The Weekly Brief

Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone is having a good weekend. Blogging has gone slightly better this week thankfully.

Here is what has been happening on the blog.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

This is the first book I have read by Brian McGilloway and so far I am absolutely loving it.

Books Acquired

I had all these lovely books for my birthday and I can’t wait to get reading them all.

Happy Reading

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The Weekly Brief

Hello!

I have been very naughty this week and fallen behind with my blog posts. I know I keep saying I will get better but I seem to be getting worse. Hopefully, I will get into a good blogging routine soon.

Anyway, here is what I have been up to.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I’ve slowed down a little bit on SPQR but I’m still enjoying it and chipping away at it. I just started The Secret of Chimneys last night, so far so good.

Acquired Books

This arrived a couple of days ago, my Christmas reading list has started to build up.

Happy Reading

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Acquired Books of September 2021

Hello!

Now I know I was very well behaved in August and did not buy one book but in September I made up for it. Here are all the wonderful books I acquired in September.

The search for the legendary ring of King Solomon has begun, and Penelope must sift through its long and convoluted history of lost emperors, crusaders, and other famous historical figures—including one with whom the magicians share their own complicated past— if she hopes to find it in time.

As Penelope’s magic continues to grow stronger with the coming high tide, she and Alexis will have to depend upon each other more than ever to keep everyone they care about safe from the continuing attacks by Thevetat’s priests.

When the magical high tide finally peaks, the long-awaited battle against Thevetat will begin, and Penelope, Alexis, and the magicians will have to rely on both powers of old and new if they hope to defeat their enemy once and for all.

A new Downton Abbey movie is slated for Christmas 2021. Highclere Castle, having achieved fame as the setting for Downton Abbey, is the epitome of the perfect English country house. The seasons govern life at the estate, and Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the current chatelaine, invites readers inside Highclere, past and present, as she describes the annual rhythms of English country life.

The Countess is a consummate hostess and a compelling authority on the castle, its history, and day-to-day life. With gorgeous full-color photography specially commissioned for this book, here she discusses entertaining for different seasonal feasts and holidays through the year and explores changing tastes and menus, plants and produce grown in the Highclere gardens, the charming menagerie of resident animals, and the traditions of living in the English countryside. Each season brings its own special activities and chores, many ancient, their names often a reference to the traditions and superstitions of country lore. Full of charming ideas and seasonal advice, this book will inspire readers seeking to brighten their approach to living with traditional English country style.

Dr Ruth Galloway returns to the moody and beautiful landscape of North Norfolk to confront another killer. A devastating new case for our favourite forensic archaeologist in this acclaimed and bestselling crime series.

The Night Hawks, a group of metal detectorists, are searching for buried treasure when they find a body on the beach in North Norfolk. At first Nelson thinks that the dead man might be an asylum seeker but he turns out to be a local boy, Jem Taylor, recently released from prison. Ruth is more interested in the treasure, a hoard of Bronze Age weapons. Nelson at first thinks that Taylor’s death is accidental drowning, but a second death suggests murder.

Nelson is called to an apparent murder-suicide of a couple at the isolated Black Dog Farm. Local legend talks of the Black Shuck, a spectral hound that appears to people before they die. Nelson ignores this, even when the owner’s suicide note includes the line, ‘He’s buried in the garden.’ Ruth excavates and finds the body of a giant dog.

All roads lead back to this farm in the middle of nowhere, but the place spells serious danger for anyone who goes near. Ruth doesn’t scare easily. Not until she finds herself at Black Dog Farm.

Starfleet was everything for Cristóbal Rios—until one horrible, inexplicable day when it all went wrong. Aimless and adrift, he grasps at a chance for a future as an independent freighter captain in an area betrayed by the Federation, the border region with the former Romulan Empire. His greatest desire: to be left alone.

But solitude isn’t in the cards for the captain of La Sirena, who falls into debt to a roving gang of hoodlums from a planet whose society is based on Prohibition-era Earth. Teamed against his will with Ledger, his conniving overseer, Rios begins an odyssey that brings him into conflict with outlaws and fortune seekers, with power brokers and relic hunters across the stars.

Exotic loves and locales await—as well as dangers galore—and Rios learns the hard way that good crewmembers are hard to find, even when you can create your own. And while his meeting with Jean-Luc Picard is years away, Rios finds himself drawing on the Starfleet legend’s experiences when he discovers a mystery that began on one of the galaxy’s most important days…

The peaceful English village of King’s Abbot is stunned. The widow Ferrars dies from an overdose of veronal. Not twenty-four hours later, Roger Ackroyd—the man she had planned to marry—is murdered. It is a baffling case involving blackmail and death, that taxes Hercule Poirot’s “grey cells” before he reaches one of the most startling conclusions of his career.

The follow-up to the international bestseller Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, this book moves the story into the 1920s, and focuses on the remarkable American heiress who came to reign at Highclere Castle.

I can’t wait to get reading!

Please drop me a comment if you want to talk about any of the books

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 is having a good weekend so far. I played for a wedding and a pet service yesterday and I must be honest I was in my element at the pet service. There were so many cute dogs for me to make a fuss of.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Just started The Yellow Dog and so much has already happened and I’ve only read 13 pages!

Books Acquired

So many wonderful books to start reading. The Maigret books will help me complete my challenge.

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!

Apologies this is a day late but the deadline to my dissertation is fast approaching so I have been busy focusing on the final touches.

Here is what I got up to on the blog last week.

Posts last Week

Currently Reading

Books Acquired

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 is having a good weekend so far. I played for a wedding yesterday and have two services this morning to do, the rest of the day will be working on my dissertation whilst the husband watches the Grand Prix but hoping to get some reading in as well today.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

I read all the Lestat books when I was a teenager but I haven’t read this one so I thought it was high time I did.

Acquired Books

I went on a little book buying spree. I can’t wait to get reading all these exciting books.

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 July 2021

Hello!

This month has involved a few book purchases as I did go rather wild in bookshop.

Books Acquired in July

With its winding high street lined with a greengrocers, post office, pub and church, Melstead St Mary is the perfect English village. Neighbours look out for neighbours, and few things trouble the serene surface of the community. 

But when residents start to receive anonymous letters containing secret information about their pasts – secrets that no one else is meant to know – life in Melstead St Mary is about to change, possibly forever…

Newly-orphaned Anne Beddingfeld is a nice English girl looking for a bit of adventure in London. But she stumbles upon more than she bargained for! Anne is on the platform at Hyde Park Corner tube station when a man falls onto the live track, dying instantly. A doctor examines the man, pronounces him dead, and leaves, dropping a note on his way. Anne picks up the note, which reads “17.1 22 Kilmorden Castle”. The next day the newspapers report that a beautiful ballet dancer has been found dead there– brutally strangled. A fabulous fortune in diamonds has vanished. And now, aboard the luxury liner Kilmorden Castle, mysterious strangers pillage her cabin and try to strangle her. What are they looking for? Why should they want her dead? Lovely Anne is the last person on earth suited to solve this mystery… and the only one who can! Anne’s journey to unravel the mystery takes her as far afield as Africa and the tension mounts with every step… and Anne finds herself struggling to unmask a faceless killer known only as ‘The Colonel’…. 

Little did Anthony Cade suspect that an errand for a friend would place him at the center of a deadly conspiracy. Drawn into a web of intrigue, he begins to realize that the simple favor has placed him in serious danger.

As events unfold, the combined forces of Scotland Yard and the French Sûreté gradually converge on Chimneys, the great country estate that hides an amazing secret…

What was the woman doing here?
In a stable, wearing pearl earrings, her stylish bracelet and white buckskin shoes!
She must have been alive when she got there because the crime had been committed after ten in the evening.
But how? And why? And no one had heard a thing! She had not screamed. The two carters had not woken up.
If the whip had not been mislaid, it was likely the body might not have been discovered for a couple of weeks or a month, by chance when someone turned over the straw.
And other carters passing through would have snored the night away next to a woman’s corpse!

These questions lead Maigret into an unfamiliar world of canals, with its run down cafes, shadowy towpaths, and eccentric inhabitants.

Collect this and other novels in the Inspector Maigret series, now available in thrilling new English translations. 

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…

Just one more night. Then I’ll end it. 

Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.

I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up. 

Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.

I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing. 

But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….

Ed is delighted to meet his twenty-three year old daughter’s fiancé for the first time. Ryan appears to be the perfect future son-in-law. There’s just one problem. There’s something off about Ryan. Something hidden in the shadows behind his eyes. And it seems that only Ed can see it.

Terrified that his daughter is being drawn in by a psychopath, Ed sets out to uncover her fiancé’s dark past – while keeping his own concealed. But no-one believes him. And the more he digs, the more he alienates her and the rest of the family who are convinced that Ryan is ‘the one’.

Ed knows different. For reasons of his own, he knows a monster when he sees one…

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ‘80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

535 AD. In the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia, King Cador’s children inherit a fragmented land abandoned by the Romans.

Riva, scarred in a terrible fire, fears she will never heal.
Keyne battles to be seen as the king’s son, when born a daughter.
And Sinne, the spoiled youngest girl, yearns for romance.

All three fear a life of confinement within the walls of the hold – a last bastion of strength against the invading Saxons. But change comes on the day ash falls from the sky, bringing Myrddhin, meddler and magician, and Tristan, a warrior whose secrets will tear the siblings apart. Riva, Keyne and Sinne must take fate into their own hands, or risk being tangled in a story they could never have imagined; one of treachery, love and ultimately, murder. It’s a story that will shape the destiny of Britain.

2017: 19 year old Tallulah is going out on a date, leaving her baby with her mother, Kim.

Kim watches her daughter leave and, as late evening turns into night, which turns into early morning, she waits for her return. And waits.

The next morning, Kim phones Tallulah’s friends who tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a party at a house in the nearby woods called Dark Place.

She never returns.

2019: Sophie is walking in the woods near the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started work as a head-teacher when she sees a note fixed to a tree.

‘DIG HERE’ . . .

A cold case, an abandoned mansion, family trauma and dark secrets lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s remarkable new novel.

West Yorkshire, 1904.

When newly graduated nurse Ruby May takes a position looking after the children of Charles and Lilian England, a wealthy couple from a powerful dynasty of mill owners, she hopes it will be the fresh start she needs. But as she adapts to life at the isolated Hardcastle House, it becomes clear there’s something not quite right about the beautiful, mysterious Mrs England. Ostracised by the servants and feeling increasingly uneasy, Ruby is forced to confront her own demons in order to prevent history from repeating itself. After all, there’s no such thing as the perfect family – and she should know.

Simmering with slow-burning menace, Mrs England is a portrait of an Edwardian marriage, weaving an enthralling story of men and women, power and control, courage, truth and the very darkest deception. Set against the atmospheric landscape of West Yorkshire, Stacey Halls’ third novel proves her one of the most exciting and compelling new storytellers of our times.

In the thousand-sun network of humanity’s expansion, new colony worlds are struggling to find their way. Every new planet lives on a knife edge between collapse and wonder, and the crew of the aging gunship Rocinante have their hands more than full keeping the fragile peace.

In the vast space between Earth and Jupiter, the inner planets and belt have formed a tentative and uncertain alliance still haunted by a history of wars and prejudices. On the lost colony world of Laconia, a hidden enemy has a new vision for all of humanity and the power to enforce it.

New technologies clash with old as the history of human conflict returns to its ancient patterns of war and subjugation. But human nature is not the only enemy, and the forces being unleashed have their own price. A price that will change the shape of humanity — and of the Rocinante — unexpectedly and forever…

Thirteen hundred gates have opened to solar systems around the galaxy. But as humanity builds its interstellar empire in the alien ruins, the mysteries and threats grow deeper.

In the dead systems where gates lead to stranger things than alien planets, Elvi Okoye begins a desperate search to discover the nature of a genocide that happened before the first human beings existed, and to find weapons to fight a war against forces at the edge of the imaginable. But the price of that knowledge may be higher than she can pay.

At the heart of the empire, Teresa Duarte prepares to take on the burden of her father’s godlike ambition. The sociopathic scientist Paolo Cortázar and the Mephistophelian prisoner James Holden are only two of the dangers in a palace thick with intrigue, but Teresa has a mind of her own and secrets even her father the emperor doesn’t guess.

And throughout the wide human empire, the scattered crew of the Rocinante fights a brave rear-guard action against Duarte’s authoritarian regime. Memory of the old order falls away, and a future under Laconia’s eternal rule — and with it, a battle that humanity can only lose – seems more and more certain. Because against the terrors that lie between worlds, courage and ambition will not be enough…

Twelve books acquired in June! I have a lot of reading to do to make my TBR list a bit smaller.

Please drop me comment if you want to chat about any of the books.

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 actually went into a bookshop this week, the first one in over 18 months. I will be honest I got a little bit carried away.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Just started this last night so far so good.

Acquired Books

So there is another week on the blog.

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

Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far.

Here is what I have been up to on the blog.

Posts this Week

Currently Reading

Acquired Books

I treated myself to these two books because they were only £2 each. I do love a bargain!

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 June 2021

Hello!

So I almost forgot my round up of the month of all the lovely books that I acquired in June!

Thankfully I have remembered because I do like being able to see all the books I have got and what I have got left to read.

Books I Acquired in June

Once upon a time, inhabitants of another world tore a hole through the universe and came to Earth. They called themselves Suriias, and rivalled humans in knowledge and skill with one great exception: they had magic.

War followed. Humanity lost. And three hundred years later, humans are on the brink of extinction.

Orphans Thorn and Thistle live in hiding. They are the last of their families, the last of their friends. They scrape by, stealing to survive and living on the streets or hiding in sheds. But even under the brutal regime of the Suriias, there are places where humans can mingle in secret with magical sympathisers, and one night Thistle gets an unexpected offer of marriage from a Suriia with high standing and friends in all the right places. For Thistle, it’s a chance at safety and comfort; for Thorn, it’s a chance to find the ones who killed her parents.

And so the pair move into the capital city of Courtenz. An urban monstrosity of magic and might, false friends and flying cars, drones and death tolls, the new city promises a fresh start – and new love – for both. 

But if there’s one thing Thorn knows for certain, it’s that dreams can swiftly turn into nightmares.

Review

A nest of vipers, they called us. But that is not how it was.

Mercia, 775 AD. In the grand Saxon halls of Mercia, King Offa rules with ruthless ambition. Aggressive and relentlessly acquisitive, his three daughters are destined to marry advantageously in service of their country. Eadburh, the youngest, is neither the cleverest nor the most beautiful of the three. But, with her father’s ruthless spirit and the secret gifts passed down from her mother, she is determined to carve her own path in the world.

2021. Simon Armstrong has escaped to a secluded cottage on the English-Welsh borders, desperate to finish his book about Anglo-Saxon King Offa. But he soon finds himself disturbed by unsettling noises and visions. Calling in local expert Bea to identify the issue, Simon hopes to get back some peace – but soon Bea is as embroiled as he is, feeling increasingly connected to a ghostly presence that is growing ever-stronger in its desire for revenge.

And when Simon’s daughter disappears, centuries of secrets and resentment begin to tumble out…

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.

Only three books acquired in June! To be honest I am in shock as I expected it to be a lot worse. One of these was a lovely gift from the author and the other was my Willoughby Book Club monthly subscription. This means last month I only bought one book!

Happy Reading

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