Tag Archives: winter reading

Random Things Tours – Book Review – Death and the Conjuror by Tom Mead

“At the Pomegranate Theatre, tempers flared like oil lamps.”

Genre: Historical Thriller/Mystery

Number of Pages: 288

Date of Publication: 2 February 2023

Publisher: Head of Zeus/Aries

My Review Summary: A cleverly woven, historical mystery.


A magician-turned-sleuth in pre-war London solves three impossible crimes.

In 1930s London, celebrity psychiatrist Anselm Rees is discovered dead in his locked study, and there seems to be no way that a killer could have escaped unseen. There are no clues, no witnesses, and no evidence of the murder weapon. Stumped by the confounding scene, the Scotland Yard detective on the case calls on retired stage-magician-turned-part-time-sleuth Joseph Spector. Who better to make sense of the impossible than one who traffics in illusions?

Spector has a knack for explaining the inexplicable, but even he finds that there is more to this mystery than meets the eye. As he and the Inspector interview the colorful cast of suspects among the psychiatrist’s patients and household, they uncover no shortage of dark secrets—or motives for murder. When the investigation dovetails into that of an apparently impossible theft, the detectives consider the possibility that the two transgressions are related. And when a second murder occurs, this time in an impenetrable elevator, they realize that the crime wave will become even deadlier unless they can catch the culprit soon.


I love a murder mystery, and with the addition of being set in the 1930s, plus having a magician involved, I knew that it would be an interesting read. Without the use of modern day technology I find that there is a certain charm and intelligence to the murders, that otherwise would be even more difficult and unrealistic to pull off. 

The writing was clever and added a number of different storylines together without overcomplicating anything. I liked that there was a character list at the beginning, that was helpful. I was able to easily follow what was going on, however the ending was a complete surprise to me! I also liked that at the end you as the reader were directly spoken to before the solution to the puzzle was finally revealed. 

The chapters were long and split. I enjoyed the different titles that each chapter had, they were interesting and certainly different to any other book that I have read. There was a good flow to the book, and whilst it felt fairly long, I think that everything was necessary in order to solve all the different threads. I wasn’t left feeling disappointed! 

I loved the characters. I enjoyed following the Conjuror’s point of view and the fact that he gave nothing away. As the reader you were presented with everything that you needed to know, but it wasn’t until the end that the main character told you the answer. I liked that when a solution was explained there was a reference to the page where you could find the evidence to back it up. 

All of the characters were suspicious and all of them had something to hide, which was enjoyable to read about. 

Lastly the settings. I loved going round London following the characters. There was a darkness to it that added another layer to the story. 

Overall an interesting book. 



Tom Mead is a UK crime fiction author specialising in locked-room mysteries.

He is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the International Thriller Writers’ Organization.

His debut novel is DEATH AND THE CONJUROR, featuring magician-detective Joseph Spector.

#bookstagram #instabook #bookphotography #igbooks #ilovereading #bookhaul #bookhoarder #bookaddiction #bookstoread #whattoread #fortheloveofbooks #bookblogging #bookpics #weekendreads #bookrecs #booknerdproblems #bookpictures #bookstagram #amreading #booksbooksbooks #instablog #booknerds #bookphotos #bibliophile #blogtour

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January Monthly Wrap-Up

A slow reading and posting month again this month, maybe next month will be better?! I have managed to read 3 books which is more than I thought that I would get done and participated in more memes than I thought I had too so that’s a personal win!

What I have been reading this month:

January Reading List

My Favourite Book Of January

My Book Reviews:

Orbit Tour – Book Review – Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett

Random Things Tours – Book Review – Fallen Butterfly by Anna Nicholas

Random Things Tours – Book Review – Promise Me by Jill Mansell

My Sunday Wrap Up Posts:

Sunday Post 1 January 2023

Sunday Post 8 January 2023

Sunday Post 15 January 2023

Sunday Post 22 January 2023

Sunday Post 29 January 2023

I hope that you have enjoyed my reviews and other posts. Here’s to next month!

#bookstagram #bibliophile #igreads #currentlyreading #bookreview #instaread #lovetoread #booksarelife #readingisfundamental #whatimreading #bookreviewer #bookaddicts #bookpost #tbrpile #justread #bookishphotography #whattoreadnext #readallday #bookworms #booksofinstagram #bookwormproblems #bookaholic #bookpic #newreads #booknerd #readinggoals #wrapup #winterreading #januaryreading

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Sunday Post

Welcome to my Sunday post hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer. A quiet week this week with a late Top Ten Tuesday!

Sunday Salon (Last Week)

Goodreads Monday (add your links in the comments section for all to see!) – Smart Girls Don’t Kiss Aliens by Alina Jacobs

Happy Publication Day! Promise Me by Jill Mansell

Top Ten Tuesday – On Thursday – Bookish Goals for 2023

Book Blogger Hop – Do you use social media to keep up with your favourite authors?

I hope that you have all had a good week!

#bookstagram #bibliophile #igreads #currentlyreading #bookreview #instaread #lovetoread #booksarelife #readingisfundamental #whatimreading #bookreviewer #bookaddicts #bookpost #tbrpile #justread #bookishphotography #whattoreadnext #readallday #bookworms #booksofinstagram #bookwormproblems #bookaholic #bookpic #newreads #booknerd #sundaypost #autumnreading #fallreading #popularbooks #bookmemes #bookquotes

“book”, “read”, “book review”, “book blog”,”recommended”, “easy read”, “don’t miss out”, “fiction”, “entertaining”, “christmas”, “romance”, “what should I read next”, “what books do you recommend”, “winter reading”

Happy Publication Day! Promise Me by Jill Mansell

Book Description 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 am on the Blog Tour for this book on 24 January 2023 so keep your eyes peeled for my review on here, Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

#bookstagram #instabook #bookphotography #igbooks #ilovereading #bookhaul #bookhoarder #bookaddiction #bookstoread #whattoread #fortheloveofbooks #bookblogging #bookpics #weekendreads #bookrecs #booknerdproblems #bookpictures #bookstagram #amreading #booksbooksbooks #instablog #booknerds #bookphotos #bibliophile #publicationday

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Time Travel Thursday

It’s Time Travel Thursday! This is where I take a look back at what I was reading this time last year (or the year before or the year before that…).

This day in 2021 I was reading:

Random Things Tours – Book Review – The Postmistress of Paris by Meg Waite Clayton

Book Description From Goodreads:

“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.”

What were you reading this time last year?

#bibliophile #igreads #currentlyreading #bookreview #instaread #lovetoread #booksarelife #readingisfundamental #whatimreading #bookreviewer #bookaddicts #bookpost #tbrpile #justread #bookishphotography #whattoreadnext #readallday #bookworms #booksofinstagram #bookwormproblems #bookaholic #bookpic #newreads #booknerd #timetravelthursday #pastreads #winterreading #historicalfiction

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Book of the Month – My Favourite Book Of December 2022

Random Things Tours – Book Review – When The Lights Go Out by Chris Curran

Book Description From Goodreads:

“Who can you trust…


A group of new friends. But can she trust them?

For struggling actress Ava, landing a role with the Chimera Theatre Group could lead to her big break. And relocating to a remote country village means stepping out from the shadow of her boyfriend—despite his determination not to let her go.

Everyone in the group seems so welcoming, they’re one big happy family. But, like all families, they each have secrets. And someone in the group doesn’t want certain secrets to get out…”

Whilst I didn’t have any 5 star books this month, this was my favourite out of the 3 that I read.

What has been your favourite book this month?

#bookstagram #bookish #instabooks #ilovebooks #readinglist #bookblog #readmore #reads #currentread #booknerdigan #readingaddict #avidreader #newread #readallthebooks #booksta #booksandbooks #readaholic #booksparks #booksarelife #bibliophile #bookwormlife #reader #beautifulbooks #bookphotograph #bibliophile #bookofthemonth #5stars #thriller

“book”, “read”, “book review”, “book blog”, “new”, “recommended”, “easy read”, “don’t miss out”, “fiction”, “fantasy”, “romance”, “what book will get me out of a reading slump”, “entertaining”, “what should I read next”, “book of the month”, “5 star rating”, “what should I have read this month”

What I have been reading this month – December 2022 Reading List

When The Lights Go Out by Chris Curran ⭐Rated 4.5/5⭐ PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER

Christmas At Carringtons by Alexandra Brown ⭐Rated 4/5⭐ CHRISTMAS/ROMANCE

Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett ⭐Rated 4.5/5⭐ FANTASY

Genre Goal Checklist:

All things Christmas = 1 book read

All my colds have finally taken a toll on my reading and I have been in a bit of a slump. I did at least manage these three books, which I am quite proud of! Hopefully a better month next month!

#bookstagram #bibliophile #igreads #currentlyreading #bookreview #instaread #lovetoread #booksarelife #readingisfundamental #whatimreading #bookreviewer #bookaddicts #bookpost #tbrpile #justread #bookishphotography #whattoreadnext #readallday #bookworms #booksofinstagram #bookwormproblems #bookaholic #bookpic #newreads #booknerd #readinggoals #christmas #romance #thriller #decemberreading

“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”, “thriller”, “christmas”, “december reading”

Random Things Tours – Book Review – When The Lights Go Out by Chris Curran

“A jolt and, ‘oh, god. Oh s**t,’ from the driver’s seat.”

Genre: Psychological Thriller 

Number of Pages: 384

Date of Publication: 8 December 2022

Publisher: One More Chapter

My Review Summary: A gripping tale with suspicious things happening all the time!


Who can you trust…


A group of new friends. But can she trust them?

For struggling actress Ava, landing a role with the Chimera Theatre Group could lead to her big break. And relocating to a remote country village means stepping out from the shadow of her boyfriend—despite his determination not to let her go.

Everyone in the group seems so welcoming, they’re one big happy family. But, like all families, they each have secrets. And someone in the group doesn’t want certain secrets to get out…


I wanted a change to my reading material and thought that this book sounded like something that I would enjoy. I was pleased to be accepted on to the tour and I did enjoy reading it. I haven’t been reading as much as I usually do recently, but this book was easy to read, with plenty of things going on. I was quite happy to be taken on the ride and for things to unravel in their own time. 

The writing was gripping and easy to read. I got through it faster than I thought I would and looked forward to picking it up each day. It had quite a fast pace, with lots of different things happening. These different things kept being added, and whilst most were tied up at the end, there were still a few questions that I wanted answering and character developments that I would have liked to have seen. The ending was certainly interesting. It was left very open and allowed for you as the reader to finish it in your own way. 

The chapters were fairly short, which gave the story it’s fast pace. I also felt like I had achieved something and motored through it. A couple of the chapters were split, but otherwise we just went straight through. 

The story was from the point of view of the main character and had some nice bits of description in it. There was enough detail to give you a good idea of where the main character was and what she was seeing/doing without distracting from the story and slowing it down. It was cleverly done. 

The characters were excellent. I was suspicious of all of them. At one point I wasn’t even convinced about the main character! I would have liked to have seen a bit more about the main character’s “partner”. I was interested in his behaviour and wanted to see how that would all pan out. I also wanted to see more on the main characters parents – there was obviously something more there. 

Lastly the settings. I liked the shared cottage and the different little rooms that they performed in. The size and the nature of the settings helped to add to my suspicions about the characters. The settings were well thought out and suited what was happening in the story well. 

Overall a great story and one that had me hooked from the beginning.


Chris Curran’s sixth psychological suspense novel, When the Lights Go Out, publishes on December 2nd . Chris also writes as Abbie Frost and her latest under that name is The Guesthouse. Her books have been praised in the media as: truly gripping (Sunday Express), dark, claustrophobic and full of suspense (The Courier) addictive and fun (Daily Mail), addictive (The Sun), chilling (Waitrose Magazine) thrilling (Sublime Horror)

Best selling author, Alex Lake, describes The Guesthouse as a: full of suspense…gripping mystery. And Edgar Award winner Alex Marwood calls When the Lights Go Out: wonderfully mystifying and claustrophobic; and sad and thoughtful to boot. Chris also writes short stories and has twice been shortlisted for the CWA Margery Allingham award.

#bookstagram #instabook #bookphotography #igbooks #ilovereading #bookhaul #bookhoarder #bookaddiction #bookstoread #whattoread #fortheloveofbooks #bookblogging #bookpics #weekendreads #bookrecs #booknerdproblems #bookpictures #bookstagram #amreading #booksbooksbooks #instablog #booknerds #bookphotos #bibliophile #blogtour #winterreading #thriller #whenthelightsgoout

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Goodreads Monday (add your links in the comments section for all to see!) – Saving Mr Scrooge by Sharon Booth

Welcome to the home of Goodreads Monday!

Goodreads Monday allows you to post about what books are on your “to read” lists, the progress you have made on your current books and reading challenge, and any other Goodreads news!

✨Don’t forget to add your link in the comments section so that we can all see each other’s posts!✨

The book that I have chosen this week is Saving Mr Scrooge by Sharon Booth (click for link to Goodreads).

Book Description From Goodreads:

“It’s the time of peace on earth and goodwill to all men, but at Carroll’s Confectionary, the meaning of Christmas seems to have been forgotten. New boss, Kit Carroll, is hardly winning friends with his high-handed attitude, his foolhardy approach to production, and his tight-fisted treatment of the factory’s employees.

Marley Jacobs, his self-styled PA, is determined to make him see the error of his ways, and return the festive spirit to Carroll’s Confectionary.

Unfortunately, the little matter of their previous relationship, along with Kit’s callous treatment of her when they were teenage sweethearts, keeps getting in the way of her good intentions.

With encouragement from co-worker Don, romantic sister Olivia, and — astonishingly — the usually sceptical Great Uncle Charles, Marley decides to save this modern-day Mr Scrooge from himself, despite having no well-meaning ghosts to help her.

But revisiting the past doesn’t just stir things up for Kit. As Marley struggles to deal with bittersweet memories, present-day events take a surprising turn. Can the future be changed, after all?

And is it only Kit who needs saving?”

This was added to my Goodreads Want To Read List on 30 November 2020. I love A Christmas Carol and found this, which I thought could be interesting.

Currently Reading (click for links to Goodreads):

Letters From Father Christmas by J R R Tolkien

Christmas At Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown

Progress on my Goodreads Reading Challenge:

I have read 105/97 books!

What book is on your Goodreads list? How is your reading progress and challenge going?

Don’t forget to add your link in the comments so that we can all see each others posts!

#bookstagram #bibliophile #igreads #currentlyreading #bookreview #instaread #lovetoread #booksarelife #readingisfundamental #whatimreading #bookreviewer #bookaddicts #bookpost #tbrpile #justread #bookishphotography #whattoreadnext #readallday #bookworms #booksofinstagram #bookwormproblems #bookaholic #bookpic #newreads #booknerd #goodreads #readingchallenge #goodreadsmonday

“book”, “read”, “book blog”, “don’t miss out”, “what should I read next”, “reading challenge”, “Goodreads”

Sunday Salon

Welcome to my Sunday Salon post! Hosted by Readerbuzz this post is a chance to have a weekly bookish and non-bookish catch up with other bloggers.

What I have been reading this week:

Christmas at Carrington’s by Alexandra Brown (click for link to Goodreads)

Letters from Father Christmas by JRR Tolkien (click for link to Goodreads)

Memes that I have participated in this week:

Goodreads Monday – Hosted by me Budget Tales Book Blog

Top Ten Tuesday – Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

WWW Wednesday – Hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words

Goodreads Top 5 Wednesday – Hosted by Goodreads T5W group

Book Blogger Hop – Hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer

The Friday 56 – Hosted by Freda’s Voice

Sunday Post – Hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer

What else has been happening this week:

Basically nothing, I have caught yet another cold, so even my reading has taken a hit. I have been mainly watching TV as that is all I can “concentrate” on. My mum came round on Thursday after picking me up to collect my son from school (we normally walk home from school, but my son loves Granddad’s car so we treated him!). Saturday we went shopping as I thought that I needed to get out, but I came home feeling my illest yet. Today we are round my partner’s parents house for lunch, but I have been assured that all I be required to do is sit there and be unwell!

I hope that you have had a better week.

#bookstagram #bibliophile #igreads #bookreview #instaread #lovetoread #booksarelife #readingisfundamental #whatimreading #bookreviewer #bookaddicts #bookpost #tbrpile #justread #bookishphotography #whattoreadnext #readallday #bookworms #booksofinstagram #bookwormproblems #bookaholic #bookpic #newreads #booknerd #bibliophile #sundaysalon #winterreading #christmas

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