April Roundup

A bumper month, I think mainly because I stopped and was able to read more and also because some of the books were perfect crackers to get completely lost in.

Oh gosh where to start, if it ever was an eclectic mix it was this month. As May is the coronation of King Charles III it seemed by default to have a certain royal flavour in some of my reading. Valentine Low – Courtiers has been a book I have dipped in and out of for a few months, since I purchased it. A fascinating insight into the ‘men in grey suits’ and the workings of the palace, the later few chapters which focus on more recent events makes you stop and wonder what some people’s motives really are.

Debut novel Megan Clawson – Falling Hard for the Royal Guard takes us to the Tower of London, and all that Royal pomp and circumstance along with some mishaps and mistakes for our main character Maggie and her Royal Guard, Freddie. Oh I wonder how much of this book is based on the author’s real life mishaps – knowing she does really live in the Tower of London.

A jubilee is something we may not see for a long while, but it is always fascinating to go back to previous ones and it is used as a vehicle for the twelfth book in the Kitty Underhay Series. Helena Dixon – Murder at the Beauty Pageant takes us back to 1935, Dartmouth and the raising of funds for a jubilee celebration for the local children. What could possibly go wrong?

Sticking with the past and back in time, I went back a lot further to the seventeenth century and Edinburgh for Kate Foster – The Maiden. Based on true events, this book was fascinating as it gave voice to the execution of a woman for murdering her lover. But was there more to it all than we know? I look forward to seeing what else this author may write.

Speeding forwards to the Second World War, which is a popular theme in a number of books I read, for various different reasons. What is always wonderful is to step away from what you would normally expect from a wartime saga novel. The latest in the Emmy Lake chronicles is no exception, A.J. Pearce – Mrs Porter Calling for me is the best of the series so far. So invested in the book, the force of Mrs Porter emanates off the page, but then so does the fight against her as well as the war. Laughs and tears in abundance in this book.

Another book which is packed with knowledge, research and thrills from the outset is Anna Stuart- Code Name Elodie, it is a follow up to The Bletchley Girls and this part of the Second World War has always fascinated me. The strong female characters and the insight goes to show you how mcuh research has been done and how much we still don;t know about what went on during those years and the impact it had to all those at the front.

Finishing one duo of books, I then have finished a trilogy with Vicki Beeby – Hopeful Hearts for the Wrens and as the war comes to an end for these women in the Orkney Isles, there is still time for the impact of their friendships to ruin the future. I really enjoyed this series and know that I can go back to her previous trilogy featuring the WAAF.

More modern thrilling literature came in the form of Hillary Rodham Clinton & Louise Penny – State of Terror which I picked up because of the input from Clinton. Having read and listened to quite a lot from her, I am always impressed by her knowledge and resilience against some pretty awful contemporaries and opponents. What if what I read in the book became a reality thanks to the power of one man. Scary. The first time reading Louise Penny, a prolific Canadian author who I may well investigate further should I be after something page turning in the future.

Another prolific author is the great Christie and with the adaptation on over the Easter Weekend, I had to read the book before I got stuck into the programme. Agatha Christie – Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? features neither Poirot or Marple and was a really cracking read, with plenty of twists and turns, and the most simple of questions – why didn’t they simply ask Evans. But if they had, then there wouldn’t have been a book! The adaptation by Hugh Laurie was much better than I was expecting and with a few little tweaks, it stayed very faithful to the book and for that I am most grateful.

I read my mum’s copy of Christie, and that was second hand when she received when she was pregnant with me. The beauty of second hand bookshops which is the theme of Stephanie Butland – Found in a Bookshop. This is the first book that I have read which has featured the COVID pandemic as a backdrop and I found myself slightly panicked by reading it, bringing back some of the more darker days. However the premise of the books is so delightful and once I had got over the poor formatting, it is a book to cherish and turns out is the second to feature the characters and I therefore need to seek out the first.

Kate Forster – Fly Me to Moongate Manor is the latest from this author. I have dipped in and out of her books over the last few years. In other words I don’t make a beeline for them if I know a new one is out. Sometimes it is nice to just rediscover the author again. This was the case with her latest. Some of my favourite things in this book – big houses, gardens, nosy neighbours and a mystery to solve from the past. The perfect escapist reading and just what I needed.

Just as quick as I am knocking these books off my netgalley list, more are being added and I am still trying to make a dent in those actual shelves too. Work does get in the way of reading, but I am hoping some extra bank holidays and with the weather getting better, there will be more reading to come.

How was your April?