Stand Out Reads of 2021 #Books #Reading #TuesdayBookBlog

This year wasn’t a particularly good one, not the books themselves but my reading. The year started off horribly, losing my lovely Finn. Then it was the advent of the dreaded virus, coupled with moving house. The motivation to read came and went and I haven’t read nearly as many books as usual.  And Flynn came into our lives and my time wasn’t my own! 

The following are snippets from the books that stood out for me this year. If you’d like to read the full review please click on the title.

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The Sentence is Death (Hawthorne and Horowitz Mystery #2) by @AnthonyHorowitz #MurderMystery #TuesdayBookBlog

51ApS3TMdmL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Author: Anthony Horowitz

Published: September 2019 by Arrow (my paperback copy)

Category: Murder, Mystery, Contemporary Fiction, Book Review

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“You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late…”

These, heard over the phone, were the last recorded words of successful celebrity-divorce lawyer. Richard Pryce, found bludgeoned to death in his bachelor pad with a bottle of wine – a 1982 Chateau Lafite worth £3,000, to be precise.

Odd, considering he didn’t drink. Why this bottle? And why those words? And why was a three-digit number painted on the wall by the killer? And, most importantly, which of the man’s many, many enemies did the deed?

The Sentence is Death is the second book featuring Hawthorne and Horowitz. We first meet them in The Word is Murder when ex Detective Inspector Daniel Hawthorne (who still works as a consultant for the police on occasion, helping with difficult cases) approached Anthony Horowitz. Hawthorne wanted his biography written and persuaded Horowitz to shadow him while working on cases. 

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Desire & Deceit (The Victorian Detectives Book 9) by Carol Hedges ~ #BookReview for #RBRT @carolJhedges #TuesdayBookBlog

58621177._SX318_Author: Carol Hedges

Published: July 2021 by Little G Books

Category: Historical Crime Fiction, Victorian, Book Review

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It is 1868, and the body of a young man has gone missing from the police mortuary at Scotland Yard, an event that has never happened before. Who was the mysterious corpse, and why was he spirited away in the night? These are the questions baffling Detective Inspector Stride and Detective Sergeant Cully as they set out to uncover the truth.

London during 1868 is experiencing the hottest summer on record, wilting under the relentless heat and resulting odours. Detective Inspector Leo Stride, feeling the lack of his daily caffeine from the usual coffee stalls holders who have forsaken London for the much cooler countryside, is summoned along with his colleague DS Jack Cully to the morgue. There was a problem. A body had gone missing.

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#MiniBlogBlitz for Mum’s The Word by Lorraine Turnbull @LorraineAuthor #Murder #DarkHumour @rararesources

Welcome to the 5 day Mini Blog Blitz for Mum’s The Word by Lorraine Turnbull, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.

Mums The Word

Lorraine says…

Mum’s the Word starts with a murder, but although the tense and tantalising question from the beginning has to be ‘Does she get away with it?’, the novel is peppered with everyday life and some good old fashioned Scottish humour. I didn’t want to put readers off with descriptions of blood and gore or gratuitous violence; life is tough enough at the best of times, so many hours of reading, rereading and rewriting took place to achieve the right sort of balance. Yes, it’s a book for women – only women can truly understand the hollowness of an empty marriage, of working in what is primarily a man’s world and facing their golden years knowing the best is behind them.  But I hope the story is also uplifting and holds the hope that no matter what age we are, we can all hope for a ‘happy ever after’.  

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Birthday Girl by Matthew Iden ~ Every Parent’s Nightmare #Psychological #Thriller

Birthday Girl was published in 2018 by Thomas & Mercer. 

throwbackthursday

My Thoughts

Since his daughter’s abduction and murder eight years ago, Elliott Nash has lived under a crushing cloud of guilt. His marriage failed, his brilliant career as a criminal psychologist is nothing but a memory, he’s homeless and lives on the streets. The only constants in his life are nightmares and pain. His natural drive to help people has diminished. That is, until he meets former addict Amy Scowcroft. Amy’s daughter, Lacey, has been missing for almost a year but Amy refuses to believe her daughter is dead. Getting nowhere with the investigation into Amy’s disappearance, the police have closed the case. Detective Dave Cargill, who works for the D.C. Metropolitan Child and Family Services, refers Amy to his old friend and former colleague, Elliott Nash. 

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Lewis Man by Peter May ~ #Mystery and #Drama in the Outer Hebrides

The Lewis Man is the second book in the fabulous Lewis Trilogy by Peter May. I listened to the audiobooks (this one relaesed in 2012), performed brilliantly by Peter Forbes.

My Thoughts

On the Isle of Lewis peat cutting is considered a social activity, with families, friends and neighbours all joining in and working together. Trenches are dug and the peat cut and stacked as it has been for centuries. Only this time the peat cutters uncover more than they bargained for when an almost perfectly preserved body is discovered. Initially the police surgeon thinks the body could have been there for hundreds of years, it was only when a tattoo becomes visible they realise the young man had been murdered much more recently.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Sitting Murder: A Lancashire Detective Mystery by A.J. Wright #Historical #CrimeFiction

Sitting Murder was originally published in 2017 and choosing this book for my Throwback Thursday choice has reminded me I have the next book on my kindle.

Set in a North-Western English town during the late 19th century, this murder/mystery whodunnit brings the history of the era to life with the terraces of houses, local dialect and a community living in close proximity to one another. The main source of work were the cotton mills and the mines. Alice Goodway, only married a year, has lost her husband, Jack, in a mining accident, which also took the life of her friend’s husband. Since her husband’s death, Alice has become a medium, offering comfort to those who have lost loved ones, through her spiritual contact with Jack.

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The Night Hawks: Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries 13 by Elly Griffiths @ellygriffiths #MurderMystery #BookReview

Author: Elly Griffiths

Published: February 2021 by Quercus

Category: Muder, Mystery, Archaeology, Book Review

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The Night Hawks, a group of metal detectorists, are searching for buried treasure when they find a body on the beach in North Norfolk. At first Nelson thinks that the dead man might be an asylum seeker but he turns out to be a local boy, Jem Taylor, recently released from prison. Ruth is more interested in the treasure, a hoard of Bronze Age weapons. Nelson at first thinks that Taylor’s death is accidental drowning, but a second death suggests murder.

Dr Ruth Galloway has returned to Norfolk and her much loved cottage after a stint as a Cambridge lecturer, taking over her old boss’s position as Head of Archaeology at North Norfolk University. She’s hardly had time to settle in when she gets a call from DCI Nelson to say a body has been washed up at Blakeney Point, found by some metal detectorists.

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#ThrowbackThursday ~ Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben #Suspense #Thriller

This was actually my first Harlan Coben book…hard to believe, I know. I don’t know why but I had it in my mind he wrote horror. Anyway, Don’t Let Go was a great one to start with and was published in 2017.

My Thoughts

Napoleon ‘Nap’ Dumas, a New Jersey Detective, has never quite come to terms with his twin brother’s death, and has carried that baggage with him since Leo and his girlfriend, Diana, were found dead on the railroad tracks back when they were all in high school. Nap’s girlfriend, Maura, disappeared from his life at the same time and for the last fifteen years Nap has been consumed with wanting to know the circumstances behind his brother’s death and the sudden and mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend, Maura. 

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Dumb Witness (Hercule Poirot Book 16) by Agatha Christie #MurderMystery #AudiobookReview #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Agatha Christie

Performed by Hugh Fraser

Category: Murder, Mystery, Book Review

Everyone blamed Emily’s accident on a rubber ball left on the stairs by her frisky terrier. But the more she thought about her fall, the more convinced she became that one of her relatives was trying to kill her. On April 17th she wrote her suspicions in a letter to Hercule Poirot. Mysteriously he didn’t receive the letter until June 28th… 

When Miss Emily Arundel died, not unexpectedly as her health had been delicate, the contents of her will caused a variety of emotions, including surprise, anger, criticism, excitement and gossip. The residents of Market Basing talked and speculated for weeks, and theories were numerous. Although Miss Lawson, Miss Arundel’s companion, professed to be as astonished as everyone else when the will was read, not everyone believed her, especially the Arundel family.

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