Heading to Trieste after a holiday with her friends, Iris Carr befriends Miss Froy on the train. Waking from her nap, Iris finds no trace of her new friend and the rest of the passengers tell her that no such woman exists. Has Iris really imagined the whole situation or is there something wicked taking place?
I am a huge fan of the films of Alfred Hitchcock and one of my favourites has always been The Lady Vanishes. The Wheel Spins is the book that it is based on, written in 1936 and very much of its time. The writer does manage to create a claustrophobic atmosphere as Iris searches on board the train for Miss Froy while worrying about her own fate.
While the premise of the book is still the same as the film, there are numerous differences and, if I am completely honest, this is one of the rare occasions where I prefer the film to the book. Many chapters seemed like fillers when all I wanted to do was read about Iris and her search for Miss Froy. This is where the film versions get it right as the parts featuring Miss Froy’s parents have been omitted as they didn’t really bring anything to the plot.
I still enjoyed the book and, especially when you think of its age, it has a plot that stands the rest of time.
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.
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.
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.
After the cliffhanger in the previous book, we see DI Thomas Ridpath adapting to new circumstances whilst investigating the murder of a young boy. A great addition to a very readable series and I recommend them highly if you have not yet started to read them.
A multi-genre time travel novel which sees new employee Megan Taylor trying to alter the course of history. Just what did happen to Lady Eleanor Fairfax in 1939, and can Megan stop it from happening? With a touch of history, magic, science fiction and romance, there is something here for everybody!
Judas Horse by Lynda la Plante
The second book in the Jack Warr series sees the detective investigating a spate of violent burglaries in his own inimitable way. After getting to know Jack in the first book in the series, we start to see more of his policing in this one. I thoroughly enjoyed it and my review will follow as part of the blog tour.
The Girl in the Painting by Steve Robinson
The eighth in the Jefferson Tayte series (although this could be read as a standalone) sees the genealogist now teaching family history. He can’t resist helping with some research, however, when one of his students asks for help in identifying the subject of a painting. In true JT style, it’s not long before danger heads his way… Review to follow.
Her stomach lurches as she sits in the windowless room. He throws her phone to the ground, grinds it against the floor with the heel of his shoe and brings his face closer to hers. There was no turning back now, her life as she knew it was gone.
Books I Have Acquired
When the lifeless body of a man is found on an industrial estate,Detective Kim Stonearrives on the scene and discovers he’s been tortured in the worst way imaginable.
But as she breaks the devastating news to the victim’s wife, Diane Phipps, Kim can’t help feeling that something isn’t quite right about the woman’s reaction.
Twenty-four hours later, the victim’s family disappears into thin air.
Then a second body is found staked to the ground in a local nature reserve.
Desperate to crack the case open quickly, Kim and her team unravel a vital clue – a fiercely guarded secret that links both victims and could cost even more lives.
A secret that some police officers are also protecting.
Faced with deceit from those she should be able to trust, family members who won’t talk, and local reporter, Tracy Frost, opening a can of worms on the case of a woman murdered by her husband a year ago – Kim is in deep water like never before.
Kim must find the motive if she is to find the killer who is systematically targeting and torturing his victims. But can she unlock the shocking truth and stop him before he strikes again?
A portrait painting is stolen from a London home. Shortly afterwards, the owner, Nat, calls on genealogist Jefferson Tayte for his help. She believes the subject of the painting, a young girl called Jess, is a past relative and wants to learn more about her. The problem is that Nat’s research has hit a brick wall – Jess appears to have vanished from the slums of Victorian London soon after the portrait was painted.
When Tayte learns that the theft is connected with a recent murder, he’s right to be wary, but solving crimes through genealogical research is what he does best. He quickly becomes intrigued by the girl in the painting and agrees to help. What became of her? Who stole the painting, and why would they kill for it all these years later?
As Tayte and Nat go in search of the answers, can they solve the mystery and bring the murderer to justice? Or will they become the killer’s next victims?
Three sisters. Three ships. One heartbreaking story.
1911.As Emma packs her trunk to join the ocean liner Olympic as a stewardess, she dreams of earning enough to provide a better life for both her sisters. With their photograph tucked away in her luggage, she promises to be back soon – hoping that sickly Lily will keep healthy, and wild Ruby will behave. But neither life at sea nor on land is predictable, and soon the three sisters’ lives are all changed irrevocably…
Now.When Harriet finds her late grandmother’s travelling trunk in the attic, she’s shocked to discover a photo of three sisters inside – her grandmother only ever mentioned one sister, who died tragically young. Who is the other sister, and what happened to her? Harriet’s questions lead her to the story of three sister ships, Olympic, Titanic and Britannic, and a shattering revelation about three sisters torn apart…
The discovery of a body in the Liverpool docklands unearths long forgotten secrets. Reporter Anne McCarthy is keen to prove herself and dives into the case with abandon. There she finds Michael, an old Irish caretaker who knows far more than he’s letting on and may have a connection to the body.
Vinny Connolly is starting a postgrad degree, researching Liverpool’s migrant history and a burgeoning Scouse identity. But Vinny has been neglecting his own family history and stranger Michael might know about his father’s disappearance in the 70s.
Escaping poverty in Ireland and fresh off the boat, Michael falls in with Wicklow boys Jack Power and Paddy Connolly, who smuggle contraband through the docks, putting them at odds with the unions. While organisers rally the dockworkers against the strikebreakers and rackets. A story of corruption, secret police, and sectarianism slowly unravels. But will the truth out?
As the conflict heightens, Michael questions the life sprawling out ahead of him, while in the present, Anne races to solve the mystery, but is she prepared for what she’ll find?
I shall now reveal the truth of the legend behind the hound of the Baskervilles. No Baskerville should ever cross the moor at night. With a deadly phantom hound on the loose and a mysterious man living on the moor, Devon is a dangerous place to be. But Holmes and Watson must put their fears aside. The country’s favourite crime-fighting duo need to unravel the strange case of Sir Charles Baskervilles murder before his nephew meets the same fate.
The Wheel Spins is the novel about young and bright Iris Carr, who is on her way back to England after spending a holiday somewhere in the Balkans. After she is left alone by her friends, Iris catches the train for Trieste and finds company in Miss Froy, chatty elderly English woman. When she wakes up from a short nap, she discovers that her elderly travelling companion seems to have disappeared from the train. After her fellow passengers deny ever having seen the elderly lady, the young woman is on the verge of her nerves. She is helped by a young English traveler, and the two proceed to search the train for clues to the old woman’s disappearance.
HopefullyI’ll also get my head round the changes WordPress have brought in by next month too!