The Maidens Review

Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens. Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge. Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld? When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life. 

The Three Dahlias Review

In attendance: the VIP fans, staying at Aldermere; the fan club president turned convention organizer; the team behind the newest movie adaptation of Davenport’s books; the Davenport family themselves – and the three actresses famous for portraying Lettice’s 1930s detective, Dahlia Lively. National treasure Rosalind King, from the original movies. TV Dahlia for thirteen seasons, Caro Hooper. And ex-child star Posy Starling, fresh out of the fame wilderness (and rehab) to take on the Dahlia mantle for the new movie. Each actress has her own interpretation of the character – but this English summer weekend they will have to put aside their differences, as the crimes at Aldermere turns anything but cosy.

The Dragon Republic Review


In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies. With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do. But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.

Manga Update 2022!

So, since I started my job as a bookseller I have been increasingly reading more and more manga. This is due to both social media and my colleagues who are huge fans of the medium. I decided to create an annual post where I talk about all the manga I have read and plan to read. This might be a long post so let’s jump right in.

June 2022 Wrap Up

A bit of a quieter one this month. Still read some great books though!

  • I read 9 books this month
  • Genre: 3 fantasy, 2 horror, 2 mystery, 1 romance and 1 non-fiction
  • Gender of authors: 5 women, 2 men and 1 book by multiple of authors
  • Race of authors: 4 white authors, 2 asian authors, 1 middle eastern author and 1 book by multiple authors
  • Age range: 7 adult, 1 YA and 1 middle grade
  • Format: 5 paperback, 3 ebook and 1 audiobook

Summertime Rendering Vol. 1 by Yasuki Tanaka (2 stars)

This was a series that really intrigued me. A super cool time loop story. Unfortunately, this volume (and I am also guessing will be the case for the other volumes) had some cases of fan service. I personally find that fan service just objectifies and over-sexualises female characters and this can make or break a good series for me. Because of these instances of fan service, and also finding out later that one of the characters used for the moments of fan service was 15!!!!!, I have decided to not continue this series.

Nura and the Immortal Palace by M.T. Khan (3 stars)

This book was really good. It follows a young girl who falls into the realm of Jinn and gets tricked into working at this hotel for Jinns. Very Spirited Away. I loved the main character, I loved the creativity of the setting (I need to go to this hotel!) and I felt that the plot was super engaging.

The Perfect Crime by Multiple Authors (3 stars)

This was a very middle of the road book for me. Some stories I loved and others not so much. The stories I loved included:

  • Clout Chaser
  • The Beautiful Game
  • The Yellow Line

Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie (3 stars)

Enjoyable but not as memorable as some of her other stories. I sort of guessed the ending but enjoyed it nonetheless. I just wish that their was more Poirot in this story as my enjoyment sky rocketed when he finally came into the fray.

A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum by Emma Southon (3.5 stars)

A really funny and informative look at a part of history I didn’t know to much about. I did prefer some sections over others and I felt the structuring of the audiobook I was listening too made the experience a bit confusing. But the narration and the comedic writing were amazing!

The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke (4 stars)

The first physical ARC I was ever sent by a publisher. This was a really good and suspenseful story. The characters were a massive strong point and I loved the use of the multiple POV and short chapter combo which just kept me reading page after page.

The Promised Neverland Vol. 5 by Kaiu Shirai (4 stars)

Another solid installment. The narrative has dramatically shifted from where we were the last 4 volumes so it was setting up a lot of new things but I am excited to see where the rest of the series goes.

One Foot in the Fade by Luke Arnold (4 stars)

Another great installment. Worth the wait. The world-building is amazing, the message and themeing of this series is being delivered really well and the characters are as good as ever. I am super excited to read the next book, whenever that comes out, and continue watching Fetch’s journey.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (5 stars)

And finally, the main event! Back on my romcom shit! Just a super fun time. The chemistry is amazing, I loved both members of the couple both in and out of the relationship and I really enjoyed seeing the neurodivergent representation in this novel.