So today is my 20th birthday!!! Very exciting! Last year I bought myself a Kindle as a birthday treat and to also start using Netgalley. Since then I have managed to read a good number of books some which I have loved and some which I have not enjoyed.
Below is a list of the books I have read in the last year! In order from oldest to most recent!
FYI: I didn’t realise there was over 20 books and that is way too long of a list so I am going to put the cover and synopsis down with a link to the reviews so its not too boring 😉
Plot: A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial-like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him. When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.
Plot: 1929, London. In the darkness before dawn, a London railway porter discovers a man’s body as he unloads a special goods train from Yorkshire, all means of identification stripped away. Hitting a dead end, Scotland Yard call on indomitable sleuth Kate Shackleton, hoping her local Yorkshire knowledge and undoubted skills at winkling out information will produce the results they need. 1929, Yorkshire. Fears of unrest in the Yorkshire coalfields mean that Kate must conduct her investigation with the utmost secrecy. But when she discovers that another murder occurred around the same time as the mysterious body on the train, she is convinced there must be a connection. Using her sharp instincts and persuasive charm, she begins to uncover a web of intrigue that edges her closer to the truth. But with attempts being made on her life, Kate needs all the strength and resourcefulness she can muster, before she becomes the next victim . . .
This was my first ever review for Netgalley October 2019! You can read the review here >>>
Plot: Down a quiet lane in town sits a little shop full of oddities you’d probably miss if you weren’t looking for it. This is Love’s Curiosities Inc., and its owner, Temerity Love, is sought by experts all over the world for her rare and magical gift: the ability to find lost things and learn their stories. When Lost Maidens’ pretty local school teacher is found murdered by a poisoned cup of tea, a strange antique hand mirror is discovered nearby. Temerity – with the help of witchy sister Tilda, their cats Scylla and Charybdis and the lovingly eccentric local townspeople – is determined to divine the story behind the mirror and its part in Miss Molly Bayliss’ untimely death. If only grumpy out-of-towner Angus Harley of Lost Maidens Police wasn’t on the scene. Temerity can’t solve the crime without him, but he’s distracting, and in more ways than one. Can this unconventional duo solve the most mysterious murder ever to blight Lost Maidens Loch before the killer strikes again?
Wasn’t a massive fan of this one! You can find the review here >>>
Plot: Winter 1917. As the First World War enters its most brutal phase, back home in England, everyone is seeking answers to the darkness that has seeped into their lives. At Blackwater Abbey, on an island off the Devon coast, Lord Highmount has arranged a spiritualist gathering to contact his two sons who were lost in the conflict. But as his guests begin to arrive, it gradually becomes clear that each has something they would rather keep hidden. Then, when a storm descends on the island, the guests will find themselves trapped. Soon one of their number will die. For Blackwater Abbey is haunted in more ways than one…
Plot: In this collection of eighteen short stories, Queen of Crime Margery Allingham dabbles in the occult, the mysterious, and the murderous. Always the perceptive observer, Allingham fills these stories with astute characterisations, brilliant humour, and her classic wit.
Plot: On a distant world, an obscure order of the Adepta Sororitas study their founder’s visions. They live in solitude… which is about to be broken as danger approaches. The Adepta Sororitas of the Last Candle have stood vigil over their sanctuary world for centuries, striving to decipher their founder’s tormented visions. Outsiders are unwelcome… yet still they come. Decimated by an encounter with a lethal xenos entity, the survivors of an elite Astra Militarum company have journeyed to the Candleworld in search of healing, escorted by a woman who is no stranger there – Sister Hospitaller Asenath Hyades, who turned her back on the order decades ago. As the seekers near the sect’s bastion, malign forces begin to stir among the planet’s storm-wracked spires, but the most insidious shadows lie in their own souls.
I did not expect to enjoy this book as much as I did! This was so far out of my comfort zone! You can read the review here >>>
Plot: At some time in the future, the secret of time-travel became available to all. Chaos ensued as people sought to take advantage. Because there will always be nutters who want to change history… And so the Time Police were formed. Internationally sanctioned thugs whose task it was to keep the timeline straight by any and all means possible. And they succeeded. The Time Wars are over. The Time Police won. But who will win the peace? Doing Time follows three hapless new Time Police recruits – Jane, Luke and Matthew – as they try to navigate their first year on the beat. It’s all going to be fine. Obviously.
Plot: July 1910. Lady Hardcastle and her tireless sidekick Flo have finally embarked on a long-overdue seaside break. But just as they’re wavering between ice creams and donkey rides, their fellow guests start to go missing—and the duo find themselves with a hysterical hotel manager and a case to solve. The first to disappear is Dr Goddard, a scientist doing something terribly top-secret for the government. Gone too are his strongbox and its mysterious contents. By the time Lady Hardcastle has questioned the horde of international guests, her number-one suspect has been dispatched in grisly circumstances—and then the others start vanishing too. As the case begins to look like a matter of national security, Lady Hardcastle takes advice from her brother in the secret service. But could there be an even more personal connection at play?
Plot: In a bleak corner of the city of Valgaast, the House of Malveil awaits. A place of darkness, its halls throb with a sinister history. Its rooms are filled with malice. Its walls echo with pain. Now it stirs eagerly with the approach of an old heir. Colonel Maeson Strock of the Astra Militarum has returned home to his ancestral mansion. He is a man broken, both by the horrors of war and by personal loss, and has come home to take up the mantle of Planetary Governor. He hopes he can purge his home world of political corruption and reforge connections with his estranged children. He hopes he can rebuild his life. Malveil will feast on these dreams. Strock believes he has seen the worst of the galaxy’s horrors. Malveil will show him how wrong he is.
Plot: June 1933. Independent young Kitty Underhay has been left in charge of her family’s hotel, The Dolphin, on the tranquil English coast. She’s expecting her days at the bustling resort to be filled with comfortable chatter with chambermaids as they polish the mahogany desks and glittering candelabras of the elegant foyer. Everything must be perfect for the arrival of a glamourous jazz singer from Chicago and a masked ball that will be the cultural highlight of the season. But when several rooms are broken into and searched, including Kitty’s own, she quickly realises that something out of the ordinary is afoot at the hotel. Soon rumours are flying in the cozy town that someone is on the hunt for a stolen ruby. A ruby that Kitty’s mother may well have possessed when she herself went missing during the Great War. And when the break-ins are followed by a series of attacks and murders, including of the town’s former mayoress, it seems the perpetrator will stop at nothing to find it. Aided by ex-army captain Matthew Bryant, the Dolphin’s new security officer, Kitty is determined to decipher this mystery and preserve not only the reputation of her hotel, but also the lives of her guests.
The first book in a series I have started to fall in love with! You can read the review here >>>
Plot: Working as a lady’s companion, the orphaned heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. Whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to his brooding estate, Manderley, on the Cornish Coast, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers . . .
My first Kindle book for 2020! You can read the review here >>>
Plot: For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob – a young lawyer with an utterly normal life – hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other. But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world, and for once, it isn’t Charley’s doing. There’s someone else out there who shares his powers and it’s up to Charley and a reluctant Rob to stop them – before anyone gets to The End.
My first Netgalley review of 2020! You can read the review here >>>
Plot: Welcome to Sunder City. The magic is gone but the monsters remain. I’m Fetch Phillips, just like it says on the window. There are a few things you should know before you hire me: 1. Sobriety costs extra. 2. My services are confidential. 3. I don’t work for humans. It’s nothing personal–I’m human myself. But after what happened, to the magic, it’s not the humans who need my help.
Plot: Sir Ecgbert Tode of Tode Hall has survived to a grand old age – much to the despair of his younger wife, Emma. But at ninety-three he has, at last, shuffled off the mortal coil. Emma, Lady Tode, thoroughly fed up with being a dutiful Lady of the Manor, wants to leave the country to spend her remaining years in Capri. Unfortunately her three tiresome children are either unwilling or unable (too mad, too lefty or too happy in Australia) to take on management of their large and important home, so the mantle passes to a distant relative and his glamorous wife. Not long after the new owners take over, Lady Tode is found dead in the mausoleum. Accident? Or is there more going on behind the scenes of Tode Hall than an outsider would ever guess….?
I was not a fan of this one! You can read the review here >>>
Plot: Summer 1933. Fresh from the discovery that she has family living nearby, Kitty Underhay has packed her carpet bag, commandeered a chambermaid and set off on a visit to stately Enderley Hall. She’s looking forward to getting to know her relatives, as well as the assembled group of house guests. But when elderly Nanny Thoms is found dead at the bottom of the stairs after papers of national importance are stolen, Kitty quickly learns that Muffy the dog’s muddy paws on her hemline are the least of her problems. Calling on ex-army captain Matthew Bryant for assistance, Kitty begins to puzzle out the mystery. And when more shocking murders follow, the stakes are raised for the daring duo as never before. Which of the guests stand to gain from the theft of the documents? And which, as the week progresses, stand to lose their lives?
Plot: A series of unsolved murders with one thing in common: each of the deaths bears an eerie resemblance to the crimes depicted in classic mystery novels. The deaths lead FBI Agent Gwen Mulvey to mystery bookshop Old Devils. Owner Malcolm Kershaw had once posted online an article titled ‘My Eight Favourite Murders,’ and there seems to be a deadly link between the deaths and his list – which includes Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. Can the killer be stopped before all eight of these perfect murders have been re-enacted?
This book was NOT it!!! You can read the review here >>>
Plot: An apartment on the rue Morgue turned into a charnel house; the corpse of a shopgirl dragged from the Seine; a high-stakes game of political blackmail-three mysteries that have enthralled the whole of Paris, and baffled the city’s police. The brilliant Chevalier Auguste Dupin investigates – can he find the solution where so many others before him have failed?
Another DNF! You can read the review here >>>
Plot: Coraline is not the kind of girl to be put off by a sign of danger read in some tea-leaves or indeed a message sent to her by some very talented mice! No, she is the kind of girl who faces a challenge with bravery, intelligence and a lot of determination. Which is just as well because she is going to need all those skills, and more, in this wonderful, spooky tale of a girl caught on the wrong side of a door, with counterfeit parents who have buttons for eyes and who clearly do not intend to set her free.
I didn’t actually review this book but to be honest I personally preferred the movie. The book felt very surface level for me!
Plot: In the winter of 1937, the village of Okamura is abuzz with excitement over the forthcoming wedding of a son of the grand Ichiyanagi family. But amid the gossip over the approaching festivities, there is also a worrying rumour – it seems a sinister masked man has been asking questions about the Ichiyanagis around the village. Then, on the night of the wedding, the Ichiyanagi family are woken by a terrible scream, followed by the sound of eerie music – death has come to Okamura, leaving no trace but a bloody samurai sword, thrust into the pristine snow outside the house. The murder seems impossible, but amateur detective Kosuke Kindaichi is determined to get to the bottom of it.
A 10/10 favourite of mine! You can read the review here >>>
Plot: Jon Keller was on a trip to Switzerland when the world ended. More than anything he wishes he hadn’t ignored his wife Nadia’s last message. Twenty people remain in Jon’s hotel. Far from the nearest city, they wait, they survive. Then one day, the body of a girl is found. It’s clear she has been murdered. Which means that someone in the hotel is a killer… As paranoia descends, Jon decides to investigate. But how far is he willing to go in pursuit of justice? And what happens if the killer doesn’t want to be found?
I saw a lot of hype for this book but I don’t think it was worth it. You can read the review here >>>
Plot: It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.
Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finally, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all. Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything.
I was so disappointed by this one! This was such a promising series! You can read the review here >>>
Synopsis: In February 2014, Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote about her frustration with the way discussions of race and racism in Britain were constantly being led by those who weren’t affected by it. She posted the piece on her blog, and gave it the title: ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race’. Her powerful, passionate words hit a nerve. The post went viral, and comments flooded in from others desperate to speak up about their own, similar experiences. Galvanised by this response, she decided to dig into the source of these feelings; this clear hunger for an open discussion. The result is a searing, illuminating, absolutely necessary exploration of what it is to be a person of colour in Britain today. Exploring issues from eradicated black history to the political purpose of white dominance, whitewashed feminism to the inextricable link between class and race, Reni Eddo-Lodge offers a new framework for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism.
I didn’t review this book as how can I, a white person, review a book on systemic racism but I did mention how the book managed to put into words things that I had been feeling. You can find my thoughts here >>>
Plot: Once there was an eighth son of an eighth son, a wizard squared, a source of magic. A Sourcerer. Unseen University, the most magical establishment on the Discworld, has finally got its wish: the emergence of a wizard more powerful than they’ve ever seen. You’d think the smartest men on the Disc would have been a little more careful what they wished for. As the drastic consequences of sourcery begin to unfold, one wizard holds the solution in his cowardly, incompetent hands. Rincewind must take the University’s most precious artefact, the very embodiment of magic itself, and deliver it halfway across the disc to safety… If he doesn’t make it, the death of all wizardry is at hand. And the end of the world, depending who you listen to.
Again, another book I didn’t review purely because I had one thought only and that was meh!
Plot: Late Summer, 1933. After a quarrel with too-plucky-for-her-own-good amateur sleuth Kitty Underhay, dashing ex-army captain Matthew Bryant is nursing his wounds, and a tumbler of brandy, when there’s a heavy knock at the door and he finds himself arrested for murder. The body of aspiring actress Pearl Bright has been found, strangled with one of Matt’s own bootlaces, and the evidence seems to be stacked against him. The local constabulary might have locked Matt up, but before they can throw away the key, Kitty hears the news and hies to his aid, determined to prove his innocence. And when her investigations lead her to the home of retired theatre impresario Stanley Davenport, and the local amateur dramatics society, Kitty uncovers a web of deceit that stretches far beyond the stage make-up.
Plot: A Sin Eater’s duty is a necessary evil: she hears the final private confessions of the dying, eats their sins as a funeral rite, and so guarantees their souls access to heaven. It is always women who eat sins – since it was Eve who first ate the Forbidden Fruit – and every town has at least one, not that they are publicly acknowledged. Stained by the sins they are obliged to consume, the Sin Eater is shunned and silenced, doomed to live in exile at the edge of town. Recently orphaned May Owens is just fourteen, and has never considered what it might be like to be so ostracized; she’s more concerned with where her next meal is coming from. When she’s arrested for stealing a loaf of bread, however, and subsequently sentenced to become a Sin Eater, finding food is suddenly the last of her worries. It’s a devastating sentence, but May’s new invisibility opens new doors. And when first one then two of the Queen’s courtiers suddenly grow ill, May hears their deathbed confessions – and begins to investigate a terrible rumour that is only whispered of amid palace corridors.
Plot: London, 1782. Desperate for her politician husband to return home from France, Caroline ‘Caro’ Corsham is already in a state of anxiety when she finds a well-dressed woman mortally wounded in the bowers of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. The Bow Street constables are swift to act, until they discover that the deceased woman was a highly-paid prostitute, at which point they cease to care entirely. But Caro has motives of her own for wanting to see justice done, and so sets out to solve the crime herself. Enlisting the help of thief-taker, Peregrine Child, their inquiry delves into the hidden corners of Georgian society, a world of artifice, deception and secret lives. But with many gentlemen refusing to speak about their dealings with the dead woman, and Caro’s own reputation under threat, finding the killer will be harder, and more treacherous than she can know . . .
This book is currently in my Top 3 for 2020! You can read the review here >>>
Synopsis: Antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo first coined the term “white fragility” in 2011, and since then it’s been invoked by critics from Samantha Bee to Charles Blow. “White fragility” refers to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially. These include emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors including argumentation and silence. In this book, DiAngelo unpacks white fragility, explaining the underlying sociological phenomena. She’ll draw on examples from her work and scholarship, as well as from the culture at large, to address these fundamental questions: How does white fragility develop? What does it look like? How is it triggered? What can we do to move beyond white fragility and engage more constructively?
I didn’t review this as I didn’t have much to say and you can’t review a book of this nature!
Plot: Liberty, 1828 and the citizens of Paris still mourn in the wake of their failed revolution. Among them, in the dark alleys and crumbling cathedrals of the city, the most wretched have gathered into guilds of thieves, assassins – and worse. Together they are known as The Court of Miracles. Family, Eponine has lost more than most. When her father, Thénardier, sells her sister to the Guild of Flesh she makes a promise to do anything she can to get her sister back, even if that means joining the Court of Miracles, the very people keeping her sister a slave. Treachery, Eponine becomes perhaps the greatest thief the Court has ever known, finding a place among them and gaining another sister, Cosette. But she has never forgotten the promise she made, and if she’s to have any hope of saving one sister, she will have to betray the other.
And the final book on this list! I wasn’t a fan of this one either! You can read the review here >>>