’t feel same-y or predictable and despite knowing the Characters for 3 books there is still reveals and development to keep them interesting.  The worlds of Chaos and Extreme Order are a wonderful escape from reality.

Happy Reading!

An Old Classic…

Just to let you all know I spent most of yesterday in the car, so naturally I started another audiobook. The reason I call this an old classic is because I have read most of his books and this is with one of the long standing characters. I’m talking about ‘Black Widow’ by Christopher Brookmyre, and lead character is disgraced investigative journalist Jack Parlabane.

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Now I started reading Christopher Brookmyre when I lived in the highlands so a fair few of the places were known to me. I love Edinburgh and have seen a fair bit of Glasgow, but this latest venture is set in Inverness, oddly enough the town I spent the most time in when i lived there, so it feels very familiar. I like knowing the actual streets referenced and the romantic ‘literal’ spin put on descriptions of the local area.

Jack has had many peculiar and dangerous adventures but it some ways he’s just a middle aged man trying to find his place in the world. He’s funny, relatable and is more a friend than a father figure in these books. He typically needs to grow up but definitely pulls it out of the bag when he needs too. THIS IS AN APOLOGY FOR TOO MANY CLICHES IN ONE SENTENCE.

As for Christopher Brookmyre, I find that when he sticks to comedic mysteries with Jack, Angelique de Xavia and Jasmine Sharp and Catherine McLeod, the books flow are more enjoyable and feel real. Whereas the books that test the boundaries of reality like Bedlam and Pandaemonium I found harder to get into and I didn’t like the structure as much.

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These are just a few of his titles, I really liked a ‘Snowball in hell’ and ‘The unsinkable Rubber ducks’. I have been reading ‘The Sleeper and the Spindle’ and today hopefully I will finish that and get anther review up.

Happy Reading!

Another day; Another book or 2…

That’s right readers, I’m on Chapter 6 of Book 4 of the year. I will update you all on Book 3 but as I haven’t finished yet… I can’t. Book 3 is ‘The Hanging Tree’ by Ben Aaronovitch and I am listening to it in the car.

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I have always loved audio books, I used to listen to ‘The Borrowers’ by Mary Norton to help me sleep and they have made many long journeys bearable. I love walking to them as well, I like that the natural pace of voices  is easier to plod along to than a playlist with various speeds, voices and drumbeats. I am on chapter 10 so a full review when it is finished (might be a while, no long journeys planned for a while). I really like Kobna Holdbrook-Smith  who narrates them and despite the fact my partner owns up to the fourth one, I genuinely prefer to listen to this series. I might even read them… but for today I managed Chapters 5-10.
Anyway, Book 4 of the year is ‘The Watchmaker of Filigree Street’ by Natasha Pulley. I’m on page 65 and so I like the main players. I like the pace of the plot and the mix of locations. I like that I can read 2/3 pages and stop for a conversation and it still feels right to carry on. I like that the chapters aren’t all POV, and that actually its quite beautiful.

In fact I like it so much, I’m off to read. Really, I just wanted to check in and try and get into the habit of writing to you all.  Happy Reading!

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