Book of the Week, romance

Book of the Week: Count Your Lucky Stars

Did I finish this on Monday? Yes. Am I breaking my rules? Absolutely. Is this perfect? No, but it’s a lot of fun and the issues I have will the last quarter are not uncommon. So this weeks BotW is Alexandria Bellefleur’s Count Your Lucky Stars

This is the third in the Count Your Lucky Stars series – which I’ve read two of now and have the first one waiting to be read at some point in the Misty future when I remember about it. Anyway, this is a second chance romance between Olivia and Margot, who were best friends in high school that turned into something more for a week and then… wasn’t. Now a decade later they meet again because Olivia is planning Margot’s best friend’s wedding. And then Margot accidentally offers Olivia somewhere to stay after Olivia’s apartment is flooded and then it all gets complicated.

Now as I said at the top, for 75 percent of this I was all in. A lot of Margot and Olivia’s issues could be solved by a proper conversation and they had that and I was looking forward to the big finish and then… they had another big misunderstanding/problem that could have been fixed by having a conversation but the author decided to make that impossible. And I get it, I do. You need tension and a final resolution, except that it sort of already felt like a final resolution had happened and I was wondering if the book was going to have a preview of another book as the final ten percent because it felt like it was wrapping up. But it wasn’t. And it still left a plot thread sort of hanging in the resolution. And I realise that now I sound like I didn’t like this, but I actually did. There is witty dialogue and a fun group of friends and an amusing cat. I just wanted them to have a conversation to sort stuff out!

Anyway, I know that usually I’m complaining about romances wrapping up too quickly and here I am sort of grousing about one that doesn’t do that, but hey, I’m allowed to be inconsistent. This is a fun contemporary romance with a nice group of central characters and a cat. What’s not to enjoy.

My copy came from the library, but it’s out now on Kindle and Kobo and in paperback – Foyles even have it in stock in some stores.

Happy Reading!

Book of the Week, detective, Forgotten books

Book of the Week: The Lake Disrict Murder

It’s nearly the end of March and I’m back to some classic crime and another British Library Crime Classic for this week’s pick.

This is the first of John Bude’s Inspector Meredith series and sees the detective investigation what appears to be the suicide of one of the co-owners of a petrol station in a deserted corner of the Lake District. The dead man was due to get married and as Meredith investigates he discovers a plan to emigrate after the marriage. And when he digs a bit deeper he discovered suspicious going’s on at the garage. What follows is a complicated plot involving all sorts of aspects of rural life that I can’t really go into with spoiling things!

This isn’t the first book in this series I’ve read and the Sussex Downs Murder was a book of the week as well when I read that five years ago. I’ve had this on my radar and been wanting to read this and waiting for this to come into my hands for a while. It’s really cleverly done, a little bit bonkers in its own way and also a lovely window onto 1930s life, which I really enjoyed. Definitely worth a couple of hours of your life if you can get hold of it. I’ve got the next book, The Cheltenham Square Murder, lined up to read already.

My copy came from the Willen Hospice bookshop, but it’s available on Kindle, Kobo and from the British Library themselves. It was in Kindle Unlimited when I started writing this post, but it’s dropped back out now and the cover has even changed. A couple of the other books in the series are in KU at the moment though, so if you want to try some John Bude, there is that option for you if you’re a subscriber.

Happy Reading!

Book of the Week, historical

Book of the Week: Better Luck Next Time

And for the third week in a row I’ve picked something other than romance or mystery for BotW. Today we’re in the historical fiction portion of my reading life for one of my library books that was coming due and which I really did enjoyed as I read it over the weekend.

It’s 1938 and Ward is a cowboy working at a dude ranch just outside Reno that caters to women who are visiting town to get a quickie divorce. To qualify for a divorce, they need to satisfy the residency requirements and that’s where the Flying Leap fits in – we’re told it was even designed by a Hollywood set designer. Ward’s family lost their money in the Great Depression – which also forced him to drop out of university and he’s got the job at the Flying Leap because of his handsome good looks. No one at the ranch knows about his somewhat well heeled previous life and he likes to keep it that way, enjoying the assumptions that the guests make about him – they think he’s pretty but dumb and using his looks to try and get ahead. He, in return, thinks he has the women who visit the ranch all figured out, but one particular group are different. Among them is Nina, the heiress and aviatrix, back for her third divorce and Emily who says the bravest thing she has ever done is to drive to the ranch leaving her cheating husband behind. Over the course of their stay friendships and relationships are made and broken.

Don’t worry, it’s not miserable, for all that I’ve put broken in that last sentence. It’s a cleverly put together glimpse at the six weeks at the ranch that changed Ward’s life. It’s more bittersweet than anything else, if we’re using book blurb code phrases, and it is not a romance – if you’re a romance reader, I’ve described this as historical fiction for a reason! But if you want some 1930s hi jinx with an interesting premise that I hadn’t come across before, then this would make a great choice for your sun lounger or sofa.

As I said at the top, my copy of Better Luck Next Time came from the library but it turns out that I’ve managed to be accidentally timely as it comes ot in paperback this Thursday! It’s hard to work out if it’ll be available in stores, but I suggest it’s going to be an order in job as that’s what her other novels are on Foyles’ website. But of course it’s available on Kindle and Kobo as well as in audiobook from the usual sources.

Happy Reading!

Authors I love, books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: March 7 – March 13

So I didn’t go to the theatre last week, but it was another busy one. A real mix of reading too – with a few library books coming due that I finished off and more of the aforementioned Sookie Stackhouse reread as well. Probably not making as much progress on the NetGalley list as I should be so might have to tackle that a bit more this week…

Read:

Summer Nights with a Cowboy by Caitlin Crews*

Sprig Muslin by Georgette Heyer

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Better Luck Next Time by Julia Claibourne Johnson

The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict

Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

Started:

The Editor by Steven Rowley

The Family You Make by Jill Shalvis

The Radical Element ed Jessica Spotswood*

It Takes Two by Cathy Newman*

Still reading:

The Story of a Life by Konstantin Paustovsky*

Worn by Sofi Thanhauser*

Paper Lion by George Plimpton

Fire Court by Andrew Taylor*

The Start of Something by Miranda Dickinson*

I had a mega book buying spree – Virago were doing their designer hardbacks at fifty percent off and I filled in a few gaps in the collection. I just couldn’t help myself.

Bonus photo: I know, not the most exciting picture this week, but at least it looks a bit like spring is coming – this was Fitzroy Square on the walk to work last week!

 

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley. ** indicates it was an advance copy from a source other than NetGalley

 

Authors I love, books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: February 28 – March 6

As I mentioned on Saturday, this week hasn’t really been any better than last week and was certainly as busy. I’m still deep into the mystery and romance section of my tbr shelves (physical and virtual) because I can’t deal with any more uncertainty right now, but I did finish two non-fiction books last week, which were eyeopening and depressing for completely different reasons, so I’m not all happy endings and resolutions. This week coming, I’m in the office again for at least one day, so there will be some train reading, and it’s also the first week in six (!) that I don’t have a theatre trip booked. And now that I’ve worked that out and written that down, I realise how much theatre I’ve done over the last month, and am also wondering if I can squeeze a trip to something in this week too. I mean after all it really does lift my mood…

Read:

Silver Street by Ann Stafford

The Unknown Ajax by Georgette Heyer

Sex Cult Nun by Faith Jones

Cold Clay by Juneau Black*

The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer

Unnatural Death by Dorothy L Sayers

Get Rich or Lie Trying by Symeon Brown*

Island of the Mad by Laurie R King

Who’s Calling by Helen McCloy*

Started:

Summer Nights with a Cowboy by Caitlin Crews*

Still reading:

The Story of a Life by Konstantin Paustovsky*

Worn by Sofi Thanhauser*

Paper Lion by George Plimpton

Fire Court by Andrew Taylor*

The Start of Something by Miranda Dickinson*

Bonus photo: I could have done another photo of a theatre before a show, because I went to see Bedknobs and Broomsticks on stage on Friday night, but I thought that might be gratuitous theatre pictures, so instead I offer you my Saturday night on the sofa with a book. Because if I’m not at work or at the theatre, that’s my default spot right now!

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley. ** indicates it was an advance copy from a source other than NetGalley

 

Book of the Week, Forgotten books

Book of the Week: Silver Street

I said yesterday that I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today – and here’s the answer – I finished this on Monday evening, so it’s a bit of a cheat but hey you’re used to that now!

Ann Stafford’s Silver Street follows a group of people from Armistice Day in 1918 through til 1932. Although initially unconnected, by the end their lives have all intertwined, mostly because of Alice Gedge a former ladies maid who ended the war as a supervisor of a group of clerks at a Ministry but who, when the men return becomes a “treasure” – aka a rather superior sort of daily maid to the residents of a building in Silver Street. Over the years the tenants include an elderly woman who likes to hold court for her birthday, a spinster who works as a social worker, two independent young women, a newly married couple and a single young man. And on top of that there’s Alice’s husband and her two children.

This is quite an every day story of normal people and normal lives – where there is no huge drama, I mean except your future happiness, but not death or peril if that makes sense. It’s not comic, but it’s not tragic – it’s closer to Barbara Pym than Miss Buncle but it’s another example of a novel by a women, first published in 1935 and now a bit forgotten and as such was right in my wheelhouse. And yes I know that Barbara Pam isn’t forgotten, but you know what I mean. I read it in two sittings – and it would have been finished for last week’s list if we hadn’t gone out for the day on Sunday and I didn’t have space in my bag to take it with me – even if I hadn’t borrowed it from someone and not wanted to mess it up!

My copy is on loan from a friend and this is going to be one of the harder books to get hold of I’m afraid – as it’s published by a small house and there is no ebook version. So if you want to read it, please buy it from Greyladies here. And mum, if you’re still reading and haven’t already messaged me to ask, yes, you can borrow it.

Happy Reading!

Authors I love, books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: February 21 – February 27

Well. It really was quite a week wasn’t it. I mean so much going on. So very, very much. And as you might be able to tell, I’ve plunged into a massive Sookie Stackhouse re-read to deal with it all as well as listening to Georgette Heyer and Amelia Peabody. It’s been delightful, but I have actually no idea what I’m going to write about tomorrow. I’m sure I’ll work it out though.

Read:

Death by Intermission by Alexis Morgan

Pat’s Pantry by Rhoda Baxter

The Case of the Late Pig by Margery Allingham

Dead until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris

These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer

The Ape Who Guards the Balance by Elizabeth Peters

Club Dead by Charlaine Harris

Started:

Silver Street by Ann Stafford

The Start of Something by Miranda Dickinson*

Still reading:

The Story of a Life by Konstantin Paustovsky*

Worn by Sofi Thanhauser*

Paper Lion by George Plimpton

Sex Cult Nun by Faith Jones

Fire Court by Andrew Taylor*

Bonus photo: We went to London on Sunday for a day out and so here is a picture of Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial looking delightful in the wintry sunshine, just after the Changing of the Guard finished.

Buckingham Palace and the Victoria Memorial on Sunday Morning

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley. ** indicates it was an advance copy from a source other than NetGalley

 

Authors I love, books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: February 14 – February 20

An interesting week in reading – revisiting an old friend in Sookie Stackhouse and also re-reading Thrones, Dominations for the first time in a few years and in the light of my newly intensive listening of the proper Peter and Harriet books. Then I got a couple more states ticked off the map of America with a couple more books in cozy crime series that I like – and when my library hold for Well Matched came in. Really quite a satisfying week in reading.

Read:

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder by Joanna Fluke

Home Work by Julie Andrews

Thrones, Dominations by Dorothy L Sayers and Jill Paton Walsh

The Complete Sookie Stackhouse Stories by Charlaine Harris

Playing for Love by Jeevani Charika*

Pumpkin Spice Peril by Jen McKinlay

Well Matched by Jen De Luca

Started:

Sex Cult Nun by Faith Jones

Fire Court by Andrew Taylor*

Death by Intermission by Alexis Morgan

Still reading:

The Story of a Life by Konstantin Paustovsky*

Worn by Sofi Thanhauser*

Paper Lion by George Plimpton

Bonus photo:  I went to the theatre – again – last week, so it’s another gratuitous theatre photo – this time from the Six the Musical tour.

Shot of a the stage for Six the musical before it started

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley. ** indicates it was an advance copy from a source other than NetGalley

 

Authors I love, books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: February 7 – February 13

Another really busy week, finishing in me staying up until all hours on Sunday night watching the Rams win the Super Bowl. I continue to try and work my way through the Paustovsky, but it is slow going and other books are really quite tempting as being easier and lighter going…

Read:

Death Goes on Skis by Nancy Spain

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

Shady Hollow by Juneau Black*

The Prize Racket by Isabel Rogers

Rivers of London: Monday, Monday by Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel et al

Prologue to Murder by Lauren Elliot

Busman’s Honeymoon by Dorothy L Sayers

Started:

Paper Lion by George Plimpton

Lemon Meringue Pie Murder by Joanna Fluke

Still reading:

The Story of a Life by Konstantin Paustovsky*

Home Work by Julie Andrews

Worn by Sofi Thanhauser*

Three pre-orders and another Nancy Spain. All in actual copies. I don’t think I bought any kindle books last week, which might be a record in recent weeks…

Bonus photo: Another week – another trip to the theatre. This time it was to see Heathers at The Other Palace. I did three theatre trips in nine days – which is almost back to pre-pandemic levels so was really quite reassuring and normal!

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley. ** indicates it was an advance copy from a source other than NetGalley

 

Authors I love, books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week in Books: January 31 – February 6

Okay – blimey Charlie the Konstantin Paustovsky is long. And I also had two nights out in London last week. So the Still Reading list is looking longer – as the Nancy Spain and the Julie Andrews are actual books. But I might have finished one of them if it wasn’t for the arrival of The Two Mrs Abbotts on Saturday – which was my first pick from the Persephone Book a Month subscription I got given for Christmas, and which I just couldn’t resist reading straightaway!

Read:

The Missing Page by Cat Sebastian

Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L Sayers

The Smuggler’s Secret by Annabelle Sami*

Flying High by Perdita Cargill*

The Dead Side of the Mike by Simon Brett

Seeing a Large Cat by Elizabeth Peters

The Two Mrs Abbotts by D E Stevenson

Started:

Shady Hollow by Juneau Black*

The Prize Racket by Isabel Rogers

Still reading:

Death Goes on Skis by Nancy Spain

The Story of a Life by Konstantin Paustovsky*

Home Work by Julie Andrews

Worn by Sofi Thanhauser*

Bonus photo: As part of the London trip on Saturday, as well as going to see Elizabeth and Mary, we went for a wander around the National Gallery, where as well as seeing the Blue Boy, I spotted this rather faboulous John Singer Sargent.

An * next to a book title indicates that it came from NetGalley. ** indicates it was an advance copy from a source other than NetGalley