A Village Affair by Julie Houston

A Village Affair by Julie Houston

EXCERPT: The banishing of my husband bit hadn’t been quite as calm and stiff-upper-lip as I might pretend. There was no scenario such as you might find in a 1920s silent movie, where the heroine (me) holds one hand to a pale forehead and points to the door with the other while the baddie (Mark) falls to his knees, wringing his hands and pleading forgiveness, while the other baddie (bloody Tina) slinks off into the night like the she-snake she had suddenly become. Au contraire. In reality, it was like something off The Jeremy Kyle Show.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Cassie Beresford has recently landed her dream job as deputy head at her local, idyllic village primary school, Little Acorns. So, the last thing she needs is her husband of twenty years being ‘outed’ at a village charity auction – he has been having an affair with one of her closest friends.

As if that weren’t enough to cope with, Cassie suddenly finds herself catapulted into the head teacher position, and at the forefront of a fight to ward off developers determined to concrete over the beautiful landscape.

But through it all, the irresistible joy of her pupils, the reality of keeping her teenage children on the straight and narrow, her irrepressible family and friends, and the possibility of new love, mean what could have been the worst year ever, actually might be the best yet…

MY THOUGHTS: I read the majority of A Village Affair with ‘a ridiculous grin’ on my face, much like the one Cassie has on her face when. . . but no, I can’t tell you that. It is addictive reading. It is ‘splutter into your coffee/wine’ funny – I did both – it is light, and amusing, not at all predictable, and I want more from this author.

Every time I thought I knew where the story was going, it very cleverly changed direction, and 75% through there is a delicious OMG! moment that caused my stomach to churn, my heart to plummet. I was screaming ‘No, no, no!’ in my mind, my mouth hanging open, my eyes popping. I was in the hairdressers at the time, otherwise the ‘No, no, no!’ would have been out loud.

This is the second book I have read and loved by this author. Julie Houston is firmly on my ‘must read’ list!

A Village Affair is due for publication by Aria November 6th 2018.

THE AUTHOR: Julie Houston’s first three novels GOODNESS, GRACE AND ME, THE ONE SAVING GRACE and LOOKING FOR LUCY are all Amazon Humour #1 best sellers both here in the UK and Australia. LOOKING FOR LUCY hit the #1 best seller overall in Australia. Her new novel, A VILLAGE AFFAIR will be published in November 2018 and HOLLY CLOSE FARM in February 2019.

Julie lives in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire where her novels are set, and her only claims to fame are that she teaches part-time at ‘Bridget Jones’ author Helen Fielding’s old junior school and her neighbour is ‘Chocolat’ author, Joanne Harris. After University, where she studied Education and English Literature, she taught for many years as a junior school teacher. As a newly qualified teacher, broke and paying off her first mortgage, she would spend every long summer holiday working on different Kibbutzim in Israel. After teaching for a few years she decided to go to New Zealand to work and taught in Auckland for a year before coming back to this country. She now teaches just two days a week, and still loves the buzz of teaching junior-aged children. She has been a magistrate for the past nineteen years, and, when not distracted by Ebay, Twitter and Ancestry, spends much of her time writing. Julie is married, has a twenty-four-year-old son and twenty-one-year-old daughter and a ridiculous Cockerpoo called Lincoln. She runs and swims because she’s been told it’s good for her, but would really prefer a glass of wine, a sun lounger and a jolly good book – preferably with Matthew Mcconaughay in attendance.

She hates skiing, gets sick on boats and wouldn’t go pot-holing or paddy diving if her life depended on it.

She is published by HeadOfZeus/Aria and represented by Anne Williams at KHLA Literary agency.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to author Julie Houston for providing a digital ARC of A Village Affair for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2567647403

Maeve Binchy: Collected Stories: Collected BBC Radio Adaptations

Maeve Binchy by BBC Radio Comedy

EXCERPT: John was the youngest of the seven Ryan children and the indulged pet of a mother who had been amazed and delighted at his arrival when she had been sure her family was complete. He had been overfed and given fizzy drinks with sweet cake as long as he could remember. As a lad the running and leaping and cycling miles to a dance had kept him trimmer. Now, between sessions of writing his poetry and serving in his bar, it was a sedentary life.

He didn’t know if he wanted it for his sons; he had such hopes for them – that they might see the world a bit, study and then go on for the University. That had been beyond the dreams of his parents’ generation. Their main dream had been to see their children settled into emigration; the church had helped of course, educating two nuns and two priests out of the Ryan family. John didn’t see any vocation amongst his own offspring. Michael was dreamy and thoughtful: maybe a hermit? Or Dara a resourceful Reverend Mother somewhere? Eddie was a practical child, possibly a missionary brother teaching pagan tribes to build huts and dig canals. Declan, the baby. Maybe they could make a curate out of him near home where they could keep an eye on him.

This was all nonsense, of course. None of them would end up within an asses roar of a religious life. Still, John Ryan never saw the future standing surrounded by three sons and possibly his daughter, all in the trade.

ABOUT THIS AUDIOBOOK: A collection of full-cast dramatisations and readings from the bestselling author

‘There’s nobody like Binchy for warming the cockles’ Times

Maeve Binchy was one of Britain’s best-loved storytellers and this compilation of her finest fiction, as heard on BBC Radio, demonstrates all the warmth, wit and compassion that made her so popular.

Firefly Summer is a moving, humorous novel about a sleepy Irish town facing monumental change, dramatised in six parts with a full cast including David Soul and Lorcan Cranitch.

No Nightingales, No Snakes features full-cast dramatisations of five Maeve Binchy short stories, with a distinguished cast including Niamh Cusack, Sam Dale and Harry Towb.

The Garden Party contains four short stories specially commissioned for BBC Radio 4, read by Niamh Cusack, Dervla Kirwan, Doreen Hepburn and Stella McCusker.

The Homecoming comprises four more stories exclusively written for BBC Radio 4, read by Sean Campion, Joanna Myers, Patricia Hodge and Kate Binchy.

Dealing with families, friendship, love, loss, sorrow and joy, these stories will delight all Maeve Binchy fans. Duration: 6 hours approx

MY THOUGHTS: This was a delightful trip down memory lane. I adore Maeve Binchy and I miss looking forward to a new book coming out from her. I had read Firefly Summer years ago, so that was like meeting up with old friends I hadn’t seen in some time. The short stories were new to me, and I loved them.

And yes, I know that I have categorized this as contemporary-fiction and that for many of you it won’t be, but for me it is. It reflects the era in which I grew up, when we played in the paddocks not coming home until dark, or our mothers were threatening to feed our tea to the dog. We read books rather than screens, there were no mobile phones, and we used our imagination. I am glad to have grown up in this era, it was a magnificent time.

The BBC dramatisations are, as always, excellent. Highly recommended. There really is nobody like Binchy for warming the cockles of the heart.


THE AUTHOR: Maeve Binchy was born on 28 May 1940 in Dalkey, County Dublin, Ireland, the eldest child of four. Her parents were very positive and provided her with a happy childhood. Although she described herself as an overweight child, her parents’ attitude gave her the confidence to accept herself for who she was.

She studied at University College Dublin and was a teacher for a while. She also loved traveling, and this was how she found her niche as a writer. She liked going to different places, such as a Kibbutz in Israel, and she worked in a camp in the United States. While she was away, she sent letters home to her parents. They were so impressed with these chatty letters from all over the world that they decided to send them to a newspaper. After these letters were published, Maeve left teaching and became a journalist.

Maeve married Gordon Snell, writer and editor of children’s books. When they were struggling financially, Light a Penny Candle was published, which made her an overnight success. Many of her books, such as Echoes, are set in the past in Ireland. Some of her later novels, such as Evening Class, take place in more modern times. Her books often deal with people who are young, fall in love, have families, and deal with relationship or family problems. The main characters are people whom readers can empathise with.

She passed away on 30 July 2012, at the age of 72.

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of Maeve Binchy: Collected Stories via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2548670286

Friday Favorite – Scouting for the Reaper by Jacob M Appel

Looking for something to read over the weekend ?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming ‘read me’?

Take a look at my Friday Favorite. It may be new. It may be old. It may be written by a famous author, or by someone you have never heard of. But wherever in the spectrum it falls, it will be a book that is special to me, one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

Scouting for the Reaper by Jacob M. Appel

EXCERPT: ‘I want to say something,’ I said.

They both looked up. They seemed surprised that I was still in the room.

‘What’s wrong, honey, ‘ said my mother. ‘You aren’t getting sick, are you?’

She crossed the kitchen and felt my brow with the back of a chilly hand. I pulled my head away. ‘She feels warm to me, Gordon,’ said my mother.

‘I have type-B blood, ‘ I announced.

My mother tried to feel my brow again but I wouldn’t let her. ‘I think she’s coming down with something.’

‘You’re not listeningto me,’ I said. Louder. ‘We did an experiment in Miss Stanley’s class and my blood clumped when it was exposed to Type-B antibodies. That means I can’t be the biological child of a Type-A father and a Type-O mother.’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Each of the characters in Scouting for the Reaper faces an unanticipated challenge: transporting a truckload of penguins across the country, arranging a proper Jewish burial for the remains of Gregor Samsa, selling tombstones dressed as a Girl Scout. These stories explore the domestic and professional adventures of people in over their heads, while leavening their struggles with humor.

MY THOUGHTS: I love Jacob M Appel’s writing. He has the best of opening sentences; ones that grab your attention and then simply do not let go.

I have previously read Einstein’s Beach House and Miracles and Conundrums of the Secondary Planets, both of which I loved and still treasure. So I was very excited to receive Jacob’s latest offering, Scouting for the Reaper. And I was not disappointed.

I would be hard pressed to pick a favourite from this exceptional collection of stories; stories about relationships between people, and I don’t mean love stories, or maybe I do, but not in the traditional sense.

I could give you a brief outline of each of the eight stories contained in this volume, but no description I could give would reveal the deeper threads and undercurrents. I just recommend that you read this book. It is a keeper for me.

THE AUTHOR: Jacob M. Appel’s first novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Award in 2012. His short story collection, Scouting for the Reaper, won the 2012 Hudson Prize. He has published short fiction in more than two hundred literary journals including Agni, Conjunctions, Gettysburg Review, Southwest Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and West Branch. His work has been short listed for the O. Henry Award (2001), Best American Short Stories (2007, 2008), Best American Essays (2011, 2012), and received “special mention” for the Pushcart Prize in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2013.

Jacob holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Brown University, an M.A. and an M.Phil. from Columbia University, an M.S. in bioethics from the Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical College, an M.D. from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, an M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, an M.F.A. in playwriting from Queens College, an M.P.H. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He currently practices psychiatry in New York City.

DISCLOSURE:Thank you to author Jacob M Appel for the gift of a copy of Scouting for the Reaper in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

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

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1657064892

Never Touch a Monster by Rosie Greening

Never Touch a Monster by Rosie Greening

EXCERPT : You must never touch a monster
Who invites you ’round for tea
He wants to put you in a pot
And eat you, probably!

ABOUT THIS BOOK: This monster-themed, touch-and-feel book is perfect for young children! Children will love reading the funny rhyme that tells them the dangers of touching a monster and then ignoring the advice!

MY THOUGHTS: I just love this very tactile rhyming book about the dangers of touching monsters, as does my fifteen month old grandson. I thought he might have grown out of this book by now, but he still adores it. So much so, that I have just added Never Touch A Dinosaur by the same author to his library. We read the rhymes, all the while touching, scratching, stroking the textured silicone pads embedded in the monsters bodies. A great little book! And there is a whole series of them. Delightful!

All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

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

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2512076398

Watermelon by Marian Keyes

Watermelon by Marian Keyes

EXCERPT: February fifteenth is a very special day for me. It is the day I gave birth to my first child. It is also the day my husband left me. As he was present at the birth, I can only assume the two events weren’t entirely unrelated.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Claire has everything she ever wanted: a husband she adores, a great apartment, a good job. Then, on the day she gives birth to their first baby, James informs her that he’s leaving her. Claire is left with a newborn daughter, a broken heart, and a postpartum body that she can hardly bear to look at.

She decides to go home to Dublin. And there, sheltered by the love of a quirky family, she gets better. So much so, in fact, that when James slithers back into her life, he’s in for a bit of a surprise.

MY THOUGHTS: This was the first book by Marian Keyes that I ever read. I read it quite some time after she had made a name for herself with Rachel’s Holiday. The first time I read Watermelon, and there have been several readings over the years, I was enamoured by Keyes’ writing. Warm and witty, it was like sitting down and having a good gossip session with your best friend and a bottle of wine. . . ‘And did you hear about Claire?….No? Well, James has only gone and left her, and with a brand new baby. . . And you’ll never guess who he left her for. . .’

I haven’t always liked all of Keyes’ books (Rachel’s Holiday being one in particular), but Watermelon? I loved it.

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 own my copy of Watermelon by Marian Keyes. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/919091980

The Friday Favorite – The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket

Looking for something to read over the weekend ?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming ‘read me’?

Take a look at my Friday Favorite. It may be new. It may be old. It may be written by a famous author, or by someone you have never heard of. But wherever in the spectrum it falls, it will be a book that is special to me, one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

This was the second of two books I buddy-read with my grandson over the recent school holidays, and while I enjoyed the first, The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket captivated and enchanted me. 😍😍😍😍😍 (and I would give it 10 if I could)

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1)

EXCERPT: If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle. This is because not very many happy things happened in the lives of the three Baudelaire youngsters. Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire were intelligent children, and they were charming, and resourceful, and had pleasant facial features, but they were extremely unlucky, and most everything that happened to them was rife with misfortune, misery and despair. I am sorry to tell you this, but that is how the story goes.


I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.

In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

MY THOUGHTS: I love this book with all my heart.

From the exquisite cover, to the way words that may not be familiar to the reader are explained; from the very first word to the last, I LOVE THIS BOOK!

I am lost for words! This is like a fairy-tale on speed. But, unlike most fairy-tales, and exactly as Lemony Snicket says, there is no happy ending. Or middle. Or beginning. Very little happy at all. . . but please don’t put the book down, as the author suggests, and go off to read other things, because you will miss out on an amazing, splendiferous, amusing and enchanting read.

I can imagine this as a pantomime, where we all get to boo and hiss at the evil Count Olaf and his unpalatable friends and cheer on the children. It is a very interactive read, one that it is impossible not to become invested in. I have become so invested that I have ordered the boxed set, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. And I am not promising, but I might, only ‘might’ mind you, share them with my grandchildren. Eventually. . . Maybe. . .

Are they here yet?

THE AUTHOR: Lemony Snicket had an unusual education and a perplexing youth and now endures a despondent adulthood. His previous published works include the thirteen volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Composer is Dead, and 13 Words. His new series is All The Wrong Questions.

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket, narrated by Tim Curry (excellent narration) and published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2468939667

Money in the Morgue by Ngaio Marsh and Stella Duffy

Money in the Morgue by Ngaio Marsh

EXCERPT: At about eight o’clock on a disarmingly still midsummer evening, Mr Glossop telephoned from the Transport Office at Mt Seager Hospital to his headquarters twenty miles away across the plains. He made angry jabs with his forefinger at the dial – and to its faint responsive tinkling an invisible curtain rose upon a series of events that were to be confined within the dark hours of that short summer night, bounded between dusk and dawn. So closely did these events follow an arbitrary design of a play that the temptation to represent Mr Glossop as an overture cannot be withstood.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Roderick Alleyn is back in this unique crime novel begun by Ngaio Marsh during the Second World War and now completed by Stella Duffy.

‘Hugely enjoyable’

It’s business as usual for Mr Glossop as he does his regular round delivering wages to government buildings scattered across New Zealand’s lonely Canterbury plains. But when his car breaks down he is stranded for the night at the isolated Mount Seager Hospital, with the telephone lines down, a storm on its way and the nearby river about to burst its banks.

Trapped with him at Mount Seager are a group of quarantined soldiers with a serious case of cabin fever, three young employees embroiled in a tense love triangle, a dying elderly man, an elusive patient whose origins remain a mystery … and a potential killer.

When the payroll disappears from a locked safe and the hospital’s death toll starts to rise faster than normal, can the appearance of an English detective working in counterespionage be just a lucky coincidence – or is something more sinister afoot?

MY THOUGHTS: Money in the Morgue is not going to be remembered as my favorite Ngaio Marsh. Although I was initially excited to find this set in New Zealand, it didn’t last. There seemed to be something missing. . . and the story failed to engage me to the extent that I found myself losing interest in parts. But the ending. .. now, that was worth the read and earned this book a whole extra star.

I have to admit to not enjoying Stella Duffy’s narration. Her New Zealand accents sounded far more Australian to me, and soon began to grate on my nerves. I do wonder if I might have enjoyed Money in the Morgue more had I read it rather than listening to it. At some point, I may just do that and see if it alters my opinion at all.

THE AUTHOR: Dame Ngaio Marsh, born Edith Ngaio Marsh, was a New Zealand crime writer and theatre director. There is some uncertainty over her birth date as her father neglected to register her birth until 1900, but she was born in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Of all the “Great Ladies” of the English mystery’s golden age, including Margery Allingham, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh alone survived to publish in the 1980s. Over a fifty-year span, from 1932 to 1982, Marsh wrote thirty-two classic English detective novels, which gained international acclaim. She did not always see herself as a writer, but first planned a career as a painter.

Marsh’s first novel, A MAN LAY DEAD (1934), which she wrote in London in 1931-32, introduced the detective Inspector Roderick Alleyn: a combination of Sayers’s Lord Peter Wimsey and a realistically depicted police official at work. Throughout the 1930s Marsh painted occasionally, wrote plays for local repertory societies in New Zealand, and published detective novels. In 1937 Marsh went to England for a period. Before going back to her home country, she spent six months travelling about Europe.

All her novels feature British CID detective Roderick Alleyn. Several novels feature Marsh’s other loves, the theatre and painting. A number are set around theatrical productions (Enter a Murderer, Vintage Murder, Overture to Death, Opening Night, Death at the Dolphin, and Light Thickens), and two others are about actors off stage (Final Curtain and False Scent). Her short story “‘I Can Find My Way Out” is also set around a theatrical production and is the earlier “Jupiter case” referred to in Opening Night. Alleyn marries a painter, Agatha Troy, whom he meets during an investigation (Artists in Crime), and who features in several later novels.

DISCLOSURE: I listened to Money in the Morgue by Ngaio Marsh and Stella Duffy, narrated by Stella Duffy and published by Harper Collins Publishers, via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2336175884


When Archie Met Rosie by Lynda Renham

When Archie Met Rosie by Lynda Renham
When Archie Met Rosie: An Unexpected Love Story 

Lynda Renham (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


Those of you who regularly read my blogs will know that I am not a fan of ‘romance’ reads. It takes something special to attract my attention, then keep it. When Archie Met Rosie is certainly something special. If it is possible to have a coming-of-age story about a sixty something year old woman, then this is it. Warm, humorous, poignant – this is a gem of a read.

EXCERPT: I couldn’t even cry. I felt sad, but not distraught. The thing is, Frank wasn’t the love of my life. I don’t even know why I married him. Well I do. It was because of Sam. I should have gone on the pill like all my mates had, but I hadn’t, and Frank was likeable enough. Not a dreamboat or anything, but we can’t all have George Clooneys can we? Anyway, once I got pregnant I didn’t have much choice. Frank wasn’t a great husband, but you just got on with things. Not like now, where everyone gets divorced at the drop of a hat. So, here I am, just past sixty and widowed. My husband cut down in his prime. Okay, Frank was sixty-five, but he always said he was in his prime. Not the way he’d have wanted to go, mind you, knocked down by a Domino’s Pizza van because he was too shit-faced to see it coming. They tell me he wouldn’t have felt anything. It was very quick. That’s how I want to go. Not knocked down by a Domino’s Pizza van, I don’t mean, but quick. I don’t want to know anything about it. I’d actually rather not even be there when it happens, but we’re all in that queue aren’t we? I only wish I was a bit nearer the back. I need to organize the funeral today. Not mine, obviously. I mean Frank’s funeral. I bought myself a new holdall from the 99p shop so I could carry my five grand around with me. I ‘m starting to wish I’d taken a cheque now. But that would have meant putting it into our bank account and then it would have gone on our, or I should say Frank’s, outstanding debts immediately. No, it’s best to have the cash, but I’m a woman alone now. Not that I was any safer when Frank was around. He was a bit of a wimp to tell you the truth. I know it’s wrong to speak ill of the dead, but if I’m honest, I never had a good word for him when he was alive, so I’m not starting now. Frank won’t come back and haunt me. He’s too lazy for that.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Rosie Foster has two dreams. The first is to move off the Tradmore Estate, and the second is to see Paris. Archie wants for nothing. He has his five-bedroom house but no one to share it with now that his beloved wife, Cath, has died. And then … Holly has a disastrous night out and, against all the odds, Archie meets Rosie.

A funny, sad and poignant tale of how love can be found in the strangest of places.

MY THOUGHTS: When Archie Met Rosie is funny. It had me laughing out loud only a couple of pages in. It is also sad and poignant, just as they claim. It touched my heart, and made me smile.

I am in the same age group as Rosie, so I don’t know if that is why I felt particularly connected to this book, or if it was the very relaxed and humorous writing style. Perhaps a little of both. It is a reminder that we should never give up on our dreams, and that sometimes silver linings come complete with clouds, as well as clouds having silver linings. Life seldom goes as we expect or want it to and while it is easier to go with the flow, just occasionally it doesn’t hurt to swim upstream.

Light and amusing, it is also thought-provoking. There are lessons in there for all of us.

If, like me, you loved Dead Ernest by Frances Garrood, you should read When Archie Met Rosie.

A huge thank you to author Lynda Renham for providing me with a digital ARC of When Archie Met Rosie for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2419006576

Sandy’s Sunday Summary

Is running a little late this week. .. my two hours at work turned into a full day as I had two staff call in sick 😩. By the time I shut the bar last night and came home, all I wanted was my dinner, a hot bath, and bed. I plan on only doing wages and banking today, then coming home. . .

Despite the long hours last week ,I actually managed to sneak in an extra book!

When Archie Met Rosie by Lynda Renham

Which was a delightful and amusing read. Watch for my review.

Currently I am reading

A Steep Price (Tracy Crosswhite, #6)

A series I have followed from the start.

And I am listening to

Accused (Rosato & DiNunzio, #1)

This week I am planning on reading


At the end of the row of fishermen’s cottages by the harbour’s edge, stands an old granite house.

First it belonged to Ned’s parents; then Ned dropped anchor here after a life at sea and called it home. His nephew Hugo moved in too, swapping London for the small Cornish fishing village where he’d spent so many happy holidays.

It’s a refuge – and now other friends and relations are being drawn to the the house by the sea.
Among them is Dossie, who’s lonely after her parents died and her son remarried. And cousin Jamie, who’s coming home after more than a year, since his career as an RAF pilot was abruptly cut short. Both have to adjust to a new way of life.

As newcomers arrive and old friends reunite, secrets are uncovered, relationships are forged and tested, and romance is kindled.

For those who come here find that the house by the harbour wall offers a warm welcome, and – despite its situation at the very end of the village – a new beginning…

Marcia Willett is an author I have enjoyed in the past, so I am looking forward to reading this.

Her Name Was Rose

Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy. 

When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.

And then she makes a decision she can never take back.

Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?

But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.

Only one ARC from NetGalley this week

The Pupil: Some lessons are deadly - A gripping psychological thriller

and one directly from the author

Seventh (The Seventh Wave Book 1)

The sun is up on another Monday morning here in New Zealand after a cold, wet and windy Sunday. So I had better crack on with all the jobs I never got done over the weekend, and then head off to work again.

Wherever you are, whatever your weather, Happy reading my friends 😎


Sandy’s Sunday Summary

Is it my imagination or, as the year progresses, do Sundays come around faster and faster? Or is it just a side effect of aging?

Anyway, it is time to take a look at what I’m currently reading, what I am planning on reading in the coming week, and what ARCS I have received from NetGalley this week.

Currently I am reading

Those Other Women

which I was very excited to be approved for, having been declined for her previous release The Fifth Letter. Just over 10% in and wondering where this is going. Somewhere wonderful no doubt!

And I am listening to

Meet Mr. Mulliner

I loved Wodehouse’s Jeeves series but had never heard of the Mulliner series until a fellow Wodehouse enthusiast on Goodreads suggested I try it. Can’t now remember who it was, but thank you. I love the absolute ‘Englishness’ while at the same time  ‘taking the Mickey’ out of the English class system that existed at that time.

This week I am planning on reading

The Neighbor

In a taut psychological thriller filled with breathtaking twists, Joseph Souza explores the tangle of betrayal and deception between two neighboring couples, and asks how well we can really know others–or ourselves.

It all seems so promising at the start . . .

When Leah and her husband, Clay, move from Seattle to Maine, she envisions a vibrant new neighborhood packed with families–playmates for her twins, new friends she can confide in and bond with. But while Clay works long hours to establish his brewery, Leah is left alone each day in a nearly deserted housing development where the only other occupants are aloof and standoffish.

Bored and adrift, Leah finds herself watching Clarissa and Russell Gaines next door, envying their stylishly decorated home and their university careers. But Leah’s obsession with the intriguing, elegant Clarissa grows until she’s not just spying from afar but sneaking into their house, taking small objects . . . reading Clarissa’s diary. It contains clues to a hidden turmoil Leah never guessed at–and a connection to a local college girl who’s disappeared.

The more Leah learns about Clarissa, the more questions emerge. Because behind every neighbor’s door there are secrets that could shatter lives forever .

Cross Your Heart (Detective Jess Bishop, #2)

Blinking her eyes open, she looks around the room, taking in the bed and the wardrobe full of clothes she’s never seen before. This isn’t her bedroom. Those aren’t her clothes. She begins to cry as she wonders if she’ll ever see her own home again.

Three young girls are missing. All of them cold cases. All of them forgotten. But when Detective Jess Bishop identifies a disturbing link between them, she’s determined to find out what happened, and fights to re-open their cases.

At the scene of each abduction the kidnapper left a clue – a small bag of candy – in place of the missing child.

And then a fourth child is taken. Eight-year-old Ava is snatched from her hospital bed and when a bag of candy is found in her room, Jessica knows it’s the same kidnapper.

As the pressure to solve the case pushes Jess and her team to breaking point, Jess takes a personal risk she fears she’ll live to regret. But she has no choice.

Out of hospital, Ava can only get sicker: Jess is running out of time. Can she find Ava before it’s too late?

The Family at Number 13

The most perfect lives can hide the darkest secrets…
Mary has everything. Beautiful and rich, she lives on an exclusive street in the heart of the city, in a house with gorgeous views and an immaculately maintained garden. Her life looks perfect.

But behind closed doors the truth is very different. Her husband Andrew barely speaks to her, spending his days down in the basement alone. Her teenage nephew is full of rage, lashing out with no warning. Her carefully constructed life is beginning to fall apart.

And then someone starts sending Mary anonymous notes, threatening her and her family…

Everyone has secrets. But is someone at number 13 hiding something that could put the whole family in danger?

And as far as new ARCs from NetGalley this week, 3! So I have been a little more restrained, but my goal is 2 per week, which would ease the pressure and allow me to catch up on my rather alarming pile of back titles. . .

The Fifth To Die (4MK Thriller, #2)

Dying Truth (D.I. Kim Stone, #8)

The Killing Habit: A Tom Thorne Novel

As you can see, I scored the latest books in two series I have followed from their outset. So stoked!

And, in case you missed yesterday’s post, my posting may well be a little erratic again this week due to pressure of work. So I apologize in advance 😳

Please don’t be shy about letting me know what you like and don’t like. I love getting your feedback. And I love hearing about what you are reading, or if you have read something that is on my list, what you thought of it.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, have a lovely week and  happy reading.😎