Not too much reading has happened this week, mostly due to baby Leo. This week he has grown two teeth (cue angry, grumpy, whiney baby and exhausted mother!) and he has also learnt to blow raspberries, which is pretty much the cutest thing ever! I have had a good week for book post though!
WHAT I’VE BEEN READING
‘The Other Mrs Walker’ by Mary Paulson-Ellis. I really enjoyed this book. It’s quite a unique and intriguing read. Mary Paulson-Ellis weaves together a giant web of family secrets and bit by bit they get revealed. I loved the fractious relationship Margaret has with her mother and their conversations were highly entertaining.
An old lady dies alone and unheeded in a cold Edinburgh flat on a snowy Christmas night. A faded emerald dress hangs in her wardrobe; a spilt glass of whisky pools on the floor.
A few days later a middle-aged woman arrives back in the city she thought she’d left behind. Wearing a stolen red coat and a pair of unsuitable shoes, Margaret Penny exits her life in London for an Edinburgh in the grips of a freezing winter her future uncertain, her past in tatters. She soon finds herself a job at the Office for Lost People, tracking down the families of those who have died neglected and alone.
Following a trail of peculiar curiosities that lead her back to the past, Margaret is about to find out some darker secrets about her own life too. But what Margaret Penny cannot yet know, is just how entangled her own life will become in the death of one lonely stranger.
‘Western Fringes’ by Amer Anwar.
Recently released from prison, Zaq Khan is lucky to land a dead-end job at a builders’ yard. All he wants to do is keep his head down and put his past behind him. But when he has to search for his boss’s runaway daughter it quickly becomes apparent he’s not simply dealing with family arguments and arranged marriages as he finds himself caught up in a deadly web of deception, murder and revenge.
With time running out and pressure mounting, can he find the missing girl before it’s too late? And if he does, can he keep her – and himself – alive long enough to deal with the people who want them both dead?
‘The Comfort of Others’ by Kay Langdale.
Minnie and her sister Clara, spinsters both, live in a dilapidated country house in the middle of a housing estate, built when their father sold off the family’s land. Now in their seventies, their days follow a well-established routine: long gone are the garden parties, the tennis lessons and their suffocatingly strict mother. Gone, too, is any mention of what happened when Minnie was sixteen, and the secret the family buried in the grounds of their estate. Directly opposite them lives Max, an 11-year-old whose life with his mum has changed beyond recognition since her new boyfriend arrived. Cast aside, he takes solace in Minnie’s careful routine, observed through his bedroom window. Over the course of the summer, both begin to tell their stories: Max through a Dictaphone, Minnie through a diary. As their tales intertwine, ghosts are put to rest and challenges faced, in a story that is as dark as it is uplifting.
‘The Incredible Crime’ by Lois Austen-Leigh.
Prince’s College, Cambridge, is a peaceful and scholarly community, enlivened by Prudence Pinsent, the Master’s daughter. Spirited, beautiful, and thoroughly unconventional, Prudence is a remarkable young woman. One fine morning she sets out for Suffolk to join her cousin Lord Wellende for a few days’ hunting. On the way Prudence encounters Captain Studde of the coastguard – who is pursuing a quarry of his own. Studde is on the trail of a drug smuggling ring that connects Wellende Hall with the cloistered world of Cambridge. It falls to Prudence to unravel the identity of the smugglers – who may be forced to kill, to protect their secret.
‘Continental Crimes’ edited by Martin Edwards.
A man is forbidden to uncover the secret of the tower in a fairy-tale castle by the Rhine. A headless corpse is found in a secret garden in Paris – belonging to the city’s chief of police. And a drowned man is fished from the sea off the Italian Riviera, leaving the carabinieri to wonder why his socialite friends at the Villa Almirante are so unconcerned by his death. These are three of the scenarios in this new collection of vintage crime stories compiled by Martin Edwards. Detective stories from the golden age and beyond have used European settings – cosmopolitan cities, rural idylls and crumbling chateaux – to explore timeless themes of revenge, deception and haunting. Including lesser-known stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, and J. Jefferson Farjeon – and over a dozen other classic writers – this collection reveals many hidden gems of British crime.
‘The Last Best Friend’ by George Sims.
At 2pm on a Monday in 1966, Ned Balfour wakes in Corsica beside a beautiful woman. In the same instant, back in London, fellow art dealer and Dachau survivor Sam Weiss falls ten stories to his death. Ned refuses to believe that Sam’s death was intentional, and his investigation thrusts him into the deceit and fraudulence of the art world, where he unmasks more than one respectable face. First published in 1967, this thrilling tale of vertigo, suspicion and infidelity is a long-forgotten classic with an intriguing plot twist.
‘The End of the Web’ by George Sims.
Leo Selver, a middle-aged antiques dealer, is stunned when the beautiful and desirable Judy Latimer shows an interest in him. Soon they are lying in each other’s arms, unaware that this embrace will be their last. Popular opinion suggests that Leo murdered the girl, a theory Leo’s wife – well aware of her husband’s infidelities – refuses to accept. Ed Buchanan, a former policeman who has known the Selvers since childhood, agrees to clear Leo’s name. Selver and his fellow antique dealers had uncovered a secret and it is up to Ed to find the person willing to kill in order to protect it. This exhilarating and innovative thriller was first published in 1976.
I haven’t started a new read yet, I’m in a happy between reads place where I have a vast array to pick from!
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