“book”, “read”, “book review”, “book blog”,”recommended”, “easy read”, “don’t miss out”, “fiction”, “entertaining”, “reading goals”, “what should I read next”, “what did you read”, what would you recommend that I read”, “what would get me out of a reading slump”, “romance”, “mystery”, “January reading”
Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, this week it is New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022. This should be fairly easy for me as I take part in a lot of Blog Tours – all of which are new to me authors plus Instagram makes me try lots of new books. My only problem will be cutting it down to 10!
I heard about this author from Secret Library Book Blog. I was so pleased that there was a whole series that I could make my way through. I asked for the latest one for Christmas and I am looking forward to making a start on it.
“‘How much?’ The old man ahead of Lou at the supermarket checkout was glaring in disbelief at the female cashier.”
Number of Pages: 400
Date of Publication:19 January 2023
My Review Summary:A story that I just wanted to keep on reading
📖PLOT SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS 📖
One minute Lou is happily employed, with a perfect flat. The next, her home and job have gone. Suddenly she has to start over.
The last thing Lou wants is to move to a tiny Cotswolds village. She certainly doesn’t intend to work for curmudgeonly eighty-year-old Edgar Allsopp. But Edgar is about to make her the kind of promise nobody could ignore. In return, she secretly vows to help him fall in love with life again.
Foxwell is also home to Remy, whose charm and charisma are proving hard to ignore. But Lou hasn’t recovered from the last time she fell for a charmer. She needs a distraction – and luckily one’s about to turn up.
Secrets never stay hidden for long in Foxwell, nor are promises always kept. And no one could guess what lies ahead…
I saw the blurb of this book and was taken in. I was therefore pleased when I was accepted onto the Tour. Since then I have not been myself and my reading has taken a hit. I was concerned that it would be hard getting through this book, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact it reminded me why I love reading and has really helped me to get back into it.
The book opened with a lovely hand drawn map of the village, which I liked. It is always nice to see where things are in relation to what is happening in the story. The writing was gripping and I just wanted to keep on reading, desperate to find out what was going to happen next. There were some very emotional parts in the story, but overall I was left feeling uplifted.
The chapters were fairly long, but there was a good flow to the story so it kept my interest. I enjoyed the fact that you got the view points of a couple of the other characters in addition to the main character. It was interesting to see what was going through their minds and how they saw things at that point in the story.
The chapters were sometimes split and this also helped to keep my interest and moved the story on well.
The main character was lovely. She had some things to overcome and it was enjoyable to see how she just got on with things. She was a very likable character and you just wanted the best things to happen to her. I also enjoyed the rest of the characters. There were a few other storylines going on, but I never got confused and thought that everything wove together nicely.
Lastly the settings. I loved the village with the occasional trips to LA. I enjoyed reading about village life and how the main character really threw herself into it.
Overall a great book that has managed to get me out of a bit of a slump. I highly recommend!
“Inside the claustrophobic, heavy-duty body bag, Sebi blinked hard, trying to get a sense of place despite the impenetrable darkness”
Number of Pages: 300
Date of Publication:December 2022
My Review Summary:An intricately woven mystery that took me to Mallorca.
📖PLOT SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS📖
FALLEN BUTTERFLY is the third instalment in a gripping Mallorca-based crime series from Anna Nicholas, the most prolific British author writing about the island today.
The new book again features local protagonist, 33-year-old Isabel Flores Montserrat, an eccentric, fearless, lateral-thinking sleuth who has a pet ferret named Furó, and is addicted to sunflower seeds and Chupa Chups lollypops.
Unlike many female leads in popular crime fiction today, the Mallorcan former detective inspector is happy and balanced with few hang-ups. She loves her family and mountain community in the Soller valley, her pampered hens and her day job as a holiday rentals agent. Isabel believes in living for the moment and enjoying the simple pleasures of life.
Having turned her back on her old life as a policewoman in Barcelona, Madrid and Palma to run her widowed mother’s ailing mountain rentals agency in the Soller valley, Isabel finds herself being drawn back into detective work by her close friend and former boss, police chief Tolo Cabot. Having already assisted him with a cluster of puzzling island crimes, she is called upon again when Sebi Vives, the local transport minister, is found floating in the sea near Muro. He had increasingly infuriated local environmentalists, having approved a scheme to run a motorway through S’Albufera Natural Park that would destroy the natural fauna and flora and the habitat of thousands of birds. Environmentalists are blamed for the murder but Isabel Flores believes there is more to Sebi Vives’s death.
Meanwhile, close to her own mountain village, Sant Martí, foreign hikers are being misdirected by false cairns and signs in the Tramuntana hills, causing many to fall. Mischief is at work but who is to blame? Is it environmentalists or is something far more sinister at play?
I love a murder mystery and was excited to make a start on this. I enjoy murder mysteries set in different parts of the world and the descriptions in this story really took me to Mallorca. Despite this book being the third in the series, it read well as a standalone and made me want to read the other books in the series.
The writing was descriptive and there was always something going on. There were a couple of different storylines that ran alongside one another, yet ended up intertwining and ending well. I also enjoyed the addition of food. I thought that added another layer to the story.
At the beginning of the book was a dictionary containing some of the words which you would want to look up, which I liked. There was also a hand drawn map to help you to visualise where things were. I always enjoy the addition of a map!
The chapters were long and so you were able to get a good chunk of the story before moving on. There were however breaks in the chapters which added to the good flow of the story. As mentioned above there were lots of things going on yet it was easy and enjoyable to follow.
The main character was excellent. I loved her lightness and her willingness to do whatever it took to get the evidence she needed. She was a likable character which made me want to look at the other books in the series and to learn more about her.
Lastly the settings. I love the warmer setting and enjoyed reading about somewhere that I have never been to. As said above I also enjoyed the addition of food, that for me adds to the overall experience of the book.
Overall a great read, with great characters and settings. I really enjoyed it.
Not much as my son has managed to catch another cold and spread it to me and my partner. We did go round my parent’s house for dinner on Friday and had my dad round for dinner on Saturday. Sunday may be a day of rest, it depends on how my son feels about that!!
“Shadow is not at all happy with me. He lies by the fire while the chill wind rattles the door, tail inert, staring out from beneath that shaggy forelock of his with the sort of accusatory resignation peculiar to dogs, as if to say: Of all the stupid adventures you’ve dragged me on, this will surely be the death of us. I fear I have to agree, though this makes me no less eager to begin my research.”
Number of Pages: 336
Date of Publication:19 January 2023
My Review Summary:An interesting tale set in a magical place
📖PLOT SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS 📖
A curmudgeonly professor journeys to a small town in the far north to study faerie folklore and discovers dark fae magic, friendship, and love, in this heartwarming and enchanting fantasy.
Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things: She is the foremost expert on the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people. She could never make small talk at a party–or even get invited to one. And she prefers the company of her books, her dog, Shadow, and the Fair Folk to other people.
So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby, who manages to charm the townsfolk, get in the middle of Emily’s research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.
But as Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones–the most elusive of all faeries–lurking in the shadowy forest outside the town, she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all–her own heart.
I was quite excited when I saw this book. I haven’t read this type of fantasy for a while and so was pleased when I was accepted onto the Tour. There was a good mixture of fantasy, friendship and romance that kept my interest.
The writing was light and kept me engaged. There were occasions when there were more complicated goings on, but it didn’t spoil the story for me. There was a good balance of story telling and conversation with good descriptions inbetween.
The chapters were fairly long which meant that you got a good chunk of the story before moving on. There was a good flow to it despite being written as though it was a journal (from the point of view of the main character). I enjoyed the part where the other ‘main’ character wrote a couple of chapters whilst the other character was indisposed.
I liked the titles of the chapters. They helped with the flow of the story and gave you an idea of the timeline – even when the character was unsure herself!
The characters were great. The main character was brilliant with her sole focus being on the science behind her adventures. I enjoyed the addition of romance. It was not the usual type of romance which was enjoyable. I also enjoyed the personalities of the villagers and how they eventually got used to the main character’s unique personality.
The settings were excellent. I loved being in Iceland and visiting the faerie realm. The description really took you there.
Overall an interesting book that I enjoyed reading.
“The New York Times bestselling author of The Last Train to London revisits the dark early days of the German occupation in France in this haunting novel—a love story and a tale of high-stakes danger and incomparable courage—about a young American heiress who helps artists hunted by the Nazis escape from war-torn Europe.
Wealthy, beautiful Naneé was born with a spirit of adventure. For her, learning to fly is freedom. When German tanks roll across the border and into Paris, this woman with an adorable dog and a generous heart joins the resistance. Known as the Postmistress because she delivers information to those in hiding, Naneé uses her charms and skill to house the hunted and deliver them to safety.
Photographer Edouard Moss has escaped Germany with his young daughter only to be interned in a French labor camp. His life collides with Nanée’s in this sweeping tale of romance and danger set in a world aflame with personal and political passion.
Inspired by the real life Chicago heiress Mary Jayne Gold, who worked with American journalist Varian Fry to smuggle artists and intellectuals out of France, The Postmistress of Paris is the haunting story of an indomitable woman whose strength, bravery, and love is a beacon of hope in a time of terror.”