The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far.

Here is what has been happening on the blog this week.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I’m only 30 pages in so far but I’m finding it really interesting.

Acquired Books

So there is my week. I hope everyone has also had a good week.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Late Monsieur Gallet by Georges Simenon (Review)

The Late Monsieur Gallet by Georges Simenon

Blurb

In the second Maigret mystery, the circumstances of Monsieur Gallet’s death all seem fake: the name he was traveling under, his presumed profession, and, more worryingly, his family’s grief. Their haughtiness seems to hide ambiguous feelings about the hapless man. Soon Maigret discovers the appalling truth and the real crime hidden beneath the surface of their lies.

Review

This was my fifth Maigret novel that I have read this year and I must admit this one did make me laugh. The best word to describe Maigret in this novel is ‘grumpy’. 

It is the holiday season in Paris and this means that Maigret is left in charge with only a skeleton staff to keep law and order and when a royal visit takes away all the police officers but himself he is left to solve a murder without any of his usual staff to do the leg work for him in the scorching summer heat. It also means he has to stay in a second class hotel which really upsets him!

Maigret must find who murdered Monsieur Gallet but everything about the murder seems very wrong to Maigret and as he investigates he realises more and more that the facts don’t fit the crime. In his investigations Maigret meets Madame Gallet the wife of the deceased and dislikes her immensely, she appears very aloof, proud and cold to Maigret. In fact I have noticed in the Maigret novels that it is very rare to find a woman other than Mrs Maigret who Maigret actually thinks highly of. Although I did feel sorry for Mrs Maigret in this book because during all of his investigations Maigret never rang to tell his wife where he was even though he was staying in a different town and not coming home. Mrs Maigret must have the patience of a saint is all that I can say. 

I loved how this story unfolded and due to several very well placed red herrings I never had a clue till the end of who was the murderer or why. Maigret follows the clues and builds the picture of what happened and he comes across as the most eccentric character at times, from standing on random walls to climbing through windows he really made me laugh. I give this book 4 out of 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲🐲

Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Georges Simenon (1903-1989) was a Belgian writer who published nearly 500 novels and many short stories. Simenon is best known as the creator of the Maigret stories.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

WWW Wednesday: 8/06/2021

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Happy Wednesday!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I have been thoroughly getting into my research for my dissertation and I have finally started to get a plan worked out. I have also been trying to control our overgrown garden with varied results.

What I am Currently Reading

I started this yesterday and I am already nearly finished it. I do love the Maigret books. We have been watching the Maigret series with Rowan Atkinson playing Maigret this week, I just wish there were more episodes than four.

What I Have Recently Finished Reading

This is my favourite book of 2021 so far! Click the photo for the review.

What I Think I will Read Next

As usual no clue what I will read next, it all depends on my mood.

Please drop me a link with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard (Review)

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

Blurb

A strange darkness grows in Allward.

Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea.

She soon discovers the truth: She is the last of an ancient lineage—and the last hope to save the world from destruction. But she won’t be alone. Even as darkness falls, she is joined by a band of unlikely companions:

A squire, forced to choose between home and honour.

An immortal, avenging a broken promise.

An assassin, exiled and bloodthirsty.

An ancient sorceress, whose riddles hide an eerie foresight.

A forger with a secret past.

A bounty hunter with a score to settle.

Together they stand against a vicious opponent, invincible and determined to burn all kingdoms to ash, and an army unlike anything the realm has ever witnessed.

Review

Wow! This is definitely my favourite book so far of 2021. I’ve never read a book by Aveyard before. I will definitely be reading her other books and future books now. I am so pleased that Waterstones sent me an email about this book and I preordered it when I saw it. Honestly, I struggled to put this down and it was only because of work and sleep that I did take breaks. This book reminded me so much of the work of Tolkien and you can see how the Lord of the Rings has influenced this book but it is not too similar. 

This book contains some fantastic characters and the relationship between these characters is brilliant. The relationship between Dom who is the immortal and Sorasa the assassin is rather amusing and there is definitely some chemistry there even though they would both fiercely deny it. Dom is a Prince of Iona who is hundreds of years old with super strength and speed. He is also my favourite character as he just reminds me of a grumpy bear at times. Sorasa has a past but we don’t learn the full extent of it but what we do know is that she is street smart, an excellent killer and is always prepared. 

Andry the squire has seen some horrors and shares these horrors with Dom. He is loyal and will do anything to protect Corayne and his mother. I also love his love of making tea. Andry has the belief that tea can make anything better and I fully agree. Charlie the forger we don’t know a lot about and he doesn’t feature hugely in this book but it is obvious he will in the next. The same applies to the bounty hunter Sigil. Sigil is a giant of a woman almost as big as Dom and she is an excellent warrior and rather an imposing character. Valtik the ancient sorceress is hilarious and I just loved her character. Valtik speaks in rhyme and riddles and regularly just disappears and reappears for no reason.

Finally we have Corayne, a seventeen year old girl whose has the fate of the Ward on her shoulders. Although she has never left the seaport where she grew up before her quest she knows most languages and is wise beyond her years. 

I loved Aveyard’s writing style and I love the Ward that she has created with all its different realms. Each chapter is told from a different character’s point of view which means you get the story from lots of different angles and this really adds to your understanding of the characters, their pasts and what they think of the quest. I definitely give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.

🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Product Link

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Victoria Aveyard (1990) is an American writer of young adult and fantasy fiction and screenplays. She is best known for her fantasy novel Red Queen. 

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Willoughby Book Club #8

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good start to the week today. I have managed to get loads of studying done and some gardening so I am very pleased.

My latest book has arrived from The Willoughby Book Club and it is the first hardback book I have received from them which was even more exciting as I love a hardback book.

So here this the book.

All Andrew wants is to be normal. That’s why his coworkers believe he has the perfect wife and two children waiting at home for him after a long day. But the truth is, his life isn’t exactly as people think . . . and his little white lie is about to catch up with him. Because in all of Andrew’s efforts to fit in, he’s forgotten one important thing: how to really live. And maybe, it’s finally time for him to start.

Please drop me a comment if you have read the book.

If you would like to join The Willoughby Book Club here is the link for 10% off your your subscription. Link.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good weekend so far. I have got my blogging mojo back so this week has gone a lot better. I have really enjoyed getting back into blogging and reading other blogs.

So here is what I have been up to.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Really enjoying this so far.

Acquired Books

This arrived today and I am very excited to start reading it.

So there is my week.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Reading My Height in Books #5

Hello!

It is time for an update on my challenge. I must admit this month I have been getting quite excited about how high the pile has been growing, I almost thought it was at half way. However, when I took the picture I soon realised my mistake. My darling husband has worked out a way of counting the digital books I read. Amazon lists the dimensions of physical books, so I can use the dimensions off Amazon to work out the height of the stack with the digital books as well. I will work this out and include them in next month’s total.

I read 4 physical books in May and thankfully some of them were quite thick books.

So here is the new pile.

The new pile is exactly 24 inches high. Just 43 inches to go!

Here are the pictures from January, February, March and April.

Happy Reading!

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Acquired Books of May 2021

Hello my fellow Book Dragons!

I have decided at the end of each month I am going to put all the books I have acquired during that month into one post. This way it might help me to not buy the same books again, which I have been known to do. People who know me might try and use these posts to prove a point they have been trying to make for some years, in response I fiercely deny having a book buying problem!

So here are all the wonderful books I have acquired in May.

A seriously entertaining collection of feel good stories guaranteed to put the smile back on your face written especially by ten bestselling novelists:

Jenny Éclair

Mark Watson

Veronica Henry

Eva Verde

Richard Madeley

Katie Fforde

Dorothy Koomson

Vaseem Khan

Helen Lederer

Rachel Hore

From a hilarious race against time to a moment of unexpected eavesdropping, from righting wrongs in rural India to finding joy in unlikely places, these stories are all rich in wit and humour, guaranteed to lift your spirits and warm your heart.

Stories to Make you Smile is a co-commission between The Reading Agency and Specsavers as part of World Book Night 2021.

Review

Two husbands dead; a life marred by sadness. And now Katharine is in love for the first time in her life.

The eye of an ageing and dangerous king falls upon her. She cannot refuse him. She must stifle her feelings and never betray that she wanted another.

And now she is the sixth wife. Her queenship is a holy mission yet, fearfully, she dreams of the tragic parade of women who went before her. She cherishes the secret beliefs that could send her to the fire. And still the King loves and trusts her. 

Now her enemies are closing in. She must fight for her very life.

KATHARINE PARR – the last of Henry’s queens. 

Alison Weir recounts the extraordinary story of a woman forced into a perilous situation and rising heroically to the challenge. Katharine is a delightful woman, a warm and kindly heroine – and yet she will be betrayed by those she loves and trusts most. 

Too late, the truth will dawn on her. 

Review

SAVE THE WORLD OR END IT…

A strange darkness is growing in the Ward. Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea.

Fate knocks on her door, in the form of a mythical immortal and a lethal assassin, who tell Corayne that she is the last of an ancient lineage – with the power to save the world from destruction.

Because a man who would burn kingdoms to the ground is raising an army unlike any seen before, bent on uprooting the foundations of the world. With poison in his heart and a stolen sword in his hand, he’ll break the realm itself to claim it. And only Corayne can stop him.

Alongside an unlikely group of reluctant allies, Corayne finds herself on a desperate journey to complete an impossible task, with untold magic singing in her blood and the fate of the world on her shoulders.

A lone astronaut.

An impossible mission.

An ally he never imagined.

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission – and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through space on this tiny ship, it’s up to him to puzzle out an impossible scientific mystery-and conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And with the clock ticking down and the nearest human being light-years away, he’s got to do it all alone.

Or does he?

An irresistible interstellar adventure as only Andy Weir could imagine it, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian — while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

Autumn, 1541: King Henry VIII has set out on a spectacular Progress to the North to attend an extravagant submission of his rebellious subjects in York.

Already in the city are lawyer Matthew Shardlake and his assistant Jack Barak. As well as assisting with legal work processing petitions to the King, Shardlake has reluctantly undertaken a special mission for the Archbishop Cranmer – to ensure the welfare of an important but dangerous conspirator being returned to London for interrogation.

But the murder of a local glazier involves Shardlake in deeper mysteries, connected not only to the prisoner in York Castle but to the royal family itself. And when Shardlake and Barak stumble upon a cache of secret papers which could threaten the Tudor throne, a chain of events unfolds that will lead to Shardlake facing the most terrifying fate of the age . . .

In Simenon’s iconic first novel featuring Inspector Maigret, the laconic detective is taken from grimy bars to luxury hotels as he traces a fraudster’s true identity

Inspector Jules Maigret, a taciturn detective and commissaire of the Paris Brigade Criminelle, receives notice from Interpol that a notorious conman known only as Peitr the Latvian is en route to France. Armed with a broad description and a scant few clues, Maigret plans to intercept him at the train station outside Paris. But when he arrives, he finds that there are several suspects?some living, and some dead?who meet the description uncannily well.

Who is Pietr the Latvian, truly? A vagrant, a seaman, a businessman, a corpse? Russian, Norwegian, American or Latvian?  In Pietr the Latvian, the iconic first novel of Simenon’s classic series that made Inspector Maigret a legendary figure in the annals of detective fiction, Maigret must use his every instinct to unravel the mystery and track down the truth.

Review

The circumstances of Monsieur Gallet’s death all ring false: the name the deceased was travelling under and his presumed profession, and more worryingly, his family’s grief. Their haughtiness seems to hide ambiguous feelings about the hapless man. In this haunting story, Maigret discovers the appalling truth and the real crime hidden behind the surface of lies.

Inspector Maigret finds himself tangled up in a dreadful death, in Georges Simenon’s haunting tale about the lengths to which people will go to escape from guilt

While in Brussels on police business, Inspector Jules Maigret witnesses a strange act: a scruffy-looking man counts out a large amount of currency and mails it to a Paris address. His instincts tell him there is more to this moment than meets the eye, and following an impulse, Maigret boards the man’s train, following him to Germany via Amsterdam. But in the course of his investigation, something goes horribly awry, and the man ends up dead.

Maigret is devastated by the inadvertent role he played, but his own remorse is overshadowed by the discovery of the sordid events that drove the desperate man to the edge. In The Hanged Man of Saint-Pholien, Georges Simenon examines the terrible weight guilt can place on a man’s conscience and the tragedies that can result when that weight gets to be too heavy to bear.

Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend’s wedding in rural Scotland. The playlist is all planned and the snacks are packed.

But, not long after setting off, a car slams into the back of theirs. The driver is none other than Addie’s ex, Dylan, who she’s avoided since their traumatic break-up two years earlier.

Dylan and his best mate are heading to the wedding too, and they’ve totalled their car, so Addie has no choice but to offer them a ride. The car is soon jam-packed full of luggage and secrets, and with four-hundred miles ahead of them, Dylan and Addie can’t avoid confronting the very messy history of their relationship…

Will they make it to the wedding on time? And, more importantly, is this really the end of the road for Addie and Dylan?

Troy has fallen. The Greeks have won their bitter war. They can return home as victors, loaded with their spoils: their stolen gold, stolen weapons, stolen women. All they need is a good wind to lift their sails.

But the wind does not come. The gods have been offended – the body of Trojan king Priam lies desecrated, unburied – and so the victors remain in limbo, camped in the shadow of the city they destroyed, pacing at the edge of an unobliging sea. And, in these empty, restless days, the hierarchies that held them together begin to fray, old feuds resurface and new suspicions fester.

Amidst her squabbling captors, Briseis — now married to Alcimus, but carrying the child of the late Achilles — must forge alliances where she can: with young, dangerously naive Amina, with defiant, aged Hecuba, and with wild-eyed Cassandra, the unheeded seer. And so begins the path to a kind of revenge. Briseis has survived the Trojan War, but peacetime may turn out to be even more dangerous…

Review

As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year. 

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything. 

In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne’s decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover’s ambition?

Review

A delightful journey through the glamorous story of the English country house party by the bestselling historian.

Croquet. Parlour games. Cocktails. Welcome to a glorious journey through the golden age of the country house party and you are invited.Our host, celebrated historian Adrian Tinniswood, traces the evolution of this quintessentially British pastime from debauched royal tours to the flamboyant excess of the “Bright Young Things”. With cameos by the Jazz Age industrialist, the bibulous earl and the off-duty politician ? whether in moated manor houses or ornate Palladian villas ? Tinniswood gives a vivid insight into weekending etiquette and reveals the hidden lives of celebrity guests, from Nancy Astor to Winston Churchill, in all their drinking, feasting, gambling and fornicating. The result is a deliciously entertaining, star-studded, yet surprisingly moving portrait of a time when social conventions were being radically overhauled through the escapism of a generation haunted by war ? and a uniquely fast-living period of English history.

An abandoned woman…

1951. Esther Durrant, a young mother, is committed to an asylum by her husband. Run by a pioneering psychiatrist, the hospital is at first Esther’s prison – but can captivity lead to freedom?

A forbidden love…

2018. When free-spirited marine scientist Rachel Parker is forced to take shelter on an isolated island off the Cornish Coast during a research posting, she discovers a collection of hidden love letters. Captivated by their passion and tenderness, Rachel is determined to find the intended recipient. 

A dangerous secret…

Meanwhile, in London, Eve is helping her grandmother write her memoirs. When she is contacted by Rachel, it sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to reveal secrets kept buried for more than sixty years. 

Three women bound together by a heartbreaking secret. 

A love story that needs to be told.

This beautifully haunting and atmospheric novel, will sweep fans of Kate Morton, Elizabeth Gilbert and Emily Gunnis away this summer.

Thirteen books in total. This includes my book from my monthly Willoughby Book subscription and a NetGalley read. I’m actually quite pleased that I have also read some of these books as well because I do have the habit of buying the books then leaving them for months before I read them.

Please drop me a comment if you have read any of these books.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

WWW Wednesday 2/06/2021

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The rules are answer the questions below and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you will read next?

Hello!

I hope everyone is having a good week so far. I must admit I am throughly enjoying the wonderful weather we have at the moment.

What I am Currently Reading

I am throughly enjoying this so far and I am struggling to put it down. This is the first time I have read anything by Victoria Aveyard but it will not be my last.

What I Have Recently Finished Reading

Absolutely loved this and I am rather sorry that the Six Tudor Queens series has now come to end. Click the picture for the review.

What I Think I will Read Next

As usual I am never quite sure what I will read next. All I know for sure is that I have a lot of exciting books that I want to read and not enough time!

Please drop me a comment with your WWW Wednesday and I will head over for a visit.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

May 2021 Wrap Up

Hello!

I hope everyone has had a good May. I can’t quite believe we are now in June! The months seem to be flying by. I managed to read 6 books this month and some of them were quite long so I’m rather pleased.

Statistics

Books

Pages: 400

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 304

Format Read: Kindle

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 176

Format Read: Paperback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 480

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 528

Format Read: Hardback

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲🐲🐲

Review

Pages: 143

Format Read: Kindle

Dragon Rating: 🐲🐲🐲

Review

25/70 Goodreads Challenge

So there is my May. Please feel free to drop me a comment if you want to chat about the books.

Happy Reading

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you