March 2023 Wrap Up

  • I read 16 books this month
  • Genre: 5 mystery, 4 sci-fi, 3 fantasy, 2 historical fiction, 1 spy novel and 1 poetry collection
  • Gender of authors: 9 women and 7 men
  • Race of authors: 8 white authors, 7 Asian authors and 1 black author
  • Age range: 8 adult, 6 YA and 2 middle grade
  • Format: 10 paperback, 5 ebook and 1 hardback


  • Prompt: Mystery
    • Usotoki Rhetoric Vol.1
    • Murder in Mesopotamia
    • Whose Body?
    • Promise Boys
    • Tokyo Express
  • Sequel:
    • Murder in Mesopotamia
  • The Wonderful Stag, or the Courting of Red Elsie

Nocean by Efa (2 stars)

This was a post-apocalyptic graphic novel that I read through Netgalley. Unfortunately, it didn’t really meet my expectations plot wise but I thought the art design was stunning!

Tokyo Express by Seiko Matsumoto (2.5 stars)

A Japanese post war classic crime story. It was super engaging in the first third and I found the ending result to be entertaining but the middle section of the book was incredibly boring. You spend most of the book watching the detective read a myriad of transport time tables and at first it was novel but by the 4th timetable I was bored.

Leo in Little Pieces by Mayana Itoiz (2.5 stars)

Another graphic novel through Netgalley this time a World War 2 memoir. A really interesting look at a first-hand experience of what it was like living in France at the time of WW2. I will say I found the narrative structure to be confusing as well as the art design not being, particularly to my taste.

The Strange – Nathan Ballingrud (3 stars)

A sci-fi western. The first I have ever read this genre mix. I loved the setting of a western-esque town on the planet Mars! The plot started off super interesting but I think the author was trying to do too many different things half way through the story I started losing interest and all the points didn’t really tie up.

Red Dust White Snow – Pan Huiting (3 stars)

I think the theme so far this month is an amazing start but a less-than-amazing ending. I loved everything about the beginning of this story. I was fully on the 5 stars train but after the 50% mark, the story just fell away from the author. I felt that this book should have been longer as it felt that the author forgot they had to wrap up the story and rushed the ending while the plot itself felt unfinished or under-explored.

Promise Boys – Nick Brooks (3 stars)

A really interesting YA thriller that tackles systemic racism, toxic masculinity and the education system. Specifically on how it affects black and brown boys. I thought the use of multiple POVS and multi-media was incredibly engaging and really pushed this theme of assumptions and how they can harm people. I thought the characters were really interesting. But I felt that the mystery itself was disappointing and not structured amazingly.

Whose Body? – Dorothy L. Sayers (3.5 stars)

A re-read from a book I listened to last Summer. I enjoyed this re-read more than the audio version. Peter Wimsey is a really engaging character and I think Sayers does an amazing job at the dialogue in this book. Incredibly entertaining. My favourite scene had to be the scene where Wimsey figured everything out in his living room. I was also not expecting the PTSD representation so much within this book.

Murder in Mesopotamia – Agatha Christie (4 stars)

Continuing on with my Hercule Poirot read-through. I had heard very bad things about this book so I went in with quite low expectations but I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. I normally hate when Poirot isn’t in the story from the beginning but I found the first 100 pages to be engaging without him. This probably would have been a 5-star if it wasn’t for the complete 180 of an ending which was too over the top even for me.

The Trial of Lotta Rae – Siobhan MacGowan (4 stars)

A heart-breaking historical fiction novel about a woman who is let down by the man who was supposed to give her justice. I normally tend to read historical mysteries or historical fantasies so this was my first pure historical fiction novel in a long time AND I LOVED IT! MacGowan’s writing is so incredibly beautiful and her characterisation of Lotta Rae is amazing. Not only is it amazing but watching how she writes Lotta’s continuous growth and constant changing was masterful.

Juniper Mae: Knight of Tykotech City – Sarah Soh (5 stars)

A super fun graphic novel for a 7+ audience. With beautiful art design, a great female protagonist and the cutest frog-like sidekicks I have ever seen!

Spy x Family Vol.1 – Tatsuya Endo (5 stars)

I am so happy I finally got my hands on this series! Every great thing I heard about this is very accurate. I love the setting, the comedic writing and the characters. FOUND FAMILY IS THE ULTIMATE TROPE!

Some other books that I didn’t feel I had enough to write a mini review about:

  • A Passing on of Shells – Simon Lamb (3.5 stars)
  • The Wonderful Stag or the Courtship of Red Elsie (3.5 stars)
  • Usotoki Rhetoric Vol.1 – Ritsu Miyako (4 stars)
  • The Promised Neverland Vol.14 – Kaiu Shirai (4 stars)
  • The Girl from the Other Side Vol.2 – Nagabe (4 stars)

April 2023 TBR

March was a hit and miss month for me. On one hand I found some faves but I also read a lot of misses. I am looking forward to a new month and this month’s theme is historical fiction. I have a lot of historical mysteries in this list!

  • Title: Scarlet
  • Author: Genevieve Cogman
  • Series: Scarlet #1
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: Adult
  • Genre: Historical Fantasy
  • Time Period: French Revolution

Plot: It is 1793 and the French Revolution is in full swing. Vampires–usually rich and aristocratic–have slaked the guillotine’s thirst in large numbers. The mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel, a disguised British noble, and his League are heroically rescuing dozens of aristocrats from execution, both human and vampire. And soon they will have an ace up their sleeve: Eleanor Dalton. Eleanor is working as a housemaid on the estate of a vampire Baroness. Her highest aspiration is to one day become a modiste. But when the Baroness hosts a mysterious noble and his wife, they tell Eleanor she is the spitting image of a French aristocrat, and they convince her to journey to France to aid them in a daring scheme. Soon, Eleanor finds herself in Paris, swept up in magic and intrigue–and chaos–beyond her wildest dreams. But there’s more to fear than ardent Revolutionaries. For Eleanor stumbles across a centuries-old war between vampires and their fiercest enemy. And they’re out for blood. . . .

  • Title: The Ashes of London
  • Author: Andrew Taylor
  • Series: Marwood and Lovett #1
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: Adult
  • Genre: Historical Mystery
  • Time Period: The Great of Fire of London

Plot: The Great Fire rages through the city, consuming everything in its path. Even the impregnable cathedral of St. Paul’s is engulfed in flames and reduced to ruins. Among the crowds watching its destruction is James Marwood, son of a disgraced printer, and reluctant government informer. In the aftermath of the fire, a semi-mummified body is discovered in the ashes of St. Paul’s, in a tomb that should have been empty. The man’s body has been mutilated and his thumbs have been tied behind his back. Under orders from the government, Marwood is tasked with hunting down the killer across the devastated city. But at a time of dangerous internal dissent and the threat of foreign invasion, Marwood finds his investigation leads him into treacherous waters – and across the path of a determined, beautiful and vengeful young woman.

  • Title: Anatomy
  • Author: Dana Schwartz
  • Series: The Anatomy Duology #1
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: YA
  • Genre: Historical Mystery
  • Time Period: Edinburgh 1800’s

Plot: Hazel Sinnett is a lady who wants to be a surgeon more than she wants to marry.  Jack Currer is a resurrection man who’s just trying to survive in a city where it’s too easy to die. When the two of them have a chance encounter outside the Edinburgh Anatomist’s Society, Hazel thinks nothing of it at first. But after she gets kicked out of renowned surgeon Dr. Beecham’s lectures for being the wrong gender, she realizes that her new acquaintance might be more helpful than she first thought. Because Hazel has made a deal with Dr. Beecham: if she can pass the medical examination on her own, the university will allow her to enroll. Without official lessons, though, Hazel will need more than just her books – she’ll need bodies to study, corpses to dissect. Lucky that she’s made the acquaintance of someone who digs them up for a living, then. But Jack has his own problems: strange men have been seen skulking around cemeteries, his friends are disappearing off the streets. Hazel and Jack work together to uncover the secrets buried not just in unmarked graves, but in the very heart of Edinburgh society.

  • Title: Lies We Sing to the Sea
  • Author: Sarah Underwood
  • Series: Standalone
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: YA
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Time Period: Ancient Greece

Plot: Each spring, Ithaca condemns twelve maidens to the noose. This is the price vengeful Poseidon demands for the lives of Queen Penelope’s twelve maids, hanged and cast into the depths centuries ago. But when that fate comes for Leto, death is not what she thought it would be. Instead, she wakes on a mysterious island and meets a girl with green eyes and the power to command the sea. A girl named Melantho, who says one more death can stop a thousand. The prince of Ithaca must die—or the tides of fate will drown them all.

  • Title: The Beautiful Ones
  • Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Series: Standalone
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: Adult
  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Time Period: Loosely based 19th Century France

Plot: They are the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, and this spring is Nina’s chance to join their ranks, courtesy of her well-connected cousin and his calculating wife. But the Grand Season has just begun, and already Nina’s debut has gone disastrously awry. She has always struggled to control her telekinesis—neighbors call her the Witch of Oldhouse—and the haphazard manifestations of her powers make her the subject of malicious gossip. When entertainer Hector Auvray arrives to town, Nina is dazzled. A telekinetic like her, he has traveled the world performing his talents for admiring audiences. He sees Nina not as a witch, but ripe with potential to master her power under his tutelage. With Hector’s help, Nina’s talent blossoms, as does her love for him. But great romances are for fairytales, and Hector is hiding a truth from Nina—and himself—that threatens to end their courtship before it truly begins. 

  • Title: The Sun and the Void
  • Author: Gabriela Romero La Cruz
  • Series: The Warring Gods #1
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: Adult
  • Genre: Historical Fantasy
  • Time Period: Colonial Venezuela

Plot: Reina is desperate. Stuck living on the edges of society, her only salvation lies in an invitation from a grandmother she’s never known. But the journey is dangerous, and prayer can’t always avert disaster. Attacked by creatures that stalk the region, Reina is on the verge of death until her grandmother, a dark sorceress, intervenes. Now dependent on the Doña’s magic for her life, Reina will do anything to earn—and keep—her favor. Even the bidding of an ancient god who whispers to her at night.  Eva Kesare is unwanted. Illegitimate and of mixed heritage, Eva is her family’s shame. She tries her best to be perfect and to hide her oddities. But Eva is hiding a secret: magic calls to her. Eva knows she should fight the temptation. Magic is the sign of the dark god, and using it is punishable by death. Yet, it’s hard to deny power when it has always been denied to you. Eva is walking a dangerous path, one that gets stranger every day. And, in the end, she’ll become something she never imagined.

  • Title: Final Acts: Theatrical Mysteries
  • Editor: Martin Edwards
  • Series: British Library Crime Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Age Rating: Adult
  • Genre: Murder Mystery
  • Time Period: 1900s – 1940s

Plot: Behind the stage lights and word-perfect soliloquies, sinister secrets are lurking in the wings. The mysteries in this collection reveal the dark side to theatre and performing arts: a world off backstage dealings, where unscrupulous actors risk everything to land a starring role, costumes figures lead to mistaken identities, and on-stage deaths being to look a little to convincing…