Book of the Week

Book of the Week: One For The Money

I know, I know.  I’m repeating an author again, but Janet Evanovich’s One For The Money was my highest rated book that I read last week – and it seemed churlish not to give it book of the week.  Trouble is, as I said a week or so back, I think Evanovich may be my new obsession, so there’s no guarantee that one of her books won’t crop up here again in the near future.  Here’s hoping that the to-read pile also contains lots of other really good books so that I can get some variety going on…

My retro looking Penguin edition of One For The Money


So, One For The Money is the first book in the Stephanie Plum series – which has now run to twenty-one novels – with a twenty-second due out this year.  As a side point, I love discovering a series like this when it’s been going a while – it means you have lots of time with the characters and lots of things to discover, before you reach the point where you have to wait a year for the next book to come out so you can get your fix.

Anyhow, I digress.  When we meet Stephanie Plum she has lost her job as a lingerie buyer for a very third-rate company.  Her flat is emptying of possessions as she hocks them to make rent, and a repo man is following her trying to take her car back. Her mum sends her over to her cousin Vinnie – who needs a secretary for his bail bond company, but Stephanie ends up blackmailing him into letting her take on a case to try to make some quick cash.  Trouble is the man she’s trying to bring in is her high school crush come hate figure.  And he’s a cop on the run from some very dangerous people…

I laughed out loud on the train reading this – several times – drawing a level of scrutiny from my fellow passengers that I try to avoid.  It’s a bit out of my comfort zone in terms of my usual type of crime novels (you’ll have noticed by now that I tend towards the cozy and the Golden Age end of the spectrum) but it’s so funny that it didn’t bother me that the violence and suspense level was a step up from what I usually read.*

Stephanie is a little bit too dependent on getting herself helped out of trouble that she’s walked herself into for my liking, but I’m putting that down to the fact that she’s walked into bounty hunting with no clue what she’s doing and without the requisite skills – which is naive and foolhardy almost beyond belief, but I went with it because the book swings along at such a pace that you only really think about that once it’s over – because you’re laughing and turning pages too fast to notice!

I put an order in for book two within 24 hours of finishing book 1 (it’s been dispatched!)and I’m hoping that as Steph wises up, she doesn’t lose the humour and fin that I’ve enjoyed so much in this first book.  Cross your fingers for me!

You should be able to buy your copy of One for the Money from the usual suspects –  Amazon, Waterstones and Foyles – although I haven’t been able to find it on Kindle or Kobo.

* And it’s not much worse, really, than some of the crime-y thriller-y sections that you get in some of Charlaine Harris’s novels.

stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: April 20 – April 26

A real mix of books this week – some good and some bad – with a bit of a run on Geek Girl and mysteries of various types.


Trick or Treat by Kerry Greenwood

The One and Only by Emily Giffin

Model Misfit by Holly Smale

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

Picture Perfect by Holly Smale

Due or Die by Jenn McKinlay

The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman by Mamen Sanchez


The Devil You know by Elisabeth de Mariaffi

To Wed a Wild Lord by Sabrina Jeffries

The Sudden Departure of the Frasers by Louise Candlish

Silent in the Sanctuary by Deanna Raybourn

Still reading:


I gave up on The Kadin by Bertrice Small – too old school romance for me – I got a quarter of the way through and just couldn’t cope with it.

I bought the next Stephanie Plum and one e-book mystery – quite good for me…

Book of the Week, historical, literary fiction

Review: Letters to the Lost

Another bonus review on the blog today – Iona Grey’s Letters to the Lost.  This was my Curtis Brown Book Group book for March – and it would have been my book of the week back when I read it – except that it was a month from it’s release at the time, and I hate reading reviews of books and then not being able to buy them *rightnow*.  So here we are, the book comes out today and I can tell you about it.

Iona Grey's Letters to the lost
My copy was an advance copy – so my cover is different to the “proper” one

In modern day London, Jess breaks into an empty house to hide after running away from her violent boyfriend.  The next morning, a mysterious letter arrives at the house, and after opening it, Jess is drawn into the story of two lovers in 1942 – Stella and Dan, who is a US airman.  And in keeping with my no spoilers policy*, that’s about all I’m going to tell you about the plot.

I’m not usually one for a weepy – and you know from very early on that there are going to be tears involved in this – but I absolutely loved this book.  The characters felt real, the places felt real and the crying was definitely very real.  I had very definite views about what I wanted to happen to some of the characters (which didn’t always come true) and wanted it to be longer – even though it’s already really quite long.

So if you like timeslips, weepies, World War 2 set epic romances and non sappy saga-y type books, this may be for you.  It’d make a great holiday read – and if you’re a “normal” reader (which apparently I’m not, the speed I go through stuff) it’d probably last you a few days at the beach!

As I said, I got my copy in advance because I’m lucky enough to be in Curtis Brown’s Book group, but you can get your copy from Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles and for a bargain £3.99 (at time of writing) on Kindle.

* A policy which I’m increasingly realising means that I can’t say a lot of things that I really want to about books, but which stops me from being that person I hate, who ruins plots and shocks and reveals and spoils people’s enjoyment of books, so it stays!

Book of the Week, Fantasy, new releases, reviews, Uncategorized

Book of the Week: Prudence

This week’s BotW is Gail Carriger’s latest – Prudence – and you can’t say that I didn’t warn you that this might happen.  Because I did, even if it’s a few weeks later than I thought it might turn up here.  And that’s because I took an executive decision to save it for my holiday book – for our trip (to Vienna in the end) to mark a Significant Birthday for The Boy.  A holiday book should be a treat, preferably something that you know you’re not going to hate, and as it was already on the to-read pile, saving this meant I didn’t incur the wrath of The Boy for buying books again…

Gail Carriger's Prudence
I really like the purple and pink theme. And I’m not usually a pink person…

Anyway, Prudence is the first book in Carriger’s new series – the Custard Protocol.  Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate and Finishing School books, there are some familiar faces, not least Prudence herself – last seen as a toddler in the Parasol Protectorate series. When Rue is given a dirigible, she names it The Spotted Custard and heads for India on a secret mission.  But the situation there is not as simple as she had been lead to believe (and that wasn’t that simple to start with) and before long she’s dealing with dissidents, kidnappings and a pack of Scottish werewolves and it will take all her metanatural skills to deal with it.

Now, I’ve read all (I think) of Carriger’s other series, but I don’t think it would spoil your enjoyment of the book if you haven’t read them* as Carriger has been very careful not to give away too many spoilers for the plots of her previous books.**  However, for those of us who have read the previous books, you get the delicious enjoyment of being better informed about the past than our heroine, and equally delightful anticipation of confrontations and revelations yet to come.

When I read Timeless, I spotted a few dangling threads left that I hoped were teasers of stuff yet to come – and I was on the right track.   Again, my spoiler policy makes it difficult to be more specific than that, but I really like the direction that this series looks to be heading in.  The only problem with having read Prudence in fact is that I now have to wait (probably) a year to find out what happens next in Imprudence – and it’s still more than six months until the final Finishing School book – Manners and Mutiny – where I finally get to find out how Sophronia’s world became Alexias.

You can buy Prudence from all the usual sources – like Amazon, Waterstones and Foyles and Kindle.  I’ve also spotted it in  my local library already – which I haven’t seen before – and is brilliant, because hopefully it’ll introduce more people to Gail Carriger and then they can fall in love with her world like I have.

* Although the Parasol Protectorate is the more relevant to this book if you want somewhere to start

** Although the identity of Rue’s parents is a bit of a spoiler for Souless, there’s no way to avoid that!

stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: April 13 – April 19

No work this week –  we went to Vienna for five dates to celebrate a Significant Birthday for The Boy with Wiener Schnitzel and Art Nouveau.  The reading was mostly light and fluffy and frivolous.


Geek Girl by Holly Smale

All Fired Up by Vivian Arend

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

The Murder at Sissingham Hall by Clara Benson

Prudence by Gail Carriger

The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki

Stanley Chambers and the Problem of Evil by James Runcie


The One and Only by Emily Giffin

The Kadin by Bertrice Small

Trick or Treat by Kerry Greenwood

Still reading:


I may have had a weak moment on Monday night and ordered some Janet Evanovich after last week’s revelation…

Book of the Week

Book of the Week: Wicked Business

This week’s BotW changed on Sunday afternoon – which is quite last minute for me. As is usual by that stage in the week I had a novel in mind as my favourite of the week – and had even got as far as thinking about what i was going to say (but not as far as drafting it!).  Then I picked up Janet Evanovich’s Wicked Business which I’d borrowed from the library the previous day…

My hardback library copy

This is the second book in Evanovich’s Lizzy and Diesel series,* following a cupcake baker with special powers and her mysterious and supernaturally gifted partner in crime. I’m clearly missing some of the back story, because I’m pitching up in a well established universe midway through a series which I think is a spin off in its own right. But golly I had a ball reading this and I’m residing the urge to go out and buy a whole load more of Evanovich’s books. I read this in one sitting, curled up under the blanket on the sofa, ignoring the rest of the world! It perfectly fitted my state of mine after doing a nightshift on Saturday night.

They’re not at all the same thing really, but this reminded me of the feeling that I get from reading a good Charlaine Harris novel. But funnier and with less biting! Several people have recommended Janet Evanovich to me at various points and if they’re all as much fun as this, I think her books may be my next obsession. And that is not good news for reducing the to-read pile because a new obsession always ends up with me going on a buying binge…

* I thought it was the first, but the books were listed in reverse order in the front and I didn’t notice, which is stupid of me because Evanovich’s other series has numbers in the titles!

stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: April 6 – April 12

This week I have been mostly tackling some of the longest standing overdue books from my NetGalley list. The good news is, that everything that is left on the list is now something that was published this year.  Which is a big step forward!


Mapp and Lucia by E F Benson

The Great Christmas Knit Off by Alexandra Brown

All About Love by Stephanie Laurens

The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths

What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

The Importance of Being Alice by Katie MacAlister

It Girl by Nic Tatano

The Affair by Gill Paul

Spirits, Stilettos and a Silver Bustier by Deanna Chase

Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich

Summer at Castle Stone by Lynn Marie Hulsman


Stanley Chambers and the Problem of Evil by James Runcie

Still reading:


A one-off Saturday nightshift lead to a little bit of book purchasing, but I’ve been very good really.  I even took some library books back (after reading them).  Although I did then borrow some more…