Book review: The Glasgow Smile by Chris Stuart

Saturday, December 9, 2023 Permalink

The Glasgow Smile by Chris Stuart is the second in the series featuring Detective Roberta (Robbie) Gray. Chris gave me a copy of this when I met her at the Theakston Crime Writing Festival in July and when I opened it to start a few months ago I discovered it had an older sibling so I read that first and very much enjoyed For Reasons of Their Own which introduced Robbie, along with her boss and team, as well as newcomer ‘Mac’.

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four-stars

Book review: Reinventing Emily Brown by Jodi Gibson

Thursday, September 14, 2023 Permalink

I’m not traditionally a reader of feel-good books. Most I read are those written by writing and blogging friends whose words I enjoy and who I know will always deliver on their promise. Reinventing Emily Brown is the third book I’ve read by Jodi Gibson and I’ve enjoyed them all. It’s perfect for lovers of Virgin River (and the like) as it offers that perfect balance of joy and happiness with personal angst and life-not-going-how-you-expect.

Here, I felt I could fairly confidently guess where the book was going and how it would end, but I very happily coasted along because sometimes that predictability is comforting and exactly what you need.

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four-stars

Book review: Philly Barker Investigates by Joanne Tracey

Sunday, September 25, 2022 Permalink

I was weirdly nervous on going into this book. Almost reluctant even. Firstly because Jo Tracey is a friend of mine. We met online and now meet in person fairly regularly and she feels like my most kindred spirit in a writing / creative way. And then there’s the fact that I’ve had a sneak peek at this book already. Which meant this was a re-read and even though it was many months ago, I worried I’d struggle to re-read it so soon.

I needn’t have stressed though because I surprised myself by becoming incredibly absorbed in Philly’s world – reading most of it in a sitting, despite not planning to do so… and only putting it aside as it was getting late and I really needed to rescue my dinner from the oven.

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four-stars

Book review: Happy Hour by Jacquie Byron

Friday, November 26, 2021 Permalink

Happy Hour by Jacquie Byron was a delightful surprise. It very much reminded me of other books I’ve loved, The Other Side of Beautiful by Kim Lock, Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray and  Saving Missy by Beth Morrey.

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m ageing, but I appreciate books about older women (or men) and it’s a reminder that lives can be just as happy or messy or uncertain no matter whether you’re 20 or 70.

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four-stars

Book review: The Five Year Plan by Jodi Gibson

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 Permalink

The Five Year Plan is the second book I’ve read by Jodi Gibson, who I know virtually through our shared love of reading and writing. Although this and her previous novel The Memories We Hide,  veer a little more towards romance than my usual reading fodder I enjoyed both. They’re quintessential summer reads. They’re comforting…. offering some reassurance that all will be well in/with the world.

In some ways you can predict how things will ultimately end up but it’s the getting-there that I very much enjoyed here, particularly as Gibson predominantly sets this in Bari, in Italy’s Puglia region. I’ve never been but (very) coincidentally was in Italy this time three years ago.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Prey by L A Larkin

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 Permalink

When I was contacted about Prey by L A Larkin I assumed I’d read Larkin’s previous book, Devour as I recognised its cover. So when I started reading and realised Prey was a sequel, I flicked back to my site (and through Goodreads) for my review to get some context.

It was only then I realised I hadn’t read its predecessor. It was a little problematic initially as there were a lot of references to events in Devour (marketed as Olivia Wolfe #1) and I almost put Prey aside as a result. I’m glad I didn’t however as I grew to increasingly like our lead character, Olivia and was keen to discover what she uncovered.

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three-half-stars

Book review: Fred Do-it’s Wacky Plan Really Fails by Graham Bebington

Monday, August 26, 2019 Permalink

Regular readers will know I don’t often review children’s books. As I don’t have kids myself and am subjected to very few ( 😉 ), I don’t really know what they do or don’t like.

I had intended to co-opt my 8yr old godson Pickle to assist with this review as the author of Fred Do-it’s Wacky Plan Really Fails, Graham Bebington is the librarian at his school, but I haven’t been able to pin him (my godson, not Mr Bebington) down. It’s Pickle’s birthday month you see – so he’s distracted (and sick) – though he was able to give me some feedback in between party-planning excitement.

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