The Skeleton Paints a Picture (Family Skeleton Mystery #4) by Leigh Perry

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Synopsis: Adjunct English professor Georgia Thackery has a new job teaching at Falstone Art and Design University, known as FAD to its students and faculty. It’s lonely isolated in a borrowed bungalow during a winter of record-breaking snow, until, that is, she receives a package with the body of her best friend, Sid. Sid is a walking, talking skeleton who has lived with the Thackery family since Georgia was six. She’s used to the oddities of having an ambulatory bag of bones as a best friend, but for him to mail himself to her is unusual, even for Sid. It turns out that Sid, who normally lives with Georgia’s extremely busy parents, was lonely, too.
The two of them make plans for a cozy semester: reading, watching movies, Georgia grading papers and doing research while Sid games and works on homework for his online class. It might have worked out that way if Sid hadn’t gone out wandering the first night and spotted a crashed car. When they go to investigate, they find the driver, apparently dead from the crash.
Initially police think it’s an accident, so Georgia and Sid think that’s the end of it–until Georgia finds out the body she found hit closer to home than she’d realized…

My review: How to make a crime story a bit more original – add a walking, talking, internet surfing skeleton! My introduction to this series and it didn’t disappoint. Full of lots of quirks such as the amount of different names for bones that can be used instead of swear words. I really did like the skeleton although it took a few chapters for me to get sued to the idea. Very inventive in the way he could be used to sneakily watch people for signs of criminal activity while pulling double duty as an artists model

Lots and lots of plot twists. I think nearly everyone on campus was accused of the murder and art theft. It flows well, it’s a fairly quick read. There’s a slimy creep and lots of well defined characters. I’m really looking forward to the next one and happy to go back and check out the first three books

Free arc from netgalley

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A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M. Harris

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Synopsis: I am as brown as brown can be,
And my eyes as black as sloe;
I am as brisk as brisk can be,
And wild as forest doe.
(The Child Ballads, 295)
So begins a beautiful tale of love, loss and revenge. Following the seasons, A Pocketful of Crows balances youth and age, wisdom and passion and draws on nature and folklore to weave a stunning modern mythology around a nameless wild girl.
Only love could draw her into the world of named, tamed things. And it seems only revenge will be powerful enough to let her escape.

My review: What a lovely little book. I actually read it in a couple of hours one lazy Sunday morning. The synopsis says it all really. Based on the poem ‘The Child Ballads’ this is a lovely poetic piece of writing weaving folklore and nature into one beautiful piece of prose. The young girl (not named as naming means taming) is a wild child living in the forest who finds a love token for the local lords son. Taking it, she then stops the boy from being trampled by his horse, falling in love with him and he with her. Or so she thinks. Bitterly betrayed by him she sets about getting her life back and seeking revenge on all who have hurt her.

One of the things I enjoyed most were the times when the girl leaves her body to go travelling in the bodies of local animals. How she sees the world through their eyes, whether soaring above in the sky or scuttling around the castle listening for gossip. You are taken along with every step of the girls journey. It really is magnificent. One of my new favourites by this author.

Wonderful…

Free arc from netgalley

Released 17th Oct 2017

Cursed (The Soulseer Chronicles #2) by Sue Tingey

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Synopsis: Before Lucky can really start to enjoy her new life in the Underlands, Kayla’s men are slain and Kayla herself is kidnapped by the Sicarii, assassins-for-hire members of a death-cult.
Lucky’s nemesis Henri le Dent has somehow escaped the Chambers of Rectification and court torturer Amaliel Cheriour is also missing . . . and daemon princess Kayla is just bait to catch Lucky.
For Lucky’s own powers are growing, and Amaliel has his own nefarious paln to use her. But first, he has to get past her Guards, not to mention Lucky herself . . .

My review: Dear author, please stop pretending to kill off my favourite characters…thank you….

Ahem

I really enjoyed the first book in this trilogy (“Marked”) and loved the characters. I didn’t realise that I was invested in them until the thought that one of them may have died. They weave their way into your heart and that’s a good sign that the book is going to be really good.

This one is much darker than the first. Real deaths, almost deaths, poisonings and much more as Lucky, Jinx, Jamie and the rest continue their search for lucky’s kidnapped sister. Now the majority of people are established from the first we can get down to the adventure and enjoy Lucky learning just who she is and what she is capable of.

It’s just an excellent read and I’m really looking forward to starting the final part of the journey

Thanks to Sue Tingley and Jo Fletcher books for the free paperback

The Thief’s Daughter by Victoria Cornwall

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Synopsis: Hide from the thief-taker, for if he finds you, he will take you away …
Eighteenth-century Cornwall is crippled by debt and poverty, while the gibbet casts a shadow of fear over the land. Yet, when night falls, free traders swarm onto the beaches and smuggling prospers.
Terrified by a thief-taker’s warning as a child, Jenna has resolved to be good. When her brother, Silas, asks for her help to pay his creditors, Jenna feels unable to refuse and finds herself entering the dangerous world of the smuggling trade.
Jack Penhale hunts down the smuggling gangs in revenge for his father’s death. Drawn to Jenna at a hiring fayre, they discover their lives are entangled. But as Jenna struggles to decide where her allegiances lie, the worlds of justice and crime collide, leading to danger and heartache for all concerned …

My review: I accidentally read these books from Victoria Cornwall back to front as this is the first in the Cornwall books with a past reviewed book The Captain’s Daughter being book 2. Luckily it doesn’t matter too much as the stories are quite self contained. 

This is another well written historical romantic drama that it’s easy to get lost in. The descriptions of Cornwall are beautiful and really conjure up a time past. I loved the romance and the overall story. It’s a great debut and having also enjoyed the second book too this is an author I’m keen to read more of.

Thank you to Netgalley and Choc Lit for the free arc

 

The Captain’s Daughter (Choc Lit): Victorian Saga (Cornish Tales Book 2) by Victoria Cornwall

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Synopsis: Sometimes you need to discover your own strength in order to survive …
After a family tragedy, Janey Carhart was forced from her comfortable life as a captain’s daughter into domestic service. Determined to make something of herself, Janey eventually finds work as a lady’s maid at the imposing Bosvenna Manor on the edge of Bodmin Moor, but is soon caught between the two worlds of upstairs and downstairs, and accepted by neither, as she cares for her mistress.
Desperately lonely, Janey catches the attention of two men – James Brockenshaw and Daniel Kellow. James is heir to the Bosvenna estate, a man whose eloquent letters to his mother warm Janey’s heart. Daniel Kellow is a neighbouring farmer with a dark past and a brooding nature, yet with a magnetism that disturbs Janey. Two men. Who should she choose? Or will fate decide.

My review: This is a love story set in Cornwall from publishers Choc Lit. I’ve read a few of their books now but this is the first from this author…and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Janey Carhart has gained a new job as a lady’s maid, a rarity for someone so young and ends up torn between the two worlds of service and gentry. I’ve seen comparisons to Poldark as both books are set in Cornwall however I only managed one series of that so for me it reminded me of the firsts series of Downton Abbey (where the daughter ran off with her father’s driver) again though a positive comparison.

I really enojoyed this. It flows quite smoothly, it’s lovingly written and I loved all the characters. I found it hard to put down and would highly recommend it

Thanks to Choc Lit for the free ARC of this book

The to Z of Eating Disorders

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Synopsis: Are you worried about your food intake? Do you weigh yourself most days and feel guilty if you gain half a pound? Do strict rules dominate your mealtimes and life, just so you can feel more in control?
The A to Z of Eating Disorders is a road map for anyone who wants a way out of the bewildering world of disordered eating and body-image anxiety.
From anorexia, bingeing and clean eating, to social media, yo-yo dieting and size zero, this book explores these complex conditions from a range of angles, offering valuable insights and hope.

My review: I’ve downloaded a number of books about eating habits trying to work out what exactly my issues may be and how to work with them. This is a pretty good overview of eating disorders and associated mental health problems & addictions that may be linked to having an Eating Disorder. The author has a good understanding of the subject having had her own issues with food. It’s not in depth but then it’s not intended to be. It’s a good starting point to give the reader basic information that they can then take away to delve into more deeply. Enjoyable and informative. A recommended read

The Snowman (Harry Hole #7) by Jo Nesbø , Don Bartlett (Translator)

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Synopsis: Oslo in November. The first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother’s pink scarf.
Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he’s received and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother—and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As his investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn in an increasingly terrifying game whose rules are devised—and constantly revised—by the killer.

My review: I downloaded this book as a free arc fro netgalley purely because the author is on my list to check out but also because it’s just been released as a film. My first impressions were being confused that this has been picked to be a film. Reading it I can’t imagine it being cinematic enough for the big screen; perhaps to me it would be more suited to a 2 or 3 episode mini-series. 

There’s quite a few twists and turns n the book. Reading on kindle I got to 70% and wondered what was left to tell but thankfully some god twists kept me going. Having not read earlier books I’m unsure when certain characters are introduced so I don’t know if the killer was introduced in this one or there’s been a slow build over a couple of books (that would be quite cool actually)

I liked the characters, being the 7th book they’re quite established. I didn’t feel like I’d missing anything with the characterisation by joining in late. There’s enough backstory (without it being overkill) to work out who is who and what they do.

Overall I really enjoyed this and while not enough to be paying extortionate cinema prices to watch I will probably go back and read the rest of the series.

A Long Day in Lychford (Lychford #3) by Paul Cornell

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Synopsis: It’s a period of turmoil in Britain, with the country’s politicians electing to remove the UK from the European Union, despite ever-increasing evidence that the public no longer supports it. And the small town of Lychford is suffering.But what can three rural witches do to guard against the unknown? And why are unwary hikers being led over the magical borders by their smartphones’ mapping software? And is the European question *really* important enough to kill for?

My review: After a recommendation gave me another new favourite author with the Shadow Police books I thought I’d try a different set of the authors books. I managed to get this one as a free ARC on netgalley and it didn’t disappoint.

I managed to read this in one morning as it moves along at such a cracking pace. I was a little bit worried about starting with the third book in the series in that I’d not be as engaged with the characters but  actually found that this works well as a stand alone story just as much as part of a series. All three witches have their own identities and are well formed and I found myself liking all of them. Looking back at the synopsis if the previous two titles each book focuses on one witch specifically which is probably why I felt reading this that there wasn’t enough of Lizzie. That’s fine – I just need to go back and read the other two books.

I enjoyed the links with the fairy world and would like to read more on that (hopefully going forward in book 4, no spoilers but it looks like i may get at least some part of that wish). It’s an enjoyable book and I’m looking forward to reading more. 

 

 

Where the Hell is Tesla? (Where the Hell is Tesla? #1) by Rob Dircks

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Synopsis: SCI-FI ODYSSEY. COMEDY. LOVE STORY. AND OF COURSE… NIKOLA TESLA.
I’ll let Chip, the main character tell you more: “I found the journal at work. Well, I don’t know if you’d call it work, but that’s where I found it. It’s the lost journal of Nikola Tesla, one of the greatest inventors and visionaries ever. Before he died in 1943, he kept a notebook filled with spectacular claims and outrageous plans. One of these plans was for an “Interdimensional Transfer Apparatus” – that allowed someone (in this case me and my friend Pete) to travel to other versions of the infinite possibilities around us. Crazy, right? But that’s just where the crazy starts.”
CHIP’S OFFICIAL DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction: the events depicted in the collection of emails did not happen. I have never been in contact with a covert government group attempting to suppress knowledge of the lost journal of Nikola Tesla. I have not been threatened with death if I divulge the secrets contained inside. They did not buy me this handsome jacket (oh crap, you’re reading this – trust me, it looks great on me). They did not come to my place, and liquor me up, and offer to publish this book as a sci-fi comedy novel to throw the public off the trail of the real truth.
Or did they?
I’m kidding. Of course they didn’t.
Or did they?
God, I can’t keep my big mouth shut

My review: So I like space themed books, I like funny books, I like science related books even though half the time I don’d understand half of what’s written. I like it when an author throws the whole kitchen sink in and gives you tons of information to work with. And I like it when a book is just pain bonkers. This…gave me all of the above.

Interdenominational time travel. A weapon that looks suspiciously like a TV remote control, friendship and romance. And seriously no matter how hard I tried to imagine something else, Bobo the alien just stayed in my imagination as an Ewok.

This book is a ton of fun and I really enjoyed it. I downloaded this and the second instalment as free arcs from netgalley and looking forward to starting the next one

Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe (Manga Classics) by Stacy King (Adapted by), Edgar Allan Poe

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Sysnopsis: The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe is a brilliant collection of some of his best-known stories: The Tell Tale Heart (a murder s haunting guilt), The Cask of Amontillado (a story of brilliant revenge), and The Fall of the House of Usher (an ancient house full of very dark secretes). Also included in this collection are The Mask of the Red Death (horrors of the Plague ), and the most famous of all his poems: The Raven (a lover s decline into madness). Best read in a dimly-lit room with the curtains drawn, Poe s brilliant works come to life in darkly thrilling ways in this Manga Classic adaptation.”

My review: An different choice for me. Poe’s works are so widely known and have been re-published or turned into TV/film so many times I know many of the stories without actually having read more than maybe 2 of them. And while I’ve read some graphic novels I’ve never tried Manga so lots of new experiences all round. 

Not sure what to expect with Manga but with this graphic novel it seemed to be exactly the same but you start at the back and work forward. That was a bit weird at first but reading it from the laptop it soon became easy to scroll up not down and I enjoyed the layout, the art work is fantastic and I would happily seek out more of this style and also the author. 

It’s also for a Poe novice an excellent introduction to the man’s work. The manga style keeps the stories short and to the point. Really enjoyed this on both counts and will happily look up more

Free arc from netgalley