Murder At The Bailey Review

Murder At The Bailey Review | Henry Milner

My review on Murder At The Bailey is a little different to my norm. It’s a different sort of read for me, and while it took me a little while to get into the style and the pacing etc, I found myself wanting to find out how it would end.

Publisher: Biteback Publishing | Date: 2021 | Genre: Crime/General Fiction

Plot: A notorious loan shark is shot dead, in broad daylight, right outside the front doors of the Old Bailey. The killer is arrested at the scene and Adrian Stanford is lined up to take on the toughest defence case of his career. Can he steer his client past the no-nonsense Detective Chief Superintendent ‘Iron-Rod’ Stokes, hell-bent on achieving a murder conviction in his last case before retirement? That’s assuming he can keep his client alive in prison long enough for the trial to go ahead. Can his illustrious defence QC, Patrick ‘The Edge’ Gorman, swerve the case past the acerbic judge known to all as Mack the Knife, whose own resolve is being tested to the limit by an adulterous wife? And why is London underworld numero uno Big Jake Davenport showing such a keen interest in the proceedings?

A wickedly eccentric cast of brilliantly drawn characters populate this daring debut from one of Britain’s top criminal defence lawyers. Dripping with sparkling dialogue and delicious wit, Murder at the Bailey is a masterly picaresque romp through the courtrooms, custody suites and London restaurants graced by the cognoscenti.

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A Psalm of Storms and Silence Review

A Psalm of Storms and Silence Review | Roseanne A. Brown

After lamenting last month about taking too long to tackle my TBR, I was delighted to be approved for this ARC! Reading a series almost back-to-back and getting a review up near publication date? What’s happened to me? Keep reading for my review on A Psalm of Storms and Silence.

Publisher: Balzer + Bray | Date: 2021 | Genre: Fantasy

Plot: Karina lost everything after a violent coup left her without her kingdom or her throne. Now the most wanted person in Sonande, her only hope of reclaiming what is rightfully hers lies in a divine power hidden in the long-lost city of her ancestors.

Meanwhile, the resurrection of Karina’s sister has spiraled the world into chaos, with disaster after disaster threatening the hard-won peace Malik has found as Farid’s apprentice. When they discover that Karina herself is the key to restoring balance, Malik must use his magic to lure her back to their side. But how do you regain the trust of someone you once tried to kill?

As the fabric holding Sonande together begins to tear, Malik and Karina once again find themselves torn between their duties and their desires. And when the fate of everything hangs on a single, horrifying choice, they each must decide what they value most—a power that could transform the world, or a love that could transform their lives.

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November 2021 Update

Monthly Check In | November 2021

Hello, lovelies! Look at this, two months in a row with a classic update. It’s almost like I’m getting back into the swing of this blogging malarkey! October was the first time for a while where I’ve had a solid month of content and broken 1k views. I know, its not about that. But sometimes it is – sometimes you need a little motivation to keep going.

Having decide to bring this blog to its roots, I’ve been having fun thinking up some different style posts which I might try out. Then, of course, I got a whole new idea of a second blog in a wildly different direction to this one, so currently trying to talk myself out of that, aha.

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Under The Whispering Door Review

Under The Whispering Door Review | TJ Klune

I’d seen a lot of glowing reviews for this author and couldn’t wait to start reading this one. Hands down, one of my favourite books of the year. It made me laugh; it made me cry (in a heartfelt good way). Check out my review on Under the Whispering Door.

Publisher: Pan MacMillan / Tor | Date: 2021 | Genre: General Fiction/Fantasy

Plot: When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.

Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.

But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.

When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

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5 Fantasy Series to read this Halloween

5 Fantasy Series to Read This Halloween

I can’t do spooky. Or creepy. Or scary. Or, pretty much, anything that is vaguely related to Halloween. Any book that advertises itself as being a Halloween read normally has me running for the hills. Last year, however, I had quite good fun deciding what I’d watch that had Halloween themes, but weren’t technically that genre. So, I thought I’d do it with books… here’s 5 fantasy series to read this Halloween if you don’t do traditional ghouls and ghosts.

This was supposed to be a general list, but it turned into fantasy through no fault of my own! Okay, the fault is mine, it’s mainly what I read but hey, you should know that by now.

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The Necessity of Stars Review

The Necessity of Stars Review | E. Catherine Tobler

I looked back at the synopsis of The Necessity of Stars when I sat down to write this review, and I’m not certain what drew my attention to it. It’s a short book which explodes with a lot of important messages, but I can’t say for sure I understood everything.

Publisher: Neon Hemlock Press| Date: 2021 | Genre: General Fiction/Science-Fiction

Plot: Plagued by the creeping loss of her memory, diplomat Bréone Hemmerli continues to negotiate peace in an increasingly climate-devastated world, ensconced in the UN-owned estate Irislands alongside her longtime friend and companion Delphine.

The appearance of the alien Tura in the shadows of Bréone’s garden raises new questions about the world’s decline. Perhaps, together, Tura and Bréone will find a way forward… if only Bréone can remember it.

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Autumn Cozy Time Tag

Autumn Cozy Time Tag | Book Tag

I was looking through some old posts the other day and came across this one. I won’t mention how much I cringed looking at my old design (it was 6 years ago!). But I also loved the idea of giving it a refresh and how I would change up the books now. So, figured I’d kill two birds with one stone and re-do my autumn cozy time tag and see what you thought.

I first saw this tag on Aimee Elizabeth Charlotte – check it out! Let’s dive right in!

Autumn Cozy Time Tag

1. Crunching Leaves: The world is full of colour – Choose a book with reds, yellows and oranges on the cover

The Happy Family by Jackie Kabler book cover

I had a couple that I couldn’t decide between here. She Who Became The Sun was a strong contender, as was The Last Enemy. But I settled on The Happy Family – not only does it match with colours, it’s autumn leaves as well – couldn’t be more perfect, right?

2. Cozy Sweater: It’s finally cold enough to don warm clothing – What book gives you the warm fuzzies?

The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle book cover

The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle. Honestly, not only does this book feel like a warm blanket on a cold day, it always leaves me feeling inspired and grinning like an idiot every time I read it. What more could you want?

3.Fall Storm: The wind is howling and the rain is pounding – Choose your favourite book or genre that you would like to read on a stormy day?

Eragon by Christopher Paolini book cover

Let’s be honest, we all know I’m going to say the Inheritance Cycle here, there’s no point pretending. But to take it wider, it would be fantasy. Pure, adventurous high fantasy, with magic and clear lines between good and evil. Plus, throw in a few dragons and maybe some elves and I’m more than happy.

4. Cool Crisp Air: What is the coolest character you want to trade places with?

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron book cover

This is even harder the second time around answering it than it was the first. I actually don’t know. I loved Arrah from Kingdom of Souls – there was something so relatable about her. Not sure I’d want to trade places given all that she has to deal with, but she is one cool gal!

5. Hot Apple Cider: What under hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest thing?

The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaivosky book cover

My original answer was actually Cassandra Clare. Reckon I got my wish there? Shows how long ago it was since I first did the tag. Now, however, I’d have to say anything by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I don’t know if I’d class his work as under-hyped, but he’s a new author to me this year and I’m completely in love with his writing style and will shout to any science fiction fan how much they need to read his work.

6. Coat, Scarves and Mittens: The weather has turned cold it’s time to cover up – What’s the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden from the public?

Jedi Apprentice
Jedi Apprentice

I honestly don’t know if I have one. I went through a stage last year where I had all the Jedi Apprentice books that I could read in about an hour each and was actually quite obsessed with them – although I’m not sure I would have admitted it at the time had anyone asked me.

7. Pumpkin Spice: What is your favourite fall time comfort treats?

A blanket. A cup of tea. A warm light. And a book. I mean, that might be totally predictable, but is there a better way of passing the evenings as they draw in and the nights start to close in on us?

Have you done this tag? Let me know if so – I’d love to read your answers. And if not – consider yourself tagged.

What’s your favourite Autumn read? Or favourite treat for the darker evenings?

You may also like:

Book Tag Autumn Cozy Time Tag

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Wake of the Phoenix Review

Wake of the Phoenix Review | Chelsea Harper

I loved the sound of this from the synopsis and was eager to dive in. Although it took until halfway before I was properly immersed, I enjoyed it. There’s an intriguing plot but it’s the characters who made this work for me. Here’s my review on Wake of the Phoenix.

Publisher: BooksGoSocial | Date: 2021 | Genre: Fantasy

Plot: War Hero. Thiefmaster’s apprentice. Traitors. Every title comes with a price.

Arkaen is a gods-damned saint. He sacrificed his childhood innocence fighting for the beleaguered rebellion in a civil war and relinquished a comfortable life with the man he loves to reclaim his place as high lord from corrupt nobles. Now, a hidden enemy is manipulating his lower lords into talk of rebellion, including the powerful Rogue Baron who is slowly swaying the city into questioning every move Arkaen makes.

With the help of his near-omniscient lover’s gift of foresight, Arkaen finds a potential ally in Niamsha, a reluctant thief trying to pay for her brother’s education. But Niamsha owes an insurmountable debt to the mysterious leader of her thieves guild and failing to pay means death—for her entire family. When her guild leader demands she join forces with the Rogue Baron himself, she finds herself caught in a political battle beyond her skills. Torn between protecting her family and following her conscience, Niamsha doesn’t know who to trust.

If Arkaen can win Niamsha’s loyalty, he might just prevent a second civil war and the destruction of everything he fought to protect. Or he might get them all killed.

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A Song of Wraiths and Ruin Review

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin Review | Roseanne A. Brown

Let us return, fair readers, to the bane of my existence: obtain a book, do not touch said book for a year, read it, curse not reading it sooner. Needless to say, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin is one of my top reads for 2021 – my review explores why.

Publisher: Balzer + Bray | Date: 2020 | Genre: Fantasy

Plot: For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

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The Happy Family Review

The Happy Family Review | Jackie Kabler

The synopsis felt this could be a cliché read, following the pattern of a lot of psychological thrillers. Although in places it was predictable, I enjoyed this: it kept me gripped and threw enough curveballs that it didn’t fall into the typical patterns. Here’s my review on The Happy Family.

Publisher: HarperCollins UK / One More Chapter | Date: 2021 | Genre: Thriller

Plot: A mother who disappeared…
When Beth was 10 years old, her beautiful, wild mother Alice walked out and never came back. Beth’s life since hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but now she is happy and settled, with a successful career, a loving family and a beautiful home.

An unexpected visitor…
Then one day there’s a knock at the door. Alice has returned. Overjoyed to have the chance to rebuild their relationship, Beth invites her mother to move in.

A life that comes crashing down…
At first, everything seems wonderful. But then Beth’s friends begin to drift away, strange things start to happen at home, and rumours begin to circle about her past. As the mysterious events around Beth become darker and more dangerous, she is forced to question everything. Is somebody in her life trying to destroy her happiness? And how far will they go?

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