Watching What I’m Reading…

We have a beautiful sunny, but cool breezy day here in our little valley in New Zealand. How lovely to see the sun after a long period of rain and/or fog. Hopefully we will get a few more days of this. Fingers crossed that it will last until my day off on Tuesday.

Currently I am reading Ten Little Words by Leah Mercer, a new author to me. I came into this read after two five star reads in a row, so it has a hard act to follow, but it’s coming together nicely, the mystery of Ella’s mother’s disappearance starting to unravel.

cover190328-medium

I have just started listening to Anything Is Possible, a collection of short stories by Elizabeth Strout. If you have read My Name is Lucy Barton by this author, the two stories that I have so far listened to involved Lucy indirectly.

32080126._sx120_

This week I am planning on reading Playdate by Alex Dahl

52687093._sy475_

It was meant to be your daughter’s first sleepover. Now it’s an abduction.

Lucia Blix went home from school for a playdate with her new friend Josie. Later that evening, Lucia’s mother Elisa dropped her overnight things round and kissed her little girl goodnight.

That was the last time she saw her daughter.

The next morning, when Lucia’s dad arrived to pick her up, the house was empty. No furniture, no family, no Lucia.

and Tell Me How It Ends by V.B. Grey

52150096._sy475_

Delia Maxwell is an international singing sensation, an icon of 1950s glamour who is still riding high on the new 60s scene. Adored by millions, all men want to be with her, all women want to be her. But one woman wants it maybe a little too much…

Lily Brooks has watched Delia all her life, studying her music and her on-stage mannerisms. Now she has a dream job as Delia’s assistant – but is there more to her attachment than the admiration of a fan? Private investigator Frank is beginning to wonder.

As Lily steps into Delia’s spotlight, and Delia encourages her ambitious protegée, Frank’s suspicions of Lily’s ulterior motives increase. But are his own feelings for Delia clouding his judgement?

The truth is something far darker: the shocking result of years of pain and rage, rooted in Europe’s darkest hour. If Delia thought she had put her past behind her, she had better start watching her back.

Six new ARCs from Netgalley this week….I’m not doing any better at achieving my goal of two, am I?

Save Her Soul (Josie Quinn #9) by Lisa Regan

53534155._sy475_

Memories of Wild Rose Bay by Susanne O’Leary

53514234._sy475_

One Step Behind by Lauren North

49098113

And easing into my Christmas reads with The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine

54398573._sy475_

The Lost Girls of Devon by Barbara O’Neal

cover186186-medium

The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths

cover196551-medium

I think I need to take a week or two off work to catch up with my reading! Currently I am running twelve days behind schedule 😪 Then there’s the garden, and friends and family that I need to catch up with. My days are simultaneously too long, but not long enough to do all that I want to do. I am sure that I was a much nicer, more relaxed person during lockdown. But while I don’t want lockdown back, I loved having time at home, being able to read, catch up on my ‘to do’ list, garden, etc. Now I feel like I have lost all the ground that I made up over that time. Another thing that I miss is the long phone conversations with friends and family. I guess that I can’t have it all, but a little less work time, and a little more relaxation would be wonderful.

And now I feel guilty for moaning because a lot of you are still in lockdown, some for the second time.

Stay safe everyone.

Sandy

Watching What I’m Reading . . .

Unusual for me, I am currently not reading anything, well, anything that I can tell you about! All I can say is that it is a manuscript by an, as yet, unpublished author and I am very excited by it. Her writing is as natural as breathing…. Watch this space!

I am listening to The Unexpected Education of Emily Dean by Mira Robertson. Set in rural Victoria in 1944, it’s a charming coming of age story.

For some reason the cover photo is refusing to download, so moving on…

This week I am planning on reading To Tell You the Truth by Gilly MacMillan

53595132._sy475_

Lucy Harper has a talent for invention…

She was nine years old when her brother vanished in the woods near home. As the only witness, Lucy’s story of that night became crucial to the police investigation. Thirty years on, her brother’s whereabouts are still unknown.

Now Lucy is a bestselling thriller writer. Her talent for invention has given her fame, fortune, and an army of adoring fans. But her husband, Dan, has started keeping secrets of his own, and a sudden change of scene forces Lucy to confront some dark, unwelcome memories. Then Dan goes missing and Lucy’s past and present begin to collide. Did she kill her husband? Would she remember if she did?

Finally, Lucy Harper is going to tell us the truth.

Cross her heart.
And hope to die.

And The Stepdaughter by Debbie Howells

52705829._sx318_sy475_

“I live in a village of stone walls and tall trees, a place of cold hearts and secrets . . .”

When Elise Buckley moved with her family to Abingworth, it was supposed to be a new start. She hoped the little English village, with its scattering of houses, pub, and village church, wouldn’t offer enough opportunity for her doctor husband, Andrew, to continue having affairs. Apparently, she was wrong. Now Elise’s only goal is to maintain the façade of a happy homelife for their teenage daughter, Niamh.

When the body of Niamh’s best friend, Hollie, is found, the entire village is rocked. Elise, though generally distrustful since Andrew’s infidelity, believed that Hollie was loved by her father and stepmother. Yet there was something unsettling beneath the girl’s smile. As the police investigation stalls amid disjointed evidence, it’s Niamh who unknowingly holds the key . . .

Flitting between the villagers’ lives, silent and unseen, Elise is learning about the relationships and secrets that surround her—including those close to home. And as her daughter edges closer to a killer, Elise realizes that the truth may eclipse even her worst suspicions . . .

It was too much to hope for that I could stick with my target of 2 new ARCs for a second week in a row. I have eight this week. At least it’s not in double figures 🤣😂

So, this week I have received Seven Days in Summer by Marcia Willett

32164324

Pianos and Flowers by Alexander McCall Smith

53617591._sy475_

The Child Across the Street by Kerry Wilkinson

54121275._sy475_

Deadman’s Track by Sarah Barrie

50993832._sy475_

The Life She Left Behind by Nicole Trope

53450285

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

54252567

Dead Wicked by Helen H. Durrant

54219611._sy475_

And, finally, House of Correction by Nicci French

54245609._sy475_

Enjoy howevermuch remains of your weekend. I am going to settle back down with my ‘secret’ read.

Happy reading my friends
❤😍📚☕🍪

An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten

40104741

EXCERPT: The champagne was a really expensive brand – Champagne de Pompadour. When Maud looked it up on the internet, she saw it cost 549 kroner at the state-owned liquor store. Ridiculous! Admittedly, Maud enjoyed the odd glass of genuine champagne from time to time, but she was happy with brands that cost less than half that amount. The little tin of Russian caviar was also the real deal and probably cost as much as the champagne. Maud seriously doubted whether the other residents of the apartment block had been offered such expensive delicacies at Jasmin’s housewarming party, which led her to conclude that Jasmin was trying to get into her good books. But why? perhaps she was lonely and looking for friendship? Maud was an old woman, a good forty-five years older than the social butterfly, with artistic ambitions; they had nothing whatsoever in common.What did she want? Was she looking for a surrogate grandmother?

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

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

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

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

MY THOUGHTS: Thank you to my Goodreads friend Debra, who recommended this read to me. Maud is, as the Americans say, ‘a piece of work.’ An elderly lady, she spent the younger part of her life, after being disappointed in love, being the provider for her mother and sister following the death of her beloved father. Now Maud’s life is her own, and God help anyone who gets in her way!

Consisting of five short stories, we follow the fortunes of Maud as she ages, and the ill fortune of those who try to best her. Darkly amusing.

****

THE AUTHOR: Helene Tursten (born in Gothenburg in 1954) is a Swedish writer of crime fiction. The main character in her stories is Detective Inspector Irene Huss. Before becoming an author, Tursten worked as a nurse and then a dentist, but was forced to leave due to illness. During her illness she worked as a translator of medical articles.

DISCLOSURE: I listened to the audiobook of An elderly Lady is Up to No Good, written by Helene Turston, translated by Marlene Delargy, narrated by Suzanne Toren and published by Highbridge, a division of Recorded Books. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

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

This review is also published on Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads.com

Watching What I’m Reading . . .

It’s late Sunday evening here in New Zealand. I have, rather reluctantly, been at work this afternoon working with our management committee setting up the practical aspects of reopening the business after the easing of our Covid restrictions. Although I have been back at work for the past week, I haven’t been doing full days, so this coming week is going to be a bit of a shock to my system. But I am lucky, and still have a job to go back to.

I got more reading done this week than I expected and accomplished all my goals set in last weeks Watching What I’m Reading post, but no more. I have a fairly big week at work ahead so am keeping my reading goals for the week very realistic.

Currently I am reading, and am totally consumed by, Dear Child by Remy Hausmann. If I hadn’t had to go to work today I would have finished it. I read over half of it in one sitting! And this is the debut novel by this author. Amazing!

cover176250-mini

I haven’t yet selected a new audiobook to listen to after finishing The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian and am almost finished The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup.

My next read is going to be Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan-Hyde.

49217470

Brooke is a divorced single mom, financially strapped, living with her mother, and holding tight to the one thing that matters most: her two-year-old daughter, Etta. Then, in a matter of seconds, Brooke’s life is shattered when she’s carjacked. Helpless and terrified, all Brooke can do is watch as Etta, still strapped in her seat, disappears into the Los Angeles night.

Miles away, Etta is found by Molly, a homeless teen who is all too used to darkness. Thrown away by her parents, and with a future as stable as the wooden crate she calls home, Molly survives day to day by her wits. As unpredictable as her life is, she’s stunned to find Etta, abandoned and alone. Shielding the little girl from more than the elements, Molly must put herself in harm’s way to protect a child as lost as she is.

Out of one terrible moment, Brooke’s and Molly’s desperate paths converge and an unlikely friendship across generations and circumstances is formed. With it, Brooke and Molly will come to discover that what’s lost—and what’s found—can change in a heartbeat.

The second book I am planning on reading this week is Little Whispers by K.L. Slater

51664923._sy475_

Janey Markham is thrilled to be moving with her family to Buckingham Crescent, the smartest address in a desirable suburban town.

Worried she’ll be excluded by the glossy local mothers, Janey is thrilled when she meets Tanya, the kind of woman she has always looked up to. Tanya takes Janey under her wing, and her teenage daughter Angel is amazing with Janey’s little boy. As Janey and Tanya grow closer, Janey feels she can finally leave her troubled past behind.

But then everything changes…

In a weak moment over a bottle of wine, Janey finds herself telling Tanya her most shocking secret. Why wouldn’t she trust her new friend?

The following day, Janey sees Angel, with a man old enough to be her father, pushing someone into a car. The next day a body is found and police appeal for witnesses – and share a picture of the same car…

When Janey tells Tanya she is going to the police, Tanya turns threatening. She’ll stop at nothing to defend Angel, even if her daughter is guilty. If Janey says anything, Tanya will make sure that her dark secret gets out.

Janey faces an impossible choice. Stay quiet about what she saw that terrible day. Or speak up, and destroy the family she has worked so hard to protect.

If I finish these two reads with time to spare before starting next weeks schedule I will pick something at random from my backlist. I thought I might have made a dent in my backlist over lockdown, but it just never happened.

And OMG! I have 14, yes 14 ARCs landed in my inbox this week. Susan and Carla, just stop laughing right this moment! A good number of these are down to my browsing your reading lists. And Tina, you are just as big a (good) bad influence. It didn’t help that I am stressed about going back to work, so instead of resorting to drugs or alcohol, I buy and request books!

The Book of CarolSue by Lynne Hugo

cover189442-medium

The Sunset Sisters by Cecelia Lyre

cover192088-medium

My Darling by Amanda Robson

cover191290-medium

To Tell You the Truth by Gilly Macmillan

cover191280-medium

The Day She Came Back by Amanda Prowse

cover192932-medium

Murder, Forgotten by Deb Richardson-Moore

cover191547-medium

The Bad Sister by Kevin O’Brien

cover191187-medium

Stories We Never Told by Sonja Yoerg

cover174192-medium

Secrets of a Serial Killer by Rosie Walker

cover184843-medium

When Grace Went Away by Meredith Appleyard

cover186718-medium

Shadow Sands by Robert Bryndza

cover192940-medium

Bloodline by Jess Lourey

cover192928-medium

The Baby Group by Caroline Corcoran

cover188485-medium

And finally, Gone in Seconds by Ed James

cover192935-medium

What was I thinking????

Happy reading. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Be kind.

Cheers
Sandy
😷❤😍📚

Given in Evidence: a collection of crime short stories by various authors

53248654._sy475_

EXCERPT: I didn’t hear you come in. The radio was playing, the kettle switched on as I hummed along to Bruno Mars, but when I turned around, just as the water reached boiling point, there you were in my kitchen, and you frightened the life out of me. You always do.

After what you did, I thought you’d leave me alone for good. Stupid me. I should know by now what you’re like. Stubborn, determined, manipulative. Someone who always gets his way; at least, that’s what you like to believe, being an egomaniac. (The Encounter by A.A. Chaudhuri)

ABOUT THIS BOOK: 10 ingenious and exhilarating short stories in one collection:

A murderous feud in a seemingly quiet country village…

A haunted hotel with one particularly difficult guest…

A hostage situation gone horribly wrong…

Featuring stories from acclaimed and bestselling authors, Given in Evidence is an anthology that showcases the best in contemporary crime and thriller writing.

MY THOUGHTS: I am a fan of the well crafted short story. And there are four in this collection that stood out from the others: The Encounter, Land’s End, The Murder Hole, and Room 228. These were excellent reads. The others ranged from pointless to mediocre.

Each story is accompanied by a little explanation, or note about the author. A lot of these stories are prologues to books/series. I will certainly be following up on A.A. Chaudhuri’s other works.

Definitely not the best collection of short stories that I have ever read, but neither is it the worst.

😕😊🤔

#GivenInEvidence #NetGalley

THE AUTHORS: Rob Parker
J.M. Hewitt
A.A. Chaudhuri (Goodreads Author)
Roger A. Price (Goodreads Author)
E.R. Fallon (Goodreads Author)
Leo McNeir
D.J. Harrison (Goodreads Author)
Charlie Cochrane (Goodreads Author)
Euan B. Pollock (Goodreads Author)
Thomas Laird

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Lume Books via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of Given in Evidence by various authors for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

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

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3301679271

Watching What I’m Reading . . .

It is one of those glorious Indian Summer afternoons that we sometimes get in autumn. It is very cool early morning and evenings, we have taken to lighting the fire late afternoon, but the days are gloriously hot. I have been harvesting the last of the summer fruits and vegetables and giving the gardens a general tidy up. I have also been making plans for changes in the garden before next season as I struggle with our back yard. It is quite steep in places. I have also been rearranging furniture. I think tmoth will be pleased to get back to work Tuesday!

Currently I am reading The Lost Orphan by Stacey Halls and am just loving it. It is due for publication 28 April, so preorder your copy now!

45422548

And I am listening to my very first ever CoHo title, It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. I will definitely be reading/listening to more by this author.

27362503._sy475_

This week I am planning on reading The Orphan’s Gift by Renita D’Silva

51928177._sy475_

1910, India. Young and curious Alice, with her spun-gold hair, grows up in her family’s sprawling compound with parents as remote as England, the cold country she has never seen. It is Raju, son of a servant, with whom she shares her secrets. Together, their love grows like roses – but leaves deep thorns. Because when they get too close, Alice’s father drags them apart, sending Raju far away and banishing Alice to England…

1944. Intelligent and kind Janaki is raised in an orphanage in India. The nuns love to tell the story: Janaki’s arrival stopped the independence riots outside the gates, as the men on both sides gazed at the starry-eyed little girl left in a beautiful hand-knitted cardigan. Janaki longs for her real mother, the woman who was forced to abandon her, wrapped in a precious gift…

Now old enough to be a grandmother and living alone in India, Alice watches children play under the tamarind trees, haunted by the terrible mistake she made fifty years ago. It’s just an ordinary afternoon, until a young girl with familiar eyes appears with a photograph and Alice must make a choice. Will she spend the rest of her life consumed by dreams of the past, or can she admit her mistakes and choose love and light at last?

And We Are Not In The World by Connor O’Callaghan

51201976._sy475_

Heartbroken after a long, painful love affair, a man drives a haulage lorry from England to France. Travelling with him is a secret passenger – his daughter. Twenty-something, unkempt, off the rails.
With a week on the road together, father and daughter must restore themselves and each other, and repair a relationship that is at once fiercely loving and deeply scarred.
As they journey south, down the motorways, through the service stations, a devastating picture reveals itself: a story of grief, of shame, and of love in all its complex, dark and glorious manifestations.

And The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan

51053678._sx318_sy475_

Everything seemed possible in the summer of 1951. Back then Betty Stern was an eighteen-year-old knockout working at her grandparents’ lakeside resort. The “Catskills of the Midwest” was the perfect place for Betty to prepare for bigger things. She’d head to college in New York City. Her career as a fashion editor would flourish. But first, she’d enjoy a wondrous last summer at the beach falling deeply in love with an irresistible college boy and competing in the annual Miss South Haven pageant. On the precipice of a well-planned life, Betty’s future was limitless.

Decades later, the choices of that long-ago season still reverberate for Betty, now known as Boop. Especially when her granddaughter comes to her with a dilemma that echoes Boop’s memories of first love, broken hearts, and faraway dreams. It’s time to finally face the past—for the sake of her family and her own happiness. Maybe in reconciling the life she once imagined with the life she’s lived, Boop will discover it’s never too late for a second chance.

And six new ARCs this week:

When She Was Good by Michael Robotham

cover190665-medium

Tiny White Lies by Fiona Palmer

52493107._sy475_

Ten Little Words by Leah Mercer

cover190328-medium

Final Cut by S.J. Watson

52133122._sy475_

Three Women and a Boat by Anne Youngson

cover190859-medium

And finally, Given in Evidence, a collection of crime short stories that is being published May 1st, so I shall probably sneak this read in next week also.

53248654._sy475_

New Zealand drops to covid Alert Level Three on Tuesday which is exciting for me. As the daycare centres don’t open until Wednesday, I am caregiver for my three year old grandson Tuesday. It is over a month since I last saw him, so I am greatly looking forward to Tuesday.

Happy reading all. Stay safe. We will come out the other side of this. It may be different, but we will survive.

😷❤😍📚

Hero (Simon Serrailler 8.6) by Susan Hill

29911769._sy475_

EXCERPT: So quickly over, Everyone remembers the same thing, he thought. The warm smile, the flash of the diamond brooch, her small stature. Over in a second. The military and the police came last, so there was a long wait in the line that ran down the long corridor. Just ahead of Serrailler, a young soldier, aged 22 and looking 14. Wheelchair. No legs. One arm. Neck brace. Victoria Cross. Hearing what this boy had done, Simon felt fraudulent. Another soldier, receiving the MC, another act of astonishing bravery. Fraud, he thought again, fraud. What did you do? Your job. Nothing out of the way. Nothing to come near this.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: When Simon Serrailler was a rookie constable with the Met, he did something reckless in the course of a night’s work which caused a man’s death. But his act was praised by his colleagues and he was called a hero.

Years later, now a Detective Chief Superintendent who has been badly injured in the course of duty, he receives a medal for bravery at Buckingham Palace, while recollecting that fateful night of his early career, when chance disguised itself as bravery.

MY THOUGHTS: This was a wonderful little lunchtime read as I sat in the Japanese Gardens in town, glad to be out of my office and in the sunshine and fresh air for an hour. A nice ‘fill-in’ between novels eight and nine, both of which I have read, in the Simon Serrailler series.

There is nothing about Simon’s family in this short story, other than lunching with them following the award ceremony. Instead it is a reflection on his career, and an insight into how he sees himself. Written with Hill’s usual flair, it is a useful and interesting addition to the series.

In the publicity blurb for Hero, it says that #9 in the series, The Soul of Discretion, was to be the last in the Serrailler series. I am so glad that Susan Hill changed her mind and went on to write the tenth book, The Benefit of Hindsight. And she has left the way open for more to come.

****

THE AUTHOR: She attended Scarborough Convent School, where she became interested in theatre and literature. Her family left Scarborough in 1958 and moved to Coventry where her father worked in car and aircraft factories. Hill states that she attended a girls’ grammar school, Barr’s Hill. Her fellow pupils included Jennifer Page, the first Chief Executive of the Millennium Dome. At Barrs Hill she took A levels in English, French, History and Latin, proceeding to an English degree at King’s College London. By this time she had already written her first novel, The Enclosure which was published by Hutchinson in her first year at university. The novel was criticised by The Daily Mail for its sexual content, with the suggestion that writing in this style was unsuitable for a “schoolgirl”.

Her next novel Gentleman and Ladies was published in 1968. This was followed in quick succession by A Change for the Better, I’m the King of the Castle, The Albatross and other stories, Strange Meeting, The Bird of Night, A Bit of Singing and Dancing and In the Springtime of Year, all written and published between 1968 and 1974.

In 1975 she married Shakespeare scholar Stanley Wells and they moved to Stratford upon Avon. Their first daughter, Jessica, was born in 1977 and their second daughter, Clemency, was born in 1985. Hill has recently founded her own publishing company, Long Barn Books, which has published one work of fiction per year.

DISCLOSURE: I own my copy of Hero (Simon Serrailler series #8.6) by Susan Hill and published by Long Barn Books. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

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

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2006864163?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Behind Dark Doors (One) by Susan May

22008196

EXCERPT: Then this producer rang from ‘Today Tonight’ – or ‘Yesterday Morning’, or something sounding equally cliched – and asked if he could do a piece on them.

A piece, he thought. He wished he could have done just a piece of marriage, instead of the whole lot. They never ask you that during the wedding ceremony. ‘How much do you think you can do? Five years? Twenty? Fifty? After fifty we’ll come and get you out, George.’ No, they do not. They say ‘until the day you die.’ And that is that.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Twilight Zone, Darker Things and Black Mirror.
These tales will delight fans of the horror short story with their ingenius twists and wicked irony. Brought to you by the international best-selling author readers have named the new Stephen King.

Enter strange worlds and meet their unusual and sometimes terrifying residents.Dive into the first collection of ;Behind Dark Doors, filled with stories of suspense, horror, paranormal and supernatural, from the dark mind of short story award-winning author Susan May.

DO US PART
When you’ve been married seventy years, what secret and deadly thoughts lie behind the smiles?

HELL’S KITCHEN
Gordon must survive the elimination round in an intense cooking competition. But he’s made a fatal mistake and winning is now a matter of life and death.

MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES
When a mother feels she’s not being heard at a parent-teacher meeting, sometimes actions can speak louder than words.

I HATE EMMA CARTER
New girl in school, Emma Carter, is assigned Angie Dutton as her babysitter. Angie’s nobody’s keeper but perhaps this time she’s picked the wrong victim.

IT’S IN THE GENES
Ever since Brandon joined his father on his late-night fishing trips he’s changed from Helen’s happy-go-lucky son. Today, she’ll discover why.

THE WAR VETERAN
For seventy years, World War II veteran Jack Baker has endured vivid flashbacks to that horrific June day on Omaha Beach. Tonight, Jack’s seventy-year-old secret comes back to claim him.

MY THOUGHTS: Susan May has a twisted mind….be very careful around her and her family. Don’t upset her. You may, if her stories are anything to go by, live (or not live, as the case may be) to regret it.

My favourite story was Do Us Part. It’s something that I have often wondered about…. as my dear husband often says, you get less for murder.

This is a wonderful collection of macabre stories, some of which will amuse, while others will chill. Sit back and enjoy the ride…..

🤣😱🤯😳

THE AUTHOR: I was four when I decided I would be a writer, packed a bag, and marched down the road looking for a school. But for forty-six years, I suffered from life-gets-in-the-way-osis. Setting a goal to write just one page a day cured me in 2010. This discipline grew into an addictive habit that has since borne several novels, and dozens of short stories and novellas–many of which are published award-winners in Australia, the US and the UK.

My childhood reading diet consisted of Edgar Allen Poe, O’Henry, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, plus horror comics like Tales From the Crypt. Anything out of this world like The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits had me glued to the television.

Inspired by these classics, I attempt to pen tales that are simply about the story and the characters and not about fancy words or beautiful descriptions. At the end of my stories I hope, wonderful reader, that you will feel you’ve enjoyed a journey into the fantastic with a neat twist at the end.

Every day I pinch myself that I am able to do what I love and be in control of every facet of it. And I can wear my track suit pants and slippers while doing it. Bliss.

Most days I’m just an average mother and wife living in Perth, Western Australia, but this darn imagination of mine keeps constantly venturing into the crevices of dark worlds, whether I want to go there or not.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to author Susan May for providing a digital copy of her short story collection Behind Dark Doors 1 for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

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

This review and others are also published on https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1386311068?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Midwinter Mysteries: A Christmas Crime Anthology

48664805._sy475_-2

EXCERPT: Galway, Ireland, 2019

It could be said that everything that happens is good news for somebody. How driving along a motorway, at two o’clock in the morning shortly before Christmas, with a dead Santa Claus in the back of his cab could ever be good news for Ben Miller was anybody’s guess. (The Stolen Santa Sack by Sean Gibbons)

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Eleven authors. Eleven stories. One festive collection! Perfect for fans of crime fiction, short stories, thrillers — and Christmas!

Deck the halls with tales of murder!

To get you in the mood for Christmas, Sapere Books has brought eleven of their authors together in this thrilling, festive short story anthology.

From dead bodies in Victorian London, to fraudulent identities in modern-day Cheltenham and a dead Santa in Galway, each story in this collection follows a mystery in the lead-up to Christmas.

Follow Charles Dickens as he turns private investigator.; a feisty couple challenging the status quo in 17th century England; a young woman unmasking fraudulent psychics in Victorian Brighton; an enigmatic policeman manning the streets of Prague; a strong-willed female detective taking down criminals in Wales; and a law-enforcement team investigating a death on a small Scottish island.

MY THOUGHTS: A quick and quirky read. This enjoyable collection of murders based around Christmas time contains a ghost who appears in a wedding photo, a dead Santa, a Russian policeman with a sense of humour, and even Charles Dickens makes an appearance! The times span from Victorian to current day, and the locations include London, Wales and Ireland.

While some of the stories rely heavily on Christmas and all the traditions and customs that come along with it, in others the fact that it is Christmas is just a misfortune of timing.

Most of the authors are unfamiliar to me, but I have read one or two previously.

Definitely recommended if you want a little mayhem in the guise of theft and murder in your Christmas stocking. My personal favourite was Footprints in the Snow by JC Briggs.

#MidwinterMysteries #NetGalley

😍😍😍😍

THE AUTHORS: Graham Brack – Away in a Manger
J C Briggs – Footprints in the Snow
Keith Moray – Lost and Found
Cora Harrison – The Spirit of Christmas
Sean Gibbons – The Stolen Santa Sack
Marilyn Todd – Will Power
Gaynor Torrance – Christmas Spirits
David Field – The Essex Nativity
Kim Fleet – Secret Santa
MJ Logue – Stir Up Sunday
Linda Stratman – The Christmas Ghost

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Sapere Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Midwinter Mysteries for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

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

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3051774895?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Watching What I’m Reading…

It is a hot summer day here in my little corner of New Zealand. It is not often that you will hear me say this, but it’s actually too hot to be out in the garden. It was the same yesterday, and apparently we have a whole week of this lovely weather to look forward to. Bring on summer…this is my kind of weather. It is lovely sitting out on the deck in the shade, my book in one hand and a nice cold drink in the other.

I actually squeezed an extra book in last week

48664805._sy475_-1

Which I read last night. Watch for my review.

I am about to begin

And I am listening to

40988979

the follow up to The Lilac Girls.

This week I am planning on reading

45891138

When Nick’s wife Kerry falls ill and dies, he realises for the first time how fragile his happiness has always been, and how much he’s been taking his good life and wonderful family for granted. Now, he suddenly finds himself navigating parenthood alone, unsure how to deal with his own grief, let alone that of his teenage son, Olly.

In the depths of his heartbreak, Nick must find a way to navigate life that pleases his son, his in-laws, his family and his friends—while honouring what Kerry meant to them all. But when it comes to his own emotions, Nick doesn’t know where to begin. Kerry was his childhood sweetheart—but was she really the only one who could ever make him happy?

And in the aftermath of tragedy, can Nick and his son find themselves again?

And hopefully I will also be able to start

46370336._sy475_

Louise Bridges has the perfect life.

A loving husband, Patrick. Two adorable children. A comfortable home.

So when PC Becca Holt arrives to break the news that Patrick has been killed in an accident, she thinks Louise’s perfect world is about to collapse around her.

But Louise doesn’t react in the way Becca would expect her to on hearing of her husband’s death. And there are only three plates set out for dinner as if Louise already knew Patrick wouldn’t be home that night…

The more Becca digs, the more secrets she uncovers in the Bridges’ marriage – and the more she wonders just how far Louise would go to get what she wants…

Is Louise a loving wife – or a cold-hearted killer?

And I have seven new ARCs from Netgalley….well what can I say? There are currently just so many tempting titles out there begging to be read. And those of you who know me well will know that I can resist everything but temptation 🤣😂🤣😂

48734117._sy475_

48720860

46667059._sy475_

48889152._sx318_

48805505._sy475_

4753680948668295._sy475_

I also bought two books this week…

452268

10147962

So I had better go get some reading done! I hope you got some lovely books to read this week….

Happy reading my friends
❤😍📚