Book previews

Out this week: new Kate Clayborn!

It’s nearly the end of January and there’s a bit of a rush of books by authors I like coming out over the next few weeks. Today it’s Kate Clayborn and Georgie, All Along. You may remember that Kate’s previous books, Love Lettering and Love At First were Book of the Week picks here, so I’m a fan (and there’s more tomorrow on that front). This is about a personal assistant who returns to her home town from her hectic life in LA and has to put herself first for once. I’ve started it – and so far, so good! The Ali Hazelwood blurb on the cover is useful – if you like her, you may well like this although Clayborn’s heroine tend to be less tiny woman and HUGE MAN!

Georgie, All Along is out now in Kindle and Kobo in the UK, the paperback comes out here later in the year but I think in the US you can get it today.

Enjoy!

new releases, previews

Out Today: new Amy Lea

Actually this is another of those strange split releases that we seem to be getting so much now as the Kindle edition was out on the 10th, but the paperback is out today. Exes and O’s is the next book in the series that started with Set On You last year. This features unlucky in love Tara, who is revisiting her exes to try and find her shot at a second chance romance with her new flatmate Trevor as her sidekick. I have this on the to-read pile, but haven’t got to it yet, because: Meg Langslow binge, although writing this has reminded me why I really wanted to read it. It’s blurbed by Beth O’Leary and Ali Hazelwood if that helps you make your decision in the absence of a review from me!

Book previews

Anticipated Books 2023

Lets start with authors I love who have new things coming. And the first is Andrew Cartmel – I love the Vinyl Detective books and he has what appears to be a related/in the same world book coming – The Paperback Sleuth: Death in Fine Condition is out in early June and I already have it preordered. A couple of days later there is a new Rivers of London novella (which I also have preordered) – it’s called Winter’s Gifts and that’s about all we know so far. I also have the Tobacco Wives by Adele Myers preordered – I can’t remember where I heard about it at this point, but it’s set in 1946 and is about a young woman taking on Big Tobacco and sounds really intriguing.

There’s a new Max Tudor book out later this year, but before that GM Malliet has the second book in her Augusta Hawke series out – I have it on NetGalley, although I haven’t read the first in the series yet! In fact I have quite a lot of stuff on NetGalley waiting for me. I’d been doing really well at being restrained, and then suddenly a whole bunch of stuff dropped and I got a little request happy. So I have the new Tom Hindle after I enjoyed A Fatal Crossing last year and the new Emily Henry because I loved Book Lovers so much it made my end of year list. Most of the rest are cozy crimes though – for me to try out and see if I like.

And after I had pulled together most of this post, Lucy Parker announced the title of her new book. Which is very, very exciting. You may remember that I binge reread the London Celebrities series last year in the absence of a new Lucy Parker book and this is the much awaited sequel to Battle Royal – which you may remember was a book of the week back in 2021. Yes I’ve got to wait until August for Codename Charming but I will wait happier knowing that it’s coming. The blurb says it’s a fake relationship with a grumpy sunshine couple and I am *very* excited. And it gives me a good excuse to reread Battle Royal too. Bonus.

This has ended up being shorter than I expected – despite the late arriving Lucy Parker – but I’m hoping that’s because the rest of the new books I’m going to love this year haven’t been announced yet! Here’s hoping…

Book of the Week, graphic novels

Book of the Week: Death of a Necromancer

So the first BotW of the new year is the last book that I finished in the old one. Which is sort of cool I think. Anyway, this is a slightly more obscure pick too so that’s fun as well.

Death of a Necromancer is a graphic novel that follows the town of Tibbin and their resident Necromancer Dr Victoria Hedgewood. At the start of the story we see Ralph resurrected after a work place incident and then we jump ahead to a town that seems to be almost more zombie than living. But what do the newly living dead lose in the transition? And is it worth is? Ralph is becoming less and less sure, but Victoria and the town seem dead set on going full steam ahead.

I loved Nick Bryan’s Hobson and Choi mystery novels a few years back and have been watching his graphic novels ever since. Death of a Necromancer is a really engaging read – the story is clever and the art is really, really attractive and (this may sound weird) I love the lettering. This was the subject of a kickstarter campaign to get published – which I backed and that’s how I got my copy (and some extra goodies) – so I don’t actually know how easy this is to get hold of. I know Nick is selling it at conventions he goes to, but beyond that, I’m not sure. But if it does come your way, it’s worth a look.

Happy Reading!

series

Series reminder: TE Kinsey

As I mentioned in the Kindle deals post – the series is on offer at the moment – and it turns out it’s because the new one is out on the 29th, so this Friday I’m taking the opportunity to remind you about the series as well as give you a quick review of the new one – as far as I’m able without spoilers!

You can get the full lowdown in my series post here from June, but the quick set up is that these are late Edwardian/early 1910s murder mystery novels featuring an eccentric widow (but not as old as you think when you see widow!) with a mysterious past and her maid who start solving mysteries after they move to the countryside and stumble upon a body. As the series goes on, extra strands get added and the core group of character widens, but they’re basically pre-World War One historical cozy crime stories.

In the new book, number nine in the series, we’ve reached 1911 and our intrepid duo are at the theatre celebrating Lady Hardcastle’s birthday when murder victim is discovered on stage at the start of the second half. Of course they’re soon investigating and trying to discover what’s going on behind the scenes of the theatre company that could have led to murder. I read it across about 24 hours and really enjoyed it – it was just the break from the day to day that I needed this week. I don’t think you need to have read the rest of the series to enjoy it, although if you have it will obviously work better for you. And as the rest of the series is on Kindle Unlimited at the moment, you can try the series in the next few days ahead of this coming out if you want to.

I got my copy from NetGalley – hence why I’m able to review it a few days before publication – but it looks like it’s going into KU when it comes out as well, so it may just be on Kindle to start with at least. And I’m never sure where this series lands in ease of getting hold of hard copy terms – there is a paperback listed of this new one, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of them in the flesh. I will try and remember to check Foyles next time I’m in there though! And if you want more books set in theatres, I have a whole post of those for you too!

Have a great weekend everyone.

previews, romantic comedy

New this week: Better Than Fiction

Well it was a delightful treat from Past Verity when this dropped onto my Kindle on Tuesday morning – because I had completely forgotten that I had preordered the new Alexa Martin novel! I’ve recommended her football romances before, but I think her last novel and this are moving more towards the Rom com than the straight Rom. I shall report back. This promises a reluctant bookstore owner being converted to book lover by a best selling romance author. I can’t wait!

books, previews

New Phryne Fisher…

As the title says – there is a new Phryne Fisher book! Murder in Williamstown came out in Australia and New Zealand this week. It doesn’t have a UK release date yet – in fact Amazon.co.uk doesn’t even admit it exists at the moment, but it’s a great opportunity to remind you of how much I love Kerry Greenwood’s 1920s Lady Detective via my recent Phryne reread post as well as my original series I love post. Enjoy!

book round-ups, Recommendsday

Recommendsday: October Quick Reviews

As promised yesterday, here is this month’s batch of quick reviews – and stay til the end for the links to the other bits and bobs from this month.

The Hog’s Back Mystery by Freeman Wills Croft

The first of two British Library Crime Classics novels this month, this features a really intriguing series of disappearances. The Hog’s back of the title is a ridge in the North Downs near where Dr James Earl and his wife live. When the doctor disappears from his home, initially it seems like a domestic affair – with a husband giving up on an unhappy marriage, but then other people disappear mysteriously – including one of his house guests. Yesterday I mentioned that the suspense element of When Stars Collide doesn’t follow the rules of mysteries – well this not only follows the rules, at the end when Inspector French is talking you through his solution, it gives you the page numbers for the clues!

Death in the Tunnel by Miles Burton

The second BLCC is a variation on the locked room mystery – with the victim in a compartment on a moving train when he is shot. At first it seems like Sir Wilfred Saxonby has shot him self, but there’s no motive and soon inconsistencies appear and a murder investigation is underway. I had the solution- or most of the solution worked out before the end of this but it was still a good read, although if you’re only going to read one of these, maybe make it Hogs Back because that’s a totally baffling one for a long time.

The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatio Sancho by Paterson Joseph*

This was the very last book I finished in October and definitely deserves its mention here. This fits into the fictionalised real lives genre – in this case the life of a black writer and composer who lived in Regency London. As you might expect there are significant challenges facing him – and they are presented in this in the guise of a diary designed for his son to read when he is older (and it is suggested that Sancho will not be around to tell him them himself). Sancho was born on a slave ship and was given as a gift to three sisters who brought him up to be their servant before he escaped from them. I won’t say much more than that because it gives too much away – maybe I have already. The author is the actor Paterson Joseph who has spent two decades researching the life of his main character which he turned into a play before he wrote this novel.

And there’s a stack of other books I’ve written about – including older lady killers and other adventure stories, plenty of Halloween options if you still want spooky reading but also a really moving memoir and four series to get into

Happy Humpday!

previews

Out Today: Christmas Sarah Morgan!

Yes, it came out in the US last month, but here in the UK today is the day for the Christmas Sarah Morgan novel – this year’s is called Snowed in for Christmas. This is somewhere between a contemporary romance and a women’s fiction novel – yes I know, I’m not a fan of that as a term, but I don’t think there’s another shorthand that works as well – it has a romance at the heart of it but it’s not just a romance, and it feels like it’s not quite the same as Morgan’s previous romances – although you’re still going to get a happy ending. Or at least I hope you are – I haven’t finished it yet!

Book of the Week, memoirs, new releases, non-fiction

Book of the Week: A Pocketful of Happiness

It’s a memoir for this week’s pick – and it’s really good but it’s also heartbreaking. So bear that in mind when picking a moment to read it – I ended up a snotty mess more than once.

Depending on how old you are, you’ll know Richard E Grant for something different. Withnail and I, Spice World, Girls or if you’re my sister me: Jack and Sarah. He was nominated for an Oscar in 2019 for his role in Can You Ever Forgive Me. But what I didn’t know was that he had one of those rare things: a long and happy marriage in showbiz. And I only found that out when I saw his post on social announcing that Joan had died. A Pocketful of Happiness is a memoir of his wife’s illness, intercut with stories from their life together.

Joan Washington was one of the acting world’s leading dialogue and accent coaches. She and Richard met when she taught him at acting school, soon after his arrival in the UK from Swaziland. Ten years older than him and recently divorced, they fell in love when she coached him to help iron out his accent and they stayed together for 38 years.

Richard’s love for Joan shines through in every page of this – but you can also see how loved she was by other people and how much impact she had on their lives. At the end Richard has included some of the tributes to her from people that she worked with – some of which were gathered when her friends tried to get her an honour from the Queen before she died. It’s a memoir of grief and nursing someone through a terminal illness – but it’s also full of wonderfully showbizzy stories. Richard’s unashamed joy at being nominated for an Oscar was obvious at the time – but in this you see the behind the scenes as he goes to the awards season events and meets every famous actor he’s ever dreamed of working with – but also his all time heroine: Barbra Streisand. The showbiz stories help break up the heavy bits but also tie together with the story of the last few months of Joan’s life. It’s one of the best actor memoirs I have recently read – and as you know, there have been a few on the pile!

My copy came from the airport, but it’s out now in hardback, Kindle, Kobo and audiobook – read by Richard himself.

Happy Reading!