• Book review: Did You See Melody by Sophie Hannah

    Tuesday, August 22, 2017 Permalink

    This latest release by Sophie Hannah reminded me of my cozy fiction days. In many ways, our lead character Cara and another resort guest (Tarin) are Miss Marplesque characters. Though perhaps more like Agatha Raisin. Or Phrynne Fisher (‘Lady Detective’).

    I must admit, I was rather taken with Tarin (and Zellie) Fry in particular, and wouldn’t mind meeting them again. I suspect Cara’s story is done, but Tarin  would hold some allure for future books in a series. (Akin perhaps to Mary Higgins Clark’s lottery winners, Alvirah and Willy Meehan, who often feature – even in secondary roles – in her novels.)

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    four-stars
  • Book review: Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

    Monday, August 21, 2017 Permalink

    This book by Kaira Rouda gives us one of the most unlikeable male leads I’ve come across in a while. Untrustworthy and unlikeable narrators aren’t a new thing… think Girl on the Train and so forth, however I think the creepiest thing about our lead character Paul is that he lies to us. Out of laziness or habit I think, rather than any real fear of what we’ll think of him.

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    four-half-stars
  • Book review: Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber

    Friday, August 18, 2017 Permalink

    I was at a writers conference last weekend and one or two publishers mentioned the fact they were after novels featuring mixed media or compiled via a mix of emails or text or similar. Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber would have made those publishers very happy because, not only is it about something very topical (ie. podcasts and true crimes), it includes tweets, online forum chats and podcast transcripts.

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    four-stars
  • Ten lessons from romance writers

    Monday, August 14, 2017 Permalink

    Last week I mentioned I was attending the Romance Writers of Australia annual conference. It possibly surprised some given that I don’t write romance, and don’t really write (anything other than blog posts and book reviews) full stop.

    However, as I’ve explained in the past…. I. LOVE. TO. WRITE. I love words. I love phrases. I love the whir and click as a sentence falls neatly into place. And hanging with people who ‘get’ that is a wonderful thing.

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  • Book review: The Lone Child by Anna George

    Friday, August 11, 2017 Permalink

    I enjoyed this book far more than I expected. Which is weird because – in reality – I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from this book. The backcover blurb didn’t really give me any insight into the ‘type’ of novel I was going to be reading. I’m not sure that should matter and (thankfully) as it happened, it didn’t.

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    four-stars
  • Romance Writers of Australia and me!

    Thursday, August 10, 2017 Permalink

    Some of you may recall the post I wrote earlier this year about ‘why I don’t read romance novels’. The timing was ironic because no sooner had I hit ‘publish’ when I won a registration to the Australian Romance Readers’ Association convention in Melbourne.

    Although I still had to pay accommodation and flights (and am again a mortgage-holder) I decided to go, and am so glad I did. The people I met were unbelievably friendly and it was wonderful to hang with people as passionate about reading and writing as moi. 

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  • Book review: Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

    Wednesday, August 9, 2017 Permalink

    Although I enjoyed this book it needed to be a little bit ‘more’ for me. It started really well and author Haylen Beck built a lot of suspense early on. But the pacing felt a little off and it was almost as if there was a rush to get to the end… while the plot simultaneously fizzled out a little. The book however, did have a lot of potential and grabbed my attention enough that I was forced to read it in a night.

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

    Monday, August 7, 2017 Permalink

    Goodreads bills this as Roxane Weary #1, so it’s already a good sign that this debut novel by Kirsten Lepionka will be the first of many. Or at least several. It’s also ideal to start a new series at the beginning…. something I’ve occasionally not done and my enjoyment of subsequent books has suffered as a result (Emma Viskic’s And Fire Came Down / Resurrection Bay, I’m looking at you!)

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    three-half-stars
  • Book review: And Fire Came Down by Emma Viskic

    Saturday, August 5, 2017 Permalink

    I am one of the few book-lovers who has not read Emma Viskic’s award-winning Resurrection Bay. In fact, other than the fact its lead character was deaf, I knew little about it. I’m also not sure why I haven’t gotten around to reading it, other than constantly having a full-reading plate. But… because I knew its predecessor was so well-received I jumped at the chance to read Viskic’s second book, And Fire Came Down, without realising it was a sequel, and – in retrospect – it might have made sense to start at the beginning.

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    three-half-stars