Watching what I’m reading…

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day. We have fine weather today and I have been making the most of it. The laundry is all up to date, and I have had a couple of hours in the garden. It’s starting to cloud over now and the wind is picking up so I decided to come inside. Good timing as the Supercar racing out of Australia – Townsville, Queensland. I have only driven through there a couple of times, but I think that once travel restrictions are eased that it is somewhere I am going to have to visit. We have friends who live there so it would be great to catch up with them too.

I am currently reading The First to Lie by Frank Phillipi Ryan, my first book by this author and it is certainly keeping my attention!

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I finished listening to Sadie by Courtney Summers earlier today and have yet to download another audiobook.

This week I am planning to read Cry Baby by Mark Billingham

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In the summer of 1996, two boys run from a playground into the adjoining woods, but only one comes out. DS Tom Thorne takes on a case that quickly spirals out of control when two people connected with the missing boy are murdered. As London prepares to host the European Soccer Championships, Thorne fights to keep on top of a baffling investigation while also dealing with the ugly fallout of his broken marriage. A prequel to Billingham’s acclaimed debut Sleepyhead–which the Times voted “one of the 100 books that had shaped the decade”–this compelling novel highlights the case that shaped the career of one of British crime fiction’s most iconic characters.

and Night Whistler by Greg Woodland. This is a debut novel by this Australian author. Love the cover – creepy!

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It’s 1966. Hal and his little brother, newly arrived in Moorabool with their parents, are exploring the creek near their new home when they find the body of a dog.

Not just dead, but recently killed.

Not just killed, but mutilated.

Constable Mick Goodenough, recently demoted from his city job as a detective, is also new in town—and one of his dogs has gone missing. He’s experienced enough to know what it means when someone tortures an animal to death: it means they’re practising. So when Hal’s mother starts getting anonymous calls—a man whistling, then hanging up—Goodenough, alone among the Moorabool cops, takes her seriously.

The question is: will that be enough to keep her safe?

I have had 5 ARCs approved this week. Most excited about The Survivors by Jane Harper. I have requested every book that she has written, and this is the first time I have been approved!

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Murder at an Irish Christmas by Carlene O’Connor

The Bluebell Girls by Barbara Josselsohn (thanks Carla and Susan!)

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The Well of Ice by Andrea Carter

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and The Killings at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah

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I also have a beta read – Cognac and Confessions by Christine Cameron.

Happy reading everyone. Have a wonderful week!

Cheers
Sandy

Watching What I’m Reading

I can’t believe it is 5 days since I last posted. I have had a bout of bronchopnuemonia and it knocked the stuffing out of me. All I have done is sleep…I tried reading but would fall asleep again and then, when I woke, was unable to remember what I had read.

So I have read very little in the past few days, and requested nothing… though a couple of my pending requests were approved. Hopefully as I continue to improve so will my powers of concentration. I have to admit to struggling with writing this. My brain really doesn’t want to function. I tried and failed yesterday, which is why this is a day late.

Currently I am reading an Australian novel, Tiny White Lies by Fiona Palmer. It is set initially in Perth, Western Australia, then moves to the southwest coast somewhere in the region of Albany. I am enjoying this domestic drama/romance set in a slightly warmer climate than my own.

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I am listening to Sadie by Courtney Summers, but like reading at the moment, I keep having to rewind and listen again. This is no reflection on the quality of the book or the narration, purely the fault of my cotton wool brain!

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This week I am planning on reading The Bad Sister by Kevin O’Brien

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TOO CLOSE
The site of the old campus bungalow where two girls were brutally slain is now a flower patch covered with chrysanthemums. It’s been fifty years since the Immaculate Conception Murders. Three more students and a teacher were killed in a sickening spree that many have forgotten. But there is one person who knows every twisted detail. . . .

TO SEE
Hannah O’Rourke and her volatile half-sister, Eden, have little in common except a parent. Yet they’ve ended up at the same small college outside Chicago, sharing a bungalow with another girl. Hannah isn’t thrilled—nor can she shake the feeling that she’s being watched. And her journalism professor, Ellie Goodwin, keeps delving into Hannah and Eden’s newsworthy past. . . .

THE DANGER
When Hannah and Eden’s arrival coincides with a spate of mysterious deaths, Ellie knows it’s more than a fluke. A copycat is recreating those long-ago murders. Neither the police nor the school will accept the horrific truth. And the more Ellie discovers, the more she’s convinced that she won’t live to be believed. . . .

This week I have received two new ARCs, again more by circumstance than good management.

Finding Love at the Christmas Market by Jo Thomas

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and, Ransomed by M.A. Hunter, for which I was sent a widget.

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Have a wonderful week all. I will post when I can, but right now I am snuggling back down for another nap.

Watching what I’m reading…

Hi all! Well the worst of the weekend is over and I have finished work for the day. Pete and I went out for a late lunch together. We started out by heading to our favourite cafe in the next town south, but it was packed to capacity and a line of people waiting to be seated, so we headed almost an hour further south to a little coastal pub in Awakino. We had a lovely lunch, an open Gurnard sandwich for me with homemade tartare, salad and capers. It was delicious. As was Pete’s beef burger which featured a good sized tasty homemade beef patty. I took some photos on the way down, mainly of the single lane tunnel which is going to be bypassed. My boys used to love the echoes of the car horn in the tunnel and we sounded the horn all the way through the tunnel as a farewell salute today. Not that we needed to, as traffic lights mean there’s no chance of meeting anyone in the middle coming from the other direction. I had intended to take more on the way back, but the rain was too heavy. Once I remember how to download the photos from my phone to my tablet, I will share them. Too tired this afternoon to even think about it…Pete is currently asleep in his chair in front of the footy.

Anyway, on to what I’m reading….

I have started Rachel Joyce’s Miss Benson’s Beetle.

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I am at 30% and, honestly, am not yet feeling the love. To be quite honest, I am finding it slightly ridiculous. I hope that is not going to be my final opinion. I absolutely adored The Love Songs of Miss Queenie Hennessy, and liked but did not love The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

I am currently listening to The Chess Men by Peter May. This is the second book in his wonderful Lewis trilogy. As always with this author, I was instantly absorbed.

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This week I am planning on reading The Weekend Away by Sarah Alderson

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Two friends go on holiday. Only one comes back.

Orla and Kate have been best friends forever. Together they’ve faced it all – be it Orla’s struggles as a new mother or Kate’s messy divorce. And whatever else happens in their lives, they can always look forward to their annual weekend away.

This year, they’re off to Lisbon: the perfect flat, the perfect view, the perfect itinerary. And what better way to kick things off in style than with the perfect night out?

But when Orla wakes up the next morning, Kate is gone. Brushed off by the police and with only a fuzzy memory of the night’s events, Orla is her friend’s only hope. As she frantically retraces their steps, Orla makes a series of shattering discoveries that threaten everything she holds dear. Because while Lisbon holds the secret of what happened that night, the truth may lie closer to home…

and The Descent by Matt Brolly

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Were they pushed to the edge—or over it?

In the quiet coastal town of Weston-super-Mare, a body is discovered at the foot of a cliff just months after a near-identical tragedy—and Detective Inspector Louise Blackwell can’t believe it could be a coincidence.

Next to the body, she discovers a note that echoes one found beside the first: Death is not the end. Louise is certain that behind these desperate acts someone is pulling the strings, but how many more will plunge to their demise before she can find out who—and why?

Struggling to stay focused under the strain of her troubled brother’s disappearance with his young daughter, Louise hits a much-needed breakthrough when a third tragedy points to the involvement of a charismatic cult leader. The suspect is within her sights, but he knows she’s on to him…

Short on proof and with the body count rising, can Louise intercept his deadly mission—or has she taken on an unbeatable foe?

And nine, yes 9, new ARCs this week 🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️

I have two titles by Hannah Mary McKinnon,

The Secret Son

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and The Neighbors

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What Became of Us by Anna Mansell

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Good Will by Tiffany W. Killoren

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When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins

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Glimmer As You Can by Danielle Martin

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The Wife by Shalini Boland

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Stolen Children by Michael Wood

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And, The Last to Know by Jo Furniss

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Well, after that haul, there’s only one thing that I can do….READ!

Enjoy whatever is left of your weekend. I am ordering dinner in tonight so that I don’t lose any reading time!

Happy reading and stay safe and healthy.

Cheers
Sandy

Grown Ups by Marian Keyes

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EXCERPT: When Rory died, Jessie’s one consolation was that she’d never again have to live through something as bad. Her Dad’s passing was painful. Her mother’s was worse. The wound of having been cut out of the Kinsella inner circle had taken a while to heal. Giving up on having a sixth child had, for a patch, been oddly unbearable. But nothing had ever come close to the visceral punch of Rory ceasing to exist.

Over the years, whenever a big drama had blown up, her second or third thought was, I’ve already survived the worst thing that could happen.

It had made her feel safe. Almost lucky. But this – tonight – was as bad as Rory, that same light-headed combination of disbelief and stone-cold certainty: something terrible had happened. She didn’t want it to be true, but everything had already changed forever. Once more, the jigsaw of her life had been thrown up in the air and she had no idea where the pieces would land.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: They’re a glamorous family, the Caseys. Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together–birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they’re a happy family. Johnny’s wife, Jessie–who has the most money–insists on it.

Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much . . .

Still, everything manages to stay under control–that is, until Ed’s wife, Cara, gets a concussion and can’t keep her thoughts or opinions to herself. One careless remark at Johnny’s birthday party, with the entire family present, and Cara starts spilling all their secrets.

As everything unravels, each of the adults finds themselves wondering if it’s–finally–the time to grow up.

MY THOUGHTS: I loved this mad book about this absolutely mad family. But it took me a little while to get there. About 20% of the book, in fact.

There is an absolutely wonderful cast of characters and paradoxically, they are one of the problems. Because there are a lot of them, and I struggled to keep them straight, who was married to whom, and where all the children belonged. Now, to be absolutely fair, there is a family tree, but because I have a digital ARC of Grown Ups, in which the formatting is less than wonderful, I couldn’t make sense of it. But eventually I managed to get all the relationships straight in my mind.

Another thing that I adored about Grown Ups is the absolute Irishness of it. And there’s another problem. It would be incredibly helpful to have a glossary of Irish terms, and a bit of a guide to pronunciation. Now, I live in New Zealand, so I am going to throw Ngaruawahia at you, and see how you get on with pronouncing that. My Australian husband, who has lived in New Zealand for fifteen years, still can’t get his mouth around it! And I have similar problems with some of the Irish words, and particularly with the name Saoirse. I would be grateful if someone could enlighten me. But please don’t leave them out Ms Keyes. They are an integral part of the character of this book.

But putting all that aside, this is a brilliant read. The writing is excellent (thanks for restoring my faith in you Ms Keyes), well paced, the plot absorbing and entertaining. I laughed and cried, and laughed and cried, and did both some more.

It is the characters that really drive this novel. Jessie, slowly bankrupting herself and husband Johnny with her largesse, frightened that if she doesn’t pay for everything, the ‘spensie’ stuff, no one will love her. Cara, reservations manager at an exclusive hotel, married to Johnny’s younger brother Ed, who hides a dangerous secret. Finally there is Nell, artistic and enviably comfortable in her own humanitarian and environmentalist skin, married to the youngest brother, Liam. Then there is a dead husband, the numerous children, an ex-wife (Liam’s), parents, parents-in-law, ex-parents-in-law, cousins, friends, partners, business associates, Karl Brennan – who defies description, workmates, a barman named Gilbert and, no, on reflection, I don’t think there was a milkman.

The book begins with Johnny’s birthday dinner, and Cara’s cataclysmic revelations. It then goes back six months and we learn of all the things leading up to the eruption.

There is love and lust, secrets and deceit, grief and loss, envy and just about any emotion you care to name. In summary, a novel about people living up to others expectations of them and, in doing so, losing sight of themselves and what is truly important.

❤❤❤❤.4

#GrownUps #NetGalley

‘He’d had dementia and just faded away, like a picture left in the sun.’

‘You get one precious life. Why not try to have a contented one.’

THE AUTHOR: Marian Keyes (born 10 September 1963) is an Irish novelist and non-fiction writer, best known for her work in women’s literature. She is an Irish Book Awards winner. Over 22 million copies of her novels have been sold worldwide and her books have been translated into 32 languages. She became known worldwide for Watermelon, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, and This Charming Man, with themes including domestic violence and alcoholism.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Penguin Random House, Doubleday Canada for providing a digital ARC of Grown Ups by Marian Keyes for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

Watching What I’m Reading…

As the Covid-19 numbers continue to escalate around the world, I am very grateful that we live in virtual isolation here in New Zealand. Even our closest neighbour, Australia, continues to have escalating outbreaks, particularly in Melbourne currently, so I guess that there’s little chance of the borders being opened between here and there any time in the near future. But as the Pacific Islands continue to remain Covid free, I would hope that the borders between us and our island neighbours will soon reopen. I would love a week in the Cook Islands to shake off the midwinter blues. In the meantime, I guess we just carry on and read!

Currently I am reading Grown Ups by Marian Keyes. Although I wasn’t too sure about this to begin with, largely due to the sheer number of characters in this mad family, I am now loving it.

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I am listening to All the Ways We Said Goodbye by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White.

Sorry, the cover photo just would not download. I think I had the same problem with my audiobook cover last week, which is just downright weird.

This week I am planning on reading All Our Summers by Holly Chamberlain

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It came as no surprise to anyone in Yorktide when glamorous Carol Ascher fled the little Maine town for New York City. While Carol found success as an interior designer, her younger sister, Bonnie, stayed behind, embracing marriage and motherhood. She even agreed to take in Carol’s teenage daughter during a tumultuous patch. Now both their girls are grown and Bonnie, recently widowed, is anticipating the day she’ll retire to Ferndean House, the nineteenth-century family home on the rocky Maine coast.

But forty-five years after leaving Yorktide, Carol suddenly announces that she’s moving back—into Ferndean. Bonnie is indignant. She’s the one who kept the homestead in order and tended to their dying mother. Now Carol expects to simply buy her out? As far as Bonnie is concerned, Ferndean is part of their heritage—not just another of Carol’s improvement projects, to be torn apart and remade according to her whim.

The entire Ascher family is in flux, uncovering secrets that upend their relationships. Carol’s longing to be welcomed home is fueled by a painful truth she’s carried for years. It will take an extraordinary
summer—in a remarkable place—to lead these women back to each other, buoyed by the tides of friendship and forgiveness.

And The Life She Left Behind by Nicole Trope

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You tell him everything. The husband you adore, the father of your child, your best friend. He knows, just by looking at your sage-green eyes, when something is wrong. The two of you can communicate with a glance, or a touch of the hand. Except what if you can’t? What if your happy marriage has plastered over one huge lie? A lie you have even started to believe yourself, in order to survive? What if you have a secret, something you have hidden from your beloved husband and your strawberry-scented baby girl, to keep them safe? What if the guilt has kept you up, night after night, for as long as you can remember? What happens when suddenly, after twenty-eight years, that secret refuses to stay buried? What will you do now everyone you love, everything you cherish, is in harm’s way?

I did a little better with my requesting this week, and have received only four new ARCs, but what a mixed bag!

No One Will Hear Your Screams by Thomas O’Callaghan

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Still Life by Val Mcdermid

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My Mother’s Choice by Ali Mercer

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and finally, The Shore House by Heidi Hotstetter

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Happy Independence Day to all my American friends. Celebrate safely.

Cheers
Sandy

Angels by Marian Keyes

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EXCERPT: I’d always lived a fairly blameless life. Up until the day I left my husband and then ran away to Hollywood, I’d hardly ever put a foot wrong. Not one that many people knew about, anyway. So when, out of the blue, everything just disintegrated like wet paper, I couldn’t shake a wormy suspicion that this was long overdue. All that clean living simply isn’t natural.

Of course, I didn’t just wake up one morning and skip the country, leaving my poor, sleepy, fool of a husband wondering what that envelope on his pillow was. I’m making it sound much more dramatic than it actually was, which is strange because I never used to have a penchant for dramatics. Or a penchant for words like ‘penchant,’ for that matter. But ever since that business with the rabbits, and possibly even before that, things with Garv had been uncomfortable and weird. Then we suffered a couple of what we chose to call ‘setbacks.’ But instead of making our marriage stronger – as always seemed to happen to the other luckier setback souls who popped up in my mother’s women’s magazines – our particular brand of setbacks did exactly what it said on the tin. They set us back. They wedged themselves between myself and Garv and alienated us from one another. Though he never said anything, I knew Garv blamed me.

And that was okay, because I blamed me too.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Maggie has always been the white sheep of the Walsh family.Unlike her comically dysfunctional sisters,Rachel(heroine of Rachel’s Holiday) and Claire (heroine of Watermelon), she married a decent man who adored her and found herself a solid career. Where Rachel was reckless and Claire dramatic, Maggie settled early for safety. Or so she believed until she discovers that her husband is having an affair and her boss is going to fire her. Suddenly, her perfectly organized life has become a perfect mess.

Devastated, she decides the only thing to do is to run for the shelter of her best friend, Emily, who lives in Los Angeles. There, with the help of sunshine and long days at the beach, she will lick her wounds and decide where life will take her next.But from the moment she lands in the City of Angels, things are not quite what she expected. Overnight, she’s mixing with movie stars,even pitching film scripts to studios.Most unexpectedly of all,she finds that just because her marriage is over,it doesn’t mean her life is. In the end neither the City of Angels nor Maggie Walsh will ever be the same again.

MY THOUGHTS: I have had a love/hate relationship with the Walsh family series. I loved Watermelon; my sides ached from laughing when I first read it, and then read it again regularly over the years. I detested Rachel’s Holiday. Just. Did. Not. Like. It. One. Little. Bit. I had high hopes for Angels, #3 in the series. Loved the beginning, but our relationship went downhill from there, and even though the ending was almost decent, by then I was over it.

The problem was everything between the beginning and the end. Very little happened. I didn’t enjoy the endless days Maggie spent hanging out doing n0thing (the zero instead of o is quite intentional).

There are a lot of mixed messages in the plot. It’s like Keyes is trying to please everyone, and not offend anyone, and it’s just plain annoying! I can’t even remember raising a chuckle during this read. I am a Marian Keyes fan, but really, she missed the boat with this one. But I do love the cover!

**

THE AUTHOR: Marian Keyes (born 10 September 1963) is an Irish novelist and non-fiction writer, best known for her work in women’s literature. She is an Irish Book Awards winner. Over 22 million copies of her novels have been sold worldwide and her books have been translated into 32 languages. She became known worldwide for Watermelon, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, and This Charming Man, with themes including domestic violence and alcoholism.

DISCLOSURE: I purchased my copy of Angels by Marian Keyes, published by William Morrow paperbacks, but have since donated it to our local charity shop along with Rachel’s Holiday. I still have my well thumbed, falling to bits copy of Watermelon. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbooksday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

It Started With A Secret by Jill Mansell

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EXCERPT: Hello! Amazing couple required –
could it be you?

We live in a gorgeous beachfront home in North Cornwall. We’re an untidy family who need taking in hand. Are you organized, energetic, and delightful to have around? Would you like to restore order from chaos, and look after us?

Most love cats, dogs, teenagers and the occasional tricky geriatric. You’ll have your own flat, use of a half-decent car, and flexible hours.

So what do you think? Would you be our Mary Poppins. . . and Bert? Come on, give us a go. It’ll be hard work, but lots of fun too, we promise.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: The trouble with secrets is that you can’t guess what the consequences will be . . .

Lainey has lost everything. Luckily one little fib (OK, quite a big fib) helps nail her dream job. Soon she’s living in a stunning house by the sea, fending off obsessed fans for a retired – if far-from-retiring – actor and organising his charming but chaotic family. It’s definitely worth the challenge of keeping her secret.

At least Lainey isn’t looking for love. It’s time for a break from all that. And yet . . . Seth, the actor’s grandson, really is rather attractive. There’s growing chemistry and a definite connection between them. But how would he react if he knew she hadn’t been honest with him?

Lainey’s not the only one with a secret, though. Seth has one of his own. And everything’s about to start unravelling . . .

MY THOUGHTS: A lovely light read that is touching and funny without being silly. Think of sunlight, laughter and love . . . with more than a few complications.

The characters are a delightful bunch of offbeat personalities. Three generations of one family and a young couple who arrive to take care of them, all with secrets that will gradually be revealed. There is an aged movie star, his widowed daughter-in-law, with her twin teenaged daughters, their younger brother, and her adult step-son and his endless succession of women. Add to this a woman stalking the movie-star and Seth’s flibbertigibbert of a mother who pop in and out of the storyline, and you have a cleverly crafted conference of characters who both amuse and enchant. Plus, of course, Kit and Lainey who are living a lie in order to keep their jobs.

This is a wonderful read, a one sitting read, a read that will leave you smiling and happy. I have a great collection of well-thumbed Jill Mansell paperbacks on my bookshelves. It Started With A Secret will be joining them.

🤩🤩🤩🤩

#NetGalley

THE AUTHOR: Jill Mansell lives with her partner and children in Bristol, and writes full time. Actually that’s not true; she watches TV, eats fruit gums, admires the rugby players training in the sports field behind her house, and spends hours on the internet marvelling at how many other writers have blogs. Only when she’s completely run out of displacement activities does she write.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Sourcebooks, Landmark for providing a digital ARC of It Started With A Secret by Jill Mansell for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

Watching What I’m Reading . . .

I am not a fan of winter and we have had a whole week of bleak, foggy and cold winter weather. If I had any choice in the matter, I would be in hibernation mode with my books and an endless supply of green tea and chocolate. Unfortunately it’s been a long week of long days and I can’t say for sure when my next day off will be. I have only just managed to finish my scheduled reads for the week, and when I say ‘only just ,’ I mean only just this minute!

 I am currently listening to An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good by Helene Turston,which was recommended to me by one of my Goodreads.com friends, Debra. Thanks Debra, I am really enjoying this. Maud is definitely not your regular little old lady!

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Content:
– An elderly lady has accommodation problems
– An elderly lady on her travels
– An elderly lady seeks peace at Christmas time
– The antique dealer’s death
– An elderly lady is faced with a difficult dilemma

Maud is an irascible 88-year-old Swedish woman with no family, no friends, and…no qualms about a little murder. This funny, irreverent story collection by Helene Tursten, author of the Irene Huss investigations, features two-never-before translated stories that will keep you laughing all the way to the retirement home.

Ever since her darling father’s untimely death when she was only eighteen, Maud has lived in the family’s spacious apartment in downtown Gothenburg rent-free, thanks to a minor clause in a hastily negotiated contract. That was how Maud learned that good things can come from tragedy. Now in her late eighties, Maud contents herself with traveling the world and surfing the net from the comfort of her father’s ancient armchair. It’s a solitary existence, but she likes it that way.

Over the course of her adventures—or misadventures—this little bold lady will handle a crisis with a local celebrity who has her eyes on Maud’s apartment, foil the engagement of her long-ago lover, and dispose of some pesky neighbors. But when the local authorities are called to investigate a murder in her apartment complex, will Maud be able to avoid suspicion, or will Detective Inspector Irene Huss see through her charade?

This week I am planning on reading It Started With A Secret by Jill Mansell. I always enjoy her books and have several on my library shelves.

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The trouble with secrets is that you can’t guess what the consequences will be . . .

Lainey has lost everything. Luckily one little fib (OK, quite a big fib) helps nail her dream job. Soon she’s living in a stunning house by the sea, fending off obsessed fans for a retired – if far-from-retiring – actor and organising his charming but chaotic family. It’s definitely worth the challenge of keeping her secret.

At least Lainey isn’t looking for love. It’s time for a break from all that. And yet . . . Seth, the actor’s grandson, really is rather attractive. There’s growing chemistry and a definite connection between them. But how would he react if he knew she hadn’t been honest with him?

Lainey’s not the only one with a secret, though. Seth has one of his own. And everything’s about to start unravelling . . .

Last One to Lie by J.M. Winchester

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Moving to a new city was supposed to be a fresh start for her family. Now it’s a nightmare.

Her little girl was supposed to be at day care when Kelsey arrived to pick her up. But they have no record of her daughter ever being there. And to make matters worse, her husband is missing too—he won’t pick up his phone, and the school he supposedly works at says he never accepted their job offer.

Detective Paul Ryan knows something’s up with Kelsey’s story. Kelsey’s husband might be involved in their daughter’s disappearance, but the deeper the detective digs, the more inconsistencies he finds.

As Detective Ryan tries to uncover the truth, what he finds are more deeply buried secrets that someone clearly never wanted found.

Hopefully I will at least get to start Gone in Seconds by Ed James as well.

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Landon and Jennifer Bartlett have everything – money, influence and a picture-perfect family. But it means nothing when their lives are torn apart the day someone breaks into their plush mansion and takes their newborn child right from his cot.

FBI Agent Max Carter investigates child abduction cases. He has a reputation for working all hours to find every missing child on his watch¾after all, he was once one himself. When he visits the Bartletts’ sprawling home in an exclusive estate in the suburbs of Seattle, he’s immediately suspicious of Landon Bartlett and his brother Sam.

As Carter delves deeper into the lives of the brothers, he finds a web of dubious business deals and lies that could cost the Bartletts their entire family fortune. And it’s clear they will do anything to keep their secrets¾but would they withhold vital information that could lead him to baby Ky’s kidnapper?

As Carter begins a cat-and-mouse game with the kidnapper, he receives some startling news from home, which stops him in his tracks. And when a young woman is spotted boarding a bus out of town with a baby fitting Ky’s description, he must decide whether to risk everything to find the missing child or save his own family.

Five new ARCs from NetGalley this week…I’m not doing too well at sticking to my target of two per week am I? Personally I blame Susan and Carla….🤣😂

The First to Lie by Hank Phillippi Ryan

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The Three Mrs Wrights by Linda Kier

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Reviving the Hawthorn Sisters by Emily Carpenter

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The Weekend Away by Sarah Alderson
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And Hadley and Grace by Suzanne Redfearn

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Have a happy weekend all. It is time I made a pot of tea and curled up in front of the fire with my new book. Happy reading!

Cheers
Sandy

Watching What I’m Reading . . .

New Zealand is certainly living up to its Maori name of Aotearoa this week. Translated, it means land of the long white cloud. It has been cloudy or raining all week. I am making a point, as part of my mindfulness routine, to watch the sunrise each morning. I have been photographing it each day and posting to my Instagram page which, if you would  like to take a look, goes by the same name as my webpage @sandysbookaday

My three year old grandson came on his own for a sleepover weekend and has just gone home with his Dad. He was so very good, but he certainly kept me busy. He has added two new books to his collection here and I will review those during the week.

I have just started reading Her Perfect Life by Rebecca Taylor

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and I am a little more than halfway through listening to In the Dark by Cara Hunter

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This week I am planning on reading The Red,Red Snow by Caro Ramsey

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A family  man is stabbed to death at a crowded Christmas Ice Show. Murdered in plain sight. No clues, no witnesses, no known motive.

A week later, two bodies are discovered at a holiday cottage in a remote highland glen: one in the kitchen; the other sprawled outside on the icy lawn. The killer would appear to have arrived and left without leaving a trace, not even a footprint in the snow.

What secrets are lurking within this isolated, superstitious community? As the snow piles higher, detectives Anderson and Costello put their wits to solving a seemingly impossible crime, and gradually uncover a twisted tale of greed, obsession – and cold-blooded murder.

And The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton

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Lily Bishop wakes up one morning to find a good-bye note and divorce papers from her husband on the kitchen counter. Having moved to Alabama for his job only weeks before, Lily is devastated, but a flyer at the grocery store for a hair stylist position in a local retirement community provides a refuge while she contemplates her next steps.

Rose Carrigan built the small retirement village of Safe Harbor years ago—just before her husband ran off with his assistant. Now she runs a tight ship, making sure the residents follow her strict rules. Rose keeps everyone at arm’s length, including her own family. But when Lily shows up asking for a job and a place to live, Rose’s cold exterior begins to thaw.

Lily and Rose form an unlikely friendship, and Lily’s salon soon becomes the place where residents share town gossip, as well as a few secrets. Lily soon finds herself drawn to Rose’s nephew, Rawlins—a single dad and shrimper who’s had some practice at starting over—and one of the residents may be carrying a torch for Rose as well.

Neither Lily nor Rose is where she expected to be, but the summer makes them both wonder if there’s more to life and love than what they’ve experienced so far. The Summer House weaves Lauren K. Denton’s inviting Southern charm around a woman’s journey to find herself.

This week I received five new ARCs from NetGalley, including The Summer House, above.

The other four are The Gilded Cage by Camilla Lackberg

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It Started With A Secret by Jill Mansell

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The Last Piece by Imogen Clark

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The Descent (Detective Louise Blackwell #2) by Matt Brolly

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I have a big crockpot of Pumpkin and Coconut Cream soup simmering away and some nice crusty garlic bread to heat up, so that is dinner taken care of. The remainder of the afternoon is for reading.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Happy reading!

Cheers,

Sandy ❤😍📚☕🍪