Trace Elements by Donna Leon – review

Published by Arrow Publication date – 24 September 2020 Source – own copy ‘They killed him. It was bad money.’ A dying hospice patient gasps these cryptic words about her recently-deceased husband. Brunetti softly promises he will look into what appears to be a private family tragedy. He discovers that her husband worked for a…

Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Strachey – review

Published by Persephone Books Publication date – 23 April 2009 Source – own copy A short novel that was first published in 1932 by a niece of Lytton Strachey: in this ‘sharp, unsentimental domestic comedy, the weather is something less than cheerful the day Dolly Thatcham marries the Hon Owen Bingham: “In the furious March…

The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay – review

Published by British Library Publishing Publication date – 1 October 2015 Source – own copy Aunt Mildred declared that no good could come of the Melbury family Christmas gatherings at their country residence Flaxmere. So when Sir Osmond Melbury, the family patriarch, is discovered – by a guest dressed as Santa Klaus – with a…

Coffee and Crime Book Subscription – review

I love the idea of a book box or book subscription. A surprise parcel in the post every month or so, packed with books, treats and edible goodies? Yes please! However, I’m always fearful that I’ll receive a book I already have so I’ve stopped short of actually signing up to any. Then I found…

Ex Libris: 100+ Books to Read and Reread by Michiko Kakutani – review

Published by William Collins Publication date – 20 October 2020 Source – review copy For legendary literary critic Michiko Kakutani, books have always been an escape and a sanctuary, the characters of some novels feeling so real to her childhood self that she worried they might leap out of the pages at night if she…

Letters From the Dead by Sam Hurcom – review

Published by Orion Publication date – 26 November 2020 Source – review copy 1905. A year after ‘the affair’ in Dinas Powys, Thomas Bexley has become a drunkard and recluse, haunted by terrible visions of the dead. But when news of a spate of extraordinary kidnappings reaches him, Thomas is shocked to learn that his…

Miss Mole by E. H. Young – review

Published by Virago Publication date – 1 October 2020 Source – review copy ‘Who would suspect her sense of fun and irony, of a passionate love for beauty and the power to drag it from its hidden places? Who would imagine that Miss Mole had pictured herself, at different times, as an explorer in strange…

The Thief on the Winged Horse by Kate Mascarenhas – review

Published by Head of Zeus Publication date – 12 November 2020 Source – review copy The Kendrick family have been making world-famous dolls for over 200 years. But their dolls aren’t coveted for the craftsmanship alone. Each one has a specific emotion laid on it by its creator. A magic that can make you feel…

Reposed Book Subscription Box – review

There are many book subscription boxes available. What could be a better treat for someone, or you, than a book sent every month, each one a surprise and accompanied by extra little thoughtful gifts such as cosmetics or chocolate. Well nothing, in my humble opinion. As someone who rarely has books bought for her (by…

Whispers in the Dark by Chris McDonald – review

Published by Red Dog Books Publication date – 14 November 2020 Source – Review Small time drug dealer, Marcus Stone and DCI Clive Burston had never met until one night in August. By the end of that night, both had been shot dead in a small bedroom in the heart of gang territory. DI Erika…