It’s already July and I haven’t posted this, so I thought I ought to get my act in gear. I had a fabulous week in the glamourous south of France in mid-June and took full advantage of my sun lounger time to read. As the school summer holidays are not far off now, here’s a few of my favourites from the week for some inspiration for your holiday.
Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean
This is an atmospheric and chilling story of the events of one boiling hot summer in a small Australian town when three young girls went missing. Told through the eyes of Tikka – eleven years old at the time and still haunted by the events when she returns to her home town years later – as an adult you have a massive sense of foreboding and quiet horror at the events in the lead up to the disappearance. This is so well written and the descriptions so good that you can feel and almost touch the heat and the unexplained smell of the town. It’s also funny and endearing and if I didn’t find the ending entirely satisfying, I think that may have been part of the point of it.
Fumbled by Alexa Martin
Intercepted was a Book of the Week and this was a runner up in my best new books of 2019 so far but Fumbled deserves more than just a passing mention. As regular readers will know, I’m not a big fan of the secret baby trope, but this one is actually one that worked for me and without making either parent seem like a bad person. The heroine is feisty, the hero actually listens to her and respects her point of view and they talk about their problems rather than ignore them. And I liked that it dealt with the issue of brain injuries in the NFL and in (American) football generally. I like Alexa Martin’s voice and her connection to the game (her husband is an ex-pro) really shines through.
An Act of Villany by Ashley Weaver
This is the fourth in the Amory Ames series of murder mysteries set in the 1930s. This is right in my Daisy Dalrymple/Phryne Fisher sweet spot and with a smart bright young thing married to a reformed (we hope) philanderer. This has a theatre-centric plot that reminded me (in a good way) of the theatre-set installments of Ngaio Marsh’s Alleyn books. The banter is good, the characters are fun – and the central relationship between Amory and Milo is more complicated than the usual husband doesn’t want the wife involved dynamic that you get in a lot of these series.
And on top of all of these, there were lots of Susan Mallery books (mostly from the Fools Gold series), Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents (after I bought it while writing the where to start with Pratchett post), the latest Rivers of London (which is excellent but really needs to be read in series order) as well as BotW pick Maud West.
I haven’t done specific links for purchasing each book today – but these should be easy to find on Kindle or Kobo or to get hold of from your local independent bookseller or Foyles or Waterstones or similar.