Books

April Roundup


And there goes April……I normally have a lot of time to read in April due to holiday, but this year was very different. Less holiday due to work computer systems, personnel changes and the like means that I have had the bare minimum to catch up. It has slightly annoyed me really as has the lack of doing what I like doing. However I have read some books and some cracking ones at that.

The Second World War seems to have been a theme when I look back on the books I have read. I was delighted and also saddened to finally reach the end of this series with Nancy Revell – Three Cheers for the Shipyard Girls. I am now on the look out for another saga series to get immersed in, so if you have any recommendations then please comment and let me know.

From the Shipyards of the War and staying very much on the home front I ended up in a cooking competition on rations with Jennifer Ryan – The Kitchen Front. Whilst perhaps some of the ingredients leave a lot to be desired this strong story of friendship and what you can achieve with every little is excellent. It was lovely to see a book which concentrated on a different part of the war. Jennifer Ryan has a knack of doing that with her story telling.

You never think of what happened to libraries during the War. Kate Thompson – The Little Wartime Library shines a light on such a place, deep underground at Bethnal Green. Synonymous with a tragedy of its own. This was a delightful, heart-breaking book which tells you the power of friendship and strength through books.

More libraries featured this month by pure accident and that was with the latest Katie Ginger – The Little Library on Cherry Lane. A library threatened from something different but nonetheless showing such an important place that libraries can be. Makes me feel so guilty that I do not use mine as often as I should.

Female friendships is a theme in many books I read and they can cross generations as they do in Joanna Nell – The Tea Ladies of St Jude’s Hospital. An author I have read before who can capture the wonder of the elderly in such a comic way that her books have a great sense of fun about them.

Cathy Bramley – The Summer That Changed Us is the latest in this author’s work and I think I have pretty much read all of them. This one was different, it spoke to me in a completely different way. I adored it from beginning to end, it dealt with some real tough subject matter but not in a frivolous way but in something more realistic akin to real life. Cathy’s work keeps getting better and better.

Reading brings me such joy an contentment but I always like to be challenged sometimes by what I pick up. The final two books I want to talk about this month do that. Clare Chambers – Small Pleasures was on my shelf for a while after seeing it being raved about on Between the Covers a relatively new book programme on BBC2. Wow! A gentle book with an interesting themes to make it not so gentle and a bit more powerful.

Thrillers always have that way of being powerful, if they have the right hook to draw you in, the hours whizz by and you suddenly find it is way past your bedtime! Lucy Foley – The Paris Apartment was no exception. Whilst Lucy has moved away from the almost ‘locked room’ mystery this had a lot of a similar elements and branched out a little bit more. I was hooked, I was drawn in and I had to keep turning the page. A little bit slow in parts and not my favourite of hers but still a great thriller to escape with.

So that was my April, I am trying to erode the huge list of books to read on my shelf, on my kindle and on my want to buy list! Then of course I need to be writing about the books too, which seems to be harder and harder at the moment. A few more hours in the day, a few more days in the week and all we be fine!

Books

March Roundup

Looking back at the last two March, I seem to be in a familiar place. A need to recharge and reset, the reading is perhaps not the solace it can be. That said though I have read some great books in March, but the inclination to talk about them has waned slightly as the month has come to a close. I can though wax lyrical about all that I have read in this summary post of March.

When times are tough, it is familiarity in reading that can sometimes bring us through and of course lots of the authors this month I have read before.

I am back with Kitty in the latest Helena Dixon – Murder in First Class where she finds herself embroiled in a murder on a train, in a classic locked room scenarios familiar to those who have read many a crime novel of the classic cosy genre! I do so enjoy this series and know that eventually it will come to an end, in the meantime I just enjoy.

I do become involved in places, series, characters and no more so than when I am lucky enough to get hold of Sarah Bennett – Love Blooms at Mermaid Point and escape back to a place where I know I am going to be welcomed. Peeking into their lives is such a joy and perhaps the topics might be tough, but it all encompasses something which makes this particular author and her work a joy to read.

Sticking with authors I have read before took me to Liz Eeles – The Girl at the Last House Before the Sea where Freya finds herself starting again not just with her own life but with the relationships with her own family. Her influence means that others start to question their own family pasts.

Strong female characters is always a theme amongst many of the books I read and no more so than with the latest Veronica Henry – The Impulse Purchase. This is one of my favourites by this author and is an impulse purchase everyone needs to make. A proper great read to completely lose yourself in and one of my books of the year so far.

And also this month brought another favourite book of the year and that is Sally Page – The Keeper of Stories. This debut novel is such a quiet gentle read that it had my heart from the very first page. The stories that are out there amongst us all, the normal is much more interesting than the faked and fantastical world we sometimes can live in. A book to look out for.

Another book I kept seeing and had yet to read, so a bit slow to the party with this one was Robert Thorogood – The Marlow Murder Club. A fun, cleverly constructed novel which featured some quirky characters, some interesting murders and plenty of theories to make me think this could be the start of a series of books to get into. If Murder Mystery is your thing then this book is definitely one to read.

The book above, was one I had on my shelf that required reading and I also found myself picking up another one which had been languishing on there a while. That’s the trouble with netgalley it distracts me from my own shelves. Anyway I picked up Ayana Mathis – The Twelve Tribes of Hattie a heart breaking and graphic story which is eye opening about the South in America during many troubled times. A disturbing book that requires reading to gain an insight perhaps into what seems like another world but is sadly probably not that far from reality.

It has been a while since I have read any type of autobiography but I spotted Sutton Foster – Hooked on her own social media feed and as it features the wonderful affect craft can have on your life, you could say I was also hooked. Very American in references so some of it went over my head, but it was a fascinating to see how this popular theatre and television actress started and how the outlet of craft has kept her grounded along the way.

So that was March, some of the shelves a little dent in the Netgalley list as well. Onwards and upwards for April. I wonder where my reading journey will take me next ?

Books

The Twyford Code – Janice Hallett

If there ever was a book so difficult to write a review for – this is it. I was hooked by The Appeal and wanted to see if the second novel lived it up to. It did, but in a completely different way, I was expecting the same and got something totally different and it blew me away!

A famous children’s book, a famous author; Edith Twyford. Left on a bus and found by Steve Smith. It is 1983 and Steve can’t read so he takes the book to school to Miss Isles and she reads it out. Miss Isles is enthralled, the book contains a code and that leads Steve and his remedial English class to Bournemouth. Miss Isles never returns from that trip. What happened?

40 years later Steve is still puzzled by the mystery of Miss Isles, the book and what really happened. Having lived a life mainly behind bars, lost his wife, alienated from his own family and no longer part of anything, Steve wants to get to the truth. Although estranged from his son, he is given an old phone from him and Steve although still not as educated and well read uses it to record all of his thoughts and understandings of what happened all those years ago.

All the recordings are transcribed and this is what forms the book and we get to find out what happened to Miss Isles but also Steve’s past and how he has come to have been in and out of prison and the circumstances that have led him to record his past.

This is a complex book but fascinating and it draws you in and you find yourself being pulled back into the recordings and the voice of Steve. I admit it took me longer to get used to this novel than it did her first, but once I slipped into the way of the writing and the voice I was intrigued as the truth become closer and closer.

There are twists and turns and when the book reaches it conclusion, it had me wanting to go back and read from the beginning, knowing the ending to see the clues. A true sign of a thoroughly cleverly constructed mystery novel and I am still puzzling the final mystery.

If you want to try something different, it you want to be challenged, if you love word games, puzzles and have an understanding of language then pick up this book, you will not be disappointed.

I cannot wait to see how the author tackles this genre in her third novel, I know she is going to blow us all away with it.

The Twyford Code is out now.

The publisher via netgalley gave me the opportunity to read this book. However, I went an purchased my own copy as I wanted to make sure I experienced it as it was printed and formatted and sometimes with advanced review copies the formatting can be a bit off and that can spoil the impact of the book.

Books

The Christie Affair – Nina de Gramont

If you know your literature, if you know your Agatha Christie then you know in the mid 1920s the famous author disappeared for 11 days. No one knows the truth, no one knows what happened and why, until this book.

The person that knows the truth isn’t even Agatha herself, it is Nan O’Dea.

Who is this woman?

She is the woman that Archibald Christie went on to marry after he divorced Agatha, that makes her the mistress at the time of the disappearance.

Told from Nan’s point of view we not just learn about her life and upbringing but also what really happened in those missing days and how both their lives crossed over. Nan is convinced that Agatha has something of hers and it is not Agatha’s husband, he merely seems to be a pawn into getting what Nan really wants.

As the book moves backwards and forward, it takes a while to the change in pace and we are almost being told by the narrator that actually what she is saying is what happened and we are not to question any of it. Once you accept this ‘voice’ of the book you are swept away on this mystery, the red herrings and the possible plot twists and the fact that this book is based on real life people becomes irrelevant.

Nan’s back story warranted a book all of its own, and jarred slightly with the mystery element of the book, but again I think you have to forgive these styles if you are to simply enjoy the book for what it was.

For fans of Christie, this book gives you an idea of what may have happened. But if you know your Christie well and you know the background of the real Nan O’Dea, Nancy Neele in reality then maybe this won’t work for you. For me it was fiction, fiction that took fact and manipulated it into an interesting story and that was the draw that kept me reading and why I would recommend.

Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

The Christie Affair is out now.

Books · Jottings

January Roundup

For a reading month, this has been quite a slow one, getting back into routine after two weeks off work meant that reading took a little bit of a back seat as all I seemed to want to do is sleep! Even more so now that I end the month with a cold. However the books I have read have been excellent so without further ado……

In a push to beat the backlog that has been trending on Twitter I thought I would start with Stacy Halls – Mrs England sat on my shelf for a while and therefore crying out to be read. Why did I wait so long, it was a wonderful read and I have another on my shelf to read so I can go back to this wonderful writing.

#BeatingBeatTheBacklog will feature on many peoples blogs and twitter feeds no doubt and I have sorted made a headway in some more of my backlog on my netgalley list and picked Cathy Hayward – The Girl in the Maze which had been languishing for a bit longer than it should have been. This was an immensely powerful book which if you pick up you will need a strong stomach for. Still now it comes back to me.

But then I go and buy books which sort of defeats beating the backlog which is how I ended up reading Jo Bartlett – The Cornish Midwife. I would like to read more of this series and wanted to start with book one, though it seems it doesn’t matter. I wasn’t overly impressed with the ‘physical’ copy book version, seemed a bit too cheap. It was a delightful story full of humour and cheer and just what you need sometimes.

Delving into a book full of possibility as well as a shop of the same is how I felt about Holly Hepburn – The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures. Previously released in four parts, this is the whole story and the way I prefer to read. Full of promise, history and love it filled my soul like the perfect balm.

Amongst all the ‘nice’ books sometimes it is good to test yourself or delve into the murkier bits of the past or of life. What better way than combining it with some historical fiction and go back to 1926 with Nina de Gramont – The Christie Affair. A possible reason for why Agatha Christie went missing for those eleven days. Of course we will never know which I think is part of the added mystery to the whole thing.

Some more crime in Nita Prose – The Maid which is a book you will see a lot of in the coming weeks I am sure. It has been optioned for film as well. A book set in a hotel, no time, no place but a maid who becomes involved in some unpleasantness and then finds a dead body. Is she guilty of anything other than innocence? If you enjoyed The Rosie Project/Eleanor Oliphant you will certainly like this book.

Still with the crime, but this time on the high seas as the month comes to a end with Tom Hindle – A Fatal Crossing. What could be more of a locked room mystery than one on a liner in the middle of a ocean. Rare pieces of art and the class system at it’s best, it is a race to find out the truth before the ship docks.

Not a bad start to the year, some real excellent reads and there is plenty more to come. I need to beat that backlog somehow whether it be on my shelf or on my kindle.

Bring on February!

Books · Jottings

October Roundup

October seems to have been a bumper month for reading and I have ploughed through a fair few books. A positive harvest of books for October and autumn and ironically mainly Christmas themed!

But not all, there was some murder to dilute all things festive. Janice Hallett – The Appeal is a book which has been around a while and I kept seeing the cover but when I got the chance to pick up a copy and look inside the cover, I was hooked. This is an excellent debut novel and written so differently it captured me immediately and I was hooked. It certainly has plenty of appeal!

Books about books and libraries are always a draw for any avid reader. This year it seems to have been a bit of a theme for some authors. This always makes me curious because surely not everyone can be writing the same themes by coincidence. Anyway enough of the cynic. Freya Sampson – The Last Library is the latest one I have read, and whilst not as good as previous ones, it was a lovely way to while away a few hours as we got to know the shy June and her passion for the library.

I ventured into my first book club read for a while, by joining in with an online one, through twitter. The book chosen was Melanie Hewitt – Looking for the Durrells, I admit I fell in love with cover. It was a very slow and meandering book which ended up being a journey around Corfu. I am not sure it was as romantic and passionate as it could have been, but it was certainly a love letter to this island and a great way to escape for some sun.

Travel of course is something many people have not been able to do for a while and if you want to do it vicariously it is always good to pick up Julie Caplin – The Cosy Cottage in Ireland. This one is a bit closer to home than some have been, but it is always nice to escape. Although I am not sure whether going to a cookery school would be my idea of fun! Combining travel and food is always a good way to escape into a book. Do check this author out if you fancy a trip or two.

Of course if you can afford it, then employ a chef and then you won’t have to worry about a thing – apart from perhaps falling in love with them. Kate Forster – Christmas Wishes at Pudding Hall shows you that can happen, but of course it is not all plain sailing and there might be a few deflated soufflés before the holiday period is over.

What are you hoping to find under your tree this year? The latest Heidi Swain would be a good start and even better with her latest title too – Heidi Swain – Underneath the Christmas Tree. Make sure you buy the best tree from the local tree farm and participate in its sustainability and the beauty of being outdoors. Once you become part of the community it is suddenly very difficult to let go.

Once you have the tree, then you need the prefect gift and what better way than perhaps getting involved with a giving tree. In Katie Ginger – The Perfect Christmas Gift, school teacher Bella decides to give back to the community to help heal her broken heart so close to Christmas. But will anyone leave a gift for her?

School teachers and Christmas makes you think of nativity and tinsel bedecked small people running around high on the excitement of the season. It is reflected in the previous book mentioned as well as Tracy Rees – The Little Christmas House, this time the teacher is aptly named Holly and becomes involved with the delightful little girl Eliza and her father Edward. What is their story?

Christmas is always a time of giving and seeking out the right gift, and so you might wish to pick up a piece of unique art at Helen Pollard – Christmas at Fox Farm. Daisy is the current resident artist and is finding her feet and putting down roots, until the owner of Fox Farm takes ill. It seems the future and Christmas is not going to be all that nice, yet again for Daisy.

Diluting it a bit more with some more murder saw me take a trip to Yorkshire with Kitty Underhay in her latest adventure Helena Dixon – Murder at the Wedding. It is not Kitty’s wedding, though I do hope that is soon, but we have a classic locked room type mystery and it seems the local detective is not really forward thinking in letting women help in investigating. Of course you know what is going to happen don’t you, but that still doesn’t detract from the delightful book.

I am partial to cosy crime, providing it doesn’t get ludicrous which is why I stopped reading Agatha Raisin. It was nice to see a new potential series to get into and one that had an interesting premise. Frances Brody – A Murder Inside, late 1960s, a female governor of the prison variety. An open prison for women in the Yorkshire dales. It already sounds like it is going to be a winner for me and it was rather fascinating and definitely has longevity.

As we go into November, I still have plenty of Christmas books to read. I think I might be fed up with them come December but of course that depends on the stories. With 93 books read so far as of this post, the big 100 is looming large and I start to wonder what will be my final total of 2021. Until then though…Happy Reading.

Books

The Best Things – Mel Giedroyc

When famous people for something other than writing then write a book, there is always an element of doubt and trepidation. Looking back at reviews now I have read it, seemed to be very much of the love it or loathe it variety but shows you that not all books are for everyone, despite who wrote it.

I could hear the author’s voice as if she was telling me the story as we got to know Sally and Frank Parker. They had it all literally and then one day they didn’t.

Sally is living a half life, she has everything, she doesn’t even have to think. She has people to do that for her, whether it be ferrying the children a few yards to school, to the cooking and the laundry. She just needs to get up and be there, be part of those groups in the suburbs who are simply trying to out do each other. Whether it be home décor, shopping, holidays or clothes. Think Margot Leadbetter but in the 21st century!

However Sally is in for a rude awakening and thankfully so were some of the more unpleasant characters in the book.

Sally has to think. She has to save herself from her husband Frank as well as save him from himself. Then there are the children, Stephen, overweight and addicted to online games, Cleo who has no sense common or otherwise and her interactions were aspiring and so astute they were laugh out loud funny. Mikey, the wheeling dealing eleven year old girl who is going places if only they would listen to her. Then niece Emily, the academic exceeder who feels she has no place in the family anymore.

Add to the mix, a Welsh great granny, a couple of strange uncles and a few dogs and tractors and you have a real mix of a book about what you really need to survive. The trappings of life do not always fulfil what you most want and need.

I was pleasantly surprised at this book, it made me laugh about some of the ridiculousness of the situations but also there was some rather empathic moments especially with the children, which gave it added pathos. What I liked the most, that for added impact perhaps, the author really laid on thick about how much ‘stuff’ they had, whether it be electronic devices, decorations and ornaments from around the world, thirty two named lawnmowers, a pool house, a rack of BBQs and the envy of every other resident in the suburb who were all trying to emulate or be better.

Pure escapism but with an undercurrent that this is a world that does exist and that actually being in that world seems quite frightening. Some great characters to love, loathe and hate!

Books · Jottings

August Roundup

If you have been following this blog for a while, you will probably know that August is a bumper month when it comes to reading and this August was seemingly no different.

Despite buying more books (as if I need them!) I was trying to make a more concerted effort to read from shelves and so that is how I came to pick up Jane Healey – The Animals at Lockwood Manor which had been languishing for a while. It was a rather strange book, with a gothic twist set during the war, but I have feeling these types of books never really feel like that with me. It was a pleasant enough diversion and made room on the shelf for my purchases.

A book of the year and one that all fans of reading and books must read is this debut Sara Nisha Adams – The Reading List. A book about all those books that have helped us in the past and continue to do so in the present and the future. The story weaved around such classics as Little Women and Rebecca was really impactful and I felt I had a glimpse into another life for a while.

Glimpsing into another life with Mel Giedroyc – The Best Things was like watching a car crash in slow motion, except this was not a car crash but a financial one. As a family disintegrates in front of our eyes, we see how that money is not the answer to all our happiness. I will be intrigued as to what this author produces next. I sensed a lot of research and experience in this book that others might not necessarily have brought to such a novel.

Research is the key to all historical fiction and it was clear that in Celia Imrie – Orphans of the Storm had an abundance of it. I knew nothing of the real people fictionalised into the book. I knew from the setting of the book and the time period where we would be going with it, but that it was all true was a surprise. I was most grateful to have read this on my kindle which meant that I could not easily flick to the back where all the ‘research’ and ;’real life’ notes were covered. It really would have spoilt the book for me.

I do love my history and when it becomes relatively local to me in setting then I always take bit more of an interest. Tracy Chevalier – A Single Thread was featured heavily on local news when the hardback version was published, but I waited until the paperback copy before I indulged in this glorious tale of Embroiderers’, Winchester Cathedral and the possibilities of being a single woman so soon after the First World War. I have never read any Chevalier before and of course I have heard of her most famous novel The Girl with the Pearl Earring but for some reason have never picked it up. Next time I am in a bookshop…..

Now it looks like August was the month of Catherine’s or Cath’s. First up is Cath Staincliffe – Running out of Road; her latest novel combines three unrelated people caught up in a very modern story, that you could have been reading a news report. You will have felt you have run more than one road when you get to the end. Catherine Cooper – The Chateau is another book which kept me hooked and turning the page until I could begin to make sense of the characters portrayed and they had all ended up in France in this Chateau.

And to have a bit of a rest from all that thrilling adventure it was a pure joy to pick up Cathy Bramley – A Patchwork Family. These are the sorts of books I buy without even reading the blurb on the back and just dive straight in and become immersed in the story. It was beautiful and had me quietly weeping as the joy of brining all generations together to thrive really worked.

Another author I have no doubt about diving straight into is Trisha Ashley – One More Christmas at the Castle and this is her latest. A Christmas novel in August always seems an alien concept but I don’t care the world has been topsy-turvy enough of late to worry about such things. This is a delightful book and I adored it and any fan of Trisha Ashley will too.

Whilst I only have one of Trisha Ashley’s back catalogue to read, I do still have a few more of Caroline Roberts – The Seaside Cocktail Campervan to catch up on. But in the meantime in her latest I was transported to parties, festivals and markets to partake of a cocktail and a pizza or two and to fall in love with the main characters. I do hope we get to see more of them in future novels.

I am up to date with the wonderful Tracy Rees – The Rose Garden and her latest historical offering which brought the plight of various different females, of various different creeds and classes in London near the turn of the twentieth century. How far and how little the position of women has perhaps come in those intervening years. I am now looking forward to coming back to the present with Tracy Rees more contemporary offering for Christmas.

And as the month closes I return to Ann Cleeves and her new detective, Matthew Venn. Ann Cleeves – The Heron’s Cry. A classic piece of writing from this author, in the vein of all her others but with the background of North Devon and the tense conscious of a detective with a methodical clam presence which covers the guilt he seems to carry with him.

The Christmas books are now appearing alarming regularity so I can see how the next couple of months are going to be spent. Hopefully punctuated by some other great reads too. Do keep reading to find out more.

Books

Roundup – Six in Six 2021

First of all a very big THANK YOU to everyone who joined in. We might be a select bunch but I hope those that have just read our posts are inspired by some more in their reading, to all the new blog followers, watchers and readers it has been great to discover your little piece of the internet.

Here is a list of everyone that joined in this year. Dare I say this is the best year so far????

If I have missed you off or you know someone who took part but failed to link back to me, then let me know and I can add. We are growing year on year ever so slowly but we all have one thing in common – we like to read!

In no particular order please check out these fellow Six in Sixers!

Happy reading and discovering folks!

Reading Ladies Book Club

Hopewell’s Public Library of Life

FictionFan’s Book Reviews

A Darn Good Read

Pining for the West

The Bookworm Chronicles

BooksPlease

She Reads Novels

Bookfever

Secret Library Book Blog

Stacy’s Books

Gulfside Musing

Melissa Firman

It’s All About Books

Twirling Book Princess

Care’s Books and Pies

In Another Era

Bookgirl’s Nightstand

Superfluous Reading

Hopewell’s Public Library of Life

The Chocolate Lady’s Book Blog

Millay’s Musings

findingtimetowrite

Thoughts on Papyrus

You Might as Well Read

See you all in 2022 – when apparently it will be the 10 year anniversary of Six in Six.

Books

July Roundup

I think this July has held every possible weather combination apart from snow in the South! When it is too hot the only thing I can manage to do is read.

Ploughing through all the wonderful requests I have put in on netgalley, means that I only picked up one actual book in July – Shelia Norton – Escape to Riverside Cottage. A delightful book to get lost in as the main character finds her place in a place in Devon that hardly anyone knows about. I had forgotten how much I enjoy Shelia Norton’s novels.

Escaping is of course what reading and books brings for a lot of people and I escaped a bit further south to Cornwall with Phillipa Ashley – An Endless Cornish Summer where I was immediately plunged into the water and the community that made my heart sing with delight as I turned the pages of this book. Some authors get better and better!

Of course not many people are travelling at the moment and those that are not going far, so I embarked on a couple of road trips through the pages of books. First was Fanny Blake – The Long Way Home, my first time with this author as we saw the unlikely partnership of grandmother trying to find out the truth about her own mother accompanied by a rather begrudging teenager.

Penny Parkes – Home was a book where you did not need to set down any roots, but take yourself wherever the house sitting work too you and lay your head on the next bed. But ultimately for Anna was this enough? A book which I think will be popular this summer.

Trying to find your home when life changes around you makes you want to run away and hide, which is what Ava does when she escapes in Ali McNamara – Hope and Happiness in Bluebell Wood and finds both, what another glorious place and community to be apart of through the pages of a book.

Of course community is a major theme in many books I read and so it was the community that came together in Cathy Lake – The Country Village Summer Fete. Returning back to your home after leaving under a cloud is always going to have tis difficulties but when your first love is still there and perhaps the bright lights of the city were not all they were cracked up to be – it makes you think.

When you live on a small island, then being part of the community is everything and when you are embraced as a visitor after someone has talked about you a lot, it seems right that you should enjoy your holiday. That is until you are faced with a ghost. Emma Davies – The Little Island Secret certainly has lots to tell and somehow combined being a quiet thriller amongst what some could call women’s fiction.

Talking of thrillers, Emma Rous – The Perfect Guests was a choice I made this month, the difficult second novel, but very good. A lightness to it that made it all that more intriguing. A book full of suggestion and it is up to you as a reader whether you pick up on them all!

For me the past has always been intriguing , having a history degree does that for you. So I am always delighted to go back and was more so with A.J. Pearce – Yours Cheerfully the follow up to the wonderful Dear Mrs Bird. You want to know about strong women during the war, then look no further than this book and tell all your friends to read it too!

Female protagonists probably feature quite strongly in my reading, through default not choice and I was delighted to pick up what is to be I think the start of a series Merryn Allingham – The Bookshop Murder. A gentle 1950s village setting, a big house now a hotel, a spinster in charge of a bookshop. It had all the elements of a Golden Age novel and I was expecting Miss Marple to pop up at some point.

So that was July. I must say a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has joined in the Six in Six for 2021. I am busy compiling the round up post, so do look out for that.

Let’s crack on with August reading and maybe some book shopping too!