I’ve had a great bookish October, I’ve read 15 books and managed to keep on top of my reviews and blog posts – wahoooo! Winning at life this month! As it’s October, I enjoyed some ghostly, creepy tales and I also re-read ‘Three Things About Elsie’ by Joanna Cannon, I have so much love for this book! My highlights have to include – ‘The Silent Companions’ by Laura Purcell, ‘The Book of Dust’ by Philip Pullman, ‘The Word Is Murder’ by Anthony Horowitz, ‘Uncommon Type’ by Tom Hanks and my Murder, She Wrote treat – ‘Aloha Betrayed’.
What I’ve Been Reading
‘The Girl Before’ by JP Delaney. Jane moves into the seemingly perfect One Folgate Street, but as she settles into her new life the mystery of the previous occupant soon becomes an obsession. This was a completely addictive read. It was creepy and unpredictable. My only quibble was the slight ‘Fifty Shades’ feel to it, but overall I did enjoy it.
‘The Silent Companions’ by Laura Purcell. Recently married and recently widowed, Elsie moves to her husband’s crumbling country estate. She thinks her only company are the household staff and her husband’s cousin. I loved this – it’s full of atmosphere, it’s haunting and it is utterly gripping. I always enjoy a tale that gives me the shivers and this one certainly did. Book Review – ‘The Silent Companions’ by Laura Purcell
‘The Travelling Bag’ by Susan Hill. A short story collection from the queen of ghost stories. These four tales were all enjoyable, I liked them all and they all had Susan Hill’s trademark chills and tension. I think my favourite of the collection was ‘The Front Room’ where a family take in a distant relative with horrific results.
‘Whiteout’ by Ragnar Jonasson. Two days before Christmas a young woman is found dead at the bottom of a cliff face of a deserted village. Was it suicide or has something darker occurred? This was my first Ragnar Jonasson but it certainly won’t be my last! Full of atmosphere and with a small suspect pool, this was a tense and gripping read.
‘The Loney’ by Andrew Michael Hurley. A deeply religious family take a pilgrimage to The Loney every year in an attempt to cure their mute son. I was slightly disappointed with this one, I heard so many good things but for me I just didn’t find it enjoyable. However, I did find it chock full of atmosphere and the ending was pretty chilling.
‘The Chalk Pit’ by Elly Griffiths. Doctor Ruth Galloway and DI Harry Nelson are back, Ruth is investigating bones discovered in an underground chamber and Nelson is occupied with the disappearance of a homeless woman. I adore this series, the blend of modern day policing and archaeology is a winner for me and the characters are engaging and real. This is one of the best books in the series. Clearing The Shelves – ‘The Chalk Pit’ by Elly Griffiths
‘Uncommon Type’ by Tom Hanks. A short story collection by everyone’s favourite Hollywood star. All the stories are full of interesting characters and each tale is superb. A few have recurring characters but what links the stories is Tom Hanks’ love of typewriters, one appears in each story and with accompanying photos it’s easy to see why these gorgeous machines are celebrated in this book. This was truly a pleasure to read. Book Review – ‘Uncommon Type’ by Tom Hanks
‘The Word Is Murder’ by Anthony Horowitz. A writer become embroiled in a murder case when a former police detective asks him to write about the investigation. I loved loved loved this… it was bloody fantastic! Anthony Horowitz is fast becoming a favourite of mine, I adored ‘Magpie Murders’ and this was just as good. Entertaining, funny, superb characters and a cracking mystery. Book Review – ‘The Word Is Murder’ by Anthony Horowitz
‘Fingersmith’ by Sarah Waters. A young thief is offered an opportunity to earn her riches. I really wanted to enjoy this, but I found it a struggle to read. It had all the right ingredients for me, Victorian, asylums and lots of twists but I just didn’t enjoy reading it. I think I’ve read other books in the same vein that have blown me away so this one just didn’t hit the mark.
‘Christmas With the Bomb Girls’ by Daisy Styles. The Bomb Girls work at Pheonix Munitions Factory, when Gladys returns from singing for the troops she has lost the spark that she is known for. This book was lovely. It was a pleasant and joyful read for me. I fell in love with all the characters, smiled at their joy and cried at their tragedy. A really enjoyable, festive little read. Book Review – ‘Christmas With the Bomb Girls’ by Daisy Styles
‘The Book of Dust’ by Philip Pullman. Malcolm Polstead works in his dad’s pub and helps the nuns who live nearby, his life is turned upside down when he becomes protector of a baby girl, Lyra. I was so excited to read this. ‘His Dark Materials’ is one of my absolute favourite trilogies and this prequal had all of that same magic. I thoroughly relished being back in Philip Pullman’s world, the magic, the wonder, the peril and the characters all make for a brilliant story. I cannot wait for volume two.
‘Aloha Betrayed’ by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain. Jessica is in Hawaii teaching, when a fellow staff member is found dead, Jessica isn’t satisfied it was an accident. I love watching ‘Murder, She Wrote’ and reading this was just as enjoyable. Not only was it a great mystery, it had a beautiful setting and characters that came alive. I LOVED IT! Book Review – ‘Aloha Betrayed’ by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain
‘Somebody At The Door’ by Raymond Postgate. Winter 1942, England lays dark in the wartime blackout. Councillor Grayling steps off a train and into the night unaware of where his path will lead. Parts of this book I really enjoyed, it’s quite atmospheric and the cause of death is baffling. The book focuses on the story of each suspect which normally I enjoy but with this book, it felt like I was reading short stories rather than a novel. Not my favourite British Library Crime Classic sadly.
‘Three Things About Elsie’ by Joanna Cannon. My second read of Three Things and I now love it even more! I spotted things I missed the first time and found even more love for Elsie, Flo and Jack. My review will be coming soon!
‘The Haunted Library’ selected by Tanya Kirk. A selection of classic ghost stories that all feature books or libraries in some way. This made for great Halloween reading, some of the tales were fantastic and very creepy, but there were some others that just didn’t do it for me. However I do recommend it if you want bookish ghostly tales.
‘Uncommon Type’ by Tom Hanks. A selection of short stories from Hollywood favourite, Tom Hanks. Tales featuring characters from all walks of life and in each story a typewriter plays a part.
‘The Hunters’ by Kat Gordon. 1920’s Kenya, full of money, pleasure, parties and power. But passion and darkness lurk beneath the glittering veneer.
‘Whiteout’ by Ragnar Jonasson. Two days before Christmas a young woman is found dead at the bottom of a cliff face of a deserted village. Was it suicide or has something darker occurred?
‘Christmas With The Bomb Girls’ by Daisy Styles. The Bomb Girls work at Pheonix Munitions Factory, when Gladys returns from singing for the troops she has lost the spark that she is known for. Can her friends help her through? And will the Bomb Girls be able to enjoy Christmas despite the country being at war?
‘Murder On The Orient Express’ by Agatha Christie. One of Christie’ most famous tales – Hercule Poirot is aboard The Orient Express, a body is discovered, the killer must be on the train. But which passenger is guilty?
‘Iron Gold’ by Pierce Brown. The first in a new trilogy from the author that ruined our hearts with the Red Rising trilogy! Ten years on after breaking the chains and Darrow is back, facing new enemies and with new allies.
‘Foreign Bodies’ edited by Martin Edwards. A short story collection that brings together rare and previously untranslated classic crime stories from other countries.
‘Somebody At The Door’ by Raymond Postgate. Winter 1942, England lays dark in the wartime blackout. Councillor Grayling steps off a train and into the night unaware of where his path will lead.
‘Silver Bullets – Classic Werewolf Stories’ selected by Eleanor Dobson. A collection of the greatest werewolf short stories from the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Hope everyone else has had a wonderful bookish month, have you enjoyed any of these reads too? What did you think?
Thank you to everyone who has followed my little blog, read, commented or shared my posts this month. I appreciate it all!