Friday, 22 September 2023

Audiobook Review - The Wife In The Photo

Hey Siri, please play “No Body, No Crime” by Taylor Swift.

Right, now we’ve got the right back music, let’s talk about The Wife In The Photo by Emily Shanter, shall we?

Title and Author: The Wife in the Photo by Emily Shiner
Publisher: Bookoutrue Audio
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Audiobook gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review/reaction

Evan Warner needs help. He and his daughter, Jessica, are struggling to cope after the death of his wife, Lola, and the house has become too much. He needs a housekeeper. Someone to take the pressure off for a while. So, when his PA at work mentions Ariel, someone from her church who would be perfect as his temporary housekeeper, he jumps at the chance.

But Ariel isn’t who she says she is. She knows that Lola’s death wasn’t a tragic accident. She’s positive that Evan killed Lola. And she’s going to prove it…

Monday, 18 September 2023

Another DNF Post

I doin’t often chat about quitting reads on here. I think I am more open about quitting reads or knowing when books aren’t for me, but there is a bit of a guilt and (dare I say it?) shame about quitting a book or an audiobook. I mean, before I started book blogging, I used to quit reads left, right and centre. I had no shame or guilt over it. It might be my mood at the time, the writing, the story, an element or plot twist that didn’t work. There are hundreds of reasons why we as readers quit books or audiobooks. And that’s ok. 

However, when I started book blogging, I felt this guilt over quitting reads and I spent many years reading every books I started and reviewing them. Even if I didn’t like them. 

Now, am more ok with quittting/DNFing. Same goes with writing up my thoughts on every book (I chat about them on social media) on here. But two books I have tried just didn’t work and I wanted to chat about them because these are big deal books. Books I should love but nope, they just didn’t work.

Wednesday, 6 September 2023

Mini-Review Time!

I thought I would have got these both finished in August. I didn’t. I finished the first on the 2nd September and the other the following day, on the 3rd. And they are so far removed from each other, I felt that it should be fun to put them in a same blog post (not sure why). 

The first is Spiced Kisses by Charlie Novak, an MM low angst romance set in the lead up for Christmas and the other is The Doctor’s Widow by Daniel Hurst, sequel to The Doctor’s Wife, a domestic thriller. 

Spiced Kissses is the third book in the Kiss Me series (I haven’t read either the first or second book in this series, Strawberry Kisses and Summer Kisses - will add these to my Kindle wish list) but we follow Ben and Ianto. Ben is co-owner of the Pear Tree pub and is just trying to get through the upcoming hell known as Christmas. But when he breaks his collarbone at rugby, he finds himself spending time with Ianto, who feels guilty for the accident. Unbeknownst to either of them, they have a crush on each other… will Christmas bring this grumpy Yorkshire men and Christmas-loving Welshman together?

In The Doctor’s Widow, we pick up the story several months after the events of The Doctor’s Wife. Fern has gotten away with it. Away with murdering her adulterous husband, framing his mistress for his murder and killing the mistress’s husband to keep the truth from coming out. She just wants to put the past behind her and move on with her life. A new life with Roger, a man she is falling for. But Roger isn’t who she think he is. In fact, Roger isn’t Roger at all… 

The Doctor’s Widow was gifted by the UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, FYI. 

Tuesday, 29 August 2023

Audiobook Review - Witches Aboard

I’ve been holding off reading/audio booking this Discworld novel. I wanted to do a few others before I tackled this one as this one intrigues me. I wanted to do one of the City Watch books (Guards! Guards!), a standalone (The Truth) or a Death novel (reread Reaper Man or try Soul Music). But, in the end, I had to read more of Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Oog. It would be rude not to!

Title and Author: Witches Aboard by Terry Pratchett
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Audiobook borrowed via Library’s BorrowBox app  
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Stories have powers, and we all know the fairy tales of our children: the shoe fits Cinderella, True Love’s kiss awakens the sleeping princess, the Yellow Brick Road leads to the Great City. But this is the Discworld, and stories take a life of their own. 

Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Oog and Magrat Garlick are tasked to travel to the city of Genua to stop a wedding and save the kingdom. Easy, right? But stories have power and how can you fight a Happily Ever After, especially one that has a glass slipper, a ball and a Fairy Godmother who is determined to get the happy ending, even if no one else wants it?

Tuesday, 22 August 2023

Audiobook Review - The Bone Hacker

Kathy Reichs is one of my favourite crime writers (I have a few that I have a soft spot for), and after having fun with Tempe’s Brennan’s previous outing, Cold Cold Bones, and my plans to try and read some of her earlier novels (mostly rereads, with one or two noticeable expectations), I knew I had to get Bone Hacker, and preordered it, ready. 

Title and Author: The Bone Hacker by Kathy Reichs
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
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Called in to examine what is left of a body struck by lightning, forensic anthropologist Dr Tempe Brennan traces an unusual tattoo on the body and finds herself looking into another, much larger case. Young handsome men – all tourists – have been disappearing on the islands of Turks and Caicos for years. Seven years ago, the first victim was found with his left hand cut off; the other visitors vanished without a trace.

Against her better judgement, Tempe finds herself getting involved in the case and what starts as possible gang violence turns into something much, much bigger...

Thursday, 10 August 2023

eProof Review - Open Throat

I have no idea how am going to write this write-up for Open Throat by Henry Hoke. It’s one of those books that I only came across because I saw a tweet on Twitter - sorry, X (let’s not get into my thoughts over this AWFUL rebranding) - and I went “what is this weirdness?!” 

Title and Author: Open Throat by Henry Hoke
Publisher: Picador
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction
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A mountain lion roams the drought-ridden hills of Hollywood. He is hungry but watches and protects the humans at their homeless encampment. But when he is forced to leave them, he finds himself in the heart of LA, he begins to wonder: whether he wants to eat one or be one?

Tuesday, 8 August 2023

Unscheduled Blog Break

Oh, the joys of reading/blogging burnout. Aren’t it grand?!

So yeah, my brain wasn’t happy with me last month so decided to “Nope!” itself out of here while I was planning to read a few short novels/short story collections and then indulge myself into slowly reading Cassandra Clare’s upcoming adult fantasy novel, Sword Catcher (which I got at an bookish event that I was very excited to be invited and go to. Second bookish event of the year that I managed to go to - and be invited to as I am not longer youthful or down with the kids with TikTok & Threads [innit?])

But nope, not happened like I planned. I still am reading Sword Catcher and I am enjoying the world and sinking into it. I am going to enjoy taking my time over this so no rushing me on this one as I want to savour!

I have done some short, quick reads (a novella [mini-review for that is coming], a short story prequel to a MM romance series I started via audiobook & the first book in that series [yes, a reread - sometimes, you need a platter cleanser] and sample chapters of an recently released novel [which am in two minds about finishing as, while good in places, I wasn’t completely sold on finishing]) and I am going to try and do a few audiobooks this month - should I make this month an audiobook only reading month?

So, yeah, last few weeks hasn’t been great. But am slowly getting back on track with my reading and audiobooking by allowing myself to not worry about it. Easier said than done. I am a worry wart at heart and things do get the best of me, but I feel like with my reading and blogging, I can allow myself to go “ok, I have blogged and read solidly for over 12 years now. I am allowed to not blog everything I read.”
So, that’s what I’m going to do. Take my time, blog not every book and audiobook, and think of some new ideas for fun blogging. I have ideas… let’s see if I follow through with them…

But yes, here I am, once again. Slowly trying to get out of a funk of my own making. Hopefully, normal service will resume shortly with a slightly different twist.

Thursday, 13 July 2023

Audiobook Review - The Housekeepers

One of my favourite podcasts, All About Agatha, have a saying as they read and review each Agatha Christie novel: never underestimate the help. And this couldn't be more true for The Housekeepers by Alex Hay. 

Title and Author: The Housekeepers by Alex Hay
Publisher: Headline
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof and Audiobook gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction
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When housekeeper, Mrs King, is dismissed from her role at a luscious house in Mayfair, she has a plan. A plot that has been brewing for quite some time. She plans to pull off one of the biggest heist from her former employer. And she knows who she can call on to pull it off... 

A black-market queen, an actress, a seamstress, a former housekeeper. All have a reason for the heist to work. But can they pull it off while the Mistress of the house is planning to host the biggest ball of the season?

Monday, 10 July 2023

eBook Review - HappyHead

I've been sitting on this review for a while as I'm not sure how to write it. Even now, I'm still not exactly sure how I feel about this, but I wanted to show you guys that I have read this. 

The backstory to this is the same as some of my other reads of late: I originally had an eProof from the lovely publisher via NetGalley. However, over Easter weekend, my Amazon was hacked/deleted, all my eProofs got wiped off my kindle. But, I saw this on sale for 99p, I bought it without a second thought, as this book intrigued me as soon as I first heard it. 

Title and Author: HappyHead by Josh Silver
Publisher: Rock The Boat
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought but I did have eProof via NetGalley in exchange for honest review/reaction
Buy From (Affiliate): 

When Seb is offered a place at a radical retreat to tackle the national crisis of teenage unhappiness, he is determined to do well. But he find himself being pulled to the mysterious Finn, Seb begins to realise that there's something deeply wrong with HappyHead as the tasks that are meant to be help their wellbeing become more and more disturbing...

Wednesday, 21 June 2023

Quickie Catch-Up

It’s been a while since I actually sat down and wrote a post about reading. I have been radio-silence for a while for a few weeks (sorry about that). Let me explain why it’s taken so long – laziness. There’s no other excuse. Sometimes, you need to reset and take your time to enjoy yourself. I don’t need to review every story I read/audiobook, right? Plus I did start then put down several titles because I wasn’t in the right mindset for them (Broken Light by Joanne Harris, Old Babes In The Wood by Margaret Atwood, and several others).

Also, I was binge-watching a lot of TV. I have, finally, caught up with Succession (well, that didn’t go in a direction I was expecting and, at the same time, it did. Satisfyingly so) and I have started Pokerface (which I am thoroughly enjoying).

So, here I am. Touching base with a small write up on a few books I’ve read and maybe a plan for the next few weeks as I’m thinking of taking a short blog holiday at the end of July/start of August. Just for a week or two, nothing major, but want to do some other non-blog related things before I can back for a summer of reading (I feel like I should have a theme for August reading. Thoughts?)

Since my last posts (Sara Barnard’s Where the Light Goes and Tales from Beyond the Raindow by Pete Jordi Wood), I have read/audiobook three books and just started a book (which I am going to mention before I sign off this post) and I am going to touch all each of the read titles now. Now, all of these were gifted to me from publishers either direct or via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and, if I can, I will include affiliate links for these titles, though I believe one is only available as an ebook at the present so no link to that one, sadly.

Friday, 9 June 2023

Blog Tour Review - Tales from Beyond The Rainbow

Another day, another blog tour review. And this is so up my street that as soon as Bee from Kaleidoscopic Tours emailed about this title, I instantly emailed back and went "PLEASE LET ME BE INVOLVED! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!"

And here we are!

Title and Author: Tales from Beyond the Rainbow by Pete Jordi Wood
Publisher: Puffin
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by UK publisher and PR Blog Tour Company, Kaleidoscopic, in exchange for an honest review/reaction for blog tour. 
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There are fairy tales and folklore that time has forgotten or concealed in one form or another. This could be for a number of reasons. They became out of fashion. The morale of the story doesn't fit with the changing world. Or because the stories in question tackle the issue of gender and sexual identity, and all end (mostly) with happy ever afters. 

In this collection of short fairy tales and folklore from around the world (ranging from Germany, Russia, China, Taiwan, Cape Verde, Canada and other corners of the world), Pete Jordi Wood has collected and adapted them, each illustrated by an artist who shares heritage with he culture of where the stories have come from.

Tuesday, 6 June 2023

Mini-Review - Where The Light Goes

I've been sitting on writing this review for several reasons. The first is I really needed to think about how I was going to write this. This book was SO GOOD, and yet, point out that there are trigger warnings to you guys. The second was time. I just didn't seem to have the time since I finished this book to actually write a review down. And the third was the recent news in the UK about ... yeah ... 

Title and Author: Where The Light Goes by Sara Barnard
Publisher: Walker Books
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by Walker Books in exchange for an honest review/reaction. 
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Friday, 19 May 2023

Audiobook Review - The Witch In The Well

Title and Author:
The Witch In The Well by Camilla Bruce
Publisher: Transworld
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof Gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction, though I listened to audiobook, borrowed from local library
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Hundreds of year ago, the town of F- did something bad. Even now, the ripples of that event affects the town and Catherine Evans has been researching and writing a novel about what happened when Ilsbeth Clark drowned in the local well when the townsfolk accused her of being a witch. According to Catherine Ilsbeth wasn't a witch, but a woman who knew her own mind and who didn't fit the norm of what a woman/wife should be... 

But when her old childhood friend, Elena, comes to town, stuck for an idea to follow up her successful book, Whispers Inside: A Reawakening of the Soul. When she rediscovers the story of Ilsbeth Clark, she thinks that would be a great book idea, focusing on her natural magic, and accidentally mentions her idea in an interview, a rivalry between Catherine and Elena form. 

By the end of the summer, one woman will be dead and the other will be accused of her murder. But did she do it? And who is Ilsbeth Clark, really? An innocent, a witch or something much, much worse?

Tuesday, 16 May 2023

Blog Tour Review - If Tomorrow Doesn't Come

I have a blog tour review for you! Brace yourselves, as I don't normally write reviews for blog tours if I can help it. Mainly because I'm always worry about what would happen if I said yes, then I read the book and go "Oh no, I don't like this. Now what?"

But with this, I knew I had to make an exception as when the Write Reads emailed and I read the synopsis for this, I got very excited. A book that tackles queerness, mental health and it's going to be beautiful and yet, utterly heartbreaking. SIGN ME UP!

Title and Author: If Tomorrow Doesn't Come by Jen St. Jude
Publisher: Penguin Random House Children
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by UK publisher and PR Blog Tour Company, The Write Reads, in exchange for an honest review/reaction for blog tour. 
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On the morning that Avery Byrne plans to kill herself, the world discovers that an asteroid is heading to Earth and there is only nine days left to live. 

With time running out, Avery rushes to get home to be with her family and the girl she's been in love with her whole life. But can Avery try and save her family, the girl she loves and, maybe, even herself...

Thursday, 11 May 2023

May Mini-Review - What Walks These Walls

Another day, another mini-review and this book is one I did a blog tour for! Yes, I finally read a book that I did a blog tour for! WHO WOULD HAVE KNOWN I CAN ACTUALLY DO THIS!?

Title and Author: What Walks These Halls by Amy Clarkin
Publisher: The O'Brien Press
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by the publisher in exchange for an honest review/reaction and to partake in online blog tour
Buy from (Affiliate): 

Hyacinth House is the most haunted house in Ireland. So haunted in fact, that it's not reported about at all. Raven doesn't remember what happened in Hyacinth House five years ago. Her father died in that house during a paranormal investigation and, though everyone says it was a terrible accident, Rave is certain that it was her fault.

So when her younger brother, Arthur, decides to start up the family business of paranormal investigating and he's asked to investigate Hyacinth House for a house sale, he can't resist even though Raven is horrified by the idea...

Éabha can see and hear things no one else can. She's not sure if it's emotions from the past, ghosts or something else, but she decides that she has to find out. When she crosses paths with Arthur and his ragtag team of paranormal hunters, she thinks it's a great place to start.

But everyone has a secret or two to hide. And Hyacinth House has its own as well...

Monday, 8 May 2023

Extract Of The Suburbs

I have an extract for you all today. And yes, it's a not fantasy or crime. I have checked and yes, I am feeling well. Honest. 

This extract is part of the Tales of the Suburbs by Justin David. Prequel novella of Kissing the Lizard and The Pharmacist and part one of the Welston World Saga, we follow Jamie who dreams of escaping his small town to be with the those strange yet beautiful creatures he sees in Smash Hits magazine. 

But being in a small town under the reign of Margaret Thatcher and trying to discover who you are isn't exactly easy. Over the course of Jamie's teen years where he survives secondary school, teen problems and art college where he follows in love with Billy. But then what? Does he escape to London or return to the safety of West Midlands...?

I am thrilled to be sharing an extract with you guys (this is from chapter two) and, before I share with you all, I just want to say a quick thank you to Petronella at Inkandescent for emailing me and asking if I wanted to be involved). And if you want to say to the author, Justin David, you can hi to him on Twitter at @Justin_Writer &, if you want more info on the book, you can check out either Inkandscape's website at or (if you want to use an affiliate link)!


Friday, 5 May 2023

eProof Mini-Review - Green for Danger

I want to write a short, quick mini-review for this and one other books as I am still in the depth of Amazon doing something weird/strange to my account and me trying to figure out what is going on and trying to fix it. Because of that, I wanted to write something short of both of these reviews so you are up-to-date with all my reading. Maybe I should give myself some time off blogging, but I want to do that more over the summer/October... 

Anyway, here is the first mini-review for May. Will it be the last?

Title and Author: Green for Danger by Christianna Brand
Publisher: British Library Crime Classic
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by US publisher, Poisoned Pen Press, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction
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Set in a military hospital during World War Two, a patient dies on the operating table. It's believed by the doctors and nurses that it was a reaction to the anesthia, but when one of the nurses is found stabbed, it's becomes clear that both these cases are murder and are connected.

Tuesday, 2 May 2023

Audiobook April - The Murders at Fleat House

As many of you know Lucinda Riley sadly passed away in June 2021 due to cancer and was the best-selling author of the The Seven Sisters (the surprise eighth and final book in the series, Atlas: the Story of Pa Salt was started before her death and her son, Harry Whittaker, finished). But Lucinda touched into different genres and The Murders at Fleat House has an interesting history. 

Lucinda wrote this murder mystery back in 2006. Once written, she put it to one side and it's believed she would return to this once she had finished the Seven Sisters series. After her death, her family discovered the manuscript and, with the lightest of touches, edited and allowed to be published. 

I have never read a Lucinda Riley novel (I do own the first book in the series on my Audible and I would like to listen to it once Amazon figure out what the hell they did to my account!), but I have always wanted to read The Murders At Fleat House, but was saving it. And then, out of nowhere last month, my brain went "Now! I want to listen to this NOW!"

Title and Author: The Murders at Fleat House by Lucinda Riley
Publisher: PanMacmillan
Bought, Gifted or Borrowed: Audiobook Bought and Borrowed via library's audiobook app
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The death of a student at a small private boarding school of St Stephen's sends shockwaves within the school and the head teacher is desperate for it to be a tragic accident. But why would the boy take aspirin when he was deathly allergic to them?

The boy's father demands the Police to look into it and the case prompts the return of Detective Inspector Jasmine 'Jazz' Hunter to the force. Jazz has her reasons for leaving the Met and the Police as a whole but, as a favour for her old boss, she decides to look into the death. 

As she enters the closed world of the boarding school and the boarding house of Fleat House, she discovers that the student was a bully and not well liked. Plus, with it being common knowledge that the student was allergic to aspirin and took drugs to control his epilepsy, it would have been easy to swap his medication. 

But when one of the teachers kills himself and another student vanishes, it looks like Fleat House has a dark secrets and history and Jazz needs to figure out what is going on. And fast.

Friday, 21 April 2023

What Extract Walks These Halls

I have a spooOOOOOOooookkky extract for you guys for this blog tour. It was touch and go for a moment due to the saga happening with my Amazon and my kindle at the moment (see previous post for more details on that battle at the moment), but I have an extract and I didn't have to do some late night internet doom scrolling for creepy-yet-cool Irish ghost stories to get you excited for What Walks These Halls by Amy Clarkin. 

Hyacinth House is the most haunted house in Ireland. So haunted in fact, that it's not reported about at all. Raven doesn't remember what happened in Hyacinth House five years ago. Her father died in that house during a paranormal investigation and, though everyone says it was a terrible accident, Rave is certain that it was her fault. 

So when her younger brother, Arthur, decides to start up the family business of paranormal investigating and he's asked to investigate Hyacinth House for a house sale, he can't resist even though Raven is horrified by the idea... 

Éabha can see and hear things no one else can. She's not sure if it's emotions from the past, ghosts or something else, but she decides that she has to find out. When she crosses paths with Arthur and his ragtag team of paranormal hunters, she thinks it's a great place to start. 

But everyone has a secret or two to hide. And Hyacinth House has its own as well... 

Now, I am not the biggest ghost/horror reader, but I couldn't resist reading this (which is what I am doing now. At the time of writing this, I am on page 101), and when asked if I wanted to be involved in this tour, I couldn't say no! 

Now, before I share the extract for you (which is the start of chapter eight), I just want to say a quick thank you to Chloe at the O'Brien Press for asking if I wanted to be involved in this tour. And if you want to know more info about the book, you can check out or (for an affiliate link) Plus, if you want to say hi to Amy, you can via Twitter at @AmyClarkin or Instagram at @amyclarkinwrites.

Now, are we sitting comfortable? Good. Then let us begin...

Wednesday, 19 April 2023

Why Do I Bother With Themed Months?

Well, this themed month of mine has been a bit of a train-crash, hasn't it?

I mean, I was hoping to have more listened to more audiobooks or, if not that, then have a few short stories or novels that I can reveal. But, alas, my oh-so-clever plans went out of the window over the Easter weekend.
Allow me to explain as three things happened in quick succession and, because of that, my plans are shot (though I am determined to keep April very audiobook-driven – though I might pop a podcast or two).
First, it took me far longer to finish Green for Danger by Christianna Brand that I was expecting. I thought I would whizz through the book as it’s a Golden Age Murder Mystery and I really enjoyed the writing. But, for some reason, I couldn’t warm to the characters and I tend to read historical fiction a little slower than when I read fantasy or crime in general. So, though I enjoyed it, I read this in a more leisurely way, which knocked one of my reading plans but not badly.
The second (and this one did affect my reading/audiobook plans A LOT) was that I was ill over the Easter weekend. I wasn't feeling great beforehand but I was stubborn and, on Good Friday, I was ill in bed and had the attention span of a cockroach. If I did listen to podcasts or audiobooks, it would be in very short 5-10 minutes sprints and then, I wouldn't go near it again for a good chuck of the weekend. Podcasts became my friends that weekend as I mainly stuck to short, 30 minutes or less episodes that I can tune in and out off (such as The News Agents, My Favourite Murder [the mini-sodes] and a few others that I will need to relisten to as they touch on subjects that am curious over). I have no idea what it was (there's a bug going round that's very cold/flu like so I suppose that) but I was ill for the whole weekend so that ruined my reading/audiobooking (and Easter family meet -ups!). 

The third is one I am still in, which is my Amazon kindle/audible has gone strange. No idea what has happened but let's say I am chatting to Amazon to see if I can fix it. Which means I can't read anything on my kindle at the moment and I have no idea how this will effect the eProofs I need to read for NetGalley (I bet my rating on that is going to go down VERY quickly if I don't figure something out. Or maybe this is a sign to quit book-blogging while I am ahead)... 

Anyway, just wanted to keep you in the loop with my blogging as it's not going to plan. But ha-ho, life happens and not much can be done about it. Hopefully, I will keep my eye on having some fun and, like I said, I am now feeling better so my reading and my audiobook listening is slowly going back on track... 

Thursday, 13 April 2023

Audiobook April - Mini-Reviews

Another day, another mini-review write-up on two audiobooks: one I got for review (in exchange for an honest review/reaction, of course) and the other from my local library (because why not!) 

We have (for review) One of Our Ministers Is Missing by Alan Johnson and the other (from library's audiobook app) Miss Marple's Final Cases by Agatha Christie!

Monday, 10 April 2023

Audiobook April - Into Shadow Mini-Reviews

HAPPY EASTER MONDAY TO YOU ALL! And here we go with my first Audiobook April.

Welcome to my (hopefully not a complete car-crash of a themed month) Audiobook April. Like I said last month before I took a small, Easter blog holiday, this month is me trying to showcase some lovely audiobooks (and to get my audiobook TBR list down a little). Also, to have a little fun (fun is the name of the game this blogging/reading year)!

So, let’s start with something light, something easy, right? Nope. I listened to something short (my podcast backlog is getting quite long so, hopefully, will be able to have a listen to a few of them this/next month).

What I listened to is two short stories from the Into Shadows collection, a collection of short stories from Amazon. Amazon do a few collections of Amazon Original Stories, all short stories or novellas that, they hope, you will be able to read or listen to in one sitting. Very similar to Quick Reads.

The two am going to chat briefly about are The Six Deaths of the Saint by Alix E. Harrow (narrated by Saskia Maarleveld) and What the Dead Know by Nghi Vo (narrated by Natalie Naudus).

In The Six Deaths of the Saint, the Saint of War comes to an ill servant girl so she can fulfil her destiny to come the kingdom’s greatest warrior. But will it be worth it?

In What The Dead Know, a woman posing as a medium finds herself trapped in a school due to a blizzard starts to hear something. A voice in the dark that wants to be heard…

Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival 2023 - Press Release

















20-23 July 2023 | Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate | #TheakstonsCrime 




Harrogate, Tuesday 28 March 2023. Harrogate International Festivals has today announced the programme for this year’s 20th anniversary Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, the world’s largest celebration of crime fiction and thriller writing, which runs from 20 – 23 July 2023 at Harrogate’s Old Swan Hotel.


The 2023 Festival Chair, award winning crime and thriller author Vaseem Khan, has curated a ground-breaking programme. Alongside the special guests headlining the Festival, including literary legends Lee Child, Andrew Child, Lisa Jewell, Ruth Ware, Ann Cleeves, Jeffery Deaver, Lucy Worsley, S. A. Cosby, Val McDermid, and Chris Hammer, the full programme includes some of the biggest names in crime fiction.


Exploring everything from the perfect murderous opening, police procedurals and dark obsessions to legal thrillers and the golden age of crime, this year’s 20th anniversary programme will see a variety of acclaimed crime and thriller authors discussing the genre and influences on their writing, including Janice Hallett, Shari Lapena, Louise Candlish, Abir Mukherjee, Steve Cavanagh, Elly Griffiths, Ragnar Jónasson, Clare Mackintosh, Mick Herron, Will Dean, Laura Shepherd-Robinson, Chris Brookmyre, and many more!


The Festival will start with Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award ceremony, where the winner of crime writing’s most prestigious accolade will be revealed alongside the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award.


This year’s Festival also includes two ‘who dunnit?’ themed author dinners, giving a unique opportunity for crime fans to get to know authors in a fun and informal environment. Richard Armitage, Stuart Neville, David Hewson, Emma Christie, Steph Broadribb, Alex Dahl, Greg Mosse, Leigh Russell, S.E. Lynes and many others will partake in a murder mystery with a twist!


The all-star line-up of events includes the return of Val McDermid’s New Blood panel, celebrating four brilliant debut crime writers, and the popularLate-Night Quiz, hosted by McDermid and Mark Billingham, armed with trivia, titles and tricks to test the knowledge of crime fiction fanatics. 


Vaseem Khan, award winning author and 2023 Festival Chair, said: “It’s a privilege to chair this year’s Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. My late father and I watched Poirot together and we’d never imagined that decades later I would chair a Festival so closely connected to Agatha Christie. It feels special to be the first British Asian crime writer to chair the Festival, and even more special for the monumental 20th anniversary. The Festival team have pulled together an Avengers Assemble line-up of crime writers to celebrate the monumental anniversary. You’d be (criminally) insane to miss it."


Sharon Canavar, Chief Executive of Harrogate International Festivals, added“This year marks 20 years since the Festival launched in Harrogate, and what wonderful two decades we’ve had celebrating the world of crime fiction. In that time, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has welcomed some of the biggest names in crime fiction and this year is no exception. In collaboration with our 2023 Festival Chair, Vaseem Khan, we are delighted to announce this year’s full programme for what will be the best Festival yet!”


Simon Theakston, Executive Director of Theakston, commented“This year’s Festival will be another monumental event for the world of crime fiction. It has been a pleasure to be a part of the Festival over the past 20 years and following the full programme announcement, I am thoroughly looking forward to celebrating once again at the world’s best crime writing Festival over a pint of Old Peculier!”

Friday, 24 March 2023

Audiobook April

I wanted to chat about my weird little germ of a theme month happening next month: Audiobook April.

Now, I love a good audiobook. I listen to quite a few (mainly due to my drives to/from work) as well as podcasts and I love a good old dancing in my kitchen while listening to the radio or streaming music. And while popularity in audiobooks and podcasts have gone over the last few years, we still have that whole “Is listening to an audiobook reading?” debate. And I’m not going to go down that rabbit hole as I am not nearly smart enough to address this issue. I have my opinions (I say yes, it does), but I understand why some people disagree. Let’s be respectful and kind, and agree to disagree, shall we?

But I want to do a month where my write-ups are focused on audiobooks, whether I buy them from Audible or Apple Books, borrow from my local library or gifted by publishers in exchange for honest thoughts and reactions. And I want to try and be wide on audiobook genres, age ranges and lengths. Some will be short and others will be long (hence why some audiobooks I listened to the past few months I have been very quiet on – been saving them for April).

Because I like this weird idea of mine, I’m gonna take a week or two off blogging so can get a head start on myself. Plus, with Easter round the corner, now seems to perfect time to take a mini blog break. 

Now, before you all go "What about your murder month?", I am still going to be beavering away with that in the background. If I audiobook a crime/thriller audiobook, I will post my thoughts on that in April. If I read it, that will go up in May, but I will say "Murder Month" in the title of the post. I'm hoping to get at least two more crime titles done before the end of March! 

Plus, I have a few titles that I would like to try and listen to this month and a few that I suspect will be curveballs. Any below that you guys are DESPERATE for me to try? And do you want to a hint of some titles that I am considering/tempted to try...?

Thursday, 23 March 2023

Murder Month 2023 - Bones Are Forever

I don’t often read the same author back-to-back. I normally like to have a little break between finishing a book by an author and starting another book by the same author. But with Kathy Reichs, I thought I would be safe as she’s one of my fave crime/thriller authors. Plus, am audiobooking. I should be ok to audiobook the same author twice in a row, right?

Title and Author: Bones Are Forever by Kathy Reichs
Publisher: Random House Audiobooks
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Audiobook borrowed from library audiobook app
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So, here we are, with the 15th outing of Temperance Brennan (Cold Cold Bones was the 21st, so I jumped backwards). In Quebec, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan is asked to a scene where the body of a baby is found in a vanity cabinet. While there, two more bodies of mummified babies are discovered. When it is discovered that babies didn’t died of natural causes, the hunt to find the mother is on. When all the evidence leads Brennan and the detectives to a desolate diamond-mining town on the edge of the Arctic Circle called Yellowknife, the investigation takes a sharp turn and Brennan finds that the mother of the three dead babies might be a stone cold monster like she thought…

Friday, 17 March 2023

Murder Month 2023 - The Edinburgh Mystery

As you guys know, I do love a good crime or thriller novel. And I seem to be going down a rabbit hole with discovering “forgotten” Golden Age crime writers. I have several on my kindle, waiting to be read (some bought, some from NetGalley for review). But when I saw this collection of crime short stories, set in Scotland, I couldn’t resist. I love Scotland and hope to revisit Edinburgh in the near future (same with Wales, truth be told) and the idea of reading Golden crime set in Scotland was too delicious to past up!

Title And Author: The Edinburgh Mystery and Other Tales of Scottish Crime Edited by Martin Edwards
Publisher: British Library and Poisoned Pen Press
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by US publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction
Buy from (Affiliate):

Tuesday, 14 March 2023

Murder Month 2023 - Cold Cold Bones

Title and Author:
Cold Cold Bones by Kathy Reichs
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought
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I had no plans to read/audiobook Cold Cold Bones by Kathy Reichs this month. I was considering saving this for next month for some reason (either though I preordered the audiobook last year before I cancelled Audible - again. I'm back for the next four month for £3.99 - I know, I'm weak. But am going to ruin their Plus Catalogue for a while so sorry in advance for some weird reviews in the coming months), but out of nowhere, I was desperate to listen to this. 

Forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance Brennan is back in her 21st outing. And it all starts when she helps her daughter, Katy, move house after her stints in the army. Brennan thinks Katy might be suffering from PTSD, but won't say anything. But when the pair return to Brennan's home, they discover a box. With an eye in it. 

From there, bodies begin to slowly turn up that have no pattern. But Brennan can't shake the feeling that they feel awfully familiar. Like cases she's has been involved with in the past. Is she the connection between them? And, if so, the killer is taunting her, watching her, buying their time before they strike...

And when they did, she won't see it coming.

Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Murder Month 2023 - The Holiday Home

So, February's reading plan was a bit of a car crash. Mainly because my brain didn't want to read what you guys voted for and, at the same time, I was quitting a lot of reads or, if I did stay and finish them off, I was very "Meh" over it. And it felt like I still was in a crime reading frame of mind, rather than going to fantasy and teen, which is my reading bread and butter. Because of this, March is going to be the blog's "Murder Month". I've done this in the past, where I do a theme month of focusing on crime/thriller stories. And I have a good few on my radar that I was to devour before the Easter blog holiday (and I have an idea for a themed reading month for April as well (more about that after my Easter blog break). 

But let's start this murdery month off which a review and let's go with a thriller author I discovered last month and am slowly devouring...

Title and Author: The Holiday Home by Daniel Hurst
Publisher: Bookouture
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof and Audiobook gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Two couples go away to a remote cabin in Scotland. The wives have known each other since Sixth Form and the husbands barely get along. But a holiday away will do wonders, right? So when one of the wives overhears something that she shouldn't have, it starts a chain reaction which will end with no all of them coming home alive...

Sunday, 19 February 2023

February's Reading Struggle

With all the best plans, I have failed my reading plans for this month of having you guys pick my reads via polls. I did it on Twitter at the beginning of month and you all chose Poison Study by Maria V Snyder. Let me pop it up so you can see.

Poison Study is one of my "I must read These 12 This Year" books, and I have had this on my kindle's To Read list for YEARS! It was one of my first purchases when I got my first ever kindle - I kid you not - so I was excited to read it. 

... And I stopped within the first few chapters because I wasn't in the right headspace. Ok, I thought to self, that's no biggie. Put it down and come back to it at a later date. Ok, let me try The Lighthouse by Alex Bell. I didn't get the end of the second chapter. Ok, I told myself, let me try again. Why not an audiobook? Oh, The Only Suspect by Louise Candlish is available on my library audiobook app and that sounds gripping. And it was... until I realised that I wasn't enjoying myself a good 25% into the book. Ok, let me try The Curious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janine Hallett. I really want to try her as you all LOVE her. 

33% in and I can't warm to it. I am going to come back to this, like with all the titles I have tried the past few weeks. 

But I am struggling with reading of late. And I did say I'm not going to pressure myself into reading, but this title is the one which upsets me that I'm not connecting with. 

But this year, I said I want to enjoy my reading so not going to feel guilty about putting books on hold or quitting if I'm feeling "meh" over them. 

Onwards and upwards

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Audiobook Review - The Doctor's Wife

I feel that, maybe, I should have saved this for next week or maybe an audiobook-themed month (oh, that's an idea!), but after binging The Couple in the Cabin by Daniel Hurst (write-up for that that can be found here) and with a few library audiobooks on my Reserve list (all linked to books or titles that I should have reviewed by now!), I decided to risk a quick list to another Daniel Hurst thriller audiobook in the hopes that this would another edge of my seat list and, maybe, that this author might be a new Auto-Buy author... 

Title and Author: The Doctor's Wife by Daniel Hurst
Publisher: Bookoutre Audio
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Audiobook gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction

Dr Drew Delvin and his wife, Fern, have moved out of Manchester and into a small village for a fresh start. Well, that's what Drew has told his wife. But that's not true. For you see, the doctor isn't as honest and trustworthy as he wants you to be. Not with his marriage and not with his job and duty of care either. 

He thinks his wife knows nothing. How very wrong he is... and he has no idea what Fern is planning...

Friday, 10 February 2023

eBook Review - Listen to Me

It's been a long time since I read a Rizzoli and Isles thriller. I actually had plans for past few months to reread some older Rizzoli and Isles thrillers (Body Double, Vanish and The Mephisto Club). So, when I was on NetGalley months ago and saw that Tess Gerritsen was going to release this series's thirteen outing, I had to jump on it. I missed these characters and I am ready to return to this world and these characters... 

Title and Author: Listen to Me by Tess Gerritsen
Publisher: Bookouture
Bought, Gifted or Borrowed: eProof gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction.
Buy From (Affiliate):

There's something strange about Angela Rizzoli's new neighbours. They keep to themselves, the blinds in their windows are always drawn and Angela can't shake the feeling that the wife's in danger. But no one believes her, not her neighbours, not her boyfriend, not even her daughter, Detective Jane Rizzilo...

Jane can't think of her mother and her wild theories right now. She finds herself investigate the gruesome yet senseless murder of nurse Sofia Suerez. She was well liked and well respected nurse. No one has a bad word to say about her. But there's something not right, and it seems to be linked to a former patient, a daughter of a doctor Sofia worked with. Is the doctor's teenage daughter, Amy, just suffering from a string of bad luck, or is there something more sinister going on...?

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

Audiobook Review - The Couple In The Cabin

This has been sitting on my Audiobook To Be Read Shelf for quite some time. And after I finished dipping in and out of my last audiobook from library (Listen to Me by Tess Gerritsen. Which I am currently reading, FYI, as I enjoy reading Tess Gerritsen novels rather than audiobook, but I got a good way into it), I wanted some short and fast to listen to as I have requested a LOAD of audiobooks from my local library this month and I wasn’t in the mood to start a podcast binge (that will be next month, I suspect).

So, I plumped for this, which has a precise that sounds deliciously twisted.

Title and Author: The Couple In The Cabin by Daniel Hurst
Publisher: Bookouture
Bought, Gifted or Borrowed: Audiobook gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction.

Grace and Dominic have been married for quite some time and happily so. Or so Grace thinks. Instead of staying in a hotel after a work’s event as she planned, she comes home to discover Dominic’s clothes thrown on the floor – as well as women’s clothes. Not her clothes, but someone else’s. There, she discovers the two in his work-cabin at the bottom of the garden and, without thinking, she locks the naked pair in. Then, she goes back into the house, goes to bed and then, in the morning, goes to work as if nothing has happened…

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

February 2023 Reading Plans

How are we in February already?! And why does it feel like I have read so little?

Yes, I know I’ve read collections of short stories which I bought or requested from library rather than any books I requested from publishers or authors (and I regret nothing! Sometimes, I need to read stuff that you bought/treat yo self to – we kinda forget that when we’re in the book blogsphere). But here we are, in February, and I suppose I need to figure out my plan of action for this month’s reading.

I’m still aiming to enjoy myself with reading (shouldn’t we all), but I like to idea of giving this month a theme or something vague that can work towards.

I still have my 12 Reads of 2023 to attack and I have an idea of which one of those it will be… (if you follow me on Goodreads, you’ll know where I’m leaning!), and I do want to tackle my To Be Read stacks. Mainly my Advance Reader Copies for audiobooks as I got approved for a good few in the last few weeks and am beginning to feel a little overwhelmed.

But I have an idea. I might be doing some “Spare Of The Moment” Polls on what to read/audiobook next and how to pick my next reads (TBR Wheel, Pet Pick, Partner Pick, Colour Pick, etc). Like I said, I want an element of fun and want to enjoy my reading this year.

So, keep an eye on my socials (Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and Facebook - mainly Twitter and Instagram) and let's read some fun reading this month!

Thursday, 26 January 2023

More January 2023 Reading

I managed to do some more reading/audiobooking this month. Not as much as I liked, but I feel pleased over my reading so far in 2023. Will I be able to do more? Big "ha!" and "we shall see", but I did more reading (let's not mention how many books I bought/requested from publishers in the time in between...)

So, let me chat quickly about these two reads and I'll let you be on your way. Now, before I go further, I bought both of these but one of the titles (The Postscripts Murders by Elly Griffiths) was gifted to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction.

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

First Reads of 2023

I'm not going to review EVERYTHING I read this year, but I wanted to touch on a few things that I have read in 2023 as it feels weirdly out of my comfort zone and yet, feels perfectly normal (though am not sure why). 

I am reading collections of short stories. I don't feel like I see a lot of these in bookshops or online unless there are linked to a Brand (whether that be a successful author or a character/series) or if it's indie collection or for charity. Maybe am not looking in the right places, so if you know of an awesome collection of short stories, shout them at me as I always like to discover new authors and styles. 

So, at the time of writing this, I have read three and about to start a fourth (after that, I think I will be diving into novels - I am eyeing The Postscript Murders by Effy Griffiths and An Autobiography by Agatha Christie. I won't affiliate link them to till I have read them). And I thought it would be nice to pop in, say hi, write these up SUPER quick and be on my merry way.

Sunday, 15 January 2023

2023 Reading Plans

HAPPY NEW YEAR! And yes, I am back from my little Christmas break (actually, on writing this on my last day of holidays before am back in the office, which I am feeling a little nervous about), but I wanted to ease self back into blogging with a little plan over my reading (aka what you're going to see on my socials and on here). 

Now, I'm not going to review EVERYTHING I read on here. I think that's lead to a huge burnout over the past few years and I want to get back into enjoying blogging and reading so, if I do go off the radar for a while, you know why. I will write a small review on Goodreads and on Twitter - and I might try to look into using Instagram and consider using other socials (such as TikTok, though that looks scary to use and I am sure that, if I do use that, I will watch/lurk). 

But my main reading plans is to get my To Be Read piles under control. All of them - bought, gifted from friends and family and then gifted by publisher in exchange for an honest review/reaction. It's getting a little out of hand, and I am a slow reader so I want to make attack some of those through the year (on all formats - physical, ebook, audiobook, etc). 

I, also, have a vague idea of trying to read 12 books that have been on my radar to read for quite some time but, for one excuse or another, I have held off. I have 10 titles in my head already, but this is a more flexible bookish idea. I would like to try and read most of these but, if not, it won't be the end of the world as my reading tastes have changed (am more a fantasy/crime reader of late, haven't I?) and I want to rediscover my joy of reading without worrying about the blog. 

I can show you some titles that might be on my "Read 12 Titles in 2023", if you like... In no order, of course...

One of these is a reread, FYI, and I still need to make a decision on my last 2 choices. And, as you can see, all of these are are titles I have bought in one format or another and I have every intention to read them. I am a mood reader, so I will need to plan my reading carefully.

But this year, I want to rediscover my joy of reading, my leisure in the genres I adore and take little risks. Basically, I want to entertain myself and we'll see where we go from there!