Book review: Something to Live For by Richard Roper

Sunday, June 2, 2019 Permalink

Something to Live For by Richard Roper is being billed as ‘the most uplifting and life-affirming debut of the year’. And given it’s about a man whose job it is to visit the homes of recently deceased who have no obvious family / friends, to try to find a single person who knew them or a will (or money to pay for the funeral); it could be very depressing.

But it’s not. It’s a reminder that while there’s crappy stuff happening in the world and… yes, people die alone all of the time, there are still kind and generous people to be found. Not to mention the fact that people live small, rich and happy lives, or sad and loud lives we may know nothing about.

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four-stars

Book review: Their Little Secret by Mark Billingham

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 Permalink

I think this is officially Tom Thorne number 16 but I only joined the Detective Inspector’s exploits four books ago and since then author Mark Billingham has introduced DI Nicola Tanner into the mix and though this mostly unfolds from Tom’s point of view, both feature strongly.

I commented in my last review that I was happy that Tom’s relationship was in trouble as I wasn’t a fan of his partner (and fellow cop) Helen and here they’ve recently separated.

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four-stars

Book review: A Dream of Italy by Nicky Pellegrino

Monday, April 29, 2019 Permalink

I’ve read a couple of Nicky Pellegrino’s books, One Summer in Venice and Under Italian Skies, and I enjoyed both. Of course it had long been my dream to travel to Italy. It was my big bucket list item and since reading those books I’ve been able to tick it off my list as I spent just over 3wks in Italy last September / October including a fabulous week at a Tuscan villa.

Pellegrino lived in Italy (and England) before settling in New Zealand and her passion for Italy – its culture and cuisine in particular – shines through in each of her novels.

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three-half-stars

Book review: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Thursday, April 25, 2019 Permalink

Oh my goodness oh my goodness. Well usually I’d say something far more blasphemous but I’m trying to start this review in a vaguely professional manner so too many ‘f’ words first-up might be a bad thing.

I broke my ‘no reading during the day’ rule for this book. I’d been doing chores and got sweaty, so decided to pop into the bath for a soak and a very short half-hour read before getting into my afternoon plans.

Three hours later I closed this book.

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four-half-stars

Book review: The French Photographer by Natasha Lester

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 Permalink

I’d had this book for a while before I read it as I’m participating in a blog tour for this latest release by Natasha Lester, The French Photographer. It means I’ve seen a few reviews around, including a negative one in mainstream media which Lester shared just after the book’s publication.

I was surprised by that as this is possibly my favourite book by Lester; although it might be a toss-up between this and A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald, and I think that is because the subject matter is ‘meatier’ than her two more recent novels. (If that makes sense!)

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four-half-stars

Book review: Blood River by Tony Cavanaugh

Sunday, April 21, 2019 Permalink

Queensland’s capital Brisbane is well known for the river that ‘divides’ the city. It provides some lovely vantage points and scenery, but is also a bit of a nightmare for those having to commute ‘across’ one of the few bridges from the south to the city centre / north each day. And then of course there are the ‘once in a one hundred year’ floods. Which… in recent times have been proved statisticians and weather-predicting peeps quite wrong!

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three-half-stars

Book review: Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 Permalink

Even though the cover seemed very familiar it wasn’t until I checked my Goodreads account that I discovered I hadn’t read Erin Kelly’s popular He Said / She Said, which was released 2017. I had – however – read her 2014 novel, The Ties That Bind.

Stone Mothers, we learn, is what the Victorians used to call their mental hospitals because they had faith that the architecture and building design could literally nurse the sick back to health.

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three-stars

Book review: Connections in Death by JD Robb

Sunday, March 3, 2019 Permalink

This book arrived later than expected and I’d started to worry it was’t coming. JD Robb’s In Death series is ‘go-to’ read for me; a comfort read. I’ve demolished them all – the early ones several times.

But – I needn’t have feared as this – the 48th in the series – turned up in the mail at the end of a working week when I most certainly needed something entertaining to lift my spirits. (And there’s nothing like murder and mayhem to do just that!)

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three-half-stars

Book review: Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 Permalink

The cover of Harriet Tyce’s debut novel, Blood Orange, is alluring and slightly confronting. I would most certainly pick it up if I saw it on a shelf and knew nothing else about the book.

It’s a novel featuring an unreliable narrator and a book that surprised me. I think was expecting more of a legal procedural, but this book is as much about Alison, the Barrister representing a woman accused of murdering her husband, as it is the defendant and the crime in question.

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four-stars