Book Haul #4 (January 2022)

Ok, I am officially on a book buying restriction. I can’t say “ban” as I have books that I have pre-ordered and also books on my sequel challenge that I don’t own and need to get. But I am definitely being more conscientious about my spending this year. I also have a massive Physical TBR pile (I took a picture and posted onto my Bookstagram indiareadsalot) so I need to focus on getting through that.

That being said here is a haul of all the books I have gotten since the beginning of 2022. You will see a theme this time round…

  • Title: The Sanatorium
  • Author: Sarah Pearse
  • Series: Detective Elin Warner #1
  • Genre: Thriller


Plot: An imposing, isolated hotel, high up in the Swiss Alps, is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But she’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when she receives an invitation out of the blue to celebrate her estranged brother’s recent engagement, she has no choice but to accept. Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge. Though it’s beautiful, something about the hotel, recently converted from an abandoned sanatorium, makes her nervous – as does her brother, Isaac. And when they wake the following morning to discover his fiancée Laure has vanished without a trace, Elin’s unease grows. With the storm cutting off access to and from the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.

So this was a second choice for my Bookseller Book of the Month pick for Jan. But I was given a copy of the book I ended up reading by a colleague so I decided to go with that one. But… so many people at work were talking about how amazing this book came in so I had to pick it up! It’s basically taking what you love from an Agatha Christie novel and ranking it up tenfold! I also met the author who came into sign a few books and was able to talk to her about the process of writing the book and what it was like writing her debut novel! Very surreal experience.

  • Title: The Village of Eight Graves
  • Author: Seishi Yokomizo
  • Series: Detective Kosuke Kindaichi #3 (Translated Version)
  • Genre: Murder Mystery


Plot: Nestled deep in the mist-shrouded mountains, The Village of Eight Graves takes its name from a bloody legend: in the Sixteenth Century eight samurais, who had taken refuge there along with a secret treasure, were murdered by the inhabitants, bringing a terrible curse down upon their village. Centuries later a mysterious young man named Tatsuya arrives in town, bringing a spate of deadly poisonings in his wake. The inimitably scruffy and brilliant Kosuke Kindaichi investigates.

As you may know from my 2022 reading plan I am continuing with this incredible Japanese murder mystery series, as part of my Sequels Challenge, which grabbed me back in 2020! I am super excited to read this novel and hang out with Kousuke Kindaichi again.

  • Title: Murder by the Book
  • Editor: Martin Edwards
  • Series: British Library Crime Classics
  • Genre: Murder Mystery


Plot: A bookish puzzle threatens an eagerly awaited inheritance; a submission to a publisher recounts a murder that seems increasingly to be a work of non-fiction; an irate novelist puts a grisly end to the source of his writer’s block. There is no better hiding place for clues – or red herrings – than inside the pages of a book. But in this world of resentful ghost writers, indiscreet playwrights and unscrupulous book collectors, literary prowess is often a prologue to disaster. With Martin Edwards as librarian and guide, delve into an irresistible stack of tales perfect for every book-lover and armchair sleuth, featuring much-loved Golden Age detectives such as Nigel Strangeways, Philip Trent and Detective Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn. But readers should be warned that the most riveting tales often conceal the deadliest of secrets…

Last year I finally learnt about the incredible British Library Crime Classics series when I was researching new crime books to read as I felt that I hadn’t read enough in 2021. I basically went through the whole collection and made note of the books I wanted to read. I then found out we were stocking this copy at work and new instantly that I needed it in my life!

  • Title: The Twyford Code
  • Author: Janice Hallett
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Mystery


Plot: Forty years ago, Steven Smith found a copy of a famous children’s book, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. He took it to his remedial English teacher, Miss Isles, who became convinced it was the key to solving a puzzle. That a message in secret code ran through all Edith Twyford’s novels. Then Miss Isles disappeared on a class field trip, and Steven’s memory won’t allow him to remember what happened. Now, out of prison after a long stretch, Steven decides to investigate the mystery that has haunted him for decades. Was Miss Isles murdered? Was she deluded? Or was she right about the code? And is it still in use today? Desperate to recover his memories and find out what really happened to Miss Isles, Steven revisits the people and places of his childhood. But it soon becomes clear that Edith Twyford wasn’t just a writer of forgotten children’s stories. The Twyford Code has great power, and he isn’t the only one trying to solve it…

I am actually reading this book as I write this blog post. My favourite book of last year was this authors debut novel, The Appeal so when I found out she was writing her next novel and it was coming out incredibly soon I knew I had to get my hands it. I am loving it at the moment! I have so many notes and I am annotating the novel as I go along so I don’t miss anything!

  • Title: Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales
  • Author: Angela Carter
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Fantasy


Plot: Once upon a time fairy tales weren’t meant just for children, and neither is Angela Carter’s Book of Fairy Tales. This collection contains lyrical tales, bloody tales and hilariously funny and ripely bawdy stories from countries all around the world – from the Arctic to Asia – and no dippy princesses or soppy fairies. Instead, we have pretty maids and old crones; crafty women and bad girls; enchantresses and midwives; rascal aunts and odd sisters.

I picked up this book for the sole reason of the cover looked incredible and I love fairy tales! This was an impulse purchase and one that made me realise that I needed to watch how many books I was buying! :/

  • Title: Iron Widow
  • Author: Xiran Jay Zhao
  • Series: Iron Widow #1
  • Genre: Sci-Fi


Plot: The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain. When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​ To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia​. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.

Now I actually listened to this book on Audible and was my first book and first 5 star of 2022. Because I loved this book so much I had to grab myself a physical copy immediately and so I did!

  • Title: The Winter Guest
  • Author: W.C. Ryan
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Historical Mystery


Plot: January 1921. Though the Great War is over, in Ireland a new, civil war is raging. The once-grand Kilcolgan House, a crumbling bastion shrouded in sea-mist, lies half empty and filled with ghosts – both real and imagined – the Prendevilles, the noble family within, co-existing only as the balance of their secrets is kept. Then, when an IRA ambush goes terribly wrong, Maud Prendeville, eldest daughter of Lord Kilcolgan, is killed, leaving the family reeling. Yet the IRA column insist they left her alive, that someone else must have been responsible for her terrible fate. Captain Tom Harkin, an IRA intelligence officer and Maud’s former fiancé, is sent to investigate, becoming an unwelcome guest in this strange, gloomy household. Working undercover, Harkin must delve into the house’s secrets – and discover where, in this fractured, embattled town, each family member’s allegiances truly lie. But Harkin too is haunted by the ghosts of the past and by his terrible experiences on the battlefields. Can he find out the truth about Maud’s death before the past – and his strange, unnerving surroundings – overwhelm him?

This book was given to me by the publishers as I had read the authors previous work, A House of Ghosts, which I loved! I am super excited to read this new book and I hope I love it as much as I loved the previous one!

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