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Monthly Round Up – June 2022

The first half of the year is over and I’m three books behind in my Goodreads Reading Challenge! Hopefully I can catch up in July!

Books I Have Read

A Girl Called Justice: The Spy at the Window by Elly Griffiths

World War Two has started and Justice Jones has a new mystery to solve as she believes that there is a spy in their midst. This is a fantastic series for those of us brought up on the books of Enid Blyton.


When the Night Ends by M J Lee

A potential police cover up pits coroners officer, Thomas Ridpath, against his colleagues once again. With definite Line of Duty vibes, this is one of my favourites of the series so far.


The Guilty Couple by C L Taylor

When Olivia is released from prison after serving time for attempting to have her husband killed, she only has one thing on her mind: to clear her name. This is a twisted plot that makes us ask who we can really trust.


The Serial Killer’s Daughter by Alice Hunter

When a woman goes missing and strange things start being left on her doorstep, Jenny is perturbed. She’s spent her life hiding the true identity of her father and yet someone clearly knows who he is. The crime is chillingly close to what her father did all those years ago – what if she is more like him than she realises…


Books I Have Acquired

THEY BELIEVE HIS LIES. SHE KNOWS THE TRUTH.

You can’t lie to Izzy Lambert. Her highly developed empathic abilities allow her to read people’s emotions with terrifying accuracy – and consequences. As a child her insights sparked her parents’ divorce. As an adult she avoids getting too close to people for fear of what she might learn.

But now young girls are going missing in her town. The police have no suspects but, seeing her old school caretaker interviewed on the news about the story, Izzy comes to a chilling realisation: he knows where the missing girls are. When the police won’t take her seriously despite the lives at stake, she will risk everything to uncover the truth


Tom Harper must catch a traitor intent on disrupting the war effort and bringing terror to the streets of Leeds in this page-turning mystery.

Leeds. December, 1916. Deputy Chief Constable Tom Harper is called out in the middle of the night when a huge explosion rips through a munitions factory supplying war materials, leaving death and destruction in its wake. A month later, matches and paper to start a fire are found in an army clothing depot. It’s a chilling discovery: there’s a saboteur running loose on the streets of Leeds.

As so many give their lives in the trenches, Harper and his men are working harder than ever – and their investigation takes a dark twist with two shootings, at the local steelworks and a hospital. With his back against the wall and the war effort at stake, Harper can’t afford to fail. But can he catch the traitor intent on bringing terror to Leeds?


This Halloween prepare to be terrified with C. J. Tudor’s first collection of short stories.

Featuring eleven twisted tales of the macabre, including:

The Lion at the Gate in which a strange piece of graffiti leads to a terrifying encounter for four school friends . . .

Butterfly Island
 which tells the story of a group of survivors who wash up on a deserted island and make a horrifying discovery . . .

Gloria where a cold-hearted killer encounters a strange young girl at a motorway service station with unexpected consequences . . .]


Prepare for the big chill . . .

An overturned coach full of students.
A stranded cable car full of strangers.
An isolated chalet full of friends.

Outside, a snowstorm rages.
Inside one group, a killer lurks.
But which one?

And why is no rescue coming?
What are they trying to escape from?
And who are the terrifying Whistlers?

A locked-room mystery.
A dystopian thriller.
A nail-shredding horror.

One mind-bending twist.

THE DRIFT – survival can be murder.


A chance to reconnect.
A chance to get revenge . . .

Emily Toller has tried to forget her time at university and the events that led to her suddenly leaving under a cloud. She has done everything she can to forget the shame and the trauma – and the people involved. She has tried to focus on the life she has built with her children and husband, Nick.

But events like that can’t just be forgotten. Not without someone answering for what they’ve done. 

When an invitation arrives to a University reunion, everything clicks into place. Emily has a plan.

Because if you can’t forget – why not get revenge?

The Guilty Couple by C L Taylor

Olivia Sutherland has just been released from prison after serving five years for plotting to have her husband murdered. She knows it was a wrongful conviction and that she was framed by someone she knew well – the husband she was accused of trying to kill. Now free, she has a few things she needs to do: clear her name, repair the relationship between herself and her daughter and exact revenge on her husband. With her husband’s lies running deeper than she realised, just how far will he go to stop Olivia from revealing the truth?

The Guilty Couple is a twisty tale of deceit and a lesson in whether we can really trust those closest to us. We know from the outset that Olivia has been framed and that her husband is the one who has done it, but what we don’t realise is just how deep these lies go. As the book progresses, and the lies start to unravel due to Olivia’s doggedness, there is a sense of foreboding as we discover that there are even secrets among her closest allies. Will Olivia manage to clear her name or is she putting herself in even more danger?

There is some great characterization, my favourite character being Smithy, someone who was in prison with Olivia. While some of her methods of help are far from legal, I liked how she helped Olivia to toughen up, giving her the strength to continue with her mission.

While it is fair to say that you do have to suspend belief on several occasions, C L Taylor has written another book that will keep you gripped until the last page, willing Olivia to clear her name and start a new life without any guilt hanging over her.

With thanks to Net Galley and Avon for my ARC.

Her Last Holiday by C L Taylor

Tom Wade, the man behind Soul Shrink Retreats has just been released from prison after serving time for his role in the death of two people. There was a third victim, Jemma, but Tom has never revealed what happened to her. Now Jemma’s sister, Fran, is determined to uncover the truth after she finds out that Tom is about to run another retreat. What did happen to Jemma and why is someone keen to do anything to stop the truth from emerging?

From quite early on in the book, it becomes apparent that secrecy is one of the main themes. After his release from prison, Tom is clearly still troubled by what happened at the retreat in Gozo but is it guilt he is feeling or something else? As we do not find out the circumstances of what actually happened until later in the book, I found myself warming to Tom although was constantly on my guard, looking for clues as to what it was that he was actually hiding.

The story is told from the point of view of three of the characters: Fran, Jemma and Kate. Kate is Tom’s wife, a pushy woman who has stood by him throughout his time in prison and feels that he owes it to her to continue with his work. I enjoyed the silent battle between Kate and Fran as neither of them trusted the other, the chapters written from their points of view revealing their innermost feelings. Through the chapters written from Jemma’s point of view, we get to see what happened during the retreat in Gozo. We also discover that some characters appear in both time lines, leaving me wondering, again, what secrets people were hiding.

This is a perfect holiday read with a plot that is easy to follow yet testing enough to deliver many surprises.

Monthly Round Up – April 2022

This month, I’ve read a few of the books I’ve been looking forward to. After reading David Fennel’s The Art of Death last year, I couldn’t wait for the follow-up and, of course, the latest in the Kim Stone series is always a highlight!

Books I Have Read

Her Last Holiday by C L Taylor

I’ve really grown to love the books of C L Taylor and this one is no exception. Years after her sister disappears, Fran decides to face the problem head on when she stays at a retreat organised by the man who was one of the last people to see her alive. What secrets are being hidden and will Fran uncover the truth? This is a great summer read.


See No Evil by David Fennell

The second in the Grace Archer series is just as good as the first. If you like gruesome serial killers then this is the book (and series) for you. Well-written and gripping with great characters, this is becoming one of my favourite series.


The Storm Girl by Kathleen McGurl

The latest dual timeline series from Kathleen McGurl takes us deep into the world of smugglers. Another engaging storyline, my review will form part of the blog tour.


Six Graves by Angela Marsons

One of the best series out there, in my opinion, and this is another superb read. A face from Kim Stone’s past comes back to haunt her, putting her life in extreme danger. With an unbelievably foreboding first chapter, this had me gripped from beginning to end.


The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White

The book that the film The Lady Vanishes was based on and, although a good read, falls a little bit short for me. Iris befriends middle-aged Miss Froy on the train only for the woman to disappear. Just where is Miss Froy and did she actually exist in the first place?


The Missing Father by M J Lee

The latest in the Jayne Sinclair series sees the genealogist helping a neighbour to discover the truth behind her parentage. Taking us to Singapore in World War Two, this is another engaging read full of historical detail and expert family history advice!

Books I Have Acquired

In The Prison Doctor: The Final Sentence, Dr Amanda Brown reveals stories of her time spent with foreign national prisoners.

DANGER. DEPORTATION. DEATH.

These are just some of the fates facing the inmates at Huntercombe prison.

Some have fled their homeland in fear of their lives. Others are being sent to a country they left decades ago. But Dr Amanda Brown is doing all she can for each
patient stuck in no-man’s land. They have little or no idea of what awaits them outside, but she treats them with kindness and respect. Whatever their crime, and whatever their future holds, she is still their doctor.



It’s a typical teenage bedroom with posters covering the walls and clothes littering the floor. But the girl lying on her bed, wearing a delicate chain around her neck, is lifeless. A circle of red stains her white vest top. How had the girl’s mother looked down at her sleeping child and pulled the trigger?

When Detective Kim Stone rushes to the scene of a house fire, she’s shocked to discover it’s claimed the lives of two teenage children and their parents. But this tragedy is not quite as it seems. Each body is marked by a gunshot wound and the mother, Helen Daynes, is holding the gun.

The case sparks painful childhood memories for Kim who suffered at the hands of her own abusive mother, but it just makes her more determined to uncover the truth. As Kim untangles Helen’s past, she finds a history of clinical depression. But did it drive Helen to murder her loved ones?

Then Kim uncovers a tiny, vital clue in Helen’s bedroom that throws the investigation wide open. Could someone else have killed the Daynes family?

Just as Kim feels she’s making progress, a deadly threat is made to her own life by a dangerous psychopath from her past. Biting back her fear, she keeps digging. And when Kim hits upon a shocking secret that changes everything she thought she knew about Helen, she realises that the remaining family members are in grave danger.

Kim is under pressure like never before, and the monster circling her is getting ever closer. Four bodies already. Four graves fresh in the ground. Who will be next? Can Kim find the killer and save herself before it’s too late?



Is murder in the blood?

But it’s not the first time she’s been so close to a crime scene. The daughter of a prolific serial killer, she’s spent her whole life running from who she really is.

In a sleepy Devon village, a woman is taken from the streets. Local vet Jenny is horrified. This kind of thing doesn’t happen here.

And the crime is harrowingly similar to those her father committed all those years ago…

But she’s not her father’s daughter.

Is she?


Something whistling through the door behind her caused her to turn. A shadow spread across the opening. She clasped a hand to her mouth, stilling the fear that was rising. The menacing shadow was followed by a face that sent a cold shiver down her spine…

When the call comes in about Lucy, a seventeen-year-old girl murdered after the secret party she held in her parents’ home, Detective Lottie Parker is first on the scene. As she picks her way through the smashed glasses and the blood spatter on the perfect cream carpet, she is horrified to see Lucy’s angelic face, silvery-blue eyes forever closed.

As Lottie breaks the news to Lucy’s heartbroken parents and the devastated partygoers, she discovers that hours before her death Lucy had revealed a terrible secret about her friend Hannah. And when Lottie finds Lucy’s bloodstained clothing hidden in Hannah’s bedroom, she has no option but to bring the shy, frightened girl into custody.

But Hannah claims to have no memory of the night Lucy died and Lottie begins to question her guilt. Then a fifteen-year-old boy who also attended the party is pulled from the canal. And as Lottie investigates, she discovers something shocking. Her own son Sean was at the party. Why did he lie to her? Is her beloved child a witness or a suspect… or is he now in the killer’s sights?


Alice Taylor was adopted in 1942 when she was three years old. Her adoptive parents never told her about her birth family and even changed her Christian name. Now, seventy-seven years later, she wants to know the truth.

Who were her birth parents?

How did her mother die?

What happened to her missing father?

Jayne Sinclair, genealogical investigator, has just a few days to discover the truth before she goes for a well-earned break in Australia.

Can she discover the truth hidden in the chaos of the war?


How do you find a killer who has destroyed all the evidence?

Detective Erika Foster is on a late-night walk near her new house in Blackheath when she stumbles upon the brutal murder of Vicky Clarke, a true-crime podcaster.

Erika is assigned to the case and discovers that Vicky had been working on a new podcast episode about a sexual predator who preys on young female students around South London, staking out his victims in their halls of residence before breaking in at the dead of night.

When Erika discovers that Vicky’s notes and sound recordings were stolen from her flat at the time of her murder, it leads her to believe that Vicky was close to unmasking the attacker, and she was killed to guarantee her silence.

The case takes on a disturbing twist when the body of a young Bulgarian student doctor is discovered in the same building, and this makes Erika question everything she thought she knew about Vicky. With very little evidence, the clock is ticking to find the killer before he strikes again.



Monthly Round Up – March 2022

Every now and then, I like to listen to an audiobook, non-fiction being my books of choice. Two of this month’s books are audiobooks and I am grateful for the ability to be able todownload them for free from my local library.

Books I Have Read

The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins by John George Pearson

A comprehensive account of the life of the infamous East End criminals from their birth right up to their deaths. A fascinating, well-researched story.


Vanished by Lynda La Plante

The third in the DC Jack Warr series is arguably the best yet. The detective finds himself working on a complex case when a woman who had been asking the police for help is brutally murdered in her own home. What ensues is a series of crimes that perplex the police.


The Prison Doctor by Amanda Brown

A fascinating look at life in one of Britain’s most well-known prisons through the eyes of the prison doctor. Gritty yet full of humour, this was a great read and I am looking forward to reading the latest in the series which has just been published.


The Devil’s Playground by Charly Cox

The fourth in the brilliant Alyssa Wyatt series is a dark tale of murder and the occult. This has definitely become one of the series that I look forward to and Charly Cox is becoming one of my favourite writers.

Books I Have Acquired

A heartbreaking choice. A secret kept for centuries.

1784. When Esther Harris’s father hurts his back, she takes over his role helping smugglers hide contraband in the secret cellar in their pub. But when the free traders’ ships are trapped in the harbour, a battle between the smugglers and the revenue officers leads to murder and betrayal – and Esther is forced to choose between the love of her life and protecting her family…
 
Present day. Fresh from her divorce, Millie Galton moves into a former inn overlooking the harbour in Mudeford and plans to create her dream home. When a chance discovery behind an old fireplace reveals the house’s secret history as a haven for smugglers and the devastating story of its former residents, could the mystery of a disappearance from centuries ago finally be solved?


What would you do if your husband framed you for murder?

Five years ago, Olivia Sutherland was wrongfully convicted of plotting to murder.

Now she’s finally free, Olivia has three goals. Repair her relationship with her daughter. Clear her name. And bring down her husband – the man who framed her.

Just how far is she willing to go to get what she wants? And how far will her husband go to stop her?

Because his lies run deeper than Olivia could ever have imagined – and this time it’s not her freedom that’s in jeopardy, but her life…


I’m pleased to be on the blog tour for the Kathleen McGurl book and can’t wait to get stuck in to both of these books!

**BLOG TOUR** The Island by C L Taylor

Six teenage friends decide to spend a week on a a remote tropical island, something that, on the face of it, sounds idyllic. This is no ordinary holiday, however, as they will be living off the land with just one guide to help them survive. When the guide has a stroke and dies, the teenagers begin to panic: with no way of getting back to the mainland and with limited means of acquiring food, how will they survive? Soon, when strange things start to happen, they realise that maybe they have more to worry about than they at first thought…

One of my favourite books of last year was Sleep by the same author, which was about a murderer on the remote Scottish island of Rum. I really enjoyed the claustrophobic atmosphere and so when I saw that this one had a similar setting, albeit on a slightly warmer island, I couldn’t wait to read it! I am not a big reader of YA fiction, but I knew that as this was written by C. L. Taylor, I’d love it. I was right!

Although there are some important events leading up to their arrival on the island, it is once they actually got there that I became fully invested in the plot. What seems, initially, like a Bear Grylls-type adventure soon evolves into some kind of Lord of the Flies scenario when their guide tragically dies, leaving them to fend for themselves until someone realises that they are missing. The teenagers soon discover that strange events begin to happen, leaving them to wonder who they can trust. Is there someone else on the island with them or should they be looking amongst themselves for the person who is wreaking havoc?

The setting of the plot really helps to create a sense of foreboding where you wonder how on earth they are going to escape from these hellish conditions. I rushed through the book, desperate to find out how it would end and whether there would still be six teenagers leaving the island or whether any would not make it out alive. I had my suspicions throughout the book about what was actually happening and who was responsible, but was thrown completely off the scent by the author’s great plot.

The Island is a great quick read for anyone wanting a story they can totally immerse themselves in. C. L. Taylor is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.

With thanks to HQ and Net Galley for my copy and to Sian Baldwin for organising the blog tour.

My Books of 2020

What a year it was, and not in a good sense. I was disappointed not to attend many book events during 2020 but have loved some of the online events that authors have managed to do. Despite book shops being closed for much of the year, I was so pleased to see that there have still been some amazing books published so, in no particular order, here is a slideshow of my favourite 10 books of 2020, the links taking you to my reviews.

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton

When the Past Kills by M J Lee

The Resident by David Jackson

The Heatwave by Katerina Diamond

The Glass House by Eve Chase

Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh

Strangers by C L Taylor

The Sterling Affair by Nathan Dylan Goodwin

The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths

Killing Mind by Angela Marsons

Did any of these feature on your list?

Monthly Round Up: December 2020

The last month of the year and I’d hoped to make a dent in the books that appear to be multiplying on Net Galley, but instead I seem to have added some more! I am a bit late with this month’s round up as I’ve had no internet access for over a week – nightmarish first world problem!

Books I Have Read

People of Abandoned Character by Clare Whitfield

A great new take on the infamous Jack the Ripper story. When a young woman starts to suspect that her new husband could be the Whitechapel killer, we are drawn deep into the London underbelly that is not featured on any tourist map.

Lost by Leona Deakin

The second in the Dr Augusta Bloom series follows the aftermath of an explosion. When one of the injured disappears only to reappear some time later, there is a mystery to solve. Where did he go and why can’t he remember anything about what has happened to him? I’m enjoying this series and have downloaded the third book to read soon.

The Christmas Carol by M J Lee

Genealogist Jayne Sinclair takes on an unusual case when she is asked to prove the provenance of a first edition of A Christmas Carol. Taking us back to Victorian Manchester and the possible inspirations for many of the characters, we encounter Charles Dickens as he sees how the mill workers of Lancashire live. A great festive tale.

Silent Night by Nell Pattison

The second in the Paige Northwood series sees the sign language interpreter aiding the police when a deaf teenager goes missing and his head teacher is found murdered. This is another series I am really enjoying due to the different slant taken on the investigation.

The Island by C L Taylor

A YA book from an author whose books I have loved over the past few years. A group of teenagers aim to spend a week on a deserted island, living off the land with the help of a local guide. When things go drastically wrong, their lives are put in danger. Can they work out what is going on and escape from their nightmare? Review will form part of this month’s blog tour.

The Burning Girls by C J Tudor

When a vicar arrives at their new church, it is not long before they realise that all is not well in this village. Just what exactly happened to the previous vicar and why are people still obsessed with the burning of local marytrs hundreds of years previously? This is another sure-fire hit for the author of The Chalk Man. My review will form part of the blog tour later this month.

The Game by Luca Veste

When a young woman goes missing and another is found dead, D C Mark Flynn has his work cut out trying to convince his colleagues that the cases are connected and that they are players of something known as ‘The Game’. Just who is the shadowy figure behind this game and can the players ever leave?

Books I Have Acquired

Silent Voices by Patricia Gibney

The words blurred as she read the note from the killer. She could feel her blood turning to ice. Shivers ran up and down her spine. ‘Before you make the biggest mistake of your life, meet me. If you don’t, her blood will be on your hands. She is with me. You know where to find us’.

When twenty-five-year-old Beth Mullen returns home, expecting to find her twin Rachel waiting for her, the silent house sends a shiver down her spine. She races upstairs to find her beautiful beloved sister cold in her childhood bed, her sparkling blue eyes closed forever, the morning after attending a glittering party…

Newly engaged Detective Lottie Parker knows that Rachel has been murdered the minute she enters the bedroom. Rachel’s neck is bruised and a shard of glass placed in her throat. Confronted with such a horrifying killing, Lottie wastes no time in pursuing every clue.

While interviewing the partygoers, Lottie discovers that Rachel’s handbag and keys are nowhere to be found. But as she is searching for them, a brilliant young doctor is found murdered with glass in her throat. The doctor was nowhere near the party and Lottie is forced to question everything. Two beautiful young women with the world at their feet have been brutally silenced. Why did the killer need them to die?

Desperate to find proof of what really happened to Rachel that night, Lottie gets close to the hostess of the party, whose two daughters were friends with Rachel. But Lottie’s hunt for the truth is getting under the killer’s skin, and when Lottie’s fiancé Boyd goes missing, will she be able to find him before it’s too late? Or will he too be silenced forever?

The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths

The Night Hawks, a group of metal detectorists, are searching for buried treasure when they find a body on the beach in North Norfolk. At first Nelson thinks that the dead man might be an asylum seeker but he turns out to be a local boy, Jem Taylor, recently released from prison. Ruth is more interested in the treasure, a hoard of Bronze Age weapons. Nelson at first thinks that Taylor’s death is accidental drowning, but a second death suggests murder.

Nelson is called to an apparent murder-suicide of a couple at the isolated Black Dog Farm. Local legend talks of the Black Shuck, a spectral hound that appears to people before they die. Nelson ignores this, even when the owner’s suicide note includes the line, ‘He’s buried in the garden.’ Ruth excavates and finds the body of a giant dog.

All roads lead back to this farm in the middle of nowhere, but the place spells serious danger for anyone who goes near. Ruth doesn’t scare easily. Not until she finds herself at Black Dog Farm …

Judas Horse by Lynda La Plante

‘Do you know what a Judas Horse is? When the wild mustangs are running free, you corral one and train it. When he’s ready, you release him and he’ll bring his team back into the corral – like Judas betraying them…’

Violent burglars have been terrorising residents across the English countryside. But when a mutilated body is discovered in a Cotswolds house, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary group of opportunist thieves.

As Detective Jack Warr investigates, he discovers locals with dark secrets, unearths hidden crimes – and hits countless dead ends. With few leads and the violent attacks escalating, he will have to act as audaciously as the criminals if he hopes to stop them.

When Warr meets Charlotte Miles, a terrified woman with links to the group, he must use her to lure the unsuspecting killers into one last job, and into his trap. But with the law already stretched to breaking point, any failure will be on Warr’s head – and any more blood spilled, on his hands…

Hunt by Leona Deakin

The Foreign Secretary is being held under the Terrorism Act. He will answer the police’s questions on one condition – they let him speak to Dr Augusta Bloom.

He asks Bloom to track down his niece, Scarlett, who hasn’t spoken to her family for ten years. The last they heard, Scarlett was getting involved with Artemis – an organisation dedicated to women’s rights and the feminist movement, led by the charismatic Paula Kunis.

But as Bloom learns more about Artemis, she’s torn. Is this organisation everything it claims to be, or do they have a secret side and an alternative agenda? And if so, what has become of Scarlett?

The only way to find out for sure is for Bloom to go undercover. But will she make it out safely – or will she become the next Artemis woman to disappear?

The Girl on the Platform by Bryony Pearce

‘The train doesn’t slow. We aren’t stopping. We are going to burn past, leaving her behind in a swirl of leaves and dust. I blink. And then men are there, two of them. They lift the squirming girl to her feet, haul her towards the van… and then we are past.’

I am the girl on the platform.
When new mother Bridget catches her train home from London, she witnesses something terrible: a young girl is taken from the platform, right before her eyes. 
No one knows where I am.
But no one is reported missing and with Bridget the only witness, she is written off as an attention seeker. Nobody believes her – not even her own husband.
Can you find me? 
But Bridget knows what she saw, and becomes consumed with finding the little girl. Only she can save the child’s life… but could delving into the mystery cost Bridget her own?

A Del of a Life by David Jason

”So lithe,’ they say. ‘So spry and sparkling. So uncannily youthful. How on earth do you do it?’

Well, what can I tell you? An hour of tai chi first thing in the morning, an HIIT work-out with my personal trainer, a bowl of steamed kale and a handful of almonds for lunch, and then two hours of yoga in the afternoon followed by an ice bath – this is a routine which I’m sure would work miracles for anyone of any age, although I can’t be entirely sure because I haven’t myself adopted any aspect of it at any point.

Fortunately, during my life and career I have been given all sorts of advice and learned huge amounts from some great and enormously talented people. I’ve been blessed to play characters such as Derek Trotter, Granville, Pop Larkin and Frost, who have changed my life in all sorts of ways, and taught me lessons that go far beyond the television set. And I’ve worked a few things out for myself as well, about friendship, ambition, rejection, success, failure, adversity and fortune.

With any luck, some of these thoughts and observations will chime with episodes and challenges you have faced, or are facing, in your own life. And if they don’t… well, hopefully, at the very least you’ll get to have a good old laugh at my expense.

So lean back, pour yourself a glass, and try not to fall through the bar flap . . .’

Why Mummy’s Sloshed by Gill Sims

I just wanted them to stop wittering at me, eat vegetables without complaining, let me go to the loo in peace and learn to make a decent gin and tonic.  
It genuinely never occurred to me when they were little that this would ever end – an eternity of Teletubbies and Duplo and In The Night Bastarding Garden and screaming, never an end in sight.  But now there is.  And despite the busybody old women who used to pop up whenever I was having a bad day and tell me I would miss these days when they were over, I don’t miss those days at all.  
I have literally never stood wistfully in the supermarket and thought ‘Oh, how I wish someone was trailing behind me constantly whining ‘Mummy, can I have, Mummy can I have?’ while another precious moppet tries to climb out the trolley so they land on their head and we end up in A&E.  
Again.

Mummy has been a wife and mother for so long that she’s a little bit lost. And despite her best efforts, her precious moppets still don’t know the location of the laundry basket, the difference between being bored and being hungry, or that saying ‘I can’t find it Mummy’ is not the same as actually looking for it.

Amidst the chaos of A-Levels and driving tests, she’s doing her best to keep her family afloat, even if everybody is set on drifting off in different directions, and that one of those directions is to make yet another bloody snack. She’s feeling overwhelmed and under appreciated, and the only thing that Mummy knows for sure is that the bigger the kids, the bigger the drink.

Wishing everyone a very happy new year!

Monthly Round Up: November 2020

With the end of the year drawing ever near, I was glad to read one of my most anticipated books of the year this month – Shadow Sands by Robert Bryndza.

Books I Have Read

The Searcher by Tana French

This slow-paced novel is a superb look at the relationship between two characters when one seeks the help of the other to find their missing brother. A perfect look at how many secrets a village can hide…

Deadly Cry by Angela Marsons

The thirteenth in the Kim Stone series sees the team taking on a case that confuses them from the outset. Why would someone kill a woman whilst out shopping with their young daughter? When the killer makes contact with Kim, she knows that she must solve the case before a little boy becomes the next victim.

How Love Actually Ruined Christmas by Gary Raymond

A witty synopsis of the famous film, full of astute observations that will make you watch with a different perspective. I’m still a huge fan of the film though!

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

This classic tale of the relationship between a boy and his horse during World War One has been adapted by the author for younger readers with amazing illustrations that will appeal to old and young alike.

Shadow Sands by Robert Bryndza

The second in the Kate Marshall series was definitely worth the wait as Kate and her researcher Tristan investigate the strange deaths at the Shadow Lands reservoir.

Books I Have Acquired

Welcome to The Island.

Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re becoming a reality.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.

Who will make it off the island alive?

London’s latest art installation is a real killer . . .

An underground artist leaves three glass cabinets in Trafalgar Square that contain a gruesome installation: the corpses of three homeless men.

With the artist promising more to follow, newly-promoted Detective Inspector Grace Archer and her caustic DS, Harry Quinn, must race against time to follow what few clues have been left by a savvy killer.

As more bodies are exhibited at London landmarks and live streamed on social media, Archer and Quinn’s pursuit of the elusive killer becomes a desperate search.

But when Archer discovers that the killer might be closer than she originally thought – she realises that he has his sights set firmly on her . . .

He is creating a masterpiece. And she will be the star of his show.

Time to start compiling my list of favourite books of 2020!

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