Watching What I’m Reading . . .

Good afternoon from a damp and drizzly New Zealand. My garden and all the farmers will be loving this weather. It’s cool, but not cold and the rain hasn’t been so heavy that it will run off the baked hard ground instead of sinking into it. And I believe that we’ve been forecast rain for the week. That’ll make the weeds grow!

Less than a week now until Kyle arrives home. I pick him up from the airport on Friday. I’m excited and counting down!

I have just finished The Last to Disappear by Jo Spain. It was an overnight read for me. I couldn’t put it down. Watch for my review.

I am also reading Before the Storm by Di Morrissey. This is a title from my backlist and I am really enjoying it. It’s been far too long since I last read anything by this author.

and I am listening to The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim written by Jules Wake and narrated by Laura Brydon. Etti is a hoot! Who wouldn’t love her?

I have five books to read for review in the coming week, but I doubt I will get through them all because of work commitments and Kyle coming home. Rest assured, I will do my best!

Long Lost Girl by Jill Childs

The little girl you lost is back… but who is she really?

When three-year-old Sara disappeared from their lives, it tore the Turner family apart. Years later, they are still startling at every knock, convinced it is Sara at the door. But the only trace of the cherished little girl is a fading photo in the hall, a single white knitted baby shoe tucked behind the frame.

Then, one day, as they pick at sandwiches in a crowded local café, a beautiful girl approaches, claiming to be Sara. With her wide green eyes and soft, straight hair, could she really be their long-lost girl? But where has she been all this time, and what happened to stop her from coming home?

Soon, Sara is turning up for Sunday lunch, and then moving her things into the little bedroom upstairs. But as Sara makes herself at home, not everyone is happy that she’s back in their lives once more. Long-held secrets are threatening to surface, and someone in this tight-knit family doesn’t want them to be told…

Gone But Still Here by Jennifer Dance

Coming to terms with advancing dementia, Mary has no choice other than to move into her daughter’s home. Her daughter, Kayla, caught between her cognitively impaired mother and her belligerent teenage son, soon finds caregiving is more challenging than she imagined. Sage, the family’s golden retriever, offers comfort and unconditional love, but she has her own problems, especially when it comes to dealing with Mary’s cat.

Throughout it all, Mary struggles to complete her final book — a memoir, the untold story of the love of her life, who died more than forty years earlier. Her confused and tangled tales span Trinidad, England, and Canada, revealing the secrets of a tragic interracial love story in the 1960s and ’70s. But with her writing skills slipping away, it’s a race against time.

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth

The moment she laid eyes on Heather Wisher, Tully knew this woman was going to destroy their lives.

Tully and Rachel are murderous when they discover their father has a new girlfriend. The fact that Heather is half his age isn’t even the most shocking part. Stephen is still married to their mother, who is in a care facility with end-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Heather knows she has an uphill battle to win Tully and Rachel over – particularly while carrying the shameful secrets of her past. But, as it turns out, her soon-to-be stepdaughters have secrets of their own.

The announcement of Stephen and Heather’s engagement threatens to set off a family implosion, with old wounds and dark secrets finally being forced to the surface.

A garage full of stolen goods. An old hot-water bottle, stuffed with cash. A blood-soaked wedding. And that’s only the beginning… 

Good Neighbours by Mary Grand

was meant to be a safe place to start again…

In need of an escape from her failing marriage, Nia agrees to house-sit her aunt’s cottage on the Isle of Wight. She feels sure the cosy close in a quaint harbour town will be a safe place to hide and figure out what to do next.

But things are not all as they seem in the close, and the neighbours who welcome her with open arms, are keeping secrets. When Nia finds the body of one of her new friends lying on the beach, she feels sickeningly sure that the killer is dangerously near to home.

Who killed her friend and why did she have to die? And if Nia discovers the answers she’s looking for, is she next on their hit list? Good neighbours may become good friends, but they can also make deadly enemies…

And I have the audiobook of The Island written by Adrian McKinty and narrated by Mela Lee

After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they’re deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.

When they discover remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.

But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare.

When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.

Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don’t trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.

Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.

I overextended myself yet again. The Netgalley fairies dropped six new ARCs onto my Kindle . . .

Fatal Witness by Robert Bryndza

His Other Wife by Nicole Trope

The Party Guest by Amanda Robson

The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell

The Lost Children by Michael Wood

The Lost Girls of Willowbrook by Ellen-Marie Wiseman

Do we have any books in common this week?

Have a great week. I am planning on taking a sabbatical while Kyle is home so once we get to Friday (New Zealand time) I will be offline until June.

Happy reading!

Watching what I’m reading . . .

Good afternoon all. Currently I am reading The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan. This is very different to her Cormac Reilly series, but is definitely gripping.

I am also reading Beneath Cruel Waters by Jon Bassoff.

and am almost finished listening to The Bletchley Women by Patricia Adrian. Although it’s not what I was expecting, I am enjoying it.

I’ve had a good reading week and will finish all four books I had scheduled either tonight or early tomorrow, although I am again a bit behind with writing reviews.

This week I am reading The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill

In every person’s story, there is something to hide…

The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman’s terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who’d happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.

Six Graves by Angela Marsons

It’s a typical teenage bedroom with posters covering the walls and clothes littering the floor. But the girl lying on her bed, wearing a delicate chain around her neck, is lifeless. A circle of red stains her white vest top and Kim feels a sharp stab of sadness. How had the girl’s mother looked down at her sleeping child and pulled the trigger?

When Detective Kim Stone rushes to the scene of a house fire, she’s shocked to discover it’s claimed the lives of two teenage children and their parents. But this tragedy is not quite as it seems. Each body is marked by a gunshot wound and the mother, Helen Daynes, is holding the gun.

The case sparks painful childhood memories for Kim who suffered at the hands of her own abusive mother. As she begins to untangle the dark web of secrets within the Daynes family, Kim and her team discover Helen had a history of clinical depression. But could it have driven her to murder her loved ones?

Then Kim uncovers a tiny, vital clue in Helen’s bedroom that throws the investigation wide open. Could someone else have killed the Daynes family?

With the case only just underway, a deadly threat is made to Kim’s own life. Years ago, she rescued two little girls from the clutches of a dangerous psychopath who has just escaped prison and is coming for her.

A witness protection officer glued to her side, Kim must bite back her fear, as she keeps digging into the Daynes’s background and soon hits upon a shocking secret from Helen’s past that could crack the case. With the remaining family members in danger, Kim is under pressure like never before.

The monster circling Kim raises the stakes when he threatens the life of another innocent victim. He’s leading Kim straight to him. Forced to go against direct instructions from her superiors, will that one fateful decision cost her more than her job?

Blood Sugar by Sacha Rothchild

“I could just kill you right now!” It’s something we’ve all thought at one time or another. But Ruby has actually acted on it. Three times, to be exact.

Though she may be a murderer, Ruby is not a sociopath. She is an animal-loving therapist with a thriving practice. She’s felt empathy and sympathy. She’s had long-lasting friendships and relationships, and has a husband, Jason, whom she adores. But the homicide detectives at Miami Beach PD are not convinced of her happy marriage. When we meet Ruby, she is in a police interrogation room, being accused of Jason’s murder. Which, ironically, is one murder that she did not commit, though her vicious mother-in-law and a scandal-obsessed public believe differently. As she undergoes questioning, Ruby’s mind races back to all the details of her life that led her to this exact moment, and to the three dead bodies in her wake. Because though she may not have killed her husband, Ruby certainly isn’t innocent.

And The Last to Disappear by Jo Spain

A small town. A frozen lake. Three missing women. One body.

When young London professional Alex Evans is informed that his sister’s body has been pulled from an icy lake in Northern Lapland, he assumes his irresponsible sister accidentally drowned. He travels to the wealthy winter resort where Vicky worked as a tour-guide and meets Agatha Koskinen, the detective in charge. Agatha is a no-nonsense single mother of three who already thinks there’s more to Vicky’s case than meets the eye.

As the two form an unlikely alliance, Alex also begins to suspect the small town where his sister lived and died is harbouring secrets. It’s not long before he learns that three other women have gone missing from the area in the past and that his sister may have left him a message.

On the surface, Koppe, Lapland is a winter wonderland. But in this remote, frozen place, death seems only ever a heartbeat away. 

I will be listening to After Happily Ever After by Leslie A. Rasmussen

Maggie Dolan finds herself at forty-five at a crossroads in her life. Once a high-level executive, she’s chosen to be a stay-at-home mom for the last seventeen years. But now with her daughter, Gia, soon leaving for college, and her husband, disconnected and with secrets he hasn’t shared, Maggie decides it’s time to figure out what she wants for the rest of her life. As she begins her journey, she has to deal with a narcissistic mother, a brother who doesn’t like her and most damaging of all, the news that her father, her rock, has medical issues that may take him from her. Overwhelmed by all these issues, she’s led in a direction that could destroy what she’s built and make her question the choices she’s made. She’s torn between the life she’s always known and something more exciting that she never expected.

Five new ARCs this week: An Island Summer by Jenny Hale

The Seamstress of New Orleans by Diane C. McPhail

When We Had Wings by Ariel Lawhon, Kristina McMorris, and Susan Meissner

The Guilty Couple by C.L. Taylor

and The Saint of Lost Things by Tish Delaney

The fire is blazing and a roast of lamb is cooking in the oven. We are forecast rain tomorrow. Will it arrive? The clouds look promising, but we’ve been here before . . . To all my friends in Queensland please stay safe. It looks like you have another week of heavy rain on the way. Keep calm and read on.

❤📚

Watching what I’m reading . . .

Read to the sound of ‘Lazy Sunday Afternoon’ by the Small Faces.

Last night I started reading A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon. I will finish it this afternoon. Linda is a fascinating character and I have absolutely no idea where Joanna Cannon is headed.

I am also reading Forgotten by Nicole Trope from my backlist (2017) Trope is an author who never fails to pack an emotional punch.

I am almost finished listening to Every Little Secret by Sarah Clarke. A good mystery with a denouement I never expected.

I have four books to read for review this week.

Death in a Blackout by Jessica Elliott

The first in a brand-new WWII historical mystery series introduces WPC Billie Harkness – a female police officer who risks her life to protect the home front in the British coastal city of Hull. 1940. Britain is at war. Rector’s daughter Wilhelmina Harkness longs to do her duty for her country, but when her strict mother forbids her to enlist, their bitter argument has devasting consequences. Unable to stay in the village she loves, Wilhelmina – reinventing herself as Billie – spends everything she has on a one-way ticket up north. Hull is a distant, dangerous city, but Billie is determined to leave her painful memories behind and start afresh, whatever the cost. The last thing Billie expects on her first evening in Hull, however, is to be caught in the city’s first air raid – or to stumble across the body of a young woman, suspiciously untouched by debris. If the air raid didn’t kill the glamorous stranger, what did? Billie is determined to get justice, and her persistence earns her an invitation to the newly formed Women’s Police Constabulary. But as the case unfolds, putting her at odds with both high-ranking members of the force as well as the victim’s powerful family, Billie begins to wonder if she can trust her new friends and colleagues . . . or if someone amongst them is working for the enemy. 

Dreaming of Flight by Catherine Ryan-Hyde

Never knowing his parents, eleven-year-old Stewie Little and his brother have been raised on a farm by their older sister. Stewie steadfastly tends the chickens left by his beloved late grandmother. And every day Stewie goes door to door selling fresh eggs from his wagon—a routine with a surprise just around the corner. It’s his new customer, Marilyn. She’s prickly and guarded, yet comfortably familiar—she reminds the grieving Stewie so much of the grandmother he misses more than he can express.

Marilyn has a reason for keeping her distance: a secret no one knows about. Her survival tactic is to draw a line between herself and other people—one that Stewie is determined to cross. As their visits become more frequent, a complicated but deeply rooted relationship grows. That’s when Stewie discovers how much more there is to Marilyn, to her past, and to challenges that become more pressing each day. But whatever difficult times lie ahead, Stewie learns that although he can’t fix everything for Marilyn or himself, at least he’s no longer alone.

The Murder Rule by Dervla McTiernan

First Rule: Make them like you.

Second Rule: Make them need you.

Third Rule: Make them pay.


They think I’m a young, idealistic law student, that I’m passionate about reforming a corrupt and brutal system.

They think I’m working hard to impress them.

They think I’m here to save an innocent man on death row.

They’re wrong. I’m going to bury him. 

And Beneath Cruel Waters by John Bassoff

Holt Davidson, a Kansas firefighter, hasn’t been back to his hometown of Thompsonville, Colorado, for more than two decades, but when he learns that his estranged mother has taken her own life, he returns for the funeral, hoping to make peace with her memory. He spends the night at his childhood home, rummaging through each room, exploring the past. But instead of nostalgic souvenirs, he discovers a gun, a love letter, and a Polaroid photograph of a man lying in his own blood.

Who is the dead man? Was his mother the one who killed him, and, if so, why? Who sent the love letter? And what role did his sister, institutionalized since she was a teenager, play in this act of violence? As his own traumatic memories begin to resurface, Holt begins an investigation into his mother’s and sister’s pasts—as well as his own.A wrenching psychological thriller in the vein of Tana French’s In the Woods, Jon Bassoff’s Beneath Cruel Waters reminds us that the sins of the mothers are the sins of the sons.

Only three new ARCs this week (thank goodness!)

Girl Forgotten by Karin Slaughter

Mad, Bad and Dead by Sherryl Clark

Yours, Mine, Ours by Sinead Moriarty

I have been taking part in the Goodreads.com All About Books extended April readathon which started Easter Friday and ended midnight 30th April. During that period I read 5,319 pages.

Enjoy what is left of your weekend. I’m off to finish A Tidy Ending. I need to know why Linda is where she is . . .

Happy reading!❤📚

Watching what I’m reading…

Tomorrow, Monday 25 April, is a national day of remembrance observed in both Australia and New Zealand. Anzac Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the First World War (1914–1918). Now it commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “acknowledges the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”. My father served in the peace-keeping J-Force in Hiroshima. He loved his time in Japan and always wanted to return.

Autumn is definitely making its presence felt now. Our temperatures are down in single digits overnight and there is a very cool and gusty south-westerly blowing today. The trees are beginning to change colour and the grass growth has slowed down significantly. We’ve collected firewood this weekend and trimmed all the hedges.

Luke has been with us during the week and we took him home this morning. He starts school when it goes back in May. He seems to have grown up all of a sudden.

currently I am reading The Widow’s Husband by Lesley Sanderson

Forgotten by Nicole Trope, a title from my backlist.

and listening to One of Us is Dead by Geneva Rose

This week I have, again, overcommitted myself. My reads for review due are: In Bloom, a spring themed anthology by Fern Michaels, Carolyn Brown and Lori Foster

AMAZING GRACIE * Fern Michaels

After years spent traveling the world as a flight attendant, Gracie Walden is ready to stay a little closer to her roots, starting with two weeks at home in Amarillo, Texas. But there’s unexpected turbulence between her mother, Ella, and her older sister, Hope—and it will lead to a revelation that changes Gracie’s life in amazing ways . . .

THE MOTHER’S DAY CROWN * Carolyn Brown

Monica Allen still hasn’t forgiven Tyler Magee for breaking her heart when they were teenagers. Ten years on, they’re back in Luella, Texas, visiting their respective grandmothers. and there’s just a white picket fence and a whole lot of awkwardness between them. Will two weeks be long enough for Monica to learn to stop holding a grudge—and hold on to love?

MEANT TO BE * Lori Foster

When Cory Creed was just a little girl, she knew she’d grow up to marry Austin Winston—and she made the mistake of telling him so. Tired of watching him avoid her ever since, Cory has decided it’s time to leave Visitation, North Carolina, and Austin, behind. But Austin has finally realized what Cory was once so sure of, and now it’s his turn to prove they belong together . . . with a little help from their mothers.

No Less the Devil by Stuart MacBride

‘We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.’

It’s been seventeen months since the Bloodsmith butchered his first victim and Operation Maypole is still no nearer to catching him. The media is whipping up a storm, the top brass are demanding results, but the investigation is sinking fast.

Now isn’t the time to get distracted with other cases, but Detective Sergeant Lucy McVeigh doesn’t have much choice. When Benedict Strachan was just eleven, he hunted down and killed a homeless man. No one’s ever figured out why Benedict did it, but now, after sixteen years, he’s back on the streets again – battered, frightened, convinced a shadowy ‘They’ are out to get him, and begging Lucy for help.

It sounds like paranoia, but what if he’s right? What if he really is caught up in something bigger and darker than Lucy’s ever dealt with before? What if the Bloodsmith isn’t the only monster out there? And what’s going to happen when Lucy goes after them?

A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon

Linda has lived in a quiet neighborhood since fleeing the dark events of her childhood in Wales. Now she sits in her kitchen, wondering if this is all there is: pushing the vacuum around and cooking fish sticks for dinner, a far cry from the glamorous lifestyle she sees in the glossy magazines coming through the mail slot addressed to the previous occupant, Rebecca.

Linda’s husband Terry isn’t perfect—he picks his teeth, tracks dirt through the house, and spends most of his time in front of the TV. But that seems fairly standard—until he starts keeping odd hours at work, at around the same time young women in the town start to go missing.

If only Linda could track down and befriend Rebecca, maybe some of that enviable lifestyle would rub off on her and she wouldn’t have to worry about what Terry is up to. But the grass isn’t always greener and you can’t change who you really are. And some secrets can’t stay buried forever… 

A Body on the Beach (Kate Palmer #5) by Dee MacDonald

it’s

Tinworthy village’s summer fete: a brass band, cream teas, gentle gossip… and a body on the beach? The party’s just getting started for super sleuth Kate Palmer!

Kate Palmer thought spending the day at Tinworthy’s annual summer party would involve sea air, sunshine and Cornish cream cake – how very wrong she was! When Kate goes for a cliff-top walk she is shocked to spot the body of Sienna Stone – Cornwall’s biggest gossip – on the sandy beach below.

Rumours swirl around the close-knit community and all eyes are on Kate. Half the village saw her arguing with Sienna at the party earlier that day. It was the usual bickering between neighbours, but when Kate finds herself in the frame can she – and her new husband Woody Forrest – solve the puzzling death and clear her name?

There’s a long list of people who might have wanted to push Sienna – her long-suffering husband Irvin, her jealous younger sister Sally and Timmy Thomson, the man who idolised her, not to mention all the villagers who felt the sharp end of her tongue. Finding out the truth isn’t going to be easy…

Just as Kate thinks she’s getting closer to an answer, an unexpected afternoon visitor shares some curious information over tea and scones that sets her on an entirely different path. And soon she starts to wonder if she might be in real danger too…

Can Kate solve the curious case before the murderer declares the party over? Or have her days of sleuthing come to an end?

The Patient by Jane Shemitt

When Rachel meets Luc, the attraction is instant.
But she is a doctor, and he is her patient.
She gives him the drugs he needs – but in doing so, risks everything.
And when a secret is exposed, they’re both in the firing line.
Not all patients are telling the truth.

The Removal Man by R.J. Parker

Rose is moving. For her and her son, Noah, this is going to be a fresh start.

She’s almost finished packing but Noah is determined to spend one last night camping out in the garden like he used to. Rose agrees as long as he wraps up warm inside their small tent.

Four hours later she’s woken by a frantic banging on the window.

It’s Noah.

There’s someone in the garden.

That’s when Rose picks up the kitchen knife. 

And the audios Every Little Secret by Sarah Clarke

From the outside, it seems Grace has it all. Only she knows about the cracks in her picture-perfect life… and the huge secret behind them. After all, who can she trust?

Her brother Josh is thousands of miles away, and he and Grace have never been close – he was always their parents’ favourite.

Her best friend Coco walked away from her years ago, their friendship irreparably fractured by the choices they’ve made.

And her husband Marcus seems like a different man lately. Grace can’t shake the feeling that he’s hiding something.

But when her seven-year-old daughter makes a troubling accusation, Grace must choose between protecting her child and protecting her secret… before she loses everything. 

The Bletchley Women written by Patricia Adrian, narrated by Imogen Wilde and Antonia Whillans

In a different world, Evie Milton would have accepted her fate, married an aristocrat, and become the doyenne of one of England’s finest estates, just like her mother.

In a different world, Rose Wiley would have married her fiancé, David, established a modest homestead, and brought up a brood of babies, just like her mother.

But this isn’t a different world and these women are not their mothers. Rose dreams of a life filled with more than family and duty to her husband – a life of purpose – and Evie dreams of a life far away from her rarefied existence. Now, as they perform vital work at Bletchley Park decoding intercepted Luftwaffe messages, their role in turning the tide of war in the Allies favour shows Evie and Rose they don’t have to settle for the life once laid out before them. 

The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim (Yorkshire Escape #2) written by Jules Wake and narrated by Laura Brydon

Ettie is trying to figure out her future.

Dominic’s just trying to forget his past.

But with the help of some unlikely friends, young and old, a secret lake hidden in the grounds of a beautiful estate and a scruffy dog, a new community is formed – right when they all need each other the most.

I received eight new ARCs for review this week. They are: The Murder Book by Mark Billingham

The Night Ship by Jess Kidd

A Murder of Crows by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett

A Wedding at Sandy Cove by Bella Osborne

Black Mouth by Ronald Malfi

Good Neighbours by Mary Grand

Lying Beside You by Michael Robotham

and the audio ARC of The Island written by Adrian McKinty and narrated by Mela Lee

Watching what I’m reading . . .

Happy Easter to you all.

Currently I am reading The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith. I adore Isabel Dalhousie and had a sudden urge to visit with her despite not having finished all my reads for review for the week.

I am almost finished listening to Treasure and Dirt by Chris Hammer which is set in a mining community in the west of New South Wales, Australia.

This week I have four titles to read for review. They are A Rose Petal Summer by Katie Fforde

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO FALL IN LOVE…

Caro Swanson has taken a job in a remote part of Scotland.

She’s answered an ad in The Lady: being a companion to an elderly gentleman who lives in a country estate could be perfect! Surely it’s time to make a change and do something different for a while?

The fact that she may also see Alec, the young man who she met some years previously and who she has always thought of as her ‘one who got away’, is of course purely incidental.

Soon Caro is falling in love – not only with Alec but with the stunning country house she’s now living in. But the estate is in financial difficulties, and Caro soon realises there’s only one way to rescue it.

So begins a magical romantic summer, one that will take Caro from Scotland to London and the south of France, in search of a classic lost perfume that might just restore all their fortunes.

The Beach House by Beverley Jones

When Grace Jensen returns to her home in the ocean-front town of Lookout Beach one day, she finds a body in a pool of blood and a menacing gift left for her: a knife, a coil of rope and handcuffs.

The community of Lookout Beach are shocked by such a brutal intrusion in their safe, close-knit community – particularly to a family as successful and well-liked as the Jensens – and a police investigation begins to find the trespasser.

But Grace knows who’s after her. She might have changed her name and moved across the world, deciding to hide on the Oregon coast, but she’s been waiting seventeen years for what happened in the small Welsh town where she grew up to catch-up with her.

Grace might seem like the model neighbour and mother, but nobody in Lookout Beach – not even her devoted husband Elias – knows the real her. Or how much blood is on her hands.

The Widow’s Husband by Lesley Sanderson

For seven years I believed my husband was dead – until the note arrived this morning…

The day her husband Tom disappeared, Rachel’s life fell apart. Childhood sweethearts with two young children, they’d done everything together. And then, suddenly, Tom was gone. Without a word, without a note, without a single sign of where he might be, leaving Rachel to survive alone.

Now, nearly seven years later, Rachel has come to terms with life as a single mother, caring for their children who still secretly long for their father’s miraculous return.

But in his absence, Tom’s hidden life started to emerge, and Rachel has discovered things a wife should never have to. A secret life that betrayed everything Rachel thought she knew. Not knowing where he’d gone was no longer the main worry keeping her awake at night – it seemed much more likely he’d been silenced. Forever.

Until today, when – with just one month until Tom is to be declared legally dead – Rachel receives a note in handwriting she recognises with dread:

My darling, I’ve missed you so much. Give me a chance to explain. I’m coming home.

The husband she’d lost is alive.

And so are all his secrets… 

And Other People’s Lives by J.E. Rowney

“Let me ask you. Are you worried that someone is watching you, or are you worried that you think someone is watching you?”

Sophie Portman has lost her husband, and she thinks she may be losing her mind.

She seeks the help of psychiatrist Andrew Thacker, but as she starts to open up, the truth begins to unravel and nothing is quite as it seems.

I have received eleven new reads for review this week 😱🤯

Six Graves (DI Kim Stone #16) by Angela Marsons

Beneath Cruel Waters by John Bassoff

Auld Acquaintance by Sofia Slater

The Last to Disappear by Jo Spain

A Familiar Stranger by A.R. Torre

The Blackhouse by Carole Johnstone

Murder Through the English Post by Jessica Ellicott

And four audio ARCs. After Happily Ever After by Leslie A. Rasmussen and narrated by Tiffany Phillips

The Bletchley Women by Patricia Adrian, narrated by Imogen Wilde and Antonia Whillans

The Wednesday Morning Wild Swim by Jules Wake narrated by Laura Brydon

The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hildebrand narrated by Erin Bennett

I think that I have had some older requests from my pending list approved at the last moment as a couple of these are published next week. I now have nine books to read for review in the last week of April. I still have 28 titles on my pending list despite using that wonderful new button that removes your request.

Have a happy Easter everyone and I hope the Easter Bunny has been kind to you. He seems to have lost my address . . . .

Watching what I’m reading . . .

Greetings from the house of Covid. I tested positive Thursday, and Pete yesterday. Other than feeling tired, I’m fine. Pete has the flu like symptoms.

Currently I am reading and loving Other People Manage by Ellen Hawley.

The Scholar, #2 in Cormac Reilly series, by Dervla McTiernan

And I am listening to Treasure & Dirt by Chris Hammer

I’ve got another full week of reading ahead of me with the following titles due to be read and reviewed:

The Caretakers by Amanda Bestor-Siegel

Paris, 2015. A crowd gathers outside the Chauvet home in the affluent suburban community of Maisons-Larue, watching as the family’s American au pair is led away in handcuffs after the sudden death of her young charge. The grieving mother believes the caretaker is to blame, and the neighborhood is thrown into chaos, unsure who is at fault–the enigmatic, young foreigner or the mother herself, who has never seemed an active participant in the lives of her children.

The truth lies with six women: Geraldine, a heartbroken French teacher struggling to support her vulnerable young students; Lou, an incompetent au pair who was recently fired by the family next door; Charlotte, a chilly socialite and reluctant mother; Nathalie, an isolated French teenager desperate for her mother’s attention; Holly, a socially anxious au pair yearning to belong in her adopted country; and finally, Alena, the one accused of the crime, who has gone to great lengths to avoid emotional connection, and now finds herself caught in the turbulent power dynamics of her host family’s household.

Set during the weeks leading up to the event, The Caretakers is a poignant and suspenseful drama featuring complicated women. It’s a sensitive exploration of the weight of secrets, the pressures of country, community, and family–and miscommunications and misunderstandings that can have fatal consequences.

The New Neighbor by Carter Wilson

Aidan holds the winning Powerball numbers.

Is today the best day of his life… or the worst?

Aidan Marlowe is the superstitious type—he’s been playing the same lottery numbers for fifteen years, never hitting the jackpot. Until now. On the day of his wife’s funeral.

Aidan struggles to cope with these two sudden extremes: instant wealth beyond his imagination, and the loss of the only woman he’s ever loved, the mother of his twin children. But the money gives him and his kids options they didn’t have before. They can leave everything behind. They can start a new life in a new town. So they do.

But a huge new house and all the money in the world can’t replace what they’ve lost, and it’s not long before Aidan realizes he’s merely trading old demons for new ones. Because someone is watching him and his family very closely. Someone who knows exactly who they are, where they’ve come from, and what they’re trying to hide. Someone who will stop at nothing to get what they want…

Into the Dark by Fiona Cummins

THE PLACE: Seawings, a beautiful Art Deco home overlooking the sweep of the bay in Midtown-on-Sea.

THE CRIME: The gilded Holden family – Piper and Gray and their two teenage children, Riva and Artie – has vanished from the house without a trace.

THE DETECTIVE: DS Saul Anguish, brilliant but with a dark past, treads the narrow line between light and shade.

One late autumn morning, Piper’s best friend arrives at Seawings to discover an eerie scene – the kettle is still warm, all the family’s phones are charging on the worktop, the cars are in the garage. But the house is deserted.

In fifteen-year-old Riva Holden’s bedroom, scrawled across the mirror in blood, are three words:

Make
Them
Stop.

What happens next?

A Village Secret by Julie Houston

When Jennifer goes up to Cambridge University with her head full of the Romantic Poets, she never dreams that she will find her very own Byron. But then she meets gorgeous actor Laurie Lewis, and finds herself living a real-life love poem.

Fifteen years and two children later, Jennifer and Laurie’s relationship is starting to feel more like an epic tragedy. After a series of revelations turn her world upside down, Jennifer will do anything to keep her family together – even if it means moving hundreds of miles away to Laurie’s childhood home in Westenbury, Yorkshire.

As she reluctantly enters into village life – complete with interfering in-laws, new friends and a surprise delivery of alpacas – Jennifer is amazed to find herself feeling happy for the first time in years. But the village holds one last, devastating secret and Jennifer must decide once and for all what she wants her future to hold.

First Born by Will Dean

Sisters. Soulmates. Strangers.

Molly Raven lives a quiet, structured life in London, finding comfort in security and routine. Her identical twin Katie, living in New York, is the exact opposite: outgoing, spontaneous, and adventurous.

But when Molly hears that Katie has died, possibly murdered, she is thrown into unfamiliar territory. As terrifying as it is, she knows she must travel across the ocean and find out what happened. But as she tracks her twin’s final movements, cracks begin to emerge, and she slowly realizes her sister was not who she thought she was and there’s a dangerous web of deceit surrounding the two of them.

The Girls by Bella Osborne

Four old friends. Thrown back together after fifty years apart. What could possibly go wrong?

In the 1970s, The Girls were best friends sharing a flat and good times: Zara the famous diva actor, Val the uptight solicitor, Jackie the wild child and Pauline the quirky introvert. Now they’re in their twilight years, and Zara suggests that they live with her to support each other through old age.

Initially, being housemates again is just as much fun as in their heyday. But then Zara reveals the real reason she asked them to move in with her, and suddenly things take a sinister turn.

As the women confront their demons they come under the spotlight of the press, the police and an angry parrot. With their lives spiralling out of control can they save their friendships and each other? 

I have only added two new titles to my ARC mountain this week:

Long Lost Child by Jill Childs

And an audiobook Every Little Secret by Sarah Clarke and narrated by Katy Federman

I hope you’re all having a great weekend and that you’ve had great week’s reading. I’m off to Facetime Luke. He had his fifth birthday party yesterday, a week before actual birthday, and we had miss it. I did ask him to save me a piece of birthday cake, so I need to check that he did. We’ll be out of isolation Saturday (his actual birthday) so hopefully we will be able to deliver his gifts and the Easter egg.

Have wonderful week. I’m going to put my feet up and finish Other People Manage. Homemade Tomato Chili Soup with garlic bread for dinner tonight.

Watching what I’m reading . . .

It’s late Sunday evening here in New Zealand and we have just got home from a fishing trip where I was a last minute fill in for someone who became ill and was unable to go. We couldn’t have had better conditions, beautiful flat seas, great company and enough fish caught that we will all be fed a meal or two from the catch.

Currently I am reading A Few of the Girls, a collection of short stories by Maeve Binchy.

The Echo Man by Sam Holland

Detectives Cara Elliott and Noah Deakin are on the case of a series of seemingly unconnected murders, each different in method, but each shocking and brutal. As the body count increases, they can’t ignore the details that echo famous cases of the past—Manson, Kemper, Dahmer, and more. As Elliott and Deakin get closer to unmasking the killer, the murders are moving closer to home.

Meanwhile, Jessica Ambrose is on the run. She’s been implicated as the arsonist who killed her neglectful husband and injured her young daughter. With the help of disgraced and suspended detective Nate Griffin, Jess discovers a shocking link between her case and that of the ultimate copycat killer working on his horrifying masterpiece. 

and listening to 214 Palmer Street by Karen McQuestion

A house with a secret. A woman with nothing to lose.

When Maggie sees the beautiful Venetian blinds moving in the Caldwells’ front window, she freezes. Her favorite neighbours Cady and Josh are away, so who is in their house?

The pretty young woman who answers the door tells a convincing story. She’s Sarah. The house-sitter. Just here for a month. An old friend of Cady’s who needed a place to stay. She’s pleasant and warm, and Maggie wanders back to her house thinking she might have made a new friend. Yet she can’t help but wonder why Cady never mentioned Sarah.

What Maggie doesn’t know is that on the other side of the door, Sarah is starting to panic. No one was meant to see her at 214 Palmer Street…

This week, in addition to the above with the exception of the Maeve Binchy, I have four books to read for review. They are: Shadow in the Glass (Greer Hogan Mystery #2) by M.E. Hilliard

Murder rocks a wedding celebration at an idyllic lakeside home—and librarian-turned-sleuth Greer Hogan could be next on the killer’s guest list in this second exciting installment, perfect for fans of Louise Penny.

Librarian Greer Hogan is on hand to celebrate her old friend Sarah Whitaker’s nuptials at the Whitaker summer home on beautiful Mirror Lake, just outside the upstate New York village of Lake Placid. But Greer has an ulterior motive—to gather information that could reopen the investigation into her husband’s murder, a crime for which she believes an innocent man went to prison. Her plans come to a shuddering halt when a wedding guest goes missing and turns up dead in the lake. The guest, Brittany Miles, was an employee of the Whitaker family whom Sarah had long suspected was up to no good at work.

The police have no leads, but Greer—an avid reader of crime fiction who possesses an uncanny knack for deduction—begins her own investigation. She learns that the victim was seen with a mystery man right before she disappeared. Then the autopsy reveals that she didn’t drown in the lake after all, but in the reflecting pool in the Whitaker garden.

The suspect list is as long as the guest list itself, with no apparent motive. Now, Greer must rely on the wisdom of her favorite fictional detectives to tease out truth from lies—and keep herself out of the killer’s sights.

Who’s Lying Now by Susan Lewis

You think you’re safe.
You think you know your neighbours.
But can you ever really know who’s telling the truth?

Jeannie Symonds is a force to be reckoned with – an eccentric, award-winning publisher, spending lockdown with her husband in a house near Kesterly-on-Sea. She seems to have it all: a high-flying career, a happy marriage, a niece she adores.

And then one day, she vanishes.

Cara Jakes is a new trainee investigator – young, intelligent and eager to prove herself. When she teams up with detective Andee Lawrence to look into the disappearance, she is determined to find out what has really happened to Jeannie. Cara begins to question the residents of this close-knit community, sure that someone has a secret to hide.

But how can she separate the truth from the lies?

Other People Manage by Ellen Hawley

it’s Minneapolis in the 1970s, and two women meet in the Women’s Coffeehouse. Marge is a bus driver, and Peg is training to be a psychotherapist.

Over the next twenty years, they stay together, through the challenges any couple faces and some that no one expects. Then one day things change, and Marge has to work out what she’s left with – and if she still belongs to the family she’s adopted as her own.

Other People Manage is a novel about hard-earned but everyday love. It’s about family and it’s about loss. It’s the kind of novel that only someone who has lived enough of life could write – frequently funny, at times almost unbearably moving, but above all extraordinarily wise. 

The Other Son by J.M. Hewitt

She saved her son once. Would she do the same again?

Sara and her family needed a fresh start after a tragedy that ruined many lives. They have found peace since arriving at their new home in the Kielder Forest National Park twelve months ago. That is, unless you count the dark cloud that has settled over them, and the crippling tension behind closed doors. Sara tries to pretend everything is normal, but in reality she is haunted by a devastating truth about one of her children.

Travis has a reputation as a counsellor skilled at helping troubled teens. He has been watching Sara. He sees her fragility, and believes that he can fix her and her eldest son. Like his mother, Scott barely speaks, and has a look in his eye that hints at unimaginable trauma. If Travis could only get close to Sara she would see that he can protect her, and put an end to their suffering.

Yet below the surface, Sara is anything but weak. No matter what, she won’t give up on her child. And when she is cornered, she will go to extreme lengths to protect her most precious boy. 

Eight new ARCs received for review this week. At this rate my review ratio is going to take a dip again! The new titles are:

Other People’s Lives by J.E. Rowney

Carolina Moonset by Matt Goldman

The Hidden Truth by Hilary Boyd (publisher’s widget)

Women Like Us: A Memoir by Amanda Prowse


Gone But Still Here by Jennifer Dance

The Lies I Tell by Julie Clark

The Murders at Fleat House by Lucinda Riley

And finally another publisher’s widget, The Best of Me by Sharon Sala

Do you have any of these to read, or perhaps you have already read some of them. Let me know!

It’s late and I’m off to bed. Happy reading. ❤📚

Time is Marching on . . .

April’s here and March has gone, so it’s time to look back at what I managed to achieve and not complete during the month and what April is looking like (scary!)

I started March with eighteen books to read for review, but somehow ended up with twenty – again! I managed to read/listen to and review sixteen which is an 80% success rate, up on last month’s 75%.

In addition to these sixteen I read or listened to six books purely for pleasure and read two titles from my backlist, which has contributed to raising my Netgalley feedback ratio to 69%

The four books that are joining my backlist shelves are: The Baby Shower by S.E. Lynes

She

doesn’t know I’m there, watching her in the mirror. She slides her hand under her blouse. And then I see something impossible. She isn’t pregnant…

She bursts into my life like a storm, and nothing is the same again. She seems so perfect, with her lilting laugh and her beautiful face. One by one, I watch as my friends fall under her spell.

Only I seem to suspect something. Only I see that her smiles don’t reach her cold, furious eyes. And when I’m accused of things I didn’t do, when my home is vandalized, I know she’s behind it. But she only lets her mask slip when no one is looking, so if I say anything, I’ll look crazy.

So when the baby shower comes around I’m there, sitting on a velvet sofa in a posh hotel room, surrounded by balloons. We share gifts, we pour small glasses of champagne, and she beams, her bump just visible under her bright red shirt.

But that afternoon, I finally learn the unbelievable truth.

There is no baby…

One For Sorrow by Helen Sarah Fields, #7 in the DI Callanach series

One for sorrow, two for joy
Edinburgh is gripped by the greatest terror it has ever known. A lone bomber is targeting victims across the city and no one is safe.

Three for a girl, four for a boy
DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach face death every day – and not just the deaths of the people being taken hostage by the killer.

Five for silver, six for gold
When it becomes clear that with every tip-off they are walking into a trap designed to kill them too, Ava and Luc know that finding the truth could mean paying the ultimate price.

Seven for a secret never to be told…
But with the threat – and body count – rising daily, and no clue as to who’s behind it, neither Ava nor Luc know whether they will live long enough to tell the tale…

Moonlight and the plot Pearler’s Daughter by Lizzie Pook

Western Australia, 1886. After months at sea, a slow boat makes its passage from London to the shores of Bannin Bay. From the deck, young Eliza Brightwell and her family eye their strange, new home. Here is an unforgiving land where fortune sits patiently at the bottom of the ocean, waiting to be claimed by those brave enough to venture into its depths. An ocean where pearl shells bloom to the size of soup plates, where men are coaxed into unthinkable places and unspeakable acts by the promise of unimaginable riches.

Ten years later, the pearl-diving boat captained by Eliza’s eccentric father returns after months at sea—without Eliza’s father on it. Whispers from townsfolk point to mutiny or murder. Headstrong Eliza knows it’s up to her to discover who, or what, is really responsible.

As she searches for the truth, Eliza discovers that beneath the glamorous veneer of the pearling industry, lies a dark underbelly of sweltering, stinking decay. The sun-scorched streets of Bannin Bay, a place she once thought she knew so well, are teeming with corruption, prejudice, and blackmail. Just how far is Eliza willing to push herself in order to solve the mystery of her missing father? And what family secrets will come to haunt her along the way?

And Sundial by Catriona Ward

You

can’t escape what’s in your blood…

All Rob wanted was a normal life. She almost got it, too: a husband, two kids, a nice house in the suburbs. But Rob fears for her oldest daughter, Callie, who collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her too much of the family she left behind.

She decides to take Callie back to her childhood home, to Sundial, deep in the Mojave Desert. And there she will have to make a terrible choice.

Callie is worried about her mother. Rob has begun to look at her strangely, and speaks of past secrets. And Callie fears that only one of them will leave Sundial alive…

The mother and daughter embark on a dark, desert journey to the past in the hopes of redeeming their future.

Have you read any of these four titles? If you did, what did you think of them?

New authors I discovered in March and the books I read were:

Sally Page – The Keeper of Stories

Stewart O’Nan – Ocean State

Steffanie Edward – My Mother’s Gift

Claire Askew – A Matter of Time

Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen – The Golden Couple

As I mentioned earlier, April’s looking incredibly scary with 24 read/listen for review scheduled. What was I thinking?

I hope you have a great month of reading ahead of you. As for me, I will try to keep calm and read on.

Watching what I’m reading . . .

After all wet, cold and windy weather during the week, it’s a relief to have nice warm sunny weather over the weekend, although I’m noticing it is taking longer in mornings for the heat to kick in and we’re lighting the fire in the evenings. Some of trees are starting colour up, so winter is definitely on the way.

I’m sitting watching supercars being streamed live out of Tasmania as I write this. The only good thing about winter? – the car racing: F1, Supercars, Indy and Nascar.

I’m 3/4 of the way through The Wych Elm by Tana French. I love her writing style. I know this book hasn’t received rave reviews, but I am enjoying it.

I am listening to Mirrorland by Carole Johnson and it has me intrigued.

Cat lives in Los Angeles, far away from 36 Westeryk Road, the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where she and her estranged twin sister, El, grew up. As girls, they invented Mirrorland, a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs full of pirates, witches, and clowns. These days Cat rarely thinks about their childhood home, or the fact that El now lives there with her husband Ross.

But when El mysteriously disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat is forced to return to 36 Westeryk Road, which has scarcely changed in twenty years. The grand old house is still full of shadowy corners, and at every turn Cat finds herself stumbling on long-held secrets and terrifying ghosts from the past. Because someone—El?—has left Cat clues in almost every room: a treasure hunt that leads right back to Mirrorland, where she knows the truth lies crouched and waiting…

This week I have four read for review due, including Mirrorland. The other three are: Bride For a Day by Carolyn Brown, which I will start tonight.

Cassie O’Malley is a woman on the run when she when gets tangled up with a suspicious local sheriff and, on the spur of the moment, turns to a handsome stranger to get herself out of a tight spot.

Ted Wellman didn’t go to town to get hitched but that sweet girl with her big green eyes looked desperate. Suddenly he finds himself married to a stranger. No problem, his uncle’s a lawyer and everybody knows he’s in no emotional condition to settle down, not since the death of his brother put him on emotional lock down.

Much to his surprise, instead of helping get out of it, Ted’s crazy family seemed determined to keep him and Cassie together. What could they be thinking? That there is a chance of finally thawing Ted’s frozen heart? 

Sister Stardust by Jane Green

From afar Talitha’s life seemed perfect. In her twenties, and already a famous model and actress, she moved from London to a palace in Marrakesh, with her husband Paul Getty, the famous oil heir. There she presided over a swirling ex-pat scene filled with music, art, free love and a counterculture taking root across the world.
 
When Claire arrives in London from her small town, she never expects to cross paths with a woman as magnetic as Talitha Getty. Yearning for the adventure and independence, she’s swept off to Marrakesh, where the two become kindred spirits. But beneath Talitha’s glamourous facade lurks a darkness few can understand. As their friendship blossoms and the two grow closer, the realities of Talitha’s precarious existence set off a chain of dangerous events that could alter Claire’s life forever.
 

And The Library by Bella Osborne

Two different generations. Two unusual people. Thrown together to save their local library.
Tom is a teenager and blends into the background of life. After a row with his dad, and facing an unhappy future at the dog food factory, he escapes to the library. Tom unwittingly ends up with a bagful of romance novels and comes under the suspicion of Maggie.

Maggie is a pensioner and has been happily alone for ten years, at least that’s what she tells herself. When Tom comes to her rescue a friendship develops that could change her life. As Maggie helps Tom to stand up for himself, Tom helps Maggie realise the mistakes of her past don’t have to define her future.

They each set out to prove that the library isn’t just about books – it’s the heart of their community.

Together they discover some things are worth fighting for.

and, oh dear, eight new ARCs dropped into my inbox during the week. Absolutely not my fault! I’m blaming Carla and Susan 🤣🤣 They are:

The Secret World of Connie Starr by Robbi Neal, a new author to me.

A Body on the Beach (A Kate Palmer mystery #5) by Dee MacDonald. This is an excellent series that I am following.

The Gin Sisters’ Promise by Faith Hogan

Riverbend Reunion by Carolyn Brown

Death in a Blackout by Jessica Ellicott, another new author to me.

The Apartment Upstairs by Lesley Kara, an author I enjoy.

Blood Sugar by Sascha Rothschild, yet another new author.

And one audiobook, 214 Palmer Street by Karen McQuestion, yes, another new author to me.

while there’s a break in the racing I will go get the clothes off the line and close all the doors and windows. The heat has gone from the sun, and the cat is sitting expectantly in front of the fire.

Have a wonderful week.

Watching what I’m reading . . .

We’ve had a lovely day out with Dustin today, sans Luke. We took up what are probably the last of the passionfruit and cucumber, and a bag of tomatoes. We had a tasty pub lunch and then meandered home. I don’t think either of us will be wanting dinner tonight.

We were expecting heavy rain today, but so far there’s not been a drop. The wind is strong and gusting, and while it’s not exactly cold, it’s not that warm either. Since we’ve been home, I keep putting my slippers on then, ten minutes later, take them off again.

But onto books . . . Currently I am reading, but finding it difficult to get enthusiastic about My Mother’s Gift by Steffanie Edward. This is the first of my read for reviews for the coming week.

When Erica gets a phone call to say her mother, Ione, is ill in St Lucia, she knows she must go to her, even though their relationship has always been difficult. The island – the place of her mother’s birth – is somewhere that Erica has never called home.

Even when the plane touches down in the tropical paradise, with its palm trees swaying in the island breeze, the sound of accents so like her mother’s own calling loud in the air, Erica doesn’t find herself wanting to stay a moment longer than she has to.

But stepping into her mother’s house, she is shocked by what she finds. Her mother’s memory is fading and she is having strange, erratic episodes. Erica knows the right thing to do is to stay with her, even if it means leaving everything in England behind.

Could you uproot your whole life for the person who raised you? Can a place you’ve never felt at home ever feel like where you belong? And – as you experience loss – is it ever possible to also find love and peace?

I picked out three Irish reads from my shelves to celebrate St Paddy’s Day, but actually spent the day gallivanting around various food and wine festivals in France with Peter Mayle in ‘Bon Appetit! I had finished Dervla Mctiernan’s The Rúin, excellent five star book, highly recommended, and needed something with a different focus. I have just started the second of my three Irish reads for pleasure, The Wych Elm by Tana French.

One

night changes everything for Toby. A brutal attack leaves him traumatised, unsure even of the person he used to be. He seeks refuge at the family’s ancestral home, the Ivy House, filled with cherished memories of wild-strawberry summers and teenage parties with his cousins.

But not long after Toby’s arrival, a discovery is made. A skull, tucked neatly inside the old wych elm in the garden.

As detectives begin to close in, Toby is forced to examine everything he thought he knew about his family, his past, and himself.

And I am currently listening to As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner which is centred around the Spanish Flu pandemic at the end of WWI. As I have been listening, I am amazed that for all our technological advances since then, very little has actually changed.

In

1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters–Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa–a chance at a better life.

But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without–and what they are willing to do about it.

This week, as well as My Mother’s Gift, I am intending to read A Matter of Time (DI Birch #4) by Claire Askew

At

8am the first shots are fired.

At 1pm, the police establish the gunman has a hostage.

By 5pm, a siege is underway.

At 9pm, DI Helen Birch walks, alone and unarmed, into an abandoned Borders farmhouse to negotiate with the killer.

And The Ash Lake Murders, the first in a new series by Helen H. Durrant.

Callum is lured to an isolated boathouse by an attractive older woman. When she gets him alone, she knocks him out with a single blow. As he wakes up, her voice comes out of the darkness, “You’re a sprat to catch a mackerel.”

Surrounded by hills and lakes, Still Waters is home to a close-knit community of wealthy retirees. It’s an unlikely setting for violence. The police don’t take Callum’s disappearance seriously: he’s 24-years-old, after all. But Callum’s mother, a Still Waters resident, knows that something is very wrong.

Then a body is discovered floating in the lake. Head bashed in. But it’s not Callum.

And someone tweets:Come out to play one last time, Alice. Still Waters run deep. #MadHatter.

That’s when DCI Alice Rossi is called in. She’s back.

I received three new ARCs for review from Netgalley this week. They are: What She Found by Robert Dugoni (Tracy Crosswhite #9)

The Beach House by Beverley Jones

And finally Golden Age Locked Room Mysteries edited by Otto Penzler

So by my reckoning I have broken even this week because, although I have read more than three books in the past week, only three of them were Netgalley ARCs.

WORDLE: how many of you Wordle each day? I was a latecomer, but am an avid Wordler. I post my result on Twitter daily and tag a couple of other bookfriends who do the same to me. If you would like to join us please post your result on Twitter and tag me sandysbookaday @SandraFayJones2

Have a wonderful week!